Even to an Italian Matera, in the south of Italy (Basilicata region), is unique, you wonder if you are in Italy. Walking through the city on your own is already an experience; A grey, clay color dazzles you and you wonder if you are on the moon. Having your private guide as I did adds so much to understanding this city. The guide will talk of antropology, archeology, rupestrian churches that are already in the old city itself or can be reached during an easy hike thorough the “Murge Maretane” /karstic landscape which combines nature and rupestrian churches. Not too long ago – until the 1950’s people had their homes in the caves on which the city was built. Each home had its cistern under the paving. The whole city had a connected system of terracotta pipes and cisterns (check out Palombaro Lungo for the most extraordinary water cisterns under
Barisano and Sasso Caveoso are the neighborhoods that you want to visit. The new city of Matera is around the old neighborhoods.
I’m used at exploring cities on my own; in the case of Matera – the city of stones – I recommend having a local guide.
Nicola Ruggieri of Matera Culturale in the first picture below was my guide, an incredibly knowleageable expert of the city!
Matera has been elected to be the European cultural capital in 2019. Do not miss visiting this city and the Murge Materane
How can you best reach Matera?
If you are coming from the north on your own and do no have a car (and by car it’s quite a distance!) you can head in the direction of Salerno (the city south of Naples) and then get on a connecting bus provided by Trenitalia and Italo train companies. Say you are coming from Rome, it will take you around 5 hours. Otherwise you can fly to Bari and from there there is a connecting bus. From Bari train station there is a train that takes around 2 hours. As usual, the best is to be able to hire your own driver and to reach the city in an quicker way from Bari.
La ciudad más romántica del mundo es sin duda Venecia – y si estás pensando en una manera muy romántica para decirle a tu pareja que la amas … bueno, ¿alguna vez ya pensaste en el ambiente encantador que ofrece una góndola? Ya sea una ceremonia sencilla para celebrar tu amor y tu unión o un aniversario (evento) importante… ¡Va por ello!
Un asistente o maestro de ceremonia se reunirá con vosotros y os acompañará en vuestro viaje romántico. Os embarcaréis en una góndola privada donde tendrá lugar la ceremonia. Esto se puede personalizar de acuerdo a vuestros deseos. Prosecco a bordo, fotógrafo, cena con velas, taxi de agua privado, certificado nupcial simbólico, videofotógrafo, pelo y maquillaje a petición.
Precios desde 690 euro por pareja
Info @ firstname.lastname@example.org
The most romantic city in the world is certainly VENICE – and if you are thinking about a very romantic way to tell your significant other that you love her/him… well, did you ever think of the lovely atmosphere that a gondola offers? Wether it is a simple ceremony to celebrate your love and union or an important anniversary or event, go for it!
An English speaking assistant or Master of Ceremony will meet you and accompany you in your romantic journey. You will embark on a private gondola where the ceremony will take place. This can be personalized according to your wishes. Prosecco on board, fotographer, candle light dinner, private water taxi, symbolic marriage certificate, videographer, hair & makeup on request.
Packages from 690 euro per couple
Info at email@example.com
A sólo 12 km del centro de Florencia – en una ubicación perfecta para relajarse – rodeada de olivares y, sin embargo, muy cerca de la ciudad, pruebe esta fabulosa EXPERIENCIA TOSCANA para hasta 4 personas.
Todos los servicios son privados. Están incluidos:
- 3 días/noches alojamiento con desayuno
- Traslado estación de ferro carril en Florencia a propiedad y vuelta el día de la salida
- Medio día visita guiada de Florencia incluidos traslados ida/vuelta
- 1 Excursión día entero a la zona del vino Chianti y ciudades medievales incluido visita a una bodega, degustación de vinos y almuerzo con producto locales.
Precios para 2 personas a partir de 1490 euro.
Para más informaciones ALOJAMIENTO TOSCANA
At only 8 miles/12 km from Florence center – in a perfect location to realax – surrounded by olive groves and yet so close to the city – try this fabulous TUSCANY EXPERIENCE for up to 4 persons.
All services are private. Included are:
- 3 nights accommodation with breakfast
- Pick-up at Florence train station and transfer to property – transfer back on day of departure
- Half-day walking tour of Florence included transfers in and out
- 1-day excursion to Chianti wine area and medieval towns included visit of a winery, wine tasting and lunch
Prices for 2 people from 1490 euro euro
En coche o furgoneta según el nombre de pasajeros
10 horas sólo Asís -12 horas si añaden visita a Orvieto o Perugia
CHÓFER DE HABLA HISPANA
En este tour nos alejaremos de las grandes ciudades para descubrir los pequeños pueblos de la verdadera Italia. Recorreremos pueblos medievales símbolos de la arquitectura italiana y paisajes de la región Umbria.
Nuestra primera parada será Asís, dónde visitaremos lugares legados a los Santos Patronos de la Italia SAN FRANCISCO y a SANTA CLARA. La primera parada será la Iglesia de San Damián donde la historia del joven Francisco Bernardone tuve inicio.
San Damián fue la iglesia donde Francisco escuchó la voz de Jesús que le habló a través de la cruz: “Reconstruye mi iglesia”. Iglesia que se convertiría en el primer monasterio de las Clarisas, donde Santa Clara vivió hasta sus últimos días. Luego de la visita de San Damián nos dirigiremos a la Basílica de Santa Clara, para rendir homenaje a la tumba de la Santa, también para apreciar algunas de sus reliquias y pertenencias de su vida terrena.
Continuaremos con la visita de la casa paterna de San Francisco para poder ver la celda donde fue encadenado por el padre Pietro Bernardone y el lugar escogido por la madre Pica para traer al mundo al pequeño Francisco.
Luego de un recorrido por las calles medievales de Asís llegaremos a la Basílica de San Francisco para rendir homenaje a la tumba del Santo patrón de Italia y admirar las dos basílica: superior e inferior, construidas para celebrar la vida y la gloria del hermano Francisco, edificios decorados con hermosos frescos de los más importantes pintores de la época.
Tiempo libre para almuerzo y compras.
Luego del almuerzo nos dirigiremos a la Ermita de las Cárceles (Santuario), en la parte alta del monte Subasio. Allí San Francisco de Asís y sus seguidores se retiraban para la contemplación religiosa y la oración.
Dejando atrás la ciudad natal de San Francisco y Santa Clara nos detendremos en el primer lugar de agregación de los franciscanos, lugar donde recibieron la autorización del Papa Inocencio III: el Santuario de Rivotorto, donde los franciscanos iniciaron oficialmente la vida religiosa de la orden, para posteriormente llegar hasta la Iglesia de Santa María de los Ángeles, construida para proteger los restos del primer convento franciscano “La Porziúncula”, que acomodó a los primeros franciscanos y San Francisco hasta el último de sus días (Capilla del Transito).
Viaje de regreso a Roma
OPCIÓN ASÍS Y ORVIETO
Si deseáis visitar también ORVIETO – la catedral de Orvieto que conserva la reliquia del milagro eucarístico “CORPUS DOMINE” y la famosa capilla de San Brizio con el fresco de Luca Signorelli “JUICIO FINAL” – podríamos reducir el tiempo de la visita de Asís e incluir la visita de Orvieto
OPCIÓN ASÍS Y PERUGIA
Perugia, capital de la región Umbria, conserva un casco antiguo de grande encanto con puerta/arco de época etrusca (siglo II AC), palacios y obras medievales.
By car or van depending on the number of participants
ENGLISH SPEAKING DRIVER
In this tour we leave large cities to discover small towns of real Italy.
We will drive through medieval villages which are typical of the Italian architecture and landscapes in the UMBRIA region.
Our first stop will be ASSISI, where we will visit places connected to the Patron Saints of ITALY: ST. FRANCIS and ST. CLARE. First stop will be Church San Damian where the story of young Francis Bernardone started.
Saint Damian was the church where St. Francis heard the voice of Jesus who spoke from the cross: “Rebuild my church!” Church that will become the first monastery of the Clarisse and where St. Clare lived until her last days. After visiting Saint Damian we will go to the Basilica of St. Clare to pay homage to the tomb of the saint and also to appreciate some of her relics and objects that used to belong to her during her earthly life.
We will continue with the visit of the fatherly home of Saint Francis in order to see the cell where he was chained by his father Pietro Bernardone and the site chosen by his mother Pica to take the world to the little Francis.
After a walk through the medieval streets of Assisi, we will arrive at the Basilica de St. Francis to pay homage to the tomb of the patron saint of Italy and admire the two basilicas: the superior and the inferior one, built to celebrate the life and glory of brother Francis, buildings decorated with beautiful frescoes by the most famous painters of the period (especially GIOTTO and CIMABUE).
Free time for lunch and shopping.
After lunch we will go to the hermitage of jail (Santuary), on the top of Mount Subasio. This is where St. Francis of Assisi and his followers used to retire for religious contemplation and prayer.
Leaving the hometown of St. Francis and St. Clara we will stop at the first aggregation of the Franciscans, where they received authorization from Pope Innocent III: the Sanctuary of Rivotorto, where the Franciscans officially launched the religious life of the order. Later, we will reach the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built to protect the remains of the first Franciscan convent “La Porziúncula” which accommodated the first Franciscans and St. Francis until the end of his days (Capilla del Transito).
Return trip to Rome.
ASSISI AND ORVIETO OPTION
If you want to visit also ORVIETO – Orvieto Cathedral which houses the relic of the Eucharistic miracle “CORPUS DOMINE” and the famous chapel of San Brizio with fresh Luca Signorelli “THE LAST JUDGMENT” – we will reduce the time of the visit of Assisi and include the visit of Orvieto.
ASSISI AND PERUGIA OPTION
PERUGIA, capital of the UMBRIA region, features a beautiful historic center, a gate/arch dating back to the II century BC of the Etruscan period, medievales palaces and art.
If you are exploring the area around Lucca – do not miss out the towns of Collodi home to Lorenzini known as Collodi, Pinocchio‘s author, Pescia, famous for the flower industry (fresh and dried flowers) and Montecarlo. After a visit to charming village Montecarlo perched on a hill you could stop for a wine tasting at the Buonamico winery. They produce great white wines using the charmat method (French champaign) representing an exeption in Tuscany usually known for red wines. Usually by appointment one can visit the modern wineries. Very professional staff give the tour. Lunch features very good Tuscan produce. .
Near the charming city of Lucca which boasts unique art and near the town of Pescia famous for flowers we encounter the citrus garden Hesperidarium owned by Oscar Tintori’s family. The passion of lemons and citrus of all kinds was started by Oscar’s father already in the 1950s. Nearby one can also visit the town of Collodi, famous home town to the writer Lorenzini, author of the world famous book “Pinocchio” and the tiny town of Montacarlo perched on a hill and famous for wine, especially white wine.
A 2000 square meter greenhouse houses 200 kinds of different citrus plants from all over the world: A true botanical garden on international level!
Already back in the Renaissance the Medici family from Florence together with many other wealthy families in the area used to grow lemon trees that were kept in huge terracotta vases which had to be moved into greenhouses during the winter. Today we find that the same tradition is kept alive and beautiful lemon trees decorate important private and state gardens. The greenhouse where lemon trees are kept during the winter are called “Limonaia” which is the Tuscan version of the French “Orangerie”
The Hespidarium can be visited every day of the year, here is the address.: Via Tiro a Segno, 55 – Pescia (Pistoia) – Tel. +39 0572 429191 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.giardinodegliagrumi.it
We visited the citrus garden for you and here are some pictures of the garden and of the owner who gave us a wonderful tour. Citrus souvenirs and produce are availab
le for sale.
You could visit Italy a 100 times and still not have seen everything!
Ferrara in the north of Italy offers a magic atmosphere, friendly people, and so many outstanding monuments that made me wonder why I had non vesited this city before!
In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance Ferrara enjoyed its gratest splendor, especially thanks to the dinasty of the ESTE family. Their power lasted until the end of the sixteenth century and then the city was taken over by the State of the Church. To this contributed the fact the Este family did not have any heirs and maybe also the repeated earthquakes from the 1570s that lasted for four years scaring people to death and making them abandon the city.
In the heart of the city is the CASTELLO ESTENSE, (Estense Castle) still surrounded by water. In the cellars are the dungeons where the enemies of the family (members of the family as well!) were kept and later executed. Don Giulio spent 40 years in those prisons and at age 81 he was set free! Graffities of those times can still be seen on the walls. In the upper floors are spacious rooms whose ceilings are decorated with fresco paintings.
The cathedral has so much precious work! Lots of marble galleries with little columns in the outer decoration.
Ferrara is still surrounded by the old city walls. One can walk, jog or ride on the walls providing amazing sport facilities!
The most beautiful palace is the PALAZZO DEI DIAMANTI “, the “Palace of the diamonds” with 8,500 stones in the shape of a diamond point that decorate the outside.