Beach Sperlonga

Everyone has been saying online and off that this is the nicest beach near Rome. You're wondering, is it worth the two-hour drive when I can be in Maccarese in an hour?
Answer: The beach is the nicest one I've been to on the mainland.
Drawbacks: It's expensive, (28 euro for an umbrella and two chairs, close to the water).

There are stairs that lead up into the town, which doesn't allow cars.

Pack your lunch for the beach or if you want to hike into town, try Gli Archi on via Ottaviano, 17.
Posted by Picasa

Note to Self: Sicily

Take Ryan Air from Ciampino to Trapani. Airport shuttle to Le Chiavi di San Francesco, a Trapani boutique property near Cattedrale di San Lorenzo. Get a superior room or a suite for the added kitchenette and cathedral view... specials on expedia.com. Most expensive room at this 4 star is $128!


Destination Sardinia!

RyanAir flies from Ciampino to Alghero for next to nothing! http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/

Once you're at the airport, take a 10 minute taxi to http://www.hotelportoconte.com/ (30 euro)

Once you're there, enjoy big buffet breakfast, private white sandy beach, kid-friendly atmosphere, bicycle rentals, boat rentals, nightly entertainment...


For 80 euro (without license) you can rent a 6-person motorized boat to tour the bay! Just a 5 minute walk south to the Embarcadero boat port, bar, restaurant, night club.

Upgrade to a suite at Hotel Porto Conte for a lot more room, mini-fridge, and sitting area!.

Tired of HB, FB, hotel food? 10 minutes walk is a supermarket that provides fresh produce, Sardinian meats and cheeses, fresh focaccia baked daily, olives, and all the beach gear you can want!

Rent a mountain bicycle from the hotel for very reasonable rates. Half-day for 12 euro/bike. Take the 11 km ride around the bay to Grotto di Nettuno. Hike down 656 steps to the entrance. Pay for the guided tour. Hike back up 656 steps. Stop for a sandwich and beer at the bluff-top bar. Bike 11 km back! Swim.

Splurge on an excellent dinner at a 5 star hotel restaurant. 10 minutes walk south, you'll find Il Caio. Men must wear long pants. Set menu for 40 euro. Amazing view. Tour the hotel! It's totally unforgettable but totally unaffordable.


Trip to Lago di Vico

This is a short hour-drive north of Rome. Great for a day trip. Take the kids for a huge playground. Look up www.labellavenere.it for exact directions to this public beach. La Bella Venere has accomodations and a restaurant, but better to pack a lunch and a big blanket. Water is clean and clear, beach is lava-y.

View from the ristorante in La Belle Venere.
Posted by Picasa


RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo La Falconara


Recommended, can't wait to try!

TRIP TO MATERA: Locanda di San Martino

From the traveler, Fran J:

"Matera is a gem of a town, my new favorite in all of Italy. Great food and the best Neapolitan style Pizza (sorry Napoli) just steps from the hotel. Our "cave" was fabulous, great attention to detail in all the decorating and it came with a nice breakfast buffet. We would go back in a heart beat."


Where is Matera?

Map of Matera, Basilicata IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo Le Torrette Etrusche

From community member Gina P. :

"This is the place in Tuscany which is an absolute must for everyone… Nestled in the countryside, this wonderful bed and breakfast is a well-kept secret. Please share this with everyone so others can experience this wonderful piece of Tuscany unspoiled by tourism… "

RECOMMENDED: Caminetto and La Scala on via Parioli

These are two restaurants that were recently recommended to me on via Parioli. Have you tried them? What do you think?

tel: 06 8083946


Recommended by a restaurant owner in the neighborhood! Check out the menu below!

PIZZERIA: Stella Gemella

Near Largo Somalia and Villa Chigi. They fry every vegetable you can imagine for appetizers. They will do deep or thin crust on your pizzas. Look for a white on the winelist called "Falanghina."
Via Felice Anerio 12
Want to see it on a map?

Map of Via Felice Anerio 12 Roma, Lazio 00199, IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo Villa Pia

Villa Pia is a fantastic 18th century manor house in Lippiano, a medieval village on the Umbrian/Tuscan border in central Italy: Florence, Siena, Assisi, Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Gubbio, Perugia, Urbino and Cortona are within easy reach for sightseeing, renaissance art and architecture, strolling and shopping Italian-style.
From Morag at Villa Pia
"I would be really interested in organising something at Villa Pia during the quieter months. We have 3 excellent local cooks and we often do wine tasting here in the summer, so I think between these things and with numerous Piero della Francesca paintings nearby it could be quite attractive,
Would appreciate your ideas, look forward to hearing from you , all the best"

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo La Casa Rossa

************* TOP RATED ************************
We have reservations here for Easter weekend. Where are YOU going for Easter Sunday?

We have very reliable information that this is a delightful place to visit! Take a side trip to Lucca, especially if you've never been. Great for the kids, fun roadtrip, wonderful accomodations.
"Accommodation at the Casa Rossa holiday farmhouse is either in self-contained flats or in bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, with access in either case to common areas where breakfast is served. The rooms are beautifully furnished in traditional style. There is a large swimming pool. Horses, bicycles, a mini-football ground and an outdoor barbecue are all available and there is easy access to the sea, the lake, the hills and archaeological sites. The drinking water is mineral and light. At the same time the Casa Rossa continues to operate as a full working farm."
**Ask for Cesare, who speaks English (his mother is English!). ** Tell them Olivia sent you.

TRIP TO PESCOCOSTANZO: Albergo Il Peschio, Ristorante Paolino

If you can pronounce it, visit Pescocostanzo. A two to three drive from Rome, it will get you skiing in the winter and a cool weekend break in August. Stay at il Peschio where each room, named after a day of the week, is fantastically quaint with brightly tiled bathrooms, some skylights, and a quick walk to the center. Eat at Ristorante Paolino and sample some amazing truffle pasta and lamb chops. Ask il Peschio's owners Elena and Alessio where to find the famous forest for hiking, and ask to sample some local cheeses. Tell them Olivia sent you!

Map of Pescocostanzo, Abruzzo IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo Torre dei Preti


"Surrounded by centuries-old olive trees, the ancient tower was built in the XVI c. to be a small fortress capable of defending the land nearby. Indeed, the top of the tower offers a wide field of view reaching the sea.Having recently been refurbished the tower stands out with candour and elegance as the main building in this modern complex for rural tourism."

From the traveler: "The little villas were adorable, the food was ridiculously cheap, and they were so sweet and accommodating. One morning, they made us fresh foccaccia for breakfast because we were raving about the pizza crusts the night before."

How far is it from Rome? Follow the red star:
Map of Peschici, Puglia IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo Borgo Poggiolo

Recommended by a reliable source. Where is San Venanzo, you ask?
Map of San Venanzo 05010, IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo Fattoria Montalbano

The Montalbano Farm is in the municipality of Reggello, between the villages of San Donato in Fronzano and Donnini, just 27 km from Florence and close to the most splendid art cities of Tuscany.

Yes, I just happen to have a map!
Map of Reggello, Toscana IT

RECOMMENDED: Agriturismo La Vecchia Torre

Recommended by reliable sources as being 1/2 way to Naples off the A1 but then about an hour.. so a 2 ish hour drive- in a town called San Nicola Manfredi near Benevento. Very yummy (tons of it!) cheap food and lodging and playground and pool.


Map of San Nicola Manfredi, Campania IT