Do you dream of taking a trip to Italy? So do we! This week we are joined by Italian-native Angelo Carotenuto from LivItaly to get his tips on how to plan your first trip to Italy. We talk through all the fun ways to explore Rome, Florence, and Venice.
Our presenting sponsor is LivItaly Tours. This family owned business offers over 140 tours and experiences all around Italy, and soon to come Spain. Dedicated to making travelers truly “live” the local culture, LivItaly keeps its groups small and intimate. Don’t just visit Italy, live it!
ON THE PODCAST
00:32 – Talking with Kim and Tamara
02:25 – Talking with Kim about her girlfriend getaway
03:05 – Experience on a UTV
04:50 – Foodie trails in Arizona
06:10 – Segway tour through the desert
09:15 – Spa with the girlfriends
10:40 – Tips for Phoenix, AZ
13:20 – Arizona in the summer
15:10 – Talking with Angelo
16:52 – About LivItaly Tours
21:55 – Best times to visit Italy
25:00 – How long to stay
26:20 – Where else to go on a second trip
29:35 – Popular attractions in Rome
33:25 – Golf cart through Rome
35:35 – Florence with Kids
38:15 – Carrera marble quarries
40:18 – Angelo’s five favorite cities in Tuscany
41:32 – Exploring Venice
44:20 – Night in Venice
45:55 – The Islands of Venice
47:57 – The little towns of the peninsula
53:10 – Experience an Opera in Arena di Verona
54:50 – Where to take a family photo
56:00 – Favorite travel gear
59:20 – Contacting LivItlay
1:00:40 – Tip of the week
ABOUT ANGELO CAROTENUTO
Angelo Carotenuto is born in Italy from an American mother and a Neapolitan father. After attending public Italian school up until the age of 18, he moved to United States of America to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles. He pursued his BA in acting and also studied at the London Dramatic Arts perfectioning his art. He often loved to take his friends and family members around, proud of his cultural heritage and at ease in front of crowds. He got into the tour guiding job after singing and acting with an American cast in Mozart’s Magic Flute in Rome, at the majestic Courtyard of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza. A few of the cast members decided to never go back to the States and together with Angelo they got into the tour guiding business.
Angelo worked for companies of all sorts of shape and form, creating an outstanding CV and receiving thousands of 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor and other social channels. He then realized that there was a niche of tourism that needed more attention. A segment of people that were actually looking for authentic emotions and that valued their dream of coming to Italy as extraordinary and needed to pursue every aspect they had ever dreamt of: food, wine, art, culture, soccer, fashion, Ferrari, etc. He then founded LivItaly Tours with the intent of creating services that matched people’s dreams of Italy and that allowed them to authentically experience all of them, however and whenever they wanted, a la carte, throughout their vacation. Along with this, knowing that nobody dreamt about following a flag, in large groups, and having dirty headsets in their ears, he decided that even the most traditional of tours, needed to be an experience and opted to cap small group tours at max 6 people and offer private tours, all at competitive pricing.
The mixture of the two ingredients: the quality of the tours and the variety of the offer, made LivItaly a leader in the Italian industry. With the help of Kristin, his wife, they brought LivItaly to be recognized internationally and partner and collaborate with the most infallible businesses of the world.
LivItaly’s wide range of offerings include truly fantastic family tours and activities in almost every corner of the peninsula. Activities dedicated to provide entertainment to all family members, give the parents the ability to trust and relax while touring and making sure children go back with fond memories of their time in Italy.
PLANNING A TRIP TO ITALY (what you need to know):
- If it is your first time visiting Italy, start off your adventures by spending 2-3 days in Venice, continuing to Florence for another 2 days with a possible day trip to the Tuscan Countryside, then round out your trip will 4 days in Rome. Since these are major cities to visit there is an abundance of travel options in between each.
- Going on a trip to Italy for the second time, some other great destinations would be to travel to the southern parts of Italy exploring Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast or Milan and Lake Como.
- The Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Catacombs are three must do spots to visit in Rome. If you are traveling with children and are worried that they get bored or seem uninterested in exploring these destinations in their entirety, then look for companies like LivItaly that offer these experiences with a scavenger/treasure hunt to keep your children interested. Traveling with teens there are options for virtual reality tours that really bring you into the world the tour guide is talking about.
- Recommended museums to visit with your kids in Florence would be the Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accedemia that features the David. The Uffizi can get a little overwhelming, this museum is essentially like the Vatican without as much variety.
- Visiting the Carrera Marble quarries is a fantastic experience. The area is 19 miles of purily Carrera marble in mountains that have been dug for two thousand years. This is where Michelangelo got the marble he used for the sculpture of David. You can get a tour that will drive you around the site through man made caves and mountains that have been carved by both ancient Romans and modern machinery. You can also take a sculpting class to carve your initials into your piece of marble.
- In Venice, plan to tour St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace.
- While the island of Murano is well known for its glass making factories and demonstrations, the island with beautiful-colored fishermens’ homes is Burano. Burano is actually farther out on the lagoon and will take about an hour longer to get to than Murano.
BEST PLACE TO TAKE FAMILY PHOTO
In Florence you can take a photo in front of a fake David statue in Piazza della Signoria. In Rome a wonderful spot will be at the top of the Castel Sant’Angelo under the bronze statue of the archangel. From there you can see the Dome of St. Peters and the rest of the view is amazing.
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Angelo loves his Nike sneakers to walk all over the cities and explore the area. Keep in mind when you are packing that the rules for a lot of the churches are that your knees and shoulders must be covered.
TIP OF THE WEEK
If you are headed to Italy and also want to visit Tuscany, be sure to listen to our Tuscany episode. Keep in mind that if you are staying in Tuscany you will really need a week because the rentals there are only booked for a Saturday to Saturday stay.
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