The Stunning Views Of Porto Ercole, Italy

Porto Ercole, ItalyOn the Argentario Promontory, you will find the charming seaside village of Porto Ercole. The harbor here is surrounded by different hills, each of them lined with colorful buildings. The Rocca Spagnola (the Spanish Fortress) dominates the landscape here.

A little history

If we delve into the history of Porto Ercole, we have to go back as far as the Etruscan times. It was not until 1296 that the town actually began to take shape. It was then that Margherita Aldobrandeschi – the countess of Savona – ordered the construction of the Torre di Terra. The Republic of Siena overtook the harbor in the 15th century, which leads to the development of the medieval city walls that you can still find surrounding parts of Porto Ercole. This includes a gothic gate with a clock tower that you can admire in the historic center of Porto Ercole.

Afterwards the town was taken over by the Spanish, which held the town under a client state called ”Stato dei Presidi.” This lead to the development of the fortresses of Forte Santa Caterina, Forte Stella, and Forte Filippo.

Nowadays, especially during the summer time, Porto Ercole is a very popular tourist destination. The primary reasons for this are the beautiful bays and beaches that you find nearby. And the lively seaside promenade that has a number of different restaurants and bars. However, there is much more to see:

The Palazzo dei Governanti

One of the most interesting pieces of architecture of the village of Porto Ercole is without doubt the Palace of the Governors (the Palazzo dei Governanti). The building was constructed in the second half of the sixteenth century and originally served as the residence for its Spanish rulers, the lords of the State of the Garrisons. (more…)

Reasons That Verona Is Worth A Trip By Itself

Arena, Verona amphitheatre in ItalyWhile most people know Verona as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it does offer a great deal of amazing other factors that warrant a visit. Even though there is little evidence that Romeo and Juliet ever really existed, what IS proven is that Verona is certainly worth your time. This beautiful city is going to offer a number of different sights that go far beyond what Shakespeare wrote.

If you are in Northern Italy or planning to travel there, Verona should be a must-see destination. It makes for an excellent day trip, especially because it is only a half hour away from Venice by train. If you are still not convinced, we have a number of reasons as to why you should consider Verona.

The tombs of the Scaligeri family

This is one of the most elaborate tombs that you are going to find anywhere. The tomb is located around the corner of Piazza delle Erbe. The five Gothic funerary monuments are considered to be some of the best examples of Gothic art that you can find anywhere. Honestly, once you are in the neighborhood, they are quite hard to miss.

As evident from the name, these belong to members of the Scaligeri family. The Scaligeri family ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th century. Make sure that you do not ignore the church of Santa Maria Antica that is located behind the tombs. It is both lovely and tiny, certainly worth a visit. (more…)

Find Out More About Spectacular Anacapri

AnacapriThe island of Capri consists of two main towns – Anacapri being the town located on an elevated plain while Capri is the one below it. The zigzag road here was built in the 19th century and it links the two towns together. According to some residents, there are villagers who have never visited their neighboring town, because the two are historic rivals. As you might imagine, the two have very different environments – Anacapri being on the rural side, while Capri is urbanized.

Anacapri rests under the inclined areas of the island’s peak – ‘Monte Solaro’. You can picture the town as a small, quiet town with quant roads. The surrounding countryside contains affordable accommodations and some very basic shopping options. Anacapri has a peaceful environment, with some interesting tourist spots and souvenir shops.

What to enjoy in Anacapri

Anacapri’s most attractive tourist spot is Villa San Michele. Swedish doctor Axel Munthe (1857-1949) was the one in charge of building this villa. During the summer, it is possible to visit here from 9 AM to 6 PM. However, it does close considerably earlier in winter. Be aware that the villa is not free to enter either. During the evenings, outside concerts take place at the villa during the summertime.

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The Top Sights In Perugia

Perugia, ItalyItaly – the land of pasta and so much more! With mindboggling scenery and a beautiful landscape, Italy is definitely a must-visit country! Perugia is one of Italy’s most artistic and traditional cities and it is truly spectacular. It is home to numerous elegant sites that make Perugia an exclusive place to visit. These are some of the top sights that we believe that you HAVE to see.

Etruscan Well

The Etruscan Well is an amazing work of hydraulic engineering. It highlights the level of technical and civil engineering knowledge that the Etruscans had at 300 BC. Its original construction is estimated to be dated back to 4th or 3rd century BC. Even though the well is very deep, it is accessible through stairs that were specifically made for visitors to use. The bottom of the well and the walls of the well are covered with a material called travertine.

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Some Of The Best Italian Restaurants In Venice

Venice, ItalyBetween the gondolas and the endless romance, Venice seems to have just about anything that tourists may be looking for. However, as the saying goes: ‘one cannot live on love alone’. That is why it is important to have a few great places to eat as well – luckily, Venice has you covered in that regard too. We have narrowed down a list of some of the best places that you are going to find in all of Venice.

Osteria alle Testiere

There is limited seating available (it only seats 24 patrons) but it is a great place to explore the Venetian culinary scene without having to break the bank. There is a carefully chosen wine list and the staff is young and relaxed.

La Cusina

This is perhaps the only hotel restaurant in Venice that warrants a spot on this list. The view once you sit down is certainly one of the reasons a reservation here is highly sought after, a terrace right on the Grand Canal. There is a special page on the menu reserved for items that the chef will make from ingredients he found on the market that morning.

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Planning Your Trip To Portofino, Italy

PortofinoPortofino is one of the most romantic, enchanting, and picturesque places in all of Italy. Because it is hidden away in a narrow cove that overlooks the rocky coastline, it provides a far more mythical sight than you might otherwise experience. This relatively small, cliff-lined port is often heralded as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.” This is one of the reasons that it continues to attract wealthy sophisticates, celebrities, poets, and artists from all over the world.

Set against luxuriant, lush vegetation and a very agreeable climate, the only thing more spectacular than the natural beauty offered by Portofino is the intimacy and charm that visitors can find in the quaint cafes, hidden coves, and narrow streets. There are only about 500 permanent residents in the town, but it is still one of the Italian Riviera’s most popular resort towns.

The town of Portofino really has not changed much since being declared a national monument in 1935 by the city government of nearby Genoa. Before any architectural changes can be made to any structure, there needs to be approval granted from the counsel.

How do you get to Portofino?

Between late spring through early fall you can grab a ferry quite regularly from Camogli, Rapallo, Ligure, and Santa Margherita. It is also possible to travel by boat from any of the Riviera towns to the south, most notably Genoa. The nearest train stations are Camogli and Santa Margherita Ligure. Keep in mind that the town itself is car-free (even though you can park outside of the town).

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Things To Do And See In Taormina, Sicily

Taormina, SicilyThere is a reason that Taormina in Sicily has been called one of Italy’s most beautiful vacation spots, and that it has the nickname “the shining pearl of the east coast.” You can find Taormina near the Ionian Sea, on the spectacular east coast of Sicily. The small town is located in the county of Messina and it is home to about 10,000 people. Messina is about 45 kilometers, while Catania is a little farther away at 60 kilometers.

The town is renowned for its lush vegetation, mild climate, and beautiful landscape. The picturesque old city center is located on Tauro Mountain (Monte Tauro) between the Ionian Sea and the mountains. You can experience a panorama at Taormina that you are not going to find anywhere else in Sicily. You can admire the Etna volcano that lurks ominously in the distance, of admire the unique bay of Giardini Naxos. However, there is far more to enjoy here, and we want to share some of the best things to explore when stay at Taormina.

The beaches at Taormina

One of the largest draws for most tourists is the number of amazing beaches in Taormina. On Taormina Mare (the coast of Taormina), you are able to see some amazingly charming beaches that really invite you to spend some time. If you want to spend your time in Sicily on the beach, some of the nearby coastal villages such as Letojanni and Giardini Naxos are perfect options. You can also travel to the nearby Isola Bella (which directly translated means ‘beautiful island’).

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Five Galleries In Florence That You Must-See

FLorence, ItalyFlorence is a city world renowned for being home to some of the finest museums in existence. The city boasts a remarkable mix of artistic, literary, scientific, and political talent. The incredible displays of Art, specifically from the Renaissance period, are some of the main reasons that tourists flock to Florence and many of the world’s most historically important artists have masterpieces on display in this vibrant city. Here you can see some of the must-see galleries in Florence.

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Located at the east end of Piazza del Duomo, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (or Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) holds many of the famous Florence Cathedral’s most valued treasures. In particular, the gallery is noted for housing some the world’s most significant sculptures.

Among the gallery’s holdings are Italian artist Lorenzo Ghiberti’s famed doors entitled the Gates of Paradise, a marble sculpture created by Michelangelo for his own tomb named the Deposition, the Singing Galleries, designed by artists Luca della Robbia and Donatello and a 14th century statue of the Virgin Mary, created by Giovanni d’Ambrogio.

The Uffizi Gallery

Florence’s most famous gallery ‘The Uffizi’ currently holds the highest concentration of Renaissance art in the world, including works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Work began on the Uffizi building in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari, originally created to house the offices of the Florence parliament. Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti completed the structure 21 years later in 1581.

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Going To Eat Out In Italy – The Basics

Italian FoodOne of the many pleasures of traveling to Italy has to be the fact that you can enjoy a leisurely Italian meal. This is because the Italians are very passionate about their food. Each region that you go to, sometimes even different cities in that specific region, all have their own specialties that they are usually extremely proud of. We recommend that you ask your waiter what the specialties of the region (and the house) are, because this could enhance your dining experience. In order to get you the most out of your travel experience, we want to share how Italians traditionally eat.

The Italian menu

There are five sections to the traditional Italian menu. If you are ordering a full meal, it usually means an appetizer, first course, and a second course that comes with a side dish. You do not have to order from each course, but most people go for at least two courses. It is quite normal to see these meals last between one or two hours, possibly even longer. If you want to experience the Italian culture, remember that it is typical for Italians to enjoy a long Sunday lunch with their families. This means that the restaurants are often bustling with people and very lively.

The antipasti – the Italian appetizer

Before the main meal ever arrives, you get your antipasti. There may be some regional specialties and you can expect a plate of the local cold cuts. Sometimes it is possible to get a variety of dishes when you order an antipasto misto. This is typically great value for your money and can be a great deal of fun to share amongst yourselves.

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The Best Italian Beach Vacations

PositanaAs the weather is slowly turning colder, it might be interesting (possibly even necessary) to dream about an amazing beach vacation. Italy offers some of the greatest beaches that you are going to find in Europe. These are some of our personal favorites that you should certainly consider.

Ischia

There is plenty of thermal activity on the island of Ischia. The magnificent Mezzatorre Resort and its spa treatment center certainly utilize this to the fullest. You also get exclusive access to a marvelous bit of Mediterranean at this 57-room hotel. You can find long strips of white sand beach at the nearby town of Forio d’Ischia, because the little bay outside of the resort is rocky (though perfect for snorkeling with the local marine life).

Vasto, Abruzzo

With seemingly endless white-sand beaches, the Adriatic coast is worth exploring beyond Riccione and Rimini. This location is an elegant place, set alongside a stretch of coastline in the Punta Aderci nature reserve and the family-fun beach high-rises. You will find that many of the places that you are able to stay are only a stone throw removed from the Adriatic waves.

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