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Portofino, Italy بورتوفينو

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. It is a commune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. – Wikipedia
 portofino_cnt_24nov09_iStock_
Hotels:
  • Hotel Splendido فندق سبلنديدو
  • Eight Hotel Portofino فندق ايت (ثمانيه) بورتوفينو
Splendido

Splendido

My trip to Portofino was a day trip from Santa Margherita – so I stayed in Santa Margherita, went for the day to see the harbor, had lunch in Portofino, and went back at night.

Having said that, these are the things you could do if you’re staying in Portofino…

portofino

Things to do:

  • Day tour or a day trip to/in Portofino and/or Santa Margherita
  • Portofino Taxi Boat
  • See the port of portofino
  • Check out Paraggi Beach
  • See Piazza Martiri dell’Olivett

To Eat:

  • Da Puny
  • Taverna Del Marinaio
  • La Cucina Di Nonna Nina

Yup, that’s pretty much it from my end!

Enjoy 🙂

portofinoHello965

Milano, Italy

My trip to Milano was short and sweet. I stayed for three days only, so I’ll share with you a small itinerary of things you could do in 3 days..

 

Sleep.

  •  Armani Hotel Milano
  • Park Hyatt Milano
  • Hotel Principe Di Savoia
  • Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa Milano
  • Hotel Magna Pars
  • Melia Milano

 

Things to do.

The thing I did most in Milano is shopping! Haha, their shopping is just beautiful. OK, shopping aside, this is what you could do:

  •  Duomo – go to the top and check out the view

  •  Museo del Novecento

  • Milan Walking Tour
  • The Last Supper

  • La Scala Opera
  • Citta Nascosta Milano
  • Cinque Terre day trip from Milan
  • Via Monte Napoleone

  • Castello Sforzesco
  • Lake Garda and Desenzano del Garda Tour by Train from Milan

  • Other Milan Private Tours

  • Milan Segway Tour
  • Milan Biking Tours
  • Verona tour from Milan
  • Milan City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

  • Shopping:
    • Peck
    • Via Della Spiga
    • La Rinascente
    • Corso Como
    • Borsalino
    • Via Manzoni
    • Via Sant’Andrea
    • Via Montenapoleone
    • Corso di Porta Ticinese

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Food.

  •  Armani/ Nobu (Japanese with a Latin twist)
  • IL LUOGO DI AIMO E NADIA (Traditional Tuscan)
  • Giacomo (Seafood)
  • IL TEATRO At Four Seasons (Italian)
  • Sadler (Modern Italian)
  • Ribot (All meat)
  • Cracco (Michelen-star)
  • GIANNINO
  • PIAZZA REPUBBLICA

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Chin Chin,

Hello965

Tuscany, Italy توسكانا

Tuscany (Italian: Toscana, pronounced [tosˈkaːna]) is a region in central Italy.

If you are planning a trip around Tuscany, a car will be required. Some parts of Tuscany can be reached with public transportation but many of the small villages waiting for you to be explored are not.

This is a an itinerary example of how you could do Tuscany, as I always recommend, try to customize the trip as whatever suits you and live your own experience 😉

هالمخطط هو مثال يساعدكم لتخطيط رحلتكم لتوسكانا في ايطاليا, لكن ومثل كل مره أنصح البحث عن الوجهات وتغيير هالمخطط على حسب اهتماماتكم

Arrival city: Florence

Florence

If you plan on staying in Florence, check out our Florence post here to get some ideas. You do not need a car while in Florence, as everything is walking distance, you could rent a car on your last day in Florence.

Pisa

After Florence, your next stop could be Pisa in the morning to explore the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, where you’ll be able to finally admire the famous Leaning Tower up close.

 

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca is very easy to reach both by car as well as train from both Pisa and Florence.

Lucca is also home to several annual events and manifestations that always attract people from everywhere, such as the Summer Festival. Concerts by internationally renowned artists enliven different locations of the city usually on July, while another renowned event, Lucca Comics & Games, usually takes place in late October/early November.

Siena

“A Step back to Medieval Tuscany”. The city is easy to reach and is suitable for a day trip

 

And since you’re around.. it is worth checking out:

Portofino

I stayed at Santa Margherita and went to portofino for the day and to have lunch, then took off to our next destination.

Cinque Terre

I absolutely loved and recommend Cinque Terre. However, for Cinque Terre, you must identify whether you wanna see the 5 Terre’s or only the recommended ones. Checkout our Cineuq Terre post here.

For more details and to have a different mix of this trip, feel free to contact us on info@hello965.com

 

Ciao!

Rome, Italy

Sleep.

  • Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese

  • Suite Sistina

  • Residenza Al Saraceno (Luxury Apartments, excellent location)
  • The Inn at the Spanish Steps
  • Hotel de Russie
  • Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
  • Rose Garden Palace
  • Inn at the Spanish Steps
  • Hotel D’Inghilterra
  • Stendhal Hotel Rome

  • Palazzo Navona Hotel
  • J.K. Place Roma
  • Palazzo Montemartini
  • Rome Times Hotel

Things to do.

  • The Coliseum
  • The Vatican (Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica)
  • The Pantheon
  • Roman Forum
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza Navona
  • Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna)
  • Campo de’Fiori (nice at night too!)
  • Villa Borghese (Beautiful park with a cute pond and nice random things around..)
  • Trastevere (the area) to walk around and eat
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • Tours like: Segway Tour, Bike Tour
 Rome
iPhone Apps of Rome:
– Rome Guide
– Ulmon
– Lonely Planet
– Rome2Go
– When in Rome
– Rome walking tours and maps
– Rome bus guide
– Rome Metro
Food.
Honestly, in Rome, I sat in random restaurants and all of them were great!!! Here are some:
Il-Pagliaccio-462x346

– IL PAGLIACCIO (2 Michelen stars)

 

– Pizza at Pizza Navona

– High-end gourmet: Baby

 

- Aroma

– Aroma

 

Tuna-462x346

– Tuna

 

- GLASS HOSTARIA

                      – GLASS HOSTARIA

–  Flavio al Velavevodetto  (AMAZING PASTA)

– Maccheroni

“They say people live two lives.. One is the current, and second is what they wish they would be living..” I say It’s time to make your second, your first 😉

Hello965

Events in Venice

February

 

  • February 3rd: Carnival of Venice. Carnevale is one of Venice’s biggest traditions and thus one of Venice’s busiest times for tourism. Celebrations include masquerade balls, parades on both land and in the canals, food fairs, children’s carnivals and numerous other activities.

  • February 14th: Valentines Day (Festa di San Valentino). Only in recent years has Italy begun to celebrate the feast day of Saint Valentine with hearts, love letters, and romantic candlelight dinners. Some museums also offer two-for-one admissions for couples on Valentine’s Day.

March

  • Mid- to Late-March: Holy Week and Easter. Tourists, rather than locals, tend to crowd Venice around Easter time. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot take in some lovely pageants, classical music concerts, and Easter services in Venice during Holy Week. Visitors may also wish to attend mass in Saint Mark’s Basilica on Easter.
  • March 19: Festa di San Giuseppe. The Feast Day of Saint Joseph (the father of Jesus) is also known as Father’s Day in Italy.

 April

  • April 25: Festa di San Marco and Liberation Day. April 25 is a busy day on the Venetian calendar. Saint Mark, Venice’s patron saint, is feted on this day with a gondoliers’ regatta, with commemorations of the saint at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and festivities in Saint Mark’s Square.

May

  • May 1: Labor Day and the Festa della Sparesca. Primo Maggio is a national holiday in Italy, so many Venetians head out of town for a long weekend. Those who stay in town get to witness the Festa della Sparesca, a gondolier regatta held at Cavillino in the lagoon.
  • Mid May: Festa della Sensa. The Festa della Sensa, the ceremony which commemorates Venice’s marriage to the sea, takes place on the first Sunday after Ascension Day (40 days after Easter). It also includes a huge fair.
  • Late May: Vogalonga. The Vogalonga, held the weekend following the Sensa festival, is an exciting 32 kilometer rowing race with up to 3000 participants. The course runs from San Marco Basin to the island of Burano and returns through the Grand Canal to finish at the Punta della Dogana.Vogalonga-2015

June

  • Early June (every other year in odd-numbered years): Biennale d’Arte Contemporanea & Architettura. The months-long contemporary arts extravaganza that is the Venice Biennale begins in June every other year during odd-numbered years and runs until November.


August

  • Late August through September: Venice Film Festival. The Venice Film Festival is an annual internationally known film festival which sees a number of stars and starlets grace the gondolas and red carpets of the Canal City. The prize given for the winning film is the Leon d’Oro – the Golden Lion – and past recipients have included Akira Kurosawa, Gillo Pontecorvo, Robert Altman, Ang Lee, and Sofia Coppola. The festival itself takes place on Venice Lido.Venice-Film-Festival-La-Biennale-di-Venezia-entrance
  • Outdoor Movies and Concerts – You’ll find outdoor movies and concerts in several squares around Venice, such as Campo San Polo, look for posters on walls telling about outdoor events.outdoor
    Beaches – If you want a beach escape, the closest place to go is Venice Lido, easily reached by vaporetto from Saint Mark’s Square. While the beaches will be crowded, it will probably be a welcome relief from the heat.

September

  • Opera Season at La Fenice. Venice’s famous opera house La Fenice is a great place to see an opera, even if you are not an opera fan.

October

  • 4th Sunday in October: Venice Marathon. An internationally recognized race, the Venice Marathon starts out on the mainland and concludes in Saint Mark’s Square. For more information, visit the Venice Marathon website.
  • Halloween. Although Halloween is not really an Italian holiday, it’s becoming pretty popular, especially amongst young adults. You’ll see shop windows decorated for Halloween and you may find Halloween costume parties in bars or restaurants and in nightclubs on the Lido.  For something a little creepy you might consider the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour or a visit to San Michele Island, Venice’s cemetery (see Visiting Venice’s Islands).

December

  • Mid-December: Christmas Market in Venice. From now until mid-January, the festive Christmas market in Campo Santo Stefano is filled with stalls selling quality Venetian handicrafts, including nativity crafts, children’s toys, and seasonal treats. Food, drink, and music are also part of the festivities.
  • December 25: Christmas Day. You can expect everything to be closed on Christmas Day as Venetians celebrate the most important religious holiday of the year. Of course, there are many ways to celebrate Christmas in Venice, from attending midnight mass at Saint Mark’s Basilica to visiting Christmas crèches around the city.

 

 

If you want more on venice, check out the hashtag #Hello965Venice on Instagram.

Ciao!

Hello965

Cinque Terre – Italy

cinque_terre map

Here five crazily constructed fishing villages, set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet.

How to get there?
There are airports at Genoa and at Pisa. (by car to Cinque Terre around an hour to an hour 30 minutes)
Personally, my flight was to Florence, as I was planning a road trip and Cinque Terre was one of the stops. So we rented a car and drove to multiple places from Florence. (Florence to Cinque Terre around 2 hours drive)
I do not recommend you to stay at a hotel in Cinque Terre – Find a place near by and go back and forth. Somewhere you could look to reserve a hotel and drive from is Either Portofino or Santa Margherita.
Other options as a base to see Cinque Terre from:
– A day trip from Milan
– A day trip from Florence
– A day trip from Siena
Keep in mind, a car is a good option to travel, but not so great option to drive within the Cinque Terres. So renting a car would make sense if you’re stopping at other places too. Additionally, make sure you check with your hotel if they have private parking spaces where you could park your car for the time you’re there.
Best time to visit? April to October
The best months for walking are May, June, September, and the first half of October. July and August are best avoided if you don’t like the heat
The villages are (As shown in the map above), starting from the northernmost one, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
Monterosso is about 1.5 hours from Genoa by train, and the closest city of any size to the Cinque Terre is La Spezia, just south of Riomaggiore, at about 15 minutes by train.
You could also ‘hike’ from town to town. In order for you to do that you have to carefully read about the trails and how to prepare for the hike and purchase the pass. There are 3 kinds of passes (trail only, trail + trains, trail + trains & ferries).
For just a taste of the trails, I would suggest you do the section from Monterosso to Vernazza. It is 3.5 km long and takes a little under two hours.

Monterrosso

1. Monterosso
Monterosso is the biggest village between the 5 villages (cars driving in the village!) and the landscape isn’t vertical unlike the rest of the villages. Monterosso is made up of an old town, a new town, lots of sandy beach, some larger hotels and a long seaside promenade suitable for strollers too. If you want to avoid stairs and have a more “resort” feel to your vacation then you should stay here.
vernazza

Vernazza

2. Vernazza
Vernazza is the jewel of the Cinque Terre. Its action is at the harbor, where you’ll find restaurants, a bar hanging off the edge of the castle, a breakwater with a promenade, and a tailgate-party street market every Tuesday morning.

For dinner, eat at a recommended seaside restaurant down at the marina. Ask to seat on the lower balcony. If the sea is rough you’ll be cooled off with sea spray.

  • Ristorante Belforte, Via Guidoni, 42, Vernazza. Phone + 39 0187 812222

Corniglia

3. Corniglia
Perched on a rocky spur above the waves, Corniglia is the only village of the five not on the water and the least touristy of the Cinque Terres.

Manarolo

4. Manarolo

In Manarola, go to ‘Punta Buonfiglio” which is a view point on a rocky promontory on the path towards Corniglia (Sentiero Azzurro). For dinner, you should eat at ‘Da Billy’. Bring your walking legs cause it’s up the hill with a great view. They serve seafood. After dinner head down to the local’s hangout with live music most nights:

  • Cantina dello Zio Bramante, Via Renato Birolli 110, Manarola. Phone: +39 0187 920442

Train home, or if it’s open, take the walking path called Via dell’Amore. Walking the moonlit path above the swirling ocean is AMAZING.

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

5. Riomaggiore
The most southern village of the five Cinque Terre. Have lunch or dinner at ‘La Lanterna‘. If you’re staying for long maybe you could head to the beach for a morning swim.
Finally, Be sure to “validate” your train tickets by inserting it into the yellow machine on your day of travel or you could risk a fine.
To be honest, this is one of the few trips where I just hopped on a train, got out, walked randomly, back on a train and onto the next destination!! It wasn’t planned at all. Everything we saw was beautiful, and everywhere we ate was delicious!! Feel free to share your Cinque Terre experience with us!
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Cheers,
Hello965 team
PS. all photos in this post are not mine except one. I can’t find any of my other Cinque Terre photos so I’m using talented photographer’s captures – thankyou! 🙂