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posts tagged ‘ discovering Italy ’

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

ED SHEERAN AND HIS LOVE FOR UMBRIA: “I SAW A VINEYARD, I FELL IN LOVE: I WAS THERE DURING THE EARTHQUAKE”

posted by Home In Italy on March 15th, 2017

The British singer-songwriter and his house in Umbria.
During an interview to an Italian newspaper Ed Sheeran declares: “Yes, I was there during the last earthquake in Umbria, and I felt the earth trembling even if I was far from where the disaster happened. My parents spent their honeymoon in Italy and I am very attached to your country, I often came as a child.”

To another newspaper he states that “I saw a vineyard in Umbria, I fell in love with that place and I bought a house. I was there during the last earthquake and I felt the earth tremble.”

To the question of another Italian journalist: “Is it true that you bought a house in Umbria?” Ed Sheeran answers:
“Top secret, I can say it is in the center of Italy and it is not Tuscany because it is too crowded with British people. There is a vineyard, and as soon as I saw it I decided I had to buy that place. My parents came to Italy on their honeymoon, you have history, culture, food. I can not wait to take my kids here, it will be nice to learn Italian together. I’m not a Hollywood villa person. However I certainly am a Umbrian house lover.

By clicking on the link here you will find a great selection of villas in Umbria.

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.

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.