Life’s a Beach on the Italian Riviera

The Italian Riviera is said to be perhaps even more beautiful than its French equivalent. Its coastal landscape is more varied and nestling its many swooping coastal valleys are quaint but still bucolic little fishing towns and villages, rather less manicured than those over the border.  It possesses a natural beauty that is frankly out of this world – faded terracotta houses tumbling onto pristine yet unspoilt little bays and rocky, pine-clad cliffs opening onto sheltered coves.

Riviera Ponente
Riviera PonenteTiziano Caviglia / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

This Riviera runs the length of the Ligurian coast of Italy, from the border with France to Cinque Terre and there are loads of fabulous beaches all the way round it. Notably on the stretch known as Riviera Ponente, which runs from Genoa to France, there is a group of beaches making up two areas called Finale Ligure and the Baia dei Saraceni that can’t be missed. Finale Ligure is not just about the stunning beach but the pretty old town that bolts onto it. It’s very easy to get intoxicated with the charm and mood of this cosmo town. After a laze on the sand you’ll find yourself happily stroll through these beautifully preserved streets and lanes feasting on pizza and gelati (ice cream). But don’t forget to climb to the Wuillerman castle to feast upon the spectacular views too!

Italian Riviera
Italian Rivieragiovanni_novara / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Another favourite beach sits within the Baia dei Saraceni area with its own idyllic village, Varigotti. This is a crescent bay filled with fine sand and emerald warm waters. The beach is tucked into rocks and backed by woods. Varigotti is an old fishing village of terracotta-hued cottages literally spilling onto the beach and is totally unique and totally Italian. Levanto is a different type of beach but equally beautiful. It is in fact Italy’s answer to surfing on the Med. It has decent waves, for the Med, and offers good quality fine sand and some much appreciated space. Overlooking this wide bay are pines and yet another charming old town packed with some of the region’s best eateries.

Balzi Rossi - Italian Riviera
Balzi Rossi – Italian RivieraDaniel70mi / Foter / CC BY

You can’t leave the Riviera without a visit to the famous Cinque Terre. These are five of Italy’s quaintest towns, three of which are on the sea.  Firstly, Monterosso which offers a sweet pebble beach which is probably the best out of them. That said, its old town is not as spectacular as its cousins and quite expensive. Then there’s Vernazza, which is often considered to be the prettiest of the five towns with its colourful jumbled houses rambling down to the harbour. Finally there is Manarola, made-up of another colourful village of higgledy piggledy cottages that roll into a turquoise cove. The other two are also worth a visit, but are inland.

Italian Riviera Beach at Manarola
Italian Riviera Beach at Manarolamcmamauri / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Finally Balzi Rossi – which is so sort after that it has been totally privatised and despite hefty charges for a day there, it continues to attract even more crowds than the free beaches! It is probably due to its impressive natural beauty (crystal spearmint waters and wooded cliffs) its perfect weather (conveniently sheltered from the wind) and thanks to top rate beach management keeping it so perfectly maintained. There’s something to be said for enjoying sundowners on a beach lounger before tucking into a romantic dinner on the beach.

Finding suitable accommodation isn’t always easy but one website which only advertises coastal holiday cottages and beach villas in Italy as well as most of the popular European seaside destinations is Beachlets. Most properties display live availability and can be booked online and you’ll find everything from apartments with sea views to luxury beachfront villas with pools.

Chianti area: Peccioli

PeccioliPeccioli is a small town located in the countryside in Tuscany. It is close to many other villages and so it offers opportunities for small and relaxing trips or for more art aimed tour in Florence, San Gimignano or Pisa. It is perched on a hill and it maintains the old medieval structure. Watching at Peccioli from far away it is possible to detect the old bell tower of Bellincioni that dominates all the other buildings of the town. Narrow alleys, little squares and old buildings are the image of this town containing several monuments and valuable art works.

While walking throw the narrow streets visitors can admire several churches. The Church of San Verano and the church of Madonna del Carmine. Both are very old. The first one is much older and was build around the year 1100. It houses several paintings and a valuable crucifix. The second church was completed around the year 1650 and it is famous for it structure consisting a three sides porch around it.

Even if art is always a must in Italy, the atmosphere isn’t less important. Walking in a small and almost intact medieval town is like taking a step back in time. Italians are almost used to it! And that’s a shame!! Being nothing new they don’t always “see” that anymore so all that beauty is just taken for granted. Well, it is a pity!! The old facades, the arches, the tiny shops in rustic style selling fragrant bred or typical sweets are all one suspended between history and the present.

A curious thing is worth mentioning: this small village lost on the Tuscan Hills houses a peculiar museum: the Museum of Russian Icons.

Surprised? Well, I was. So far form Russia and Moscow!!! What this town has to do with Russia? The fact is that a journalist, Francesco Bigazzi, who had worked many years in Moscow, was so fond of Peccioli and admired it so much that he decided to donate to the town a collection of 60 Russian icons of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Something definitely special for a small village.

If you have children, after explaining them history and trying to teach them the idea of art, please leave the centre and go to the Parco Preistorico di Peccioli. Here they can have fun watching 20 reconstructed prehistoric animals and they can learn admiring the remains of the fossils found in this area by the founders of the park. It was the Year 1977, when the brothers Guido and Paul Ghironi, circus performers, decided to start the building of this educational park. The book Jurassic Park was released thirteen years later and the film of Spielberg 16.

Peccioli could be a good destination for spending Christmas holidays in Tuscany!

Beautiful Accommodation at San Gimignano for Holidays

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometers outside the town. The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, grown in the area.

Posarelli Villas offers luxurious accommodation and holiday homes with all facilities for your vacation stay at San Gimignano. We owned many beautiful properties which we give on rental basis to you people for holidays. We maintain and renovate our properties periodically.

You can reserve our properties online for your holidays. Most of our San Gimignano holiday homes inherit with swimming pool, garden and terrace. You can also request for extra facilities in your accommodation. We provide internet access, cook, and other services if you request in advance.

We have wide and exclusive range of San Gimignano accommodation which suite to you easily. Our range includes holiday homes for luxury seeking traveler as well as budget conscious tourist. Contact Us for more information regarding San Gimignano accommodation or holidays homes.

Best Time to Visit Venice to Enjoy Seasons and Festivals

Venice is the most beautiful city of Italy and one of the top travel cities with attractive, and romantic spots to get involve with. There are many attractions that flood the city during top tourist months. Quiet, traffic-free streets along winding canals make a great walking during a calm winter season. There are magnificent churches and palaces, lively squares and interesting shops to indulge in and enjoy your holidays.

In the Month of January

Winter in Venice is wonderful with a magical touch. Many tourists come during this time to enjoy the chill winds and hot chocolates. The location is splendid with freezing air and cozy interiors. There may be sunny days but still the mercury shows the lower temperature. Thus, you will need layers of warm clothing and a hat. During winter in Venice, you can enjoy misty views, snow falling on the Grand Canal and shallow floods in some places. As the snow falls, you can enjoy more chills with varied tastes of most popular Italian wines.

In the Month of February

The winter descends slowly in the month of February, and the people come out as it is a carnival time. The city seems busy and colorful. Here starts the arrival of tourists to enjoy this big carnival festival which results in heavy-booking of accommodations and car hire in Italy. During weekend, more people flood into the city center to enjoy carnival season. Venice’s Carnival keeps being a special event. The Carnival season starts about 2 weeks before the date of Carnevale. People become busy buying costumes and masks. Shops sell varied colorful costumes and masks. Throughout Venice events and entertainment are held at night. People in costumes wander about the city during this carnival week.

Main attractions during Venice’s Carnival celebrations:

  • Gondola and boat parades are held along the Grand Canal.
  • Mask Parades are held in St. Mark’s Square.
  • Grand fireworks show is displayed on the final day to end the carnival celebration.
  • Separate carnival for children is held in the Cannaregio District.

In the Month of March & April

Venice turns into a beautiful colorful scenario as winter goes away and spring sets in during the months of March and April. Spring is a wonderful time to travel in Italy. Although it can still be cold at night, spring rouses your spirits to enjoy the surroundings with a good chance of sunshine. The sun makes you shed your coats.

Spring is generally pleasant in Venice. As temperatures are quite warm, people usually enjoy outdoor dining and swimming in the sea or hotel pool. The city is covered with blooming flowers everywhere with concerts and processions seen on the streets making the city lively. Spring and flower festivals, Holy week, outdoor concerts, and musical nights are the major tourist attractions during this month.

Spring is the best season to visit Venice as the temperatures are quite warm with mystic views everywhere. Most of the hotels and Venice car hire services offer discounts during this season as there is less crowd. So, come visit Italy and fall in love with its most beautiful cities.

Top 4 things to do in Lazio, Italy

Situated in central Italy, Lazio is a diverse area with both low-lying sandy beaches and groups of mountains. With an abundance of things to do for visitors to the region, it has become an attractive holiday destination over recent years – especially among families.

Lazio travel
Image by Luigi FDV (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luigistrano/)

Although not necessarily viewed as a traditional holiday location to go away to, Lazio offers a number of exciting things to do – and here we explore the top 4 best ones.

1. Enjoy the Beaches

Being within commutable distance of many tourist-friendly locations in and around the area, visitors to Lazio have a wide range of amazing beaches at their fingertips.

Central Rome doesn’t have its own beach as such, with the nearest one being a 30 minute train ride. The areas of Terracina and Sperlonga, on the other hand, have an array of clean sandy beaches that look out on to a sea view to die for. For visitors to Lazio, it’s a case of “take your pick” when choosing a beach, as there are local ones around the area, and bigger ones if you’re willing to travel a little bit.

2. Explore the Nature

Varied coastlines, perfectly green hills, volcanic lakes and natural parks – Lazio has a wealth of unspoilt natural beauty to explore.  One of the most fascinating areas of coastline to visit in Lazio is Circeo National Park, which is located to the south and covered by oak forests and coastal lakes. If you’re a fan of nature then you’ll absolutely love what Lazio has to offer.

3. Take a Ride down The River Tiber

The River Tiber has long been a predominant feature of central Italy. Stretching 406 kilometres, the river is the third-longest in the whole country, and is the perfect location to unwind (excuse the pun). Boat trips are available to take tourists down the river and past many of the famous landmarks in Rome, giving you spectacular views along the way.

4. Visit Tivoli

Situated in the heart of Lazio, the ancient city of Tivoli is packed with art and historic activity. With many different instances of Roman architecture and culture still present throughout the area, Tivoli is one location that is well worth the visit in Italy.

In our modern age, it is difficult to find such an untapped and populated region of Europe, but Tivoli certainly offers that. The locals boast that it’s even more ancient than the capital of Rome, and tourists can enjoy a wealth of things to do in the city, including sight-seeing and fantastic places to try some true and authentic Italian cuisine.

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Whichever area of Lazio you will be visiting, you are sure to take in some of the common aspects that can be found all over Italy – most notably the found. Across the region there are some of the most fantastic restaurants and quaint bars that can be found in the country – including in the capital of Rome and further afield.

The above guest post is by family holidays specialist Thomson Al Fresco.

Explore the Land of Tuscany This Christmas Vacation at Holiday Villas

Tuscany is the most popular holiday destination in Italy this Christmas. You have various types of accommodations to choose from such as farmhouses, vacation villas, hotels, apartments for your stay in Tuscany. Holiday villas are mostly in demand but other accommodations are also preferred. Tuscany is a beautiful place to visit for a pleasant experience. The great sea, enticing mountains and beautiful scenery wherever you go always welcomes you in their warmth.
Life is full of zeal in Tuscany. People here are always enthusiastic and celebrate festivals and have admiring culture. ‘The Grey Car Festival’ is the most popular festival of this place. Tourists from all over the world come here especially for this festival.   Hiking is also another attraction of this place for tourists. Nature lovers can also explore the beauty of nature here as it provides the splendid picturesque.
Tuscany with its natural beauty is also a place for romance and fairy tales. Many romantic and dramatic films have been shot due to its site locations as they provide perfect cinema location for shooting. Tuscany villas rental and holiday farmhouses are also used in these cinemas as they provide ideal background. This place is gift of nature where you find all sorts of locations such as beaches, valleys, hills, mountains, sea, etc. to rejuvenate life.
Tuscany has the best beaches in the world that offers beautiful panoramas and crystal clear water. Tuscany is a great place to visit any time of the year. Number of tourists increase during the peak seasons. Tuscany villas are very much popular among the tourists here. This enchanting holiday villa provides best accommodations along with privacy and beautiful natural sceneries to enjoy.
Tuscany is place to enjoy food also. You get everything from pastas, sandwiches, world famous pizzas to Tuscany specials. You get wide range of food items to choose from and sooth your taste buds. Enjoy the foods of Tuscany with salads, pastas, pizza and wine to enhance your mood. You would also like to visit some restaurants that have unique traditional Tuscan style. So, what are you waiting for when so many attractions of Tuscany are calling you to enjoy this Christmas holidays? Have a great vacation this Christmas while staying at Tuscan vacation villas to enjoy with your family.