SUMMER 2010Bettoja: Rome and Florence, Italy

Summer in Rome and Florence
Traveling to Italy this summer? Make sure Rome and Florence are on your list. Arts and entertainment come alive in the summer months. Life is outside with outdoor opera, music festivals and the like, or you can just enjoy the conviviality of sitting at a table, having a beer, a white wine or a caipiroska (vodka, crushed ice, strawberries and sugar). Summer
can be hot, so here are some ideas to keep cool. During the day seek air conditioned museums and art galleries. In the evening, sample one of the many open air concerts or performances.

By day, if you want to visit the Vatican the quick way is to use the online reservation system that will save a lot of time and keep you cool, Vatican tickets. By night, try some novel tours: The Ghost in Rome Tour, a cool evening walking tour that takes you through center Rome, or try Nights at the Museum, a tour of the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums.

Contemporary Music Lovers:
Check-out Nora Jones (7/23), or Elton John and Ray Cooper (9/19) at the Parco Della Musica. Conde Nast Traveler (6/10), writes that the best acoustics are in Parco della Musica’s main concert hall.  “it's the cherry wood walls that make everything sound fantastic. It’s where you’ll get Rome’s most traditional high-culture musical experience”. For a more
iconic setting try Patti Smith's Acoustic Band at the Teatro Romano Di Ostia Antica (7/28). And it would not be summer in Rome without the Roman musical summer specialty, RockinRoma. This summer long event offers a great line-up of contemporary artists from the Cranberries to ZZ Top.

Art Lovers:
From Corot to Monet, an exhibit of over 170 impressionist paintings (some never seen before in Italy) is at the Complesso Del Vittoriano. The Age of Conquest, The Fascination of Greek Art in RomeGreek masterpieces dating back to between the third and first centuries BC is at the Capitoline Museum, Plaza del Campidoglio until Sept. 5.

Classical  Music Lovers:
Opera and ballet are performed outdoors in the Baths of Caracalla. A modernized Tosca will be performed at the Teatro Flaiano, Aug 10 to Dec 6. Classical concerts take place evenings in the gardens at the Villa Torlonia, Via Nomentana 70. According to violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie in his little article “Fiddle Trip”  For information on all of the above and more look at,, for schedule of events.

From Florence, rent  a car and drive 40 minutes to Sienna and see Il Palio, the famous horse race in the center square Piazza Del Campo. First race is held in early July and second in mid-August. There are many events surrounding the races, including historic parades in medieval costumes. A sight to behold.


The euro is more favorable now. Italy’s silks, leather, jewelry, art and home designs are fabulous. Stores are almost all air conditioned. Many designers’ shops and boutiques line the via Condotti; some interesting, artsy shops for leather, jewelry, and marble, are on tiny Via Margutta where Puccini, Stravinsky, Fellini, Picasso have lived. There is La Rinascente, the Italian department store that’s been around since 1865 and has stores in Rome and Florence ( Two recent guests found a terrific litle jewlery shop on Via Sistina: Stefano Fiori, Cotton Club, and Via Sistina 22. And now, just outside of the Massimo d’Azeglio, on via Amendola, you will find a new pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants and inviting places to sit.
In Florence, leather goods abound: shoes, wallets, purses, all at your fingertips, as well as high end fashions by designers such as Ferragamo, Armani, and Gucci (look on Via dei Tornabuoni). Great gift shopping is by the San Lorenzo church, and Mercato Nuovo where you'll find stall after stall full of scarves, gloves, belts, and leather goods.  If you get tired, go to the open air roof top cafe at Rinascente. It's hidden away in housewares, very "un-touristy", with a fabulous view overlooking the Piazza della Republica.
Resort style accommodations minutes from center Florence.
After a day of sightseeing and museum going in Florence, stay at the Bettoja Hotels' Relais Certosa. Surrounded by 68 acres of cypress and olive trees, the Relais Certosa offers a  retreat. A dip in the pool followed by a delicious dinner and stroll to the neighboring monastery in the cool evening sounds like a wonderful idea. You can even try a game of tennis. The rates are very reasonable, and the atmosphere is perfect for families and couples. Check out our summer specials.

For more information on the Bettoja Hotels accommodations,

Please call, 800-783-6904


Eat like Italians in a Roman home!
In Arthur Frommer's weekly column Budget Travel (Palm Beach Post, May, 2010) he writes about "...discovering a unique new way to enliven and expand your appreciation of Italy by arranging to have an authentic multi-course dinner with an Italian family in their home. It costs a registration fee of 3 euros, then 35 euros for the magnificent feast itself (including wine)." For details check out . The focus is on antique recipes particular to the region, and a sense of hospitality. The hosts are called Cesarines. Cesarines and are hand picked people who are repositories of the ancient knowledge of Italian cookery. In Rome the Cesarine is Paola and the dinner takes place in an Umbertine palazzo in the heart of Rome. This is a fascinating website especially for "foodies". 
You make no mistake if you decide to dine at the Mediterraneo's La Terrazza, its rooftop restaurant with a spectacular view and delicious Bettoja food. Although no longer cooking for our guests, Mrs. Bettoja was our resident Cesarine and many of her Roman iconic dishes can be sampled here.
Summer Packages
All the Bettoja Hotels offer summer packages for July and August, check-out the Bettoja Hotels' website for our specials; buy 2 nights get 3 nights, buy 3 nights get 4 nights or many packages that include sighseeing tours, bus and museum passes, or dinners for two. All packages are in the special offers section of each hotel and are available for all Rome hotels; Mediterraneo, Massimo D'Azeglio, Atlantico and Nord Nuova Roma and in Florence at the Relais Certosa.


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