Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Vacation in Italy – Private Holiday Homes versus Hotels

Vacationing in Italy is a dream come true for so many Americans. Those who have Italian heritage often wish to see where their families originated. Those who have no Italian lineage still look upon Italy as one of the foundations of Western civilization. Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Florence, Umbria, Chianti, San Gimignano, Siena, Orvieto, Todi, Assisi, Spleto and Montepulciano are all legendary to those of us raised in the “new world” and for many are simply places we’ve read about in our school books, or seen on television or in the movies. Many Americans, sadly, know little of the geography of Italy, but do appreciate the food. After all, pizza and spaghetti are considered as American to us as apple pie and hot dogs. But only on a trip to Italy can a person really appreciate this magnificent country, home to Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Christopher Columbus.

When you are ready for that once in a lifetime experience of an Italian vacation, consider a private home rental for your source of lodging. Hotels can be nice, but staying in a private home rented for the occasion can give you a chance to see the real Italy. Explore the countryside, walk into the village and visit with the residents, and see what it feels like to actually go home, to a cabin or villa at the end of the day, living as the Italians do. Or, try a beach house if that suits you or an apartment if you prefer a more urban setting. Getting to know the local people by living among them for an extended stay of a few weeks will give you a chance to learn some of the language, or if you already speak Italian to brush up on your skills. It will also give you a chance to learn local history in a very unique way, from the people themselves. You will appreciate all of the similarities of Italian culture with your own, and learn to appreciate the differences as well. The Italians are a wonderful, friendly people with a rich culture and history. Taking the time to live among them, getting to know them as friends and neighbors, is truly an experience you will always remember.

Private homes for rent to vacationers in Italy can be found in various price ranges. If you are looking for luxury, there are villas available. If something more rustic suits your taste and budget, then smaller homes and even old farmhouses are available to appeal to all tastes. Just as an example, one property includes two bedrooms, queen size beds, kitchen, laundry area, bathroom, central eat and the satellite television, telephone and VCR that most Americans are used to having. Imagine though the coziness and comfort of coming back to the house after a day of sight seeing to sit by the fire place, drinking a glass of a local wine, having a light dinner of pasta, and enjoying the peace and quiet of your surroundings. Staying in a hotel in a major city will certainly show you the tourist hot spots, but staying in a private home will show you the real Italy.

Rent holiday home or vacation rental in Italy and enjoy your stay!

About ArrangeYourVacation:

Milan Matchev has been in the Real Estate and property management business for 11 years making him an expert in his knowledge of the vacation rentals market.

ArrangeYourVacation – Holiday Homes and Vacation Rentals Worldwide is a leader in luxury vacation rentals worldwide, with an extensive portfolio of luxury villas and homes.

To place a free advertisement for your vacation rentals or holiday homes in Italy or find the perfect lodging for you – visit

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Villas in Italy Tuscany Villas Italy Vacation Rentals


A better way to immerse yourself in the character of villa in Italy,Tuscany The iconic image of Italy villas and Tuscany villa take a different form in everyone’s mind. Find the Italian holiday of your dream villas in italy, tuscany villa with very special collection of holiday accommodation in Italy.


Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Capri, Cilento National Park: we love these places! This is where we live, where we spend our own vacations and where we want you to come. Let us show you the beauty of our land and the friendliness of our people. Let us make you feel Italian, at least a little bit.


And if you are looking for a different Italian destination, we have now made available a selection of italy villas and apartments in Tuscany, Umbria, Rome, Venice and Lake Como that have been recommended to us by friends and by past guests themselves.


Tuscany :

Famous for its Chianti wines, its magnificent historic towns, such as Florence, Siena, Arezzo, San Gimignano, Cortona, Lucca and Volterra, and its peaceful nature, tuscany villas reveals its very soul with placid hills, wide pastures and neatly harvested vineyards and offers travelers a continuous sequence of stimulating highlights.


Amalfi Coast :

This spectacular coastline, which embraces the charming towns of Positano, Praiano, Amalfi and Ravello, invites you to imagine yourself back in the sunny carefree days of the sixties – for here the beauty and romance of those times have not changed.


Sorrento Coast :

Sorrento is one of the best known resorts in villas italy , situated on a tract of coastline of unrivalled beauty, on the northern slope of the Sorrentine Peninsula, in a sheltered spot, surrounded by luxuriant hills where vines, olives and above all high quality citrus fruits are grown. The site of patrician villas during Roman times, it has been a highly prestigious retreat since 700.

Jyoti is a writer for villas in Italy Tuscany villas Italy vacation rentals

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Renaissance Cooking Courses Offered in Tuscany, Italy

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Renaissance Cooking Courses Offered in Tuscany, Italy

Florence, Italy (PRWEB) December 1, 2007

Good Tastes of Tuscany Cookery School introduces daily and weekly cooking classes specializing in Renaissance Cuisines.

Good Tastes of Tuscany, a cooking school that provides hands-on experience in cooking the traditional Tuscan way in Tuscany, Italy. Good Tastes of Tuscany has added new items to its portfolio. In 2008 the it is offering courses in Renaissance cooking, sharing with you the gastronomical splendors of this fascinating period of Italian history.

The Renaissance is well known for the many frontiers it breached in art & science, but great heights were scaled in the culinary arts which is lesser known, says Massimo Brogi, Media Relations Manager of Good Tastes of Tuscany.

The cuisine of the period was as rich and varied as the art and literature of the time, the menus of the day redolent with spices were replete with succulent meats and decadent desserts. There was great interest in the medicinal properties of food and religion had a strong influence on menus with the Church dictating that certain foods were to be avoided at certain times of the year.    

The cuisine of the rich was vastly different from that of a poor man’s home, until gradually the distinctions became blurred. Today, the Renaissance influence still echoes in many of the Tuscan dishes that has become world-famous, like the Ribollita, Minestrone and Tripe.

During these cookery classes, you will have the opportunity to learn about seasonal and regional factors that had a bearing on the food served at the Renaissance table. Presentation was also of utmost importance in that era – learn how food was served in artistic and innovative ways.

There will be two different formats offered for the courses in Renaissance cooking. While one is a single-day format, the other will be a week-long experience incorporating not only time in the kitchen but also excursions out into the countryside to enjoy some of the villas, gardens and monuments still present from the Medici era. Participants in the Good Tastes of Tuscany cooking courses will learn how to prepare and make a complete meal, from appetizer to dessert and we promise that you will carry a piece of the Golden Age of Italy back home.

The classes are held at Villa Pandolfini, a gracious 13th century estate, just 15 minutes from Florence, Italy. The wine and the extra virgin olive oil used in the cooking classes are sourced from the estate. Pick-up facilities are available for those who make Florence their base, but rooms can also be rented at the villa itself.

Good Tastes of Tuscany Cookery School offers lessons round the year. The classes, which are suitable for both the novice and the experienced, are affordably priced and can also be customized to cater to larger groups.

For more information, please contact Max Brogi at: mbrogi @ or cooking @

For inquiries in the US:

Good Tastes of Tuscany

2825 East Cottonwood Parkway

Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84121


Tel 801 6062843

For inquiries in Italy:

Telephone: +39 335 8361633

Fax:(39) 02 95441357


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm

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Tuscany – A Fantastic part of Italy

Tuscany is a fantastic part of Italy to choose for your next holiday. With so much to see and do, the biggest problem you’ll have to face will be deciding what to do first! From cities of art and culture, to the Chianti Vineyards, from the cosmopolitan beach resorts to holding up the leaning tower of Pisa, the beautiful, eclectic area of Tuscany in Italy offers it all.

My base was the seaside resort of Viareggio – very popular with Italians and fairly untouched by tourism from outside Italy, so you really know you are abroad. There are no fish and chips on offer here, but there are plenty of fabulous Italian cuisine fish dishes being a speciality. Most of the beaches in Viareggio are private, so are very well-kept, but beware – you may have to pay to use them if they’re not included in your hotel package. The area of Viareggio is also famous for the composer Puccini and in August they perform one of his operas at the lake side, outside his house – a must for any opera lovers!

Of course the most famous city in this area is Florence. Seeped in art history and home to the Uffizi museum, where the famous statue of David stands guard, join the well-dressed Florentines as you take a stroll over the Ponte Vecchio, admiring the jewellery. Take a walk through the beautiful Boboli gardens, with their ornamental lakes and palazzo. Art, history, shops and restaurants – this city really does offer something for everyone.

Then who could go to Tuscany and not have their photo taken whilst holding up the leaning tower of Pisa? Set in the Piazza dei Miracoli (“Square of Miracles”), together with the baptistery and the cathedral, where it is believed Galileo formed his theory of pendulum movement by watching the lamp swinging from the nave. The square is a tourist hub and full of stalls where you can buy your very own tower to take home!

Italy holidays don’t stop here. A must-visit is the medieval town of Siena, situated in the Tuscan hills and built around three hills coming together in the Piazza del Campo – home to the famous Palio horserace. Another great location is San Gimignano – my personal favourite – with a skyline dominated by 11th century towers, which are said to have been built as a sign of wealth. The higher the tower, the richer you were. Another must-see are the beautiful frescos in the Duomo.

Lucca, birthplace of Puccini, is yet another lovely town to spend a morning walking around, with its ancient walls. Take a drive up into Chianti, filled with wine vineyards and olive groves, where of course you can have a stop to taste the wares and if all this is still not enough, fit in a boat trip across to the beautiful and peaceful island of Elba.

The main airports for Tuscany are Pisa and Florence, although you can get to Florence easily by train from most other Italian cities.

Travel Expert working in the industry for over 18 years. Hints, tips and tricks to finding, booking & making the most of your holidays to Italy.

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Italy Region, Tuscany – “POGGIBONSI” Mug

Italy Region, Tuscany – “POGGIBONSI” Mug

This is a brand new custom made coffee mug imprinted using the latest sublimation technology. This process embeds the image permanently and gives it a smooth surface with a crisp and vivid image. Design is imprinted on a standard 11 oz white mug and it is dishwasher safe.

List Price: $ 10.99


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Explore With A Tuscany Italy Wine Tour

Wine producing countries all offer wine tours, but there are no better place than a Tuscany Italy wine tour to get to know wine and wine making at its best. You are in for an experience of a lifetime as a Tuscany Italy wine tour is not just about tasking excellent wines. You will taste and get to know the different methods of wine making and visit the cellars and have a look at how the excellent Tuscany wines are stored. It is always best to take a guided Tuscany Italy wine tour with an experienced guide because this way you will get all the interesting and finer details explained.

Tour guides are knowledgeable not only about wines and wine making, but will regale you on everything about Tuscany. For people who want more out of a wine tour than tasting wine and seeing the cellars, it is important to choose the correct time of year to visit Tuscany. During certain times of the year wine tours will include seeing the vineyards and having a walk around.

One thing to remember when going on a Tuscany Italy wine tour is that you will be tasting and drinking quite a bit of wine as you go along. This is all part and parcel of a wine tour, but certain safety precautions should be taken. Always make sure that you have reliable transportation and a driver available if you are not part of a tour party going on a tour bus or mini van.

Different Ways To Go Wine Tasting

One way of doing a Tuscany Italy wine tour is by bicycle and explore the region at a leisurely pace as you cycle through fields and small villages. This is a great way to discover the local cuisine and stop off whenever you want to explore some of the historical sites that date back to the Etruscan period. Wine tours should never be rushed and meandering along on a bicycle is a wonderful way to discover the land.

You can also go on a special walking wine tour of Tuscany that normally takes about 7 days to do. These guided walking tours take you along the wine roads of San Gimignano and Montalcino and along the way you not only go on at the different wine cellars to taste wine, you explore the Renaissance towns.  The choice of how you want to do your Tuscany Italy wine tour is completely personal to suit your own preferences and Tuscany tourism agencies cater for everyone.

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The medieval town of San Gimignano (SI) Tuscany Italy

San Gimignano is a small medieval hill town in the province of Siena Italy. It is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage. It still conserves its characteristics as a medieval town. Some old towers are still standing here. This town is also famous for the White Wine “Vernaccia di San Gimignano” grown in this area. Originally it was founded as a small village by the Etruscans during the 3rd century BC. The name of the town is given in honor of the Bishop Saint Giminianus of the 10th century AD who had defended the town from Attila’s Huns. In the middle ages and renaissance it is crossed by the so-called Via Francigena, the road of pilgrims from Canterbury to Rome and Vatican so this place was used as a stop-over. St. Fina was born here in 1238 AD. Her birth house is still standing here. She died in March 12, 1253 so her feast day here is celebrated on March 12 of every year. On May 8, 1300 it hosted Dante Alighieri as an Ambassador of the Guelph League in Tuscany. The town flourished until the year 1348 AD. Its status as a touristic and artistic resort began to be recognized during the 19th century. In our times it is always full of tourists from every part of the globe. I often come here to buy some bottles of Vernaccia like today. Pablo Bisquera.
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A TripAdvisor™ TripWow slideshow of a travel blog to San Gimignano, Italy by TravelPod blogger Carnold titled “San Gimignano” Carnold’s travel blog entry: “Sleeping in was awesome, though that came as no surprise. We actually got up for a quick breakfast, fell back asleep a couple times, and finally rolled out of bed and got ready for our trip into the actual town of San Gimignano (which I’m going to refer to as G-Town from here on out since I’m tired out typing out San Gimignano.) G-Town is another walled hill town known mainly for its distinct skyline due to its towers. Though it originally had 70+ towers, most were torn down and only 14 remain. The remaining towers make for fun picture taking though. Since we had a light breakfast, Caitlin and I headed straight for food as soon as we arrived. Lunch was pizza for me (of course) and pasta with saffron for Caitlin since the saffron is one of the things G-Town is known for. The pizza was delicious and a good imitation of Sbarro’s authentic Italian pizza. After lunch, we walked all across the city following Rick Steves’ guided walk with Caitlin narrating from the guidebook (if ever she decides to quit personal training, I’m going to encourage her to become a professional reader…maybe a career recording books on tape…hmm.) We finally gave in and bought an umbrella since apparently we took the Bay Area’s fall weather with us when we left for Italy (you average 5 days of rain in September, Italy? Really? REALLY!?) I found

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Cook in Italy: Popular Women Only Weeks in Tuscany and on Amalfi Coast with The International Kitchen

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Cook in Italy: Popular Women Only Weeks in Tuscany and on Amalfi Coast with The International Kitchen


(PRWEB) January 9, 2007

With two sold-out departures and a waiting list last year, the best-selling culinary vacation ‘A Mediterranean Cooking Experience at Relais Oasi Olimpia’ offers travelers an unforgettable culinary and cultural experience. The program has quickly become one of The International Kitchen’s best sellers thanks to Manager and Chef Carmen Mazzola. In addition to 4 hands-on cooking classes, there are excursions to see the region’s homemade products such as mozzarella cheese and limoncello, sightseeing in the nearby towns of Amalfi, Positano or Ravello, a cultural tour of Pompeii, and shopping in Sorrento. This deluxe 6-night program usually sells for $ 3,210 per person but for the Women Only Weeks the price is offered at $ 2,250 per person (based on double room occupancy).

In Tuscany, the new culinary program ‘Convivium in Montaione’ promises to be a sensation with young, Michelin-star chef Sara Conforti. Palazzo Mannaioni is located in one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of Tuscany, replete with Cyprus trees, rolling vineyards and red poppy fields. This Tuscan cooking vacation offers 3 hands-on cooking classes, a demonstration cooking class at the chef’s restaurant, wine tastings, a visit to the local market in Certaldo, and cultural excursions to the Tuscan cities of Lucca, San Gimignano and Pisa. Usually this weeklong program runs for $ 2,800 per person but is offered for $ 2,400 during the Women Only Week.

The International Kitchen’s President Karen Herbst says, “Travel for women exclusively has increased dramatically in the past few years. I think the success of our past Women Only Weeks is a real indicator that this trend will only continue to grow. We provide a venue for women travelers where they are totally comfortable.” The value price for these Italian cooking holidays is also a tremendous motivator in the choice of this deluxe culinary vacation.

Travelers interested in booking one of the Women Only Weeks can go to The International Kitchen’s website: for all details, e-mail or call 312.467.0560 for more information.

The International Kitchen, the world’s foremost culinary tour operator, has been offering authentic cooking school vacations in Italy, France and Spain since 1994.

For more information about culinary and wine vacations and one-day programs visit or or call 312.467.0560


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Italy Pulls Clear of the Economic Slump with Increased Tourism Revenues Says

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Italy Pulls Clear of the Economic Slump with Increased Tourism Revenues Says

London, UK (PRWeb UK) April 30, 2009 is pleased to report increased tourism revenues to Italy helping the country pull clear of its economic slump.

Tourism is Italys number one industry. It is possible then to imagine the panic that has gripped and still does in some ways the various tourism providers and suppliers in this beautiful country.

Italy has a wealth or tourist pleasures, possibly of more variety than anywhere else in the world. One can swim in the ocean, visit ancient remains in Rome, ride a gondola in Venice and then round it off with some skiing in the afternoon. Various websites and blogs provide a wealth of information about these subjects. To top all this off, food and drink in Italy is possibly number one also, depending on your likes and dislikes. However one thing is without doubt, cuisine is of an exceptionally high standard and is replicated throughout the world (pizza, pasta) so that is testament to some prowess. The wines are globally renowned: from light whites like Pinot Grigio, Soave and more to deep Super Tuscan reds and Chiantis. Olive oil also is received in a premium product form, with some varieties reaching quite scalable prices for a bottle.

The reason for mention of the cuisine in some detail is that many visitors to the country list this as one of the main factors for their high level of enjoyment. Coming a close second is the destination itself, further to those mentioned above, Italy and Tuscany itself is know for gems such as Florence (full of Renaissance art), medieval towns such as Siena and San Gimignano, Arezzo and more. The coastline is also very attractive, although is not as nice as some people would believe, the best beaches being found in Sardinia, Elba and Sicily.

Tuscany itself is comprised of the classic skyline we see so often in marketing of tour operators to the region: rolling green hills, bedecked with vineyyards, olive groves and hilltop towns. The reality is not far different.

It is generally perceived that the economic panic of the latter part of last year and this year has become accepted now…in so far as everyone knows there is a world recession in place following the boom of previous years. The market in general seems to have recovered now: Italy seems to be getting the tourism traffic it so badly craves, albeit late. Companies such as who offer holiday villas in Tuscany are seeing a resurgence also. People have adjusted their spending plans accordingly, probably not buying houses or cars, but less costly but deemed essential buys like holidays and so on. After all, those with a family, a holiday is almost the defining note of ones summer in many cases, even if the week away becomes a week with friends, relatives or just the back yard. At any time, one needs a gap where one can recharge the batteries, relax away from work/school and continue afterwards. To deny this essential break means the following gap to the next holiday break becomes even more demanding. Do this in a recession when things are hard and demanding anyway, can make it doubly worse.

It remains to be seen whether mass market destinations, favoured by the package holiday maker elsewhere in the world remain as buoyant as Italy, but success may be measured now in attractiveness of a destination: if a family can afford one holiday this year and not two, maybe those destinations which offer the ‘most’ will benefit first.

For more information,

Contact Dan Thompson


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

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Planning a Cycling trip to Italy? Read this first!

Italy is one of the most frequently visited European destinations for bicycle touring.  Many cyclists fill the bicycle paths and country roads, so you will not find yourself alone.  It is suprising to hear that Italians go very gentley when passing cyclists, so don’t let there reputation for fast driving put you off.

Italy and it’s top 5 bicycle touring regions

Tuscany – For everyone that bicycle tours this region is on the must do list.  In this region there are no signed bicycle routes, but between the major towns there are many quiet and scenic roads which are well signed. As you bicycle tour through the hills covered with either bright red poppies or sunflowers, depending on the season, you can expect some major climbs.

When your cycling In the southern Tuscany, your area is between Montalcino, Montepolciano and Cortona.  When you are on your bicycle tour in central Tuscany, it will be in the area between Florence and Siena which also includes the wine region of Chianti and also San Gimignano.  In the area around Lucca, which is in the north is where the best cycling is found.
You can either join the three legions in one long journey or base yourself in a villa for daily trips. 

Umbria – is right next door to Tuscany which are often combined to make a bicycle touring journey which is longer and includes both regions. Perugia, is where cyclists should head for, which for chocolates, it’s quite well known, and also the religious centre of Assisi. Tuscany is a region of hills, like Umbria, so be ready for some very nice climbs.

Puglia – Bicycle touring is found along the rugged Adriatic coastline, and a little northeast of Umbria is Puglia.  Great Italian seafood is what you can expect to find along your way. 

Also found along the countryside are charming white walled villages, and also featured are
olive grove plantations.

Veneto – This area may be a suprise due to the excellent scenery and historic towns, and the terrain of this area is mostly flat. There are a number of bicycle paths for the cyclist, unlike some of the other regions.  Taste the famous liqueur made in In Bassano del Grappa; great wines and elegant homes are found in Asolo; Villas which are really palaces is what Stra is known for. One of the worlds oldest universities and some ancient museums is what Padua is known for.  Then there is also Venice, where you can both cycle and visit along the islands of the Lido area.

Piemonte – This northern bicycle touring region is not as well known, and it offers along quiet roads, a rolling terrain.  Medieval towns surrounded by vineyards with the Alps in the background, is what this region is most well known for.  Fine truffles, cheeses and the excellent chocolates can be enjoyed along your journey. 

From May to June or September to October, is the best time to go bicyle touring in any of these regions.  Go to the land you always dreamed about, Italy, for your next European bicycle tour.  It will be everything you ever dreamed of and more.

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