Lu Branu is a family run agritourismo, situated in the Costa Smeralda, in an area of around 150 acres of land. The farm produces its own food and wine, which are all typical of Sardinia.
Located near the town of Arzachena and within driving distance of at least 20 idyllic beaches, I would recommend this agriturismo especially to families with small children.
The owners are extremely friendly and hospitable. Children will love the play park and tennis court, as well as getting to know the animals and birds at the farm. Parents can relax in the laidback, safe, childfriendly environment.
address - Lu Branu, Giuanneddu 07026, Arzachena, olbia-tempio.
Capri is a beautiful, spectacular and attractive island near the city of Naples in Italy, perfect for a family holiday destination. There are many glorious views to come upon in Capri. Some include; the crystal-clear water holding many wonders, the picturesque little white houses stacked up on the hill sides and ruins of Roman Emperor’s villa.
You will find many attractions and beautiful scenery like the blue grotto, along with staying in a luxurious grand hotel. You can also hire a boat to go underneath the blue grotto varying from €40 to €55. I would recommend this destination to anyone as it is a wonderful place to visit.
On a sunny spring afternoon while driving around Tuscany, we became lost and were desperate to find somewhere to stay. Just when we were about to give up and opt for a Motel, we came across "Agriturismo da Domenico" near the lovely town of Cortona.
As we parked our car, we were greeted by Domenico's family (including Granny) who welcomed us as if we were some lost relatives.
The rooms were rustic and beautifully decorated and the farmhouse something out of this world.
The evening came and we were served a wonderful dinner, full of locally grown ingredients including veal and veg accompanied by local wine and spirits.
We didn't only found a great place to stay, but we experienced the real Italy and made friends!
We had the most amazing day, meeting the hunters in lovely bar belli in Amandola and then driving to nearby woodland with a small trained spaniel- an extensive truffle hunt uncovered two large black truffles and a smaller one that the dog devoured! April is not the best time for this activity and the hunters expect larger yields in summer and then late autumn when the rarer, headier white truffle abounds.
After the hunt we returned to an agriturismo where we sampled home made salamis, home made oven cooked Olive Ascolana (giant bread crumb coated olives stuffed with rabbit, chicken, turkey and spices), then came the truffle pasta which we watched being prepared and was fantastic, Vincisgrassi (a local marche form of Lasagne), big organic Pork steaks, roast veg and potatoes and collapsing chocolate souffle, coffee.
We were also treated to olive oil tasting and a tour de force wine tasting, with many made from smaller local grapes, such as Pecorino wine (named because the sheep like eating the vines) which are real treasures and little known outside Le Marche.
All in all a superb day out and great value at €90- we didnt need to eat for days!
We stayed in a funky apartment at lovely www.villasanraffaello.com
This is a great selection of rooms to rent in an apartment block in Napoli. They are located at various points around the city centre. The owner is a great guy who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome and to help you find where you want to go. He will recommend things if you ask him.
We stayed in the Paprika room for 60 Euros which included a very light breakfast.
This is a great place to stay if you're on a budget. It's located on a quiet street but is very central in the old town. The free breakfast isn't much but its free. The views from the rooms at the back are excellent (ask for number 53 if it's available as it has a small balcony where you can sit and enjoy the view).
Fab takeaway pizzas from this little shop on Calle Mondo Nuovo in Castello. I'm not a great fan of the food in Venice - pretty overpiced and not really very good - apart from a little fish restaurant I know ...
But Cip Ciap is great if you want a quick bite on the run. You can buy by the slice or a whole pizza. I totally recommend the calzone con prosciutto.
Calle Mondo Nuovo, just off Piazza Santa Maria Formosa
Stayed in this Rome apartment (with "Bed&Breakfast" stocked fridge) in San Giovanni. Family run, very nice patio and style, good price and a quiet location. 80 Euro per night.
A great stay. Location is terrific (Colosseum) and the owner is very friendly - I forgot to buy an electrical plug adaptor for my laptop and she provided me one for free.
The area is also safe at night, I really recommend it if you want to see the very best of Rome!
Via Baccina, 44
A small B&B in the centre of Forio whose atmosphere is a sort of Marrakesh meets India (with a hidden garden thrown in). The host is very friendly and knowledgeable about the island, breakfast is generous and there's a small kitchen if you wish to test your culinary skills in situ. Rates are excellent too.
A hostel, or more specifically an apartment, with three rooms and 10 beds. It was 15 Euro per night and provides a comfortable base to explore the beautiful villages and surrounds of Le Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riomaggiore Between La Spezia and Genova
A football bar in the home of Calcio. This small sports bar has a lively atmosphere, showing football and rugby to a predominantly Inter Milan crowd, although they accommodate all supporters and carry games from Britain and elsewhere.
Via Procaccini, Milan (off Corso Sempione) www.blogfromitaly.com/four-four-two/
The second biggest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is big enough to need a car to see the best. Three hours driving per day will leave you time for archaeology, walking or rock climbing for the adventurous, or just to enjoy excellent food and landscape. The northern half will be sufficient to fill a week. Cheap flights to Alghero arrive late, allowing just enough time to make it to Castelsardo on the north coast. Continue clockwise along the rugged coast pausing at Isola Rossa. Cut inland through the Valle della Luna strewn with giant boulders to Aggius and onwards to the granite coast of Gallura in the north-east of the island. Avoid staying on the Costa Smeralda but have a look at how the other half spend their Euros. Drive south quickly taking advantage of a useful stretch of motorway to Dorgali. A short drive through a mountain tunnel brings you to Cala Gonone, a perfect bay of white limestone. You’ll want to stay here for at least one night the Miramare is the best place to sleep and eat. The trip across the centre of the island can be tedious but Bosa on the west coast makes it all worthwhile. The coast road back to Alghero knocks Highway One into a cocked hat and still leaves you enough time to see the fantastic cliffs of Cabo Caccia before your evening flight.
This is a very old castle, with beautiful frescoes, enormous wrought iron chandeliers hanging by ropes from the ceiling, stone staircases and shutters on the windows that you can wander in and out of as though it were your own home. You don't need to take a book, you'll discover a new writer in the library or a classic you always meant to read or something someone once told you about, then you can take it and settle in a hammock under the magnolia trees with a glass of something delicious that will have appeared as if by magic. Or, if you're feeling more energetic, Clark might let you help him in the garden, weeding, planting, trimming and designing. After dinner, if you are not still in the thrall of the good company you have shared it with, you can take a walk round the gardens lit by candles in the trees, see the owls swooping overhead and identify plants by their smell.
Castello di Galeazza, Via Provanone, 8585, 40010 Galeazza di Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy
Tel. (+39) 051 985 170
This is not a rural hotel but a house for rent beautifully hidden in the green Umbrian hills. The closest you can drive is to the organic farm where you can pick organic vegetables and get fresh cheese and eggs, then you walk down a lane for five minutes till you reach a typical, old, stone, Italian house. A porch and a flowered garden for the nice weather, a fire place and a big bright room for painting when it's rainy. It doesn't have a pool and you're asked to be careful with the water, but it is really worth it. Sleeps two to a maximun four people. 300 Euros a week.
Nearest airport Perugia (Ryanair)
Nearest train station: Fossato di Vico or Perugia
A rustic rural retreat based in a castle, 40 minutes drive North of Bologna, Italy. Only accommodating 10 guests, in frescoed rooms, it is like staying in your own personal castle. No TV, no WiFi and probably no mobile phone reception (as it is in the middle of nowhere) but lots of books, music and art, along with good food and wine. Early morning balloon rides followed by breakfast anyone?
Castello di Galeazza
Via Provanone 8585
40014 Galeazza di Crevalcore (BO)
Tel +39 051 985 170
Nearest stations: Bologna or Crevalcore
The hamlet of Peralta is set in the Tuscan hills that rise high above the valley of Camaiore, behind Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi on the coast.
It was restored over a period of thirty years with great love and imagination by international sculptor Fiore de Henriquez (her work is all over the hamlet). Fiore lived and worked in Peralta until her death in June 2004. Peralta is not just a collection of houses and apartments for holiday lets. It is a place that inspires, seduces, has a special atmosphere. When Fiore first found Peralta (1967) in an abandoned state she immediately fell in love with the place and knew she wanted to restore the houses. She went about this in the same manner that she made her sculpture, building up, adding, taking away, moulding. The result is indeed a creation and one feels this special atmosphere immediately upon arriving. It is not a place for people seeking luxury accommodation where everything always works perfectly, but for people seeking inspiration, tranquillity and beauty.
Tucked away at the end of a "white track" this wonderful gem of a rural retreat will recharge your batteries within a few minutes of arrival. With only 10 bedrooms and set in a 25-acre olive grove surrounded by evergreen woodland, this family run hotel has one great secret - cooking the best vegetarian food in Italy, if not Europe. It would have been enough just to find this quiet and idyllic haven, but the added bonus of award winning vegetarian cuisine is the icing on the cake. Rooms are simple yet comfortable, all with ensuite facilities, no TV's - keeping the rural idyll quiet and relaxing. Daytimes by the pool or out exploring Lake Trasimeno and the nearby villages work up an appetite for the beautifully cooked evening meals made with love and skill by Malu and her team and served by her immaculately dressed husband, Alberto. Everyone should stay here at least once in their life.
Via Montali, 23
06068 Tavernelle di Panicale
Tel: 00 39 075 8350680
Absolutely great espresso. Honestly, you thihnk youknow coffee until you have one here. The cafe is small and the waiters are classic Italian - white jackets, bow ties, the works. It is very atmospheric with huge old mirrors and wooden panelling.
Piazza Castello 15
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