City Guide

Ferrara - City of the Renaissance

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 26 Jun 2024

Ferrara is often overlooked by visitors to northern Italy, despite being one of its most charming small cities. Awarded UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status for being a ‘superb example of a Renaissance city that has retained its historic centre intact’, culturally, Ferrara was one of Italy’s most important Renaissance city states.

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Venice enforces Entry Fee

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 7 Feb 2024

Starting in 2024, the authorities in Venice have officially enforced the €5 Venice Access Fee for day visitors, which will apply on 29 designated dates in the year.  A new platform facilitates payment of the fee in advance, ensuring a sustainable balance for both residents and tourists.

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Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 16 Oct 2023

One of the highlights of our Etruscan Trails in Central Italy tour is our hotel stay immersed in the Tuscan landscape that surrounds Montepulciano. But the town’s midway location right in the heart of Italy makes it an ideal top or tail to any central Italy tour, an opportunity to explore more glorious architecture, wonderful vistas and to learn about some of the country’s finest wines.

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Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 13 Sep 2023

Portoferraio is the capital city of the island of Elba, in the Tuscan archipelago. The third largest island in Italy, it has rich mineral deposits and has been mined for hundreds of years for its iron ore - hence the name Portoferraio - meaning Iron Port.  We visit this attractive city on our Lucca, Volterra and Elba tour. 

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Raphael - The Renaissance Master

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 4 Sep 2020

2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the death in Rome of Raphael who, along with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, is considered one the greatest artists of the High Renaissance period in Italy.

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Six of the best things to do in Orvieto

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 2 Aug 2019

Unspoilt, intriguing and perched atop a cliff of dark volcanic rock, Orvieto is one of central Italy’s most striking towns.  Its position as one of the most important cities in the region during Etruscan times means there are plenty of the traditional sights that you’d expect to see in an Umbrian hill-top town, but part of what makes Orvieto so fascinating lies deep down in a hidden underground world. 

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A View of Volterra

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 17 May 2018

Volterra is one of the oldest towns in Tuscany having a history which can date its earliest settlements to the 8th century BC.

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European Capitals of Culture: 2019 Matera

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 10 Feb 2018

The European Capital of Culture scheme was first introduced in 1985 and the idea behind it was to unite the continent of Europe and celebrate the richness and diversity of different European cultures.

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Ravenna's mosaic masterpieces

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 24 Aug 2017

Anyone joining our new tour next year in Northern Tuscany and Ravenna will have the chance to visit this extraordinary city. Ravenna is a treasure trove of exquisite art and culture and has ancient origins and a glorious history.

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Cremona - City of Music

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 27 May 2017

The small town of Cremona, which lies south east of Milan between Piacenza and Mantua, may not immediately ring any bells.  However, it has a unique musical heritage being home to the world-famous master violin-makers of the 16th to 18th centuries.

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See Naples and Dine!

Submitted by admin on 3 Feb 2015

Our newest tour in Southern Italy starts and finishes in the exotic city of Naples and our hope is for Hedonistic Hikers to take a couple of days either at the start or end of the tour to explore this chaotic but exuberant city.

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Mysterious Matera

Submitted by admin on 3 Jul 2014

The region of Basilicata in the southern part of the Italian peninsula is wild, dramatic and sparsely populated. Its geography has something "other worldly" about it, with majestic mountains, bare clay hills and dark forested valleys.  But it is the landscape of poverty.

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Winter in Venice

Submitted by admin on 16 Jan 2014

I've just been lucky enough to visit Venice in January and savour this amazing city out of season when the number of day-trippers must be at its lowest in the whole year.  It is an experience I can wholly recommend as it's such a pleasure to wander the streets without the usual summer tsunami of tourists.  And it doesn't have to be expensive with many small hotels offering amazing prices in this low season.  We stayed in the cute little Ca D'Oro hotel in the Cannaregio district, with a canal view, for just €55 for

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Lovely Lucca

Submitted by admin on 11 Oct 2013

Perhaps less well-known to the many visitors who come to see Florence, Pisa and Siena, Lucca is a cosy and civilised Tuscan city totally encircled by its historic walls. The walls were orginially built in the 1500s as fortifications for the city defenses but, today, they are purely decorative, making a glorious, tree-lined, four km boulevard enjoyed by visitors and residents alike offering a bird's eye view over the city. 2013 has seen the five-hundreth anniversary celebrations of the walls with 500 events taking place in and around the city.

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Turin's Café Culture

Submitted by admin on 6 Oct 2012

Whilst much of Italian life centres around the local bar, in Turin it is the city's café culture which keeps the population going. The city has a wonderful selection of places to eat, from focaccerias to pasticcerias, gelaterias to osterias but it is perhaps the most historic and beautifully preserved cafés from another era which give Turin its special character, elegance and flavour. Here are some of our favourites:

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Submitted by admin on 21 Jul 2012

Clinging to the steep slopes of the Monte InginoGubbio appears an imposing and aloof city. Its Gothic stone buildings rise up the windy hillside and the waters of the Camignano gorge run down through its centre.  The surrounding countryside is breathtaking as the town sits between unspoilt pastureland and the wooded Apennine mountains.

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Submitted by admin on 28 May 2012

Parma: City of Popes, Partisans, Prosciutto & Parmesan

Situated on the Western side of the region Emilia-Romagna, Parma is a prosperous and picturesque city which has given the world two of its greatest culinary inventions:  Parma ham and Parmesan cheese

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