We travel to experience remarkable things. At Trauttmansdorff Castle in Italy’s South Tyrol you get three in one. For starters there is the castle itself. Once the favorite retreat of Austrian Empress Elizabeth – when Austria owned northern Italy (hence the Germanic name) – the castle is now a Touriseum.
The Italian region of Liguria is not very big, but it contains one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations – the villages of the Cinque Terre. Not only that, towns further toward the French border are common stops for smaller cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean, and the Ligurian capital is a major cruise port in Italy. With all of that in mind, then, let’s take a look at some of the places in Liguria that you can add to your Italy itinerary.
Italy is well-known both for its fine food and its ability to celebrate just about anything with a festival. Combine the two and you’ve got a long list of diverse, excellent, and often quirky food festivals in Italy. Most of the time, these festivals coincide with the harvest season for whatever food is being honored, but sometimes the food isn’t a specific ingredient but rather a particular dish. Such is the case with the risotto festival in the Piedmont town of Sessame, held every May.
Even those of us who don’t have a deep passion for the sport of cycling have likely heard of the Tour de France, but did you know that Italy has its own major grand tour? The Giro d’Italia, or “Tour of Italy,” races through Italy every May for three weeks. It’s very similar to France’s big race, with the major exception that it takes place in Italy instead. If you’re planning a trip to Italy in May, it’s important to be aware of the Giro d’Italia’s route, whether you want to see the race or you’d rather avoid it.
One look at Italy on a map, jutting as it does into the water and surrounded as it is by so much sea, and it’s not long before you think, “Hey, let’s go on a cruise around Italy!” Mediterranean cruises often include Italian ports on their itineraries (along with other stops in other countries), and Italy’s cruise ports all offer unique benefits as well as a few challenges. Before you board the boat, let’s go over a few of the things you’ll need to know about seeing Italy by cruise ship.
Did you know that 75% of all popes have come from Italy? In fact, Pope Francis is the first ever pope to come from South America. Get caught up on the church’s new leader and what you need to know about the Vatican City.