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In the Land of Prosecco

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It took many years to go through all the bureaucratic procedures, but finally the Conegliano Veneto and Valdobbiadene hills located in the province of Treviso world famous for the production of Prosecco have been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO during its 43th session that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan. But from the very beginning let’s clarify one thing to avoid any misunderstanding. This title was not given to the wine, but to the picturesque hilly territory where it is produced: a narrow strip of land of about 30 km long with the approximate altitude of 150-300 m extended across 15 municipalities. The hard work of man done on these hills which morphology was not really suitable for the vineyard resulted into one of the most important Italian and world-famous wine production regions. A beautiful mosaic of the vineyards alternating with charming woods prospering here thanks to the rich in minerals alluvial soil combined with favorable client deserves admiration from the aesthetic viewpoint too.

 

 

The Prosecco production has a very strict regulation that requires the use of 85% of the Glera grapes grown locally mixed with the native ones such as Verdiso, Bianchetta and Perera, or with Pinot and Chardonnay. Obviously all of the grapes should be grown in this specific area to allow the wine to be labeled Prosecco.

The annual production capacity of the local wineries is 453 million bottles of Prosecco most of which is exported to other countries. Obviously the price of land in this area is very high. Some lots cost over 1 million euros per hectare!

One of the most antique Italian Wine Riads in this case related to Prosecco winds across this picturesque territory for about 120 km. Doing it you will not just enjoy discovering unique and very peculiar places, but you will have a chance to taste and buy high-quality wines as well as home-made cold-cuts, cheeses, honey and not only for reasonable prices. It’s quite remarkable that some foreigners come to this area to specifically purchase fine wines that they get shipped by the wineries to their home countries.

 

 

We cannot avoid mentioning one very curious place you may want to visit on the way. That is an antique farmhouse called Osteria senz’oste (that means Osteria without the host) where you can eat serving yourself and then pay what you think is right for what you have taken. This calculation you do by yourself as well! Doing la Strada del Prosecco you will have fun and unique gastronomic experience, no doubt. The best way to enjoy this trip is using our car service with an experienced driver or driver guide who will take care of your logistics leaving you to have maximum satisfaction from this land of stunning views and fine wines.

“I built for myself a small, but decent and noble house on the Euganean Hills. Here in peace I will spend the last years of my life remembering and embracing with the tenacious memories my absent or passed away friends ” –  wrote Francesco Petrarca in his letter dated January 1371. Today we are going to visit Arquà Petrarca, one of the most stunning historic villages of Italy as well as a UNESCO site located near Padua. In this town surrounded by the conical hills looking like small volcanoes, among the cute alleys, houses made of stone and beautiful landscapes, the poet from Arezzo, old and sick by that time, spent the last few years of his life. Petrarca invited by the ruler of Padua, Francesco I da Carrara, who gave him a piece of land in a quiet village, moved here in 1369. Spending his time in the company of his son, spouse,  granddaughter and a cat, Petrarca alternated working in his garden with the literatury activity. Here he transcribed the “Canzoniere” and worked on the “De Viribus Illustribus”, until he passed away right before his birthday reading Virgil as the legend says.

 

 

Over the years, lots of famous writers visited Arquà. It came naturally that at some point the Literary Park Francesco Petrarca and the Euganean Hills was created around the house that is now a museum dedicated to the poet. If you come to Arquà you cannot miss visiting his house still having personal belongings of Petrarca such as a chair and a chest of drawers. You will also admire the sixteenth-century frescoes depicting the metamorphoses of the poet and his beloved Laura as well as the iconic portrait of Petrarca wearing the red hood which you will find in the Venus room. You can see the introductory videos and explanatory panels in each room. Once done with the museum take a walk around the village with its main square right in front of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. Here you will also see the large tomb that used to be subject to tampering and robbery: even the skull of the poet had been stolen and replaced with another one. The historic church in front where Petrarca used to come to pray dates back to the 11th century. Curious that the restoration that was done early 20th century reviled the frescoes that date back to the period when the church was just built and belong to the Veneto-Byzantine school as well as some frescoes from the 15th century.

Another beautiful sight worth visiting is Oratory of Holy Trinity and Vicars’ Loggia. First time mentioned in the documents dating back to 1181 this church was admired by Petrarca.  The Romanesque construction remodeled many times over the centuries hosts an altarpiece depicting The Trinity created by Palma il Giovane, the polyptych of Sant’Agostino by Jacobello di Bonomo and a painting The City of Padua in the act of paying homage to a martyr bishop by Giovanni Battista Pellizzari. The Loggia dei Vicari has been recently restored, its roof was demolished and redone in the 19th century.

 

Just a few kilometers away from Arquà Petrarca there is the Garden of Valsanzibio created in the 17th century and considered one of the most intact in the world. Occupying more than 10 hectares of territory it is decorated with over 60 statues in Istrian stone immersing in an enchanted scenery of beautiful architecture, creeks, waterfalls, fountains and ponds scattered among the trees and other plants.  This incredible complex represents a symbolic path of salvation having a boxwood labyrinth, the Eremita Cave, the Isle of Rabbits and a monument of Time.

 

 

In the past it was primarily literary tourists and enthusiasts who were coming to Arquà, but not only. This territory that used to be occupied by the Adriatic Sea 30 million years ago has something else to offer.  The particularity of the soil related to a series of underwater volcanic eruptions combined with the mild climate allowed this picturesque area to become a good wine and food producer. Red and white fine wines accompanied by mouth watering local traditional specialties, some of which recipes date back to the 14th century, as well as high-quality olive oil will complete your journey to Arquà. You can visit this town during your day trip from Abano, Padua or Venice with a private English-speaking driver  or Driver Guide provided by Deluxe Limo Italy.

On the picturesque hills of Val d’Arda in the province of Piacenza, the medieval village of Castell’Arquato rises above the hills. Dominating over the landscape, it looks practically the same as it did centuries ago. This town is officially listed as one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”. Besides holding the title of City of Art, the town was also awarded the Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club. It’s a recognition given to municipalities that stand for high-quality tourism in their territories. In fact, Castell’Arquato is a place of rare beauty, where a walk along the cobbled narrow streets between brick-colored houses will make you feel like you’re travelling back in time.

First, a little history…

The town’s name is believed to have originated from “Castrum Quadratum” indicating the square shape of the Roman military camp at the foot of this hill. However, in its historical records which date back to the 8th century, in 756-758 the local ruler, Magno, built the castle on top of the old settlement which also included it’s first church. This church was late to become the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria and was destroyed by a horrible earthquake in the early 12th century.

Before passing away in 789, Magno donated all his possessions, including the town and its church to the Bishop of Piacenza. It has remained in the possession of the Church until 1220, when the Piacenza’s clergy granted it to the noble families of the town in exchange for an annuity. As many other medieval villages, Castell’Arquato was ruled by a Podestà (chief magistrate) until 1290, when Alberto Scotti became Lord of Piacenza. It was in his time that construction of the historical center of the town began and is still preserved to this day. During the periods of peace and wars, one following the other, the town was under the power of the Visconti, the Sforza, the Farnese and finally the Bourbons until its appropriation in to the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.

 

Here at Deluxe Limo Italy, we get to see these amazing places on an almost daily basis and it is awe inspiring every time we go. No matter how many times we have been there before, there is always something ‘new’ to discover.

 

Let’s take a little walk along the streets of the historic center…

Here you can really perceive how ancient this village is. Among the beautifully restored houses with their splendid gardens, you will find frescoes and taverns welcoming guests. As you continue to the wonderful central square, framed by the main “jewels” of Piacenza, you are instantly struck by the architecture of the old world. On the north side you can see the Palazzo del Podestà. Its construction was started by Scotti in 1290 and later in the 15th century it was expanded even more. On the wall facing the church, the historic houses and the castle, you can find the city’s powerful crest of lions. In the west part of the Palace you can admire the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria with its stunning arches built in the 14th Century making up the “Portico del Paradiso” and its four apses. This church was consecrated once again after an earthquake destroyed most of it in 1222. From the opposite side you can enter the church where you can still observe the original baptismal font from the 8th century, while from the right side you can access the 13th century cloister and the Collegiate Museum.

If you continue walking across the central square along the medieval houses, soon you will reach the Rocca Viscontea. Constructed by Luchino Visconti in 1342 – 1349, it used to be one of the most impressive military factories of the Northern part of the country. Nowadays we can only see its external structure with turrets and walls surmounted by swallow-tailed Ghibelline merlons. From here the trapdoors were used to drop boiling water or stones onto approaching enemies. The best preserved and the most breathtaking part of this remarkable structure is the castle keep, which is a 42-meter-high tower rising in the northern part of the construction that now houses the Medieval Life Museum and is accessible via a drawbridge. You can climb up to its top and enjoy an unforgettable view over Val d’Arda! The fairy-tale town of Castell’Arquato has some other interesting historical monuments and sights, but the most peculiar one is probably the Geological Museum with its collection of the remains of whales, dolphins, fish and shells from the nearby Geological Reserve of the Piacenziano. It may be hard to believe, but a few million years ago the hilly territory of Piacenza was the bottom of a tropical sea!

 

What will you discover? Come see this magical place for yourself! Book your visit here.

 

Other sights to see here…

Outside the inhabited area, the Basilica of San Giovanni with its Baptistery is definitely worth a visit. It is located in the small hamlet of Vigolo Marchese, just some kilometers away towards Carpaneto Piacentino. It is believed that the Baptistery used to be a small pagan temple built by the Romans. Centuries later, in the early 11th century the church was built by the Marquis Uberto d’Orta, the ruler of Val di Nure. Originally the bell tower was used as a military tower and later transformed for civil and religious use. The atmosphere created by the two religious’ structures, situated in a small park gives the feeling of serenity to everyone who comes here.

Along with the traditional festivals and fairs, Castell’Arquato and its neighboring towns organize events of all different kinds during the year. The most famous one is “Relive the Middle Ages”. It is a reenactment show from the medieval times with a heavy armor tournament. It takes place once a year on the second weekend of September.

What to eat..

The visit of the medieval town also promises to be a pleasant gastronomical experience. They eat very well in Castell’Arquato! The local menu, as everywhere in Italy, starts with appetizers. In this case represented by the mouthwatering cold cuts from Piacenza served with the local version of the hot fried gnocco, fragrant yet never greasy, called chisolini. For the first course you should definitely take the homemade ricotta tortelli, the anolini in broth or even better the pisarei with fasoi, a particular kind of pasta and beans. For the second course you will be offered the stuffed guinea fowl cooked in clay and the roasted coppa.

However, these delicacies should of course be paired with some fine wine. The most popular white wines of this area are Monterosso della Val d’Arda and the Ortrugo, both sparkling. Speaking about wines, the Gutturnio, which is a red wine with an ancient history. It was born in the Roman times from a recipe created by Lucio Calpurnio Pisone, father-in-law of Julius Caesar.

Where to sleep while staying here..

There are some hotels and lots of inns, farmhouses and B&B’s for any budget in the surrounding areas. At Deluxe Limo Italy we can take care of all your travel needs while visiting Italy. Contact us and start planning your magical get away today!

How to get to Castell’Arquato…

The best and easiest way is with a Private driver provided by Deluxe Limo Italy. The driver will take you to this Medieval fairy-tale town in comfort and safety from Milan, Bologna or from any other place you are staying.

It may seem strange and curious, but one of the most important sites in Northern Italy for the development of religion, history and late-Roman and high-medieval art is enclosed in a place 600 meters long and 200 meters wide, with a perimeter of two km and an area of ​​less than 12 hectares. It is the island of Comacina, the only island of the whole Lario within a short distance from the west coast of the Lake Como in the town of Tremezzina, nowadays completely covered with lush Mediterranean vegetation. Being in the middle of a tiny area of ​​high landscape and tourist value it unites the Sacred Mount of Ossuccio (Unesco site) and the Antiquarium housed in the ancient hospitalis de Stabio (1169), as well the artistic masterpieces preserved in the beautiful villas Carlotta and Balbianello.  The first evidence of human presence in this completely rocky and mountainous area dates back to the Roman and early Christian times, represented with a marble colonnade found under the church of San Giovanni Battista, perhaps the remains of a temple or a villa from when it was an important fortified military settlement with castle, houses and a large number of churches surrounded by high walls. The new religion was established in this area at the end of the fourth century, thanks to the work of the bishop of Como Abbondio, who eradicated paganism from Valtellina; and Comacina became an episcopal seat. In the late Romanesque period, trying to stop the barbarians, the city of Como assumed the role of outpost for the defense of Milan, which became the seat of the Roman emperor Maximilian Maximilian. Como lake, an area of ​​considerable strategic importance for commercial and military connections with central Europe, was garrisoned by a fleet under the command of a prefectus that also governed Como. A centuries-old conflict that would have opposed the two cities, which ended only with the destruction of both was born here. The island had already chosen to line up with distant Milan, and it was the beginning of its misfortunes. It soon became a fundamental element of a system of defensive outposts. It became really famous in 589, when the Byzantine commander Francione that held it for 20 years, surrendered only after a siege lasting six months; it was the last Byzantine bastion to the north of the Po. Later it became the comfortable shelter for those who rebelled against the Lombard rulers.

A few decades later the island became also famous in distant areas, up to Lazio and Central Europe, for the plurisecular work of so-called Comacine Masters, a guild of specialized construction craftsmen working in the  7th-8th centuries between Como, the Canton of Ticino and Lombardy. Thank to them the early Romanesque architecture and art spread around. In the following centuries (XII-XIV) they were also called “Maestri campionesi”, Campione is another place belonging to another lake (that of Lugano), but a stone’s throw from the Lario.

Como was definitely weaker than Milan, and its many allies including the Larians, but certainly stronger than the tiny island; yet, although this pain in the neck would have been gladly removed, Como could never do it without provoking Milan’s vendettas and interventions. It only had a few opportunities thank to the allying with the German emperors arrived to Italy. It was so in 951, when Otto I of Saxony, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and Waldo bishop arrived here and the Ruler of Como besieged the rebel king of Italy Berengario II. The conflict intensified further, excluding any chance for negotiations, until it resulted into the bloody War of the Ten Years (1117-1127) also because of the presence of the army of Frederick I of Swabia, the Barbarossa. Defeated at the Breggia, the Allies were saved from the hard siege of Como just because in 1127 Milan conquered and destroyed Como. But revenge was just postponed. In 1162, in fact, Barbarossa conquered Milan, giving a free hand to the Comaschi that in 1169 completely razed the Comacina island to the ground, knocking down also all the churches (and thus deserving the papal excommunication). An imperial decree of 1175 forbade any kind of reconstruction, that was accompanied by a similar anathema by the Como bishop Vidulfo. The few survived inhabitants moved to other places, in particular to Varenna, and from that moment the island definitively emerged from history, to enter the legend. Milan and its allies united in the Lombard League led by the Carroccio fled to Legnano the Germanic emperor, who never returned to Italy.

A local legend says that in 1435, after seven years of exceptional weather in a gulf famous for its perpetually temperate climate, San Giovanni appeared in a dream to a weaver of Campo, certain Marinoso, indicating that under a walnut tree he would find the remains of the church dedicated to him and destroyed in 1169. Since then every year on the last Saturday of June the patron saint is celebrated with a procession of relics brought by boat, and an evocative fireworks that should remind the fire operated by the allies at Barbarossa , while thousands of lit candles float on the waters of the gulf.

 

 

The island can be reached in 10 minutes by boat starting from the pier located under the Antiquarium at the medieval church of Santa Maria Maddalena, located along the highway 340 Regina road and recognizable for the curious gothic square bell tower. It’s a perfect stop for those who travel from Como to Tremezzo or any other destination along the west bank of the Como Lake using the car service provided by Deluxe Limo Italy.

A network of uphill paths leads you to the remains of the survived scarce buildings, brought to light by archaeological excavations conducted in the years 1912-13 and later in the 1958-1979.

The main building on the top is the paleocristian church with two apsises of San Giovanni Battista, the patron saint, dating back to the fifth century, with an octagonal bath for baptism, from when it was the episcopal seat; the oldest is a late-Roman square defence tower-house then used as a bell tower; next to the remains of the Romanesque basilica of Santa Eufemia with three naves and three apses with crypt and portico in front. In the center and to the West you can see the foundations of the churches of Santa Maria in portico (XII century), San Pietro in Castello (1129), and of the female Benedictine monastery of Saints Faustino and Giovita. To the South-West, behind the bar and restaurant-inn, there are three curious modern buildings, the artists’ houses, built between 1933 and 1937 by the a local architect using the traditional local materials such as Moltrasio stone, chestnut wood and stone roofs as well as modern glass-blocking. Their purpose is to temporarily host the artists who want to work in extreme tranquility. In 1917 the island was donated by the last owner to the King of Belgium, Alberto I, who donated it to the Italian state that entrusted its management to the Milanese Academy of Brera through the Isola Comacina Foundation.

And after so much of history, a short, but curious story. As a consequence of the destruction of 1169, the island remained completely uninhabited for almost eight centuries. Then, in 1948, three local friends came up with the idea of ​​building a restaurant, challenging the ancient edict of Barbarossa.

They were Sandro De Col, a champion of motor-racing, the silk industrialist Carlo Sacchi and Lino Nessi, known as Cotoletta. But the work proceeded slowly, interrupted several times because of some mysterious events, until two of the three partners died in a short time of violent death. Fatality? Somebody recalled the words of Vidulfo’s anathema, which had been imposed on that piece of land: “Bells will not ring any longer, stones will not be laid on each other, nobody will host you anymore, the penalty for violations will be violent death.” Cotoletta did not surrender and basing on the advice of an English medium, carried out a propitiatory rite with fire – also documented by his daughter Albertina who wrote about it in the book “The island that was there” – and the adverse forces subsided. For over half a century the inn has been welcoming the tourists from all over the world, including an incredible list of famous people, country leaders, politicians, actors, singers, sportsmen and performers, Italians and foreigners, all equally treated by the host. But still nowadays every lunch ends with a strange infusion: a coffee with liqueur and sugar cooked in a pot over the fire, while a bell rings. The antidote discovered Cotoletta against the curse of the vindictive bishop of Como.

 

There is a beach at  the Upper Adriatic where art, culture and territory merge making this place very different from the many Italian holiday resorts grown from nothing in the post-war period on the wave of the mass tourism boom, welcoming millions of visitors from June to September, but being almost uninhabited during the winter. But there also exists a place with a unique natural environment, preserved with love, and full of discoveries and surprises in any season. It’s particularly charming in autumn or early winter, when there are no so many visitors. Caorle, the little Venice, boasts of an ancient history full of charm and interesting facts. You can easily reach it hiring a private car service from Venice.

 

At the time of the Roman Empire splendor, the regions of the Triveneto were nothing else, but important centers of civilization and exchange with the peoples of the North and East Europe. The most important city and administrative capital of the region was Aquileia, a village with few inhabitants in the Friuli countryside nowadays. It has an extraordinary museum containing a unique collection of glass from the Roman era. The same about Julia Concordia, these days Concordia Sagittaria adjacent to Portogruaro, that formed a thriving colony and an important military outpost, home to the Tenth Legion maintaining the turbulent eastern borders under control. The name “sagittaria” was attributed to the place because the arrows for the whole army were made here. The Roman presence in Caorle from the 5th century BC is testified not only by the quotations of Pliny the Elder, but also by the artifacts found and partly represented in the National Museum of Sea Archeology.

The era of barbarian invasions following the fall of the Western Roman Empire was a particularly hard period for the North East. The cities were depopulated, businesses languished, Caorle practically disappeared. When around the sixth or seventh century after Christ the bishop of Concordia moved here and brought the relics of the concordant martyrs, including the venerated Saint Stephen’s skull with him, a city closely related to distant Constantinople was born on the Adriatic.

 

You can “touch” this early medieval history in the center of Caorle, in the Campo del Vescovado, where the plan of the ancient original church is marked on the ground. It was replaced with the current cathedral dedicated to St. Stephen protomartyr in 1038. Images of two saints stand out on the façade: Sant’Agatonico and San Guglielmo that witness the oriental cults related to the exarchate of Ravenna, which exercised its influence throughout the upper Adriatic at the time. Inside the church of the three naves separated with Roman columns, in the apse there is the precious Pala d’Oro, donated by the Queen of Cyprus, the Venetian Caterina Cornaro, to the people of Caorle, that rescued her after a shipwreck. Separated from the square in front there is the cylindrical bell tower, 40 meters high and surmounted by a conical Romanesque-Byzantine cusp, leaning by 32 cm: it is one of the very few bell towers in the shape of “pointed pencil” handed down from the Middle Ages. Climbing up the bell tower in a sunny day you can enjoy an incomparable view of the town, the lagoon and the sea. Next to the church, there is a small parish museum that has the reliquary of the skull of St. Stephen, as well as many other relics and sacred furnishings.

Finding a cathedral of this historical and artistic value in a municipality that today has just about 10,000 inhabitants, including the villages of Brussa, Porto Santa Margherita and Duna Verde, can be a surprise for those unfamiliar with history. Caorle remained an important city for centuries and had become rich thank to the rights of fishing and the shipbuilding, the famous galleys of the Serenissima that participated in the battle of Lepanto in 1571.

 

The graceful system of the canals in the heart of the town that really made a miniature Venice of it was buried at the end of the eighteenth century for hygienic reasons and survived only in the different “Rio Terà”, which together with the fields, streets and squares gives an authentic and lively Venetian look to the historical center of Caorle nowadays.

 

The fall of the Serenissima accelerated the decline: in 1818 after eight centuries the Episcopal seat was lost and Caorle survived only as a small fishing village. At the beginning of the 1900s the village had just one thousand inhabitants. Private land reclamation began in the second half of the 19th century, with the large estate of Ca ‘Corniani owned by Assicurazioni Generali: 1800 hectares to be visited not only for the wine and local products tasting.

Caorle today is a piece of land between the mouth of the river Livenza and Porto Falconera, where the lagoon opens onto the sea, separating it from the island of Brussa with its natural park of the Valle Vecchia enclosing 700 hectares of intact environment that can be visited only on walking, by bicycle or boats going along the canals.

If you visit Bari, Lecce or Naples we highly recommend you to go for a private Italy car service tour to a real pearl of Italian history and culture Matera.

The scenery, at first glance, looks like that of the Holy Land. But this place is located in Italy, precisely, in Basilicata. The evocative Sassi, immortalized in numerous historical and religious films, have granted to Matera the recognition of the European capital of culture 2019.

The caves, the white color of the rocks, the vegetation and the typical buildings create a natural cinematographic set. The Regional archaeological park of the rock churches, with a strong spirituality that is impossible not to perceive during the visit, has been recognized as Unesco heritage in 1993. There are 150 of them scattered in the caves of the Sassi or in the old houses. Priceless frescoes can still be found here. This is the place where the  architecture and the nature merge crating very a particular archaic and mystical atmosphere that transmits peace and serenity. A perfect moment to stay silent enjoying the beauty that organically combines the energy of the earth, the power of the space and the spirit of the creation.

Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the Crypt of the Original Sin, in Pietrapenta, called the Sistine Chapel of Basilicata and also known as “Grotta dei Cento Santi”. It is a precious example of art spirituality enclosed in a grotto that has become a 42-square-meter church, which has undergone a great restoration work. From the great panel of Genesis, a figured representation of the authentic Bible for the faithful who could not read, to the splendid triarchies of the Apostles, the Archangels and the Virgin placed in the three apses. Another worthy stop in Matera is the rock complex of Madonna delle Virtù and San Nicola dei Greci. Spread over 1300 square meters and divided into several levels, the structure includes two frescoed rupestrian churches, a monastery and old houses with cisterns and feeders. In summer, contemporary art sculpture exhibitions take place here.

In the heart of the Sassi there is the Casa Cava, the symbol of the rebirth of the district that  from a forgotten village has become a cultural center. The view of the hypogeum is a unique experience that helps you appreciate the cultural heritage of Matera. Make another stop in  Casa Noha. Surrounded by the narrow streets of the Civita, a stone’s throw from the Duomo, the ancient residence allows visitors to understand the history of Matera through the multimedia journey that shows the town and its true spirit. The right place to visit before ending the tour is the Museum of contemporary sculpture, the only in the world located in a cave. The artworks bring you through the evolution of Italian and international sculpture from the late 1800s to nowadays. The works sculptures occupy three courtyards, seven caves dug in tuff and the Halls of Hunting located on the lower floor. The path of the upper floor winds through ten rooms. It’s kind of an original way to make the visitor experience the extraordinary integration of the secular environments excavated by man and the contemporary sculpture. For those who still have some time to stay in Matera it is recommended to visit the National Museum of Medieval Art inside the Palazzo Lanfranchi. The exhibition itinerary includes visiting the sections of the religious art, collections and contemporary art. You can admire a rich selection of paintings by Carlo Levi and a few works by Luigi Guerricchio here.

Tradition and innovation coexist and integrate in Matera becoming a symbol of a city of globally important values.

 

Montagnana: a Perfect Sightseeing Opportunity During Your Limo Transfer

If 2018 was named the Year of Italian Food by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, 2019 will be that of “Slow Tourism”, meaning a way to enhance the Italian territories less known by international tourism and relaunch them in a sustainable mode, encouraging the innovative ways of travelling without rush. This is the way to discover the treasures of Italy that with fatigue and pride preserve the cultural and historical heritage through the use of antique trains, cultural itineraries, cycle tracks, and horse riding. Montagnana, an authentic medieval pearl of the Veneto countryside, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is absolutely the right destination to be discovered. Halfway between Padua and Verona, Montagnana is among those walled cities surrounded by perfectly preserved medieval walls that help you identify the historical city center. Being a destination rich in historical, cultural, enogastronomic and recreational opportunities, Montagnana can make it a comprehensive tourist experience taking into account the characteristics of the Veneto Region, thanks to its privileged geographical position that you can comfortably reach with your private driver, with a short detour, ideally when you book one of our Florence to Venice chauffeured transfer or on the way from Venice to Milan.

Get to a City of the Medieval Charm by Luxury Limo

The majestic beauty of the famous city walls (dated back to the XIII – XIV centuries) that embrace its historical center with 24 towers of 17 meters high, is surrounded by a wide moat making up a wide green area nowadays, is not the only thing to charm the visitor. The glorious past of the city becomes even more obvious thank to the the fine art works along the streets and sumptuous palaces. These include the famous Villa Pisani Sacco, designed in 1552 by Andrea Palladio (since 1996, a UNESCO heritage along with other Venetian Palladian villas), and the majestic Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta overlooking Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, the silent custodian of valuable works of art including some frescoes by Giorgione, an altarpiece depicting the transfiguration of Christ by Veronese, and the high altar by Sansovino.
The oldest part of the town is represented by Castel San Zeno, or Porta Padova, composed of two angular lookout towers and the grandiose 38 meter height Mastio Ezzelino. From the castle you can see the covered wooden walkway, that is being used for public needs nowadays (conference rooms and exhibitions), while the rooms of the castle host the Castles Study Center, the Civic Museum, the Municipal Library, and the Municipal Historical Archive. Leave your car and chauffeur for while and enjoy the walk around the town.

Limousine Service to Come and Appreciate the Territory

Over the years the city has been awarded numerous honors and certificates, including the Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club, assigned to the inland villages that stand out for the development of sustainable tourism and the territory protection. Montagnana was also officially recognized as one the most beautiful villages in Italy. In addition to the artistic and architectural beauties of magnitude, the territory offers the luxuriant nature to the slow and green tourism lovers. After having reached the place with a private limousine service one can enjoy nice walks, pleasant bike and horse excursions in the countryside and along the waterways admiring the old farmhouses, small country churches, and landscapes dotted with valuable agricultural crops and orchards. Those who prefer longer itineraries, can follow the routes that will lead them the magnificent Venetian Villas, scattered along the waterways or in the countryside, or other beautiful walled towns.

But it is its agri-food productions that gives the value to Montagnana these days. In fact, the territory offers the unique food products such as the Veneto Berico-Euganeo D.O.P ham, pancetta, cotechino, salami and high quality cooked ham. Recently the process of valorisation of the DE.CO (denomination of municipal origin) production along with the production of the Montagnana melon, the schissoto (typical home-made bread of the Venetian farmers of the past), the Veneto sweet gnocchi (a very popular ancient recipe from the territory of the lower Paduan area) and green peppers pickled in vinegar is happening. Since the Law 142 came into force in 1990, the municipalities were incentivized to legislate the promotion of the productions present in their territories. The most virtuous municipalities, such as Montagnana, have been able to grasp the legislative instrument that was an opportunity for marketing and unique enhancement of their territories.

 

Puglia Car Service: Come to Get Around the Ravines of the Tarantino

There are no similar phenomena In Italy. And to find something like this, you have to go to Turkey or Eastern countries. The Ionian area of ​​the Terra delle Gravine is one of the most evocative cultural areas of Puglia, less known to mass tourism though. And since it reminds the Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys or the rock houses of Georgia it can be a very pleasant discovery for the traveler. Extensive in the territory of twelve Municipalities of the province of Taranto and a Municipality of the province of Brindisi, for a total of about 28,000 hectares, the Terra delle Gravine Natural Park is characterized by deep rocky ravines of karstic origin, formed by the corrosive action of the waterways that start from the Murge plateau heading towards the sea. The caves set in the walls of the ravines were chosen for human settlement from the Neolithic period up to the 1950s, especially in the Middle Ages. In the evocative canyons carved into the rock, there are rocky villages, churches, crypts and sanctuaries which often have splendid Byzantine frescoes depicting the Virgin, Christ Pantocrator, Saints and Martyrs.

We should say that it takes 3 to 5 days to visit the ravines. Your private chauffeur service can take you to Villino Odaldo in Mottola, managed by an Italian family, where you can comfortably stay. The place has a small gravina, that is a residence of the early 1900 that has maintained the same charm and where the one has the feeling of being able to stop time. From here we start discovering the “caves of God” and the rocky villages where the peasants lived, to avoid the incursions of the Saracens coming from the sea. The nearest town is Mottola, a pretty and lively town famous for the quality and quantity of its sacred paintings that can be admired in its cave churches. About 2 km away from the village a monumental staircase carved into the tufa and surrounded by myrtle, mastic and carob trees, leads to the caves of the rock village of Petruscio, including the House of the Igumeno (spiritual head of the Eastern monks) and the rupestrian church indicated as Cathedral with the annexed necropolis that are worth seeing. The other must-visit sights are the splendid rock churches of San Nicola and San Gregorio in the other canyons, where the frescoes show you the stories of saints and the miracles.

Reliable Limo Service to Enjoy the Area

Before heading to the Palagianello ravine, stop for a food tasting at one of the farms where they  breed the murgese horses and podolic cows that live in the wild. The tasting of typical products is something not to be missed and the taste of mozzarella made of the rich cow milk is really divine. From there you move to Palagianello, where another tufa stairway leads to the rock sanctuary of the Madonna del Grazie. Stop to admire the castle of Caracciolo and then go for a wine tasting of delicious Petracavallo wines!

A stone’s throw away is Laterza, one of the largest canyons in Europe (it is 12 km long, 400 m wide and over 200 high), the result of the erosion the rise of the continents. The stone world of churches and caves mixed with the charming landscapes open up here.  But if the view of the ravine is not enough, visit the majolica museum which, with its pieces dating back to the 1600s, provides a fairly complete cross-section of the life in those centuries. Laterza majolica can be recognized thank to its typical ornament of blue daisies, widely used for decoration of large dishes and pots for pharmacies and herbalists.

The ravine of Ginosa then is a kind of condominium that overlooks the two slopes of the hill, with connection routes and water supply. While that of Massafra faces the shadow of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Scala. In the main street of the historic center of Ginosa enter the tailor shop of Angelo Inglese famous for his tailored men’s shirts. Your limousine service tour ends in Grottaglie, where the ceramic workshops are located at every corner. Stop by the ceramist Franco Fasano and stare at the dishes that even Armani finds irresistible.

 

Italy is commonly referred to as “the Bel Paese” (the beautiful country). Why? Probably because it’s the country with the greatest number of Heritage Sites throughout the entire world. Probably because so rich of masterpieces of Art, Architecture and Sculpture that it would take you a life time to visit them all. Probably because full of attractions and natural treasures, from stunning mountains to fascinating landscapes and superb coastlines. Probably because home to the most delicious and variegate cuisine in the world. Probably because homeland to the most passionate people. These, and many other reasons, make Italy the amazing country everybody wants to visit at least once in life.

Deluxe Limo Italy is here to help you structure your one and only travel experience. Our outstanding Customer Service will follow you from start to end, answering any queries and suggesting itineraries according to your taste and desire. Our finest English-speaking drivers and Guides will make sure to carry out your choice with elegance and spirit.

Let’s have a look at some of the Top-Rated attractions we may offer you:

Balloon in Tuscany

The beautiful region of Tuscany is worldly known for an immense quantity of reasons. Its stunning landscapes, its quantity of Art and History, the delicious cuisine and the many famous red wines. But have you ever thought about living the unique and unforgettable experience of flying over Tuscany, in a breath-taking hot-air Balloon ride? You will have the chance to admire from above charming old towns and castles surrounded by the gorgeous hills of Chianti or fascinating cities like Florence or Siena. All of this with a happy ending in tasting a delightful breakfast in the countryside.

Romantic Tour in Verona

Verona is home to the beautiful and tragic story of Romeo and Juliet, the most renowned lovers in the world. No surprise Shakespeare took inspiration from this city of love that has a profusion of romantic places. Let us take you to the legendary house of Juliet where you will be able to admire the famous balcony, to her tomb, Romeo’s house, and plenty others. Discover the truth behind the legend and, while walking around the romantic alleys, why not take a little time for history, visiting the third largest amphitheatre of the Roman world, the Verona Arena.

Shopping in Milan

The capital of fashion and style is just waiting for you. We can organize the most comfortable, rich and varied shopping tour you could ever desire. The most elegant Mercedes vehicle driven by our professional English-speaking driver and a personal shopper that can suggest and take you to the top-notch style shops in the city are waiting for you. Let Milan seduce you through our experience.

Truffle Hunting in Alba

Among the wonderful Unesco hills of the Langhe district you may enjoy an extraordinary and uncommon day: truffle hunting. These areas are worldly known for one of the number one attractions of our country, the white truffle of Alba, the so-called “white gold”. Autumn is the best time to structure your visit. Let us design an entertaining tour, made of history and techniques, real truffle hunting together with experienced Tartufai (truffle hunters), amusing visits to the most famous local markets like the Fiera del Tartufo, and delicious truffle tasting with the best food and wines.

Food experience in Bologna

Bologna is the marvellous capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, cradle of one of the greatest food-cultures in the world. Be entertained by a fancy tour of some of the most acclaimed factories: Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Prosciutto di Parma or  the well-known Acetaie (Balsamic Vinegar of Modena). If you have a passion for food and wine, we’ll take you to right places to learn, visit, taste and enjoy.

Cinque Terre by car, sea and train

Cinque Terre is an incredibly stunning stretch of coast situated within a national park of the region of Liguria, made of five picturesque medieval towns that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. This unique rugged landscape is covered with terraced vineyards and olive groves and cut by romantic and scenic walking paths that join the towns one to another. Live an extraordinary experience through a comfortable top-class Mercedes vehicle, boat or train, while admiring, learning and tasting the excellences of this land.

Florence

It’s impossible not to put Florence in the “must-see” list of world attractions. The Cradle of Renaissance is just one of the most enchanting and irresistible cities of the planet, with its endless masterpieces of Art and History, Museums and finest Architecture. Without forgetting the excellence of Tuscan cuisine and marvellous red wines famous throughout the world. Let us escort you with the most exciting and elegant tour, according to your preferences.

The Land of Engine

The so-called “Land of Engine” is part of the Emilia-Romagna region, specifically near the city of Modena. Take this one-life opportunity to visit this sacred country of motor sports. We’ll take you to discover the factories of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani, lead you to the most valuable vintage car collections or visit the restored workshop and house where Enzo Ferrari once worked. You could also take the chance to enter the Fiorano track. Just tell us about your desires, we’ll look after all the rest.

Wine Tasting in Chianti and Val D’Orcia

The worldly famous Chianti is a spectacular area in Tuscany, located in between the cities of Florence and Siena. Breathtaking landscapes covered with green rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves and charming medieval towns. The Unesco World Heritage Site of Val D’Orcia another enchanting area south-east of Siena, right on the border with Chianti, famous for its sceneries and renowned towns like Montalcino, Pienza or Montepulciano. Let us lead you through your choice and make you taste the best Chianti or Brunello wines in local charming farms, accompanied by delicious Tuscan food.

The Secret Tour of Rome

Be ready to visit the Eternal City of Rome from the most visited sites like the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, the Pantheon, to the most secret pleasures and hidden spots. No matter how much time you have at your disposal, our excellent travel team will help you draw your perfect personalized tour. Comfortable and brand-new Mercedes vehicles driven by English-speaking drivers will stop and wait for you at every corner and lively local guides will escort you through the stunning beauties and local flavours of excellent food and wine of this endless city.

Chocolate Tour in Perugia

Perugia is the gorgeous capital of the little central region of Umbria, located on the top of a hill surrounded by a valley designed by romantic fields. Filled with Etruscan and Roman monuments Perugia is also the capital of Chocolate! Come and enjoy your private tour of the beauties of this city together with the taste and history of one of the most famous house and factories of the world: chocolate Perugina.

San Marino and the Onferno Caves

The State in the State of Italy. Yes, San Marino is not “part of Italy” but a real microstate surrounded by our country, and believe it or not, the world oldest Republic that exist! This beautiful landlocked country is located on the slopes of Mount Titano, surrounded by unspoiled land and rolling green hills. It is full of history, fortresses and wineries too. And once there, let us spoil you with visits to singular spots like the little charming town of Oferno with its magnificent caves that are among the most important of our country.

The Castles Tour in Naples

“See Naples and die”. This phrase was coined to explain the beauty and magnificence of this incredible crazy and vibrant city in the south of our peninsula. All the historical centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site, but we will help you structure the best tour to show you Naples and its surroundings at their best. Starting from the Royal Palace in the heart of the city we’ll touch the most famous castles like the majestic residence of Capodimonte or the largest Royal residence in the world, the Reggia di Caserta.

The Rocks of Matera

Matera is the 3rd most ancient city in the world and is going to be the future European Capital of Culture in 2019! The famous “Sassi di Matera” are the rocks surrounding the city and of which the same houses are made of. Discover with us this unique and ravishing beauty with its 13th century byzantine Cathedral, its underground lodgings that will leave you amazed, the fascinating alleys, the natural beauty of the Murgia and the breathtaking view of the Gravina canyon.

Pompeii and Herculaneum

This is a perfect tour for archaeological and history lovers. Enjoy the combined visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum, the most famous and ancient Roman towns destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. The variety of the ruins will leave you speechless and if you’ll feel in a challenging-mood, let us take you to climb the volcano crater to appreciate its incredible view.

Deluxe Limo Italy’s target is the complete satisfaction of our clients! Choose to live your one-life experience at your best!

 

Not many other countries in the world can claim the quantity of history, art, architecture, stylish fashion, top-class cuisine and widely known wines, like Italy can. Only by itself, it counts 53 Unesco World Heritage Sites, making it the state with more Heritage Sites in the world. Not then to mention the natural beauties this country is full of. All of this, packed in a unique boot-shaped land that has become one of the world’s most beloved travel destinations of the world.
Italy offers so many marvellous places to visit that it would take you a lifetime to see them all. Deluxe Limo Italy is here to help you out in your choice among the thousands of possibilities you may have. Our excellent customer service will lead the way in the variety of travel experiences you may choose upon, and our finest English-speaking drivers, tour leaders and guides will make sure you’ll live your one-life experience at your best!

A glance to some of the best places to visit in Italy:

The Lake District

This area is located in the northern part of our peninsula, joined to the stunning Alps and made out of 5 major lakes, from west to east: Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Iseo and Lake Garda. Let our travel team point out to you the marvellous attractions you may find in each of these breathtaking Lakes. From the rolling green hills, gardens, vineyards and olive groves that surround the largest lake of our country, Lake Garda, with spectacular towns like Sirmione, to the most refined Lake Como with its 17th century mansions and terraced gardens and most acclaimed towns like Cernobbio, Bellagio and Menaggio, and the savage woodlands of Lago Maggiore with its romantic Borromean Islands as Isola Bella.

Milan

You can’t miss out on the capital of fashion, design and Italian industry. Milan is one of the most vibrant cities of our country, with its magnificent art and architecture like the must-see impressive white-marble Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, the Sforzesco Castle or the incredible collection of Renaissance paintings in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Fashion streets like Via Montenapoleone or the marvellously elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lively nightlife and excellent food that you may taste in delicious restaurants. And why not taking into consideration a day tour into Milan’s famous wine-regions like Oltrepò Pavese, Franciacorta with its Prosecco (the Italian answer to Champagne) or Valpolicella with its renowned Amarone.

The Langhe

Located in the Piedmont region, this magnificent wine-growing area has become a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2014. Outstanding landscapes shaped by nature and man’s work full of verdant hills, vineyards, medieval villages and stunning castles. The Langhe is famous for the internationally known finest Barolo and Barbaresco red wines and one of the most exported Italian sparkling wine, the Asti Spumante, as well as delicious cheeses and truffle – first among all the white truffle of Alba. Escape the crowds and come to enjoy this paradise on earth.

Liguria: Italian Riviera

Liguria is one of the smallest regions of Italy, with its capital Genoa that instead is the 6th biggest city of our country. Genoa is a hidden gem, birthplace of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus and listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site for its Historical Centre. It has also the most ancient and largest Port of the nation, the second biggest Aquarium of Europe and is full of Art, Antiquity and History. Liguria is located north-west of our peninsula with more than 300 km of coastline that stretch from the French border down to Tuscany: the famous Italian Riviera. Full of breathtaking views, marvellous sea, impressive slopes surrounded by vineyards and olive groves that plunge into the sea. It’s divided in Riviera di Ponente, that goes from Genova up to the French border, passing from Sanremo, the city of flowers, and Riviera di Levante, with its endless numbers of striking beauties like Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and the area of the charming towns of Cinque Terre.

Venice

Venice is one of the most famous and romantic places in the world. This unique floating City lays down on a group of more than 100 little islands within the Adriatic lagoon in the north-east of our country. No roads will be found in Venice but only charming canals and splendid bridges that link the islands one to another. Don’t miss the Canal Grande with its beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings or the well-known Piazza San Marco with its stunning Cathedral and Tower. Our team is here to help you design your perfect stay and organize not only your transfer but your inside city-tour with an excellent local guide or your excursion on the outer islands like Murano or Burano, famous around the world for their rainbow-coloured Glass.

Emilia-Romagna

Emilia Romagna represents the last of the northern regions of Italy, on the border between Tuscany, Lombardy and the Veneto region. It’s funny because many people have never heard about this region, yet worldly renowned for an immense quantity of reasons. Does Pavarotti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tortellini, Balsamic Vinegar say anything to you? Well, Emilia Romagna is home to all of them and even more. Its capital Bologna is considered an international gastronomic location and is home to the highest leaning tower of the country, the oldest University of the West and to the world heritage porticos that follow you around the city. Emilia Romagna has an immense quantity of beauties to offer, from the charming Ferrara to Modena or Parma, from the Lamborghini factory to the Ferrari district in Maranello. You are spoilt for choice!

Florence and Pisa

Florence is not only the capital of Tuscany, it is also the birthplace of Renaissance. Come and visit one of the Italian most romantic and picturesque cities, full of history, Art and remarkable architecture. Don’t miss out on some of the most famous Art Galleries in the world, like the Uffizi and The Accademia, home to one of Michelangelo jewels: the David. The historical centre is entirely a Unesco World Heritage Site, where some of the most impressive and beautiful square and Cathedral can be found. And once you’re there, why not to ask our excellent travel team to organize you a visit to the nearest town of Pisa, to spend a few hours admiring the breath-taking view of the world famous Duomo and Leaning Tower in Piazza dei Miracoli.

Tuscany and Chianti

Tuscany is one of the most internationally renown regions, which is also home to one of the most beloved areas: Chianti. This territory stretches roughly from Florence to Siena with its amazing sceneries, rolling green hills, vineyards and olive groves as far as you can see, medieval hilltop towns like San Gimignano, Castellina in Chianti, Greve and plenty of marvellous places you can decide to visit in a one-day-tour. Exploring and sightseeing or enjoying a wine tasting in a local family-run farm of some of Italy’s most famous reds. In the beauty of Chianti, you just have the embarrassment of riches.

Rome

The eternal city. Is there anything that can still be said or written around the world on the immense and overwhelming beauty of this cradle of history, art, architecture and sculpture? Come and visit, enjoy and live Rome in its charming and endless attractions. We can help you get around this marvellous capital of charm with local English-speaking drivers and guides that will show you around the highlights of the city like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps or make you taste the local excellent food and wines.

The Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

The Amalfi coast is the most unspoilt and fascinating example of Mediterranean daydream. Enchanting mountains that plunge into a marvellous sea, surrounded by verdant woodlands and terraced lemon groves, where the coastal town gems of Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi rise upon nature. And why not considering a day trip to visit the striking islands of Capri, Procida, Ischia or the historic splendours of Pompeii?

Let our travel team assist you all the way, from start to end. We’ll answer to all your queries and help you in structuring the best itinerary, according to your desires. Choose Deluxe Limo Italy for the travel experience of your life!

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