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L&B Italian Tours - Search results for: Campania

Duration: 8.5 hours

Type of Service: From Sorrento - Best of the Amalfi Coast with Mozzarella and Limoncello Tasting – small group tour

Travel along the Coast to Explore Positano - Start your day with a drive along a beautiful coastal road to the town of Positano. Along the way, your guide will share with you the history of the area, stories of its people and its culture. Then take some time to walk along the narrow streets, or simply settle on the beach front with a cool lemon sorbet.

Set Sail and Explore Amalfi - Once you’ve taken in the magic of Positano head down to the waterfront because we’ve organized for you a relaxing tour along the coastline by private boat to the town of Amalfi. As you pass by small towns as your guide shares with you their history. Stroll down to the sandy beaches or get a coffee on the Piazza del Duomo, the town is your oyster.

Authentic Mozzarella and Limoncello Tasting - Before you return to Sorrento, your tour guide will take you to a local farm that grows, creates and sells their own completely organic mozzarella and limoncello. Of course, no tour of a mozzarella and limoncello farm would be complete without a little tasting.

Things to Know:

  • Visit the Town of Positano and Amalfi
  • Visit a local farm for a demonstration on mozzarella making
  • Mozzarella and Limoncello tasting
  • Round trip transportation with English-speaking guide
  • Small group tour of 25 people or less
  • Tour offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • Tour time is 9:00am and check-in is at 8:45am
  • Meeting Point Location:  Piazza Angelina Lauro (more details upon booking)
  • Wear comfortable walking or tennis shoes

 

  

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City Sorrento to Amalfi Coast
  • Duration 8.5 Hours
  • Highlights

    First visit the town of Positano, famous for its colorful cliff side buildings and dainty narrow streets. Then it’s time for Amalfi, discover the best of the town aboard a private cruise.

    Enjoy ample free time in both towns to explore the streets for yourself. Visit a local mozzarella farm where you’ll get to see how it is produced followed by a delicious tasting of both mozzarella and Limoncello in an authentic Italian style.

  • Detailed Itinerary

  • Pricing & Booking

     $103.00 per person for a full day tour along the Amalfi Coast to transportation and tasting fees. The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $103 Per Person
Published in Other Cities
Thursday, 07 December 2017 23:55

Sorrento Food Walking Tour - small group tour

Duration: 3 hours

Type of Service: Sorrento Food Walking Tour

Experience Sorrento Walking Tour like a local on this 3 hour delicious, fun-filled adventure through the historic center

  • Taste over 13+ authentic specialties including classic sfogliatelle, arancini-rice balls, real buffalo mozzarella, gelato & more!
  • Visit a local trattoria to enjoy homemade gnocchi Sorrentina, real buffalo mozzarella and vino!
  • Limoncello Tour of Sorrento-walk through a lemon grove, learn how the best limoncello is made and other liquors and lemony treats
  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets, see the ruins of Valley of the Mills and spectacular view of Mt. Vesuvius
  • Meet local chefs, artisans, and business owners and take home our signature Savor Sorrento dining suggestions
  • Enhance your stay after the tour by knowing the best eateries to return to and dishes to order

What to Expect

One-Of-A-Kind Food Tastings – Tease your taste buds with traditional specialties chosen to highlight the best local flavors of the Campania region. Indulge in more than 13 delectable food and drink tastings at 8 different locations. Stroll through the charming streets of Sorrento with majestic Mt. Vesuvius as the backdrop while savoring authentic dishes and sipping local libations. You’ll meet the charismatic entrepreneurs, chefs, and local artisans who preserve these cultural traditions.

Stops Include – a favorite family-owned trattoria serving tradition gnocchi Sorrentina and buffalo mozzarella, a lemon grove and limoncello factory, unique-style pizzeria, the candy-man’s specialty bon bons, market meats, cheeses and artisanal beer, the best arancini rice balls and Neapolitan sfogliatelle pastries and gelato! All food tastings are included in the ticket price.

Historic & Cultural Experience – Between tastings, you will gain insights into the city’s cultural highlights, food history and tips “how to eat Italian”. Our passionate, local guides share their knowledge and recommendations of architectural gems, enchanting local flora, fascinating ruins and exciting local attractions and restaurants.

Small Group Sizes & Knowledgeable Local Guides -Tour groups are intentionally kept small with a maximum of 14 guests per tour in order to ensure a personalized and comfortable experience for everyone. This tour is the perfect way to experience Sorrento including bits of fascinating cultural history and food history!

Things to Know:

  • Small tour groups of no more than 14 guests per guide ensures a personalized experience
  • Feel free to bring your camera, wear sunscreen and hat in summer and comfortable walking shoes. Water is available for purchase at all locations and included at lunch.
  • To maximize your chances of getting the day, time, and the number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance.
  • Bathrooms are available during the tour at most of the food-tasting locations.
  • We dine-rain or shine! In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to go inside many of the establishments on the tour. Please dress accordingly or bring an umbrella.
  •  Walking Tours are offered at 10:30am and 4:00pm - check in for tour is 15 minutes before tour time
  • Tour days are Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
  • Tour operates 
  • Meeting point location - Main Square Piazza Tasso (more details given upon booking)
  • You simply won’t find any other way to experience the city this authentically and you’ll leave with unforgettable (and delicious) dining memories you will treasure for years to come.
  • Book your small group walking tour at the beginning of your stay so you will be informed of all the best eateries and hot-spots.

  

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City Sorrento
  • Duration 3 Hours
  • Highlights

    We invite you to join us for a unique Italian experience as you learn how to prepare some of the typical regional dishes of Sorrento and Campania. Your cooking classes take place at Villa Ida, a private residence set amidst beautifully manicured gardens, orange and lemon trees, a swimming pool, and outdoor patio.

  • Detailed Itinerary

  • Pricing & Booking

     $90.00 per person to include a three-hour cooking class with lunch.The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $90 Per Person
Published in Other Cities
Thursday, 07 December 2017 22:07

Sorretto Cooking Class at Villa Ida

Duration: 4 hours

Type of Service: Villa Ida Cooking Class in Sorrento

Your cooking lessons will take place in Sorrento in an amazing setting in private grounds with beautifully manicured gardens, orange and lemon trees, swimming pool, outdoor patio and ceramic decorations.  Upon your arrival, we will be welcomed with fresh orange juice, a slice of delicately flavored plum cake with Neapolitan coffee.  You will move into the kitchen area and embark your unique experience of learning to cook delicious Italian food.  Classes are based on menus of traditional Italian cuisine with particular emphasis on Neapolitan recipes. 

Although the menus vary according to the season, you will begin with an appetizer, continue with a first and second course, and end with a delicious dessert, all prepared by you and others in your cooking classes. The recipes will be clearly demonstrated in a warm and relaxed atmosphere by “Zia Angela”, who will share with you the secrets of preparing typical local cuisine as she learned from her mother “Ida“.

Menus are selected that reflect the freshest ingredients of the season, and the vegetables featured in the menus are produced at “Tenuta Mastro Giacomo” by Zia Angela’s husband.  Typical Neapolitan music will set the tone for your cooking classes.

The cooking classes last approximately 3 hours, during which you will take a break to visit the family’s wine cellar and taste some uniquely handcrafted, homemade wines and local cheeses. “Charlie” the man behind the production of this wine, will explain the various phases of his wine production.  Then, carafes will be filled with a selection of these wines that you will enjoy while continuing you’re your lessons and with your lunch.

At the end of your cooking lesson, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor and dine on all that you created, either by the pool, under the “Pergolato” or in the cozy “winter garden” by a warm fire. 

Things to Know:

  • Cooking class begins at 9:30am and concludes at 1:30pm
  • Cooking class – minimum of 2 and maximum of 20 people
  • An interpreter/hostess will assist guests during the cooking lesson and will serve lunch at the end of the class
  • At the end of the lesson, you will receive the recipes
  • Fun, Informative, Great Food and Highly Recommended Cooking Class
  • Afternoon cooking class available from 4:00pm – 8:00pm based on availability
  • Class offered Monday – Saturday, year-round based on availability
  • Meeting Point Location:  Walking and Driving directions are given upon booking

 

 

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City Sorrento
  • Duration 4 Hours
  • Highlights

    We invite you to join us for a unique Italian experience as you learn how to prepare some of the typical regional dishes of Sorrento and Campania. Your cooking classes take place at Villa Ida, a private residence set amidst beautifully manicured gardens, orange and lemon trees, a swimming pool, and outdoor patio.

  • Detailed Itinerary

  • Pricing & Booking

     $132.00 per person to include a three-hour cooking class with lunch.The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $132 Per Person
Published in Other Cities

Duration: 8.25 hours

Type of Service:  Capri in One Day with Limoncello Tasting – small group tour

Witness for yourself the beauty of the unspoiled island of Capri in just one day. Let us take you on an unforgettable day trip to the island aboard a luxury coach accompanied by your expert guide. We’ll take care of everything so you see Capri the way you’ve always imagined.
Start your day in Sorrento where you will be greeted by a member of our team to set sail to the island famous for its beauty and a vacation favorite since the time of Augustus. Arrive by high-speed ferry to the island of Capri, here your guide will be waiting for you and ready to show you the top sights in the towns of Capri and Anacapri. With their insider scoop, discover parts of the island you may miss if you're exploring alone while hearing about its diverse history, and most importantly find the best place for an Instagram worthy snap.
Then it’s time to sample the Italian classic ‘limoncello’ which has been produced locally in the center of Anacapri. Continue to excite your senses with a visit to Carthusia Perfumery, every product created here is made entirely from natural local ingredients since 1380.
Take some free time to explore the island’s town at your own pace, enjoy a bite to eat or simply take a relaxing stroll through the town’s narrow streets. Visit local boutiques, shop artisan products and maybe even pick up a pair of Capri sandals, made famous by Jackie Onassis during one of her many trips to the island.  

You’ve probably seen the pictures of the Blue Grotto already, but to really appreciate its beauty you have to see it for yourself. There is the option of visiting the world-renowned Blue Grotto for an extra cost. Your guide will take care of the planning and one of the team members will accompany you on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hear about the grotto’s unique natural features and history before you get the opportunity to explore it for yourself. After your visit to the Blue Grotto, meet the rest of the group to continue your adventure.

In the evening return to the harbor to board the high-speed ferry to travel back to Sorrento, filled with the sights, colors, aromas, and flavors of one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands!

Things to Know:

  • Uncover the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands in one day aboard this tour from Sorrento
  • Arrive in Capri by high-speed ferry from Sorrento, explore the island’s top sights aboard a luxury coach just for your small group
  • Join an optional tour to explore the spectacular ‘Blue Grotto’ (extra cost and subject to weather conditions), one of the world’s most famous natural attractions
  • Local expert English- speaking guide in Capri
  • Authentic limoncello tasting
  • Carthusia Perfumery
  • Boat tickets from Port of Sorrento to Capri
  • Small groups of 22 people or less
  • Audio headsets so you can always hear your guide
  • Tour offered Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
  • Tour begins at 9:30am and check-in is at 9:15am
  • Meeting Point Location:  Sorrento Port (more details are given upon booking)

 

 

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City SorrentoCapri
  • Duration 8.25 Hours
  • Highlights

    On this all-inclusive tour from Sorrento with special skip the line access, explore the fascinating ruins of Pompeii to uncover the day to day lives of Roman society, buried under ash and rubble during the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Follow your guide into a snapshot of life nearly 2,000 years ago, followed by a Neapolitan pizza lunch, and a visit to the magnificent volcano that caused it all.

  • Detailed Itinerary

    On this all-inclusive tour from Sorrento with special skip the line access, explore the captivating ruins of Pompeii to discover this Roman city, buried under ash and pumice during the disastrous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Follow your guide inside ancient homes, baths and more for a snippet of daily life nearly 2,000 years ago, followed by a delicious Neapolitan pizza lunch.

  • Pricing & Booking

     $108.00 per person to include registration fees, skip the line admission, transportation and lunch.

    The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $150 Per Person
Published in Other Cities

Duration: 6.75 hours

Type of Service:  Day trip from Sorrento to Pompeii with Pizza lunch – small group tour

Pompeii tour is the best option for travelers who plan to visit this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site from Sorrento. Unlike other tour operators, we include all the entrance fees and skip the line access, as well as a 2 hour expertly guided visit of the ruins with carefully selected local guides and a delicious Neapolitan pizza lunch!

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD it left a flourishing city in ruin, but it also captured a day in the life of a Pompeian forever fossilized – turning what once was tragic into modern day magic. These ominous ruins, immortalized in pumice and ash, have quite literally allowed history to be frozen in time. Like no other experience on Earth, you’ll enjoy a fully-guided 2-hour tour of an absolutely awe-inspiring archeological area. Walk among the stone-slabbed streets where Pompeian villagers and aristocrats alike once went about their daily activities.

Follow your local guide as they recreate the hustle and bustle of this once-busy port town, explaining what each building was used for, where families ate their meals, did laundry and socialized – and where sailors went when they docked. They’ll recreate for you the final days of Pompeii as you examine the harrowing death casts scattered around these ruins at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius.

Explore their homes, including domuses (residences of the ancient elite), and the brightly painted frescoes and marvelous mosaics. Be inspired by your guide as they bring these relics back to life with details only locals would know.

Once you’ve seen it all, we’ll give you a short break for souvenir shopping or coffee before heading to the restaurant for your delicious pizza lunch.

Our Pompeii Tour from Sorrento includes round-trip transport from Sorrento in air-conditioned, comfortable bus. As well as your official local guide in Pompeii, you’ll have an expert, English speaking tour coordinator to entertain you on the way to Sorrento.

Things to Know:

  • Visit the most iconic ruins within Pompeii, a world-famous archaeological site
  • Local expert English-speaking tour guide
  • Round trip transportation between Pompeii and Sorrento
  • Entrance ticket and reservation fees into Pompeii Excavation Site
  • Traditional Neapolitan Pizza lunch
  • Groups of 25 people or less
  • Audio Headsets so that you don’t miss a thing
  • Enjoy a fully guided 2-hour long tour of the Pompeii ruins
  • Tour begins at 8:00am - please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in
  • Tour operates Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • Meeting Point Location:  Piazza Angelina Lauro (more details are given upon booking)

 

 

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City SorrentoPompeii
  • Duration 8.5 Hours
  • Highlights

    On this all-inclusive tour from Sorrento with special skip the line access, explore the fascinating ruins of Pompeii to uncover the day to day lives of Roman society, buried under ash and rubble during the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Follow your guide into a snapshot of life nearly 2,000 years ago, followed by a Neapolitan pizza lunch, and a visit to the magnificent volcano that caused it all.

  • Detailed Itinerary

    On this all-inclusive tour from Sorrento with special skip the line access, explore the captivating ruins of Pompeii to discover this Roman city, buried under ash and pumice during the disastrous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Follow your guide inside ancient homes, baths and more for a snippet of daily life nearly 2,000 years ago, followed by a delicious Neapolitan pizza lunch.

  • Pricing & Booking

     $108.00 per person to include registration fees, skip the line admission, transportation and lunch.

    The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $108 Per Person
Published in Other Cities

Duration: 8.5 hours

Type of Service:  Day trip from Sorrento to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour – small group tour

Pompeii and Vesuvius tour is the best option for travelers who plan to visit these famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Sorrento. Unlike other tour operators, we include all the entrance fees to Pompeii and the Vesuvius, as well as a skip the line access, carefully selected local expert guides and a delicious Neapolitan pizza lunch!

You’ll be whisked away directly from Sorrento by private, air-conditioned local bus to Pompeii where you’ll meet your official, licensed Pompeii tour guide. Traveling in groups of only 25 people or less, you’ll explore examples of every building in Pompeii – from homes to bathhouses, fast food stores to outdoor theaters.

We’ve selected the most entertaining and knowledgeable local tour guides to ensure that your Pompeii visit is as enjoyable as it is memorable.  Follow your guide as they recreate the hustle and bustle of this once-busy port town, explaining what each building was used for, where families ate their meals, did laundry and socialized – and where sailors went when they docked. They’ll recreate for you the final days of Pompeii as you examine the harrowing death casts scattered around these ruins at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius.

Your Pompeii day trip doesn’t end here, however. We’ll drive a short way to perhaps the most dangerous volcano in the world – a title held for the 3 million people living around its base today. Just over a half-mile hike up Mt. Vesuvius from the parking lot below the crater offers the most stunning view of the Bay of Naples below and a taste of the utter devastation it must have caused when it exploded in 79 AD, literally wiping Pompeii off the map for 1,500 years.

Our Pompeii Day Trip from Rome includes an authentic Neapolitan pizza lunch and round-trip transport from Sorrento so, you can relax and enjoy your Pompeii day trip without worrying about the ins and outs of cross-country travel.

Things to Know:

  • Enjoy insider knowledge about Pompeii, a world-famous archaeological site
  • Visit the most iconic ruins within Pompeii as well as the lesser-known gems
  • Witness the incredible views over the Bay of Naples from Mount Vesuvius
  • Take the optional hike up to the crater
  • Round trip transportation between Sorrento and Pompeii
  • Passionate expert English-speaking guide
  • Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Lunch
  • Guided Tour of Pompeii with 25 or fewer people
  • Audio headsets where necessary so that you don’t miss anything
  • Tour operates Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • Tour begins at 8:00am - please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible and recommended for participants with back problems - moderate amount of walking is involved
  • Meeting Point Location:  Piazza Angelina Lauro - more details are given upon booking

Additional Info

  • Region Campania
  • City SorrentoPompeii and Mount Vesuvius
  • Duration 8.5 Hours
  • Highlights

    On this all-inclusive tour from Sorrento with special skip the line access, explore the fascinating ruins of Pompeii to uncover the day to day lives of Roman society, buried under ash and rubble during the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Follow your guide into a snapshot of life nearly 2,000 years ago, followed by a Neapolitan pizza lunch, and a visit to the magnificent volcano that caused it all.

  • Pricing & Booking

     $130.00 per person to include registration fees, skip the line admission, transportation and lunch.

    The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Booking Procedures and details: Upon hitting the “book now” button, you can choose your date and time, and look over the cancellation policy (terms and conditions), and preview the precise pricing. Once you have entered your details, L&B Italian tours will request your credit card number. We will not charge your credit card until we have confirmed the details for your reservations, this usually happens within 24-48 hours for tours and up to 4 days for trip packages. Once the card is charged your reservation is confirmed. Along with the confirmation, you will get a complete recap of your booking that includes maps, meeting places, times and contact numbers.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price $130 Per Person
Published in Other Cities
Thursday, 12 November 2015 19:26

Regions in Italy

So you’ve decided you are GOING TO ITALY! How Exciting! Many people dream of visiting Italy and experiencing la bella vita, and while you certainly can’t avoid it anywhere in the country, there are some things to think about before you take off that will make your time that much more enjoyable.

First, Italy is a large, and very diverse country. Traveling across regions is almost like traveling across countries themselves. The Italian people are very attached to their City, Region, and Country, in that order, so be sure to talk to locals wherever you go to get to know the intricacies of the very different regions of Italy.

Planning your trip’s itinerary won’t be easy since there is SO much to see and do, but a little background on the country’s layout is helpful when decided what it is you want to get out of your time: are you looking for sports? history? art? food? beaches? mountains? fashion? design? Italy has it all, but some places have it better than others!

Italy can best be divided into three geographical areas: north, middle and south, although again across those areas culture, food and tradition varies greatly.

 

Northern Italy: Alta Italia

Northern Italy is made up of the Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino Alto-Adige. It boasts such famous cities as Milan, Venice, Turin, Genoa and Bologna. The weather is cooler than the rest of the country due to the northern location and proximity to the Apennines and Alps. This area is traditionally the more wealthy part of Italy, and houses most of the country’s industry. Cities like Milan and Venice can be slightly more expensive than some cities in the central or southern parts of Italy. However, public transportation and tourism services are much more developed and functional than in other parts of the country!

The major airport for the northern region is Milan’s Linate International Airport. There are many other airports in the region however, including Bologna, Venice and Genoa, so do some price comparisons before booking your ticket. The climate in this region varies considerably, both depending on time of year and location. Venice gets extremely hot in the summer, while Turin and the Lake District (Cuomo) stay much cooler and tend to be flocked by Italians trying to beat the heat during the summer months. The Italian Alps begin their ski season as early as November in some places.

Northern Italy has many attractions and offers activities for everyone. Those who enjoy sport and the outdoors may want to visit the lakes for water sports, or go hiking in the Italian Dolomites. Everyone should see Venice at least for a day while they still can! Milan is great for anyone interested in design or fashion, and also has a wide selection of galleries and museums for those interested in both Renaissance and contemporary art. One can also visit the Italian Riviera for some great beaches.

The cuisine of this region is also quite variable, but generally tends to be no the heavier side of some of the traditional Italian specialties we normally think of. This is where Italians eat risotto with saffron, polenta, LOTS of parmigiano reggiano (from the Emilia Romagna province – an area that all foodies must visit), heavy meat dishes and stews, etc. Closer north near the Austrian border we see a lot of Austrian or Slovenian influence in the cuisine, as well as the wines. Prosecco is from the Veneto, and Gewürztraminer is from Trentino Alto-Adige. Think lots of nice white wines, and a LOT of grappa!

 

Central Italy: Tuscany and Rome

Central Italy is made up of the regions Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. Geographically it also contains Abruzzo and Molise, but they are traditional grouped with Southern Italy due to cultural similiarities. This is where the rolling hills of Unbria and Tuscany call to mind Napa Valley. This is wine country. Central Italy is home to cities like Florence, Siena, Perugia, and of course Roma. Still quite wealthy, but more varied wealth across regions, central Italy is also extremely easy to explore via bus or train, so you can visit some little hill towns in the Val D’Orcia, or take a train and ride up and down the coast. This section of Italy is full of tiny medieval towns, and if you do your research ahead of time, you could get to participate in one of their on-going traditional medieval festivals!

Rome and Florence both have international airports, as does Pisa. Flying into Bologna is also an easy way to get to Florence as they are connected via both fast and regional trains. The weather in the region is quite temperate, with clearly distinct seasons similar to the weather on the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. The winters are cold, and although snow is uncommon it is not unheard of. The summers get quite hot, going up to one hundred degrees, and the air tends to be humid, especially inland.

Florence and Rome are the dominating destinations in Central Italy, and rightfully so. Rome as the capital and Florence as the birthplace of the Renaissance are not to be missed if possible. I would argue each city really deserves its own trip to truly get the most out of what they have to offer. Rome is a massive metropolitan center, filled with tourists all year round. The Vatican is a major destination, its museums housing some of the most beautiful and famous Renaissance artwork, as well as the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The City of Rome of course has many ancient Roman ruins that would excite anyone remotely interested in human history: the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Catacombs, just to name a few. Florence on the other hand is the must-visit for anyone interested in Renaissance art or history, and is also a good base to explore some of the smaller towns in the region that will have you thinking of Under the Tuscan Sun. The Chianti region is full of tiny gems to visit and have an amazing meal at, as is the area between Siena and Rome. You’ll have to get to know the regional bus lines though!

Again, each region has its own traditional cuisine, but Central Italy has some of the healthiest, heartiest, what traditionally would have been peasant food but has now been elevated to an incredible level of International renown. Bistecca alla Fiorentina can only be truly enjoyed in Tuscany, just as Rome is the place to eat Saltimbocca or Osso Buco. Siena is famous for its sweets, traditionally eaten at Christmastime, and the Umbrian town of Norcia, in the Appennine foothills is where the best black truffles can be found, as well as some of the best pork products like prosciutto and salame. The hills are home to wild boar, which is cooked into many traditional stews or sauces. This is also wine country, so look out for Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. I could write a whole article about Tuscan cuisine, and I probably will, so check our blog frequently!

 

Southern Italy: Untouched

Southern Italy is where many Italian Americans origins are. It is the poorest part of the country, and encompasses the “foot” part of the boot of Italy, as well as the island of Sicily and some other Islands off the coast of Naples. It is made up of the regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Molise and Sicily. Due to traditional poverty and well-known corruption, transportation to many less-frequented yet extremely beautiful areas is difficult without a car of your own. The trains are regional and buses connecting cities are infrequent. We’ll talk more about renting cars in Italy later, but this may be the area to do so if you are up for the challenge!

The nearest major international airport is Rome, but there are two smaller airports on the east coast: Bari and Brindisi, both in Apulia. Naples has an international airport, and the island of Sicily may be reached via Palermo in the north or Catania in the south. The climate in the South is Mediterranean, so again variable across seasons but markedly warmer than the north or center of the country. The area is frequently overlooked as a tourist destination, so it is a nice respite from the throngs of Florence or Venice if you have the chance to visit. The beaches are spectacular, overlooking truly crystalline water. On clear days you can even see Africa from certain points along the coast.

While Sorrento, the Amalfi coast and the island of Capri are all beautiful places to visit, they are also the most famous tourist destinations in this area. If you are looking for beautiful vistas and country club style and treatment, these resort towns are a perfect place to pamper yourself or take a boat out. If you are more on the adventurous side, continue south and explore the towns of Calabria, famous for its spicy peppers and warm inhabitants. From Naples you can climb Mount Vesuvius and eat a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Matera, in the Basilicata region, is slated to be the European Capitol of Culture in 2019, and boasts what are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in Italy carved out of the rocks that make up its ancient city center. Those interested in architecture will enjoy the cities along the southern coast of Sicily, where due to volcanic and seismic damage, many buildings were rebuilt in a new Sicilian Baroque style.

Southern Italian cuisine is what most Americans think of as Italian cuisine: eggplant parmigiana, pizza, calzone, spaghetti, maccheroni, and the list goes on. The region is big on short, dry pasta, as opposed to the soft egg pastas of the northern, wealthier regions. Mozzarella is from this area, as is ricotta, made light and fresh. San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil under mount Vesuvius, and are used ubiquitously. Many of the dishes served in the south have Italian-American counterparts due to generations of Italians emigrating to the US from these regions due to extreme poverty. This part of Italy also of course produces much of its own wine, but the wine tends to be drunk young and domestically, rather than bring preserved and shipped. So come here if you are okay with some chilled red table wine or a beer with your pizza!

This has just been an EXTREMELY brief overview of what you might expect as you plan your trip to Italy. Every part of the country has its own secrets, cuisines, and traditions, but if you can’t move there, these generalized descriptions should help you tailor where you want to start and end your visit to the big boot. Once you determine your itinerary, be sure to check seasonal weather charts so you can pack accordingly to where you will be visiting. Read on for more about the items that you will need to bring with you to get the most out of your Italian vacation!

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