Two and a bit hours from Bristol heading south and you're in Rome. Presuming you’re flying and not walking. For many years we chose not to link with western European countries but having discovered Italy through our links with Uherske Hradiste (who had links with the small town of Priverno) we remembered how lovely it was.
Rome is the ancient capital of Europe. When Europe was united by Pax Romanus. Combine the wonders of Ancient Rome, its Coliseum, Parthenon, the Centro Storico, with its religious heritage -the Vatican and the many spectacular chuches and put it all together in a modern Italian context – then add in the usually wonderful weather, and you've got the perfect tour destination.
Just south of the Italian capital is the province of Lazio - where you can find the region of Latina and the small mountain Town of Priverno. From this modest location you can explore an area close enough to the capital and yet rich enough in variety to get to know Italy, its history and its people in a short programmed stay. The Pontine Marshes, reclaimed by Mussolini in the 1930's, now provide arable farmland and the artificial dunes created long strands of empty beaches. Upon one is the Oasa di Kufra, a beach hotel next to the Town of Sabaudia, looking out across the Tyrhenean Sea with its magnificent sunsets.
To the North is the seaside port Town of Anzio – scene of the 1944 World War two landings and the the South the imposing heights of the Monte Cassino Monastery – another bloody encounter from the same War, fought over by troops of almost twenty nations until it was eventually the Polish who conquered its summit and where today their soldiers lay buried where they fell in an ornate and splendid cemetery.
Not far from Priverno is the mountain castle Town of Sermonetta, home of the Borgia family whilst a while further south you reach the regional centre of Naples with its famous volcano Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii.
Apart from Rome and the South we also include the remarkable Italian floating city of Venice in our programme – usually combined with a trip to Slovenia and the former Yugoslavia.