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A different way to look at planning your travel in Italy
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This week we're heading back to our California home. It's been a rainy time in La Lunigiana territory of Tuscany lately, but we've managed to visit some pretty interesting places, including the Etruscan Coast of Tuscany and the the Valle di Nuraghe in Sardinia. For city folks, we've put together our page of the best of Florence and have some suggestions for Roman places to visit.

The Etruscans

There is a heaping helping of arbitrary hate in the world, but almost nobody hates the Etruscans. Even their tomb frescoes reflect a happy population that didn't have a whole lot of need for expansionary war. When you start overturning stones, you can't help noticing that the Etruscans were quite advanced for their time. Along the Etruscan Coast,  starting six centuries before Christ, these ancient people took metallic ores from the mainland and from nearly Elba island and excelled at extracting copper and iron--and became excellent workers of these metals. The whole story is told at the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia, where you pick your walking trail and discover what you wish. See: Populonia Etruscan Tombs.

Valle dei Nuraghi in Sardinia

Speaking of tombs, the "fairy houses" of Sardinia, rock-cut tombs, are quite unique. From them we can learn how prehistoric people lived as the tombs reflect the housing of the time, with carved beams and wainscotting; some are tent-like. And the valley is beautiful and loaded with wildflowers in springtime. If you think of Sardinia only as a beach destination, come inland and enjoy the wonders of a different civilization. See: Necropolis of Sant'Andrea Priu.

Florence

Tuscany's biggest draw was woefully underrepresented on Wandering Italy, so we presented some of our favorite things to do in everyone's favorite Renaissance city: Florence Travel Guide. Florence is crowded, so you may wish to forgo the lines by buying tickets in advance: Florence Museum Tickets: Three to Buy in Advance.

Roman Places

Sure, you can spend a week or so in Rome and see lots of Roman sites, but the Romans expanded all over, so how about thinking of Roman sites elsewhere in Europe? Martha has listed her favorites, with lots of information for planning your trip around ancient antiquities in Italy: Ancient Roman Sites in Italy.

Speaking of Roman sites, ust this week a new website appeared on our radar called Roman Ports, focusing on the various Roman ports bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Fascinating stuff.

Around the Web

If you are considering a trip to Puglia and are on a budget, you might want to check out the interesting Gargano, that little spur on the boot. Pino of the Pizzicato B&B is extending some great offers on apartments. Two people can stay in an apartment with kitchen in July for a mere 300 euro per week.

Monte Testaccio is a fascinating heap of old Roman pottery in Rome. Katie Parla gives tours there, and everyone loves them. She's recently expanded her offerings. See: New Dates Added For Visits to Monte Testaccio.

I like my Kindle for bringing books to Italy in a sane and light way. There's a sale going on you travelers might want to know about: Amazon Kindle 6-inch - $20 Off - Father's Day Sale. Glare-Free Touchscreen Display
Thanks for your attention. Pass along this newsletter to anyone you think might be planning a vacation to Italy.

James and Martha
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