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The Best Of Italy - Travel Guide by ItaliaVacanze.com

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Up and down the penisula Twenty regions and over a hundred provincial cities: these are the numbers of Italy as a political and administrative unit, reflected in the variety of customs and traditions, …

Up and down the penisula Twenty regions and over a hundred provincial cities: these are the numbers of Italy as a political and administrative unit, reflected in the variety of customs and traditions, differing colours and smells, in local idioms and regional histories.
Throughout our long history, from prehistory, through the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Second World War up to today, we see Italy as the cradle of Mediterranean civilisation, with a glorious past which has left its mark in an infinite number of architectural and artistic witnesses in Italian cities and urban centres.
From Aosta to Cagliari, from Milano to Palermo, from Venice to Rome: whether they be on the sea or in the mountains, in the plains or along the rivers, on the shores of a lake or in the countryside, Italian cities are unique. In this section the tourist in love with art, culture and history can learn about the characteristics of all the major regional and provincial cities in Italy,and about the monuments gracing their squares, streets and historical sites.
Of course if you so desire, you can also have a look at the regions themselves, permitting a foretaste of the holiday full of fun and relaxation in wait for you up and down the Peninsula.

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  • 1. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.com Camping – Agriturismo – Hotel – Residences – B&B The Best of ItaliaVacanze.com @ Publitour SpA - All Rights Reserved visit http://www.italiavacanze.com/en/Discovering ItalyUp and down the penisulaTwenty regions and over a hundred provincial cities: these are the numbers of Italy as a politicaland administrative unit, reflected in the variety of customs and traditions, differing colours andsmells, in local idioms and regional histories.Throughout our long history, from prehistory, through the times of the ancient Greeks and Romansto the Second World War up to today, we see Italy as the cradle of Mediterranean civilisation, with aglorious past which has left its mark in an infinite number of architectural and artistic witnesses inItalian cities and urban centres.From Aosta to Cagliari, from Milano to Palermo, from Venice to Rome: whether they be on the seaor in the mountains, in the plains or along the rivers, on the shores of a lake or in the countryside,Italian cities are unique. In this section the tourist in love with art, culture and history can learnabout the characteristics of all the major regional and provincial cities in Italy,and about themonuments gracing their squares, streets and historical sites.Of course if you so desire, you can also have a look at the regions themselves, permitting a foretasteof the holiday full of fun and relaxation in wait for you up and down the Peninsula. Visit Italy@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 1
  • 2. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comAbruzzoFrom the thrill of the peaks to the calm beachesNature is the protagonist wherever you go in this European region which has the highest number ofparks. This region has the widest variety of physical and environmental features: in just a few tensof miles you pass from the peaks of the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines, to theendless beaches along the Adriatic coast. No matter where you are though, nature is protagonist.There is an endless variety of landscape and nature, which make Abruzzo the European region withmost parks and natural reserves. Among the woods and pastures, the mountains hide an endlessvariety of rock churches, hermitages and abbeys, recollections of Italic periods and Roman remains,all fascinating in their rich history, together with beautiful art towns like L’Aquila, Atri and Teramo.However, the highlight of the region is its coastline, which is visited every year by thousands oftourists coming from all over Europe. It is rather even and sandy to the north, but more rugged tothe south, from Ortona to Vasto where there is a completely different landscape: delightful bayshidden by broom wood and vineyards, broken up by wide beaches surrounded by Mediterraneanscrub. Anywhere the tourist goes, there are fascinating historic centres to be visited, long fine sandybeaches, shady pinewoods, which are ideal for a pleasant walk or other occasions to spend yourholiday enjoying yourself and practicing different sports. The seaside resorts are all very modernand efficient, with special focus paid to entertainment for the young. The town of Giulianova is veryinteresting artistically, a very popular resort in the summer it is also known as the ‘pearl’ of theTeramo coast for its luxuriant vegetation, with the palm trees that give it a decidedly exotic air. Areal garden town to all effects, Roseto degli Abruzzi is a lively tourist resort, with wide shadyavenues that distinguish this natural landscape and environment. For lovers of culture and music,Pescara offers the famous Pescara Jazz Festival in July, one of the most important on theinternational scene. Abruzzo can boast some wonderful cultural traditions, very brisk handicrafttrade and excellent choices of food specialities made using all the local farm and fishing resources. Visit Abruzzo@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 2
  • 3. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comBasilicataA land of light, clay, woods and mountains, contrasts and allegoriesHemmed in between three regions and washed by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Sea, Basilicata offerstourists the classical image of the best of Italy’s coastal areas. You only have to think of Maratea,Lucania’s window on the sea to the west, which promises tranquillity and seclusion with itsnumerous little beaches crowned with rocks. While just a few steps away from the Ionian, the“Sassi”, defined essentially and inadequately, recount the old peasant way of life and represent oneof its oldest and most unique structures. It is a small region, as well as being one of the least denselypopulated in Italy, yet it is home to several ethnic groups like the Albanians, who have made thisland their shield for survival, a land that has been impoverished for millenniums and centuries, onthe edge of history’s most important events. Today, even though the new assault of modern living isgrowing rapidly and steadily narrowing the ancestral models of rural living, many parts ofBasilicata still “resist” this powerful force and preserve values, traditions and customs, which areoffered to visitors with discretion and sincerity. This is why getting to know Basilicata todayrepresents a truly unique and wonderful experience. When people everywhere speak ofuncontaminated nature, great open spaces, citing examples of foreign countries, we must not forgetthat in the south of Italy too there is a region that can easily offer all of this, in the awareness of itsown history. Craftsmen from Lucania, in their manifold expressions, continue to produce uniqueobjects, whilst remaining relatively unknown. Masters of hammers, axes, lathes and skiving knivesset up a self-sufficient way of life in their shops that was organised with the creation of behaviour,language, jokes and serious cooperatives. In Basilicata there was once, and still is a true “manualtradition” based on a system of micro-structures, whose activity responded to real, basic needs; thissystem also includes those products originally conceived as pastimes, such as the handicrafts of theso-called “shepherds’ art” and wood carving. Finally, the typical foods that can be tasted on thetables of Lucania include beans, mushrooms, truffles, olives, various kinds of cold meats andsalami, chestnuts, honey, cheeses, dairy products and, as in the whole of the South of Italy, extravirgin olive oil. Visit Basilicata@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 3
  • 4. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comCalabriaA magical encounter between the sea and the mountainsEight hundred kilometres of coast, gentle hills and wooded mountains, two nature parks and thesplendours of Magna Graecia. The region of Calabria undoubtedly offers an extraordinarycombination of sea and mountains, a place where the day can begin in the sun on an enchantinggolden beach and end with a spectacular sunset at high altitude. Visiting this region is a thrillingexperience, as it is possible to find completely unspoilt spots, where one can spend a peacefulholiday, immersed in magnificent countryside offering unique scenery.It also represents an immense artistic and cultural heritage for Italy and the world, allowing thetourist to explore the long and fascinating history of the Mediterranean. Those who love the sea willparticularly appreciate the mild climate and the splendid colours of the sea, which laps around circa800 kilometres of coast, stretching along the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.The Tyrrhenian coast is mostly made up of wide sandy beaches, but the coastline often becomesjagged, with caves just above the surface of the water and small coves which can only be reachedfrom the sea. There are numerous towns and sites facing onto the Tyrrhenian sea which leave thetourist with unforgettable memories of their beauty.The island of Dino, for example, just a short distance from Praia a Mare and only five minutes fromthe coast, is a corner of paradise, with rocky walls terminating in picturesque caves. Close to CapoScalea, we find San Nicola Arcella, where one can admire the remains of two towers once part ofthe 16th century system of defences. Diamante is striking for its magnificent natural setting,characterised by citron groves, while Cetraro is a typical trading town, with a port for the mooringof fishing vessels and tourist boats. Continuing along the Tyrrhenian coast we come across Pizzo,Tropea, Lamezia Terme and many other small towns of striking beauty, making them anincomparable destination for tourists wishing to spend a holiday in one of the most magical placesin Italy. Visit Calabria@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 4
  • 5. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comCampaniaA journey through the centuries of italian historyCampania is known throughout the world for its beautiful sea and coastline, the artistic treasures,architectural and cultural heritage that can be found everywhere, where the tourist can discoverhistory that covers the arc of several centuries.Naples is the ideal starting point for a fascinating journey along one of the most beautiful coastlinesin Italy. The unmistakeable warm welcome given by the people, the beautiful Gulf of Naples, themild climate all make this one of the loveliest and most interesting towns in the world. Over thecenturies it has been subject to numerous different foreign domains and the town is a mixing pot ofart, culture and languages. Behind the city the impressive volcano Vesuvius stands out against thesky, the only active volcano on the European continent, which gives a really impressive view fromthe top.Near to Naples there are some very important resorts known for their artistic wealth and splendidscenery. First of all, Pozzuoli, an important industrial centre and tourist destination to discover theancient monuments, springs and countryside. You can catch a boat here to go to the islands of Ischiaand Procida. Ischia is the largest island in the Gulf of Naples, famous for its mild climate andluxuriant vegetation, today a very refined and exclusive tourist resort for its beautiful landscape andspa centres. Procida rises out of the sea like an enchanted castle: small and flat, it is beautiful withthe lovely pastel coloured houses of the fishermen, which have remained intact and unchanged intheir original style, and the pervading silence everywhere.From Naples you can begin excursions to discover other attractive areas like the Sorrento coast,with its beautiful panorama of the entire Gulf of Sorrento. Visit Campania@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 5
  • 6. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comEmilia-RomagnaA LEADING REGION FOR TOURISMUndisputed leader for tourism in Europe, Emilia Romagna has 130 kilometres of beaches,discotheques, restaurants, pizzerias, water parks, games halls, sports facilities in an endless array.In the summer, the region is visited by thousands of Italian and foreign tourists. Emilia Romagnacan satisfy any sort of taste, cyclists, gourmets, lovers of relaxation, or entertainment, families withsmall children, lovers of history and excursions, here everyone can find what they are looking for.Rimini needs no introduction, capital for holidaymakers seeking comfort and fun at all hours.Cattolica is also important, a bathing establishment since the last century with three kilometres ofsuper-equipped beaches and all sorts of recreation and entertainment facilities. To all this, Riccionealso adds an excellent Spa centre, fed by water coming from four springs. But the Emilia coast ismore besides, peace and quiet, well away from the hectic life, can be found in the Ferrara Lidos,which offer everything you need for a really relaxing holiday.A journey into folklore and culture. To suggest an itinerary we have chosen the ancient Via Emilia,leaving from Piacenza that follows the banks of the River Po. In Monticelli d’Ongina, you will findthe Ethnographic Museum of this great river: an exhibition of boats from 250 years ago, models oftypical craft like the ferryboats, reproductions of the mills and moments of daily life, like sturgeonfishing and gathering the trunks from under the water. Typical country tools, and an aquarium with22 tanks of fish coming from the median flow of the River Po.We now enter the Parma area, with Ozzano near Collecchio, with the ethnographic “GuateliCollection”, called the “Louvre of peasants”, with the private collection of Ettore Guateli, which isreally vast with everyday items in their various uses.Finally in Reggio Emilia, we find Novella with the Peasant Civilisation Museum, set out in the 13thcentury basement of the fort. It documents the thousand years’ culture of the area, and the farmingtools are divided by seasons, with domestic life in the countryside reproduced with the everydaytools and furniture. Visit Emilia Romagna@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 6
  • 7. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comFriuli-Venezia GiuliaA holiday for all tastesIf you are looking for a seaside, mountain, city, cultural or fun holiday, then all of these are possiblein Friuli. For those who enjoy visiting and getting to know art cities, the region’s pearls are Trieste,Udine and Gorizia.Trieste has the appeal of a “middle ground” city, where the Mediterranean culture meets that ofMitteleuropa, creating an inevitable mysterious and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city is acrossroads of various cultures and races and its history symbolises freedom of thought. On the otherhand, Gorizia is an authentic garden city, full of greenery and a magnificent castle, whilst Udine isan extremely pleasant city with ancient and legendary hidden corners.Scattered throughout the region’s hinterland there are splendid villas, which are well preserved andare authentic architectural works of art, surrounded by large parks and old trees. In addition, thereare many appealing, small towns with their own culinary and wine traditions. For those who lovethe sea there are also many other ideal destinations. One of the Adriatic’s most important seasideresorts is Lignano Sabbiadoro, where you can spend a fun and healthy holiday, especially for theyounger generation. It is immersed in the greenery of a pinewood and has excellent facilities andlong stretches of fine sand leading into shallow waters, making it ideal for children. On the otherhand Grado is a “mini” Venice, due to its layout. It is situated on an island between the sea and alagoon in front of the Friuli coast, and is a well-known thermal spa locality. There is abundanttourist accommodation suitable for all tastes and campsites are well run with many organisedcultural, sport and recreational activates.The coast of Friuli Venezia Giulia not only offers a lagoon environment surrounding the marinelocalities, but also has many towns worth visiting such as Aquileia with its characteristicmonuments built on its flat land. Visit Friuli Venezia Giulia@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 7
  • 8. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comLatiumA reference point? Rome – open cityAlongside the monuments, churches and works of art in the capital, there are a thousand differentfascinating attractions in other towns that are well worth visiting. Really ancient history, marked bydifferent and important civilisations like the Greek, Roman and Etruscan, which have left numeroustraces of their civilisation and culture on the land.Lazio is one of the most precious regions in Italy. Just think of Rome, the eternal city, navel of theworld, famous for the richness and beauty of its monuments, churches and works of art. Touristsfrom all over the world are enchanted by the Imperial Forum, throw coins into the Trevi Fountainand make a wish, sit on the steps in Trinità dei Monti and walk along the city roads admiring thebuildings and squares. However, there are also other lovely art towns that are unforgettable for theirbeauty. In the heart of Ciociaria, on a hill that dominates the valley we find Frosinone a very richhistoric town, fascinating and surrounded by other beautiful towns like Anagni and ancientCivitavecchia. To the north we find ancient, noble Rieti, with its beautiful palazzos where the nobleRoman families, popes and emperors used to pass their holidays. Viterbo, near to the sea and rich inhistory and art.Lazio focuses a great deal of attention on tourism, for holidays in the art towns and on the coast, thehills or lakeside. In fact not only history enthusiasts come here but also lovers of nature andrelaxation can find some very attractive modern resorts, at the seaside or on one of the numerouslakes spread around the region, not only in the area of the Roman Castles, which are definitely oneof the main attractions, but also to the north of the city, where the land is mainly occupied by the oldvolcanic craters of Mounts Sabatini, Cimini and Volsini. The largest lakes are Bracciano, Vico andBolsena, situated along a virtual straight line, which leads from the gates to the city almost to theborders of Umbria and Tuscany. Visit Lazio@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 8
  • 9. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comLiguriaA thousand different perfumes between sea and skyA truly marvellous countryside, all waiting to be discovered through a series of splendid itineraries.Liguria offers some unforgettable scenery, combined with some really unique tastes and perfumes.Here, sea and sky merge, the mountains stand sheer above the sea, and luxuriant vegetation growseverywhere, favoured by a climate which is very mild the whole year through.In this region you can choose from among many different itineraries to discover natures endlessmarvels: the gulf of La Spezia is enchanting, with famous locations such as Lerici and Portovenere;the Cinque Terre (five lands), a name given to five locations on the coast which cling to themountains and dominate cultivated hills and vineyards; then theres the Levante Riviera, betweenSestri Levante and Genoa, which is a succession of stupendous sea views and picturesque townsand villages, including those most typical of Liguria, namely Rapallo, Portofino, and Camogli.However, among the countless possible tourist itineraries, one of the better known and interesting interms of landscape, is the Riviera of Flowers. Between Genoa and the French border, lie asuccession of very beautiful bays interrupted by some unbelievable promontories. This is the idealland for flower growing. The Riviera has towns and villages full of the fascination of bygone days,with their lanes, pastel coloured houses, small piazzas and palms, which all deserve to be visited bitby bit. Visit Liguria@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 9
  • 10. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comLombardyNot just industryThis region has rich and varied lands, also in terms of its geography, with large lakes, extensivefertile valleys, gentle hills and rugged mountains. Only the sea is missing to complete the range ofone of Italys largest regions.The great variety of geographic elements explains why it is not easy to say that one knowsLombardy to the full. A lot of time is required to explore it, and, above all, the effort to escape fromthe banal viewpoint that sees Lombardy as an area suffocated by cement and industries. Manyplaces have remained intact, only partially compromised by industrialisation, such as the numerousartistic towns and cities and the immense heritage of greenery, with its landscapes of lakes, rivers,canals, immense valleys, and high peaks that mark the border with Switzerland. It is the very waterthat makes this region one of the most fertile of the whole of Italy, giving agriculture too thepossibility to develop and be among the most competitive on the national market. The river Pocrosses the entire region from west to east, with its numerous affluents - Ticino, Oglio and theNavigli, true artificial water courses in the middle of towns and cities.Lombardy is also the region with most lakes, which make it one of the most sought afterdestinations in the summer season. In fact, Lake Garda on its own, every year records the arrival ofseveral million visitors, who swarm on the beautiful beaches of places like Sirmione or Desenzano,creating stiff competition for the historic holiday and pleasure destinations such as those on theRomagna Riviera.The mountain chains are numerous and important, enabling the development also of first classwinter tourism: the Retiche and Lepontin Alps exhibit a very wide variety of landscapes closelylinked to their origin and to the structure of the rocks they consist of.The region is also characterised by it important role in the past. The Peninsulas most importantcommunication roads met here, creating the ideal conditions for the creation and development of atrading society. The annals and economic power of the leading artistic cities such as Monza, Paviaand Milan itself, lead back to here.@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 10
  • 11. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comLombardy, therefore, does not just mean large industrialised cities at the top of the internationalpanorama, but also a land rich in history and a range of elements that are able to satisfy the desiresand expectations the most demanding tourist. Visit LombardyMarchesA region with endless landscapesThe Marches are the only region with its name in the plural - this is due to its feudal "lay-out". Itextends between the Apennine range and the Adriatic sea, exhibiting some highly varied landscapes;from the high Apennine mountain environment to the long beaches of the Adriatic sea coast, passingthrough gentle hills.Visiting the Marches means being fascinated by the natural and landscape elements one canencounter there: they range from the numerous water courses which flow down smoothly from theApennine chain, to the splendid coasts heading to the south, also passing through mountain areaswith heights delimiting Apennine sub-regions. The hydrographic network has a very particularstructure, typified by valleys separated from each other by curtains of reliefs which have causedisolation among the valleys (there is still no efficient road network along the foot of the mountains).As one moves from one basin to another, one can notice the effect of thousands of years of absenthuman contacts, which is reflected in the diversity of usage, customs, traditions, and in dialectalinflections, and idiomatic cadences. Most of these rivers form extremely beautiful narrow creeks,such as the gorge of Furlo, Frasassi, Rossa, and the gorges of Valnerina and Piastrone.The pattern of the coast includes various types of environments: from Porto d’Ascoli to the Coneropromontory, it goes in a south easterly direction, while it varies in Ancona. The shape of the beachesvaries considerably: one starts off with the green Picene riviera, with mainly sandy beaches, andthen reaches the pebbly coasts, with cliffs in some sections, also passing through long, broad sandyshores. Sometimes, large pine groves with Mediterranean pine trees extend long the edges of thebeach, as in Porto Recanati, or a luxuriant vegetation, with a variety of tropical, subtropical andMediterranean trees and bushes, such as palms, oleanders, agaves and some citrus plants. The@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 11
  • 12. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comwaters are exceptionally clean and crystalline thanks to the type of sea bottom, and are blue-greenin the "Due Sorelle" (two sisters) location, situated on the eastern tip of the Conero. A true paradisefor underwater fishing enthusiasts.The hilly landscape is an unmistakable part of this land. Man has drawn some precise plots of manydifferent geometric shapes, with endless rows of poplars, dotted with olive trees and luxuriant vines.The "balcony towns" stand on the top of the hills, taking refuge through the centuries, andwitnessing history: Recanati, Urbino, Fermo, Camerino, Cingoli, Macerata, Loreto are some of themost beautiful. In Montefeltro, on the borders of Tuscany and Romagna, the environment is mainlyrough, with rugged rocky spurs and giant stone buttresses, like those to which San Leo and theRepublic of San Marino cling. Visit MarcheMoliseAn uncontaminated kingdomMolise is Italy’s most recently created region, along with being the smallest and the least populatedamongst those with normal status. Amongst the many adjectives that could describe Molise, onealone can attract tourists: uncontaminated.The region’s economy is based on agriculture, even though its terrain is not particularly fertile. Itsprincipal products are cereals, fruit, olive, grapes and tobacco; animal farming is not widely spread.Industry is largely made up of artisan industries, in the food, metal mechanic, clothing and buildingmaterials sectors. Tourism in both mountain and seaside locations is still fairly insignificant.The region is uncontaminated for three reasons: because it is little known and visited, for its tightlinks with agriculture and sheep farming and for its terrain. Molise is a region that stretches fromMonte Miletto’s peak at 2050 metres to the Adriatic coast and has cultural and historic assets aswell as a unique landscape. It offers a surprising amount of attractions when you consider its size.These range from the Termoli beaches to the ski resort of Campitello Matese, from the Guardiaregianatural oasis to the medieval fortifications and towns from the archaeological findings of theSamnites (an ancient population that lived in this area) and Romans to baroque sacred art.@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 12
  • 13. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comAll in all it is a combination of nature, beauty and tradition that has been preserved in the appeal ofa land yet to be discovered and known. Despite the development of industrial activity, Moliseremains a largely agricultural economy. It is due to this strong rural tradition that craftwork is stillan important business in the region. The area only became a region in 1963, after having been partof the Abruzzo region and previously part of Terra di Lavoro (province of Caserta) and Capitanata(currently Puglia). Five rivers flow through the region (Biferno, Trigno, Fortore, Volturno andSangro), whilst three artificial reservoirs used for electrical energy production have created threelakes: Castel San Vincenzo, Guardalfiera and Occhito. Finally, we cannot forget one of the region’smost well known products, caciocavallo cheese. This cheese already existed in the Magna Greciaperiod, and is traditionally produced in southern areas with native cow breeds. Visit MolisePiedmontA region “at the foot of the mountains”"Salve, Piemonte! A te con melodia mesta da lungi risonante, come gli epici canti del tuo popolbravo, scendono i fiumi. Scendono pieni, rapidi, gagliardi, come i tuoi cento battaglioni, e a vallecercan le deste a ragionar di gloria ville e cittadin..." (G. Carducci)*Piedmont is considered an alpine region par excellence due to the presence of numerous slopesrising from its surrounding plains. Indeed, the lack of prealpine ranges makes this landscape evenmore suggestive, giving you the impression of being immediately in front of the snowy mountainsthat host some of the most famous winter tourism locations. Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso andMonviso are some of the most famous mountains that make up the Alps, one of the world’s mostfamous mountain chains. However, this region is not only made up of mountains: the plain and thehills make Piedmont a green area with the presence of rich vegetation, rivers and numerous lakes,oasis and natural parks (there are more than twenty protected parks) with many species of animalsand thermal spa areas that make this region, bordering with France and Switzerland, one of Italy’sbest regions for tourists.In addition, Piedmont is capable of satisfying tourists that want to learn the region’s history during@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 13
  • 14. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comtheir holidays. There are numerous cities of art, the main city being Turin, and there are manypossibilities to discover a place that once was the nerve centre of commerce and trade. Indeed, oneof the most important communication roads once passed through Turin, connecting Italy to NorthEurope’s main cities.An ideal season in which to visit these places does not exist. In each moment of the year going toPiedmont means being able to discover a calm and relaxed atmosphere in a region framed bymountains. In winter, it is one of the places that skiers appreciate most and in autumn, when thebeauty of its locations mingles with earth’s products, the hill villages become hosts to numerousfestivals and parties. September is the ideal month to go to Lake Maggiore and admire the jubilationof autumn colours, whilst in summer it is the destination of high altitude excursionists. Finally, forlovers of local craftwork there are two places to visit: Valenza for its goldsmiths and Saluzzo forartistic furniture carving. However, behind these two flourishing craft activities there are a largenumber of workshops that daily produce traditional objects that are typical of this area.* These are several verses from “Piemonte” composed by the Italian poet Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907), who dedicated this famous poem to the beautiful region of Piedmont. This poem can befound in the "Rime e Ritmi" collection. Visit PiedmontApuliaA natural pearl immersed in the ionian seaMainly lying between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, Puglia is clearly different from other borderingregions. The land is mostly flat, with no high ground aside from the Gargano headland. Itsgeographical position, land, Mediterranean climate and uncontaminated sea, together with theattractive cultural events and typical cuisine, make this region ideal for a break or a holiday.For example, the valleys of the Daunia Mountains break down towards the tavoliere pugliese andthe Adriatic Sea with villages gathered on its poor and gaunt clearings that leave room for the more@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 14
  • 15. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.commodern and lively world of the plains. Here, there is a succession of wheat fields, straight roads andpeasant villages with their typically white coloured houses. Onwards towards the Gargano, themountains reappear and the villages are gathered on the high grounds. Called the “spur of Italy”, ithas always attracted tourist who spend their summer holidays on its long beaches. The high groundsopen up directly onto the sea and the coast, and alternate between rocky headlands, charming inletssurrounded by olive trees, caves, pine and citrus plantations and fishing villages built into the sea’srocks. Inland, there is the Umbra Forest with more than ten thousand hectares of rich vegetation thathave escaped destruction almost by miracle. In central Puglia, the landscape is dominated by largeterraced orchards and olive groves on lower ground and stretches of grain for grazing on higherground. The more lively urban centres can be found on the coast.In the Murge dei Trulli, the strip of land between Martina Franca, Alberobello, Locorotondo andSelva di Fasano, all the appeal of the Italic civilisation is brought together. On a red soiled plateauthere are rows of vines, live oak woods and carob woods divided by long dry walls. For those whocome from chaotic and teeming cities there is the possibility of finding a long forgotten sense oftranquillity and silence in these places, and undertake unique experiences in contact withmarvellous nature in a landscape made up of open space, sun, coasts and sea. Visit ApuliaSardiniaWhere the sea is bluer than blueThe island changes continuously, plains follow mountains and water “chases” plateaus, providingfantastic reflections. Sardinia is the second largest Italian island as well as in the Mediterranean Sea,and is surrounded by very deep waters and almost two thousand kilometres of coastline.From an orographical point of view the land is a combination of small hillsides, short plateaus andfairly high mountain ranges. This is because it is ancient territory that has undergone many erosionprocesses. The southeast area of the Island is one of the most singular habitats to admire, due itsscarce vegetation and rough landscape and includes the Barbagia and the Gennargentu range. Theterritory’s unique morphology and the resulting gradual isolation during the course of the centuries,@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 15
  • 16. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comhas favoured the conservation of the unmodified landscape and customs linked to the Island’s moreatavic traditions. There are few plains and these are not particularly big, except for the Campidanothat stretches from the Gulf of Cagliari to the gulf of Oristano for a total of 100 kilometres. There islittle left of the vast live oak, chestnut and carob forests that were utilised as from the ancient times.The Sardinian coastlines are famous for their beauty. Their conformation is varied and they offervarious and fascinating landscapes: in some points they are high and rocky, with their peakshanging over the sea and in others they leave room for long stretches of sand that run forkilometres, between enchanting inlets surrounded by small islands. It is impossible to bedisappointed with such a combination of unmistakeable rock colours, nature and seas that displayall possible shades of green and blue.For people looking for a quiet holiday there are many comfortable and tranquil places, where it ispossible to relax away from noise and carry out various sports. Those people who don’t want toleave behind their social life and fun, will be equally as happy in the Emerald Coast’s well-knowntowns, where names such as Porto Rotondo, Porto Cervo and Golfo Aranci need no presentation. Visit sardiniaSicilyFrom etna’s eternal snow to the splendid coastal resortsSicily is a truly amazing universe to discover and love, full of cities with abundant history, whitebeaches and a wonderfully coloured sea. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and due toits geographic position it has always been a halfway house between the West and the East, Africaand Europe and has the rare privilege of being surrounding by three different seas; on the Norththere is the Tirrenean, the Ionian on the East and the Mediterranean on the South.It is a complex, varied island that is difficult to define. Few other Italian regions are able to offer itsvariety of environments, its cultural superiority and different social-economic situations. The wholeof Sicily bears the traces of ancient civilisations. In some parts these are easily recognisable such asAgrigento’s splendid temples or the Cathedral of Monreale and in other they are less well known@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 16
  • 17. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comsuch as the stone carvings in the Addaura caves, the pre-historic village of Panarea, and thenumerous necropolis spread over the area. The physical aspects of Sicily are also difficult todescribe. There is Etna’s ever present snow, lush vegetations, orchards and gardens that take onincredible colours in spring, natural oasis and barren coastlines, fertile plains and uncultivated anddesolate zones.It goes without saying that tourism in Sicily has continued to grow over the years, due to itsamazing landscapes, enchanting beaches and Mediterranean climate. Poets, writers and travellers ofall eras have celebrated it; it offers the occasion of having not only a relaxing holiday, but also ofbeing able to discovery the numerous testaments of a millenary past. It is a truly amazing universeto discover and love. Visit SicilyTuscanyIn the cradle of the renaissanceA cultural and seaside holiday in a region with an absolutely unique historical and artistic heritage.The cradle of the renaissance and an inexhaustible source of important figurative artists up to the16th century, Tuscany is much more than a museum. The geographical area is largely mountainousand hilly, crossed by numerous rivers and secondary water courses which make the landscapevaried and diverse. The territory stretches down from the impressive peaks of the Apuan Alps to theTuscan tableland, situated between the Arno and the Ombrone, to finally reach the coastculminating in the Argentario promontory. However, the surprises do not finish here.Not far from the coast we find the islands of the Tuscan archipelago, including Elba, the largest, andsome smaller islands with a wealth of charm.Tuscany offers the opportunity to enjoy very different kinds of holiday, suitable for all tastes. Thebeaches are equipped with every comfort and the hills are genuine sanctuaries of peace, where youcan immerse yourself in the past, exploring the countryside, perhaps on horseback, and the typicalflavours of times gone by.@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 17
  • 18. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comThroughout the region art and nature come together harmoniously. The historical and artisticheritage of extraordinary importance conserved in famous cities such as Florence, Siena, Pisa andLucca combines with a landscape which is famous all over the world.Art here is not limited to an isolated monument or phenomenon and the countryside still reflects thepeasant culture. In the magnificent city of Florence, resting on the banks of the River Arno, in just afew metres one can see genuine masterpieces by great artists of the calibre of Giotto, Brunelleschi,Donatello and Michelangelo. Siena has been defined “the only living model of the medieval city”. Itis divided into districts and situated in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.Surrounded by walls, Lucca has a wealth of ancient buildings and churches, Livorno is an attractiveseaside city, Grosseto fascinates visitors with the remains of the Etruscan civilisation. Then thereare the cities of Massa and Carrara with their marble quarries, Arezzo and Pistoia. Tuscany offersmore than just art. Here you can also find beautiful countryside, the sea, nature reserves andentertainment. Tourists can take advantage of first class accommodation facilities along the coastand visit the splendid islands not far away: Elba, Gorgona, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio andGiannutri. Visit TuscanyTrentino-South TyrolThe appeal of tradition, the power of natureIn each of its corners the Trentino-Alto Adige region offers its visitors a reason to stay and visit, awarm welcome and total hospitality. The region is synonymous with yearlong tourism: whether it isbathed in the summer sun or surrounded by a blanket of snow, the opportunities to relax and havefun are numerous.In the Trento region alone there are more than one thousand kilometres of ski slopes for nordic oralpine skiing and snow-boarding: Bondone, Alpe di Luisia, Val di Fiemme Val Rendena and Val diFassa are some of its best-known localities; in addition there are ice and curling rinks, ice stadiumsand falls to climb such as Val Daone, considered the ideal destination for climbers. In addition thereare: hikes under the stars, paragliding in the Val di Fassa in Canazei, sled dog courses at Madonna@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 18
  • 19. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comdi Campiglio and the possibility to visit numerous castles and museums, such as the now famousMart di Rovereto, for culture lovers.The Süd Tyrol is made up of mountains and a tantalizing succession of some of Europe’s greenestvalleys where you can spend relaxing holidays, go for long walks, attempt challenging climbs orski.In winter, skiing is undoubtedly the most popular sport, due to the modern ski-lifts and slopessuitable for all levels: Val Gardena, Marmolada and Val Badia are known worldwide for theirbeauty. In spring, you can admire the extensive blossoming of apple trees, whilst in autumn thevalley is striking for its range of colours. Finally, summer is the ideal season for those who enjoytaking long walks and hikes so as to admire the region’s mountains in all their beauty.The Alto Adige is also paradise for pony trekking, during which you can rediscover the sensation ofbeing free: the Renon plateau, the Alpe di Siusi, and the wild woods of San Vigilio di Marebbe andof Collepietro are just a few examples of places to visit on horseback.In addition, there are also over two hundred castles that are testament to the history of this “countryamongst the mountains” and an integral part of Bolzano and province.The entire region is also known for its characteristic Christmas markets in Trento, Bolzano, Merano,Bressanone and Brunico: these markets originate from popular traditions and offer the best localcraftwork and cuisine. Visit Trentino-South TyrolUmbriaA land of saints, holy places and religious movements where the past, present and future meetUmbria is a region on a human scale, full of natural and artistic beauties. A land of saints andreligious movements, where the past, present and future meet to create a unique combination. In thecities’ historic centres throughout the area, the traces of important civilisations from the past areeasy to find: the Etruscan culture, the Roman domination and the birth and development of@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 19
  • 20. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comcommunal centres that have left their marks on Orvieto, Spello and Città di Castello. Here, art-lovers will find easy access to the majority of Italian renaissance art and a large part of antique andmedieval art. Indeed, within a radius of about 100 kilometres, numerous testimonies of the World’sartistic heritage can be found.Orvieto, a picturesque city of art, is universally known for the ingenious San Patrizio well and forits magnificent cathedral. Spello rises at the foot of the Subsaio Mountain and is a picturesqueagricultural city that hosts the remains of an arena, of walls and of three gates from the Romantimes. Spoleto is also a city of great artistic interest and is situated in a beautiful hillside locationand dominated by a fourteenth century rock, whilst Gubbio is a medieval city that is wonderfullypreserved and full of artistic monuments, churches and buildings.Obviously Assisi, in the heart of Umbria, is not to be missed being picturesque and in a verypanoramic position. It is the city of peace and spiritual contemplation. Visit UmbriaValle dAostaA “vertical” regionThis is how the Val d’Aosta could be described, due its many high peaks that border the region(amongst which there is Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain). But this small region is alsoblessed with a surprising amount of natural beauties, monuments and precious artistic and historicassets.Aosta is the regional capital and the only province in the Valley, and is a city full of history. Themany remainders of the ancient Augusta Pretoria (Aosta’s Latin name) are visible, such as the largeArco di Augusto and the remains of the Roman Theatre. The Medieval period was extremelyprosperous for Aosta: it was an important crossroads for commercial trade between France andSwitzerland and therefore underwent a long period of well-being.The Valley’s natural scenery is magnificent: from Mont Blanc’s breathtaking peaks to the harshbeauty of Cervino, from the spectacular Monte Rosa (so-called because of the colour that its@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 20
  • 21. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comglaciers become at certain times of day) to Gran Paradiso, the large mountain in the middle of aNature Park with the same name. This park has over 200,000 hectares of woodlands and landscapesinhabited by uniquely beautiful and charming species of animals.The Valley’s tourist centres and ski resorts have a well-established reputation, such as the well-known Courmayer and Breuil Cervinia. Amongst the region’s typical products there are Fontina(cheese) and Jambon, a special ham from the Valle del Gran San Bernardo. Juniper, thyme and thevalley’s herbs give it a delicate and aromatic aroma and it is left to mature in hay, which gives it anunmistakable fragrance. The DOP brand certifies its origins and guarantees the quality of the wholeproduction process: it is only produced in the small village of Saint Rhémy en Bosses, at an altitudeof 1.600 metres, following an ancient tradition passed down through generations. In the Valled’Aosta, culture can also be found in its cuisine.Visit Aosta ValleryVenetoDiscovering the “winged lion”Veneto means beautiful and unique cities such as Venice and Verona, the spectacle of the Dolomites,art, history, ancient traditions and food and wine just waiting to be discovered. Among the manyartistic itineraries offered by the region, one should not miss a tour of the gently rolling Berici hillsto the south of Vicenza, an area which over the centuries has seen the construction of magnificentaristocratic residences.By car, it is possible to explore extraordinary villas, some Palladian, set in an equally beautifulnatural landscape. However, Veneto also means long, attractive and well-equipped beaches,magnificent countryside and entertainment. The Veneto seaside, with its sandy beaches, highlyefficient facilities, great gastronomic traditions and numerous bars, clubs and restaurants respondsto the needs and expectations of even the most demanding visitors, whether Italian or foreign.In the towns along the coast, easily accessible from the major road networks in the Region, it ispossible to combine rest and entertainment, sport and relaxation, breathing in the fresh air, far fromthe chaos of the city. The wide beaches sloping down gently to the sea are ideal above all for@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 21
  • 22. The Best Of ItaliaVacanze.comfamilies and children, while at the same time the sports facilities of all kinds are capable ofsatisfying the needs of young people. There are several attractive seaside resorts along the almostone hundred kilometres of beaches, each with its own character, the result of small details, nuancesand local traditions. One of these is Bibione, a more recent addition to the panorama of internationaltourist resorts, where the natural environment combines well with modernity.The cycle paths, the splendid seaside promenade and the wealth of sports facilities make Bibionethe ideal place for a range of activities, including football, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball,swimming, mini golf, athletics and sailing. Continuing our journey, further south we find the oldtown of Caorle. The origins of the town date back to ancient times and it is now one of the mostversatile seaside resorts in Veneto, with its own unmistakeable character. Having passed beyond themouth of the River Piave, after Porto Santa Margherita and Eraclea Mare we reach Lido di Jesolo.With its 500 hotels, 15 thousand villas, houses and flats and around ten campsites it is undoubtedlythe most important tourist resort in Veneto.Just a short distance from Venice and its magnificent islands, we find Cavallino, the most important“open-air” tourist resort in Europe. Every aspect of town and cultural planning has been organisedwith a view to open-air tourism and the result is an extremely diversified range of facilities, alwayscharacterised by the maximum comfort and freedom. Visit Veneto Camping – Agriturismo – Hotel – Residences – B&B - Italy@ Publitour SpA – All Rights Reserver 22

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