Travel/ Bologna, alchemy of art and culture

Bologna, a city in the heart of Emilia-Romagna region, is too beautiful to be only described because it would be deprived of its magical esthetic. Bologna deserves to be lived, breathed and admired through an enchanted trip between art and history that has no equal.

Home to the oldest University of the Occidental World, the prestigious Alma Mater founded in 1088, Bologna is a city with an intense cultural life and a very rich historical heritage. It was an important urban center under the Etruscans, then under the Gauls and lastly under the Romans. During the Medieval period, Bologna was also the most important European urban center. In 2000 it was proclaimed the European capital of culture, while in 2006 UNESCO named it as “creative city of music”.

One of the typical symbols of the city is the distinctive porches, built during a long period of time that goes from 11th century to the 20th century. The Isolani’s home, on the Strada Maggiore that is one of the eight left in wood. On the same street, the largest porch of the city, the Santa Maria dei Servi’s quadriporticus is located. The highest porch is the Archbishops Palace’s loggia on Via Altabella, that is almost 10 meters high. However, the longest and most famous porch starts on Via Saragozza until the Madonna di San Luca’s sanctuary.

Another emblem of Bologna are its towers, that offer tourists the opportunity to admire a wonderful skyline. Among the most important ones, there are Garisenda and Asinelli’s. Towers at the entrance point of the city that once belonged to a complex of hundreds of Medieval towers but only twenty currently survive.

Among the other towers, we should mention the beautiful Accursi or Clock tower, that overlooks the Piazza Maggiore with its huge mechanical clock and Azzoguidi Tower, on Via Albatella, that belongs to the so called “Medieval skyscrapers’ triad” of Bologna with Prendiparte and Galluzzi towers.

Among the historical buildings, tourists are spoiled for choices. Piazza Maggiore hosts three of them: the first is Palazzo del Podestà, built around 1200 and it was the first Government building of the city that offers an interesting experience: for a particular acoustic effect, visitors can whisper can still be heard from opposite corners of a room.

The second building, Palazzo Re Enzo, was built next to the previous in 1244-46 and used to host for nearly twenty-three years the so called “prisoner king”, king Enzo of Sardinia, Federico II’s son.

Lastly, Palazzo Comunale or d’Accursio serves as Bologna’s City Hall.

You shouldn’t skip the visit to the Pinacoteca Nazionale, that hosts a lot of important works from artists such as Giotto and Raffaello.

In brief, a city where you can touch by hand the spirit of cordiality and the hospitality immersed in an endless cultural vivacity. Discover it with

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Aosta Valley, holidays on the snow

In Italy each region is a new discovery, a physical and emotional trip always unique and unrepeatable. Today we will discover the Aosta Valley, the smallest region of Italy that if you think about it, covers only 1/100 of the national territory but is dominated by a natural prominence, without equal:  a third of its surface is 2,600 meters above water, which makes it the absolute Queen of the glaciers and mountains (Alps) highest in of all Europe.

The mountain range, in the Aosta Valley, delineate against the sky a profile where it’s easy to recognize the “Giant of the Alps”: the White Mountain /4,810 m), the second tallest in Europe only after the Elbrus; the Cervino Mountain (4,478 m), with the typical pyramid shape; the Pink Mountain (4,634 m) the only four thousand completely in Italy which represent the most important touristic attractions for all fond of winter and outdoor sports such as skiing, snowboarding and hiking.

Among the most popular, we remember Coumayeur, Breuil-Cervinia, a La Thuile, Champoluc, one of the most beloved and attended resorts by the skiers of the entire alpine world, without forgetting Pila, Valtournenche, Gressonery, Cogne, Valgrisenche and Champorcher, suitable to those who want a less crowded experience.

But it doesn’t miss rich occasions for the cultural and gastronomic tourist and for holidays under the banner of comfort in the thermal resorts. Among the mountain and naturalistic scenery, suitable for hiking and trekking both in the spring and summer seasons, we suggest the Gran Paradiso National Park, the d’Ayas Val, the Gressonery Valley.

Not only skiing but culture too. So that if it happens you are in the Aosta Valley, take advantage of visiting the St Barthélemy, Nus, astronomic observatory but especially the Bard Forte seen from Albart, an imposing fortress built in the nineteenth-century.  Presently, the fortress serves as a large and important museum of the Alps that describes, with the audio visual technologies’ support, the geological, naturalistic, geographical, historical and anthropological aspects of the Alps. For those that  desire to live a new experience in the company of clouds, I suggest a trip in hot-air balloon among the clear and pure skies of this pristine region.

Have a nice trip with

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Salerno: the Artist’s lights

Salerno, my city, welcomes you to its most longed for event of the year: The Artist’s lights!
For all of those who love to travel during the Christmas season, Salerno is without doubt a not to miss destination.
In an open-air show my lovely city  will give you the thrill of a walk through the hidden alleys, streets and gardens, amazingly lit by a real exhibition of three-dimensional art.
Inaugurated on November 5th , the event known as “ Luci d’artista”, that has nothing to envy to the beautiful Christmas installations in Vienna, Strasbourg and Brussels, will continue through January 22, 2017 and represents the perfect opportunity to discover all that Salerno has to offer to its visitors: not only Christmas but also emotional museums, gardens, monuments and interesting places .
The subject dedicated to lights with its highly innovative and creative character is now at its 11th edition. This year Salerno becomes the protagonist of even more exciting  and artistic installations; starting with the theme chosen this year which is “The Arabian Nights” divided in 4 main sub-themes, and all of which enchanting: Myth, Dream, Time and of course Christmas.
Like last year there will be an installation of lights on the new Santa Teresa beach, characterized by penguins and lit up palm trees. Along Corso Vittorio Emanuele there will be the installment of “Infinite Spaces”, while in Piazza Sant’Agostino you will breathe the Oriental atmosphere!
The Villa Comunale of Salerno will be transformed as always into an “Enchanted Garden”, mesmerizing its audience with the most beloved fairy tales by adults and children; this year it’s up to “Aladdin” with the installation of the royal palace and the magic lamp!
The absolute novelty is the 50 meter Ferris wheel and the ” sand nativity “, a crib that will celebrate the Nativity entirely made of sand. Naturally there will also be the traditional Christmas markets, where  Italian street food and souvenirs will make your sensory experience even more pleasant!
In a matching side path, the four themes can be viewed comfortably through a mobile storytelling application, in which the viewer is plunged directly into the atmosphere of Luci d’Artista, with stories one can appreciate directly from a smartphone; in this way the user is led to the discovery of the installations through a narrator.
In short, everything is ready to live a special Christmas, Traditional and unforgettable!
Book your trip with

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Perugia

A city of the 1000 faces, enchanted while actively modern at the same time, Perugia encapsulates perfectly the meaning of beauty. Situated in the center of Italy, with never ending landscapes that meet in a kaleidoscope of emotions and sensations :a vast extension of plains in the Umbrian  and Tiber Valleys surround this beautiful setting with hills and mountains.
Perugia lies on a hill about 500 meters above sea level and the old town is partly surrounded by Etruscan walls and partly by medieval walls; among the alleys of the medieval village, the palaces, castles and fortresses this is where we find the atmosphere of the old time. In fact the city is rich in a priceless artistic heritage and is an interesting tourist destination. Perugia today is in fact the extraordinary result of the various artistic influences from which it was modeled during the centuries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
For this reason there are many beauties that can be admired in the city from the wonderful Piazza IV November, the Palazzo dei Priori, the church of San Severo, the Rocca Paolina, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the church of San Domenico. Always attentive to culture and art conservation, Perugia has several museums of high quality of which the most important are the National Archaeological Museum, the National Gallery, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, and the magnificent Porta Almond, Porta Marzia and the Etruscan Arch. Also not to miss are the appointments regarding “music” and “pleasure-loving” which take place here : the ‘Umbria Jazz (the crossroad of important and famous artists of the jazz world scene) and Eurochocolate: a gluttonous event dedicated to the exaltation of chocolate accompanied by exhibitions, street artists and music. Perugia is all this and much more, it’s a journey through the past, present and future in a whirlwind of pleasure that will delight the eyes, views, views, and why not, gluttony !!
Enjoy your trip!

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/Puglia, the most wonderful and beautiful place in the world

And the winner is … Puglia!
This magnificent Italian region receives the National Geographic recognition “the best destination in the world” for its fantastic sea, fascinating and wonderful natural landscapes, ancient villages curly culture and good food. An extraordinary award, especially because it is a world ranking and demonstrates, once again, the touristic and emotional richness of Italy. According to National Geographic, the award was granted because:

“The region offers the best of Southern Italy, the pace of life, the traditions, the beauty of the places.”

A  confirmation also comes from Lonely Planet who has dedicated an article ” Italy’s Magical Puglia region.

“Its major cities like Lecce, Bari and Trani are much smaller and less full of tourists than Milan and Venice,  but you can taste some quality wines not at all expensive, in a region which is the third wine producer and counts 30 different kinds of  native grapes. “

Besides the tranquility of its stunning towns such as Ostuni and Locorotondo; the incredible culinary tradition of Gargano and Salento with its products from the land and from the sea,  its heavenly beaches like Punta Prosciutto or Bay of the Turks, there would still be a lot to say even  about the religious tradition, the folklore that accompanies it and the crafts, an ever-present symbol of the past with its papier mache, processing of wicker, wood carvings or local stone. That Puglia is the most beautiful region of the world, we Italians have known it for some time  and the National Geographic’s certification proves that beauty, sometimes,  is truly an objective value.
Discover this fantastic land with italytravelmakers!!

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Parma and the Masone Maze

A great work of art in the open air is located in Parma; it’s the labyrinth of Masone, which to date is the largest maze in the world. Let’s learn all about it together!

Designed by the graphic designer Franco Maria Ricci together with the architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto, the maze of Masone is a stylish and seductive place, a place of culture and delights with a project that was carried out from 2005 to 2015. Within the park there are also, in addition to a Catholic chapel, about five thousand square meters of space dedicated to culture: a museum, which houses the museum of Franco Maria Ricci’s art collection with five hundred works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century and a library which houses the complete works of the publishers and printers Giambattista Bodoni and Alberto Heel, in addition to the works of the publishing house founded by Ricci. Furthermore there are spaces for events and temporary exhibitions.

It is the largest existing maze, composed entirely of bamboo plants (in total about 200,000), which belong to twenty different species,  between 30 centimeters and 15 meters tall. The path is over 3 kilometers long and each corridor is 3 meters wide and offers unparalleled perceptual and emotional experiences … Sinking yourself into the green and breathing culture is one of the most exciting adventures that one may wish to share as moments of pure pleasure and contentment …

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/Discovering Anacapri, the “wild” side of Capri

If Capri is glam, Anacapri is certainly the old fashioned part of the island.
To reach it you only have to travel 3 km uphill along hairpin bends overlooking the sea and finally  enjoy the  “wild” soul of this fashionable island of the Gulf of Naples. If you want to fully enjoy this gem of nature and beauty, here’s what you absolutely must not miss:

The Red house
This Villa once belonged to the American Colonel John Clay Mackowen, who arrived in Italy just after the American Civil War and settled in Anacapri until 1899. The name comes from the Pompeian red covering of its façade. It’s the only building of its kind since it was realized with several architectural styles: mullioned windows and battlements, inside you find the structure of a square tower and an arcaded courtyard. In the interior of the Casa Rossa there is a permanent exhibition entitled “The Painted Island” dedicated to the islanders traditions of past centuries and also there are four Roman statues found in 1964 and in 1974 in the Blue Grotto.

The Church of San Michele
The Baroque church of San Michele Arcangelo was built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries along with the entire Teresian complex to which it belonged. The church has a Greek cross Octagonal base and is famous for the original tiled floor dated 1761, with  Adam and Eve in Eden.

The Church of Santa Sofia
Overlooking the main square of Anacapri is the Church of St. Sophia, built in 1510 in place of the Church of St. Mary of Constantinople.

Enjoy your travel!
Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Costa Smeralda, a jewel set in the Mediterranean

The Costa Smeralda is among the most fascinating destinations of Sardinia as well as of the entire globe. It’s an emerald set along a phantasmagoric coast, exactly as its name says …truly nomen omen,! ( name with a wish)
Located in the northeastern part of the region, it offers 80 kilometers of unspoiled coastline and is wrapped in beautiful Mediterranean vegetation, dotted with white sand beaches, hidden coves, islands and animated by a vibrant nightlife that takes place in the local fashion.
Granitic rocks of rare beauty sprouting from a sensational sea of ​​shades of green and turquoise create beaches and beautiful scenery.
Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo are the pride of this beautiful region: sophisticated, luxurious and fashionable, they are an ideal base for exploring the Emerald Coast.
Do not miss the coves of Multiccioni Lu, Li sheds and Ulticeddu, the beautiful and long white sandy beaches of Tanca Manna, del Povero, The Isuledda, Balca Brusciata, Cala Arena Bianca, Cala Granu, Portu Li Coggi and Cala Petra Ruia.
For all those who want a holiday in perfect Italian style but without sacrificing the wonders of nature!
Plan your trip with Italy Travel Makers!

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Versilia between culture and fun

Versilia, a stretch of land located in the province of Lucca, is one of the most popular areas not only for its beaches, but also for the fun and culture that it offers … A very complete package indeed!
Between Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio, you are spoiled by the choice of enjoying the long sandy beaches, and the brightness of the lush vegetation and cool pine forests as a backdrop to the beaches; and if you are a passionate for culture, you can take advantage of the famous International Satire Festival (to which even a museum is dedicated and housed in the old fortress).
For art lovers, however, a must  see is Pietrasanta, quiet and elegant resort, which is located inland and is known as the artistic capital of Versilia. Great artists of the caliber of Michelangelo Buonarroti have allowed that the art of working marble developed in and around this town.
Another very characteristic place is Camaiore, whose historic center has the original Romanesque architecture and offers an emotion for the eyes and hearts for this specific location; in fact, it forms a basin at the foot of the Apuan Alps: a true performance of nature!
Last but not least is Viareggio, the southernmost town of Versilia which dates back to the nineteenth century and is the best known town of the area internationally. For centuries the only outlet to the sea  that the city of Lucca has, is also known as the city of Carnival ( one the most important in Italy) but at the same time also an elegant and refined resort. Characterized by well known cafes,  trendy youth clubs, the city center has many architectural treasures in the Nouveau Art style.
Versilia in fact offers a blend of reasons for an entertaining and cultured vacation. Enjoy this show with Italy travel Makers !!

Gerardo Soglia

Travel/ Maratea, a dive where the water is bluer

Martaea is another priceless diamond tucked into our beautiful peninsula and rising in a panoramic position along the most suggestive gulf of Policastro; a magnificent coastal resort town on the Tyrrhenian coast of Basilicata perched on Monte San Biagio, a majestic stage overlooking beaches and nestled in lush vegetation. Of ancient origins, Maratea houses in its historical center artistic architectural testimonials left by history.
Famous also as the city of the 44 churches, due to  the proliferation of religious character buildings (churches, chapels, monasteries), Maratea is a large open air  work of  Catholic art , beginning with the ancient Basilica of St. Biagio, dedicated to the Patron Saint, and extending to all the buildings, unanimously embellished with splendid artistic fancy.

Not to miss is the walk up to the Monte San Biagio to see one of the most beautiful attractions, as well as the symbol of Maratea, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer which dominates the town and from where the you can enjoy the exciting coastal landscape. Second in size only to the Christ of Rio de Janeiro, it’s more than 22 meters high, the imposing statue stands at a height of 650 meters and it’s a viewpoint from where you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the coast.
It’s really a perfect destination for those who want to reconcile culture and relaxation, since Maratea is a town that further to the architectural values, also represents an area of ​​great natural values: the area is covered with the typical Mediterranean vegetation while the coast, high and jagged,  steeply overlooks the sea where rocky cliffs alternate with small sandy beaches. Beautiful and unspoiled beaches where you will feel  really immersed in a paradise oasis !!
Visit Maratea and let Italytravelmakers organize your perfect trip!

Gerardo Soglia