Italy

My Italy Travel Guide

This is a round up post listing places from our latest trip to Italy at the end of 2015 / start 2016. The idea to visit Italy born in our Tbilisi apartment's kitchen, when I was preparing another home made pizza, I was flattening pizza dough with rolling pin, when my beloved told me - hey, let's go to Italy. And so we did. After about a month we were sitting in plane. We hadn't special plans or ideas what to visit. We just drove around. I did a lot of photography, as I was eager to apply...

About FireFly Car Rental in Italy

Searching for a budget friendly car rental in Italy? Look no more - I can highly suggest FireFly car rental. We used Firefly during our recent week long trip in Italy, prior to that I have used FireFly Spain (see: My Spain and Andorra Travel guide). We booked our economy Volkswagen Polo car online and picked it up at Milan-Malpensa airport (you must call to FireFly office upon arrival, after then they will send a shuttle bus to pick you up and will take you to the office,...

Hotel Best Western Modena District, Italy

Best Western Modena District hotel was our last hotel in Italy during our week long travels across the country.  This Best Western hotel is a 5-minute drive from the Campogalliano exit of the A22 Motorway, 10 km from Modena. The property offers a gym, and free outdoor parking. At check in I asked can they give us a smokers room, the receptionist lady told they have a lovely, large smokers room, which is designed for disabled persons, we didn't mind, after seeing our room - we concluded,...

Modena Town Hall

Looking for free toursit attraction sites in Italian town of Modena? You might visit Modena Town Hall.  Facing the Piazza Grande (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Town Hall of Modena was put together in the 17th and 18th centuries from several pre-existing edifices built from 1046 as municipal offices. Modena Town Hall, Italy It is characterized by a Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio, late 15th century), once paired with another tower (Torre Civica) demolished after an...

Juliet's House in Verona, Italy

As testified by the coat of arms on the internal arch-way of the court-yard, this house belonged to the “Dal Cappello” or “Cappelletti”. The building, dating back to the 13th and renovated in the last century, features the balcony where Romeo promised his beloved Juliet eternal love in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. I had a chance to visit World famous Juliet's balcony on January 2nd, 2016 - it was a very rainy and cold day In Verona Juliet's Balcony in Verona Well - balcony as balcony...

Restaurant Greppia in Verona

It was a very cold, grey and rainy day in Verona, when on the way finding Juliet's Balcony I realized it would be great to find some local restaurant, order some meal and what's important to warm up. I noticed a few signboards with direction arrows located around streets of Verona, when I decided to take the bait and actually followed those arrows. (A smart marketing from Greppia restaurant) Greppia restaurant in Verona We were not the only tourists following arrows, there was a queue in...

Carpe Diem Café in San Bonifacio

I have never kept in secret my love for the local restaurants and cafes where tourists barely step their foot in. We did find a few great local Italian restaurants during a week long trip in Italy and when we arrived to San Bonifacio (checked in at our hotel, see Best Western Soave Hotel, San Bonifacio ) we decided to explore our options and find some great restaurant nearby. It was alright late night on January 1st - and after some 20 minute driving around San Bonifacio it...

Best Western Soave Hotel, San Bonifacio

We booked this Best Western franchise hotel in San Bonifacio, Italy through secret deals on Hotwire, on January 1st, 2016, we chose this hotel because of it's close location to Verona and affordable price (about $60). I love using Hotwire, in most cases there are great value deals, but it was not like this time. We got a small, bad equipped room from Hotel Soave. No, I'm not complaining, our stay was pretty OK. But it was far from the expected. Hotel Soave is 200 m from San...

Castle Carrarese of Este

It was January 1st, 2016 when we visited Castle Carrarese of Este, during our drive from Venice to Modena. It was our second stop after we enjoyed a cup of cappuccino at lovely Candiana town. Read more: Bar Rialto in Candiana)  The castle overlooking the town of Este consists of large master towers and massive walls, about a kilometre long, which embraces the extreme southern edge of the Euganean Hills. This mighty monument bears witness to the important role that the territory of...

Bar Rialto Candiana

I have always loved local cafes and restaurants where tourists barely step their foot in, we were of from Venice and traveled to Modena, when I said, let's visit some of the local villages and see what's good there.  Back at this stage I even didn't know that village we were to enter is called - Candiana, shortly we parked our car and noticed a local pub/bar/restaurant - so we entered this place, which I learnt latter is named - Bar Rialto Candiana and ordered a cup of cappuccino. It...

St Mark's Square in Venice

St Mark's square probably is every travelers dream destination when traveling to Venice, Italy. So did it was among mine - must have destinations. We traveled to Italy and especially to Venice for a New Year's eve to celebrate 2016.  I was so found of photography, and especially fireworks photography, that I started to prepare already about a month before our departure. huge was my disappointment, when I was not able to find a single spot to make any decent fireworks photography from St...

Fried Land Fast Food in Venice

After we finally arrived to Venice, settled up in our hotel room, it was still a few hours until New Year, we decided to locate some charming Venice restaurant, but they all either were fully booked or just looked suspicious, suddenly we noticed a small fast food shop, and I decided to take a look, so that's how we found Fried Land in Venice. Huge was my surprise when searching for this places coordinates I found that on TripAdvisor Fried Land ranks #1 as Venice Restaurants (as on January 27,...

Hotel Guerrini Review in Venice, Italy

We booked hotel Guerrini in Venice for New Years night (2016), because of it's location - Located just off the characteristic Venetian street of Lista di Spagna and 400 m from Santa Lucia Railway Station, Hotel Guerrini offers free Wi-Fi and simple air-conditioned rooms. Now the biggest surprise was to learn out, that heating in our room didn't worked (seems it didn't worked for all the hotel), so called simple air conditioner also didn't helped much (it constantly showed +17C...

Michelangelo Square in Florence, Italy

Michelangelo Square is one of the best place in Florence to take picturesque panoramic views of Florence. We found this place thanks to suggestions on some travel guide and indeed, the pictures taken here are amazing. We were lucky enough to find this place quickly as it was located in just some 3 minute drive from our hotel. Read more: Villa Carlota hotel review. We parked our car at Michelangelo Square, I installed a tripod and took some lovely views towards city of Florence...

Hotel Villa Carlota in Florence, Italy

Villa Carlota hotel in Florence is a 4-star hotel. We stayed here overnight just day before New Year in 2015. We arrived here after paid a visit to the leaning tower of Pisa and short wanderings around Tuscany vineyards. Previous night we spent at another 4-star hotel in Lucca. Read more:  Albergo Celide Hotel Review in Lucca, Italy. Villa Carlota compared to Albergo Celide is a truly a 4-star hotel and I will definitely return to this hotel next when spending time in Florence....

'I Fossi' Restaurant in San Gimignano, Italy

I Fossi is a small roadside restaurant located in San Gimignano town in Italy. We arrived here just shortly we paid a visit to the Leaning tower of Pisa. We made a stop here by chance, just because noticed there is one free parking spot available. Unfortunately we managed to order just two cappuccinos and noticed there is a queue with cars on the nearby street, some lady had arrived to the hotel (turns out there is a hotel as well at this place) and waited to park her car. I told her...

Leaning tower of Pisa in Italy

We all have heard about Pisa tower, I won't be too original by saying - it's that leaning tower located somewhere in Italy.  At the end of 2015 I had a chance to visit this place second time in my lifetime (my mom, told me that I was here back in 1990 or 1991, but was so tired that refused to leave our tourist bus and took a lovely nap instead of wondering at this oblique tower). This time I felt very energized, armored with a tripod and a lot of new photography skills I have learnt...

Restaurant Antica Drogheria in Lucca, Italy

Restaurant Antica Drogheria is located in Lucca, Italy, we discovered this restaurant by accident, just shortly checked in at Albergo Celide hotel and decided to make an evening walk beyond Lucca's city wall. And here it was - another great Italian restaurant located on  Via Elisa, 5. Antica Drogheria in Lucca, Italy We had to wait for about some 10 minutes to get a free table (seems this place is extremely popular), by waiting for a free place we ordered a cappuccino in the...

Albergo Celide Hotel Review in Lucca, Italy

Albergo Celide is a four star hotel located in Lucca, Italy, we stayed here overnight at the end of 2015, although this is a four star hotel, speaking of staff members I can call it barely one star hotel.  Probably arriving to this hotel requests that you arrive in a suite or evening gown, since we arrived here from Milan after some 5 hour drive and were in our casual clothes staff members probably thought that we are some misunderstanding for their precious place. Our booking...

Tortuga Snack Bar in Portofino, Italy

In today's restaurant reviews series I would like to mention some small but very stylish snack bar in Portofino, Italy - Tortuga Snack Bar We made a stop in lovely Italian Riviera village of Portofino at the end of 2015, this place inspired me a lot and I made a few HDR photography here. Tortuga Snack bar we made a short stop to enjoy delicious Italian cappuccino, and with the permit from bar staff members I was allowed to make some interior photos as well. Tortuga snack bar in...

Portofino - picturesque harbor village in Italian Riviera

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbor and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. I paid a short, but very remarkable visit here at the end of 2015, during a short 7 day trip around Italy. We arrived to Portofino from Genoa (Read my first impressions: A Little Bit From Italian Riviera (Somewhere Around Genoa) Portofino - Italian fishing village According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was...

A Little Bit From Italian Riviera (Somewhere Around Genoa)

Just shortly we landed at Milan/Malpensa airport and stayed at lovely Holiday Inn Express hotel, in the next morning we started to head to Genoa. Unfortunately I did not paid much attention to all the small town lets located next to the sea, and know by writting these lines I wonder what names does actually these lovely places bear.  The fun fact - we stopped in Genoa for just 5 minutes (and we even didn't know back then that we are actually in Genoa. But hey we got some amazing...

Holiday Inn Express Milan-Malpensa Airport Hotel (Case Nuove, Italy)

We stayed overnight at Holiday Inn Express Milan-Malpensa Airport hotel just shortly we landed at the airport and took our rental car from FireFly. It turned out that FireFly office was just some 200 meters from this hotel, so we didn't had much driving for the first day from during our seven day trip in Italy. OK, we drove to the nearby town of Ferno to have a Italian style supper at Osteria San Martino. If you are traveling by car  - I highly recommend to choose hotels near...

Osteria San Martino in Ferno, Italy

This was the first time I ate at the real Italian restaurant, and my first experience was more than satisfactory. Shortly after we landed at Milan/Malpensa airport, took our rental car, and checked in at nearby hotel, we started to explore TripAdvisor for some lovely place to have a Italian supper. Osteria San Martino popped up, so it was all about of entering right coordinates to TomTom device. This restaurant was located some 20 minute drive from our hotel in town called Ferno. Osteria...