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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

MAIORI AND MINORI BEACHES

posted by Home In Italy on March 9th, 2017

Erchie is a tiny fishing village overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast. The two hundred meter long beach is guarded by two Saracen towers, originally built to warn off pirate attack. The water is always clean and the beach catches the sun until late afternoon. There is a stretch of “free” beach next to the bathing establishments.

How to get to Erchie
By car: On the SS163, three kilometers after Cetara (for those driving from Vietri) you’ll see the turning for Erchie. You can pay to leave your vehicle in one of the town’s car parks, from where a short flight of steps leads down to the beach.
By public transport: Salerno – Amalfi bus line. The bus will leave you at the junction on the main road, from here you will need to walk down to the beach.

Maiori beach is 930 meters long and 40 meters wide and is one of very few sandy beaches on the Amalfi Coast. The beach is almost completely occupied by bathing establishments. There are just two narrow strips of “free” beach at either end of the beach. Refreshments are available from kiosks located in both the bathing establishments and on free areas.

Only 4 minutes away from Maiori beach ia located 2 stunning villas: Argento and Olearia. These enchanting property, strategically situated on a rocky promontory overlooking the Amalfi coastline, are one of the most exclusive, private estates of this idyllic region. The extensive grounds, descending from the coast-road through a landscape of dense Mediterranean vegetation to a spectacular, sheer cliff-edge above a crystal-clear sea, offer a unique setting where tradition meets with innovation and relaxation reigns supreme.
The estate, boasts two outstanding constructions, each with characteristic features and spectacular sea-views. Both are very distinct for architectural style and era: the Argento is a renovated, medieval, Saracen tower surrounded by several independent, stone outbuildings. The Olearia is a contemporary residence designed by an eminent Italian architect in a harmonious fusion of style and local tradition.
These two units may be hired collectively or separately, both are equipped with private pool areas, terraces and luxury amenities.

How to get to the beach of Maiori
Maiori beach is located directly opposite the town with which it shares its name, on the other side of the main road.
By car: Exit the A3 motorway at Vietri sul Mare and head towards Maiori. At the end of the road running parallel to the sea, to the right, you’ll find a large car park. Alternatively, there are parking spaces along the roads in the town (charge applies).
By public transport: Sita coach company Salerno – Amalfi line

Minori beach is a 250 meter long, sandy beach. In the middle of the beach there are 3 bathing establishments, to either side of which the beach is ‘free’. Whilst in Minori, you’ll want to pop in to Salvatore De Riso’s pastry shop to sample some of the mouth watering delicacies created by the Amalfi Coast’s most famous pastry chef!

How to get to Minori beach
By car: traveling on the SS 163, from Vietri, proceed beyond Maiori and after a couple of bends you’ll come to Minori. You can pay to park your vehicle on the blue lines, or in one of the town’s three car parks.
By public transport: Sita coach company Salerno – Amalfi line.

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.

WHY VISITING VIESTE IN APRIL IS BETTER THAN IN AUGUST

posted by Home In Italy on February 9th, 2017

Picking the month of April for a holiday in Puglia is the perfect choice for all those who do not mind sudden storms, mild temperatures or finding the Michelin restaurants closed. Booking your stay in the historic center of Vieste in this time of the year is a conscious and strategic decision.

The main reason why most people prefer to stay at home during the low season is that it is not summer yet, however wandering around the narrow streets of Vieste during this time of the year means avoiding the crowds that often force you to slow down your pace or push you against a wall. You can take your time and marvel at the details of this beautiful old town, you do not have to queue to visit anything, nor to suffer the scorching heat of August. It will be easy to reserve a table at the restaurants and to receive some cuddles from the restaurateurs. In fact it is not easy for them to keep up with the excessive pace of the summer months and you may not receive the same attentions.

Even in areas such as the Gargano, where the beautiful beaches invite visitors during the hottest months, the beach is certainly not the only reason for vacationers. This time of year it is possible to go for beautiful hikes which are definitely less pleasant during the hot summer months.

This relates not only to the Gargano area, but in general to all the coastal locations of Italy.
For example, wandering along the nature trail of the bay of Mergoli is a unique experience, a real treat for the eyes, something one can hardly forget, especially when you reach Vignanotica Beach.

One of the reasons for visiting Vieste in April is that you can do everything you do in a month like August, only you can do it better because you do not constantly clash with the crowd, the temperatures are mild and pleasant, the locals friendly and kinder, not stressed by the hard work of the summer months.
The prices then are much lower.

Rent a bicycle and enjoy beautiful rides while exploring the bays North and South of Vieste, stop by for lunch at the beautiful Baia dei Campi, a favorite among tourists, leave the bike and have lunch while sitting by the sea.
Cycling is one of the many activities that are more pleasant to enjoy during low season when there are not many cars down the Street.

For more villas in Puglia click here.