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posted By Home In Italy on November 30th, 2015

Cooking is culture, conviviality and creativity, and a cooking class is the funniest way to learn about the traditions of the county you are visiting. It is possible to have a private teacher to come to your villa or it is possible to attend a cooking class in a resort in the South of Umbria, near Todi, the Fattoria di Vibio.

At the Fattoria di Vibio, qualified experts will lead you to discover the typical food of Umbria and the cooking classes can be held in a single day or can last up to 3 days, for an unforgettable experience, where fantasy is the best dressing for creating a successful recipe!

Fattoria di Vibio

posted By Home In Italy on November 25th, 2015

Written by Piero Carlesi – Touring club
The XIII edition of “The most beautiful park of Italy” competition awarded the Garden of Ninfa in the category private parks and the Gardens of Villa Medici in the category of public parks. The scientific committee selected these two natural jewels among more than thousand candidates, all of them part of the network of the Most Beautiful Parks of Italy (Parchi Più Belli d’Italia) and reviewed on the online guide www.ilparcopiubello.it, which has been promoting a naturalistic tourism in Italy for the past thirteen years.
The two parks can be visited during the same weekend, since they are about seventy Kms away from each other.

The Garden of Ninfa, in Cisterna di Latina, Lazio, was founded on the ruins of the ancient city, respecting the balance of the ecosystem and combining colours. Villa Medici is locatd in Rome, next to Trinità dei Monti. The villa is now property of the French State and houses the French Academy. The 7 hectares – garden still maintains much of the look it had in the sixteenth century.

posted By Home In Italy on November 24th, 2015

Torn between a visceral love for our country and the stereotype of our modus vivendi; too see how foreigners imagine Italy is sometimes surprising, other it is not. We are flattered by the fact that there are things typically Italians which people all around the world would love to export. Those behaviors are true, but they are occasionally a bit of a stretch.
This time, it is an American blogger, Lisa Condie, who lists 11 rules to know before travelling to Italy: 11 Travel Tips Italians Want You To Know. If you think about it, there is more than one thing that describes Italians correctly in the writing of this acute blogger.
Isn’t that true that English is a little known language in Italy and that consequently tourists might have some difficulties when asking information? Do you agree that Italians hardly tolerate people eating pasta with bread or drinking cappuccino during dinner? And what about the suggestion to get lost in the narrow streets instead of crowding around the main attractions? This is absolutely true. Perhaps it less true that Italians do not love tourists wearing shorts. Although there is no doubt that they might make classic fashion purists turn up their noses. Typical Italian!

1. Dinner: It’s between 7:30-9:00 p.m. Pressing your hungry face to the restaurant’s window at 6:00 p.m. will not change that. Calling for a reservation, and dressing up for dinner, however, will be appreciated.

2. Skin: Not shown so much in Italy. Short skirts, daisy dukes and halter tops do not epitomize the classical fashion taste of Italians. So cover up, unless, of course, you really are at the beach.

3. Bread: It won’t be served with oil and balsamic vinegar (unless the restaurant caters to Americans), so resist asking the server to provide them. Also, bread is not to be eaten with pasta. It’s used to “fare la scarpetta” or “make a little shoe”, to clean the plate of sauce. To do so in a restaurant is a debatable point, so I will let you make that decision! Basically, bread is provided to accompany an appetizer.

4. Simplify Your Schedule: Leave time to wander the crooked, ancient streets on your own. Often, just a few blocks from the main attractions, day-to-day life is unfolding. Leave the crowds. Pause to listen to a street performer. Plan some time where you can get off the well beaten path for a gelato, coffee, or traditional meal with the locals. Besides, if you over schedule, you just get grumpy.

5. Afternoon Closings: This still surprises and perplexes Americans. Many shops will close down for the afternoon from 1:00-4:00 p.m., especially outside the city center. Italians go home to enjoy lunch as a family and relax. Try it!

6. Taxis: You need to call for a taxi, or go to an actual taxi stand. You cannot hail a cab on a street in Italy, although it’s amusing to watch Americans try! The taxi service in Florence is amazingly efficient and punctual, especially when compared to the post office.

7. Italian: It’s what is spoken! Learning a few words and common phrases will make a big difference in your experience. Rather than launching immediately in English, and assuming you will be understood, it’s polite to ask, “Parla l’Inglese?”

8. Coperto: The amount charged, per person, to sit down at a table. It’s not a ploy to take advantage of you because you are a tourist. While a coperto is not the same thing as a tip, tipping in Italy is not necessary, and never more than 5-10 percent.

9. Ask for the Check: It won’t be automatically delivered to your table after a meal in a restaurant. That doesn’t mean you are being ignored. Food and conversations are to be enjoyed, not rushed. When you are ready to leave, ask for the bill, “il conto.”

10. Slow Down: You can’t see it all. Trust me on this one. The reason 46 million tourists descend on Italy each year is because there is so much beauty to see and experience. A plethora of culture, art, vineyards, food, and museums — a lifetime is not enough. So, slow down, savor and appreciate what you do see.

11. Smile: You’ve made it to a country that has inspired visitors for centuries. Melt into its beauty and lifestyle, its art, music, and literature. Trade smiles with Italians and take home memories of a truly magnificent country, unlike any other in the world.


posted By Home In Italy on November 19th, 2015

Otranto, facing towards the east, with its castle and cathedral, one of the most important witnesses of the Apulian Romanesque. Here you can admire the large Mosaic floor, millions of multicolored tiles that tell the story of the Old Testament, the cycle of each month of the year combined with the signs of Zodiac and the three of life along with themes from the chivalry cycles. It is one of the most important mosaic of the Italian Middle Ages.

Those who have the time to take a plunge in one of the most beautiful natural swimming pool, have to turn and go towards Torre dell’ Orso. On the coastline of Roca Vecchia you find Grotta della Poesia, an ancient place of worship invaded by the sea, whose walls are covered with mysterious inscriptions. There are many stories on this cave: From the story of a princess who loved to bathe, to the poets who came to the cave looking for inspiration. According to some people the water of the cave could give you eternal youth, according to others it is a gracious place to the oaths of love.

The truth is that during these days of autumn you most probably will be alone. Legends aside, having such an amazing miracle of nature all for you is not bad at all.