Italy is one of our most requested destinations. As 2022 brought back travel, we saw so many clients wanting to explore Italy. For many, it was a first trip, but for even more, it was a return visit. After years of lockdowns and staying home, when we started traveling again, Italy was top on everyone’s list!
2023 is also proving to be another amazing year for this special country we call home. There is more to be said about what makes Italy so special than would fit on this blog (or anywhere). The food, the wine, the history, the people, the beaches, the cities…we could go on and on!
As we start another year of tailor made travel, we already have so many vacations planned and underway for our new and repeat clients. Italy is always an amazing choice, but there are some travel trends we have seen take hold already for the upcoming year.
Over the next several weeks, we will share with you some of these destinations. These are our top places to go, see and explore in some of the destinations we can help you discover.
Cortona is a walled hilltop town in Tuscany that is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful. Located in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, it is in southern Tuscany so a great choice for a jump off to Umbria, another amazing region. Amazing views, spectacular food – this is what under the Tuscan sun is all about. So many of our clients rave about Tuscany, and Cortona is a personal favorite of ours.
One of the most special accommodations in the area of Cortona is Hotel Villa di Piazzano. It’s true luxury in the Tuscan countryside. A stay at Villa di Piazzano is like travelling back in time
and reliving for a few days in an ancient noble home in amidst green fields and olive groves. Set on the border between Umbria and Tuscany, the Villa di Piazzano is an elegant Historic Estate dating back to 1464. It is located in close proximity to Cortona, in a protected natural reserve and dominates over some incredibly beautiful countryside.
Italy’s biggest island – Sicily
Sicily is so dramatically different from mainland Italy. The island has so many experiences to offer visitors. From volcanoes to beaches, boat tours to mountain hikes. We’ve visited Sicily personally several times a year over the past 20 years, and its a place that our clients visit not just as a part of an Italian holiday – but as the vacation itself!
One of our favorite tours on Sicily is our Mount Etna jeep tour and lunch in a local winery. We’ve organized this activity for clients this year, and it is one that we love as well.
A dream day exploring a volcano in Italy
Enjoy the great outdoors as you explore the majestic Mount Etna! After pickup from your hotel, begin your tour through Mount Etna National Park and follow your knowledgeable guide through the protected area surrounding the volcano.
Admire the changing landscape as you climb up the volcano’s slopes. From orange and olive trees orchards, charming vineyards terraces, forests of pine, beech, and birch to high lava deserts.
As you reach the foothills of Etna by car, take in gorgeous views of the lava fields. Then, learn about natural history of the one of the most active volcanos on Earth. After, trek around the old inactive Etna craters with your private guide. While doing so, she will explain to you the history of the extraordinary volcanic landscape.
Our tour will conclude with a Sicilian lunch in a winery, located on the slopes of the volcano.
Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy
Santa Margherita Ligure (or as we affectionately abbreviate it here, SML) has as much to experience as it does letters in the town name. The seaside neighbor to world famous Portofino, SML is our choice for a destination on the Italian Riviera. The village itself oozes Italian seaside charm. Restaurants scatter the caruggi (or little alleys as we call them in local dialect) and along the seaside in the harbor. Palm trees, grand hotels and beachside aperitivo make SML a dream for those looking to relax a few days on the Northern Italian sea. You are also a short trip from the world-famous national park of the Cinque Terre and the fascinating city of Genova.
One of our favorite spots in SML is a restaurant that couldn’t get closer to the sea – it’s in it. Capo Nord is located on the winding road that connects SML to Portofino and is the perfect spot for a special meal. Fresh fish, a great local wine list and a view you’ll never forget. No wonder SML is becoming so highly requested!
Capri is one of the jewels of Italy. This iconic island is known for more than just its spectacular scenery and sea. There are amazing hiking paths, excellent restaurants, shopping and boutiques. It’s one of the places in the world that you will truly never forget.
We have several clients this year staying at a hotel that we have personally experienced ourselves. It’s an incredibly special place. The Caesar Augustus Hotel in Anacapri is one of the best in Italy.
The hotel, perched on a cliff over the sea in a breathtaking position in Capri, offers from everywhere one of the most beautiful views in the world. Once a summer house of a Russian Prince, it is now a boutique hotel with an exquisite décor much loved by King Farouk of Egypt who was booking his suite for the year. Here you can enjoy the stunning infinity pool overlooking the Bay of Naples, the flavors of the restaurant with one of the best views on the island, the piano on the terrace at sunset and the wonderful gardens. Feel welcome to the land of aesthetes and start discovering the blue legend of Capri!
2023 travel dreams – Italy
Italy is not just a destination that we love, it is our home. Bella Vita Travels lives in Italy and travels around the country throughout the year. Our clients, rightly so, are as in love with Italy as we are!
We hope you enjoyed some of these destinations you cannot miss in 2023. If any of them got your travel dreams going, don’t hesitate to contact us. There’s still time to plan your tailor made holiday for this year.