Shermans Travel » Blog » Italy
I don’t know about you, but for anyone who has seen The Little Mermaid, you know how cool grottoes can be; with mysterious passages, dark corners, abstract rock formations, and the sound of water trickling down stalactites, who wouldn’t want to play explorer in these caves for a day? Off the coast of Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia, sits Neptune’s Grotto (Grotta di Nettuno). Named after the Roman god of the sea, this beautifully lit grotto is one of Italy’s most magical legends and a top tourist attraction. Read more
When returning from any big trip (you know, the kind that takes months of planning and several disappointed looks at your bank statement), I find it’s often the smallest of activities that is the most meaningful. And when I think of Venice, of course I think of the canals and the gondolas and the labyrinth of streets that get you hopelessly (but romantically) lost. (Seriously, Venice is gorgeous. Enough cannot be said about that.) But these are never my first thoughts. Read more
Spring has finally sprung and with beautiful weather comes the welcome excuse to get outside, just in time for Mother’s Day! Before you get mom any ordinary plant, check out our top ten list of the most beautiful gardens around the world for some inspiration. Take mom along for the day or make a future getaway out of these. Happy Mother’s Day! Read more
If you haven’t tasted a glass of Barolo, you haven’t lived; after all, it’s not called “the King of Wines” for nothing. Sure, you’ve probably scoffed at the triple-digit prices on restaurant menus in the U.S., but have a sip of a properly aged Barolo, and it will entirely change your outlook on red wines. Here’s a little background about the grape and things to do in the grape’s home, the Piedmont region. Read more
If you’ve already been to Italy, chances are you’ve seen the big three: Rome, Florence and Venice (and perhaps even Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast). If you plan to return, as most travelers do, I suggest you visit one of Italy’s lesser-known regions: Emilia Romagna. Bordered by the Adriatic to the east and the Apennine Mountains to the west, this food-centric north-central region is anchored by the bustling university city of Bologna (shown at right) and is the home of not only Motor Valley (where Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Ducatis, and other sexy Italian sports cars are made), but also such Italian culinary treats as tortellini, Bolognese sauce, mortadella, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and balsamic vinegar.
In other words, Emilia Romagna’s got fast cars and slow food, which makes it molto delicioso! Read more
While we’d all love to travel more than we do, silly things like money, jobs, children, and crippling anxiety keep us trapped in one place (often our homes that are filled with old newspapers). Thankfully, modern technology allows us to experience the world more easily than ever before. We can Skype with our friends on other continents, tour museums on our phones, and experience just about anything online. But what if you want to explore other cultures and places more tangibly and can’t hop around the globe like Indiana Jones? Well, if you have space in your yard (and don’t mind your home resembling the SkyMall Tuesday headquarters), then SkyMall has everything you need to bring the world to you. Rather than break the bank and exhaust all of your vacation days on constant travel, why not surround create a menagerie of handsome lawn sculptures that allows you to live internationally without ever leaving your house? Read more
We’d love if every cruise we took could be aboard a luxury liner like the Queen Elizabeth, but budget constraints normally keep us from splurging on all that opulence and personal service. However, these amazing, limited time fares – up to 60 percent off – on Cunard’s fall Mediterranean sailings mean you don’t have to sacrifice savings for style.
The best value is the 10-day Mediterranean Moments, where inside cabins start at $699, or about $70/day; the cruise goes from Rome to Southampton and makes calls in Italy, Monaco, and Spain. Other itineraries we love range from the 12-day Holy Land Explorer (Rome to Venice, with stops in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt) from $899, to the 12-day Pearls of the Black Sea (Venice to Athens, with stops in the Greek Islands, Turkey, and Ukraine) from $1,299. Even better: all sale fares also include an onboard credit of $100-$300, depending on cabin class.
To give you some perspective, these fares are comparable to similar itineraries currently on offer from Royal Caribbean, which don’t include Cunard’s luxury perks like white-glove service and formal evenings. Just be warned that all sailings with the exception of the 12-day Greek Isles and Turkish Splendours start and end in different ports, and buying two one-way flights may increase the cost of your airfare. You’ll also have to hurry, as the sale ends August 6! Find all the details at www.cunard.com/sale.
Immerse yourself in Roman luxury this fall for $155 to $210 per night. This offer from the Artemide Hotel – ranked by TripAdvsiror.com readers as one of the top 10 best hotels (out of 1,279) in Rome – reduces current rates by 40%, a savings of $190 per night.
Stay at this rate on select dates in November and December in a Double Room with a double bed, a flat-screen satellite TV, a mini-bar stocked with complimentary beverages and refreshments, and soundproofed walls.
The hotel’s central location in the lively Via Nazionale neighborhood makes it an ideal launching pad for visiting the many famous sites that Rome has to offer. The iconic Colosseum, the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, the Termini Train Station, and many other popular attractions are within a ten minute walk from the hotel lobby.
While the hotel’s facade blends right in to the nearby historic architecture, inside you’ll find a slew of modern amenities that many hotels in Italy lack. Enjoy complimentary access to a fitness center and sauna, an onsite coffee bar and restaurant, and a spacious roof terrace bar with sweeping views of the nearby Vatican. The hotel staff will also provide you with welcome beverages upon arrival.
To book this offer, visit the Artemide Hotel’s website for online reservations and inquiries.
Yes, there are balconies at Palazzo Victoria, the recently opened 71-room luxury hotel in Verona, Italy, the city famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s enduringly romantic Romeo & Juliet. Located in northern Italy’s Veneto region, about halfway between Venice and Milan, Verona is a wonderful spot to spend a night or two absorbing the literary legacy of the Capulets and Montagues (said to be inspired by actual families and a real young couple – read on for details) as well as a revolving calendar of operas and concerts in the striking Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater that dates to the 1st century.
Venice is one of my favorite places (I just returned from my 8th visit), but trying to figure out where to stay in this romantic maze of 117 islands and 409 bridges can be frustrating. There are so many options – this small city of 60,000 residents has several hundred hotels to cater to its estimated 15 million-plus annual visitors – it can make your head spin. Over the years, I have sampled about a dozen properties and here are five of my top picks that offer a terrific mix of location, service, and amenities – and range in price from about $150/night to $579/night.
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