PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
There is always so much to see and do in my bella Italia. Often, it’s the simple things about Italy that give me the most pleasure, from having my first early-morning espresso at the local café or enjoying a spritz before lunch, to strolling along the passeggiata with a gelato in summer to watch the sunset. Below are some of my favourite Italian experiences…
This is one of my favourite walks in Italy. It takes you through lemon groves, vineyards and gardens, past houses and little churches, before arriving at the stunning hilltop village of Ravello. Once you get here, admire the breathtaking views from Villa Rufolo and then enjoy a well-earned rest in the cafés of the town square.
Once home to fishermen, its brightly coloured houses are a feast for the eyes! Get lost in the quaint little backstreets and alleyways before heading back to the main street for a lovely fish lunch at one of the many trattorias.
This once remote part of southern Italy is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sassi are cave-like dwellings dug into the rock, dating back to ancient times and said to be among the first human settlements in Italy. The sassi have been lovingly restored and not only form part of Italy’s rich history, but many of the dwellings have been transformed into hotels, bars and restaurants. A truly magnificent sight.
The best hot springs in Italy are in the wild Maremma area of southern Tuscany. Take a tour around this different part of Tuscany, famous for its horses and cattle, before enjoying the relaxing hot springs.
A trip to this beautiful region, where fairytale hilltop villages seem to have stopped in time, is not complete without trying a truffle delicacy. Try the local speciality of strangozzi al tartufo, a type of pasta served with shavings of truffle.
This is a unique collection of five small fishing villages literally clinging to the rock of the beautiful, rugged Ligurian Riviera. You can wander from village to village on foot, by a special train or by boat – cars are not allowed! Experience the history of these villages and how rural life used to be.
These quirky conical-shaped houses, known as trulli, were traditional ancient rural dwellings in the Puglia region. A large concentration of these delightful houses are found in the town of Alberobello, where it is possible to visit the interiors and sample what life was like.
A tram ride away from the city centre, you will find the Navigli, the old canals whose surrounding area has recently been restored into a vibrant neighbourhood. Take a boat tour to understand the history of Milan’s canals and enjoy an aperitivo in one of the trendy waterside bars and cafés.
A fascinating labyrinth of tunnels, cavities and aqueducts lie underneath Naples’ city centre. There’s a Roman theatre and you can visit the catacomb of St Gennaro – it’s an amazing experience. When you come up, head to one of the many pizzerias above ground for the best pizza in Italy.
Wherever you are in Italy, try to visit a sagra, or food festival. Each region, town and village in Italy likes to have a festival in honour of a particular food, famous of that particular area. Whether it’s seafood, peppers, tomatoes, chestnuts, a local cheese or a type of focaccia, a sagra is where you can mingle with the locals, participate in the folklore and enjoy the best produce of the area.