Is Southern Italy the summer’s top luxury destination?
There are few travel destinations that have quite the same allure as Italy; from its intriguing ancient cities to the natural beauty of its coasts, it’s one of those countries that truly has it all – making it the ultimate choice for your luxury summer getaway in 2019.
Located in southern Europe, Italy occupies almost the entire Italic Peninsula (except for the San Marino and Vatican enclaves), which are joined by islands such as Sardinia, Capri and Sicily.
Why exactly should you visit? According to UNESCO, the country hosts more than half of the historical and artistic heritage of the world, with more than 3,000 museums scattered throughout the territory. With this in mind, it’s pretty easy to understand why you might want to spend some time here – and the balmy climate you can expect to enjoy throughout the summer months certainly helps, too.
Italy is a unique country from the north to the south, with the north boasting high mountains such as those of Torino, metropolitan areas like Milan and beautiful historic cities such as Siena, which besides the gorgeous landscapes, is part of the horse racing schedule, and hosts the annual Palio di Siena in August.
Southern Italy, by contrast, is a land full of contradictions. On one hand, it is thought to be the poorest part of Italy, and historical fact says that much of the population subsist on a vegetarian diet, eating vegetables and bread or pasta. Yet on the other hand, the nobility of this area was extraordinarily wealthy, and the typical dishes that can be found here today actually make for a luxurious and well-balanced diet.
The ideal time of the year to visit has got to be spring or summer. March, April and May are months of little rain and temperatures range between 15 and 20 degrees – though the main problem about travelling during these months is that everyone has the same idea. The country becomes busy with tourists, while the cities, to some degree, seem to slightly lose their own personalities due to the mass influx of visitors from around the world. The same can be said Autumn, until late October.
July and August are very hot months, which are great for those looking to relax, unwind and enjoy the beautiful weather. If you like to stay in the pool or relax at the beach all day, then there’s no better time to visit, but if you enjoy spending hours on the streets of the city, it’s not recommended.
In winter, temperatures can plummet to 0ºC, but with a warm rain jacket, it’s still worth making the trip to see some of this astonishing country.
Surely not a route for nervous and unexperienced drivers, the southern Italian coastal road can make for a nail-biting experience/ Nevertheless, it is truly breathtaking, offering sweeping views over the Ocean, and is a great way to see some of the traditional towns in the area, such as Positano, Minori and Cetara. If you don’t feel prepared to drive the narrow and curvy streets, take the boat tour from Sorrento for a more relaxing experience. A great choice for a sunny day, it certainly makes it easier to sit back, relax and enjoy.
Foodies certainly won’t be disappointed when visiting southern Italy. The cuisine here is flavourful and varied, although definitely different to what you’ll find further north.
Cooking here is done with fresh, locally grown ingredients, making for some truly special flavor combinations. Think Calabrian hot peppers, eggplant, Belmonte tomatoes, black Calabrian pig, spicy nduja and tartufo (a frozen ice cream dessert from Pizzo). You surely won’t regret it.
Slices of Pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, are easily found in cafes when out and about, and you can’t leave the country without at least trying some fruity artisanal gelato flavors! But if a fine dining experience is more your style, then you’re in for a treat, as there are numerous high-profile eateries in the area that are well worth a visit.
The Italian coast includes both the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, and it’s here that you’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The beaches in Italy are impressive in every way, with soft, white sands, warm, crystal clear water that is an impressive shade of bright blue. Sorrento beaches are particularly special because of their privacy, and are easily accessible from nearby Capri and Naples.
Capri itself is an amazing Italian island, boasting a picturesque town and pretty marina that you simply must explore. The whole island is rich in history and mythology and features some incredible spots to relax at the beach. The photo opportunities are amazing, too – picture postcard perfect.
Travelling to the southern Italian coast is a unique European experience. Romantic places and relaxing activities are everywhere, and you’ll always find delicious local food, whichever way you turn. A unique experience you won’t regret, it’s the ultimate summer getaway – and, as a playground for the rich and famous too, luxury is guaranteed.
Words: João Santos