Travel Italy: Vacation Packages, Tips, Tours of Italy


 
 

»» Winter Sales Season in Italy – How To Grab Designer Deals

The winter sales season in Italy starts early January. Below is the 2011 winter sales schedule with the start date for each of the regions.

Lombardy (Milan) Jan 6; Lazio (Rome) Jan 6; Tuscany (Florence, Siena etc…) Jan 6; Umbria (Perugia, Assisi etc…) Jan 6; Veneto (Venice, Padova etc..) Jan 6; Campania (Naples, Capri, Amalfi Coast…) Jan 2; Liguria (Genoa, Ligurian Riviera, Cinque Terre…) Jan 6; Emilia Romagna (Bologna) Jan 6; Piedmont (Turin) Jan 2; Sicily Jan 2; Sardegna Jan 8; Marche Jan 6; Apulia Jan 6; Friuli Venezia Giulia Jan 3; Trentino Alto Adige Jan 8; Valle d’Aosta Jan 10; Molise Jan 2; Abruzzo (L’Aquila) Jan 6; Basilicata Jan 2; Calabria Jan 2.

Please, be aware, even the sales season lasts around 60 days, you could grab the best deals only in the early weeks.


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»» Opera Events in Tuscany in Summer

Opera Festival is the lyrical festival of Tuscany that offers performances at unique venues rich in history and architecture such as The Boboli Gardens and Villa Medici of Cafaggiolo in Florence, the Roman Theater in Fiesole, and San Galgano Abbey in Siena.

Siena's San Galgano Abbey

Among the performances scheduled for late July/early August:
- “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi, July 21, Florence, Boboli Garden (9.15PM)
- “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” by Gioachino Rossini, August 1, San Galgano Abbey, Chiusdino, Siena (9PM).

The Boboli Gardens, located in the heart of Florence, are among the world’s greatest example of Italian-style garden.

Information on programme and tickets reservation at Opera Festival Website.


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»» Planning Day Trips From Umbria to Siena

Many people vacationing in Umbria usually tend to consider Siena as a destination to plan a day trip.

However, Siena is not so well connected to Umbria by public transport, so a day trip from the towns of Umbria — Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Todi etc… — would not be a so good idea.

Siena

As an example, traveling from Perugia to Siena — the shortest and best connected route you could consider when planning a trip to Siena from Umbria — it will take you 3 to 4 hours if you make the trip by train, also requiring you to change a couple of trains.

Better if you go by bus. A bus trip from Perugia to Siena will take you one and half hours.
However the timetable does not fit your trip needs. Bus leaves Perugia 5.30PM. For return trip, it leaves Siena at 11.40 AM.
That means you’ll have to spend a night in Siena — or in Umbria if you are planning a day trip in the opposite direction.

Bottom line: a day trip to Siena from Umbria is not a possibility.


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»» Day Trip from Florence to Siena: Transport Tips

Bus is the best option when planning a trip from Florence to Siena.

Siena - Piazza del Campo

- by Bus

The regular bus ride takes about a couple of hours. However if you take buses running the “Linea rapida” route, the trip takes one hour and 15 minutes.
The frequency is good, buses run every hour — every 30 minutes during peak periods.
The last bus in the evening leaves Siena around 8:30pm.

- by Train

Traveling from Florence to Siena by train takes one and half hours.

However, some Florence-Siena journeys require a change of trains at Empoli, so that can take rather longer than the bus takes.
The trains frequency is far and away lower than the buses frequency (see Italian rail schedule).

Also, Siena train station is about a couple of km away from the city center, so you’ll need bus or taxi to get there .

There is a number of reasons to consider a bus as the best option when planning a day trip from Florence to Siena. It makes your travel more comfortable and cheaper.


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»» Wine Week-ends in Veneto and Tuscany

Weekends offering a number of wine themed events and shows are scheduled late May in Veneto and Tuscany.

Conegliano

With the “Primavera del Prosecco DOC” — Spring of Prosecco DOC — wine festivals held in towns situated in the Prosecco hills, you have a chance to enjoy wine tasting, wine shows, art and history, just a few miles north of Venice.
On May 24, the towns of Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto will be holding their wine festival and wine show. An idea for day trips from Venice.

In May and June you have the chance to enjoy weekends filled with a number of wine events in Siena and surroundings (Tuscany).
On May 23 “Le Settimane dei Vini” — Weeks of Wines — kicks off in Siena; it runs through June 19, with events concentrated in the week-ends only.

Recommended, “Happy wine con i vini del Vigneto Italia“, tasting sessions pairing wines with chocolate specialties. The first of these sessions is scheduled in Siena on May 23 (h. 6-8 PM), at Bastione S. Francesco.


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