Roman Holiday – The Ultimate Travel Guide To Italy

Roman Holiday – The Ultimate Travel Guide To Italy

by admin June 03, 2019
Discover Italy Travel Guide

Table of Contents

 

Exploring Italy | Things to do in Italy

Top Ten Vacation Destinations in Italy

Last Updated April 26th, 2020
 
Italy is a luxury vacation destination for the individual, couple, group or family that values history, architecture, the arts, music, theater, and cuisine. Aside from many Hollywood movies portraying the country in its magnificent splendor, it boasts of the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the entire world.

Why is Italy the best place to visit?

Italy is beautiful, versatile, full of passion, and inspires the soul and stirs the mind. Here are the top ten vacation destinations in Italy for those memorable vacation holidays.

Joint us as we discover the who, the what, the where and how in planning that perfect getaway to Italy
 

 
 
Other awesome location in Italy,

From the above you may now notice that Italy literally has some of most interesting travel destinations around the world.

 
 

1) First on the list is definitely Rome–the capital of Italy.

 

Is Italy worth visiting?

Rome is the most popular tourist location in Italy, with million of visitors each year. It has mind blowing art, incredible historical sites, fantastic food, and is an important musical center in the country. The main sights of the city include the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

The Colosseum is the historical site of the famous gladiator fights and is a great testament of Roman engineering. The Trevi Fountain is Rome’s most famous fountain and is a great focal point for people watching. It is said that whoever throws a coin into the fountain will eventually come back and visit Rome.
 

Rome, Italy

 
Whether you are a Woody Allen fan and have fawned over To Rome, with Love or dream of someday riding a Vespa with a Gregory Peck look alike as Audrey Hepburn did in Roman Holiday, Rome has, in some way pervaded our consciousness at least once in our lives. Rich in history, art and literature; rife with gorgeous places to eat and discover, Rome is definitely worth a thought when you are planning your next vacation.

 
 
Discovering the Best of Italy
 
 

Getting There

Rome is an international hub, so getting there should not be a problem. The easiest way would be to fly into Leonardo Da Vinci -Fiumicino Airport, also known simply known as Fiumicino Airport. Most major airlines have flights to Rome, and if you are travelling within Europe, you can avail of any of the train services, such as Eurostar.

Travelling In Rome

You will find plenty of ways to get around the city. Like most European cities, Rome is beautiful to walk around. In fact, you will probably see and discover more if you are on your own two feet (hopefully encased in Italian leather!).

However, many Roman streets are not exactly pedestrian-friendly. Being a tourist haunt, the roads are generally packed with people at any given time of the year, so much so that it gets difficult to walk. Traffic is heavy and sidewalks tend to cater only to people of Kate Moss’ size.

What’s the most beautiful city in Italy?

Some streets have no sidewalks at all, and that is when it gets a little difficult to breathe, with pedestrians moving in packs and jostling for space. Make sure you keep a tight hold on your purse and stay alert at all times.

Tip: A good time to visit the Italian capital would be in August, when most of the urban population go on vacation.

If you’d rather not walk, the city has a variety of public transport you can avail of. Taxis in Rome are…exactly what you’d expect Italian cabs and drivers to be like. Some will try to fleece, so be sure you always pay according to the meter and never by a pre-arranged fare.

You can’t step out onto the streets of Rome and hail a cab either – you either wait for one at the taxi ranks, or you call for one over the phone. Always make sure your taxi is either white or yellow, which is how you know they are licensed.

The bus service in Rome is fairly frequent and punctual, with buses running from 5.30 am to midnight. Some buses run through the night, though not on all routes. Alternatively, you could take the subway, or the Metropolitana, which, being away from the crowded roads is the swiftest way to get around the city. Look for a big red ‘M’ which marks the entrance to the Metropolitana station
 
 


Discovering Italy

 
 

Things To See And Do

If you’re a Dan Brown fan and have read Angels and Demons, you’ll want to follow the book trail and see some of the world’s most splendid pieces of art and sculpture, housed in Rome. The city is called a living museum, and has been home to many great artists.

What can you see in Italy in 7 days?

Don’t miss the Colosseum, The city’s ancient amphitheater that was used for gladiator fights. There are usually massively long lines outside for tickets, so try and book yours online in advance.

Be sure to stop by at the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), the world’s largest Baroque fountain designed by Nicolas Salvi. They say there is a hidden gelato shop near the fountain that serves the world’s best gelato. And don’t forget to toss a coin into the fountain, to make sure you return to Rome at least once more.

The Campo de Fiori is one of Rome’s oldest marketplaces. During the day, this spot is a regular market, with stalls selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. By night however, it comes alive with restaurants and bars, and little tables and chairs spring up out of nowhere.

If you want to watch a piece of history being sustained against every kind of odds, the Pantheon in Rome is a perfect example. One of the best-maintained buildings from ancient Rome, since it was converted into a Christian nation; this is truly history come to life.
La BoccadellaVerita which means the ‘mouth of truth’ is another place worth a visit. It has become famous after being featured in nearly every movie shot in Italy.

 
 
Discover Italy
 
 

Shopping And Dining

Shopping in the Eternal City is an experience. One of the first words you need to learn is ‘saldi’ which means ‘sale’. Summer in Rome, when the Romans themselves are away, bring ‘saldi’ by the dozen – you will see massive signs in nearly every store window.

Even designer like Roberto Cavalli and Christian Dior bring down their prices by a significant amount and if that is not enough, smaller boutiques in the Piazza de Spagna and across Rome sell beautifully-made clothes from lesser-known, but equally stylish designers.

Dining out in Rome ought to be a gourmand’s dream come true. You are in the land of pasta, pizza and antipasti; not to mention some very fine wine. However, do not just go into upscale eateries unless you really are on a big budget. Ask your hotel concierge or, if you can, a cab driver and find out about some little-known local eateries.

Some of these will be bare and basic as far as décor goes, but their seafood will be the freshest, the pasta handmade and you’ll be treated to flavors like never before. Ask for the local wine and don’t forget to make a gelato stop.
 

Nightlife & Entertainment

Rome pulsates with life at night – it’s almost as though every night is a festival. Whether you’re up for a dance party at one of the city’s many bars, or you’d rather just stop at a café and have the house wine while you watch people go by, there’s something for everyone on a Roman night.

If you have brushed up your Italian, you could catch the theater or an opera. Rome plays host to some wonderful theater groups – classical as well as independent, and some dance performances as well.
A trip to Rome is a journey through the ancient and the modern.
 
 

2) The second top vacation location in Italy is Florence.

 
It is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Forbes named the city as the most beautiful city in the world. It serves as a great inspiration to artists and poets who’ve made their works of art by being inspired by the city.

It is also believed to have the greatest concentration of art in the entire world. Famous sights of Florence include Michaelangelo’s Statue of David, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte–a religious site on a hill just outside of Florence with magnificent overlooking views of the city.
 

3) A great place for honeymooners and couples, Venice is one of the most alluring cities in the world.

 
The city is separated by canals and bridges and is one of the most important tourists destinations, not only in Italy but in the world, attested by its more than 50,000 visitors each day. Couples will find gondola rides on the canals as absolutely romantic, with its perfect line of Renaissance architecture. Famous sights include the Palazzo Ducale, a perfect example of Gothic masterpiece, and the Musica A Palazzo, with nightly Opera shows.

Each year, Hollywood stars light the city during the Venice Film Festival.
 
 


 
 

The Romantic ‘Queen of the Adriatic’

Bruised and battered by war and disease between 14th and 16th centuries, this romantic city survived and became recognized as the most elegant European city in the 18th century, greatly influencing literature, art and architecture. This Italian city was initially built by the Romans.

It formed the setting for some of the world famous theatrical plays like Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ and was home to famous music composers like Antonio Vivaldi and Giovanni Gabrieli. It is also the home of Marco Polo, the famous explorer and the resting place of St Mark, the Apostle.

Known as the Queen of the Adriatic, this Floating City is a marvel put together by man and nature, attracting several people to visit and experience the treasures she hides within.

If you have not already guessed the name, I speak of none other than Venice that exudes her charm to visitors in myriad ways- visit her famous museums, take a ride on the gondola, watch a glassmaker make beautiful Venetian glass, travel on board the vaporetto, or just settle yourself at one of the roadside cafes to drink in Venice and her magnificent sights.

How Does The City Float?

Even before you get here, you may be forced to dwell on the curious phenomenon on how the city actually floats. Venice was built in early 1500’s on an archipelago consisting of 117 low islands in the middle of a shallow lagoon. Its 177 canals acted like a moat and formed a natural defense against possible foreign attacks.

What is Venice best known for?

The early Roman architects had to build a stable foundation for Venezia to be built above water. They achieved this by resting it on a bed of compounded silt, sand and mud that lay on a hard layer of compressed clay below water. The stones used in the foundations also have a unique property of possessing high strength and extremely low water absorption which could withstand the weight of the buildings above and the water body around. Wooden piles of native alder trees were chosen and closely placed together. Even after centuries, most of these piles are still intact because the submerged wood, in the absence of contact with air, did not rot or deteriorate. To overcome the constant movement of the tides, the wood provided a strong and flexible support. The soil was later dredged to raise the marshy ground higher than the tides.

What are The Most Popular Things To Do In Venice With Kids?

Travelling to one of the most romantic cities on the world doesn’t need any particular reason. But just to let the mind and wallet follow the heart, let’s look at a few.

What are the most popular things to do in Venice with kids?

Tourism has always formed a major part of Venice’s economy since the 18th century. Her beautiful landscape and rich cultural heritage made it the center of the Grand Tour. Venice became known for its haute couture and cuisine through the 19th and 20th centuries. People from the world over have been attracted to Venice for major festivals, international conferences and cinematic, musical, cultural, theatrical and artistic productions that include the Carnival of Venice, the Venice Film festival and the much impressive Venice Biennale (a festival of dance, film and arts) and Biennale of Architecture and Theatre.

The other industries that contribute to its economy are lace production (in Burano) and glass production (in Murano) and services.
Venetians are spirited, self determined people who rely on their creative energy, industriousness and talents to revive what had once been lost. They speak the Venetian Language.

Climate

Venice enjoys a humid subtropical climate with warm summers and cool winters. Spring and fall are the best times to visit. Winter months are quiet and may find you as the only few tourists around but it can get foggy, windy, cold and damp with a possibility of ruining your experience. Summers are when the maximum tourist traffic can be seen.

Getting Around Venice

 
City of Water – How to Navigate Your Way Around Venice.
Venice, a city in Northern Italy, is thought to be one of the most elegant and romantic cities in the world. It spans several small islands in a marshy lagoon within the Adriatic Sea. It was an important centre of spice trade commerce and art during the Renaissance.

The city is a tangled maze of islets, canals and 435 bridges, but it is not as difficult to navigate as you might think. If you are going to be visiting Venice on your holiday, honeymoon or vacation, here are some tips for finding your way around the city.

Venice’s 177 canals are connected by over 400 bridges. Little wonder then why Venice is also called the City of Bridges. Being the only pedestrian city in the world, the canals serve as the only ‘roads’ here.

However, if you get tired of walking there are also some other options. The public transportation system in Venice is based on the water and it is very easy to use. Unfortunately, tickets for public transport can be expensive so it is important to know what you are doing so that you get the most for your money.

Transport by water include

  • vaporetti
    (water buses),
  • gondole,
  • the classical Venetian boats used mostly for tourists, weddings and funerals,
  • sandolo (smaller version of gondola),
  • foot passenger ferries and
  • traghetti used to cross the Grand Canal in the absence of a bridge nearby.
  •  

    What is a traghetto in Venice?

    These boats are used to enable people to cross the Grand Canal at points where there isn’t a bridge spanning the water. They are a short crossing which simply takes you from one side of the canal to the other and most people stand up along the way.

    This can be very convenient, as sometimes you will want to get to the other side of the water without having to make your way to the nearest bridge.

    A traghetto crossing usually costs around 1-7 Euro.

    There is no need to book a ticket in advance, simply walk up to the gondolier and hand them the coins.
    The boats will not follow a set schedule; they will simply go back and forth across the river whenever they are full.

    When you imagine Venice, you probably picture these long and elegant boats being steered by a mustachioed man with a striped shirt who is serenading you in Italian.

    The truth is that this cliché experience will cost you a fortune. If your perfect Italian holiday really won’t be complete without going on a Gondola ride you can hire one, but this is definitely not a budget experience.
    You can expect to pay at least 80 Euros for a 40 minute ride, plus tip. Beware of gondola drivers who might attempt to charge you more.
    These are just a few tips to keep in mind when you are making your way around Venice.

    Enjoy the timeless elegance of this beautiful city and the romantic atmosphere of its medieval buildings and canals.
     

    Is Venice easy to walk around?

    There are no cars in Venice as it is the world’s only pedestrian city. This makes it an ideal place to walk around as there are no traffic jams and no smog. The city is not very big and it is possible to walk from one end to the other in approximately one hour.

    Can you walk around Venice on foot?

    One of the pleasures of visiting Venice on your Italian adventure will be strolling alongside the canals through the traffic-free streets and narrow medieval alleyways.

    This city has changed very little in the last 600 years and it has so much wonderful romantic architecture to get lost in.

    In order to truly experience Venice, it is recommended to simply start wandering in whatever direction suits your fancy and get completely lost in the winding streets.

    Can you walk all of Venice?

    You are on an island so you won’t be able to get too far, but you will find yourself discovering the most beautiful hidden architecture, canals and artwork.

    When you have had your fill, you can ask for directions back to the main attractions such as San Marco or Rialto.

     

    How do you get around Venice for cheap?

    The main form of public transport is the vaporetti or the water taxis. They are one of the best ways to get around and the typical fare for one journey is around 7 Euro. This can get expensive so if you are trying to save money you should try to walk to your destinations as much as possible. Taking a vaporetto every now and then can be a convenient way to get around and save time.

    You can get a discount card which will save you money if you plan on being in Venice for more than a few days. These days, it is possible to book online for public transport which can make things cheaper than the on-site prices.

    If you want to take a “cruise” down the Grand Canal to get the best overview of the city, the main vaporetto line is #1. It runs the length of the Grand Canal and stops between the train station and the Piazza San Marco, taking about an hour to go the entire way. This is a lovely way to see the sights and experience a ride on the canal.
     

    What should I see in Venice Italy?

    Venice is very walk-able with sufficient breaks in between. The main part of Venice which is the Rialtine Islands can be walked from one end to the other within an hour, provided you know the areas well. But for others, public water transport is always the best option.

    A Venice card entitles you to visit the museums and use transportation in a combination of choices. But it makes sense to buy one only if you are in Venice for more than 3-4 days. You could also visit the other islands of Murano for seeing how glass is made and visit the famous glass museum there; or travel to Burano, famous for its lace production, textiles and streets lined with houses, each painted in a different pastel shade and color.

    Whatever you hope and anticipate for on your trip, Venice gifts you a holiday beyond your expectations.

     

    4) For those who want a peaceful and relaxing vacation, Positano is the perfect Italian destination.

     
    It is located in Campania, Italy, and is most famous for it being a sophisticated resort at the center of the Amalfi coast. During the 1950’s, famous author John Steinbeck wrote an article about the location, praising it for its beauty. Soon after, Positano attracted droves of tourists and many poets and songwriters have written their works of art in cafes that overlooked the sea waters. Famous sights include the Footpaths of the Gods, with breathtaking picturesque views of the village, and the Spiaggia del Fornillo-a fashionable beach resort area. Positano also has charming boutiques that cater to the tourist who love collecting local artistry and fashion.
     

    5) Amalfi is a municipality in the province of Salerno, just southeast of Naples, whose trademark is its popular lemon stands along the coast.

     
    British upper class in the twenties and thirties made Amalfi a popular holiday destination and it has remained such ever since. Its must see sights include the Museum of Handmade Paper and the Gothic architecture of St. Andrews Cathedral.
     

    6) Siena is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a city in Tuscany, Italy.

     
    It is one of the country’s most visited tourist locations but is most famous for the Palio. Palio is a horseback race that is held twice a year–in July and August. It is considered to be infamous and dangerous with bareback riders racing on cobblestones. Aside from the Palio, Siena is also famous for its art, museums, and cuisine. Its main sights, the Sienna Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo will make visitors feel like they were transported to the Middle Ages.
     
     


     
     

    Tuscany

    Tuscany’s Heritage: The Legacy of the Medici Family

    Who were the Medicis and why were they so important?

    Visiting Tuscany is a treat for travellers. You get to experience natural beauty, the highest concentration of renaissance art in the world which is still protected in its place of birth, as well as stunning architecture, and the amazing wine and food for the region. What you might not realise is just how much of this is thanks to one Italian ruling family: the Medici family.

    They shaped what we know as Tuscany and changed the landscape of Florence. Following their arrival on the stage of Florence over five hundred years ago, they brought forth a massive output of fine art, architecture and even science, thanks to their support and patronage.

    The Family Held Art in Highest Regard

    Where did the Medici family live in Florence?

    The family rose to power in Florence in the 15th century. Giovanni Medici set up the famous Medici Bank in the heart of the city, bringing with it the double ledger system that’s the basis of all modern business, and the advocacy of proportional taxes depending on earnings.

    Is the Medici family still rich?

    The great success and popularity of the family lead them to become basically the heads of the city, and then the region of Tuscany, in the same century. From this position the family began to devote money to architectural restoration in the city, and the patronage of individual artists.

    These conditions, which suddenly meant talented artists were of great worth and had time and freedom to devote to their best possible efforts, lead directly to the Florentine Renaissance. From there the renaissance spread across Europe.

    It’s hard to emphasise just how important this was to the development of Europe and European ideas. The whole culture up until this point was trapped in the shadow of Classical achievements. The common feeling was that true civilisation had passed, and that what was left was meagre survival and waiting for the apocalypse. The Medici’s investment in art and progress meant that suddenly there was a symbol of things being done better than ever, right in the heart of the continent. This feeling of optimism and ambition fed directly into the modern age.

    Medici Patronage Included Some of the Greatest Artists of the Era

    Medici patronage at one time or another included Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, which speaks for itself. Without a rich patron artists couldn’t make much of a living in these times. It’s also remarkable that Galileo, one of the most important scientists of the early modern age, was employed by the Medici family as a home tutor, and was protected from execution by their influence when he proposed that Earth was not the centre of the universe.

    Are there any descendants of the Medici family?

    Not everyone welcomed the wealth and lavish investment of the Medici family, and in fact a lot of the work they patronised was destroyed by puritans in the famous bonfire of the vanities, or decried by critics later as too grotesque in its splendour, but it’s undeniable that the central attractions of Florence today – the Uffizi and the Belvedere to name two – would not have been possible without them. And many of the greatest works that they contain owe tribute to that family too.

     
     

    7) San Gimignano is a small town in the province of Siena that is famous for its well kept towers.

     
    Perfect for vacationers who value history and architecture, it is also called The Town of the Towers. The town is also enclosed by a wall that makes visitors feel like they’re inside an enclosed city. The location boasts of fine examples of Roman and Gothic architecture and is also known for its famous white wine. The wine is derived from the Vernaccia grape which grows on the hillsides of San Gimignano.
     

    8) Taormina is a popular vacation location on the east coast of Sicily.

     
     


     
     
     
    It is perched on a cliff and overlooks the Ionian Sea. It boasts of many old churches, popular beaches, fine restaurants, and countless antique shops. Its main sights include the Corvaja Palace and the Ancient Theater that still holds performances and concerts today.
     

    Palermo Sicily
    Touring Palermo Sicily

    Noted for its colorful history, intricate architectural design, as well as its distinctive culture and culinary traditions, Palermo is the capital of the southern Italian region of Sicily. When, during the 9th century, the Arabs conquered the city, they turned it into a thriving center of Islamic culture in the Western world.

    Exploring Palermo’s Cultural Mosaic

    The Normans arrived in 1072, creating what some people refer to as Palermo’s “Arabo-Norman ” period. All of the city’s other conquerors, such as the Spanish, have left their mark in the form of art, architecture and culture. Palermo thus treats its visitors to an endless list of things to see, explore, experience and taste; a formidable challenge for even the most proficient travel itinerary planner.

    If you find yourself overwhelmed, engage the services of a Palermo tour guide. Touring services in Palermo come in all forms, and appeal to a variety of travel styles.

     
     


     
     

    Hop-On Hop-Off Palermo Bus Tours

    Palermo’s hop-on, hop-off tours offer the most flexible option for guided tours of the city. These bus tours feature recorded guides in the language of your choice. One ticket lets you explore two different routes. As its name implies, hop on or hop off as you please.

    The first route takes you past the the Massimo Theater , then meanders toward Piazza Quattro Canti. It passes by Palazzo Steri, and the botanical gardens. Next, you ride takes you near the royal palace, the flea market and the cathedral. A Ride along the ancient Via Roma brings you back to the starting point. The second route wanders through the villas, gardens and castles of Palermo.

    Walking Tours of Palermo

    Associazione Guide Turistiche di Palermo e Provincia, called AGT, was Palermo’s first independent guide service. These licensed, multilingual guides will design a tour based on your interests. They provide free tours during specific events, such as the International Day of the Tourist Guide, National Day of Urban Trekking and the International Culture Week.

    The organization’s four standard tours include a 12th century Arab-Norman itinerary, a 15th and 16th century Palermo itinerary, a Baroque period tour and a gardens and theaters tour.

    Palermo Segway Tours

    And now, for something completely different, we present (drum roll please) the Segway Tour! CST Rents offers guided segway tours of Palermo. All of the tours begin with an introduction, where you learn how to maneuver the device. Segway tours ride past most of the major sights and attractions of the city of Palermo.

    A guide narrates the tour as you ride throughout the city. The price of the tour includes equipment rental.

    Horse and Carriage Tours: The Old Fashioned Way

    If you just want a visual overview of Palermo, Sicily, you might enjoy a horse and carriage tour. This type of tour is strictly old-school. There are no websites, and the drivers work on a cash-only basis. You will have to negotiate a price, and that may require some haggling skills. The drivers usually line up near the Teatro Massimo, the Cathedral, or on the Via Maqueda at Piazza Pretoria.

    Palermo Sicily Food and Wine Tours

    Sicily Tour guides offers a full day walking tour of Palermo’s wine shops and medieval street markets. The tour group stops for lunch at Antica Foccacceria di San Francesco, founded in 1836. Your day ends at Antico Caffé Spinnato, founded in 1860, where you sample a Sicilian cannoli.

    Should the cuisine inspire your inner culinary god or goddess, the organization also offers cooking classes at Ristorante Cin Cin . The day begins with a tour of the local markets to select the fresh ingredients.

    Palermo Sicily Vacation Rentals

    Speaking of local markets, fresh ingredients and Sicilian cuisine, at the end of one of these tours, you might feel an overwhelming desire to try out your newly developed cooking skills. Unfortunately, that’s kind of hard to do if you are staying at a hotel, with, alas, no more than a microwave oven, if that, in your room.

    A Palermo Sicily vacation rental will usually have a full kitchen– exactly what you need for creating tasty Sicilian dishes. Venues range from small apartments, to penthouses, to entire villas, where you can pretend to star in your own Italian movie. Many have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, making them a cost-effective choice for families and larger groups of people.

    In addition to the money you save on renting more than one hotel room, you’ll save money by buying your food at the local market, and preparing it in your home away from home.

    Palermo awaits! Andiamo!
     

      Unique Things to Do
      A Guide To Tarantella in Southern Italy
      What is the Italian tarantella?

      Limoncello, cliff hugging towns and draping bougainvillea all embody southern Italy for many. And while I am never one to turn down a glass of limoncello or a chance to explore the streets of Positano, tarantella remains an integral part of southern Italy for me. I studied this Neapolitan song and dance tradition on my first stint studying abroad in Sorrento. What I would find through observing countless performances was a practice that should be very much a part of a traveler’s southern Italian vacation.

       
       


       
       

      Where is the tarantella performed?

      The Tradition: The dance tarantella supposedly began in the town of Taranto in the mid 14th century. However many believe the dance first sprung up in the 1700s. Regardless, legend has it the tarantella began as a way to ward off spider bites, specifically tarantula nibbles.

      Townspeople believed that if they danced, played music and sang around a person bitten by a spider, they would be cured from the poison. The afflicted person was also tasked with singing and dancing to rid himself or herself of the poison.

      The Music: Many classic tarantella shows in Italy involve certain staples in the music department. If you attend a tarantella show in southern Italy, you can expect to be singing along to classic Italian folk songs such as Torna a Sorrento, O Sole Mio and Funiculí Funiculá. Tarantella shows usually incorporated a medley of the most famous Neapolitan songs of the ages. The music and words tell of the culture and traditions of the land and people in this part of Italy.

      What does the Tarantella symbolize?

      The Stories: Tarantella is much more than just a song and dance performance. The stories of tarantella are what keep many tales alive in southern Italy. Those who attend a show will go through the ages in southern Italy, beginning in 1558. The performance aspect revolves around the most important occurrences in Sorrento and the Kingdom of Naples throughout the last 500 years.

      What is the origin of the tarantella dance?

      The Performances: Many travelers in southern Italy, in search of the Amalfi Coast, base themselves out of Naples or Sorrento. If you select Sorrento for your holiday rental destination, there are several tarantella shows you can catch in town including Favnonoteeclvb Tarantella Show and Sorrento Musical in the Tasso Theater.

      Sorrento Musical takes on a more traditional approach to the tarantella. The show traces two centuries of Neapolitan dance, customs and music, honing in on the daily life of southern people throughout four scenes. Guests will go from the fisherman’s story down at Marina Grande to the square were southern life transpired.

      The Favnonotteclvb Tarantella Show goes through many of the historical events in the area from the Saracen Landing on June 13, 1558 to the scars of World War II. Both tarantella shows utilize the same songs and costumes but they are two very different tarantella interpretations.

      If you are traveling to southern Italy in the near future, be sure to schedule a tarantella show into your itinerary. Not only will you be exposed to song and dance from 500 years in this corner of the world, but you will also gain a valuable history lesson all with the banging of the tambourine and the blast of fireworks.

     

    9) Riccione is said to have beaches that are a beautiful as the people who sunbathe on its shores.

     
    A popular main summer destination in Italy, it attracts droves of young people due to its active and lively nightlife. The Riviera Romagnola boasts of many discos catering to this market. But Riccione is also ideal for families with children since this municipality in Northern Italy also has several theme parks. The Playa del Sol is a top destination for it being one of the best beach villages. Many aqua parks, beach resorts, and aquatic shows are available for the entire family.
     

    10) And the last on the list is Selva di Val Gardena–a luxurious ski vacation destination in Italy.

     
    It is located on the foot of two mountains–the Sella Group and the Langkofel and they loom over luxurious ski resorts, hotels and bed and breakfasts. The location is perfect for mountain and ski enthusiasts. Aside from these, the location also boasts of ruined castles, churches and bars. It’s the perfect destination for a luxurious and activity filled vacation.

    There are many other worthwhile vacation destinations in Italy and you can choose from a wide variety of themes–from the Alps, to historical sites, to art museums, and beaches–the nation definitely has everything you need to have that luxurious and indulgent vacation.
     
     

    Milan

     
    Run with the Fashion Pack

    The design capital of the world does not sound like the ideal location for running, but the catwalk is not the only place to strut your stuff in Milan: There are some wonderful running routes in this city, which bursts at the seams with great parks and running courses.

    Whether you’re in the mood for a casual jog or a heart-racing run, a good starting point is outside the Duomo. Under construction since 1386, this is the world’s second-biggest Gothic cathedral and the focus for the entire city, with north-pointing streets directing you to Milan’s two great running parks.
     



     
    Giardini Pubblici

    The Giardini Pubblici is a lovely park less than a kilometer from the Duomo, where a few loops will give you your daily running fix. Head northeast from Duomo Square through the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, past La Scala Theatre, and keep north on Via Alessandro Manzoni. You’re skirting Milan’s most affluent neighbourhood now, so slow down and enjoy the the designer boutiques and beautiful people on Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga.

    Once you reach the Giardini, you’ll be virtually alone until school finishes in the afternoon, but you’re sure to provide entertainment for the local bistro-goers, bemused by anybody moving beyond stroll speed. The gaping is not malicious, though, so forget your self-consciousness and enjoy the authentic feel of Milanese culture.

    Parco Sempione

    For a longer run, try Parco Sempione. Northwest from the Duomo, enter car-free Via Dante and you’ll see the Castello di Milano directly in front of you. Behind it is the sprawling park. With its blossoming trees, bridge-spanned ponds, and soft gravel paths, this is a wonderful oasis in a busy metropolis.

    A run around the perimeter will clock up about 4km, but the dozens of paths within the park give you options for longer sessions. Head for the west end for the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace), the monument facing Paris that was built to celebrate Napoleon’s arrival in Milan.

    Bosco in Citta

    Milan has introduced a pioneering green project called Bosco in Citta (Woods in the City), which gives the very convincing impression that the city has disappeared into a pastoral country setting. More than three decades in the making, this initiative provides Milan’s residents with farmland and freedom right at their back door.

    If you like, you can spend hours running the paths around the vegetable gardens, lakes, and forests. With one turn, however, you’ll find yourself back in the city, on a main street such as Via Novara.

    Escape the City

    Head outside the city limits for more secluded runs. The 5K pedestrian circle around Idroscalo Lake is idyllic, with kayakers and picnickers making a pleasant backdrop for your exertions.

    If you feel like a bit of competition, come to Milan in March. Stramilano weekend involves an elite half-marathon on Saturday and a 15k for 50,000 non-elite runners from the Duomo on Sunday There’s even a 5k Stramilanina for kids.

    Run With a Local

    Everyone knows that running is good for your health, but a new Milanese initiative means it could be good for other people’s health too.

    Run in Milan is a new project to pair up volunteer Milanese runners with visitors who want to run. The initiative was launched in July 2012 and involves a partnership with local nonprofit groups aimed at raising money and awareness for the Milan-based cancer association LILT.

    Visitors can run in safety, while taking the local attractions and supporting a scheme that provides accommodation for children undergoing cancer treatment.
     
     

    Island of Sardinia

     

    Road Tripping Southern Sardinia

     

    What is Sardinia famous for?

    Sardinia tends to fall off of the radar of most travelers, losing out to Italy’s mainland or more talked about islands like its southern neighbor, Sicily. However upon closer inspection, Sardinia leaves plenty of crystal clear sea and white sandy beaches to explore. Seeing the entire island on a quick 5-day road trip simply will not do.

    And so, instead, travelers can begin their addiction to Sardinia just as I did by road tripping their way through the island’s south. From ancient temples to the sparkling lights of Cagliari, 5 days will quickly transition into an insatiable appetite to return and explore yet another piece of this great Italian puzzle. The south of Sardinia is just a taste of a whole meal of a destination.
     

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    Is Sardinia safe for tourists?

    Begin in Cagliari: Cagliari serves as Sardinia’s main port and capital city. Travelers can easily fly into the city or come by way of boat. The city’s foundations lie with the Phoenicians in the 7th century B.C. Cagliari would be a hot spot of contention throughout its history, conquered by the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Pisans, Argonese and the Piedmontese.

    It is easy to see why so many wanted a piece of this port town. Opening up to the Golfo degli Angeli, Cagliari is most alluring in the evening hours throughout its Castello Quarter. The neighborhood overlooks the marina and surrounds in thick walls, the work of the Pisans. Its Saint Mary’s Cathedral glows in the evening hours, providing the perfect perch from romantic couples on a nightly passeggiata.

    Is Sardinia cheap or expensive?

    Discover the wrinkles in time at Nora: Just 30 kilometers west of Cagliari, road trippers can cruise to Nora, the ancient settlement just beyond the town of Pula. Some claim Nora to be the first town on the island. The Phoenicians founded it in the 9th century B.C. However most of its remains hark on its days under Roman rule.

    Travelers can troll through Norma’s ruins including thermal baths, an open amphitheater and the mosaic floorings on a few patrician villas. Try to visit on a sunny day for some of Nora’s remains can be seen underwater along the coastline.

    Slip into Sardinia’s Silky Sands at Porto Tramatzu: Near the town of Teulada, travelers should seek out the beach at Porto Tramatzu. The sands are certainly silky, velvet to the touch. The views rival the sands as the waters crash into shore in crystal clear fashion. The main eye candy is Isola Rossa, otherwise known as Red Island. Just off shore, the island glows in a coppery shade and covers in lush Mediterranean vegetation.

    What language do they speak in Sardinia?

    Go green up Costa Verde: Sardinia’s southwestern coastline has donned the nickname, Costa Verde. For non-Italian speakers, the name translates, “The Green Coast”. It is easy to see for why for the waters along this stretch take on jade hues.

    A must stop along the coastal road is Scivu, where the beach is backed by sand dunes and coral colored cliffs. The waters uphold the Costa Verde’s claim of being an infectious, enviable shade of green.

    Play God or Goddess at Tempio Antas: A final stop on any southern Sardinian road trip requires a look at Tempio Antas. Just outside of the town of Fluminimaggiore on Sardinia’s southwestern coast, the isolated temple harks back to Sardinia’s Roman days, specifically the first century B.C. Dedicated to Sardus Pater Babai, visitors to the site can walk right up to the temple and imagine themselves a god or goddess.

    A footpath from the Tempio Antas leads down to a Roman quarry, where the very stones used for Tempio Antas originated.
     
     



     
     

    Italy Travel Tips and Stories

    Why Venice Is Unlike Any Other Destination

     

    What do I need to know before going to Venice?

    Every year, millions of people from all over the globe head to some of the world’s most iconic cities to enjoy a short break. They make plans to visit a series of instantly recognizable landmarks, to tour some wonderful historic houses and palaces, and to take hundreds of photos of various bridges, monuments and parks.

    And while cities such as Paris, New York, Sydney and London are all well worth a visit, they all have a number of common characteristics that make them all just a little bit predictable to the experienced traveller. Wonderful destinations, of course, but ultimately London’s Hyde Park isn’t that different from the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.

    What are the best outdoor activities in Venice?

    This homogeneity is one of the main reasons why every fan of city breaks should include Venice in their itineraries. This beautiful collection of islands, canals and bridges is perhaps one of the last remaining truly unique destinations in the developed world, and if you haven’t been there yet, it’s high time you made the trip.
    Avoid the hotter months

    It should be pointed out that Venice can be extremely busy in the summer months, and the heat and humidity will only add to the discomfort, so if you are able to visit outside of the June through August period so much the better. You’ll want to get the maximum pleasure from your break, so be a little flexible about the dates if you can.

    Most tourists come to Venice a little unprepared for the amount of walking that’s generally involved. The best way to get a true flavour of Venetian life is on foot, so make sure you bring some sensible shoes.

    There are times when you’ll want to relax on a gondola or on the Vaporetto (water bus), but there will be plenty more when only walking will do.

    How much money do you need per day in Venice?

    A lot of first-time visitors to Venice expect to see just the occasional canal snaking through hundreds of traditional streets, but this isn’t the case at all. In this wonderful location, the canals ARE the streets, and you’ll find hundreds of boats where you would have expected to see hundreds of motor cars instead.

    What are the best day trips from Venice?

    There are a number of beautiful historic buildings in Venice, many of them located in and around St Mark’s Square. The Piazza San Marco, as it’s known locally, is breath-taking, dominated as it is by St Mark’s Basilica and the 98-metre high Campanile. Be sure to bring a camera with you when you visit the square, because there are photo opportunities at every turn.

    Dos and Don’ts For Packing For Italy in the Summer

     

    What should you not wear in Italy?

    As a traveler in Italy,
    you might start to feel a bit inadequate in the fashion department. Italians are known for their sense of style, seemingly always donning the perfect outfit for a night out on the town or just down to the supermarket. When the weather heats up and the humidity rises, packing can pose even more of a challenge for visitors looking to fit into the scene.

    Should I carry a purse in Italy?

    If you are planning a holiday in the country this summer, keep in mind these dos and don’ts when you pack your Italy bound bag.

    You might think it is hot and balmy in Italy in the summer and in large part it is. However, Italy is one of the few places in Europe where you still need to cover up to enter churches and other religious attractions. As many rent holiday properties in Florence, Venice and Rome, some of the most famous churches are right at your disposal. A large scarf solves this problem.

    If you wear that sleeveless sundress but you still want to enter St. Mark’s in Venice,
    be sure to throw a large scarf into your day bag. You can cover up your shoulders easily and in an instant. Once you leave the church or religious site, you can ditch the scarf and still keep cool.

    Italy is crawling in uneven, cobblestone streets. If you are headed to the country for a summer vacation, you are no doubt going to be doing loads of walking. Most of Italy’s major cities are easy to handle on foot if you have the right footwear.

    What can you not bring to Italy?

    While I have made this mistake on several trips to Italy, never pack brand new shoes to conquer the country. Broken in walking sandals will help save your feet. High heels might work for a night out on the town, but they are largely impractical in Italy.

    The heat of Italy can be dehydrating no matter how long you might spend outdoors. Rather than coughing up a euro here and there for water, a water bottle is a nice solution to keep hydrated, to save a few euros and to help the environment. Most Italian towns and cities have their own public water fountains that are safe to fill up your waters bottles.

    Should I bring a water bottle to Italy?

    When I go to Italy in the summer, it can be tempting to toss in my suitcase my favorite pair of shorts. However, I never end up wearing them in Italy. Italians don’t really wear short-shorts in public. If you do, you will face unwanted attention. Shorts tend to distinguish the tourists from the locals.

    For men this is less of an issue, but women should stick to loose, breathable fabrics for pants and dresses and skirts to keep cool in Italy. Have you been to Italy in the summer? What are your dos and don’ts for packing?

     
     


     
    Joint Post by Eva Krakowski, Suzy Guese, Elizabeth Dcosta and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
     
    Joint us on twitter, Pinterest, follow our LinkedIn company page to learn more and get great tips on market strategy and solutions for your holiday properties.

    If you enjoy and find this post informative please like this story and share it with a friend!

     
     

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