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14 November 2019

5 Reasons Wedding in Italy, on Amalfi Coast, Is Right for You

Wedding in Italy on Amalfi Coast, unforgettable experience
Wedding in Italy on Amalfi Coast is an unforgettable experience

Unforgettable Experience of the Wedding in Italy

It happened late in the evening on the first day of their wedding in Italy. The celebration full of Italian ceremonies and curious traditional dances flew away quickly. The menu of the wedding dinner in an intimate restaurant was simply delicious. The owners and the chief treated them as a regal court. The guests knew about the proverbial cordiality of the locals. But they did not expect they will be accepted as the best friends of this family.
And now, after it, the noisy crowd of the newlyweds and their friends was accommodated on a spectacular terrace of the hotel.
The view was extraordinary. In front of their eyes was the Tyrrhenian sea illuminated by the moon and the shadowed cliffs that framed it. Some windows of the houses climbing the mountain still were bright. All this seemed to be covered by the infinity of the black sky. Enchanted by the view, the newlyweds forgot about everything around them for a moment. When they looked back on the others, they could see that everybody admired silently this miracle of the Creation.
Suddenly a melodic song turned them back to the feast…
They say, organize their wedding in Italy was really the best decision they could take to have an unforgettable experience and lifelong memories.

Results of a Survey About the Wedding on the Amalfi Coast

This story of the customer experience introduces us to the results of a survey I launched some time ago asking many real persons, Italians and not, to answer this question:
Imagine you plan a wedding, a honeymoon, a vows renewal feast. Your wedding planner offers you Amalfi Coast as a destination. What will you answer and why?
As you can see, I did not ask “why do you want to go there?” meaning “yes”. I wanted they choose themselves, yes or not.
Result: All the answers were “Yes”.
Now, about the reasons. All the persons who answered my question, ALL, mentioned the same reasons for their “Yes”. Here are they:
  1. Curiosity: “I never visited Amalfi Coast but I know it’s a fantastic place. All my friends say so.”
  2. Enchanting beauty: “Evergreen Paradise on Earth, ever flowering place, fabulous cliffs and nature, the beauty of the villages and ravishing sea”
  3. Always good climate, possibility to swim even in winter. (it’s true, there are bays where the water is warm even in the coldest periods).
  4. Excellent food and wines (curious is that it say all Italians, too)
  5. Cordiality of the residents.

Scientists Agree With The Opinion of the Persons

If you are looking for a destination for your wedding abroad, Italy is surely the first country to consider. You’ll find open European mentality and literally infinite offers of the landscapes and scenarios suitable for any, even the most eccentric dream event. Luxury travel or a budget solution, wedding planners have a wide selection of locations to choose from or to combine to create a fantastic honeymoon journey.
Imagine that about 80% of weddings in Italy are celebrated by couples that come from other countries. Most of them are from the UK, US, Australia, Germania and Canada (research of Centro Studi Turistici Firenze). It’s Interesting that it is a favorite destination for luxury travel and events, too. There is surely a reason for this preference.

What is the Best Period for Your Feast

Even if you can find beautiful places all over Italy, the most spectacular is probably the Amalfi Coast. The warm climate and generally good weather all year round allow being sure about the excellent experience even if your event can’t be moved to a better season.
Generally, it is always better to avoid November if you plan your wedding in Italy because it’s the rainiest month of the year. Then, July and August are the hottest and the busiest two. The absolutely best period is from the middle of September to the end of October but if you want to be immersed in the ocean of flowers, your best choice is from the beginning of April when the wisteria covers many houses and the end of May/ beginning of June.

One More Idea To Make Your Wedding Unforgettable

A relatively new possibility to add a taste of the historical romance to your feast is to invite one or more recreational groups that will color the just medieval environment of the on Amalfi Coast with their very interesting performances. It’s easy to feel like Romeo and Juliet in any region in Italy today.
Civil or religious, unformal or with a traditional undertone, in any case, you can find something interesting to make your wedding in Italy unforgettable and unique. This Paradise on Earth and all its friendly inhabitants will enjoy of all the heart the very best feast of your life. 

Centro Studi Turistici Firenze  http://centrostudituristicifirenze.it/

Meteo https://www.ilmeteo.it/meteo/Costiera+amalfitana

We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.

Gardens to Visit in Spring in Italian Alps: Burcina

If you are looking for a romantic vacation, you have to visit Italy in spring.
Spring months in the Alpine regions of North Italy open to a nature lover an infinite world of unexpected beauty: oceans of blooming flowers. This period lasts more than one can imagine because of the heights above sea level where different species grow.
Generally, it's a period from the beginning of April in Sud for Wisterias, to Narcissus fields, Azaleas, Roses, Rhododendrons in May, to Laburnum or pastures in bloom in June or July.
Residents that love hiking and walks in the mountains impatiently wait for these events, and tell one other about the beginning of the blooming periods.
There are even special Facebook groups where is possible to see photos of those who have just visited meadows with particular species of wildflowers.

Where To Find Rhododendrons

One of the showiest is, without any doubt, the flourishing period of Rhododendrons. There are different places where you can see one or maybe some plants, but for your romantic trip consider these parks:
1/ Rhododendrons in Burcina park (not far from Biella), that is situating on a hill 570 to 829 m above sea level. Flourishing in the middle of May.
2/ Second park is Conca dei Rododendri in Oasi  Zegna (Trivero). It is higher than Burcina, about 900 m above sea level, and the best period for a visit is at the beginning of June.
3/ Than, there are places in Aosta Valley, 1700 m and more above sea level, where you can see rhododendron flowers in July (near Champoluc).
Here we will discuss the showiest species growing in the Biella region (Biella and Pollone). The town is situated just between Turin and Milan and it's possible to come here by train (1 hour from Turin, €7 train ticket, change in Santhia; €9,50 train ticket from Milan, change in Novara).

Azaleas, The First Beauties to Visit

This plant is not so high as rhododendron and begins it’s blooming just at the end of April. You can see it everywhere in Biella and in the region. I wanted to collect all the colors for my gallery but they are not very numerous as you see.
To have more examples in my collection, I went to Burcina park for the first time on 2019-05-01 this year. Believe me, you will envy yourself to visit Italy in spring and will literally sing the gratitude verses to the Creator.

Places of Interest in Burcina Park

This park was created by the owners of this property in the XIX-XX century and has different points of attraction. There are many rare plants like sequoias and even "death three" there. But most visitors see only rhododendrons in this period.
Another incredible discovery waits for those who are interested in the prehistoric period of the humanity: the highest point of the hill was a village from about 2200 to 450 century BC, and there are tables telling this story there. Ceramics and other things found during the excavations are in the Museum of the Territory in Biella.
When you visit Italy in spring and the weather is so fantastic, it's possible to see Turin and the mountains from the top of the hill. Well, not exactly, but the highest picks are really visible.
It was the first warm day after a very cold April and everybody who had this possibility arrived to enjoy the sun in the park as you can see in the photo.
On the slope of the hill, there is a little restaurant (Trattoria Burcina) where the visitors can taste local specialties. But it's necessary to call them at least one day before the visit to book because they are not open every day and have many admirers.
There is a bar not too far from the rhododendrons, too.

Rhododendrons of Burcina

To enjoy the full bloom of rhododendrons, I had to come about a week later in the park. But the weather was very cold and rainy in the spring period this year so that we almost lose the show. The last photos of this park are from 2019-05-22 when many flowers were just withered.
The flowers of rhododendron are very big and the colors are numerous. There are even some very rare varieties there in this park. You have the feeling you are in paradise when you see that marvel of the creation: flowers, birds, infinite green space in front of you.
Finally, if you want to listen to the chants of the birds at that moment, you can watch my video on Facebook.
The other park, Conca dei Rododendri in Oasi  Zegna (Trivero), presents the best experience in the last week of May and the first week of June. The park is modern and there are many rhododendrons growing along the road.
The village, Trivero, has all the necessary commodities for tourists and is an excellent place for those who like not very demanding excursions in the mountains because the paths are mostly easy and well organized.
During these walks, you can enjoy a great choice of craft beers near the park and fresh cheeses sold by the farmers.
Still life and romantic environment - this is what you find here in spring.
 ============== We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.

Magic Italian White Wine of Morainic Amphitheater of Ivrea

Italian wines are one of the most popular tourist attractions in this beautiful and warm country. There are hundreds and maybe thousands of varieties of wines, and the number of them grows every year. The wines are different in every region but they are exquisite and really deserve deviations from the main itinerary and even special tours. This is the reason, why a thoughtful traveler pays attention to the local wines when he/she visits Italy.

What Vines Grow in Morainic Amphitheater

Not too far from Turin, there is an interesting place called Morainic Amphitheater of Ivrea. It’s a “dish” an ancient glacier left when it retired back to the Mont Blanc millions and millions of years ago.
Sides of this “dish” have optimal exposure for a very particular vine, Erbaluce di Caluso that is the protagonist of the zone.

Italian White Wine of Morainic Amphitheater of Ivrea
Erbaluce di Caluso - Italian White Wine of Morainic Amphitheater of Ivrea
This vine has some peculiarities. The grapes have a thick peel and they are very suitable for aging. The vignerons can produce three categories of Italian wine from Erbaluce di Caluso: still, sparkling, and very interesting passito. This last category needs some words to understand what is it about if you did not taste it before. Could you imagine a dry wine that is sweet like a liqueur? This is passito that contains more than 29% of natural sugar of the grapes.

Some Historical Notes About Italian Wines

It’s generally recognized that the vines arrived in Italy with Greeks and Phoenicians at the beginning of the I millennium BC. First Merchants and colonizers later brought vines in their emporiums and towns because they were a part of their culture. But the populations of North Italy probably began to cultivate vines only after the Roman conquest.
The first known documents about Italian wines here refer to passito and are from about 1200 AD. Monks discovered that the grapes left to dry after the harvest in the attics of the buildings could produce excellent and long-lasting wine. It can be aged for years and even decades, and it does not perish.
One of the sommeliers told me they opened a bottle of 60 years old passito, and it still had excellent taste.  

Passito di Erbaluce di Caluso - Italian White Wine
Passito di Erbaluce di Caluso - Italian White Wine

Where to Taste Italian Wines

I’ll disclose you a very great place where you can taste all the varieties produced from the vine Erbaluce di Caluso. It is situated not far from the lake Viverone and is a headquarter of the association of the vignerons of this zone, Cantina Sociale Della Serra.

Erbaluce di Caluso - Italian White Wine
Erbaluce di Caluso - Italian White Wine
Sometimes they organize open door events, and, on these occasions, they are open even Sundays. The tasting is free and the members of the association will explain everything about their wines to you, but it’s supposed the visitors will purchase something even because they need our help to continue their work.
The tastings are welcome but it’s a good rule to call them before you visit it. Not many cellars allow you to taste their Italian wines for free. This cellar is a happy exception.

A Short Tour of Erbaluce di Caluso Cellar

I was very happy to have the president of the association as my guide this day. Thanks to him I could touch the most intimate notes of the soul of Italian white wine Erbaluce di Caluso, not only taste the wines. He is an excellent storyteller and patiently answered all my questions.

Erbaluce di Caluso – Italian White Wine
Every autumn, the vignerons take in this cellar about 12.000 tons of grapes. There are all three categories of wine I just mentioned here. And I appreciated very high the possibility to taste all of the kinds of wine produced from the same plant, Erbaluce di Caluso.
By the way, in the gallery of the photos, in the cellar of the superior category, you can see a great secret: amphorae. Here new wine is growing. The aging of the Italian wines is normally in the steel containers or in the barrels. If you visit the cellar 3-4 years after me, you probably will taste the wine from the amphoras, too.

Why Prefer Mono-Vine Tastings

When you visit tastings where come vignerons from all the country, you have a mix of tastes in the mouth. And the stories they tell you are very different and you maybe forget who told you this or that story. Here, all the event was dedicated only to one of them, Queen of the wines of this zone.
If we want to understand better the wine, these events can ad understanding of the wine we want to follow.

What to Visit Near the Cellar

Many tourists visit the big lake, Viverone, every year. Even residents of Turin say it’s their local lake because it’s only about one hour from the capital of Piedmont. But when I asked where is the road to the cellar, nobody could help me.
Because it's a zone for relaxation, you can find here many little restaurants and even some high-level locals. Very interesting is an ice-cream shop where is possible to eat enjoying the view on the lake, El Marghè.
For those who love prehistoric archeological remains and for the families with children, lake Viverone is the crib of the Villanovan culture. The prehistoric pile dwellings of the Alps were found here, and the site is visitable for tourists.


We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.

Reasons Italian Wine Lovers Visit North Italy

Surveys that all the most famous travel magazines publish every year confirm: Italy is among the preferred countries of tourists from all over the world. Most of these visitors are Italian Wine Lovers.
The second point you can notice when you read reports of those magazines is that the top destinations of the visits remain normally the same, year after year.
This preference is not correct and deprives tourists, and especially Italian Wine Lovers, of many experiences other regions can offer. I want to mention only 10 reasons to organize a journey in two of them, Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta. Ad them in your travel plans if you want to enjoy an excellent relaxing vacation and unique local Italian wines.

View from the Fort of Bard
If you are accustomed to seeing enormous buildings of Rome and the infinite cultural heritage of Campania, north of Italy could seem not very interesting and not so impressive to you. But, like in other places, it's possible to discover hidden treasures here, too. They are maybe not so monumental or not so publicized like the Greek, Etruscan and Roman remain, but they are the testimonials of the not less dramatic events and extreme lifestyle you will learn to love.
Castles and residences with parks (many of them visitable) adorn this territory. Life of farmers and breeders is represented in the expositions of many little museums you can find in many villages.

The Italian High Altitude Wines

One of the first impressions that remain in the memory is just infinite vineyards you see along your road. If you do not think about it, you don't expect to find them in the Alps, but the miracle of this paradise on the Earth is that these southern plants find excellent conditions to grow here. They are protected by Mont Blanc and other mountains from the cold winds, the soil is rich in minerals and the diurnal-nocturnal changes of the temperatures add particular flavors to the wines produced in this zone.

Cave Mont Blanc  in Pavillon of the Skyway
It's really difficult to believe but you will find a producer of wine even in the Pavillon of the Skyway Funivie Monte Bianco at 2173 m above the sea level. You can taste this extra brut high altitude sparkling wine Cuvee des Guides that have particular characteristics donated them by the altitude, atmospheric pressure, and processing.
In the Valle, the conditions of the production are not so extreme but the vineyards reach 1200 m of altitude. The only native vintage is Prié Blanc but the vignerons of the Valle re-discover other vintages and the offer of excellent mountain wines is always more interesting.

The Wines of the Morainic Amphitheater

The territory of the morainic amphitheater of Ivrea is the motherland for different high-quality wines, DOC and DOCG status. The two "royalties" are Erbaluce (white) and Nebbiolo (red) grape varieties.
There are three technologies of winemaking for white wine: still, sparkling and passito, everyone has wines with prestigious awards. And the maximum grade of recognition, DOCG, has Erbaluce di Caluso. In the historical village of Caluso, you can participate in a wine feast and prize contests in honor of nymph Albaluce. This feast is organized in the first week of September.

Italian Wine Erbaluce di Caluso Tasting in Cantina della Serra
Italian Wine Erbaluce di Caluso Tasting in Cantina della Serra
Red wine is made from the Nebbiolo vintage and the most appreciated is the Carema. The village of Carema is situated just on the border with Valle D'Aosta region in a little natural "amphitheater" with the vines that grow on the walls of it. The municipality created a very spectacular "path among the vines" where you can have a nice walk among the vineyards and admire the panoramic view of all the zone. This walk finishes in the cave of the Carema wine producers (Cantina Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema) to taste it and to purchase some bottles.

We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

Аmalfi Coast in Italy is the most precious gem in the crown composed by the fabulous Paradises on Earth Italy is so rich on. Technically, the Sorrento peninsula has two very different parts: Sorrento and Amalfi coast but the tourists “integrate” them in one.
They say Jesus Christ when he went down from Heaven in Campania (region of Italy with the capital Naples) was so much impressed by the beauty of this incredibly blooming land that tears rolled out from his eyes. “Lacrima Cristi” (Christ’s Tear), a very special wine that contains 21 minerals, remembers today this touching story.
From our human perspective, we appreciate the mild and generally warm climate of the Amalfi Coast and a rainbow of cultural offers and recreational possibilities of Campania.

How to Correctly Organize Your Vacation on Amalfi Coast

1 Secret: 9 Months of Spring a Year

Campania has a particular climate that is generally milder and warmer than in other provinces of Italy. But Amalfi Coast enjoys more levels of natural protection: a little mountain range, Monti Lattari, that arrives at 4593,176 ft (ca. 1,400 km) above sea level, first, and the very narrow shoreline.
This is why the Amalfi Coast has spring conditions year long. In winter, when the weather is cold and rainy 20-30 km far from there, Sorrento, Amalfi, and little coastal villages can enjoy a sunny day. The air is often so warm that people wear t-shirts and go swimming in January and February.

When the mountains are mud brown everywhere else, all the coasts can gift you green colors and many flowers. You can found even tomatoes on the tomato trees during your outings.

Generally, when you plan your trip, it is better to avoid two summer months (July and August when temperatures can easily overcome 105 °F (ca. 41 °C)) and November that is real winter in the region.

Finished the period of rains (November), spring turns back in Campania.

But the very best period in the mid of September – October. The temperature maintains up to 86 °F (ca. 30 °C). The rains at the beginning of September are just finished and the sea is warm. The tourists are not so numerous and the Italians just turned to work after their summer escape. So, if you prefer to have ideal conditions during your vacation plan to visit the Amalfi coast.

2 Secret: Offseason Travel to the Amalfi Coast, Italy

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

Amalfi Coast - 7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

Imagine Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri. These Italian tourist attractions are among the literally beaten-to-the-pulp ones. Fortunately, most tourists use only a few streets and do not go out of them. Purchase a city map and choose an alternative itinerary if you can’t avoid the visit in the busy hours or days.

Do not visit Naples, Pompeii, Vesuvius, etc
  • On Christmas/ New Year period. Big cities are so full that it’s impossible to walk in the streets.
  • Try to avoid days or hours when cruise ships are too active. In Naples, 6 and more of the biggest cruise ships can be in the harbor at the same time. All the companies send buses with tourists to Vesuvius and Pompeii. The best decision is to come when the site opens because they arrive at about 11 AM.
  • In July and August when the sun is too hard, as just said before. Nothing can protect you from the rays of the sun. And, in Pompeii, the dust of the eruption rises in the air under the feet of hundreds of thousands of persons, and you have to inhale it so as the poor Romans did.

3 Secret: Save Money Visiting Museums

Everybody who comes on Amalfi Coast wants to visit at least the most famous tourist attractions that are Pompeii, Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Caserta and the Amphitheater of Spartacus (Capua) in the last years.
Many state museums have free entrance every first Sunday of the month (to control before you go!). So, you have to stay the first Sunday here and save at least 10-20 euros pp on tickets. In addition, consider purchasing a Campania Arte card that allows you to pay less in some museums. Carefully read the list of the museums they offer because not all of them could interest you.
For example, visit Vesuvius and Herculaneum in one day. €20 Vesuvius (bus+crater) + €11 Herculaneum =31 pp and Pompeii another day (€15) because the excavated area is too large (108 acres) and there are many open houses now.
The Campania Artecard allows you to visit one site for free, and others with a discount.

By the way, guides that offer their service in the crater of Vesuvius are free even if they pretend to be paid.

So, if you plan to visit the Archeological Museum of Naples or Museum Capodimonte, it’s better to go to Naples on the first Sunday of the month. Use the three days Campania Artecard to visit Vesuvius, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.

4 Secret: Choose Strategic Position on the Amalfi Coast

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

  • Sorrento coast: When you plan to book your accommodation, choose a town or a village where you can arrive with the regional train Circumvesuviana (a trait from Scrajo to Sorrento). This train from Naples arrives in Sorrento and passes every day at least one time in an hour. It’s the best way to reach the coast. The price of the ticket is up to €3
  • Amalfi Coast: From the other side of the peninsula, there are Vietri and Raito with their long sandy beaches. You can easily arrive in Salerno and in other cities by bus, by train or by foot from there.

The Best Strategic Place to Stay in Campania

The absolutely best strategic solution for a long-term vacation is Salerno. It’s a relatively big town (134,000 inhabitants) with many possibilities of entertainment including the local theater. The prices for the services are reasonable and the criminal situation is calm.

Salerno has excellent connections with all the places of interest where you can arrive in a maximum of one hour: Naples, Caserta, Amalfi coast, islands (in summer) and Paestum.

Salerno has sandy beaches, too.

The difference from the Amalfi Coast (that begins in Vietri, 2 km north) is the climate. It is not so warm.

You can organize one-day excursions in many places from Salerno. Visit Messina, Reggio Calabria and Palermo by train. The first train arrives in Palermo at 10 in the morning and you have to stay than overnight there to have more time for a visit. Traveling by the night train, you can organize a one-day excursion even in Venezia.

When You Stay on the Amalfi Coast

5 secret: Hidden Treasures of Amalfi Coast

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

Amalfi Coast has surprisingly many hidden treasures worth to be mentioned as World Heritage Sites. Some examples of them are

  • the caved in the rock in the VI century basilica Santa Maria de Olearia in Maiori that is adorned with amazing original frescos,
  • the second large in Italy benedictine cluster Badia della SS Trinità in Cava dei Tirreni,
  • sanctuary of Maria Santissima Avvocata that is situating on the mount over the Tyrrhenian sea and is the place of the pilgrimages of believers and hikers. Wonderful, tremendous and terrific views when the weather is sunny.
  • Museum of the paper in Amalfi where you can see an authentic paper fabric last survived the vicissitudes of the hard life and where you can create your own sheet of paper, too.
  • Vallone delle Ferriere near Amalfi that is a real miracle of nature with its fantastic cascades

6 Secret:  The Life on the Mountains

Hikers can discover a “parallel life” on the mountains that cover Amalfi Coast from the other world. It is populated by shepherds with their goats and dogs. It’s a surprising organization where everybody knows own place and what to do in any situation.

Mules are the heroes of this strange world. Life in the mountains is impossible without these incredible “soldiers”. They only can arrive everywhere and do everything. Even helicopters can’t arrive where the mules can. Mules are passionate workers and do not understand those who don’t work. Don’t disturb them with your hugs and love. They don’t appreciate it.

Go down after a day you pass on the mountains and enjoy the hospitality of mountaineers and the products they can offer you before you go swimming or have your meal in one of the little family-run restaurants.

7 secret: Year-Long Swimming Possibility

This is the most fascinating part of the climate conditions of Amalfi Coast. The temperature of the water in the sea near the river is not very cold even in winter so that it’s possible to swim in January. I can’t explain this phenomenon. You will not see anybody swimming in Salerno or in Vietri, for example. But you can see persons swimming and sunbathing at the beach in the bays and in coves near Amalfi, near Sorrento.

Local Cuisine is Your Reward After a Day of Explorations

7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

Capri - 7 Secrets of the Magic Amalfi Coast You Need to Know

This is not a secret but it’s impossible to speak about the Amalfi Coast and did not mention its culinary scene. Learn to appreciate its simplicity and genuineness. Remember mountaineers with their animals who make dairy products and fishers who go out in the sea early in the morning to procure fresh fish and seafood for the restaurants in the fishing villages.

This cuisine is not about artisanal recipes. The plates are a result of centuries-long tradition and hardly undergo changes even if every woman could have her own variations.

Visit pizzeria, trattorie, osterie that are far from the main tourist roads and enjoy your Amalfi Coast till through and through.

Read More about Amalfi Coast in this other blog Vacation and Travel Talk


We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.
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