Travel Tips

Is Lerici Worth a Visit?

Actually you will be better off Vs Cinque Terre.

When tourists think about visiting the Italian Coast, their minds almost automatically wander to the Cinque Terre. While the towns in this national park definitely have a certain charm to them, the question arises whether other Italian places aren’t worth visiting as well. For example, what about Lerici? Is this picturesque coast-side village worth your time?

View of Lerici from the castle.

Well, the answer is a resounding yes! Even more so, Lerici has certain qualities that make it the better option in comparison to the Cinque Terre. If you’re not yet convinced, now follows a quick, concise overview of the most prominent reasons why you should absolutely visit Lerici if you have the time.

1. Better Location

First and foremost, Lerici has the better strategic location. It’s located near the south of La Spezia on the Ligurian coast. Lerici sometimes gets called “La Perla del Golfo”, which roughly translates into the pearl of the Golf. This reputation is due to Lerici’s breathtaking views and beauty. Additionally, even though Lerici isn’t significantly big, it’s still larger than towns of the Cinque Terre and most importantly, there’s more to do. Nowadays, Lerici is a very charming coast side village with a gorgeous harbor. The village has a lot to offer for culture lovers as well, such as the very impressive Lerici Castle. Besides that, there are relaxing beaches as well, not to mention the countless facilities for tourists, ranging from restaurants and cafés to beautiful piazzas.

2. Secluded, Yet Connected

Secondly, one of the greatest things about Lerici is that it isn’t too crowded with tourists yet. Hence, if you decide to pay this gorgeous town a village, you can just take your time to discover everything it has to offer at leisure. Nevertheless, even though it’s relatively remote, it’s still connected. That is to say, as of right now, Lerici doesn’t have a train station, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other means of transport. Specifically, there are daily ferry boats that can take you to the Cinque Terre villages. Also, as regards reaching Lerici from La Spezia, you can simply take the bus or go by car.

Boats from and to Cinque Terre.

3. Great Culinary Experience for Fish Lovers

Another aspect where Lerici undoubtedly triumphs over the Cinque Terre is the food. More specifically, if you’re looking for great fish restaurants that can offer you an amazing price-quality ratio, Lerici positively is the place for you. That is, the villages in the Cinque Terre can offer great culinary experiences as well, but the restaurants there often are too crowded and this has a definite impact on the high prices there. Hence, this is a problem that you don’t have in Lerici. Now, if you’re looking for a very concrete tip, you should absolutely try out the food at “Ristorante Jeri“. You won’t regret it!

4. The Astounding Secluded Beaches

Last, but certainly not least, nothing beats the feeling of walking around a secluded beach where you can just immerse yourself in the wind and views at your own pace. Well, if you decide to pay Lerici a visit, you’ll find that you will have countless opportunities to experience this feeling. At first glance, you might think that you won’t find any decent sunbathing spots there because of the nature of the Ligurian coast. Namely, there’s actually not a lot of sand to be found on the entire Ligurian coast because the nature there predominantly consists of cliffs and rocks. However, if you do your research, you can definitely stumble upon some adorable, secluded beaches with enough sand to lie comfortably. While some of these beaches are free to access, you’ll have to keep in mind that other beaches can get quite expensive. Finally, if you’re looking for the ultimate beach experience, please don’t hesitate to consider Eco del Mare. This resort will provide you with everything that you need for a peaceful, satisfying day!

If you are looking for a beach day that is more wallet friendly you should try Baia Blu in Lerici.

Verdict: Lerici All the Way!

All in all, Lerici has many other advantages to offer besides the above-mentioned ones. However, these advantages hopefully have already given you a clear picture of Lerici’s charm and versatility. So, if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to travel and you’re interested in discovering the Italian Coast, please remember that Lerici is precisely what you need!

Pontremoli Truffle Hunting Experience in Italy, Northen Tuscany. Parma, Pisa, Cinque Terre.

This location is about 1 hour from Parma, 40 minutes from Cinque Terre, one hour and 15 minutes from Pisa, and 1 hour from Lucca.

Pontremoli is conveniently located in the northen part of Tuscany,on the Cisa Motorway which connects Parma to La Spezia.

The activity includes a 2 hour truffle hunt with an experienced and licensed truffle hunter and his dog. The activity takes place in the region of Lunigiana which is famous for its lush woodland. Lunigiana is well placed between Emilia Romagna, and Liguria, and it offers plenty of wilderness for outdoor activities.

The best season for truffle hunting in this northen part of Tuscany is between April and November.

How long is experience? You should account about 2 hours for the truffle hunting.

What time does it start? It is flexible but we recommend to begin at 9 am.

What shall I bring? You will need to wear confortable and waterproof shoes, such as hiking shoes, and you should wear confortable hiking clothes suitable for the season that you will visit Italy in. It is strongly recommended to use insect repellet and bring a bottle of water.

Are the trails hard? All the trails are easy to medium difficulty. The trails are inside dense woodland, so you should be conforable in walking in such an enviroronment.

Can I keep the truffles that I find? This has to be agreed between the truffle hunter and the client. Normally they will let you purchase at a lower price when compared to the market price.

Where is the meeting point? The best is to reach the location by car and take the Cisa motorway and exit Pontremoli. This location is conveniet If you are staying in Parma and you are heading south to Cinque Terre, Lucca or Pisa.

Truffle hunt in Northen Tuscany, easy to reach from Parma, Pisa and Cinque Terre.

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How to Reach and Hike to Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre).

Hiking around Cinque Terre is for sure THE major attraction in the area. Walking paths are literally everywhere but finding them it is not that straight forward as it might seem. In this case, you are reaching Riomaggiore by car there is an easy and nice walking track from the Strada Provinciale Cinque Terre. Simply park the car along the car park at coordinates 44.10210336570574, 9.743113807166992, just add them to google maps. Then keep walking another 100 meters direction Manarola. On the left you will find a paths that lead to Riomaggiore.

Reaching Riomaggiore by car and walking.

Stunning views of Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore Cinque Terre
Pastel colour houeses in Riomaggiore Waterfront.

Besides the stunning pastel color buildings, Riomaggiore offers its visitors a wide variety of hiking trails. Walking is the best way to get to know this vibrant village in Cinque Terre, and why not do so by taking one of the exciting hiking trails to explore the surroundings? In this concise but complete guide, we put together what you should know about the most stunning trails in Riomaggiore. So, are you ready to learn all about them and plan your visit accordingly?

Walkings of Riomaggiore: The Ring

The Ring is a circular trail (that starts and ends in Riomaggiore) that

won’t take too much effort but will be worth the time spent walking. The route only takes about 1 hour and a half for a distance of slightly over two miles. The path is mainly flat, meaning that you won’t have to worry about steep tracts and can instead focus on the view. The trail starts at the main parking lot of the village, from where all you have to do is follow the main road up. In less than one hour, you’ll get to the Sanctuary, the main attraction of the route. Inside this ancient (and rich in history) church, you can admire the frescos in the ceiling. About 10 minutes from the church, you’ll get to Montenero, which will offer your a breathtaking view of the coast. After taking your pictures and admiring the panorama, you’ll get to Riomaggiore in about 20 minutes. The descent is easy, but there are many steps: take it with patience, and don’t forget to look at the stunning views surrounding you!

Riomaggiore Trail to Monterosso al Mare

The track from Riomaggiore to Manarola (also called the Lover’s Lane, Via dell’Amore in Italian) is part of a longer trail that connects the village to Monterosso al Mare. This section is only about 1 mile long and will probably take you around 30 minutes to cover. However, both that and the trail connecting Manarola to Corniglia are currently closed due to a landslide and will reopen only in 2024.

The longer track takes about 5 hours in total without counting the time you’d spend exploring each town you reach. The views are spectacular and worth the effort of walking 7 miles. However, if you want to take it slow, don’t worry. You can divide the route into smaller parts and take one trail at a time.

To take part in this hike, you’ll have to purchase a ticket, which you can buy at the station or tourist points. If you plan to travel by train and hop on a hike wherever possible, we recommend purchasing the Cinque Terre Treno Card. Select the combination that suits you better to have a couple of days of trekking and unlimited train trips.

Since Via dell’ Amore is currently closed, you have two options to get to Manarola from Riomaggiore: you can either take the train or hike a more difficult path that includes stone stairs and steep climbs. Breathtaking views of the vineyards and the coastline will reward your efforts.

Riomaggiore to Portovenere: The Longest

If you like a good sweat with stunning views, you’ll fall in love with the trail connecting Riomaggiore to Portovenere. This route will let you explore villages without ever leaving sight of the sea. The beauty of the views you’ll get to admire during this trail will enchant you. However, you’ll have to be ready for a 6-hour walk to complete the eight-miles track. For the length of the route, we recommend you take it during the spring or autumn to avoid the hot temperatures of the summer months. The trail is not particularly difficult but is quite long. The good news is that you can take time to rest in the villages through which it passes.

The trail starts from Riomaggiore’s station and goes through the panoramic track of the Sanctuary. Passing through forests, villages, and vineyards, you’ll get to Campiglia, from which you’ll be able to admire a stunning view of the gulf and the Palmaria island. From there, the trail keeps unrolling through the mountains of the regions until reaching the Muzzerone, where you’ll get to see one of the most beautiful views of the coast. The trail ends at Portovenere, where you’ll be able to take a good rest or keep visiting the village (if you have enough energy left).

As you can see, there are trails for all difficulty levels and preferences around Riomaggiore. If you want to get a real sense of the village and get the chance to explore the surroundings on your own while enjoying stunning views, you recommend you choose the trail that best suits your time constraints or your expertise. Have fun!

A Day in Manarola Best Gelateria in Town and (almost) Vertical Wine Making.

Manarola is the second smallest of the Cinque Terre towns that attract visitors from all corners of the world. It’s famous for the pastel-hued buildings, calm aquamarine waters, and rugged vineyard cliffs. But one thing that makes this place somewhat heroic is winemaking. Here is everything you should know about this magical place.

The best way to get to Manarola is by train

Best Way to get to Manarola is by train.

Regardless of how long you plan to visit Manarola, the best way to get there is by train. On average, there are 15 trains a day from Florence to Manarola. But because the town is tiny, you won’t find direct trains. All trains to Manarola must pass through La Sprezia. Other trains have two changes – usually the first in Pisa, the next one is Campo di Marte and then La Spezia. And depending on the route you take, the trip can take up to 3.5 hours.

For instance, you can start from Genoa to Spezia and then towards your destination. You should note how many changes you need to make. As you transverse the five villages in Cinque Terre, you can also choose the express train. It runs every 20 minutes from March to November.

If you’re passing through La Spezia, you may want to sit on the left side of the train to explore the magical views. Keep in mind that the train service is offered a few times during the weekends and holidays. So, be sure to check the schedules in advance. Once you get to Manarola, you can use the eco-friendly buses on the walking paths.

More info about getting to Cinque Terra please see here.

Manarola walking down from the car park

Best Gelato in Manarola Gelateria Cinque Terre.

Best gelateria in Manarola

A tour to the wineries works up an appetite for gelato. But all Gelateria in Manarola is not equal. If you want to enjoy the ice cream joint, then the Gelateria 5Terre will exceed your expectations. This is the most famous Gelateria that makes amazing pastries and popsicles for the delight of locals and visitors alike.

The main characterisct of their gelato is that everything edible, It is served in a biscuit container with an edible spoon. The standout flavor here is Loveria. It consists of a mixture of chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio. If you have some dietary restrictions, you’ll find some lactose and gluten-free options. If you want to put your taste buds to the test, you can try the refreshing combination of lemon and licorice.

Gelateria 5Terre is a delight for people with food intolerances all their icecreams are gluten free. No wonder this place appears as an icon to many tourists’ pictures, especially those that come to Manarola. It also offers a real welcome break during those sweltering summer days.

Since Manarola is a small charming town, this is a must-stop on your next visit. You’ll love the great service and friendly staff. Most visitors find it a generous spot, and that’s why they give a good rating. While the Gelateria can be busy at times, it’s certainly worth the wait.

Please see here the reviews of this gelateria.

Sciachetrà and acrobaitc winemaking.

Manarola is known for making the signature Sciacchetrà wine. It comes from special grapes carefully chosen to bring out the unique taste. Plus, you can pair it with cheese and desserts.

Given the topography of the area, grapes are the only crop of choice. It’s primarily a white grape territory. Some of the varieties you’ll see are albarola, Bosco, and Vermentino – you’ve probably heard of the latter.

The Bosco variety accounts for 40% of the blend, while the other percentage contains other varieties permitted. To bring out the sweet taste, the grapes are not pressed and fermented immediately after harvest. After the grapes arrive at the winery, they are allowed to dry naturally until the sugar content reaches higher level, it can be considered a passito wine such as the tuscan vinsanto.

Sciacchetrà wines feature golden-yellow colors that turn to amber over the years. In addition, they offer aromas of white blossoms, honey, and hints of citrus. The secret with this unique wine is that it must be aged before commercial release.

One signature wine is the Sciacchetrà from Cantina Cinque Terre. It’s a white wine produced by a company that pays attention to the manufacturing process. It comes in a 37.5 cl bottle and is distinguished from the rest by the hint of apricot and honey.

Sciacchetrà wine can be the perfect accompaniment to substantial and spicy cheeses. Being a rare wine, it’s best served at 16 degrees centigrade in transparent crystal goblets. One feature that makes this wine unique is its excellent capacity to improve with age. If you preserve it well, it has an average conservation period of 25 years. To preserve the taste, the bottles should be placed horizontally in a cool, dry place.

For more info about the production area please see here.

More information about how sciachetrà is made please see here.

The lanscape of wines yard in Manarola

winemaking in Manarola the old way.

Manarola from far

Manarola is all about wine .

Where to Find the Cheapest Properties in Tuscany

Lunigiana in the northern part of Tuscany is where you can find the cheapest properties to buy probably in the whole of Italy. It is a hidden gem tucked away in the mountain ranges of the Apuan Alps. One of the best things about this region is its location which is only 35 minutes away from Cinque Terre. It is also in close proximity to Pisa and Parma airports which are only less than an hour’s travel.

The stunning landscape, serene atmosphere, sumptuous food, flavorful wine, and immaculate air are just among the few reasons why tourists are mesmerized by the beauty of Tuscany. Once you visit this beguiling place, you will always find a way to return time and time again. This is the reason why many tourists prefer to purchase a property in Tuscany so that they can enjoy the convenience of their own vacation home every time they visit. It is a viable solution even for foreigners who don’t necessarily need to reside in Italy in order to acquire a property. On top of that, there are a lot of amazing homes in Lunigiana particularly in Pontremoli that are being sold at a very cheap price. Here are three (3) of the best homes for sale in Pontremoli, Tuscany.

Own a Stone 3-Story House for Only 100k Euros in Pontremoli

Coming home to this charming 3-story stone house will fulfill your yearning for the good old days when life was simpler and slow-going. As you approach the 210 square meter property, you will be welcomed by the thick stone exterior walls of the home’s facade that beautifully blends into its natural surroundings. Then you will know, you have returned to your own beautiful farmhouse in the enchanting Tuscan countryside. With its six (6) bedrooms, there is definitely enough space for your whole family and even some guests. The farmhouse has seen better days and is a standing witness to the colorful history of Pontremoli. It has stood the test of time and is the reason why it is so full of character that you can’t help but be proud of this property. The farmhouse features five (5) cellar spaces that are located on the ground floor with a wood-burning oven in one of its spaces. Three (3) of the bedrooms are located on the first floor with one communal bathroom and the rest of the rooms are on the second floor. The main entrance will also lead you to the second floor where you can find the living room, dining area, kitchen, and a large bathroom. It also features a porch where you can relax and see the serene view outside the farmhouse while enjoying the fresh Tuscan air. Aside from the rolling hills, you can also enjoy a fun-filled day at the beach while in this property since the coast is only 40 kilometers away.

Majestic Period House with Frescoes in Pontremoli for Under 120k Euros

If you’re willing to pay a little extra for the view, then this majestic period house with frescoes in Pontremoli is a great option for you. It is composed of two (2) houses that are joined together to form a delightful double-fronted stone house in a 346 square meter property. The ground floor of this house features an entrance hall, kitchen, and a dining area that stretches out to a piazza with a gorgeous view. Throwing memorable parties is an absolute guarantee with the intimate ambiance of the piazza. Its five (5) spacious bedrooms with three (3) bathrooms are situated on the second floor and it all opens out to a large hall with a balcony to enjoy that beautiful backdrop of the rolling hills. On the top floor is a large attic for extra storage but it also holds a lot of possibilities such as an extra room or another living area where your family can enjoy. There is also a large space outside the house where you can build a pool, plant a garden, or install any recreational facility for your family and guests. With just a few updates, you can have a spacious vacation home with beautifully frescoed ceilings and amazing views of the mountains. As you slowly create a home out of this majestic house, you will gradually restore it to its former glory and you will fall in love with it even more. The house is a work of art in itself and adding your personal touch will make it, “your very own masterpiece.”

Fairy Tale Stone House in Pontremoli for Only 50K Euros

Who would have thought that for only 50,000 euros, you can own a home that seems to have been magically taken out of a storybook and installed in Pontremoli to bask under the Tuscan sun? The whimsy style of this fairy tale stone house is comparable to a movie set or a magical theme park that will not fail to invoke your imagination. Fortunately, this is not a fictional home but a real house that you can dwell or live in. This fairy tale home stands on a 95 square meter property surrounded by the beauty of nature. With its three (3) floors, it is spacious enough for your whole family, and considering its low price tag, this home just sounds too good to be true. It features two (2) bedrooms, two (2) bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a rustic style living area that boasts a traditional wood-burning fireplace. The living area will definitely give you that rustic vibe with its exposed wood beams, thick stone walls, and a multi-functional fireplace that can also be used for cooking. The existing interior style in this storybook home will make it extremely easy for you to furnish and decorate the place. With the abundance of natural materials outdoors, you can always opt to repurpose and recycle raw materials such as wood to create functional pieces to add to your new home. Living in this home will allow you to celebrate life in its simplest yet satisfying form.

La Spezia Food Walking Tour Cinque Terre

Emilia Delizia is proud to offer a food walking tour to explore the food of La Spezia and Cinque Terre on foot. In 2 hours you will be taken around the historical centre of La Spezia and taste all its world’s famous food. You will try Sgabei (fried dough), Testaroli and Panigacci, frittura mista (mix fried fish), farinata (chickpea pies) and ice cream.

In this food centered experience we will walk through the allies of La Spezia. This sea front town just next to the Cinque Terre has a lot of amazing food to offer. Try the world famous mix fried fish, anchovies and mussels along with some of the most amazing chickpea pies called farinata.

How long does it last: approx 2 hours
Where is the meeting point: La Spezia main train station
What time: we meet at 10.00 am.
How many people: We take very small groups around, you need to book for at least 2 people.
What will I eat: We will try to include as much local specialties as possible: such as on.
How do we get around: The tour is almost entirely on food. Just some light walking so wear your best shoes.
Who is taking me around: To give you the best experience these tours are only lead by locals with deep knowledge of the local area.

Unexplored Northen Tuscany along the via Francigena.

Explosting hidden towns and villages along Via Francigena in Northen Tuscany

Even though it is the home to a lot of people, the northern part of Tuscany remains less explored by tourists. This part of Italy includes spectacular monuments and mouth-watering food but what stands out the most is the Renaissance art and architecture, which consists of world-renowned art pieces, galleries, and museums. With that said, there are many surprises and hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered by walkers and backpackers that are in the area of Via Francigena. Here is more information on Via Francigena and all of its best-kept secrets:

The cIsa Pass on the via Francigena a leg between Parma and Pontremoli.

WHAT IS VIA FRANCIGENA?

Via Francigena is a pilgrimage route that runs from Canterbury, through different points of France, Italy, and Switzerland. It dates back to the Middle Ages when it was considered the most important pilgrimage route from the north to Rome. Even to this date, there are pilgrims that follow the ancient footsteps of Sigeric the Serious and travel either on foot, with bicycles, or on horseback.

The ancient road that covers four countries covers 354 kilometres and 16 legs (like Cisa Pass – Pontremolli, Massa – Camaiore, and Altopascio – San Miniato) all of which touch various villages and towns. For the visitors on the road, accommodation is also available as there are many hostels in the area run by confraternities and parish churches. Also, among some of the must-see sights from Via Francigena are Monteriggioni, the forgotten villages in the Apuan Alps, the towers of San Gimignano, and the Cypress tree avenues based in Val d’Orcia.

PONTREMOLI

Considered one of the main towns of Lunigiana, Pontremoli is one of the most fascinating destinations in northern Tuscany. This small and picturesque Italian city can easily astonish its visitors with the combination of intriguing accents, culinary traditions, and mesmerizing nature. Pontremoli, which is believed to have been named after the words Pons Tremulus (translating to trembling bridge), has been through a lot of history that goes back to the Middle Ages and Roman Era.

Among some of the foods that you must try while you are in Pontremoli are Amor wafer cakes, Bianco oro aperitivo, Testaroli, Torta d’erbe, and Procini mushrooms. In addition to these, there are more savory herb pies than you can thing of and Sgabei (fried dough) that can leave you speechless. As for things to do, Pontremoli is famous for the acclaimed Stele Statue Museum, and many other landmarks such as Castello del Piagnaro, Pieve di Sorano, and Ponte Della Cresa are some of the many gems of Pontremoli that are worth the visit.

Pontremoli a must do stop on Via Francigena

SARZANA

Down along the Via Francigena you can find Sarzana. It is the home to a little over 20,000 Italians. Popular among the locals for its cathedrals, citadels, fortresses, and diverse monuments from different eras (especially from the Roman Era), this commune is situated in the eastern part of the Province of La Spezia in Liguria. Established around the year 1000 a.d., this place was once a small medieval village that was fortified with multiple bastions and ramparts.

Throughout the years, mainly because of its location next to the regions Emilia, Liguria, and Tuscany, Sarzana slowly became an important hub and tourist destination. Presently, this quiet and spectacular town is the place where landmarks such as the Fortress de Sarzanello, Fortezza Firmafede, Sarzana Cathedral, and Lido di Lerici can be found. Here, you can also try some of the best Fritto misto di mare, Linguine ai frutti di mare, and Pappardelle with sugo di lepre in the entire country.

Sarzana during one of the many events during the summer
Sarzana pretty street

CARRARA

Another underrated small town in northern Tuscany is Carrara near the via Francigena. Just like Sarzana, this place is both a city and commune and it is believed to have been inhabited for the first time back in the 9th century BC. Notable for its blue-grey and white marble that is quarried here, Carrara is approximately two hours away from Bologna and Florence, which makes it the perfect getaway from the dynamic atmosphere in the big cities.

Speaking of which, there are not only many attractions (such as CARMI, Monte Sagro, and Piazza Alberica) but plenty of delicious meals that can be found in Carrara. The most famous food product is Lardo di colonnata (used as an appetizer and in various dishes) but other foods that are worth trying are Calda-Calda (also called farinata or cecina a chickpea pie), Marinated cod-fish, biscotti ai pinoli (pinenuts cookies), and Pasta and beans.

Around Marina di Carrara
Carrara has sand, sea and parasols!

Massimo Bottura Opens The Cavallino Ferrari Restaurant in Maranello.

WHO IS MASSIMO BOTTURA?

Massimo Bottura began his culinary career in 1986 by assuming control of the Trattoria del Campazzo, a restaurant situated just a few kilometers away from the center of Modena. This was, for him, a “reeducation center”, the place where he shaped his gastronomical identity, often crafting recipes that combined regional dishes with light brushes of French cuisine, through techniques he learned from renowned chef Georges Coigny. In 1995, he opened the OSTERIA FRANCESCANA, which in 2011 was awarded 3 Michelin stars, and achieved 1st place in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016 and 2018.

Bottura is also a FERRARI lover and has recently become a loyal ambassador for the brand, assuming the helm of the newly-opened “Ristorante Cavallino” in collaboration with French designer India Mahdavi, who was in charge of reinterpreting the restaurant’s original design in a modern light, while retaining the most distinguishing features from its glorious past.

WHAT IS CAVALLINO?

The Cavallino _has a history that is deeply linked with the history of Ferrari itself and, consequently, plays an important role in the annals of the whole Emilia-Romagna region. It was originally a farmhouse that served as the company’s “canteen” from the moment Enzo Ferrari purchased the land that now serves as Ferrari’s main manufacturing complex. In 1950, it became the “Ristorante Cavallino”_, evoking the prancing horse emblem that always identified the Ferrari label.

The historic complex has served as the main venue for Scuderia Ferrari’s celebrations and other memorable events organized by the company. Distinguished members of royalty, such as Princess Liliana de Rèthy and Prince Bernardo of Holland have graced this facility with their presence in the past. Enzi Ferrari himself used to eat there twice a day until he passed away in 1988. 21 years later, the Cavallino would have to close its doors and would not operate until its grand reopening on July 13th, an event in which various F1 champions and legendary personalities gathered.

THE DESIGN AND DECOR

In the NEWLY-IMAGINED CAVALLINO, tradition blends in perfect harmony with the standards of today’s design language in order to enhance its outdoor and interior architecture, as well as its overall Italian identity. All in an attempt to provide consumers with a visual value proposal that matches the ristorante’s culinary excellence.

The complex’s new red façade is meant to signify Cavallin0’s historical bonds with Ferrari, and its decorations and furniture scream “traditional Italian trattoria”. As you enter the restaurant, you’re introduced to a series of arches that connect its different areas. The tiles are placed in a chequerboard pattern layout of dark and light terracotta. The furniture is also themed with Ferrari’s color code, while the walls display posters, photographs, memorabilia, and other maxi-print images that are both decorative and informative, providing guests with a “bite” of Ferrari’s sporting and industrial trajectory.

Ferrari’s _”Cavallino” _or Prancing Horse logo is also a prominent feature shown in most areas inside and outside the restaurant. It introduces itself visually to guests from the moment they enter the building, and it’s also imprinted on many of the surfaces, on the restaurant’s wallpaper, and stamped on the frosted film applied to windows and glass doors.

Marco Bay was in charge of reshaping the garden or patio area. It has the feeling of an open-air dining room with a pergola and various plants enclosing the entire space. On the rooftop, guests have access to two private lounges, as well as a privileged view of the main entrance of the Ferrari factory.

The Grill Room is an indoor area that graces guests with amazing views of the Mediterranean-styled outdoor patio and a system of grilles installed on the walls, allowing customers to supervise the preparation of dishes.

THE FOOD

Cavallino’s GASTRONOMIC PROPOSAL takes the more traditional Modenese cuisine and adds some modern touches and foreign twists, complementing the restaurant’s personal signature. In the words of Bottura (paraphrasing): Every dish has a story behind it, and it’s cooking that is impossible to say no to.

Among the menu’s main highlights, you can find the trademarked Tartare Cavallino, consisting of beef tartare seasoned with red fruit powder and dressed in Béarnaise sauce for a French finish. Another original in the Cavallino menu is the Cotechino Alla Rossini, a version of the more traditional Filetto Alla Rossini but topped with black truffle shards and sour cherries to sweeten the sausage. Their take on the classic tortellini carries a more SOCIAL MESSAGE, being handmade by the Tortellante training project (directed towards people with autism), in Modena’s redzore (housewives) tradition. Other delicacies include the Gnocco Fritto e Salumi, the_Baccalà _and the _Gelato Alla Crema_with traditional Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar.

Siena Is Still There For You After Covid, Here Something Not To Miss.

Last year, images of Siena could make us all weep. Normally, this old city is brimming with life and happiness, so empty streets seemed simply wrong.

Luckily, Italy is opening up, and Siena shines like a proper jewel of Tuscany again. If you’re a repeat visitor, you know what amazing sights and foods await you. If this is your first time, here are the places that you must not miss.

Piazza del Campo, perhaps the most beautiful piazza in Italy?

Where: Smack dab in the center of Siena, can’t miss it.

When: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as long as you don’t patronize any establishments.

Budget: Free, unless you start shopping around, get hungry, or decide to up the Torre del Mangia.

If you have only one day to spend in Siena, this is your must-go-to location. Pretty much, even if you don’t move more than a mile from that spot, you will get to experience the lifestyle, people watch, visit a few sightseeing hotspots, and have some delicious food.

Even without moving an inch, the piazza is a sight to behold. It’s frozen in time, all the way to the pre-Renaissance times. There have been a few additions over the centuries here and there, but it’s mostly left looking untouched. And fortunately for all of us, the people of Siena love their piazza and they have all preserved it for us over the centuries so we can admire its beauty.

Once you find yourself standing there, you would not get surprised if you were to see someone in a historical costume – what’s more, a sight like that could even fool you into thinking you have gone back through time.

This is also the place where everything happens. If the city is holding a public fair, celebration, or festival, it will happen there. So, if you plan your trip anywhere around those big dates on the calendar (both secular and religious), you are in for a treat.

Try La Prosciutteria in Siena.

Where: Via Pantaneto 89, near Piazza del Campo

When: Every day from 10 AM to midnight.

Budget: Price s range from 4 to 25 Euros per item.

Warning, this is not a restaurant! Okay, that was a bad April Fool’s joke since the Siena location is one of the few that offer in-house dining. Some other places? They just pry you with their delicious fare and send you on your mary way.

If you love your prosciutto (and other Italian deli goodies), you must come to La Prosciutteria. You’ll be welcomed with a perfect combination of fine and casual dining – fine in terms of some of the finest food that will ever grace your mouth, and casual in terms of atmosphere.

On the menu are cutting boards, cold cuts, and different types of Tuscan wines. Sometimes they host special events and tasting parties. However, you may need a reservation to enjoy all of this these days (reservations at +39 577 42026 and siena@laprosciutteria.com). They also offer delivery through UberEats or if you give them a call (if you are not able to secure a table during your visit).

And if you loved what you had for your lunch/dinner/special tasting, you can buy and bring most of those delicious morsels back home with you.

Well Try Pretto in Siena too.

https://www.prettoprosciutteria.it/

Where: Via dei Termini4, between Piazza del Campo and Piazza Tolomei

When: Every day, from noon to 9 PM

Budget: The cheapest item is about 3 and the most expensive one is about 25 Euros.

Okay, definitely another not-vegan-friendly recommendation, but what’s there else to say? Siena has quite a few awesome prosciuterrias.

However, that is very much not advised. The entire place is bathed in amazing aromas – even the most disciplined would break their diet and/or their budget if they stay for too long. Pick up your food and sit as far away if you want to stay safe!

If you still want to risk it, call them at +39 0577 289089 or send them an e-mail at prettosiena@gmail.com for a booking.

All joking aside, come at least for their prized Lampredotto sandwich or Tuscan focaccia. They are also very well known for their Pinsa Romana: a delightful taste of Italy that will change your view of pizza forever.

Then Visit Palazzo Pubblico and Torre Del Mangia

Where: Right across Piazza del Campo

When: Palazzo Publico is opened from 10 AM to 7 PM. Torre del Mangia is closed between 1:45 to and 2:30 PM for sanitation.

Budget: Individual ticket is 10 Euros, the family ticket is 22 and 25 respectively. Free access for children under 11 and reduced tickets are available. Note that you need to get separate tickets for each location, or get a combined ticket for 15 Euros (valid 2 days).

Palazzo Pubblico serves as mucipal offices of Siena. However, if you are not interested in getting a building permit or conquering the city from within, you may be interested in the Civic Museum.

The museum is located on the first floor of the palazzo and it’s a must-see for any history buff. Even if you take a moment just to take a peek at the 13th and 14th-century frescoes, it will be more than worth it. But if you want to get your money’s worth, use this visit as your time-travel portal through Siena’s history.

Then climb up the Torre del Mangia. This tower is the highest secular structure, and only the 3rd tallest in Italy (from this time period). If you are willing to make a climb of 280+ feet, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful view of the whole of Siena.

Keep in mind that, due to the current restrictions, only groups of 12 can go up the Torre del Mangia every 45 minutes. You can call ahead (+39 0577 292342) to make sure you can grab a spot. Also, both the Palazzo and the Torre are closed down or close early during public holidays, so check your travel dates and plan accordingly.

Important Information

Before you leave for Italy, check out http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html for all up to date information for tourists. Please, also be respectful of each establishment’s guidelines and restrictions.

Travel safe, and have fun.

Florence Reopens after Covid, Here 6 Evegreen Recommendations.

Aren’t the words “Italy is open again” some of the most beautiful words an avid traveler can hear? Finally, your wish to visit Florence can come true.

There’s a lot of prep before the trip, so let’s make this part of your travel plans as painless as possible. These 5 evergreen spots are perfect for both first-time and return visitors. Let’s check out what to see and, of course, what to eat first.

Have a Fat Panini at Antico Vinaio.

Where: Via dei Neri 65, 74, 76, and 78, close to Piazza San Remigio and Piazza della Signoria

When: Every day from 10 AM to 10:30 PM

Budget: The most expensive item is 13 Euros, but you can still enjoy a great sandwich at half that price.

If you were lucky enough to check them out in LA, just imagine what’s waiting for you in Florence. We are talking amazing Hulk-sized sandwiches loaded with local salami, prosciutto, cheeses, and other goodies on fresh artisanal bread. Plus, you can follow them up with a glass or two of good Tuscan wine.

Make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes. Even without restrictions, the place is known for its long waiting lines. Or give them a ring at +39 055 23 82 723 for a reservation.

Antico Vinaio Florence

Get into Science at the Galileo Museum.

https://www.museogalileo.it/en/

Where: Piazza dei Guidici, near Pallazo Vecchio

When: 9:30 AM to 6 PM all days but Tuesday. On Tuesdays, the museum closes at 1 PM

Budget: Tickets for adults are 10 Euros, for minors 6 Euros. Or you can get a 13 Euro ticket that allows you to skip the lines.

Formerly known as Museo di Storia della Scienza, it’s housed in an 11th-century building. It’s home to artifacts from the Medici collections, Galileo’s belongings, and other numerous pieces of evidence of Tuscany and Italy’s contributions to science.

It’s not all about old objects, but old books as well! A lot of historical scientific papers are housed in the museum’s library, right next to one of the most extensive collections of contemporary materials.

The museum also puts on temporary exhibitions. Numerous events are on schedule often, including anything between debates and lectures, to fun historical reenactments. Check out their website to see what will be available during your visit.

Galileo Museum in Florence
Galileo Museum in Florence

Have Lunch Like a Local – Trattoria Mario Florence.

http://www.trattoriamario.com/index-en.html

Where: Via Rosina 2r, right next to Mercato Centrale.

When: Takeaway and table service from noon to 3 PM.

Budget: No item on the menu goes over 20 Euros.

Every city in Italy has numerous restaurants that are decked out in Michellin stars, but still many can’t compare to Trattoria Mario. In 1953, Rome and Amelia opened this restaurant and named it after their son. Since then, the place has been a favorite for both the locals and visitors alike.

The menu changes every day. You can either check their page to check for hints of what’s cooking. That being said, no matter the time of the year, you’ll always be able to get a Florentine-style steak, Ribolita, or their signature slow-cooked Ragu.

Keep in mind that, due to restrictions, reservations are mandatory. Feel free to reach out to the workers and the family via email and social media, or call them once you’re in Italy (the number is +39 055 218550).

In Florence you must have a t bone steak fiorentina.
Cantucci and Vin santo it’s a typical dessert in Florence

When: The food court on the 1st floor is open from Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to midnight. The fresh market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 AM to 2 PM.

Budget: The food court can get very pricey, but the items at the fresh market are reasonably priced.

You can’t call yourself a proper foodie unless you make a stop here. The market halls are open since 1874 and have since been the best place to have a taste of Italy.

You can enjoy different produce, pasta, oils, truffles, and numerous artisanal products on the ground floor. Outside you’ll encounter numerous stalls that sell souvenirs, clothes, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks. However, be a smart shopper and watch for high prices: if they seem to be higher than what you’ve encountered at other parts of Florence, some is looking to scan some tourists.

The food court features numerous small restaurants, tasting rooms, and wine bars. Here you can enjoy both traditional Italian dishes as well as other amazing food made by master chefs. Make sure to visit the website and see if they are planning something special for the days you’ll be visiting.

Another pro tip: if you’re on a tight budget, make a trip to the second floor. You’ll still get to enjoy some amazing pizzas and snacks while causing less pain to your wallet.

Mercato Centrale in Florence is the ideal destination for foodies.

Get Lost in Giardino Boboli.

https://www.uffizi.it/en/boboli-garden

Where: Piazza de Pitti

When: From Monday to Sunday, from 8:15 AM to sunset (closing times change by season, so check the website for the exact time)

Budget: Single ticket is 10 Euros, but you may qualify for a free or a reduced price ticket as well.

https://www.uffizi.it/en/notices/covid-19-rules-for-visitors

Designed for the Medicis and inspired numerous court gardens all across Europe, these beautiful gardens are open to the public since 1766. A perfect place to get lost, wander, and feel like you’ve traveled through time. Enjoy a stroll through Cerchiate Piccole or take a peek at the statues of mythical creatures near the Fountain of Neptune.

Plant lovers must also stop by the Botanica Superiore, aka the Pineapple garden, and enjoy its hundreds of species of tropical, subtropical, and aquatic plants. And if that was not enough for you, Museo della Moda e del Costume and Museo delle porcellane are right next door. The same goes for the Forte di Belvedere and Porta Romana (the city gate from the 13th century).

No worries if you choose to visit in the spur of the moment. The entire complex is accessible to people with disabilities and family-friendly for a hassle-free experience

Boboli Garden in Florence