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Admiring Giotto, Perugino and other Italian art treasures in Perugia

posted by Home In Italy on May 23rd, 2017

From 11th April to 15th September 2017, Vittorio Sgarbi, curator of the exhibition, presents a real temporal museum display entitled “From Giotto to Morandi. Art Treasures of Italian Foundations and Banks “. The exhibition is hosted in Palazzo Baldeschi, a historic building of extraordinary beauty in Perugia.

Visitors will feel as though they were going through the gates of a large national museum, such as visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.

It is a large patrimony, belonging to banks and foundations, which collects paintings of exceptional value, showing the historical and cultural features of the different territories of the Italian peninsula from the ’300s until the’ 900s, despite the variety of its composition.

This particular activity of collection represents an aspect of the more comprehensive cultural commitment of Banks and Foundations in a wider framework of activity and commitment to the community: purchase, recovery, restoration, and thus protection and enhancement of art works that would otherwise be dispersed.
The exhibition in Perugia takes into account the evolution of styles and provides an extensive overview of the subjects chosen by the artists. It ranges from the sacred theme to the allegorical and mythological representations, from the genre of the portrait to the ones of landscape and still life.
An appointment not to be missed if you are in Perugia or in Umbria for a weekly vacation.
For information on stays in Umbria please visit: http://www.homeinitaly.com/luxury-villas-umbria.php

FAMILY FRIENDLY FUN IN SICILY

posted by Home In Italy on May 5th, 2017

For none stop family fun and a holiday you won’t forget, visit Sicily this summer

With the sun warming things up and the summer school holidays fast approaching attentions are turning to jetting away for some family fun. Sicily offers great child-friendly activities and attractions: families can visit the live Volcano, Mount Etna, step back in time with historic day visits or head to one of the region’s beautiful beaches.

Looking for inspiration? We’ve pulled together our top suggestions for getting out and about and making the most of your time in Sicily:

The Great Outdoors

1. Soak up your surroundings with Sicily Bike Routes
Enjoy Sicily’s beautiful landscape with one of the many guided bike tours from Sicily Bike Routes’. Explore rural villages and soak up the atmosphere as you peddle past olive groves, fruit orchards and vineyards. Offering a chance to discover the real Sicily, excursions range from half-day to a full-day and the tours are suitable for all the family.

2. Discover Mount Etna by donkey trekking
Children and their big kid parents will thoroughly enjoy this day out. Donkey trekking offers a novel way to explore the stunning landscape of Mount Etna, its ancient wood and panoramic ridges. The Donkey’s calm and patient character make them perfect for child interaction and this activity will make for a memorable day.

3. Take to the trees at Monti Rossi Adventure Park
Children will love spending time at the Monti Rossi Adventure Park. Challenging their inner Tarzan, kids can zip-line, climb nets and swing on ropes from platform to platform until their hearts’ content. Smaller children are catered for with easier routes and even parents can join their bigger kids on the more challenging routes.

4. Marvel at Marsala’s Salt Pans
This fascinating day out sees children marvel at the enormous mounds of salt lying in the sun. The salt pans sit between Trapani and Marsala on the west coast of Sicily and the area is also famous for its windmills. Families can take a boat trip across to the island of Mothya for a wander around the remains of this old Phoenician town… play hide and seek or settle down for a yummy picnic, the island has beautiful spots to choose from.

Family Friendly Attractions

1. Splash the day away at EtnaLand
This adventure park at the foot of Mount Etna offers fun for everyone. With the infamous volcano as a backdrop, kids and their parents can enjoy white knuckle rides in the theme park or splish splash their way around the waterpark. From adrenaline pumping amusement rides to river rafting and wave pools, you’ll hear no complaints of ‘I’m bored’.

2. Embrace wildlife at Bioparco Di Sicilia
Conservation, training, education and environmental awareness are at the core of this park and it offers families so much more than the standard zoo experience. Children can learn about the ecology of over 57 species and can even learn about the Jurassic period at the dinosaur park. Kids can discover a fantastic collection of life-sized prehistoric beasts, ranging from the T-Rex to the Triceratops.

3. Embrace Sicily’s Puppetry tradition
Generations of Sicilian children have enjoyed the art of puppetry, its pomp and splendour excites crowds of all ages. Sicilian puppet shows involve exquisitely-clothed knights and kings duelling in stunningly orchestrated scenes and the theatre Piccolo Teatro dei Pupi offers one of the best shows in town. Surrounded by the beautiful architecture of Ortigia Island in Syracuse, this traditional puppet theatre is a family-run establishment where imaginations run wild.

Beach Fun


Once you’ve exhausted the kids with day trips and excursions, head to the beach for a lovely lazy day soaking up the sun and enjoying the sand. Our pick of the best Sicilian beaches are:

1. Spiaggia di Cefalù – a beautiful long sandy beach that sits east of Palermo, it is perfect for family fun in the sun.

2. Ustica, Palermo Region – Water-loving families with older children or teenagers can snorkel and dive to their heart’s content on this island just off Palermo.

3. Scala dei Turchi – Near Agrigento, this beach offers shallow waters and so is perfect for families with younger children that want to paddle all day.

4. Grotta del Bue Marino, Filicudi – slightly further afield, this grotto can be reached by boat. Once their families can explore the natural wonder of this sea cave.

Sicily is generally recognised as a safe destination, children are always seen running around the small town squares and playing together, but one word of warning is to watch out for the scooters that zip in and out. The squares are strictly speaking pedestrian areas but this is sometimes overlooked by locals. Family life is also highly valued in Sicily with babies adored and children of all ages welcomed. The region has fantastic accommodation options for families with villas offering a perfect home from home. Check out some of our luxury villa recommendations:

Colonia


Colonia is a luxury villa with private swimming pool located in the Trapani area. Surrounded by charming towns crying out to be explored, the villa is also close to several archaeological sites including the impressive temple of Segesta, the island of Mozia, the natural reserve of Zingaro and the stunning Marsala salt pans.
http://www.homeinitaly.com/colonia.htm?idv=264

Isolana


Situated on the island of Favignana, villa Isolana is surrounded by natural beauty. Crystalline waters, a quaint fishing village, excellent traditional Sicilian cuisine and friendly locals enchant visitors. The perfect setting for complete relaxation, this villa offers everything guests need for a home from home experience.
http://www.homeinitaly.com/isolana.htm?idv=446

Teti


Teti is a villa of exceptional beauty, set in a quiet residential area it sits in an idyllic position, right on the beach of Fontane Bianche, a lovely seaside village just a few kilometres from Siracusa. The private beach of Teti is made of smooth rocks with creeks that form small natural pools; the sea is clear and blue. Beyond the sea, the villa offers a lovely swimming pool with hydro massage corner and many outdoor areas for outdoor dining or to simply relax and unwind.
http://www.homeinitaly.com/teti.htm?idv=517

If you’re keen to check out more villa options in Sicily visit: www.homeinitaly.com.

WHAT ARE THE BEST VEG RESTAURANTS IN ITALY?

posted by Home In Italy on May 2nd, 2017

Vegan Italy states: “According to the Eurispes report, every week in Italy 6,000 people become vegans”.
Talking about vegans and numbers: 3% of the population is vegan, 6% of the population no longer eats meat or fish, therefore they are vegetarians, and 3% rejects all animal products.

Eurispes is a private institute that conducts studies and researches on behalf of companies, public and private entities, and it publishes the Report Italia every year, an analysis on the state of politics, economy and Italian society.
The new factor, in addition to the decisive growth, is represented by the decrease of vegetarians in favor of the vegan group.
This is a clear sign of the rising awareness on the exploitation of animals at all levels of food production. The awareness is rising also thanks to the constant work in spreading information on the reality of the breeding farms and what lies behind the production of milk, eggs and derivatives.
A question of great cultural centrality, but in particular – and consequently – a gastronomic challenge that many restaurateurs, for ethical or commercial reasons, can not ignore.

In recent years, in the wake of Pieter Leemann (restaurant Joia in Milan), restaurants and pastry shops dedicated to a healthier and more conscious lifestyle spread everywhere in the peninsula,.
Sushi lovers have become vegetarians thanks to the avocado, states Repubblica, pasta is dressed only in three different ways (oil, butter and parmesan and ragu sauce), arancini are made with pistachios. There even exists the “Roman Vegorino”.

Vegan cuisine seminars have become famous thanks to chef Simone Salvini, author of “Viaggia Vegan” together with the non profit association Food Vibration. Viaggia Vegan is the first Italian guide for those who follow the cruelty free diet made up of only veg structures; the itinerant school Organic Academy has hundreds of applications in the waiting list.
You can call it fashion, but the veg people will talk about more awareness. In any case, Italy is now the third European country with the largest number of veg restaurants, preceded only by Germany and England.

If you have planned a vacation in Italy in a luxury villa fully staffed or just self-catered, but you do not want to go out for dinner and you are veg, don’t worry! There is a place for you.
Here are some examples:

Crepapelle, Florence
In this Florentine restaurant you can experience veganism in the street version: crèpes, kebabs, sandwiches, panzerotti, even fried dishes (there are Buffalo wings made with cauliflower with barbecue sauce!). There is not even the4 shadow of animals or their derivatives, yet there is an appreciable attempt to reinvent the concept of ‘sad kitchen ‘and make it more appealing also by that type of clientele that does not disagree with the greasy and grimy (green version of course).

Apriti Sesamo, Parma
The Parma temple of Veg quotes Alì Babà, but instead of the 40 thieves there are 20 years of experience in a field that has made a relatively recent boom. Sesamo has begun its journey from a bioenergetic restaurant (as Antonella and Mimmo define it), and today it is a well-established reality that is based on strictly organic food, curated recipes, great variety.
A take away menu is dedicated to the veg-lazy people who prefer the home table, while for dinner (during weekends) there is a tasting menu to bring the seitan world even closer to the most skeptic ones.

Il Margutta Ristorarte, Rome


For the most convinced vegetarians, this place is not a novelty, since Margutta is alive and active since ’79. And during these 30 years it has been refined, strengthened and embellished and it has now to become a gem for gourmet vegetarians and for refined vegans. The “light gourmet” version of vegetarian, vegan (and raw in some cases) dishes offered in the several evening tasting menus are also food for the eyes. The one to instagram straight away!

Ops!, Rome


Fast formula with no waste. It is a vegan buffet that is rich and always different, to choose according to cravings and mood and pay by weight. Nothing too elegant, just a place where the quality and quantity of choice are the real added value. Together to the chef’s name Simone Salvini, who publishes veg books for Mondadori and that, besides being an expert in the kitchen, has a PhD in Psychology. Thoughtful dishes, right?
If you are looking for a luxury apartment in Rome, visit here.

Suribachy, Catania
Biological, vegan, whole. Suribachy’s cuisine in Catania has now become a habit for the vegan and vegetarian Sicilians, but if you happen to be around you should try it even as a tourist. I know that avoiding the fish in Sicily could be a deadly sin even just for one meal. However, even island vegetables are not bad, right? They also offer a good selection of Sicilian organic wines.
Luxury villas in Sicily

Mantra Raw Vegan, Milano


Only a few steps away from Joia there is a gem of raw vegan cuisine.
Fantasy and originality (with the double vegan and raw bond) not that ordinary, and yet they succeeded by offering a varied and detailed menu, with unexpected lyrical peaks and tons of macadamia. Beverages and cocktails (including alcoholic saké drinks), juices and centrifuges to accompany the whole. An experience recommended also to the most skeptic ones.

Joia, Milan


The first vegetarian restaurant to enter the magical world of the Michelin Guide and with very high bills. Here the natural cuisine has a philosophical and researched touch.
It has now become a pilgrimage destination for vegetarians and vegans in luxury mood. It is possible to feel the mysticism of Peter Leemann, born in Switzerland, but an oriental guru in his spirit.

BRONZE AGE IN SARDINIA: SU NURAXI IN BARUMINI

posted by Home In Italy on April 18th, 2017

The nuragic complex in Barumini is one of the largest and well preserved nuragic compounds, therefore it is the most important archeological site of Sardinia. Barumini is the name of the village where it is located in the central-south region of Sardinia.
Known as UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Su Nuraxi di Barumini” is the most complete nuragic site and at the same time it features an innovative and creative use of materials and techniques that were available to the prehistoric community.

The village of Barumini with its nuraghe “Su Nuraxi” shows that this territory has been inhabited since the Bronze Age (from 2300 to 700 B.C.).

The nuraghes used to serve as defensive turrets with the shape of a cone trunk, made by large dry stones, and equipped with internal rooms. The nuraghe in the village of Barumini is fenced in and surrounded by smaller towers interconnected by massive walls.

The village was composed by small circular houses, located around these main buildings. Besides, it is possible to find other spaces destined to specific domestic or ritual activities. The huts of the nuragic village date back to the VII-VI centuries B.C., when the territory was under the Punic and Roman rule.

Instead, the external wall curtain is even more ancient and implies the establishment of other populations during the Iron Age (between the ninth and the eighth century B.C.). This curtain is itself an adjustment to a front wall (i.e. a wall of first defense) incorporating the oldest part of the village which dates back to the Bronze Age, between the centuries XI and X B.C..

The peculiarity of Barumini is that you can visit not only a simple watchtower, even if particularly ancient, but you can also take a stroll through the remains of an entire village dating back to thousands of years ago.
The excavations carried out in 2015 have brought to light the foundations of one of the huts that was previously unknown along with the remains of sacrifices and rites involving the killing of animals. In particular, the bones of two small pigs were uncovered together with mussels’ valves, goats’ remains, pottery and charcoal fragments.

Barumini’s site is known throughout the world thanks to the excavations carried out in the 1950s by Giovanni Lilliu, an internationally renowned archaeologist who has discovered the nuragic site. These excavations have brought to the forefront the extraordinary nuragic civilization of the Mediterranean.

For those staying at villa Fenice in Villasimius, Barumini is 110 km far (about 1 hour 50 minutes).

You will find more information on the accommodation in Sardinia here:
http://www.homeinitaly.com/luxury-villas-sardinia.php

Also general information here:
http://www.homeinitaly.com/travel-route-sardinia.php