Categories
Central Cities and Towns

A day in Orvieto

Not far from Rome at about one hour driving on A1 toward Firenze  is Orvieto; the small town would be pleasurable to live in for those in their twilight years:

The cathedral is stupendous (1300-1500 aC).  The walls alternating black and white, good and evil, according to Arab tradition imported from the ports of neighboring Tuscany

The Well  of San Patrizio ( Saint Patrick) an emotion for adults and children: Orvieto stands on a platform to peak between 20 and 50 meters; for this there was a water problem; It needed to reach the deep waters left by prehistoric seas. The first were the Etruscans with tunnels 70 cm wide and as tall as a man who ended up in small tanks each one for every home. But the Architectural masterpiece is the well of St. Patrick built between 1527 and 1557 and commissioned by Pope Farnese to Antonio Sangallo the Young; an engineering marvel.  It can be reached on foot with a double helical ramp with steps wide and with a slight slope where the beasts of burden could walk; there are 72 large windows to flood the well of light, a bridge across the pit that bring to the other ramp.

Some years ago  they opened the “underground town” entrance not far from the Cathedral: 1200 through caves, tunnels, wells and cisterns Etruscans. In one of these wells have opened a restaurant: The restaurant Sciarpa (Via della Cava 28, phone 0763 342 373).

Tourist office in Piazza Duomo 24, times 11 to 12.15, 16 to 17.15 entrance € 5.5.

To  visit Orvieto you could leave the car to the funicular and take the ticket (€ 20 for the adults and 17€ for students and over 65 years  old) which gives you the right to the parking, the funicular, all visits ( Duomo, Cappella di San Brizio, Museo MODO, Museo Faina, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Necropoli di Crocefisso del Tufo, Pozzo di San Patrizio, Torre del Moro, Pozzo della Cava, Orvieto Underground). and last but not least the shuttle service within the visit.

Contacts
www.cartaunica.it 

info@cartaunica.it 
tel. 0763 302378

Categories
Central Italy Cities and Towns Journey Travel

From Chiusi to Rome or Florence in two days

If you want to go by train from Chiusi, you can travel comfortable to either Rome or Florence in about  hour and a half, and still return in the same day. In Florence to visit the Uffizi Museum  book a few days before at the number 055 294883. to avoid the queue; it is  better than on internet. A Palazzo Pitti you can make two visits: the museum of Argentieri with alll the personal collections of Medici’s family, Boboli garden with the beautiful pavillon with the porcelain and the rose garden and clothing collection, (my favorite);  and the Palace: Palazzo Pitti, the modern art Museum and the exibition there is at the moment of your visit.

A very nice building and very “real” is the visit to Palazzo Davanzati: a palace of 3 floors with authentic furnitures and decorations.open only the morning need to  book the visit.

http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/palazzo_davanzati.html

In Florence, of course you should see the “ Duomo “ free , beautiful outside not particulary interesting inside, the Battistero, wonderful outside and inside, with the famous doors, il Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, just to have un idea of the period and the architecture with the statue “ La Pietà” of the famous Michelangelo ( he does’nt like it ), and last but not least climb on the tower ( lower ) or up on top of the Duomo, ( higher). The whole ticket price is 15€ ( get it at the museum dell’Opera or through internet) , at the same time remember to book the hour of the visit on the top of the Duomo ( if you want to continue on the tower, it does’nt require the booking, but check it it depends of the period of the year :-).  To see Pitti Palace and Duomo area you need at least 2 days, I guess. https://www.museumflorence.com

www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it/museo

To eat in Florence apart the famous Eataly, I prefer a more secluded bar with a wonderful choice of sandwiches and a glass of wine for 8  Euros: ‘INO in Via dei Georgofili 3r / 7r tel 055 219208 www.ino-firenze.com behind the Uffizi, close to Ponte Vecchio either.

Arriving in Rome I suggest you Museo Nazionale Romano at Palazzo Massimo in largo di Villa Peretti 67, just in front Termini Station on the left side with beautiful Roman frescoes and a pair of Roman villas (just ask at the reception for the free, obligatory guided tour), and the beautiful coin collection.  Be aware there is another museum in front of Termini -on the right- much less interesting : Museo delle terme di Diocleziano  . With the same ticket you can visit the Balbi Crypt near Piazza Argentina, the museum Altemps (former residence of Cleopatra) near Piazza Navona.http://archeoroma.beniculturali.it/musei/museo-nazionale-romano-palazzo-massimo and terme di Diocleziano of course.

Continue on to Via Nazionale to the Forum, through the Quirinale ( the changing guard at 6.00 pm in winter time and at 4.00 pm in summer time) the Vittoriano, Trajan markets and the Imperial forum;  there ( Fori Imperiali) do not miss the charming hall of the Senate ( ask at the entry you want to visit the “CURIA”)  of Rome; where Cesare Augustus has been killed by Brutus!

At the Quirinale you can turn down the area in front of the Palace to reach Fontana di Trevi, ( with the wonderful statues of Michelangelo) just restored, passing in front of  Museo della Pasta: Piazza Scanderbeg 117, in  Palazzo Scanderbeg, nel rione Trevi . you will discover where the pasta has been invented, spaghetti of course, in Italy you may guess; where? may I say ? You will discover yourself. 🙂

 

If you visit the Colosseum, take the ticket at the Forum, ( same ticket)  you will save a mileage queue and you will enter immediately as a VIP!

 

Every Saturday you can get a train from San Pietro station, in vaticano), to go to visit “ le ville pontificie “ in Castelgandolfo ” an area of 55 hectares of villas and wonderful gardens belongings to the Pope. You can see the “ quadreria” the collections of pictures and the private apartments.Here the link for all kind of visits of Vaticano, included the Vatican Museum and Sistina Chapel ( I admit , a part the big fresco of  Raffaello, and the Sistina chapel is a “maratona” of , I don’t know how many Km) Please, book your entry as soon as you can early in the morning, to try to end all the visit before the closing.  Or get the opportunity to see all with the special ticket offer from Vatican Organisation :https://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?weblang=it

Anyway,  take a break before to dead exausting :

In Rome I suggest you to go to eat at the restaurant of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in via Nazionale 194, the Open Colonna http://antonellocolonna.it/open/  where people of Rome goes, really elegant, good and cheap! 15€, all you can eat (at lunch).Much expensive at dinner.  Unfortunately closed in August.

Near Piazza Venezia! Very good (15€ + 3 € the coffee a very rich buffet in Scuderie del Quirinale – only for the visitors of the exibition,  this last. In both you can eat as much you like. Next time I will suggest a day visit to breath the atmosphere of Rome. This one require at least 3 days!

Enjoy your visits!

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Categories
Grand Tour Islands

6 stage of your Grand Tour: the capital of Sicily : Palermo

Italien ohne Sizilien macht gar kein Bild in der Seele: hier ist erst der Schlüssel zu allem!””Italy without Sicily leaves no image. Sicily is the key to everything!”
Stentorian words, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’ s words
.

Palerme … To forget Palerme is impossible: the city where mothers go hand in hand with their guys, where the trees expand their foliage for tens of meters, where beauty is besieged by the ruin of time. Where it is difficult to realize own ambition if you don’t go away, far from this land on the border of Europe, the first town of the middle Asia.

To the North of Palermo is the Church, the most beautiful of all: without contamination from other eras, commissioned by King Frederick II Normand, conceived as a unicuum, its mosaics tells the Old and New Testamento- the entire Bible: the Dome of Monreale, with is wonderful cloister, also, with thin columns all different.

The Cathedral of Palermo is amazing from the outside, with its elegant architecture Arab-Normand. By your digital camera destroyed the false dome added in XVIII century.

Do not miss the Garden Garibaldi with the huge magnolia grandiflora, the biggest tree in Europe,  which stands in front of  the palace of Inquisitions: Palazzo Steri. It worth a visit.

Visit the museum Abatellis;  inside the most fantastic female portrait of the world ( in my opinion) : “L’annunciata”  by Antonello da Messina. Better on my advice of Gioconda of Leonardo da Vinci.  Awfull the lights :-(( Two other museum: Palazzo Branciforti in via Bara all’Olivella, and with the same ticket, the museum of modern art.

In the same area don’t miss Palazzo Mirto, a private residence until 1980. Fabolous. And finally if I suggested a visit to the catacombs in Rome, I recommend you to do it in Palermo…. At the Cappuccini; find an exciting parade of mummified corpses, dressed and hung along your path.

Then, after, eat all the sweets and delicious that offers the city wherever and however. The sweet are the most colored of the world. For a sweet gift arrive in Piazza Verdi “chez Mamma Andrea.”

Finally relax in the luxury and cozy Hammam in the heart of Palermo shopping.

The best time to visit Palermo? All year round, Palermo in Italy is statistically the warmer city in winter and cooler in summer.

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Categories
Central Italy Journey

Miralaghi overlooks Chiana Valley ( Tuscany) and Nestòre Valley ( Umbria), all around you

Miralaghi, situated on Monte Pausillo – the name should come from the small olive Pausia described by Pliny, the place of olives Pausie- Miralaghi divide Umbria: the Val di Nestore with Perugia and Assisi at the bottom  (go at sunset for the better view on the summit where you find the house of the same name) from Val di Chiana, where Trasimeno and Chiusi lakes are, and the sky-line of  Cortona, Città della Pieve, Montepulciano, Castiglione del lago in the hills around us.

Miralaghi extends for approximately 750 acres. At the begin of spring there are the violets, in Italy we do a delicious blue candy with the violets, orchids,  poppies and lot of coloured flowers during the spring;  from may to the end of autumn the roses bloom; in September

in the forest you find pillows of cyclamens. At the end of September until the beginning of November you can find many species of mushrooms- books explaining them are at the  homes in the property -If you like a different experience come the last week- end of October when we start the harvest of the olives.

Miralaghi was born as a hunter’s reserve. As a result, inside Villa Miralaghi you can admire numerous trophies of  buck, deer, pheasants and wild boar.

You may also find African trophies but…this is another story…

There are still many species of wild animals, which I try to protect in every way: foxes, roe deer, hedgehogs, porcupines, wild boars, hares, and squirrels; fire-flies in June, July. A couple of buzzards and hawks often circle above us. A family of barn owls is often seen at night. Robin, jay, hoopoe, green-peak are usual visitors. Pheasants and partridges are often set free here.

About this: in the country you are not in danger. All the animals are a spectacle to look at. 

Remember that the heated pools have a constant depth of 1,40 metres, is forbidden to dive in.

If you prefer to do some activity, following the indications or your road-map, or watching the Billboards out Po’ del Vento and near the ping-pong at  “Foresterie”, you can try, as Rambo, to do our fitness trail (17 pictures with different exercises, 11 equipments; ( the children like it a lot-) ; a lot of benches along it to rest. But if you do not want to play sports, simply walk along it and take advantage of the location to be with a tree, which is very healthy, like simply to lie in its shade; in the meantime you can see the leaves swaying in the breeze, or chat with friends, write, read, you can do anything, absorbing its peace and his vital energy.

Or climb on the bird-watching just to hear the breeze of the wind through the branches.

The nature in the forest is amazing.

On the property’s interior, there is “Il laghetto Pescoso” a fishing pond near the gate where you can fish easily, but remember is a not kill fish.

Walk to the Romantic lake for a pic-nic and the triton lake in winter-time.

Follow the trails with faith ( 20Km) . Most have the indications. Anyway it is not difficult to rediscover the roads to the houses: the Villa, the Foresterie or Po’ del Vento; at home you will find the map with the legend of the property.

At sunset relax with friends playing at the “bocce” ( boules) game, lying in the SPA Jacuzzi ( forbidden under 13 years old without the parents) playing ping-pong, soccer-game, chess with a friend at the table under the oak in front of Po’ Del Vento or enjoing with your kids at the children’s playgrounds near the houses.

hiking poles, mountains- bikes, bocce boules, fishing rods, games for children … are behind the “red door”at Foresteria.

The summer evening, come to the sessions of Astronomy, organized around Po’ del Vento’s pool (participation of a few euros) to learn more about the stars, constellations and galaxies … Adults and youngs will be delighted to watch moon through the telescope. And if you pay attention you will see shooting stars!

To ride, go at Maneggio Natura: Tania, mob.ph.329 7924783 to arrange an appointment) just out Paciano. The price for one hour is, for our customers, of 16€ instead 20.

To do wind-surf go to San Feliciano.

Here are many trips to go on. The property is precisely confined between Umbria and Tuscany, near the high – and superhighways. In the immediate vicinity I advise you to go to Paciano a small, medieval, beautiful, well restored village and Panicale a Reinassant village, 4km from Paciano.

Categories
Cities and Towns Northeast

Verona – Humanity Treasure

Verona is a beautiful city in the north of Italy,  homeland of Romeo and Juliet, which is so well written by Shakespeare in his book.


In Verona I like to stroll by Piazza delle Erbe and have a look in the flea market, and sometimes go to the great Arena of Verona  where it is possible to attend opera shows.

Verona is also close to Garda lake and it is probably the most accustom town to the spirit of the lake.

Categories
Grand Tour Northeast

Venezia – Venice: 2 stage of your Grand Tour

Colin Firth  said that there is a life before seeing Venice  and a life after seeing Venice.

I agree. Venice is a dream, especially in November when the “silhouttes”  of palaces arise from the midsts of the fog in the canals,  illuminated by the huge Murano glassed light poles.

I suggest you to get a daily ferry  ticket , about 20€ , to go up and down from the railway station or parking through Venice, than to Murano island – for the famous glass- and the pretty Burano island  and its broderies.

Here a very good video of Venice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKUd8QbLp3U

 

Categories
Grand Tour

Florence 3 stage of your Grand Tour

In Florence to visit the Uffizi Museum  book a few days before at the number 055 294883. to avoid the queue; it is  better than on internet. A Palazzo Pitti you can make two visits: the museum of Argentieri with alll the personal collections of Medici’s family, Boboli garden with the beautiful pavillon with the porcelain and the rose garden and clothing collection, (my favorite);  and the Palace: Palazzo Pitti, the modern art Museum and the exibition there is at the moment of your visit.
A very nice building and very “real” is the visit to Palazzo Davanzati: a palace of 3 floors with authentic furnitures and decorations.open only the morning need to  book the visit.
HYPERLINK “http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/palazzo_davanzati.html” http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/palazzo_davanzati.html
In Florence, of course you should see the “ Duomo “ free , beautiful outside not particulary interesting inside, the Battistero, wonderful outside and inside, with the famous doors, il Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, just to have un idea of the period and the architecture with the statue “ La Pietà” of the famous Michelangelo ( he does’nt like it ), and last but not least climb on the tower ( lower ) or up on top of the Duomo, ( higher). The whole ticket price is 15€ ( get it at the museum dell’Opera or through internet) , at the same time remember to book the hour of the visit on the top of the Duomo ( if you want to continue on the tower, it does’nt require the booking, but check it it depends of the period of the year :-).  To see Pitti Palace and Duomo area you need at least 2 days, I guess.  HYPERLINK “https://www.museumflorence.com/” https://www.museumflorence.com
HYPERLINK “http://www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it/museo” www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it/museo
To eat in Florence apart the famous Eataly, I prefer a more secluded bar with a wonderful choice of sandwiches and a glass of wine for 8  Euros: ‘INO in Via dei Georgofili 3r / 7r tel 055 219208 www.ino-firenze.com behind the Uffizi, close to Ponte Vecchio either.

Categories
Grand Tour North

Milan: 1 stage of your Grand Tour

MILAN  is a rich and interesting town, not only  the capital of fashion. Fashion has entered in the heart of Milan, around the most chic streets of Italy: Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea: the famous fashion district around which Milan has become a city known internationally.
Wandering through these streets you will find all the most important Italian stylists and not.
But to do your “business” go in:  via Buonos Aires, Corso Como and Corso Genova.
For the “vintage”: Porta Ticinese and Via Torino.
In general, the sales start the first week of January and the 1st or 2nd week of July.
In the month of August  Milan is ” closed”.
Markets: the market Papiniano on  the canal is the most important market of the city, an avalanche of clothes but also  products of our cuisine.
Antique market on the Naviglio Grande: last Sunday of the month from dawn to dusk is gathers the best of Milan’s antiquities. A pleasure.
dell’antiquaeriato Mercato di Brera; near the Pinacoteca di Brera, around Via dei Fiori Chiari, smaller and more exclusive than the last. 3rd Sunday of the month.
Feast of canals in June the Naviglio a real event not to be missed.
To see the famous CATHEDRAL and the nearby Galleria, in the fashion district. The Pinacoteca di Brera just outside the Castello Sforzesco and the oratory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie where it is. The Last Supper by Leonardo (reservations no. 89421146 .02)

Categories
Central Journey

A look on Tuscany

Tuscany is certainly among the best known and most popular Italian regions; for the rolling hills with harmonious lines of cypresses that lead to elegant country houses, as in Val d’Orcia Umanity heritage, for the wonderful natural SPA,  for  the wines like the famous Brunello di Montalcino, the Chianti, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano,  to the inexhaustible treasures of medieval and Renaissance, above all, but also dating back to the Etruscan era,  scattered throughout all territory … Little by little,  we will explore this region, starting with its local capital: Florence, rich in art, whose extraordinary beauty has produced in some of the travelers of eighteenth century a psychosomatic syndrome known as “Stendhal syndrome”.