Introduction to Rome apartments and villa rentals


MUSIC Io amo (I love) by Toto' Cutugno - 1987

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Italy has literally countless sights to visit, you will be dazzled without a preset plan. You find 21 regions - practically small countries in their own right, with completely different environment and most varied landscapes, also in the same region - nearly 100 provinces, each with one or more important historical towns. As a result, far from being a homogenous country, Italy is rather a galaxy of lands, towns and cultures. The Italians speak different languages, some dying out (they are thus called "dialects"), some are not even of Latin origin (as it occurs in Bergamo, in the High Adige-South Tyrol region, in the Albanian highland of Calabria etc.). The historical, cultural, architectural and artistic legacy is so vast, the environment so beautiful and varied that you truly need more than one life to visit, which only brings to one conclusion: plan your visit wisely

Firstly, you should set the TIME (n. of days) dedicated to each place, not only based on the amount of things to see, but also on the time you need to soak the atmosphere. Our suggestions are as follows.

Standard visit: the three most inspirational historical towns: ROME, FLORENCE and VENICE.

- One week at least in ROME (you can find a complete presentation in our Rome Guide). "One life is not enough" it is said, and it is absolutely true... There are 1000s sights, you will be mesmerised and nearly shocked. The sights are scattered in the largest historical centre in the world, they are literally crammed one on top of the other (different historical eras). The only way to get around seriously is walking, and the sights can be found also around the historical centre. One week is just enough to see the ABC, a two weeks' visit would be best. Any other town in the world pales in comparison in terms of number of sights.

 2-4 days VENICE. It is small, but rather complicated to go around, obviously (water, canals etc.). It is also a fantastic place ("beyond envy" as Shakespeare wrote), unobtainable, most artistic, inspirational and romantic. You will need time to appreciate its unreal beauty and the unique scenery, and to truly understand its meaningful history. 

Italy vacation

The Canal Grande

Travel to Italy Venice and Rome

Gondola promenade in the canals of the Jewish Ghetto

Venice Piazza San Marco

The mesmerising Piazza San Marco, at sunset

Venice carnival masks

The magic of Venice Carnival

- 1-2 days FLORENCE: Florence's centre is even smaller, with all the sights situated around the main train station, thus you can visit them easily, including the most famous Italian museum, the Galleria degli Uffizii (with David's statue by Michaelangelo). However, as Florence is the cradle of Renaissance, and of the Italian language and culture, time is required to fully appreciate it.

Visit Florence

Florence: the central square Piazza della Signoria

Florence Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio (Old bridge), with its fine shops and goldsmiths

Florence Basilica Santa Maria in Fiore

Florence: the Basilica of Santa Maria in Fiore

Florence Church Santa Croce

The Church of Santa Croce, where Michaelangelo
and other famous Italians rest.

In-depth: add to the above:

- 2-3 days in TUSCANY. This will enable you to see Pisa (60 km west of Florence) and its leaning tower, situated in a square rightfully called "Piazza dei Miracoli" - Miracles square - because the tower is nothing less than the belfry of a church, completed by a baptistery, and the three form a complex which is a miracle for the eyes to see. You can also visit Siena and its famous "Piazza del Campo" square where the famous horse race ("Palio") is performed. Finally don't forget the Chianti region, and San Gimignano with its medieval towers

Pisa Piazza dei Miracoli

The Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square) of Pisa, a wonder of architecture, sublime design, beautiful landscape.

Pisa Leaning Tower

The iconic Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower) is nothing but the belfry of the basilica in the square.

- 2-4 days in the AMALFY COAST, which includes world-acclaimed wonders such as Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano. Nearby you can also visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, two archaeological wonders and two time capsules, enabling you to perfectly understand everyday life of ancient Romans. Naples is within easy reach. Despite its contradictions, it is a town of incomparable beauty and richness of sights and works of art.



Right: the Italian Riviera, view from the Capomele promontory.

Italian Riviera panorama

- 3-4 days in the ITALIAN RIVIERA near Genoa, especially the fabled "Cinque Terre", the five villages perched on top of cliffs sloping down on a spectacular coast. You find a lush vegetation, flowers everywhere, a renowned balsamic air, stunning views and an exquisite local version of the Mediterranean cuisine. In the background you can see the Maritime Alps capped with snow.

Italian Riviera carruggio winding alley

For a really complete visit, you should also include:

a day trip to MILAN, to see the famous Duomo, Leonardo's "Last Supper", and the famous opera house "La Scala".
- a day trip to VERONA, the town of Romeo and Juliette, and of the famous Roman amphitheatre.
- a 2 days' tour to UMBRIA, the mystical, green region of St. Francis, with most intriguing medieval towns amidst lush hills.

If you really want to see it all, then your journey should include:

- a week in SICILY, a world in its own right. It has a very varied environment including Europe's largest volcano, and it is endowed with intriguing history, culture, and architecture. Its imaginative cuisine blends different roots (Arab, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek etc.) following own patterns, especially delivering probably the best pastries and ice creams in the world (cannoli, cassate, gelato, torta gelato, biscotti di mandorle, granite di caffe' e mandorlaetc.).
- a week in SARDINIA, especially in the Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda), which many consider the most beautiful seaside in the world. 

Left: a characteristic "Carrugio", winding alley for carriages passing beneath the homes, in the Italian Riviera

It is possibly best to BEGIN YOUR TRIP FROM VENICE, landing at Milan's airport, and then heading to Venice (190 km far, appr. 110 miles). You can thus head south *by train* to Florence. You can still reach Pisa by train, as well other places, including Rome. We strongly recommend that you only travel by means of ES (Eurostar) trains, not IC (Intercity) nor IR (Inter-regional). They are fast (220 km per hour, you will get everywhere in a few hours), and they are very scenic because they have large windows. Finally, you can leave from Rome's airport, called Leonardo da Vinci (this is the official name, everyone calls it Fiumicino, from the little town nearby).

Travelling through Italy *by train*, especially with the fast Eurostar-ES trains, enables you to avoid the nightmarish Italian traffic (especially in city centres), and to reach very fast all Italian town centres.

Rome station Eurostar train

The very fast Eurostar (ES) train, also dubbed
"Pendolino", as it swings in the bends.

Travel from Venice to Rome with Eurostar train inside

It is a comfortable and most scenic train, allowing you to have good views of the countryside through large windows.


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