Italywithfriendstravel’s Weblog

December 1, 2015

#NaplesVacations #ItalyVacations #JessKalinowsky #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa 24|7

#NaplesVacations #ItalyVacations

#JessKalinowsky #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa 24|7
Naples is a city of warmth and enthusiasm. Its ambience is passionate and intense. In fact, Naples retains a reputation as the most vibrant city in Italy.

Naples stretches out along the scenic Bay of Naples from Piazza Garibaldi in the east to Mergellina in the west. At its back is lofty Vomero Hill. From Stazione Centrale, on Piazza Garibaldi, Corso Umberto I (known as the “Rettifilo”), a walking tour would head southwest to the monumental city center, around the piazzas Bovio, Municipio, and Trieste e Trento to the Palazzo Reale, Teatro San Carlo, and Galleria Umberto Primo. Central Naples is best explored on foot, as traffic jams of all sorts are commonplace. It is wise to take a bus or cable car (funicular) to a general area and then proceed on foot.

To the north are the historic districts of old Naples, to the south lies the port. Farther west along the bay are the fashionable neighborhoods of Santa Lucia and Chiaia, and finally the waterfront district of Mergellina. The residential area of Vomero sits on the steep hills rising above Chiaia and downtown. At the center is the picturesque quarter of Spaccanapoli, the heart of the historic center.

Italy Bay of Naples G Adventures

The area surrounding Naples has a Greco-Roman history. The Greeks set out to Hellenize Italy’s southern regions in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE by settling at Cumae. Later, the Romans inhabited the area. Both groups left ruins of archeological significance. The area west of Naples is known as the Campi Flegrei: literally, the fields of fire. These were described by the ancient Greeks as the entrance to Hades and were immortalized in literature as the “Elysian Fields”, a paradise for the deserving dead. Italy’s two major seismic faults intersect at that point, and the whole area floats freely on a mass of molten lava very close to the surface.

From Naples, visitors can travel down the coast to Pompei and the Sorrento Peninsula, both of which can be reached by train. A boat trip to Sorrento gives the opportunity for a spectacular view of Naples from the sea. Other side trips that should not be missed are to the slopes of Vesuvius where once flourished the upscale, first century city of Pompeii; the archeological site at Herculaneum, and the lovely islands of Capri and Ischia. These tiny islands with their scenic beauty, picturesque villages, and crystal clear waters welcome more than two million visitors annually.

Neapolitan cuisine is famous worldwide, and ranks among the best in Italy. There is a strong emphasis on the freshest fish and seafood and local fruits and vegetables form the fertile volcanic soil of the region. Local wines of note are Lacryma Christi and Greco di Tufo. Limoncello is a delicately flavored lemon liqueur that is made all along the neighboring coast.

Italy Naples Street Food

Dining in a Neapolitan restaurant is traditionally a festive occasion accompanied by a wide variety of savory pasta and thin crusted, tasty pizza dishes baked in wood-fired ovens. Although pizza, pasta, and seafood dishes are the symbols of Neapolitan cuisine, Naples is also known for its fine cheeses (including mozzarella), and its delicious ice cream and superb pastries. Numerous salamis and excellent locally produced prosciutto round out the wide array of culinary possibilities.

The finest shopping area lies around Piazza dei Martiri and along Via dei Mille, Via Calabritto, Via Toledo, and Via Chiaia. Along these streets can be found outlets fo Italy’s top designers, as well as local stores selling fine leather goods. There is more commercial shopping between Piazza Trieste e Trento and Piazza Dante. Jewelers abound near Via San Biagio as do the crafters of traditional nativity figurines.

Coral is much sought after by collectors. Much of the coral is now sent to Naples from Thailand, but it’s still shaped into fine jewelry at the workrooms at Torre del Greco, on the outskirts of Naples, off the Naples-Pompeii highway. Cameos are also made there.

In recent years, Naples has made world headlines for its cultural renaissance and its proactive stance against crime. The mayor received a national government grant of $30 million to make Naples safer and more to enhance its appearance, and has been aided by a group of concerned citizens who since 1984 have consistently collected funds for the upkeep of the city’s treasures and monuments. The result of this widespread project has been a resurgence of cultural activity among the city’s musicians, writers, moviemakers, artists, and playwrights. The Neapolitan art scene has been revitalized.

Film companies, following in the footsteps of Neapolitan directors such as Francesco Rossi and Gabriele Salvatore, are choosing to shoot in Naples once again. Neapolitan writers are gaining increasing recognition, especially Ermanno Rea for Mistero Napolitano and Gabriele Frasca for his poems. Naples is now becoming popular with a younger generation, especially those from countries to the north. They flood into the city and lend it a new vitality.

Naples, the birthplace of both Sophia Loren and Enrico Caruso, is host to the entire spectrum of entertainment offerings. Restaurants traditionally have musicians serenading their patrons, classical music and opera are high on the list at Teatro San Carlo with performances from October through May. Rock groups are born in Naples on a regular basis, yet at the same time, interest in traditional Neapolitan music is increasing. Founded by a group of young Neapolitans, the Falso Movimento troupe has brought new life to the city’s theatrical scene. The hippest night life is said to be at the bars and cafes on Piazza Bellini, near Piazza Dante.

Sophia Loren 80

In a word, Naples is a friendly place. It has the feel of coming home to a place of beauty and timelessness that is at the same time in a perpetual state of excitement and celebration of life.
Italy Naples Street Food!!!! Simply the best! Give us your travel dates and we will plan you The Best Value vacation based on your budget.


Had the please of being at a dinner table with Ms. Loren and her son Carlo Ponti Jr. in Milano at the Westin Hotel after a concert he conducted.

Carlo Ponti jr


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‪#‎FlorenceVacations‬ ‪#‎ItalyVacations‬ #‎JessKalinowsky ‬‪#‎FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa‬ 24|7

‪#‎FlorenceVacations‬ ‪#‎ItalyVacations‬ 

‪#‎JessKalinowsky  ‬‪#‎FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa‬ 24|7
Florence (Firenze in Italian) is the capital of the region of Tuscany, on Italy’s northwest coast. Florence is a small city, located in the Arno River valley, and surrounded by olive-planted hills on the north and south. It extends west and slightly east along the Arno valley with suburbs and light industry. The centro storico (historic center), where visitors spend most of their time, is a tight tangle of medieval streets and piazze (squares). Most of Florence, and the majority of the tourist sites, lie north of the river, within a vintage artisan’s working-class neighborhood wedged between the Arno and the hills on the south side.

The center is encircled by a traffic ring of wide boulevards, known as the Viali, that were created in the late 1800s by tearing down the city’s medieval walls. Since the 14th century the cultural heart of the city has been the Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall), the Uffizi Gallery and a large number of publicly displayed world famous sculptures.

In the Renaissance period, Florence was one of the most powerful and influential of the city states. The wealthy and powerful de’ Medici family ruled the city almost continuously from 1434 to 1743 and had a great influence on the architecture and arts. They built many palaces and commissioned such artists as Michelangelo to design and decorate them.

Italy Florence Michelangelo's David, Accademia

In fact, Florence is called the capital of the arts. From the 13th to the 16th century it was a seemingly endless source of creative masterpieces and Italian genius. Both Dante and Michelangelo were born there. Boccaccio wrote his ‘Decameron’ in Florence. The Italian Renaissance (Europe’s richest cultural period ) began in Florence when the artist Brunelleschi finished the Duomo, the cathedral, with the huge dome.

Florence is also a city of incomparable indoor pleasures. Its chapels, galleries and museums are an inexhaustible treasure, capturing the complex, often elusive spirit of the Renaissance more fully than any other place in the country.

Florence is a walking city. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll between the two most often visited sights, the Duomo and the Uffizi, in less than five minutes. The walk from the most northerly point, San Marco with its Fra’ Angelico frescoes and the Accademia with Michelangelo’s David, to the most southerly, the Pitti Palace across the Arno, should take no more than 30 minutes. From Santa Maria Novella rail station across town to Santa Croce is an easy 20 to 30 minute walk.

Most of the streets were designed to handle the moderate pedestrian traffic and occasional horse-drawn cart of a medieval city. Sidewalks, where they exist, are narrow; often less than two feet wide. Though much of the centro storico is supposedly closed to traffic, taxis, residents with parking permits, people without permits who drive there anyway, and the endless stream of noisy motorini (mopeds) still enter, drive and park.

Planning is extremely important when visiting Florence. Most visitors come to the city with a common purpose: to spend hours viewing and absorbing the beauty and wonder of Florentine works of art and architecture. However, trying to pack too much into a single, brief visit can result in cultural overload. Florence is not the choice of those seeking a seaside resort or a holiday with small children. Older children, well disciplined, and well prepared, can benefit from accompanying their parents on a tour of the museums, palaces, and churches, but interest for most youngsters will rapidly wane in the crush of crowds and intense heat of the small city. Adult tempers will fray as well. Boboli Gardens can provide a respite from the heat and activity, but the landscaped grounds of the Pitti Palace are designed to rest the eyes and delight the imagination. It is not primarily a playground.

Festivals, shopping, feasts for the senses along every street, in every square, and in every museum: these are the gifts Florence offers to the visitor.

Italy Florence Apicius cooking school

Tuscany is known for its fine culinary traditions – in particular, its olive oil, meat dishes and classic Chianti. Restaurants of every type, offering bills of fare ranging from fast food to world-class cuisine abound, and there are clusters of little cafés in every neighborhood. Tuscan food is simple and excellent with a variety of bean dishes, soups, pork dishes, grilled meats and vegetables. Fine Tuscan wines accompany the meal.

The Tuscan economy is rooted in craft traditions. The top designers of Milan use the textile factories of Florence for the execution of their designs. Gold working has been perfected over the centuries in workshops near the Ponte Vecchio, where jewelry is produced that is sold throughout Europe. Visitors will find a beautiful assortment of leather goods, including shoes, as well. Marbled paper, handmade perfumes and toiletries, decorative ceramic pieces, and sculpture are also locally produced.

When planning a visit to Tuscany, put its small geographical size and its many opportunities for exploration in perspective, and allow time to savor its infinite possibilities.
Give us your preferred travel dates and we will create The Best Value tour to fit your budget. 24|7|365Italy Florence Food Wine

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‪#‎RomeVacations‬ ‪#‎ItalyVacations‬ ‪#‎JessKalinowsky‬ ‪#‎FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa‬ 24|7

‪#‎RomeVacations‬ ‪#‎ItalyVacations‬ ‪#‎JessKalinowsky‬ ‪

#‎FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa‬ 24|7
Rome is more than a fascinating European capital city; it is a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. Rome is halfway down Italy’s western coast, about 12 miles inland. It has been said that every road in Rome leads to eternity. The city is vast, though the historic center is quite small. The whole experience of Rome is so powerful as to be almost overwhelming at times. The best way to prepare for a visit is to study a little of the history of the region, to be as well rested as possible, and to arrange an itinerary that allows time to explore, rest, and reflect on the magnificence of it all.
There is a steady stream of spectacular festivals, exhibits and events for the whole family. Guided walking tours and bus tours for every energy level and budget provide great assistance in becoming acquainted with the past and present of this amazing city. Rome is a city in which it is recommended that driving and walking anywhere near areas of traffic be avoided if possible. The streets are extremely congested, and drivers are not considered to be responsible for watching out for pedestrians. The public transportation is excellent and offers the convenience of buses and subways at a nominal cost.
Whether the visitor is seeking a quiet, romantic café on the Campo de’ Fiori; a fast food McDonald’s with air conditioning on the Piazza della Repubblica or a cozy and intimate family operated restaurant with one or two exquisitely prepared selections of the day on the Piazza Santa Maria, there is great food for every taste.Italy Rome Vatican-CityItaly Rome Vatican staircase
The city boasts a wide variety of shopping opportunities. Spanish Square presents high fashion selections while the more modestly priced clothing is to be found on the Via del Corso and Via Tritone. North of Spanish Square are areas famous for their antique shops and art galleries. Porta Portese hosts a huge flea market every Sunday morning.
Rome does not go to sleep at sunset. Open air symphonic concerts, ballet and opera performances, live rock and jazz are all available.
Rome lays claim to two pro football teams, Roma and Lazio. Rivalry is fierce between them. Basketball is gaining in popularity. It is played in the Palazzo dello Sport designed for the 1960 Olympics.
The city’s 300 fountains, its sculpture, its glorious panorama of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modern art, music and architecture are all part of the reason that Pope Gregory XIVs remark in the 16th century is still true today. Pope Gregory said of the joys of exploring and discovering the city, “a lifetime is not enough.”
Give us your preferred dates of travel and we will get you The Best Value for your budget. JESS@FriendsTravel.comFriends Travel NEW Bus Card Front 4Aprl14Sistine Chapel

Italy Rome All Roads Lead to Rom

October 17, 2015

#SicilyTour #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa #JessKalinowsky


Discover Sicily with one of our private tours tailored to your needs.



Take the opportunity to visit a unique place in the world.

Contact us for mountain biking, hiking with licensed guides and caving.







Taormina certainly needs no introduction, its reputation precedes it all over the world. Its location, nestled between Mount Taurus and the beautiful beach below, its history and its architecture, make Taormina the first place to see when you visit Sicily.





“Six times destroyed and six times reborn”, Catania is thousands of years old, with a history portrayed through a sequence of dominations, the ruins of which enrich Sicily’s artistic, architectural and cultural heritage.






Siracusa is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Sicily.

The tour includes a visit to the Greek archaeological area, the island of Ortigia and the boat trip on the River Ciane.





AEOLIAN ISLANDS1024px-Liparic_Islands

When in Sicily, and with enough time to spend, one of the most charming itineraries is the Aeolian Islands tour.

The archipelago is an incredible and unique place for its naturalistic features, in which rock beaches and a crystal clear sea mix up with volcanic promontories, a flourishing vegetation and a relaxed, sometimes magical and unreal atmosphere.



Agrigento_concordia-templeAGRIGENTO AND PIAZZA ARMERINA

“Such a glorious spring view as we enjoyed at sunset today will most assuredly never meet our eyes again in one lifetime. Modem Girgenti stands on the lofty site of the ancient fortifications, an extent sufficient for the present population. From our window we looked over the broad but gentle declivity, on which stood the ancient town, which is now entirely covered with gardens and vineyards, beneath whose verdure it would be lorg before one thought of looking for the quarters of an ancient city. However, towards the southern end of the green and flowering spot the Temple of Concord rears itself, while on the east are a few remains of the Temple of Juno.”

(Goethe, Italian Journey)




Palermo is a beautiful cultural melting-pot. In its streets you can hear echoing Carthaginians, Greeks, Byzantine, Arabs and Normans.





il-sorriso-di-angelica-andra-in-onda-il-15-aprileDETECTIVE MONTALBANO’S SICILY

The tour takes you to discover the imaginary Vigata, the house of Marinella and many other places immortalized in the 26 episodes of the series.

Lunch can be arranged in the restaurant where most of the series’ convivial scenes were shot.



cannoli_di_piana_degli_albanesiFOOD & WINE TOURS

Sicily Grand Tour offers you the opportunity to explore the Region’s vast culinary heritage, with tours aimed at discovering the island’s authentic flavors and with wine and honey tasting sessions at wineries and farms.




rocche_dell_argimusco_2012_38_20120614_1206837365MONTALBANO ELICONA

Winner of the “Il Borgo dei Borghi 2015″ prize  in RAI-3 TV show “Alle falde del Kilimangiaro”, Montalbano Elicona has a rich historical, cultural and environmental heritage and something truly magical about it.





Discover the wonderful South-East territory with its magnificent baroque heritage and its superb beaches such as Calamosche, Cavagrande and others.





Do you wish to go elsewhere? We’ll take you there.


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May 8, 2014




#FriendsTravelTuscanWay offers you a unique and rare opportunity to live and experience life, as it really is, in Tuscany. We bring together and share the fine, quaint and rich elements through our Tuscan cooking courses, and culinary tours in Tuscany. You will will be immersed in the culture and history from within the cities and towns of Tuscany.

Our #FriendsTravelTuscanWayCookingClassesTours include Everything *
Ground Transportation to and from Rome or Florence airports and train stations
Accommodations and use of all villa or property facilities
All meals: Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner as indicated for a specific travel package
Exceptional Tuscan wines during dinner & after dinner liquors
Free unlimited House Wine, tea and coffee
For most programs (4) cooking lessons, 3-4 hours each
Daily guided tours, wine-tastings at both prestigious and smaller family run cellars
Apron, recipe book and certificate of completion

+ Add #DiscountedAirfares First Class, Business Class, or Coach.

Many of the Italian recipes you will learn and prepare in our hands-on cooking courses have been in Tuscan families for generations, and are cooked with the same Italian flair and love of family, friends and good wines as Carlo Innocenti’s great, great grandmother did in her own Tuscan country cucina. All the produce used in this Italian regional cooking course is organically grown; you will never see the inside of a supermarket or taste a store-bought tomato on one of our cooking and cultural tours! All foods are personally selected farm fresh from local farmers and open air markets by our Tuscan chefs. Our chef will personally escort you to the market and teach you how to select the freshest, most flavorful Tuscan foods available, the first lesson in fine Italian cooking.

#FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa JESS Kalinowsky 24|7|365


If you have a group, it will be escorted by a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef. 

Italy Tuscany farmhouse-in-rolling-hills-val-d-orcia-san-quirico-d-orcia

cooking-the-pastaTuscany Cook School the-fixingsFriends Travel NEW Bus Card Front 4Aprl14

April 10, 2014

Reasons to Travel to Italy #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa

  1. Honeymoons | Destination Weddings
  2. Cooking vacations
  3. Best of Provence 
  4. Tuscany on a palate
  5. Food and Wine Tours
  6. Loire Valley
  7. Burgundy
  8. JESS Kalinowsky
  9. 24|7|365
  10. FriendsTravel, LLP – California

#RomanHoliday #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa JESS Kalinowsky 24|7|365

Filed under: Europe,Italy,La Dolce Vita,Roman Holiday — italywithfriendstravel @ 11:09 pm

#RomanHoliday #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa JESS Kalinowsky 24|7|365

Filed under: Europe,Hotels,Italy,La Dolce Vita,Roman Holiday,Rome — romewithfriendstravel @ 11:01 pm Edit This

Rome can’t be toured in a day, either. The city feels like the exhibit halls of a giant outdoor museum, a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and mind-boggling historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, drop your jaw at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and fuel up on cappuccino for an afternoon of shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Dig into a plate of fresh pasta, some succulent fried artichokes, or a tender oxtail stew for one of the best meals of your life.

Let us help you Plan your trip to Rome!
#FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa Since 1985
JESS Kalinowsky 24|7|365

Don’t miss
Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini
Galleria Borghese.

Globus Worldwide Tours and Cruises


Italy Rome Colosseum sunriseItaly Rome Trevi Fountain sunsetItaly roman_holiday_01Italy roman-holiday Gregory Peck Aubrey Hepburn La Dolce Vita

March 24, 2014

Italy Panorama with Friends Travel!

12 1/2 mins.  best viewed on a computer, but probably pretty good on iPhone. 

Please click on the link and take a 12.5 minute tour of Italy!


Italy map regions

December 24, 2013

#ItalyWithFriendsTravel #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCA

Click to see Italy in motion!

Venice Italy Gondola, the way to get around Venice

Venice Italy Gondola ride waiting just for you!

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Tuscany Castello di Casole Italy

Tuscany Castello di Casole Italy, waiting just for you! 

May 31, 2012

#FriendsTravel Italy JESS Kalinowsky

Filed under: Uncategorized — italywithfriendstravel @ 1:09 am
Verona Italy

Verona Italy waiting just for you!

Venice Italy Gondola, the way to get around Venice
Venice Italy Gondola ride waiting just for you!

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