Best restaurants in Rome

Best restaurants Rome tested and tried by hard working travel journalists (and quite a lot of others as well) eating their way through Italy in 2010

Italians and the Perfect Wedding Photo

Italians and the Perfect Wedding Photo

Italians are very fond of wedding photos and a lot of effort is invested in finding the best photo location. Here are some popular choices in the southeast.

Photos of sunset in Puglia

Caught up in the attractions of Puglia

The main attractions of Puglia are the easy-going friendliness greeting strangers along with great cultural and natural diversity.

Sights around Teramo in Abruzzo

There are lots of things to see and do in northern Abruzzo, Here is my list of sights around Teramo.

I first fell in love with Italy in the Teramo province, so I was greatly disappointed to learn that it had not been found worthy of mention in any of the numerous guidebooks, I have accumulated over the years. Who is going to tell the thousands of tourists that gather around the Sette Sorelle beaches of Martinsicuro, Alba Adriatica, Tortoreto, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Pineto and Silvi Marina about the wild orchids, wolves, bears and other extraordinary attractions? There are lots of things to see and do on a grey or scorching summer day in northern Abruzzo, and here is my list.

Sights around Teramo

If you can’t stand another hour inhaling the smell of sun lotion, you might be ripe for a city break. Giulianova hides an unspoiled centro storico just 1 km inland behind the Lido with stately old family homes, grand piazzas, original shopping and a maze of timeless alleys. Most of the Rai 1 television series ‘Domani è un altro giorno’ was shot here, and film locations are generally recommendable for their suggestive visual qualities. Another favourite is Teramo with its ancient town gates, quiet and tidy streets, and view of the mountains, not to mention the gothic cathedral that seems to have a fake front. If you are lucky and go on Tuesday or Saturday mornings, you may even browse the weekly market for the latest Italian fashion (copies), fresh vegetables, antiques and an assortment of can’t-live-without-it bric-a-brac.

Among lace curtains and beach towels we encountered a very friendly abruzzese, who had spent some time as a guest worker in Germany longing for the marvels of his Heimat. Now he could not stop praising the Grand Sasso and Monti della Laga national parks with a range of truly spectacular mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests and gorges interrupted by sigths of rare flowers and endangered animals.

Sights around Teramo– You really should not visit Teramo without going up in the mountains. There are so many places of outstanding beauty and tranquility. I go there to hike, fish or relax as often as possible, he said. And he was absolutely right. You will never get enough of Grand Sasso as a place of pure zen.

Around the park you will also find orginal sights such as the Museo del Lupo, Museo della Grotta di S. Angelo and Tossicia Museo delle Tradizioni Artigiane. Along with ancient fortresses like the fascinating Castel Manfrino situated on the top of a rock overlooking the Salinello Valley, the fortified market town Capestrano and the magnificent Bourbon ‘Fortezza’ in Civitella del Tronto.

Lovers of arts and crafts should definitely visit Castelli, where ceramic workshops produce a special bright and colourful majolica. Carlo Levi called Castelli ‘the sistine chapel of Italian majolica’, and that seems to me like an epigraph worth investigating.

What are your favourite sights and attractions in northern Abruzzo?

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Rimini for children

Riccione, Cattolica and other beach resorts in the area between Rimini and Pesaro are extremely popular among families with children, and few places in Italy have so much entertainment to offer this particular group of visitors. If there is a Las Vegas in Italy, it is here.

The five amusement and theme parks mentioned below are just the top of an iceberg that covers all sorts of play grounds, go-cart tracks, jumping castles, trampolines, arcade games, mini golf, horse riding, etc. Not forgetting the beach with its low water levels and white sand ideal for beach volley, beach bats, pedaloni and sand sculpting. Holidays in Riccione come with a guarantee against boredom.

Oltremare is a theme park where you can watch dolphins perform, but trained dolphins are just one of many attractions. Through playground activities combined with spectacular visual and sound effects Oltremare attempts to teach children about the origin of the universe, the survival of the fittest and environmental threats. Most visitors spend 5-6 hours in the park once they have paid the entrance fee of 25 euro for adults (over the age of 12 years) and 18 euro for children between 6 and 11 years. There are plenty cafes and restaurants in the park, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch packet and eat in the picnic area.

Fiabilandia is a Disneyland inspired (no comparison) fairy tale world for very small children with lots of slow rides surrounded by colourful plastic. The park gets a poor score in most internet reviews, but there seems to be general consent about it being toddler friendly though the prices are steep with 22 euro for everyone taller than 130 cm.

Italia in Miniature is a bit like Legoland, with Lilliput versions of major sights. Here you can see the gondolas of Venice, Rome’s Colosseum, the leaning tower of Pisa and Agrigento’s Valle di Templi in one afternoon mixed with amusement rides and driving lessons for children. The price is 20 euro for over 12 year olds and 15 euro for children up to 11 years. Entrance is free for children of less than 1 metre.

Aquafan is the most famous water park in Italy with many attractions for children, teenagers and grown-up. Noah’s ark with four slides, Extreme River and surfing Hill, music shows and discotheques are particularly popular. Entrance fees are 25 euro for two days (the second day is gratis) and 18 euro for children aged 6 to 11 years. An alternative, smaller scale water park is Beach Village, where the pools are filled with sea water. A day here costs 12 euro for grown-ups and 10 euro for children.

For theme park enthusiasts Mirabilandia south of Ravenna takes the prize with some very wild rides and great shows .The park which is among the largest in Italy houses Europe’s second largest Ferris wheel, the Katun roller coaster with vertical loop, cobra and zero G rolls as well as two corkscrews. Great fun for everyone who like to move fast forward with their head hanging down. The price for adults is 31 euro and 25 euro for children below the age of 12 years. All tickets are valid for two consecutive days, as the second day is free.

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