If you’re looking for words to describe Italy, chances are next to ‘beautiful’ the one that most often springs to mind is ‘diverse’. From rugged mountains to glittering oceans, from rustic villages to bustling cities, and from majestic castles to charming villas, in Italy, each region differs distinctly from another in terms of landscape, cultural traditions, expressions of art, cuisine, dialects, and architecture.
Due to the sheer wealth of options available, deciding on a region to visit can sometimes be a daunting task – the temptation will be great to try to see and do everything. Even choosing accommodation can hard, as you can stay in modern hotels, ancient castles, working farms, or stunning Villas in Italy. To those who need some help making a decision, here is a very short introduction to three of the country’s most popular regions. However, regardless of where you choose, you’re in for an amazing time.
The Amalfi Coast
If you want to start slow and your primary goal is to relax, the Amalfi Coast is the place for you. Best known for its gorgeous hillside villages and charming villas, in Italy the Amalfi Coast is a favourite destination for a romantic getaway. Located close to Naples, the region is considered one of the most beautiful locales in the world. Stretching for just 43 miles, it is perfect for leisurely explorations and lazy days on the beach. If you’re feeling romantic, head for stunning Positano, which is the perfect town for leisurely walks, lying idly on the beach or people watching. (The cove of Shaggier di Lauriotis is the ideal spot for an afternoon swim). Up for a bit of shopping? Head straight for Albergo Sant’Andrea, where you’ll find some of the greatest bargains in the country. The gorgeous Amalfi Coast is probably the most idyllic in the autumn and winter, as temperatures, visitor numbers and rates skyrocket in the summer.
If you want to focus on the extensive art and culture of the country, Tuscany is the recommended region for you. As birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the most important centres of art and architecture in the world, Florence should definitely be high on your list of places to visit. There are numerous museums and galleries with famous collections, as well as important and iconic architectural structures – ranging from Medici palaces to charming family villas. In Italy, wine is nearly as vital to existence as water, and there’s no better way to learn about wine than spending some time in Chianti, with its numerous vineyards and wineries. Up for something a little more touristy? You can’t go wrong with a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
If you’re a real food aficionado, chances are Sicily is the region of your dreams. Staying in one of the family-run villas on the island is the best way to learn about authentic Sicilian cuisine. You’ll get to taste the best and freshest produce prepared using centuries-old recipes handed down through the generations. Olives from Noto, cheese from Ragusa, honey from Pantalica, and chocolate from Modica – Sicily is truly a gastronomic heaven.