Coast, countryside and city: the ultimate Italian odyssey
Picturesque countryside, stunning coastline, delicious wine and some of the best food known to man, life is certainly sweet in the bel paese. What’s more, with the beautiful weather stretching all the way from May through to October, Italy is also the perfect destination for catching some late summer sun. Starting up in the north and travelling south, down the leg of the boot, our Dolce Vita road trip will take you on a journey through some of the country’s most beautiful regions. With the perfect blend of coast, countryside and city and with plenty of beautiful onefinestay homes to stay in along the way, this is the stuff that summer dreams are made of.
Start your holiday in the rich, diverse and culture-filled region of Lombardy, up by the border with Switzerland. Home to the world-famous Italian Lakes, this is Italy’s richest region and is well known for its breathtaking natural views, historic buildings and artistic heritage. Most notably, The Last Supper, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous masterpieces can be found hanging in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
As with any getaway, first things first: time to relax. And Lake Como is just the spot for that. Nestled against the foothills of the Alps, the beauty of this lake is legendary. Described by Wordsworth as being ‘a treasure, which the Earth keeps to itself.’, to this day Lake Como remains a popular destination amongst the beau monde, as evidenced by the gleaming yachts and opulent villas which line its shores. Despite its popularity, Lake Como has still managed to retain its old-world charm and slow pace of life and is an idyllic spot to start your Italian odyssey.
Next stop: Tuscany. Head down south from Lombardy, calling into the bustling city of Milan along the way. The epicentre of world fashion, Milan boasts countless boutiques selling designer labels and artisanal leather products, as well as a scattering of world-class restaurants too. If you’re stopping for lunch then the relaxed wooden interiors, lovely staff and creative menu at 28 Posti will make for a refreshing break.
Once you’ve had your fill of the bustle of Milan, it’s time to head out to the bucolic region of Tuscany, where you’ll find sun-kissed vineyards and rolling hills punctuated by pretty villages and rows of Cypress trees. Bursting with a wealth of historic sites, natural beauty and rich cuisine, there’s so much to see and do in this incredible region, it’s hard to know where to start. We recommend basing yourself in one of our grand town palazzos or elegant countryside villas and spending at least a few days slowly exploring the surrounding area and sampling the local cuisine (and wine of course!).
Now it’s time to get your beach fix. Journey on down south, traversing the leg of Italy’s boot and towards the stunning region of Campania and the dazzling Amalfi Coast. Stop off at Rome along the way if you’re craving another history and culture fix, or, if the weather is simply too hot for ruins and museums, then just head straight for the seaside.
With dramatic cliffs and a rugged coastline, along which plenty of pretty pastel-coloured towns perch, the beauty of the Amalfi Coast has been attracting tourists since the Roman times. Explore the region by taking the Amalfi Drive - a section of coastal road which winds its way between the towns of Salerno and Sorrento. Originally built by the Romans, this ancient route passes elegant villas, cliff-top vineyards, citrus groves and panoramic ocean views.