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Italy Travel Articles

Travel notes and articles for Italy. Articles posted must be approved by the Admin before they are published.
 
Regions of Italy Italy has 20 regions. Each region is divided into provinces. Most travel articles refer to the regions in Italy. On this website we group information by region. Provinces of Italy These are the provinces for some of the popular tourist regions: Emilia-Romagna - Bologna, Ferrara, Forli-Cesena, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Rimini Liguria - Genoa, Imperia, La Spezia, Savona Tuscany - Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa, Pisa, Pistoia...
 
The Amalfi Coast is a south facing peninsula in the Campania region, south of Naples. It is lined with mountains that drop steeply to the coast. Towns spread up the mountain sides from the water. The main towns from west to east are Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, and Ravello. There are more towns east of Amalfi but these are not as popular with tourists from abroad. A busy and somewhat narrow road, the infamous Amalfi Coast Road, winds along the coast dramatically going high up at some points...
 
If you are traveling to Italy, it is a given that you will be dining in as many restaurants as possible. But as amazing as the food is in most of these locales, there is no replacement for Italian food cooked and served up by a genuine Italian in a genuine Italian home. Most people think that it's a stereotype to say that food is the most important thing in Italy, but in reality, this isn't far from the truth. Food and family go hand in hand, and preparing meals for one another and eating...
 
Over five million international visitors arrive in Florence (Firenze in Italian) each year. Over 90% of these tourists stop by for only a day. Most of the rest stay less than four nights. But it is the wise traveler who spends a week or more, setting up a home base in a Florentine apartment and exploring the city and the surrounding countryside at their leisure. Tour Italy from Florence To tour Italy from Florence make a lot of sense. The center of the Chianti Classico wine region is...
 
Pizza in Italy is not junk food! Pizza is a very popular dinner for Italians and for tourists. It is inexpensive and is a quicker and lighter meal. In most restaurants, especially in smaller towns and less touristed areas, pizza is served only at dinner. Pizza for Lunch In most towns, bakeries sell simple pizza slices for lunch. You will also find a pizza-like food in cafes for lunch, but this is not great pizza. Larger towns may have takeout-style restaurants that serve pizza by the...
 
You will love the restaurants in Italy. Most are small, family-run places. Almost every meal is the best meal of your life. It would be easier to list the places where you had a bad meal, than to list where you had good meals. Meals in Restaurants Breakfast You won’t find a typical American breakfast in Italy. No pancakes or eggs benedict or waffles. No whole wheat muffins. The typical Italian breakfast is a cappuccino and a sweet pastry taken at a cafe. Hotel breakfast rooms cater to the...
 
Paestum was a Graeco-Roman city on the coast, south of the Amalfi Coast, founded in the 7th century BC by Greeks and originally known as Poseidonia. Today you can see remains of three major temples in Doric style, dating from the first half of the 6th century BC - Temple of Ceres, Temple of Hera and Temple of Neptune. There are also remains of Roman houses, an amphitheater and a forum. Paestum was abandoned in the middle ages and discovered again in the 18th century. During World War II, on...
 
Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano, south of Naples, near the coast. On 24 August 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted covering nearby towns with 13 - 20 feet of ash. Several of these towns, on the south side of Vesuvius, have been excavated and are open to the public. These archaeological sites give you a unique look at life in the 1st century AD. Pompeii and Herculaneum are the best known, but smaller sites like Oplontis and Stabia are interesting too. If you have time for only one site, go to...
 
The Neapolis Archaeological Park (Parco Archeologico della Neapolis), is in the northern part of the Neapolis quarter, one of the five areas of Syracuse in the Greek and Romans periods. There are several sites to see here but the mains ones are the Greek Theater (3rd century BC), the Roman Amphitheater (3rd century AD) and the Ear of Dionysius in the stone quarries. This is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Location: Italy - Sicily - Syracuse - Syracuse Note that Syracuse is the English...
 
Fonte Avellana Monastery (Monastero di Fonte Avellana) on the slopes of Monte Catria is a Catholic monastery founded in 979 by a group of hermits. Most of the buildings were built in the 12th century. It was an important center of learning in Middle Ages. Dante visited and described it in his Divine Comedy. The most interesting part of the monastery is the scriptorium where they produced illuminated medieval manuscripts. The beautiful room was designed to let in a lot of natural light. You...
 
We went to Sicily in April 2014 to see the Greek temples at Agrigento (Valley of the Temples), Selinunte and Segesta. We spent a week in Scicli (near Ragusa in the southeast corner) and spent the day at Agrigento on our way going to Sciacca where we spent three nights. From there we did easy day trips to Selinunte and Segesta. Sicily is an amazing place to see, but seeing these Greek temples was a dream come true for me. Agrigento (The Valley of the Temples) The Valley of the Temples...
 
Undoubtedly the most dramatic town on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is heart-stoppingly beautiful with its pastel-splashed houses clinging to the nearly vertical cliffs. Located between Amalfi and Sorrento, it is almost preposterous that anyone thought to build a town in this steep landscape, yet Positano has gone from sleepy fishing village to swanky resort that has attracted intellectuals, artists and stars for decades, and its popularity just continues to grow. Location: Italy - Campania &...
 
"Magical" is the word that comes to mind for Capri, a picturesque island of breath-taking scenery, blooming flowers and cascading vines, pretty streets, and natural beauty. Cliffs and coves make up a good deal of its coastline, pocked with sea caves, while a mountain rises in the middle of the isle. Whether you want to hike, shop or swim, this is the place that offers it up in style. Location: Italy - Campania & Amalfi Coast - Naples - Capri On the island there are two municipalities –...
 
The Pergola Museum of the Gilded Bronzes (Pergola Museo Bronzi Dorati) has a life size group of gilded bronzes from ancient Rome. There are two female figures, cloaked and veiled, and two horsemen, wearing military outfits on decorated horses. This is the only group of gilded bronzes from ancient Rome in existence today. They are displayed in a room on their own. Location: Italy - Marche - Pesaro and Urbino - Pergola Remember that the museum closes mid-day, from 12:30 - 3:30. We did not...
 
The remains of the ancient Roman city of Ocriculum sit beside the River Tiber (Fiume Tevere) below the modern city of Otricoli. The remains of an amphitheater, forum, theater, monuments and other buildings have been preserved in an archaeological park which is open to visitors. The Via Flaminia ran beside the ancient town and parts of the road have been excavated. This site was partly excavated in the 18th century by the Vatican and many of the statues and carvings found are in the Vatican...
 
Carsulae (Parco archeologico di Carsulae) was a Roman town on the Via Flaminia, founded in 300 BC. Visit the remains of the Forum, monumental necropolis, baths, arch of San Damiano, theater and amphitheater. A long stretch of the Via Flaminia is visible. The remains of Carsulae were not built upon in modern times, so you see how the town was originally. The on-site museum displays statues and tomb stones found in there. Location: Italy - Umbria - Terni - San Gemini Located in the...
 
The Roman Villa of Casale (Villa Romana del Casale), the remains of a villa built in the 4th century as a summer home for a member of the Imperial family, contains one of the best collections of Roman mosaics in the world. An open sided building sits over the villa remains and you view the mosaic floors from walkways. The villa has 62 rooms with 42 mosaic floors with very detailed pictures created by the mosaics. The most impressive mosaic is the 197 feet long "Great Hunt" showing the hunt...
 
The Sassi of Matera (Sassi di Matera) is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, dating from the Palaeolithic era. It is the best example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region. The houses are carved into the rock of a hillside in a river valley. There are two parts: Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso. The Caveoso part is the oldest, and least developed. In the 1950s the Italian government relocated many people to the modern part of town, but some remained...
 
The Palatine Tables (Tavole Palatine) near Metaponto are the remains of a sixth century BC Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Hera. Originally the temple had 32 columns (6 by 12) but only 15 of the doric limestone columns remain. It sits in a field beside the River Bradano, near the border with Puglia. This was a sacred place outside the ancient town of Metapontum along an ancient road (now the SS106 highway). If you are visiting Matera, this is an interesting day trip. The ancient Greek...
 
The owner of Antico Frantoio Di Perna in the town of Campomaggiore, in the mountains above Potenza, gave us a tour of his mill. They use modern equipment and produce extra virgin olive oil from local olives which they ship worldwide. They were recently reported on in a Chinese newspaper. Olive oil has been produced in Basilicata since the time of the Ancient Greeks. The region is not as well known as other Italian regions, but their olive oil is excellent. Most of it is used locally and not...
 
Maratea is a seaside marvel - a beautiful pastel-painted hill town with a marina village below at the water's edge. It has all the charm of the Amalfi Coast towns but is widely unknown, much less crowded and less expensive. The mountains fall right into the sea and coves of black sand beaches dot the shore. You can hike in the hills, swim in the Mediterranean, or lounge in the piazza, whatever your whim. Location: Italy - Basilicata - Matera - Maratea There are three parts to the town, plus...

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