Best of Milan

Best of Milan: The Top Places To Visit

Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights and sits at the center of Italy’s largest urban and metropolitan area.

Discover the best of Milan

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Best of Milan

Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, northern Italy. It is an outstanding work of architecture and an emblem within the Catholic tradition. The Church is one of the best of Milan because it is one of Renaissance art’s most important testimonies and a shining symbol of creative human genius. It has become part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites list in 1980.

Leonardo’s Last Supper

Leonardo's Last Supper

Located in the refectory of the monastery next to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church is the iconic fresco of Leonardo da Vinci. The Last Supper is undoubtedly one of the best of Milan. It is considered as one of the most important masterpieces in the world. This fresco has been painted from the 1494 and 1498, during the dukedom of Ludovico Il Moro. Leonardo substituted the usual method of the fresco with a new technique called “a secco” (on a dry wall) to paint the Last Supper on the wall of the convent’s refectory.

However, upon the completion, due to this new technique and to the environmental factors the fresco gradually declined. the work underwent several restorations during the years. The last intervention has been done in 1999 and many scientific methods have been employed to carry over the original colors and to remove the traces of previous attempts to restore the fresco. And even through the crumbling oils and patchy restoration, the brilliance of Leonardo’s work remains.

The Last Supper is a dramatic spectacle, taking up a whole wall. The figures of the disciples are grouped in a triangular Trinity formation around Christ. The walls of the room within the canvas seem to recede from the walls of the church itself. All lines focus on the soon-to-be-crucified Christ at the center.

Since it is a very popular attraction, tickets always sell out and cannot be bought on the day.So you have to book your ticket ahead of your visit. After the last restoration extensive measures have been inserted to protect the fresco. To keep the Last Supper painting at the room temperature, a maximum of 25 people can enter the refectory every 15 minutes.

The Duomo (Milan Cathedral)

The Duomo (Milan Cathedral)

Added to the list of the places to visit in Milan is the Milan Cathedral. The Duomo is one of the best of Milan’s tourist attractions. It is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world. You can’t help but be blown away by the enormous white marble façade of Milan’s cathedral. It’s imposing interior contains some magnificent treasures like the enormous stained-glass windows behind the choir. Don’t miss the visit to the roof. It is where you can admire some of the 3,600 statues and 135 spires and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. To get inside the cathedral, you have to be dressed appropriately, covering arms and legs, otherwise, you won’t be allowed in.

Classic Art Galleries

Pinacoteca di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is the main public gallery for paintings in Milan. It contains one of the most important art collections in Italy. It houses the Renaissance art in Italy with over 500 works dating from the 14th- 20th century. Amongst the collection are masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Mantegna, Bellini, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, and Veronese. There is a small section on modern art which includes paintings by Modigliani, De Chirico, and Carrà. This is why Pinacoteca di Brera is one of the best of Milan.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is another important art gallery in Milan. It was created to inspire and support future fine art students through its works of art. The gallery consists of Federico Borromeo’s collection of paintings and other successive donations, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Bramantino, Tiziano, Caravaggio and Pieter Brueghel the Elder. It is one of the best of Milan because it houses some renowned works of art. These most-renowned works of art are The Madonna and Child with Three Angels by Botticelli, the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, the Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci and the Adoration of the Magi by Titian.

Quadrilatero d’Oro (The Golden Rectangle)

Quadrilatero d'Oro

Italy’s Fashion Capital is Milan. The name given to a tangle of streets located just north of the Duomo is Quadrilatero d’Oro. It is considered to be one of the world’s most important centers of fashion. And also known as the home to Milan’s most exclusive stores and workshops. A stroll around the Quadrilatero d’Oro is a must. Every inch of this area is tightly packed with the best of haute couture and is a veritable roll call of all the instantly recognizable high-end names including Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Versace, and Valentino.

Italian Travel

A Guide To The Top Five Luxury Sabi Sand Lodges For Italian Travelers

If you are planning a safari vacation to the South African Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, there are a number of magnificent lodges from which to choose as accommodation. A safari vacation is considered one of the most incredible experiences if you are looking to view wildlife in the African Bush, but also enjoy top luxury living area. Fortunately, and unfortunately, choosing the most suitable lodge can be a complex situation because they all present with outstandingly beautiful features and facilities. This article will provide information on the top five luxury Sabi Sand lodges to help you make this decision.

1. The Ulusaba Safari Lodge

The first of the top five luxury Sabi Sand lodges is the Ulusaba Safari Lodge. The Ulusaba is unique in that it offers a magnificent tree-house style residence for the guest connecting all rooms with a rope swing bridge. It is situated on a mountain top and provides a 360 degree view of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

While it may present with a Robinson Crusoe-style appearance, the Ulusaba lodge is a modern lodge with luxury rooms including air condition facilities, private plunge pools, and access to the world-famos Ulusaba wellness spa. You can also enjoy exception game viewing with delicious room service including gourmet cuisine from high-quality chefs.

ulusaba-safari-lodge-bedroom-sabi-sands

2. The Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp

If you are searching for a riverside game reserve experience in a secluded suite with private views of a thatched suite deck, then the Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp is the ideal lodge for you. Relax in the contemporary African-style furnished room overlooking some of the most incredible wildlife encounters. Of course, as with the all lodges in the Sabi Sands resort, the little bush camp may present with African thatches but it offers an inner luxury experience.

Along with thatching, the secluded suites have heated spa baths placed on private decks opposite riverbeds. This is ideal for people visiting the private game reserve to celebrate an engagement or honeymoon. Access to gourmet cuisine is available for the six suites and you can contact the staff at any time of day or night.

3. The Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Traveling can be a tiresome event even for the most seasoned of travelers, and the Sabi Sand lodge owners realize this fact. Taking it into account, the Sabi Sand lodge reserve has created the ideal destination for any people looking to relax after driving or flying long-distances, but who also wish to stay in an ecologically friendly location. The SabiSabi Earth Lodge is the ideal option because it has implemented as many eco-friendly procedures as possible which still retaining high levels of luxury.

After spending a day relaxing in the cooling water of a private plunge pool, it is possible to enjoy a night drive on the reserve to view nocturnal wildlife forage for food before returning back for your own gourmet dinner. If you are not a fan of pools or night-time drives, there are day-time activities available with drives to see animals or gain some pampering from the popular Amani Spa.

4. The Londolozi Founders Camp

For safari-goers who are traveling with children, the Sabi Sands Lodges offer the Londolozi Founders Camp. This luxury lodge is one of the children-friendly lodges located in the private game reserve on the riverbank of the Sand River. It is a modern-colonial style area designed around the family with activities focused on both adults and kids.

While the children are kept busy with their entertainment programs at the Cubs Club, the parents can spend time being pampered at the Londolazi wellness spa. Activities for adults also include fishing or clay pigeon shooting for people who prefer keeping active to sitting and relaxing.

Londolozi Sabi Sands

5. The Dulini Lodge

The final lodge discussed is the Dulini Lodge – a colonial-style location with each chalet hidden from the other to create a sense of seclusion. The guest can spend time viewing wildlife from private decks and cooling down in plunge pools.

Beautiful Beaches In Italy Italy Most Beautiful Beaches In Italy

The 3 Most Beautiful Beaches In Italy

Given the fact that Italy is surrounded by water, there really are countless spots that locals would claim to be the absolute best options for swimming, relaxing and viewing. However, when you ask those that have traveled the shoreline extensively and know more about what each area has to offer you can get a more precise understanding. If you are looking to travel to the area and are hoping to know where to go before you arrive then you should certainly take the time to learn more about which beach is right for you.

If you have never heard of the Italian Riviera then you certainly have not taken any time to learn about the Italian hot spots. This is a world renowned destination location, especially for the world’s most elite members of society. The coastline is absolutely breathtaking and the region has a great deal to see and do from exploring nature’s wonders to fine dining and relaxation. When it comes to beaches they are second to none. At Monterosso, in particular, you can find a free beach that does not require your stay at a fancy hotel, and the scenery is spectacular. If you so desire, you can even rent a lounge chair and umbrella to take a break from a long day in the sun.

Another very popular destination is Tuscany. When most think of this area they think of grapes, wine, and amazing food. While all of that is surely available in abundance you can also find dazzling beaches with lush scenery surrounding them. The sands are that shimmering white that always adds the feel of the tropics, yet just off shore are the traditional Italian villages that make one feel that they never left home.

Last, but not least, is Sicily and its surrounding areas. One of the best parts of the beaches here are that they are all different in what they have to offer. Some are large and draw large crowds, while others are more discreet. Some are white sands and others are of a black sand that is not frequently found. In Palermo, you can find Mondello Lido, which is widely known for its expansive stretch of beaches with much to see and do off shore both during the day and in the evening. If you are on the east coast then Lido Mazzaro is your best bet, especially if you are hoping to catch a breathtaking sunrise while in one of the most romantic places in the world.

Italy is literally made up of beaches, so no matter what area you choose to make your home during a vacation you are sure to find a beach that meets your needs. However, if you are looking to get a glimpse at the best beaches that can be found in the world then you should absolutely look into the options listed above. Be sure to remember that a photo rarely does a work of nature justice.

Rome Top 6 Sights in Rome Top Sights in Rome

The Top 6 Sights in Rome

If you enjoy traveling, no doubt your eye has fallen on the wonderful Italian city of Rome. If you are planning a trip to Rome, it makes sense that you would want to be aware of the best sights to see in this city. In this article, we will discuss the top 6 sights that you can find in Rome, Italy.

1. The Colosseum

The first sight to see in Rome that you don’t want to miss is the Colosseum, also known by the name of the Flavian Amphitheatre. This is an oval-shaped amphitheater that rests within the center of Rome. The Colosseum was built using materials such as sand concrete, and it is the largest amphitheater that has ever been constructed.

Today, it is possible to visit the Colosseum and tour the interior arena. There is also a museum dedicated to Eros located on the premises. So when you are in Rome, be sure to visit the famous Colosseum.

2. The Pantheon

A temple dedicated to “every god”, the Pantheon is a wonderful sight to see located within the city of Rome. It is a Roman temple that was built sometime between 118 AD and 128 AD. Out of all the Ancient Roman buildings, the Pantheon is one of the best preserved.

One fun fact about the Pantheon is that two former kings of the country of Italy are buried within its walls: Vittorio Emanuele II, as well as Umberto I. Umberto’s Queen, named Margherita, is also buried inside.

The Pantheon is used today as a Catholic church, and weddings are occasionally held there as well. If you would like a destination wedding, perhaps the Pantheon is the venue for you!

3. Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain, completed in the year 1762, is located in Rome, in the Trevi district. It stands 86 feet high, and 161.3 feet wide. It is one of the most famous fountains known throughout the world, and for very good reason. When you find yourself in the city of Rome, why not give Trevi Fountain a visit? You can see its remarkable beauty, and throw a coin or two inside.

4. Roman Forum

The fourth location on our list of sights to see in Rome is the Roman Forum. This is a rectangular-shaped plaza that is surrounded by ancient ruins of government buildings. It was, for centuries, the center of public life in Rome. And today, it serves as a wonderful tourist attraction for those who visit the city. One of the ruins was once the Temple of Saturn, making it an even more exciting place to visit.

5. Piazza Navona

Fifth on the list is the Piazza Navona. The piazza was built on the same site as the Stadium of Domitian, which was built in the first century AD. The Piazza Navona is certainly a wonderful site to see by anyone who decides to visit the city of Rome in modern times.

6. Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is the center of the Seven Hills of Rome, and it is included in the most ancient parts of the city. It stands roughly 40 meters above the Roman Forum, so if you plan to stop by and visit this location, it makes sense that you would want to travel to Palatine Hill as well.

In conclusion, if you enjoy traveling, you will certainly find that Rome has a great many things to do, and sights to see. Whether you decide to visit one, two, or all six of the sights we mentioned in this article, you are sure to have a vacation worth remembering.

Activities To Do In Venice Venice

5 Activities To Do Venice On Your Next Vacation There

If you will be traveling to Venice in the next few weeks, and you would like to go to some of the more exciting locations, there are quite a few to choose from. Many people think of Venice as the beautiful city in Italy with the canals that act as streets, but there is actually so much more to do than experience traveling on the waterways. You will more than likely lose yourself in the beauty of the architecture, and the charm of the people that live there. There are many beautiful places to see, five of which are listed here that you should consider visiting.

Saint Mark’s Basilica

This is a church that many people visit that is actually on a piazza that is of the same name. It was built in commemoration of St. Mark, the evangelist that was talked about in the Bible. It is said that his remains were stolen from Alexandria, placed in barrels, with the intent of bringing his remains all the way to Venice. Regardless of the story, the architecture is absolutely beautiful and is one of the top destinations for tourists that travel to Venice.

The Grand Canal

At some point, you are going to get onto one of the many canals that go throughout the city. You will inevitably end up on the Grand Canal. Many iconic photos have been taken of the canal, one that stretches for about 2 miles. It is a place where people go to experience a romantic moment, and it will take you all throughout the city.

Rialto Bridge

Another iconic place within Venice that is often photographed, it is a bridge that was set up to provide people with another option for those that wanted to cross the river. It is built of marble, and despite collapsing several times, it is still standing today. This is also in those iconic shots that you see a Venice, often in the background, creating a picturesque scene.

Teatro La Fenice

If you are into opera, one of the most popular opera houses throughout the city is Teatro La Fenice. It was afflicted by fires twice that almost destroyed the entire structure, but it is still standing today. It definitely has an old world feel, and has gold interiors with plush seats that allow people to sit comfortably watching the different operas that are produced.

Campanile di San Marco

When you travel throughout Italy, you are always going to find towers that can be seen. In Venice, the one that you will notice the most is called the Campanile di San Marco. This is where the famous scientist Galileo presented his new invention, the telescope, hundreds of years ago. Today, it provides people with a panoramic view of the city, but not the canals, yet it is still worth the trip up to the top in order to see the city.

If you have not been to Venice in quite some time, or if you have never been there before, these are the five activities that you should do once you arrive. Venice is a beautiful location, and it will definitely become one of your favorite destinations as you travel throughout Italy on your travels throughout Italy. It is recommended that you spend at least a week in the city so that you can not only do sightseeing but experience the culture. You will more than likely want to go down the Grand Canal several times, especially right before dusk, to truly experience the beauty and nostalgia that Venice has to offer.

Italian Towns Romantic Italian Towns Top 5 Romantic Italian Towns Top Romantic Italian Towns

Top 5 Romantic Italian Towns You Should Visit

When you are looking for romantic places to go and Italy, or even in Sicily, you might consider traveling to smaller towns instead of the larger cities that are so popular. Sometimes it’s better to have a romantic trip with your significant other by going to areas where many people do not go. Although these towns are very beautiful, they tend to be out of the way, and some tourists often miss them. Here are five of the most romantic Italian towns that you should visit on your next trip to Italy.

Cefalu In Sicily

If you travel down to the southern portion of Italy, at the tip of the boot, you are going to head toward what is called Sicily. There is a town called Cefalu that you will absolutely enjoy which is perfect for couples that are looking for beautiful views of the ocean. There are rugged beaches, harbors, and a historic center that many tourists will travel to. There are many restaurants, and 1/4 century ruin of a temple that was very popular that you can visit as well. Due to its proximity to the ocean, giving you that west coast view, you can also experience wonderful sunsets.

Urbino, Le Marche

On the other side of Italy, if you are traveling through Florence, you can head over to Urbino, Le Marche. This was the site of many Renaissance painters, and is actually a cluster of many different domes and towers that make it one of the most beautiful small towns in all of Italy. It has botanical gardens that are two centuries old, and the architecture is neoclassical for the churches that span the area. There are many cafés, and it is a place that you can relax in the beautiful mountains of Italy.

Trapani, Sicily

Another beautiful town that is in Sicily, right on the coast, a provide you with a crescent-shaped coastline that many people enjoy. There are islands out in the ocean that you can see, and you can take fairies out to some of them. There are old churches with wooden sculptures, and many archaeological artifacts, going back to a much more simple time in this wonderful region of Sicily.

Spoleto, Umbria

If your goal is to see the mountain ranges that line much of the Italian countryside, you can see the Apennine mountain range and many gorgeous backdrops. There is beautiful architecture all throughout, and medieval fortresses that were once used during a more violent time in Italy’s history. If you happen to be traveling through Rome, heading up to San Marino, you are going to pass right by this beautiful little town.

Gaeta, Lazio

Finally, as you are descending from Rome headed to Naples, perhaps to see Mount Vesuvius, you can travel down the coast and see Gaeta. It is a city that is located in the province of Latina, with a beautiful view of the coastline, and is a great stop as you had down toward the ruins of Pompeii.

These are just a few of the small towns that you will be able to see when you get to Italy. Although you may be more focused on the major cities like Florence, Rome, and Venice, these are great places to stop in for a day. Italy is a country that has some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, and it will definitely improve your trip if you are able to spend a day at each of these beautiful little towns nestled in beautiful countryside located in both Sicily and Italy.