Travel Destinations Archive

Read Article ▶ DESTINATION VERONA: NOT JUST A LOVERS NEST

Thursday, June 20th, 2019
verona

The city of Verona, in northern Italy’s Veneto region is captivating and unassuming. Its 14th century Shakespearian association adds a fairy tale feel to a city which is full of history, culture, and literature, blended together in perfect harmony.

What makes Verona so famous?

Most famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, thousands of romantics’ flock to a residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a little courtyard said be Juliet’s House. Giulietta the most tragic lover of all time receives 4,000 letters from all over the world asking for relationship advice, each letter receives a response.

verona

The streets of Verona are aligned with beautiful stores and in between there are botteghe which recall ancient crafts and forgotten skills. One would be happy to just wander the streets stumbling into an elegant coffee shop or salumeria. The warm hospitality of the locals compel you to enter, to sit, to buy and leave with a feeling of contentment.

Verona the city

Verona is surrounded by a number of walls which guard the heart of the city. Built over different historical periods they are evident all over the City, it is for this reason that Verona is listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. Adige; Italy’s second largest river dissects the city, however it is not the focal point though, it doesn’t take the importance of other river cities.

The other famous attraction is the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra (it holds a resemblance to the Colosseum), built in the 1st Century. Still in use today, it is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances. One of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind, in ancient times, it held nearly 30,000 people.

With so much history, the Veronese are proud of their heritage and it is evident as they stroll in the evening along the wide lista (marble footpath) displaying elegance, and enjoying an aperitivo.

Vita Italian Tours/Pronto Travel arrange private itineraries to visit the beautiful city of Verona. Guided tours, apartment or boutique hotel accommodation and sumptuous food and wine experiences. Contact us to find out more about visiting this truly romantic city.

Read Article ▶ MATERA – A SMALL ANCIENT CITY & CULTURAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Matera

Matera, a small ancient city found in southern Italy, in the region of Basilicata, has been chosen as the Cultural Capital of Europe (2019). Believed to be the third-oldest inhabited settlement in the world, today, Matera is enchanting and well worthy of this title.

Rich in history dating as far back as 8,000 years when farmers, shepherds and their animals lived in caves called sassi, meaning stones in Italian. These famous stone caves are now where you will find restaurants, bars, hotels, and souvenir stores.

Matera
Image courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Matera’s highland plateaus are characterised by deep fault fissures, ravines, rocks and caves. The famous Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera were acknowledged by Unesco for their magnificent “Rupestrian” churches which feature ancient rock paintings dating back centuries.

Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera

In more modern times the people of Matera strive to improve their ancient city, making changes to embrace modern ideas. Their motto as the Cultural Capital of Europe is “Open Future”. An example of this is the new Open Design School established to promote new ideas. The school works towards creating new concepts such as luxury cave accommodation and restaurants to attract new visitors to the city.

So how is Matera celebrating the Cultural Capital of the World recognition?

Matera began its celebrations in January with traditional lighting ceremonies, followed by an grand parade of musicians from all around the world marching through the streets. Many exhibitions, festivals and parties will be held throughout the year to highlight the beauty of this ancient city.

To co-incide with this momentous event Vita Italian Tours will visit this breathtaking ancient city as part of its sold-out September tour, The Spectacular South - Puglia, Abruzzo & Matera. Travellers will have the opportunity to stay in a luxury Cave hotel in Matera and be able to marvel at the cave houses, churches with their ancient rock paintings, as well as many other beautiful attractions, both in the old and new part of town. Bookings are already being taken for the 2020 & 2021 departures.

Click here for the full tour details.

Read Article ▶ ROME’S TREVI FOUNTAIN, WHERE DO ALL THE COINS GO?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
Trevi Fountain

Legend says, a traveler throwing a coin over their shoulder into the fountain water will receive good fortune and guarantee them a return to Rome, as seen in the 1954 Hollywood film, Three Coins in the Fountain.

Having recently undergone a major refurbishment, the Trevi Fountain is a favourite place for Italians and visitors from all over the world to gather and participate in the popular coin tradition and enjoy a gelato while admiring the view.

So, where do all the coins go?

Have you ever wondered where the 1.5 million euro ($2.38 m) of coins collected each year actually goes? The Catholic charity Caritas, which began in 1971 distributes the money collected, assisting the disadvantaged and the homeless of the city of Rome.

What's going to change?

The recently elected Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi has proposed that all collected monies should go to deal with the mounting rubbish in the city, as well as fix potholes. This proposal has since been approved and will be implemented in April 2019. Rome’s first female mayor’s plans have not gone unnoticed. The Catholic daily paper Avvenire accused the Council for neglecting the city’s poor. Cries of support for the Catholic church from politicians, clerics and journalists urging the Council of Rome to not change its laws and continue to support the disadvantage.

While the ‘important’ people of the Eternal city work in the background to keep Rome the amazing city it is, the tourists visiting will continue to have these beautiful sites to visit and admire.

Vita Italian Tours have a number of tours that visit Rome, so you will get to experience the wonder of the Eternal city, including the Trevi Fountain. You’ll get the opportunity to throw a coin over your shoulder, bringing you good fortune.

Visit our tour page to see the tours we have on offer

Read Article ▶ TOP 5 EATING SPOTS IN ROME

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Top 5 Eating Spots In Rome - First time in Rome and not sure where to eat? Navigating the hundreds of eating spots and spruikers on the streets of Rome can be a daunting task, especially if you are sufferring from jetlag or are wiery after exploring the cobbletsone streets of the Eternal City. Author and Rome travel blogger Bronte Jackson has put together a nice introductory eating guide for travellers who are looking for a place to eat in and around Campo de Fiori and Trastevere in Rome's historical centre. Enjoy;

 

Although there are many great restaurants in the suburbs of Rome, these are not them. These top spots are all in the “centro historico”, the city centre of Rome.  Handy if you are visiting Rome as generally this is where you will be staying. My definition of a top Roman restaurant is one that:

  • Has been in operation for at least one hundred years
  • Is family run (usually by the second or third generation by now)
  • Specialises in traditional Roman cuisine (simple, fresh and offal based)
  • Has a menu that depends on what is available at the market that day
  • Does not depend on decor as a selling point.  (Not for me the modern, sleek, sharply fitted out interiors with modern twists or re-inventions on traditional dishes.  If I wanted those kind of restaurants I would go to Milan or Melbourne.)

Roma-campo-de-fiori

Photo Credit: marcopolo.tv www.marcopolo.tv/articoli/campo-de-fiori-roma-mercato-e-vita-notturna

 

So here goes, the top five are not in any particular order:

1. L’Hostaria Romanesca – Piazza Campo dei Fiori, 40 – Tel. 06 686 4024 Don’t bother calling as you can’t book and if you are lucky enough to get a seat you will have to wait a long time often for your meals. It consists of one small room inside plus a square of the piazza. There is a sign on the wall written in local dialect warning about the wait and not to bother the chef with complaints. But it is worth it. Dishes are individually and lovingly prepared, and spilling over with food of the highest and freshest quality. The Spaghetti Carbonara, Pollo con Pepperoni (only found in Rome)/chicken with capsicum, and Fegato alla griglia/grilled liver are the best I have ever tasted. But everything on the menu is good, cheap, and cooked with care and attention to detail. Try any of the specials as they will be seasonal and based on the chefs traditional knowledge. And while you are waiting you will have the spectacular Campo dei Fiori to watch – full of people, no cars, magnificent medieval buildings, and a statue of Giordano Bruno, the last person burnt to death there in 1600 for heresy. Reflect on how, if waiting for some spectacular Roman food while sipping wine and eating bread is the main problem you have at the moment, then life is much improved since 1600.

2. La Carbonara – Piazza Campo dei Fiori, 23 - Tel. 06 686 4783 You will be lining up often with international movie stars and politicians to get a seat but it is not a pretentious or expensive place, just a Roman institution. At the other end of the piazza from L’Hostaria, it is thankfully much larger so your chances of eating there are greatly increased, and they take bookings. Again it produces very traditional, high quality Roman dishes with just a bit more flair (and prices) than the down market L’Hostaria. The Fiori di Zucca/fried zucchini flowers, Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal with proscuitto and sage) are the best I have ever tasted and the Carbonara is on a par with L’Hostaria. Again you will have the Campo dei Fiori piazza to look out upon and will be entertained by a parade of non-stop travelling musicians.

3. Ai Spaghettari – Piazza di San Cosimato, 57-60, Trastevere - Tel. 06 580 0450 A beautiful, succulent and rich experience of a typical, contemporary restaurant, that has nevertheless been around for half a century or more. It is based in the most traditional part of Rome, Trastevere, a mostly pedestrian only precinct, which is now packed with restaurants and is an enchanting neighborhood to eat in. Ai Spaghettari is always noisy, has the television blaring, and is always full. A pizza oven greets you at the door and you can watch while your pizza is made, being flung up in the air and all. There are vast amounts of seating outside and in, and service and menu are both good, featuring lots of traditional Roman specials. If you don't book you may be waiting a while but you will get a seat eventually.

4. Pizzeria Popi Popi - Via delle Fratte di Trastevere 45, 06 589 5167 I avoided going to this restaurant for years as it looks like the typical tourist trap often found in Trastevere. Red checkered table cloths, tables set outside in front of a beautiful, white marble church, and filled with tourists. Then my Italian husband and his mates took me there. Now we know the waiters by name. Frequented by both Italians and tourists alike, its cheap and cheerful outdoor atmosphere make it a superb summer Roman dining experience (and indoors for Winter). They have a large and traditional menu (including pizza) and the food always tastes surprisingly good for its quick production, volumes turned-over, and large variety. Their Tiramisu is one of the main reasons we keep going back. By the way, once I asked the waiter what the significance of the name was. He told me it’s the sound that Italian men make when they squeeze the breast of a woman "popi, popi". Booking is optional, just turn up and the waiters will look after you.

5. Da Luigi – Piazza Sforza Cesarini, 23 - 06 6865 946 I stumbled on this place when I used to live around the corner from it and noticed it was always full with lines of people waiting. Hence I usually had to eat dinner next door in a grossly inferior establishment. Da Luigi is packed full with Roman families who like to keep this place a secret. It is squashed along the side of a tiny piazza across the road from Piazza Navona. Here you will find reasonably priced, down-to-earth Roman dishes specialising in sea food. It is noisy and always crowded and there is nothing to look at, but the variety and good reliable quality of the food makes up for it. The booking system doesn’t seem to work so be prepared to wait for a table which is never very long.

 

For more on Rome from Bronte Jackson check out her Rome Travel Blog: https://brontejackson.com/

You can also purchase Bronte's book Roman Daze recounting her time living in the Eternal City Rome in the Vita Italian Tours/Pronto Travel office in Melbourne; 1/25 Little Oxford Street Collingwood, VIC 3066. Call us to reserve your copy today +61 3 9080 3440.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author Bronte Jackson and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or position of Vita Italian Tours. 

Read Article ▶ Culinary Delights of Tuscany & Emilia-Romagna

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

After several years of planning we are very proud to introduce to you our brand new tour for the 2018 touring season, Culinary Delights of Tuscany & Emilia-Romagna, 30 May - 7 June 2018.

Parma BaptisteryParmigiano ReggianoCibo Italiano

It is a nine day tour that takes in the very best of the central regions of Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. The tour will be led by Vita Italian Tours founders and father and son team Mario and Gianni and will focus on new and undiscovered areas of Italy that many of our travellers may not have experienced before. There is a strong emphasis on wonderful regional food and wine throughout in beautiful centrally located hotels and a stunning Villa in Tuscany complete with a swimming pool.

Highlights include tours and tastings at factories/dairies/acetaie that produce world famous produce such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma Prosciutto and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. As well as this there will be sumptuous banquet lunches and dinners in speciality restaurants and famous local osterie and trattorie. Apart from the food and wine there will be guided visits to cities such as Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Florence, Panzano, Montepulciano, Castellina and Radda in Chianti.

It is important to note that at this stage the tour is a one off departure and places are limited. We are only accepting 14 travellers on this tour and already have a number of clients booked.

Interested? If you have any questions or would like to request a complete itinerary of the tour please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Vita Italian Tours/Pronto Travel

1/25 Little Oxford Street

Collingwood VIC 3066

Ph. 1300 842 444 (cost of a local call)

 

We welcome you to join us off the beaten track to discover Italy in 2018.

Cari saluti.

Gianni, Mario & Viny.

Gianni Viny Mario Vita Italian Tours

 

Read Article ▶ PESARO WINTER WONDERLAND

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Pesaro Winter Wonderland. Pesaro, situated in Le Marche Region on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, is getting into the festive spirit transforming the centre of the city into a Christmas winter wonderland. Named Pesaro Nel Cuore, which translates as 'Pesaro in our Hearts', the exhibition features an installation in the main square, Piazza del Popolo', of the most illuminated Christmas tree in the whole of Italy.

Piazza del Popolo Natale Pesaro Winter Wonderland

The tree is a centre piece of the square and shines brightly decorated with 70,000 white LED lights. The ancient buildings surrounding the square such as Palazzo Baviera, the Post Office and Ducal Palace come to life displaying colourful projections of giant snowflakes.

Around the ancient fountain with its tritons, dolphins and seahorses, the Municipality has set up a skating rink where all can enjoy skating, children, teenagers speeding around the rink, parents and grandparents together. The square also has market stalls placed around the rink selling hot sausages, angels and Christmas gifts. The Pesaro Nel Cuore exhibition has attracted visitors from all over Italy and Europe to celebrate the festive season.

Mario, Gianni and Viny of Vita Italian Tours, call Pesaro home when conducting their boutique small group tours in Italy. Wishing all our friends and family a very Merry Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year! Buon Natale!

Pesaro Christmas Tree

See you in 2017!

 

Read Article ▶ DESTINATION ASCOLI PICENO – A HIDDEN TREASURE

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Destination Ascoli Piceno - A Hidden Treasure: The town of Ascoli Piceno, in Le Marche Region Italy, is a hidden treasure in a beautiful position surrounded by The Sibiline Mountains along the border with Umbria. The whole southern province of the Le Marche Region, for which Ascoli is the capital, offers spectacular views and a variety of landscapes of amazing beauty.

The city of Ascoli Piceno is enchanting with its many beautiful 'piazze', famous Cathedral, grand palaces and its stunning Town Hall. The historic city centre was constructed with grey marble extracted from the nearby mountains and originally boasted over two hundred towers. Today, sadly, there are only around fifty. The main square, Piazza del Popolo is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy and the other incredible Piazza Arringo with its twin Renaissance fountains also a gem.

Piazza del Popolo Ascoli Piceno Renaissance Fountains Ascoli Piceno

The first peoples who lived in this part of Italy were the 'Picentes' tribe and artifacts have been found dating back to 268 BC, although, very little is known about their language and their customs. The city was taken over by the Romans until the end of the Empire and many other rulers took over the town until the Middle Ages when the it came under the strong influence of the Popes and the Catholic Church.

Ascoli is safeguarded by their patron Saint Emygdius who was venerated as a martyr and is believed to have saved the town from a destructive earthquake which hit Le Marche around the third century. His remains are housed in the cathedral and a feast day is celebrated on 5 August each year. The patron Saint was of extra significance this year following a series of earthquakes which spared Ascoli although devastated nearby Amatrice destroying many historical buildings and leaving many displaced.

Ascoli Piceno is also famous for its regional foods and wines. One of their most popular dishes is 'Olive Ascolane' (shown below) which are local green olives stuffed with meat, herbs and cheese before being covered with breadcrumbs and deep fried. The region also produces several DOCG certified wines, such as Rosso Piceno Superiore red and Vernacchia, Passerina and Pecorino whites varietals. Each characterised by the unique cool micro-climates of the region.

A good place to sit and try a local wine over a meal is at the famous Cafe Meletti. Located in the main square in the heart of the city, Piazza del Popolo, Cafe Meletti has been an institution for locals and visitors alike for more than 150 years. One of our favourite dishes they prepare is the delicious Tagliolini with Ragu alla Marchiagiana (shown below). If you are feeling adventurous you may want to finsh your meal off with one of their signature liqures and digestive drinks. Anisetta is our pick of the bunch, a recipe that cafe founder Silvio Meletti invented in 1870! Anisetta is a sweet and strong liquorice flavoured liqueur made from aniseed and other aromatic herbs and is great together with a coffee or desert. Salute!

Olive Ascolane rimg9896 Caffe Meletti Ascoli Piceno

Vita Italian Tours make a visit to Ascoli Piceno annually in June with the nine day Discovering Le Marche Region tour giving travellers the experience and taste of this wonderful town. Interested in visiting Ascoli Piceno? We welcome any enquiries about this tour and/or private tour or self drive itineraries to visit this stunning area of Italy.

 

Vita Italian Tours: Discovering Le Marche Region: Tour Itinerary

Cafe Meletti Ascoli Piceno: Cafemeletti.it

For More Information on Ascoli Piceno: Italia.it/ascoli-piceno

 

Read Article ▶ Alabaster of Volterra

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

 

Artisans of Italy Series - Alabaster of Volterra.

All over Italy, there are artisans at work making handicraft in a tradition that has been handed down for centuries. Italian artisans working with Alabaster are highly recognised, and are regarded as some of the most highly skilled artist in the world.

Volterra, Tuscany Italy

In Volterra, a small town in Tuscany, there is a long history of beautiful artistic works being made using Alabaster: a calcareous warm and luminous stone substance mined in the vicinity of the town that dates back to the time of Etruscans. The Etruscans, from the 3rd century BC made urns using Alabaster to hold the ashes of their dead. Many of these urns are now preserved and exhibited in the Guarnacci Museum in Volterra.

The art of working with Alabaster had its own second Renaissance at the end of the eighteenth century, and many workshops once again sprung up in Volterra with highly skilled artisans creating high quality sculptures and products that are admired and sold all over the world.

Alabaster Workshop Volterra  Alabaster Artisan Volterra

On our recent visit to Volterra we met and spoke with a wonderful local artisan Giuliano Ducceschi. At 87 years young, Giuliano a master artisan, has a typical workshop of a craftsman. A small room with his workbench near the doorway to maximise the light, full of white dust and surrounded by his tools and creations.

Giuliano talks about the times when there were over one hundred artisans working in the town with several apprentices. Today, however, according to Giuliano, there are only ten or so true artisans left in the city as few people want to carry on this age old tradition. He would like very much to pass on all his skills and knowledge to an apprentice but he sadly describes his work as a lost art.

Vita Italian Tours visits the fascinating town of Volterra in The Best of Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche tour in September every year. Our travellers are able to experience firsthand these famous alabaster craftsman's at work in this charming and historical Tuscan hill town.

 

For more about this tour offered by Vita Italian Tours: www.vitaitaliantours.com

Information on the Tuscan town of Volterra: www.comune.volterra.pi.it/english

For more info on Alabaster production in Volterra: www.volterratur.it/en

For more about artist Giuliano Ducceschi: www.alabastriducceschi.com

 

 

Read Article ▶ Destination Urbino – The Renaissance Jewel

Friday, June 10th, 2016

RIMG7241

A panoramic view of the beautiful city of Urbino in Le Marche Region


Destination Urbino - The Renaissance Jewel - The city of Urbino is situated between the Adriatic Sea on the eastern coast of Italy and the Apennine Mountains to the west. Its proximity to other central regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Romagna make Urbino a great base to visit and explore the territories of central Italy.

Urbino is a well preserved Italian Renaissance town in the territory of Montefeltro. The city as we see it today was largely built by Duke Federico and his young wife Battista Sforza who transformed this town in the fifteenth century into a splendid example of all things Renaissance equal to Florence. Duke Federico, a condottiere, was a great warrior who commanded a huge army that fought for the popes and was paid handsomely. As well as a warrior, the Duke was a learned man, a humanist, interested in the arts and he used much of his wealth to create a centre to promote new innovations emerging at the time. During their life, Duke Federico and his wife Battista promoted a centre of learning and invited and commissioned some of the greatest architects, engineers, mathematicians, artists, sculptors and scribes of the time. The court of Urbino boasted famous architects such as the fortress builder and designer of the Ducal Palace of Urbino Luciano Luarana, Donato Bramante, appointed by Pope Julius II to build the new St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and Baldassare Castiglione, the diplomat and famous Renaissance author of 'The Book of Coutier', considered one of the most important works of the Italian Renaissance. Urbino was also the birthplace of the celebrated Renaissance painter and artist Raphael.


 

della-francesca-urbino

The famous profile portraits of Duke Federico of Urbino and his wife Battista Sforza realised by early renaissance master Piero della Francesca. Although painted in Urbino in the mid 15th century this work is now housed in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence.

 


The town today is recognised by UNESCO for its importance as a genuine example of Renaissance architecture. The town also boasts an International University of twenty four thousand students from around the world. The Ducal Palace was restored in early 1900's and has been returned to its former glory. It now houses the Galleria Nazionale Delle Marche (The National Gallery of Le Marche Region) with masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and Raphael, whose family home has now been transformed into a museum.


 

Urbino Palazzo Ducale

The famous 'Torroncini' or twin towers of the Ducal Palace of Urbino which now houses the National Gallery of Le Marche.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Vita Italian Tours personally guides travellers to this marvellously preserved Renaissance centre on many of their small group tours. It is always a destination that fascinates and excites.

 

Read more about Urbino:

UNESCO: whc.unesco.org/en/list/828

Discover Italy: www.italia.it/en/travel-ideas/unesco-world-heritage-sites/urbinos-historic-center.html

Smart Phone App Urbino: www.urbinoexperience.com

 

 

Read Article ▶ Carnevale in Venice

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Carnevale in Venice, one of the world's most popular festivals is held in Italy from 23 January to 9 February. This is a time when this magical city is filled with masses of people dressed in fabulous costumes and elaborate masks attending mask parades and dancing to celebrate a great tradition of the city of Venice. The masks were used to disguise a person's identity and a way of masquerading lives of pleasure and licence.

 

Carnevale in Venice I

A theory in the meaning of 'Carnevale' is that the name is derived from the Italian "carne levare" or similar, meaning to remove meat, since meat was prohibited during lent which occurs before Easter.

The Carnival began after the success of a major battle of the 'Serenissima Repubblica' in 1162 against the Patriarch Aquileia of northern Italy. After this event people began gathering in St Marks Square for dancing and for reunions and wore masks as a disguise. In 1797 it was outlawed by the King of Austria.

 

Carnevale in Venice III Carnevale in Venice IV

It re-emerged in 1979 by the Italian Government as a tourist attraction and the masks were redeveloped by college students for the tourist trade. Masks were always a feature of the Venetian Carnival and people wore the masks for many other special feast days such as St Stephens and The Assumption in October and December respectfully. The mask makers developed their own guild and laws and held special positions in society.

Some of the popular 'Commedia dell'arte' character masks were the 'bauta' mostly worn by men and designed with an over prominent nose and a beak-like chin so that the wearer could talk, drink and eat. The mask was black and was accompanied by a black or red cape and a tricorn cap (a hat with 3 points). Colombina, a maid servant, wore a half mask only covering the eyes, nose and the upper cheeks. Her mask was brilliantly decorated in gold or silver with crystals and feathers.

 

Carnevale in Venice V

Other masks used were the' Medico della peste' with its long beak, Arlecchino, a servant who wore a colourful Harlequin costume and wore a black half mask with an ape-like nose and Pantalone representing a sad old man with an oversized nose the beak of a crow, slanted eyes and high brows which meant to signify intelligence on stage.

Vita Italian Tours and Pronto Travel organise private itineraries for travellers wishing to experience the magic of the Venetian Carnevale.

 

 

Read Article ▶ Destination Bellagio on Lake Como

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

 

Bellagio Lake Como Italy

Tuesday 8 September, Lombardy - Beautiful Bellagio on Lake Como has long been regarded as the "Pearl of Lake Como".

The town has a long history that stretches back to the time of the Romans and has attracted, over many centuries, travellers who enjoy the beautiful and peaceful surroundings. It has some of the most characteristic buildings, villas, churches and waterfront promenades of all the northern Italian lakes. Bellagio provides excellent hotels and accommodation, small cobbled streets with steep staircases rising up into the hillside offering magnificent views of the picturesque Lake Como.

Bellagio has an abundance of choices of things to see and experience. There are magnificent villas such as Villa Melzi or Villa Carlotta with their beautifully manicured English style gardens where you can spend countless hours leisurely strolling through the garden terraces. There are many restaurants offering sumptuous meals or small cafe's to enjoy an aperitiv or a coffee. The fantastic local homemade gelato stores that line many of the small streets are also very popular.

Lake Como Vita Italian Tours Vita Italian Tours Lake Como

Although a popular tourist destination Bellagio is not saturated with discount souvenir stores. On the contrary it boasts many wonderful boutiques which sell artisan products such as scarves, silks, jewellery, leather goods, shoes, antiques and local produce. Travellers can also participate in active sports such as boating and swimming or simply just enjoy a peaceful and tranquil time sitting and reading by the lake.

Vita Italian Tours takes travellers to Bellagio on Lake Como for several days on the Northern Lakes & Dolomites Tour and enjoy some special surprises in this picturesque town.

For more information on the 11 day Northern Lakes & Dolomites Tour visit the tour page

If you would like more information on the town of Bellagio visit: www.bellagiolakecomo.com

 

Read Article ▶ Destination Republic of San Marino

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Destination San Marino San Marino, 11 August - Destination Republic of San Marino. San Marino is one of the world's smallest and oldest Republics. It was established in 301AD by a stonemason Marinus, a Christian who came to Italy from the Dalmatian coast to escape persecution from Emperor Diocletian.

The country is situated in a unique and beautiful position on Monte Titano 749 meters above sea level and approximately 10 km from Rimini on the east coast of Italy. It is famous for its three medieval towers, Guaita, Cesta and Montale which are the country’s most popular symbols offering breathtaking views of the coast and surrounding countryside.

San Marino is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe flourishing in finance, industries and services and is a popular destination for travellers offering duty free shopping on perfumes, leather goods, watches and many other items.

Vita Italian Tours takes many travellers to this fascinating tiny landlocked Republic on a number of their tours and it is always a favourite destination.

Read Article ▶ Augustus Forum Rome up in lights

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Forum Augustus Rome Rome, 27 April - Forum of Augustus in Rome, will be up in lights with a spectacular night light show to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the death of Emperor Augustus.

The light show, developed using the latest technology, will use special effects, colours and music to illuminate the Forum.  The images will show daily life in ancient Rome as well as recreate the ancient temple. Augustus built the temple in honour of his great-uncle Julius Caesar following his assassination in 42BC. The images will also show the temple as it stood in Roman times, as a tall nine storey building that dominated the Forum, together with a 12m high statue of Augustus which only a few parts remain today.

The narration of the light show will be transmitted via headphones in six languages: Italian, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Japanese.

Travellers on Vita Italian Tours have the unique opportunity to see the Forum of Augustus in our popular Grand Tour of Italy.

For more information on the exhibit visit the official website: www.turismoroma.it

Read Article ▶ Piazza Duomo in Milan goes green

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Milan, 15 January - In the next few weeks the iconic Piazza Duomo in Milan will be re-landscape to coincide with the food themed Expo 2015.

The theme of the Expo 2015: “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life” will be reflected by plantings of native trees and multi-tiered gardens of wheat, oats, rye, barley and aromatic herbs.

The vast open space of the piazza which is dominated by the city’s majestic gothic cathedral will be a botanical splendour. All the plants are not only ornamental, but are linked with the history of the territory and to the current species present in the Italian countryside.

The project will be funded privately at no cost to the public area and it will be in place for three years.

Travellers booked on the Vita Italian Tours: Northern Lakes & Dolomites Tour in June will have a great opportunity to experience this major event in the city of Milano.

The Northern Lakes & Dolomites Tour Itinerary: www.vitaitaliantours.com/our-tours/tour-4-%E2%80%93-the-northern-lakes-dolomites-tour/

Read Article ▶ Growing number of travellers flock to Cortina and Venice

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Cortina d'Ampezzo, 8 October - The Veneto region in the north east of Italy boasts many inviting travel destinations, none more so than the lagoon city of Venice and Cortina d`Ampezzo in the Dolomites. Both cities have experienced a growing resurgence in tourist numbers despite the current financial crisis engulfing Italy according to ANSA.

Venice, throughout history, has long been a stop for many travellers, from the times of the crusades in the Middle-Ages, the Grand Tourists of the 1700s to the present day modern travellers. Claudio Scarpa who is the head of Venice’s association of hoteliers believes 70% of hotel rooms in the city were fully booked in the month of August. This is an encouraging figure as this period is considered mid-season when compared to the more popular travel periods of May, June and September.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is nestled in the Dolomites Mountain Range about two hour drive north of Venice. Known as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’, the mountain resort is renowned as one of the most beautiful and most exclusive destinations to visit in Northern Italy. As well as the already prominent european travellers to this area Cortina has also enjoyed an increased number of tourists from the rest of the world.

Both of these amazing destinations feature in a number of Vita Italian Tours, such as The Grand Tour of Italy and The Northern Lakes & Dolomites Tour.



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