Category Archives: Italian Culture

Where to go and what to do in Italy?

Planning a vacation in Italy is a wonderful puzzle and a delightful discussion with your travel companions. There are so many places to visit and wonderful things to enjoy, you should take into account the experiences and interests of your traveling companions.

Here are a few questions to ponder with input from our experts:

Countryside versus city vacations?

  • The marvelous countryside is best Spring through October. Most properties rent Saturday/Saturday.
  • Cities are welcoming year-round. Busy with tourists during peak summer months May, June, July.
  • To enjoy beaches in Italy, purchase a pass to a beach club with full amenities.
  • Country villas are designed for relaxing so day trips will take some planning and some driving. Evening meals easiest in the property, versus nighttime drive on dark country roads after some vino.
  • While in a city, you can pop in and out of your apartment to enjoy sights and meals.
  • Teenagers may enjoy exploring cities more than countryside stays. “Moooom, I’m bored, there is nothing to do, the internet connection is slow….”
  • Of course you can visit both cities and countryside. Talk to us before nailing things down for best sequence.

What do we want to do?

  • First timers often want to see the top 10 sights whereas returning travelers may want to visit fascinating sights that are on a longer list. For a mixed group, consider staying some place where folks can go in different directions.
  • Some travelers go deep into fascinating layers of Italy with explorations such as the history of concrete, walking the city walls, off-the-beaten path museums.
  • Getting around. Consider mobility issues. You end up walking a lot through the fascinating cities. Not all buildings have elevators.
  • Driving conditions vary. Do your group have a calm and confident driver used to a range of driving conditions? The road systems are excellent, but sometimes crowded, narrow, winding and hilly.
  • Do we want to just relax in a beautiful setting with a few day trips from a countryside property?

Crowds?

  • The popular locations and sights can be crowded during peak travel time. Some places are always mobbed. Consider:
    • early morning visits before the tour buses/ships arrive
    • hire a personal guide who can adjust the itinerary on the fly
    • going during the winter
    • avoid the top 10 sights, go deeper, the possibilities are infinite

Activities?

italy-perfect-ribbolita

  • Who wants to see the incredible art collections in Italy’s museums and palaces? Some museums are bigger than others, so even those somewhat allergic to museums can find small jewels.
  • Who wants to hike, bike and explore the outdoors? Advance planning required.
  • Fun with food. You can enjoy Italy’s marvelous food every day with just a little discrimination. Some prep required if you want to take cooking lessons or eat at top restaurants.
  • Art hunt. Masterpieces of architecture and art are found all across the country in palaces and churches. Nothing like finding a Caravaggio or Byzantine masterpiece in a spiritual cathedral.
5 Books to Read Before Visiting Italy by Italy Perfect Uffizi Gallery

5 Books to Read Before Visiting Italy

Planning for a dream vacation is almost as fun as the vacation itself! Creating your Pinterest board, picking out your outfits, and, of course, figuring out which book will get you into proper vacation mode. When thinking about books to read before visiting Italy, you’ve probably heard of all of the obvious ones: Eat, Pray, Love; Angels & Demons; Under the Tuscan Sun. Well, we’re here to tell you that there’s more to Italy than Rome, and there’s more to Italian-inspired literature than Dan Brown. So sit back, brew a cup of tea, and settle in with our list of books to read before visiting Italy!

Continue reading 5 Books to Read Before Visiting Italy

Christmas Traditions in Italy by Italy Perfect Rome

Three Christmas Traditions in Italy: Food, Family and that Weird Bread

We’re going to say something that might be a little controversial: visiting Italy at Christmas is just as fun as visiting Italy in the summertime. Hear us out!  Instead of sweating it out on the Spanish steps with a gelato in each hand, you can enjoy a stroll through a lively Christmas market with a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm you up from top to bottom. Sound pretty good? Here are some of our other favorite Christmas traditions in Italy that might turn you into a permanent winter vacation person.

Continue reading Three Christmas Traditions in Italy: Food, Family and that Weird Bread

Making Restaurant Reservations in Italy

Good restaurants in Italy book up for dinner during the busier times of year, generally from mid-March well into November. Don’t hesitate to make reservations so you don’t find yourself stumbling into a restaurant that has a waiter out front waving in tourists. It might be a good restaurant, but usually the best ones don’t need that effort.

Continue reading Making Restaurant Reservations in Italy

Hidden Fantasy Rome Neighborhood – Coppedè Quarter

Take a delightful break from the dense history and architecture of the central part of Rome among the whimsical and strange architecture of the Coppedè district.  It is just east of the Borghese Gardens in an upscale neighborhood, filled with embassies. From the Spanish Steps it is a 15 minute taxi ride, 30 minutes by bus or a 40 minute walk.

This amazing district was designed by Gino Coppedè (1866-1927) an architect and designer who joyously designed buildings throughout Italy with Art Nouveau style. In Rome the homes and structures evidence styles from medieval, baroque, greek and just plain fantasy! Continue reading Hidden Fantasy Rome Neighborhood – Coppedè Quarter