My Top Ten Places in Italy
People ask me this all the time and you know what, it’s not an easy answer! There are so many places that I love in this country, the list really could be a few pages long. But last night, I decided to take the first ten that came to mind (in no given order):
1. Portovenere, Liguria
My bias is big here as it’s where I met my husband, but the place is just magical. An 1000-year old + seaside village characteristic of Liguria and its “pirate-like mentality” Anyone who visits the region should spend a day here.
2. Mendolia Beach, Sicily
A simply beautiful cove just down the hill from Taormina where you can swim in crystal clear waters, soak up a little sun, enjoy a good meal ( the beach clubs makes some of the best canoli I’ve ever had!) and even visit the villa of Isola Bella.
3. Mercato Centrale, Florence
Built in the 1860‘s, this is a considerably new addition to Florence. It was my “life line” when I first moved to Italy as a student. I would get up early to do a little shopping before school, when it was full of little old ladies fighting over the produce! You can find just about everything here, food and drink wise. It’s an attraction all on its own.
4. Any beach in Puglia
With over 800 km (500 miles) of coastline, one is bound to find that perfect little beach spot. Be it on a white sand beach or craggily rock formations, the Adriatic sea will command you to enter her sublime waters for a swim or two.
Whenever I’m in Milano, this is one of the first things I do...head to the top of this department store for a caffè or glass of wine overlooking the Duomo. The view stuns me as it feels like you could actually touch it!
This private, little beach can only be reach by boat (look for the one with a red fish on it in the Positano harbor). Here you can take a lounge chair for the day and enjoy a fantastic lunch right on the beach at it’s little shack restaurant (try the pasta with clams and pumpkin or spaghetti with calamari and tomatoes). Make a day of it - you will really feel as if you are on vacation!
Charm does not even begin to describe this mountain resort village with its cupcake like building set in a dramatic valley surrounded by steep peaks and ski slopes. Additionally, you do not want to miss their fabulous breads and desserts such as “Le Fanziëutes da mëiles” (fried pastry with apples inside) and “Crafons da pavè” (krapfen with poppy seeds).
Basically anywhere on this island could be summed up as paradise for me. In my dream world, we would have a second home there. Lush, rustic, lively, relaxing, beautiful beyond words and home to my favorite hotel in italy, Hotel Signum. And there is nothing quite like the granite with gin you can get on this island!
I know, I know, it’s so popular and it can be a zoo, but is there anywhere like it (or Venice on the whole)??? In my opinion, no. I love to sit down outside in one of the bars with a “spritz con aperol” and enjoy the music and atmosphere. Despite its hefty price (at least €10 per drink), it’s a priceless scene.
Where you might ask?! That would be my borgo on the hill above Lerici. To be specific, our terrace. In the summer, it becomes my office, my refuge from the heat, my inspiration for meals, and our hand holding sanctuary after a long work day. There is something hypnotic about it.
What about you? What are your top 10 favorite places in Italy?
Would love to see some other bloggers out there come up with their list!