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Explore Italy in the hottest and brightest season, plan your holidays in one of the many summer destinations
 

Where to go in summer in Italy? Enjoyment and relaxation awaits. Sunny beaches, or silent nature reserves, summer in Italy is more than a season, it is a lifestyle. Enjoy deserted cities at 2pm and sunsets by the sea. Listen to the sound of holiday goes sitting at restaurants tables and chatting happily while getting lost on long evening walks. The summer season in Italy is a harbinger of infinite joy, whether you love the high mountains or taking long swims in some of the clearest waters in the world. It will be unforgettable.

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City
Piazza del Popolo - Pesaro, Marche

Pesaro

Overlooking the sea and crossed by the River Foglia, Pesaro is a seaside resort located between two coastal hills: Monte Ardizio to the east-southeast and Monte San Bartolo to the west-northwest, which gives its name to the Monte San Bartolo Natural Park. In 2017, it was recognised by UNESCO as a Creative City for Music, for the promotion and revival of Rossini's music, having been the birthplace of the famous composer Gioachino Rossini, who was born in Pesaro in 1792 and died in Passy, Paris in 1868. SEASIDE TOURISM OFFER There are seven kilometres of sandy beaches between the wide-open coastline, served by more than 100 tourist accommodation facilities, some open all year round, including hotels by the sea, in the centre and in the hills, agritourism activities, campsites and flats, with a total of almost 11,000 beds. The sea is linked to a centuries-old tradition of seaside hospitality that pays special attention to families and children. Pesaro dedicates an event to children, the Mezzanotte bianca dei bambini, the flagship event of the summer tourist programme, and also dedicated to children are a number of read-aloud workshops on the city's beaches, organised by the Baia Flaminia Library. There are many cycle paths: the Bicipolitana is a route reserved for bikers that connects different parts of the city. Signposts indicate the routes. Different coloured lines are provided, each leading in different directions. WHAT TO VISIT Buildings of religious architecture include: the Cathedral, erected on the remains of a late Roman building, which boasts an interesting mosaic heritage; the Church of Sant'Agostino, which preserves a remarkable Gothic-Venetian portal on the façade and important paintings inside; the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, built in the 13th century by the Malatesta family and rebuilt in Baroque style. Noteworthy monuments and museums include: the 15th-century Rocca Costanza, a work with a square plan, reinforced by cylindrical towers and surrounded by a large moat, formerly used as a prison; the Ducal Palace, the Oliverian Archaeological Museum and the Civic Museums, with the Picture Gallery and the Ceramics Museum; which is located inside Palazzo Mosca, the Sonosphere, a space designed for the immersive enjoyment of three-dimensional sound and audio-visual content; Casa Rossini, which preserves documentary material, including prints and memorabilia related to the life and work of the great composer; the Museo Nazionale Rossini, which recounts the life, the man and the greatness of the artist, but also the topicality of Gioachino Rossini's work; the Teatro Rossini, where the Rof (Rossini Opera Festival), an opera music festival held annually in August since 1980, takes place every year. ROF is also the name of the Foundation established in 1994 to support the Rossini Foundation in the theatrical, musicological and editorial recovery of Rossini's production. A striking contemporary sculpture is Arnaldo Pomodoro's Palla, a bronze sphere created in 1998 by the well-known sculptor. Villino Ruggeri is a beautiful Art Nouveau building, and not far from Pesaro, on San Bartolo Hill, rises Villa Imperiale, built from 1530 onwards. In the San Bartolo Park, in the Pesaro area, Casteldimezzo, Fiorenzuola di Focara and Santa Marina Alta are picturesque hamlets overlooking the blue Adriatic Sea. Among the most significant events taking place in Pesaro throughout the year is the Rof, the Mostra internazionale del Nuovo Cinema, (Pesaro Film Festival), one of Italy's most important film festivals, taking place in June. A gastronomic “gem” is the Pizza Rossini, for its special combination of pizza and mayonnaise. The base is a simple margherita, to which hard-boiled eggs and carefully handmade mayonnaise are added.
Art & Culture

Villa Imperiale Pesaro

A Renaissance jewel in harmony with the landscape In the imposing Villa Imperiale in Pesaro, a Renaissance masterpiece, architecture merges with the surrounding nature in an inseparable bond. Surrounded by the greenery of the protected area of the San Bartolo natural park, the building looks today as it was originally conceived by the Sforza family in the 15th century, later enlarged and remodelled in the 16th century by the Della Rovere family. Just 5 minutes from the centre of Pesaro, it is the ideal place for a walk through history. A bride's gift to her warrior husband The villa is called Imperiale because the foundation stone was laid by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg, who was hosted in Pesaro in 1468 by the Sforza family during his trip to Italy for the coronation. The complex that has survived to the present day is the result of an extension carried out in the 16th century at the behest of Duchess Leonora Gonzaga, who gifted it to her husband, the Duke of Urbino Francesco Maria I Della Rovere, on his return from war. These are therefore two separate buildings connected by an open-air corridor: a quadrangular villa with a defensive function which was enlarged and refined by the wing built in the 16th century by the famous Urbino architect Girolamo Genga. As a harmonious unit, it is a place of delight, suitable for the cultured and refined lifestyle of a Renaissance court. Open spaces for court ceremonies The 16th-century wing, located on the hill thanks to a system of terraces on four levels, is articulated in various open spaces: loggias, gardens and courtyards, places designed to allow the dukes and their guests to organise all kinds of ceremonies, receptions and shows in the enchanting, fairytale setting of a suburban villa immersed in a forest. The Renaissance garden occupies a large part of the terraces embellished with geometric flowerbeds made of boxwood hedges sculpted according to the dictates of ars topiaria, interspersed with other species such as laurel, myrtle and rosemary, with citrons, lemons and oranges planted in terracotta pots. In contrast, the upper part of the park has been left to forest. From the highest parts of the terraces, there is a beautiful view of the Foglia river valley, the rolling hills of the Marche region and the peaks of the Apennines. A wonderful fresco cycle The sequence of vividly coloured Mannerist-style frescoes commissioned for the Villa Imperiale by architect Genga is remarkable, particularly in the wing reserved for Duchess Leonora and the large rooms of the 15th-century palace. Some of the greatest artists of the time worked at the villa, from Dosso Dossi to Raffaellino del Colle, from Bronzino to Camillo Mantovano. The Decline and the Rebirth When the Duchy of Urbino was incorporated into the Papal State in 1631, ownership of the villa passed to the de' Medici family, but it experienced long years of neglect. During the 18th century it accommodated Spanish and Portuguese Jesuit monks in exile, who changed its spaces and decorations. It was only when it was acquired by the Albani Castelbarco family at the end of the 18th century that the villa regained its function as a noble residence. Thanks to decades of restoration work, which allowed the original 16th-century appearance to be recovered and preserved, the villa is now used as a location for ceremonial events, weddings and congresses. The San Bartolo park, between the hills and the sea Villa Imperiale is located in the San Bartolo Park, a regional protected area between the green hills of the Marche and a coastal strip characterised by a high cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Completely immersed in greenery, it is surrounded by a farm that organically cultivates centuries-old olive trees. The villa can only be visited in the summer, from June to September, with guided tours for small groups and by appointment.
Leisure

Oltremare

Oltremare in Riccione: discover nature through play Between exotic habitats and typical Po Valley environments, the nature and technology park in Riccione invites you to discover the magical world of animals and the extraordinary story of their evolution. In Oltremare you will see performances by dolphins, falconry shows, alligators and kangaroos, meetings with trainers and even an art exhibition promoting the creative reuse of waste in cooperation with the Academies of Fine Arts. Dolphins are such a show In addition to the classic exhibitions of skill and play with dolphins, it is possible to take part in tours guided by trainers who introduce you to the animals, their behaviour, how they interact with humans and management techniques in an artificial environment. You will discover all the sensitivity and intelligence that characterises these playful mammals. Hunting birds of prey A free flight demonstration of eagles, owls, falcons, buzzards and vultures introduces the world of birds of prey, which are housed in the Owl Mill. With the falconry show, recognised in 2010 by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, the techniques and tools used for training are revealed. And you will realise how close the bond is between a falcon and its trainer. In Australia with kangaroos In the Australian section of Overseas you can meet the wallabies, small and tender marsupials (they measure about 90 centimetres) from south-central Oceania. The fifth continent is also discovered with the profession of palaeontologist in search of fossils and gold nuggets. Darwin space and the history of evolution In a large greenhouse, you can discover the history of the evolution of the plant and animal world, from the first organic molecule to complex organisms. You’ll be guided to discover the differences between primordial plants such as ferns and more evolved plants such as angiosperms. Among the animals is the American alligator, which evolved more than 150 million years ago and survived the great mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. In the Po Delta It is a journey along Italy's largest river from its sources to its Delta, a fascinating ecosystem rich in life, like all wetlands, and at the same time fragile and threatened by pollution. The environment is reconstructed through fisherman's huts and birdwatching stations, which can also be discovered through play: there is a labyrinth, a sensory garden, a long jump...
Relax & Wellness

Terme della Salvarola

Salvarola Spa, for those seeking relaxation or a romantic getaway in the Modenese hills Immersed in a large park at an altitude of almost 200 metres between plains and hills, woods and vineyards, the Salvarola Spa in Sassuolo in an elegant Art Nouveau building from the early 20th century is a beautiful, secluded destination for those escaping the city and looking to treat themselves to a weekend of pampering and peace. A trip particularly recommended for couples. A reservoir of “divine” and medicinal waters The locality is three kilometres from Sassuolo and about 20 from Modena. The therapeutic properties of the water used there were already known in Roman and medieval times. It is said that the powerful countess Matilda of Canossa habitually visited these places to benefit from them. It is no coincidence that the Sassuolo physician Giambattista Moreali, who founded the spa in the 18th century, described it as “divine” in a treatise. The thermal cures here use three different qualities of water, classified by experts as salsobromoiodic, sulphurocarbon and sulphobicarbonatomagnesium, for the treatment of various diseases of the joints, vascular system, respiratory tract and skin. At the Salvarola centre, you can undergo inhalation, mud-balneotherapy, gynaecological and hydropinic treatments. The spa complex also provides a polyclinic and a rehabilitation centre. The goal here is to recover fitness Alongside the offer of spa cures, in its park of over ten hectares the Sassuolo complex also includes 2,300 square metres dedicated to relaxation and fitness recovery. The Balnea Wellness Centre includes five pools and thermal pools at different temperatures with whirlpools, waterfalls, water games, vascular paths, gyms, sauna and steam bath. There are also four gyms equipped for training, yoga, Pilates, spinning and rehabilitation. The sensory spa beauty centre offers a wide range of aesthetic and cosmetic experiences for all ages. Among the more specific and gourmet beauty treatments linked to the products of the Modenese territory, you can explore wine therapy with Grasparossa and Trebbiano grapes, treatments and cosmetic lines with Vignola cherries, balsamic vinegar, clarified butter, grains and honey, and pumpkin. If you can, make sure to take advantage of the oriental, holistic, lymph-draining, thermo-aromatic and anti-stress massages that the centre provides. Excursions between castles and museums, from Sassuolo to Maranello We are at the ideal starting point for itineraries through art and history and excursions into nature. You can reach Sassuolo from here, also by bicycle, and visit the Este Ducal Palace, a masterpiece of Italian Baroque full of frescoes, stuccoes, sculptures and monumental fountains. The AMES museum preserves vintage cars and motorbikes. Another experience not to be missed is a visit to the municipal vinegar cellar in Sassuolo at Montegibbio Castle, one of the oldest manors in Modena. Or if you’re into cars, make sure to head to Maranello, just ten kilometres away from Sassuolo, which can also be travelled along a bike path, to visit the Ferrari museum. Tigelle, gnocco fritto and lambrusco, to pamper the palate too And you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pleasing your taste buds after so many activities: you are in the heart of the food valley, where can choose from tigelle, gnocco fritto, tortellini and tortelloni and so much more, all accompanied by Vignola cherries and bensone, a typical oval-shaped dessert from Modena. The excellent local lambrusco will take care of the rest...
Relax & Wellness

Salsomaggiore Terme

A visit to the Salsomaggiore thermal baths will offer you a regenerating experience, enhancing your sense of wellness in a natural setting At the foot of the Parma Apennine hills in the heart of the Po Valley the Terme di Salsomaggiore present an ideal solution if you feel you need to recover after an intense and stressful period. In this artistic and culturally rich setting one’s spirit and energy will be regenerated in an atmosphere that stimulates a sense of well-being. Between the provinces of Parma and Piacenza, this thermal spa facility, located in a building featuring the refined Art-Déco architectural style, has acquired a prestigious reputation as one of “the most beautiful spas in Europe”. Salsomaggiore and the great value of thermal mineral waters As one of the most important spa centres in Italy Salsomaggiore owes its good fortune to the particular geographical position of the town in which it is situated and the presence of salsobromoiodic waters. Renowned for their many therapeutic properties and for the extraordinary concentration of mineral salts, these waters are used in particular to treat respiratory, rheumatic and gynaecological disorders. The place-name (originally Salso Maiore; cf. Latin salsus) in fact derives from the kitchen salt that was extracted - already in the Celtic and Roman periods - from the groundwater aquifers of salsobromoiodic water. In ancient times the concentration of salt in this water, five times higher than that of the Mediterranean sea water, made it ideal for the preservation of food. A ville d'eau well-known and highly appreciated throughout Europe The recent history of the thermal baths of Salsomaggiore dates back to the year 1839, when Lorenzo Berzieri, a physician who had become a general practitioner in the town, discovered the medicinal efficacy of its waters. Once he had been granted a concession for their use by Marie Louise I of Austria, the reigning Archduchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, he initiated the activity of the spa, which lived its greatest moment of splendour at the height of the Belle Époque, when the locality became a popular ville d'eau appreciated throughout Europe. Thermal waters offering health-care and beauty-care remedies The monumental structure dedicated to Lorenzo Berzieri, which presents a rather glorious expression of the Art-Déco style, was designed by Ugo Giusti and decorated with sculptures and paintings produced by Galileo Chini. The facility includes a wellness centre, offering bathing routes and Kneipp therapy services, body-scrub treatment, chromatic and aromatic thermal baths and oriental, Ayurvedic and hot-stone massages and the balneotherapy and hydrotherapy centre for water rehabilitation exercises, offering balneotherapy, mud-bath cures, inhalation and gingival aerosols. The more modern Terme Zoja spa resort, nestled in the nearby verdant Mazzini park, has internal sections dedicated to the treatment and prevention of arthro-rheumatic, respiratory, gynaecological and blood-circulation disorders and a hydrotherapy and aesthetic medical treatment unit offering services aimed at enhancing fitness levels and water-based rehabilitation, with vascular hydro-courses and forms of treatment aimed at enhancing facial and corporeal beauty. Traces of Art Nouveau or the Liberty-style movement Once you have completed your series of treatment sessions, the Berzieri Wellness Centre, an iconic structure providing a singular testimony of the flourishing Art-Déco period, may also be considered as the point of departure, where you may begin an interesting tour of the town and discover local architectural structures that reflect the Art-Nouveau style. A magnificent array of designs presenting curved, sinuous and elegant linear elements inspired by and reflecting the conformation of plants and floral species may be found, for example, on the decorative wrought-iron and glass structure covering the Pozzo Scotti artesian well in front of the Terme Bezieri or at the Warowland Gallery, with its various elements reminiscent of the neo-mediaeval style, and at the Palazzo dei Congressi (Conference Centre), the former Grand Hotel des Thermes. Elements of the Liberty-Deco style are visible also on the façade of the former Kursaal Casino and at the railway station, with its decorative arched windows and a wide barrel-vaulted ceiling in the main hall. Appealing aromas of the natural world Before you leave Salsomaggiore you should spend a few hours in the relaxing natural setting of the Gavinell Botanical Garden, located only two kilometres outside the town. You will be able to admire a collection of over 450 species of aromatic and medicinal plants in an area of 12 hectares. You might conclude your visit exploring the items displayed in the “sala erboristica” (herbalist section) and in the “olfattoteca” (a section dedicated to aromatic herbal products), where you will discover many fragrances, essences, oils and cosmetic and food products made with the precious Gavinell herbs and ingredients. Roaming around the salt castles You might also consider an open-air excursion through the hills surrounding Salsomaggiore, dotted with castles dating back to medieval periods. The fortresses were built by the powerful marquises of Pallavicino. Situated at various strategic points, the old fortified structures had the aim of safeguarding the precious salt-work districts. There are many interesting sites in this area but it is certainly worth visiting the fortresses of Scipione, Tabiano and Contignaco. These were once referred to as the “castelli del sale” (the salt castles). To reach these venues - by bicycle or on foot - you can follow one of the itineraries commonly referred to as the “vie del sale (the salt routes) immersed in the truly verdant Emilian hills. A sweet souvenir for your return journey It would also be a good idea to procure an interesting souvenir before you leave and this might be a speciality of the local cuisine or a particular wine from the area. The local folk would probably suggest you purchase a few crisp and chewy “brutti ma buoni” biscuits, made with egg whites and crushed hazelnuts. These so-called “unattractive but good” cookies would also be a delightful accompaniment for the vast range of liqueurs produced in the area, such as Camomillina, Nocino, Bargnolino (also called Prunella) and Limoncino, brewed according to centuries-old recipes and using strictly natural ingredients.
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