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3 Weeks in Italy

Day 1
Bagolino
Accommodation
  • View from Hotel Tre ValliHotel Tre Valli
    Via S. Rocco, 56
    25072 Bagolino (Brescia)
    Phone (0365) 99 109
    Fax (0365) 99 809
    http://www.hotel-trevalli.it

    The Hotel Tre Valli is a small and friendly, family run hotel in the center of Bagolino. It's just like two minutes to the main piazza, and in the evening the village will become quiet and peaceful (except on Saturdays, where the whole village seems to meet up at the main piazza). The hotel is simple and clean, certainly nothing too fancy, but for us, it was the best possible start into this trip.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

Restaurant
  • Bar Trattoria Ancora
    Piazza Marconi
    25072 Bagolino (Brescia)
    Phone (0365) 99 218
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Optional stopover
at
Lake Garda
Accommodation in Malcesine
  • View from Hotel AugustaHotel Augusta
    Fam. Benedetti
    Loc. Panzano,27
    37018 Malcesine (VR)
    Phone +39-045-7400 300
    Fax +39-045-7400 351

    The Hotel Augusta is situated in Malcesine above the village, providing beautiful views across Lake Garda, and allowing you to experience beautiful sunsets. It is a short walk of about 5 minutes to the center of the village with all the restaurants, shops and attractions. When we stayed at the Augusta, we had a fully refurbished room with lake view. Due to its somewhat detached location (away from the busy center of the village), the room was quiet and our stay very relaxing. The breakfast was good, and the staff was friendly and helpful.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/17.htm

Restaurant in Malcesine
  • Bar Pizzeria Da Pedro
    Vicolo Porto Vecchio 9
    37018 Malcesine (VR)
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

 

Accommodation in Riva del Garda

View from Hotel Europa
View from our room at the Hotel Europa

  • Best Western Hotel Europa
    Piazza Catena, 9
    38066 Riva del Garda
    Phone +39-0464-555433
    Fax +39-0464-521777

    The Hotel Europa has certainly one of the best locations in Riva del Garda: It sits directly at the harbour, just steps away from the city center with shops, restaurants, and the ferry pier. Our room was overlooking the harbour, and we felt that it hardly can get any better at the Lake. The room was quiet and clean, the staff was friendly, the breakfast good. Exactly what you would expect from a Best Western hotel.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/18.htm

Day 2
Berceto
Accommodation
  • Albergo Gioli
    Via Ripasanta, 5
    43042 Berceto (Parma)
    Phone (0525) 64 251
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)
Restaurant
  • Pizzeria Barozzi Wanda
    Piazza Micheli, 10
    43042 Berceto (Pr)
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)
Day 3
Lerici
Accommodation
  • Hotel Byron
    Via Biaggini, 19
    19032 Lerici (Sp)
    Phone (0187) 965 699 -or- (0187) 967 104
    Fax (0187) 967 409
    The Zanzig.com Rating: ** (fair)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/19.htm

Day 4
Pistoia
Accommodation
  • Hotel Il Convento
    Via S. Quirico, 33
    51030 Pontenuovo Pistoia
    Phone (0573) 452 651 -or- (0573) 452 652
    Fax (0573) 453 578

    Situated about 6 km (3.8 mi) outside of Pistoia in an ancient Franciscan Monastery, the "Il Convento" is pretty unique and definitely not your typical hotel. It has been transformed into a hotel in the 70s and has been remodeled and tastefully decorated. It has just 32 rooms, the former chambers of the monks, so the rooms may appear smaller and simpler than rooms at other hotels. Yet the hotel offers all amenities you would expect from a hotel in this category, including a large swimming pool right in front of the hotel. One of the most amazing features of the hotel is certainly its restaurant (reservation highly recommended) with its large patio overlooking the surrounding plains. Enjoying the views in conjunction with the excellent food and wines is -especially on warm summer evenings- the perfect way to end a day in Tuscany.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/20.htm

Optional stopover
in
Florence
Accommodation
  • Blick vom Grand Hotel CarvourGrand Hotel Cavour
    Via del Proconsolo 3
    50122 Firenze
    Phone + 39 055 266271
    Fax + 39 055 218955

    The Grand Hotel Cavour is located strategically in the historical heart of Florence, just minutes away from all the big attractions, like The Uffizi Gallery, The Duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio. We had a smaller room at the southern side of the hotel, so there was actually very little street noise (which is always a problem in Italian cities); rooms facing the main street may be noisier, though. Another great feature of the hotel is its rooftop terrace which offers stunning views over the city. At 105 rooms, the hotel is quite big, but we never experienced the size of the house as a problem.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/31.htm

Day 5
Castellina
in Chianti
Accommodation
  • Albergo Palazzo Squarcialupi
    Via Ferruccio, 26
    53011 Castellina in Chianti (Si)
    Phone (0577) 741 186 -or- (0577) 741 187
    Fax (0577) 740 386

    Everything in Castellina in Chianti is small, and this hotel makes no difference. At just 17 rooms, you need to make your reservation early and still need that tiny bit of luck to catch one of the rooms. The lucky winners will be rewarded with a stay in a house that has its place in the history of the town, with roots going as far back as to the year 1400. The hotel is conveniently situated in the historical town center, so you can explore the town easily by foot. The rooms of the hotel are best described as being "stylish luxury", offering everything you expect from a modern hotel. In the backyard of the hotel you'll find a swimming pool with a breathtaking view across the surroundings of Castellina. The friendly family-like staff made our stay even more remarkable.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/21.htm

Optional stopover
in
Vagliagli
View from Dievole
View from Villa Dievole

Accommodation

  • Villa Dievole
    Loc. Dievole, 6
    53019 Vagliagli

    If you want to experience Tuscany at its best, we strongly recommend a stay at "Villa Dievole" for at least a night or two. Dievole is a traditional winery that is nested within its own wineyard in the middle of Tuscany. It is located a bit outside of the village of Vagliagli, about 15 kilometers north of Siena, so you can use the house as a base to easily explore Siena, Castellina, and Florence from there (with your car). The villa offers absolute tranquility, an outdoor pool, long walks through the wineyard, excellent food, and -of course!- great wines.

    We recommend to take the excellent tour through the factory (ask at the reception for the time) and also join their wine tasting. Then end your day with a fantastic dinner on the patio of the restaurant, where you can enjoy their handmade local food with matching wines (recommended by the chef). - Our room was simple yet large and clean, and the staff was friendly and helpful. For this great experience, there can only be one rating:

    The Zanzig.com Rating: ***** (unmissable)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/34.htm

Optional stopover
in
Volterra
Accommodation
  • Hotel Albergo Residence Villa Rioddi
    S.P. Monte Volterrano Loc Rioddi
    56048 Volterra (Pisa)
    Phone 0588 88053/88051
    Fax 0588 88074
    v.rioddi@sirt.pisa.it
    http://www.hotelvillarioddi.it

    The Villa Rioddi is a small, family-run hotel just outside the city walls of Volterra. You may need the car to get to the town center (or you'll have to climb all the way up to the city entrance), but the hotel will reward you with a historic house and modern clean rooms, with awesome views across the Tuscan landscape, and with a swimming pool that invites for a relaxing lazy afternoon in Italy.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Restaurant
  • Trattoria Il Sacco Fiorentino
    Piazza XX Settembre, 18
    56048 Volterra (Pi)
    Phone 0588 88537
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Day 6
Pienza
Accommodation
  • View from Hotel Relais Il ChiostroHotel Relais Il Chiostro
    Corso Rossellino, 26
    Phone (0578) 748 400
    Fax (0578) 748 440
    53026 Pienza (Si)

    Once Pienza frees itself of the day tourists, the city center becomes magically quiet and peaceful. And the magnificient Hotel "Relais Chiostro di Pienza" is situated right here in the heart of the town, allowing for relaxing walks at every time of the day. The hotel is an ancient convent of the fourteenth century, but its 37 rooms have been renovated and offer plenty of space and all the functions you would expect. Our room also had a splendid view across the Orcia Valley right below the town. Parking can be a problem in Pienza, as there is virtually no room for cars close to the hotel or within the city walls. However, you can access the town center and the hotel with your car to load and unload your luggage. Then you have to find a parking lot outside the city walls, which is usually not a problem.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/22.htm

Restaurant
  • Trattoria La Buca delle Fate
    Corso il Rosselino, 38a
    53026 Pienza (Siena)
    Phone (0578) 748 272
    Fax (0578) 748 448
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Day 7
Bolsena
Place your tent directly at the shore of Lago di Bolsena
Place your tent directly at the shore of Lago di Bolsena

Accommodation

  • Lido Village Camping
    Via Cassia, km 111
    01023 Bolsena Lago (VT)
    Phone (0761) 799 258 / Winter (0761) 798 013
    Fax (0761) 796 105 / Winter (0761) 796 168
    http://www.lidocampingvillage.it

    The Lido Village Camping is a huge camp site, situated outside of Bolsena directly at the beautiful Lago di Bolsena. Plenty of trees provide shadow in the summer, and there should be enough room for everyone. The site itself offers everything you would expect from a modern camp site, like shop, restaurant, and clean facilities.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Restaurant
  • All' Antica Trattoria Pizzeria del Corso
    Corso della Repubblica, 41
    01023 Bolsena (Viterbo)
    Phone (0761) 798 078
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)
Day 8
Frascati
Accommodation
  • Domus Park Hotel
    Via Tuscolana, km 18
    00044 Frascati (Roma)
    Phone (06) 940 8587 -or- (06) 940 8589
    Fax (06) 940 8591

    When we stayed at the hotel in 2000 it was still called the "Eden Tuscolano". Apparently, the house is now run under a new name. Its location outside of Frascati has not changed though. It still resides along the road between Rome and Frascati. This is perfect when you want to visit Rome without the stress of actually driving in Rome, or when you want to pass Rome on your way to the South. The rooms are comfortable, functional, and surprisingly quiet. The prices are reasonable, even in 2007.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/23.htm

Optional stopover
in
Rome
Accommodation
  • View into the backyard of the Hotel Astoria GardenHotel Astoria Garden
    Via Bachelet, 8
    00185 Roma
    Phone +39 06 44 69 908
    Phone +39 06 49 10 97
    Fax +39 06 44 53 329

    The Astoria Garden is situated within walking distance (approx. 10 minutes) to the main central station, Stazione Termini. This is very convenient as many major public transport lines begin here. Also, the express train from Rome Airport arrives and departs here. Within 2 minutes walking distance of the hotel you'll get to the Piazza Indipendenza, the starting point of the 75 bus line. Other bus lines stop here, too. Across the Piazza there is a big supermarket.

    The hotel is modern, clean and quiet, with friendly staff. Our room #304 was absolutely up to international standards. We highly recommend to ask for a room towards the garden (see image) when making your reservation, as the Romans per se are not very quiet, and the street can get noisy at times (there is a school right across the hotel). The continental breakfast buffet is above average (for Italian standards). It is served in the basement of the hotel, and space is limited, so we had to wait once for a few minutes until we could actually descend into the nice breakfast room. The lounge made this a pleasant wait though.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/32.htm

Days 9 and 10
Sabaudia
Camping Sabaudia is just steps away from the beach
Camping Sabaudia is just steps away from the beach

Accommodation

  • Camping Sabaudia
    v. Sant' Andrea, 15
    04016 Sabaudia (Lt)
    Phone (0773) 593 057

    "Camping Sabaudia" is a medium sized camp site right behind the beautiful beach of Sabaudia. Just the dunes and a road separate the site from the beach, so it is a perfect destination for kids. The beach is clean, and there is plenty of room for everyone. The camp site might get crowded during high season, so an early reservation is recommended. The site is definitely up to standards and will provide you with good value for money. There is an excellent restaurant at the beach road; you may consider driving there as it is not really within walking distance.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Days 11 and 12
Sorrento
Accommodation
  • Camping Nube d' Argento
    Via del Capo, 21
    80067 Sorrento (Napoli)
    Phone (081) 878 1344
    Fax (081) 807 3450

    A wonderful camp site located right above Marina Grande, the atmospheric old harbour of Sorrento. While it takes a few minutes walking back to the town center (where all the restaurants, shops, and hotels are), the camp site definitely has its advantages: it greets you with silence, and you can enjoy the fantastic view across the bay of Naples. The site is situated on a hill, so maneuvering with a caravan may not be for the faint-hearted.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Restaurant
  • Trattoria Bar S. Anna Sul Mare
    Via Marina Grande, 62
    80067 Sorrento (Napoli)
    Phone (081) 807 2720
    The Zanzig.com Rating: ***** (unmissable)
Day 13
Amalfi
Accommodation
  • Hotel Aurora
    Piazzale dei Protontini, 7
    84011 Amalfi (Sa)
    Phone (089) 871 209
    Fax (089) 872 980

    The Hotel Aurora is situated close to the old harbour, right on the sea. It is just a short walk to the town center, so you are a bit off the beaten tourist tracks, and you will be able to enjoy the tranquility of the hotel. Some of the rooms have an awesome view towards the sea (it rained when we were staying at the hotel, what a pity). While it certainly is not a "grand hotel" like the hotel described in Billy Wilder's excellent movie "Avanti!", it is in our opinion better than its official three-star rating may suggest, both in terms of room quality and customer service. No wonder to us, as the hotel has just 29 rooms, and the hotel staff can take care of your wishes quite fast. All-in-all, a "very good" hotel.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/24.htm

Restaurant
  • Ristorante Bar Pizzeria Il Teatro
    Via E. Marini, 19
    84011 Amalfi (Sa)
    Phone (089) 872 473
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Day 14
Sapri
Accommodation
  • Hotel Tirreno
    Lungomare Italia, 73
    84073 Sapri (Sa)
    Phone (0973) 391 006
    Fax (0973) 391 157

    The Hotel Tirreno is situated directly opposite the beach at the promenade, and a short stroll under pines, eucalyptuses, and other trees will take you to the town centre. There are not too many hotels in this area of Italy, so an early reservation is highly recommended! The hotel attracts both tourists and businesspeople, but with its 44 rooms the hotel also has some capacity. Our room was clean and quiet, facing the backyard of the building; an airconditioner in the neighborhood was annoyingly loud, though. Part of the hotel facilities is also a private beach section, so when weather permits, this is a perfect way to relax between two legs of your journey.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/25.htm

Day 15
Barletta
Accommodation
  • Hotel dei Cavalieri
    Via Foggia, 24
    70051 Barletta (Ba)
    Phone (0883) 571 461
    Fax (0883) 526 640

    This hotel is a modern hotel situated a bit off the town center of Barletta, in general catering more to the business people than to tourists. They do have a wellness centre though, including an indoor swimming pool and a fitness area. There are not too many hotels in Barletta, so if you want to stay a night in the town, we recommend an early reservation to you.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/26.htm

Restaurant
  • Irish Pub St. Patrick
    Via Cialdini, 17
    70051 Barletta (Ba)
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)
Days 16-18
Vieste
Accommodation
  • Villaggio Turistico le Diomedee
    Road P52, approx. 5 km north of Vieste
    71019 Vieste (Foggia)
    Phone (0884) 706 472

    Situated 5 km outside of Vieste, this camp site offers you the perfect location for a refreshing holiday. While this is a large camp site, this never became a problem for us. In fact, we hardly noticed the size of the site. It is situated directly at the beach, ideal for families with kids as you do not have to drive anywhere to get to the beach, and there is no traffic to be worried about. Also part of the site are clean facilities, a good store, and a restaurant.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Day 19
Atri
Accommodation
  • Hotel San Francesco
    Corso Adriano
    64032 Atri (Teramo)
    Phone (085) 87 287

    Back in 2000 Atri was pretty much a blank spot on the tourist map (and we believe it to be still that way today). It was just your typical Italian town on the countryside. We found it to be rather old-fashioned, which might be due to the circumstance that we encountered more old people than young, who prefer to work at the coastal cities or in the big cities elsewhere in Italy. Therefore, there are virtually no hotels in Atri. Yet we found this charming (old-fashioned) hotel, which made our stay in Atri quite pleasant. You should not expect the luxury you might get from other houses, but the hotel is conveniently located in the town center, and it was surprisingly affordable.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

Restaurant
  • Locanda Duca d'Atri
    Via S. Domenico, 62
    64032 Atri
    Phone (085) 879 75 86
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Day 20
Sirolo
Accommodation
  • Camping Internazionale
    Via S. Michele, 4
    60020 Sirolo (An)
    Phone (071) 933 0884 -or- (071) 933 1471
    http://www.camping.it/marche/internazionale

    This camp site is absolutely unique as it is situated directly above the two beaches of Sirolo. To get there, all you need to do is to walk down! The site itself is absolutely tranquil and clean, making camping here a very positive experience. The site may be more expensive than others (especially during high season), but the price can be justified by the high vacation quality you get.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)

Restaurant
  • Ristorante La Cambusa
    Via Cialdini, 13
    60020 Sirolo (Ancona)
    Phone (071) 933 1349
    The Zanzig.com Rating: **** (very good)
Day 21
Ravenna
Accommodation
  • Hotel Centrale Byron
    Via IV Novembre, 14
    48100 Ravenna
    Phone (0544) 212 225 -or- (0544) 33 479
    Fax (0544) 34 114
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

    More information: zanzig.com/f/27.htm

Restaurant
  • Ristorante Renato-Guidarello
    Via R. Gessi, 9
    48100 Ravenna
    Phone (0544) 213 684
    Fax (0544) 212 683
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)
Optional stopover
in
Bologna
Accommodation
  • Mercure Bologna Centro
    Viale Pietramellara 59
    40121 Bologna
    The Zanzig.com Rating: N/A

    When we stayed at this hotel it was still branded as the "Sofitel Bologna", and we rated our experience as "very good". Apparently, the owners of the hotel (Accor group) decided for a change and put it under the "Mercure" label - where some of the best hotels in the world are gathered. While we have no personal experience with the Mercure Bologna Centro (and can not provide a rating), we have stayed at other Mercure hotels in the past and have been very satisfied there. You get a high-quality accommodation for your money: clean, modern rooms, and friendly English speaking staff.

    Our room (at the Sofitel) was facing the backyard/garden and was very quiet, despite the main central station which is located directly opposite the hotel, just across the piazza. Parking can be a problem, as there are few parking lots available, but the hotel will direct you to garages in the surroundings of the hotel. If you want to explore Bologna by foot (and we recommend to do this and leave your car in the garage), it will take you about 10-15 minutes to the towncenter. While the Mercure seems to cater more for the business people, we believe that you will have a great time as a tourist as well.

    More information: zanzig.com/f/33.htm

Day 22
Merano
Accommodation
  • Hotel Tyrol
    30.-April-Str. 8
    39012 Merano (Bolzano)
    Phone (0473) 231 249
    Fax (0473) 235 524

    The Hotel Tyrol is a small, family run hotel situated in a quiet area of the town, but within walking distance to the town center. The rooms are clean and simple, certainly no fancy stuff, but the staff is friendly and helpful.

    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

Restaurant
  • Ristorante Conca d'Oro
    Corso Liberta, 54
    39012 Merano (Bolzano)
    Phone (0473) 230 308
    The Zanzig.com Rating: *** (good)

*****
unmissable
You will definitely miss an outstanding experience if you don't do/book this. Will provide you good memories. Best value for money. Fantastic!
****
very good
Clearly above average quality. Will give you a very good experience. High value for money.
***
good
Average quality and still recommended. A good experience and good value for money. Nothing to complain about, and you will not be disappointed.
**
fair
Below average quality and/or low value for money, but still acceptable. You will want to consider other options, though.
*
poor
You will most likely be disappointed when booking this. Lowest value for money. Not recommended.

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