Italy Travel Notes presents: MICHIEL VAN KETS
Steeped in antiquity yet bursting with all that’s fashionably modern, Italy is the birthplace of La Dolce Vita – the sweet life that celebrates beauty and happiness.
Climate Winters are long and cold in the northern alps; the summers can be rainy with frequent storms. The far south is warm but often lashed by the sirocco – the hot and humid African wind that brings weeks of stifling heat to the areas south of Rome. Pleasant temperatures make spring and autumn the best times to visit Italy.
Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts
Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Italy
Milan:cutting edge design and fine shopping
Milan’s drab facade belies the fact that it’s the innovation capital of Europe.
transport: getting there and getting around
Malpensa airport, located about 31 miles northwest of Milan, handles most international flights. For domestic and some European flights, Linate airport is used. Stazione Central, which as the name suggests is in the city centre offers an extensive rail network.
Milan has an efficient public transport system is efficient. It includes four underground lines, buses and trams.
Other than the odd heat wave, the climate in Milan is mostly temperate.
accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Milan hotels
events:what’s on and what’s hot
For all its consumer-driven culture, Milan celebrates the spiritual as well as the worldly.
*The first ten days of June celebrate the Festa del Naviglio, a potpourri of parades, music and various performances.
*The Milan Jazz Festival gets the city swinging in November.
*The Festa di Sant’Ambrogio, on 7 December is celebrated with services, offerings and fairs around the Fiera di Milano. This is also the day that Milan’s renowned opera house La Scala opens its season.
Rome:the eternal city
Drenched in history and weighted with monuments famous the world over – the Vatican and the Colosseum, Rome stands as the epitome of history and culture.
transport:getting there and getting away
Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 16 miles southwest of the city with the Stazione Termini direct train running hourly into the city. The main bus station is located outside the Stazione Termini. The Rome Metro service has two lines, both of which go through Termini. It runs from 5:30 a.m to 11.30 p.m. and 0:30 on Saturdays.
The climate is mild with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. However July and August can be oppressively hot, November is often rainy, and December to February can be chill.
accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Rome hotels
Events: what’s on and what’s hot
*Holy Week (Easter) is time when Catholics from all over the world arrive on pilgrimages to visit the city’s churches and to hear the Pope at the Vatican. On Good Friday a procession of the Cross goes from the Colosseum to Capitoline Hill.
The Estate Romana (Roman Summer), is at the heart of Roman social life from June to September. It’s a time when the city reverberates to free concerts, street theatre and outdoor cinema.
In September museums, galleries and shops stay open all night from 20:00-08:00 on the occasion called Notte Bianca (white night). It’s also a time of free concerts and other happenings all over the city.
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