Discover the hidden delights of Italy
Tue 1 September 2009
Italy is famous for delicious pizza and fantastic wine, but once you scratch the surface you will find a wealth of hidden delights. From truffle hunting in Umbria to salami sampling in Tuscany, there is an Italian gastronomic voyage to suit any palate. With some help from holidaylettings.co.uk you can build a dream Italian adventure without breaking the bank. Enjoy the privacy, flexibility and space of renting a private holiday home and relax within your own timetable.
Go truffle hunting in Umbria
Umbria is the home of truffle hunting. Head to Valnerina where 45 per cent of Italian black truffles are produced, then take a short drive to Norcia where an annual truffle festival is held. For those looking for more of a challenge, rare white truffles can be found between October and December. Umbrian agriculture is also noted for its tobacco, its olive oil and its vineyards, which produce excellent wines such as Orvieto, Torgiano and Rosso di Montefalco.
Casa la Torre, Macerino, Umbria
Casa la Torre is built with pink natural stone on the medieval walls of the ancient village of Macerino. At 700 metres above sea level, the property has breath taking views across the hills surrounding the village. The local area is home to a vast green forest where walking enthusiasts can enjoy part of the Monti Martani Trekking route. There are two neighbourhood restaurants where authentic Umbrian food is served, including truffles, pasta, wild boar and cured pork meats.
Sleeps up to six from £52 per person per week
Have a meat feast in Tuscany
The landscape of Tuscany is typically one of vine-covered hills, cypress woods, fields of sunflowers and remote hilltop villages - a wine lover's dream. Chianti, the best-known Italian wine, is made in the area north of Siena and several wine cellars are open to the public. The area is also noted for its pecorino cheeses as well as cured meats such as the Cinta Senese, salame Toscano and those made from local cinghiale (wild boar).
Casa Montereggi, Fiesole, Florence, Tuscany
Casa Montereggi is an elegant stone farmhouse located in one of the most beautiful panoramas in Tuscany. The villa is only a few minutes away from the historical town centre enabling guests to enjoy the beautiful Tuscan countryside and all of Florence’s attractions. The property is furnished in traditional Tuscan style with visible wooden ceiling beams and local materials.
Sleeps up to nine from £356 per person per week
Marvel at the Mozzarella in Lazio
Cheese lovers unite in Lazio, the mozzarella capital of Italy. Numerous mozzarella courses are available throughout the region or simply sit down and enjoy the work of the local experts. Other attractions in the area range from Latin courses to lessons in gladiator training!
Piazza Fanti, Rome, Lazio
The centre of Rome is the prime location to explore all the gastranomic delights that Lazio has to offer. Piazza Fanti boasts three large bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom. The owner is happy to arrange an airport car service, restaurant recommendations and reservations, museum visits and tour guides, English speaking babysitters, pre-arrival grocery shopping, spa reservations and housekeeping; leaving you to relax and enjoy the local culinary experience.
Sleeps up to six from £293 per person per week
Discover the history of Parma in Emilia Romagna
Nestled within the hills is the town of Parma, where you can learn how Parmesan cheese and Parma ham are made. Once you’ve picked up your main ingredients, head to Academia Barilla to buy some fresh pasta and complete your traditional Italian meal. Emilia Romagne is also home to the city of balsamic vinegar, Modena. Sample unusual varieties or bring back a taste of the best for loved ones at home.
Villa de Giovanna, Vernasca, Piacenza, Emilia Romagna
This traditional stone farmhouse is ideally situated to sample the trattorias and pizzerias of Emilia Romagna. The local area is home to numerous historical sites, including Castell Arquato, Fontenalleto and Bari, which are all within 30 minutes drive. To keep the younger generation amused, there are swimming pools in nearby Salsomaggiore, along with a large activity complex.
Sleeps up to five from £70 per person per week
Experience mushroom hunting in Lombardy
High in the hills of Lombardy is the village of Chiavenna, which is renowned for its local mushroom hunts. Every weekend the local mountain villages hold a festa with a difference – it is a no car zone. All food and wine is transported by cable in baskets to the hills, where you will be treated to local mushroom dishes cooked on an open air Italian barbeque.
Casa dell Ava, Chiavenna, Bergamo Alps, Lombardy
Casa dell Ava is located in Engadina, a beautiful valley that gets 320 days of sunshine a year and is surrounded by some of the most dramatic mountains in the Alps. The house itself is about 300 years old and built from stone. It is perched on a sunny hillside 10 minutes above Chiavenna with a splendid view over the mountains. As well as being ideally situated to enjoy local mushroom hunting, the property is also surrounded by local restaurants, many of which are nestled in caves in the mountainside.
Sleeps up to six from £65 per person per week
About Holiday Lettings:
Holidaylettings.co.uk was established in 1999 by Ross Elder and Andy Firth. Part of the TripAdvisor Media group since June 2010, the business continues to thrive as an independent brand from its offices in Oxford. Jonathan Dees has been managing director since March 2011.
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