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How many times have you visited Italy?
Around 21 times, and counting!
Describe your favourite memory of a trip to Italy.
Sitting with a Prosecco on the terrace at the Excelsior Palace in Taormina, watching Mount Etna spurt lava in the darkness.
What do you love about Italy?
The food and wine! I also love the whole feel of the country – it never seems too touristy, just locals going about their day-to-day routines, and you can be a part of it for a while. It’s wonderful.
My favourite destinations would have to be Tuscany for the countryside, Lake Garda as I love the charming little towns that line the shores, and Venice, as I enjoy getting lost in the cobbled lanes and succumbing to another pistachio gelato to keep me going!
What would be your recommended ‘hidden gem’?
A lovely restaurant in Malcesine, Lake Garda, called Restaurant La Pace. As well as serving amazing food (the prawn carbonara in particular), they make their own limoncello which is some of the best I have ever tried.
Any favourite hotels?
I love the Savoia and Jolanda in Venice – it’s only small but has so much charm. The people there are lovely, too. If you are looking for something a little bit more modern, I love to recommend the UNA Hotel Versilia on the Tuscany Coast as it’s a great contemporary hotel.
For those looking to enjoy stunning views, the Canne Bianchi Hotel in Puglia is perfect thanks to its location right on the beach. And, of course, the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina which is simply perfect.
What would your dream multi-centre itinerary be?
Tuscany for a week, driving around the Chianti area. I would then like to spend a few nights in Florence, before moving over to Sardinia for a seven-night stay by the beach.