Cinque Terre travel tips

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Cinque Terre are five amazingly constructed fishing villages, set amid dramatic coastal landscapes. Cars are mostly banned, so you can only visit them by boat, car or foot!

However, all the Liguria coast from Portofino to Lerici is worthwhile visiting. So here are my Cinque Terre travel tips.

 

What to see:
– Cinque terre: 5 tiny colored villages (Monterosso,Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore –  clinging to steep hills, in front of a deep blue see: it’s a natural reserve and a Unesco heritage. Here is the link to the local tourist board.
– Portofino, posh and beautiful village, one of the main “dolce vita” spots in the ’50s and San Fruttuoso medieval abbey, located in a secluded beach . You can only get there by boat or after a long hike. Here is the link to my Portofino and San Fruttuoso post.
Sestri Levante, picturesque Liguria village, with a beautiful small beach (the baia del silenzio) and a gorgeous promontory overlooking the sea.
– The “Golfo dei poeti” (poets’ gulf), with Portovenere and Lerici as main highlights.
How to get around:
Having 2-3 nights (equivalent to 3-4 days) will allow you to visit most of these places, and to have some time to relax as well. And the good new is…  you don’t have to trek (if you really don’t to)! These places can all be easily reached by train or, much better, by ferry boat.
That said, you have many fantastic hikes, the most famous of which, the Via dell’Amore (more a romantic promenade than a real hike, indeed), is unfortunately still closed due to maintenance works. Nevertheless, a (short) hike among the Cinque Terre vineyards is an experience I strongly recommend! Easiest one goes from Monterosso to Vernazza.
Enjoy Cinque Terre!

Milan in one day walking itinerary: best places to see and things to do

One day in Milan_the Galleria

How to visit Milan in one day, with an easy self walking itinerary. Discover the cathedral, the galery, the last supper and much more – August 2019 updatewww.delightfullyitaly.com_walking tour Porta Nuova_01

Why should you spend one day in Milan? You probably didn’t plan so far to visit the second town of Italy. Once an industrial pole, Milan was usually not included in mainstream tourist itineraries. However, things have changed. The universal exhibition Expo Milano 2015 has driven over 20 million visitors to Milan, and has made this town one of Europe key destinations in 2015 and beyond.

On top of this, Milan is a vibrant city, rich of cultural events, artistic masterpieces, design and fashion shopping and great food. One day in Milan would make absolute sense in your Italian itinerary, and you may actually consider spending a night in Milan and enjoy its restaurants and night life.

In case you are looking for a great place to stay, have a look at my page: where to stay in Milan: the best 3 and 4 stars hotels.

Even if you don’t have time to sleep there, you may likely pass through its airport or its station, so why not spending one day in Milan? In case you decide to do so, here is a (pretty extensive!) walking itinerary, designed to cover in one day Milan main highlights (click on the image to use the interactive Google map).

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Sant’Antimo Abbey, a Tuscan romanic jewell close to Montalcino

The romanic Abbey of Sant’Antimo is a former Benedictine monastery a few kilometres from Montalcino. It’s located in a breathtaking natural setting, close to the Via Francigena, the medieval pilgrim route to Rome, and is an unmissable destination if you plan to visit the Val d’Orcia area.

Learn more about Sant’Antimo Abbey and nearby Val D’Orcia

Bologna in one day – amazing itinerary in Italy food capital

Italy in 4 weeks Bologna

Visit Bologna_Mortadella

Mortadella made Bologna towers

Free walking itinerary to explore Bologna in one day. Discover Bologna amazing art and culture, its lovely porticoes and its delicious food.

Surprisingly enough, the vast majority of tourists see Bologna only from the window of a high speed train, moving from Venice to Florence and vice versa. A real pity for them, indeed.

Though neglected by  the mainstream touristic flows, Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world,  and is known for its lavish porticoed walkways and squares, its fascinating medieval center and its bustling night life. Bologna is also one of Italian food capital: great pastas such as tagliatelle, lasagne, tortellini as well as delicacies such as Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar and some of the finest cured meats in Italy hail from Bologna and the surrounding Emilia Romagna region. Continue reading “Bologna in one day – amazing itinerary in Italy food capital”

Lucca cathedral masterpiece – Ilaria’s funeral monument

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Famous Iacopo della Quercia gorgeously sculptured the Ilaria del Carretto tomb in the 15th century.

Ilaria died when she was only 26, giving birth to her second child. This is not only one of the most awesome funeral monuments in Italy, but also a moving witness of teh ethernal love for this unfortunate beautiful lady.

The funeral monument can be visited in Lucca’s Cattedrale di San Martino.

www.delightfullyitaly.com_Lucca_189

www.delightfullyitaly.com_Lucca_187

 

Civita Bagnoregio, the dying city

Civita Bagnoregio is a delightful ancient hamlet, noted for its striking position atop a plateau of friable volcanic tuff overlooking the Tiber river valley.

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Perched on top of a tufa hill among a desolated valley made up of calanchi, Civita Bagnoregio is an Etruscan town with over 2500 years of history. The continuous erosion makes the soft tufa rock becoming thinner and thinner: the hills edges fall off, leaving the buildings built on the plateau to crumble. Civita Bagnoreggio is slowly dying.

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Cremona, home of stradivari

 

Cremona, it is located on the border between Lombardy and Emilia Romagna and lies on the left bank of the Po. It’s a charming town rich of history and art, and the wonderful piazza del Duomo is a blend of Roman and Renaissance jewels.

But on top of its monuments, Cremona is home to the families of the world’s most famous luthiers: Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri. A visit to the Stradivari museum is an experience not to be missed (click here for more info).

Cremona is perfect for a day trip from Milan (roughly one hour by train)

 

Ostia Antica, a convenient alternative to Pompei

 

Visiting Rome and no time to go to Pompei? Well, Ostia Antica archeological site could well satisfy your ambitions of visiting the remains of an old Roman city.

Ostia Antica has been for centuries Rome seaport, until the change of the Tiber river course left it high and dry. The town was then abandoned and buried by centuries of sediment until the 19th century excavations.

Ostia Antica site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics, and is conveniently located less than one hour train from Roma Termini station.

To go to Ostia Antica web site, click here.

 

Bergamo: Lombardy’s hidden jewell

 

Bergamo Alta is a fascinating medieval town perched on a hill, surrounded by 16th-century cyclopic defensive walls. Its old city center hides real treasures, such as the piazza vecchia, the Duomo and the cappella Corleoni, an amazing renaissance master piece.

Bergamo lies just 40 km east of Milan and is a perfect day trip destination. Click here to go to the complete post.

 

Twenty top things to do in Venice, beyond the obvious

Top things to do in Venice - visit St Mark square at night

The best twenty top things to do in Venice (plus two seasonal opportunities): my personal unmissable itineraries, activities and experiences in Venice

I often receive questions such as “what are Venice highlights?” and “how long should we stay?” So I put together the things I like to do when I’m in Venice, to share them with you. Whenever it made sense, I tried to make suggestions “beyond the obvious”, in order to make your Venice stay a really unique and memorable experience. Continue reading “Twenty top things to do in Venice, beyond the obvious”

Capri souvenirs: discover what to shop in posh Capri island

Capri souvenirs
Lovely Capri and Amalfi coast magnets, sold in a stall close to Capri’s harbour.

Charming Capri souvenirs may be found everywhere in Capri, as well as fashionable clothes, shoes and handicrafts. Here are the three unmissable ones: Canfora sandals, Limoncello Liquor and Capri’s bells.

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Rome in 5 days: how to get the most out of your Rome stay

Rome Italy - Vatican Museums

Rome must sees, such as Colosseum, Spanish steps and Vatican, and off the beaten path sights such as Appian way and the catacombs: easy 5 days itinerary.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you will definitely need more than 24 hours to discover it! Actually, even though two or three rushy days may be sufficient to get a glimpse of the main sights, ideally you should try to dedicate not less than five days to the visit of the eternal city.

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Fabulous Venice Carnival

 

What to see, do and enjoy during Venice carnival, an unmissable Italian event.

Venice Carnival is much more than costumed chaos: parades, processions, masquerade balls, entertainment, music, and parties… well Venice Carnival will offer you everything you need to live a really unique and rewarding experience (especially if you manage to avoid week ends, when the town gets really crowded).

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