Your Guide to the Famous Gondolas of Venice, Italy

There is nothing quite as romantic as an evening ride through narrow, historic canals on a gondola in Venice, Italy. Soak in the rich cultural history of this beautiful city aboard an iconic vessel. There are several factors to consider when it comes to making the most of your gondola ride. Price, location, and time of day are important to be mindful of before embarking on your scenic adventure. Read on to learn more about the cultural heritage, what to expect, and where to get the best gondola experience. Then, view our complimentary Travel Guide for insightful local advice on where to go and what to do on your European holiday! 

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Everything You Need to Know About Venice, Italy, Gondola Rides

A Brief History of Venetian Gondolas 

Venetians have rowed through the city’s canals for centuries. It served as the primary source of transportation in Venice. Gondoliers maneuver these flat-bottomed rowing boats using only one oar. It wasn’t until the Baroque period that they began to take on their elegant, ornate forms. Today, families still pass down the tradition of hand-crafting these wooden vessels in special workshops called squeri

What to Expect From a Gondola Ride

Stroll along the canals and search for a gondola that piques your interest. They are all uniquely adorned with ornate carving and gilding. Once you find the right one, get comfortable! The seats are cozy, and there are often blankets. The gondolier will likely have a striped shirt and sun. They may also speak English, French, or German. There is often an expectation that the gondolier will sing. While it is not impossible, it’s best to go into the ride expecting to sit back, relax, and take in the beautiful scenery. 

The Best Canals for the Ultimate Experience 

While the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square are the most popular places to find gondola stations in Venice, they are also the most crowded. Instead, consider seeking out a ride at the San Polo and Campo San Barnaba areas, or the Jewish Ghetto. This will allow for a quieter experience exploring the different neighborhoods in Venice. 

Stay in Commendable Rentals’ Property for an Authentic Venetian Experience You Will Remember for  Lifetime

Crossing historic canals on a gondola in Venice, Italy, is one of many memorable experiences you can count on during your holiday to Europe. To ensure that your dream vacation becomes a reality, stay with Commendable Rentals. Our reliably authentic Venetian properties capture the enchanting essence of this historic gem of a destination. Choose between elegant, frescoed palazzos and sleek, modern spaces. Each of our properties boasts an ideal location near all the best things to do in the city. Additionally, we aim to go above and beyond to make your getaway one that you’ll remember for a lifetime. 

Are you ready to make your dream vacation come true? 


What Is the Best Place in Tuscany?

Porto Ercole village and boats in harbor in a sea bay. Aerial view

If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, then there’s a place you must visit no matter what. Monte Argentario is a gem of a peninsula and one of the best-kept secrets in the region! In this blog, we’ll tell you all you need to know about its incredible scenery, rich history, and relaxing atmosphere. Read on to discover some of our favorite activities and start planning your trip to the best place in Tuscany today!

Discover Why Monte Argentario is the Best Place in Tuscany


Monte Argentario Is Tuscany’s Best Hidden Treasure

Monte Argentario might not be the first place you picture when you think of Tuscany, but it’s one of the most beloved beach resorts. If you’re looking for a Cote d’Azur experience without the crowds and expensive prices, then Monte Argentario is the perfect destination! It’s only an hour and a half away from Rome and has a unique geographic position. Indeed, it’s connected to the mainland by three isthmuses. Imagine golden beaches, lush pine forests, lagoons filled with flamingos, and a quaint, medieval town.

Note: Monte Argentario is split between two centers: Porto Ercole, a fishing town, and Santo Stefano, which was rebuilt after the second World War.


Perfect for History Buffs

Monte Argentario is the perfect mix of natural beauty and history. You’ll love exploring impressive historical sites like Fortezza Spagnola, the Frati Passionisti Convent, and other forts and towers built by Spanish kings over 400 years ago.

Gorgeous Beaches

Did you know that Monte Argentario is surrounded by more than 20 beautiful beaches? If you want to relax under the Tuscan sun, there’s no better place than here. La Feniglia, for example, is one of the most accessible beaches and connects Porto Ercole to the mainland as well as splendid pine forests and dunes. If you’re looking for a more private beach, head to Cala del Gesso. This sandy bay is a great spot for snorkeling!

Take a Boat to the Island of Giglio

Fancy a little adventure on the Meditteranean sea during your stay in Monte Argentario? Hop on a boat from Porto Ercole and head towards the island of Giglio! The ride takes about an hour and ends in a quaint, coastal village full of colorful shops and delicious restaurants. After a hike or bike ride on the island, make sure you stop by La Vecchia Pergola Restaurant for some of the best seafood you’ve ever had! You’ll love the soft pink building, blue gated entrance, and pergola with a sea view. We highly recommend ordering the sea bass or pasta!

Make Monte Argentario Your Home with Commendable Rentals

Favoloso Villa view of infinity poolMonte Argentario is the perfect destination for your next family trip! Take your loved ones on an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany and unwind for the summer. Our Favoloso Villa is ideal if you wish to travel in style and still experience Tuscan tradition. The gorgeous, modern villa sleeps up to 15 people with seven bedrooms and bathrooms.

You’ll love the see-through staircase, the fireplace in the modern living room, and the mix between the old Terracotta building and the new glass and wooden additions. The villa also offers incredible views of the Meditteranean Sea! Sip your morning coffee overlooking the pristine water and gaze at the distant islands in front of you. After a long day of exploring Monte Argentario, come home and jump in the infinity pool where you can swim with the sunset as your backdrop.


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How to Plan the Best Rome to Tivoli Day Trip

View of the Villa d"Este from the gardens and fountain in Tivoli | Rome to Tivoli Day trip

There are so many things to see and do in Rome. But, how about taking a day off from the hustle and bustle of the capital and heading out to more peaceful horizons? A Rome to Tivoli day trip is precisely what you need. Not only is Tivoli less than 40 minutes away from the city, but a day trip offers you the chance to discover magnificent gardens and historical landmarks. Read on to learn about our favorite stops and start planning your visit today!

Must-See Stops on Your Day Trip From Rome to Tivoli


Villa Adriana

Travel back in time during your first stop in Tivoli at the Villa Adriana. Visit the exceptional UNESCO World Heritage complex and discover one of the most impressive collections of ancient buildings. They were built in the 2nd century A.D. by Roman Emperor Adrian and combine the best of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architectural details.


Temple of Sybil

Another great site to visit in Tivoli is the Temple of Sybil. It’s near the Temple of Vesta on the highest point of the Acropolis of Tivoli, which was once known as Tibur Superbum. After your tour, head over to Ristorante Sibilla for lunch! It’s right by the temple and offers some of the most delicious Italian food in the area. We highly recommend the Prosecco Welcome, ravioli stuffed with buffalo on soup, and the dairy pig roast with potatoes and artichokes Roman.


Villa d’Este

It’s a great idea to save Villa d’Este for last so you can get amazing garden views at sunset. The plants and flowers glow in the golden sun, and the water from the fountain sparkles during this time of day. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see during your vacation. Marvel at the palace, which was built in the 16th Century by Pirro Ligorio for the Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este of Ferrara, Governor of Tivoli. If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll love the freshness of the water by the ornamental basins.


How to Get There

Tivoli is one of the best day trip destinations from Rome. It’s very close to the city and offers a variety of activities to keep you busy all day. There are a few ways you can get there, depending on which method of transportation you choose.

The first option is to sit back, relax, and hop on a bus. The ride takes about an hour and a half and travels along the A5 Autostrada. The Cotral Bus departs every ten minutes and tickets are 1,60 euros. Once you arrive in Tivoli, you can take the shuttle 4 which connects you to the two villas of Adrianna and Villa d’Este.

You can also travel to Tivoli by train. Europe has an excellent train system, so take advantage of it! All members of your party can relax and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes without having to navigate directions. Note that the Tivoli station is about a half hour from the town center, so you might consider taking a taxi once you arrive.

Lastly, if you decide to rent a car and drive yourself, take A24 for about 15 minutes until you reach the Tivoli exit.

Find Your Historic, Downtown Rome Apartment

View of the garden and canopy with dinner table setNow that you know how much fun a day trip to Tivoli can be, it’s time to focus on your home in Rome. If you want to enjoy “la dolce vita” during your next vacation, book our fabulous Trastevere Apartment with a private garden! It’s the perfect place to enjoy the city and nature together.

Picture yourself drinking your morning espresso under a shaded canopy, lounging on the plush cream sofa in the afternoon, and cooking delicious carbonara pasta in your fully equipped kitchen at night. You can even dream the night away in the elegant master bedroom. You’ll love its high ceilings, terracotta tile, and large windows through which the sun peeks every morning. The apartment can sleep up to four people and is half a block away from the Tiber River.


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Here Are the Best Tricks to Help You Pack Light for Europe

Holiday hat and dress. Ready set for packing light for Europe

Are you traveling to Europe soon? If so, there are a few things you need to know! The Old Continent is a playground for history buffs and adventurous travelers. Each country is close to one another, so it’s easy to hop around. That’s why traveling light is a must! Ditch the heavy suitcase and let us help you pack light for Europe. Read on to learn our packing tips and tricks, including how to plan your outfit and match the style of your destination!

What You Need to Do If You Want to Pack Light for Europe


Know Your Destination’s Style

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of packing, there’s one golden rule you should follow. Get familiar with your destination! It may sound obvious, but this is the key to packing the best and most practical suitcase for your vacation. Europe is small compared to the United States, but it’s incredibly diverse, and what goes for one country doesn’t necessarily apply to another.

Consider this: Are you going to the city or to the countryside? Are you visiting France, Italy, or Austria? Narrowing down to the exact location will help you choose your clothing items more easily and diligently. Instead of looking like a tourist, know the code on what to wear and blend in!


Plan Your Outfits

Once you have a better idea of the destination you’re packing for, it’s time to choose your outfits. You’ll notice that you can create a lot more space in your suitcase when you plan your outfits in advance! Instead of grabbing the items you love the most, sit down and think about what you’re going to do once you’re in Europe. Are you going to walk a lot? Are you going to go out at night? How often will you really wear an item? Coordinate your looks for the whole trip and try to reuse items as much as you can. We recommend taking pictures of your outfits so that you remember what goes with what!

Packing Hacks

Here are three great ideas to help you pack light and smart.

  1. Buy Toiletries Onsite

There are many local supermarkets throughout Europe that sell good shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shower gel, etc. You won’t believe the space you save by skipping on these items while packing! You also won’t be at risk of any inconvenient leaks during the flight.

In France, for example, you’ll find parapharmacies (a combo between a pharmacy and a beauty bar.) There aren’t medications here, but you can buy high-level dermocosmetics. And, all of these stores are managed by doctors. A parapharmacie is a great place to find products that French people use in their daily lives.

  1. Don’t Take More Than Three Pairs of Shoes

Shoes take up a lot of space, and you likely won’t wear them all. Bring a pair of comfortable sneakers for walking, sandals or flip flops if you’re going to the beach, and a pair of dress-up shoes for a night out.

  1. Wear Your Bulkiest Items On the Plane

It’s always a good idea to bring a scarf with you; Europeans wear them all the time. Keep it with you on the plane, and bring a cozy sweater that you might need for cool evenings. You might also want to wear the heaviest shoes you’re bringing. Sneakers are a good choice to help save space.


Are You Ready for an Unforgettable, European Trip?

Modern Interior with view of the Breakfast TableNow that you’re a pro at packing light for Europe, it’s time to choose a destination! How about a luxurious stay in Rome? Our home in Trastevere is the perfect house for your family and friends. This spacious, 4-bedroom/4-bath condo has an open-concept living area and a terrace with panoramic views of Gianicolo, Rome’s highest hill. The condo’s designer, Frederica Fendi, has worked in the luxury fashion industry since 2000. You’ll love the home’s velvet couches, wooden wall panels, and industrial kitchen counters!


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