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LUCCA SUMMER FESTIVAL

posted by Home In Italy on March 20th, 2017

If music is your first love and you enjoy rocking out to the sounds of musical legends and current chart favourites alike, the Lucca Summer Festival is a must visit! The mediaeval Tuscan city of Lucca comes alive during the month of July and plays host to stellar line up of international stars.
Take in the city’s array of wonderfully intact historical sites, beautiful renaissance architecture and picturesque greenery as you soak up the sounds of intimate open-air performances from the greats of the music scene.

The Lucca Summer Festival first launched in 1998 with the legend that is Bob Dylan headlining. Since then it has grown in popularity and a whole host of musical megastars have visited the city to perform on the historical stages of Piazza Napoleone, Piazza San Martino and Amphitheatre Square. Past performances from esteemed stars include David Bowie, James Brown, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Alicia Keys to name but a few.

This year, the Lucca Summer Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary and the planned line-up certainly befits that milestone. Robbie Williams, Green Day, Kasabian, Rag n’ Bone Man, Imagine Dragons, LP, Macklemore featuring Ryan Lewis and Il Volo will perform across various dates during July, wowing crowds and filling the streets with excited revellers.

Lucca is obviously extremely busy during the festival, particularly around the dates of headline performances. A great tip if you are travelling as part of a group is to use the festival organisers carpooling option – it will save time, mean that you have less hassle during busy festival days and open up your options for accommodation within areas outside of the city. Although this is a great service and used widely by festival goers, it’s important for us to advise a word of safety – always use this service as part of a group, ideally two of you should travel together at all times.

If seeking accommodation outside of the city appeals to you, there are several great villa options that would work well for groups of friends or families. Villas provide a home from home with everything you need to rest, relax and unwind. With the Summer Festival in mind, they are also a perfect base from which to visit Lucca for the day to catch your favourite performances. Some of our villa recommendations include:

Villa Alibia

This unique five star property is just a 10 minute drive from Lucca and offers a design led, contemporary retreat for a group of up to 10 people. Nestled on white marble rocks, this luxury villa offers a spectacular view of Lucca and the surrounding areas, whilst still offering a peaceful haven for complete relaxation.
http://www.homeinitaly.com/alibia.htm?idv=418

Borgo Benni

Situated in a hamlet tucked away amid the gently folding hills near the town of Lucca, this villa is a grand Tuscan retreat. Originally a hunting lodge in the early 19th century, its modern restoration has accentuated its unique inner courtyards to offer an enchanted silence.
If you’re looking for a time-forgotten atmosphere then this is the perfect option for you.
http://www.homeinitaly.com/borgo+benni.htm?idv=220

Tickets for the Lucca Summer Festival are on sale now at various ticket selling websites. For more information on the Lucca Summer Festival and to purchase tickets visit www.summer-festival.com.

If you’re keen to check out more villa options within the Lucca visit: http://www.homeinitaly.com/search-results.php

THE VALLEY OF TEMPLES

posted by Home In Italy on March 10th, 2017

One of the most fascinating areas of Sicily is undoubtedly the famous Valley of the Temples, impressive testimony of the Magna Grecia in Sicily.Since 1997 the Valley of the Temples is on the list of World Heritage.
The park that welcomes it’s the largest archaeological park in the world: about 1300 hectares.
The Valley of the Temples contains ten Doric temples, shrines and three different cemeteries:
Montelusa, Moses, Pezzino, Roman necropolis and the tomb of Theron, Early Christian and Acrosoli.
They are also present in water projects like the garden of Kolymbetra and Hypogeum, fortifications and a part of a Hellenistic-Roman quarter. Among the places of meeting of ancient Greece, the Agora are lower near the temple of Olympian Zeus and the upper Agora in the museum complex. And still a Olympeion and Bouleuterion (boardroom) Roman era of Greek plan.

Temple of Concord
In the wonderful and enchanting Valley of the Temples, there where the story has remained intact and present, is the Temple of Concord.
It is a temple of the ancient Greek city of Akragas and was built in 430. C., has a square shape and covers an area of 843.38 square meters and extends for 13,481 meters high, really imposing measures which hand down the greatness of Greek civilization. The main cell was preceded by an antechamber very spartan with two columns and was followed by another hall, used as a treasurer of votive gifts and the archives of the temple.
The colonnade respects the classic models, with 6 by 13 columns, and each column is made up of 4 drums, with a bundle of 20 channels with a sharp edge.

The name of this temple was chosen by the historian Fazello who found a Latin inscription nearby dedicated to the Concordia of Agrigentini, but that has nothing to do with it. In 597 the Temple of Concord was transformed into a Christian basilica by Bishop Gregory.
Such as the Temple of Hera that of the Concordia was built on a solid base, built in order to limit the unevenness of the rocky terrain.
The excellent condition of this temple is one of the sacred buildings of the most remarkable classical. The interior and the exterior of the temple were covered with a white stucco finish highlighted by polychrome elements, the twelve arches that can be seen were dug in the cell walls and tombs carved into the floor date back to the period when the Temple was transformed in the basilica. Getting to this place is like stepping back in time, the magnificence envelops you and makes you relive the magical ancient atmosphere, makes you feel the pathos of those who in faith and admiration went to these places, once in Agrigento is impossible not to visit the Valley of the Temples and temple of Concordia.
It is highly recommended to visit the Temple of Concord and the entire Valley of the Temples to not miss one of the most beautiful places that Sicily offers.

Temple of Juno (Hera Lacinia)
On the highest point of the Valley of the Temples hill is the temple of Juno, Hera Lacinia, founded in 460 BC, a magnificent temple whose columns had a direct impact on four steps, built with twenty slots and four drums. Inside the temple are the Pronao, the cell or Naos, where the traces of the fire caused by the Carthaginians in 406 BC are still visible, and the opisthodomos.
On the sides of the compartment door were the stairs to the roof while the base with three steps on the bottom was added at a later date.
On the east side of the altar remains are preceded by a staircase of ten steps leading to the floor where they celebrated the sacrifices.

The restorations that this temple has undergone many are from the end of the eighteenth century until the last of 2000/2006. To the west of the temple is located Porta III of which today you can see very little because of the rocky ridge landslide. Originally this door was open in an oblique recess with respect to the line of fortifications and was struck by a still visible roadway. The defensive system, the late sixth century. BC, was reinforced during the fourth century. B.C. with an imposing tower of which today remains part of the collapse of the high. The attribution of this temple to Juno is due to an incorrect interpretation of a piece by a Latin author. How much beauty and charm as it encased in one of the most important temples of the story, where there were once performed sacrifices, there where men came to ask forgiveness or grace, there where time has swept away the small tracks with wind and with the rain but nothing has been against the monumentality of these ancient works.

Just few minutes from Agrigento and The Valley of the Temples is located Villa Concordia: strategically located close to Agrigento and the majestic archeological site Valley of the Temples, Concordia is an exclusive villa with private swimming pool, ideal for those seeking privacy, comfort and relaxation. This luxury villa is set in a pleasant rural area, hidden among the rocks, not too far from the beach and the city. Immersed in a luxuriant garden, the property consists of three buildings overlooking the large pool and a beautiful Jacuzzi.

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).

BEACHES IN THE AMALFI COAST

posted by Home In Italy on February 22nd, 2017

Although a seaside location, the Amalfi Coast is quite poor in terms of beaches. The beaches along the coast are mostly made of pebbles and rocks, with deep sea. Take off from your mind to find long stretches of sand: the coast is very high, meaning cliffs and long paths and steps to climb to reach the sea.
The best is to rent a boat and easily reach the bays which are only accessible by sea, where you can really enjoy quietness and the transparency of the sea.
A recommendation: make an effort and get up quite early in the morning. On almost all the beaches of the Amalfi Coast the sun goes away in the early afternoon.
We do recommend the Arienzo and Laruito beaches in Positano, Furore and Punta Campanella (although they are not equipped beaches), the Baia of Ieranto (reachable only on foot!).

Nerano Beaches


Nerano is a fisherman village close to Sant’Agata sui due Golfi. Here you can find good restaurants on the beach where you can taste the famous spaghetti with courgette.
Marina del Cantone is the main bay of Nerano, a wide beach, with free areas, equipped beach resorts and restaurants. Exposure to the south and mountains protecting the bay from the wind, make it possible to enjoy sunny days from March to late October. The water is always clean and pleasantly cool.
Not to miss: all the beachfront restaurants feature the local specialty spaghetti alla Nerano on their menus, a dish created here based on pasta, courgette, and cheese. The original version is said to have been first served at the Da Mariagrazia restaurant, but it is excellent no matter where you sample it. It may not be lightest of lunches, but it’s worth the sacrifice!
From Marina del Cantone a short 10 minute walk leads to Recommone bay. This gorgeous little bay, perfectly sheltered from the wind, is home to the Conca del Sogno, restaurant and bathing establishment. The bay also has two caves: the Grotta di Recommone and the Grotta dei Pescatori, both of which offer a wonderfully cool refuge in the hottest hours of the day.

How to get to Marina del Cantone:
By car: from Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi take the road to Nerano. There are a number of car parks in the vicinity of the beach. You can expect to pay about 10 euro for a day’s parking.
By public transport: the Sita coach company operates buses from Sorrento to Sant’Agata – Nerano. In the summer, boat connections are available from Sorrento, Positano and Capri.

Ieranto beach is located at the end of the footpath which, from Nerano, heads towards the point where the Amalfi Coast meets the Sorrentine peninsula. Situated on the eastern side of Punta Campanella, the place was considered so sacred by the Ancient Greeks, that they erected a temple here. The Ancient Romans used the temple as a house of worship dedicated to the Goddess Minerva. The footpath, which starts in Nerano, is approx. 2 kilometers long and takes just over an hour to complete. The uphill return journey (not to be undertaken during the hot central hours of the day) takes considerably longer. The beach is situated in a little cove directly opposite the island of Capri’s legendary Faraglioni.

How to get to Ieranto bay:
By car: in Nerano, close to the start of Via Ieranto, you’ll find a small car park, where you can pay to leave your vehicle.
By public transport: the Sita coach company operates a bus service from Sorrento to Nerano. Ieranto bay is situated inside the protected marine park of Punta Campanella. The only boats allowed to sail inside the park’s borders are those belonging to the Sant’Antonino cooperative; these depart from Nerano.