Fast Facts Northern Italy

The following list provides general information. You can find more specific information in the city-specific Fast Facts sections for Venice, Milan, Genoa, and Turin. Banks They're open Monday through Friday from 8 30am to 1 or 1 30pm and 2 or 2 30 to 4pm and closed all day Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays. Hours change slightly from city to city. Business Hours General open hours for stores, offices, and churches are from 9 30am to noon or 1pm and again from 3 or 3 30pm to 7 30pm. That...

Basic Vocabulary

The bill il conto eel kohn-to the bill il conto eel kohn-to Abbacchio Roast haunch or shoulder of lamb baked and served in a casserole and sometimes flavored with anchovies. Agnolotti A crescent-shaped pasta shell stuffed with a mix of chopped meat, spices, vegetables, and cheese when prepared in rectangular versions, the same combination of ingredients may be identified as ravioli (which is usually cheese- Amaretti Crunchy, sweet almond-flavored macaroons. Anguilla alla veneziana Eel cooked in...

Cafes Pastries Wine Bars

When all is said and done in Verona, one of the most important things to consider is where you'll stop to sip, recharge, socialize, nibble, and revel in this handsome and affluent town. CAFES & PASTRIES Verona's grande dame of the local cafe society is the Antico Caffe Dante in the beautiful Piazza dei Signori (no phone). Verona's oldest cafe, it is rather formal indoors (read expensive) where meals are served. But it's most recommended for those who want to soak up the million-dollar view...

Gardone Riviera

The little resort of Gardone Riviera, 47km (29 miles) south of Riva del Garda on the western shore of the lake, has two interesting attractions. Once Italy's most famous soldier poet, Gabriele d'Annunzio is today remembered not for his lackluster verse but more for his adventures and grand lifestyle at Il Vittoriale (& 0365-296-511 www.vittoriale.it), a hillside estate that is one of Lake Garda's major sites. He bought the estate (it's also alleged that Mussolini presented it to the poet as...

What To See Do

The main in-town activity in Cortina appears to be walking up and down the main street, the pedestrian-only Corso Italia, in the most fashionable skiwear money can buy. Most of the buildings are new but pleasingly low-scale and Alpine in design, and at the town center is the pretty 18th-century church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo, with a charming bell tower eclipsed in height only by the majestic peaks. It is on these peaks that most visitors set their sights, enjoying an amazing array of outdoor...

Staying Safe

The worst threats you'll likely face are the pickpockets that sometimes frequent touristy areas and public buses just keep your valuables in an under-the-clothes money belt and you should be fine. There are, of course, thieves in Italy as there are everywhere, so be smart don't leave anything in your rental car overnight, and leave nothing visible in it at any time to avoid the temptation to a passing would-be thief. and renaissance didn't have wheelchairs or...

Where to Dine in Venice

A Le Do Spade 10 Ai Tre Spiedi 11 Al Covo 29 Alla Madonna B Antico Martini 22 Arcimboldo 2B Bistrot de Venise 20 Cantino do Mori 9 Da Aciugheta 1B Da Sandro 7 Do Forni 19 Pizzeria Trattoria al Vecio Canton 16 Ristorante Corte Sconta BO Rosticceria San Bartolomeo 1B Rosticceria Teatro Goldoni 15 Taverna San Trovaso 5 Trattotia ai Cugnai 6 Trattoria alla Rivetta 17 Trattoria da Fiore 2 Trattoria da Remigio 27 Vini da Arturo 21 Vino Vino 2B (look for Bar Torino, Bar Black Jack, or the...

Cafes

Venice is a quiet town in the evening and offers very little in the way of nightlife. For tourists and locals alike, Venetian nightlife mainly centers around the many cafe bars in one of the world's most remarkable piazzas Piazza San Marco even Napol on called it the most beautiful drawing room of the world. It is also the most expensive and touristed place to linger over a Campari or cappuccino, but a splurge that should not be dismissed too readily. The nostalgic 18th-century Caff Florian tff...

Where To Stay

Annabella The nice proprietors manage to accommodate groups of just about any size in this old apartment that's been converted to an attractive pensione, with comfortable old modular furniture and whitewashed walls. Some of the rooms sleep up to four, and one family-style arrangement includes a large room with a double bed and a tiny room outfitted with bunk beds for children. None of the rooms have private bathrooms, but the four shared facilities are ample and hot water is plentiful. The...

Alba

Lovely old Alba retains a medieval flavor that's as mellow as the wines it produces. It's a pleasure to walk along the Via Vittorio Emanuele and the narrow streets of the Old Town, visit the 14th-century duomo, and peer into shop windows with lavish displays of Alba's wines, its other famous product, truffles, and its less noble but enticing nocciola, a decadent concoction of nuts and chocolate. GETTING THERE By Train Only one direct train in the evening, after 6pm runs between Turin and Alba 1...

Side Trips From Verona

The ancient Greeks called Italy Enotria the land of wines. It produces more wine than any other country in the world, so the annual VinItaly wine fair held every April in Verona is an understandably prestigious event. The Veneto produces more DOC Denominazione di Origine Controllata, zones of controlled name and origin wines than anywhere else in Italy, particularly the Veronese trio of Bardolino and Valpolicella reds and soave white . The costly, dry Valpolicello wine known as Amarone comes...

Riva Del Garda

The northernmost town on the lake is not just a resort but a real, prosperous Italian town, with medieval towers, a nice smattering of Renaissance churches and palazzi, and narrow cobblestone streets where everyday business proceeds in its alluring way. GETTING THERE By Train See Getting There By Train, under Sirmione, earlier in this chapter, for connections to Desenzano del Garda, from which you must take a bus see below . By Bus Six buses a day link Riva del Garda and Desenzano del Garda on...

Horses Donkeys

Asti and Alba, bitter rivals through much of the Middle Ages, each celebrate the autumnal harvest with equine celebrations that are horses of a very different color. The Palio amp 0141-399-482 , Asti's annual horse race, is run the third Sunday of September. Like the similar but more famous horse race that the Tuscan city of Siena mounts, Asti's Palio begins with a medieval pageant through the town and ends with a wild bareback ride around the Campo del Palio. The race coincides with Asti's...

Sirmione

Garda's most popular resort juts several miles into the southern waters of the lake on a narrow peninsula of cypress and olive groves. Despite an onslaught of visitors, Sirmione manages to retain its charm. Vehicular traffic is kept to a minimum the few motorists allowed onto the marble streets of the old town are required to switch off their cars' engines at traffic lights . The emphasis is on strolling, swimming in waters warmed in spots by underwater hot springs, and relaxing on sunny hotel...

Where To Dine

Portofino's charms come at a steep price. Its few hotels are expensive enough to put them in the trip of a lifetime category, and the harborside restaurants can take a serious chunk out of a vacation budget as well. I suggest you enjoy a light snack at a bar or one of the many shops selling focaccia and wait to dine in Santa Margherita or one of the other nearby towns. La Gritta American Bar James Jones called this snug little room the nicest waterfront bar this side of Hong Kong. We're not...