Taking A Vacation In Italy Is Now Affordable

Taking A Vacation In Italy Is Now Affordable

Most people dream about taking a vacation in Italy, a city known for its beautiful mountain ranges, lakes and delicious cuisine. Visiting the large number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and walking on the sea coast is also on tourists’ agenda.

This dream becomes more reachable and affordable if you follow these tips-

a) Travel in the off-season- You will pay more if you decide to take a vacation when everybody else goes to Italy. Choose July or August to visit the city as visitors are less frequent and you will get accommodation at affordable prices.

b) Look for package deals- The internet is a good place to do your research and buy packages that offer food, sightseeing and return fares at lowest prices. Browse at least half a dozen websites before you reach for your credit card.

c) Pay attention to the timing of purchasing a ticket- You can get a cheap ticket to Italy if you buy weeks ahead of your actual visit or buy at the last minute. Be flexible with your date and day of travel as there is a price difference if you buy a ticket on weekdays Vs weekends.

d) Travel by train- Explore this option if this is available in your city. Travelling by train can be cheaper and give you a view of the wonderful landscape surrounding Italy. This facility can be easily availed if you want to travel from London to Italy or any other city near Italy.

e) Rent a car for sightseeing- Think about renting a car if you are travelling with your family or in a group. Book in advance and drive around the area to enjoy your visit as per your schedule.

What to expect in your Italy tour

Most popular tours of Italy begin with half a day visit to Rome that includes going to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Tourists are given a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and the famous dome designed by Michelangelo.
Next halt is Florence, very popular due to its exquisite art and architecture. Those interested in history love this place for its sculptures and famous museums that showcases the work of great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli.

Newlyweds or people young at heart also flock to Venice known for its romantic gondola rides in water canals. Although the weather is muggy in August you will enjoy a stroll at St. Mark’s Square and watch hundreds of pigeons sitting or walking on the concrete.

Tarquinia (23 – 25 Jul) – Italy Vacation in Ancient Etruscan Lands

Tarquinia (23 – 25 Jul) – Italy Vacation in Ancient Etruscan Lands

Tarquinia was one of the highlights of the entire trip.  It was a fairly last minute decision to go to
Tarquinia and it was on the recommendation of one of the ladies I had met
earlier on the tour around France.  Never
heard of Tarquinia?  Don’t worry, neither
had I.  It’s a town about 90km north west
of Rome, or about an hour on the train.
Think Italian country side, with lush rolling hills and agriturismos
dotted every few kms along stretches of very quiet country roads.

Agriturismo actually refers to a style of vacation where you
stay at a farm house, usually run by a family and all the food served to guests
is prepared using the produce grown on the farm.   We stayed at Agriturismo Lupo Cerrino – a cozy
farmhouse run by a really friendly and hospitable Italian couple (Antonio and his wife), with their
sons pitching in to help as well.

Antonio’s wife didn’t really speak English, but she would have no
hesitation coming up to us, arms laden full of food, offering us a bowl full of
peaches freshly picked that afternoon.  Antonio was so friendly as well, helping to organise transport for us as we had
mistakenly thought that we could get around on bike and didn’t bother to hire a
car.  Well actually they
had bikes but he was worried about us two being on bikes alongside crazy
Italian drivers.

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We ate breakfast here overlooking the fruit orchard – so chill!

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Did someone say breakfast?
That’s right – they had the most amazing spread every morning including
ridiculously delicious zucchini slice.  Of
course it was fresh, because the previous day when we had returned to the
farmhouse, Antonio’s wife greeted us with a huge bag full of zucchini that she had just
picked that afternoon exclaiming that we would eat it next morning!!!

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The second highlight was Ristorante Girardengo, a few kms
down the road and the closest ‘neighbour’.
Antonio suggested that we could go there for dinner since it was the
closest and he could drop us off and pick us up afterwards.  When we got there, as it wasn’t peak season,
we were the only ones at the family run restaurant.  The parents were super friendly but couldn’t
speak English, so their daughter Chiara and son Antonio took our orders.  The food was delicious – best steamed mussels
ever, so sweet and only lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.  As it turned out, their son Antonio is also a
very talented pastry/dessert chef and we spent quite some time going through
his favourite Pierre Herme cookbook and discussing desserts.  Many hours later….!  We finished so late that Chiara and Antonio
ended us dropping us off back at the agriturismo afterwards!  And of course, since everyone knows everyone
in Tarquinia, after we got back, we spent the next 20 mins chatting with them
and Antonio and his wife.

Antonio (the son) makes some pretty amazing looking desserts
at Ristorante Girardengo, so if you are ever near, I highly recommend dropping
in for a meal.  We ended up eating dinner
there two nights in a row – had we gone for a third night, they were offering
to teach us how to make their special spaghetti!

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Apart from eating, we did do some sightseeing around the
main town centre in Tarquinia.  Tarquinia
is most well known for the necropolis containing Etruscan tombs dating back to
7th century BC.  From afar they
look like giant mounds, but once you walk into the tomb and down the steps, the
elaborately frescoed tombs, of which many are replicas of Etruscan homes, offer
a glimpse of Etruscan life.  Etruscan
civilisation is said to be the only urban type of civilisation in pre-Roman
Italy.

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The town itself was quite charming but completely devoid of
tourists when we went – we really stood out!
We spent a few hours ambling around town and eventually headed slightly
further out, where we found gorgeous views of the Tarquinian countryside.

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Would
I come back to Tarquinia?  Most definitely.  When I finally have enough leave, hopefully I’ll
be able to visit Tarquinia again (by car!) before heading down to Civitavecchia
to take the ferry to Sardinia!