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archive of February, 2016

All the roads lead to Rome

posted by Home In Italy on February 26th, 2016

Where; Rome city center. Departure from the Colosseum

When: 10th April 2016

More info: www.maratonadiroma.it

We still have plenty of time for the 22nd edition of the Jubilee Rome Marathon, which will take place next April the 10th, but we already know it will be a great success: the evidence is the number of athletes who has already registered.

Guess which country has the higher number of marathoners who are coming to Rome? France. The curious thing is that just a week before, on April 3, will run the marathon just in Paris. Yet thousands of French have chosen to come to Rome. In second place the Great Britain: over a thousand participants from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Marathon will be broadcasted by NBC Sport Channel in the USA and Canada, by ESPN in South America, by SKY in Mexico and New Zealand, by Foxin and Madison for Asia. In Arica the event will be broadcasted by Supersportnet, while in Europe there are already several national TV ready to transmit the event.

A global television coverage that testifies the great interest on the Rome Marathon and the candidate city to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The prestigious US magazine Forbes has compiled an authoritative ranking of the 12 marathons with the most beautiful routes in the world, including among these the one in Rome.

What to see in Lucca: ten ideas for a daytrip

posted by Home In Italy on February 23rd, 2016

Extract from the article written by Luca Bonora – Touring club

Lucca is a city of Roman foundation and purely medieval, as it still bears witness to the walls of its beautiful Old Town. It houses several important cultural events, among which the Lucca Comics & Games is the most important event in Europe linked to the world of comics, games, cinema, fantasy literature and science fiction.
The city is a top tourist destination and worth a visit all year around. Lucca is a hospitable city, easy to be explored, with excellent gastronomy and rich natural surroundings and history.
So, here are 10 things to do in Lucca for those who will visit at Lucca Comics & games but also for those who would like to come back to have more time … and less crowds.

1. THE GROVE ON THE TOWER
The best way to see a small city is from the top. This also applies to Lucca, which in the Middle Ages boasted 250 towers, of all shapes and sizes. Today, only two are open to visitors: the Guinigi Tower and the Clock Tower. The Guinigi Tower was commissioned by the Guinigi, rich and powerful family of merchants of Lucca in the fifteenth century. It is 45 meters high and the top has a small garden where, for centuries, grow beautiful trees. This peculiarity makes it unique, and makes even the visual a symbol of the city. The climb, challenging, has 230 steps. Still higher is the Clock Tower, which houses a great mechanical clock of the seventeenth century, still working.

2. THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN MARTINO
Example of Romanesque Renaissance, is one of the places not to be missed.

3. THE ELEGANCE OF SAN MICHELE
A masterpiece of Romanesque Gothic architecture, this church presents a mixture of styles due to its long construction, between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.

4. THE ART GALLERY
Precious noble house built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that has preserved many of the original furnishings and decorations, the palace Mansi (property of the same rich family) is now the most important art gallery of Lucca. A hundred works among which Tintoretto, Beccafumi, Pontormo and many important painters Lucca 800 and 900.

5. THE SQUARE
Uniquely shaped ellipses, square Amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Built starting in 1830 by the architect Nottolini, it resumes the ancient route of the Roman amphitheater.

6. MUSICA MAESTRO
Throughout the year, Lucca hosts the Puccini and his Lucca Festival, the only permanent music festival in the world. Concerts and events are mainly housed in the Basilica of St. John, but also in the square of the Amphitheatre and other places and churches.

7. THE MEDIEVAL WALLS
The walls are another symbol of the city. They are the largest monument of Lucca and one of the largest in Tuscany: a perimeter of 4 km, 30 meters wide and 12 high, made between 1513 and 1645.

8. A COFFEE RICH IN HISTORY
What makes the story of a city is not only palaces, churches and walls, but also the clubs. As the Antico Caffè delle Mura, back to the original splendor and reopened in 2012, with a café, a bistro and a stylish restaurant.

9. THE DEVIL’S BRIDGE
Going up to Barga, passing for Borgo a Mozzano, a small town known for a bridge, commonly known as Devil’s Bridge. Built in the fifteenth century by the Countess Matilde di Canossa, the legend says that the manufacturer, unable to raise the last arch to complete his work, implored the help of the Devil. He signed an alliance with the Devil and sacrificed the fist soul that had crossed the bridge. And the fist one to walk on the bridge was a dog. On Devil’s Bridge every Halloween takes place the most spectacular event linked to this ancient Celtic celebration.

10. HOME OF GIOVANNI PASCOLI
Among the places outside the city, we recommend without any doubt Barga, a town at the center of the middle Serchio valley for centuries Florentine enclave. Near Barga, Castelvecchio Pascoli, is the house where the poet Giovanni Pascoli lived from 1895 to 1912.

Happy birthday Vinitaly!

posted by Home In Italy on February 18th, 2016

The most important Wine Fair of Italy celebrates 50 years and many are the events organized to celebrate this honorable goal.

Born in 1967, Vinitaly is the event that more than any other has traced the evolution of the national and international wine system, helping to make wine one of the most captivating and dynamic realities of the Made in Italy. The famous international exhibition of wine and spirits, held in Verona, has more than 4000 exhibitors per year and approximately 150,000 visitors per edition. The salon gathers producers, importers, distributors, caterers, technicians, journalists and opinion leaders from all around the world.

These are the top moments of the 2016 edition: exclusive wines tastings and thematic tastings with the greatest experts and producers. Do not miss the great Vinitaly kitchen: prestigious restaurants where the most ‘popular chefs will prepare refined menus in combination with excellent wines.
The excellence of the Made in Italy: four days during which sommeliers, journalists and producers will present to the public the very best of the Italian wine.

Where: Verona Fiere
When: 10 – 13 April 2016
Website: www.vinitaly.com

Historical Coffee Houses in Rome

posted by Home In Italy on February 15th, 2016

If we are asked to mention an historical coffee house in Italy, our mind goes to the Florian café in Venice (see our previous blog here). But, what about Rome?


Located in the elegant Via Condotti, in the very heart of Rome, is the Antco Caffe Greco; the second oldest coffee house in Italy, after the venetian Florian café. Meeting point for artists and intellectuals since the nineteenth century, it has been repeatedly portrayed in sketches and paintings, and had among its patrons even Schopenhauer, Franz Liszt, Stendhal, Wagner and Orson Welles. The Antico caffe’ Greco, with 300 ar works on display, is also one of the largest private art galleries open to public .
A few minutes walking from Via Condotti you can find Coffee Museum Atelier Canova Tadolini, in Via del Babbuino, where at the end of XVIII century Antonio Canova, the greatest exponent of Italian Neoclassicism, had set up his laboratory. Here, you can sip good coffee surrounded by an exceptional collection of sculptures.

In Via della Pace, located a few steps from Piazza Navona, you can find the Antico Caffè della Pace. Art Nouveau style for this nineteenth century coffee house, characterized by the ancient wooden furniture and facade covered with Virginia creeper. It was once a very trendy place, and it is still frequented by intellectuals and international stars.
Near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, right in front of the Senate of the Italian Republic, there is the Caffè Sant’Eustachio. This coffee shop dates back to 1930’s and it still has the same furniture and the same floor of that era. Its emblem is the deer, the symbol of Sant’Eustachio.
Finally, the first tea room in Rome: Babington tea Room. Established in 1893 by Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington, this tea and reading room was the result of the many Anglo-Saxons living in Rome who needed a place where they could drink their favourite beverage. Even today, this place overlooking the Spanish Steps is beloved by tea lovers who can find all the tea qualities and can breathe a quiet and reserved atmosphere. The XIX century style furniture , the wooden tables the teapots and exclusive porcelain make Babington tea room even more magical.