MEET YOUR GUIDE IN ROME: MARCO

On this month’s Meet Your Guide in Rome we’ll introduce MARCO a most entertaining guide at Italy Segway Tours, who’ll make your tour unforgettable!

 

#meetmarco

Meet Marco

NAME:

Hi! my name is Marco Del Vento, born in ROME in 753 b.C. I have two brothers, twins, one called Romolus and one called Remus… but one happens be missing since a while!!! any news?

NAME OF TOUR YOU LEAD AND WHERE?

I proudly lead all of the activities powered by italysegwaytours.com, italyfoodculture.com & italycruiserbiketours.com  since 2008… lotsa fun I never want to miss out!!!

YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE TOUR?

Of all the tours that I lead, what I love best is to make all feel as locals and enjoy town from the point of view of an insider… and drinking from a “Roman Nose” is one of those things that anyone can do , but ONLY locals do properly!!!

FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT IN YOUR CITY?

First rule for restaurants:

  1. eat everywhere as long as there are no waiters inviting you in
  2. make sure that menus have no english translation.. it means it’s a local spot
  3. never order the wine of the house… enjoy botteld wine
  4. NEVER EVER order a cappuccino after lunch or dinner… only espresso coffea is allowed or you’ll be commiting a real Blasfemy!!
  5. Back streets off main tourist attractions should be preffered

If you follow these simple rules you’ll find pleasant places to enjoy the roman vibe for your lunch or dinner.  The best pizza place in town: Pizza Forum, Via di San Giovanni in Laterano, in the Colosseum area. The best restaurant: Romeow,  Via Franceso Negri 15, in the Ostiense neighborhood, 10 minutes walk from the Pyramid.

#ontheroad

On the road

ONE THING VISITORS TO MY CITY CAN’T MISS?

The Orange tree gardens is the “not to miss place” while in rome ( and the Rose Gardens in may & june )

TRAVEL MANTRA? Go, eat, talk, smell, see and… dream for long after

WHAT’S NEXT ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST?  Short hawl: Milan , a great place with a superb karma.

WHAT YOUR BEST TIP FOR THOSE COMING TO VISIT ITALY? Go on tour with a local is the best suggestion I can give to future travellers coming to Rome

WHAT’S THE FOOD THAT SOMEONE MUST TRY IN YOUR CITY BEFORE LEAVING??

#pizzapatate

Pizza alle Patate

The “pizza al taglio” – slice pizza – with patatoes and rosmary ( no cheese !!! ) it’s mouthwatering! And from May to October a huge slice of local watermelon will beat the heat.

WHAT’S THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD ON ONE OF YOUR TOURS?

Memorable experiences I have them each time I go out on tour but having to share  one, the engagements beat them all! Such moving experiences from all points of view…it happened riding a segway… wonderful!

WHAT MAKES YOUR TOUR UNIQUE?

I love leading tours because I am so proud and deeply in love with my hometown, you’ll all fall in love for it as much I am!!!

 

#onthetour

During the tour

When booking your tour in Rome, make sure to ask for Marco and have a blast with all your family!

The best natural SPAs in Italy

We’re already at the half of August: let’s face it, summer is almost over. How are you feeling? Are you relaxed and ready to start over?

Or maybe – just maybe – you feel almost more tired than before, with all this early awakenings to see the city and late night times to enjoy the parties, and all the random food and the walking and the biking…?

Maybe you might want to enjoy some extra relax time, and this time only true and pure sweet doing nothing?

Well, we know what is best for you: a day at the Terme. Italy is full of thermal stations, raw or super-accessorized SPAs, you just have to check out which suits you best!

TERME1

Between Latium and Tuscany there’s plenty of wonderful thermal stations. Ancient Rome almost invented the modern SPAs: Mens sana in corpore sano, a strong body supports a strong mind. Let’s follow the roman traces so, and let’s check out where to recharge our body & mind.

just imagine...

just imagine…

First things first, though. The most famous of all Terme in Italy are the “Terme di Caracalla” and the “Terme di Diocleziano”, near Rome. Named after two emperors, the well known Diocleziano and the less popular (almost infamous, actually) Caracalla, these places are monuments and of course it’s not possible to bathe in it: but you can start from there and imagine the greatness of the empire, before leaving for an actual wellness center nearby. You will find plenty near Tivoli, Stigliano, and Rome itself.

Going a bit further, in the lands between Latium and Tuscany (the so-called Maremma) you’ll find some little treasure. All the zone is full of SPAs and thermal stations: the most famouse is near Grosseto, and it’s called “Saturnia”. They are more than just a resort center, all the town is infact conceived to be one! You don’t necessarily have to pay a ticket to bath, because you will find a pool just wandering a bit ’round. A pool, and a creek, and some cascades too! Why do they have this strange name?
“Saturnia” comes exactly from Saturn: the legend wants the ancient (roman, indeed) god to get upset by the continuous wars in mankind. So upset that, one day, the god of weather and the time – Jupiter’s father! – took his most powerful thunder and threw it down to Earth. Being Saturn the god of agriculture and richness of Earth, though, he did not destroy the whole land: from the cracks on the ground sprung the hot water, and… here we are!

Leaving Maremma you have two choices: you can go near the Siena area, in the countryside with all the winery and small stone towns and going to the center of Italy, or you can follow the Mar Tirreno coast and go north.

In the beautiful Val D’Orcia, near Siena, you’ll find plenty of thermal stations – we can say that all the place boils with sulfuric water down there:  find one, relax and smell the peculiar perfume of boiled egg – so healty…

bagno vignoni

Bagno Vignoni

Don’t forget to pay a visit – it’s quick and small, I promise – to the beautiful borgo of Bagno Vignoni: a small town in the Siena area, literally surrounded by thermal water!

 

 

There are also a lot of free thermal spots around there – no buildings, no masseurs, no towels: just stones and water (be careful, it’s slippery!): just ask the locals… If you want to keep moving, you’ll find thermal stations also in the Arezzo/Perugia zone, between Tuscany and Umbria. The landscape is pretty different: from the gold of the straw fields and the elegance of the cypressus to the dark green of the oaks and the woods. Quite amazing, as well!

If you decided instead to follow the sea, you will arrive in the very heart of those who invented the “Terme”. Earlier on I mentioned Romans, saying that they were almost the parents of this wonderful baths, but the originals are right there, between Maremma and Versilia, and they are one of the most ancient and misterious civilization in Italy: the “Etruschi”. With their not-well deciphered alphabet, almost forgotten after the Roman Empire, the Etruschi found out that bathing in this stinky water was not that bad, and started to grow buildings around there, and proper stations.

Calidario Terme Etrusche, Venturina (LI), Toscana, Italia, EuropaThen the Romans gave order to everything, and it is not by chance that one of the most famous thermal stations there is called “Calidario”, near Venturina (Livorno): it evokes  the 3 steps program in the ancient Rome. Bathing in warm water (calidarium), in medium water (tepidarium) and in cool water (frigidarium) was supposed to be the most tonifying cure for body and mind – and it actually is, considering that we are still doing that!

You can go further, up near the Appennini or the Alpi Apuane – behold the white marble in Carrara while bathing a bit more, pass the mountains and enjoy the Emilia-Romagna…

Then you’ll be relaxed enough to dive again in your work life – waiting for next year to come back!

What to do in Florence during summer

If your place is too warm and you can’t stand the idea of lying on the bed drinking cool water, you might want to check out what’s up in Florence.

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During summer there’s plenty of activities you might try, from a movie in a square to an evening run… let’s have an overwiev on the things to do!

Movie nights
In July and August a lot of italian cities organize summer movie nights in squares and parks: most of them are for free and most of them, thanks to the Bologna-based institute “Il cinema ritrovato”, are restored masterpiece in original language.
In Florence there are two open space cinemas for the moment: one is in the park near the Stadium, in the green and quiet Campo di Marte neighborhood, where you can enjoy some old movie while having a drink as well. Look for the program by searching “Cinema Light”. The entrance is free!

In the same zone you will also find two other movie areas: it’s the “Arena di Marte”, divided in small and big. The big one offers most successful last year’s movies; the small one offers a “d’essai” program,

with all the movies that you can’t normally find in the halls. Entrance costs from 5 to 6 euros.

It’s not over – there is another one: the “Apriti Cinema” program, totally free – most of the program is in a foreign language, subtitled in italian and english. It offers a sneak peek on all cultures’ cinema, from the African to the Japanese, with a large number of session focused on a particular theme (writers, women, documentaries).

It takes place in the central area of Santissima Annunziata square: it does not have a lot of places so assure yourself to be there well in advance if you really want to sit!

Running in parks
When the sun starts descending you might enjoy a jogging hour: the city is still really warm, but worry not… Florence is full of green areas.
Campo di Marte gardens are one option, probably the best for those who live in Cure or Stadium area, but there are also the “Ventaglio” park and the “Area Pettini Burresi”.

Then, there is of course the Cascine park, the biggest one, in the northern zone.
Another very useful and suggestive park is “Parco dell’Anconella”, between the AnconellaVerrazzano and the Varlungo bridges.
On the other side of the bridge you’ll find the Carraia park; and right near Piazzale Michelangelo you can try yourself with a run in Bobolino – the youngest brother of Boboli – and enjoy the view.

And of course if you prefer to relax no one stops you from bringing a towel and lie on the grass with a good book. You might want to bring also a mosquito stick, though.

Art exhibitions
One for all this time – is free and it’s in one of the beautiest spots in Florence: it’s Gormley’s ‘Human’ art exhibition. Pixelated or sort-of-melted men stand out against the sky in the wonderful Forte Belvedere.258ee2700b8562b5d51ebf2117179b3d_XL
You have to arrive there by foot, and it’s a bit of an effort, so bring water and go at sunset: the effect is wonderful and you will not sweat your skin out.

“Human” is not the only art show in Florence, but aside from the most famous in the old palaces and museums, we suggest you to take a look in the many galleries around the city. Sometimes they can really be surprising.

Then of course, if you want to get acquainted with the city first, you can follow us on facebook, take a look at our blog and our page and book a tour: we will show you why is Florence so unforgettable – and you’ll forget the heat!

Meet Your Guide: Giuliana

Welcome back everyone! This month you’ll meet Giuliana, a most enthusiastic and passionate guide in the wonderful Rome!

 

Name: Giuliana!

Nationality and hometown? Italian , born  and grew up in pics 4Rome.

Name of tour you lead and where: I lead the Imperial Segway Tour in Rome!

Your favorite part of the tour: What do I like  about the tour? Definitely the Segway! Riding a Segway is different from anything you have done before and it is a great way to tour Rome while having lots of fun!

Favorite local restaurant in your city:  I love  “Nonna Betta Restaurant” the best kosher food in town! This place is in the wonderful area of the Jewish ghetto, totally worth visiting!

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss:   a walk through  the colorful stalls of the market of “Campo de’ Fiori”

Travel mantra?   The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

What’s next on your travel bucket list?  Everywhere!!! Although the greatest wish now is a trip to Colombia!

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?  Venice!  It is one of  those places that everyone has to see at least once in their lives, just like Rome.

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy?   Slow down, take it easy and enjoy Italy’s dolce vita, you’ll never enjoy it trying to rush to places!

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving?  Definitely Cheese and Wine!!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours?   I’d say during the shooting of the latest “007 James Bond” …it was incredible!

What do you like most about leading tours?  I love sharing Rome’s beauty and its history with everybody!

What makes your tour unique?  Mm…I’d say my enthusiasm !!!

 Think you’re readJpegy for a Segway Tour? Book it now and don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to enjoy history and arts, while driving around on a modern chariot! And make sure you ask for Giuliana to be your guide!

Till next time!

 

 

Cool and refreshing places in Milan, Florence and Rome

The Italian summer can be really hot and a list of cool and refreshing places in Milan, Florence and Rome can be useful to find places away from the crowd where you can cool down for a while.

MILAN

Pic-nic in the park

In the last few years in Milan have been inaugurated 18 new parks…not bad! For a different afternoon, you can consider to go to one of them, and maybe having a picnic there J. You don’t need to bring blankets and baskets, that’s Milan and you can find everything! Our address for a pic-nic is California Bakery (right in front of Sant’Eustorgio, one of the oldest churches of Milan), there they’ll provide you everything you need for a pic nic (blankets and pillows included) and the only thing you’ll have to do is to find a nice spot in the park behind, relax and experience the city away from the crowd and the heat of the center.

 

Naviglio della Martesana

Naviglio della Martesana

Cycling along the canals

Another option could be to rent a bike and cycle along one of the canals still remaining in the city, like the Naviglio della Martesana or the Naviglio Pavese. In few minutes you’ll leave the city and you’ll be seduced by the peace and the beauty of the nature and of the retreats and farms which line the canals.

FLORENCE

Arno river cruise

Can you imagine the feeling of passing under the Ponte Vecchio on a traditional Florentine boat? These boats are called “barchetti” and offer tours conducted by  experienced boatmen, who will tell you the story and stories of the monuments you’ll pass by.

 

Giardino di Boboli

Giardino di Boboli

Giardino di Boboli

Maybe is predicted, but every time we go there, we’re hooked by the beauty of this park. The Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens) is one of the most important Italian Renaissance gardens in the world and houses pieces of art dating back dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, mixed with some Roman relics. One of the features of the park is the cave designed by Buontalenti (yes, the same who invented the gelato), an unreal space decorated by stalactites and populated by fauns. But this cave is not the only one, have fun exploring all the corners of this garden 111 acres wide.

ROME

 

Catacombs of St.Callixtus

Catacombs of St.Callixtus

The catacombs of St.Callixtus

Ok, what’s more refreshing than caves? And the Eternal City is famous for its “artificial caves”: the catacombs. The catacombs of St.Callixtus are among the greatest and most important of Rome and visiting them, you’ll forget the loud and the crowd of Rome and delve into a journey into the history, visiting the place where the early Christians had to hide during the persecutions. See the symbols on the walls and learn their meanings, and when you’ll re-emerge you’ll be ready for another rush of monuments ;-)

Botanical Garden

If you maybe prefer leafy places, then pick one of the several beautiful parks of the city. We’d suggest you to go to the less known ones, like the Botanical Garden. This park near Trastevere, is a veritable forest in the very center of the city, cared by the Department of Environmental Biology of the Sapienza University. Walking through roses, bamboo forests and zen gardens, at some point you’ll reach the hill heart of the garden, which offers stunning views over the city.

Sometimes our clients tell us that in Italy really seems that people know how to enjoy life..then do like us, take it easy, take a break and experience the beauty and the soul of these cities!

Meet Your Guide : Bob the Emperor on the Rome Segway Tour

On this month’s “Meet Your Guide” feature we’ll introduce you to Roberto or, for his friends, Bob The Emperor.

He’s a veteran at Italy Segway Tours, he’s been leading tours since 2011 and he’ll teach you all you need to know about Rome and Segways!

Getting ready for the tour

Name: Bob The Emperor!

Nationality and Hometown? I am Italian and born in Rome, my wonderful birthplace.

Name of tour you lead and where: I usually lead the Imperial Segway tour in the day time, the Baroque Segway night tour and Rome bike tours.

Your favorite part of the tour: The favorite part of the Segway tour is when you see all the customers able to drive it, we are so proud of our teaching and their learning!

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: For Pizza i like Tettarello, in Rione Monti or Napul’e in the Prati neighbourhood. The restaurant Santa Lucía – closer to Piazza Navona – is another place that I love.

During the tour

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: In Rome you can’t miss the view of the city from the Oranges Garden on the Aventino Hill,  especially at sunset! Also the walk on the Appiah Way is a must when in Rome.

Favorite Travel Quote? One life is not enough to visit Rome….and travel all around the world!

Roberto leading a Segway Night Tour

What’s next on your travel bucket list? My next trip I hope will be to Patagonia and Terra del Fuego, Argentina! It is a dream of mine to visit those marvelous places.

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? To everyone who wants to visit Italy my advice is: enjoy the food! Italy is the best country, not only for art and history but eating Italian is the joy of gourmets!!!!  And it’s healthy too!

Jewish Artichokes

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? From the Roman cuisine you have to taste the Carbonara or Amatriciana pasta dish and the Jewish artichokes, so delicious!

 

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? One tour was memorable sharing a laugh with customers about me falling off the Segway!! I have to take care of my group but sometimes my own self isn’t  under control!

Taking pictures!

What do you like most about leading tours? I like it when people are actually paying attention to my explanations. Sometimes art and history seem to be boring but when you are able to catch their interest, you see their eyes shining and you feel satisfied. That makes the difference on leading a tour!

 

Do you feel like you know Roberto?? When booking  your Segway Tour in Rome, ask for him and you’ll have a blast! See you in Rome!

Everything you need to know about Expo Milan 2015 (and beyond)

The tree of Life

The tree of Life

Whether you’ve scheduled it or not, if you’re in Milan, you really can’t miss the world fair and here you find everything you need to know about Expo Milan 2015 (and beyond), which has opened on the 1st of May and which will last 6 months, until October 31st. A huge exhibition, spread on an over one million square meters wide area, with 145 participating nations. You’ll feel that you’re travelling around the world.

How to get there

If you’re staying in the city the best way is to take the red underground line up to Rho Fiera Expo (the urban ticket is not valid, check it out here to learn about ticket and pass). Once there, our suggestion is to follow the directions to “Fiorenza” entrance, since it will lead you just at the beginning of the the main street crossing the whole site from east to west: the Decumano. Our tip: Once there, in order to save time and go easier around the site, you can take the People Mover Shuttle Bus Service”.

Tickets

You can buy them on advance or directly at the Expo ticket office, just consider that there are two different prices: 39€ (open date – any day) and 34€ (fixed date). You’re in Milan for just one day? Between 7 and 11 p.m. the entrance costs 5€! Our tip: If you plan to spend your evening there, buy also a ticket for the Cirque du Soleil, they’ve created an exclusive show just for the Expo called Alla Vita!

What you can’t miss at the Expo

Pavilion Zero (detail)

Pavilion Zero (detail)

The entire exhibition is amazing, and the architectures lining the Decumano are a festival for the eyes. Some of them are really enchanting and eye-catching, just let them inspire you and enter to discover the inside. What we enjoined the most:

-          Pavilion Zero: The first to be seen and not to be missed if you want to understand the subject of the exhibition and to meditate on the themes of the Expo.

-          Tree of life (Albero della Vita): every hour an extraordinary show animates and this symbol of the Expo and the dancing fountains surrounding it.

-          Italian Pavilion: reminding a bright white forest, this pavilion houses an engaging tail about the Italian natural and cultural beauties and innovations and ends with a question: what the world would be without Italy? 

-          Italian Regional Restaurants: it doesn’t happen every day to have 20 Italian restaurants one next to the other one serving delicious specialties of the Italian regions, the difficult part is to make a choice.

-          Mediterranean Hill: at the Decumano’s end there’s a lush hill covered with fragrant Mediterranean vegetation: the perfect place to go for a relaxing walk and to see the panorama over the site.

And what you can’t miss in the city

Naviglio Grande

Naviglio Grande

-          Take a stroll on the new Darsena (Harbour): after a complete renovation, the former Milanese harbor is back and Milan has its new waterfront with bars, shops, a pedestrian area and…a beach.

-          See the Pietà Rondanini: the last masterpiece sculpted by Michelangelo is in Milan, and a brand new museum to house it has been inaugurated and guess what: entrance is free until May 31st!

-          Take a picture to a wheatfield with skyscrapers in background: a performance strictly connected to the Expo themes, a green wheatfield designed by the artist Agnes Denes is growing in the new modern area of Porta Nuova Neighborhood: stunning!

What can we say, Milan is getting every day more beautiful and exciting and the Expo is a dream come true, almost addictive, we literally can’t wait to share all of this with you.

5 ideas for a day-trip from Milan

Especially in the warm season, taking a break from the city can be reinvigorating. That’s why we decided to suggest to you 5 ideas for a day-trip from Milan. All the destinations we present in this post are easily reached by train from Milan, just check the timetables here. You’ll probably be surprised by the amazing gems kept in places you’ve probably never heard about, but hey…that’s Italy guys!

-          Monza

Getting to Monza is extremely easy since it is just 20 minutes away from Milan by train. If you’re interested in history but also in being in elegant and chic places, this is the destination for you. After a quick walk from the train station, you’ll be in the city center in ten minutes and we’re sure that the rhythm of this elegant small city will captivate you. Monza is rich in art and culture! Stroll around the center, between elegant boutiques and another attractions. Don’t miss the medieval Duomo for any reason. While exploring its treasury and its frescoes, you’ll be shocked by its beauty. Have a coffee break at the enchanting Tea Rose Cafè and then take a look at the Arengario, the former town hall of the city. End your city getaway by going around along the river Lambro and having a meal at a nice restaurant in the area.

-          Bergamo

Bergamo Alta

Bergamo Alta

Romantic, magical, old are just few of the adjectives we have in mind when we think about Bergamo. The old city is situated on a hill and dominates the modern city (Bergamo Bassa) and the area around. Arrive at the train station located in Bergamo Bassa and from there take the bus to get to the old walled city of Bergamo Alta. Once you have arrived, visit the Piazza Vecchia, the octagonal Cappella Colleoni, the medieval church of Santa Maria Maggiore and then take a stroll through the small roads scattered with lovely boutiques up to the Colle Aperto, where you’ll have the best panorama over Bergamo Bassa. And what about eating out? Well…the province of Bergamo has 10 Michelin awarded restaurants and of them 2 are in Bergamo Alta: foodies are very welcome here!

-          Brescia

Brescia-Capitolium

Brescia-Capitolium

Brescia should be a destination itself, not just a day-trip but we know that there is never enough time in a day! In any case, did you know that Brescia is a Roman city and that there are important Roman ruins to be seen? And this is just the first surprise. If you really want to understand the city, visit the Santa Giulia Museum which is included in the UNESCO heritage list and without any doubt one of the most beautiful museums we’ve seen so far. Seriously, where else can you find a museum which is built around a Longobard church, a Roman residential district and a medieval church? After leaving the museum, visit the ruins of the main Roman shrine: the Capitolium . Here,  you’ll be immersed back to the Augustan Age. There is still time for a peek  into the central Piazza della Loggia and the old Cathedral. My goodness, there is so much to see!

-          Pavia

Castello Visconteo (Pavia) by Giorgio Gonnella

Castello Visconteo (Pavia) by Giorgio Gonnella

Pavia is just less than 30 min from Milan by train. After arriving, getting to the city center is super easy: just go straight. When in doubt, just ask around. After few minutes you’ll be in the central Piazza della Vittoria, lined by elegant medieval buildings and…this is just the beginning! Turn left in Corso Strada Nuova have a coffee (with of course a pastry) in the historical Pasticceria Vigoni, located right in front of the university, one of the oldest in Italy, founded in 1361. Take a moment to explore the courtyards and the ancient library (one of the first public libraries  in the world!), then continue on to the Castello Visconteo, named after the dukes of Milan and after visiting it, come back to the center and visit the cathedral, the stunning church of San Michele Maggiore and finally relax by strolling along the Ticino river up to the Ponte Coperto (covered bridge).

-          Como and the lake

Varenna

Varenna

We didn’t want to be predictable putting this as first destination but…Como should be :-) , especially if you travel in spring or summer. The train station Como Lago is next to the city center, where a gate will introduce you to the heart of the famous lake town. Before diving into the city, consider taking a boat and explore other destinations in the area. One suggestion could be Varenna, a former fishermen’s village which is still colorful and picturesque. After your boat “tour” , enter the walled historical city center of Como and reach the lively Piazza Duomo, which is still nowadays the heart of the city, sit at the table of one of the bars overlooking the square and just enjoy the peaceful beauty. If you have time take the funicular to Brunate and enjoy the stunning view of the lake from above.

Well, what can we add…wear comfy shoes and have fun! :-)

How to get the tickets for museums and exhibitions in Milan and Venice

In this post about where to find  information about how to get the tickets for museums and exhibitions in Milan and Venice, we tried to put together a useful guide, since visiting an important city of art like Milan or Venice can be overwhelming…so many things to do, so many things to see.

Being well organized can help to save time, stress and sometimes also money. Have you just landed in one of these two cities? Well, don’t  panic and follow our tips…easy peasy!

MILAN

Da Vinci Codex Atlanticus

Da Vinci Codex Atlanticus

Probably if you want to see all the museums of the city, you should spend at least a month in Milan, but since we guess you’ll be here for shorter time, have a look at this guide focused on museums and temporary exhibitions, where you can easily choose what to visit depending on your interests.

Yeah we know that leaving Milan without seeing the Last Supper can be frustrating, so in case you really want to admire the masterpiece painted by Leonardo da Vinci buy the tickets in advance through the official website.

Everything  sold out? We know the feeling but consider that there are other masterpieces by Leonardo in Milan like the engaging portrait “The Musician” kept in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana or the collection of his sketches – aka  the Codex Atlanticus - which is split in two parts and visible in the Library of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and in the Sacristy of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Moreover, if you are interested in Leonardo, stay tuned, since in spring will inaugurate the biggest exhibition ever dedicated to the genius of the Italian Renaissance.

Warning: insider tip! Did you know that inside the hall of the Banca Popolare di Milano there’s a reproduction of the Last Supper?

Duomo of Milan

Duomo of Milan

An experience we suggest not to miss is the Skip-the-Line Milan Duomo and Terrace Tour which makes you climb on the rooftop of the Duomo and see the city from above (but not only, since the tour combines also the visit to the interior of the cathedral and the archaeological site downstairs).

VENICE

Venice

Venice

Delicious Venetian cicchetti

Delicious Venetian cicchetti

Italy is a small country and Venice is reachable from Milan in just over 2 hours by train but even if is so close, is a completely different world. Venice is the gate between the West and the East and for centuries has been the most powerful city in the world. The cultural heritage to this city is  enormous. A complete guide to the Venetian cultural offer can be found here.

Well, we know than the  biggest goal for travelers is to find local spots, mix with people living there and don’t feel like tourist and we also know that in Venice seems impossible but, trust us, if you go just around the corner and lose yourself, you can discover magical courtyards and find small places where you can have an ombra de vin (glass of wine in Venetian dialect) and eat some delicious cicchetti at a normal and sometimes even cheap price.

A good guide to find such places can be this one written by two collaborators of Hugo Pratt, a famous Italian and Venetian comic book creator and if you’ll buy it at the enchanting Libreria Acqua Altaconsidered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world – you’ll appreciate it even more.

Ok, now we think that you’ve got everything to make your choices while visiting Milan and Venice and consider that on every first Sunday on the month in Italy all the national museums are free. That means that they will probably be busy, but it can be helpful if you’re travelling on a budget.

Have fun in Italy!

Meet Your Guide in Rome: Martina by Segway

We are rolling out a monthly “Meet Your Guide in Rome” section so you can get to know your friendly, knowledgeable Segway Tour Guides before you take one of our cultural, city guided Segway tours offered in Florence, Milan or Rome. If you have any more for us- let us know! Or ask us in person on one of the Segway Tours in Italy!

Meet Martina!

Meet Martina!

Name: Martina Sorrenti
Nationality and City of residence: Italian, Rome
Name of tour you lead and where: Imperial and Baroque Segway tours and Pizza food tour in Rome
If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there?
I was born in Rome, but I lived in many places before coming back to Rome more or less 7 years ago. I had to follow my parents that had to move because of their job, so I moved to Guatemala and then back to Italy (Milan). When I came back to Rome I decided that I would  never move again, I love this city so much!
Martina Rome Segway 2Your favorite part of the tour: What I like about the Segway tour is that I can mix a historical part with the fun side of the segway.
Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: I really like Pizza at Chicco di Grano, that is where we also do the final part of our Pizza tour, and I love Pasta at the Restaurant “Trilussa” in Trastevere.
One thing visitors to my city can’t miss: Pizza and Gelato of course!! And a nice walk in the area of the Pantheon in the summer evenings.
Travel Mantra? What I usually say at the beginning of my tour is “Smile and be proud, you are in Rome!”
What’s next on your travel bucket list? I would really like to visit Guatemala, the place where I lived when I was 2 years old and that I don’t remember at all!
What is your favorite Italian city to travel to? I love to travel to Florence and to Naples and Sorrento.
Martina Roma GuidaWhat’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy?
My suggestion is to take the country as it is, with its problems but also with its amazing beauties. What tourists must do is to understand our view and enjoy every small thing that our wonderful country can offer. It is true, public transportation is not working well, you can get lost because there are not correct
signs, we are often late, but behind these things is a wonderful world of colors, tastes and arts to discover at every corner.
What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving?
Pizza, Gelato and pasta “all’Amatriciana” that is my favorite.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours?
Probably it was when I did the tour with the Australian comedian Anh Do, it was very fun, but I tell you something that I always say during my tours: Each tour Is for me as a “small trip”, during which I can learn something about other countries  and share events of my own life with people of different cultures.
What do you like most about leading tours? I like to share our history and knowledge and learn about other cultures at the same time.
What makes your tour unique? Mmm … Me? Hihi :)

Stay tuned! Next month we will introduce you to one of our Segway Tour Guides in Milan! Would you like to take a Segway Tour in Rome with Martina on your future trip to Italy? Just send us a request!