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Category Archives: Sightseeing in Italy

How to Stay Cool During an Italian Summer

Italy in the summer is a lovely place to be, when flowers come into full bloom, fruits and vegetables are abundant, and the seaside destinations are abuzz with a boatload of activities and parties. However, summer is still summer, and during these months, temperatures can soar to a scorching 30 degrees centigrade or more. So yes, it can get VERY hot, it CAN get a bit uncomfortable, and you WILL sweat… but that doesn’t mean that you should let this get in the way of your enjoyment as you travel through Italy during your vacation there. Don’t worry, because we’re here to share with you some useful tips on how to stay cool and survive summer in Italy! Keep the alcoholic drinks few and far in between. While meals in Italy are normally served with either water or wine, try to opt for water instead, because alcohol dehydrates you and [...]

Italy’s Prettiest Towns

Italy is a country of incredible natural beauty.  It really has it all, Rome, Naples and Florence are modern cities built on top of ancient ruins, Venice with its’s watery canals in place of roads, there are mountain towns, seaside villages, scenic hill towns.  Here are a few of what we think are Italy’s prettiest towns. Sperlonga This whitewashed spot has something that almost no other hill town in Italy has.  Sperlonga is a seaside fishing village.  As long ago as Roman times this was an escape from the city.  Sperlonga is located halfway between Rome and Naples.  The Roman emperor Tiberius built a villa at the seas edge.  After the fall of the Roman empire the town was a town in peril from Saracen pirate attacks.  You can explore the Roman ruins of Tiberius estate and the accompanying museum, the narrow streets and labyrinth of alleys with shops and [...]

Unusual Attractions in Italy

The Colosseum, Pompeii, The leaning Tower of Pisa; You have heard about and recognize Italy’s grandest and best know sites.  What about some of Italy’s Off the beaten track destinations? Here are a few of Tour Italy Now’s favorite unusual attractions in Italy. Rome and Lazio: Park of Monsters, Bomarzo Less than an hours drive from Rome, the Parco deo Mostri, is a fascinating testament to love and grief. The park was commissioned in 1552 by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini for his beloved wife, Giulia Farnese, and built by the architect Pirro Ligorio.  Spend an afternoon exploring the 24 incredible sculptures of animals, dragons and monstrous faces. Museum of Souls in Purgatory This tiny room in the gothic Santa Cuore del Suffragio near the Castel San’Angelo and a short walk from the nearby Vatican is home to one of Rome’s most unusual sites. A collection of objects are believed to [...]

What to Do in Pisa

  Pisa is an easy day trip from Florence and many other Tuscan and Umbrian towns.  A visit to the famous leaning tower is a must, but there is much more to see in this other Tuscan town located on the river Arno. Here are our recommendations for what to do in Pisa. Piazza dei Miracoli. The Square of Miracles is home to some of Pisa’s most important and famous monuments.  In the boundaries of the walled and grassy space you will find  four incredible monuments; the Cathedral- Duomo, Bell Tower – Campanile, the Baptistry and the Camposante.  The entire area is a UNESCO protected site. The Leaning Tower.  Known in Italian as the Torre Pendente, of course you have to see this iconic site.  A poorly constructed foundation built on too-soft soil, in the 1100‘s, made the tower lean from the very start. Climb to the top and get [...]

How to Tour Pompeii

Here are some of our don’t miss highlights, tips and secrets for how to tour Pompeii. The ruins of Pompeii are one of the most extraordinary sites in Italy. It is visited by millions every year. We recommend going with a tour guide to fully experience the wonder and mysteries of this archeological treasure. Located on what was then the Bay of Naples, Pompeii was once a busy port and important Roman city of about 20,000 people.  It contained more than 40 bakeries, 30 brothels, and 130 bars, restaurants, and hotels. Getting There It is very easy to get to Pompeii from Rome, Naples, the Amalfi Coast and points farther north in Tuscany and beyond.  From the main train station in Naples look for signs to the  Circumvesuviana.  The Circumvesuviana is a light rail train that goes directly to Pompeii. Trains runs roughly every half hours and the trip from [...]

World War II History in Italy

Today Americans will celebrate Memorial Day and on June 2, Italians will celebrate Festa della Republica.  Volumes have been written on World War II history in Italy.  Here, Tour Italy Now will share some little known places and facts about this important time in our shared histories. History is on every corner in Italy, from Etruscan relics to Renaissance treasure.  Some history is more recent.  The memories of World War II are still evident in many everyday places throughout Italy.  Most of Rome was spared the German’s bombs.  However, the cities of Milan and Florence suffered great damage. Ponte Vecchio. The oldest bridge in Florence, built in Roman times and was long the only bridge to cross the Arno river and connect the two sides of Florence.  Over the centuries, four other bridges were constructed along the length of the city and the river. There is a secret passageway that [...]

The Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii

The Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii is one of the must see antiquities on a visit to this extraordinary site in the Bay of Naples. The ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed in August of 79 AD with the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. It was a small, ordinary Roman town that at the time of it’s destruction was was located directly on the Bay of Naples. The rediscovery of the site in the 16th century, and many years of excavation,  have given us a very detailed window  into daily life in a 1st-century Roman city. The Forum, where the temple of Jupiter is located,  is now a large open space.  This was once at the juncture of two important routes that linked Pompeii to the cities of Naples, Nola, and Stabiae. Once a small, busy market at the center of town, as Pompeii expanded the forum ended up on the [...]

House of Mystery in Pompeii

This important site in Pompeii is named for a series of fresco paintings that are found inside. The House of Mystery in Pompeii -  known as Villa dei Misteri in Italian – was buried under meters of ash after the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79 AD, bust escaped destruction. This once luxurious Roman villa that overlooked the sea and Mount Vesuvius is filled with an eclectic mix of architectural style and paintings. The villa originally dates from the 2nd century BC, but its current layout was set between 70 and 60BC. After the earthquake of AD62 the villa was extensively remodeled, changing what had been a patrician villa into a working farm house.  This villa had a vineyard and farms. The building also housed a large wine-press and wine-cellar. The fresco covered walls measure 15 x 22 feet and the room has two windows, indicating this was [...]

Venice Sightseeing Off the Beaten Path Right on St. Mark’s Square

The typewriter – remember those? — has an interesting history. Many think an Italian invented the first typewriter. The most likely contender would be Pellegrino Turri, who in 1801 invented a typing machine for his blind mistress, Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono. Apparently Turri grasped the concept of “backing up” your documents, because he invented a variation of carbon paper, too. Of course, as these things go, Italy may not get to claim the inventor of the typewriter entirely on its own. Turri’s contraption didn’t survive, though apparently some of his mistress’ typewritten letters did. A Viennese count, a Swiss and a French inventor each created a typewriter of their own — in the 1700s no less. And fifteen years after Turri devised his typing machine, Italian Pietro Conti came out with his ‘Tachigrafo.’ We’ll let the historians play ref on this one. Suffice it to say, Italians contributed to [...]

Sistine Chapel Virtual Sightseeing Page Provides a Private Tour of Michelangelo’s Masterpiece

Sometimes something lands in our email box that is so wonderful, we have to drop everything and share it with the Tour Italy Now community. This is one such case, this spectacular high-definition Sistine Chapel virtual sightseeing page, issued by none other than the Vatican. The Sistine Chapel of course is one of the world’s great treasures. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The Last Judgment Alter on the back wall of the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo from 1535 to 1541. To take advantage of this, please note the following: This takes a few minutes to fully display, then wow, this is magical. Give it time. Now this is really something! This is what makes the Internet so spectacular! MOVE THE MOUSE AROUND AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. (holding down left button) Here is an amazing bit of technology that you would never see in [...]