Roma & Milano

Italy is birthplace of Western culture, with thousands of years of history, greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Fantastic cities worldwide famous for their monuments, art and museums. Oldest universities and theatre in Europe. Delicious cuisine. Trendy fashions. Luxury sports cars and motorcycles. Beautiful sea coasts (mostly in Southern regions) green hills, alpine lakes and mountains, lakes, rivers. Welcome to Il Bel Paese (The Beautiful Country)!

Italy can be divided in 3 big regions: north, centre and south. Milano is the main northern city, Roma is the central one and Napoli is the southern one.

 

Roma (click here for more info)
roma

Rome Free Tour is the only free walking tour in Rome which allows everyone, no matter their budget, to fully discover this wonderful city.  Our expert, licensed tour guides, share their personal stories and insights during this intriguing, 1,5/2 hours English-language overview walking tour. The free walking tour run year-round in all weather and also on public holidays. Meeting point : Piazza di Spagna nearby an ‘american highly dangerous junkyfood’…11am Colossum Tour: -Victory Columns-Capitolium-Roman Forum-Colosseum; 2pm City Centre Tour: -Trevi Fountain-Temple of Adrian-Pantheon-Navona square

Take in a game of football/soccer at the Olympic Stadium. Rome has two teams, A.S. Roma and S.S. Lazio and they both play at this stadium

Eat like a local! Enjoy the variety of great local specialty (pasta carbonara, bucatini all’amatriciana…)

University students and young Romans in their twenties spend their nights in San Lorenzo district. Campo dei fiori is another crowded location during the evening and night, as well as Trastevere and Testaccio. On weekend nights the streets are crowded with people moving from one pub to another

roma1dayCity tour in 1 day:

A) Colosseum  B) Via dei Fori imperiali  C) Piazza Venezia  D) Fontana Di Trevi  E) Piazza della Trinità dei Monti – Piazza di Spagna  F) Castel Sant’Angelo  G) Piazza S. Pietro – Vaticano H) Piazza Navona  I) Pantheon  J) Isola Tiberina

An inexpensive choice from Fiumicino airport is to take the bus (COTRAL) to EUR Magliana (stops directly at the metro station, which belongs to line B) and then take the Metro. It’s the cheapest way to get to the centre (€2.50 bus + €1 metro). The sign on this bus reads “Fiumicino-Porto-Magliana”. Autobus Terravision is probably the easiest connection between Fiumicino airport and Rome city center, but the journey takes 55 minutes. You can either book online (€4 one way) or buy the tickets there (€5 one way). It departs near Terminal 3 of the airport and arrives in Termini station

From Ciampino airport, you can take the bus from the stop located outside the terminal building to Metro Line A Anagnina station (ticket: €1.20). A metro ticket to central Rome costs another €1,50. This bus stops also at Ciampino local train station (price is also 1,20€); from there there is a train (app. 3 connections per hour) to Rome Termini station (ticket: €1,50). The buses operate roughly every hour or 30 minutes during the Italian work day (8-12 and 16-20), and you should count on at least 45 minutes travel time for either route. The Metro can get very crowded. Timetable booklets are available in some information booths. It’s not possible to walk the 4 km distance to the local train station as there are no footpath on the way

During lunch try to search for small family restaurants (‘osteria’, ‘trattoria’), quality of food is higher and price is lower than a restaurant. Explore the Trastevere neighbourhood for some great of them

Walk and feel the energy of Rome; sights are everywhere waiting to be discovered

Tap water is free and available at city small fountains, quality is very good. It’s fresh spring water coming from the famous underground springs of Rome and is safe to drink

 

Other main central regions and destination nearby Roma:

Toscana: Florence (Firenze)  the Renaissance city known for its architecture and art that had a major impact throughout the world. In the same region you can visit Pisa, one the medieval maritime republics, it is home to the unmistakable image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa; Siena worldwide known for its city horses ride around the historical square (Palio di Siena); San Gimignano and all the wine hills; Arezzo

Umbria: Perugia (a lively university town with a fascinating medieval center), Orvieto (a city founded by the Etruscans, the city has a wonderful cathedral) and Assisi (hometown of St. Francesco and a major religious center, the Basilica has the world’s best medieval art collection frescoed on the walls) are the most interesting cities

-Marche is composed of rolling hills and fertile plains at the base of the Apennine mountains, Adriatic beaches and ancient towns.

 

 

Milano (more info and pictures? click here)

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To say the truth there are no ‘pure’ locals…Milano is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. Due to its vibrant economy in Milano there are many expat communities, African, asian, south-americans and Europeans of course. Milano’s culture is a mix of cultures

Milano is the centre of Italian economy and business. In the streets you will see people walking very fast, because ‘time means money’ and cannot be wasted in the street…

Enjoy the evening habit of ‘aperitivoor Happy Hour. When offices close (after 18) people gather in pubs and bars to drink something and eat small appetizers at special price (happy hours). Italians drink very moderately and “happy hour” is not a drinking, but a social event. Roughly from 7PM to 9PM, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (€5-8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pastas, and many other small appetizers. Places can be found in the area near the Colonne di san Lorenzo and Corso di porta Ticinese, or close by in the Navigli area (subway: MM2 Porta Genova Station), Porta Romana (MM3 stop).

If you like football you shoudn’t miss the opportunity to watch a match of AC Milan or FC Internazionale at the famous stadium ‘S.Siro’

2013-02-03 15.16.26‘Pay attention’ at your outfit and what you are wearing, this is the fashion city and when you will meet people they will  judge what you are wearing. Do the same, have a look at other people around you, pay attention to details, accessories. Maybe one day you will be a glamour expert!

Milan has a great variety of places where you can have fun. A great starting point is Como Avenue (Corso Como), near Garibaldi Station, full of bars and glamorous clubs. In the summertime, this street is packed with young and attractive people. Another place where you can go is Navigli quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). Other popular night spots with bars and people are viale Monte Nero (on Wednesday it’s packed with people in the piazza in front of a bar called “Momo”), Piazzale Susa (and Citta’ Studi area). Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of Brera. Another good spot is the pedestrian part of Corso Sempione near the “Peace Arch” (Arco della Pace). There are bars and clubs open all week long but usually few people go out at night on Mondays or Tuesdays, the vast majority prefer to have fun on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Fancy a good beer? Birrificio Lambrate is one of the first and best micro brewery in italy. Atmosphere and good beer.

City tour in 1 day:

milano1dayjpA)  Metro 1 Palestro – Corso Venezia  B) Via Montenapoleone  C) Via Brera  D) Castello Sforzesco E) Universita’ Cattolica di Milano  F) Navigli – Basilica S. Eustorgio  G) Corso di Porta Ticinese – Basilica S. Lorenzo Maggiore  H) Via Torino  I) Piazza del Duomo – Galleria – Piazza della Scala  J) Università degli Studi – Via Festa del Perdono  K) Viale Regina margherita – Rotonda della Besana  L) Piazza S. Babila

 

Milan, as a big city, is filled with several different forms of fast-food, take-away and sandwich bars. Although Milan cannot claim to be the birthplace of pizza, (that claim belongs to Naples), you can still find good pizzas in Milan. Bakeries are open every day, you can enjoy great and inexpensive bread-related food, such as pizza and focaccia. You can find a bakery almost everywhere in Milan, even in the Duomo area, and is a good alternative to bars for a fast lunch. Best take-away pizza and bakery products can be found nearby metro station ‘Lambrate’ at ‘Pizza Mundial‘. Cheap and good!

University areas have many bakery shops and take-away, students eat there and prices are affordable

Immagine 073In MIlano’s region (Lombardia) you can visit:

lakes like Como‘s lake, Lake Maggiore, Iseo’s lake and Garda‘s lake

interesting cities like Monza (with a very nice city park where the notorius F1 race takes place), Mantova, Bergamo (with a well kept historical and medioeval upper city);

river ADDA with Crespi d’Adda an UNESCO world heritage site

 

Other main northern regions and destinations

dolomitiVeneto: Venice (Venezia) one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, known for its history, art, and of course its world famous canals. In the same region you can visit: Verona, a romantic city with the famous Romeo&Juliet ‘balcon’; Padova a lively university city; Lake Garda a beautiful lake surrounded with many small villages; Alps and Dolomiti

-Emilia-Romagna: Bologna one of the world’s great university cities that is filled with history, culture, technology and food, Rimini and its adriatic coast


Liguria: Genoa (Genova) — an important medieval maritime republic; its port brings in tourism and trade, along with art and architecture. In the same region you can visit: Cinque Terre five tiny, scenic, towns strung along the steep vineyard-laced coast of Liguria

 

Act like an italian

 

vespa– In a bar/restaurant: Never order a cappuccino after a dinner or lunch, it is meant to be only for breakfast! Also remember that coffee ‘espresso’ has a very small amount of liquid, however is very strong and it will do its job. Espresso is usually taken directly at the bar, standing up and should be drunk within 3 sips. Breakfast consist is something sweet NEVER salty! Dinner before 19 mostly won’t be served, as well as lunch before 12
– Nightlife: also due to the high cost of alcohol in nightclubs/pubs, Italians are usually joining pubs and clubs quite late, maybe spending the evening with friends in a park or square before deciding to move somewhere for the nightlife; Bouncers are usually standing at the entrance of nightclubs/pubs pre-screening the clients, t-shirts and trainers are often off-limits

 

– Wear sunglasses, everyday, doesn’t matter the weather condition! Be cool and wear smart clothes and  accessories, Italy is the world centre of fashion
– In restaurant: never ask for ketchup when you are supposed to eat Pizza or spaghetti, it is considered to be something like a crime! Laughing  For a delicious and fresh snack on budget find small grocery shops (‘salumeria’, mini market), do not hesitate to ask at the worker at cheese/ham desk to prepare a ‘panino’ (preparate panini?), try Italian ‘prosciutto crudo’ ham inside a fresh small bread/baguette. Also search for small family restaurants (‘osteria’, ‘trattoria’), quality of food is higher and price is lower than a restaurant

 

Budgeteuro…tips

 

– Check trenitalia and Italo website in advance if you are planning to travel by train in Italy, special ticket offers are available.
– If you want to save money but you like to enjoy a fresh beer, go to any grocery shop and buy it. Drinking a beer in a park is not forbidden at all. Littering it is!
– Drink tap water, it’s free, it’s eco-friendly, it’s easy to be refilled at any of fountains dotted around every Italian city. And remember to don’t waste plastic bottles! 😉
– Try a Barter! Get free accommodation by exchanging a service or something you have with you! Yes, there is a net of rural guesthouse and B&B that are happy to host you in change of anything but money. Books, clothes, DVD’s…but if you are good in making movies or taking pictures there are many good chances you could be accommodated.  Visit this website or this one (unfortunately the website is only in Italian)

 

Events

concert

Palio di siena  (Folk happening, horse ride) Siena, Italy

Venice carnival  (Folk happening) Venezia

Euro-choccolate  (food happening) Perugia

Vinitaly  (wine expo) Verona

Hydrogen Festival  (Alternative, rock, festival) Piazzola sul Brenta (Padova)

Surfer Joe Summer Festival  (Alternative, rock, surf festival) Livorno

Estate Romana Festival (Roman Summer Festival) – from late June through early September offers various musical events of jazz, rock, and classical music, and film, sport, theater and children’s fun

Roma White Night (Notte Bianca)  in early to mid-September, various events until dawn, plus shops and restaurants, museums stay open while the Roman Notte Bianca stages music, dance and theater events. Expect enormous crowds; buses and trams will be packed to the brim.

Opera at Caracalla, Baths of Caracalla (see Rome/Aventino-Testaccio). If you are in Rome during summertime don’t miss the chance to experience a lyric opera in the truly unique setting of the Caracalla Baths.

Battaglia delle arance (orange battle) (Food fight, Street event) Ivrea

City Sound Milano (rock, alternative, festival) Milano

Dieci giorni suonati (rock, alternative, festival) Vigevano’s castle (milano)

Gods of Metal (metal, rock, festival) Milano

Heineken Jammin’ Festival (rock, alternative, festival) Milano

I-Day Festival (rock, alternative, festival) Bologna

Lucca Summer Festival (rock, music festival) Lucca

Mi Ami Festival (rock, alternative, festival) Milano

Pistoia Blues (blues, music festival) Pistoia

Rock in Roma(rock, alternative, festival) Roma

 

How to get here? What to see? What to eat and drink? Where to sleep? For practical information, click here.

Cool Watch my italian pictures

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