Category Archives: Italy

The Dogs of Venice, Past and Present

Did you know that besides ornate masks and colorful pasta and endless canals and gondolas, Venice’s got dogs galore? This is one of those charming details that sometimes gets lost in the wonderful story that is Venice. But it’s true, dogs are part of Venice’s cityscape, if you’ve been, you’ve surely seen them at play along side streets or gazing out of a window. We were reminded of this today we noticed a lovely blog post, The Dogs That Run Venice, on the lovely shelter site Apartment Therapy. The post notes that there are statues of Saint Roch, San Rocco in Italian, the patron saint of dogs, throughout Venice. And at the Guggenheim Museum along the Grand Canal, the arts patroness Peggy Guggenheim is buried next to here beloved 14 dogs. For more on Peggy Guggenheim and her dogs, click HERE. A little clicking around reminded us that the Scuola [...]

Turin, Italy’s First Modern Capitol, Rocks Italy’s 150th Reunification Anniversary

All across Italy, 2012, was a year of celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of Italy’s Reunification. You can read what Tour Italy Now had to say about that here. We wanted to call your attention to Turin, Italy’s first modern capitol and their 150th Reunification Anniversary celebrations. This article from The Guardian, reports on how Turin, the site of the 2006 Winter Olympics celebrated this historic anniversary. For 2013, you can check out what is happening, in Turin all year HERE. Turin and the Piedmont are the focus of one of Tour Italy Now’s newest tours, Discover Piedmont. Let us show you this fascinating region known for it’s architecture and chocolate and breathtaking natural beauty. “This small-group, deluxe tour of the enchanting Piedmont region starts in Turin, Italy’s first modern capital, home to Italian nobility and host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, where you’ll marvel at its architecture and swoon [...]

Vintage Italian Travel Posters, Still All The Rage

Vintage travel posters are all the rage. Check out how folks are decorating with them HERE on this post from the website Apartment Therapy. They are gorgeous, and inspiring, too. This one is particularly fetching. Don’t you just want to be the girl in the poster. (If you’re a guy, you can imagine being the boy riding on the Vespa behind the girl in the poster). I mean, those sunglasses! That shirt! It is Italian style personified. That is the great thing about vintage Italian travel posters. They inspire, they transport. Of course, we at Tour Italy Now are partial to vintage Italian travel posters. I love this one. This past weekend we couldn’t resist clicking around and trying to decide which one was our favorite. And guess what. It is impossible to pick just one! There are too many charmingly whimsical and brilliantly inspiring examples out there, so we [...]

Villa Adriana in Tivoli, News and Goings-On

Tivoli, 50 miles outside of Rome, is worth a visit. It’s where you’ll find the stunning Villa d’Este, shown above, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. And it’s also where you’ll find the spectacular Villa Adriana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Tour Italy Now offers excursions to Tivoli from Rome. Andiamo! Click around and marvel at these structures and inhale, albeit vicariously, the ancient past! The next best thing to being there on an Italian vacation! Other sights to visit, with links to Wikipedia, include: – Villa Gregoriana – Rocca Pia, a 15th century fortress built in 1461 under Pope Pius II to counter the urban strifes between the Colonna and Orsini. – Temple of Vesta. – Temple of “Tiburtine Sibyl” (true dedication unknown). It was built in the 2nd century BC on an artificial platform in the acropolis. Characterized by Ionic columns (only two of which [...]

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Italy, Take One!

So… where are the most beautiful beaches in Italy? Summer’s here, for better or worse. Better because the tempo lightens and many of us take vacations to our favorite places, like Italy. Worse because, well, it’s darn hot. Plus some of us can’t get away as much as we would like. Whatever your summer plans, an escorted tour with Tour Italy Now (check them out HERE!) or a stateside weekend getaway, we want to bring you some of Italy’s most stunning beaches, in celebration of summer! First, do you know how to say “beach” in Italian? Here you go. Spiaggi. Today’s Featured Italy Beach is Bidderosa in Sardinia. Sardinia has some gorgeous beaches, and Bidderosa’s many people’s absolute favorite. It’s a protected oasis with a pond behind the stretch of beach and coves that are dotted with juniper, pinewood and eucalyptus. The local tourist board of Orosie limits the number [...]

Seven Must-See’s And What to do in Verona

This week’s Guess Where? photo was Verona, and what an appealing place this city turned out to be for the Tour Italy Now community. So the question is “what to do in Verona?”In fact, as we post this, you’re still clicking up a storm over on Facebook about this magical city made famous around the world by William Shakespeare and his play “Romeo and Juliet.” Having never been to Verona myself, yours truly decided to do a little clicking around and start a list of things I’d love-love to do when I get to Verona. And please notice I wrote “when” not “if!” I’m getting there, for sure. I hope you will be, too! We’re going to make these short and sweet and let you discover them, as desktop/laptop travelers in anticipation of your next Italy vacation, with links from the Verona Tourism website! 1. Must-See: Romeo and Juliet Apparently [...]

Naples, Must-See’s and See-What-Happens

Pizza, Pastries, Coffee, Art Many people skip Naples, rushing right past it after visiting the historic sites of Rome and on the way to the panoramic Amalfi Coast, but Naples is worth a stop. Naples is a city of contrasts. Striking beauty and raucous friendliness combined with traffic and noise and a fair bit of chaos. Don’t Miss Sights Start with a walk along the Spaccanapoli – meaning split Naples – in the historic center of town. Take in the altars in every niche (don’t miss one to soccer legend Maradonna – with a vial of tears of neapolitans at the bar Nilo), dodge the scooters, and admire the Presepe (Nativity scene) shops. Dating back to the fourth century, the Duomo di Napoli houses the relics of Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennaro. On three feast days throughout the year ampules of the saints blood are displayed and with fervent [...]

Books About Italy, Italian Life, and the Italy Experience!

Being crazy about Italy it’s inevitable that we should be crazy about books about Italy. And lucky for all Italophiles there’s no shortage in that department. From historical fictions set in Ancient Rome to contemporary Italian life, books about Italy are sure to be flooding the bookshelves of your nearest bookshop. Before you head off on your trip to Italy, pick up a title or two. If you’re really serious you would start with Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. But if you’re not into pedantry then skip to the dramas like Robert Graves’s I, Claudius or The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. These are rollicking accounts of the Emperors’ lives, which were as fascinating and as backstabbing as any character in a soap opera. There’s no shortage of historical fiction about Ancient Rome, whether you’re into steamy imperial romances or histories brought to life by super-believable characters. Moving [...]

Fantasy Itinerary to Italy: Trieste, Rome, Florence, Venice, Too?

This article about Trieste in last Sunday’s New York Times got me thinking about what my fantasy itinerary to Italy would be. (For the record, any mention of Italy triggers such fantasies!) I love to mix it up when I travel, get to the must-sees, the landmarks and famous sites, as well as meander and discover the nooks and crannies of a place, like the scarf shop in Bologna that was maddeningly closed when we strolled by. That’s right, a shop devoted exclusively to scarves. And after I discovered it was closed, it seemed that every woman walking down the street or whizzing by on a bicycle was sporting an exquisite scarf, wisps of silk and color floating through the languid Bolognese afternoon that reminded me I would not get back to that shop, at least not on this trip, as we were leaving the next day. These are the [...]

Beautiful Beaches in Italy

This winter felt longer, grayer and colder than most, and so far spring hasn’t been much better. This has me pining for the beautiful beaches in Italy. With nearly 5,000 miles of coastline, finding an Italian beach shouldn’t be hard to do, whether it’s on one if Italy’s islands, like Capri or Sicily, or along the coast, Liguria or Terracina. (Speaking of islands, check out this list of Italy’s islands HERE. Amazing!) I clicked around like the good desktop traveler that I am and came upon a slew of nods to Italy’s most beautiful beaches. Sardinia seemed to be on everyone’s list. No wonder. The above picture, of Ogliastra, explains it all. Imagine the excitement of returning from your Italian tour with a brand new tan and delicious stories of time spent on some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Your friends and family will be envious and you’ll [...]