Category Archives: Italy

Looking for the Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife

Best Cities in Italy for Nightlife     Nightlife in Italy varies according to season. Outdoor entertainment is popular from the May to September months, when the weather is hot enough to allow for it, then close down when autumn arrives and remain so for the duration of the winter season. Many nightclubs operate two versions to accommodate the changing seasons as well, with one catering to the summer and the other for the winter. Tourists fill up the clubs in the beach towns in the summer months. Rimini and Riccione on the eastern coast particularly come to mind. Across the country in Tuscany, Forte de’Marmi also has an excellent reputation for nighttime fun and activity. Any city and town that has a close proximity to the sea comes alive in the summer. Milan There are tons of nightclubs in Milan that can be confidently counted as the best in [...]

New Rome Tourist Accommodation Tax as of September 2014: What You Need to Know About It

New Rome Tourist Accommodation Tax as of September 2014 A quick heads up, travelers! As the title of this article reads, the city of Rome in Italy has recently implemented a new Tourist Accommodation Tax (also known as “tassa di soggiorno” in Italian, and “bed tax”, “guest tax”, or “hotel tax” in English) as of September 1, 2014. This tax has been around for several years now, and is also being implemented in other major tourist cities such as Florence and Venice. This year, however, Rome has updated the rates of its tassa di soggiorno. To help avoid any confusion, especially when you’re at your hotel and you are handed a bill with this extra amount on it, here’s a guide on what these taxes are, and how they work. What is the tax for? This tax is being implemented by the city’s tourism authority as a way to help [...]

7 Reasons to Visit Italy in Autumn

7 Reasons to visit Italy in Autumn With the arrival of the month of September, Italy’s summer season officially comes to a close and the country begins gearing up for autumn. From a traveler’s perspective, this period is considered as off-season, though we think that this label may be a little misleading as it makes it sound like nothing interesting happens in the country at this time and that it’s not particularly interesting to visit at the moment. This sort of impression couldn’t be more wrong, of course, as the lovely country of Italy never ceases to provide visitors with new experiences, even as it puts on its fall colors. While summer may be a busy season, the hum of activity doesn’t really stop. It just changes flavor. So for those who are wondering why it might be worth taking that trip during the last few months of the year, [...]

10 Things About Basilicata: It’s Not Just a Bunch of Rocks!

Sardinia’s Best Beaches

  For anyone heading to Italy in the summer, a day or two (or three…) at the beach would definitely be on their to-do list, and where better to enjoy the waters of the Mediterranean, than in Sardinia? Known as the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia has long stretches of coastline that is punctuated by numerous beaches, resorts, and coastal villages. While the island is also known for its traditions, museums, parks, and nature reserves, those wanting to relax and enjoy some sun and sand might want to check out the Sardinia’s best beaches. Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach) In Sardinia, there belongs a group of tiny islands known collectively as the La Maddalena, and in this group is the island of Budelli, and on this island is the beach of the pink sands, Spiaggia Rosa. Yes, you read that right: the sand on this beach is [...]

Italy’s Wine Country

  There was an article recently in the New York Times talking about how wine is a joy. There is nowhere where this is more true than in Italy. Italy produces more wine than any other country.  From the Alpine provinces of the far north to sun baked Sicily, Italy’s wine country regions produce some of the worlds finest bottles. The Italian peninsula and her Islands have been producing wines since the time of the Etruscans.  When the Greeks arrived in what is now Italy, they brought seeds from across the Adriatic sea and wine production flourished under the Roman empire. Under Roman law, during this time, growing and producing wine outside of the borders of Italy was prohibited     There are nineteen wine producing regions in Italy’s wine country. From North to South  – here is a list. Aosta Valley Piedmont Liguria Lombardy Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol Friuli-Venezia Giulia Veneto [...]

Venice Restoration Projects, Preserving the Magical City of Venice

With Venice Carnival 2012 wrapping this weekend, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the challenges the city of Venice faces as one of the world’s oldest cities and top tourist destinations. Over 12 million people visit Venice each year; Venice’s location, on a lagoon by the sea, contributes to its structural challenges. The city is, quite literally, slowly sinking. Fortunately, there are efforts on many fronts to preserve and protect Venice. Several non-profits have been working for years on Venice restoration projects. Save Venice, a New-York-City-based organization, is in the final years of restoring the Church of San Sebastiano. We highlighted this important Venice restoration project in a blog post last year about Save Venice. According to its website, Save Venice is at any given time working on a major restoration project. Past Venice restoration projects have included the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and the [...]

New Years Eve in Italy: Fireworks, Prosecco, Lentils and Red Underpants Too!

New Year’s is fast approaching! With that in mind, here’s a sampling of some of the traditions, gatherings and celebrations unfolding over New Years Eve in Italy. Or, as the Italians call it, cappodano. If you ever get to spend New Years Eve in Italy, deciding which place has the most spectacular celebration will be a challenge. The entire country erupts in fireworks and, in smaller towns and villages, firecrackers. Of course, Italians being Italians, there’s also song, food and drink. There are large celebrations in Rome, Venice and Florence as well as in Rimini and Bologna. There are outdoor concerts in Milan, Naples and Palerma. Ah, New Years Eve in Italy! In Rome, two of the largest gathering points are the Piazza del Popolo and the Via dei Fori Imperiali, with the Colosseum as a backdrop. You can expect throngs — think Times Square, Italian style — so be [...]

Christmas in Italy: A Roundup of Wonderment and Delight

There really isn’t a best time to visit Italy, but if we had to pick the most special time, it would have to be Christmas. Italy is such a family-orientated place that the whole country seems to be bubbling with its traditions for those chilly two weeks between December 25 and January 6. If you are lucky enough to spend Christmas in Italy, you’ll be surrounded by much that is familiar – decorations, lights, gifting, feasting – but also much that is not. The Food and Characters you’ll find during your Christmas in Italy Some of the major differences between American and Italian homes at Christmas time is in the decorations. Sure, there are beautiful lights strung up everywhere—though maybe with less concentration than their American counterparts—especially in the old centers of towns, but Santa Claus and his reindeer are rarely seen in windows or hanging from trees. Instead, in [...]

Italian Christmas Traditions: Piazza Navona Christmas Market 2012

Piazza Navona – the Christmas transformation Every year at the end of November, the caricaturists and painting sellers who usually abound in Rome’s Piazza Navona disappear and the scene transforms into the world famous Christmas market that dominates the piazza for more than a month every year. The Piazza Navona Christmas Market has begun, and for 6 weeks Italian families come from all over Rome and its suburbs to take part in the market festivities. While the market is a hive of activity during the day things really ramp up at night. A visit to the Piazza Navona Christmas Market is a time-honored tradition for many Italian families. Plan your visit to Rome at Christmas and you can join them in discovering the treasures on display in rows of booths along the piazza: Christmas ornaments, toys, decorations, and the traditional nativity scenes known as “presepi” in Italian. Sweet treats at [...]