I absolutely love to travel, and Italy might be one of my favourite countries to visit. The food, the art, the weather, my rudimentary grasp of Italian — it’s all so perfectly charming. And there’s something to do in every season, whatever the weather. I’ve loved every Italian experience I’ve ever had: Florence, Siena, Cinque Terre, Venice, Milan, Portofino — and there’s still so much more to see!
Inspired by my recent FMTY to Venice, I decided to compile a list of the other places in Italy that I’m desperate to go to. And if you’ve read my guide to Venice, you know how good I am at pulling together an itinerary — so next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway with a hilarious, beautiful and modest travel companion escort, why not pick one of these and let me organise the perfect weekend for us?
Umbria: medieval towns, truffles, wines — seems perfect, no? Nicknamed the Green Heart of Italy, with the highest consumption of pork per capita, Umbria is a true foodie dream — are you up for a wild boar hunt, or a visit to a black truffle farm? Stanley Tucci is apparently big fan of Umbria! And it’s equidistant from Florence and Rome — road trip, anyone?
Lake Como: lakeside towns, pine-swathed mountains, neo-classical architecture, Alpine foothills and stunning scenes are on full view in this beautiful part of Lombardy, which really needs no introduction. And how about crossing over the border to have dinner in Italianate Switzerland?
Sicily: sparkling seas, flowery meadows, a smoky volcano — Sicily is truly spectacular. The ruins of many ancient cultures are here to discover, including well-preserved archeological sites in the Valley of the Temples and Byzantine mosaics, and, from more recent times, the house and grave of author Luigi Pirandello. Taormina looks like a beautiful place to relax — and did you know that you get free entry to the ancient Teatro Greco on your birthday?!
The Amalfi Coast: mountains plunging into turquoise seas; the pretty pastel houses of Positano and lemon groves of Sorrento; and the nearby sights of Naples and Pompeii — I don’t think I need to say much more about this one, except perhaps to ask the question: why do we have to leave?
Sardinia: with its rugged natural beauty, this one is perfect for a bit of time in nature — yes, I know I’m not the most outdoorsy of people, but I have been known to enjoy a hiking holiday now and then! And there are some beautiful beaches for us to recuperate on with a mojito, which we all know is exactly my speed. I’d also love to see the mysterious nuraghi — the Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives that are dotted around the island.
Puglia: the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is a land of whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of stunning Mediterranean coastline. Let’s visit the vibrant port town of the regional capital Bari, take in the baroque architecture of Lecce, and see the trulli in the countryside. Apparently it’s a perfect place for a road trip!
Aeolian Islands: are you a good sailor? The Aeolian archipelago would be an absolute dream to sail together. These islands and islets just north of Sicily were designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000, and they are a paradise of crystal waters and dramatic landscapes; with stunning black-sand beaches, rocky coastlines, and two active volcanoes, there’s plenty to explore. Let’s ride donkeys on Alicudi, visit the olive groves and vineyards of Salina, hike the volcano of Stromboli at sunset, get drinks in buzzing Panarea... The only caveat is that I like to sunbathe topless on boats — I trust that won’t be a problem?
Honestly, I could go on and on — I haven’t even touched on Calabria, Piedmont or Tuscany, not to mention Rome, or a quick trip to the Vatican! There is so much to see and do, and so many reasons to make Italy your next romantic escape... so go on, get in touch with your favourite independent escort (me!) and let’s get going — where shall we start?