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An insider travel guide: travelling with children

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!

It’s winter time … and time to explore Italy!

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!

ED SHEERAN AND HIS LOVE FOR UMBRIA: “I SAW A VINEYARD, I FELL IN LOVE: I WAS THERE DURING THE EARTHQUAKE”

posted by Home In Italy on March 15th, 2017

The British singer-songwriter and his house in Umbria.
During an interview to an Italian newspaper Ed Sheeran declares: “Yes, I was there during the last earthquake in Umbria, and I felt the earth trembling even if I was far from where the disaster happened. My parents spent their honeymoon in Italy and I am very attached to your country, I often came as a child.”

To another newspaper he states that “I saw a vineyard in Umbria, I fell in love with that place and I bought a house. I was there during the last earthquake and I felt the earth tremble.”

To the question of another Italian journalist: “Is it true that you bought a house in Umbria?” Ed Sheeran answers:
“Top secret, I can say it is in the center of Italy and it is not Tuscany because it is too crowded with British people. There is a vineyard, and as soon as I saw it I decided I had to buy that place. My parents came to Italy on their honeymoon, you have history, culture, food. I can not wait to take my kids here, it will be nice to learn Italian together. I’m not a Hollywood villa person. However I certainly am a Umbrian house lover.

By clicking on the link here you will find a great selection of villas in Umbria.

POSITANO AND PRAIANO BEACHES

posted by Home In Italy on March 2nd, 2017

POSITANO BEACHES


Positano’s Laurito beach is a tiny little beach, which can be reached via steps from the small square opposite Hotel San Pietro. Laurito is divided into a free beach and a private beach, the latter belonging to a small hotel, and has two casual beach restaurants.

From the pier at Positano’s Spiaggia Grande beach, small boats depart about every 30 minutes for the Da Adolfo beachfront restaurant…you can recognize them by the red fish flag waving from the mast. Note that reservations are required to either dine or simply relax on a sun lounger here.

The Arienzo beach is often called the 300 steps beach, because of the impressive number of steps visitors need to climb down to reach it. Facing the south west, the beach enjoys the sun longer than any other in Positano. The beach is divided into private and free areas.

How to get to the Arienzo and Laurito Beaches:
By car: once in the center of Positano, you will find the Hotel San Pietro. From here, a series of steps lead down to Laurito. After approx. 800 meters you’ll find the steps to Arienzo. Drivers can park along the stretch of road between the two flights of steps.
By public transport: Sita buses stop both at Laurito and Arienzo. Buses operated by the Flavio Gioia Coach company depart from the center of Positano. A shuttle boat service is available from both Positano and Praiano.

Marina Grande Beach is Positano’s main beach. Along the large, three hundred meter long beach, there is a string of restaurants and bars and a famous clubs.
Its easy to see why the beach has become the focus of the town’s social life, where the locals come to mingle with the world’s celebrities and tourists. The beach has two bathing establishments and a free area, from where excursions along the coast and shuttle boats to the nearby bays depart.

Fornillo beach is the favourite beach among those who are looking for a more peaceful place than Marina Grande. This said, given the vicinity to the center of Positano, during summer weekends even Fornillo can be crowded.

How to get to the Marina Grande and Fornillo beaches:
By car: once in Positano, you can either choose to park along the main road and then make the climb down to the waterfront on foot, or leave your vehicle in one of Positano’s garages, just outside the town center.
By public transport: Sita buses and many boat companies.

PRAIANO BEACHES

The village of Praiano, scattered between the coast and the mountains, offers quite beaches.
Bordering Praiano is the village of Furore, with its famous fjord where every year on the first Sunday of July, a spectacular diving competition is held.
With its privileged panoramic position on the Amalfi Coast, villa Il Faro is an ideal place for discreet and relaxed moments of vacation, offering a quiet and authentic atmosphere. Situated in Praiano, at a walking distance from the sea and all the local facilities, this luxury property is strategically located high above the coastline and offers the most suggestive and romantic view of the Sorrentine coast.

The Furore fiord is one of the most fascinating geological spot on the entire Amalfi Coast. Furore beach is located directly opposite the old fishing village, which has now been transformed into a museum. The 25 meter long beach, was originally used as a landing stage for commercial craft. Furore beach only catches the sun in the early hours of the morning and, as a consequence, never gets too hot, even in high summer.

How to get to Furore beach:
Close to the bridge spanning the fiord (km23 on the state road) a long flight of steps leads all the way down to the beach.
By car: cars cannot access the Furore fiord or beach, and there is no available parking space in the vicinity. Motorcyclists can park their bikes on the edge of the state road.
By public transport : Sita buses, Positano – Amalfi line

Marina di Praia is a pebble beach located at the foot of the cliff on which an ancient Saracen watch tower (the Torre a Mare) takes place. It is from the beach of Marina di Praia that one of the most romantic coastal walks begins, taking visitors all the way around the cliff, beneath the tower. The beach is home to a number of excellent restaurants and the Africana, arguably the most fashionable dance club of the Amalfi Coast. Given its position, the beach catches the sun only during the central hours of the day.

How to get to Marina di Praia:
Marina di Praia is linked to the main SS163 by a by-road, situated just after Praiano town center (if you are traveling from Sorrento).
By car: drivers can park their vehicles along the stretch of road leading to the Marina or, in the summer months, in the private car park.
By public transport: Sita buses ” Positano – Amalfi line”.

One of the most-loved beaches, Gavitella is famous for its spectacular view of Positano, Li Galli and the Island of Capri and its magnificent sunsets. All of which compensates for the steep flight of steps you will need to climb down to get there.
If you don’t feel up to the steps, there is a shuttle boat linking Gavitella beach with both Marina di Praia and Positano Marina Grande. The service is available free of charge for guests dining at Gavitellas restaurant.

How to get to Gavitella beach:
From Piazza San Gennaro, Praiano main square, walk along Via Masa for 50 meters or so, until you come across the flight of steps (there are a total of 413!) leading down to the beach.
By car: leave your vehicle in one of the public car parks in the center of Praiano and walk to the beach, following the signs. Alternatively, you can park near to Marina di Praia beach and, from here, take the shuttle boat to Gavitella.
By public transport: Sita bus Positano – Amalfi line (Praiano center stop).