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NEW! Luxury culinary tours with TV celebrity chef, Reza Mahammad

We are delighted to be working exclusively with Tastes of Turkey on some very special culinary tours led by TV celebrity chef, Reza Mahammad. Take a look at the website - www.travelwithreza.com for more information.

Memorial de Caen and Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema for School Groups

Following last year’s amazing video from Memorial de Caen for the general public, we are delighted to present you with the Memorial de Caen’s brand new video for School Groups. This is a short introduction to the Memorial de Caen and Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema showing the range and the...

Ciao Roma!

A brief trip to Rome was a very welcome respite from the rain, rain and more rain that we’ve been enduring in the UK for the last few months. Bright blue skies, a freshness in the air and it certainly feels like spring is on its way in the City of Fountains.

I was meeting the tour guide...

Ciao Roma!

Wed, 26/02/2014 - 12:51pm

A brief trip to Rome was a very welcome respite from the rain, rain and more rain that we’ve been enduring in the UK for the last few months. Bright blue skies, a freshness in the air and it certainly feels like spring is on its way in the City of Fountains.

I was meeting the tour guide who will be looking after our Italian Gardens Tour in late April and checking out the service suppliers and hotels – something we try to do on a regular basis. In the travel industry so much depends on keeping up to date with the very latest developments and building good working relationships with suppliers.

Even visiting Rome at this off peak time of year, the city was bustling – it’s not hard to imagine how congested it becomes in the height of summer. As I walked around the city centre, where huge areas of old Rome are preserved, it’s very easy to envisage the toga-clad Romans going about their everyday life in the streets and buildings that remain. It struck me how easily ancient Rome sits side by side modern day living, traffic, business – just many centuries apart!

Making my way to Rome central Termini I purchased a very reasonably priced train ticket to Frascati – my next port of call, and famous of course for its wine of the region. I was staying at the Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana which enjoys an enviable position less than 10 minutes’ drive from the town centre in the hills overlooking Frascati and Rome. What a view!! This grand Villa, dating from 1580 has been enlarged and renovated over the centuries and todays private owners are dedicated to keeping facilities and standards in the 21st century without compromising the original beauty of the building. Staff are courteous, welcoming and professional and the restaurant prides itself on cooking everything from scratch using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. A very reasonably priced set menu for lunch offered 3 courses and water for €24 a head proving excellent value and the need for an afternoon ‘riposo’. Our group will be staying here for two nights visiting gardens in the area south of Rome and preferring the quiet of the Frascati hillside to the bustle of the city. As night fell, there was a similarly spectacular view from the villa of Rome and all its twinkling lights – as far as the eye could see. A very wise choice of location for those builders in the 1500’s!!

The next morning, another meeting before departing for the airport and returning to London – guess what, it’s raining! But after a few days in Rome, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. We are lucky to have Europe and all it offers on our doorstep. A weekend break in any of Europe’s city centres offers a unique experience and when it finally stops raining – there’s certainly no place like home!

View over Rome from Villa Tuscolana