Tuesday, June 22, 2010

La Vita è Bella

The research for Italy has been a bit overwhelming. I like to look at everything. I don't want to miss a deal or an exhibit or a village just because I didn't do my homework. I want to cover as much inforation and I can and be prepared when I get there.

I think the biggest challenge has been finding lodging. We really wanted to do a villa in Tuscany because well, that's what you're supposed to do. We have seven people going and we felt it would be not only more economical than getting several rooms, but it would be more fun to have a base camp to explore from.

We are hitting several regions; Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche Lazio, Campania and possibly Liguria (if we go to the Cinque Terre). We want a place to stay in Tuscany, one in Le Marche and one in Campania. This is what I've come up with so far:

For our stay in Le Marche, which I think will be two days, I'm looking at
La Tavola Marche:

From their website: La Tavola Marche is hosted by American couple Ashley and Jason Bartner. They live in Italy year round and are proud residents of Sant'Angelo in Vado, Italy. La Tavola Marche is a unique culinary experience where you actively participate in Italian culture through seasonal activities paired with local artisan bakers, farmers, and wine makers while staying in a 300 year-old farmhouse agriturismo.

Then, for the next eight days and the bulk of our stay,
Borgo Iesolana seems to be the villa of choice. We have friends who have stayed there and it comes highly recommended:

Located in Tuscany, just outside of Arezzo, in the village of Bucine, it seems centrally located for all the touring we want to do. We'll be renting a van so we can be out an about early each day for cappuccino, picture taking and ancient Estruscan church viewing. I'm getting more excited by the moment.

After Tuscany, we'll be staying in Sorrento (in the region of Campania) for five days and from there will venture to Naples, Pompeii, Capri and the world renowned Amalfi Coast. For our stay there, I've chosen
Il Nido.

Located on a hilltop in Sorrento, it has views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance. It's relatively inexpensive and looks nice, plus it has over five hundred positive reviews. They also have a free shuttle to take you into town for shopping. My cousin, the ultimate shopaholic, is going to love that!

I'm still researching just in case I come up with something that tops this (within our price range,of course, since I've seen MANY villas I'd die to stay in) but I think I'm winding down on the accomodation part and can concentrate more now on the actual itinerary part. Any suggestions from anyone will be more than appreciated.

Ahhh, life is beautiful.


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Gil said...

Sounds great! I look at the blog from the first place and it sure does seem that they really take care of their guests.

The last time we went to Italy we rented a small apartment in Naples for a week and took a train to Sorrento. My wife and daughter walked through the grounds of the place you are planning to stay at, I think I was talking to someone or either too tired to walk.

Looks like you have a great trip planned. Ciao for now!

Terry said...

My daughter stayed at Il Nido last year on a solo trip to the Amalfi coast. She said you will love it, and be careful because you will fall in love and not want to leave.