Italy is the country of excellence for varied landscapes, exceptional food, wine and traditions. There’s a vibrancy, passion and effort in ensuring tourists have an unforgettable trip. It’s about those ‘magic moments’ as Perry Como says. So we have put together a list of 12 destinations to visit each month of this year, to ensure your ‘unforgettable, magic moment’ during your trip to Italy.
Dinner at Norbert Niederkofler’s Rosa Alpina (now part of the Aman Resort group) for a three-star Michelin menu entirely dedicated to the Dolomites cuisine. And don’t forget to also stop at his restaurant on the Plan de Corones slopes, the perfect pit-stop for foodies. WEBSITE
Apres ski at Super G, with DJ sessions in every weather condition (even snow). The indoors is reserved for roast chicken, potatoes and Mont Blanc signed by Andrea Berton, one Michelin star and in the evening fall asleep in the simple yet well equipped suites: from games to Dyson hairdryers. The next morning, pop your skis on and get ready to spend the day on the slopes of Courmayeur. WEBSITE
Explore the southern (and least touristy) region of Calabria, The Basilian Walk, opened for the first time in August 2020, is an itinerary long 1390 km from Rocca Imperiale to Reggio Calabria made up of 73 stops, passing through Unesco sites, nature, medieval churches, amazing ancient villages and pristine beaches.
Design Week is back in Milan. This is when the city lives outdoors. Tables and dehors everywhere and, among the fashion-forward crowd you will recognise famous and emerging artists of the design world. The creative hubs of the city are Tortona, Brera and Lambrate. Rent a bike and tick off as many ateliers and locations as you can. Don’t forget to add Rossana Orlandi on your list: it’s a contemporary wunderkammer of curiosities and design. Have lunch in the beautiful courtyard: the menu is signed by Negrini and Pisani, two young chefs behind the two Michelin star restaurant Aimo e Nadia, an absolute ‘must’ in the city.
Take the trans-Siberian of Italy, a historic train that travels between Molise and Abruzzo passing through the most archaic countryside and the wildest hinterland of Italy. At 1 pm, the train stops in Castel di Sangro, where there is Reale, one of the most experimental restaurants created by chef Niko Romito (three Michelin stars), built in a former convent.
Travel through Sicily following the Soste di Ulisse, guide to the best hotels and restaurants on the island, including farmhouses and five-star hotels, pastry shops and starred chefs, before the start of the high season.
Giacomo leopardi was one of the most important Italian poets and philosophers. Today, his house in Recanati, in the Marche region is a museum still managed by the noble family. You can visit the Library and more private areas, including the bedroom and the garden where the poet contemplated the infinity of his most famous lines. Today that space with indefinite borders is called the Sibillini Mountains National Park, a lunar expanse of passes and plateaus that reaches as far as Umbria: in July the Castelluccio plain is an expanse of colourful wild flowers. One of the most enchanting spectacles of nature.
Instead of the usual Costa Smeralda, book a stay in Su Gologone, a hotel managed by the creative Giovanna Palimodde together with her mother Pasqua, in charge of traditional Barbagia food. Here, experience is everything: from outdoor suites to picnics in the vegetable garden, from artisan shops to stargazing, to excursions on the barren Supramonte mountains. Unforgettable. WEBSITE
Buy tickets to the Opera at the Fenice of Venice and before heading there, make a pit-stop at the St. Regis Venice for an aperitivo. Signature cocktails made on the spot and Venetian snacks (aka. cicchetti) prepared by the Sicilian chef, on the terrace : an extraordinary evening spent in this romantic city. WEBSITE
Join the Eroica, the historic cycling race between the vineyards and the white roads of Chianti. Book a room in Borgo San Felice, a Relais & Châteaux with its beautiful medieval rooms (that have been renovated in a contemporary guise) and its Michelin starred restaurant overlooking the vineyards, headed by the Colombian chef Camilo Quintero. Do not miss the tasting in the cellar of Chianti Classico and Supertuscan of the house. WEBSITE
Visit the Savoy royal palaces (there are 16 in total) scattered throughout Piedmont. From the mini Versailles of Venaria to Castello di Rivoli, that houses one of the most important contemporary art museums in Italy, and the Racconigi Castle, to be visited in a carriage up to the workshop that exhibit the artisans who supply items to many royal houses in Europe. The Langhe are always one step away: tasting of Barolo at the Ceretto’s and metaphysical lunch at the Duomo in Alba, three Michelin stars. The Langhe, a UNESCO heritage site, is also the area of Italy with the highest concentration of Michelin stars: agnolotti del plin, the best Italian wines, in the white truffle season.
Solitary retreat at the Eremito Hotelito de l’Alma, in Parrano, on the Umbrian hills. It is the only hotel for solo travelers in Italy. You sleep in small cells, you eat in silence, you don’t use your mobile phones. The ultimate space for meditation and reflection. WEBSITE