Category Archives: Italy

Top 5 Odd Tourist Attractions in Italy

While Italy is home to countless masterpieces of architecture and art, it is also home to a number of odd sights that show the crazy side of this country’s culture. Here are 5 of these odd tourist attractions in Italy: L.O.V.E., Milan Nothing says “F***ing capitalism!” than this sculpture of a giant hand flipping the bird, located right in the heart of the country’s financial district. Located in Piazza d’Affari, in front of the Italian stock exchange headquarters, is the sculpture entitled L.O.V.E. Created by Maurizio Cattelan in 2010, the sculpture got its name from four Italian words: Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity). Seen as a critique of the banking system that brought Italy down to its knees in 2008, the work is also quite political. Instead of the four other fingers folded back, they are actually cut off; if the fingers are complete, it would form […]

The 12 Must-Experience Festivals of Italy

People who ask “What’s the best time to go to Italy?” are asking a question that’s impossible to answer. After all, there are many festivals and events all year round in the country, whether up in the mountains of the north or down in the sunny south. The festivals of Italy are among the best in the world… With so many festivities going on, we’ve selected one per month for you—so you’d know when to book with us: January Venice Carnival January 23 to February 9, 2016 in Venice It’s arguably the biggest event in the area. The Venice Carnival, which was first held in the 11th century, is a grand series of parties for locals and travelers alike. With various live performances, formal balls, and banquets every night, it’s the best time of the year to don a mask, dress up, and have fun. February Battle of the Oranges […]

Five Must-Visit Trattorias in Rome

Five Must-Visit Trattorias in Rome A trattoria in Italy is a casual eating establishment, one that serves mid-priced quality food and offers a comfortable retreat from the hustle and bustle of the world without. More often than not, trattorias (or trattorie) are family-run establishments, which makes them less formal than many ristoranti. A lot of visitors love them because they are unpretentious, providing a relaxed atmosphere to diners as well as a variety of dishes depending on what produce are in season at the moment. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Rome yet but you are planning to go there soon, do check out the trattorias we have on this list. Take note that it is always best to make a reservation so that you can be sure you’ll have a seat when you visit. Hostaria Romana The Hostaria Romana, located on Via del Boccaccio, is well-known among […]

Italy Highlight: The Medieval City of Siena

The Medieval City of Siena Italy has many medieval towns and cities that have a unique charm to both locals and tourists alike. Visiting these places is literally a blast from the past, as you can see a slice of what life was like back then. These places tell a unique story that depicts the rich history and culture of the Italian people. In today’s video, we will be taking a close look at the historic city of Siena. Even if you were to tour this entire city, it would barely scratch the surface of its rich culture and history. It’s no wonder that it is considered one of the country’s most visited tourist attractions. Truly, Siena is a treasured gift that we are privileged to have in today’s modern times. This presentation is also available as a slide deck on Slideshare!

Popular Medieval Towns in Italy Worth Visiting

Popular Medieval Towns in Italy Worth Visiting Because Italy is the cradle of the mighty Roman Empire and of numerous other civilizations before it, there is no dearth of old towns in the country.  In fact, even after the fall of Rome, many communities across what is today the modern state of Italy simply continued their existence as Medieval dominions. Some places became smaller kingdoms, others turned into independent maritime city-states, while others became vassal towns of more powerful realms. Their often complicated and violent histories notwithstanding, many of these towns and cities still stand today as reminders of their storied past. In this article, we share with you some of our favorite medieval towns and cities in the country. San Gimignano – Located in the province of Siena in the Tuscan region, the small walled medieval town of San Gimignano is affectionately called the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” […]

Restoring Italy’s Monuments: A Colossal Challenge

Restoring Italy’s Monuments: A Colossal Challenge Italy is home to numerous famous monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In fact, Italy is known as the country with the most number of World Heritage Sites with a total of 50 sites to its name. Some of these monuments have been around for hundreds of years and they have left an undeniable mark on the world to this day. However, what happens when age finally catches up to these renowned cultural and historical assets? The sad reality is that time does eventually take its toll on these ancient wonders, which leads to the natural deterioration of their structure and the accumulation of damage over the years.  The Italian government has taken some steps to preserve these great monuments, but the budget needed to undertake this colossal endeavor just doesn’t seem to be enough. This is why private individuals and corporations have taken […]

Better Exchange Rates Make the Spring of 2015 the Best Time to Tour Italy

Better Exchange Rates Make the Spring of 2015 the Best Time to Tour Italy Spring is arguably the best time of the year to visit Italy. Everything is greener, brighter and more upbeat. Tourists flock to the country at this period annually, but the springtime of 2015 may be the best one for American visitors in the past 12 years. The reason? The euro is at its weakest against the dollar now than it’s been for quite some time. While economic issues for our friends across the Atlantic are nothing to be happy about, the situation does have a few bright spots here and there. For travelers, it means you can get more out of your budget than you normally would. “The path of least resistance is still down,” said HSBC currency analyst Daragh Maher to the Wall Street Journal. “There are a lot of people out there happy to […]

Interesting Facts about Italy You Might Not Know

7 Interesting Facts about Italy You Might Not Know Italy is a fascinating country, home to some of the world’s best in architecture, food, and people. It is a fantastic European destination with a city that will suit every kind of traveler. Despite its fame, there are still a few aspects to this charming nation as yet unknown to the general population. Here are some stunning facts about Italy that you might not know: 1. Italy has the most World Heritage Sites as recognized by UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization bestows this honor on places that are of significant cultural or natural heritage and importance. Among these sites are the 18th-century Royal Palace at Caserta, the archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata in Naples, Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco, the entire city of Verona, and the Costiera Amalfitana, also known as the Amalfi Coast. […]

Tour Italy Now Highlights from the New York Times Travel Show 2015

Tour Italy Now Highlights from the New York Times Travel Show 2015 Last January 25, Tour Italy Now had the privilege of joining one of the panels at the New York Times Travel Show 2015. It was a day filled with knowledge sharing as well as fun cultural exchange. Tour Italy Now’s founder and president, Dominic Siano, took part as one of the speakers there. In case you missed our Insider’s Italy panel at the New York Times Travel Show, then you’ll be glad to know that we’ve saved some of the highlights of Dominic Siano’s talk. As a subject matter expert, he shared some helpful tips on booking trips online, as well as imparted a wealth of knowledge to the audience about traveling around Italy. We’d like to thank everyone who attended the event and met with us personally. It was certainly a wonderful experience for us at Tour […]

Touring the Dolomites: Fun Activities to Do in the Mountains

Fun Activities to Do while in the Dolomites As vacation destinations go, a trip to the mountains can mean many different things depending on who you ask. There are those who go to the mountains to enjoy the many different physical activities such as hiking or skiing, while there are also those who go there to enjoy the majestic scenery that can be viewed here. Regardless of the reason, Italy features one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world – the Dolomites. Running across the northern edge of the country, the valleys of Trentino-Alto Adige border the country of Austria. Once known as the Pale Mountains, it has an unusual mineral makeup that gives it a distinct pink glow in the late afternoon light. Those who visit the Dolomites are enchanted by the beauty that its peaks and valleys contain. For those who want to visit this impressive […]