Italy City Guides

There are places in Italy, cities not to be missed. Some are well known, others off the beaten track. Either way, every nook and cranny has a story, a landmark, its own place in history. For those looking for an apartment for rent in Italy, be it for short term or for a lifetime, or for those looking for a Real Estate investment in Italy, here is a small guide to Italy, dedicated to every city in which Halldis offers the opportunity of living like a local, in your very own private, serviced and luxury apartments.

MILAN - Map of Milan

Milan is the undisputed Fashion capital and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Italy, as well as being rich in artistic and cultural attractions, museums and various kinds of entertainment.

Ideal destination for all shopping lovers, thanks to the great amount of boutiques in the city centre, Milan also offers a lot of cultural exhibitions such as photographic or painting exhibitions. Setting for a lot of movies, famous for its Universities and Academies and rich in musical, theatrical and sport events, Milan is also particularly appreciated by young people because of its nightlife. Italy's most cosmopolitan city, as well as its real commercial capital, Milan not only offers a prime destination but also a perfect investment opportunity for anyone toying with real estate, be it to buy to let, buy to live or simply buy to then decide.

Fairs, theatres, musical events, art, happy hours, it is difficult to choose… so here are some of the tourist attractions of Milan.

For people who love shopping, Milan is certainly the ideal destination. In fact, there are different kinds of shops: the most luxurious ones in the “Quadrilatero della Moda” (literally translated the Quadrilateral of Fashion) situated among Via Montenapoleone, Via Andrea, Via Gesù, Via Borgospesso and Via della Spiga, and the cheaper or trendier ones, more appropriate for young people.

The Four Seasons Hotel, situated in the “Quadrilatero della Moda”, is one of the most famous hotels, but the choice among B&Bs, hotels, restaurants, inns and pizzerias is obviously endless. Brera and Navigli are the most well known or sought after areas for nightlife, as they offer plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs.
Halldis offers plenty of accommodations, holiday apartments, rental properties and lodging solutions in Milan for every need: from a business trip to a weekend to a special Christmas and New Year in Milan, from a residence self catering apartment to long term apartment accommodation or luxury apartments and luxury accommodation
You can choose between studios and lofts, one bedroom apartments, two bedrooms apartments and bigger apartments.

The best solution for a ready to use office is the Conca del Naviglio Business Center, located in the very center of Milan

BOLOGNA - Map of Bologna

A historical university city, Bologna offers a frenetic cultural and social life. Rich in museums and interesting exhibitions, this city is also famous for its nightlife, in its typical nightspots.

The city offers a splendid historical centre, where tradition and art often coexist: for instance, adjacent to the splendid Cathedral, it is possible to find the open air market selling fruits and vegetables, and in Piazza Santo Stefano one finds the antique market.

Famous for its luxurious shops, Bologna is also considered an ideal destination for young people because of its markets: “La Montagnola” is the biggest and most famous one, where you can find anything you could possible want.

Well-known for its towers and its characteristic historical centre, entirely “covered” with porches, Bologna, besides its architectural style and its gorgeous churches, has a very lively cultural life.

Beside its markets (the biggest one is “La Montagnola”) and the piebald fruit and fish markets, Bologna is also popular for its beautiful stores.

Rich in hotels, B&Bs, inns, serviced apartments,self catering apartments but even luxury apartments and lodgings, Bologna is famous for its excellent cuisine and for the large variety of restaurants and “trattorias”, where you can taste its delicious dishes.

Even for long term accommodations in Bologna, Halldis offers the best housing solutions.

ROME - Map of Rome

Education, art and cultural centre, Rome is well worth visiting mainly because of its historical sites and its architectural masterpieces.

Called “the EternalCity”, capital of the Italian Republic, seat of the Government and seat of the Pope, Rome is a charming and striking city, rich in history, art and culture. Clear examples are St. Peter’s Basilica, Spanish Steps, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and so on.

Listing all the attractions of Rome would be impossible and probably useless too because of their notoriety. Everything is worth seeing, such as Fori Imperiali, the Coliseum, the Fountain of Trevi, the Pantheon… There’s no monument, church or artwork you should miss. Here you can find some important travel information for your sojourn:

One of the most important areas for shopping is the one between Via del Corso and Via del Babuino. Via Condotti also offers a lot of famous fashion brands (wearing apparel, jewellery and shoes) known all over the world.

There are a lot of restaurants and “trattorias” where to taste the typical Roman cuisine, ranging from typical inexpensive inns to luxury restaurants offering excellent dishes. For your holidays in Rome, Rome offers solutions suitable for any kind of necessity: from bed and breakfast and lodges to special weekends Christmas and New Year's in Rome, or for long term accommodation in Rome. Search through our Rome Italy Apartments and Rome luxury apartments to select among a large variety of self catering and serviced apartments in Rome.

- Map of Lake Como

The area by Lake Como, also called “Lario”, offers an unforgettable panorama and a romantic setting which attracts thousands of tourists thanks to the mountains which, in addition to creating a spectacular frame, gently slope into the lake. There are many points of interest for those who want to enjoy Lake Como. The area offers numerous possibilities which can meet all expectations: cultural trips in Como or Lecco; relaxing walks in pleasant resorts where it is also possible to visit majestic villas, often surrounded by parks and gardens; trekking in the green valleys of the area; the possibility of practising all watersports in the northest part of the lake.

Como offers many attractions. In addition to the various museums and monuments, several events are organised during the year, such as the now famous “notte Bianca” (a day in which all shops and bars stay open all night long) and “la città dei balocchi” (literally translated: Toy City). In the ancient city centre, a pedestrian area surrounded by roman walls, is the Duomo and the Broletto, a building with a gothic façade used nowadays for exhibitions and public events. Characteristic are the buildings of the famous architect Giuseppe Terragni, the “Casa del Fascio” and the “Novocomum”. Walking in the lake-front city park you can reach the “Tempio Voltiano”, where the Museum of Alessandro Volta, inventor of the battery, is located. Also dedicated to the scientist is a lighthouse in Brunate, reachable by funicular.

The town of Lecco is well known for its spectacular surroundings, but it is all the more famous for being the setting of one of the most important novels of Italian literature, “I Promessi Sposi”, by Alessandro Manzoni, where one can even visit the houses of all the characters of the book.

Not to be missed is the “Isola Comacina”, the only isle of the Como Lake, and the small towns which lie around the lake: Bellagio, with its typical alleys and paved slopes ; Menaggio, where you can take a boat that goes round the lake; Tremezzo, where Villa Carlotta and its splendid garden are located; Mandello del Lario, headquarters of the Moto Guzzi factory; Bellano, with the torrent “Orrido” (horrible – so called because it is rather dangerous); and Varenna, with the Vezio Castle, where you can enjoy a wonderful view.

Lake Como area offers a wide range of restaurants and lodgings such as hotels, b&b and as an alternative, serviced apartments, self catering apartments and vacation rentals, fitting different needs and tastes.

LAKE MAGGIORE - Map of Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is a gorgeous attraction for tourists who are enticed by its climate guaranteeing extended holidays and lovely landscapes.

Lake Maggiore is the second largest Italian lake after Lake Garda; its western bank is in Piedmont, the eastern in Lombardy and the most northerly section is in Switzerland.

The landscape offered by the Lake is very wide-ranging: set among the Prealps, and originating from glaciers, it is narrow and wild in the northern region, framed by very high peaks (some of them are constantly covered by snow), while it enlarges and is particularly rich in vegetation, sweet hills in the Borromeo Gulf, in the southern region. There are also a lot of inlets , offering breathtaking panoramas. Along the banks of the lake you will find picturesque villages, some still preserving the antique castles and the characteristic small fishermen’s ports.

Lake Maggiore, thanks to its climate, became in the 19th Century a holiday destination loved by aristocratic families, who had sumptuous villas built on its banks, mostly on the Piedmont side, embellished by gorgeous gardens and parks rich in flowers and plants which usually grow in sub-tropical areas. The Lake thus hosted many illustrious personailties, artists and writers: Hemingway, Goethe, Fogazzaro, Rosmini, Manzoni, Flaubert, Mann, Bernard Shaw, Wagner, Toscanini, Verga and Stendhal.

Lake Maggiore is certainly an important tourist destination during the whole year. You can practice all water activities during the summer (swimming, windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing) and the winter (diving, sailing, fishing). The local mountains are great for walking excursions, and most of them have special tracks for mountain bikes. But Lake Maggiore also offers history-packed locations such as the Borromeo Islands, with their splendid Italian style gardens, Angera Castle, dating back to the 12th century, the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, built in the twelfth century, the city of Stresa, the castles of Cannero, splendid villas and the gardens of Villa Taranto in Verbania (Pallanza) are all at short distance.

The most important towns of Lake Maggiore are: Luino, Laveno, Stresa, Angera, Sesto, Calende, Arona, Baveno, Verbania.

The area surrounding Lake Maggiore is rich in quality restaurants and offers a wide choice of accommodations and lodgings, such as luxury and cheap hotels, serviced apartments, self catering apartments for rent or room rentals.

TURIN - Map of Turin

Turin is one of the main university, scientific and cultural centres in Italy, but it is also famous for the production of chocolate. With a long cinematographic and large musical tradition, this city has always been a key tourist destination.

Turin’s art, culture and history are described by its buildings, museums, squares and churches or by the numerous artistic exhibitions.

Turin, rich in cultural, artistic and popular events, besides its unforgettable monuments, masterpieces of important architects, also offers new exhibition spaces which show its contemporary side.

Considered one of the Italian capitals for luxury shopping, Turin offers boutiques, 5 shopping centres, 16.000 stores and 60 markets.

The “Quadrilatero Romano” is the oldest area of the city, where you can find a lot of pizzerias, porterhouses, wine bars and restaurants which offer the best dishes of Turin’s cuisine. Lodging in Turin is easy, thanks to a wide range of hotels, B&Bs, hostels, guesthouses, serviced apartments, self catering apartments, luxury apartments and vacation rentals.

VENICE - Map of Venice

Almost surreal, Venice is a city where you can be invaded by art and culture while being cradled by its water. Home to the International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art, Venice is rich in cultural and artistic events and in artworks, displayed along all its alleys and streets.

Ideal destination for the shopaholics, who have the possibility of visiting thousands of souvenir shops, but also for the lovers of architecture and cinema, or for tourists who simply wish to spend their holiday with a touch of romance and relaxation.

Art and sculptures decorate the entire city: the domes of the churches and the Timpani Palladiani di san Giorgio, the Redentore, the Zitelle, the Angel of the Bell Tower are just a few of the wonderful attractions of Venice. Tourists are also attracted by the typical atmosphere you can find only in Venice, and by its particular events, such as the Carnival.

Ideal for all shopping lovers, Venice offers everything: from souvenir shops with Carnival masks and glass objects from Murano to luxury haute couture.

Venice offers a wide range of restaurants and hotels, fitting different needs and tastes. For a sojourn or a meal with moderate prices, you should avoid the typical tourist areas and discover hidden and romantic places in this unique city, and discover new lodging ways as sleeping within serviced apartments, self catering apartments or vacation rentals in Venice.

FLORENCE - Map of Florence

City of art with a spectacular historical centre which has been declared a Human Heritage landmark, Florence is a well-known, not only for its schools to learn Italian, but also as a mayor tourist destination thanks to its cuisine and breathtaking panorama.

In fact, from the city itself one can admire the famous hills of the Chianti area and, in the distance, the hills of the Appennini are also visible.

Numerous museums and artworks attract millions of tourists, above all the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti, together with the marvellous architecture which characterizes the entire city. In addition, for all wine and food lovers Florence represents the ideal destination thanks to its restaurants, inns and “trattorias”, where one can taste the local cuisine and accompany it with excellent wines.

There are plenty of tourist attraction, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza della Signoria, la Galleria degli Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and Ponte Vecchio.

This is certainly not the right city for inexpensive shopping, considering all the jewellery and high end designer clothes sold on the Ponte Vecchio and Via Tornabuoni, where brands such as Armani, Gucci, Versace, Coveri and Ferragamo all have their own flagship stores. But Florence is also rich in markets, such the ones in San Lorenzo, Mercato Nuovo and Della Pulce (Flea market), where one can enjoy the folklore of the local and still find lovely things to take home.

Rich in hotels and serviced apartments for rent (even luxury apartments), lodging in Florence houses can suit every taste, budget and need, from a quick weekend in a self catering apartment to a special Christmas and New year's eve vacation in Florence or a long term apartment accommodation, Florence also offers many restaurants and “trattorias”, where one can try the famous and typical Tuscan cuisine. Among the oldest and most renowned restaurants is the not-to-be-missed Sabatini, where tradition and quality are happily joined together.

CATANIA - Map of Catania

Catania is nestled between the sea and the highest active volcano in Europe, the Etna. Catania’s historical centre, dominated by Piazza Duomo and Piazza Università (the baroque heart of the historical center, considered the ultimate expression of Sicilian architecture) was declared a world heritage by Unesco.

The city was rebuilt 9 times, mainly in the 15th and 17th Centuries, during which time the city was very rich. For this reason the city centre is characterised by different architectures and styles dating to very different periods, going from Baroque to Liberty. In addition, there are also monuments dating back to when the city was founded, during the Greek and Roman period.

Nowadays Catania is a gorgeous city, with a natural beauty emphasized by its sunny climate and a population known for its hospitality and warm, welcoming nature.

The most important points of interest of the city are the Duomo, the Greek-Roman Theatre, the Amenano Fountain, the Pescheria (historical and folkloristic fish market of the city), the historical Palace of the central seat of the University, Via Crociferi and the Norman Ursino Castle.

Catania offers plenty of attractions, ranging from the splendid sea, to its many museums, to the nearby villages, famous for being mentioned in literary works of well known writers, like Acitrezza in Giovanni Verga’s I Malavoglia. But the most important spot worth visiting is the highest and most overshadowing active volcano in Europe, the Etna, a 30 minutes drive from Catania.

Catania offers a vast selection of shops, from the most high end ones to the more economic stores, perfect for the younger generations. At night, just stepping outside is enough to feel part of Catania’s nightlife, known as the ”Movida Catanese”, with its typical nightspots and trendy pubs. Its warm and sunny climate, in fact, make Catania a vibrant city where its folk live it to the full, socializing and enjoying the open air. On weekends especially the city fills with neighbours from the surrounding areas, and being a University town it never lacks in things to do.

The famous cuisine of Catania is characterised by the typical aspects of Mediterranean cuisine. Catania also represents the perfect city to find the ideal lodging for tourists and managers, thanks to the large amount of hotels and apartment for rent, serviced apartments, self catering apartments and vacation rentals in the city, and to its strategic location, close to both tourist spots such as Taormina (only 20 minutes away) and to every town on the island (the farthest destination from Catania is reachable within 2 hours).

BARI - Map of Bari

Located right on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, the provincial capital of Puglia and the second most important city of Southern Italy after Naples, Bari is a lively and growing city, combining entrepreneurial initiative of its inhabitants (see the Fiera del Levante) and the “art of getting by”, typical of the South of Italy. The city also offers an outstanding cultural tradition: in addition to the historical publishing house Laterza, the Piccinni Theatre and the Academy of Music, it will soon regain its symbol, the Petruzzelli Theatre (with works currently under way).

The brand-new international airport Karol Wojtyla, with flights such as London-Bari, Barcelona-Bari, Paris-Bari, as well as from all major European capitals, make Bari the ideal destination for tourists looking for the natural treasures of Apulia and Salento, while the sea harbour make it an inevitable stop for tourist and business routes directed to Greece or to the Balkans.

Bari is the perfect destination for a leisurely stay, with diverse attractions such as shopping in the elegant shops and boutiques in the city centre, a lovely beachfront panorama, sightseeing in the characteristic alleys of the Città Vecchia (the “Old Town”), and a large selection of nightspots and typical restaurants offering the renowned specialties of local cuisine.

Strategically positioned in the centre of Apulia, Bari represents an ideal starting point for excursions to the nearby points of interest: the trulli in Alberobello - considered a world heritage by Unesco -, the tomb sites in Castellana, Trani, the beaches of Ostuni, the reefs of Polignano, the zoosafari of Fasano and the characteristic villages by Itria Valley – above all Martina Franca.

Bari city centre is perfect for shopping: the elegant and haute-couture shops in Via Sparano and the boutiques in Corso Cavour can satisfy every sorts of shoppers following any king of trend, from smart to casual to street wear.

The exquisite fish, meat, and vegetables, the famous dairy products and the orecchiette are what Puglisi cuisine is known for, worldwide. You can taste its typical recipes in the most famous restaurants in Bari, such as the Pignata, the Aberosole and a lot of other restaurants downtown or on the seafront. Among the high-end hotels is the Palace, in a very central position, and the Sheraton, ideal for hosting conventions, given its elevated number of rooms. If you want to sleep in Bari, the perfect alternative to hotels for lodging in Bari is the large portfolio of apartments for rent, vacation rentals self catering apartments and serviced apartments offered by Halldis.

TRENTO - Map of Trento

Provincial capital of Trentino-Alto Adige, Trento has more than 100,000 inhabitants. City of art with a strong historical background, and nestled between Lake Garda and the Dolomites, Trento is an important nexus between Italian and Middle European cultures, characterised to this day by different architectures and styles.

Trento is the old seat of the princes and bishops who lived in the Buonconsiglio Castle. Between 1545 and 1563 Trento was also the seat of the XIX Ecumenical Council, known as the Trento Council, which represents a veritable “Catholic Reform”.

The pinnacles of the numerous palaces with frescoed façades blend in with the mountain peaks which surround the city.

Among the points of interest of Trento is the Duomo, the local division of the Mart, the Museum of modern and contemporary art, the Museo Diocesano, the monumental complex in the historical centre, the Buonconsiglio Castle and, above all, the gorgeous mountain chain of the Alps surrounding the city.

Recently, the city has been particularly lively, both for the many events organised by the Municipality and for the remarkable pouring in of young people who choose to attend the University of Trento.

Ranging from exhibitions and theatres to music and art events, it is difficult to choose… so here’s a taste of the tourist attractions in Trento.

In December not to be missed are the folkloristic Christmas markets, the well-known “Film Festival della Montagna” (Mountain Film Festival), the Festival of Economics between May and June, and “I Suoni delle Dolomiti” (the sounds of the Dolomites), with international artists.

Trento is a city well worth visiting, and can be your base camp for excursions on the Dolomites, by Lake Garda and on the Alps surrounding it.

The most luxury hotel in Trento is the Grand Hotel Trento, 2 minutes away from Piazza Duomo, but if you want, you can find alternative lodgings as serviced apartments, self catering apartments and b&b and eat within tipical inns and typical haunts. Once in Trento you cannot miss canederli (typical meat balls) and the local strudel.

VERONA - Map of Verona

Verona is one of the main historical and cultural centres in Italy, strategically positioned between Lake Garda and Venice. In the 4th Century b.C. the city had the first contacts with Rome, and a lot of monuments present today date back to this period: the Arena, the Roman Theatre, Porta Leona, Porta Corsari, the Gavi Arch and Ponte Pietra.

After the decline of the Roman Empire, Verona was conquered by populations coming from the Continent, such as the Ostrogoths, whose King Teodorico chose to take up residence in the city. In 1263 began the dominion of the Scaligeri Seigniory, which lasted for about 120 years, after which the city was ruled by Venice.

Verona is famous for the story of Romeo and Juliet, and the house of Juliet, with her famous balcony, is a destination that lovers should not miss.

In summer Verona attracts opera lovers into the Arena, one of the biggest and most beautiful amphitheatres in Italy, which come to listen to the music of Verdi, Puccini, and other composers. For fans of different genres the city also organises the Jazz Festival or the Festivalbar, a music tour which always ends in the Arena.

Verona doesn’t just offer monuments, it is also renowned for its Fairs, such as Vinitaly (the famous Wine fair), Fiera Cavalli, and the International Christmas Scene exhibition, attended by an international audience.

You can also enjoy wonderful excursions on the hills surrounding Verona, and buy well-known wines, such as the Soave or the Valpolicella, or go to Lake Garda and walk by the lakefront. In the vicinity you can also find one of the biggest entertainment centres of Italy, Gardaland, with a lot of attractions for children and adults.

Among the most luxurious hotels in Verona is the Hotel Gabbia d’Oro, in the historical centre, while a restaurant you cannot miss is I Dodici Apostoli, renowned for the elegant atmosphere. Once in Verona you can try typical dishes, such as the bollito con la pearà, beef with a sauce made of bread crumbs, cheese, marrow, broth and black pepper, pasta e fasoi, pasta and beans, and the pastissada de caval, flavoured horse meat.
Verona offers many lodging possibilities such as serviced apartments, self catering apartments, hotels and b&b.

GENOA - Map of Genoa

City of art and important seaport, and an area of flourishing trade and commerce, Genoa conceals a world of surprises: its history and charm make it an exciting place to discover, whilst enchanting natural ports, and green hills rolling into the sea make of Genoa a picture-perfect and unique location to visit.
The heart of the city is the Ancient Port, or old harbour, which, painstakingly restored by the famous architect Renzo Piano, now combines yonder years with modern times in a harmonious and fascinating ambience. Here one finds the Aquarium of Genoa, one of the largest in Europe and the third most important museum complex in Italy in terms of visitors; the Children’s Village, an immense area dedicated to the younger generations, where playing and learning go hand in hand; the Galatan Sea Museum, largest maritime museum in Europe; the National Museum of Antarctic, containing a number of artefacts from the continent.

In the centre, the streets of the old city are a fascinating intertwining of small medieval alleys and passageways running down towards the waterfront. Architectural landmarks and historical buildings adorn the city piazzas and squares, the most famous of which being the Palace of the Doges (Palazzo Ducale) in the central Piazza de Ferrari, once seat of the city government and now one of the most important exhibition areas of the city.
Among the architectural heritages of Genoa are the Strada Nuova and the Palazzi dei Rolli, in the old city, a circuit designed in the mid-16th century comprising sumptuous palaces once belonging to the city’s most eminent families. Now inscribed on the World Heritage List, and housing the most important painting collections of the city (with works by Caravaggio, Rubens, Tiziano), this district is a testimonial of the glory days of the grand Republic of Genoa, and a true step back in time. Other sites in the old city include the Museum of World Culture, housed in the neo-gothic castle Castello d’Albertis, and the Civic Museum of Natural History Giacomo Doria, famous for its vast collection of over three and a half million artefacts.

The port of Genoa also contains an ancient lighthouse called the Torre della Lanterna (the “tower of the lantern”), the oldest working lighthouse in the world, one of the five tallest, and the tallest brick one, and it is Genoa's landmark.

In October Genoa hosts the most important International Boat Show in the world, organized along the marina and in all the various exhibition halls: ten intense days during which the city welcomes over 400,000 visitors drawn by the fascinating novelties and designs of the nautical world.

To enjoy the beauties of Genoa, Halldis proposes alternative lodging ways such as:apartments for rent in Genoa, serviced apartments or self catering apartments as the ideal accommodation for short term rentals or vacation rentals in a flat as in your private house.

If you are planning to travel to Italy let Halldis accommodate your every need and plan the trip for you:
simply write or call us @ + 39 02