Travel Tips

5 Art Museums in Bologna That Will Blow your Mind.

As a city with an important history of art, it’s only natural that the culture of Bologna would reflect in an abundance of museums and exhibitions available to all who seek to discover the past of this incredible cultural center. The choice of places to visit in this regard is wide, offering artworks and masterpieces of all ages and origins to satisfy even the most avid art-lovers.

Stroll through the city and you’re sure to find these museums, and many others, on your path: it’ll be an exciting and mesmerizing journey through the centuries, seeing works from artists who made the history of art in Bologna, and Italy.

Bologna museum

Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna

The Pinacoteca is just a couple minutes away from le Due Torri (the Two Towers, symbol of Bologna) and consists of 30 halls for permanent exhibitions, and other areas that host temporary exhibitions, workshops and conferences. The exposition is divided by historical period, and the journey through art in the Pinacoteca goes from XIII and XIV century artists to Renaissance masters such as Rafael and Tintoretto, and again to the artists of the current of Mannerism like the Vasari, and Baroque one such as the Carracci, the Guercino, and more. Lastly, you’ll get the chance to see large scale 1600’s paintings.

Museo Civico Archeologico

Near the Basilica of San Petronio, at the heart of the city, you’ll find the Archeological City Museum. The Museum hosts many collections from different historical periods: sections about the Kingdom of Egypt and the Ptolemaic Dynasty, the Prehistorical Section and the Bronze Age are also exhibited, and an important exhibition of over 4000 pieces from the Etruscan collection are hosted. For the lovers of Ancient Rome, the Museum can offer great and relevant pieces from the 1st and 2nd centuries b.C. along with the most important Numismatic collection in Italy with over 100 thousand samples of Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins.

Museo Civico Medievale

The building that houses the Museum is a masterpiece in and on itself, being a perfect example of Bolognese architecture and a former noble residence dating back to the 15th century. The most important part of the museum is dedicated to the Middle Ages, of particular relevance are the Early Middle Ages artifacts and the gold-plated copper statue of Boniface VIII built in 1301. A museum such as this one couldn’t avoid a reference to the roots of the history of Bologna itself, and for this reason it also hosts many funeral sculptures of teachers from the renowned University of Bologna. The Museum also displays the development and growth of Renaissance art thanks to other important artworks from the 15th and 16th century. For those of you who have a passion for the Middle Ages, a collection of armors (particularly interesting is the jousting armor exposition) and of manuscripts with 13th-16th century Bolognese masterpieces are sure to enchant you.

Collezioni Comunali d’Arte

The Municipal Art Collection represent the closing stage of the reorganization of the municipal museums: the original collection, the core of artworks belonging to the previous town government has been added to with art pieces from local collectors, together with the properties from dismantles religious orders and donations from wealthy families and citizens through the centuries. Founded in 1936, the collections are hosted in rooms still important historically and artistically to this day, and the exhibitions is displayed in an unique way: not necessarily chronologically but more like a “furnished museum” where canvasses, furniture and furnishings mark the sequence of historical rooms opening into one another. The Vidonian Hall recalls the Baroque gallery arrangement with interspersed paintings and sculptures; in the Rusconi rooms, the arrangement of furnishings evokes images of 18th century mansions for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience.
In the museum is also the most important example of Bolognese Baroque, in the form of the Sala Urbana or “Coats of Arms’ Hall”, a room designed to display Michele Colonna’s ceiling decorations, a true statement of Baroque art.

Mambo – Bologna’s Museum of Modern Art

The MAMbo goes in a completely different direction, hosting Modern Art in the form of a visual experience. The Permanent Exhibition traces the history of Italian art from WWII to the present day. The permanent collection is organized in nine thematic areas that represent some of the most innovative aspects of art from the second half of the twentieth century to the present day. The aim of the museum is to let people of all age groups get into contact with innovative forms of art and artworks, and start a dialogue based on the themes of the works hosted here.
The Museum also includes and hosts other exhibitions, such as the Museo Morandi, temporarily housed here. 85 works from Giorgio Morandi can be seen at the MAMbo in an itinerary through the years and personal history of the artist.

Coffee and Gelato Experience Tour

coffee

This tour will allow you to discover hands on how to make the perfect espresso, cappuccino and caffe’ latte. Participants will be visiting one of the most famous coffee maker in the province of Bologna and Modena, where they will take a one hour Italian coffee-making experience with a local trained barista. Following the coffee experience we will be visiting the Ice Cream museum in Anzola Emilia at the Carpigiani factory. Here you will be taking a guided tour with gelato sampling at the museum where you will learn the basic of gelato making.
This tour also include a visit to a balsamic vinegar maker.

Time: Leaving at 9.30 am and returning at 4 pm. Tuesday to Saturday, excluding Italian national holidays. Min. 2 adults.  This is a private tour just for your group.

What is included:

Transport from Modena train station or Modena Hotel is standard. We can also pick you from Bologna however this is an extra, please see booking calendar for pricing.

  • 1 hour hands on barista course in Vignola (Modena)
  • Visit to Carpigiani Gelato museum in Anzola (Bologna)
  • English-speaking driver and guide.
  • Free visit to Balsamic vinegar maker. (Modena)
  • Free Gourmet gift.

What to do in Autumn in Bologna

Bologna is a wonderful city all year round, but it’s during the Autumn months that some of the best chances to experience the city make their appearance. If you’re staying in Bologna or nearby for your holidays, keep an eye out for these fairs and local events: they’re the perfect occasion to taste traditional meals and local produce cooked and served in many different ways.

Roasted Chestnuts in Rome

Cioccoshow 2016

At the heart of Bologna, in the Piazza Maggiore, is the most important fair of artisanal chocolate in Italy. With free entrance for all, it’s a great chance to taste traditional and innovative chocolate preparations made for all tastes and in a variety of ways that are sure to amaze and entice anyone!
From the 16th to the 20th of November, you’ll have the chance to experience Italian chocolate in all of its forms, shapes and tastes.
Festa di San Martino in Casalecchio di Reno
In Casalecchio di Reno, from the 8th to the 11th of November, the holiday celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the birth of the Patron Saint of the city will take place: celebrations, exhibitions and musical performances to honor the religious figure will be the main events, but the Festa di San Martino will bring together other activities that are typical of local, traditional fairs, such as the presence of an open-air market with food stands, antiquities and art. Don’t forget about the many activities and games for kids and remember that many local restaurants will have special menus tailored on the ongoing celebrations.
Festa di San Martino in Anzola dell’Emilia and Fair of Wine Must
Saint Martin is also celebrated on the 11th of November in Anzola dell’Emilia, were you’ll find on the streets of the city several food stands that will offer local dishes and snacks (such as polenta, crescentine and tigelle, Italian-style spit-roasted pork) as well as a presentation of the traditional methods employed to mash grapes for the production of wine and must, the main ingredient for the traditional desserts known as “sughi d’uva” made with boiled must of grapes.

Sagra del Bollito of San Pietro in Casale

This fair will showcase one of the staples of local cuisine: the bollito, a dish made of boiled meat prepared in a way that enhances the taste of the cuts of beef and pork used, celebrating the sublime local meat of the area, and the classical preparation brought forth through generations. This festival takes place from the 10th of November to the 13th and from the 17th to the 20th in San Pietro in Casale and you’ll be able to taste wonderful “bolliti” and other local dished of the Emilian tradition.
L’Antico Castello (the Ancient Castle): to the discovery of tastes and culture
This is the name of a fair, lasting from the 11th to the 13th of November, that will take place in Castel S. Pietro Terme and the surrounding area, showcasing local tastes, dishes, wines and traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. Cultural events will also take place, to create a traditional and historical atmosphere.

Fair of Taste in Crevalcore

On the historical city center of Crevalcore, on the 19th and 20th of November a weekend of festivities will take place. Showcasing local and traditional dishes, produce and tastes this Thanksgiving event will bring together products that are typical of the Autumn months, cooked on the spot at the many food stands that line the streets of the city. The open-air market will also feature shops with knick-knacks, baubles and antiquities, street performers and music events. You will also be able to purchase local, biological produce from the farmers of the area that will display and present their products.

“Baccanale” Imola’s festival of food and tastes

From the 5th to the 27th of November, in the historical center of Imola, a food and wine fair will take place to amaze and mesmerize all who come to enjoy local and typical dishes and produce. The official name of this year’s Baccanale is “Grains and flours”, and will celebrate the cultural and gastronomic importance and relevance of rice, grains and beans.

Tartufesta 2016: The Appennines celebrate truffles

Truffles are the most sought after and refined produce of the Autumn season, and on Saturdays and Sundays from the 5th to the 20th of November you’ll find this wonderful food celebrated on several cities of the Appennines: Lizzano, Vergato, Monzuno, San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Pianoro, Castel di Casio, Castiglione dei Pepoli, Sasso Marconi, Loiano, Grizzana Morandi, Monghidoro, Camugnano and lastly Savigno. This will be the 33rd edition of the International Festival of the White Truffle of Savigno, and for the occasion a shuttle bus will depart from Bologna on the 13th and 20th of November at 10:30 AM (returning to the city at 7 PM) that will bring you to Savigno to visit the truffle growing grounds (info: Bologna Welcome).

Foodies: Why Andalusia should be in your travel list?

Andalusia is a melting pot of various cultures and cuisines. Since ancient times, it has seen the Christians, the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs – basically all the heavyweights of world history, congregate and leave an indelible mark on the region and its culture. A proof of this rich and varied heritage exists nowhere as prominently as in the cuisine of Spain’s south – the Andalusia gourmet.

Keeping alive the glorious reputation of producing some of the finest food, are the Andalusian chefs who are widely regarded as one of the finest in business today. You can easily get a taste of their skills in a five star restaurant, as well as at a cozy chiringuito on one of the several beautiful beaches found in the region.

To keep it short, It is an excellent culinary model where imagination, tradition and modern culinary science, all converge. The following list of only the best dishes from Andalusia’s gastronomy reveals as much. So, for all the foodies looking for their next adventure in the upcoming holidays, we present the Andalusia gourmet region as the place to look toward!

Top Culinary Offerings from Andalusia

First homemade Salmorejo of the year. Salmorejo Berlin Kuchen

Salmorejo

A denser form of the quintessential Andalusian dish, Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup), Salmorejo is also the more fulfilling version of the two. Like the famous Gazpacho, it is made of tomatoes, garlic and olive oil but along with a heavy dose of bread crumbs. Although several variations of the dish exist throughout Andalusia, you will always find the Salmorejo served with a liberal dose of hard-boiled eggs, jamon (cured ham) and sometimes, tuna (especially in the coastal areas).

Salmorejo originated in the city of Cordoba but it quickly became one of the most famous foods in Andalusia. You will easily find most of the restaurants serving the dish as a refreshing lunch entree during the spring and summer. At other places, you might as well find Salmorejo being offered as an evening appetizer!

Jamon Iberico de Bellota

The jamon iberico (or the Iberian cured ham) is quite simply the best ham that is served throughout Andalusia and possibly, the entire Spain. The taste, the aroma and the texture of this Andalusian ham is what foodies crave for in their meat.

The secret?

Note the word de Bellota, which denotes that the ham you are eating comes from pigs fed on a diet comprising solely of acorns!

These speciality pigs are raised in the oak forests of Cordoba and Huelva mountain ranges and are one of the most sought after for the flavors they offer. The Iberian cured ham is a result of as many as twelve months of curing and processing, and pays off handsomely in terms of taste and aroma.

If you are in Andalusia, there is simply no way you can leave without trying the jamon iberico – probably the most exclusive and exceptional item on this list!

Pescado Frito

Also called, Pescaito Frito, which translates to “fried fish”. This Andalusian staple dish recipe is as simple as its translation. All it contains is fish coated in flour that is fried in olive oil and then, served with a lemon wedge along with salt sprinkled lightly all over it. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. It counts among the best fried fish recipes across the world!

Along with cod and sole as the more popular ingredients, you can also find some chefs mixing calamares (squid), adobo (marinated dogfish) and puntillitas (baby octopus) to make the Pescaido Frito. No matter the ingredient though, the taste remains unbeatable.

Remember when in Andalusia, Cadiz is the place where you want to go to try out the Pescado Frito. You can find it being served in a paper cone on the streets, as well as on the menu in the more sophisticated restaurants in the area. Legend has it that Pescado Frito was actually the real inspiration behind the now world renowned English meal, fish and chips!

Chicharrones

Chicharrones are a popular dish in Spain (typically in Andalusia), Latin America and basically, every other country in the world which has some affinity to the Spanish culture or cuisine. These are very similar to the French rillons, in that the end result is the same fried chunks of succulent pork.

People in Andalusia generally make chicharrones using chunks of pork belly that are fried or saute-d over high heat in their own fat. Once prepared, you can enjoy them along with a smattering of cumin powder and some lemon juice squeezed on the top.

Expert’s tip: A bottle of chilled San Miguel lager is what you want when having those juicy chicharrones!

Sherry From Jerez

Brought to you straight from the so called Sherry Triangle (an area encompassing Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa Maria and San Lucar de Barrameda), is the world famous Spanish Sherry. The British have been addicted to it (the cream sherry to be exact) since 1587 and one can’t really blame them!

The secret to this one of its kind pre-meal aperitif lies in the place of its origins – the Cadiz province. A unique combination of the local soil, damp climate and the Spanish solera system, along with the Palomino (white grape) is all that goes in making this splendid version of fortified wine. Some of the best styles of the Spanish sherry include Oloroso, Fino, Manzanella, Amontillados and the sweet tasting Pedro Ximenez.

Vinegar from Jerez

The Sherry Triangle is also home to one of the most flavorful vinegars – the Sherry Vinegar. It is a gourmet vinegar that is produced exclusively within the same triangular area that gives us one of the oldest wines in the world, the Sherry wines. Most forms of the Sherry vinegar are aged using the same Solera system as the Sherry wines and their production and quality is monitored by the Consejo Regulador of Spain.

The vinegar made from Sherry is considered to be a gourmet ingredient and adds a very distinctive and crisp taste to several recipes in both Spanish and French cuisine. Typically, you will find Sherry vinegar being used in a variety of stews, casseroles, soups, sauces and salad dressings.

Andalusia – A Feast for Senses

The gastronomy of Andalusia has such variety that it is impossible to cover in a single article. And it’s not just the food, equally enticing are the great diverse landscapes and cultures that are present there. If you are a true foodie, you will never get tired of sampling the region’s terrific dishes and wines. And if you are lucky enough to be in time for a food-themed festival, you will discover new meanings to the word “feast” in its complete sense!

Amarone Tours: Best wineries in Valpolicella – Verona

Verona represents the main Italian tourist center due to its history. It’s the most famous town of Romeo and Juliet all around planet earth. An industrial city and bustling business center are located in Verona. This city is surrounded by famous territories known for wines production. The following are three famous wineries you shouldn’t hesitate to visit to enjoy cool wines and scenic beauty in Verona.

Zeni winery

It’s located near villages of Bardolino and Lake Garda. Zeni winery is situated on beautiful sceneries of Moreinic hills where you can enjoy a cool, inspiring panoramic view. It’s a family based wine producing Company. Currently, it’s run by the fifth generation of Zeni family.

Over 130 years, Zeni family has been enthusiastically committed to the best production of premium Veronese wines. Some of the most famous wines are known in regions such as Valpolicella, Recioto, Ripasso among others. Besides the classic wines, wine museum was created for the unique exhibition. This offers an interesting itinerary to visitors through the techniques of making the old wine. It presents the old pictures, tools, and documents used to make old wines. This museum is sub-divided into different areas. Each area is dedicated to present a particular process of wine production. This includes all stages from the vine growing to wine bottling.

Zeni winery has recently built a new wine cellar. This cellar is a structure that combines old tradition functionality with the modern. Impressive vaulted roof anchored on strong columns and a terra cotta floor represents this cellar. In this structure, you will find the oak barrels, barriques, and tonneaus. Zeni products age in the perfect condition of humidity and temperature at the cellar.

Are you planning to visit Zeni winery? Relax. A guided visit is introduced for you to wine museum at Zeni. It’s followed by a relaxing stroll. This is in the hills behind the wineries along the vineyards growing Estate. The tour then proceeds to Zeni beautiful barriques cellar. It ends here where the visitor tastes a selection of wines that are chosen among the best products of Zeni wineries.

Bertani wineries.

Bertani is one of the most famous wineries in Verona. Historical wine production is represented at Bertani. It started producing traditional wine many years back. It produced Recioto and Amarone wines back in the 1950s. It’s a unique place combining modern and old at the same time. Bertina winery owns vast hectares of vineyards, approximately 200 hectares, in Verona.

The cellar is situated at the winery headquarters located at Grezzana, North-East of Verona. This cellar is open for tours. It represents a clear example of industrial heritage. You can learn more about history that made this winery a unique expression of this land during a guided tour visit. Tools used in the past for wine production can also be seen in the cellar wine museum. Tasting of winery’s most famous wine is also possible and ends the tour.

Tommasi winery

Tommasi - Magnifica Oak Cask

Tommasi winery is one of the largest producers of wine in Valpolicella. It was founded back in 1902. It’s a family based winery. It’s located in Pedemonte. Currently, the winery is run by the fourth generation. It owns hectares of extended vineyard. This vineyard is located in the most productive hills. Best red wines have made Tommasi one of the most famous wineries in Verona.

Tommasi welcomes visitors and wine lovers for a guided tour. Tasting of famous Tommasi wine is possible for visitors. It also welcomes friends and visitors in it cellar. A tour to Tommasi Estates gives you a chance to know regions of Valpolicella Classica and its wine. It also represents a chance to understand the effort made and the passion involved in making each bottle of Amarone.

Visiting the historical vineyard, which is located behind the winery building, starts each tour. Tours learn how vines are grown. The tours continue to the fruttaio. This is where grapes are dried on a loft for Recioto and Amarone. Large Slavonian oak barrels are seen down in Tommasi cellar. Aging of Amarone is done using these oak barrels. Tasting of the most famous and representative Tommasi wines ends the tour.

What a beautiful and awesome moments? Make a day and visit our wineries. Enjoy to your level best. Taste the most famous wines you desire. Visit wineries impressive vineyards and other beautiful sceneries. Don’t forget to come with a friend and share this great moment and experience. All are welcome.

Travel Agent Secret Tip: How To Save On Holiday Money

Most of us can afford to go on holiday only once a year, and even then, we have to be very careful with money to stretch it as far as we want it to go. When you have saved an entire year for a much-awaited holiday, you wouldn’t want to lose a huge chunk of it to money transfers and hidden bank fees, would you? In this post, you are about to get first hand secret from a travel agent how you can save money so that you can have more to pamper yourself and actually enjoy your holiday.

How do most people lose money on holiday?

Money Exchange
You will not get the best deals when exchanging cash at the bureau de chanage

Before you can figure out how best to save money, it is vital you understand where it often goes. In the past, financial planning for a holiday was a daunting and time-consuming process that never ended happily, largely because of the hurdles of money exchange and hefty hidden bank charges one had to pay just to access or spend it. If you are planning a holiday, there are much simpler and straightforward ways you can plan to get the best deal for your holiday money. The most expensive financial services when you are in a foreign country include on-the-spot currency conversions (especially if you have cash), Travelers’ Check fees, credit card charges, interest on prepaid or debit cards, and dynamic currency conversion rates.

So, what are your best options?

Transferwise

Transferwise is wire transfer service from the creator of Skype. It allows you to transfer money abroad at interbank rates, which are the best exchange rates (wholesale rates) you can get when buying currency, plus a small reasonable fee. Transferwise is ideal when booking establishments that do not take credit cards and require a bank transfer, but also you can use to pay anyone who has a bank account around the world so you can avoid hidden credit card fees, or bank wire costs.

If you are looking for the safest, most convenient, and affordable way to book holidays abroad—whether you are looking to stay in a hotel or some other establishment— then Transferwise is a service designed just for you. With Transferwise, you will never have to:

– Deal with the insecurity of walking around with cash travel money;

– Pay huge commissions of Travelers’ checks;

– Carry prepaid or credit cards you are never sure will be accepted; or

– Worry about the complexities and delays of wire transfers.

Any travel agent who knows his stuff will tell you that Transferwise is the convenient, cost-effective, and quick way to transfer money and make payments while on holiday and get to enjoy the best interbank exchange rates.

Revolut

Revolut’s tagline, ‘Simply Revolutionary’ is exactly what this app-based global payment system is—revolution of payment simplicity. This new way to send and spend money instantly globally is a clever combination of the advancement of MasterCard and the convenience of a smartphone app. What you will need to do as you plan your holiday is simply charge your account with Euros or Dollars travel money before you leave. When you get to your destination, simply draw the money in the local currency and enjoy the best exchange rates in the market with no fees for as much as 650 euros. You can also conveniently make payments for your purchases in restaurants and shops, save your travel money over time, and send money straight from the app

There are several important considerations when comparing the various money transfers methods available to you. The most important considerations today are low transfer rates, money exchange rates, convenience (especially online access), and safety. Take the word of an experienced travel agent, the best ways for you to get the most of your money and enjoy your holiday is by using one of these two great travel money management systems.

How TTIP Will Damage Italian PDO Products

Imitation products and fakes weight down on Italy’s possibility to export its products. As the USA don’t want PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) laws to be involved, the delicate matter of Free Trade agreements is being discussed.

Between full-on fake products and the phenomenon known as “Italian sounding” (where products or brands are named to resemble Italian products while not being such) the most recent estimates have counted an earning loss equal to 60 billion euros for our agro industrial business for what concerns missed exportations, which is about twice as much as our current exportation to the rest of the world.
TTIP protest in Brighton - 12/07/2014
The main concern is protecting the uniqueness of our PGI productions and the growth, value and potential of our products with a Registered Designation of Origin, and in order to do so we have to resort to legal action for fakes and frauds (if they are discovered, especially abroad) but also to legislation between countries and complex business agreements, such as the one that is long being discussed between Europe and the USA, the dreaded TTIP (Transatlantic Treaty of International Partnership).
This treaty should create a free exchange zone between UE countries and the United States, and the matter of protecting European geographic designations of origin is one of the chapters included in the document.
The problem lays in the fact that the USA don’t understand and don’t intend to safeguard designations such as “DOP” and “IGP” (Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication) because the only products they value are commercially registered brands, property of private companies.

The USA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has explicitly admitted that the USA main concern is that protecting European designations of origin would damage certain star-spangled productions, now long on the market (such as “Parmesan” or “Wisconsin’s Asiago cheese”). These productions take part in the “Italian sounding” phenomenon, which tricks the consumer into thinking the product is originally Italian when it has nothing to do with the country, both in origin, taste and quality.
The American “Consortium for common food names” is a powerful lobby, for the most part made of 2nd, 3rd generation Italian-Americans producers that are keen on protecting their own businesses. According to European laws, a cheese can be sold as Parmigiano Reggiano or vinegar as Aceto Balsamico di Modena only so long as it has the trademark attesting its origin, else it must be recalled, and this makes the clash with USA dupes all the more radical.

Negotiations will continue, some say it will come to terms by the end of 2016, or with the next President succeeding Obama. Our producers are giving their undivided attention to the matter but, as a part of UE committees, the protection of DOP and IGP trademarks is a priority only for Italy and few more countries.
The best chance to push the negotiations forward would be to press on the matter of openness with the consumers, a matter that the USA cares a lot about. Guaranteeing that fully transparent information is provided to the consumers would allow original productions to be told apart from dupes and fakes.

This is a translated adaptation of this original article

Puglia’s Best Secrets

Puglia is Italy’s gem when it comes to history, archaeology and culture. The southeastern region has for many years thrived as a tourism hub with so much to offer vacationers interested in taking a step back in time and experiencing old Italy in its most authentic form. Despite its popularity among tourists, Puglia’s unmatched wealth in history and culture is not what makes it one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Below is what most people don’t realize that Puglia has up its sleeves.

1. Porto Selvaggio

The path to Porto Selvaggio

Porto Selvaggio is found in Puglia’s province of Lecce. The beach itself is found along the Salento Peninsula with breathtaking crystal clear waters. In addition to the geographical beauty, Porto Selvaggio has a lot to offer in terms of history. It is actually the only place on earth where an ancient Greek dialect known as Griko is still spoken.

What to see and do

· Sunbathing and swimming

It is nothing short of a crime to visit Porto Selvaggio and not pay the beach one or two hundred visits. It is the reason why it is on this list as one of Puglia’s best kept secrets. You could also decide to experience the water by taking a boat ride or going SCUBA diving.

 

· Sightseeing

Some points of interest in Porto include the walled seaport of Gallipoli, Villa Tafuro and Uluzzo Bay. If you have extra time and an untamed adventurous spirit, you should also plan a visit to the various archeological sites there including the cave of the horse and sierra Cicora.

· Watch the sunset at the beach

You will never find anything to match its breathtaking beauty.

2. Monopoli

monopoli

Monopoli is in the heart of Puglia given its location in the region’s capital province of Bari. The town is right next to the Adriatic Sea. Like all other Puglia gems on this list, Monopoli is a triple threat with the sandy beaches, archaeological and historical as sights as well as culture to enjoy. Below are a few things that you should not leave Monopoli without having seen.

· The beaches

The beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea meet the mainland forming beaches that you simply must see to appreciate. The aquamarine blue waters will leave you refreshed and ready to explore more of this amazing town.

· The ancient castles

The Castle of Charles V in particular is a must visit for people with a soft spot for history and fine architecture. The building was used as a prison until the mid-sixties when it was converted into a museum and art gallery which is where you will get the best cultural experience of Monopoli. The castle of S. Stephen is also worth a visit.

· The Jerusalem Hospital

This is probably the oldest hospital not only in Italy but in the whole world dating back to 1350. The architectural marvel is full of history and is one of those places you simply can’t leave Puglia without visiting.

3. City of Ostuni

Ostuni

The city of Ostuni is pretty much a white fortress and one of the fewest old towns in the world that has managed to preserve its medieval layout. From a distance, all you can see is white buildings. This is not a coincidence but has a historical etiology where people lime-washed the walls of their houses in an attempt to deflect the heat from their homes. Below is more that this charming little town has to offer:

· The Archbishop’s palace is Ostuni’s highest points and is an architectural marvel.

· Beautiful beaches along the Adriatic sea

· The Saint Oronzo festival every August to celebrate the town’s patron saint.

4. Grotte di Castellana

Grotte di Castellana is a series of amazing cave formations in Itria Valley, Puglia. They date back more than ninety million years and are among the most important of all of Puglia and Italy’s natural attractions. Taking a guided tour though the cave gives visitors the opportunity to experience not only nature at its best but also history and archaeology through the fossils and cave art you will get to see.

5. Da Mimi Trabucco

The Da Mimi Trabucco is a must-see if you want to add an educational aspect to you Puglia trip. The Trabucco itself is actually a unique fishing contraption that is nothing short of genius. You will get to see how it works and as many questions as you would wish to. It is a dining experience that you will not get anywhere else. In addition to the fishing scene, Da Mimi Trabucco is full of history with the Ottaviano family name popping up more than once in the fishing, culinary and construction aspects.

How Brexit Will Affect Travelling To Italy (for UK and US visitors)

The decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union will undoubtedly have uncertain implications for the British people. The only certainty guaranteed by this so called ‘Brexit’ vote is that things will likely never be the same again for Britain in its relations with EU countries such as Italy. As such British tourists are likely to be the first group of Brits who will experience first hand the uncertain and little known consequences that might materialise as the UK negotiates itself out of the EU. Listed below are examples of some of the uncertain repercussions of the Brexit vote to British tourists who wish to travel to Italy.

Brexit tea


1. Costly Visas

Brexit has meant that, for the Brits at least, the days of the freedom of movement of people throughout Europe looks likely to be a thing of the past. Brits might now be treated as non-EU citizens, meaning that it is highly likely that they will be unable to cross a borderless EU without frequent passport checks. If any British national wishes to travel to Italy, it is probable that they will have to apply for and purchase a visa. This will mean that Brits will be subject to visa restrictions upon the amount of time they are permitted to stay within Italy before renewing their visa at an additional cost.

2. Poor Exchange Rate

As the full economic repercussions of the Brexit vote will not be known for many years to come, global markets have naturally reacted negatively at the level of uncertainty created by such a vote. This has resulted in a general weakening of pound sterling against all other major currencies such as the euro, meaning that British tourists travelling to a country like Italy could potentially have reduced spending power. The knock-on effect of this being that they might have less expendable money to spend over the course of their vacation on things like food and drink, excursions and souvenirs.

3. Expensive Air Travel

The Brexit vote has also created uncertainty about UK access to EU airspace, which could mean that the UK will have no other option than to renegotiate its air space treaties with all 27 EU member states. This could potentially mean that all UK-based air travel companies might have to pay increased fees in exchange for access to EU airspace, which perhaps will inevitably have to be passed onto the customer. This could spell the end of British access to cheap EU air travel, by forcing British tourists (and indeed non-EU tourists who fly from the UK specifically to access cheap EU flights) to pay more money for their flight to Italy from any UK airport.

Having said that we should also consider the possibility of less popular routes being abandoned by cheap no frills airlines due to higher costs, casting a shadow on smaller but crucial airports. Travellers from the U.S. too who often use Ryanair flights to Italy might have fewer choices in the future when it comes to air travel.

4. Increased Roaming Charges

The Brexit vote has also cast serious doubt over the UK’s continued access to cheap EU roaming charges, with many fearing that British telecom companies might have no other option than to charge British tourists higher roaming charges while they holiday in countries like Italy. Such a prospect could also negatively affect many non-EU tourists, such as those from the USA, who often purchase a UK sim card in order to take advantage of cheap EU call charges.

5. High-Cost Healthcare

Although not confirmed by either country, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has technically terminated the right of British citizens to be treated by the Italian Health Service while on holiday. This is still far from being a certainty, but if this is to be the case, then in future British tourists might have to procure and manage their own healthcare while on vacation in Italy. If both the UK and Italian governments are able to sort out a bilateral deal over the provision of healthcare to British tourists, it is likely that such an arrangement will charge British tourists for access to the Italian Health Service. However this is speculative and far from certain.

Overall the effects of Brexit on British tourists who wish to travel to Italy will in all likelihood be largely negative in nature. For a start Brits might find that the price of a holiday to Italy will be much higher than when the UK was a member of the EU, largely because of a poor sterling exchange rate with the euro and the fact that many benefits of being a member of the EU, such as visa free travel and access to healthcare, might now come with a costly price tag. In short, Brexit has potentially cost British tourists more money in order to travel to Italy and given them fresh uncertainty over simple things like roaming charges and more substantial issues such as access to the Italian Health Service when injured or ill.

Bologna Festival Gems for Summer and Fall visits

Italy is well-known for its rich culinary and cultural offering, especially during the warm summer and fall months. However, two festivals held in the city of Bologna stand out and are well worth a visit if you find yourself somewhere in Italy or Europe at the time: the Mortadella Festival and the Cinema Ritrovato. The first — officially called MortadellaBo — is a four-day festival celebrating mortadella, a cold-cut, cured pork sausage that is one of Bologna’s specialties. The second is the Cinema Ritrovato, an eight-day vintage film festival that screens gems from cinema’s past and features a beautiful, free outdoor cinema in the evenings.

La Grassa


MortadellaBò Festival

The Mortadella festival is a one of a kind event and a must for fans of what the Italians call “the Queen of Sausages.” The sausage –well-known for its round, pink appearance and white specks — is a sandwich favorite in a lot of homes. It is made of crushed pork mixed with spices and sometimes includes chunks of black pepper or pistachios. Normally, this delicious sausage is cut into thin prosciutto-like slices, but it can also appear in cubes as part of different appetizers or salads.

Mortadella di Bologna (PGI) has a protected geographical status, meaning that it can only be called mortadella if it has been produced in the Emilia Romagna region or other neighbouring Italian provinces. This makes the MortadellaBo Festival a unique opportunity to fully experience mortadella in its region of origin. Apart from tasting the best mortadella in the world, you can also learn more about this specialty’s history in the city and discover new ways to integrate it into your cuisine.

For four days in October, the center of Bologna is transformed into a haven of mortadella-related activities. You can choose to participate in a range of events — from tastings of all of the best mortadella producers in the region to cooking classes held by famous chefs from all over Italy. There is even a range of events for your kids, as well as a fun addition — a mortadella queen wearing a pink dress with white dots. During these four days, you will learn how to pick the best mortadella, what cheeses accompany it best and even get to taste the best wines that go with this specialty. The MortadellaBo is a must-see event that you are sure to enjoy with your entire family.

Cinema Ritrovato

The Cinema Ritrovato is another great local festival that draws thousands of people from all over Italy and Europe. While outdoor cinemas and film festivals are no rarity, this particular one is unique for its focus on films from before 1975. So in addition to drawing thousands of locals and European film buffs, it also attracts numerous film scholars and film archivists from around the world.

For eight days at the end of June and beginning of July, around 350 forgotten gems of cinematography are shown in three different theaters in the city — the Lumiere theater, the Arlecchino and the Jolly. In these venues, you can enjoy themed screenings ranging from homages to beloved actors like Marlon Brando and Charlie Chaplin to regional themes, such as some lesser-known Argentinian and Japanese films from the 50s and 60s. The Cinema Ritrovato is a truly unique opportunity to enjoy movie classics from around the world in a theater format and surrounded by film buffs from different parts of the world.

Apart from the events requiring a ticket, the Cinema Ritrovato also features free screenings each evening on Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. These screenings are very well-organized and have excellent sound and a large screen, allowing you to enjoy the film no matter where you are seated. The added bonus? If you are a pass holder, you have access to a special area of reserved seating close to the screen.

Finally, on top of the excellent selection of films, Cinema Ritrovato also features a number of special lectures and panel talks. This gives attendees the opportunity to gain an even better insight into the films being screened. This makes the Cinema Ritrovato a true festival of film, celebrating the legacy of older creations and keeping them alive through renewed attention. Bologna — a city that beautifully combines the past and present — is the perfect setting for this type of event and truly comes alive during these 8 days of film magic.