ITALY OF GOLF
A journey among the best courses
For those who want to spend an enjoyable holiday's golfing, without sacrificing wellness, good food and art, Italy is undoubtedly a must. In fact, our country offers about 300 courses of 9 and 18 holes, most of which are notable for landscape features, as well as for purely technical reasons.
We start from Piedmont Region, where is the Royal Park I Roveri, in the Regional Park of La Mandria, close to the Royal Palace of Venaria, just 15 km from Turin.
In Lombardy, in the renowned wine region of Franciacorta, near Brescia, there is Franciacorta Golf Club, also called "wine golf course" for its connection with the manufacturers of wine and its name that links each wine cellar to a specific hole.
While near the lake of Montorfano, there is the Villa d'Este Golf Club, located at a height of 400 metres in a scenario reminding of Scotland. The club provides an 18-hole course - one of the most difficult "par 69" in Europe - that passes through forests of chestnut, birch and pine tree, and a beautiful clubhouse overlooking the lake.
There is then the prestigious Golf Club Monticello, located next to Lake Como, with adjoining luxury resort, covering about 140 hectares and equipped with 2 courses of 18 holes each.
For an enjoyable weekend's golf and culture, there are also the numerous golf courses in Tuscany and Latium. To claim the title of Italy's oldest golf club is the Ugolino Club in Florence with a magical location, located on the hills around Chiantigiana, 12 km from Florence.
In Tuscany there is also the Argentario Golf Club, a picturesque place where the encounter between nature, sports and fitness is at its height.
Moving towards Latium, in the countryside around Viterbo is the Golf Club Le Querce, home of the Federal Technical Centre, which hosted a memorable edition of the World Cup- There is then the legendaryGolf Club Acquasanta, on the Appian Way, whose 18-hole course, crossed by meandering rivers and bordered by centuries-old pine trees, offers views on the arches of the Claudian Aqueduct, the tomb of Cecilia Metella and the St. PeterÃ¢ÂÂs Dome.Not to mention, north of Rome, the historical Golf Club Olgiata, home to many world-class tournaments.
The San Domenico Golf in Apulia overlooks the sea. Its 18 holes immersed in 6300 metres of lawns running among the centuries-old olive trees along a lovely stretch of Adriatic coast offer spectacular views.
If the destination of the holiday are the islands, in Costa Smeralda is the exclusive Pevero Golf Club: a very challenging field, whose 18 holes occupy an entire promontory, full of ponds and with a magical underwood, where it is possible to admire breathtaking panoramas.The largest course in Sargegna, however, is the one in Is Molas, with 27 holes and a unique landscape overlooking the sea.
Sicily is also full of golf clubs, including for instance the Donnafugata Golf, whose fields are located in the large estate of Donnafugata Golf, among pristine beaches and areas of great historical value, including cities such as Ragusa, Modica, Ibla, Noto and Scicli, all declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Finally there is the Verdura Golf Club, whose courses blend in harmony with the nature of the beautiful Sicilian landscape, among olive and orange groves and with lovely views on the Mediterranean sea.
VERONA: THE CITY OF SHAKESPEARE >
A visit to the places of Romeo and Juliet
Verona is the city of love and to pay tribute to William Shakespeare that made it famous around the world, you must visit the places of the best romantic tragedy: Romeo and Juliet.
Undoubtedly the first destination is the house of Juliet, visited annually by thousands of tourists. This is the Stallo del Cappello, an old tower house dates back to 1200-1300. According to tradition this was the house of Capulet family, the family of the heroine of Shakespeare- Damaged by centuries, the house and the picturesque courtyard have been restored with a clever use of architectural and decorative elements inspired by medieval times.Today in the house there is a collection of antique engravings whose subject the story of two lovers, furniture and costumes used for the famous film by Franco Zeffirelli. In the courtyard you can admire the magnificent bronze statue of Juliet, by Nereo Costantini, that became the symbol of Verona.
After Juliet's house you should visit the house of her beloved Romeo, which is located in a secluded alley in the historical center of Verona, not far from the Scaliger Tombs. This is a rustic brick castle belonged to the Montecchi family - and attributed to Romeo - on which stands the typical Ghibelline swallow-tail. Currently the building is privately owned, however, can be seen from the outside and relive those days of struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines in which the inhabitants of the center of Verona, even if protected by the river Adige and by the walls, they built towers and private fortifications in their defense. This tour of the places of the legend of Shakespeare will end at the famous Scaliger Tombs, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic. On top of this mausoleum of the leading members of the lordship which held power in Verona between the 1200 and 1300, there are the figures of noblemen riding who lived, fought, loved and ruled Verona in the Middle Ages: Cangrande, Mastino II and Cansignorio. The other half of this tour is the medieval walls that surround the city of Verona, started during the Middle Age, under the bloody tyranny of Ezzelino Romano. Along the walls you can see the gates of Bra, the main entry in the period of live of Romeo and Juliet. Alongside these ancient gates there is a bronze bust of William Shakespeare and a plaque that quotes the famous speech of Romeo when he went into exile.
The last stop of this romantic tour in the city of Romeo and Juliet is Juliet's tomb, identified in the Monastery of San Francesco in Corso, the only one that was outside the city walls when was set the tragedy, and the only one accesible by the exiled Romeo. The monastery was built in 1230 on the site where, according to tradition, St. Francis of Assisi dwelt. Here was committed the tragic denouement of two lovers story, and it is here, in a dark room in the crypt, among the tombstones of monks, an empty red marble sarcophagus is shown as the tomb of Juliet.
But Verona is not only the city of the tragedy of the English writer, but also a beautiful city full of monuments that you should visit, starting from the picturesque Piazza delle Erbe, dear to poets and painters, in whose center stands the imposing fountain of Madonna Verona, behind which you can admire the lavish and baroque Palazzo Maffei. From here, across the pedestrian Via Mazzini, popular for shopping, you reach the famous Arena. This is also the best area for a walk, known as Listone. On the right, at the end of Via Borsari stands the Borsari gate. Leaving the Roman amphitheater behind us, along via Roma until you reach the old manor home of Scaligeri: Castelvecchio: moving towards Corso Cavour, before arriving at Porta Palio on the right there are the area of San Zeno, and one of the greatest glories of Roman architecture: the Basilica of San Zeno. To enjoy a unique view of this city you should go on the Pietra sull'Adige bridge, the only Roman bridge still intact.