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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!

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

A dream called “Maglia Rosa”: 21 stages to crown the new champion of the Giro d’Italia

posted by Home In Italy on May 12th, 2015

bike competition, the Giro d'ItaliaAt its 98th edition, the Giro d’Italia has always been one of the most popular sporting events in Italy. From the 9th to the 31st of May, the Giro d’Italia will unfold in 21 stages, for a total distance of 3.481,8 Kilometers.

The tour is one of the most characteristic sport events of the Bel Paese and we, at Home in Italy, decided to prepare a little guide for you with the itineraries of the regions that the Giro d’Italia will touch. In this post we will talk about Liguria, Campania, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.

Liguria is the region from which the tour will start. In addition to San Lorenzo al Mare, the other Ligurian stages will be Albenga, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, Chiavari, La Spezia and Abetone.
Beautiful region of the North West, Liguria attracts visitors all year around, because it offers both mountain and sea. The art cities and seaside towns located in the amazing coast are very popular, especially in summer time.

Liguria, Portofino

The following stages of the Tour are in Tuscany: Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia, Grosseto, Fiuggi, Campitello Matese. Tuscany is a well known region among tourists, bot Italians and foreigners, for its natural beauty, monuments, cities of art – Florence in the first place – that can be found in every town, from the big city to the small village.
Florence, Tuscany

The ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia will go to Benevento, in Campania, to continue to San Giorgio del Sannio. With its charming old town, Benevento is a increasingly popular tourist destination. Not too far from Naples, it is possible to visit both the cities and have a memorable cultural, artistic and gastronomic experience. Once in Benevento, not to miss the Roman theatre, still maintained in good condition.

Campania, Naples

Forlì and Imola are the cities that the Giro d’Italia will touch. The first, with its historical buildings and the Romanesque abbey of S. Mercuriale and Imola with its historical center and the Sforza castle, the museums and the amazing ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs. The whole Emilia Romagna is a journey through art, history and taste: from Bologna to Ferrara, from Modena to the fashionable beaches of Rimini and Riccione.

Giro d'Italia 2015

Giro d’Italia 2015
Sat 9 May – 1st stage: San Lorenzo al mare-Sanremo
Sun 10 May – 2nd stage: Albenga-Genoa
Mon 11 May – 3rd stage: Rapallo-Sestri Levante
Tue 12 May – 4th stage: Chiavari-La Spezia
Wed 13 May – 5th stage: La Spezia-Abetone
Thur 14 May – 6th stage: Montecatini Terme-Castiglione
Fri 15 May – 7th stage: Grosseto-Fiuggi
Sat 16 May – 8th stage: Fiuggi-Campitello Matese
Sun 17 May – 9th stage: Benevento-San Giorgio del Sannio
Mon 18 May – day off in Civitanova Marche
Tue 19 May – 10th stage : Civitanova Marche-Forlì
Wed 20 May – 11th stage: Forlì-Imola
Thur 21 May – 12th stage: Imola-Vicenza
Fri 22 May – 13th stage: Montecchio Maggiore-Jesolo
Sat 23 May – 14th stage: Treviso-Valdobbiadene
Sun 24 May – 15th stage: Marostica-Madonna di Campiglio
Mon 25 May – day off in Madonna di Camiglio
Tue 26 May – 16th stage: Pinzolo-Aprica
Wed 27 May – 17th stage: Tirano-Lugano
Thur 28 May – 18th stage: Melide-Verbania
Fri 29 May – 19th stage: Gravellona Toce-Cervinia
Sat 30 May – 20th stage: Saint Vincent-Sestriere
Sun 31 May – 21st stage: Turin-Milan

Giro d'Italia 2015

DISCOVER ITALY: SIENA

posted by Home In Italy on July 25th, 2013

Situated in central-southern Tuscany, the Province of Siena extends over some of the most famous and fascinating Tuscan territories, e.g. the southern hills of Chianti, Val d’Elsa and Val di Merse, Val d’Arbia, Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, right up to the slopes of Mount Amiata.

The Province’s Capital, Siena, is a magnificent city of art with characteristic alleys, wards (rioni) and towers, artisan shops and buildings that make it a not-to-be-missed touristic destination for Italians and foreigners. Moving through Siena’s lands and immersing yourself in this atmosphere is a magical adventure, a trip through many landscapes, from dense woodlands to old farms, from clay hills to stupendous paths.

Furthermore, the territory preserves numerous remains from the Middle Ages, springing out along the Via Francigena, the great pilgrimage road to Rome that crossed Val d’Elsa, the city of Siena and Val d’Orcia. Walking through this countryside, you can admire impressive abbeys such as Sant’Antimo, Romanesque parishes (pievi) and characteristic small towns (borghi) such as San Quirico d’Orcia or San Gimignano, which preserve their original appearance to this day.

The Chianti area, home to the famous wine, is also an enchanting part of Tuscany that hosts tucked-away towns such as Castellina, and dense vineyards, such as those of Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti or Castelnuovo Berardenga, as well as delicious enogastronomic itineraries.

The landscape south of Siena leading towards the Medieval center of Asciano is dominated by the typical Crete, clay lands where erosion has created crevices, openings and cracks. It is an impressive area where the imposing Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore stands out. Val d’Elsa is also very impressive with its characteristic towns Colle di Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi and San Gimignano, that boasts inestimable artistic heritage.

Val di Merse is constituted of solitary but fascinating places, including the ruins of the San Galgano Abbey that date back to the 13th Century. Val di Chiana provokes emotion and offers its visitors elevated health and well-being, thanks to its thermal spa centers in Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano and San Casciano dei Bagni.

Hills and gullies, Tuscan cypress trees, the river, olive groves and vineyards: this is the landscape animating Val d’Orcia, protected by UNESCO. Here magnificent towns abide, from Pienza and San Quirico to Montalcino and Castiglione; in the west lie Mount Amiata and the solitary Rocca di Radicofani.