Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ITALY-SOUTH

(does not include Amalfi Coast or Naples; does include Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Marche, Molise & Puglia)

SERVICES
(General)
Anne’s Italy – Pian della Pieve (Assisi); 011-39-075-802-334 or 011-39-333-923-8448; annesitaly.com; ask for Anne Robichaud for advice.



APULIA
BARI
Sights & Sites
Trulli of Alberobello – Alberobello; comune.alberobello.ba.it; UNESCO World Heritage Site; traditional, drystone huts with conical roofs.



DISO
Hotels
Il Convento di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli – Via Convento (Marittima di Diso); 011-39-77-3636-2328; former monastery filled with fabulous, myriad, art collections (Aboriginal to Indian); each room has ethnic theme; staying is more like being at house party than hotel, especially when guests gather for meals at communal dining room table or in garden.



MASSAFRA
Restaurants
Falsopepe – 45 Via Il SS Medici; 011-39-099-880-4687; falsopepe.it; terrace top restaurant and wine bar; very authentic.



OSTUNI
Hotels
Masseria Il Frantoio – SS 16, km 874; 011-39-83-133-0276; masseriailfrantoio.it; authentic, cozy, bed and breakfast.




OTRANTO
Hotels
Palazzo Papaleo – 1 Via Rondachi; 011-39-83-802-108; hotelpalazzopapaleo.com; handful luxurious suites; owner (with eyepatch) lives on site, last scion of princely family.

Restaurants
Peccato di Vino – 7 Via Rondachi; 011-39-83-680-1488; peccatodivino.com; food described as “ambrosial”; ask to try local wine, Greco di Tufo.
La Pignata – 7 Via Garibaldi; 011-39-339-313-8430; for local favorites; ask to try local wine, Greco di Tufo.

Services
Francesco Calignano – San Giorgio a Cremano; Francesco.calignano@yahoo.it; guide.

Sights & Sites
Castello Aragonese – Piazza Castello Otranto; 011-39-83-199-151-123; castelloaragoneseotranto.it.
Cathedral – Piazza Basilica; 011-39-83-680-2720; Romanesque cathedral built by Normans in 11th Century; cathedral erected on Roman domus remains, Messapian village, and early Christian church; vast 12th Century mosaic covers floor (tree of life balanced on 2 elephants’ backs); created by young monk (Pantaleone, who had never seen elephant); Heaven and Hell depiction consists of fusion of classics, religion, and superstition (Adam and Eve, Diana “Huntress,” Hercules, King Arthur, Alexander “Great,” monkeys, snakes, and sea monsters; also wooden, coffered ceiling.



POLIGNANO A MARE
Hotels
Grotta Palazzese Hotel – 59 Via Narciso (Polignano a Mare); 011-39-080-424-0677; grottapalazzese.it; in cliffs, over sea; must see.

Restaurants
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese – 59 Via Narciso (Polignano a Mare); 011-39-080-424-0677; grottapalazzese.it; in cliffs, over sea; must see.
Osteria dei Mulini – 2 Via Mulini; 011-39-80-425-1177; building 1st housed osteria in 1608; try orecchiette di tonno patate e melanzane (ear-shaped pasta with eggplants, potatoes, and tuna); great seafood in general.



PUGLIA (Brindisi, Casalina, Cisternino, Fasano & Ostuni)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cremeria History Vignola – 28 Via San Quirico (Cisternino); 011-39-348-853-4811; in addition to pastries, can have Prosecco and mandorie atterrate (almonds flavored with anis, lemon, and sugar).

Hotels
Acquarossa – 2-3 Contrada da Acquarossa; 011-39-080-444-4093; acqua-rossa.de; small lodging, being 9 apartments in 28 trulli (conical, stone huts) that date back centuries; cold in winter.
Borgo Egnazia – Savelletri di Fasano (Brindisi); 011-39-080-225-5000; borgoegnazia.com; luxury masseria (farmhouse); 63-room main building, 92-room “village,” (apartment buildings) and 28 private villas; structure in form of giant, sprawling, white blocks; sits right on water; pools, bar scene worth of South Beach; where Jessica Biel married Justin Timberlake; mondo cheap in winter.
Casa Della Scrittrice – Sessana Grande (Ostuni); 011-39-327-359-9532; casadellascrittrice.com; trullo operated as 1 room bed-&-breakfast just outside Ostuni (20 miles inland from coast); with pool and olive grove.
Domenico a Mare – Strada Litoranea 379, Savelletri di Fasano (Brindisi); 011-39-080-482-7769; masseriasandomenico.com; 4-room villa on Adriatic; must be seen to be believed; rooms available individually or as whole.
Masseria Il Frantolo – Strada Statale 16 km 874 (Ostuni); 011-39-083-133-0276; masseriailfrantoio.it; part hotel, part orchard, part restaurant.
Masseria Torre Coccaro – 8 Contrada da Coccaro (Savelletri di Fasano); 011-39-080-482-9310; apuliacollection.com.
Masseria Torre Maizza – Contrada da Coccaro (Savelletri di Fasano); 011-39-080-482-7838; apuliacollection.com; near Brindisi; surrounded by ancient olive trees; 28-room sister property to Masseria Torre Coccaro (in Puglia); 15th Century masseria (fortified manor house) with star-vaulted, window-walled bar and restaurant that overlook stunning solar-heated pool and wooden deck; Aveda spa; private beach club with sushi bar on Adriatic Sea; every room has small garden, stone floors, vaulted ceilings, and handwoven wool rugs; crowds gone by September but still warm enough to swim; Junior Suites or Junior Suites Deluxe are best, latter with fireplace; Suite 8 has own plunge pool.

Restaurants
Locanda del Ristoro – 39-41 Via Brindisi (Casalini); 011-39-080-444-9149; lalocandadelristoro.com; authentic Puglian food, served in plentiful portions.
Masseria Il Frantolo – Strada Statale 16 km 874 (Ostuni); 011-39-083-133-0276; masseriailfrantoio.it; part hotel, part orchard, part restaurant.
Osteria Bell’Italia – 29 Via Duca d’Aosta (Cisternino); 011-39-080-444-9036; facebook.com/people/Osteria-BellItalia-Cisternino/100001087288034; whipped fava bean puree and whole wheat pasta with bread crumbs, broccoli rabe, and diced tomatoes.
Taverna della Gelosia – 26 Via Andriola (Ostuni); 011-39-083-133-4736; tavernadellagelosia.it; heart antipasti and excellent housemade pasta.

Shopping
Baol – 3 Via Martina Franca (Cisternino); 011-39-348-859-5551; handmade dresses, scarves, etc.
Pomona – 114 Contrada da Figazzano (Cisternino); 011-39-333-367-0653; organic fruit orchard run by Milanese fashion photographer.

Sights & Sites
Masseria Il Frantolo – Strada Statale 16 km 874 (Ostuni); 011-39-083-133-0276; masseriailfrantoio.it; part hotel, part orchard, part restaurant; some olive trees over 2K years old; take tour.



SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Sights & Sites
Padre Pio Shrine – Piazza; 011-39-88-241-7214; conventopadrepio.com.



UGENTO
Beaches
Riva di Ugento – unspoiled sands, dunes & cool Ionian waters; rugged, wild beauty.


BASILICATA
BERNALDA
Bars & Nightclubs
Cinecitta – 64 Corso Umberto (at Palazzo Margherita); 011-39-835-549-060; palazzomargherita.com.

Hotels
Palazzo Margherita – 64 Corso Umberto; 011-39-835-549-060; palazzomargherita.com; Coppola property; try to get 2nd–floor suite; enviable location in captivating region.



MATERA
Hotels
Basiliani – 115 Rione Casalnuovo; 011-39-83-319-374; basilianihotel.com; standout “cave” hotel.
Palazzo Gattini – 14 Piazza Duomo; 011-39-83-533-4358; palazzogattini.it; luxury hotel; 20 rooms.
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita – 28 Via Civita; 011-39-83-533-2744 or 800-337-4685; designhotels.com; hotel converted from caves; primitive landscape; luxury hotel, nonetheless, perched overlooking ravine in Alta Murgia National Park; ask for Suite 13 (balcony, bathtub, and fireplace); Suites 4 and 8 are fit for families.

Restaurants
Baccanti Ristorante – 58-61 Via Sant’ Angelo; 011-39-83-533-3704; baccantiristorante.com; in caves; try grilled horse rump; chic clientele; great wine cellar.
Le Bubbole – 14a Piazza Duomo (at Palazzo Gattini); 011-39-83-533-4358; palazzogattini.it; glass floor allows you to peer down into wine cellar; try tomato flan.
Il Terrazzino – 7 Vico San Giuseppe; 011-39-83-533-2503; ilterrazzano.org; tiny tables; rustic food.
Osteria Arti e Mestieri – 73 Via Rosario; 011-39-83-524-0455; lastalla.net; try wood-roasted lamb.
Terrazza Ristorante – 47 Via Ridola; 011-39-83-531-4234; terrazzaidola.com; rooftop setting; extremely elegant.
Services
Ferrula Viaggi – 34 Via Cappelluti; 011-39-83-533-6572; ferulaviagi.it; ask for Dora Cappiello.

Sight & Sites
Alta Murgia National Park – parcoaltamurgia.it; large national park.
Piazza Duomo – Matera’s central square.
Sassi di Matera – district of Matera where community once lived in caves; some restored.



PISTICCI
Hotels
Hotel Torre Fiore – Contrada Terranova Snc; 011-39-83-558-0239; torrefiore.com; gorgeous.



TERRANOVA DI POLLINO
Restaurants
Luna Rossa – 18 Via Marconi; 011-39-9-739-3254; federicovalicenti.it/luna_rossa; worth special trip.



CALABRIA
TROPEA
Beaches
Marasusa – marasusatropea.com; regarded widely as jewel of Calabria and called La Costa degli Dei, “Coast of Gods”; cliffs, pristine white sands & calm, clear aquamarine waters.

Hotels
Hotel Rocca della Sena – Via Paolo Orsi; 011-39-09-636-2374; hotelroccadellasena.it; terraced garden overlooking Aeolian Islands; renovated villa offers rooms with wooden floors & free Wi-Fi; directly connected to beach by private stairway; sauna and small fitness area; private bathrooms; generous continental-style breakfast; Tropea center is 10 minutes’ walk from property, while ferry port is 1.7 km away on foot, with links to Stromboli; Capo Vaticano is reachable by car in around 20 minutes.
Residenza Il Duomo – 3 Via Boiano; 011-39-09-6366-6006; esidenzailduomo.it; .

Restaurants
Osteria del Pescatore – 7 Via del Monte; 011-39-09-636-03018; facebook.com/pages/Osteria-Del-Pescatore/480333692000373; lovely authentic restaurant that serves excellent, fresh seafood; notable for swordfish.

Sights & Sites
Cattedrale di Maria Santissima di Romania – 1 Piazza Duomo (Centro Storico); diocesimileto.it; beautiful Norman cathedral has 2 undetonated WWII bombs near door; Byzantine icon (1330) of Madonna hangs above altar; black crucifix in side chapel.
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele – long street that spans town’s newer & older parts; lined with cafes, restaurants & shops.
Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art – Bishop’s Palace (Largo Duomo, Centro Storico); 011-39-09-636-1034; religious art.
Santa Maria dell’Isola – Lungo Mare Sorrentino; 011-39-09-636-1034; prolocotropea.eu; on rocky promontory above aquamarine sea; path out to church lined with fishermen’s caves; dates to medieval times; church remodeled in Gothic style, then given another face-lift after 1905 earthquake.



CAMPANIA
CASERTA
Sights & Sites
Royal Palace & Park – Viale Giulio Douhet 2/a; 011-39-823-332-1127; arethusa.net (for reservations); built by Luigi Vanvitelli for Naples’ Bourbon king, to rival Versailles; Versailles has 700 rooms, Caserta Palace has 1.2K; among most opulent European parks, including 265' cascade.



PAESTUM
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cafe Barlotti – 1 Via Torre di Paestum; 011-39-828-811-146; barlotti.it; breakfast cakes (made from buffalo dairy products), coffee, and yoghurt (same).

Bars & Nightclubs
Ristorante Nettuno – 2 Via Nettuno; 011-39-828-811-028; ristorantenettuno.com; housed in old farmhouse (at southern entrance); tables overlook temples; lovely for cocktails in evening.

Hotels
Azienda Agrituristica Seliano – Via Seliano; 011-39-828-723-634; agriturismoseliano.it; in Baroness Cecilia Barratta’s stately 19th Century family ranch; bedrooms, cooking classes, swimming.
Il Cannito – Via Cannito; 011-39-828-196-2277; ilcannito.com; restrained interiors; infinity pool; stylish.
Il Granaio dei Casabella – 84 Via Tavernelle; 011-39-828-721-014; ilgranaiodeicasabella.com; nice sitting rooms, good kitchen, and pleasant staff.
Hotel dei Templi – 64-66 Via Tavernelle; 011-39-828-811-747; hoteldeitempli.it; simple; looks out over ruins.
Hotel Villa Rita – 9 Via Nettuno; 011-39-828-811-081; hotelvillarita.it; family-run; pool; can bicycle into town to see ruins.
Savoy Beach Hotel – 41 Via Poseidonia; 011-39-828-720-100; hotelsavoybeach.it; bit like Miami; on forested seafront; stunning pool and wellness center.

Restaurants
Il Gallo e La Perla – 949 Via Magna Grecia; 011-39-828-199-0572; ilgalloelaperla.it; seafood; at ruins’ eastern end; eat on patio or under trees.
Ristorante Nettuno – 2 Via Nettuno; 011-39-828-811-028; ristorantenettuno.com; housed in old farmhouse (at southern entrance); tables overlook temples.
Tre Olivi – 41 Via Poseidonia (at Savoy Beach Hotel); 011-39-828-720-100; hotelsavoybeach.it; outstanding.

Services
Silvia Braggio – silvia@silviaguide.it or silviaguide.it; licensed archaeological guide with degree in English.
Le Strade della Mozzarella – lestradedellamozzarella.com; provides travel information pertaining to buffalo mozzarella.

Shopping
Azienda Agricola Vitivinicola San Salvatore – Localita Dionisio (Giungano); 011-39-828-199-0900; sansalvatore1988.it; farm and vineyard; buffalo mozzarella and wine products.

Sights & Sites
Paestum Sites – Via Magna Grecia (north of Cilento, near coast, about 85 km southeast of Naples, in Salerno province, Capaccio commune); 011-39-828-811-016; paestumsites.it; classical Roman name of major Graeco-Roman city in Campania; ancient ruins.
Vallo di Diano National Park – 8 Contrada Santa Caterina (Vallo della Lucania Salerno); 011-39-974-719-911; parks.it/parco.nazionale.cilento/Eindex.php; 2nd largest park in Italy, stretching from Tyrrhenian coast to Apennines (in Basilicata and Campania); includes peaks of Alburni Mountains, Cervati, and Gelbison, and coastal buttresses of Mt. Bulgheria and Mt. Stella.



SORRENTO
Hotels
Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria – 34 Piazza Tasso; 011-39-81-877-7111; exvitt.it; family-owned property near town center; views of Mount Vesuvius; good restaurant.
Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi – 1 Via Rota; 011-39-81-878-4644; grandhotelparcodeiprincipi.net.



GARGANO PROMONTORY
(includes Gargano, Monte Sant’Angelo, Peschici & Vieste)
HOTELS
La Chiusa delle More – SS 89 (Peschici); 011-39-330-543-766; lachiusadellemore.it; ancient, 16th Century, carefully renovated farmhouse set in vast ancient olive grove only 500 m from sea and 1.5 km from Peschici.
Gli Orti di Malva – 122 Via le Ripe; 011-39-347-867-4712 (Peschici); gliortidimalva.it; 2 luxurious suites with stunning sea views; affordable.

RESTAURANTS
La Chiusa delle More – SS 89 (Peschici); 011-39-330-543-766; lachiusadellemore.it; ancient, 16th Century, carefully renovated farmhouse set in vast ancient olive grove only 500 m from sea and 1.5 km from Peschici; meals served on panoramic veranda.
Li Jalantuumene – 5 Piazza de Galganis (Monte Sant’Angelo, Largo le Monache); 011-39-884-565-484; li-jalantuumene.it; upscale boite.
Ristorante al Dragone – 3 Via Duomo (Vieste); 011-39-884-701-212; aldragone.it; in ancient building; Puglian food in refined style.

SERVICES
IC Bellagio – 35 Via Paolo Carcano (Bellagio); 011-39-031-952-059; icbellagio.com; hikes, historic tours, and other excursions.

SIGHTS & SITES
Castello Normanno Aragonese Svevo – Piazzale Ferri (Monte Sant’Angelo, 2nd entrance on Corso Manfredi); 011-39-884-587-838; stupormundi.it/Monte.html; semi-restored ruins open daily; its Torre dei Giganti (most ancient part) built in 837; later, Rainulf I of Aversa’s and Robert Guiscard’s residence; most of castle dates from later in Middle Ages; from its ramparts, sweeping views; Emperor Frederick II restored and used as residence for his mistress, Bianca Lancia, while under the Angevines[disambiguation needed] it was used mainly as prison. Later, from 1464-1485; fortress was exiled Albanian condottiero Skanderbeg’s residence; largely rebuilt in late 15th Century by Ferdinand I.
Gargnano National Park – 121 Via San Antonio Abate (Gargnano); 011-39-884-560-967; parks.it/parco.nazionale.gargano/Epar.php; preserves extraordinary concentration different habitats (rocky coasts, big and hot southern valleys rich in rare flower and wildlife species, central beech woodlands situated at low altitudes, and rich in centuries-old specimens, Mediterranean pine forests with Aleppo pines, with specimens more than 500 years old); roe deer and several woodpeckers (Great-spotted Woodpecker, Middle-spotted Woodpecker, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, and Lilford’s Woodpecker (Lesser-spotted and Lilford’s very rare and live in Italy only in protected areas).
Sanctuary of San Michele (Santuario di San Michele) – Via Reale Basilica (Monte Sant’Angelo); 011-39-884-561-150); santuariosanmichele.it/Inglese/index.php; built in Gothic-Romanesque style; octagonal campanile dating from last years of 13th Century; commemorates legend of St. Michael, who’s said to have left his red cloak after he appeared to some shepherds in grotto in 490 (can also visit grotto); bronze doors made in Constantinople in 11th Century; crusaders stopped here to worship before going to Holy Land.
Museo di Arti e Tradizioni (Tancredi Museum) – Piazza San Francesco d’Assisi; 011-39-884-562-098; castelliaperti.it/pagine/fra/scheda.lasso?-id=91; exhibits artifacts used by local farmers and vintners in their trades.
Tomb of Rotharis (Tomba di Rotari) – Via della Basilica I (Monte Sant’Angelo); 011-39-884-561-809; said to hold Lombard King Rotharis’ king, although baptistery dating from as early as 12th Century.



LAZIO
FORMIA
Sights & Sites
Villa Rubino (Cicero’s Villa) – SS 7, Viale dell’Unita d’Italia (park near Standa & walk along sidewalk on side of street opposite Standa; below street level, in area under tower, you will see some arches; here lies Villa Rubino); popularly called Cicero’s Villa; Cicero did have villa in Formia, but controversy about his connection with this villa; villa not open to public, but if you can manage to find someone to show you through, you will find remains quite extensive; referenced in many books of 1800s & early 1900s.



MARCHE
NUMANA
Beaches
Spiaggia delle due Sorelle – Sirolo (on Riviera del Conero, accessible only by shuttle or boat from Porto Numana); secluded; shore made up of fine, white pebbles, which lead into emerald green Adriatic; best views are from ocean, where can admire Monte Conero steep white cliffs towering over beach.

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