Summertime in Italy
Lovely Lakes & Limoncello
Caldo, piccante, bollente. The words may look and even sound better in Italian, but when it comes to summer in Italy, there is only one way to describe the weather; hot, hot, hot! That’s the bad news if you’re traveling to the boot in the peak summer months. The good news is that Italy is still beautiful any time of year, and there are plenty of beaches to visit, including some very close to Rome to help you cool off and take a break from the bustling and boiling Eternal City.
Getting to the beaches is easy enough by train or car. The Mediterranean shore is about an hour or less from Rome. And there are plenty of places to swim and sunbathe for the day. But if you’re looking for something different why not visit one of the many inland lakes, which also offer great waterfront restaurants and a variety of water based activities, not to mention an opportunity to stroll the streets of quaint country villages. Keep in mind we’re talking volcanic lakes. That means darker sand along the shoreline as well as slick, sometimes sinking sand as you wade in the water. But that is part of the charm.
About 20 miles north of Rome is Lago di Bracciano. The town of the same name might ring a bell as the castle there, Castello Corsini Odescalchi. It received international attention thanks to the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. It is something to definitely visit if you have the time.
Lago di Bracciano is one of the perfect places to escape the summer heat. There are a number of picturesque spots where visitors can rent chairs and umbrellas, not to mention plenty of opportunities to jump in a paddle boat and burn off some of those gelato calories. The lake is also home to a number of other small villages that dot its shoreline, and are worth an afternoon stroll if you need a break from the sun. You can get there by train in about 90 minutes from Rome. A taxi ride will take about 40 minutes and cost around $80 one way.
If you would like to combine some additional sight seeing with a day at the beach, head south to Lake Albano, home of the former summer residence of the Popes, including breathtaking Vatican gardens, and the stunning town of Castel Gandolfo. The main piazza of this little town even has a church designed by Bernini. It’s only around 14 miles south of Rome and a cab ride will run about $45 dollars or more depending on the traffic.
If you really want to make the most of the day in this area of the Lazio region, hire a driver. It would be a great investment, as it would allow you to see the town, the papal museums and gardens, as well as take in the lake shore for some beach time. Lake Albano has a very nice beach on its western shore.
If wine is your thing, you might also visit one of the local wineries in the Frascati area. Frascati is another pretty village overlooking Lake Albano with wonderful shops, as well as nearby vineyards. Although different types of wine are made here, the most famous is the wine named after the town, the Frascati white.
Lake Albano and Lake Bracciano are two of my favorite lakes in the Lazio Region. They offer great and easy escapes from Rome and lots of fun for the entire family.
Joan Lewis’ Famous Limoncello Recipe
This lemony Italian liquor has its home along the southwestern coast in the Campania region including Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi. No surprise there, given the endless summer sunshine lends itself to produce the main citrus fruit which is central to the Limoncello recipe. Limoncello is very delicious, very strong in terms of the alcohol content, and must be served ice cold, which is very convenient because you can store it in the freezer and not worry about it turning into a block of solid lemon ice. It’s served year-round as an after-dinner drink, but is very popular in the summertime.
Most Italian families have their own recipes, but the main ingredients include lemons, sugar, and lots of grain alcohol. My dear friend, Joan Lewis of EWTN and Joan’s Rome fame, has lived and worked in Rome for decades and is the “hostess and chef with the mostest” as I like to say, and this includes her fabulous Limoncello recipe which she is gracious enough to share with T’s Italy followers. Oh, and by the way, Joanie will be the first to agree that this delightful drink is also great over a nice dish of vanilla ice cream.
Buona Estate! Happy Summer!
Living La Dolce Fede – The Sweet Life of Faith Pilgrimage
Join me for my T’s Italy Premiere Pilgrimage in November 6-14, 2022, Living La Dolce Fede: The Sweet Life of Faith! We will follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Peter by traveling through Umbria to Rome! We visit holy and archeological sites in Assisi, Greccio, Orvieto, Viterbo, Bagnaia, Tarquinia, Cerveteri, and onto Christian Rome! There’s also an optional 2-day Rome extension to add more “sweetness” to your trip!
We have launched T’s Italy Pilgrimages in order to connect you to your faith with “the sweet life” of Italy. No COVID restrictions and a fabulous price—two important reasons to finally make that dream of visiting one of the most beautiful countries in the world, a reality. We’re responding to Italy’s open doors with an Italy trip of a lifetime, 7 nights in Italy, including extended stays in Assisi, Orvieto, Rome, with special stops in several breath-taking hill towns of Umbria and Lazio. I’m so excited to bring long waited U.S. Travelers on this premiere T’s Italy pilgrimage!
Italy has so much to offer in addition to the magnificent major cities, religious sights, off the charts food and wine, not to mention incredible history everywhere one turns. It is the way of life, however, interspersed with a deep spirituality and a love of the diverse landscape and culture that so many Italy tourists don’t experience as they’re running from one stop to the next. This is what makes travel with T’s Italy so special. We help you to embrace, ‘la dolce vita’–the sweet life of Italy. This premiere pilgrimage takes that to the next level, infusing faith “fede” with all the other beauty that Italy offers, which will give you an authentic ‘taste’ of the true Italy, including dining and experiences in some of the most highly rated restaurants and wineries.
This pilgrimage offers both sites off the beaten path, yet also on the main highways and byways, so to speak, allowing you to see some of the most famous sights and some incredible places rarely seen on Italy itineraries. The pilgrimage will visit Greccio where St. Francis established the first nativity scene, and a day in lovely Viterbo where St. Thomas Aquinas preached and where the first papal conclave was held.
Book by July 31st Using Code “SUMMER” and Save $75 per person!
Lungo il Tevere
Summer Celebration in the City — “Along the Tiber”
If you are visiting Rome in June or July I strongly suggest you take time to enjoy their famous summer festival named Lungo il Tevere, which translates into “Along the Tiber” in Italian. It is a summer–long festival along the banks of the Tiber (Tevere) River. This is especially beautiful in the evening with all the lights along the water. The Tiber River runs through Rome. The festival displays a village-like atmosphere where they have pop-up outdoor restaurants, food carts, as well as arts and crafts, live music and even some rides for children including amusements and games. Some even go up and down the Tiber on their boats singing beautiful Italian songs. This festival is located on the West Side (Vatican Side) of the river and is accessed by the stairs that are leading down to the riverbank. It is set-up from Piazza Trilussa (at Ponte Sisto) and Porta Portese (at Ponte Sublico).
T’s Italy Great Northern Italy Adventure, June 2022!
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