Holidays In Italy

15Winter approaches but Italy has always had a summer atmosphere, something similar to Greece and Spain. That’s what the cultures in the Mediterranean area offer, defined basically in two words: sun & beach.

On the other hand, as you might agree with me, possibly this is not the best season to think about sun and beach in Europe. In this case, I highly recommend Italy between their Mediterranean competitors, as I think its offer of culture with its ever-lasting cities is almost impossible to beat.

To begin with, an advice: Italians were never told how to drive. Somebody gave them a car as a birthday present and they have fun driving it. I hope daddy pays the repair shop fees. Seriously, if your plan is to take a ride on a rental car in the proximity of any big city, I would strongly discourage you from going ahead, unless you want to make use of your car insurance payment.

When you take the car away from them, they can be extremely nice people, open mind, and always ready to meet new people and have fun. Girls should be aware that nobody can flirt better than an Italian, so take care if you left your boyfriend/husband back at home, as they will really don’t care. They love to share! And talking about the things they share, what about some of the most important buildings that have made this country famous for?

Of course if you travel from Europe maybe you will begin at another place, but if you come from the outside, I would start the route in Rome. Rome is such a chaos of city that everybody asks themselves how those old buildings are still standing up. And that is true, highly trained hands and minds built those ancient structures that look to the sky, to eternity. Vatican City is a must see and the thousand of churches you will find when walking on the narrow streets of the old town will impress you, specially because you will find them all different from each other, being an entity by themselves, no pure repetitive work.

When lunch time arrives, tourist targeted actors will appear on the scene, promoting there terribly good slices of pizza in restaurants where you will be charged for using the fork, for the water they need to use to clean the dishes and possibly a thousand details more that will make your bill look astronomic. Keep away from those guys or you will spend all your budget with them. And remember that pizza in Italy is good everywhere, if Mr. Scaramucci does not cook it for you, Mr. Caballo will do. Simply, they do it good, it’s their life, so don’t try to eat the best pizza in the world.

Finishing your stay in Rome, I would emphasize in visiting Florence, specially to look at the cathedral and, if you can and your knees allow you, go upstairs to the very top of the building. The sights are really promising.

Another visit you can’t avoid is to the famous town of Pisa. And famous not because of it’s size, but for the tower that receives this name, that one day or another will finally smash a tourist when falling down. The degrees of inclination are going higher, so take the opportunity to visit it now that it is still there standing. Possibly Italians have the situation controlled but… oh, you really never know, they are Italians.

After this visit to the falling tower, I think you simply can’t avoid visiting Venice. Romantic destination together with Paris, Venice can be very tough to live in during the year, but I must admit it has a very strong appeal to tourists to get a “gondola” and surf the the “canale” at night-time. Hotels in the city can be very expensive, so my recommendation is to book one in Mestre, just at the outskirts of Venice, where you only need to take a 3 minutes ride to the city of water.

Finally, if time allows you, and also as it has a good intercontinental airport, finishing your trip in Milan to see the Cathedral could be a nice final strike to this Italian trip.

Sincerely, I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I have enjoyed my trips to Italy. Just remember to take care with Italians. They are not dangerous, but persuasive and good at drama.

Frugal Travel Tips For Rome, Italy

13The entire city of Rome is like a free open air museum with historic buildings, sites, piazzas, every where the frugal traveler looks.

There are some sights well worth the entrance fee such as the Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican City, a walled enclave within the city of Rome) but many of the not-to-be-missed sights are absolutely free.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain is a Baroque masterpiece carved out of marble. Available to all, legend says that if visitors throw a coin over their shoulders, they will be sure to return to Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Touted as perhaps the largest church in Christianity, travelers can’t say they’ve seen the religious sites of the world without paying St. Peter’s Basilica a visit. Most Papal ceremonies occur at St. Peter’s. And the frugal traveler will be pleased to note that there is no entrance fee. Highlights are the awe inspiring dome and Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Note: St. Peter’s has a strict dress code (when we attended, not even shorts were allowed) so dress modestly.

Pantheon

The Pantheon is a magnificent building complete with giant bronzed doors, a columned entrance, and a huge dome. It contains the tombs of Raphael and of a few Italian Kings. The Pantheon was built as a Roman Temple and later consecrated as a Catholic Church.

Admission is free.

Spanish Steps

I think there is nothing more pleasing than sitting on the stairs of the Spanish steps, and people watching. Years ago, I would have said eating gelato also but authorities have banned that much loved practice.

Linking two piazzas, the Piazza di Spagna at the base, and the Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top, the 138 steps are known as one of the longest and widest staircases in all of Europe.

Colosseum

There is an entrance fee for the Colosseum but a tour around the outside of the ancient Roman amphitheatre is free (plus keen eyed frugal travelers can peak inside). It is truly like a scene out of the gladiator movies. I could almost hear the crowds roar.

Rome is a city so full of history that the free sights alone will take days to see (don’t do as I did the first trip and try to see Rome in a day). The historic buildings are so close together that the best way to see the city is on foot.

School Ski Trips to Folgaria, Italy

12Folgaria, in Italy, is a beautiful ski resort town located in the Northern Italian province of Trentino. It is about 15 kilometres south of the main city of Trento, nestled in the heart of the Trentino Dolomites. Though it is often visited in the summer, the area is best known for its ‘Skitour dei Forti’, which is connected to three of the Altipiani plateaus: Folgaria, Lavarone, and Luserna.

The Folgaria ski network has over 100 kilometres of downhill pistes that are linked to form the Carosello Ski Folgaria. With 37 ski lifts serving the area, school ski trips here will be packed full of non-stop skiing and boarding for all ages and abilities. While in the area of Folgaria, as well as skiing, snowboarding and sledging, students can visit the snow parks and take some time out to go ice-skating too.

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Sledging in Folgaria

As one of the most important skiing circuits in the Trentino Dolomites, or Prealps, Folgaria offers something for everyone – including those looking to brush up on their snow-skills or start from scratch at a school. Ski trips here allow access to light blue, red, and black slopes, which are well marked and easy to navigate. The new ski lifts make moving from one area to another simple, as students progress in their ability and want to try higher and harder slopes. If young skiers have had enough of two skis and want to try their legs on a snowboard instead, this is the perfect place. The easy (light blue) slopes are great for learning the basic manoeuvres in a safe and comfortable environment – with a bonus of beautiful views.

Once youngsters have had enough of trying to stay upright on their school ski trip, they can rent a sledge and have a slide down one of the several dedicated runs in Folgaria. While these runs are really intended for children, it is no surprise to see adults here too, sliding down the tracks and having a great time!

Snow Parks

The Folgaria resort area is lucky enough to be served by two snowparks: the Jurassik Snowpark and the Mazinga Park. If your students are ready to take the next step, they can ski down the slopes in these snowparks and see how it feels to fly while navigating the various jumps and obstacles. The Jurassik Snowpark has a slope of 800 metres long, with both easy and hard levels that can introduce skiers to the world of ‘freestyling’. The brave (and experienced) have the option to test themselves on 18-metre jumps, boxes, rails, walls, and other props. Mazinga Park is 68 metres long and has five boxes for jumping, including a four metre ‘kids box’. This is the ideal place for beginners on school ski trips to give freestyling a try.

Ice Skating

Once the kids have had their day on the piste – the fun’s not over yet! Why not take them for a spin around the ice rink in the Palafolgaria? Located at 21 United Nations, the Palafolgaria not only has the all-important ice rink, it also has a pool, a gym and sporting halls. It is the perfect place for students to wind down and relax after a thrilling day on the ski slopes.

Italy Holiday

11An Italian holiday can mean many different things to different people. If you are traveling with young children or teenagers, you will most definitely want to plan your holiday to include events to keep those children or teens busy.

A romantic trip will not be appropriate for such a family travel. If you are an older couple traveling abroad for the first time, you may want to make sure that you see the entire popular tourist attractions such as the architecture and ruins located in Rome and in other locations across the country.

Young couples, new in love or newlywed, may desire to have most of their time alone and will need to plan their trip so that they are not at the center of a lot of touristy activities, unless or course, that is what they choose. If they value their privacy, a trip to the Italian countryside may be just the ticket for them. This trip would be a wonderful way to de-stress, spend some quality time alone, while enjoying all the treats this area has to offer.

The Italian Rivera can be a great family holiday, with the surf and sand. Relaxing on the beach swimming in the surf and working on that tan, can all be done at any one of the small beach villages nestled into the Italian coastline. Families with small children or teens and couples will all enjoy spending time on the white beaches, or taking a boat ride on the blue waters.

Having an authentic Italian pizza pie is another option. For that, visit the city of Naples, known for its tasty pizza pies from numerous cafes and restaurants in the city. Just follow your nose or the natives to see where they flock. Asking your hotel staff is another great way to find out where the best pizza is sold and what other things are available to do while in Naples.

If shopping for high fashion for your wardrobe is more your style, a visit to one of the world’s leading fashion capitals in Milan may be the right choice for you. Fashion designers and their storefronts line the streets of this city, where all types of fashion and accessories can be purchased, if you have the right amount of money.

Get Best Benefits From Your Italy Trip

10The Po in Italy is the longest river in Italy. It is a fast and steep descent at about 5500 feet. The river feeds rice fields, vineyards, fishing, and the stories of yesteryear. It is four hundred and five miles long and is1650 feet wife at its widest point. It crosses many cities including Milan and Turin indirectly. People who want to explore the region should focus on boat tours of the river Po in Italy. These visits will take you to the River Po in a luxurious and comfortable accommodations, excluding transportation by boat. Some of the cruises last for a few days and you can see many cities this way.

Some cruises of the Po River, Italy specialize in smaller groups ranging from twelve to twenty people, while others respond to a large number of guests. There are also smaller agencies who will gladly accommodate two to five guests, so look out for these if you want privacy in small groups. Many boat tours of the river Po River have activities for clients ranging from easy, difficult, and simply relaxing. Some can be done on the boat itself while others are conducted off the boat in the various ports. Some of the cruises offer you the services of an experienced guide who can narrate stories on the history of the places you will visit. Still, some people prefer to be left alone and seep in the atmosphere of the surroundings at their own leisure. And then some of the cruises will offer you folk entertainment, conferences, artistic and cultural events language courses.

This helps clients obtain real taste of the city where they go on the Po. In addition, many tourism businesses provide regional cuisine on the cruise boat, or at least make arrangements outside the boat for lunch. Again it allows customers to genuinely get a glimpse of what these cities are to the locals. Some cruises go so far as to offer their guests housing on a barge as the bedrooms. The other tour operators who do not offer the on board dormitory make arrangements to well reputed hotels for the stay . As with anything else, the prices of the tours vary depending on the quality and the duration. A more expensive one will normally ensure classy reception and accommodation. Ask questions about all this before you commit to make a payment.

Some boats are actually called floating hotels, so one can imagine the kind of high class services they are able to offer a visitor/passenger. Just make sure you get all adequate information about duration, costs involving meals and the area covered in the cruise. This is a fantastic way to see Italy!