Touring Tuscany: The Val d'Orcia Valley

by Mario 21-Jun 2016

If you're planning a vacation to Italy, the region of Tuscany is a must-stop travel hot spot that you need to visit during your trip as it's known for its landscapes, traditions and rich history! While you search for Tuscany villas for rent to accommodate your stay, you might be wondering where to start your sight-seeing vacation once you get settled. While you could certainly traverse through the popular Tuscan cities of Florence or Pisa, you may want to take the road less traveled and start your adventure in the scenic valley area south of Montepulciano.

Most tourists know Montepulciano for its highly rated red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, however, traveling through the beautiful hills of Montepulciano will truly take your Italian vacation to another level. This part of the Tuscan region, scattered with small, well-preserved medieval villages, enormous fortresses and ancient thermal springs, remains unaltered and mostly unaffected by mass tourism. On top of that, restaurant prices throughout the valley are consistently modest. With that said, it's worth spending the day in the area and Parker Villas has a great suggested itinerary you can follow starting in Montepulciano!

An Unforgettable Adventure

First, head toward the village of Pienza, which is the unforgettable pastoral setting for the film "The English Patient", by taking the SS146, known as one of the most scenic drives in Tuscany. The valley between Montepulciano and Pienza is scattered with herds of sheep and famed for its Pecorino cheese. For anyone visiting in the Fall, make sure to experience the Fiera del Cacio, a cheese festival, which takes place in Pienza on the first Sunday.

If you continue west to San Quirico d'Orcia you'll come across a lively pedestrian thoroughfare lined with restaurants, cafes, wine shops and boutiques. It's the perfect place to stop for lunch and pick up souvenirs of locally made herbal soaps and lotions. If you are there during the third weekend in June make sure to attend the Festa del Barbarossa, a festival with a medieval costume procession through the village ending at the Horti Leonini Italianate gardens, where neighborhoods compete in archery and flag throwing.

Arriving at the Thermal Spas & Hot Springs

A 10-minute drive south leads to the sleepy medieval gem of Bagno Vignoni and a Roman-era thermal bath occupying the main square that's bordered by a few small shops and restaurants. During the Renaissance, this became a popular resort thanks to Lorenzo il Magnifico who came here to bathe in the medicinal water as the thermal water rises up 3200 feet to reach the surface at a temperature of 125 degrees F. The parking area for the village, beside the ruins of a 12th century mill, has a phenomenal view across the entire valley. Be sure to stop and take pictures of the breathtaking scenery!

Our next recommended stop is a small village called Bagno San Filippo that features hot spring pools, waterfalls and calcified formations. This spot was frequented by the Etruscans and made into a resort area by the Romans. Visitors are able to swim under the waterfalls and in the natural spring pools, so bring your bathing suit if you want to take a dip. If you want get the most out of this little village, the "Terme San Filippo" is a hotel spa offering day passes, skincare treatments and products made from the springs' curative waters.

Continue the southern scenic loop across the valley toward the medieval village of Cetona, a perfect stop for a coffee or gelato at one of the cafes aligning the charming town square. Fun fact: Giorgio Armani has a summer residence in the area. When not searching for the elite, visit the Mount Cetona Archaeological Park (open July - September), home of the prehistoric Belvedere caves.

From Cetona, pick up the Chiusi exit on the A1 highway, which is a short 15-minute drive away, to head back home to your Tuscan villa in Montepulciano. If you don't get a chance to visit Tuscany this summer, you can still plan your trip for the fall because there's still plenty to see and do!

If you are traveling in late fall, don’t worry. There are plenty of the medieval festivals the area is known for:

  • The Sagra del Fungo e Castagna, is the feast of the mushroom and the chestnut, which takes place on the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October in Vivo d'Orcia. Food stands offer mushrooms dishes, roasted chestnuts and jams.
  • The Sagra del Marrone is the feast of the chestnut in Campligia d'Orcia, held on the last Sunday in October. The village's three neighborhoods compete against one another in decorating, performing arts and food. Visitors walk through each area to judge their favorites and cast a ballot to decide the winner, who is announced that evening.
  • The white truffle festival in San Giovanni d'Asso takes place on the 2nd and 3rd weekends in November, to highlight the truffle season, which runs from September through December. The town has an imposing castle that houses the Museo del Tartufo, which is open on weekends.

Are you ready to plan your vacation by finding the perfect Tuscany villa for rent so you can experience everything Italy has to offer? Search for villas or apartments in Tuscany with Parker Villas today!

Panettone: A Love Story

by Admin 29-Nov 2012

Disclaimer: Based on a multitude of “true” stories, the origin, at least, of the beloved Christmas bread, Panettone, is anchored in 15th century Milan. The names of the heroes and heroines are real, according to history, and the recipe has remained fairly consistent through the centuries. Following is a compilation of facts, undoubtedly some fiction, and likely the omission of a few details, which we secretly hope Hollywood will one day fill in ...

Once upon a time, in 15th century Milan, there was a young nobleman and falconer named Ughetto Atellani. He liked to train his birds near a bakery and would watch the beautiful baker’s daughter, Adalgisa, at work. Ughetto introduced himself to the girl one day and they fell in love. Because the nobleman’s family would not hear of his marrying so far beneath his place in society, the two met in secret.

Adalgisa’s father, Toni, had fallen ill and the young girl had to work extra hard and for long hours. Ughetto felt sorry for his beloved and devised a plan to help. He disguised himself as a poor peasant and offered to work in the bakery in exchange for an occasional loaf. Knowing that the local gentry found the taste of the bread too unrefined, he used his own funds to buy more expensive ingredients: butter, eggs, candied lemon and orange peel. The result was a cake-like bread he named Pane di Toni for Adalgisa’s father, and word spread quickly of the light, sweet confection found only at this particular bakery. Business boomed. With the coming of Christmas, Ughetto added golden raisins to his confection—a Midas touch that secured the destiny of Panettone as the official celebratory holiday bread throughout Italy.

Meanwhile... Ughetto finally emerged from his peasant disguise and the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro Sforza, agreed to the marriage of the enterprising falconer and the lovely baker’s daughter. Leonardo da Vinci, himself an enthusiastic promoter of the panettone, attended the nuptials.

Panettone: Just the Facts

• Literally translated, panettone means “big bread” (but surely that’s coincidental).

• Creating the sweet bread is somewhat labor-intensive, with a triple-rise series that often takes 15 to 20 hours to complete.

• Panettone can be kept for months in its packaging, and even once opened, it doesn’t stale quickly (because of its “dry” ingredients, not because it has preservatives—it doesn’t). The linger-longer factor makes the bread a perfect treat to serve throughout the holiday season with rich coffee or sweet wine, such as Moscato d’Asti.

• While it originated in Milan, today’s best Panettone comes from all over Italy: Modena, Padua, Vicenza, Pescara, and Sicily.

• Our favorite is Panettone Pepe from Salerno along the Amalfi Coast—soft and bursting with flavor, the candied fruit is moist, not over-powering, and the rich aroma of vanilla and orange is just heavenly! Click here to visit their website.

More than one hundred million Italian-made Panettone are sold worldwide.

While in Italy, enjoy your Panettone fireside at one of these cozy Parker homes:

Cottage la Vita, a charming cottage for 4 just ten minutes from Siena, offers a country kitchen with a blazing fireplace to gather around. Medieval Siena celebrates the holiday season in splendor and the Nannini pasticceria (c. 1909) is said to be the best bakery in town stocked with Panettone and other festive cakes. Click here for details and photos.

Villa Spago, a classic country farmhouse with its original open hearth, is an ideal gathering spot for a group. In the heart of Umbria’s Montefalco wine region, the area’s dessert wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito, is a fantastic match for Panettone and makes for a great gift during this festive season. Click here for details and photos.

Spumante or Frizzante: Italian Bubblies for the Holidays!

by Admin 13-Nov 2012



Nothing says “Celebrate!” like bubbles. And that includes the new wave of Italian sparklers enjoyed prolifically throughout the country ... definitely not your papa’s Asti Spumante!

Like quality olive oil and artisanal cheeses, Americans have discovered the good stuff when it comes to sparkling vintages. In addition to the already popular Prosecco, there’s the wonderful world of Lambrusco, Franciacorta, Moscato, and the “new” Asti—all of which are produced in the north (Piedmont, Veneto, Lombardy), and can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of many champagnes.

VINO 101
Spumante means Sparkling
Frizzante means Fizzy

Spumante, like so many food and beverage “discoveries,” was a happy accident, Man has known for millennia that when you make wine it requires storage in a consistently cool dark place to ferment (i.e. those convenient wine caves). BUT, if you forget to put your barrels of autumnal grape juice into that cool place and leave them exposed to the whims of the seasons, when the temperature rises in spring, fermentation starts up again and you get ... bubbles! This is how champagne gets started, of course, except that it’s the individual bottles that go through a secondary fermentation where the quality can be controlled. With Spumante, the wine is left in barrels for its second round (called the charmat method), so it’s less refined. But given that this novelty “wine” was served to the likes of Antony and Cleopatra during a first century banquet (as documented by poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, who was quite enchanted with the bullulae, or “bubbles”), who are we to turn our noses away from the tingle? 

So what’s the difference between Spumante and Frizzante? The amount of bubbles! In contrast to Spumante, Frizzante undergoes its second fermentation for only half the time, therefore taking in only half the amount of carbon dioxide. Which is why it’s a “softer” bubbly and Spumante a more prickly one.

Following are a few distinguishing features of the favored Italian sparklers:

PROSECCO – Spumante, Veneto & Friuli (11-12% alcohol)
Characteristics: Light, crisp, dry to slightly sweet
Pairs with: Cheese, almost any appetizer, and risotto, especially made with shrimp
Of interest: At Harry’s Bar in Venice, Prosecco was turned into the Bellini with a splash of peach juice.

FRANCIACORTA – Spumante, Lombardy (11-13% alcohol)
teristics: Ranges from demi-sec to brut; crisp, almondy
Pairs with: Fish and seafood dishes, including risottos and spaghetti with shellfish
Of interest: This is Italy’s most popular sparkling vintage, and considered one of the finest sparkling wines in the world; by law it must be aged for a minimum of 18 months.

LAMBRUSCO – Spumante, Emilia Romana and Lombardy (10.5-12% alcohol)Characteristics: Red, dry (secco) or slightly sweet (amabile), refreshingly light, fruity
Pairs with: Salumi appetizers or sandwiches, grilled meats, hearty pasta sauces
Of interest: Toda
y’s Lambrusco is not the “cheap” sweet wine popular in the 1970s. Its pedigree reaches back to Roman times; Italy is currently lobbying to be the only country permitted to label its noble vintage “Lambrusco."

ASTI – Spumante (DOCG), Piedmont (7-9.5% alcohol)
Characteristics: Soft, fewer bubbles, slightly sweet, honey and citrus blend

Pairs with
: Desserts with creams, fruit pastries, strawberries, light cheeses
Of interest: Asti can claim to be the world’s first sweet sparkling wine.

MOSCATO (Moscato d’Asti) – Frizzante, Piedmont (5-6% alcohol)
: Delicately fizzy, sweet, fruity and floral blend, aromatic
Pairs with: Desserts (anything with apples), and aged cheeses such as Gorgonzola.
Of interest: The Moscato is famous for its heady, multi-layered fragrance; be sure to put your nose in first for that delicious whiff!



Eurochocolate 2012: Perugia’s Confectionary Celebration

by Admin 18-Oct 2012

Nine delicious days of everything chocolate—October 19-28—draw chocolate lovers from all over the world to lovely Perugia, an Umbrian hill town whose history dates back to the Etruscans. It’s also the birthplace of Italy’s famed Baci, the chocolate kisses made by Perugina Chocolates.

For the past 19 years, the town has welcomed professional chocolatiers, bakers, and artisans who, in turn, create a confectionary wonderland for all ages. Vendor tents line the streets and lace together the piazzas in Perugia’s historic center. Chocolate-making demonstrations, tastings, art, and non-stop live music are all part of the experience. More than a half million visitors joined in the tasty fun last year. If you’re lucky to be anywhere in the region, don’t miss the chance to attend this deliciously unique Italian, festival. Here are some of the anticipated highlights:

Chocolate sculptures
Sunday, October 21 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Imagine what Michelangelo would have done with 11 tons and 141 square feet of Perugina Nero chocolate! For one amazing day, Central Perugia’s Corso Vannucci turns into a veritable sculpture gallery, revealing fantastic creations by teams of Italians sculptors. This year’s theme is: 100 Years of Baci Perugina.

The Chocolate Show
Daily 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday)
This grand chocolate emporium is choc-full of artisans, purveyors, and boutiques that elevate the dark and the light sides of the mighty cocoa bean into blissful confections and concoctions that are among the tastiest—and most beautiful—in the world.

Chocolate Tastings – Omaggi
Daily at 4 p.m.
Every afternoon visitors have the chance to sample nibble-size goodies—omaggi— offered by the prominent participating chocolatiers. Cioccolati d’Italia, voted the best “Made in Italy” chocolate, is this year’s special guest.

For Kids
Numerous events dedicated to children take place throughout the festival. An annual favorite is ABC Chocolate, where kids can create little chocolate masterpieces in special molds—cioccorelli—and take them home. In the I Pasticcione test kitchen, supervised by chefs, children make little cookies dipped in chocolate.

Chocogadget Gift Shop
Open daily - 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday)
Taking “gift shop” to a whole new flavor! This year’s design highlights include: Choco lamps, iChoc smartphone and tablet cases and covers; Choco Heart USBs; Chocoumbrellas (no, they won’t melt in the rain); Choco Pill Boxes and so much more!!

WEBSITE: Eurochocolate (in Italian) 

Planning to attend the next Eurochocolate?
Parker Villas’ large “Passo d’Elefante” (8 bedrooms/9 bathrooms) is a bon bon of a villa, designed for indoor and outdoor fun. With a sunny swimming pool and games room, it’s perfect for a few families who’d like to share a vacation home. Beautiful Perugia, chocolate and all, is just 20 minutes away by car.

Where to Espresso Yourself in Rome

by Admin 08-Oct 2012

You’re not in Seattle anymore, Dorothy. Italians take their caffè seriously. Seriously strong. Seriously frothy. Seriously sweet. And really seriously: if you want to appear as if you know what you’re doing in a caffè, only order a cappuccino for breakfast (never after 10 a.m.) and an espresso after a meal or as quick afternoon pick-me-up. Oh, and one more thing... don’t order a latte unless you want a glass of milk. Seriously.

While everyone in Italy has their favorite local caffè-bar, the small, venerable establishment of Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, around the corner from the Pantheon in Rome, is considered to have the best coffee in the city, and some claim in the country. Which is saying a lot, given that there are probably two caffès to every shoe store on every block. And which, therefore, makes it worthy of pilgrimage.

Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè is famous for its artisanal, wood-roasted Arabica beans and beloved for its crema, the ethereal top layer of an espresso. And the foam—spuma—that caps the cappuccinos here is almost like meringue; experts have determined that when you add a teaspoon of sugar to it, it should take precisely three seconds for the sugar to disappear beneath the foam. You might be too busy licking the spoon to time it. If you’re there in the summer, order a shakerato... a creamy, icy concoction that’s absolutely worth the time it takes to make it.

A meeting place of Rome’s celebrities and elite since the caffè opened in 1938, Sant’Eustachio also happens to sit smugly across from the palazzo of the Senate of the Republic and snugly between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. The place is well seasoned, old Roma at its finest; the mosaic tile floor is respectably worn, the stainless steel bar pock-marked from decades of cups hastily set down by customers headed into their busy day. It smells good in here, rich and sophisticated, and there is always a contingent of dapper professionals among the tourists. There isn’t much of a counter culture as in most other caffès... you order, drink quickly, or take it outside to one of the tables facing the lovely little piazza.

Benevolently looking down at the surrounding street scene is a large marble stag’s head from atop the thousand-year-old Basilica di Sant’Eustachio—a symbol of the conversion of the pagan Roman soldier, Eustachio, who was visited by a stag in the forest, the crucified Christ illuminated between its antlers. The caffè also chose the stag as its emblem and it decorates the mustard-yellow tins that house the shiny espresso beans (along with chocolate-covered ones and coffee-infused caramels) you’re sure to purchase following your own conversion to the delicious brew.

Oh, and by the way, for those of you who have “fear of espresso syndrome” ... we suggest you commit this mantra to memory: “The darker the bean the less caffeine.” Which means that those teeny little cups of espresso, made with dark, shiny roasted beans, will give you a friendly energy boost for the next hour or so, but won’t linger in your system and keep you awake half the night like our drip coffee will. Enjoy!

Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè
Piazza Sant’Eustachio, Roma

HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m to 1 a.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Saturday, 8:30a.m.  to 2 a.m.
CLOSED: December 25 and August 15

Planning a vacation in Rome?
Parker Villas’ Roman Holiday apartment sleeps 4-5 guests and is located near beautiful Piazza Navona (and an easy walk to Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè!)

Restaurant Review — Vegetarian Paradise in Milan

by Mario 15-Jun 2010

One of my favorite restaurants in Milan I discovered thanks to an Alitalia flight crew. Consider this: Italians know how to eat; Alitalia crews travel all over the planet seeking the best for less; befriend these crews on your next outing and one may share a jealously guarded restaurant recommendation for your next destination.

La Vecchia Latteria is a tiny, vegetarian only, lunchtime gem hidden right before your very eyes. It sits on Via dell'Unione, 6 — literally steps from Milan's famous Duomo. Mom cooks, debonair dad serves and entertains and their daughter, a freshly minted psychologist, conducts evening relationship building sessions over mom's scrumptious parmigianas, souffles and croquettes. There are even vegan choices on the menu. What's more, the prices are ridiculously low — especially for being in the heart of Milan.

Tiny means tiny. Not only is the place small, the tables and seats are tinier still and packed together. I guess vegetarians don't take up much room. The portions on the other hand are generous and incredibly delicious. Truly, I had no idea the place was "vegetarian only" until I got into a conversation with Giorgio Notari, the owner, about his volunteering to keep the restaurant open a few nights a month to kick start his daughter's practice. I was finding it hard to marry a dish of linguine with olives and capers to a dose of group therapy. In Italy one can always expect the unexpected.

Everything is fresh, nothing is frozen, dessert is magnificent and the menu changes daily. La Vecchia Latteria is closed on Sundays and only open until 5 pm the rest of the week — unless of course, there happens to be a group session on how to control binge eating. Good luck.

The closest I could come to a Web site was their menu in Italian.

To my Alitalia friends, I apologize for passing on one of your secret haunts. After all, a man has got to eat and Giorgio and his wife Teresa deserve all the praise they can get.

Italian Coffee Break part 1 — Paying it Forward in Naples

by Mario 07-Apr 2010

Nearly 100 years ago a unique coffee tradition began in the city of Naples. Customers of coffee shops would pay twice for one espresso, instructing the barista to log the paid but untaken beverage in an “in suspense” chart (caffè pagato or a caffè sospeso). The barista would record what the patron paid for, such as an espresso, cappuccino or even a pastry. Paid items would remain in the log book until someone less fortunate would come and inquire if there was anything paid or in suspense. The barista would check the log and say: “Yes, there is a paid cappuccino. May I serve it to you?” The beauty of this form of charity was multifaceted. Donors and recipients remained completely anonymous to one another. The recipient was always treated with dignity. Donors would compete with other donors as to who could leave more paid coffees behind and baristas all over the city took great pride in carefully recording each entry and serving it.

Following Italy’s Dolce Vita boom years of the sixties this genteel Neapolitan tradition became confined to Christmas and nearly disappeared. In the last two years, it has sparked it up again. Perhaps, it’s that global cloud of uncertainty that looms over all of us. Nonetheless, the tradition of the caffè pagato is back in Naples and spreading. In Florence nearly a dozen of that city’s most fashionable cafes are recording paid coffees.

Not all Italians are yet aware of this fad and Italians generally hate not being at the forefront of any trend. So, if you happen to remember to leave a caffè pagato or caffè sospeso the next time you are in Italy, just watching the reactions may be worth the price and some interesting conversations might ensue. Say: Vorrei lasciare un caffè pagato. You can also say caffè sospeso. The former translates into a paid coffee the latter a suspended coffee — as suspended in thin air. Both mean the same thing.

Now if only we could start something similar over here, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds immediately come to mind. Perhaps we could get even more creative and leave a paid prescription behind at the pharmacy or grocery items at the supermarket.

Next we shall explore the myriad ways you can order and enjoy a coffee in Italy.

PS. While a paid espresso is always good, most Neapolitans discovered it was better to leave a paid cappuccino as the foamed milk provided the recipient with a bit of nutrition as well. 

Gluten Free Dining in Italy

by Mario 09-Feb 2010

Il Pallaio in Florence offers simple Gluten Free Italian meals and pizzas 

Not a week goes by that a Parker Villas guest seeks our assistance with specific dietary requirements while vacationing in Italy. This week's focus is on enjoying Italy on a Gluten Free diet. The first and easiest thing to do is copy and paste the following message on a card and show it to the waiter if you are not sure what they serve:

Gentile Ristoratore,
Sono affetto da CELIACHIA (intolleranza al glutine). Devo fare una dieta assolutamente priva di glutine. Qualsiasi cibo contenente farina di grano, orzo segale e avena puo causarmi gravi malori. Se non e sicuro, la prego di dirmelo. Posso mangiare cibi contenenti di carne, pesce, granturco, riso, patate, verdura, frutta, uova, formaggio e latte purche non siano preparate con aggiunta di farina, pane grattugiato, o salsa legata con farina o pastella fatta con farina.

The above message reads: Dear Restaurateur, I am affected by Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). My diet must be completely free of gluten. Any food containing wheat flour, barley rye and oats can cause me serious illness. If you are not sure, please tell me. I can eat foods containing meat, fish, corn, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese and milk as long as they are not prepared with the addition of flour, breadcrumbs or sauce linked to flour or batter made with flour. Thank you

The second thing to do is to visit Italy's comprehensive guide to gluten free restaurants nationwide. The site is in Italian but here are the essentials:

1. Click the region you will be visiting on the left hand side of the home page. (for Rome click Lazio, for Florence click Tuscany)

2. The next page is sorted by provinces within that region. Scroll down to the cities of your choice. Next to city names are code letters: H for hotel, R for restaurant, P for pizzeria, Tr for trattoria. Next to the code is the name of the establishment. Click on each establishment name for addresses, web sites and even maps in some cases.

Buon appetito!

Driving In Italy part 4 — Autostrade Rest Areas

by Mario 03-Feb 2010

The Autogrill and Ciao chain of highway rest stops started in Italy in 1946 and has spread to 43 countries around the world from Singapore to the United States. They are now found in airports, train stations, museums and major city centers. This global enterprise is owned by Bennetton. Bennetton is also a major stakeholder in Italy’s privatized highway system.  

If you are hungry for a cooked meal follow signs bearing a knife and spoon symbol. The best time to dine at one is around 1 pm and 8 pm. You will know the best ones by the number of big rigs that stop there. Everything is served cafeteria style, making it easy to load up on just the items you like. You can pay at the register by credit card. If the cashier says: caffè and you agree, you will be charged for an espresso that you may retrieve at the bar area on your way out by simply showing your receipt.

The beauty of the Autogrill is that they stay open late 7-days a week (some are open 24 hours) and that there's always another Autogrill a few miles away on the Autostrada. There are a number of smaller chains along Italy’s Autostrade bearing different names. Quality and selection may vary but the concept is the same. A main function of these roadside oases for travelers is providing a clean rest room. Don’t be surprised to see an attendant sitting at a desk with a small gratuity plate as you enter the lavatory. Leave a few cents if you can, as it is this person’s responsibility to keep the bathrooms clean and stocked.

Look for coffee cup signs on the highway if you just need a jolt of espresso, a bathroom, fuel, beverages, snacks or sandwiches. To scout locations along your route visit this Autogrill site before you travel. Click on the map locations and then click on each yellow icon to learn more about each rest area along your projected route. Just remember that at the bar, you must pay the cashier first. Give the receipt to counterperson to retrieve your order. The little plate on the bar serves a similar purpose to the one in the lavatory, so leave a few cents here as well.

Verona For a Day

by Admin 27-Jan 2010


Q. We will be in Verona for only 24 hours. What are your recommendations of things not to miss and good places to eat. 

Thanking you in Advance, 

Dan P.

A. Obviously you must visit the Arena di Verona. Next is the Roman theatre across the river from the downtown area. It also has an archaeological museum inside. Torre dei Lamberti, the former town hall is a 12th century tower that can be climbed for a fantastic view of the city. From a courtyard behind the tower, there is an entrance to a museum with the remains of a Roman era home complete with a rich mosaic floor. This archaeological site was discovered 20 years ago while building a new garage. The garage never happened.

Restaurant — La Taverna di Via Stella, classic osteria – on Via Stella 5/c which is a street connecting the main Piazza Bra with via Cappello — where Giuletta’s (Juliet of Romeo and Juliet) house is located. It’s basically right around the corner from Giulietta's home. Closed Monday afternoon and Wednesdays. Call ahead for a reservation: 045 8008008


About this blog

Welcome to our Access Italy blog, a mosaic of eclectic, but practical, information; fascinating cultural insights; and unique commentary on a wonderful way of life only the Italians could have designed.  more....


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