With its cultural heritage, its stunning landscapes and its amazing food, Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, with more than 50 million visitors registered in 2015.
It is not surprising that most world-travellers have been in Italy at least once in their life.
Italy has so much to offer, different cultures that cross the country from north to the south, passing by the coast, the islands, the mountains and plains.
If you are thinking about planning your second or third Italian vacation, here are some tips and suggestions, matched to your personal interests, chosen to allow you to leave the country with eyes that shine at the memory of the wonderful sceneries, your palate pleased from Italian delights and your head filled with wonderful memories and dreams.
If you are passionate about food: go to Puglia.
The discovery of the Italian heel begins at the table. Puglia is a real triumph of flavors of the Mediterranean sea. From Gargano to Salento, your palate is delighted with unique flavors of the Apulian food and wine culture.
From homemade orecchiette pasta, grilled meat or seafood specialties like the zuppa di pesce (fish soup). You should try pettole (fried dough balls) and the focaccia (flat bread baked). You can’t leave Puglia without tasting the burrata, a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream: the outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains cream.
Take home a pack of taralli, crunchy snack foods spiced with fennel and black pepper.
Immerse yourself into the slow rhythms of the countryside in agriturismi (farm house resorts), surrounded by miles of olive trees and vineyards that produce extra virgin olive oil DOP and delicious wines DOC and IGT: Negroamaro, Aleatico and Primitivo.
Taste the bread of Laterza and Altamura, and the Slow Food Presidia, with delicious tomatoes and onions.
You will be amazed by the food culture of Puglia.
If you love romantic atmospheres: go to Verona.
You can discover an immense artistic and architectural heritage by walking through the romantic streets of the old town. From Roman ruins to the Middle Ages, from the Signoria to the Venetian rule until Napoleon, Verona has many suggestive scenarios to offer.
The Arena is the symbol of the city, it was built at the beginning of the second century A.D. outside the city walls; wide staircase in concentric lines welcomes every year many viewers offering unique emotions in different lyrical and musical performances. The Arena is located in the Bra Square, a nice and colorful square that represents the center of the city.
Capulet house, better known as Juliet’s house, from Romeo and Juliet, dates from the thirteenth century. Its coat of arms is carved on the arch inside the courtyard. Dream at the famous balcony where Juliet spoke to his Romeo.
Have a sunset stroll along the river Adige and take romantic pictures in front of the enchanting Ponte Scaligero, a crenellated red brick bridge, with its slender arches, it is the largest and most spectacular medieval public building of the city.
You will be enchanted by Verona.
If you love beaches and coastal landscapes: go to Sicily.
With its 1500 kms of coastline, including the smaller islands, Sicily offers a thousand different solutions for a beach holiday. Large cities offer equipped beaches that attract many visitors every year, such as the beach of Mondello in Palermo, with its sporting events, the white sand and palm trees; the Playa di Catania, loved by world-famous writers; the coast of San Leone in Agrigento or the famous Fontane Bianche in Syracuse, just to name the best known.
The top beaches of the smaller islands are the most crowded in high season, with their sand that seems talcum powder, with the blue waters of the sea and the spectacular mediterranean nature as frame to it all. Think of the beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast between Capo d’Orlando and Patti (Messina), the Caribbean San Vito Lo Capo (Trapani) and the nearby small inlets of Castelluzzo and the Zingaro Nature Reserve, both in the province of Trapani; or Isola Bella in Taormina (Messina) with the nearby and long beaches of Letojanni and Fiumefreddo.
In Cefalù, the Norman town in the province of Palermo, you will be left breathless in front of the blue next to the sandy boardwalk and pebbles that stretch under the rock. Out of the town you will find open free beaches such as Settefrati, Mazzaforno and S. Ambrogio. You will fall in love with Sicily.
If you are passionate about wine: go to Piedmont.There are a thousand kinds of Italian wine able to satisfy even the most refined palates: red, white, rosé, sparkling and bubbly. The region of Piedmont is famous for his stunning hillside views with miles of vineyards that produce delicious wines.
When mentioning wines from Piedmont, you cannot avoid without talking about the Nebbiolo, for many the noblest of Italian grape varieties; the Barolo, DOCG and the largest internationally recognized red wine; the Barbaresco, a delicious red wine named after its production area. Barbaresco and Langhe, home of the Barolo, along with Roero and Monferrato, have recently been included in the World heritage List, which sites and treasures recognized as part of the artistic and environmental heritage of humanity.
Piedmont produces wine since ancient times. Additionally to Barolo, there are many famous productions that have made it world-wide, such as Barbera del Monferrato, another great DOCG of the mentioned Monferrato area.
The best way to enjoy the Piedmont landscapes and have a wine tasting is by staying in agriturismo, nestled in the hills. Beside the wine, agriturismi are famous for their local and homemade food. The typical Piedmont food is wild meat, which matches perfectly with the full-bodied red wine.
You will be surprised by the elegant region of Piedmont.
If you are adventurous: drive with a motorcycle through the Tuscan Hills.Sky and earth, meadows and vineyards, churches and villages merge in all its glory in the Tuscan countryside. There are many ancient paths to take in this breathtaking scenery. Only Tuscany can enclose a historical, artistic and environmental value of great interest in one region. You can explore it in many ways: with hiking trails, horse paths, trails for bikers and, for the most adventurous, with the motorcycle.
If you are a motorcycle aficionado, this is the best way to explore the beauty of the Tuscan country roads. During your journey, have a break to taste the Tuscan delights, and breathe the freshness of the green countryside. Adrenaline and romanticism in one experience.
You will be thrilled by the Tuscan landscape.