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Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:31


Whilst I love the summer energy and beach-life of Positano by day, I have a particularly soft spot for this beautiful town at night.

Positano, like many of the small towns on the Amalfi Coast, changes as the sun sets. The beach is no longer the main focus of the town (unless there's a festival being held on the sands), and the lights in the homes and restaurants twinkle from the cliff-side.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 11:33



DATES FOR 2013 – 18th – 27th October 2013

The International Eurochocolate festival of Perugia is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The festival remains as popular as ever, with the Umbrian capital turning into a huge open-air chocolate shop, with exhibitions, workshops, internships, cooking classes, tastings, banquets and celebrations, as well as the coveted Eurochocolate Awards prize.

Each year the festival has a theme. This year is ‘EVERGREEN’ – a nod to sustainability. In previous years themes have included "Prisoners of Chocolate", “City of Chocolate”, “Chokolate Revolution,” and even “Chocolage” (the evolution of chocolate).

Monday, 17 September 2012 14:22


The wines from the hills above Verona dominate the wine scene in the Veneto region. This region has 20 recognised zones for production, with grapes including Corvina, Rondinella, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon (reds); and Garganega, Vespaiolo, Pinot Bianco (whites).

Some of the key areas in the Veneto wine region include:

Bardolino - this area is on the southeast shores of Lake Garda and produces light, soft reds. Read More....

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 14:25


In this series of blogs, Passion For Italy are showcasing some of our favourite villas, apartments and hotels all over Italy. Today we are featuring a Villa hotel set amongst vineyards and olive trees, in the vicinity of Lake Garda and only 30km from Verona.

Once a private Villa, this 5* hotel has been elegantly restored. All the rooms have been uniquely decorated with precious fabrics, marble bathrooms and antique furniture. The hotel has its own highly-regarded restaurant and it is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing holiday in the Veneto wine region.

Due to its large park and interiors, the hotel is also an ideal place to host a wedding or private party.

Contact us for more information about this Villa hotel.

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:04



In this series of blogs, Passion For Italy are showcasing some of our favourite villas and apartments all over Italy. Today we are featuring apartments in the heart of the Renaissance town of Montepulciano.

These beautifully restored one, two and three-bedroom apartments have been built in the inner walls of the town, where noble families once lived.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 09:47


In this series of blogs, Passion For Italy are showcasing some of our favourite villas all over Italy. What better place to start than Tuscany...

This beautiful villa sleeps 16, so is perfect for groups of friends or large extended families, or even an intimate wedding party. The villa is on an estate that spans over 1500 acres in the Montepulciano wine region of Tuscany, about half-way between Siena and Florence.

On the grounds of the estate you can enjoy horse-riding, walking, fishing or you can simply relax and pass the time by the villa's private pool. The estate is on the edge of a vast nature reserve and is perfect for nature lovers, but the rich cultural offerings of the region and its surrounds (such as the towns of Pienza and Cortona) are just a short drive away.

Contact us for more information about this beautiful villa.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:43


In this series of blogs we will highlight some of our favourite day trip destinations in Tuscany.


San Gimignano is a small hill-top town in Central Tuscany. It is a tourist magnet, but we love it just the same! Its famous towers (once numbering 72, now only 14 remain), its cobble-stoned streets, its setting surrounded by lush productive land all add up to make this an enchanting day trip destination.....

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 12:18


In this series of blogs we will highlight some of our favourite day trip destinations in Tuscany.


When we think of Tuscany, it is often the rolling hills, valleys and vineyards of the Chianti region that come to mind and deservedly so. The region's winding roads, small towns, beautiful scenery and rows and rows of grape vines make it one of our top destinations in Tuscany. There are four main towns to visit, and two small hamlets. You will need to allow at least one full day to explore this region. A full week would be ideal...

Thursday, 08 March 2012 12:24


In this series of blogs we will highlight some of our favourite day trip destinations in Tuscany. Today's destination is the beautiful Renaissance town of Pienza.


Pienza is a tiny town in the middle of the Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany. It's ideal for a morning or afternoon visit. The centre of Pienza was almost completely re-designed in the fifteenth century by Pope Pius II. He was born in the village, when it was known as Corsignano, and when elected Pope he had his birthplace rebuilt a year later - renaming it Pienza in his own honour.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 13:33


Not many visitors to the eternal city know that the real Saint Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century AD, during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. (More about Valentine at the end of the blog.)

So to commemorate the city's special connection to love and romance, we thought we would share our perfect Valentine's Day in Rome...

But first, an aside... as you wander the streets and sights of Rome, keep an eye out for padlocks - you'll see them on fences, gates, lamposts - anywhere they can be attached. These have become the modern city's symbol of love, and started after the release of a hugely popular movie in 2006 in which the main characters wrote their names on a padlock, locked it on to a lamp post on one of Rome's bridges and threw the key into the Tiber.

Back to our perfect Valentine's Day in Rome...

- Wake up in one of the city's most romantic guesthouses, our favourite is near the Spanish Steps. Become a Passion For Italy client and choose from our hand-picked selection of romantic b&b's and guesthouses.

- Visit the Pantheon early in the morning, before the crowds - having this amazing place to yourselves is a special experience.

- Wander Via del Governo Vecchio, and let it take you to Via della Pace and then on Via dei Coronari - all lovely cobblestoned streets filled with eclectique boutiques, artisans, quiet churches and cloisters, antiques - our favourite streets in Rome! Stop at one of the gorgeous cafes and restaurants for lunch. Passion For Italy clients get our full list of recommended restaurants, cafes and bars.

- After lunch consider a spot of window shopping in the famous streets around the Spanish Steps.

- Late afternoon walk up to the Pincio, and wander the gardens. These gardens are filled with tree-lined avenues - perfect for strolling - and rose-sellers (the gardens are popular with lovers). After buying a beautiful single rose stop at a romantic bar for a pre-dinner glass of prosecco to watch the sun set over the rooftops of Rome.  

- After dinner at one of our favourite romantic restaurants, wander to the Campidoglio for the view over the Roman Forum lit up at night. Such an evocative sight.

- Join the locals for the late evening passegiata and gelati.

- End the night at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in - guaranteeing your return to Rome.

To finish the story of Saint Valentine... poor fellow, he had his head chopped off by the displeased Emperor Claudius - legend has it that the priest was secretly marrying young Christian couples which upset the Christian-persecuting emperor - and now you can see Saint Valentine's head on display inside Santa Maria in Cosmedin. (We wouldn't include this on our list of things to do on Valentine's Day, but it is quite interesting nonetheless...)

Happy Valentine's Day from Passion For Italy!

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