Travel Tips

Forte dei Marmi Tuscany Between the Sea and the Mountains (There is Lard)

Do you love fashion, hiking or beaches? If you answered yes to this question, then Fort dei Marmi is a must visit destination for you. The town is among the most up-to-date and chicest in Versilia. Thanks to its beautiful villas immersed in pine groups, an impressive view of Apuan Alps, as well as the beautiful beaches, which makes the town a haven for tourists from all walks of life.

Pontile di Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi, located in the Tuscany region is one of the top summer destinations in Italy because of the standard services, vibrant nightlife, and its beaches. The site is ideal for those who love to walk and ride since it’s located in a natural plain beside the fascinating scenery.

Life in Forte dei Marmi originates from the Piazza Garibaldi, the central square, marked by famous spots including restaurants, bars, and various shops. From there, you can easily find the historic symbol in the region, the fortification – popularly known as the Fortino – constructed for security purposes by Leopold I.
The iconic pier (built in 1876) is a symbol of cosmopolitan Forte dei Marmi. Together with Fortino, the two sites gave the town the name “home of the Museum of Satire and Caricature. Pier was historically a place where marble extracted from quarries were loaded onto boats.

Forte dei Marmi was founded in Roman’s era and expanded significantly in the 16th century after the quarries were opened near the town. For the rest of century, the Fortress grew and developed through sheer renovation efforts. Towards 1788, the Fortress was completed, and around the 1800s, the Versilia town became a tourist destination and held similar status up-to-date.
It is the perfect destination for a luxury tour on a global scale with a wide beach area and an assortment of elegant villas based at the heart of the town. More so, Forte dei Marmi is also famous for its markets (in Vittoria Apuana, Piazza Marconi, and the antique) as well as festivals in honor of Saint Francis and Saint Hermes).
Additionally, the ancient traditions and hidden parts of the Apuan Alps are worth a visit as well. The sites will invite you to explore surprising and evocative paths in the upcountry.
A usual gathering is represented by an open market every Wednesdays in Pizza Marconi with various accessories, and frivolousness on display. The lively surrounding stretches along the seaside, which consist of a 10 km beach. The beach is made up of sections (called “bagni”) that provide visitors with unique environment and offers. This is composed of areas suitable for kids and families, for lovers and so on. The seaside is also ideal for shopping: there you will access an array of ateliers and boutiques.

Lastly, your tour will not end before taking some pictures, and the experience you get will always be fresh in your mind several years later.

Carrara marble tour

Carrara Marble

Carrara is based in a strategic location with proximity to popular destinations including Pisa, Lucca, Florence, and Cinque Terre. It is also located along major communication routes, such that if you are visiting Tuscany from the East (Riviera, Spain, France) or from the North, you will never miss the sight of the fantastic white mountains that stand stretches towards the horizon.

The marble mines located in the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany offers an incredible tour experience. Although you can tour the marble mines above the Carrara through a self-guided car tour, you’ll need to take a guided tour to reach the highest level of the Apuan Alps.

The marble quarries are the world’s most massive bedding that stretches along three major valleys (Colonnata, Torano, Fantiscritti) which branch out near Carrara town. The marbles caves are so unique that words can not describe the feeling you get once you get surrounded by the white, incredible marble mountains.

The unique art and archaeological feature is dated back to 2000 years ago. During this period, the Romans used the marble to built Rome and marked emperors celebration with it. Iconic museums in Italy such as the Rome Archaeological Museum, Vatican Museums, and Uffizi among others featured Carrara marble works.

Lardo di Colonnata

Lardo di Colonnata

Many thanks to its unique compatibility of taste and seasonality – the Lardo di Colonnata, strips of cured fat is an exceptional food of Tuscany and probably the perfect natural accompaniment to the bruschetta.

The curing and storage of the Lardo di Colonnata is exceptional in every aspect. First, the marble mold consists of a particular type of marble from marble-cutter referred to as Calanoni. It is considered as the ideal cure of the Lardo. The marble is washed with hot and called water respectively.

History

Lardo di Colonnata is the product of two great Tuscan products: pork and the white marble from the Apuan Alps. Pork is the main livestock product in the region while the marble used to make beautiful columns are of excellent quality.

On the one hand, the Romans focused on increasing the amount of marbles they could extract, while on the other, the Barbarians that controlled the region after the Romans focused on the rearing of pigs for pork and lard. The best lardo is produced in Colonnata.

The consistent mountain wind in Colonnata brings about a suitable environment for aging lard. The fat is stored in basins or marble tubs with ideal porousness. Lardo di Colonnata standards include aging the meat in marble and are regulated by IGP. As soon as you move away from the regulated region, you will notice a decline in the quality of lards.

Final thoughts

Now you have a basic understanding of Forte dei Marmi, Carrara marble tour, and Lardo di Collonata. As a tourist visiting Italy for the first time, and more so Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi is a must-visit location due to its the top-notch services, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches, not to mention the impressive view of Apuan Alps. The Carrara marble tour will guarantee you a one-on-one view of the famous marble quarries. And finally, the delicious taste of Lardo di Collonata will ensure your tour experience is one of its kind.

Walking Venice Tourist Free? Might Be Possible…

Venice has remained a top destination for tourists, who intend to make great use of their holiday and leisure time. This has been adversely contributed by the several islands Venice takes pride in, full of amazing and breathtaking sceneries, making your visit worthwhile.

But more fun comes from visiting less crowded islands. They offer the much-needed peace, away from the busy mainland. Venice has some Islands which offer this conducive environment. Unfortunately, over the years, these islands in the Venice Lagoon have been disregarded. Nevertheless, they harbor some of the exciting sites and landmarks that your eyes crave to have a glimpse of. These islands include the following;

Burano

Burano

This disregarded Venice Lagoon was once ranked second in the most beautiful places list in the Forbes magazine in 2016. Though overlooked, this ranking confirmed its capability of attracting tourists. Any visitor to this less crowded area comes back with fond memories. The main contributor being its wonderful and colorful fishermen’s cottages.

Once you arrive in Venice, simply take a water bus and in about 40 or so minutes you will be right in this amazing Island. It has a population of utmost 3000 people, who have settled in this densely urbanized island entwined by canals full of colorful fishing boats matching with the beautiful cottages. This small population will go a long way to sprucing up your visit.

This island is not only highly attractive but also full of lacework. You can also visit Museo del Merletto a reliable museum in Lacemaking. This is indeed a perfect place for lacework enthusiasts.

You won’t resist falling in love with the beautiful wooden roof terraces which have been strategically positioned to conform well to the sun and sea breezes during the islands hot days. If you need a nice place for sunbathing and late-night dinner, Burano Island is the place to be.

Excellent delicacies are not a problem in this amazing island. Since it is a fish affair, Burano is packed with a couple of restaurants that provides various types of fish dishes for its tourists. Besides, there is Dolce and pasta which are a perfect delicacy. For lovers of new cuisines, you ought to visit this Island. By the end of your stay, you will have acquired some new recipes to try them back home.

Murano

Canals of Murano

This Venice Lagoon island is a short water boat ride north of Venice. It is made up of 7 islands, separated by waterways which are larger than most of Venice canals. It has an estimated population of 500 people.

Most people visit Murano because of the valuable glass factories that are ever pleasing, in order to witness the process of glassmaking. Some of the companies even offer free boat rides to lure these tourists into visiting their premises. You can visit the Museo del Vetro, which is a glass museum. Here you will get a view of some of the best ancient and amazing glass. Besides, there are several furnaces which are open for everyone to see.

Murano has wonderful architectural designs that catch the attention of any visitor. These unique architectural designs have been applied on some of its ancient churches, for instance, Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, Basilica dei Santi Maria Donato. For lovers of amazing architectural designs, then Murano is the place to visit in a bid to get some rare feat in architecture.

There are also some ancient mansions that have graced this island making it one of a kind. Some of these mansions include Murano Lighthouse that was built in 1912.

In case you need some conducive peace away from the city, Murano is a place to visit. It is not densely populated thus you will not have to struggle with putting up with noise. As the holiday sets in, you can make reservations on visiting this amazing place.

Torcello

lthough it has been overlooked, this island is home to various attractive sights. It has lovely mosaics, impressive views that will ensure your visit is one to remember. Torcello was the first ever island to be considered as a home by the people who were escaping from the Barbarian Hodes. It is made up of sights that will spice up your stay in Venice Lagoon island.

The Devil’s bridge was built in the 15th century and revamped in 2008. It is an amazing place to pass as you appreciate the elegance of Torcello architectural design and the masterpiece of the engineers that designed and built it. Having a photo of you taken from you, not only preserves some dear memories but is a sign of an excellent stay in Torcello.

The Cathedral of Torcello is one of Torcello’s ancient monument. It was founded in 639 AD and renovated in 1008. This cathedral is well known for its 11th-12th century Byzantine Mosaics. However currently, it is no longer a cathedral because it lacks a bishop. Despite that, it is still an amazing place to look at.

There are also famous restaurants that are Locanda Cipriani that serves as a nice place to eat and also accommodation. After eating you can take a stroll at the famous Archaeological Museum of Torcello. It is full of remains and fragments of famous 10 churches.

Torcello will not only offer you amazing sights to look at but also a suitable environment to spend your holiday in. It is less crowded, just a perfect place to enjoy your holiday peaceful as you bond well with your family. This confirms the relevance of visiting less populated areas.

Conclusion

Less crowded islands are undoubtedly some of the best places to visit. Not only for the amazing sceneries they have to offer but also the conducive environment they have. The Venice lagoon has such islands, that will give you that harmony and peace needed while on holiday. Murano, Burano, and Torcello are packed with amazing sights that tend to take away the breath of any visitor. As a potential visitor, you can begin planning your visit to these amazing and less crowded islands. It is a guarantee your visit will be worthwhile.

Milan walking tour, see all in a day

The Italian city of Milan is a great place for a city break on a budget. Here you will still have an incredible holiday even if your budget is lower. Brimming with free museums, cheap restaurants and hotels at low prices, it’s a great choice when looking into a cheap holiday. Whether you’re into art, history, architecture, people watching or visiting the legendary stadium of AC Milan – there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself during a trip to Milan. There are a number of sightseeing options and tours available for reasonable costs. One option is the Milan walking tour that enables you to see everything in a single day.

Following are the main attractions to visit when having a walking tour to Milan.

a) Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

If you’ve been to Milan before then you’ve probably visited the unmissable cathedral Il Duomo situated in the city center. However, there is also a refreshing alternative, the fascinating Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio. The antithesis of Milan’s famous cathedral dates back to 379-386. The much smaller church is in complete contrast with the magnificent Il Duomo. The ancient Basilica Martirum is colloquially known as “Ambrosia”, and is considered as the most important example of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy. The Basilica is home to a world-famous, precious work of art, like the late Roman sarcophagus that “Stilicho”, the golden altar of Volvinio, and the dome plaster of IX-X century. Be sure not to miss this important part of Italian history when you visit the city.

b) Zona magenta – Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Saint Mary of the Graces (Santa Maria Delle Grazie) is a World Heritage Site protected by the UNESCO and is famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper located at the refectory in the convent of the church. Ordered by the Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, Santa Maria Delle Grazie was started in 1469 and completed in 1490. The convent was the first to be completed and housed Dominican friars and nuns. Later, the church was added and Ludovico Sforza, the succeeding duke decided to make the church the family’s official burial ground. Today, visitors can go in and view da Vinci’s masterpiece which, due to the wars that ensued, reduced the painting only to one-fourth of the original.

c) Last supper

The Last Supper, or Il Cenacolo, as it is called in Italian, is one of the most popular attractions on the Italian tourism circuit. So buy your Last Supper Painting Tickets before to ensure you are able to view the painting and don’t miss out on this incredible experience.

d) Monumental Cemetery

The Monumental Cemetery is where many famous people have been buried. However, the cemetery is better known for its fabulous design and the chapel that remembers the 800 inhabitants of Milan who were killed in the concentration camps during World War II. Monuments cemeteries provide a connection to the past and documentary of the evolution of human history, perceptions, and emotions as captured by the changing architecture ranging from simple, weathered 18th-century tombstones, elaborate (sometimes eroding) 19th-century mausoleums and sculpted angels and allegorical figures.

e) Navigli

Navigli in Milan allows shipping from Ticino to the center of Milan city. Navigli Pavese and Navigli Grande join Milan to Pavia city and forms one of the great charismatic scenes in Milan. There are numerous roadside shops and clubs on the banks of these rivers. Navigli is a happening place for youth in Milan. You will find most of the youth crowd at Navigli where you will find lots of cafes, clubs, bars, restaurants, and discos.

Other places to visit while in Milan

1. Centro Storico

Centro Storico (the historical center) is full of life, with many things to see and do. In this area, you will find the huge Piazza Duomo and Duomo Cathedral, the castle Castello Sforzesco, the world-renowned opera house La Scala, and stunning shopping gallery. Also, just a few minutes walk away from Piazza Duomo, are Via Montenapoleone and Via Della Spiga. These two streets are the most influential fashion streets. These streets are rich and concentrated with furries and fashion designers. Every designer has maybe one or two shops in these fashion streets: Armani, Iceberg, Louis Vitton, Dior, and Bottega Veneta.

2. Brera

l'arte pomeridiana

Brera is a very fashionable district not far from the center, which used to be known as the ‘artists’ quarter’, and very bohemian in its day, inhabited and frequented by poets and artists. It remains a very ‘in’ area today, and is a very fashionable and exclusive district, with boutique shops, ‘sophisticated bohemian’ homeware shops, bookshops, restaurants, and bars. This place is also where you can find the popular Pinacoteca di Brera which is one of Milan’s fashionable art museums, showing works from well-known artisans, including Canaletto and Rubens. This art gallery is housed in the 18th-century palace Palazzo Brera. This city is also the home to exclusive 10 Corso Como, this 10 Corso Como can also be found along uniformly stylish Corso Como or many restaurant and bars visited by the beautiful and rich. 10 Corso Como is a shop, restaurant, and bar housed in a beautiful courtyard lit up with candles and fairy lights at night, and definitely somewhere to go if you want to impress anyone, such as business clients for a meal, or maybe a romantic date….the shop sells and exhibits luxury high fashion designer wear, jewellery, shoes and other various items. It remains open most nights with the bar and restaurants, and you are offered complimentary glasses of champagne while you browse.

Conclusion

Milan is ultimate for fashion freaks and a paradise for shoppers. Additionally, it is a city with diversities, it offers a delightful experience for tourists with varied taste. Everything from modern art to contemporary architecture is the pride of the city. Whether you are interested in art, architecture and culture, food and wine or fashion and want to be seen with the crème de la crème of the fashion world, Milan is the place for you. It offers everything that makes a city trip enjoyable and you are sure to have a very memorable experience.

Panoramic Cagliari Tour With Winery Visit And Tasting

Cagliari, Sardinia is rich in history and natural attractions. It is a fascinating place with multiple picturesque beaches, ancient ruins, local traditions, unending vineyard farms among others. This charming city offers visitors enticing sites for exploration. If you are wondering how you can take a trip to this renowned travel destination, outlined below is how you can perfectly explore Cagliari, on both land and sea tours.

Palme

The tour starts along the coastal route found in the southwestern side of Cagliari towards the trade routes used by Ancient Phoenicians from Karalis. It will then proceed to Nora and Bithia where you will come across the old ruins of Bithia. From here, the tour will head to Sant’ Antioco Island, a fishing port which easily transforms into a picturesque summer hang-out. Just like Bithia, this island was also founded by the Phoenicians during the eighth century BC. Sant’ Antioco was an industrial center and an important port before it collapsed during the Roman Empire. There is still evidence of this town’s history, from the Phoenician tombs and the archaeological pieces found on the northern side and the historic hilltop center.

Explore Cagliari’s Beautiful Bays and Beaches

Moving along the cultic Sant’ Efisio’s traditional path, you will be able to discover history, legends and also current events. You will learn how the coastal road found here was protected by multiple Spanish towers during raids which were conducted by pirates from Saracen. The scents of cysts, helichrysum and juniper will make your trip enjoyable as you view the breathtaking panoramas. This coastline path is lined with beautiful bays and beaches like Chia and the Tuerredda. Chia is found along the southern side of the coastline and it’s known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful scenery and an amazing weather. It is dotted with beautiful juniper trees and its beach is popular with wildlife such as the pink flamingo.

Tuerredda
Tuerredda beach today

Tuerredda is a beautiful bay that is sandwiched between the capes of Spartivento and Malfatano. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Cagliari thanks it’s fine and clear sands as well as the transparent color of water. The Islet found here provides a cool and isolated place where you can lay down and enjoy the sunshine plus the cool sea breeze while relaxing on the warm-well polished rocks or the white sands. Moving along this coastline means you will get a chance to have amazing views of the deep-coastal inlets that have always been used as fish farms and natural harbors.

Taste the Elegant Carignano Wine While Visiting Sulcis Vineyards

Pan di Zucchero
Sulcis is an area that is popular with wine tourism and from Teulada, the Cagliari tour will head to the north side and then tilt a little bit towards the east up to the deep inland of Sulcis. Here, you discover vast wheat fields, the Cellar of Santadi, the Carignano Vineyards and get a chance to taste the famous carignano wine from Italy. The black-skinned grape variety in these vineyards is used to make different wines with luxurious tastes such as the red or rosy wine. Carignano wine is a fine and elegant wine with good intensity and you just can’t afford to miss a sip! The immense fields of vineyards in Sulcis are what led to the creation of the famous Wine Roads. While you are here, you will also come across different cellars like the Cantina Mesa Cellar, the original winery of Buio Red-Wine and the Cantina Santadi that is known to produce the Red-Terre Brune Wine.

Discover the Time Frozen Rocks of Is Zuddas Caves

Before you take a lunch break, you will visit the Is Zuddas caves. Time seems to have stopped in Is Zuddas because you will find natural and well-preserved stalagmites and Stalactites. This underground network of caves which stretches for over one mile has dolomites that are over 500 million years old. The caves are still under the formation process and they are made of rooms which can be distinguished using rock concretions such as lava, aragonite, cannulae etc.

Learn About the Pinnettas

After taking lunch, the tour will continue along the 19th-century railway system which was used to carry minerals. You will venture into the forest and inhale various natural scents from the multiple varieties of plants before visiting the Pinnettas – traditional huts which belong to the Sardinian Shepherds. Built with stones and branches, the Pinnettas are housing units in which the shepherds use to shelter from heavy rains or hot sun. You will also learn more about their traditional tools.

Visit The Gorgeous Santa Gilla

The visit to the Pinnettas marks the climax of Cagliari Land and Sea tour because from here you will be going back to the starting point. You will come across the medieval ruins of the Count Ugolino Castle which stands on top of a small volcanic hill. This historic castle was also included in the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Approaching the Cagliari, you will move cross the Santa Gilla Lagoon, located on the south-west coast of the island. It’s a natural extraordinary site which covers an area of about fifteen thousand hectares. This historic area was the main stronghold of Santa Gilla’s ancient judicial system.

The ecosystem together with other natural resources found here form one of the loveliest wetlands in the world. The Santa Gilla Lagoon is an area of great interest thanks to the wide range of unique animal species found here i.e. the rare pink flamingos, herons, cormorants, etc. all which have made this lagoon their natural habitat. This site also has contrasting views, the white heaps of salt and the red color of water will quickly attract your attention. It’s a beautiful place where you can watch hundreds of beautiful bird species.

Overall, Cagliari is an amazing destination that is full of various attractions that are fun and entertaining. There are also multiple tour agencies to cater for the different needs of people including different packages. Once the tour comes to an end, you will leave feeling delighted and refreshed.

History And Art Tour Of Ravenna (Half Day Itinerary)

Welcome to Ravenna, a quaint town that lies in the Italian province of Emilia Romagna. This city, known as the mosaic capital of the world, has more than enough to offer to a curious traveller. If you are an art or a history lover, this is the place to be. This town with its rich heritage was the capital of Western Roman Empire for three centuries. It is home to the famous Italian Poet Dante, who spent the last years of his life here. You can see the churches and baptisteries adorned with beautiful mosaics, which is the work of skilled craftsmen that gave their best to beautify this town. Eight of the world’s UNESCO heritage sites are housed here. The historic Christian monuments, its proximity to Adriatic Riviera, the food and the art make it a place worth visiting once and again.
The city is very popular with tourists who are looking for a day excursion from other towns of the country such as Venice, Bologna and Rome.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleum di Galla Placida

On this tour, we will visit four of the significant Christian monuments in the city of Ravenna. It will take us back in time to as early as the 5th century. We will begin the tour of this ancient and artistic city with a visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. With it, enter the Roman Empire in the 5th century. We will also visit Basilica  of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Basilica of San Vitale and visit Basilica of Saint Francis and Tomb of Dante Alighieri. We will end our tour with a visit to Piazza del Popolo, the city’s town hall.

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia: Galla Placidia was a talented and a
religious woman who was the daughter of Emperor Theodocius I the Great. Her father was the ruler of both the western and eastern empires. Galla Placidia lived from AD 392 to AD 450 and ruled the city of Ravenna.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia was erected by Galla during her reign in Ravenna along with her other grand building projects in Rome, Jerusalem and Ravenna. It was constructed to bury the empress and other noble family members’ remains. The structure is known for the most impressive mosaics in the entire city. The UNESCO documents list these mosaics as artistically perfect as compared to the others in the town. The mausoleum is situated behind the Basilica de San Vitale and is approximately 100 years older than the Basilica. From outside, the building looks small and simple. However, the interiors are entirely covered in mosaic artwork, which can be dated back to the 5th century. The entry to the building is through the corridors that lead to National Museum. One batch of visitors is allowed to stay for five minutes. You can quickly go for the next five minutes viewing on a non-rush day.

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo: Next we go to see the Basilica of
Sant’Apollinare Nuovo to explore the Theodoric empire in the 5-6th centuries.
It was built as a Palatine church of Arian religion next to the palace of
Theodoric who lived from AD 493 to AD 526. Here you can admire the Byzantine wall mosaics and see how those evolved in style, ideology and iconography. The mosaics depict tales of Jesus and showcase the crucial areas in the historic city of Ravenna. You can see the original mosaic work that illustrates the New Testament in the 26 scenes from the Theodoric empire. You can see the two side pilasters and mullioned windows adorning the façade of the Basilica. The original four-sided porch was renovated with a marble porch in the 16th century. Towards the right of the façade lies a cylindrical structure that dates back to the 9th century.

Basilica of San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica of San Vitale: It is one of the most important examples of
Christian art in the entire country. The church is not architecturally a
basilica. But this honourable title was given to it by the Roman Catholic
Church; it is a title bestowed to buildings of significant historical and
religious significance. It was started by Bishop Ecclesius and completed in AD 548 by Archbishop Maximian. The mosaics in the Basilica represent the
ideological and religious beliefs of the empire of Justinian who reigned from
527 to 565. These are the best preserved Byzantine mosaics outside
Constantinople. Once you enter the octagonal Basilica, you will be mesmerised by the width and elevation of the spaces and the beautiful frescoes of the cupola that were painted by the Bolognese painters. The structure is made of marble with the dome made of terra-cotta, which lies on eight pilasters. You can see the merger of eastern and western art, which represents the oriental art influence. It was marked as a UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1996.

Basilica of Saint Francis and Tomb of Dante Alighieri: We now visit the Italian poet’s area where we pay homage and discover Italians love for him. We also go back in history and learn how his remains were stolen to be kept in Ravenna.
The original church was built in AD 450 by Bishop Neone and almost replaced in 9th  century by a more massive structure. From the ground plan, it looks like a smaller version of Old St. Peters in Rome. This is Dante’s last church and is the place where Dante’s funeral took place in the year 1321. The church was again renovated in the 17th and 18th century.

We conclude the historic tour with a visit to the city’s town hall square Piazza del Popolo. It was built by Venetians and has a resemblance to St. Mark’s Square in Venice. Here you can enjoy some ice cream, have a hot cup of coffee or dine at any of the restaurants. You can roam around the Piazza and also visit the many mosaic workshops that sell mosaic art pieces.

There is no better way to explore the city than this guided tour that shares the secrets and treasures of Ravenna’s with the travellers. The duration of this walking tour is approximately three hours. Please ensure to
wear suitable clothing as you are going to visit places of worship. Also, it
would be advisable to wear comfortable footwear to ease your walking while you peek into the historical past of the city.

Visiting Bari? Check These Interesting Itineraries + Day Trips

Bari is the main city in the Italian region of Apulia, which is full to the brim of interesting things to do and places to visit. Along the region you can find beautiful landscapes, cities and towns with a relevant history ready to be discovered, a stunning coastline with beaches and seaside locations to enjoy, and incredible local foods and products that you just can’t miss. The good news is that even if you’re visiting just the city of Bari, you’ll still have a chance to experience all of these things. Bari has a lot to offer, and there’s something for everyone – whether you are an adventurous traveller, a relaxed tourist or a foodie looking to try every single local dish! Bari comes to life through its historical landmarks and churches and there’s a whole world to explore. Follow these suggestions and pointers and feel free to look around to experience Bari (and Apulia) to the fullest, in every way possible.

Discover the History of the City

Bari features many historical buildings and places of interest that can be visited. If you’re so inclined, you can take a tour through Bari that will bring you to the most famous landmarks, and with this type of itinerary you’ll be able to learn more about the history, culture and traditions that have shaped the city across the centuries. If you’re not too keen on discovering these types of things, the incredible sights you’ll see are reason enough to still tour the most important churches and other buildings that make up Bari. You can visit Barivecchia, Old Bari, with its two main squares and a network of small streets and passageways that make it a picturesque sight. Nearby is the Swabian Castle, a massive fortress built in 1132 and rebuilt again in 1233 after being destroyed. It houses art exhibitions and you can tour it to learn about its long, complex history.
The two main churches located at the heart of Bari are the famous Basilica di San Nicola, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, and the Bari Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Sabinus of Canosa. Both are majestic structures with a rich historical and artistic relevance dating to the 11th century, and each has its own unique architectural style and features. In Bari you will come across many historical sites, museums and landmarks that tell the city’s incredible history. Visiting the sights in the city will feel like an educational time travel, enriching and breath-taking at the same time.

Discover Traditions and Local Foods

Without a doubt, you can choose to stop by a local restaurant or eatery while you hop from place to place, and sample local specialties on the go; but with such a varied and rich culinary tradition, it could be worth it if you dedicated your time (or at least lunch, dinner and snack breaks) to the discovery of local dishes, foods and other products typical of Bari and the surrounding area. If you wish to discover the production process of local wines, cheeses and olive oil, you will find wineries, dairies, olive groves and vineyards outside the city that offer tours and tastings – but you can taste many mouth-watering dishes while you’re in the city proper as well. Do try the local orecchiette alle cime di rapa (a type of pasta with a special sauce), baked goods such as tarallini and focaccia, and deep-fried panzerotti and sgagliozze. Don’t forget the classic “riso, patate e cozze” (rice, potatoes and mussels) a traditional dish of Apulia!

Explore Interesting, Unique Locations

One of the many towns and small cities that fall under the metropolitan area of Bari (each and every one of them is worth a visit) is Gioia del Colle. This town, 360 meter above sea level on the Murge plateau, is an interesting place to visit because it features a cave system, a wooded natural preserve, creeks and waterways and a majestic 12th century castle. It’s the perfect place if you love photography and nature and are looking for a small getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only 5 kilometers away from Gioia del Colle is also the Parco Archeologico di Monte Sannace, an archeological site with ruins dating back to the 4th-5th century, full of history and interesting landscapes. Located atop of a hill, it’s definitely a sight to behold, and will remind you just how ancient the roots of Apulia go.
There are many other gems and little treasures to discover around Bari, so don’t hesitate to be adventurous and look around – you’ll be sure to find something interesting to do or see. And if you’re staying in Bari, there are plenty of cities and towns nearby that you can visit in a day and your holiday to Apulia will surely be intense and full of incredible memories.

 

Day Trips from Bari

Bari is a remarkable sparkling resort town featuring a beautiful historic center. Nestled deep in Italy’s boot heel is Bari, a landmark yet forward-looking town comprising a significant percentage of migrants and young individuals lending its vigor. While Bari may not be the most prominent spot for Italian tourism, therein lies its distinct charm. It has an assortment of allures to offer, wherein eluding the crowded summer days of larger Italian hotspots. Bari supports an opera house, a significant university, as well as public structures which shout confidence.
Outside of this remarkable town, however, is an array of day-trips await. Among the best places to visit on your Bari day trip include:

#1 POLIGNANO A MARE

Polignano a mare, Puglia. Italia

An ancient medieval town in Italy’s Southern region, not any far from Bari, Polignano A Mare is the types of city comprising houses build into bold limestone cliffs as well as caves overlooking the deep sky blue Adriatic Sea waters.

The foundation of this delightful place dates far back (4th century BC) when the Greek settlers established the Neapolis city. It thrived under the Roman reign and was essential for Emperor Trajan to steer through his Via Traiana established through this town (108-110 AD). And while most of these structures have faded away, Polignano a Mare remains a deep-rooted town packed with narrow streets, stacked with several ancient well-maintained squares, churches, as well as houses with the getaway to from the street.

You will be amazed at the fact that even now, persons sit their doors open, with merely a curtain separating their sitting rooms away from the streets. You only hear them chat, but you usually don’t see them.

Aside from the remarkably old structures and architecture, you will also delight in its spectacular walls, urban panoramas, and whitewashed houses falling vertically into the sea

How to get there:
Polignano a Mare is quite close to Bari with the distance at just 33 km. On your trip, you can take a car, and it will only take you approximately half an hour, or the train which also takes about the same time.

#2 ALBEROBELLO

Also located in the Southern Italy area of Puglia, Alberobello, is an eccentric yet picturesque destination that is gradually turning into a significant fixture on travel itineraries of numerous independent travelers and tour operators. This small town is now an official UNESCO World Heritage spot for its unique Trulli districts, the distinctive conical-roofed white-washed houses of the region. Alberobello makes a fascinating day-trip destination or an amusing base for several days-particularly if you are staying in your trullo.

The tale of this town dates back (15th century) when farmers relocated here as per the orders of the local Counts. But devoid of the authorization to build, they established temporary structures that were easy to demolish when tax collectors visited them.

Nonetheless, trullis, which are stone-build round houses featuring pointy limestone-made roofs, are among the most pleasant sights here. They are established using an ancient technique where stones are piled on top of each other with of use of mortar. These structures now find use as souvenir shops, cafes, as well as accommodation for visitors. Like its predecessor, Alberobello is also a UNESCO World Heritage spot, and on visiting, you will appreciate why.

How to get there:
The distance between Bari and Alberobello is around 56 km. You can use a car which takes about an hour, book a train (90 minutes ride), or take a bus (90 minutes ride).

#3 MATERA

Matera, a town deep in the Basilicata area of Southern Italy, resembles a cradle for civilization. It is the type of ancient city where individuals still reside in structures their ancestors established centuries back. But not to shade off the glamour from it, this is a town with a lot of history especially considering it dates back to Palaeolithic Era. After a rough patch starting from its time of establishment in the 3rd century BC by the Romans, the city sparked back into life in the 50’s after the Italian Government decided to relocate the inhabitants.

Your visit here will re-inspire some fantastic memories of various blockbuster films such as the Mel Gibson-directed, The Passion of Christ which was shot here among other amazing memories.
Its distinctive Stones of Matera’ (Sassi of Matera) include the features besides the city listed in the UNESCO list of World Heritage spots across Italy.

How to get there:
To get here from Bari, which is a distance of about 54 km, you can either take a train ( 90  minutes ride), a public bus, or the luxury of a rented vehicle. However, the distance is slightly longer while driving as it stands at 75 km from Bari.

SUMMARY:
Whether you are in Bari for a day, a week, or a month, or here for business or pleasure, take your time to enjoy the many allures that comprise Bari town and its constituents with an exclusive day trip tour. The remarkable seascapes, coastal towns, traditional cuisines, as well as olive groves, are but a portion of the rich list of attractions a Bari day trip affords you. A Bari day trip is the most exciting way to delight your senses, spark your enthusiasm, and interact with the sun-baked Italian culture.

Culatello Ham: Where To Taste And Tour in Parma

Culatello is an exclusive type of meat found in the Italian regions. With an origin dating back to the 15th century, this dish is one of the crown jewels of the Italian cuisine. The flatlands to the north of the Parma province of Italy serve as the production house for culatello. The Po River flowing nearby adds to the development and growth of the dish.

With the perfect climate for breeding and aging the meat, Zibello City is strategically placed as the production factory for culatello. The aroma and the sweetness in the meat comes from the thick fogs over River Po and the nail biting winters of Zibello, making it quite exclusive.

Culatello is basically the hind legs of pigs who are specially bred in the Emilia Romagna and the Lombardy regions of Italy. After the meat is processed, it is wrapped in twine which gives it its iconic pear shape. The meat is then wrapped as pork bladder and is stored away in a cool place. The secret of Culatello is based on the fact that it is washed in white wine before serving, putting the dish on the top of the Italian cuisine card.

Antica corte Pallavincina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Antica corte Pallavincina is a castle estate in the Polesine Parmese province of Italy. Housed on the Parma lowlands, this estate is one of the best places in Italy where you can take a quick bite of Cutello. The magnificent estate with its kitchen gardens, ancient castle cellars and the vast lands for grazing are a treat to the eyes and an experience to remember.

Apart from the kitchen gardens and the grazing farmlands, a visit to Cremona will set you adrift on memory lanes. It is a city where street dwellers will mesmerize you with their violins and melodious music, soft enough to cool your restless nerves. Musical maestro G.Verdi’s house and the parish church are some of the must visit spots if you wish to relive the olden times. There is also a museum dedicated in the honour of G.Guareschi, the famous writer of Don Camillo stories.

The highlight of the trip still remains the visit to the cellars of the ancient castle. The cellars have been in operation since 1320, where they were used to mature cheese obtained from the farm and to cure the salami produce. The dukes of Milan and the highest ranking nobles were treated to the famous salami from the cellars of Corte. The cellars also hold cookery classes as well as candle light dinners and a briefing about the local heritage.

Al Vedel (Podere-Cadassa)

Al Vedel is located in the Colorno region of the Parma farmlands. This site in the PO valley is also known as the Italian food valley and dates back to the 18th century. The farmhouse was converted into a meat processing centre and a restaurant by the Bergonzi family, so as to highlight the gastronomical culture of Parma. The area is famous for its culinary culture as is evidenced by its creativity in making traditional dishes like the Cutello.

Podere Cadassa offers a tour of this ancient gastronomy centre. There’s a restaurant, a ham storage section as well as the beautiful cottage gardens, culatello cellars, outdoor sittings, meat processing area etc. The place offers an insight about the age old traditions and the recipes of the region. They believe in always adding flair something that is already excellent.

The culatello cellars are lined from the floor to the ceilings with the twinned hams. There is also a mention of the date and the quality on each and every meat present in the cellar. The processing and the making of the fine Culatello is indeed a visual treat for anyone present there. The cellars also boast of a live tasting section of the fresh culatello mixed wand dried with the wine.

Bre del Gallo

Bre del Gallo lies on the banks of river Po in the small village of Fontanelle di Roccabianca. It is managed by the Magnani family, a family whose generations have farmed on the Parma land. Their primary duty is to safeguard the ancient flavours of the region. Today, Bre del Gallo uses modern technology and the highest standards of food tasting in its management of regional dishes.

Termed as the slow food capital of the world, this Parma territory is home to one of the finest meat processing centres as well as vast farms, Culatello cellars and even the wine tasting cellars. The processing done here is of the highest standards, using modern machinery and traditional expertise. The farmlands, cottage and the Po River are all visible from this estate. The best season to visit and experience the true beauty of the farm is the Winter season from November to January.

The Culatello cellars focus on quality using modern methods. From meat cutting to twinning, from wrapping in pork to washing with wine, every process is explained and demonstrated in detail in the cellars. The tasting of the iconic dish follows these processes, making it an on-the-go cookery master session.

La Fattoria

La fattoria di Parma lies between Parma and Fidenza on the Via Emilia. It is one of the training centres and production factories for the salami and culatello dishes. It regularly conducts educational workshops for nutrition students so as to enlighten them about the techniques of mass production for preserving the local flavours. There are also factory tours for industry professionals.

The territory includes meat processing centres, salami factories, farmlands, culatello tasting-centre, as well as culatello cellars among the other facilities. There is also a gift wrapping section where visitors can view the wrapping of processed ham into packages. From the breeding section of the pigs to the butchery, everything is well-maintained on the farm grounds. The quality of culatello at the La fattoria factory comes from their specially bred pigs of the local farms.

A visit to the culatello cellars is unlike a visit to any other farm in the Parma region. The selection of pigs, butchery and the quality marking process describe how the ham selected is made into culatello. The final dish, served with wine, is to be enjoyed in the cool weather of the farm. These cellars offer a glimpse in the art of making the culatello as one of Italy’s most sought after dishes.

Conclusion:
Some of the most iconic dishes taste best when they are prepared in their original habitat. Culatello is one such dish; a dish which can be best experienced in the Parma province of Italy, the original place of the Italian gastronomical marvel. The fact that it is prepared with the traditional techniques, the original ingredients and the ancient processes makes Culatello one of Italy’s culinary wonder dishes.

Ville Venete. Best Palladian Villas of the Veneto: To Tour, Visit and Explore.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the centuries-old glamor in palladian villas. They get their name from the architect who designed them, Andre Palladio. They have something else in common; they are in the same region too. UNESCO marked veneto villas among other World Heritage Sites in the Veneto region, Italy, in 1996. The area is also popular as the City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.

Most of these 1500s veneto villas catered to the need for a unique countryside residence. His work got the best of respectable members of the society as bankers to patricians. The houses would reflect one’s wealth and social status. But the design ruled out the necessity for great palaces in the countryside.

Palladio, however, got much of his inspiration from significantly large complexes. These included properties with outbuildings or residential layouts. Some of the designs are actually visible in several palladian villas. Another notable thing about these villas is that Palladio brought together several architectural elements of the time. The barns, for instance, were to face south. This would reduce the possibility for the hay to ferment and burn as it stayed dry.

Well, the Veneto region has a good number of villas that you can try. But here are four of the most fantastic ones that you can visit and enjoy a leap back in time.

1. Ca’ Marcello

Built in the 16th century, this villa makes it to the top of this list with its ancient splendor. It comes in as one of the age-old veneto villas that you don’t have to spend a fortune to visit. The good thing is you will have a whole lot to see and do here. And the 4 bedrooms bath villa has sufficient room for a good number of guests. It has to be a worthwhile visit, especially with the parking close enough to your room apartment. Above all, you will enjoy the special lovely treatment from the hosts.

Where is it located?

The Ca Marcello villa is in Levada, only 30 km and about from Venice. You will only need 35 minutes to get to the countryside house by train. The surrounding historical park adds to the antique touch of the villa. From the villa, you can travel around the Veneto province with all the convenience you need.

What you can see and do there

There will always be a lot to do in Ca Marcello. You can enjoy its rich historical heritage. And have a chance to try great meals and a serene time away from the busy daily life.

The treasures that the family members have added to this villa over the centuries are worth a hard look. The wide range includes paintings, frescos, unique furniture and much more.

The artistic heritage of this villa offers a warm welcoming feeling. Most of the rooms have stucco works decorations. These include some outstanding drawings with exotic animals and mythical characters. The tasteful, decorative furnishings also boast a wide diversity.

Apart from this splendid display, you can always do a lot in this villa. Have a relaxing brush with the peaceful harmony of its outdoor nature at the gardens and parks. But the best you can always count on is a peaceful stay, especially in a private visit arrangement. And of course, you will have many dining options. Get everything from snacks to light refreshment, a seated lunch or dinner. There will always be a window into Venetian dishes at the Ca’ Marcello.

2. Villa Sagramoso

Welcome to yet another amazing destination among the top Palladian villas. This 16th-century Venetian villa will give you every reason to knock on its doors. The Italian countryside experience goes beyond any high expectations you might already have. And the restored state always brings out something excellent and unique about it. Several updates like a private bath, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi also
adds to its comfort.

The location

The Villa Sagramoso is in a somewhat strategic location. It is very close to the bus and train stations and the main squares alike. Located on the mountains of Lessinia, it overlooks the Valpolicella valley. This offers not only an ideal view but also an up-close connection with the natural countryside environment. Not forgetting, the ideal location offers you easy access to Venice and Verona. And that’s the beginning, the real treat is in the many things you can see and do there.

What you can see and do there

Right from the moment you arrive, you will treat your eyes to a wide array of the classical display. From eighteenth-century frescos to its ideal Italian-style gardens, there’s a lot to behold.

It also has excellent wallpapers and counterpanes as well as chestnut beams. You cannot afford to miss the lofty hallway and the stone stair leading to its luxurious suites. That might not meet everyone’s yearning for a great display. But the family antiques, the huge
flowers, and its sweeping terracotta definitely will.

The best is in the range of things you can do there. The array of activities here can include a relaxing swim in a large pool. And when it comes to the real treats, this villa has a fair share of them up its sleeve too. From its food to the wine, fruits from the orchard and

butter, you will have a whole range to choose from its bounty.

What’s more, you can rent bicycles to visit Verona and the Lake Garda on an ideal bike path. But if the bike is not for you, then a cooking class might be, or a gymnastic course might be all you need. You might also enjoy flight tours over the lake, or going on a guided half or a whole day tour of the city of Verona. Well, all you need to do is request and have this organized by your hosts.

3. Villa Pisani

You will have a million reasons to visit this prominent villa. Not only does it feature palladian villas traits, it was actually designed by Palladio himself. The 15-room luxury villa has earned itself a position among the top tourist attractions in the Veneto region. There
will always be a whole lot of things to see and do. But above all, the warm reception will get the best of your expectations.

Where is it located

The villa lies along the Riviera del Brenta. This also happens to be an extension of the Venetian Gran Canal. The ideal location is only 20 minutes from Venice, and 10 from Padua.

What to see and do there

Like a kid in a candy shop, this villa will spoil you for choice. Its magnificent 144 rooms have seen its fair share of visits from kings and emperors. You can get a glimpse at the works of art and furniture from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its gardens boast an age-old maze and an original architecture.

Not forgetting, a collection of citrus fruit is also outstanding. You can amaze yourself with a wide array of plants and flowers around there too. Better yet, the free parking, gym, library and lounge offer all the convenience you would look for.

Another thing you will come to love about this villa is the treats that you can enjoy. From pizzas to sandwiches, ham & cheese tastings, all are on the list. You can also make the most of the ice creams, cakes and pastries tea, and coffee, and a good range of bears as well
as wines.

4. Villa Contarini Camerini

Last on this list of veneto villas, this one is every bit as great. Since its foundation in 1546, this villa has seen its share of good and bad days. But it remains a magnificent destination for anyone seeking to step back in time. It has seen several changes in ownership, and abandonment over the centuries. But this only added to the diversity of its rich history.

Where is it located

Villa Contarini Camerini offers a rather urban environmental context. It lies near the Padua and Vicenza cities. But the most impressive thing about it is the near location to the airport of Venice Tessera.

What you can see and do there

One of the most incredible things about this villa is far from the ideal location and its great history. The villa sees occasional activities. Such events as cultural events, concerts, and hosts conventions are common here. And of course, you can enjoy the countryside flora and fauna here. Not forgetting, you may stay for some days and make the most of the hospitality that the hosts have to offer.

Besides, it offers many services to visitors. They range from shopping, guided tours, lift, congress and event halls and much more. You will also get a chance to enjoy its excellent gardens and caters to people with disabilities as well. The inside of the villa is open to visitors , with the library being the only exception. You can always visit any time in winter or summer. From groups to families, students, seniors and children, all can come here and have a good time.

Any of these palladian villas will always have something to offer. From the long history to the pristine gardens, these veneto villas always impress. Visit any of these ancient mansions, and please your desire for adventure. You will have an ideal getaway from the busy urban life. Which one of these are you visiting next?

3 Unique Truffle Experiences In Tuscany

Tuscany is a region filled with art, history and tradition, but outside the boundaries of the main cities, you’ll find picturesque Tuscan landscapes, with rolling hills and green woods. Surrounded by nature are some of Tuscan’s cuisine most used ingredients, like boars and mushrooms. But perhaps the most important thing that can be found around here – and one of the most expensive and rare – is truffles. Used in many recipes and dishes, it counts different varieties and you can find out more just by embarking on an immersive truffle hunt and tour around Tuscany. You’ll have a chance to pick truffles for yourself and enjoy food tastings with truffle-based dishes and local wines and meats; here are some options if you want to discover this side of Tuscany.

Fattoria Lavacchio’s Truffle Hunt and More

toscana
toscana

You can enjoy a truffle hunting experience at the Fattoria Lavacchio every day starting at 9am. Truffle hunting is a seasonal activity so make sure the period’s right to enjoy this experience, but the immersive activities offered by this establishment don’t stop there. The Fattoria Lavacchio is also a farmstay, with cozy rooms, guesthouses and villas for your stay in the Tuscan countryside. The grounds of the Fattoria also feature a restaurant, a windmill and a shop, where all the products the farm produces are showcased and sold: wines, olive oil, cured meats and cold cuts, and other natural products and foods made with local ingredients. The farm offers cooking classes and tasting experiences of the local products, and they’re the perfect activity to pair with your truffle hunt! After scouring the area for the precious truffles, all the while learning the features and uses of this delicacy, you can follow the hunt up with a cooking lesson, a lunch at the Fattoria Lavacchio restaurant, or a tour of the farm’s winery. Fattoria Lavacchio really has it all, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy Tuscan tradition and agricultural history, as you get in touch with the hands-on activities that farmers across Tuscany have been involved in for centuries. Established at the beginning of the 18th century, the Fattoria Lavacchio features vineyards and olive groves and you’ll enjoy a fantastic vista over the surrounding Tuscan hills and it’s located in Montefiesole, 30 minutes away from Florence.

Truffle Experiences Near San Gimignano

hunting truffles
truffle hunts in Italy

TuscanyEX is a team of native Tuscan women who organize all sorts of extraordinary experiences around Tuscany to make your holiday really special and unique. The website showcases many different tours and options for various day trips and visits to wineries, olive mills, dairies and farms around the Tuscan countryside. During the truffle hunting season, you too can take part to this immersive activity by enjoying a truffle hunt and meal near San Gimignano, a picturesque town with a rich historical and cultural background. With this tour you’ll reach San Miniato and the experience lasts from 4, up to 5 hours, depending on the type of activities you wish to take part to. The truffle hunt will be followed by a brunch, a lunch or even by a cooking class and lunch; this way you’ll find truffles and enjoy them as well in a variety of different local dishes! You’ll learn all about the region, the hunting grounds, the soil and the truffles themselves, communing with nature in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The tour will take place halfway between Pisa and Florence, and with its duration that will take up half a day, there’s plenty of time to visit the surrounding towns and cities.

Experiences at the Casolare Il Condottiero

truffle experience in Itay - guided hunts in Italy

The Casolare Il Condottiero offers many immersive activities for tourists and visitors, and those visiting the establishments will have a chance to learn more about the history and culture surrounding the building, the area and this part of Tuscany, along with a tour of the wines and products that can be found here. One of the experiences you can take part to is the truffle hunt. The activity is seasonal, and can be done from January to March and from June to August – time periods may vary based on weather and growth conditions, so make sure the hunting tour is available. You’ll discover the world of truffle hunting and be aided in your search by Lagotto Romagnolo purebred dogs, the only breed recognized internationally as a truffle hunt dog. After the activity, you can enjoy a lunch or dinner with local Tuscan dishes that feature truffles and that are a perfect representation of Tuscan cuisine. You can spend the night by staying at the nearby Residence Le Santucce, a picturesque residential hotel established in a 19th century monastery. Both the Residence and the Casolare are in the beautiful town of Castiglion Fiorentino, near Arezzo, and the area has a long, interesting history and stunning vistas over the Tuscan countryside.

Afternoon Parmesan Cheese Tour

A Unique Opportunity to see a Parmesan cheese facility in the Afternoon.

This tour is a guided tour of a Parmesan producing dairy and it happens in the afternoon.  We depart from Modena train station and we provide transport, English speaking guide, and a generous tasting. The tour lasts approx 1 hour.