Everything what a motorist needs to know about Italy
Of course, you can go to Italy in your car, but we still advise you not to waste precious time on vacation and rent a car in Italy to see this country and visit small non-tourist cities.
Prices for car rental in Italy start from 35 EUR per day for an economy class car. We advise you to rent a car in Italy in large companies, because small ones are often unscrupulous and can “hang” old car damage on you.
Terms of car rental in Italy:
- The driver must present a passport, driver’s license of the European sample and a credit card in his name.
- The minimum age of a driver for car rental in Italy is 25 years old (if you are 18-24 years old you can use the service “Young driver”, for which you will have to pay extra 15 EUR per day).
- Your driving experience must be at least one year.
- In many large companies at the time of renting a car in Italy, the amount of the deposit will be blocked on your credit card, which will be immediately unblocked subject to the timely return of the car without damage.
- Also, in most cases, you can pay for rental cars only by credit card.
Features of the Traffic Laws in Italy:
- In a circular motion, those on the circle have the advantage.
- Allowable alcohol content in the driver’s blood is 0.5 ppm (about 0.5 liters of beer). Even a slight excess of this norm threatens with a fine of 260 EUR.
- Talking on the phone while driving is prohibited.
- All motorways in Italy are paid. Tariffs and payment methods can be viewed here.
- Speed limits in Italy: 130 km / h – on toll roads, 110 km / h – on roads outside the city, 50 km / h – in populated areas.
- Parking spaces are marked with wide strips of white.
- A mandatory reflective vest is required for all drivers. Violation of even such an insignificant rule may attract fines in Italy.
The cost of a liter of gasoline in Italy does not change as rapidly as we do. Therefore, you can focus on current prices for gasoline in Italy at the time of publication: 95 gasoline – 1.60 EUR, 98 gasoline – 1.75 EUR, diesel – 1.45 EUR. You can refuel both independently and with the help of a gas station worker, who will also offer you to wash the windshield. Gas stations in Italy are comfortable stops along the way, where you can have a snack and drink a cup of Italian coffee. The most popular are gas stations with Autogrill and Finigrill.Read More
The countdown of winemaking in France should be carried out from the 7th century BC, when the Greeks, the Phocians, founded Massalia, the current Marseille. They taught the local people the art of cutting vines and making wine.
Decisive role in the development of viticulture in the territory of Gaul still played its conquest by the Romans in the I century BC. Yesterday’s barbarians were surprisingly capable students, and soon the glory of Gallic wine crossed the Alps. The merry produce of the Gauls began to compete successfully with the wines of Italy, and the emperor Domitian, really worried by this, in 96, even ordered to cut down half of all the vines in the Gallic provinces. It was the Gauls who first began to use wooden barrels for transporting wine. They turned out to be more convenient than the usual amphoras and had an important advantage: aging in barrels improved the quality of some wines.
If southern neighbors endowed Gaul with a vine, as a result of the northern Germanic tribes in the 5th century, the Gallic vineyards were almost completely destroyed. In the role of the savior of winemaking the church acted – after all, ino it was necessary for communion. In addition, in the middle of the century, monasteries were a kind of hotels – and what an inn without wine! It monasteries contributed to the spread of wine to the very limits of the Christian world.
Feudal aristocracy also became interested in winemaking. The lover of wine was, for example, Charlemagne, who owned vineyards in the territory of present-day Burgundy.
The merchants also tried to keep up with the sovereigns, so vineyards arose around almost every city. In addition, the antiseptic properties of wine, so important during times of devastating epidemics, became known: the water was disinfected by adding wine to it.
The most important event for winemaking in the Middle Ages was the displacement of one of its main areas to the Atlantic coast. In the XIII century, in the vicinity of Bordeaux, many vineyards appeared, from which famous “clarets” were delivered to London by sea (in England, the Bordeaux wines are still called this way). Every year, in the fall and at Easter, caravans of ships laden with wine barrels sailed from Bordeaux to sailing. The significance of this sea route was so great that in England a barrel of wine was accepted as a unit for measuring the capacity of ships, and it was from its French name – tonneau – the modern “ton” originated.
In the winemaking of another famous region, Burgundy, the Cistercian monks, who founded Sito Abbey there in 1098, played a special role.
Monks consistently engaged in breeding, deduced new methods of trimming. The dukes of Burgundy, who appropriated the title of “seniors of the best Christian wines”, also contributed a lot to improving the quality. Thus, in 1395, Philip the Bold ordered the uprooting of the ordinary “game” on its lands and replacing it with the “pinot” variety.
Sometimes political facts also influenced the development of winemaking. The transfer of the papal residence to Avignon in the early 14th century, in particular, led to an increase in the demand for local Rhone wines, and vineyards around the city began to expand rapidly.
Since the end of the XVII century, in various wine-growing areas, more and more attention is paid to the quality of products. It is to this period that the first texts refer to the meaning of the aging of wine, and in Europe countries connoisseurs of aged wines appear. Under the influence of their tastes, there is a real revolution in the field of production and consumption – wine becomes a “cult object”. And no longer a church one …
With the development of biochemistry, a scientific approach to winemaking. At the beginning of the 19th century, J.-A. Chaptal, a prominent statesman under Napoleon I and a remarkable chemist. One of the operations used by winemakers (adding sugar to the wort) in his honor is called captalization.
The prosperity of winemaking contributed to the free trade policy pursued by Napoleon III. The trade treaties signed by him in the years 1860-1865 opened the way for wines of France to all the markets of Europe.
It seemed that French winemaking had entered a golden age. However, an unexpected attack broke out – diseases of grapes imported from the New World. The decline in yields caused by oidium and anthracnose, made the winegrowers alarmed. However, the antidote was found quickly: the processing of vines with sulfur solutions helped to end these diseases. A more serious enemy was the phylloxera, which appeared in 1863: the search for an effective means of fighting it took almost 40 years.
But the victory over Phylloxera almost turned into a new misfortune for France! A large number of high-yielding vineyards appeared, and this led to overproduction and falling wine prices. Winemakers went bankrupt, and anarchy reigned in the industry: very often wines were falsified, traders in the pursuit of profit appropriated the loudest products with non-standard products …
The situation became intolerable: the prestige of France as the leading winemaking power was put into question. And in 1905, the foundations of legislation governing the manufacture of high-quality wines were laid. In particular, clear boundaries were established for their production areas. The first step in this direction was the narrowing of the permitted champagne production zone in 1910-1911. This caused discontent among winemakers, and the army had to be used to restore calm.
In 1919, a law was passed, according to which the courts made decisions recognizing “rights to denominations by origin for wines produced in accordance with established honest local customs.” After 8 years, the requirements for the quality of the wine were tightened: everything was taken into account – from the type of the soil and the grape variety to the alcohol content and the method of cutting the vines. Finally, in 1935, a law was passed on the introduction of a system of controlled items by origin (appellations). He still determines the process of wine production in the best farms in the country.Read More
The culture of Italy is inextricably linked with wine. Nature had to create this amazing peninsula in the form of a glass to more accurately reflect the essence of ancient Enotria – the country of wine, as ancient Greeks called Italy.
Wise Horace admonished: “Do not plant any other tree, Var, until you plant a vine.”
And his advice was followed everywhere, gentle hills, mountain slopes, plains illuminated by the sun, blown by fresh winds, covered with vineyards throughout the country.
In Italy, there are 20 regions and each of them produces its own wine, which is distinguished by its diversity and dissimilarity, has its own character, sometimes characterized by obstinacy, sometimes tenderness. And how could it be otherwise, if in Italy there are about 400 grape varieties, moreover, everywhere there is a different microclimate, the soils and winemakers love creative approach to wine making.
Wine-making in Italy goes back thousands of years. In the II. BC. The Phoenicians brought to Sicily the noble Vitis Vinifera vine, the “wine-bearing vine.” From here, grapes spread throughout Italy.
The ancient Romans introduced the consumption of wine in the rule, making the wine a real popular drink.
Already at that time there were well-known Italian grape varieties such as Sangiovese and Trebiano, which are still the most common.
Conquering new territories, building cities, the first thing the Romans did was to lay the castrum, pave the way to Rome and plant a vine. Well, do not carry the same wine in the new provinces of Rome! Moreover, the problem of storage and transportation of wine in the ancient world was very serious.
Ancient wine was very different from the modern drink. It was a syrupy, very sweet and strongly alcoholic drink, which was diluted with water and honey and spices were added to achieve a pleasant aroma.
Horace, a great lover of wine, wrote that wine removes anxiety and anxiety, helps to reveal hidden feelings. Seneca echoed him, saying that wine has a beneficial effect on a person, heals from disease and sorrow. But all mentioned moderation in the use of wine.
The ancient Romans, peeping at the idea of the conquered northern barbarians, began to use wooden barrels for storing and transporting wine. Experimentally found that oak barrels are best suited for this purpose due to tannins, in them not only wine is well preserved, but also acquires an additional flavor.
Also, the Romans began to use wooden presses, prototypes of modern. (Such wooden presses can still be found in Champagne).
But with the fall of the Roman Empire, everything changed, and viticulture was in deep crisis. And only in the Middle Ages, thanks to the monks, the situation changed. Wine began to be made in monasteries – wine for the mass, using techniques that were followed up to the XVIII century.
The next stage in the development of winemaking in Italy was the Renaissance, affecting not only culture and art, but also wine production, the center of which moved to Tuscany. In the XIV century. Chianti wine was born, and the Jesuit monks began to produce Nobile di Montepulciano for church services. In the XVIII century. The first classification of wines was carried out: the Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III Medici limited the territory of production of Chianti Classico.
But to talk about the Italian style is still very early, as Italy as a single country does not exist.
Then there was a pan-European misfortune – phylloxera, which destroyed many vineyards. Many French winemakers lost their jobs and began to travel to wine-producing countries, offering their services for little money. And, as you know, France at that time was an advanced country in the field of winemaking. So in the XIX century. There were iconic and iconic Italian wines Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino.
In the 1960s the Italian government made a classification of wines, according to which, Italian wines were divided into four categories:
– Vino da Tavola. Table wines. Simple wines, without specifying the place of vintage.
– IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). Table wines with an indication of the place of growth of grapes.
– DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata). Wines of high category, appellations indicating the place where the grapes were grown and controlled by the state.
– DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). The top tier of Italian wines, which are not only controlled by territory and are guaranteed for quality.
Since August 2009, a new European classification has entered into force, involving only three levels:
– table wine
– IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta)
– DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta), which includes former DOC and DOCG.
But Italian law allows the use of old category names, so many manufacturers are in no hurry to switch to new designations.
Italy is now the largest producer and exporter of wine, giving us the opportunity to enjoy wines and travel on wine roads.Read More
What to see in Rome in 1 day and how to build your own route, what to take from the “Eternal City” to the maximum. Realizing that most of the guidebooks provide a simple set of sights without some connection between them, BlogoItaliano decided to offer a plan for a walk in the center of Rome, which will allow you to see the most important things. And it is best to start the walk with the Vatican.
Helpful tip: When planning a busy day in Rome, set yourself a mobile audio guide in the center for the iPhone with a map that works without the Internet and GPS navigation, which makes it easy to find the way to the nearest attractions, even if you have never been to Rome.
Audio tour includes 62 points on the popular route from the Vatican to the Colosseum. A test version of 5 points is available for free [a full tour costs only € 5], so you can try it out without risking anything. You can try the application on this page.
Morning in the Vatican
The Vatican is not Rome, and not Italy at all. This is a separate state, which will be witnessed by the white-and-yellow flags on the walls. Just warn you – the Vatican is a religious state, you will not be allowed into holy places in short shorts and skirts above your knees. You need to have with you something “nabedrennoe” and long, which can be quickly fastened and then easily removed. Even if you forgot, you can easily buy from local merchants (there are a lot of them in the vicinity of the Vatican).
The Vatican is not just a city in a city, it is a small state inside a big city.
There are many interesting places in the Vatican where you can stay for long. You should definitely look into St. Peter’s Cathedral and stroll through the museums to see the real treasure of the Vatican – the Sistine Chapel.
It is better to come to the discovery in the Vatican, so that there is enough time left and Rome itself, as well as to purchase tickets in advance — via the Internet, so as not to lose precious hours in the queues. Although the visit to St. Peter’s is free, but you will not be allowed to visit museums and the Sistine Chapel without tickets.
When planning a visit to the Vatican, be prepared to lose a total of several hours in queues.
Another way to see the most important thing in the Vatican quickly is to do it as part of a group or individual excursion covering the most important thing. If you have little time in Rome, then an individual tour is preferable, since you can start early, so that there is time left for exploring other sights.
Day in Rome
Time in the Vatican flies by. It is best to see the Papal Republic before noon, otherwise the dream of seeing Rome in 1 day can only be a dream. Therefore, without losing time, we set off.
The first thing to do is to cross the Tiber River on the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge and continue on the same avenue until you see the monument to the Italian politician Marco Mingetti on Piazza di San Pantaleo on your left hand. Here you need to turn left into the narrow street of Via della Cuccagna, which will lead to the famous Piazza Navona in Rome.
Navona Square is the real incarnation of Baroque with all the sophistication and luxury of this architectural style. There are several palaces of the XVII century, two churches and the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
You need to pay attention to the church of St. Agnes (Sant’Agnese in Agone). It was built in honor, as you might guess, of the holy martyress Agnes at the behest of Pope Innocent X. The head of Agnes herself is kept as the main relic in the temple. Next time you plan to go to Rome on your own, read about this place. A mystical and slightly creepy legend is associated with it.
Opposite the Church of Saint Agnes, one can see the Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi). This work of art was originally conceived not as an independent object, but as a decoration of the obelisk, which in ancient times was brought from Egypt.
But the author of the project, the great architect named Bernini, in this case “overdid it a little”, since the obelisk itself was lost against the background of the magnificence, richness and variety of the sculptures of the fountain composition itself.
From Piazza Navona, it is not far from yet another Rome landmark, which is worth seeing when planning an independent route around Rome for 1 day – the Pantheon (visit is free).
Pantheon is something unimaginable. A completely unthinkable architectural monument, built in 126 in the time of Emperor Hadrian. It was built as a pagan temple dedicated to all gods. In the era of Christianity, he was consecrated and “altered” in this way under the Christian cathedral. The interior is still well-preserved, not least because the church was never empty and was not abandoned.
You do not need to go far from the pantheon to another famous Roman square – Piazza Colonna. It’s very close. This square received its name from the established Column of Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the column in the square, you can see the 16th-century Palazzo Chigi Palace, which currently houses the residence of the Italian Prime Minister himself.
Of course, you will not be allowed into the residence, but one place in which Schiller, Stendal, Goethe and other legendary personalities often visited will be a good compensation. This is a cafe “Greco”, it is located nearby, at Via dei Condotti, 86.
Via dei Sabini from Piazza Colonna will take you to the Trevi Fountain – another of the most “card-based” places that you should see in Rome yourself. This is not only the most beautiful fountain in the city, but also the largest – almost 26 meters.
The Trevi Fountain is a peculiar component of the facade of the Palazzo Poli. Do I need to explain that a coin must be thrown into the fountain? By the way, on the right side of the fountain near the hat on the ledge there are so-called “love pipes” from which you can drink water.
Moving on in our cheerful attempt to get around Rome in 1 day. Return on Via dei Sabini or on the next Via delle Murate to Via del Corso, which also should not be overlooked.
Via del Corso is one of the most “boutique” and “shop” streets in Rome. True, in spite of the official advertising of really expensive and luxurious boutiques there are not so many – they are dispersed in the neighboring streets, but for more budget shopping Via del Corso is just a storehouse.
Another thing is how you, loaded with packages, will continue to walk, but, in any case, you can accurately estimate the price and remember the place for your next trip to Rome. Actually, the very “concentration” of stores will be just at the intersection with Via dei Sabini.
A leisurely walk through the boutiques of Corso Street will lead you to Venice Square, which should also be included in the route of a walk through Rome for one day.
The square of Venice would be nothing particularly remarkable if not for one big “but” – the majestic Vittoriano. This is a monument erected in honor of the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, who sat on the throne after the unification of the lands.
You may think that the monument is the central statue, but it is not a statue. All this snow-white construction, which by its size pulls into a small palace – this is the Vittoriano monument. Impressions guaranteed!
After taking a lot of photos, turn onto Via del Plebiscito and move forward. After more than 100 meters, you will see Il-Gesu, the main temple of the Jesuits. Sketches of the facade painted by Michelangelo himself. Building the church began Giacomo Barozzi da Vignoli still with the participation of Michelangelo, and finished Giacomo della Porta without him.
One block from the Il-Gesu Square is the Torre Argentina Square. Here you can admire the remains of what used to be a prestigious area of ancient Rome. Now here, on a fenced site, half-destroyed columns are resting among rare vegetation. If you ever decide to go through Rome in one day, and get here at night, consider yourself lucky – in the moonlight this place looks incredibly mystical!
There is another interesting place that is worth seeing in Rome alone – the Capitoline Hill. It is located immediately behind the monument to Victor Emmanuel II. This is an integral component of the cradle of Rome itself – the legendary Seven Hills – the terrain on which the Eternal City was founded. It was here that in ancient times, according to legend, the wolf found the brothers Rem and Romulus and saved them by feeding them with their milk.
The path to the Capitoline Hill lies along the wide staircase of Cordonata, which is also considered to be a kind of landmark of Rome.
Evening and Night in Rome
Having decided to see Rome on my own in one day, in the evening there will be little strength left. But there are two more places that you should definitely see. Therefore, we will have patience and plan a small stop in one of the catering establishments nearby.
The Roman Forum adjoins the Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, only the picturesque ruins have survived from the very heart of the Roman Empire to this day, but even they make you dumb in silence from the realization of that greatness, power and dazzling beauty, which the Eternal City once embodied.
There are their own attractions in Rome: Black Stone, Golden Mile, Navel of the Earth and others. Visiting Rome on your own, do not miss this place in any case.
Well, from the Forum is not far from the Colosseum. Just walk a little along the wide and spacious Via del Fori Imperiali.
You can see the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the summer until late, the sights are open until 7 pm. But, as in the case of the Vatican Museums, it also makes sense to buy tickets to the Colosseum (and at the same time to the Forum next door) in advance – via the Internet. The queue here can also last for several hours, and the time is already evening and it will be a pity not to get inside.
By the way, for those who want to have time to see as many interesting places as possible in Rome in one day, without losing anything significant, we recommend having step-by-step routes to the most interesting cities in Italy. With their help, you can see much more and learn a lot of valuable life hacking, which will save a lot of time and money.
Any of the similar excursions in Rome or any other city will cost much more.Read More
Features of the organization of independent gastronomic tours
Italy is a diverse country, where each region has its own unique features and unique character. This applies to both nature and culture, manifesting itself in a variety of forms. Cooking here on top. Gastronomic habits and traditions in different parts of Italy are very variable: it is often enough to travel several tens of kilometers to get from one culinary world to another. For example, Venetian cuisine is not at all the same as the cuisine of the mainland Veneto, and the culinary traditions of Bologna are markedly different from the Florentine tastes. There is nothing to say about the differences between Lombardy and, say, Campania, Lazio and Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia. All of them are not so similar to each other, that it is time to ask a question, and is it not about different countries? Therefore, it is amusing to read on all sorts of tourist portals and in countless blogs that, say, such and such a city is the gastronomic or culinary capital of Italy. There are at least two dozen such capitals in Italy (by the number of regions), and in each case we will have sufficiently weighty reasons to justify the capital.
In general, the soil for culinary and gastronomic tourism in Italy is very rich, and therefore it is not at all surprising that gastronomic tours in Italy are very popular among travelers from all over the world. In Russia, the corresponding programs are offered by a number of travel companies (interesting tours can be found, in particular, from Simpletravel; see here). It is only necessary to take into account that the pleasure is, as a rule, not cheap. However, if you are not very well oriented in the field of cooking or do not burn with the desire to think through every little thing, then a gastronomic tour organized by professionals is perhaps the ideal option.
However, here we are more interested in the possibilities of organizing independent travels. Let’s talk about this in more detail.
How to organize a gastronomic tour of Italy alone
In general, organizing an independent journey in Italy is quite simple. Buy air and railway tickets, book hotels, get a visa – is a simple matter. The most difficult thing in the case of gastroturas, in our opinion, is to draw up a travel program. What and where to try, what places (restaurants, wineries, agricultural enterprises, etc.) to visit, when it is better to go to one or another region of Italy to fully appreciate the advantages of local cuisine – these and many other questions will require you to be careful preparation.
However, here, for lack of time or desire to search for all the necessary information on your own, again, you can resort to outside help. To this end, it makes sense to look at sites like www.tripster.ru, where, among other things, there are excursions of a gastronomic orientation. For example, here you can find a good selection of culinary and gastronomic excursions in Rome and its environs, here is a tempting tour of Venice and its hidden back streets, and here is an interesting one-day tour of Apulia. Similar tours and walks can be booked in Florence, Naples, Verona, Turin and many other Italian cities.
But you can do otherwise. If you are interested in cooking as such, then surely you have at least some idea of what attracts your attention. From this and push off. When planning a trip, refer to the tourist forums, blogs and reviews of tourists, the benefit is that in the case of Italy there is no shortage of information. As a result, you can make an approximate list of dishes, wines and products that you definitely need to try in a particular region. And then go to the free swimming – travel around the country, wander through the cities, alternating sessions of contemplation of the beautiful with a visit to the points of the public catering that you like along the way, and try, try, try. With this approach, of course, not only gastronomic discoveries, but also disappointments await you. But, comparing what and how they cook in different establishments, you can form your own idea of Italian cuisine and its regional specialties. In the end, nothing is more valuable than personal experience. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to ignore the experience of other people. No one has canceled Google Maps and Tripadvisor – on these resources there are a lot of reviews about various institutions in all of the more or less noticeable cities in Italy. And, of course, before going to a particular restaurant, pizzeria, trattoria, etc., it is worth a while to read what is written about them.
In addition, do not forget about the existence of books and travel guides. Of them, too, can draw a lot of useful information. In Russian there is, for example, the book by Elena Kostyukovich “Food. Italian happiness “, which can be used as a gastronomic guide to Italy. (Essentially the same book, only in a slightly different layout, was previously published in two parts – “A Taste of Italian Happiness” and “Roads of Italian Happiness.”) There is a book by Andrei Bilzho “My Venice” – again, almost ready-made guidebook institutions of Venice. There is another literature.
Finally, you can focus on numerous gastronomic fairs and festivals. For example:
- Florence Pitti Taste fair is held annually (in March);
- in Perugia – Eurochocolate fair (in October);
- in Alba – the Tartufo Bianco d’Alba fair dedicated to white truffle (October-November);
- in Ladispoli, near Rome, – Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco in honor of the artichokes (in late March – early April);
- in Montefiascone, also near Rome, – the wine festival Fiera del Vino (in early August) …
The list can be continued indefinitely. By and large, any cultural event in Italy, be it a city carnival or a celebration in honor of some saint, is accompanied by a fair of traditional local products: somewhere there is more, somewhere less, but it is always interesting and tasty.
We should also mention the organization Slow Food (see www.slowfood.com) and, in particular, the annual gastronomic feast Terra Madre Salone del Gusto held in Turin (in September). The organization’s website regularly publishes information about other events.
Also pay attention to the network of Eataly gastronomic centers (see www.eataly.net), conceptually combining a market where you can buy high-quality Italian products (cheeses, cold meats, seafood, etc., etc.), and a restaurant where you can taste dishes made from these highest quality products (which is remarkable, prices are not exorbitant). The geography of their presence is extensive and has long gone beyond the Apennine Peninsula. If we talk about Italy, the offices of Eataly are represented in the same Turin, as well as in Milan, Bologna (here in November 2017 a huge agro-gastronomic park FICO was opened – see www.eatalyworld.it), Florence, Rome, Bari and some other cities.Read More
In recent years, more and more residents of stone megalopolises tend to go to nature, to relax from the hustle and bustle. In Italy, there is a great way to accomplish this task – to go to the countryside on an agricultural farm. This type of recreation is called agritourism, and it is in Italy that it is extremely popular, there are a huge number of available farms in each region.
According to the legislation, this kind of recreation has existed since the mid 70s, and special conditions are even prescribed in the laws. According to these conditions, farmers are obliged to accept tourists. Initially, everything was very strict with this: the farmer undertook to prepare food, at least 50% consisting of products grown on his farm, to conduct tastings of his own or local wines, to organize sports and didactic activities for children (teach them to milk cows, etc. ., that is, to live a full farm life). There are also certain requirements for guest accommodation, which must be as authentic as possible.
Now the concept has changed a bit, and along with the growing demand for this type of recreation, more and more “quasi-agritourism” began to appear, with swimming pools, spa areas, massages and other things. They feed there as in a restaurant (thawed food), but the air is basically the same. The real life in agro-tourism is quite simple: stone modestly furnished houses, wooden tables in the dining room and its own, cooked food by the owners.
If you want to do agritourism, you must live on a real farm, in an authentic place.
Agritourism is not necessarily all located in the mountains, but often. Firstly, there is cheaper and more suitable for agricultural needs the land, and secondly, it is easier to embody the idea of privacy. In general, there are no agritourism right on the beach, of course. But in compensation you can enjoy the beautiful and spectacular views of the mountains.
In addition to world-famous attractions, beautiful beaches and traditional cuisine, Italy is also famous for agritourism. In the cultivation of this type of recreation, Italy, along with France and Spain, is considered one of the recognized world leaders. And what other visiting format will allow to penetrate the Italian way of life and traditions better than a holiday in the countryside?
Throughout the year, over 10,000 Italian villas, farms and estates are ready to host agrotourists. Here you can ride horses, stroll through the fragrant flower fields, visit the vineyards and, of course, enjoy plenty of gastronomic delights.
The history of agrotourism in Italy
According to one of the local legends, a foreigner set up agrotourism in Italy, who went to live on an Italian farm in order to diversify his too calm and full life. The case was in the post-war period, when the Italian villages impoverished as a result of the Second World War were just beginning to “come to their senses”. The farmer who sheltered the eccentric foreigner was satisfied, having received a good reward for his labors. Stories about excellent rest, wonderful natural food and Italian hospitality quickly spread out of the country, and soon they began to travel to Italy not only for its rich architecture and history, but also to taste all the delights of the colorful village life.
Entrepreneurial Italians, seeing in this niche market, began to equip their homes and farms, to create all the conditions for a decent holiday visitors. By the 70s of the 20th century, agricols began to appear in the country — existing farms that, in addition to producing wine, olive oil and other products, provided rooms for tourists in their homes.
Since 1985, agritourism in Italy has received official recognition and government support. Some projects even provide special grants. In the countries of the European Union there is a decree, which clearly states the rules of doing business for farmers who want to provide their farms for agritourism. To get permission to engage in this type of business, Italian farmers are required to complete a special course, designed for a hundred hours. In the course of the training program, farmers acquire knowledge of the basics of law, management, accounting, sanitary and hygiene standards, etc.
Today, agritourism in Italy is an already formed market. Every year, about two million people come to farms and farmsteads, which gives a considerable profit to the country’s budget.
The most popular regions of Italy for agritourism
Agritourism in Tuscany
The first position in the list of the most popular regions for agro-tourism in Italy is rightfully occupied by Tuscany, where a quarter of the country’s agricultural chips are concentrated. Tuscany is a paradise for travelers. Her villages and small towns are saturated with the spirit of the Middle Ages.
In addition to the picturesque nature, olive groves and wine plantations, agrotourists have a great opportunity not only to taste the dishes for which Tuscany is famous, but also to learn how to cook them under the guidance of Tuscan hostesses.
In the Tuscan cuisine are widely used fish, flour and sausages, and, of course, a variety of vegetables. However, an essential element of Tuscan cuisine is olive oil, which is considered one of the best in the country, and also Florentine steak, which is made from bull meat marinated in olive oil with spices. In addition, Tuscany is also the land of winemakers. Therefore, agritourism in Tuscany without wine is simply unthinkable.
Agritourism in Trentino – South Tyrol
Together with Tuscany in popularity in agritourism there is another equally famous resort –Trentino (South Tyrol). The key to the popularity of this province is the fact that Trentino is one of the largest European centers of mountain and ski tourism with a well-developed infrastructure. Agritourism in Trentino is an explosive mixture of picturesque landscapes, mild climate, mountain “crystal air”, sights, wine and, of course, excellent Italian cuisine.
If you go to Trentino – be sure to try the local pizzocheri paste, made from buckwheat flour with potatoes and savoy cabbage, generously seasoned with cheeses and herbs. Beef tenderloin called tagliata, pickled in spices and grilled, and also dried bresaola beef (Italian bresaola), cut into transparent slices.
Agritourism in Piedmont
The region in the north of Italy has glorified the country for its gastronomic delights. In addition to fine wines, cheeses and other gastronomy, it is in Piedmont that the world famous white truffles grow. Agrotourists who decide to go to this region of Italy will have the opportunity to stay in the agrikols of the legendary “hunters” for delicious mushrooms. If you’re lucky, you can even take part in the search for truffles or visit the famous truffle festival. Fans of “mushroom hunting” should be headed to the province of Lange, where, near the town of Alba, these agro-tourist estates are located.
Agritourism in Piedmont is also a wine tour, since winemaking has a special place in Piedmont. It is Piedmont that is the birthplace of the famous Asti Slumante wine and the wonderful sparkling Prosseco. While serving local Barolo wine, in addition to bread, butter, vegetables and several types of sausages, the guest is sure to be treated with white truffles.
And Piedmont is one of the largest producers of cheese. Indeed, in addition to the recipe, in the production of Italian cheese, one of the key roles is played by the vegetation that feeds animals, and the climate in which cheese matures. Only in this region can you try the real cheeses of Castelmagno, Gongorzola, GranaPadano, Taleggio, Robiola, Bra and TomaPiemontese.
In addition, agri-tourism in Piedmont is an opportunity to swim in hot springs, which the region abounds in. The thermal spas of Piedmont such as the Terme di Acqui, Terme di Agliano and Terme di Bognanco are famous for their sources throughout Italy.Read More
Agriculture is an economic and culturally important part of life in Australia. Many Australians are directly and indirectly associated with agriculture. Even for those Australians who are not connected with agriculture, there will still be links with the country’s rural and agrarian-economic history.
A brief overview of the history of agriculture in Australia
In the first few decades after European settlers arrived in Australia, farms developed mainly around early settlements. These farms mainly raised grain crops (wheat) and raised sheep, which were originally brought from Europe.
Agriculture in the 1800s
The government encouraged research and development of new plots of land and provided material support to this cause, and in the 1800s, farmers and settlers gradually began to move inland and occupy vast areas for grazing and growing crops.
The creation of railways from the 1850s greatly facilitated the delivery of products from remote farms to the markets of large cities.
Huge areas, previously overgrown with forests and shrubs have now been cleared for pasture along the coast of Australia and inland.
The dry climate and poor soil of Australia first presented problems for farmers, but they quickly solved this problem, the solution was the production of high-quality wool. Wool has become the cornerstone of Australian agriculture, and Australia, as is often said, “went on the back of the sheep” during the first years of its economic development.
Still, the key problems for farmers in most parts of Australia were drought and the issue of irrigation. After the construction of irrigation systems, new agricultural methods became viable.
In 1900, wool and wheat still dominated Australian agriculture, but cattle rearing was becoming more widespread, helped by a rich market for grains, fruits, and vegetable crops.
First, most of the crops were grown in the Eastern States, but then, Western Australia became the main grain producer by 1905. The production of sugar beet in Queensland and the cultivation of grapes in the Riverline region of New South Wales were also well developed by the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1901, the population census revealed that approximately fourteen percent of the total Australian population is employed in agricultural industries.
Enemies of australian farmers
During World War I, rabbits became the main enemy of Australian farmers. Rabbits spread north from Geelong in Victoria, and seriously reduced the productivity of Australian agriculture. Rabbit control is still the main problem for farmers and the government today.
Australia’s agriculture in the 20th century
In the 20th century, Australian agricultural production grew rapidly and produced a lot of products, which fully satisfied and even exceeded the needs of the Australian population. This increase in production has forced Australia to become one of the top food exporters in the world.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Australian government provided assistance to Vermer and primary producers in order to communicate production, employment and exports. The government also increased duties on certain goods to discourage imports. Despite the enormous damage from the Great Depression and the two world wars, Australian agriculture continued to grow steadily in the first half of the 20th century.
The importance of agriculture in the Australian economy declined by the second half of the 20th century. Only three percent of the country’s population is now hired in agriculture. Government aid was reduced, and wool became a less important and valuable commodity. Farmers were forced to innovate and diversify in order to survive.
Agriculture in Australia today
The Economic Importance of Agriculture in Australia
Agriculture is an important sector of the Australian economy that generates up to $ 39 billion in profits every year.
Australia’s agriculture employs approximately 370,000 people.
Although agricultural production is not as extensive as at its peak in the mid-1970s, farms still occupy about sixty percent of all land in Australia.
Farms in Australia have traditionally been family-owned firms that have passed from generation to generation. However, since the 1950s, international economic factors and changes in agriculture have led to the expediency of organizing large farms, which are more economically viable than small ones. The number of families engaged in farming has decreased, but the average farm size has increased.
Many modern farmers report that they are struggling to make a profit, and some of them have to admit that additional work from the farm adds income to the family budget.
Types of agriculture in Australia
Different types of agriculture are mainly concentrated in the areas that satisfy them best, depending on irrigation suitability and climatic conditions.
Livestock, mainly sheep and cattle, occupy most of the land in Australian agriculture. Sheep are found in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.
Approximately ninety percent of all cattle are used to produce beef. Queensland and New South Wales are the main beef cattle producers in Australia.
Most dairy cattle nakoditsya in the southern regions of the country, mainly in Victoria.
Wheat and other grains are equally distributed in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
The main harvest of sugar beet falls on Queensland and New South Wales.
Fruit cultivation is common in all Australian territories, as well as the cultivation of vegetables.
Drought and other effects of the Australian climate
One of Australia’s most famous poems, called “My Country,” by Dorothea McKellaire, contains the lines “land … rains, floods and droughts …” For many people, these are warnings about the difficulties that farmers face in Australia.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world; only Antarctica has less precipitation. Large tracts of land everywhere in inland Australia are prone to drought, which can last for several years.
Irrigation is a very important factor in creating agriculture that is viable in the interior of the mainland. Extensive irrigation systems, such as the Snow Scheme, have been established so that water is brought into the country for agriculture. Water is also obtained by drilling wells and storing them in dams on farms.
Australian soils need fertilizer containing superfootvat and nitrogen. Farmers also face difficulties in dealing with soil erosion and salinity.
Many cities and settlements in Australia have annual agricultural exhibitions. In these events, exhibitors representing rural producers, organizations and companies introduce people living in cities to rural life and agricultural production.
The Sydney Royal Esther Shoo is the largest annual agricultural exhibition in Australia, as well as The Royal Melbourne Shoo, are the most anticipated exhibitions of Victoria. Every year hundreds of thousands of people come to each of these exhibitions.
Sustained popularity of agricultural exhibitions –
This is evidence that farms and rural societies continue to play a huge role in the life of Australia.
The importance of technology in Australian agriculture
Technology is having a huge impact on agriculture in Australia. Scientific and technological progress has helped make Australian farmers among the world’s leaders in efficiency and productivity.
During the 1800s, agriculture mainly used manual labor, along with horses and oxen. Today, a strong and technologically advanced machine replaced most of the labor of man and the labor of animals in agriculture.
Multi-Australian inventions and technological advances helped expand agriculture in the early twentieth century. Inventions such as the “jumping over the stump” plow, the combine and the “bush mower” helped farmers make the most of the wild Australian environment.
Irrigation advances, such as the discovery and use of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin and the development of irrigation, have helped provide much-needed water to Australian farmers.
The effectiveness of Australian agriculture has also improved with scientific discoveries in genetics, irrigation and disease control. Drought-resistant varieties of cereal crops were developed. The animals had improved the quality of their meat and wool.
The discovery and introduction of new technologies remains vital for farmers to produce products of excellent quality at a low price. Farmers use satellite technology, discovering more efficient methods of delivering water to where it is needed.
Also in recent years, the use of information technology on farms has been increased. Now most farms have computers and Internet access.
Life on an Australian farm in the 21st century
Despite all the changes over the centuries in Australian agricultural production, today there is still a strong sense of tradition and pride among Australian farmers. While technological and economic factors have a huge impact on rural existence, many of the old-fashioned values of agriculture are as strong as ever for Australian farming families.
Allan Gardy has been engaged in agriculture in the Wimmer area of West Victoria since the 1950s. He and his wife, Pat, grow wheat and maintain a farm called the man, which Allan’s father handed to him. They also grow other crops, such as lentils, which are well suited to the dry conditions of Wimmera agriculture.
Like Australian farmers for decades in front of them, the Gardie family protects nature. Often the only thing separating a good year from a bad year is the good amount of precipitation at the right time.
While some of the tools and methods of agriculture have changed, others have remained the same as before. Allan is as proud of his working dogs as his high-tech farming equipment. An Australian farm dog is a tradition that has remained in modern agriculture because it is still a very effective way to guard and graze sheep and cattle. Working dogs are highly valued, but unlike most pet dogs, they are rarely allowed to stay in the house.
Like many other Australian farmers, the Hardy family is working hard. During harvest, work can continue even at night, using the lighting device on combines.
Despite hardship and hard work, the Gardy family is an active member of the farming community. They are always ready for communication when neighbors, family and friends drop in on them. They regularly play and chat at a local golf club. When Allan celebrated his 70th birthday at a local club, there were a lot of friends and their family members.
As in most farm families in Australia, when the children of Pat and Allan grew up, they began to leave the parents’ farm in the cities to find a prestigious and well-paid job. But their youngest son, Paul, has returned to the farm and is working with Allan now, successfully studying the art of agriculture. Pat and Allan are proud that their son will continue their family tradition of farm management.Read More
In Israel, more than a dozen varieties of strawberries are produced. Among them are Hadass, Tamar, Yael, Malach, Tamir, Barrack and Sirota, synthesized at the Agricultural Institute “Volcani” in Rishon Lezion, Yuval and Orly from the company Fertiseeds, as well as shaked and mouths grown on the “Meshek Yosef” farm.
And from about January all this begins to fill with color and maturity. It’s time to pick berries. You can, of course, buy them in the nearest market, but it is much nicer and more fun to get the whole family out into nature and personally collect them from the garden. At the same time you can eat from the heart. Where can this be done?
“Bag on the farm” (“Farm on the hill”) in Gedera invites you to pick strawberries grown without chemicals. The berries are clean and healthy, sweet and tasty, grow, as it should be in the name of the farm, on the hill. In case of rain or inclement weather there are beds inside the greenhouse. As an additional entertainment: a living area and the opportunity to ride through the fields on the tractor. The entrance costs 30 shekels (children up to 3 years old are free), food on the spot without restrictions, and each basket to take away – for an additional 20 shekels.
Farm Agronen, also located in Göder, produces not only fresh strawberries, but also other berries. At the beginning of January, only strawberries and raspberries are available in small quantities. The peak of ripening, according to the owners, will come on the holiday of Shavuot (this year it is May 19-20). In April, the medlar (shesek) is promised, and in June-July – blackberries, mulberries and plums. Open until only on Saturdays, but opening hours promise to expand on Friday. Entrance – 30 shekels, container for strawberries for 20.
“Bags-6” not far from Netanya in moshav Geulim invites you to one of the oldest strawberry farms in Israel, founded in the 60s of the last century. Long green beds, stretching across a huge field, daily meet guests with lots of sweet ripe berries, irrigated with well water. It is advised to come by 9 am – there are a lot of people who want it and by noon it is already full sold out. Entry costs 20 shekels. Price basket – 15.
Tal Bag is located next to Hod Hasharon and is open to the general public only on Saturdays. Here they are proud of 5 strawberry varieties (Orli, Tamar, Malach, Barrack and 295) grown using biological control methods. Berries do not even need to wash before eating. The entrance for the child costs 40, including a takeaway basket, parents can choose the option without packaging for 20 shekels. Each additional basket with a capacity of about 400 grams will cost 20 shekels. Food on site without restrictions. You can also pick oranges and carrots on the farm, but in January only strawberries are available.
You can also pick strawberries grown without chemical spraying at the Ruach She-Tut farm, at the entrance to the kibbutz Gan-Shmuel just east of Hadera. To protect against pests here use ladybugs and special bees. It is curious that part of the strawberry does not grow on the ground, but in boxes. The entrance costs 45 shekels, including unlimited strawberry eating on the spot and a 250-gram basket with them. Open daily, but pre-registration is required at the weekend.
PullGezer Farm, located near Kfar Saba, offers not only strawberries. You can pick carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beets, radishes, parsley, dill, mint and much more from local patches. The entrance to the vegetable part of the farm – 25 shekels, the strawberry – 35. When combining both options – a discount of 10 shekels. For the purchase of a basket of strawberries, they ask for 20 shekels, and for every kilogram of vegetables – 5. Food on site without restrictions. Open daily.
Farm “Stalbetut”, spread out at Hod Hasharon, invites you to gather strawberries only on Saturdays. The farm uses biological plant protection without the use of pesticides; here you can listen to lectures on the cultivation of strawberries and the difference in varieties. The cost of entry, unlimited eating from the garden and a small bast-basket with them is 40 shekels. If you wish, if you come with a child, an adult can choose the option without a basket for 20 shekels.
In “Sacks-77” near Netivot, not far from Beersheba in the western Negev, strawberry picking is open exclusively on Fridays. It is said that the berries are big, red, juicy and tasty. Here the entrance with unlimited eating on the spot and a basket of 250 grams costs 15 shekels, with a basket per half a kilo is 25 and with a basket per kilogram is 40. For an additional 10 shekels, you can make a tour of the farm on a tractor.
The Sadot farm, located at the entrance to the kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, just northeast of Netanya, offers guests a strawberry field with 4 varieties to choose from: tamar, rotem, shaked and malach. The entrance with unlimited absorption of berries on the spot costs 22 shekels, and for another 15 shekels you can carry with you a basket, which, according to rumors, includes about a kilogram. Also on site you can do collecting anemones.
The Uri Tutim farm, located in Yesha moshav in the Western Negev, between Beersheba and the Gaza Strip, invites all southerners to pick strawberries growing in greenhouses not on the ground, but at the level of human growth. Here, for growing berries, a special hanging strawberry method is used, which makes it possible to do without soil, reduces the number of pests and improves plant health. Admission is only 10 shekels, a container for collecting with you – 25. Open from 8 am to 2 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The farm “Here Gil” in Petahia moshav in the regional council Gezer (about which we wrote a little earlier) grows delicious cherry tomatoes in the summer, and in winter opens the season of picking strawberries grown in greenhouses by the hanging method without pesticides. Here, among other things, you will hear interesting stories from the owner of the farm about strawberries, about how to collect and choose the right one. Open on Fridays from 9:00 to 15:30. Entrance fee – 30 shekels. Picked berries are paid by weight.
The Ariel strawberry farm in the moshav of Kadima north of Kfar Saba is not satisfied with the general harvest of its berries and sells strawberries at 30 shekels per kilogram. However, according to the owners, in the very near future it is worth waiting for the announcement of the free collection of products. This place is considered one of the favorite among many residents of not only Gush Dan, but also in other parts of the country.
That’s probably all for now. The largest strawberry farm in Israel is “Yosef Bag” in Hod Hasharon, but, alas, it does not suit the “national harvest”, supplying all products to supermarkets and grocery stores in the country.
It should be added that it is desirable to come to each of the listed or any other places early and call in advance – you never know: rain, floods, a strike, a clean-up day, or all were destroyed by visitors yesterday. Published prices are valid at the beginning of January 2018 and may vary depending on the season.
Kibbutz is a feature of the state of Israel. Only in this country there are agricultural communes that have universal wealth and equality.
There are several types of kibbutzim. Kibbutzim in Israel are divided into communal, direct kibbutzim, renewed kibbutzim, in which only private socialization of the order, and urban kibbutzim. Changes have occurred in Israeli society, which resulted in changes in the Israeli economy.
All existing kibbutzim in Israel belong to the three main kibbutz areas. The most popular direction is the direction having the name “Kibbutz movement”. This type includes 85% of all kibbutzis of Israel. 19 Israeli kibbutzim have a Zionist-religious direction, and two kibbutz belong to the ultra-orthodox current.
The history of kibbutz creation goes into the middle of the last 20th century. At the same time, like all European and social organizations, as well as ethnic and social interests, there are Jewish states in the country. the ideals of the biblical prophets. It was easy, because in Palestine, during the time of Turkish rule, there was such a society that should be rebuilt, not difficult, because the new could be instituted in a new ideology based on the ideology of the repatriates who arrived in the country.
The emergence of kibbutzim in Israel contributed to the strong influence of the views of A. Gordon, who believed that the revival of the Jewish people, especially in productive, agricultural work. But, all these ideas and their realization were hindered by the elementary lack of land plots that would be suitable for farming, for growing vegetables and fruits. Moreover, the climate and natural difficulties, geographical location – contributed little to the agricultural work. The scarce resources, the hostile Turkish administration and the Arab neighbors, all prevented the realization of ideas. And in order to overcome all these unfavorable conditions, it was necessary to create a completely new and different way of life, as well as to radically change the whole structure of the economy.
The kibbutzis of Israel are based on the principles of sharing and possession of property and all means of production, based on equality as in work. and in consumption, based on equality in social services. The first kibbutz, the first agricultural settlement was created in the early 20th century in 1909. And by the end of the First World War, there were eight kibbutz. At this time, there were approximately 250-300 members of agricultural settlements.
As soon as the Mandate power of Palestine was established after the First World War, and the third Aliyah poured into the country, the kibbutzim began to develop very actively. Numerous repatriates who came from Poland, Russia began to join the already working or began to form new kibbutzim. Moreover, not only agricultural communes were formed, kibbutzim and workers were formed, one of the largest commune workers at that time was the commune – Gdud ha-avoda.
In the 20s of the last century there were already more than a dozen communes, both large and small. Large agricultural communes were communes Bet-Degania-Bet, founded in 1920, Alpha, Geva, which was organized in 1921, Kiryat-Anavim, Heftzi-Ba – founded in 1922, Tel Yosef – was formed in 1921, Ein-Harod, Yagur other. During the years of rule in Eretz Israel, the number of Israeli kibbutzim at that time increased to 176, and the number of people who lived and worked in them was already about 50 thousand people.
After the proclamation and creation of an independent state of Israel in 1948, the growth in the number of new kibbutzim of Israel somewhat decreased. This happened because the main human reserves that replenished kibbutzim, and these are members of the Halucian movement in Europe, were largely destroyed during the Second World War.
Those repatriates who poured into Israel after the proclamation of the sovereign state of Israel in 1948 were mainly from Asia and Africa, as well as people from Europe who survived the Holocaust, but these people were absolutely not inclined to live in communes. Instead of a kibbutz in Israel, new repatriates created agricultural moshavim. But I must say that the number of kibbutzim in Israel grew, now at the expense of young people from Europe and America, as well as at the expense of Israeli youth. According to statistics, in 1983 there were 267 kibbutz in Israel, and at that time more than 70 thousand able-bodied members of the kibbutz lived in them, and about 50 thousand old people and children. At that time, in Israel, the number of kibbutz residents was 3% of the total population of the country.
What is the role played by kibbutzim in the history of Israel? The role of the kibbutz in the creation of statehood in Israel, as it turned out, is very, very great. The main task of the Zionist movement is to create a class of farmers who would be able to provide the Jewish population with all the necessary agricultural products. And the kibbutz of Israel coped with this task perfectly. In a relatively short period of time, new repatriates, new inhabitants of the kibbutz, only a part who underwent special education and training in training farms, created powerful highly productive agriculture in Israel, which in terms of productivity and product quality is not inferior to countries with a developed centuries-old tradition of agriculture.
Considering the development of kibbutzim and agriculture in Israel, in which climatic and natural conditions, you simply wonder how developed Israel’s agriculture is. And the first settlers had to start in tents, they also lived in wooden barracks, they ate very little and scarcely. The difficult working and living conditions were aggravated by the various diseases that the members of Israel’s kibbutzim were subjected to, and malaria was the most severe. The unstable political situation, unfriendly relations with the Arabs-neighbors also hindered the development of kibbutzim. However, despite all sorts of obstacles on the part of nature, politics, the human factor, the unity of kibbutz members, their dedication, support at a difficult moment, as well as the planned conduct of work, helped to endure the difficulties and get out of them with the least losses.