There’s a film crew in town. A cavalcade of trucks packed with wires, cameras and other bits of kit dwarfs Matera’s Via Madonna della Virtu, a road that runs a halo-like ring around the city’s Gravina Ravine.
Museums and galleries across the British Isles are offering holidays so fine, they’re almost works of art
The past few years have seen many of our museums, galleries and learned societies team up with specialist tour operators to create unique itineraries that combine the institution’s expertise and the travel company’s know-how. Together, their clout and connections mean you can enjoy exclusive access to little-seen exhibits, or visits outside opening hours. Here’s our pick of the trips for 2013.
Hedonists may be enjoying a love affair with Croatia’s clutch of summer music festivals, yet its clusters of central islands, from alluring Hvar to the blissful tranquility of Murter, are timeless landscapes of lavender fields, limpid waters and strange geology.
Follow a new 110-mile walking route, the Channel Islands Way, to discover the secrets of this wild and surprising archipelago that’s not quite French, not quite English but completely charming.
Travel notes: Independent on Sunday, 14 August 2011
If you’re packing for the Italian beach this summer, there is a list of essential kit to consider. Swimming togs in this season’s colours are clearly essential – coral pink and orange since you ask, and that includes you, chaps. As an accessory you will likely need the hide of a rhino or the patience of a saint.
“Pee pee,” says the waitress hovering at my table with a bottle of water. I’ve arrived at La Residence, a spa hotel on the Mediterranean coast near Carthage, in Tunisia, sister to the Mauritius outpost, just in time for lunch.
Forte dei Marmi’s newest hotel looks like it belongs in Miami and its pricey villas are full of Russians. And yet this Tuscan resort is trying very hard to remain authentic, says Sarah Barrell
This is not my usual Italian welcoming party – my in-laws prefer something a little less showy – but then I’ve never been to Forte dei Marmi, and by Italian standards it’s a fairly unique resort. Given that this seaside town has most lately been associated with, if not the Russian mafia, then that country’s wealthy elite, my transfer vehicle seems appropriate.
I find myself on Forte dei Marmi’s narrow, pine-shaded streets within half an hour of leaving Pisa airport. Nowhere are the spaghetti roads and dramatic cliffy drops into hidden, rocky bays that characterise stellar Italian resorts such as Amalfi or Portofino. Here, a landscape of square, modern villas and contemporary takes on country houses line a neat street grid. A palm stretches up from behind a gated driveway, an electric-blue sports car sit in front of a manicured lawn. Inland, behind this orderly patchwork, are the elegant folds of the Apuan Alps, in front, a stretch of golden sand.
Fix up, look sharp! It’s almost a month into 2010; high time you started thinking about that VIP guest list in the sun. This year clubland serves up some surprises when it comes to hotspots and the biggest comes from a small Mediterranean island.
It’s got glitz, it’s got glamour, and it’s got some of the best seafood you’ll taste in the whole of Italy. Sarah Barrell reveals how to get the best out of a holiday in Liguria
Motorways: not generally a favourite with summer-holidaying families. Yet the road running along Liguria’s coast, from the French border to Tuscany, offers views that are almost reason alone to visit this, the “Italian Riviera”.
Narrow gallerie (tunnels) shuttle you through craggy mountains that plunge with an urgent grace down to the sea. Blink and whip your shades back on as you pop out of the end of each tunnel to be repeatedly dazzled by glimpses of sparkling azure bays, with terracotta-roofed buildings piled high up the mountainside. It’s so impressive even wilting children in the back seat will “oooh” and “ahh”.
A new film is about to put this Italian port in the spotlight. Sarah Barrell offers a guide to the sights for new, and returning visitors.
This underrated port is about to become a film star. A new thriller, simply entitled “Genova” and starring Colin Firth, uses the winding alleys and gothic atmosphere of this Ligurian city to great effect and puts the spotlight on its rich 16th and 17th-century architecture.
Genoa is a city defined by its port: a working hub for vast cruise boats and cargo containers. The old town climbs directly out of this watery, industrial heart, a glorious, vertiginous mess of medieval buildings piled up against the base of the steep Apennine mountains – it’s no surprise Henry James described it as “the most winding, incoherent of cities”.