A really good Italian hotel will cosset you with creature comforts, seduce you with style and elegance and make you feel at home with friendly service. Use this website to help you find the perfect place to stay during your visit to Italy. We have tried and tested every hotel featured and can vouch for the locations, standard of facilities and level of service.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beat the winter blues with a bargain break in Italy

At this time of the year, with Christmas now behind us, many people start to look forward to their next holiday.
But because the summer seems a long way away, I would recommend planning a short winter break in Italy to take your mind off the bad weather and having to return to the daily grind.
The next few weeks would be a good time to go with cheap flights and bargain hotel prices being advertised at the moment.
To keep the costs down still further, be prepared to stay in less well-known towns or resorts where meals and taxi fares are usually cheaper.
There are often low cost flights available to airports close to the great cities of RomeVenice and Milan.
The Venetian lagoon in winter
But if you base yourself just outside these cities you will find you spend less, while still getting the chance to enjoy the same great atmosphere, architecture, food and wine.
If you can find a cheap flight to Rome (Ciampino), consider staying in the ancient, wine-producing city of Frascati, just down the road from the airport.
The city has the feel of Rome, but it is on a smaller scale and life is at a less frantic pace. There are statues, fountains and wonderful architecture, but it is easy to walk around Frascati and there is little crime there, according to a taxi driver I spoke to.
It is said that Frascati’s delicious white wine ‘non viaggia bene’ (does not travel well), which is all the more reason to drink it there, in quaint wine bars serving it cheaply by the glass.
Villas built by wealthy Romans on the hills behind Frascati now lie in ruins, but there are elegant 16th and 17th century villas, such as the imposing Villa Aldobrandini, to look round.
Take the train to Rome (30 mins) and see the sights, but return in the evening to sit on a terrace sipping wine, looking down over the eternal city.
I recommend the Hotel Colonna as a good base in Frascati.
If you can book a low cost flight to Venice (Marco Polo), why not go by train or taxi to nearby Padova, a sophisticated city with good shops, restaurants and hotels.
Padova’s Scrovegni Chapel contains one of the world’s greatest works of art, a complete cycle of frescoes painted by Giotto between 1303 and 1305, the first time an artist created life-like figures with realistic expressions.
Padova is home to one of the most important places of Christian worship, the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, where pilgrims pray to the saint.
Foodies will be fascinated by the variety of shops and stalls in the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza delle Frutta.
You could take the train to Venice (35 mins) and arrive in style at Santa Lucia railway station on the Grand Canal, then return to Padova at night to enjoy an excellent meal, at a lower price than you would pay around St Mark’s Square.
Good places to stay in Padova are Hotel Belludi 37 and Hotel Europa.
For more detailed information about Padova visit www.bestofpadova.com.
There are currently some bargain flights to be found for Bergamo Caravaggio airport, also known as Milan Bergamo.  And you will be missing a trick if you don’t stay and explore Bergamo, a historic city with two distinct centres.
Bergamo's beautiful Piazza Vecchia
The upper town is a beautiful, walled city with buildings that date back to medieval times, but there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to welcome visitors.
At the heart of the city is Piazza Vecchia, remodelled during the Renaissance and praised by architects as the most beautiful square in Italy.
Walk through the archways under Palazzo della Ragione to see the Colleoni Chapel, considered the finest Renaissance building in Italy.
The lower town also has elegant buildings and a good choice of restaurants and hotels. From there you could take the train to Milan (50 mins) to see the sights, but in the evening you will be glad to return to the peace of Bergamo and dine within its 16th century walls.
I'd recommend staying at the Hotel Excelsior San Marco or the Hotel Cappello d’Oro while in Bergamo.
For more detailed information about Bergamo visit www.bestofbergamo.com.


No comments:

Post a Comment