Dooid’s Suggestions for This Weekend in Italy

 

[yasr_visitor_votes]

 

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

Our itineraries

guided-tour-in-puglia-itinerary-dooid

family-weekend-in-italy-dooid

tour-in-puglia-and-matera-dooid

Our hotels

last-minute-holiday-in-trentino-val-di-non-dooid

stay-in-the-tuscan-countryside-dooid

stay-in-lucchesia-dooid

catania-package-dooid

tuscan-emilian-appenines-dooid

vacation-package-in-perugia-umbria

stay-cortona-tuscany-umbria

Pet-holidays-in-northern-Italy-dooidWould you like to stay up to date on all the events happening all over Italy? Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know!

Stay in Lucchesia: discover Lucca and its surrounding area

 

[yasr_visitor_votes]

 

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!

 

pacchetto-borgo-delle-camelie

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!

pacchetto-borgo-delle-camelie

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  booking@rimmontech.it. 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!

 

[yasr_visitor_votes]

 

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!

catania-package-dooid

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.

catania-package-dooid

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  booking@rimmontech.it. 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: 
www.radunodelfolklorepetralia.it

Artigianato Vivo Festival in Cison di Valmarino

Borgo-cison-artigianato-festival-2018-dooid

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.

artigianato-vivo-festival-2018-cison

Castle Brandolini

ABOUT CISON DI VALMARINO

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.

Cison-di-valmarino-artigianato-vivo-2018

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: villevenetecastelli.com

Copyright photo Castelbrando from above: hotelcastelbrando.com

Where to Stay in Sicily: the Casa Ruffino Bed & Breakfast

Sicily conjures up emotions like few other places- the sun, the turquoise sea, the dizzying aromas, the warmth of its people. Although it would be like asking someone to choose a favorite among precious gemstones, many agree that the northern coast of the island is the most beautiful. Names like San Vito lo Capo and Cefalù have become synonymous with the allure that is Sicily. The coastal town of Balestrate is in between these two and is just 35 kilometers from the Palermo airport. The Casa Ruffino Bed & Breakfast is the perfect place to stay for your Sicilian adventure! 

casa-ruffino-b&b-balestrate-palermo

Casa Ruffino B&B

This elegant bed and breakfast has 5 lovely rooms with one being able to accommodate up to 5 guests. Each is exquisitely decorated and has a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a shower as well as air conditioning. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the entire building. Guests will enjoy the comfortable common areas such as the dining room and living spaces. A buffet breakfast is included with your stay and offers all the classic Sicilian delicacies from savory to sweet as well as gluten-free and vegan options. 

casa-ruffino-balestrate-palermo

Casa Ruffino is situated in the heart of Balestrate’s center where you’ll find plenty of shopping, restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias. You’ll also be just 800 meters away from the gorgeous beach of Balestrate that boasts a Green Flag award, meaning that it is perfect for young children. There are plenty of services here from bathing establishments to a trenino shuttle that will take you through town.

Balestrate, Alcamo, and Castellammare

The stunning beaches of Alcamo and Castellammare del Golfo are just 15 km away from Casa Ruffino. You can also venture into the old historic center of Alcamo which boasts a 14th-century castle and breathtaking views from its elevated position.

casa-ruffino-castellammare

Scopello and the Zingaro Nature Reserve

Continuing along the coast toward Trapani, you’ll also be able to enjoy the beaches of Scopello as well as the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro which is a 7 km protected area that extends to San Vito lo Capo. The only way to visit here is by boat or on foot, but the little hidden coves that dot this reserve are well worth the effort!

Trapani and Erice

Trapani is only about 30 minutes away from the B&B and offers a one-of-a-kind experience of seeing the ancient salt minesle saline di Trapani. From here, you can also reach one of the most charming villages in all of Sicily, the medieval hilltop town of Erice.

Greek Sites of Segesta and Selinunte

Inland Sicily is equally fascinating and from Casa Ruffino’s prime location, you will be just 20 minutes away from Segesta and its ancient Greek temple and natural hot springs. Speaking of Greek archaeological sites, the Selinunte Archaeological Park is the largest in all of Europe and is less than an hour from the hotel. 

casa-ruffino-segesta

Palermo

And let’s not forget Palermo, the capital of the entire island of Sicily! It’s just 30 minutes away and is an absolute must-see from Casa Ruffino.

casa-ruffino-palermo-

Because Balestrate is so well-connected by both the autostrada and public transportation, you can also decide to venture out even further to destinations like Agrigento just over an hour away.

The possibilities are truly endless!

Food and Wine

This part of Sicily is known for its world-famous wine varieties such as Marsala DOC, Erice DOC, Sicilia DOC, and Terre Siciliane IGT. Wine tasting events such as Calici di Stelle in the month of August are becoming increasingly popular. 

Hospitality

Giuseppe and his staff make guests’ satisfaction their top priority and will be more than happy to help you make arrangements for guided tours, reservations, and anything else that you might need to make your stay in Sicily one you will never forget. 

What are you waiting for?
Book your room at the Casa Ruffino B&B in Balestrate

From Casa Ruffino, you can visit…

 50 km away 

Palermo
26 km away  Segesta
14 km away Castellammare del Golfo
 50 km away Erice
 56 km away Trapani
 68 km away Selinunte Archaeological Park
 59 km away  San Vito lo Capo

 

 

 

 

 

What to See in Ancona in the Marches Region

Ancona is the capital of Italy’s central Marche region situated on the Adriatic Sea. This beautiful city is full of history, art, delicious food, and to top it all off, sits on the Riviera del Conero coastline. If you decide to make Ancona your next holiday destination, or even if you only have a day or two, here are the must-sees!

The Ancient Greek City of Ankon

As early as the 6th century BC, Ancona was populated by Greek colonists who named it after the Greek word for elbow- ankon– due to its elbow-shaped promontory that juts out into the Adriatic Sea. This geographical feature gives Ancona the rare privilege of being the only place along the Adriatic where you can enjoy a spectacular sea view of both the sunrise and the sunset!

ancona-porto-marche

Piazza del Plebiscito

Piazza del Plebiscito, often referred to as Piazza del Papa by the locals, is one of two major piazzas of this city of 100,000 residents. On one side you’ll see the Fontanone or the Fountain of the Decapitated. Eight of the ten sculpted heads were supposedly those of nobles decapitated in this very square in the 16th century. You’ll find major monuments here such as the Palazzo del Governo, the Civic Tower and clock, and the striking staircase leading to the Church of San Domenico.

You’ll find two priceless works of art within the church- The Crucifixion by Titian and The Annunciation by Guercino. The Museo della Città is also located here. A statue of Pope Clement XII adorns the top of the staircase as a tribute to his contribution to the local economy and reviving the port in the 17th century.

Cathedral of San Ciriaco

Ancona’s duomo, the Cathedral of San Ciriaco is an absolute must-see both for its beauty but also for the incredible view. It sits at the highest part of the city and overlooks the stunning Riviera del Conero. Built on the site of an ancient Greek temple, it later became a Paleo-Christian church. The current structure is considered Romanesque with Byzantine and Gothic influences. Underneath the glass panel floor in the central part of the church, the remains of the pagan temple and early Christian church are still visible.

ancona-san-ciriaco-duomo

Roman Ancona

Of course, Ancona was also a Roman city as evidenced by the ancient harbor that was only recently uncovered. There are also the remains of the ancient Roman amphitheater as well as the magnificent Arch of Trajan made in Turkish marble almost 2,000 years ago.

As is almost customary in Italy, you’ll find that famous sites have multiple names, which sometimes makes it confusing to tourists. Ancona’s Lungomare Vanvitelliana is a prime example of this! This pier is also known as the Lazzaretto. Designed by the famous architect Luigi Vanvitelli (read about his work in Naples here) in the early 1700s. It is an architectural masterpiece with its pentagonal design and a characteristic temple dedicated to San Rocco (tempietto di San Rocco). Today, it is Ancona’s hotspot for exhibitions, music, and various events. Click here for a link to summer 2021 concerts.

ancona-tempietto-porto

Santa Maria della Piazza Church

Don’t miss the Paleo-Christian church of Santa Maria della Piazza which is open to the public. Layers of mosaic flooring have been uncovered dating the origins of this church to the second century and possibly confirming that it was dedicated St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Museums

Museums in Ancona include the Diocesan Museum; the Pinacoteca F. Podesti with works by Titian and Guercino among countless others; the Museo Tattile Statale Omero, a completely tactile museum for the blind and visually impaired and the only one of its kind in Italy; and the National Archaeology Museum of the Marche Region. If you only have time for one, my choice would be the latter as it has an astounding collection dating from the Paleolithic to the Late Roman period.

Riviera del Conero

Regardless of when you visit, visiting the beaches of the Riviera del Conero is an absolute must as they are some of the most beautiful in all of Italy. Awarded the Blue Flag year after year, the Riviera’s most famous all lie within the Monte Conero Nature Reserve and include the Spiaggia di Mezzavalle, Portonovo, and the Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle named after the unusual rock formations.

ancona-riviera-del-conero

Food and Wine

And while in Ancona, you won’t want to miss out on the delicious cuisine of the Marche region and the fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea. Moscioli are mussels that are fished in Portonovo and are served in a variety of ways from steamed to topping spaghetti. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, then don’t miss out on lasagna Marchigiana style, vincisgrassi, which has the added richness of using prosciutto lard to the traditional ragù sauce as well as chicken giblets. Traditionalists will get offended if you refer to this dish as “lasagna”- you’ve been warned! Wines include several DOCG and DOC varieties such as Conero DOC and Verdicchio di Jesi DOCG.

 

Pella: Historical and Natural Beauty on Lake Orta

Pella is a small town on Lake Orta, a true gem nestled in the Alps.

It is a place where you can seek and find peace, but Pella is also rich in history that unfolds at every turn of the winding, uphill roads.   
Walking along the lake while admiring the enchanting reflection of the Island of San Giulio in the middle, you can reach the medieval tower in a few minutes. The tower is now private property, but it was formerly part of the town’s defensive system.

Walking a little further, you’ll see the 16th-century church of St. Albino Bishop, with its small portico and its bell tower reconstructed in 1936 with the stones of Alzo.
Just a few steps from the square, walking towards the cemetery and a path uphill that leads into the dense scrub, you can enjoy a unique view of the River Pellino flowing impetuously through the rocks. The bridge above resembles a donkey’s back and, in the past, it was used to allow funeral processions to reach the small cemetery.

Let yourself be guided by the colors and beauty that this center can offer, stopping to enjoy an ice cream or crepes in front of the magnificent view of the lake. The real historical gem of Pella is the church of St. Filiberto, located near one of the sailing boats that connect the center to the Island of San Giulio, Orta San Giulio, and other towns overlooking Lake Orta.

San Filiberto is the oldest complex of Pella, built around the 11th century BC and remodeled in the sixteenth century. Around the monument, there are 14 chapels of the Via Crucis, dating back to 1794; the bell tower is the original one, dating back between 1075 and 1110. The church, with a single nave, was remodeled after the Middle Ages, including some frescoes. Among them, we can find the portraits of St. Giulio and St. Filiberto, together with other saints.

cosa-vedere-a-pella-dooid

From the center of Pella, you can reach the nearby hamlet of Alzo and the sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin of the Rock (Madonna del Sasso) that sits majestically on the rock spur over the lake. I recommend you check the timetable for the shuttle that will take you uphill. From Pella, you can easily visit the Island of San Giulio and Orta San Giulio by boat or ferry.

Copyright photos of the article and photo gallery: Cristina Cumbo

Policoro and Nova Siri on Basilicata’s Ionian Coast

Italy’s Basilicata region is one of the few that has two coastlines- one on the Tyrrhenian side and the other on the Ionian Sea. Maratea (Tyrrhenian) is probably the most famous beach destination in the region, but we’re here to tell you that Policoro and Nova Siri are also fantastic holiday spots. 

A Bit of Background on Basilicata

By now, everyone on the planet has become familiar, and fascinated, with Matera, the “City of Stones”. Since Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was filmed here in 2004, this mysterious city that more closely resembles the Middle East than the rest of Italy has become quite well known. In 2019 it was named the European Capital of Culture and was able to reap the benefits of such a title before the pandemic changed the world as we knew it. 

craco-borgo-fantasma-matera

Parts of Basilicata, along with a few other regions, still remain a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of authentic Italy. Hilltop villages like Craco show that in most of the region, time has stood still for centuries. The Gallipoli Cognato National Park is also an unexpected surprise that you have probably never heard about. 

Policoro

Policoro Lido is about an hour by car from Matera and situated on the Gulf of Taranto (Ionian Sea). This little stretch of Lucania (Basilicata) is only about 40 km from the border with the Puglia region – where you’ll find destinations like Metaponto– and just a couple of km from Calabria to the south. If you have a car, which you should when you visit, you can easily see the entire coastline. 

nova-siri-policoro-basilicata

Policoro’s shores are unique in that they are part of a rare biome, a swampy marshland and deciduous forest that is now protected. The region, with the help of the WWF, has set aside 1,200 hectares of land as the Riserva Naturale Bosco Pantano di Policoro (Pantano Wood Nature Reserve) and the Herakleia WWF Oasis. Protected species such as the Caretta caretta sea turtle, monk seal, and over 150 species of birds continue to thrive thanks to research and conservation efforts by volunteers. 

They are serious about the environment here and the beach is continuously awarded the prestigious Blue Flag. You can expect sandy beaches with shallow shores which are perfect for families with young children. There are also plenty of choices as to what kind of beach experience you prefer- everything from fancy cabanas to sections of “free beach”. This area is also well known for sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, and canoeing. You can rent equipment or hire an experienced guide or skipper to take you out on the open sea. 

Nova Siri, also a Blue Flag beach, is just a few kilometers south of Policoro with its own historic center and castle. 

policoro-tartaruga-loggerhead

Archaeology

Like its neighbor Metaponto to the north, Policoro was part of Magna Grecia. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale della Siritide is both a museum and site that hold priceless relics from the Siris-Herakleia site, some dating as early as the 9th century BC. 

Food and Wine

Even Italians love the fact that the flavors of Basilicata are authentic. You will be hard-pressed to find a touristy restaurant that is serving up frozen pizzas. Of course, seafood and fresh fish are at the top of the menu. Don’t miss out on the unique delicacy of U’ Pastzzott which is a deep-fried pastry stuffed with either chickpeas or almonds. You will barely notice the chickpea flavor because of the wild combination of sugar, cinnamon, honey, cocoa powder, liqueur, and citrus.

Wines include the local varieties of Malvasia, Bombino Bianco, Grottino di Roccanova, and Aglianico del Vulture.  

Glamping Italian Style: Un Posto al Sole Lodge Between the Amalfi and Cilento Coast

Glam camping or glamping has become quite the rage for those who love the outdoors but don’t want to go without their modern comforts and conveniences. This is luxury camping at its finest. The Un Posto al Sole Lodge is just 5 km from the sea in the Salerno province. 

salerno-posto-al-sole-glamping

Un Posto al Sole Lodge

Seeing is truly believing and you’ll fall in love at first sight with this deluxe igloo/tent. It sleeps up to 4 guests in a queen-size bed and two single bunk beds. There is a bedroom as well as a living area with a couch and armchairs, and a flat-screen TV. The entire tent is air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter and has WiFi as well. There is also a coffee maker and a fridge. 

The bathroom has everything you could need plus a hydromassage shower.

The lodge is surrounded by olive trees and lots of greenery with a view of the Amalfi coast. The terracotta terrace is equipped with several chaise lounges and a 6-seater whirlpool tub plus an outdoor shower. It is the ideal place to relax.

posto-al-sole-glamping-salerno

Where is it? 

Un Posto al Sole is between the Cilentana and the Amalfi Coasts!

The exact location is Montecorvino Rovella, a very cute town where you can enjoy a nice evening stroll. It’s known for its delicious pizza (with mozzarella di bufala of course!), homemade gelato, hazelnuts, and lots of other delicacies. 

The Sea

The lodge is just 6 km from the closest beautiful beaches where you’ll find everything you could need to enjoy a lovely day in the sun. 

The Amalfi Coast

In just 20 minutes by car, you’ll be in Salerno where you can take a ferry to the fabulous Amalfi Coast. Some of the most photographed spots in the world are found right here like Positano, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello and Capri!

posto-al-sole-lodge-salerno-amalfi

The Cilentana Coast

If you head south from the lodge, in less than an hour you’ll be on the Cilentana Coast with a choice of beaches like Agropoli and Acciaroli. Numerous beaches have been awarded the distinguished Blue Flag for their pristine waters and shores. Palinuro is considered the “pearl of Cilento” where you can see the breathtaking Arco Naturale. 

History and Culture

While you are on holiday, you’ll most likely want to see some of the most important sights not just in Italy but in the world! One of these is Pompeii which is just 35 minutes away by car. Even closer is another archaeological site, Paestum. This was the ancient Greek city of  Poseidonia which still has three temples that date to the 6th century BC. 

costiera-cilentana-paestum-posto-sole-lodge

Hospitality is a Priority

When you stay at Un Posto al Sole, you will have the pleasure of being pampered by the staff. Owners Gianni and Milena will be happy to give you suggestions on organizing your days as well as help you book guided tours, restaurants, and ferries.

A rich breakfast buffet with homemade jams, organic products, and local delicacies is included with your stay.

If you are looking for a completely relaxing holiday surrounded by nature in total luxury, then Un Posto al Sole Lodge is the place for you!

Don’t wait! Visit the Un Posto al Sole Lodge website

Summertime Fun at Predil Lake in the Julian Alps of Italy’s Friuli Region

This is almost definitely an area of Italy that not many tourists get around to seeing. Today, we’re in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (or “Friuli” for short) in northeastern Italy. This beautiful region that borders both Austria and Slovenia offers not only beach destinations along the Gulf of Trieste but also mountain and lake destinations as well. Lake Predil (Lago del Predil) is a pleasant surprise that you have probably never heard of!

friuli-lago-predil-tarvisio

The Julian Alps

The highest peaks of Friuli’s Julian Alps reach an elevation of 2,7oo meters and are one of Italy’s many options for wintertime skiing. You may have heard of Tarvisio in this context. Near Tarvisio, just north of the Sella Nevea pass lies the stunning Lago del Predil. At an altitude of almost 1,000 meters, even summer days are pleasant. 

Predil Lake and its Legend

Predil Lake (sometimes called Raibl) is surrounded by striking massifs such as that of Cinque Punte (Five Points) for its unusual peaks that you can actually count. Throughout much of the year, the highest are still snowcapped creating fascinating reflections in the blue-green water. Pine trees abound as far as the eye can see and to top off the picturesque scene, there is a tiny islet in the middle of the lake with a lovely legend tied to it. 

Legend has it that long ago the lakebed was actually a town and one cold night, a mother and child were seeking shelter from a winter storm. All of the residents refused to give them shelter except for one household. When they woke up the next morning, they found that the entire town with all of its selfish residents had been swallowed up by a lake leaving the hospitable family as the only house standing on the little island. The mother and child had disappeared. 

The Great Outdoors

This is the second largest lake in the Friuli region and is known for its aquatic sports such as windsurfing, SUP, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing. If you simply want to lie on the shore and relax, you can do that too. There is also a playground for the little ones. 

SUP-lago-predil-tarvisio

Hiking trails abound as well which can also be explored on bike. Friuli is known for its fantastic cycling paths, one of these connecting the cities of Grado and Tarvisio. One of the most popular trails leads to the little town of Cave del Pedril. This was a mining town until 1991 where they extracted zinc and lead from the mountainside. Over the years, it attracted workers from Austria and Slovenia, and both German and Slovenian are commonly spoken even today. If you’re interested, there is also a museum complex (Polo Museale di Cave del Predil) which gives you access to a military museum (mostly WWI), the old mines, and a geology section.

Culture and Food

You’ll notice immediately that there are distinct differences in this area (known as the “three borders” for Italy, Austria, and Slovenia) as compared to other parts of Italy. The local flavors are a combination of all three cultures and include dishes like goulash, gnocchi, and rye bread. Mushrooms and game meat like venison are very common and served sometimes as a condiment to the local homemade pasta, blecs. Lake fish is also common and sometimes used as a filling ravioli. Rye flour, sesame, and nuts are often used in bread which resembles Germanic traditions. 

For more information, the Tarvisiano tourist website is a great place to start. 

lago-predil-tarvisio-friuli

 

 

 

Summer Events in Lignano Sabbiadoro on the Adriatic Sea

Eight kilometers of golden, sandy beaches and forty fully-equipped bathing establishments provide everything you need to enjoy the sun (and rest in the shade) in the middle of the beach. We’re referring to Lignano Sabbiadoro– an Adriatic coastal city in the Udine province in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

It is a place of a thousand faces, that of Lignano. A place that is suited for comfortable family holidays in the many apartments to be rented to luxury in its amazing hotels complete with a dedicated beach and embellished with elegant gazebos and chaise lounges. In Lignano, pleasant strolls in the evening while enjoying a gelato or delicious seafood dinner are the order of the day. Or maybe you’re the camping type enjoying a game of bocce or cards on the balcony in the coolness of the pinewood. 

lignano-sabbiadoro-spiagge

Where the Summer Never Ends

On the shores of Lignano Sabbiadoro, the summer seems to never end and there is always an excuse to stay. Establishments that rent beach umbrellas, deck chairs, sunbeds, and cabins offer a decidedly wide range of options (from the most affordable to the most exclusive), and in some parts of the coast, you are allowed to bring your own (known as spiaggia libera). There are numerous walking paths throughout the area that make the beautiful beaches easily accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

There is always a bar nearby to quench your thirst with a drink, for a quick meal, or for a legendary mega cone of Lignano’s exceptional gelato. Along the entire beach, sports abound for people of all ages (organized by professional teams) such as: sailing, swimming and surfing

And as for scheduled events, Lignano has an edge beyond compare! For complete details, visit Lignano’s official website in English.

lignano-pier-sabbiadoro-events-summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

copyright photos: tumbo.it, marinapuntafaro.it, lignanosabbiadoro.com, mapio.net

Close to the Heavens: the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary Near Verona

And Italy has done it again. Every time you think you’ve seen the most beautiful place here, it outdoes itself and you realize there’s yet another sight to see even more amazing than the last. The Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona (Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Crown) near Verona is just that. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or even religious for that matter- you’ll be in complete awe.

santuario-madonna-della-corona-verona

A Marvel

Have you ever heard the phrase “nothing worthwhile ever comes easy”? That could easily be one of the mottoes for some of the most beautiful sites in Italy. Whether it’s elbowing other tourists, waiting in a line for hours, or climbing some 700 meters above sea level (which would be the case of the Sanctuary), good things come to those who persevere. 

This architectural marvel was first constructed literally onto the cliff of the Baldo mountains hundreds of years ago. Like so many places in Italy, its history is complicated and there is debate as to the exact dates. It is believed that some kind of shrine existed here as early as the year 1000 and by 1250, there was a monastery. Miraculously, the Our Lady of the Corona statue is said to have made its way here by angelic intervention from Rhodes during the Muslim invasions in 1522. This being said, it is more widely accepted that the painting of Our Lady with Christ Child that dates to the mid-1300s was the first to be venerated in the Sanctuary.

It has been an ongoing labor of love one might say and the current Gothic facade that is seen today was completed in the late 1800s. The bell tower and steeple were completely rebuilt in the 1920s and in the 1970s the church was basically completely reconstructed. One of the most striking features (other than the obvious location) is probably the ex-voto wall which contains 167 testimonies of miracles some dating back as early as the 1500s.

madonna-della-corona-verona-santuario

Getting There

There are a couple of ways to approach your visit. The first is to hike there from nearby Brentino Belluno along the Sentiero della Speranza or the Path of Hope. This is approximately a 2 km, 600-meter climb including about 1,500 steps (as in stairs) although the website has labeled it as “easy”. I guess that is subjective. It’s “easy” if you’re in shape. If you are physically able and you opt for this route, it will surely be the most rewarding as the trail winds through woods, grottos, and even has you crossing a 400-year old bridge (Il Ponte del Tiglio). Remember the motto “nothing worthwhile is ever easy” as you’re huffing and puffing. 

You can also almost get all the way up to the Sanctuary by car: Park in the Madonna della Corona parking lot in Spiazzi and from there, it is a 20-minute walk.

This makes a great day trip from Lake Garda, Verona, and even Mantua

Visit the official website in English for more details as well as opening hours. 

Article by Marie Contino

Lake Fusaro and the Casina Vanvitelliana in Bacoli

If you are visiting the magnificent city of Naples in Italy’s Campania region, here is an idea for a lovely evening that many tourists may not get to see. Bacoli is just outside the center of Naples and is known for its lake as well as an 18th-century villa converted into a museum known as the Casina Vanvitelliana. Let’s find out more!

napoli-vanvitelliana-casina-bacoli

Where is Bacoli?

Bacoli is a small “suburb” of Naples that sits right on the gulf and overlooks the islands of Procida and Ischia. You can take an hour metro ride from the center of Naples to Lago Fusaro. This lake is actually an ancient lagoon that has been used for harvesting oysters and mussels for over 2,000 years. The volcanic origins provide natural sulfur-rich springs. During Angevin rule, the lake was used for hemp production and maceration. In fact, the word fusaro is Latin for “to soak”. 

The main attraction here now is the lovely, late Baroque villa that sits on the lake at the end of the pier. Built in the mid-1700s by order of King Charles III, the house and grounds were initially used for hunting. It was actually transformed into what we see today under Ferdinand IV and his architects Carlo Vanvitelli and son Luigi, hence the name Casina Vanvitelliana. Its unusual octagonal shape and large windows make it more of a pagoda than a villa. Over the years, it has housed illustrious guests such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, as well as former President of the Republic of Italy, Luigi Einaudi. 

Tips

napoli-bacoli-casina-vanvitelliana

foto copyright: Pro Loco di Bacoli

The best time to visit is in the late afternoon/ early evening when you can enjoy the lovely park, visit the Casina (oftentimes there are ongoing art exhibits), and best of all, see one of the most beautiful sunsets in Naples setting over the lake and gulf. Tickets are required. Visit the Pro Loco Association for more information (Italian only). 

For more ideas on what to see in Naples, check out these articles: Castelnuovo, the Angevin Castle and Unusual Things to Do in Naples

 

Montefiascone, the “Pearl of Upper Lazio”

Montefiascone is one of the most beautiful towns in Lazio that you have probably never heard of. This ancient Etruscan city sits at about 600 meters above sea level enjoying a breathtaking view of Lake Bolsena and the surrounding landscape known as Tuscia. Just an hour and a half from Rome or about 30 minutes from the Tuscan border, Montefiascone is well worth a day trip, and here’s why!

montefiascone-bolsena-

Lake Bolsena

Located on the southern shore of Lake Bolsena, it isn’t hard to imagine why the Etruscans would have settled here. It is believed that it could have been the site of the Fanum Voltumnaean ancient Etruscan temple. By the early 13th century, Montefiascone is at the height of its power and influence.

The Fortress

Pope Innocent III stayed here for a short time and ordered that the existing fortress be amplified and walled. In fact, it is named the Popes’ Fortress (Rocca dei Papi) because it became the Rector Seat and would later host many papal guests from Avignon. The last additions to the fortress took place in the early 16th century. Today, the fortress is the most panoramic spot in Montefiascone and an absolute must when you visit. From this vantage point you’ll be able to see the Tyrrhenian Sea, the vast plains known as the Maremma, all the way to the Apennines in Umbria. There is also a museum located here dedicated to the famous Florentine architect Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane.

Santa Margherita Cathedral

Cathedral of Santa Margherita

Few people realize that Montefiascone’s Santa Margherita Cathedral holds one of the largest domes (cupola) in all of Italy. Dedicated to the town’s patron saint, Margherita of Antioch, the Cathedral holds her relics in the crypt. Although the original church was likely built as early as 1330, the entire building was destroyed by a fire in the 1600s and had to be completely rebuilt. It was then that its massive 27-meter dome was realized and has since become the symbol of not only the town but of the Viterbo province. The two belltowers that flank the dome were added in the mid-1800s. The frescoed interior is absolutely breathtaking. 

Basilica of San Flaviano

The Basilica of San Flaviano is also very significant. This Romanesque church was built in two phases beginning in the 11th century. It was dedicated to the Byzantine martyr Flavio and still holds some of his relics. The entire interior is magnificently frescoed with various scenes from the life of Flavio to St. Catherine. 

montefiascone-basilica-santo-flavio

Basilica of Santo Flavio

This Basilica is famous for another reason that has also put Montefiascone on the map. You can also see the tomb of a German bishop named Defuk here who traveled extensively and was supposedly a great wine connoisseur. He would have his valet travel ahead of him tasting wine in all the taverns and if he found the wine to be good, he would write Est in Latin near the tavern. If it was excellent, he would write Est Est. Legend has it that Defuk loved the wine in Montefiascone so much that he spent the entire time here basically drunk and ended up dying here. Local wineries have used this fantastic legend on their labels such as Est! Est! Est! a DOC white wine

More to See

Within the historic center, there is the Church of Sant’Andrea likely dating to the 9th century which is the oldest in town.

The Church of Santa Maria of Montedoro is slightly outside of the historic center, but worth your time to see the magnificent Madonna with Child painting by Antonio del Massaro. 

The Medieval Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is also located slightly outside the historic center. It was restored in the 20th century and holds a 13th-century painting of the Our Lady of Grace. 

Food and Wine

Don’t think for a second that Montefiascone is nothing but churches! The entire historic center is completely charming and the food and wine are superb. Typically, a wine festival is held during the first part of August celebrating its Est! Est! Est! as well as the area’s delicious olive oil. 

In the Area

Montefiascone is also along the ancient Via Francigena (leg 39 and 40) and there are plenty of hiking paths as well as aquatic sports on Lake Bolsena.

Civita-di-BagnoregioNot to mention from here you are only about 20 minutes away from one of the most photographed villages in all of Italy- Civita di Bagnoregio.

The Saturnia hot springs in Tuscany are also just an hour away.

In fact, we recommend staying at La Fonte del Cerro Hotel in Saturnia.

What are you waiting for?
Book your room at the La Fonte del Cerro Hotel in Saturnia

The Fonte del Cerro Hotel is located in the Tuscan Maremma countryside just steps away from the Saturnia hot springs. You’ll enjoy delicious homemade dishes grown directly on the farm. It is also the perfect location for visiting other beautiful destinations from hilltop villages to the sea. 

From the hotel,  you can visit…

22km away

Pitigliano
38km away The Tarot Garden
42km away Monte Amiata
50km away Argentario Coast
52km away Bolsena
65km away Civita di Bagnoregio
65km away Tarquinia