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Train Travel

Train from Rome to Florence | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Monday, 15 October 2012 00:27

Rome to Florence: Why the Train is the Better Option

A visit to Italy isn't complete without a trip to Rome and Florence, two of the country's most popular destination cities. While you certainly can choose to drive the distance between the two; it's a 173 mile trip, you might consider taking the train from Rome to Florence instead. There is no shortage of trains leaving Rome that depart to Florence, in fact, trains run frequently between Termini Station in Rome and Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence.

A picture of a train in ItalyThere is also the option of a few slower trains leaving from Roma Tiburtina station if you desire.

High-Speed Train or Low-Speed Train

You have a couple of options when taking the train as well; you may opt for the high-speed train, ItaliaRail or you may decide to rely on the slower speed trains in which you will get a treat watching the landscape passing by. The ItaliaRail train is the fastest way to get between both destinations, but it's also the most expensive at $57 for a standard fare and $131.00 for Executive fare. It takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes to reach Florence from Rome by high-speed train.

The lower-speed train will take approximately two to four hours and is generally less expensive at anywhere from $28 to $42.

See more of Italy with a Eurail Italy Pass

Side Trips off the Train

If you wish you can step off the train during your route between each city and take a side trip to Perugia and visit its many restaurants, the massive fortress of Rocca Paolina and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. You may take a look around the town of Orte and check out the Santa Maria Della Consolazione; a striking church which flanks the City Hall or you may decide to visit Chiusi and wander among the Mueso Archeologico Nazionale with its Greek inspired façade and beautiful works of art.

Train Travel versus Driving in Italy

While many see having a car as an advantage when traveling, it is actually more convenient to take the train than to drive to your destination cities. In fact, in most large cities like Rome and Florence, there really is no need of having a car with the extensive transit system in both places. If you are visiting the rural areas outside of Florence like Tuscany for example, then a car would be needed; however, it will actually save you money in the long run to take the train as it is generally cheaper than renting a car.

Photo Credit: By Nils Öberg (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Italy Under Canvas | Print |  E-mail
Written by Antonio Violante   
Saturday, 06 October 2012 20:24

As European holiday destinations go, Italy is not known as a cheap country, which is perhaps why it escapes the attention of many families. The cost of flights, accommodation and the perceived high expense of eating out in Italy can put off visitors from elsewhere in Europe, particularly Brits.  But it can also apply to Americans or Canadians as well.

However, a family break in Italy should be within reach of the average family, particularly if you take a different approach to its planning and execution. By swapping hotels for tents or caravans and ditching flights to travel across land or by Ferry, you can save yourself a great deal of cash and take in a lot of beautiful countryside en route. Of course, for a trip under canvas the weather becomes even more important. Luckily, there are many warmer months in Italy than in some other countries in Europe, with May through to September typically enjoying temperatures in the mid to late twenties.

a campground in Italy in the Dolomites regionAlthough sunshine is by no means guaranteed, the country definitely has a good track record. With so much to do and explore there’s plenty to entertain all of the family even if you are unlucky enough to suffer a break in the sunshine. One of the main advantages of opting out of the traditional package holiday and into a camping in Italy experience is that you can set your own agenda – this means keeping a tight grasp on your food spending if you need to and scheduling as many free or paid for activities as you like. Many of the campsites are designed with this in mind and therefore come complete with facilities you’d usually only associate with family apartment complexes, such as swimming pools, gyms and play areas.

If you typically enjoy the organized and comfortable feel of a package holiday, this needn’t be sacrificed just because you choose to stay in a tent, caravan or chalet. Some of the leading campsite providers allow you to book your holiday in much the same way as the traditional package holiday by paying for your ferry crossing, accommodation and insurance all in one place. This means you can save time as well as cash. Finally, if it’s a romantic break you are after rather than a family adventure holiday that needn’t rule out camping either. After all, is there anything more romantic than cozying up under the stars?

I don’t think so!

Italian Team Soccer Schedules in Excel 2012-2013 | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Sunday, 30 September 2012 22:07

We are all aware of the passion that Italians have for their soccer.  In Italy they call it "calcio". The main league in Italy is called Serie A, or the "A" league.  In Italian it is pronounced "SEH-ree-eh AH". There are also other leagues such as Serie B, Serie C, etc. Those other leagues are in essence a lower-level classification.  You could almost think of them as a minor-league system.  What is interesting is at the end of the season, 4 teams from Serie A will be demoted to Serie B.  And 4 of the top teams from the "B" league will be promoted to the "A" league.  The same thing happens between the "B" league and the "C" league.

The season lasts from August to May.  If you are lucky enough to be in Italy during that time, and you are a sports fan, you should try to make it to a game.

Below are team-by-team schedules for the Serie A league.

Italian Soccer Schedule in Excel by Team below

AC Milan

AS Roma



















Eurorail Pass Hidden and Secret Benefits | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:03

Extra Benefits of a Eurorail pass for Italian travel

Traveling by train through Italy is one of the best ways to see the country.  The country is well served by the national system called Ferrovie dello Stato (FS).  And if you are going to do any amount of substantial travel, buying a (Eurorail) Eurail pass can save you money compared to renting a car or buying individual train passes.  However, there are some benefits that many people are not even aware of that a Eurail pass can offer.

Here are four other benefits that are available to train pass holders in Italy:

italian-train-rome-to-veniceThe first benefit is that a person is going to be able to get a discount on their boat crossings. A person can get at least a 20 percent discount on their official fares. Grimaldi Lines is a ferry service that operates between many different European countries such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta. Hellenic Mediterranean Lines also offers discounts up to 50%.  Port taxes, fixed dues and special fares will not be included in these discounts.

There are times when a person might also be able to get a free boat crossing in Italy. These can typically be found during the low season and in some of the smaller port towns.

Eurail pass benefits for Rome

The second benefit pertains to visiting the eternal city of Rome.  A Eurail Italy Pass will save you €6 discount on adult entry prices to the Vatican Museums.  This is where you can see Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel.

Discount to the Catacombs of Domitilla

These are underground burial places that came about in the 2nd century.  These are some of the best-preserved catacombs in the country.  You can save €3 off the admission price.

The third benefit is that a person is going to be able to receive a special entrance (€2 off) fee for any of the Venice Civil Museums.  These include the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), MuseoCorrer (Correr Museum) and others. The fee is going to be a lot cheaper than if the person just decided to buy a ticket at the museums or on the Internet. Since there are several museums in this complex, a person is definitely going to want to use this option when they are traveling to Venice. In addition a person is not going to have to worry about standing in a long line to get tickets for the museums.  This will help you see more of the museum while you are there.

The fourth benefit is that a person is going to get a huge discount on a variety of different Italian hotels. A person may be able to save up to 30 percent on a hotel in the high season and 50 percent during the low season of tourism in Italy. This is probably one of the best benefits that a person is going to receive from their Eurail pass.

These are the top four benefits that a person is going to be able to get if they use a Eurail pass when they are traveling through Italy.  These benefits are subject to change and often times new discounts are available.  It's best to check on the Rail Europe site for an updated listing.


Italian Serie A Schedule 2012-2013 in Excel | Print |  E-mail
Written by Larry Aiello   
Sunday, 26 August 2012 17:12

Despite being throttled by Spain (Italy gets their asses handed to them by Spain) in the European Cup Final, Italy still has some rabid football (soccer) fans that are looking forward to the upcoming Serie A season.  Defending champion Juventus, the most storied of all Italian soccer (calcio) programs looks to be the favorite to repeat.  They can expect a lot of teams to bring their "A" game when they face each other, but I don't think it'll be enough come the end of the season.

The two Milanese teams might be able to give them a run for the money (AC Milan and Inter). AS Roma is looking to bounce back from a disappointing season and they could be in the mix as well.

Either way, it should be an exciting season and I am looking forward to it!

Here is the link to the Italian Serie A soccer / football schedule in Excel for the 2012-2013 season.

Other links of interest

Nike Juventus Home Soccer Jersey 10/11 - Black-White

adidas AC Milan Authentic Premium T-Shirt - White


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Agriturismo in Italy

What is Agriturismo? In Italian, it is actually a combination of two words - Agricoltura and Turismo - agriculture and tourism.

It basically means spending your vacation on a farm.  It started becoming popular in the 1980s when many Italian farmers were looking for other ways to supplement their income. At an Italian agriturismo you will usually have the chance to experience the foods prepared from raw materials produced on the farm.  Some will allow their guests participate in the activities surrounding the farm such as wine-making, cheese-making, olive production, milking cows, etc.  It is usually a very rustic experience.  Agriturismo can be another option instead of a typical Italian vacation that involves Italian hotels.  Most of them are located in Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily.


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