Dooid’s Suggestions for This Weekend in Italy




Are you in Italy this weekend and wondering what events might be going on near you? We have you covered here with lots of ideas in every part of the Bel Paese!

Northern Italy

Central Italy

Southern Italy

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Stay in Lucchesia: discover Lucca and its surrounding area




Have you ever visited the beautiful city of Lucca? Have you ever been there when the camellias are in full bloom? Have you ever dressed up as a ninja with your friends for the famous Lucca Comics event? If not, the time has come for you and a group of friends or family to make unforgettable memories in Lucca. Enjoy this Stay in Lucchesia package!



Cost and Terms & Conditions

Up to 4 guests ( 2 rooms ) € 160,00/per night.

Each additional person is € 25.00 / night. The offer varies according to the number of people.

Minimum stay 4 nights

10% off only with dooid (taxes included) on a minimum of a 7-night stay


Payment Method: by bank transfer

How to Book: read the final paragraph and fill out the form below.

Cancellation policy: free up to 30 days before arrival, after this deadline, 50% of the price of the stay will not be refunded.

An additional security deposit of € 400.00 is required for any damage caused to the property which will be refunded upon check out (after checking the house).

The structure

The house was built around 1784, when it originally housed nuns. In the early 1900’s, however, it was transformed into a small farm.   The building has been finely restored, preserving the stone exterior, and is ready to offer tourists an authentic experience. The structure is located in the neighborhood called vicinato, perhaps because it is isolated, but yet close to the real village. This area is the oldest part of the town and if its walls could only talk!


What to Do and See

Lucchesia, as it’s known in Italianis an area of Tuscany rich in art and culture, but also in various events that attract tourists and enthusiasts from all over Italy and beyond!

The city of Lucca is one of the jewels of Tuscany. The town is protected by walls on which you can take pleasant walks accompanied by the sound of rustling trees. You’ll see the famous towers (Torre delle Ore and Torre del Guinigi) above the rooftops. In the historic center you’ll find the Cathedral: Lucca is nicknamed the “city of a hundred churches” due to the large number of sanctuaries scattered within the city walls.

As you wander along the cobblestone streets of the city and window shop, you’ll make your way to Piazza Napoleone, or Piazza Grande as it’s known by the locals. This is where most of the events, such as Lucca Comics and Games and the otaku event, take place. The piazza is also home to concerts like the Lucca Summer Festival which brings international stars such as Elton John.

Going back towards the village of the camellias, or Pieve and Sant’Andrea di Compito, art and nature come together. Strolling along the streets of these villages, you’ll be able to witness the most spectacular camellias, parks and historic villas. Sant’Andrea di Compito is a charming Tuscan village with narrow streets, stone walls, ancient buildings and even some villas from the 1700s.

Contact Us

If you need additional information or if you’d like to personalize your package, please fill out the contact form below or send us an email at You can also contact us on our Facebook page.

If you’re interested in this offer, contact us for additional information!
Let us organize your stay in Lucchesia:
from your hotel to everything you might need for a pleasant trip!

Package code: 201903141658

Catania package, Sicily: includes hotel, shuttle, meals!




How does a relaxing weekend in CataniaSicily sound? Overlooking the Ionian Sea and Mt. Etna, you’ll discover Catania’s art and natural beauty. With this special Catania package you can enjoy a well-deserved break and indulge in Catania’s amazing cuisine!


Cost and Terms & Conditions

199€ per couple (meat dinner menu)

225€ per couple (fish dinner menu)

Offer Includes:

  • 2 nights in a double deluxe room with breakfast
  • 4-course dinner with wine tasting (3 glasses DOC wine)
  • shuttle service from airport/port/station

Payment Method: Deposit of 99 € required, balance due at check in. You can book at any time, even last minute (subject to availability).

How to Purchase: Read the final paragraph and fill out the form below

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation policy: the deposit amount paid will not be refunded, but you will be given the option of applying it towards a credit for a future reservation (within 6 mos).

Valid During: all year except 3-day weekends and holidays at which point there would be an increase of the offer price.

The Hotel

Casa Provenza

An oasis in the baroque heart of Catania where you’ll enjoy the comforts of personalized rooms, completely renovated spaces, furnishings and colors.

On the fourth floor of the building (equipped with elevator) you will enjoy a 180 ° view from the covered terrace of the most beautiful façade of the city center, in an area with limited evening traffic on weekends.
Ideal for leisure stays, individual or group, or business trips, you will be “pampered” by the managers and the attentive and dedicated staff. Free Wifi, available in all indoor and outdoor areas.

Also available for your leisure: a reading area with seasonal guides and information, tour desk, book-exchange and relaxation room, with refrigerator and drinks, kettle and herbal tea, toaster and microwave.


What to Do and See

Catania is not just a city of art! It overlooks a crystal clear sea just waiting to be discovered! 
The Riviera dei Ciclopi or the Cyclops Riviera is stunning: characterized by black lava that has reached the sea. Equally beautiful and noteworthy are the Grotte di Ulisse or the Ulysses Grotto where you can take a swim in the clear waters. In the fishing village of Acitrezza you can visit the protected area around the Faraglioni and the Lachea Island by pedal boat. And you cannot leave without tasting the best granita and pastries in the area at the Eden Bar!

Admiring Mount Etna, whose prominent outline is the backdrop to the whole city, is obviously a must.

Besides the amazing gifts of Mother Nature, you’ll also want to visit the Cathedral of St. Agnes which dominates the Piazza del Duomo; the town hall and the elephant fountain; the Roman Theater; Via Etnea and so much more!

Contact Us

If you need additional information or if you’d like to personalize your package, please fill out the contact form below or send us an email at You can also contact us on our Facebook page.

If you’re interested in this offer, contact us for additional information!
Let us organize your Catania package:
from your hotel to everything you might need for a pleasant trip!

Package code: 201903081544

Folk Traditions Festival in Petralia

That’s right, folk is not just tradition, but a life style! It’s like a drug; once you go into the tunnel, you can’t come out. You don’t even try to stop, but if for some reason, you distance yourself from it for awhile, you miss it. After awhile you get used to being without it, but as soon as you hear that distinct sound of a cheerful accordion or an upbeat mazurka, you realize that your feet are independent of the rest of your body being commanded by the beat.

The Festival of Popular TraditionsPantomime dance of Cordella in Petralia Sottana (Palermo) is an example. This will be the XXXV Mediterranean Meeting of International Folklore held every year during August in this beautiful location within the Madonie Park. During the typical celebration of the Cordella dance, the ancient peasant traditions are recalled as a sign of hope for a fruitful harvest and married life. The festival lasts for four intense days that are packed with events, workshops and concerts from morning until late evening. There are even signing and dance workshops for children.

petralia-folk-festival-2018The last day is where the real party takes place which consists of the re-enactment of the traditional Sicilian wedding complete with a church ceremony and a wedding procession that from the village parades up to the pine forest above Petralia Sottana. The traditional Cordella dance concludes the festivities in a blaze of colored ribbons woven by twelve pairs of dancers to the rhythm of the cheerful sound of the tambourines.
Over the course of these four days the city changes its appearance, coming alive with people of all ages who fill the streets. Guests will notice the proud faces of children in their traditional garb and locals who participate enthusiastically keeping their island’s folk culture alive. Parades of local folk groups and international guests, cuisine from around the world, book lectures and finally concerts will delight.

But that’s not all. Grab a speaker, connect to a telephone, find a free square, some dancers and start again. Maybe you’ll only start with a few, 6 or 8 people, but as the music goes on, some passerbys stop to look. The energy and enthusiasm soon overwhelms them, and their swept into the growing climax of the dance. 

Folklore-petralia-sottana-eventiIt captures you and overwhelms you in its vortex.
It is an indispensable exchange of energy! You suddenly realize you are very tired, but the energy that your body expended is all returned to you in spirit by your dance partner, the people who dance around you, the music, the joviality of the moment, the desire to dance until exhaustion, to make friends and to fly … you realize that your body  no longer feels tired.

The newcomers can initially be skeptical, embarrassed because they do not know the steps or people with whom you dance; it’s normal. The Circassian circle loosens tension, loosens the body, confuses you, amuses you. You are inexorably involved. When the music starts, the dancers frantically run in search of a partner. There are never enough men. You search through the crowd looking for a volunteer. You can not find one. You draw one against his will. Resistance. You hastily reassure him that the steps are easy and that he will learn them in a few rounds, at each change of partner. It begins. He’s tense and embarrassed. He hesitates and his steps are uncertain. He continuously makes mistakes, again and again until finally, he’s having fun. He’s passionate and alive.

There is no age. Everyone is dancing with everyone. It is pure magic.

For more exciting ideas in the Palermo area, read our other articles: HimeraPorticello


photo copyrights:

Artigianato Vivo Festival in Cison di Valmarino


Cison di Valmarino

ArtigianatoVivo is an artisan festival held from 5 to 15 August in Cison di Valmarino in the province of Treviso, between Follina and Vittorio Veneto. It has steadily and increasingly attracted thousands of tourists from far and wide since 1980. There is talk of a turnout of 400,000 people this year.

The town of Cison – which has recently been inducted into the exclusive “club” of Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy)– comes to the forefront of excellent artisan craftsmanship that Italy truly does best.

200 exhibitors will present their unique products made strictly by hand at stands throughout the village. These types of festivals keep the Italian tradition and the art of “know-how” alive in this technological era in which craftsmanship is slowly dying.

In conjunction with the event, the Proloco organizes a series of side events such as concerts, animation shows, exhibitions and literary meetings.


Castle Brandolini


As I said, the tourist turnout is very high, and the whole territory merits a holiday of at least a few days. The artisan festival is a great opportunity to explore this beautiful area.

Cison di Valmarino is located in Valmareno, a valley dominated by the fortifications of the XII century Brandolini Castle which has been converted into a luxury hotel.

The Brandolini Counts were men of arms in feudal times and later became gentlemen dedicated to the economy, leaving an indelible imprint throughout the village.

The heart of the historic center is Piazza Roma which is dominated by Palazzo Marcello. It was the ancient Venetian villa of the Venetian doges Marcello, famous winners of the battle of Lepanto and the Loggia.

You will notice while walking through Cison that almost all the old houses have red or maroon shutters; a red that in these parts is called Rosso Brandolini.


Antiche Cantine Brandolini

Another example of the restoration of feudal buildings is the Antiche Cantine Brandolini. The building already appeared, as a basic structure, in fifteenth century maps. It has always been a particularly important place for the life of the village: built by the Brandolini family, it was initially used as a stable and then adapted to the wine production and conservation of agricultural products. It’s proof that the viticulture industry was already present in this area in distant times due to the high demand from Venice and the entire Veneto region.

As early as 1440, Valmareno already specialized in the cultivation of vines … and even today the entrire economy of the area is based on the production of wine, especially Prosecco.

Needless to say, this is an area where food and wine tastings are among the top tourist attractions. 

Cison-artigianato-vivo-2018-rolleRolle of Cison di Valmarino

You can not go to visit Cison di Valmarino without going through Rolle, a very small town surrounded by Prosecco vineyards. The poet Andrea Zanzotto defined it as “a postcard sent by the gods”. Beautiful all year through, the most fascinating season to visit Rolle is undoubtedly in autumn when the hills glow red.


Copyright photo The most beautiful village in Italy + Antiche Case Brandolini + Rolle: Carla La Rocca

Copyright photo Palazzo Marcello:

Copyright photo Castelbrando from above:

A Brief History of Carnival in Venice

The Carnival in Venice offers tourists and Venetians a chance to relive the glory days of this magnificent city. Masks, costumes, parades, and grand balls will take you back to a Venice of long ago. Let’s journey back in time to when Venice was a republic, traditionally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice

Have you ever wondered about the origins of Venice’s Carnival? 


The Origin of Carnival in Venice

Venice’s Carnival was first recorded in 1094 and listed as “public entertainment”, but it didn’t become official until 1296 when the senate declared the day before the beginning of Lent (Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday) a public holiday. Naturally, the actual day of Mardi Gras was just the highlight of the festivities. Some say that the merrymaking began on December 26th and lasted through Ash Wednesday; others claim the events started in October.

Street performances, jugglers, musicians, and acrobats attracted and distracted so many people that business and productivity began to suffer as a result. Most of the fun took place in Venice’s squares and piazzas, on Riva degli Schiavoni, and St. Mark’s Square. While the party was going on in the piazzas, there were performances taking place in Venice’s small theaters and cafes (the Florian, the Quadri, the Lavena) and elegant masquerade balls being held in historic palaces along the Grand Canal. By the 1700’s, Venice’s Carnival had become so renowned for its beauty and lavishness that it became a magnet for visitors from all over Europe- just as it is today.

The Meaning of Carnival

Carnival served a very distinct purpose during the time of the Republic. It provided an outlet and release from the built-up tension in Venetian society, and from the rigid political system imposed by the Republic- especially among the lower social classes. 

The costumes and masks guaranteed anonymity and allowed citizens to mock authority and the aristocracy. It was a public catharsis of sorts; momentary social equality that meant- behind the mask, we’re all the same. There was a flip side to this masked anonymity, however; crime of every type rose as disguised Venetians posed a serious threat to society.

The Senate enacted several new decrees designed to limit the Carnival hoopla: such as curfews (at sunset) and limiting public places (not in churches or game halls). These laws only undermined the true meaning of the holiday whose sole premise was based on transgression, even if only once a year.


The Decline

It was Napoleon who put an end to Carnival in 1797 and hence, an end to the golden age of the grand masqueraded festivals. Incredibly, not until 1967, did modern-day Carnival attempt to pick up where it had left off almost 200 years prior


Skiing in Italy: Central and Southern Regions

From Emilia-Romagna to Molise, from Tuscany to the Marches, from Lazio to Abruzzo, winter sports are widespread throughout the peninsula. While the north enjoys the prestige of the Alps, skiing in Italy in the central and southern regions is also wonderful! 

Skiing in Emilia-Romagna

The highest concentration of ski resorts in the Apennines is in the Emilia-Romagna region. With 136 km of slopes, 48 ​​ski lifts and altitudes up to 2,063 meters (Febbio 2000 – Monte Cusna), winter sports enthusiasts can indulge themselves. The most important area is that of Monte Cimone which offers about 50 km of slopes suitable for skiers of all levels and is well equipped for children and families. Corno alle Scale offers 35 km of slopes and is located on the Emilia-Romagna/Tuscany border, halfway between Bologna and Florence. It was here that the champion Alberto Tomba trained for world titles.

Cerreto Laghi is located on the Reggiano Apennines, in the Parco del Gigante. 16 km of slopes of varying difficulty and a 7 km cross-country ski ring make up this ski resort which includes 35 artificial snow cannons. Ventasso Laghi, also on the Apennine side, boasts a panorama of Mount Ventasso and Lake Calamone. The small resort offers three ski lifts and five slopes. Ideal for families, it can also be used in low snow conditions thanks to the snow system.

Finally, Schia in the Parma Apennines is located at the foot of Monte Caio. With 7 lifts and 25 km of descents, it is also suitable for cross-country skiing with a 2 km loop.


Skiing in Tuscany

81 km of Tuscan slopes are served by 35 ski lifts. The most important area is that of Abetone-Val di Luce, in the province of Pistoia. Its 44 km of descents, some designed by the champion Zeno Colò, are located at an altitude ranging from 1,240 to 1,892 meters on Monte Gomito. Doganaccia 2000 is an area consisting of 15 km of slopes at an altitude of between 1,446 and 1,795 meters and is particularly suitable for beginners and equipped with lighting for night skiing.

In the far south of the region, between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, Monte Amiata consists of 10 km of slopes and 8 lifts. This area is particularly suitable for beginners, but there is no shortage of the most demanding slopes and cross-country ski rings.

Zum Zeri – Passo dei due Santi is located in the province of Massa Carrara and consists of 8 km of slopes and two ski lifts. This characteristic location has views of the Gulf of La Spezia, Corsica and the islands of Cinque Terre.

Careggine in the Apuan Alps and Castiglione di Garfagnana, both in the province of Lucca, are two small resorts that complete the panorama of Tuscan skiing.


Skiing in the Marches

The Sibillini Mountains offer 30 lifts and 82 km of slopes. Despite the Marches being a small region, there are still several ski resorts. Unfortunately, due to the earthquake that hit central Italy in 2016, some of the resorts remain closed. Frontignano on Mount Ussita (2,000m), with 25 km of slopes; Monte Prata – Castelsantangelo sul Nera and Forca Canapine (25 km descent) are still closed. Modern lifts allow you to reach slopes of varying length and difficulty.

Mount Carpegna, Monte Nerone and Monte Catria are found in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, while in the province of Macerata you’ll find Bolognola, Sarnano-Sassotetto and Acquacanina-Piani di Ragnolo. Monte Piselli serves the province of Ascoli Piceno.

Skiing in Lazio

Although the Lazio Apennines do not receive heavy snowfall, this region boasts various places which are very popular with the Romans. Just outside the capital, in the town of Monte Livata there are 3 ski lifts where you can ski only when it snows, due to the lack of an artificial snow system. Monte Terminillo, in the province of Rieti, offers more possibilities with 25 km of slopes, more than half of which with programmed snow, 7 ski lifts and 15 km of Nordic skiing trails. Not far from here are the facilities of Campo Stella and, slightly further inland, those of Selvarotonda Cittareale. In the province of Frosinone, you’ll find Campocatino, Campo Staffi and Prati di Mezzo in the Abruzzo National Park.


Skiing in Abruzzo

Abruzzo can be considered the heart of winter sports in the Apennines. The abundant natural snow and the artificial snow systems transform this region into an ideal place to spend white holidays. Roccaraso offers an area of ​​119 km of slopes. Campo Felice and Ovindoli are a stone’s throw from Rome and together with Campo Imperatore form the Nevi Gemelle Consortium with 65 km of descent. Pescecostanzo, San Giacomo-Monte Piselli, Prato Selva, Pescasseroli, Scanno, Marsia, Campo Rotondo, Prato di Giove, Passo San Leonardo, Pizzoferrato and Gamberane are smaller but growing resorts, while the slopes of Prati di Tivo and Passo Lanciano – Maielletta offer beautiful panoramas with sea views.


Skiing in Molise

On the Matese massif, with peaks up to 2,000 meters above sea level, are the two Molise ski resorts: Campitello Matese and Capracotta. Both are equipped with modern lifts and are perfect for all levels- from beginners to champions to cross-country skiers.



Hiking in Lombardy’s Adamello Regional Park

For many people, the mountains in wintertime only mean skiing and snow. Many renounce going to mountain destinations convinced that if they don’t ski, there won’t be anything else to do. In this article, one of our writers will take us on a journey along the trails of the Adamello Regional Park in Lombardy.

Adamello Regional Park 

Just because temperatures drop and become frigid, that is no reason to give up mountain excursions all together. Many peaks take on a whole new look during the autumn and winter seasons that you would otherwise not experience in the spring or summer.

By arming yourself with excellent boots (or snowshoes) and patience you’ll see new landscapes and terrain. Some of the lakes will be frozen and can be appreciated in their dormant state.

Lombardy’s Alpine Lakes

The trail pictured in these photos is a very nice hike located just before the town of Edolo, at the end of Valcamonica. There are four refuges and three lakes in a six-hour hike.

The classic itinerary starts from Malga Premassone to Lake Baitone with the refuge of the same name. Along the four and a half hour route, you’ll come to the Baitone and Tonolini refuges which overlooks the small Rotondo Lake. The starting point is located at Ponte del Guat which can be reached quite easily. Following the only possible road to Valcamonica, (which starts approximately at Sulzano, touching Pisogne, Darfo, Bienno …) you’ll reach Malonno and a small sign for Zazza and Sonico.

After crossing an intersection with another road, you’ll follow a beautiful road (by car) through a green, mossy forest with very narrow, blind curves. In twenty minutes you will be at Ponte del Guat (elevation 1,540 m.) where you can park. Otherwise, you can reach the Malga Premassone car park (for a fee on a slightly unpaved road).

The refuge is very suitable for families with children or for a relaxing weekend, being in a large clearing crossed by a crystal clear stream and with a view of the Baitone. Once past Malga, there is a deviation almost immediately. Continuing to the right you have to face the “Miller stairs” – a very steep rocky path – which lead into a beautiful valley often covered with snow until the end of May and to the Gnutti Refuge, a lovely chalet overlooking Lake Miller.

From here, you can go back to the hut or follow the Passo del Gatto, which leads to the Baitone refuge and offers a beautiful view of the valley below. A warning: it’s not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo given the very narrow and exposed path. Instead, taking the detour to your left, you will follow the most direct route to the Baitone and Tonolini, or a path half through the woods and half outdoors, with a wide view of the Gnutti refuge plateau and the surrounding peaks.


Lago Baitone ghiacciato

In truth, the first part is not that exciting, but a little monotonous. Most of the hikes in the Adamello Park only have one flaw- very long climbs and very long descents, with no middle ground. Whereas in the Dolomites, you’ll encounter lots of ups and downs in the demanding climbs that are interspersed with high-altitude plateaus. In any case, your effort will definitely be rewarded. After about an hour and forty-minute walk along an easy path, you’ll reach the imposing dam of the Baitone refuge. During the winter and with the snow covering the path, the climb is longer and more demanding, especially without snowshoes, but it does not have dangerous or exposed sections such as the Passo del Gatto.

Once you reach the slopes of the dam, you can cross over to the opposite side and enjoy a magnificent view of the lake. In the summer, the water is crystal clear and almost turquoise. From here, you can already see the Tonolini refuge and its nearby waterfalls. You may even be able to spot numerous ibexes that climb the dam tens of meters high to recover the salt from the bricks and their cracks. Considering the wall is practically vertical, it is impressive. In winter when the lake is frozen the thick layer of ice takes on a beautiful blue color with white veins. Although the water level has fallen a bit lately, the view of Lake Baitone is always remarkable and it is worth stopping for lunch near its high banks.

From here you can choose from two routes to reach the Tonolini refuge. The first one, near the Baitone refuge (yellow with red shutters), is about half a kilometer shorter but less panoramic, while the second path is on the left of the dam. The latter, although a few minutes longer, is the most interesting. It runs along the western part of the lake, allowing you to enjoy a wide and wonderful view of the back of the dam, the lake, Plem Peak and the horn of the lake.

Lake Rotondo and Falls

The path is short and, after about twenty minutes on flatland, you’ll reach the last ascent of the day. From here you can admire three, twin waterfalls that disappear underground, presumably to feed the lake. After as many minutes of ascent, you’ll finally arrive at the Tonolini refuge (2,450 meters). The refuge is made of stone and wood and its small round lake is appropriately named Lago Rotondo. On clear summer days, the reflection of the surrounding peaks in this body of water is beautiful. The refuge is small but very welcoming, and you can rest on the edge of the lake on one of the smooth, stone slabs.

Those wishing to extend their excursion (by a lot), can follow path number 50 toward Gelati Lakes. These small lakes are practically always frozen. The climb is about an hour and forty-five minutes, but the rocky landscape and the numerous lakes are worth the effort. Otherwise, you can return via the Tonolini refuge towards the Baitone refuge and Ponte del Guat. You may want to choose the opposite route from your ascent for a change of scenery. 


Lago Baitone

Summing up, the combinations and possible routes to the different refuges and lakes in the Baitone group are varied and suitable for anyone who loves the outdoors. Above all, it will be well worth the effort.



Padua in a Single Day: a Walking Guide

A Venetian nursery rhyme defines the people of Padua as “great doctors”. It is probably due to the fact that one of the oldest universities is found here. But the city of Padua is so much more than intellectual. Let’s get to know this city on foot with this guide to Padua in a single day. 

Padua in a Single Day

Scrovegni Chapel

Our tour of Padua starts from the magnificent Scrovegni Chapel. The spearhead of this small chapel, which from the outside might seem anonymous, is located inside. It houses Giotto‘s famous cycle of frescoes representing three themes chosen by the Tuscan master. In addition to the priceless works of Giotto, the Scrovegni Chapel also houses three marble statues on the altar made by Giovanni Pisano.

The chapel is located in the middle of the ruins of the ancient Arena of Padua, where excavations are still ongoing. It is accessed through the Eremitani Civic Museums of Padua in Piazza Eremitani. The ticket includes a visit to the chapel and a visit to the museums.

Eremitani Civic Museums

The museums are divided into the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art. The 19 rooms retrace Paduan history and archeology and hold important testimonies.

In addition, there is also a multimedia room here entirely dedicated to Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, which immerses visitors in the artistic journey and historical context of the Tuscan painter.

Bo Palace

Bo Palace or Palazzo del Bo is definitely a highlight on your visit to Padua. It’s the historic seat of the University of Padua and today it is home to the Rectorate, the school of Law and the most primitive anatomical theater in the world.

Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Frutta, and Palazzo della Ragione

Continuing our visit to Padua, near the prestigious university site we find another of the major attractions of the city: Piazza delle Erbe. Together with Piazza della Frutta, they were the commercial heart of Padua. It still hosts one of the largest markets in Italy. The two squares are adjacent but separated from the Palazzo della Ragione which initially had a task of maintaining order in the markets as well as being the seat of justice. Open to the public is a magnificent room- 81 m long and 27 m wide- where you can admire 127 m of frescoes and a wooden horse. The frescoes were commissioned to Giotto, but were destroyed following a fire in 1420 and then restored by Nicolò Miretto. From the portico of Palazzo della Ragione, you can admire a beautiful panorama of Piazza delle Erbe.


Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral

The Cathedral of Padua stands out in the middle of the episcopal palace and the baptistery. The mannerist Baroque style of this church makes it very eye-catching, also because it has never been completed. Its Baptistery is somewhat of an unexpected beauty where you can admire beautiful frescoes that reach the dome.

St. Anthony’s Basilica

Commonly known to the locals as “la Basilica del Santo”, this church is one of the greatest masterpieces in the world. It is also recognized as an international sanctuary making it one of the most important and famous places of worship of the Christian religion. At first look, you’ll immediately notice a certain resemblance to St. Mark’s in Venice.


Prato della Valle

This square represents the symbol of Padua. Prato della Valle is well known internationally because it is the second-largest square in Europe (the first is Moscow’s Red Square). Inspired by the Venetian tradition, this charming and evocative square is intersected by four avenues that join together in the center. Small, graceful bridges crisscross the surrounding canal. 78 statues representing famous people from the past adorn the canal. Originally, there should have been a total of 88 statues. In the center, we find a green island called Isola Memmia in honor of the podestà.

Botanical Garden 

We conclude our walk through the streets of Padua with another of the flagships of this city: the Botanical Garden. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the garden stands on the land of the Benedictine monks where they cultivated medicinal plants. At the center of the 22,000 square meters of garden, we find a swimming pool dedicated to aquatic plants. In total, around 3,500 species of plants can be found.

What to Eat in Padua

It’s virtually impossible to have a bad meal in Padua. The typical dishes of the Venetian tradition are innumerable and delicious. Do not miss bigoli, a long, fresh pasta created right here in Padua, topped with various sauces. The most common being sardines and capers. Another typical Venetian dish is tagliatelle with radicchio and pancetta or paccheri pasta with duck. Boiled meat is a common second course and for dessert, try the pazientina cake.

Art Exhibition in Monza: Japan, Land of the Geisha and the Samurai

Japan’s intriguing culture and art will be on display at the Villa Real in Monza (Lombardy) from January 30 through June 2, 2020. The best of two large private collections will take visitors on a journey to Japan. 

Developed by Francesco Morena, the itinerary offers a cross-section of the traditional arts of the Far Eastern archipelago through a precise selection of works dating from the fourteenth and twentieth centuries. Valter Guarnieri’s collection will be joined by some kimonos from the collection of Lydia Manavello, a collector from Treviso who is an expert in Asian fabrics.


Geisha and Samurai

The central part of the exhibition is dedicated to the combination of Geisha and Samurai. Traditional Japan is in fact a country populated by beautiful women, the geishas, ​​and daring warriors, the samurai. The military class dominated the country of the rising sun for a very long time, from the twelfth to the mid-nineteenth century, imposing its political will and developing a very refined culture whose echo is still felt today in many areas.

The geisha, or more generally feminine beauty as we understand it (oval face with white powder, elegant clothes and cadenced ways), represented for Japan an equally rooted cultural topos. From the highly cultured court ladies of the Heian period (794-1185) to the courtesans who lived between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, so well immortalized by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), the painter who better than any other has restored the liveliness of the districts of the pleasures of Edo (now Tokyo).


A section of the exhibition is reserved for the relationship between the Japanese and nature, which in Shintoism, the indigenous philosophical and religious doctrine of the archipelago, is an expression of divinity. This privileged relationship with Nature is investigated here through a series of paintings on a vertical scroll, part of which were made between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at the dawn of modern Japan.

Outside Influence

In the mid-nineteenth century, after more than two centuries of conscious isolation, the country decided to open up to the world. Thus, in the space of a few decades, Japan advanced with conviction towards modernity. Meanwhile, Europeans and Americans began to appreciate its fine arts and many came to discover the mythical archipelago. The changed scenario thus led many artists to adopt foreign techniques and styles, and many artisans to produce works explicitly intended for foreign buyers.


Photography and Calligraphy

Foreigners who visited the archipelago frequently bought photographs to preserve and share the memory of the mysterious and beautiful country. This is the case of the stranger who acquired the works in the exhibition, who wrote down the descriptions of the places and activities depicted in his shots in Spanish, in the margins of the photographs.

The last room is reserved for one of Japan’s most complex, and at the same time most fascinating art forms, writing. Large screens adorned with powerful calligraphies conclude the exhilarating exhibition itinerary.


Japan. Land of the Geisha and the Samurai at Villa Reale in Monza 

From January 30 through June 2, 2020

For museum hours and ticket information, visit the official website Villa Reale


Ufficio Stampa Studio ESSECI

Travel and Tourism Trade Show in Padua: “Itinerando” 2020

For all of you fellow travelers whether it’s in a camper, on a boat, on foot in the mountains, or any other way you can imagine- the travel and tourism trade show in Padua awaits you! Itinerando, as it’s named in Italian, will be held from January 31 through February 2, 2020, and promises to inspire you with new traveling possibilities and adventures on the horizon!


Pavilion Themes

The expo is divided into 4 sections: Camper Experience, Bike Travel, Boat Experience, and Destinations/ Outdoors. Inside each pavilion, you’ll find everything you need to complete your travel experience. For example, if your favorite way to move from one destination to another is by bike, then in the Bike Travel pavilion you’ll find all different types of bicycles, accessories, helmets, information on cycle paths and cycle itineraries.

Mountains, trekking and other outdoor activities are in Hall 2 dedicated to the Outdoors with a wide range of accessories and sportswear. 4x4s, touring and off-road motorcycles, as well as a choice of spare parts and accessories, all alongside riders and bikers who have ventured out and who will share their experiences.

There will also be a section of mobile homes from “tiny” houses to exclusive glamping tents, which combine luxury and adventure. The mobile home sector is an increasingly popular trend giving travelers the freedom to experiment and personalize their adventure.

New in 2020

The exhibition spaces dedicated to Destinations and Outdoor are completely new. In the central pavilion, it’s destination Italy. Discover Italy via camper or mobile home, by bike, boat, or dinghy. Unique experiences, theme parks, and original and little-known destinations await you!

Talks and Travel Experiences

The world of tourism is changing, people are looking for more and more unforgettable experiences. Destinations are adapting, showing new and often unknown sides or unusual ways to discover them. Famous guests, famous travelers and those who have made traveling their profession will be on hand to give talks about their personal experiences.



Itinerando is located at Via Niccolò Tommaseo 59 in Padua- just a two-minute walk from the train station

Hours: January 31 from 12 pm to 7 pm and February 1-2 from 9 am to 7 pm

For complete details, please check the official website (Italian only)


Other ideas in the Veneto region


The Northern Italian City of Monza in a Single Day

The city of Monza is very close to Milan yet worlds away. Precisely for this distinction, Monza is considered a bridge that connects the chaotic Milanese city life to the quiet of the Brianza hills. Let’s find out how to see the best of Monza in a day!

Visiting Monza

The Duomo and Theodelinda Chapel

The visit to this magnificent city must, of course, begin from its enchanting historic center. Absolutely not to be missed is the Duomo with its famous Theodelinda Chapel. The Chapel was commissioned by the Lombard queen Theodelinda, who chose Monza as her summer residence. Queen Theodelinda was also the reason the Lombards converted to Christianity. She had a Basilicata built but unfortunately, all that survived of it is held inside the Cathedral Museum together with many jewels and important relics, known as the Treasury of the Duomo. In addition, the iron crown handed down from one ruler to another, including Charlemagne, is kept inside the Cathedral Chapel.

Ponte dei Leoni- Bridge of Lions

From Piazza del Duomo, continuing on Via Lambro, you’ll reach the famous Ponte dei Leoni or Bridge of Lions. This bridge is one of the oldest in Monza and is decorated with four large, marble lion statues. The bridge was constructed on the remains of a Roman bridge that crossed the Lambro River. Pedestrians can walk alongside the river until you reach the old grain mills and wash-houses. You’ll also see the typical ballatoio houses or balcony houses.


The Arengario

Continuing the visit of the historic center, another building worthy of a look is the Palazzo dell’Arengario. It was none other than the ancient town hall. Originally, it was part of a larger complex of buildings which also included the Praetorian Palace. Some of the rooms in this building are dedicated to art or photographic exhibitions, but also to many cultural events.

Royal Villa 

Another mandatory stop on the itinerary in Monza is the Royal Villa, also called the Royal Palace. No more than twenty minutes on foot from the Arengario, you’ll find this magnificent neoclassical palace. This Royal Palace was none other than the private residence of the Habsburgs which later became the residence of the viceroy during the reign of Napoleon.

Don’t skip the rose garden- it’s stunning!

Monza Park

Monza Park (Parco di Monza) is the fourth largest city park in Europe. The beauty of the greenery here is truly infinite, where you can immerse yourself in long walks or bike rides along the Lambro and then reach the ancient mills.

Inside, there is the famous Autodromo di Monza, the official headquarters of the Italian GP. The racetrack is one of the oldest in the world still in use.


What to Eat in Monza

Monza’s culinary heritage is undoubtedly Lombard and risotto is an integral part of the cuisine. You’ll find it on the menu with local luganega sausage or alongside ossobuco with peas. All the local taverns and restaurants will proudly have these items on their menus.

Chinese New Year 2020 in Milan

Milan’s Chinese New Year celebration will take place on January 25th marking the transition from the Year of the Pig to the Year of the Rat. Via Sarpi is the hub of Milan’s Chinatown district where lanterns, drapes, signs and red banners will be hung from doors, houses, and shop windows depicting the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac.

dragon parade chinese new year milan

Chinese New Year in Milan: the Dragon Parade

In anticipation of the main event on January 25th, Milan‘s Chinatown will be filled with lanterns and red decorations symbolizing good luck for the New Year. It is a tradition that makes reference to the Lantern Festival in which lanterns are positioned along the streets and in front of the doors of houses and shops.

The traditional Dragon Parade will begin in the early afternoon departing from Piazza Gerusalemme and winding through Milan’s Chinatown district towards Via Sarpi. The streets will be a blaze of colors, music, dance, and aromas of Eastern delicacies. For those who have never seen it, the parade is a colorful show characterized by paper dragons, colorful umbrellas, characters, music, and traditional dances. Also during the parade, the color red stands out- used to scare off the monster Nian according to an ancient legend. 

During the parade, the shopkeepers of the center will give children and young couples red envelopes containing coins symbolizing good wishes for the coming year. Finally, there will be the traditional dragon and lion dances and numerous other traditional elements of Chinese culture.

Chinese New Year: A Four-Thousand-Year-Old Tradition

What we refer to as “Chinese New Year” in the West is actually called the “Spring Festival” or “Lunar New Year“. It is one of the biggest and most heartfelt festivals in the entire Republic of China and in a large part of the Eastern world. In fact, it is also celebrated in countries like Korea, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam (where it takes the name Tết Nguyên Ðán), Taiwan, Japan, and the various Chinese communities throughout the world.

In China, the New Year corresponds to the first day of the lunar calendar, which in the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, but nevertheless, is always between January 21st and February 20th.

The Chinese New Year is a festival of ancient origins; it was founded over 4,000 years ago to signify the end of a year of hard work and inaugurate the new one. And it is at this time of transition between the old year and the new year that the Chinese take advantage of spending time with their family and relaxing as much as possible.

We must remember that this holiday does not last for just one day like New Year’s Day in the West, but two consecutive weeks, during which it is customary to visit one’s relatives and friends, as well as exchange gifts and best wishes. It is believed that a good start to the year corresponds to a prosperous work cycle in the year to come.

As they say in Mandarin Chinese, “Gong xi fa cai” (pronounced gong she fa tsai) or Happy New Year!




Milano Climbing Expo 2020

The Milan Climbing Expo is back again this year in its third edition. From January 31 to February 1 at the Urban Wall gym in Pero you can meet the great international champions and try the sport of climbing. This is an important year for the sport because for the first time ever, it will make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics!



What to Expect at Milano Climbing

During the two days, you can attend the lead climbing competitions and boulder competitions. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the many thematic workshops: from training methods to materials, from physiotherapy to climbing techniques, to the experience of ‘Paralympic’ climbing.

It will be two days of sport and entertainment, with the thrill of official competitions and entertainment by the dancers from the Urban Gravity Academy. Milan Climbing Expo 2020 will also host conferences and lectures about the mountains, hiking and on the relationship between sport and nature. The organizers know that climbing is not only a spectacular sport, but it is a philosophy of life and a way of being in symbiosis with ourselves and the environment around us.

In addition, there will be many internationally renowned guests in the climbing world such as the two-time world champion of ice climbing, the Italian Angelika Rainer and two super mountaineers who have just returned from an expedition Marco Camandona and Francesco Ratti.

Helpful Info

Friday 31 January from 5 pm to 6:45 pm: lead and boulder competitions followed by the dance exhibition and then lectures.

Thematic workshops begin on Saturday, 1 February from 9 am

The event takes place at Urban Wall in Via Gramsci 29 in Pero (MI).

General entry is free.

Consult the official website to register and for the complete program.

Open to anyone who wants to find out what it means to look at the world vertically!

Lake Trasimeno between History and Nature

Surrounded by the hills of the Umbrian countryside, Lake Trasimeno is the fourth largest lake in Italy with a surface of 128 square kilometers. Considered among the most charming holiday destinations in Umbria, this basin so dear to Lord Byron allows its visitor to easily reach important cities of art, medieval hamlets and tourist resorts.


What to See

Places like Castiglione del Lago, Città della Pieve, Magione and Tuoro sul Trasimeno are among the most interesting places around the Trasimeno area.

On the western shores of the lake, enclosed by the hills which mark the border between Umbria and Tuscany, the municipality of Castiglione del Lago enshrines one of the most beautiful hamlets of the area.

Built on a promontory, which once was the fourth island of the lake, Castiglione has a grid-structured layout which discloses its Roman origin. Castiglione owes its name to the ancient Latin fortification named Castellum Leonis (lit. Fortress of the Lion). Expanded in later periods until it reached its current state, Rocca del Leone is a massive fortified structure surrounded by a defensive wall with four towers and a 30-meters tall keep; an exquisite example of the military architecture of the Umbria region of Italy, embellished by the incredible view over the lake.

An evocative fortified walkway connects Rocca del Leone to Palazzo della Corgna, composing a single museum center that is entirely possible to visit. 

Built as the private residence for the Corgna Family, Palazzo della Corgna is a mansion surrounded by a lush Italian style garden, while its rooms are decorated with magnificent frescoes depicting mythological scenes like in the Paris’ Hall and in the Aeneid Hall; events celebrating the deeds of the members of the Corgna family, like in the Hall of Ascanius (progenitor of the Corgna dynasty); or recalling important historic events of the Trasimeno area, like the battle between the Roman and the Carthaginian armies, as depicted in the Hall of the Battle of Trasimeno.

Originally settled by the Etruscans and later occupied by the Roman Empire, the area of Città della Pieve has undergone countless events during the Middle Ages such as a great number of lords following one another until Pope Clement VII  assigned the hamlet to the Papal States.

Still surrounded for the most part by the original fourteenth-century defensive wall, the hamlet boasts the narrowest alley in Italy: via Baciadonne; while the Cathedral of the Saints Gervase and Protrase stands in the center of the settlement. Its most ancient parts date back to the twelfth century, although several subsequent interventions changed its original structure. Within the Cathedral, it is possible to enjoy the works of art by Domenico Alfani and other two very important painters, born in Città della Pieve: il Perugino author of the Virgin and Child with the Saints Peter, Paul, Gervase and Protase and il Pomarancio, author of the God Almighty and Angels. Laying down at the hills flanking the eastern shore of Lake Trasimeno, Magione owes its name to the Castle of the Knights of Malta, formerly known as “La Magione” (lit. The Mansion). Mentioned since the twelfth century, the Castle of the Knights of Malta was built as a fortified refuge to provide the pilgrims on the Via Francigena with shelter and assistance.

Originally composed of two different buildings, the Castle has undergone several changes over the years that modified both its construction and its purpose. In fact, the Castle became an abbey and finally a proper fortress with a square layout, fortified external walls, towers, and a courtyard. Currently, the Castle of the Knights of Malta is part of a private farmstead; however, it is possible to book a visit to one of his wings. The cloister, on the other hand, is open to the public.

Built on the very same area where the Roman army clashed against the Carthaginian army led by Hannibal and lost, Tuoro sul Trasimeno has been founded in relatively more recent times; in fact, the first records date back to the fourteenth century. You can walk around the Castle of Civitella Ranieri and from its position of 450 meters above sea level, have an amazing panoramic view over the lake and the nearby Pieve up to the Umbrian-Tuscan border.


The Islands

From Tuoro it is possible to take a ferry to the eastern side of Isola Maggiore.

From there, enjoy a hike on one of the island’s trails that wind past olive trees, cypresses and poplars, to a very small hamlet, full of monuments dating back to the Middle Ages, on the western side of the island.

The largest island of Lake Trasimeno is Isola Polvese which is undoubtedly among the most interesting locations to visit in the area. Part of the Parco Regionale of Trasimeno, a natural park run by the government of the Umbria Region, this island offers an educational and scientific experience, further embellished by several monuments dating back to ancient times. A double experience for every visitor, halfway between full immersion in nature and the exploration of the artistic sites of the island.

It is worthwhile to name the island’s most important sites of interest such as the Medieval Castle, towering above the ancient hamlet, the Church of Saint Giuliano, the ruins of the Church of Saint Secondo and the Olivetans’ Monastery and, finally, the Garden of  Aquatic Plants (realized in 1959 by Pietro Porcinai).

Read more about exciting destinations in Umbria!