Sestri Levante, your best place to stay in Cinque Terre and Portofino

Sestri Levante

Five excellent reasons why Sestri Levante is the best place to stay in Cinque Terre and Portofino area and what to do and see there.

Sestri Levante is a delightful small town, mid way between Cinque Terre and Portofino, the most well known destinations of the Italian Riviera.

In my view it’s the perfect place to stay when visiting Cinque Terre and Portofino.

Let me explain you why.

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How to visit Naples in one day and why you shouldn’t miss it

An easy and enjoyable Naples in one day walking itinerary, including a detailed Naples map. Picturesque markets, amazing artworks and great street food.

Why visit Naples? It’s a no-brainer: because Naples is one of the most fascinating, peculiar and beautiful towns you may find in Italy, and, in my opinion, in Europe.

It’s an underrated gem you just can’t skip.

I’m not the only one to think it: the number of foreign tourists visiting Naples have been growing double digit for almost ten years.

The reason is simple: savvy travelers will find tons of art, history, culture, local diversity, beauty, sights, great food, warm people… and you’ll need to pass through Naples in any case, on your way to Pompei and the Amalfi coast.

Naples in one day walking itinerary - Spaccanapoli

So why not taking a day or so and spend some time to discover this amazing town?

In this post I will answer to some of the most frequent questions about Naples and share a one day walking itinerary in Naples city center, a Unesco Heritage site.

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My Rome food walking tour: how to experience Roman food like a local

Walking Rome Food Tour - Italina "pasticcini"

Amazing off the beaten path Rome food walking tour in Testaccio, one of Rome most food rich neighborhoods, with Savor Italy Tours. How it went and why I strongly suggest it.

As an Italy travel blogger, I recently got in touch with the owner of Savor Italy tours.  She invited me to join their Rome food walking tour so that I could write about it.

Savor Italy tour have been providing food tours, wine tours, pizza tours and cooking classes for the last years in Rome and in Venice. They are a very well reputed Rome food tour operator, with a top ranking on Tripadvisor, so I happily accepted.

I took their Rome food walking tour last week: this post is about how it went. As a disclaimer, I was invited (so I didn’t pay for the tour). That said, the opinions in this post are 100% mine and haven’t been influenced by anybody.

I must admit that I was a little bit biased when I accepted. After 45 years in Italy, I wondered what else I could learn about Italian food. I also thought that I would taste some pretty common street food, a little bit of “pizza al taglio”, some supplì or arancini, and that would be it.

Well, I was absolutely wrong, and the tour turned out to be really instructive.

I discovered a local neighborhood I didn’t know before, tasted some amazing local delicacies I couldn’t have found on my own, spent a really nice time with my guide… and probably added 1 kg or so to my waistline!

Stay with me to know how it went…

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How to visit Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, and why you shouldn’t miss it

Castel Sant’Angelo is a not to be missed sight. His 20 centuries of history are intimately linked to Rome, views from the top are great and child love it!

A visit to Castel Sant’angelo is usually not in the bucket list of rushy Roman travellers. That’s surprising, because few monuments can give the same  sense of the Roman history along the centuries.

Visit Castel Sant'Angelo - night view

Castel Sant’Angelo, formerly Adrian Emperor Mausoleum, is one of the most famous Roman landmarks. And it’s just in front of you when walking along the tiber to Piazza Navona or getting out from St Peter’s Cathedral.

it has a fascinating history and offers one of the finest views of Rome from its rooftop terrace.

That’s why it would be a pity not to cross the scenic Ponte degli Angeli to visit one of the oldest and most fascinating Roman Monument.

You can visit Castel Sant’Angelo in an hour, after you are done with St Peter’s basilica. In this post I will address the main questions and interest you may have concerning Castle Sant’Angelo, such as:

  • What are Castel sant’Angelo hystory and facts?
  • What about Castel Sant’Angelo bridge?
  • What is inside Castel Sant Angelo?
  • How long to visit Castel Sant’Angelo?
  • Is Castel Sant Angelo part of Vatican City
  • What are Castel Sant’Angelos hours?
  • What’s the price of Castel Sant’Angelo tickets? Can I use my Roma pass?

 

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How to visit the Dolomites, Italy and its Top 20 unmissable destinations

Visit the Dolomites - Val di Funes

A complete itinerary about how to visit the Dolomites, Italy, in summer time: top 20 destinations, how to drive there, interactive map and travel tips.

Why should you visit the Dolomites?

Well, imagine long, deep mountain valleys, dense forests, bubbling rivers. Add still, cold lakes spread across the landscape, guarded everywhere by the dramatic pink-grey walls of stunning mountains.

Dolomites views are simply magic, and seem nicked straight off the pages of a fairy tale.

The Dolomites are simply one of the most beautiful and amazing destinations in Italy. That’s why you should have them in your bucket list.

Visit the Dolomites - Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Dolomites landscape – photo credits www.rei_.com

Even though they are mostly known for their amazing sky slopes, visiting the Dolomites in summer time is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

In this post I will share the answers to the most common questions about how to visit the Dolomites:

  •  When is the best time to visit Dolomites?
  • How to get to the Dolomites? Which airport is closest to the Dolomites?
  • What is the great Dolomites road? What is the great Dolomites road driving time?
  • What are the top Dolomite destinations, and how to get there by car?

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The ultimate guide to Italian Pasta dishes: know what to order by region

Top 25  delicious Italian pasta dishes you should taste, beyond Spaghetti Bolognese,  described by by region with pictures and map

What is the most popular and famous Italian pasta dish? What are the traditional Italian pasta dishes one must absolutely try? What is the name of the traditional pasta dish I want to order?

These are very common questions, and this post is aimed at giving an answer to them, in an easy and funny way.

Buon appetito!

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How to travel safely in Italy: 10 easy tips to avoid risks and inconveniences

Ten safe travel tips and rules to travel safely in Italy, to stay away from scams and to fully enjoy your memorable Italian trip

How safe is it to travel in Italy?

Italy is a wonderful country, and Italians are helpful and friendly people.

While Italy is generally one of the safest nations in the world, there are certain issues that travelers should be aware of at all times.

In order to travel safely in Italy, particular care should be taken when traveling from one place to another on public transports. The same is true when traveling in certain parts of the country where crime is known to be an issue, or when traveling at night.

So follow these 10 save travel easy rules and enjoy your Italian trip!

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Everything you need to know before visiting St Peter’s Basilica in Rome

The 10 + 1 key things you need to know before visiting St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Tickets, opening hours, dressing code, when to visit and much more. 

Visiting St Peter’s Basilica is a highlight of any trip to Rome. That said, St Peter is is a holy place, the center of Christianity, with massive security procedure, and it’s normal for first comers to have many questions about their visit.

I tried to collect the most frequent questions about visiting St Peter’s Basilica and to provide answers and guidance, so to make your visit  smooth and enjoyable.

Here are the 10 + 1 questions you will find an answer to in this post:

  1. What is St Peter’s Basilica dress code?
  2. What’s the best time to visit St Peter’s Basilica?
  3. Why are queues to enter St Peter’s Basilica so long?
  4. What are St Peter’s Basilica opening hours?
  5. Is St Peter’s Basilica always open?
  6. How much are the tickets to enter St Peter’s Basilica?
  7. Is it possible to climb on top of St Peter’s dome?
  8. Can I take pictures in St Peter’s Basilica?
  9. When are St Peter’s Basilica Mass times?
  10. Can I visit St Peter’s tomb?
  11. (bonus question: you need to get to the end of the post to know)

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The Sacra di San Michele: legends and mysteries in Piedmont

Sacra di san michele - credits to Marco Rusinà

History and mysteries of the sacra di San Michele, one of the most important Northern Italy monuments, and how to get there from Turin and from Milan

Sacra di San Michele: location and history

The Sacra di San Michele is a very famous abbey and a symbol of Piedmont. It’s a religious monument of incomparable beauty and value, and one of the most mysterious in Italy.

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How Italians drink coffee: the ultimate guide

Italian coffee

The ultimate infographic guide about how to order and to drink coffee the way Italians do! Have your coffee like a local…

Coffee is Italian the national drink, and an unmissable daily ritual. Wherever you go in Italy, you can be 100% sure to find a church… and a bar serving coffee!

On average, Italians drink about four coffees a day, usually two at home, one at the bar and one at the office, mainly at three times of the day: breakfast, mid-morning and end of meal / dinner.

Italians are creative people. While Espresso is the main way Italians drink coffee, there are actually many different options to order a coffee in Italy. And, guess what? They are not the ones you will find at Starbucks!

This Infographic will help you choose among the different options. That will be your first step to drink coffee “like a local”.

Italian coffee

But what are the main factors that distinguish an Italian at the bar?

There are five golden rules to follow if you want to drink coffee like a local:

  1. Coffee in Italy has no timetables. It can be ordered at any time (day or night). Inviting someone to drink a coffee is the trigger to most social and networking activities in Italy.
  2. To invite someone to drink a coffee, just say “caffè?”, they will understand, no need to say more
  3. Stand at the counter. An espresso must be express! Because it is prepared quickly and just as quickly should be drunk: standing, at the counter!
  4. In Italy if you say “coffee”, you mean “espresso”! So you would never order “an espresso” but simply “a coffee”. If you want a variant, then you’ll need to specify
  5. You are “allowed” to some variants to your espresso: Long or narrow, spotted hot or cold stained, corrected, Moroccan (look at the infographic for more details).
  6. Cappuccino? Never, never, never after 10 am!!! Cappuccino is only for breakfast, to be eaten with a “cornetto” (in the South) or a “brioche” (in the North)… rigorously standing at the counter!
  7. Be loud! In the rush morning hour, the “barista” will handle an amazing amount of orders at the same time. Don’t expect much care, unless you shout your order with a loud tone and a male expression (if you are a male, of course..)
  8. Get the ticket at the cashier before you order, the barista will ask for it before serving you
  9. Fight to pay for your mate’s coffees. Italian do insist to offer the coffee, so do the same! Just say “faccio io” (I’ll do it) and rush to the cahier before anyone else can do it!

Enjoy your Italian coffee!

Credits to https://nationalpositions.com/ and to https://specialcoffee.it

 

Climb on top of Etna Volcano, the highest active volcano in Europe!

Easy guide to learn how  to safely climb up the highest active Volcano in Europe. A perfect day trip from Taormina or Catania.

Why you shouldn’t miss Etna Volcano

You have surely seen mount Etna as the landscape of Taormina Greek theater. It’s an iconic view that can be seen in all postcards in Sicily and that makes Etna one of Sicily most popular destinations. That could already be a good reason to see the stuff with your own eyes!

The Greek theater and mount Etna

That said, there are many other reasons that make Etna Volcano is an experience not to be missed when visiting Sicily.

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Best aperitivo in Bologna: enjoy happy hour where locals do

Aperitivo in Bologna is taken very seriously. Here is a selection of Aperitivo bars popular with locals: enjoy appetizing drink, snack and perfect time out

After a whole day around the city it’s time to relax a little … and to taste one of the specialties Bologna is known for: the Aperitivo.

Aperitivo time starts around 6:00 PM, when the Bolognese finish their work and study activities, and can go on pretty late, often substituting the dinner: you may hardly still be hungry after a large cured meats and cheese “tagliere” and delicious “bruschette”.

Aperitivo in Bologna is an old and very popular tradition, just like in Milan and in Venice. On top of that, Bologna is a beautiful and lively town, so people just like to stay out, enjoy a drink and spend time with their friends.

You can literally find hundreds of great places to sip a glass of wine (or a cocktail, or a beer), chatting with friends and enjoying life.

Mentioning them all in this post is unfortunately not possible, so I’m just sharing my favorite places, the ones where I go when I’m in Bologna. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

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Como lake best kept secret: the Bellano ravine (Orrido di Bellano)

The Bellano ravine (Orrido di Bellano), near Varenna

Discover the Bellano ravine, one of the most mysterious and fascinating places that lake of Como can offer, just a foot step away from Varenna and Bellagio

The Bellano ravine (Orrido di Bellano), near Varenna

The Bellano ravine (orrido di Bellano) is a breathtaking natural wonder, just a footstep away from Varenna. Surprisingly, very few travelers visit it, which is another good reason to visit it. Starting from Varenna Station, you won’t need more than a couple of hours to complete your visit.

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Driving in Italy: the ultimate 15 + 1 things you need to know

The top 15 answers to the most common questions about driving in Italy, to drive safely and make the most out of your Italy driving experience.

Many travelers are concerned about driving in Italy and eventually give up renting a car. This is unfortunate, since the “true” Italy is often found in small villages, rural areas and secluded landscapes.

Is that your case? Then no worries! Here are the answers to the most frequent questions I receive on my blog about driving in Italy, and all the things you should know to drive in Italy.

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How to visit Puglia in one week: Sea, Sun, Salento and Trulli

A fascinating Puglia in one week itinerary, to discover the best of Salento and of the Trulli district in just seven days, including top beaches.

 

Puglia is the heel of Italy’s boot, and Salento the southernmost part of it. It’s a magical region, still partially off the beaten path. Spending one week in Puglia is an experience you shouldn’t miss.

Seven day in Puglia will give you the opportunity to enjoy:

  • 25 centuries of history, starting from the Greeks. Actually local dialects still reflects Greek roots, and the Salento central area is called “Grecìa Salentina”
  • Amazing architectures: the Trulli country houses and their unique cones, secluded fortified country houses, the “masserie”, fascinating Barocco churches
  • Breathtaking landscapes, featuring endless century old olive trees plantations under the Mediterranean cobalto blue sky
  • Arguably some of the best beaches and cliffs of the Mediterranean.

Is that enough to motivate you? If yes, then hurry up.

So far mainstream tourist flows have mysteriously ignored Puglia. However, things are changing and this fantastic region is rapidly becoming a top Italian and European destination.

Your Puglia itinerary can be a self standing one week fly and drive vacation or the continuation of a “classical” Italian trip. Either way, you will be delighted!

What to see in one week in Puglia?

This tour combines the three main highlights of the region:

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How to visit Portofino and San Fruttuoso, and why you shouldn’t miss them

How to visit Portofino

How to visit Portofino from Milan, Genova or the Cinque Terre. Discover Liguria poshest destination and amazing San Fruttuoso abbey and beach.

Portofino is not as renowned as Cinque Terre outside Italy, but it’s a lovely and beautiful place you shouldn’t really miss when visiting the region.

Actually, Portofino is one of the most upscale destination you may find in Italy, and its name is a synonym of Jet Set, Luxury and high life. It is a place for the rich and the famous, and for ordinary people that enjoy contemplating upscale way of life.

Portofino delightful colored tiny harbor hides fashion boutiques, starred restaurants and luxurious hotels. It’s completely different from Cinque Terre, and will give you a different flavor of Italian taste for beautiful locations.

In this post I will tell you how to visit Portofino in one day, either from Cinque Terre or from Milan. I will also disclose a hidden jewell you may miss otherwise: secluded San Fruttuoso abbey and its amazing cove.

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15 amazing things to do in Matera, Italy, and how to plan a trip there

Matera - Road to Belvedere

Perfect guide to the best things to see and do in Matera Italy, in one day or more. How to get to Matera, best cave hotels, top restaurants, sunset viewpoint.

Matera Italy, is a unique and unmissable destination, and you should do your best to squeeze it into your Italian itinerary.

Matera is getting more and more importance as one of Italy Must Sees, and for excellent reasons. Unesco site, 2019’s European Capital of Culture, movie set for Mel Gibson The passion of Christ, 7000 years of history. What else would you ask for?

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Privacy: how Delightfullyitaly handles your data

Dear Delightfullyitaly followers, here is a quick note to remind you how we handle your personal data and to confirm our compliance to EU’s GDPR.

Be patient, I know you already received many of these emails…

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Who’s responsible for your information at Delighfullyitaly.com?

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Garda lake in 1 week – a 7 days itinerary to discover the amazing lake Garda region

A Garda lake 1 week itinerary to discover one of the most charming Italy destinations.  Disclose Garda lake must sees such as Sirmione, Garda SPAs, Gardaland

Garda lake in 1 day - Sirmione Castle

Spending 1 week at Garda lake will give you enough time to visit this beautiful areas and the surrounding region, and to enjoy a number of local experiences.

Garda lake is the largest Italian lake and, in my view, the most beautiful and interesting one to spend one week. First, the sights: you are in the Dolomite region, and the light grey-pink cliffs plunging in the lake are just  breathtaking. Second, the history: Garda lake was part of the Serenissima,  and you can see everywhere in the ancient hamlets the influence of the Venetian beautiful architecture. Third, you are close to a number of great day trip destinations, such as Verona, Mantova and Trento. Fourth, food and wine are great, from Amarone to Prosecco, and wine tasting at a local estate is an unmissable experience. Fifth, the theme park, such as world known Gardaland. Sixth… well, you’ll need to read the post to know more…

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How to visit Bergamo in one day from Milan

Bergamo in one day - Bergamo Alta view

Bergamo is a perfect one day trip from MIlan. Spending one day in Bergamo will allow you to discover its lovely city center and lots of art and culture, on top of its delicious food specialties.  Here is a  one day trip itinerary from Milan to Bergamo, including a Bergamo Alta  walking map.

Why a day trip to Bergamo, Italy? Well, you have spent some days in Milan, enjoyed the bustling life, the glamorous atmosphere, fashion, design, and all the Milanese typical excitement. If you are now looking for something completely different, closer to the “Italian” cliché of history, art, nature and traditional food, then spending one day in  Bergamo, Italy is the best option for you.

Bergamo is a delightful small town, perched on a steep hill side and surrounded by impressive walls. Actually, there are two Bergamo: Bergamo alta (“upper Bergamo”), the historical center, and Bergamo bassa (“lower Bergamo”), built in  more recent times. In this Bergamo in one day post I will focus on Bergamo alta, but if you have time Bergamo bassa is worth a visit as well. If you plan to spend one full day in Bergamo you will have enough time to visit both.

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