Ah the Italians, well here is my take on Italy!

I am it seems to be nostalgic on weekends, and can think of a better way to reminicents of my previous life than re telling my travel experiences, both business and pleasure over the years. This is the case today of Italy.

I go way back as on my father’s side his family is married to Italians in NJ USA, coming from Como and Bari regions. Playing soccer/football on ethnic leagues in NJ takes you to meet a lot of them too, even recent residents. Then, on the job and pleasure side needed to travel to Rome ,Carpi and Milan for many years until recently in France continue to these. Not to many photos of those barnstorming job days ,never in my wildest dream, would I had guest the coming of blogging and travel forums. Travel forums can be offensive places, Blogging is heavens.

Let me tell you a bit about Italy on this cloudy rainy cool day in the Morbihan Breton of France. Temps in the 11C mind you, a lot better than last week.

Italy is the Repubblica Italiana in southern Europe with a large peninsula and two big islands Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to many smaller ones. The name of Italy comes in the 5C BC with Italia the part of southern Italy today, many versions but this is how the Romans call it as the others in their empire were Lusitania, Hispania, Gallia, etc. To move to more modern times, during WWI ,Italy is on the Entente side, and on November 4 1918 it signed the peace with the Autro-Hungarian side at the Villa Giusti, the Treaty of Versailles returned the frontiers as before the war to Italy. In WWI dictator Mussolini declares war on England and France after the Nazis invaded Paris in June 10 1940. By 1943 Mussolini loses power thanks to the invasion of the allied armies in Sicily, and he is imprisoned. He is later freed by commando Nazi and resides in the north under support of the Nazi regime . The regime signed the surrender on September 8 1943 but in the south Italy fights on the side of the Allies , and at the same time a civil war against the north. By April 1945 trying to escape to Switzerland he is captured and later executed. On June 2 1946, a referendum puts an end to the Monarchy and the Italian Republic is born, the royals go into exile. The country now begins a reconstruction period as we see today.

It has several airports but the main ones are the Léonardo da Vinci or Fiumicino and Ciampino by Rome. The Milan area with its trio of Malpensa, Linate,and Orio al Serio. The roads are excellent and tasted by yours truly (autoestrada)  as well as the airports, metro, bus networks. The train is very extensive as well and have use it from Rome to Milan and Bologne as well. You have the TAV, fast trains or Alta Velocità/Alta Capacità) that have two major axis such as Torino-Milano-Verona-Venezia ,and Milano-Firenze-Rome-Napoles-Salerno. We can add a third one as Milano-Genoa, and Napoles_Bari. Trenitalia is the network for trains.

The official Italy tourist board in English is here:  http://www.italia.it/en/home.html

Rome is the city in Italy , I have visited the most overall business and pleasure with the family,  (Carpi, Milan the most on business). It is one of the grand cities of our world and tops on any tourist visitor list. Well this is a loong history just saying , Capital of Italy since 1871, and the Capital of the region of Lazio, and the Roman Empire for 357 years. According to legend the name of Rome is known as the founding of the city in 753 BC by Romulus on the Palatine hill ,having killed his twin brother Remus to keep all for him (now you know why we have so many problems!) These brothers were the descendants of the god Mars and Rhéa Silvia, daughter of Numitor. And so on and on and on.

The driving well many are scare by reading travel books but I have driven on it and is not bad, it all depends where you got your driving license and where have you driven (me in all major cities and got my license in the NY/NJ metro area) ,therefore ,do not find it difficult, and the for me the language is no problems ,understand it ok if not fluent. The main train station in town is the Termini centrale or Roma-Termini, one of the biggest in Europe, opened in 1863 and rebuilt in 1939 and again renovated in 1951, the main Italian train network is Trenitalia. Another important train station is that of Roma Tiburtina working to allow fast trains to dock. Still others to note are the Roma Ostiense, Roma Trastevere, Roma Tuscolana, Roma San Pietro, Roma Nomentana (stayed around here with family),and Roma Casilina. It has six lines of tramway with over 100 stations between all. The metro de Roma opened in 1955 and has 3 lines A B and C with 74 stations. It has a pleasure boat marina with capacity for over 800 boats at Ostie now call Porti di Roma. Not to leave out the wonderful bus network, took extensively with the family and as always, the best to see a city , above ground! This site may help you : http://muovi.roma.it/

Here is the tourist office of Rome in English:  http://www.turismoroma.it/?lang=en

Museums info is here in English:  http://www.museiincomuneroma.it/en/

What to see is huge need a whole blog; so will give you just my favorites over the years. The Colosseum (70–80 BC), biggest in the Roman world, originally done to welcome 60K persons. Other monuments are the Roman Forum, Domus Aurea,Pantheon,Trajan’s Column, Circus Maximus,Baths of Caracalla, Castel Sant’Angelo (castle), Mausoleum of Augustus, and the Arch of Constantine.

Moving right alone in my world, you have the Church Saint Mary Major and Church Saint Paul outside the Walls, Church of Santa Maria of Trastevere, Church of Santi Quattro Coronati (coronation of four saints), some nice towers such as the Torre delle Milizie and the Torre dei Conti, both next the Roman Forum. The palace or Palazzo del Quirinale (now seat of the President of the Italian Republic), Palazzo Venezia,Palazzo Farnese,and the Palazzo Barberini. Great squares such as the Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Farnese, Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza della Minerva. One of the most emblematic examples of Baroque art is the Fontana di Trevi or Trevi fountains. And for Roman neoclassicism see the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II or “Altar of the Fatherland”. A very nice park we like and parked on the underground parking there is the Villa Borghese, the garden is the best known large green space in Rome, with famous art galleries among its shaded walks. Overlooking Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps are the gardens of Pincio and Villa Medici.The wonderful bridges crossing the Tiber river are Ponte Cestio, Ponte Sant’Angelo (wonderful) and Ponte Milvio. Considering Ponte Nomentano, also built during ancient Rome, which crosses the Aniene river. There are some Villas related to older regime that are worth seeing including Villa Torlonia and Paganini.

OF course, side to all this is the Vatican City, but you know is not in Italy ::)

There you go, I hope it will give you a central place to get all you need for a wonderful visit to Rome, Carpi, Milan, Italy etc.etc. I have just touch the surface in the posts you will have more tourist info, links ,and photos.

Enjoy Italia, Ciao Italia! Happy weekend to all. Cheers!

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