This is a beautiful agriturismo serving what locals consider to be some of the best and most authentic Marche cuisine. The setting is stunning, with views of mountains, hills and valleys. You can sit outside under a shady pergola or in the vaulted brick interior. There are often exhibitions of modern art on the walls and patrone Silvio is a perfect host. We have eaten but not stayed there but all indications are that it would be a great place for a few nights and a fine basis for walking in the Sibillini.
+39 0736 856361, cittadelladeisibillini.it
We spent 12 months in 2009 and 2010 travelling around southern Europe in our VW campervan. On our blog is a full list of all the camp sites we stayed at, as well as other useful information for anyone planning a similar trip and lots of photos of the beautiful places we saw in Italy, Slovenia, Austria, France, Spain and Portugal.
I“Wonderful hotel, wonderful staff, wonderful location in a beautiful city.”
Hotel Il Perseo
I have been staying at this hotel since early 1998 and have returned in every year except one, since. The building has changed a great deal since those early days and is now modern and has every facility.
I am now 69 and would be perfectly happy to stay here alone. The staff are fantastically helpful and have a vast knowledge of their city. Louise (New zealander/Italian), and Laura (Italian) are exceptionally helpful and will book museums, restaurants etc willingly. They will tell you the italian for something you might want to buy in case the shop does not speak other languages. Wonderful!!
The rooms are comfortable, very clean and bright, with ensuites and TV. Some have outstanding views over the city. Breakfast is a good, varied buffet with loads of tea, coffee, juice etc.
It takes less than two minutes to walk to the duomo and five to Mercato Centrale (a must for food lovers). All major places of interest are within easy walking distance.
I have stayed in hotels of all star ratings from no star to five-star, huts in the african bush, YHA's etc but this is one place I return to again and again where the staff feel like old friends and the welcome is superb. GO THERE!!
The value for money is unquestionable.
Via Cerretani 1R, Florence. 055 212649
200m from SMN station and Bus Station, take Via Panzani which leads to Cerretani.
The chapel of St. Prokulus in Naturns, built in the 6th century is very interessting because of its fresco. Awesome! It looks a little bit like the figures in the famous Bayeux Tapestry. If you ask, nobody knows when they have been painted.
Naturns is a municipality in Italy where more than 90% of residents speak German. Its name is based on the Celtic "ana duron" (swampland settlement).
St. Prokulus Chapel
39025 Naturns (BZ) Italy
Station Naturno (Vinschgau Bahn)
A beautiful little glacial lake at 7,000ft that sits below Monte Civetta. Its surrounded by dramatic rock edges and there's a welcome cool breeze when it is accessible in the summer months. The gradient from Palafavera, just north of Pecol is fairly steep, although you can take a ski lift almost half way to the top.
Coldai is along the path of the Alta Via 1 trek through the heart of the Dolomites. You pass Refugio Sonino along the way, where you can get food and a bed for the night if needed.
Refugio Tissi further along is also a great place to stay. But the walk up to the lake and back down could be a day trip from either Palafavera or from Alleghe on the other side of the valley.
The views of and from Lago Coldai are spectacular and the lake is a welcome rest spot, or bathing spot seemingly, if you are one of several eccentric Spanish ladies.
Here are some useful sites: www.infodolomiti.it/dolomiti.990002264-1.run
This site tells you how to get there: www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=jbiurkrubhpkdpbn&name=Palafavera-Lago+Coldai
You can buy Tabacco maps with distances and times from a travel shop in Italy
Erika in "Dorf Tirol" (village near the famous Meran city) is a four-star rated hotel. It's perfect for spa and relaxation. The owners family are caring and kindly about the guests and can provide an interesting agenda - if you wish.
39019 Dorf Tirol / Italy,
Station Merano, Italy
Call (+39) 0473 926111
The Lago di Bràies mirrors the awe-inspiring Dolomites that rise up into the firmament. For us it was the starting point for our week-long trek along the Alta Via 1 that snakes its way south, but you could just stay here, sit, watch and enjoy it all day. There is a hotel, but I would recommend staying in one of the nearby towns such as Dobbiaco, where there is also the most wonderful hostel.
If you wanted to amble around the lake it would take an hour or so. Then if you were prepared you could try some of the sharp climbs up into the heart of what I consider to be some of the most spectacular mountain formations in the world, with wonderful views back down.
Apparently, the Beatles’ Guru,Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came here once. I suspect the Yogi found some good karma.
You can get a train to Dobbiaco, and then there is a bus service out to the lake a few times a day. Here is the link to the Hostel: toblach.jugendherberge.it/cs.asp?st=1&sp=en
and here you can find out more about the lake
A fantastic, super modern, two-stage revolving cable car which whisks you up 1,660m from the olive groves at lake level to a very impressive top station. Great coffee, panoramic views north and west over the blue lake to the high snow-capped mountains of the Adamello and east towards the Adige Valley.
Take the Alta Via di Monte Baldo south along the ridge and climb through flower strewn meadows and along rocky winding paths to the highest point, Cima Valdritta at 2,218m. So many picnic sites it is almost impossible to select just one.
Return to the cable car for the descent. If you have the energy (and a bike) cycle north from Malcesine and take an early evening swim from one of the many pebbly bays. The water is crystal clear. Then eat in a lakeside restaurant. A perfect day.
Malcesine, Provincia di Verona
On eastern shore of Lake Garda.
Some 714m up, at the foot of Mt Paganella in the Dolomite region of northern Italy, Lago di Lamar is 45,000 sq m of sheer bliss. You can swim and snorkel safely, walk or cycle in the surrounding forest, jump off the old-fashioned rope swing, potter around in a small boat or simply sunbathe and stare at the stunning scenery. There is one very family friendly restaurant/bar, plenty of free parking and a great campsite nearby. The local Italians love it but there are few foreign tourists. I only know about it as my daughter lives a 10-minute drive away. Lucky me! The winding drive up to it among the fertile orchards, olive groves and vineyards is also a treat in itself.
From the Trento Centro exit on the A22 follow the road to Cadine and branch off to Terlago and Monte Terlago. Lamar and its sister lake, Lago di Santo, are both well signposted.
Lovely campsite on the shores of beautiful Lake Como. It is very reasonably priced, and the staff are extremely friendly. The campsite has excellent facilities and a swimming pool - a perfect place for couples or families.
An exciting trip up a mountain in what can only be described as a shopping trolley to stand at the edge of a glacier. What more could you want from a holiday in Italy? A short walk from the top of the cableway are two lovely refuges serving wonderful food and drinks. And then above you a sheet of ice. Walk to the very edge but look out for falling stones!
At Lago di Fedaia on the north side of the Marmolada. Plenty of parking. www.marmolada.com/inglese/
Recoaro Terme is a small village located at the bottom of the first Alps - called "prealpi" - North of Vicenza. Recoaro used to be famous in the XIX century for its pure and curative water, which springs directly from the Alps, for which people from all over used to come. Today Recoaro has the spirit of a early XX century thermal town, with buildings in Liberty style and the melancholic taste of a passed age. Yet its location is incredibly convenient for those who want to hike up to the historically giant Pasubio - a very famous peak during the First World War - or simply have an easy hike on the hills around: Staro, Valli del Pasubio, Valdagno and all the mountains around are just beautiful. During the winter, then, cross-country skiers will be delighted by the circuit "Piccole Dolomiti": 10 miles of hard skiing at an altitude of 5000 feet.
A small but enchanting great B&B right in the heart of the Barolo vineyards so ideal for lovers of wine - and food. Reasonable €55-75 with breakfast. And what a great breakfast with home-made bread and cakes - Daniella is a superb cook. The B&B is housed in a 19th-century buidling, about 13 kilometres from the city of Alba. If you take a room you have access to a sitting room with a library of books. Daniella and her husband are passionate about their region and will advise on walks etc.
Barolo - Centro Storico V. Cesare Battisti 13
Taxi from Alba
The Lago di Bràies mirrors the awe-inspiring Dolomites that rise up into the firmament. It was here that we began our weeklong trek along the Alta Via 1 that snakes its way south, but here you could just sit, watch and enjoy all day. There is also a hotel there, but I would recommend staying in one of the nearby towns such as Dobbiaco, where there is also the most wonderful hostel. If you wanted to amble around the lake it would take an hour or so. Then if you were prepared you can try some of the sharp climbs up into the heart of what I consider some of the most spectacular mountain formations in the world, with wonderful views back down. Apparently the Beatles’ Guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, came here once. I suspect the Yogi found some good karma.
Near Dobbiaco, Italy
A typical Piedmontese restaurant, situated in a small country village, Priocca D'Alba, near the small city of Alba, surrounded by hills and vineyards.
This is a well-kept secret. It isn't well lit outside and you have to ring for admittance. There is no menu and no ordering. The menu changes and meals are prepared with only the finest seasonal local ingredients. For a great experience try it during the truffle season. Reserve well in advance. (We understand Bono didn't and was refused admission!)
Via Umberto 1, 5
Priocca d'Alba (CN)
During a family weekend by Lake Como, we loved our Sunday morning spent exploring 17th-century Villa Carlotta. Inside, we were impressed by antiquities and preserved rooms. But the biggest treat was outside: exquisite terraced gardens with magnificent views of the lake, room to picnic and play, a hidden valley of ferns and even some enchanting tiny turtles in one of the fountains.
To say that the Italian lakes are picturesque is a mighty understatement, but if you can imagine that the essence of the beauty and romance of all of the lakes could all be condensed into one small town by the side of one of the smallest lakes, then you can begin to conjure up a picture of Orta San Giulio.
Whilst many of the popular resorts on larger lakes suffer traffic problems, cars are banned from the streets of Orta San Giulio, indeed many of the streets are too narrow for anything other than scooters. Day visitors and residents alike have walk down medieval streets and alleyways, which all lead to the main square and the stunning view across to Isola San Giulio.
www.ortasangiulio.com (in Italian)
Cortina in Northern Italy provides an excellent base for via ferrata - a challenging climb/walk along the "iron roads" of the Alpine hills created during the second world war. A harness for beginners is a must, but these can be easily hired along with helmets from locals shops in the town centre. There are levels for all difficulties, from a 1A to a 5C. One route can be easily reached by a combination of bus and cable car, and you will be in the clouds with fantastic views. Cortina also boasts the longest via ferrata bridge in the Dolomites of Italy!
Cortina has a selection of campsites, bars, restaurants and a supermarket for those touring or having a short break.
A bus from Venice airport takes around 3 hours. Though it only goes twice a day. Try Cortina tourist office (dolomiti.org/dengl/cortina/index.html) for information about the via ferrata.
Varenna is a little fishing village on the east coast of Lake Como, which is very pretty. We are getting married in Villa Cipressi in the autumn, on the garden terrace overlooking the lake, at sunset. Romantic!
The new Malcesine - Mount Baldo cableway stands out from the very first glance, thanks to the futuristic forms of its stations. These are buildings with clean architectural lines, where steel, aluminium, glass and stone have been combined to enhance the light, transparent interiors and to blend harmoniously with their outdoor surroundings.
The cableway is divided into two sections: the first, Malcesine - San Michele is 1,512 m in length and covers a difference in height of 463m; the second, San Michele - Mount Baldo is 2,813 m in length and covers a difference in height of 1,187 m.
The most important new feature of this cableway, and one that makes it totally unique throughout the world, is the cabin on the second section, which rotates on itself to give passengers a 360° view, as well as the sensation that they are flying. The capacity is 600 persons per hour, with cabins for 45 and 80 people. The cableway system is able to operate in harsh weather conditions as well as at night.
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