Monday April 21, 2014
Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of The Last Supper in Milan is one of the most difficult sites in Italy to book. Only 25 people at a time are allowed entrance, with viewing time of 15 minutes, and reservations are required. Tickets can be booked up to 2 months in advance but they sell out quickly. Our affiliate Select Italy currently sells Last Supper Tickets online in US dollars that include a $5 gift certificate. Dates and times are limited so if you find one that works for you, it's best to book it right away.
For more information and other companies that sell tickets, see Last Supper Visiting Information.
Sunday April 20, 2014
Pasquetta, or little Easter, is a national holiday in Italy that's celebrated on the day after Easter. On Paquetta Italians traditionally head to the countryside for a picnic. Top sites and museums are usually open, except those normally closed on Mondays. If you're in a city most stores and some restaurants will be closed but you may find concerts, dances, or unusual games like cheese-rolling, done in the Umbria town of Panicale. See Easter in Italy for more about Pasquetta and cheese-rolling.
In 2014, Little Easter falls on April 21, which is also the day Rome celebrates its birthday. So if you're in Rome that day, you'll find lots going on. The day usually concludes with a fireworks display from Castel Sant' Angelo near the Vatican and Tiber River. See April Events in Rome.
Monday April 14, 2014
Taking cooking classes in Italy is very popular but how about taking a painting class in the country known for its great art? You can learn to paint on your Italian vacation at La Goccia Bed and Art Studio, in a small hill town in the countryside south of Bologna. Courses, from 2 to 6 days, are designed for 1 or 2 people and include accommodation in a comfortable bedroom in the studio, breakfast, and use of the kitchen. Irma, the instructor, is offering a 10% discount for classes in June or September - see details or sign up at Italian Decor Art Classes.
More Classes: Learn to Cook in Italy
Italian Decor Art photo © by James Martin
Wednesday April 9, 2014
Giovinazzo, just north of Bari on the coast of southern Italy's Puglia region, is a great place to experience local life. Giovinazzo has a a small medieval center, a large and lively main square ringed with cafes with a park in the center, and a fishing port where you can watch the fishermen bring in their daily catch. There are several good restaurants where you can eat fresh fish and local specialties. The town is on the rail line and it's easy to visit Bari, Trani, and other seaside towns by train. If you have a car, you can explore inland towns too.
You can live like a local by staying in a vacation apartment such as the Duchess Sea House, on the top floor of the historic Palazzo Ducale, overlooking the Cathedral and sea. Giovinazzo is best visited in spring or fall but especially avoid August, when the town sees big crowds. For more information and photos, see A Look at Giovinazzo.
Photo of Giovinazzo Cathedral from terrace of Duchess Sea House by Martha Bakerjian