Pantheon

City Passes & Skip The Line Tickets

I feel that City Passes are almost never worthwhile! They cost a lot of money and you have to visit a large number of places in  a day or two to justify the cost. If you are like me, you don’t want to have someone dictate what you must see and when. Visiting Italy is not about how many places you can see in a day but about the experiences of seeing places, meeting people and tasting the wonderful food & wine.

Skip-the-line Tickets are worthwhile for sites with very long lines. The major attractions can have lines of 3-4 hours long. I for one do not want to spend my vacation & visit to Italy waiting in lines. Skip-the-line tickets allow you to show up at a time and jump to the beginning of the line. They do cost more than the attractions cost of entry but you save the line time.

This YouTube video explains all about these two types of tickets.

-George

 

Categories: BLOG, Coliseum, Doge Palace, Duomo, Europe, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Italy Tips, Money, Museums, Pantheon, Rome, Skip-the-line Passes, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Villa Borghese, YouTube | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rome 2

Rome or Roma in Italian is a wonderful city to walk around. There is good and safe public transportation but if you enjoy walking, you can walk everywhere in Rome. The food and wine are first class. Of course you can find great pastas and pizzas but Rome has so much more to offer including great fish.

This is my second VLOG on Rome and brings the familiar places and some not so familiar. I hope you enjoy this video and get to experience Roma!

Come walk with us around this amazing capital city. Watch my YouTube video below and discover Rome and these sites:

  • Spanish Steps
  • Trevi Fountain,
  • Temple of Hadrian
  • Pantheon,
  • Campo dei Fiori,
  • Old Rome,
  • Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verita),
  • Aristo Campo Trattoria in Trastevere,
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica,
  • Vatican City Museum & Sistine Chapel,
  • Colosseum,
  • Arch of Constantine,
  • Pizzaria San Marco,
  • Orvieto,
  • Tivoli,
  • Villa Borghese and the Museum,
  • Trolley ride in Rome.

 

-George

Categories: Bars, BLOG, Castel Sant'Angelo, Coliseum, Dolce far niente, Eating, Eating Italian, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian Facts, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Lazio, Metro Travel, Museums, Orvieto, Pantheon, Pasta, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Romance, Rome, Ruins, Saint Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps, The holidays in Europe, Trains, Trastevere, Travel Guides, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Vegetables, Villa Borghese, VLOG, Walking, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I would See Italy

People always ask me, “What order would you see places in Italy?” All of Italy is great! You can not make a bad decision! Everyone that has been there has an opinion. This BLOG/VLOG is mine. I would see the famous big cities first because they are important. So the order would be:

  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Naples

But Milan, Siena, San Gimignano, Positano, Capri … are also important places to see.

The only rules I have are:

  1. Take your time in each place. Don’t rush and try to see all of Italy in a single trip. You will only see the inside of busses and trains.
  2. Sit at outside bars or trattorias and observe the people (non tourists) around you. Begin to understand Italian life.
  3. Try to communicate with locals.
  4. After the big cities, go to small resorts and mountain towns.
  5. Eat where the locals eat. DON’T EAT AT TOURISTY PLACES!
  6. Stay in small Italian hotels.
  7. Go on your own not with large tour groups. If you must use a group, keep it small.

Traveling to Italy is meant to be fun. So enjoy it! Watch our YouTube video below for more tips:

– George Febish

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Bars, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Capri, Eating Italian, Espresso, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Il Palio, Italian, Italy, Milan, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Pantheon, Pasta, Pastry, Positano, Ravello, Regions of Italy, resorts, Romance, Rome, Saint Francis, San Gimignano, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Uffizi, Umbria, Vatican, Vatican City, Vatican Museum, Venice, VLOG, Walking, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Naples, Italy

Naples is one of Italy’s main cities. Many Italian-Americans came from Naples or the surrounding areas. Naples is famous for pizza and tomato sauce on pasta. It has an old section, castles, a Pantheon and a sea port. It also has a dangerous view of Mount Vesuvius. It is an old city with a vibrant life and style. Come to walk the old part of the city or to stop and have a pizza. This VLOG is based on a one day stop in Naples on our way to Pompeii. This is NOT enough time to spend in this great city. We will do a future VLOG on exploring the old section and sites.

From Naples you can easily travel by ferry to Capri or Sorrento. If you have a car, drive the fantastic Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Salerno with stops at Positano and Amalfi. You can get to Naples by car on the A1 Autostrada from Rome or on a high-speed train from Rome or Salerno. This is a very beautiful part of Italy.

-George

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Driving in Italy, Eating, Europe, Ferries, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mount Vesuvious, Naples, Pantheon, Pasta, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Pompeii, Positano, Romance, Salerno, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rome, Italy

The eternal city! Ancient Romans believed that no matter how many wars or new civilizations came about, Rome would go on forever. Rome is the capital of Italy. It is both a modern and an ancient city. Although Rome is a large city, it feels like a small one with its small narrow streets. There are large streets as well that are 5-6 lanes wide. Walking around Rome is amazing. You can not help but marvel at its architecture. You know immediately that you are in an old and special place.

Whenever they dig for a new building, they run into ancient ruins that have to be preserved. Usually the ruins become a part of the new structure.  A sunken area that can be viewed by visitors. Rome protects its ruins and its history. Roman is an amazing city but it is also a living museum.

Rome is to be enjoyed. Sit at a bar or a trattoria and enjoy the life around you. Come walk Rome with us in our YouTube video VLOG below.

– George

 

Categories: Coliseum, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Lazio, Metro Travel, Museums, Pantheon, Romance, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Shopping, Spanish Steps, Traveling without a tour, Villa Borghese, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Churches of Italy

Italy is famous for many things but its churches are old and magnificent. They are not just churches but art galleries, studies in architecture and beautiful places to visit. They provide a cool atmosphere from the hot sun. The frescoes are wonderful to study, telling of story of days long gone. Every city has at least one church. They may be called Chiesa, Catterdrale, Basilica or Duomo.

Do not pass up a chance to visit one of these marvels. Look at the floors, the splendor of its height, the walls and stained glass windows. Look for frescoes and tapestries. The alters are magnificent. The organs are fantastic and even the pulpits can be ornate.

Below is just a sampling of churches from some big and small cities around Italy:

 

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Duomo Florence

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Duomo Cortona

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Duomo Siena

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Assisi Cathedral (in Assisi)

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Church in Assisi

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Saint Francis (Outside Assisi)

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Pantheon Rome

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Church in Castelnuovo Cilento (Campania)

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Saint Peter’s Basillica – Vatican City

Post your pictures of your favorite Italian churches in the comments below.

George

Categories: Assisi, Campania, Castelnuovo Cilento, Church, Cilento, Cortona, Duomo, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Italy, Pantheon, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Small Towns, Vatican City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Is it Time for you to Take a Trip to Italy?

Have you longed for a trip to romantic Italy? Have you dreamed about eating real Italian food? Do you long to see the museums or architecture? Maybe you have relatives there and just want to reunite old ties. What ever your reasons are, Italy is a great place to spend a vacation. After a week you are feeling relaxed and enjoying life. After two weeks you are totally relaxed, speaking some Italian words and loving the food. Longer periods in Italy will make you an Italian for life!

The northern lake Area offers beautiful scenery overlooking the Alps or maybe Tuscany with its wines and romantic scenery. The large cities of Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples are great places to see Italians being themselves. They also are great for seeing living history. Look at the buildings the architecture and envision the people that built these great cities. Maybe southern Italy with its Amalfi coast and Capri or farther south into the Cilento National Park. Beauty unspoiled by man and pristine beaches. What is stopping you?

If it’s being afraid of big tours or doing it on your own, we offer an alternative for the selective traveler to see what they want to see and spend as much time as the want. If you find a great Italian spot, the last thing you want is to be taken away by a tour bus. It would be wonderful to change your plans and just stay in your new found location. Italy is all about love, romance, beauty and spontanaeity.

Italy creates many wonderful memories and experiences but you have to touch it! Get away from the crowded tourists areas and meet real Italians. See places that will change you forever. Don’t eat in tourists restaurants. These will be memories you will never forget.

George

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Walking Rome

When Jo Anne and I were in Rome (Jo’s first trip to Italy but I had been there many times), we wanted to really experience the city. There is no better way than walking! Rome has excellent metro and bus services that will get you anywhere you want but walking lets you be a Roman. You experience this great city first hand. All the important sites are walkable if you can walk a few miles.

We stayed centrally at Hotel Trevi just around the corner from the Trevi fountain. This is a hard hotel to find even with some cab drivers but worth a stay. It has been getting more popular and the price is going up. From Trevi fountain you can easily see:

  • Spanish Steps and shopping by the steps
  • Villa Borghese
  • Pantheon
  • Trastevere
  • Vatican City
  • Castel San Angelo
  • Forum
  • Old Rome
  • Coliseum
  • Piazza Navona
  • Basilica San Clemente

As you walk to these wonderful tourist attractions, take in the buildings, architecture, streets and people around you. Stop in a bar for a coffee or glass of wine. Hear the motorcycles and scooters all around you. Listen to the music of the Italian language. This is Rome! This is Italy! It must be enjoyed on the streets with the people.

Never stop in a tourist restaurant (any place very close to one of the above attractions). Seek out small family run trattoria that are full of locals enjoying their meal. People eat later in Italy than in the states (except large cities like New York).

Breakfast is usually at a bar on the run. You have a coffee and sweet roll or cake as you catch up on gossip and sports with friends. Lunch is at a pizzeria or trattoria and is taken around 1 or 2 pm. Dinner is much later around 8 or 9 in Rome. Farther south dinner can be as late as 11 pm. Restaurants will open for tourists around 7 or 7:30 pm. The terrible tourist only places stay open all day.

I love strolling these ancient streets, meeting modern-day Romans and partaking in their ancient customs. Let Rome take you away. Enjoy it fully. Don;t be afraid of it. There are pick-pockets everywhere but violent crime is very rare. As you return to your hotel, review what you did that day. Relive each important moment. These are memories you will enjoy for the rest of your life.

Be Romantic …

 

George

 

Categories: Bars, Coffee, Coliseum, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italian language, Italy, Metro Travel, Pantheon, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Romance, Rome, Shopping, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rome Architecture … Continued

Rome is both a modern and an ancient city. You can have all the conveniences of a modern city at your disposal while you walk the same cobblestones as the Roman army walked. Go to old Rome next to the Colosseum and imagine life back then. They watched tournaments in the Colosseum then went off to the baths. Old Rome is a ruin but you can see the pillars and the outline of buildings that were part of old Rome. Imagine, as you walk these streets, the Romans that walked here before you.

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Old Rome

As you walk the different areas of Rome, you can see the most beautiful architecture. The Vatican, which is a separate country from Italy is within walking distance of the most popular Rome sites.

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St Peter’s and the Popes Balcony

Castel Saint’Angelo is a short walk from the Vatican. It has a beautiful bridge with angels on it that leads you over the Tiber River.

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Castel Sant’Angelo

Not far from this beautiful bridge is the Pantheon. On the way you pass one of our favorite Gelato stores.

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Pantheon

No tour of Rome is complete without a climb of the famous Spanish Steps.

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Spanish Steps

Here you can see my wife, Jo Anne coming off the steps and heading to the nearby fountain. In front of the Spanish Steps is Roman’s shopping district. It has many wonderful but expensive stores. Stroll up and down each street and get a feel for Roman fashion.

Not far away is the famous Trevi Fountain. It has just been restored to its original glory. This fountain can get very crowded. Watch for pickpockets! Try different times of the day and night. The fountain in the dark is totally different from the fountain in the daytime.

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Trevi Fountain

All of this architecture and the people, food and wine! How can you not go?

George

 

Categories: Architecture, Castel Sant'Angelo, Coliseum, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Pantheon, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some of Our Best Memories

We have assembled pictures of some of our best memories in Italy. Italy is always romantic and it is always memorable. There are so many special little moments. The architecture, the sites, the history, the people, the food, the wine, … and so much more.

Enjoy your trip to see relatives, sites, museums or to just be Italian for a short while.

Dolce far niente!

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Cilento, Coliseum, cornetto, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Duomo, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Paestum, Panini, Pantheon, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Positano, Ravello, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Siena, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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