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Milan Monza and Lake Como

Water History Food Fashion and Design

Unlike most European and world leading cities, Milan was not settled on a river or by the sea, but in the middle of the Po River Valley. Hence, Milan’s is a history about water and how water was brought to the city. The concentric layout of the city center has been influenced by the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered.

Water History and Leonardo Da Vinci

A Source of energy for transportation and as a defense system throughout the centuries.Leonardo Da Vinci spent his most productive years in Milan, and his activity as an engineer crossed with the water history of the city; marks of his activity are still visible after hundreds of years. Water, sustainability and Leonardo are the threads that unify the different epochs in the city’s history and this part of Italy.

Traditions and Innovations in Energy and Water

Classical Milan the old Roman city of Mediolanum, and the more hidden parts of Milan, will connect the visitor with old artisan shops, the new Museum of Cultures, Villa Necchi Campiglio and the Last Supper.

Shopping and Design Milan is a global capital in industrial design, fashion and architecture. It is also a mecca for food lovers.As the commercial capital of Italy and one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, it accounts for the lion’s share of the fashion trade, with some of the most renowned fashion houses headquartered here. Its upscale fashion district- il quadrilatero della moda – and La Galleria, the world’s first shopping mall, offer the best shopping opportunities anywhere. 

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The Royal Villa in Monza has its own history dating back to the middle ages with a Royal Villa and the surrounding Monza Park. Recently restored the villa rivals in size and quality Versailles and Caserta’s Royal Palace. Behind the Royal Villa, Monza Park is the largest walled park in Europe. You may be already familiar with it as the racetrack where the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place every September.

Lake Como Bellagio is a cozy old village where the two branches of the lake converge in a narrow Canyon and where the water is still feeding an old-fashioned power plant. Isola Comacina is an old settlement with ruins dating back from the middle ages, and a terrific view of the Lake. The road back to Milan is via the Strada Regina – Queen’s Road – along the lakeshore and an opportunity to look at some gorgeous villas, including George Clooney’s residence.

Traveling to Milan Monza and Lake Como

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Wellness Cultural and Culinary Travel

in Salento and Puglia Italy

The Salento Peninsula is in the southeastern corner of the Puglia region of Italy. In ancient times it was inhabited by the Messapi,  a term signifying “land amid the waters” – the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Towns and villages are characteristically made of whitewashed houses in narrow streets with local handicraft shops, immersed in the green of the olive trees and vineyards, bordered by the typical dry-stone walls. Sun, sea and breezes during a summer season lasting from May to mid-October. The mild winters are always pleasant with plenty of sunshine.

Wellness Bio Dances Holistic Massages Mystical and Healing Practices Influenced by Local Traditions

An enchanting setting along the Salento coastline, Villa Cesarea is on top of four marine grottoes that are the source of its famed mineral waters. It is also a place of pagan and Christian legends. In the former, the waters were created by giant men made of fire and sulfur, whereas the latter, from which name the Cesarea is derived, is based on the young maiden Cisaria whose sacrifice purified and sanctified the waters.

The Salentum Treatment consists of body scrubs, face masks and massages with local ingredients: wine and olives, olive oil, blackberries and pomegranates, Mediterranean citrus fruits.

Accommodations elegant apartments in a beautiful park surrounded by age-old olive and fruit trees and a biological garden; nearby: cycle tracks and an 18-hole golf course.

Baroque Architecture Food and Wine Traditions and Spectacular Coastlines

Culture famous for its soft stones, ideal for making sculptures, and its ceramics products, Lecce is over 2000 years old and renowned for its historic center and baroque architecture, stretching from Roman times to the 18th Century, the Acaya renaissance quarter, the Cavallino Widespread Museum, the Messapi archeological park and the MUSA University Museum. It is also a major agricultural center specializing in olive oil and wine, hence, numerous opportunities to experience the famed local wines and traditional cuisine.

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Nardò second largest town in the region, takes the concept of sustainability very seriously; it is built on local traditions that are especially manifest in food and wine as well as the arts and culture. The city’s monuments are characterized by different artistic styles representative of its long history. 

Gallipoli is on an island with ancient monuments, tiny streets, and churches surrounded by the pristine waters of the Ionian Sea.

Otranto is the eastern most city in Salento with magnificent sea views and monuments like Corigliano Castle and the Carpignano Byzantine Crypt.

Food and Wine experience Salento’s famed wines and traditional cuisine. Some local specialties: puccia, friseddhre, pittule, rustici, pasticciotti and sweets made ​​of almond paste, accompanied by the local wines: Negramaro, Primitivo and Malvasia.

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Historic Train Rides in Italy

Campania and Sicily in Original Locomotives and Railway Carriages

Travel aboard the original Centoporte and Corbellini carriages, which date back to the 1930s and 1950s, to visit some of the historic cultural and culinary sites in Campania region of Italy.

Pietrarsa runs from Naples to Portici along Italy’s first railway track. Inaugurated on October 3, 1839 by King Ferdinand II whose goal was to make his kingdom compete with the technological supremacy of England and France. The workshop was initially used to produce mechanical and pyrotechnical materials for the Navy, but later went on to build and repair locomotives and railway carriages. The very first locomotive made in Italy for the Royal Railroads bore the factory’s name. Pietrarsa was the first industrial complex in Italy, preceding the founding of Breda and Fiat by half a century.

Visit the Bourbon Dynasty Era Factory where Italy’s Rail History Begins

Reggia connects Naples with the Caserta Royal Palace. In 1750 King Charles of Bourbon (1716-1788), later king of Spain, decided to erect the Royal Palace as the ideal center of the new kingdom of Naples on the plains of Terra di Lavoro. The project was entrusted to the architect Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773), son of Gaspar Van Wittel, active under Pope Benedict XIV in the restoration of St. Peter’s dome in Rome.

Archaeo Train travels to the Roman and Magna Grecia archaeological sites of this region, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum and Velia.

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Sannio stops in S. Agata de’Goti, the region’s most beautiful borgo;

Telese Terme taste Falanghina and experience a wine tour of the vineyards;

Benevento area museums: Streghe, Egizio and Sannio as well as a tour of the Longobard era town; 

Padre Pio’s Pietrelcina, Fragneto Monforte e Pontelandolfo.

Sicily and Food by Train 87 municipalities are involved in the promotion of the island’s extensive culinary traditions along 50 itineraries traveling in carriages from bygone eras with diesel, electric, as well as a 1912 steam-driven locomotive to rediscover mountains and rural areas, borghi, castles, art and archaeological finds, parks and natural oases.

Explore Campania and Sicily Aboard Historic Trains

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Milan Italy

Art Architecture Cuisine Design Fashion and Shopping

Milan is located between the Po River, the Alps and Italian lakes region. The concentric layout of the city center has been influenced by the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered. There are only few remains of the ancient Roman colony of Mediolanum. Following the edict of Milan in 313 A.D., several basilicas were built by the city gates, still standing and refurbished over the centuries. The cathedral was built between 1386 and 1577, is the fifth largest in the world and the most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy. In the 15th century, an old fortress was enlarged and embellished to become the Castello Sforzesco, the seat of an elegant Renaissance court surrounded by a walled hunting park.

Economy the Milan metro area generates approximately 9% of the national GDP and is home to more than 8 percent of all businesses in Italy, including many media and advertising agencies. Milan is a major world fashion center – 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms, and 6,000 sales outlets – and manufacturing center. Other important products made here include chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals and plastics. Other key sectors in the city’s economy are advanced research in health and biotechnologies, engineering, banking and finance.

Museums and Art Galleries the Brera Portrait Gallery holds one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. The Sforza Castle hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions, especially statues, ancient arms and furniture. Leonardo Da Vinci worked here from 1482 until 1499 and was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks and the Last Supper. Milan was affected by the Baroque in the 17th and 18th centuries, hosting numerous artists, architects and painters of that period, such as Caravaggio. In the 20th century, the city was the epicenter of the Futurist artistic movement. The Museo del Novecento is a 20th Century art gallery with sections dedicated to Futurism, Spatialism and Poor Art.

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Music Milan is a major national and international center of the performing arts, most notably opera. La Scala is considered one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, hosting the premieres of numerous operas since the mid19th century. Other major theatres in Milan include the Arcimboldi and the Lirico.The city also has a renowned symphony orchestra, conservatory and is a major center for musical composition.

Fashion and Shopping a global capital in industrial design, fashion and architecture, Milan is the commercial capital of Italy and one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, it accounts for the lion’s share of the fashion trade, with some of the most renowned fashion houses headquartered here. Its upscale fashion district and Galleria, the world’s first shopping mall, offer the best shopping opportunities. 

Architecture and Design the city’s modern skyscrapers and unique liberty style office and apartment buildings make it a trend setter in architecture. Milan is also a leader in high-quality furniture and interior design and is home to Europe’s largest permanent trade exhibition – Fiera Milano – and one of the most prestigious international furniture and design fairs. Milan has recently undergone a massive urban renewal with several famous architects taking part in projects such as EXPO 2015.

Food and Wine home to a proud culinary tradition, Milan specialties include classic dishes like cotoletta alla milanese, cassoeula, stewed pork rib chops and sausage with cabbage, ossobuco, risotto, busecca and brasato, salami and gorgonzola cheese. Sweets include chiacchiere, panettone and tortelli. World-renowned restaurants and cafés can be found in the historic center, Brera and Navigli districts.

Business and Vacation Travel to Milan and Italy

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Venetian Countryside Food and Wine Itineraries

Cooking Classes and Culinary Tours

Veneto is the most productive wine area in Italy and a unique area where the flavors of the local products combine to create delicious dishes, both in traditional and innovative ways. When natural products are put together to create a dish, the choice of ingredients and the way they are combined, cooked, and eaten are a function of identity, lifestyle and social status.

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Cooking classes designed to acquaint you with Venice and its territory by explaining how these local dishes developed and changed over the centuries. Learn to cook a savory risotto al radicchio, sweet white asparagus, baccalà, corn meal with boiled baby shrimp seasoned with Italian dressing, homemade noodles with basil pesto and scampi.

Tiramisù was created in Treviso just 40 km from Venice

Wine tours include an overview of the issues facing winemakers and how they retain family traditions and preserve the local environment. The Prosecco Wine Hills visit includes stops at local wine cellars, an ancient abbey and an imposing medieval castle

Medieval Treviso walk along its narrow, pebbled streets and chic boutiques. Learn the history and mysteries of the city known as the Garden of Venice. Have lunch in a typical restaurant and enjoy a typical Spritz with Cicheti in a local Cicchetteria.

Venetian Villas participate in a typical cooking class, where you will learn some of the secrets of the Venetian cuisine, in a charming Venetian Villa designed by Palladio and walk through the medieval village of Asolo, a widespread museum.

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The Capua Archaeological and Provincial Museum

Capua is an illustrious and antique metropolis in Campania. Its museum contains the most resplendent archaeological and medieval relics from this region of Italy.

The Archaeological Museum stands on one of Capua’s most ancient settlements, first occupied by the Torre di Sant’Erasmo during the Longobard era. Inaugurated in 1995, it contains archaeological finds coming from the excavations carried out in the territory. The complex consists of 32 exhibition rooms, 20 areas for deposit, three large courtyards and a vast garden. 

Twelve halls, illustrative panels and legends allow visitors to retrace the history of the territory from the first millennium BC to the 9th century AD, a period of decline for the city. From Bronze Age to Iron Age, from the archaic period to the Etruscan civilization, from the Sunnite to the Roman period, a history full of influences and changes retraceable through the objects on display. Votive sculptures, weapons, golden jewels, grave goods, bronze vases, the reconstruction of a tomb crypt with a natural size fresco of the dead, red figure chinaware, votive medals, architectonic elements and many other objects.

The Provincial Museum of Campania in Capua was founded in 1870 and inaugurated in 1874; it is the most significant museum of ancient Italian civilization in Campania. The museum is in the historic Antignano building, whose foundations go back to the 9th century and incorporate the ruins of San Lorenzo ad Crucem, a church dating from the Lombardic age. The building boasts the splendid Durazzesco-Catalan portal which bears mountings of the Antignano and Alagno coats of arms.

a royal decree led to the museum’s founding to house the region’s archaeological and artistic heritage

The first director, professor Gabriele Iannelli, a distinguished archaeologist, historian and epigraphist who, according to the words of Norbert Kamp “possessed a truly unique vision for his time of the entire Capuan tradition “- was a tenacious organizer who managed the museum for over 30 years.

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The museum is a mirror-image of the three millennia old life of a metropolis which has seen rulers that include the Oscans, Etruscans, Samnites, Romans, Longobards, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and Spaniards. Its history is linked to names such as Spartacus, Hannibal, Pandolfo Capodiferro and Pietro della Vigna, Cesare Borgia and Hector Fieramosca. By 1956, with the addition of new rooms, the collections had been rearranged with the most modern criteria. The new Museum of Campania is among the most important in Italy and Europe. The layout was realized by prof. Raffaello Causa, responsible for the medieval and the modern section, and by prof. Alfonso De Franciscis and Mario Napoli, responsible for the archaeological section. The museum is divided into an archaeological and a medieval department along with an important library.

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Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily Food and Wine Traditions

Trapani is near ancient Drepanum where a naval battle took place in 248 BC during the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome which ended in a major loss for the latter. The city is world renowned since the 16th Century for its coral artisans whose works can be viewed at the Pepoli Museum. A stroll through the historic center will acquaint the visitor with buildings and monuments representative of the various cultures and traditions that passed through this city:

Trapani view from ericeThe Jewish quarter and Palazzo della Giudecca;

Casalicchio and its Arab roots;

Palazzo Cavarretta, home of the Trapanese Senate;

The Jesuit Church and College;

San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Crucifix by Flemish painter Van Dyck.

papazzo della giudeccaWestern Sicily is also the Erice Medieval Borgo, Segesta with its Greek temple and theater and the Egadi archipelago, comprised of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Further along the coast, facing Africa, are: the port and canal of Mazara del Vallo; Selinunte with Europe’s largest archeological park; San Vito Lo Capo and the Scopello Faraglioni.

Western Sicily Italy mapMarsala was founded in 397 BC as Lillibeo by the Phoenicians who survived the destruction of Mozia; it was a major city during the Punic, Roman, Arab and Norman periods. Today, it is best known for a prestigious wine-liqueur that carries the city’s name and the landing of Garibaldi’s Mille in 1860 which led to the unification of Italy.

Ancient Marsala’s origins are reflected in its majestic cathedral, the adjacent 16th Century Arazzi Fiamminghi museum, the suggestive Porta Garibaldi sea view and entry to the Spanish quarter. Artistic and cultural itineraries include: the Sibilla Grotto, the archeological museum with the remains of a Carthaginian ship and Lilibeo artifacts and the Laguna dello Stagnone with its windmills and salt marshes.

CathedralExperiential Tourism in Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily

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Marsala WineMarsala wine’s bouquet full of intense aromas of dried fruit, spices and dates and dried figs, the dry and sweet taste and the high alcoholic qualities that increase to depending on the maturation and refinement in the bottle. Dried Marsala, served fresh, is an excellent aperitif. A delicious combination is with strong, spicy and tasty cheeses such as ragusano, pecorino cheese but also gorgonzola or parmesan. It is an exceptional dessert wine, in harmony with the traditional Sicilian pastries. But the combination with food is not essential; Marsala is also a wonderful meditation wine to sip at sunset.

cassata sicilianaSicilian cuisine is like the island’s colorful architecture; extraordinary dishes rich in decorations and styles influenced by the many cultures that have come here. Marsala is a jealous custodian of the many culinary traditions on the island. Some typical dishes: Mussel Soup, Peppered Mussels, Boiled Broad Beans, Aubergine Parmigiana, Eggplant Caponata, Eggplant with Schnitzel, Stuffed Peppers, Crushed Olives, Baked Pasta, Pasta with “Qualeddu” and Sausage, Pasta with Bottarga, Pasta with sardines, Pasta with sea urchins, Gnoccoli with conger sauce, Busiata with matarocco, Pasta with lobster, Tuna ammuttunatu, Sarde with “beccaficu”, Marinated mackerel, Codfish, swordfish with salmoriglio, Trigliole e Cuttlefish of Stagnone, Scaloppine with Marsala, Lamb or goat stew, Sicilian Cassata, Cannoli, Sfinci, Sfincioni of San Giuseppe with ricotta, Cappdduzzi of ricotta, Pignolata, “Mustazzoli of honey or cooked wine, Cassateddi of fig, Cubbaita, Cuccia, Marturana fruit, Queen biscuits, Taralli and Tagliancozzo.

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