How to Plan the Ultimate Tuscany Family Holiday

The beautiful rolling hills, stunning coastal views, and the rich history of Tuscany entice visitors year after year. While the region has a reputation for fine wines and high culture, the quiet Italian countryside appeals to all ages. Spend a family holiday in Tuscany and indulge your senses. Embark on culinary escapades. Peruse fascinating museum exhibits. Stand in awe of historic, architectural feats and breathtaking rural scenery. 

Read on to learn more about what you and your family can do during your stay. Then, take a look at our Travel Guide for more great suggestions to include in your vacation itinerary. 

Your Tuscany Family Holiday: Know Before You Go

Is Tuscany Child-Friendly? 

Families will find plenty of kid-friendly activities to enjoy on vacation in Tuscany. The region sets the scene for a quiet, enchanting experience that everyone will love. 

What Is There to Do in Tuscany for Families? 

Despite Tuscany’s reputation for mature, cultural activities and wine-tasting, this stunning region boasts plenty of attractions that will entertain the kids. From beautiful beach days and cooking classes to engaging museum exhibits and visits to the gelaterie, you and your children are bound for an amazing time. 

4 of Our Favorite Things to Do in Tuscany for All Ages 

1.  Visit the Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance: Florence 

The city of Florence attracts visitors of all ages with attractions such as the Gallerie Degli Uffizi, Piazzale Michelangelo, Galleria dell’Accademia, Basilica of Santa Croce, Museo Galileo, and so much more. You will also encounter some of the best restaurants and gelaterie in the region. 

2. Plan a Beach Day on the Mediterranean Coast 

Porto Ercole, Monte Argentario, and Porto Santo Stefano all set the scene for a relaxing seaside getaway. It’s only an hour and a half away from Rome and carries its own Medieval air, history, and lore that piques the interests of those young and old. 

Travel Resource: What are the Best What Are the Best Day Trips from Porto Ercole?

3. Ride Bikes in Lucca and Pose With the Leaning Tower of Pisa 

Ride bikes along the paved and landscaped Medieval walls of Lucca and explore all that the colorful town has to offer. While you’re in the area, venture to Pisa for pictures with the famous tower. You can even climb it if you’d like. 

Travel Resource: What Do You Need to Wear on Holiday to Italy?

4. Soak in the Beauty of the Rural Southern Region 

The rural southern region of Tuscany is home to Marammese cowboys, the archaeological ruins at Roselle, the tiny town of Pitigliano (carved entirely out of brown and black tufa rock), Cascate del Mulino thermal springs, and so much more. 

Stay in Authentic, Upscale Accommodations in Tuscany

Whether you’re planning a multigenerational family trip or a single-family holiday in Tuscany, rest assured that you’re in great hands when you stay with Commendable Rentals. Our beautiful properties capture the essence of Tuscany with elegant decor, magnificent views, and luxurious amenities. From the Mediterranean coast to the rural outskirts of Cortona, you can choose from expansive, historic estates and charming, cozy cottages. 

Maybe you’re drawn to the coast near Porto Santo Stefano on Tuscany’s Argentario. In that case, you’d love this elegant villa with expansive sea-facing terraces, splendid Mediterranean views, and an 18-meter infinity pool. Perhaps you’d prefer a stay in the heart of Tuscany, near the historic city of Florence. If so, our Medieval Castello Lorenzo will delight with its 15th-century architectural features, aristocratic aesthetics, and unparalleled scenery. It even has an elevator, perfect for multigenerational family stays. Single families will find our smaller yet sophisticated homes—such as our Toscana Fantastica Villa and Cottage in Cortona or our Villa della Fonte in Porto Ercole suitable to their lifestyles.  


What Are the Best Day Trips from Porto Ercole?

The Porto Ercole Harbour and Renaissance Fort above

Porto Ercole is a marvelous destination if you’re looking to spend your vacation along the Tuscan coast in Italy. Picture turquoise water, beautiful beaches, picturesque villas on the hills, and scenic views of the distant islands. Porto Ercole is one of the favorite summer destinations for wealthy Romans looking to unwind and relax by the sea. Not only is it one of the most charming places you’ll ever see, but it’s also a magical base camp for exciting day trips. In this blog, we’ll tell you all about the top four day trips from Porto Ercole we like to recommend, and why each one will be an unforgettable adventure for you and your family. Read on, take notes, and make your Italian getaway a reality. 

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Here Are 5 of Our Favorite Day Trips from Porto Ercole

Capalbio

Capalbio is a scenic medieval village a few minutes away from the coast and only 30 minutes away from Porto Ercole. It’s a fabulous little destination if you want to dive deeper into Tuscany’s history and roam the cobblestone streets filled with restaurants and shops. You’ll be enchanted by the view of the village up the hill as you drive to it. Its great walls and gray towers will make you feel like you stepped back in time. 

You can start by walking around town and gazing at the impressive medieval walls that surround the castle. Go along the ramparts to get a good view of the scenic countryside and the glittering Mediterranean water in the distance. Visit the church of St. Nicola to see beautiful frescoes, then head over to Palazzo Collacchioni. We also recommend checking out the Tarot Garden. This beautiful garden was designed by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (if you’ve been to the Musee Pompidou in Paris, you’ll be familiar with her work) and inspired by Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona. 


Isola del Giglio

The Isola del Giglio is one of the islands facing Porto Ercole, and you can take a day trip there! All you have to do is hop on the ferry and let yourself be transported into this real-life Italian oasis. It’s one of the seven islands that form the Tuscan Archipelago and one of our favorites due to its proximity to Porto Ercole. The ferry trip takes about 40 minutes and drops you straight to the main city, Giglio Porto. 

Isola del Giglio is ideal if you’re looking for a laid-back adventure and water activities. You can start by enjoying delicious, authentic Italian cuisine in the numerous restaurants at the port. One of our favorites is La Vecchia Pergola. Every dish looks like a masterpiece and tastes heavenly. We highly recommend sitting outside and ordering their seafood pasta. It’s the best you’ll ever taste! You can then rent several boats at the port and go for a ride on the turquoise water (you’ve never seen it so clear anywhere else!), or go on a snorkeling and diving trip. 

Saturnia

Saturnia is the place to go for relaxation. It’s only an hour away from Porto Ercole and has some of the most famous baths in Tuscany. This spa town in the province of Grosseto is small in population but widely renowned around the world. It’s the perfect day trip for couples or girlfriends. 

The main thing to do in Saturnia is to enjoy the thermal baths. Picture cascades of warm water nestled in the Tuscan hills. It’s so dreamy you have to see it for yourself. You can also bring a picnic to enjoy along the river. Stop by a local market to buy delicious cheese, grapes, and fresh bread. 

Grosseto


Another one of our favorite day trips from Porto Ercole is the city of Grosseto. It’s the capital of the Maremma region and is 14 kilometers away from the coast. Did you know the city walls were actually rebuilt by the Medici family in the 16th century? The history buffs in your group will absolutely love it.

There are several great historical places to visit in Grosseto. First, start with the archeological museum. It was recently renovated and features a great collection of Etruscan relics and findings. Indeed, the famous Etruscan town of Roselle is only a few miles away. Next, head over to the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Its duomo is a sight to behold! Lastly, enjoy a stroll along the Corso Carducci Street and indulge in a little retail therapy.

Pitigliano, Solvano, and Sorana

For your fifth day, discover the charming hill towns of Pitigliano, Solvano, and Sorana. They’re all located North of Grosseto and boast stunning volcano stone cliffs. Walk through the Medieval streets of Pitigliano and discover remains of history dating back to the Bronze Age, neolithic times, and Copper Age.

There, you can taste the original flavors of Tuscany’s white grape with the iconic wine Bianco di Pitigliano or, if you fancy red wine better, go for the Morellino di Scansano. If you happen to be in the area in September, we highly recommend you attend their famous event Settembredivino where wineries open their “cantinas” (wine cellars) within the stone cliffs themselves.


Find Your Home in Porto Ercole with Commendable Rentals

We know reading all of that made you dream about your vacation at Porto Ercole, so why delay it? It’s time to find your villa there with the help of Commendable Rentals. We offer a selection of high-end family houses, villas, and apartments, each more beautiful than the last. Take a look at our gorgeous Favoloso luxurious villa, for example. You can’t find a better place to stay with your friends and family. This incredible seaside villa features seven bedrooms and bathrooms and can sleep up to 15 guests. It’s located at the foot of the sea in Porto Stefano, an area of Monte Argentario you’ll fall in love with the minute you see it. The property also has a grand terrace where you can have dinner or a drink facing the water at sunset. Did we mention the infinity pool? You also don’t have to worry about the crowds. This villa is located within a gated area, so privacy is guaranteed. 
You’ll love the interior just as much as the exterior. The decor is elegant and mixes elements of the original house (like tiling and stone) with modern furniture reminiscent of 1960s architecture. The villa also offers a fully equipped kitchen, cable TV, air conditioning, and a combo of a washer and dryer. It’s so perfect you’ll feel right at home away from home. 

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4 Historical Places in Rome You Need to Visit

Woman drinking wine at sunset in Rome

A trip to Rome is something every traveler should experience once in their lifetime. Do you want to marvel at some of the most precious gems in history? That’s what we thought. To help you fulfill your wanderlust dreams, we’ve created the perfect one-day itinerary through the Italian capital. Read on to discover our day trip to the top historical places in Rome — and get ready to be dazzled.

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Plan a Day to Visit the Top Historical Places in Rome

MORNING

The Colosseum

If we had to pick one historical building to represent Rome, it would be the Colosseum. The Flavian amphitheater was built 70-80 A.D. and was considered the largest in the world. Can you believe that it could hold 50,000 spectators? There’s nothing like standing in front of this impressive limestone monument—one that has stood the test of time. The public can visit daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.


The Pantheon

To continue your exploration of the past, head over to another famous historical place in Rome: the Pantheon. Did you know that it is the most ancient building in the city? It was built as a temple between 118 and 125 A.D. to celebrate the pagan Gods. It was only used as a church around 608 A.D. when the Byzantine emperor Phocas gifted it to Pope Boniface I.V. You’ll be amazed at the intricate architecture and its colossal dome, which inspired the one in Florence.

Lunch Break

After visiting these two monuments, you’ll most probably be hungry. Lucky for you, one of our favorite restaurants is right around the corner from the Pantheon. Pietro Al Pantheon is as authentic as it gets and serves the most delicious dishes. Sit outside on the Terrazza, order a plate of grilled artichokes and spaghetti cacio e pepe, then pair it with a refreshing glass of Lambrusco. 

AFTERNOON


The Trevi Fountain 

After a delicious lunch, walk a few minutes west of the Pantheon towards one of the most famous sites: the Trevi Fountain. You simply cannot visit Rome without throwing a coin in this iconic fountain! People say that all of the wishes made there come true, so why not try your luck? If you throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder, then you’re guaranteed to come back to Rome one day! 

Gelato Break

British people have their tea time, but Italians have Gelato breaks! Head over to la Gelateria Del Monte for a refreshing break between monuments. This modern store offers some of the best flavors in town, as well as other delicacies like macarons, granites, milkshakes, tiramisu, tartufi, and more.

The Spanish Steps

What better way to end your tour of Rome’s historical places than at the Spanish Steps? It makes for the perfect picture to send to your friends and family. The steps were built between 1723 and 1725 by Italian architect Francesco de Sanctis and French diplomat Etienne Gueffier. They remain one of the top meeting places in the city! Note that it is prohibited to sit on the stairs!



Sleep in the Heart of the City in Your Roman Condo

Commendable Rentals is the smart choice for smart travelers. Why stay in a chain hotel and miss out on the local experience Rome has to offer? Discover our wide variety of properties in the center of the city, including penthouses, apartments, condos, villas, and more. Since you’re ending your day trip at the Spanish Steps, why not stay close to this iconic monument? Our Modern Palazzo Condo is ideal for couples and friends. Plus, it’s close to all the shops on Via Condotti, various gelaterias, restaurants, and trendy bars. 

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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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Easter in Rome: What You Need to Know!

Easter in Rome is one of the busiest seasons in the eternal city, which can be both exciting and stressful. Will it be too crowded? Will shops and museums be open? Will the weather be nice enough? Don’t worry; in this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Easter brings countless events and activities to Rome. It’s the perfect time to experience this unique cultural melting pot! Whether you’re religious or not, spring remains a magical time to visit Rome. Read on to discover four of our favorite things to do and start planning your trip today!

 

Make Your Easter in Rome the Best It Can Be!

 

How Crowded Does It Get?

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Italy. It’s one of the world’s top Catholic celebrations! Each year, thousands of visitors and pilgrims flock to the Vatican wanting to hear the Pope and attend the Papal audience on Ash Wednesday. Surprisingly, Easter weekend in Rome isn’t as crowded as one might think. Many of the pilgrims stay in nearby campgrounds and religious institutions, leaving most accommodations in the city to the more typical travellers. Now, don’t get us wrong – the weeks before and after Easter are popular favorites. But, if you wish to enjoy the religious festivities at the heart of the city over the weekend, you avoid the crowds.

What’s the Weather Like?

You might expect a little rain on Easter weekend in Rome, so pack accordingly! You’ll likely need a light jacket, scarf (it’s Europe, after all), and an umbrella just in case. We also recommend packing comfortable shoes! There are so many historical sites and museums to visit, so brace yourself for some walking. Walking is the best way to see Rome

Celebrate Easter Like a Native!

How about taking Easter as an opportunity to learn more about Rome’s religious history and partake in ancestral traditions? Easter (Pasqua in Italian) is the beginning of an intensive prayer week filled with many religious festivals and activities. Most museums are closed on Easter and the following Monday. For example, the Colosseum closes early on Good Friday, and so are many shops, restaurants, and museums. This includes the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel! Don’t worry; the majority remains open during Holy Week. In addition to the Papal Audience, be sure to check out The Palazzo Farnese and The Pantheon! Make sure you taste Easter flavors along the way! The most famous is the Panettone de Pasqua,  an Italian traditional Easter cake and the counterpart of  Italian Christmas panettone. The easter version features almonds instead of fruits, and you will see it everywhere. 

If you really want the religious experience, check out the Good Friday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m., or the “Way of the Cross” that night. There, you’ll see the Pope carry the flaming cross to the 14 stations.

 

It All Starts with a Splendid Apartment in Rome

View of the balcony with glasses of wine overlooking the rooftopsNow that you have four great ideas for how to spend Easter in Rome, all there is left to find is a cozy and trendy place to stay! Lucky for you, we’ve thought about it too at Commendable. Browse our incredible selection of properties, including condos, villas, and apartments at the heart of the Eternal City. We know you’ll find the perfect one for your trip!

Take a look at our Luxurious Colosseum apartment at the center of Rome! This two-bedroom is perfect for a romantic vacation or fun getaway with friends! It’s in the charming neighborhood of Monti and overlooks the Colosseum! You’ll be within walking distance to a variety of exciting restaurants and shops. You’ll love its sleek, modern decor, as well as premium amenities! Enjoy falling asleep to the sounds of Rome, snuggled in bed with a good art book. In the morning, make yourself a cup of espresso and dream about the wonders you’ll see during the day!

 

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How and where to plan a multigenerational travel in Tuscany

A family trip to Tuscany is always a good idea. That is the conclusion we came to during our family Christmas dinner last December. As part of a very extended and scattered family, it is always a struggle to be able to see everybody throughout the year. So we all decided that 2019 was going to be the summer when we would all meet halfway, and where better than Italy, where the sun shines from April to late October and activities are as diverse as the landscapes. Besides the obvious -the beach, the country, the food, the people- Tuscany is in our opinion one of the best places to comfortably travel with a crowd, as large villas are plentiful; it involves some mandatory logistics and planning if you want everyone to remember this trip positively as an unforgettable experience. Here are some tips for arranging successful multigenerational Tuscany trips.

Should you want a countryside vacation, protected from the hustle and bustle of touristy cities, Pitigliano is your best option: our ancient, former convent Il Convento makes a perfect holiday seeing and will welcome you and 10 other family members. It is just a 15min drive away from this incredible town. Located in the south of Tuscany, Pitigliano is unquestionably one of the most beautiful, charming and interesting towns in the area. Its rich history goes from prehistory through Etruscan and Roman settlements and Italian Renaissance, all of which you can discover at The Orsini Palace, now the Civic Archaeological Museum of Pitigliano. Within its spectacular old city centre is an area known as a “Little Jerusalem” for its once large and active Jewish community that was active in the 15th century. Don’t miss the recently restored Synagogue! On top of its rich history, the town is also famous for its wine production. The vineyards in this area, aided by volcanic tufa and millennia-old soil, produce one of the most lauded Italian white wines: Bianco di Pitigliano, a DOC appellation and a must-have while on the Strada del Vino! From there you can also visit the nearby towns of Saturnia and Sorano, which have benefited from hot springs for centuries and are now a must-go spa destination.

                     

For a seaside vacation, about an hour away from Pitigliano is the Monte Argentario and its fantastic archipelago! Perched on a cliff on the edge of the Mediterranean sea, the Villa degli Angeli gazes from Ansedonia at Italy’s most spectacular views, and can comfortably sleep up to 14 people. While there, though you may want to do nothing, there are plenty of possible excursions to keep you busy. In Ansedonia, don’t miss the remains of the ancient city of Cosa, an archaeological site of international interest dating back to 273 BC and included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can also walk or bike in the nearby pine forest and beachcomb the long beach, that is if you tire of swimming in the sea from the private beach of your villa…

You can also explore Orbetello or discover traditional festivals such as the Balestro del Girifalco, stroll by boat in unspoilt places accessible only by the sea, dive into the Mediterranean waters and discover marine life, or try hang gliding at the many centres and schools in the region. We happily recommend Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, two fishing ports that have become seaside resorts, surrounded by high rocks and connected to the mainland by the wide sandy beaches of Gianella and Feniglia.

                   

Closer to San Giminiano, Siena and Florence, perched on a hill and overlooking vineyards, is Castello Lorenzo. Located in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, where Niccolò Machiavelli wrote his most famous book, The Prince, Castello Lorenzo was originally a medieval fortress built in the eleventh century, converted in the fifteenth century into a magnificent villa of the Tuscan aristocracy with a unique charm and impeccable taste. With its 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, it will easily welcome up to 20 guests! Don’t miss the Antinori Wine Estate, simply breath-taking: the winery overlooks the countryside from a terrace surrounded by vineyards, and while staying at Castello Lorenzo, you can visit the cellars and participate in tastings, but also have lunch in their restaurant Rinuccio 1180 located on the roof of the building. We will take care of your reservations, tastings and excursions!

Finally, further north in the Tuscan Maremma, we definitely recommend Castagnetto Carducci, home of La Civetta, a 14-people villa with pool and private access to the beach! There is shopping should you want to cook family meals yourself, or you can use our wonderful cook, but there are also plenty of restaurants to enjoy. Local foods are based on Maremma specialties, fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly made mozzarella and of course, the famous Super Tuscan Wines nearby. Not too far away, is the famous city of Pisa (and its leaning tower!) and Lucca is about 1-hour drive north.

At Commendable Rentals, we can help you plan your whole trip, from choosing properties to rent , to booking guides, boats, chef, cooking lessons, and museum tickets in advance; don’t hesitate to ask for our help!


From Rome with Love

Most cities around Christmas vie to be the most festive and spirited, but few European capitals are as dedicated to bringing the Winter Wonderland to life as Rome. Whether you arrive in the Eternal City by day or by night, you will be charmed by the crisp yet mild December weather, and the glory of Rome’s winter blue skies. Last minute Christmas shopping rushes, the nonchalant strolls of locals trying to differentiate themselves from the tourists, and of course the Christmas lights, add energy to the glow, as Nativity scenes and Christmas markets pop up all over the city. If you arrive by night, don’t miss a drive pass the majestic and romantic Colosseum; its recently renovated arches are particularly beautiful when lit by spotlights against the dark sapphire blue sky.

The Christmas holiday season in Rome officially starts on December 8, the holiday of the Immaculate Conception, or Immacolata, and ends on January 6 at the Epiphany – when La Befana, a sort of Christmas witch is the lead character – and it is indeed magical: it is a great time to see the city in a -literally- different light and to discover the great Roman Christmas traditions. If you are by yourself, feel free to prep a special playlist for the occasion: Culture Trip has put together a wonderful list of songs inspired by the beauty of Rome, and there in one for every taste and every moment of the day (waking up to Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day by Morcheeba is the absolute guarantee of a good mood all day long)! Though it is holiday season, most shops of the city are usually open -with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, and New Years’ Day- and most of the major sites and monuments that have entry tickets, including the Colosseum, Forum, and Borghese Gallery will all be open on the 26th, despite that day also being a holiday. We recommend planning your visits on the 26th, as the museums and churches will be much less crowded than usual.

Whether it is your first time in Rome or you are a newbie in the city, start your day with a bit of Christmas sightseeing; and whether you are religious or not, you should look for the numerous Nativity scenes scattered around the city: they will surprise you by their artistry, beauty and inventiveness. The major one this year is held of course in Vatican City, but there are beautiful ones in every major and minor church of Rome, which counts more than 900 churches, cathedrals and basilicas. We recommend Santa Maria del Popolo, created and built by famous painter, sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century, Santa Maria in Trastevere in the charming, bohème district which gave it its name, or the Pantheon, to couple historical beacons and Christmas sightseeing.

In the mood for some Christmas shopping? There are a lot of beautiful, eccentric and charming Christmas markets all over town! All neighbourhoods offer something. Vintage pieces and hipster vibes are what the district of Monti is about, and Mercato Monti is the perfect embodiment of its way of life. You may find there the ideal Christmas gifts: clothes, accessories and other artisanal pieces await! Good to know: in December the market doubles in size, promoting more than 50 local talents.

Monti is really a charming neighbourhood, and we happen to have a great apartment there for you to live like Romans do: our  Bella Vita is located near the Colosseum and is the ideal place to rent for a family of 4 or 2 couples. Previous guests describe it best: “The perfect Roman Holiday! Both modern and historic- this was the perfect home base from which to explore Rome”.

Other Christmas markets punctuates the city, find an exhaustive list right here.

After all this wandering, you stomach might start to rumble; fear not! Rome is filled with charming and delicious trattorias and pizzerias, including two of our most favourites: Da Francesco and Fiammetta. Both are located just steps away from the Piazza Navona in the heart of the Historic Centre, and are dear to our hearts. Da Francesco, where the truffle pizza is close to heaven, is located on Piazza del Fico, right in front of Bar del Fico, one of the most popular bars in Rome. There you can sip your spritz or martini while peeping at fashionable locals and waiting for a table. Don’t hesitate to visit their website, as they even provide true Italian recipes should you want to test your cooking abilities back home!

Fiammetta is another true hidden gem: it is in a great location, just around the corner from Piazza Navona, but without the fuss of tourists. The menu is as varied as it is appetizing, with sitting options both inside and out. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fire oven, as any good pizza should be. Go Italian all the way and try the white pizza with mozzarella covered in salty, peppery endive.

Should you want to celebrate Christmas both at home and in Rome, just stay on Piazza Fiammetta and book our lovely 3-bedroom apartment! Fiammetta is so much better than a hotel: this spacious apartment sleeps up to 6 guests and is beautifully proportioned and elegantly furnished, in a modern yet timeless idiom, blending art and antiques with modern design. Original beamed ceilings and polished terracotta floors underline its historic origins and add warmth to the coolness of the white walls. Cherry on the cake: The kitchen is designed for chefs, so you will be able to try all these wonderful recipes by yourself!

Commendable Rentals has a lovely, extensive collections of palazzi, houses and apartments to rent in Rome, find the perfect place for you and start enjoying your Roman Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

The Commendable Rentals team


Rome, confidential

It is no difficult task to be inspired by Rome: world famous landmarks, more than 350 films shot or dedicated to the Italian capital (including Roman Holiday, one of my favourites), culinary traditions copied worldwide (but never equalled!), we could talk for hours about this city that combines history, culture, gastronomy and true art of living. Today, however, I will rather show you our Rome, far from the hot weather and touristy trails.
Fall is a great season to stay in Rome, if only for the Film Festival held there every year. Previews, round tables with the greatest directors and actors such as Martin Scorsese, Isabelle Huppert, Cate Blanchett or Michael Moore, retrospectives and anthologies, there is something for every movie-lover! The film festival is held from October 18th to 28th and is a local event not to be missed. To ensure you a pleasant visit, stroll down along the Tiber and stay in our beautiful apartment Piazza Fiammetta, you will feel right at home!

Rome is also particularly pleasant in the fall becauses it breathes more than in summer: the climate is milder, the tourists are scarcer, and it is especially noticeable in museums and monuments. One of our recent visits was the magnificent Palazzo Farnese. Former residence of Pope Paul III and today home to the French Embassy, the Farnese Palace is one of the jewels of the Renaissance in Rome. To ensure quality visits and to promote the French language and culture, the Embassy entrusted the exclusivity of visits to the association Inventer Rome. Discover the Sangallo Atrium (the vestibule), the cortile (the courtyard), the garden, the Hercules salon with its tapestries inspired by Raphael’s frescoes and the Carrache Gallery, recently restored and once again open to the public, an absolute masterpiece of the Carrache brothers, commissioned by Cardinal Odoardo Farnese at the end of the 16th century, and which inspired, among other things, the ceilings of the famous Hall of Mirrors in the castle of Versailles.

Inspired by these visits led by French-speaking students or young active people living in Rome, we participated in many of the other activities offered by the association, such as the visit of Villa Bonaparte (in French or Italian) or their discovery tours in Rome and Lazio (in French only). We currently recommend the visit on Saturday, October 20th of the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, a private museum housing a fabulous collection of art, that of Mount Esquiline, one of the seven hills of Rome where all the history of the city can be found (Saturday, October 27) or the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia (Saturday, November 24). Find here the complete program of their visits. Inspired by the Farnese Palace? The setting of our Palazzo  Il Magnifico will surely, with its amazing antiquities, luxurious furniture and beautiful paintings of masters.

Leaving the Palazzo Farnese, head to the Pantheon and stop to eat at Casa Bleve: here, the wonderful owner welcomes you with open arms and the chef explores all the tastes and traditions of Italian cuisine, respecting the seasons and selecting the best local products. It’s an iconic stop for all gourmets!

Finally, to keep this local atmosphere, walk in the neighbourhood of Monti, one of the last districts of Rome which kept its bohemian soul. Like an artists’ village, its sinuous streets protect it from the waves of tourists and concentrate a lot of great addresses: second-hand shops, small friendly restaurants, cafes and squares to hang out indefinitely, and two of our most beautiful Roman properties:

our penthouse overlooking the Vittoriano, or the Palazzo Palermo, composed of two independent apartments, will welcome you in the heart of the eternal city!

Read on about Rome
Our Roman properties


Precious family time…

What a world we live in! With globalization and tough competition, job relocation is sometimes the lot of many scattered families around the globe. Believe us, we can relate! What better way to keep the family bound tight than to organise a family reunion? It could be for a family birthday, for a holiday celebration, an anniversary, or simply because it has been too long. Here is a simple, yet very effective recipe to any successful family gathering. First and foremost, you must pick a place, and not just any place: it should be in an attractive area, central or at least easy to get to, preferably with mild weather (we wouldn’t want to be stuck inside all the time, now, would we?), both extensive and comfy, with a homey feeling that makes all relax: as the host, you want to have your family close by and comfortably settled. The surroundings should offer both activities for every generation and relaxed and intimate areas for time out or reacquainting moments. And finally, what would be a family reunion without qualitative family meals? To ensure you get all that – and more! – we recommend two choices, in two different countries which, although very different, easily check all of the above.

Should your family be spread throughout Europe – lucky you! – or should you simply look for an exceptional venue, Mediterranean countries always come first to mind. There is first beautiful Italy, where we found right next to Rome, its capital, the perfect Villa for your family retreat. And though we are of course accustomed to organizing parties and events, it is always with a bit of surprise – and a warm feeling of pride – that we read the wonderful reviews our guests leave us after some time spent in our wonderful properties. Villa Vesta was praised numerous times by its visitors, and here is how they describe it in their own words:
“absolutely beautiful”, “has to be seen and experienced!”, “a beautiful location and a wonderful trip managed end to end exceptionally well”, “we look forward to our next trip”, “We loved the location, the peacefulness, how well equipped it was and the pool was wonderful to swim in after a long day in Rome. We would highly recommend this place to anyone!”

Need we say more? The area around Villa Vesta offers of course beautiful Rome, always a good idea no matter what time of the year, Tivoli and the marvellous gardens of Villa d’Este and Villa Hadriana, but also Castelli Romani, a natural volcanic park with amazing scenery, pretty Ariccia and its Palazzo Chigi (barely a 20min ride), Frascati with its flourishing vineyards and enotecas, Castle San Castello in Sora, and of course Grottaferrata, built around the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata, founded in 1004, and summer home of the Popes. But the Villa will certainly captivate you and your loved ones, as everything there is designed to make you want to stay.

France would be more convenient for you? Fear not, the French Provence welcomes you at the Bastide de la Félicité. Located in one of the most interesting parts of Provence to visit, anyone who visits La Félicité will nevertheless want to spend a lot of time there, as our happy guests sum it up themselves:
“Paradise”, “Essence of Provence in total luxury”, “Fantastic property, bedrooms, grounds, pool, playground and tennis court”, “sumptuous property”, “the staff was so very helpful, friendly and accommodating”, the long list of praise matches the extensive attention to every single detail inside and outside the house.

But you will want of course to discover the charms Saint-Remy, Avignon (a 30min drive) with the Popes Palace, its city center which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, and the Festival d’Avignon, l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a wonderful site famous for its many antique shops and Sundays antique markets, Eygalières, only 15min away and probably the most beautiful village in the Alpilles, Arles, home to the Rencontres de la Photographie, and finally Les Baux de Provence and the Carrières de Lumières, a high technology multimedia performance in the ancient and giant caves that were quarried to build the town.

In Italy or in France, we will of course take care of your transfers, itineraries, visits, wine tastings, or any activity you would feel like trying. Call your loved ones, set a date, and reunite in style!


The treasures of Maremma

Welcome to Maremma!

We continue our Tuscany tour by travelling up the coast to the north of the Maremma region, a little less known than Argentario, but with many delights, and with a special focus on an exceptional property, La Civetta, a new addition to Commendable Rentals that has totally seduced us!

The Etruscan coast is beautiful, and if you come by car we strongly advise you to take time to explore, preferably hair in the wind! You will discover a succession of beautiful beaches, ancient and medieval preserved cities, country landscapes, flamboyant sunsets, as well as some pleasing vineyards of the famous Strada del Vino.

A carefully restored farmhouse of the eighteenth century, La Civetta is owned by a family of local nobility who have renovated it respecting tradition yet creating a sophisticated and stylish retreat. The villa, an impressive terracotta color is surrounded by a beautiful garden planted with Mediterranean flora created by the landscape architect, Arabella Lennox-Boyd. A 12-meter long swimming pool, a court Tennis and a superb private beach with cabana.

 

The villa can accommodate up to 14 people in 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, each bedroom, with its own beauty, character and charm; each decorated with its own atmosphere, colors, objects, maybe wallpapers, and elegant bathrooms. The owner/designer has made sure that each offer a coherent and refined ensemble, pleasing to the eye and to the senses.

On the ground floor, the lovely double, L-shaped living room is cool in summer and warm in winter and is a perfect spot to welcome and assemble with all the inhabitants of the house to create unforgettable memories. Outside, the two furnished patios allow the perfect setting to relax and dine with a view of the garden, the sunset, or the stars during long summer evenings.

The house is fully staffed for ultimate comfort: La Civetta comes with a chef, two housekeepers and a gardener and pool person. You will indeed be well cared for during your stay. You can spend your holidays in this idyllic place with family, friends without work or worry, or even organize professional events.

This magnificent villa is located outside Castagneto Carducci, the principal village of the municipality. Known for its medieval castle, its breathtaking view of the sea (its old name was “Castagneto Marritima”) and many pretty churches, Castagneto Carducci is the perfect place for an evening stroll after a day spent at the beach, for sipping a glass of local wine, or for dining.

Not too far away, is the famous city of Pisa (and its leaning tower!) and Lucca is about 1-hour drive north. Drive along the coast and take the Viale dei Cipressi, a unique road in Tuscany that stretches for 5 km and was celebrated by the Italian poet Giosuè Carducci, and discover the fortified town of Bolgheri, its castle straight out of a fairy tale, and its enotecas! Indeed, Bolgheri is on the Italian wine route, Strada del Vino, and its region produces the most famous wines, such as Super Toscan Sassicaia, Ornellaia or Vermentino Bolgheri.

 

Our other destinations in Maremma & Tuscany:

Villa Uliveto

Mimosa Mare

Il Pecadillo

Francesca al Mare

Il Favoloso

Il Convento

Mare degli Angeli


Tuscany and its Mediterranean coast

Summer is here !

This year, we found ourselves once again (why deprive ourselves!) under the sun on the Tuscan coast. One of our goals, besides enjoying the wonders that this region conceals, was above all to discover three new properties, for you and we were not disappointed! We found three splendid homes for seaside pleasure full of serenity and delight, and we cannot wait to introduce them!

We loved lunch and dinner at beach or harborside restaurants, where fresh fish comes straight from the fishing nets to your plate. Dining in the soft, sea air while watching the sun set and the moon appear is no small pleasure. The days bring crystal-clear, aqua-blue waters, which beckon from beaches where you also find many boats available for rent, or, from your villa, where a private staircase cut into the rock might lead directly from the villa to the sea.

This region has been home to some of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, so it is not surprising that it plays host to a plethora of museums and historical sites, including 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites, of which Florence, its famous capital. The seaside towns also rich in attractions and curiosities: Porto Ercole, one of the two ports of Monte Argentario, was the last home of the famous painter Caravaggio, who died there mysteriously after being banished by the pope and chased by the Knights of Malta The nearby town of Capalbio is home to the Tarot Garden, the famous garden and “art environment of monumental sculptures by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle; a little further on the vineyards and wine bars of Scansano offer you tastings of some of Italy’s best wines. Don’t forget to travel on to Pitigliano where the views of the surrounding countryside and the Cathedral Saints Peter and Paul will amaze you. You can even book our 7-bedroom convent here Il Convento
Tempted by a visit? We will be happy to make a reservation for you!

Tarot garden fontain

The attractiveness of the area  also lies in its authentic culinary traditions, complemented throughout the year by a rotation of seasonal local products, such as flesh and fragrant tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms, truffles, or the excellent mozzarella di bufala, as well its heritage of unique winemaking: Chianti, Montepulciano, Scansano and Montalcino are among the most famous vineyards you will find anywhere!

Finally, Tuscany also lends itself to relaxation and pure pleasure: the Tuscan coast is beautiful, its sunshine is plentiful, and its beaches and coves shelter a transparent and temperate water. So, we are heading to one of its elite resorts -Ansedonia next to the Argentario peninsula

     

One of the many advantages of Monte Argentario, a small peninsula south of Grosseto on the Tuscan coast, is that it concentrates everything that attracts us to Italy: castles, medieval forts and Renaissance streets, beaches, and restaurants, as well as typical landscapes and historical anecdotes.

Explore Orbetello or discover traditional festivals such as the Balestro del Girifalco, attend the Palio Marinaro dell ‘Argentario, a rowing race accompanied by a pageant on August 15 in Porto San Stefano, and visit the ancient baths of Saturnia.
On the sea and in the air, other surprises also await you! Stroll by boat in unspoilt places, accessible only by the sea, dive into the Mediterranean waters and discover marine life, or fly hang gliding through the many centres and schools in the region.
Taste Italian idleness in landscapes of unique beauty, between pine forests and crystal-clear waters. We happily recommend Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole, two fishing ports that have become seaside resorts, surrounded by high rocks and connected to the mainland by the wide sandy beaches of Gianella and Feniglia.
Finally, walk through Ansedonia, the current name of the ancient city and Roman colony of Cosa. Here you will find is one of the most beautiful villas in the region …

Perched on top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, Mare degli Angeli (literally “Sea of Angels”) offers many beautiful views of Monte Argentario and the Tuscan archipelago, the island of Giglio. It can accommodate 14 people in the Villa alone and if you add the adjacent Guest house and it can accommodate 20. The summer season is a real pleasure, but so are the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. You can enjoy gardens, terraces, swimming pool and private access to the sea, from May to October when the Italian sun and sea invites you to life outdoors! The Villa’s two fireplaces will nevertheless reassure the most cautious visitors once autumn days start to cool.

During my time there, I particularly appreciated the comfort of the furnishings and the thrill of living with Roman antiquities as part of the decor. Pure white walls are accented by interesting and colorful paintings, while furniture in festive shades of summer add a touch of gaiety. Sunlight penetrates all the rooms of the house while numerous bays and wide windows lead your eyes to the sea.

It’s a magical villa, perfect for a stay with family or friend; its rooms and surroundings lend themselves to moments of complicity and conviviality between generations, while activities abound: tourism, culture, gastronomy and sports to seduce young and old!

     

Looking for more places in Tuscany? Right this way:

Villa Uliveto

Mimosa Mare

Il Pecadillo

Francesca al Mare

Il Favoloso

Il Convento


An Unforgettable Family Reunion at Villa Vesta, Magnificent Estate near Rome

Last week we received a  lovely review about one of our favorite properties, Villa Vesta, that we would like to share. Because it can sleep 20 and has plenty of space, both  inside and out, to entertain a crowd, to relax, and especially to celebrate a major life time event, we often host small weddings and family reunions, there.

Villa Vesta Event

But this past summer, we hosted a two week event which took months of planning, as we helped with planning of events for every day, gala feasts, with beautiful multi-course meals loaded with favorite local specialities, from plentiful seafood to porchetta, and of course local fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.

Villa Vesta China
Villa Vesta’s cabinets of fine dishes

We organised tours for the  family that ranged from the very young to the elderly and frail in wheel chairs,  including the Vatican and the Colosseum by wheel-chair; vineyards by car and bike, special restaurants, a trip to Sora, and so much more.  Though it kept us busy, the response that we received made it all worth while.

Villa Vesta Entrance
Entrance to Villa Vesta

Villa Vesta Sitting Area
A Comfortable Seating Area Open to the Vast Garden

Villa Vesta Stairs
Entrance Hall

Villa Vesta Estate
Looking Out Over the Garden Estate

Rocco, who planned the event for his multi-generational group moved us beyond words, with the heartfelt narration of his family history. Read on;

“We will never forget the beauty, the staff, the food, the location and support provided by Adriana and the Commendable Rentals team which provided the backdrop for our Italian family reunion. My grandfather, Ernesto, was born in Sora, Italy in 1890. He left for America in 1906 to find a “better life”. Actually, he was leaving his abusive step-father whom he would watch abuse his mother. He left his mother and sister behind, vowing to return one day to bring them to America and to get away from the abuse at home. He did create a beautiful life in Rhode Island and he did return to collect his mother 4 years later. However, his sister married and stayed in Italy. In the over 100 years, Ernesto’s family grew to over 90 Italo-Americans. While in Italy, his sister, Christina’s family grew to almost the same size. As many of the “elders” in my family were in their 80’s, Athena, my beautiful partner and I decided to create a once-in–a-lifetime reunion. We needed lots of coordination, facilities that would accommodate 2 large receptions and a responsive staff. Right from the start, it was clear that Adriana and her team would be able to help. They were amazing. The house was better than the photos, the staff quickly became part of our family, the food was wonderful and beautiful memories were created as part of this very special trip. We brought over 20 family members from Rhode Island and about 30+ of our Italian cousins showed up for 2 separate catered events, with live music, tents, sit down meal service, bar, flowers, and translators it was beautiful. We sat outside around the pool in the beautiful private grounds of the villa. The elders, met their cousins for the first time. There were hugs, tears, laughter, dancing and true connection. Adriana, thank you…what a wonderful magical place! It was truly a once in a lifetime event. About 8 weeks after the reunion, Zia Anna, the matriarch of our Italian family passed away. She was honored at both family festas and was a beautiful woman. The last time I saw her, she was smiling, with tears in her eyes and she gave me a big hug thanking us for creating this special moment bringing the family of Christina and Ernesto together for the first time”

For families who want to reunite, there is no better place!

More about Villa Vesta


Reacquainting with Rome

We just returned from 10 days in Rome. Although we lived there for many years, this city will never lose its appeal. Where else is it necessary to stop every 50 yards to admire an ancient building, a provocative statue, a scene from “La Dolce Vita”, a painting glimpsed through a window, a dramatically modern restaurant or any other of the myriad views that the city nonchalantly offers, as if observing 2500 years of civilisation is “normale”?

What other place on this globe has given so much culture, art and engineering to the world, not just once, with Ancient Rome, but twice, with Renaissance Rome too? Nothing can match the greatness that Rome has given to the world. Add a glorious climate, great food, wonderful wines, stupendous music, the warmth of the people, and Rome’s charms far exceed its drawbacks.

Of course there is a price to pay for all of this. There is so much history and architecture to preserve, that no city or even a country could possibly afford to maintain it all in pristine condition, let alone one managed like Rome and Italy are managed. So dilapidated monuments are everywhere, laughable “lawns” abound in the parks, and the traffic strives mightily to reach the heights attained by Naples’ inhabitants, but happily never quite attains that level of insanity. The governmental administration at various levels is questionable, and not averse to corruption.

The people, being naturally resistant to rules and regulation, are not averse to surviving in chaos. Within limits, this too becomes a perverse attraction as one thanks God that this unique gem is not run like Singapore or Zurich, but remains a vibrant and living museum to our shared human civilisation.

There is limited prospect that Italy will be “Great” again. These people were “Great” longer than any other civilisation. They’ve learned that being “Great” is not all it’s cut out to be, that there are more useful, pleasant and productive things to do than being “Great”. Just being in Rome is one of them.


Upcoming Events in Sermoneta, Italy

See more of Sermoneta

Welcome to Sermoneta.

A perfect medieval Italian village, Sermoneta is about an hour drive south of Rome, with a wealth of touring possibilities within and surrounding the city.

Sermoneta is a rare, largely unchanged hilltop village, with the fortress of the Castello Caetani (Caetani Castle) looming over its preserved beauty.  Set in the Lepino Mountain Range, stunning views overlook the vast countryside and out to the sea.

While the village itself is worth the visit, with cobblestone alleys, historical intrigue, and not to mention the serene Italian way of living, there are also plenty of events and sights to see that showcase Sermoneta’s vibrance. Here are some of the upcoming events you should plan for in 2016:

Gardens of Ninfa
Starting with the enchanting Gardens of Ninfa. The magical gardens are listed #1 things to do in the Latina region on Tripadvisor – certainly not to miss if you can catch a visiting date. These romantic gardens have been preserved around restored ruins, with a uniquely perfect climate allowing the gardens to flourish. To preserve the delicate nature of the gardens, there has historically been very limited openings to visitors. This year, more open days are available than in the past, giving visitors a chance to see one of the most beautiful gardens of Italy. Plan your trip – see all 2016 Gardens of Ninfa dates.

Love music? Several summer festivals showcase Sermoneta’s vibrance, like Maggio Sermonetano – a series of concerts and events in the streets of Sermoneta, or Festival di Chitarra “Caroso” – an international guitar festival in August.

Of course, there’s always room to celebrate wine and food! See all these exciting events below –

Sermoneta tower MAGGIO SERMONETANO (MAY SERMONETA)

Music and art fill the streets and squares of Sermoneta during Maggio Sermonetano (May Sermoneta). Enjoy free events of several musical genres, from popular music, jazz, classical to workshops, poetry, cinema, and more.
SEE MORE: MAGGIO SERMONETANO

 Sermoneta Caetani Castle

 

FESTIVAL DI PONTINO DI MUSICA

In June and July, the International Campus Foundation of Music organizes concerts of classical music, chamber music, and contemporary in the beautiful setting of Castello Caetani.
SEE MORE: PONTINO MUSIC FESTIVAL

Chitarra FESTIVAL DI CHITARRA “CAROSO”

In August, authors and performers from around the world celebrate the world of Guitar, with plenty of performances around Sermoneta.
SEE MORE: GUITAR FESTIVAL

 Wine SKYWINE FESTIVAL

A local cultural event at the end of August, the SkyWine Festival showcases the regional food and wine, as well as art, for a total cultural immersion.
SEE MORE: SKYWINE FESTIVAL

 Olives SECOLARE FIERA DI SAN MICHELE
At the end of September, experience a traditional fair exhibiting local specialties, from organic products, food stands, wine, as well as musical entertainment, shows, seminars and farm education.
SEE MORE: SAN MICHELE FAIR
 Gardens of Ninfa LIFE DRAWING AND FRESCO PAINTING CLASS
NEW! A unique opportunity to learn history, ancient techniques of life drawing or fresco painting in the Gardens of Ninfa, under the guidance of professors from the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome.
SEE MORE: ART IN SERMONETA


Of course, a holiday in Sermoneta wouldn’t be complete without an equally beautiful place to stay –
Domus Doull

Sermoneta Review

BOOK YOUR SERMONETA HOLIDAY 


An Embrace with Culture From a Vacation Rental

Rome keyholeWhen you search for places to stay in Rome, Paris, or wherever your desired travel plans take you, a slew of choices appear: from hotels, hostels, convents (believe it or not), apartments, B&B’s, free couches, and of course, vacation rentals. Surely, personal preferences will rule out many options quickly, but the choices can be overwhelming,  What begins as an eager attempt to plan a fun vacation, can quickly become a daunting and tiresome task- making your eyes blur and your head ache. Talk about information overload! Going with the safe choice for fear of exploring new options can make you miss out on a magical experience. I’m happy to share with you my first experience in a vacation rental and how I saw my future vacation choices changed forever.

Before I became a member of the Commendable Rentals Team, my introduction into the world of vacation rentals came when planning my first trip to Rome.  Beginning with my usual routine to search for a place to stay, something caught my eye as I scrolled the pages for Rome lodging. Renting an apartment instead of a hotel both intrigued and inspired me. I had always wanted to stay in a foreign country as more than just a tourist in a hotel. I wanted to embrace the culture of the Eternal City, not just seeing the sights, but living the culture, like a local. I wanted to hear the locals speaking (ah, lovely Italian!) and interacting in their daily lives, not only through commercial transactions. The idea that I could rent a house or apartment from a local and pretend it was my home was immensely appealing. And actually, it did become my home- at least for the extent of my stay, and always in my fond memories.

Living Room

The beauty of staying in a vacation rental is that it already has the feel of home. Here at Commendable Rentals, we pride ourselves on selecting homes with character, just like the one I rented. From the unique decorative details to the charming authenticity of the buildings, each special vacation home brings the comfort and familiarity of “home” while resonating the local vibe of each destination. For those historically-inclined, especially in Rome, you can often discover interesting stories about the history of the residence. A building’s architecture can be aesthetically pleasing, but the architect, design, and background of a home (and its owners) might bring new life to your stay. Like in a good story, immersing yourself in the setting and gaining a sense of living the adventure elevates the experience.

Vacation Rental KitchenA unique memory I acquired while staying in a vacation home can be attributed the full kitchen. While I did my fair share of eating out, I loved browsing the local Roman fruit and vegetable markets. The large Testaccio Market (where our partnered Expert Roman Food Guide takes her market tours) has such an expanse of regional delectables, I couldn’t resist buying fresh market items to bring home. Even something so simple as washing a snack of fresh tomatoes (so delicious in Rome. Pairing them with the fresh mozzarella, even better!) or creating Italian-inspired meals, the convenience of the kitchen’s refrigerator, appliances, dishes, and real utensils made me feel like I was in my own kitchen.

moka-potI was also able to learn something new in my vacation rental kitchen that gave me the feeling of being Italian, and very proud of myself! When I wasn’t indulging in a coffee break and people-watching at the quaint sidewalk cafes, I was able to privately experiment with different freshly ground coffee beans that I picked up from an Italian specialty store. I attempted making “perfect” cup of espresso using an Italian coffee percolator stocked in the home. As I had been told, though the process is simple enough, the grounds, packing, timing, and pour all contribute to a good espresso.  Coffee aficionados or those that frequent Europe may not see this as a novel experience, but it was something that this budding traveler appreciated doing in coffee-cultured Italy. Among memories of the Colosseum, the vast halls of art at the Vatican museum, the rustic cobblestoned alleys, I still remember quietly enjoying the espresso I poured fresh from the percolator into the cutest blue espresso cup, and sipping it on my balcony overlooking the Roman streets.

Whether a short or long term stay, a vacation rental can offer originality to your vacation that other places cannot. I loved the apprehension and courage greeting Italian neighbours in the elevators with ‘Buongiorno’, and learning informal ways to say good evening. I was able to learn where people buy their newspapers, what they buy at the grocery store, and how they throw their trash (Rome has quite an emphasis on recycling); the things that seem insignificant but are part of the local culture someone would not experience in a place that caters to tourist traditions.

The vacation rental experience is not for everyone, however, it should be a consideration for anyone. For travelers like me looking to experience something beyond a typical hotel stay, the vacation rental option provided an extra layer of intrigue to my travels. On top of that, for someone that is just curious about how people in different places live, this also gave me a chance to peek inside the world of a local’s life…and for that short while, I lived that life, and loved it.

Alley


Reveal Your Inner Artist on the Tuscan Coast

Get more out of your next vacation. Be inspired through painting.


Italy has long been known as a country of artistic inspiration. When visiting Italy, the combination of beautiful landscapes, historical influences, delectable cuisine, and hearty culture present the perfect setting to recharge and rediscover life. Stay at an artist’s escape in Porto Ercole, a secluded yet vibrant peninsular town on Tuscany’s Argentario coast. Here, you will truly immerse yourself in the vivid palette of Italian living.

I paint my own reality

– Frida Kahlo

There is now a fabulous opportunity for you to fulfill your dream of being an artist in Italy. Draw on Italy’s inspiration through painting on Tuscany’s coast, under the instruction of the accomplished artist and owner of L’Uliveto.

We are offering a magnificent chance to combine your Commendable Rentals stay at L’Uliveto with a specially reserved painting course that utilizes the natural beauty of the estate’s own surroundings, in addition to the vicinity’s offerings, such as the Port, historic fortresses, the pine forest, and olive groves.



MEET YOUR EXPERT:
MITA CORSINI BLAND

Primarily known for painting watercolor interiors, Mita has a dedicated background in art, with studies in Art History, Watercolors, Interior Rendering, and 5 years of running an Art Department in New York under Michael Jones. She has illustrated for several magazines and books, and completed commissions from top designers to private clients, such as New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg. 

With ties in both New York and Italy, Mita travels and teaches art with a passion. Join Mita in her fashionably restored Italian estate, and take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from true talent with true Italian roots.



WELCOME TO PORTO ERCOLE



CONNECT WITH THE BEAUTY AND HISTORY OF PORTO ERCOLE

Set in a historic 18th century farmhouse on a magnificent olive estate, L’Uliveto is the perfect place to stay in Porto Ercole on Italy’s Argentario Coast. Mita and her husband took on the splendid restoration of her family’s historic farmhouse, while retaining remnants of its familial past, such as the original, beautifully polished terracotta floors.

Connect with Italy’s lush Tuscan countryside from the scenic patio, stroll through the extensive gardens, or enjoy outdoor living under the pergola. Or take a note from Mita’s own artistic specialty and try your hand at painting the likeness of the charming interior. 

Porto Ercole itself provides fascinating Renaissance features along with its undulating ports and pristine beaches. A long-time fashionable vacation destination to Italians, the picturesque port is yours to explore…and to PAINT!  

“ART IS NEVER FINISHED…”



Click here to reserve your spot!

or EMAIL us: info@commendablerentals.com
 READ MORE ABOUT L’ULIVETO



Made In Italy: Shopping in Rome

 

While it is a treat to shop in Rome, it is not desirable nor worth your limited time filtering through the hundreds of stores searching for the best items. As we’ve all experienced, shopping in an unfamiliar place can be exhausting.

We’re sharing with you a simple, yet unbeatable tip for finding the best shopping spots in Rome. What better way to shop like an Italian fashion expert, than shopping with an Italian fashion expert. Before you discount this as an obvious tip, who will guide you and how to snag a slot in their date book can make the greatest difference between a frustrated or fulfilling shopping experience. First, let’s talk Italian shopping..

MADE IN ITALY: These coveted labels are synonymous with high-end quality items crafted with superior artisanship. You know the names (think: Gucci, Prada, Ferrari), and some you know by celebrity debut. Italian craftmanship is often linked to trades and traditions passed down through generations. The skills adapted to create quality items are what elevate these items to luxury standard.


Shopping in Rome for the high quality latest trends can be daunting if you’re not from the area. Most shoppers will head straight to those beautiful wide window displays near the Spanish Steps. This is a great start, where you can find rows of Roman streets filled with endless shopping possibilities. And to think, this is just one neighborhood amongst many. If you’re looking to bring home a worthy bounty, and maybe a one-of-a-kind item or two, shopping smart is the key.

We like to take a savvy shopping partner with us when trying out the latest trends. When your shopping partner is a well established Italian fashion journalist, you’ll get more than a nod of approval. Journalist for L’Espresso, l’Officiel and Vogue Italia, Eleonora Attolico will no doubt heighten your experience shopping in Rome.

Meet your Expert:
Eleonora Attolico

The daughter of Count Giacomo Attolico (former Ambassador in Paris and London), a member of the Roman social-set, an established fashion expert and journalist, Eleonora offers an elevated insider’s approach to Roman life. 

Eleonora is fluent in Italian, English, French, and Spanish. 

Photo credit: Michele Acampora

Whether you’re looking for women’s, men’s, accessories, or anything you can shop for, your Grand Tour Shopping is customized to your desires. Eleonora revels in the personal experience that can be shared during your time together. She has mastered the "art of shopping" and provides an unmatched knowledge of Rome, fashion, and Italian lifestyle. Mark you calendar for a shopping date!



For more information or to reserve, email us: info@commendablerentals.com

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Discover The Tasty Side of Rome with Maureen Fant

 

There’s Italian food, and there’s Italian food. One of the best things you can do in Rome is eat like a real Roman – from buying fresh ingredients (not just a trip to the supermarket), knowing what’s in season and where and how to buy it, to cooking and of course, eating in an Italian kitchen.

That’s why we were really excited to meet Maureen Fant. Not only can you follow Maureen, a Roman local for over 35 years, to the best markets and shops for all the best ingredients from artichokes to pecorino cheese, she leads you on a fantastic journey from grocery bags to the delicious finale.

Maureen’s love of Rome began with her studies in Roman classical archeology and flourished into writing, lectures, and living the life of a Roman. With a love of Italian food, Maureen’s archaeological beginnings morphed together with an emphasis on food, making her a wonderful source of information on Roman food and Rome itself.

You won’t just be eating in any Italian kitchen; Maureen is a notable food writer, especially of Roman cuisine, with fantastic knowledge and experience, and a passion to share the story of food.

Starting with a casual walk around Rome’s dynamic markets, Maureen will offer tidbits on local produce and offerings and help you discover all you wanted to know about Roman food. 

Maureen’s love of Roman food and cooking offers a chance to really tantalize your tastebuds and learn what Roman food is all about.



In a very special,offer, we are pleased to share that a Private Food Tour with Maureen can now be reserved by guests who book with Commendable Rentals. Delight your senses, discover Rome, gain tips from an expert insider who can truly share what you never knew about Roman food. 

Casual, yet informative, Maureen is all about taking you on an inside peek of what a typical (and yet so fantastically Italian) day of preparing a genuine Roman meal with her entails. With no set menu, Maureen will guide the day based on seasonal offerings, suggestions, and special attention to your interests and discovery of new food. Get to know Rome, through food!

AND NOW EVEN BETTER..

We’d like everyone to come away from a day with Maureen with even more than tasty memories. We have a limited time offer those guests who book a Rome rental together with one of Maureen’s incredible food tours through Commendable Rentals, a FREE copy of her book as a memento!

Co-author Maureen Fant’s new book, Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way, is a must-have guide to genuine Italian sauces and the very important harmony of complementing pasta. This is a 35 euro value that you’ll not only enjoy, but can use for years to come!

Discover the tasty side of Rome with Maureen! 

Ask us about booking a tasty tour today!

 

 

Everybody loves food. Spread the joy and share this with your friends!

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