Entries Tagged 'beautiful Italy' ↓

Shopping in Italy

Something funny to do when you are in Italy is surely shopping.
I think, when you are travelling around, visiting sites and monuments, it can be a relaxing break to dedicate half a day (or more, depending on the length of your stay and on your budget…) to shopping.
Italy has a good reputation around the world regarding fashion, style and trends and it’s worth a look around, maybe just for the pleasure to bring home a souvenir.
In my hometown Verona there is a lot of choice for shopping, but this is also in any other Italian city or touristic place.
In the old city center there are plenty of shops and boutiques, famous brands, but also non-branded shops with good quality Italian products at affordable prices. The nice thing about shopping in Verona is that it’s not such a big city, so if you walk around during an afternoon you can see so many different shops and products!
I’m not talking only about clothes, shoes and leather goods, but also antiques, design tableware and home accessories, sunglasses (a real must for any Italian, as you will notice…), food specialties, wine, books… The list can be very long, but I really suggest to make a big walk and just to be curious!
In the surroundings it’s easier to find shopping malls, which can be easy if you don’t have much time, but on the other hand there is less originality, as the products offered are usually internationally distributed chains or brands.
Another suggestion is to have a relaxing shopping day around Lake Garda. Being our beautiful lake a nice touristic place, there is a lot of choice of trendy and fancy shops in every village, like Lazise, Garda, Sirmione, Desenzano and so on.
If your travel partner is not really keen about shopping around with you and helping carrying bags, no problem. He can sit on a nice terrace and drink a cappuccino or taste one of our regional wines in total relax! What else to desire from a holiday in Italy?

Mantua

Mantua (Mantova) is a small city not far from Verona and a jewel of Northern Italy.
It is located in the Lombardy region, at the border between Veneto and Lombardy.
Mantua had its golden period in the Renaissance, when it was ruled by the powerful Gonzaga family. It became not only strategic in the European political asset of that period, but also important for art and architecture. Andrea Mantegna, Leon Battista Alberti and Giulio Romano are some of the names that gave a great contribution to the development of Mantua, with buildings, churches and masterpieces.
Thanks also to accurate renovation, we can still admire the magnificent Palazzo Ducale, that was the residence of the Gonzaga and which wonderful shape welcomes us when entering Mantua.

The three lakes surrounding Mantua, give to this small city a quite and elegant charme.
This charme is confimed also by all other ancient palazzos and churches that can be discovered while walking through the center. The real pleasure of a walk in Mantua is getting lost in the small streets and squares, enjoying also the old historic cafés and restaurants, the chic boutiques and the friendly people.

How Tuscany preserves the hills

Last weekend we were in Florence, we spent a couple of days at Illy’s sister’s home. Each time that I’m in Tuscany I always observe the same aspect: that region preserves the territory with right, restrict laws and behaviours. In fact, Tuscany is one of the best regions in Italy. It is a little wild, very quiet outside the towns and genuine, authentic.
On the other hand, Florence is invaded by tourists and the city is a kind of attraction for them. But outside, the hills and vegetation are preserved and each panoramic view is fascinating. You can see almost totally green, plants, grapes and few houses. I’m pointing out this last aspect: only a few houses because there are many rules that prevent to build everywhere thanks to a lot of natural reserves. You can see from this picture:

Tuscany landascape

Montefioralle Tuscany Chianti Valley

As we told a few days ago, we’ll be in Florence next weekend and an obligatory stop is to MonteFioralle. It is a little borough in Chianti Valley above the village of Greve in Chianti. Last March Illy and I had done a tour in that region and our first rule was: “now we follow a random street on the right because we have to discover this region” and after four or five random turns in tight streets we arrived to a stop light. We waited few minutes and we wondered why there was a traffic light in the middle of nowhere. After green and we turned right and we understood…a wall of a medieval borough on the left…. that was Montefioralle. We parked the car and into five minutes we were walking on medieval streets with no cars and only a couple of persons. The atmosphere was amazing and it seemed to be really in the middle age. Everything so authentic and characteristic. Almost at the end of our mini-trip in that borough we found a little producer of Chianti, Azienda Montefioralle, one of the best Chianti that I tasted. This is the reason of our visit next weekend, we have finished our Chianti……

montefioralle Tuscany