5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

If you’re a foodie who is planning a trip to Italy, you are in for a treat! While it is always a pleasure to experience the delicious cuisine and impeccable hospitality in Italian restaurants, you might find even more delight if you have your own kitchen during your stay.

Each region of Italy has its own specialty dishes that you can try to make in the comfort of your own home. Explore the local farmer’s markets and come home with some beautiful produce that you can use to make your own authentic creation.

Today, we are featuring some vacation rentals with stunning kitchens in five Italian cities. Andiamo a mangiare!

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1. Rome

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

Get spectacular views of the Palatine, Roman Forum, and the Capitol from your rooftop patio in this stunning Roman apartment. It has a fully-stocked, beautiful kitchen where you can live out your culinary dreams, as well as an elegant dining room where you can share your creations with your loved ones.

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2. Amalfi Coast

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

Stay in Villa Baroque, a sumptuous ten-bedroom retreat in the oldest part of Positano. Enjoy taking dips in the infinity pool with a full view of the sea, or relax in your beautifully-decorated bedroom with high ceilings and frescoes.

Believe it or not, this rental also includes a cook who will make all your meals, which is a great way to learn how to make Italian dishes. You can even request a professional chef who can come to your house and elevate your experience to new levels. Perfetto!

3. Florence

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

If you’ve ever seen the movie Under The Tuscan Sun and have been dreaming of life in a Tuscan villa ever since, look no further than the Villa Rogai in the tiny village of Romola. You’ll be ten miles away from the center of Florence, yet you’ll feel like you’re a world away.

The villa was built in the late nineteenth century and is decorated with beautiful antique furniture. You can enjoy your meals on the terrace by the pool with a view of the nearby hills. We recommend buying several bottles of local chianti wine to taste, too.

4. Milan

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

Experience the northern grandeur of Milan in a vacation rental that is as fashionable as the city. This luxury loft sets you up perfectly for exploring the city, and you’ll feel like a local in this small but comfortable space.

Fun tip: take a day trip to stunning Lake Como, and buy some fresh fish to bring back and cook for the evening in your little Euro kitchen.

5. Venice

5 Vacation Rentals In Italy That Have Stunning Kitchens

Plan a trip for you and your nine other friends or family members to the Palazzina Canal, a stunning property in Venice that is right on the water. You’ll have views of the whole city from the windows of your apartment.

The kitchen space is perfect for big cooking productions: you can spread out all of your ingredients on the large island and put people to work – or sit them down at the barstools, and give them samples of whatever you’re making.

Why Travel Is About More Than Clichés And Selfies

Why Travel Is About More Than Clichés And Selfies

Exploration has driven humans to expand to new frontiers for millennia. The pull of the unseen and the unknown has been enough to convince intrepid travelers to give up the comforts of home and set out for the great beyond.

The problem is, the great beyond now seems to be filled with selfie sticks and tour buses.

travel tourists selfie sticks

I stood in line for my first passport at the not-so-tender age of 19 because I could feel the idea of travel weighing upon me. But never having left my home country, that same idea felt completely out of reach. The passport booklet, filled with its 40 pristine pages, was the essential first step to seeing the world that lay beyond the boundaries of my hometown.

To break in my new found freedom, I booked a trip to Italy. The 10-day tour took us from the canals of Venice, through the Renaissance streets of Florence, and straight into the picture-perfect ancient mishmash of modern Rome.

Everything was new, exciting, and borderline infuriating.

travel tourists tours crowd

Here’s why: around every corner was yet another line for yet another monument. The sites themselves were stunning, but being forced to wait behind throngs of tourists destroyed some of the grandeur.

Our attempts at dining sometimes fared no better. White-aproned hosts beckoned to us with tempting English language menus, but we left the red-checkered tables unconvinced we had really been served authentic home cooking.

We walked the cobblestones streets wondering if this was really what travel was all about – selfies and social media check-ins.

travel tourists food pasta

Following that fateful trip, I have since moved to Rome and stood in line at the embassy to add more pages to that same passport. On a plane or a train nearly every two weeks, I have realized that there will always be other tourists.

However, I prefer to leave them to the bucket list sites and chart my own path in every new city.

Dare to say yes

Travelling has taught me that a lot of the experience is about taking a risk and saying yes. Yes to the plane tickets, yes to the off-the-beaten track neighborhood, and yes to the invitations to see sites that are off the beaten path.

That was why I said yes to the lunch invitation from the front desk girl at my hostel in Marrakesh. One hour and one horse-and-cart ride later, we were watching her brother’s wedding video, sipping mint tea and eating couscous with her entire family in their 800-year-old Berber home.

Able to communicate mainly through pointing and smiles, it was one of the best meals of my life.

travel tourists morocco

Wandering through countries and continents, I have learned that I prefer to skip the typical guidebook must-sees and take a seat at the table. And food is undeniably the best gateway into a new city.

The dinner table is where you go to be nourished, but also where you can learn the norms of a new culture, including how to fare la scarpetta (sop up the sauce) at the end of your homemade pasta dinner.

travel tourists home cooked food pasta

The flavors on the plate in front of you represent the history and traditions of a given place. At the same time, each meal is a chance to simultaneously make very new and very modern real-world connections.

This simple travel tip holds true away from the table as well. I have found that the best place to feel the pulse of a city is at the market rather than at a museum. While you will find few Romans waiting in line at the Vatican, I guarantee you will find every local sitting down for a meal each day. The next step is to be invited to join them.

Social media (and selfies) keep us connected to home while traveling, but it is the unpretentious of act of eating that makes the experience of escape more unique.  That’s why my FOMO (fear of missing out) has more to do with tracking down a rare craft beer than it does with a major monument.

travel tourists tours colosseum

Plus, everyone knows that the best way to see the Colosseum is from a private dining room table.

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Tired of doing the typical touristy stuff? Go beyond clichés and selfies in your travels by dining in a home restaurant instead. 

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An Art-Lover’s Guide to Florence

An Art-Lover's Guide to Florence

Florence is home to some of the most iconic works of art and architecture in the world. Much of these works are inspired by creative developments that took place during the Renaissance. 

Lovers of art will not want to miss out on these attractions!

1. Basilica of Santa Croce

This Fransiscan church is the burial site of eminent artists, writers and scientists such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Rossini and Galileo. There are 16 chapels housed in this church, many of which are adorned with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils who include Gaddi, Banco and Daddi. As the Basilica is a religious site, ensure you are appropriately dressed for your visit.  

2. Galleria dell'Accademia

Many visit this gallery to see the famed David statue by Michelangelo as well as his unfinished statues, which are the Prisoners and St Matthew. While Michelangelo's works are highlights of this gallery, you will also find paintings by other celebrated artists such as Botticelli, Pontormo, Allori and Orcagna. Do purchase your tickets in advance to avoid long waiting times in the queue!

3. Uffizi Gallery

This art museum houses the largest collection of Renaissance artworks in the world. Some highlights of the gallery include paintings by Botticelli, notably Birth of Venus and La Primavera as well as Lippi's Madonna with Child and Two Angels. You will also find works by other acclaimed Italian artists such as Giotto, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaelo. You will also want to purchase tickets in advance to beat the snaking queues!

4. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Featuring Gothic-style architecture, this cathedral is an iconic landmark in Florence and has the largest dome in the world. The dome, which was built by Brunelleschi, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of engineering and design as it was successfully constructed without any scaffolding! Within this cathedral, you will find 44 stained-glass windows which were designed by Donatello, Ghiberti and other artists. To capture panoramic views of the city, head over to the Bell Tower! 

5. Bargello Museum 

Bargello was formerly a barracks and prison before it was converted into an art museum. Here, you find mostly sculptures by notable artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini and Verrocchio. The museum also houses a collection of artifacts from the Middle Ages as well as tapestries, manuscripts and armours. Crowd-hating art lovers will rejoice that queues are a rare sight at this museum! 

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Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Florence

Top Vegetarian Restaurants in Florence

As a vegetarian, it can be a hassle to find good restaurants to dine at during your travels. Unlike your meat-loving friends, you cannot take the easy option of getting a burger takeout. More often than not, you are left in the situation of watching on by the side, as your friends feast on a series of meaty delicacies. However, this will not be a problem anymore – not when you have our top five picks for vegetarian restaurants in Florence:

1. Brac 

If you like a cosy ambience, an engaging book to read while you eat, affordable meals and a fine selection of flavourful dishes, this is definitely the place to go. The piatta unico, consisting of a main dish, salad and bread with fillings, comes at an affordable price of €12. The generous portions of the dishes is icing on the cake. 

Round off your meal with an aromatic coffee. Choose from one fo the many books available in the restaurant, and settle snugly into your seat for an afternoon of reading. 

Note: The restaurant is open for reservations only.

Address: Via dei Vagellai, 18, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Phone:+39 055 094 4877

2. Il Vegetariano

Located in the heart of Florence, Il Vegetariano commenced its operations in 1981. The restaurant offers a different selection of items on its menu each day. The menu might not be extensive, but you can be assured that each and every dish served is of the highest quality, as much emphasis is placed on sourcing for fresh ingredients. Vegetariano also features a well-stocked salad bar filled with a mix of raw and steamed ingredients. A dining experience at this restaurant is highly economical – main courses are priced at €7.50 – €9, and starters have an average price of €5. 

Address: via delle Ruote, 30r 
Phone: 055 47 50 30

3. La Raccolta

La Raccolta started off as a grocery shop specialising in selling organic produce in 1985. The restuarant was set up fifteen years later, and boasts a menu featuring a wide range of wholesome organic dishes. A selection of vegetarian, gluten free and raw items are also available, making this an excellent dining spot for diners with food allergies. La Raccolta is known for dishing out unique dishes, such as an intrigung ravioli of red beets, oranges with cashew cream and melon.

Address: via G. Leopardi, 2r 
Phone: 055 24 79 068

4. Dolce Vegan

Perfect for health-conscious foodies, Dolce Vegan offers only vegan and organic items on their extensive menu. All starters and mains are priced below €10, making it an ideal stopover for budget travellers. An indulgent treat await dessert-lovers, for the restaurant offers a selection of tasty treats, such as the well-loved tiramisu and a decadent cheesecake with coconut and chocolate. These desserts are given a healthy twist, as no eggs, milk and honey are used. Be sure to give this eatery a go if you are travelling in Florence!

Address: Via San Gallow, 92r. Firenze, Italy
Phone: +39 055 019 5437

5. Sedano Allegro

Sedano Allegro's menu starts off on a promising note, offering a series of unique entrées such as the fried pumpkin flower with cream cheese, and baked aubergine stuffed with mushrooms. The rest of the menu is equally delightful – diners will find intriguing-sounding main courses such as the seitan escalopes with apples or mushrooms and vegetarian skewer. End of a scrumptious meal with one of their homemade desserts, or enjoy a fine glass of Tuscan of Italian wine. Mmm…perfect!

Address: Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 1, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Phone: +39 055 234 4020

6. Ristorante Le Fate

Le Fate is a newly opened restaurant, but it also has the most innovative dining concept in this list. Although the price range falls closer to that of a fine dining restaurant, rest assured that this place serves more than the typical vegetarian or vegan fare. From the colour of the food to the serving plates used, each and every aspect of the dining experience is specially crafted to align with the twelve astrological signs. Wine lovers will be delighted to know that Le Fate's wine list is curated to match the characteristics of each astrological sign.

Do not miss out on engaging in fascinating conversations with the owner, Serenella. An expert is astrology, it is likely that you will gain intriguing insights into the undiscovered traits of your star sign. 

Address: Via San Zanobi, 126r 50129 Florence Italy  
Phone: +39 055 3841998 

7. Join A Cooking Class in Florence

If you are an adventurer who loves to explore beyond guidebooks, why not join a culinary class in Florence? From choosing seasonal ingredients with a local, to cooking in the comforts of his/her home, this hands-on experience is truly one of a kind. For those with strict dietary restrictions, cooking your own food from scratch ensures that you are aware of all ingredients that make up your dish, allowing you to enjoy your meals with ease. 

If culinary pursuits do not float your boat, tucking into a sumptuous home-cooked meal definitely will. Feast on an amazing view of Florence as you dine alfresco, or tuck into a variety of traditional Tuscan delights in a cosy farmhouse

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