Local Artisans in Italy

Saturday, 31 May 2014 07:10

I always try to give to my clients a selection of tours that will cater for varying tastes as everyone is so different and not all people love art or architecture etc, although when travelling in Italy one should really go to see the creations of genius to marvel at just that – the genius of creation done by human beings – what people can do. I was just watching the lighting show performed on the sails of the Sydney Opera house and I just marveled at the incredible creativity but it would have taken millions of dollars to commission such spectacular design.

Canonisation of John Paul II Rome 2014

Sunday, 05 January 2014 01:15

All roads lead to St. Peter's Basilica Rome on sunday April 27 2014 for the canonisation of two previous popes, Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II.  Passion for Italy Travel recommends that you either come to Rome for the ceremony or if you are not interested in this event, we would suggest that you plan to stay out of Roma for that weekend as travel in the city will be a nightmare and every hotel will be booked up. Contact us for help with your itinerary.

If you are interested in booking a group tour to be in Rome for the canonisation, please contact us as soon as possible as all tours are booking fast. There are a number of pilgrimage tours still available.


Thursday, 21 November 2013 19:16

Sometimes when my clients are describing to me the places they want to go to see, I say to them. “Why do you want to go to this place”.  They often say "Our friends said it was great"!!

When planning a trip as time and money are precious you want to make sure you don’t waste days travelling a long way just to see one thing that might not really interest you. Your friends’ interests might be different to yours.

The ideal holiday is firstly where you get to enjoy yourself as well as relax. Are you going to these places just because you are really interested to see them or because you wish to put fabulous photos up on facebook to make all back home jealous?

For example if you have no interest in Roman history why would you waste a precious morning in Roma at the Colosseum …..yes I know it was in Gladiators….!!!

Living in Campania Italy and then Serendipity

Saturday, 09 November 2013 06:33

It is very difficult when you are the only foreigner in a town and you do not know many people and those that you do know you can’t understand their dialect…!! I must say it has been a challenging week in this area but what I love about life is just when it is all getting a bit too much, serendipity pops up and gives you a bit of bliss.

I have been living in a small village, in the south of Italy in Campania and it is the same as all small towns throughout the world, full of gossip and things happening around the place with the people, wonderful food and a sea and view on the gulf of Napoli to die for.

However there is one big drawback for me… most people in the shops and on the street where you stop to chat, don’t speak Italian to each other.  Italians love chatting and are very friendly, in fact they never shut up….!! But in this village they don’t speak Italian they don’t even speak Napolitanno, they speak another language  - Puteolano, that even the Napolitanni don’t understand whereas myself… I don’t have a hope in Hades, Italian being my second language. Three languages here!...


Friday, 01 November 2013 07:05

It is a shocking thing when one has a small business that one has to be a captain of all things. However one of my favourite things is writing about Italy and I have been here in Italy for four months this time now and have not blogged.

Now this is both a tragedy for me as I love sharing my joys about this country but it is also a bonus for my clients as I have worked so hard to service them and have not had one second to blog.  See everything in life has a positive and a negative. The same with this country and all other countries in the world as far as countries go.

I have recounted a lot of joys about Italy over the years and now I am going to write about a negative thing that could happen and then..... The thing to do... when these things happen in Italy, is to go with the flow. Oh -  the train has broken down and does not show - well guess what!! - you might just meet the most fabulous people while waiting with all the other people on the station.

France Mayes discussesTuscany

Thursday, 15 August 2013 04:30

It is terrible to not have the time to blog. I would love to be able to have the time to write like Francis Mayes from "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame and other books about Tuscany. Frances and her husband restored a ruin to a magnificent villa near Cortona with amazing style and wrote a book about her experiences which was made into a romantic film.

Passion for Italy Travel is having a very busy Italian summer organising our clients holidays in Italy so I will leave it up to Frances to promote Tuscany for me as she lives there and knows it well. This is an excellent interview and not the usual commercial fare - very good in fact - watch Frances talk about the Italian ways.

Pozzuoli Bus Crash

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 20:57
Passion for Italy Travel sends our condolences to all the families of the victims of the terrible bus crash in Pozzuoli. A tragedy that this village will never forget. You are in our thoughts.

I have been in Paris for a week with my children. I was last in Paris when the now 19 year old was only 4 months old and he goo gooed all down the Avenue des Champs d’Elysees in the pram. This time he walked beside me and showed me around and is now fluent in French after a family exchange in Provence for three months.

It was so nice to return with him all those years later – who knows - perhaps it was the man on the metro who sang opera to him as a baby that inspired his love of French. However he is also determined to learn Italian as well to satisfy his mother’s whims…!!

Life in Italy is very different to my home country Australia. It is the opposite in every single way one can imagine. Living between two countries is a challenge particularly coping with the jet lag and such a long haul across the oceans. Australia is actually on the opposite side of planet earth to Italy so Australians do it tough with a 24 hour flight - no mean feat particularly if you cannot sleep sitting up.

Jet Lag is a well known medical condition that one suffers when you change time zones. As I have suffered it so much flying here for 25 years I have come to know it well. Most people only seem to observe the difficulty with sleeping patterns like waking up at 2.30 am in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep.  However it is more than that and I tell my clients to not take it lightly and to go easy for the first few days.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:00

Ravello on the Amalfi coast is one of the most favourite places in Italy if not the most favourite. Perched high on top of a mountain behind the town of Amalfi the views are some of the most spectacular in the world. Breathtaking it is. This is the terrace of one of our fabulous Ravello hotels. If you need a romantic hideaway or a wedding this is the place to go.

The gardens were designed by Vita Sackville West of the Bloomsbury group fame at the turn of the 20th century. The terrace of Infinity in the photo is just that with infinite views as far as the eye can see.  If you go to the Amalfi coast this is one spot you have to visit.

Contact Passion for Italy Travel for all details and we can organise it for you.

The Whole World is going to Italy

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 07:56
Apologies for no blogs recently but Passion for Italy Travel has been hit by an avalanche of clients going to Italy and we will return to blogging when the landslide subsides as our clients come first. It seems the whole world is travelling to Italy in June 2013 so if you are thinking about travelling in June 2013 please change it to september as a lot of our properties are fully booked.


Thursday, 14 March 2013 08:58
The Vatican, Rome has elected a new pope today Pope Francis - Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.


Friday, 08 March 2013 05:34

Passion for Italy has a policy of visiting and checking out our accommodation personally before we send our clients there. Unfortunately the standard of Rome hotels is always disappointing to me. Have seen literally hundreds of hotels, bed and breakfast, and apartments in Rome sometimes I am literally shocked to the eyeballs at the quality.

I feel like saying to them - you expect my clients to pay $400 a night for this pathetic  room in which one cannot hardly fit two people??!! I wonder if they notice the look of shock on my face. In other  towns of Italy i have a look of shock due to the magnificence and beauty of the rooms but sadly never in Rome.

This is one case in which the world should not do as the Romans do. Yes I know over 20 million tourists pass through Rome each year and the Romans in the hospitality industry are  very spoilt. They don't have to work hard for the never ending supply of money that comes their way. The Vatican and their 2000 year old antiquity are literally pots of gold that draw the tourists. Rome is the most visited city out of the whole world in tourism - they have it made - lucky them. 

However in saying this their quality of rooms that are on offer is always disappointing to the average tourist from America, Australia and England where the standard of hotels is greatly higher. Some of the four and five star classic double worth over 400€-500€ per night are not better than a superior room at a three star hotel for half the price. Romans are too tight to bother renovating!! Tired old rooms fifty years old with worn carpets are the norm. 

What I don't like is the snooty attitude that the staff develop towards guests that almost make one feel that how dare they stay at their hotel. It is almost like they are doing you a favour by allowing you to stay when you are paying through the nose for a bed for the night. There seems to be no value for money concept with the Roman hotels.

I am of the opinion that Rome should come up to the standard of the rest of the world with their standard of hotels or lower their prices are they are an absolute rip off.

Yes I know it is a matter of supply and demand and the tourists demand and the Romans supply - anything and it is accepted due to large amount of bookings needed but still - why does the world accept such low quality. It is because the city is magnificent but the hotels are not.

Out of the hundreds of places in Rome I have seen there are only three places that I can honestly say, are worth the price and the service. One is a very small residence and one is a bed and breakfast with very large suites and one is a hotel that is not in the centre.

The hotels  - alas - I must keep searching. I would like one day to be able to walk into a hotel in Rome and think wow this place is magical instead of cringing. I don't like my clients being ripped off. Raise your standards Romans to the level of the magnificence of your city.

Getting around Venice using the public transport Ferries can prove to be quite expensive for a family.

Here is all the information on the type of passes one can buy  - CLICK HERE

To buy the Venice card or passes online CLICK HERE

We inform you that from February 4th to April 23rd 2013, the Doge’s Apartment will be closed to the public for the preparation of the exhibition MANET. Return to Venice (24.04 – 18.08.2013). We apologize for the inconvenience.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:31
Whilst I love the summer energy and beach-life of Positano by day, I have a particularly soft spot for this beautiful town at night.

Positano, like many of the small towns on the Amalfi Coast, changes as the sun sets. The beach is no longer the main focus of the town (unless there's a festival being held on the sands), and the lights in the homes and restaurants twinkle from the cliff-side.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013 11:33


DATES FOR 2013 – 18th – 27th October 2013

The International Eurochocolate festival of Perugia is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The festival remains as popular as ever, with the Umbrian capital turning into a huge open-air chocolate shop, with exhibitions, workshops, internships, cooking classes, tastings, banquets and celebrations, as well as the coveted Eurochocolate Awards prize.

Each year the festival has a theme. This year is ‘EVERGREEN’ – a nod to sustainability. In previous years themes have included "Prisoners of Chocolate", “City of Chocolate”, “Chokolate Revolution,” and even “Chocolage” (the evolution of chocolate).


Monday, 21 January 2013 00:56


To celebrate the patron saint of lovers on February 14 who was beheaded for marrying Christians in secret why not spend a long weekend in Verona the celebrated town of lovers Romeo and Juliet or Romeo e Giuletta. If you live in Europe why not take a four day long weekend to celebrate the most romantic day of the year - St. Valentine's day with your beloved.


Tuesday, 08 January 2013 14:44

The Feast of the Epiphany is a Catholic feast day which celebrates the journey of the three wise men to pay homage to baby Jesus in the stable. January 6 is a public holiday in Italy and on the night of January 5 the witch Befana (originating from the word 'Epiphana") flies on her broomstick to give presents to the good children and a lump of coal to the bad.

The day marks the last day of the 12 days of christmas. Work and school usually commence in Italy on the following Monday. Befana also leaves her gifts at grandparents' houses and uncles' and aunties' houses for the children so most Italian children are feeling quite sick by the end of the day!


Saturday, 05 January 2013 14:13

Happy New Year to all reading this, to our past clients and to all the people that are going to come into our lives in 2013 from the Passion for Italy Team. Our globe or planet earth is opening up more and more each year as more people travel the world to explore different countries and new experiences with people of a different language.

As i live and work, back and forth between two countries, Italy and Australia, I am never ceased to be surprised by the difference between our cultures in all areas of life. People living in english speaking countries such as American, Australia and England that are not exposed to other languages like Europe is, tend to be unaware that a language shapes a country in more ways than one.

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