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posted By Home In Italy on December 20th, 2017

A WICKEDLY CREAMY BRANDY COCKTAIL
“Drinks don’t get more decadent than this brandy cocktail with crème de cacao and cream ”

SERVES: 1 DIFFICULTY: NOT TOO TRICKY

NUTRITION PER SERVING
Calories: 243
Fat: 13g
Saturates: 6.6g
Protein: 2g
Carbs: 4.3g
Sugars: 4.2g
Salt: 0.1g
Fibre: 0.3g

Ingredients
40 ml cognac
30 ml Crème de cacao white
15 ml almond milk
15 ml double cream
TO GARNISH:
1 star anise
1 tsp peeled pistachios

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Grate over a pistachio, then garnish with the whole nuts and star anise.

posted By Home In Italy on December 19th, 2017

Visiting Italy during the Christmas season offers two bonuses: you’ll avoid the high summer season tourist crowds and you’ll get to see the country decked out in all its holiday finery. You’ll find a festive atmosphere in every corner of the country. There are a few areas, however, that seem to take the holidays to another level. Here are a few suggestions for the best places to spend Christmas in Italy.

Rome & Vatican City

Heading for Rome over Christmas is probably the most best choice: in addition to the festivities in Rome itself, you also have Vatican City‘s celebrations. It’s like getting two cities’ worth of holiday in one spot.
At the Vatican, the Pope delivers a Christmas Eve midnight mass (book tickets well in advance if you want to sit in St. Peter’s), there’s a huge Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square and a life-sized Nativity scene in front of the basilica.

Venice

Even if you’re not lucky enough to witness snow falling on the canals and gondolas, Venetians know how to ward off the chill with hot spiced wine and other holiday treats, sold in the Christmas markets. No matter your age, you’re bound to be charmed by the figure of Santa Claus arriving by gondola to distribute goodies, and Christmas Eve mass held in St. Mark’s Basilica is enough to make any trip to Venice worth it.

Naples

Naples is home to a street that can rightfully be called “Christmas Alley” year-round. This city is the epicenter of Italy’s Nativity scene tradition, and the shops along Via San Gregorio Armeno that make both the detailed structures and the myriad figurines that inhabit them work (and sell) all year long.
The figurines range from the expected (holy family and shepherds) to the regional (pizza makers) to the topical (current political or sports personalities).

Sicily

For a location with loads of Italian Christmas traditions but with much milder weather, head south to Sicily. Second only to the Neapolitans in terms of their affection for the Nativity scene, Sicilians erect elaborate Nativities everywhere (from public squares to churches to private homes), including a living Nativity in a cave near Trapani. In other words, locals dress up and re-enact the Nativity daily from Christmas Eve through the Epiphany.

Trentino-Alto Adige

Spend Christmas in the Trentino-Alto Adige and you’ll have snowy winter scenery straight out of a postcard while you sip mulled wine in the market squares.
This area is also a good base if you want to take day-trips into Venice or Verona.

posted By Home In Italy on November 24th, 2017

Be it a child-friendly city or a well equipped seaside destination, Italy spoils families with its rich mix of historical sights, wide portfolio of outdoor activities and amazing natural landscapes. An insider suggestion: to get the most out of exploring as a family, do plan ahead!

Best regions for kids:

Rome
: ancient Roman ruins and world-class museums make Rome an interesting destination for older children.

Amalfi coast
: a winning choice for every age. Subterranean ruins in Naples, gladiator battlefields in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and natural jewels like volcanoes, thermal pools and coastal caves.

Puglia
: beautiful seaside towns and an unembellished cuisine most kids love.

Sicily
: volcano climbing for sporty teens and beachside fun for sand-loving tots, alongside ancient ruins, hilltop castles and traditional 18th-century puppet theatre to inspire and entertain all ages.

Sardinia
: alfresco paradise overflowing with dazzling beaches, water-sports action, horse riding and scenic hikes suitable for all ages and abilities.

Italy for Kids

Family travellers can be divided into urban and rural. Cities in Italy are second to none in extraordinary sights and experiences, and with the aid of smart-phone apps and some inventive guided tours, parents can find kid-appeal in almost every museum and monument.

Away from urban areas, families can enjoy sandcastles, sea swimming and easy beachside ambles in the coastal destinations (beach-rich Puglia, the Amalfi Coast, Sardinia and Sicily sizzle with family fun on and off the sand), while interesting farm tours and outdoor activities will make the countryside an appealing family location (Tuscany and Umbria do offer many options for travellers willing to entertain children).

Villa Ada, a child friendly luxury villa in Umbria can be booked through Home in Italy

Accommodation

Staying in a private countryside villa is perfect for families: think self-catering facilities, mountains of green space to play around in and stacks of outdoor activities (swimming, tennis, horse-riding and mountain biking). In southern Italy, kids enjoy accommodation in circular, whitewashed trulli and quiet and luxurious masserias.

When to Go

Travelling in Italy with children involves little extra pre-departure planning. Your most important decisions will be about which region to pick and when to visit (perhaps timing your Italian holiday with one of the country’s vibrant kid-appealing festivals such as Siena’s famous Palio carnival in Venice or Florence’s Easter-time Scoppio del Carro. Beware July and August when the country broils and gets super crowded!

posted By Home In Italy on November 22nd, 2017

For those who do not mind low temperature, winter can be a great time to discover Italy! Fewer tourists, less crowded museums and shorter lines: during this season, opera, symphony and theaters are in full swing, meaning lots of opportunities for visitors. So take a sweater, a rain jacket, wear a scarf and a winter hat and enjoy your holiday!

Why travel to Italy in winter time?
Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s worth making a trip during the tourist low-season in Italy. First of all, it will be much less crowded at some of the most popular and historic spots than it is during summer time. Secondly, you will find good prices on airfares to almost all Italian airport.

Winter weather in Italy ranges from relatively mild along the coasts of Sardinia, Sicily and the southern mainland to very cold and snowy inland, especially in the northern mountains. Even popular tourist destinations like Venice, Florence, and the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria can get a dusting of snow in winter.

Winter is a good time for cultural events and performances in Italy’s elegant historic theaters. Naples is one of the top cities for Christmas nativities and many people visit Rome for the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Early winter sunsets mean more time to enjoy cities after dark. Many cities light their historic monuments at night so strolling through a city after dark can be beautiful and romantic.

There’s a lot to do on a winter vacation in Italy!
When winter comes around and the crowds die down there are some truly extraordinary things you can see and do.
Spending winter in Italy may not be something you’ve previously considered, but the country is just as spectacular at this time of year as it is over summer. So, take a look at some of the wonderful events and experiences you can attend, making your winter break to Italy unforgettable.

Take a cooking class: Italy is famous for its delicious food and fine wine, and taking an authentic cooking class will open your mind and taste buds to some sensational flavours. Take a cooking class from a local chef and learn how to replicate some of the most exquisite Italian dishes at home. This is a great activity to do if the weather isn’t on your side, as you can escape the harsh weather whilst still enjoying your holiday.

Head to the theatre: purchasing a ticket for the theatre in Italy is one of the smartest moves you can make. You will not only escape the cold but will also get the opportunity to view some of the most unique shows in Europe.

Visit a winery: for the self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, visiting a winery may be the perfect winter activity. The grape harvest would have just finished but the cellars are now full of new-born bottles.

Take your time in a museum: visiting a museum can be an extraordinary experience, even more so when in a country with as much cultural heritage and history as Italy.In winter, crowds are considerably reduced making your visit peaceful and relaxed.

Italy is one place you must visit in your lifetime as it is full of rustic charm, delicious food and a fantastic atmosphere, which can be better enjoyed in the winter months. So, it is definitely time to start planning that last-minute winter break!