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Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

 

How To Shop For Food On Holiday In Italy

So you've booked a self-catering holiday in Italy on a farm in Tuscany or by a beach in Liguria? Enjoy exploring the flavours of Italy with this basic guide to help you enjoy food shopping as part of your holiday experience.

Traditionally Italians shop every day for what they want to eat that day, as freshness is a big concern to them. You won't find huge fridges in most Italian kitchens, so decide every day as you shop, what you want to eat that day, according to what loo...

self-catering holiday,Italy,vacation,shopping,food,pasticceria,Italian food,prosciutto,fruit,Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

So you've booked a self-catering holiday in Italy on a farm in Tuscany or by a beach in Liguria? Enjoy exploring the flavours of Italy with this basic guide to help you enjoy food shopping as part of your holiday experience.

Traditionally Italians shop every day for what they want to eat that day, as freshness is a big concern to them. You won't find huge fridges in most Italian kitchens, so decide every day as you shop, what you want to eat that day, according to what looks freshest and most appetising in the shops. The shop keepers are quite used to selling just two slices of perfectly sliced prosciutto, or a small piece of pecorino cheese. You can of course just head to a supermarket and fill your trolley for the week, but shopping the traditional way in all the little shops is an experience not to be missed and you will gain more cultural understanding this way, than any amount of museum visiting will provide.

Follow your nose first to the Forno, for crusty white bread, rolls and salty focaccia, a soft olive oil pizza bread cut into squares, that the school children often stop by for as a morning snack. Pane integrale is wholewheat bread and becoming more easily available. If you don't acquire the taste for the traditional, unsalted bread you can ask for pane salata - salted bread, which is sometimes available as a speciality bread.

Next drop by the fruttaverdura - the greengrocers. Italy has a wonderful variety of fruits and vegetables and you will find whatever is in season and at its best. Italians are distrustful of imported food, the more locally grown the better, so most of what is on offer won't have been subjected to cold storage and other indignities. May brings strawberries and cherries piled high and bright. Peaches and nectarines follow with melons of all varieties. By the time you reach autumn these have been succeeded by heaps of glistening grapes, luscious figs and juicy pears. Watch the local signoras carefully selecting their fruit and veg and you will get an idea of what is at its best and what should be left another week until it is truly in season, ripe and delicious.

The alimentari now- the general grocers store. You will probably be following the same group of signoras from shop to shop as they do their morning round. Everything is here, from tins piled high, to packets of pasta, with a counter of cheeses and salamis to be sliced to your requirements. You can ask for two slices of prosciutto crudo - cured ham, thinly sliced or buy sliced meats and cheeses by the etto - a generally used term for 100g (about 3oz). If you want to have a taste before you decide to purchase, just ask and a sliver of cheese will be passed over the counter for you to pronounce judgement on. There will also be containers of herby olives and sundried tomatoes to buy by weight. Bottles of mineral water and wine will rub shoulders in a corner.

For a treat stop by the pasticceria for a tray of delicious creamy pastries, which will be wrapped in paper and ribbon until they are worthy of the Christmas tree.

Now head off for a picnic lunch in an olive grove with your spoils, or treat yourself to a long lunch in a restaurant and keep your shopping for a delicious, no-cooking, light supper on the terrace of your apartment.

Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock

 

Your Holiday in Italy:Venice, Rome, Turin

Your holiday in Italy, From Venice, Queen of the Adriatic to Rome, symbol of history and culture and Turin, the European capital of Baroque.

Italy, Hotels,Accommodation, Cheap, Venice, Rome, Turin

Venice

Venezia, La Serenissima, Queen of the Adriatic, the Most Serene Republic of Venice is the city of canals, churches and palaces that captures the hearts and minds of all who visit. Venice is home to wonderful tourist destinations famous the world over - St Mark's Square, Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs - but the true joy of Venice is found just wandering around and finding architectural and artistic wonders around every corner.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Venice is served by two airport, Marco Polo and Trevino. Transport into the city is by bus or from the latter by water bus.

Trains terminate and depart from Santa Lucia train station on the west side of Venice. The station fronts the Grand Canal where water buses (vaporetti) or water taxis are available.

Cars and coaches arrive on the far western edge of Venice at Piazzale Roma. There are no roads in Venice so from here on it's by boat or on foot. Venice is the World's only truly pedestrian city and walking is a serendipitous adventure of discovering vistas in the magnificent urban landscape.

Ships arrive at the Stazione Marittima.

Water buses are best for longer trips and for visiting the islands. There are also the more expensive water taxis. Gondolas are really just for short romantic hops and having your photograph taken.

Climate

Summer is hot in Venice. Temperatures average 27°C but high humidity results in a close, uncomfortable atmosphere. Sometimes, hot sirocco winds sweep in from the south. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures ranging from 0-7 C. Snow is rare owing to the city's lagoon location. Spring is fresh and clear though rainfall can be heavy. Mists are common in late autumn.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Venice hotels

Events:what's on and what's hot

Venice has the character of a stage set so its many festivals are spectacular.
* The first event of the year is the Regata delle Befana held on 6 January.
* The next month sees the major event in the Venetian calendar namely Carnevale,
which is a masked and costumed extravaganza.
* May sees the Festa della Sensa (Feast of the Ascension) which celebrates the Sposalizio del Mar (Wedding with the Sea).
* The arts fest is held every odd-numbered year in June in the Giardini Pubblici.
* Festa del Redentore in July features a regatta and fireworks festival.
* The Venice International Film Festival is held from late August into September

Turin

Turin has been called the European capital of Baroque due to the style of many of its palaces and churches. In many ways Turin differs from the typical Italian city. It exudes a strong French influence with its broad boulevards with white buildings. With the Po River flowing through the city, and the Italian Alps standing in the distance, it's a place of great charm.

Transport:getting there and getting away

By plane

Caselle Airport lies north of the city and is connected to the city by bus and taxi. Turin is also easily reached from Malpensa airport.

Turin has two main railway stations, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa. The former is for long and mid-range trips the latter mainly for local trains.

Turin has an efficient public transport system of buses and trams and an underground line was opened for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

The City of Turin has recently established a network of bicycle paths throughout the city.

Climate:

Turin is gloomy with rain and fog in the winter temperatures tending to remain single digit. The summer months between May and September are milder though rain is still common.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Turin hotels

Events:what's on and what's hot

* April sees the Festival Internazionale di Film con Tematiche Omosessuali is a five-day international gay and lesbian film festival.

*Cioccolatò in early March is a two-week celebration of cocoa. Turin see cocoa tastings, sculpture competitions and stalls around the city centre.

*Salone Internazionale del Gusto is a five-day festival of food and wine held biannually. The event is international in flavour with traditional producers from around the world showcasing and selling their wares in a giant street market.

Rome

Steeped in history and rich with monuments famous the world over - the Vatican, the Colosseum - Rome stands as a captivating symbol of history and culture.

Transport:getting there and getting away

Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 16 miles southwest of the city with the Stazione Termini direct train running hourly into the city. The main bus station is located outside the Stazione Termini. Buses run from 6:00 a.m to midnight with some all-night services. The Rome Metro service has two lines, both of which go through Termini. It runs from 5:30 a.m to 11.30 p.m. and 0:30 on Saturdays.

Climate:

The climate is mild with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. However July and August can be oppressively hot, November is often rainy, and December to February can be chill.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Rome.

Events:what's on and what's hot

*Holy Week (Easter) is time when Catholics from all over the world arrive on pilgrimages to visit the city's churches and to hear the Pope at the Vatican. On Good Friday a procession of the Cross goes from the Colosseum to Capitoline Hill.
*The Estate Romana (Roman Summer), is at the heart of Roman social life from June to September. It's a time when the city reverberates to free concerts, street theatre and outdoor cinema.
*In September museums, galleries and shops stay open all night from 20:00-08:00 on the occasion called Notte Bianca (white night). It's also a time of free concerts and other happenings all over the city.

 

Vacation in Italy - Private Holiday Homes versus Hotels

When you are ready for that once in a lifetime experience of an Italian vacation, consider a private home rental for your source of lodging. Hotels can be nice, but staying in a private home rented for the occasion can give you a chance to see the real Italy. Private homes for rent to vacationers in Italy can be found in various price ranges.

Italy,vacation rentals,holiday rentals, holiday homes,vacation homes,travel,lodging,condo,condominium,free advertising

Vacationing in Italy is a dream come true for so many Americans. Those who have Italian heritage often wish to see where their families originated. Those who have no Italian lineage still look upon Italy as one of the foundations of Western civilization. Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Florence, Umbria, Chianti, San Gimignano, Siena, Orvieto, Todi, Assisi, Spleto and Montepulciano are all legendary to those of us raised in the "new world" and for many are simply places we’ve read about in our school books, or seen on television or in the movies. Many Americans, sadly, know little of the geography of Italy, but do appreciate the food. After all, pizza and spaghetti are considered as American to us as apple pie and hot dogs. But only on a trip to Italy can a person really appreciate this magnificent country, home to Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Christopher Columbus.

When you are ready for that once in a lifetime experience of an Italian vacation, consider a private home rental for your source of lodging. Hotels can be nice, but staying in a private home rented for the occasion can give you a chance to see the real Italy. Explore the countryside, walk into the village and visit with the residents, and see what it feels like to actually go home, to a cabin or villa at the end of the day, living as the Italians do. Or, try a beach house if that suits you or an apartment if you prefer a more urban setting. Getting to know the local people by living among them for an extended stay of a few weeks will give you a chance to learn some of the language, or if you already speak Italian to brush up on your skills. It will also give you a chance to learn local history in a very unique way, from the people themselves. You will appreciate all of the similarities of Italian culture with your own, and learn to appreciate the differences as well. The Italians are a wonderful, friendly people with a rich culture and history. Taking the time to live among them, getting to know them as friends and neighbors, is truly an experience you will always remember.

Private homes for rent to vacationers in Italy can be found in various price ranges. If you are looking for luxury, there are villas available. If something more rustic suits your taste and budget, then smaller homes and even old farmhouses are available to appeal to all tastes. Just as an example, one property includes two bedrooms, queen size beds, kitchen, laundry area, bathroom, central eat and the satellite television, telephone and VCR that most Americans are used to having. Imagine though the coziness and comfort of coming back to the house after a day of sight seeing to sit by the fire place, drinking a glass of a local wine, having a light dinner of pasta, and enjoying the peace and quiet of your surroundings. Staying in a hotel in a major city will certainly show you the tourist hot spots, but staying in a private home will show you the real Italy.

Rent holiday home or vacation rental in Italy at http://italy-vacation-homes.com and enjoy your stay!




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