On the outskirts of Rome, in the picturesque expanses of the Tiburta Mountains, in the vicinity of the ancient town of Tivoli, is one of the main treasures of Lazio. Villa Adriana, which is the most unique architectural monument of ancient Rome today, attracts attention with its enormous size. According to archaeologists, the summer residence of the ruler of the empire in ancient times occupied an area of at least 300 hectares, on its territory there were about 30 buildings, luxurious gardens and several artificial reservoirs. It was here that solemn celebrations were held with the participation of high-ranking officials, important political decisions were made and the everyday life of the emperors passed through for several centuries.
In 117 AD, Publius Eli Traian Adrian took over the throne of the Roman Empire. He was a great-nephew and successor to Trajan. During the two decades of his reign, Adrian managed to build a large number of colossal structures, many of which have survived to the present day. They say that the emperor himself created the projects of his buildings, but this fact remains covered with a layer of centuries-old dust and we cannot say with certainty about the architectural abilities of the ruler.
For a long time in the territory near the ancient city of Tibur, whose name today sounds like “Tivoli”, were located the luxurious houses of representatives of the Roman nobility. One of these villas that existed in the I century BC. and in the place of which the emperor subsequently built his summer residence, belonged to the great-grandfathers of Vibii Sabina, the wife of Hadrian.
No reliable information about the beginning of the construction of the imperial villa near Tibur was found, but the researchers, studying the ruins of ancient buildings, concluded that the work was carried out in at least three stages: from 118 to 121 years, then from 125 to 128 years and from 134 for 138 years. Adriana did not succeed in enjoying his creation, and the emperor died on July 10, 138.
Over the next two centuries, the emperors of Rome continued to use the villa as a summer residence, maintaining its condition in proper form. However, further on, Hadrian’s villa gradually fell into disrepair. There are suggestions that as early as the 4th century, Emperor Constantine took out many sculptures and decorative elements from its territory to Constantinople, and starting from the 6th century the Tiburtin government residence was constantly invaded by a barbarian.
The first excavations at this site were made in the 16th century. Ancient sculptures, bas-reliefs and other works of art found on the territory of Adriana, moved to museums. Most of them are now stored in the collections of the Vatican Museums.
According to the findings of the researchers, the territory in which Hadrian’s villa was located in ancient times occupied an area of at least 300 hectares. The complex of structures included about 30 buildings of various purposes, as well as recreation areas with artificial ponds and parks.
In addition to the main palace where the imperial apartments were located, the Hospitable courtyard was located on the estate. It was intended for the praetorians – the emperor’s bodyguards, as well as premises for the maintenance of slaves and the barracks of the guards.
In addition, Adrian’s Villa had a Greek and Roman libraries, a large library hall, a philosopher’s hall, an academy, several temples and shrines of pagan gods, and a theater.
One of the most important components of the life of the ancient Romans was a visit to the baths, so not a single luxurious residence, especially imperial, could not do without these structures. On the territory of Villa Adriana, several baths were built at once: Small and Large Baths, as well as saunas with solar heating.
In addition to rooms with hot, warm and cold baths, such facilities include halls for sweating, gymnastics, ball games, and special rooms for massage and relaxation. There was also a sports ground for practicing outdoors and wrestling exercises.
To service such a large villa, a whole system of underground tunnels was equipped. According to this system, slaves could move without disturbing high-ranking persons.
The Villa Adriana can be reached:
– by bus COTRAL, which leaves from the metro station Ponte Mammolo (линия B) on the route Rome-Tivoli.
– From Tiburin station by train, which follows the route Rome-Pescara, you need to go to the station “Tivoli”. The station is located in the historic center of the city, from where you can get to the Villa Adriana by bus.Read More
Italy is an incredibly attractive country. She has united everything that vacationers love so much: mild Mediterranean climate, luxurious coast, ancient architecture, interesting museums and sights, delicious cuisine, good shopping.
Organized tours here are a lot of money, and if you drive yourself without prior preparation, you can get into unpleasant situations. Therefore, it is worth knowing in advance all the nuances of independent travel, so that only great memories remain of it.
If you want to learn how to travel cheap in Italy by yourself, this article is for you! Here you will find tips from seasoned travelers, ideas of routes and lots of other useful information.
Now let’s get into the details.
Where to start a trip to Italy
Independent travel in Italy (when searching for information using non-Russian-language services, the name of the country you need to write is Italy) does not begin with crossing the border, but much earlier – with its planning. Your comfort and positive emotions on the trip depend on how well everything is organized. First of all, we recommend to take up the documents, tickets and transport logistics.
Documents to enter the country
To freely enter the country, you will need a passport with an open Schengen visa. If before the expiration of the passport is less than 3 months, it will not accept. About what documents are required for the Italian Schengen, read on the sites of visa centers.
It is very important:
- For minor children, if they travel with one of their parents, they need a notarized travel permit from the second parent; It is worth grabbing the birth certificate (if the child is not 14 years old).
- You also need to purchase medical insurance (inexpensive and good insurance can be purchased on the Cherehapa website or on instore.travel) and print out the booking confirmation of the hotel or apartment.
For travelers with a dog, a filled international vetpasport, certification in form No. 1 from a state clinic (it is valid for 5 days from the date of issue), and a certificate of form 5a are required.
The animal must be microchipped, and it is the microchip that is required – a transponder, free from fleas and worms, vaccinated against rabies and major diseases (no later than 30 days before crossing the border).
Attention: importing fighting breeds dogs into Italy is prohibited!
Airplane Tickets – How to Buy Profitable
At first glance, nothing complicated: choose a date, city and buy tickets online. But we set a goal to travel cheap, but there are nuances. This is what experienced tourists advise:
- take tickets early in the morning or at night;
- do it a couple of months before departure;
- choose departure and arrival in the middle of the week;
- Do not go in the middle of the high season.
- If all these conditions are met, you will take plane tickets to Italy for the best price.
Cheap flights will find on the site Aviasales. This is a reliable service with a long history, looking for tickets from trusted airlines, does not charge a commission. In general, a good site, use.
There are ways to reduce the cost of an additional flight, but be prepared to sacrifice convenience. For example, flights with transfers always have a much lower cost, and night departures will be cheaper than day flights. You can use a low-cost carrier, but in this case you cannot carry your luggage (you can, if you pay extra) – only hand luggage, and the plane will not be fed.
Subscribe to mailings of different airlines in order not to miss discounts and great promotions. Often they are on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Train tickets – what are the options
If, due to aerophobia or for other reasons, the flight is no longer possible, you can consider the train. True, there is no choice: from Russia to Italy is the only composition, Moscow — Nice. It follows Belarus, the Czech Republic, Austria and stops in the Italian cities of Bolzano, Verona, Milan, Genoa, San Remo, Bordighera and Ventimiglia. It will take almost two days.
The train provides places for the class compartment, NE and suite. Depending on the destination and the comfort of the place, the price of the ticket ranges from 23,000 to 100,000 rubles per person.
How to make an interesting and optimal route
The most important component of success! You usually want to see everything at once, but do not turn your vacation into a race. Practice shows that an average of one large city takes three days. From this and make a start: if you leave for a week, let it be two or three resorts, but you can explore them slowly, enjoying every minute!
From which city to start depends on what is in priority: excursions, a trip along the coast, a visit to Christian shrines or famous Italian boutiques. Here are some of the popular big and small routes:
- Rome – Florence – Venice – Milan – Como;
- Palermo – San Vito Lo Capo – Agrigento – Taormina;
- Naples – Ischia – Capri – Pompeii (Vesuvius);
- San Remo – Genoa – Pisa – Florence;
- Bari – Matera – Alberobello – Grote di Castellana;
- Amalfi – Ravello – Sorrento.
The recipe for the ideal route is simple: rely on your imagination, but do not forget about logic and common sense. Points should be at a small distance from each other, so that the road between them would not have to spend more time and effort than the rest itself.
You can first select one of the most desired city, then explore the map, see what interesting cities are located at a reasonable distance, and plan the whole way.
Top 15 best cities in Italy for tourism
To make your choice easier, we have made a selection of the most favorite cities of Italy by travelers, and all their features, advantages and disadvantages are tabulated.
- There is always something to see, even if you stay for a week or more.
- Expensive housing. The main monuments are surrounded by tourists around the clock.
- The beaches are out of town, but you can easily reach them.
- Among the attractions here are the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and a great many others.
- A shopaholic paradise, beautiful architecture.
- You need to be vigilant and watch out for bags and wallets.
- There are no beaches here.
- Here you can see the Gothic cathedral in the central square, the fifth largest in the world.
- Cool photos on the background of the falling tower.
- To linger longer than 1-2 days does not make sense. Beaches in the vicinity, can be reached in 30-60 minutes.
- Sights of Pisa: Leaning Tower of Pisa and other colorful buildings, Botanical Garden.
- Crowded romance trips on gondolas, bright carnival.
- An abundance of tourists, sometimes from the channels is an unpleasant smell.
- Beaches on the mainland.
- Sights of Venice: Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Florian (the first cafe in Italy).
- Memoirs of art and architecture of the Renaissance. Expensive, a sea of people, queues to museums.
- There are no beaches here.
- Sights such as the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens, Ponto Vecchio Bridge, churches and the basilica can be viewed.
- Delicious pastries and pizza, gorgeous scenery.
- We must be careful on the road, the crazy movement of mopeds.
- Beaches are here, Capri and Ischia are also nearby.
- Sights of Naples: Castles, palaces, cathedrals, catacombs; near Vesuvius and Pompeii.
- Cozy and romantic place, city of love.
- This city has no disadvantages.
- The beaches are located near the lakes in the suburbs.
- Sights of Verona: Romeo and Juliet Courtyard, amphitheater, Scaligero Bridge, castles, panoramic platforms.
- Comfortable climate, fabulous views, lots of fun.
- In season, the beaches are crowded, and the entrance to the private is expensive, the city is not always clean.
- There are beaches in this city.
- Sights of Palermo: Capuchin Catacombs, churches, squares and fountains, Palatine Chapel.
- Luxurious landscapes, climate, nature, ancient historical monuments.
- High prices.
- There are beaches in this city.
- Attractions Taormina: Palaces, cathedrals, the Greek Theater, the Gate of Messina, Villa Communal, Odeon and others.
- A wonderful climate, an abundance of beautiful flowers, magnificent panoramas.
- Dear shopping.
- There are beaches here.
- Sights of Sanremo: Casino, Nobel’s Villa, Ariston Theater, the Empress Embankment, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
- Very colorful place, wonderful postcard landscapes, National Park.
- In most parts of the territory it is forbidden to move by car. Over three days will be boring.
- There are beaches here, including one nudist.
- Sights of Cinque terre: Love Trail, Neptune Statue, Aurora Tower, Wine Museum and Cellar.
- Authentic architecture, which has no analogues.
- There will be enough day for survey and photos, further it is necessary to think, what to do.
- There are no beaches here.
- Sights: White houses with conical roofs – trulli, arranged in some of them museums, cafes, wine bars.
- Picturesque houses stuck to the rock, suitable for families with children.
- Impressive prices.
- There are beaches.
- Landmarks Positano: Church of Santa Maria Assunta, exhibitions of street artists, the archipelago of Le Galli.
- Unusual architecture in pastel colors, good diving.
- In season, a lot of people are here, high prices.
- There are beaches.
- Attractions Portofino: Church of St. George, Brown Castle, Church of St. Martin.
- Renaissance architecture, magnificent landscapes, the famous lake.
- This city has no disadvantages.
- There are beaches at Lake Como.
- Sights of Como: Palazzo Broletto, cathedral, funicular, Villa Olmo, Tempio Voltiano, Kamerlat fountain.
Now, an independent trip to Italy will certainly be planned easier!Read More
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 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