Northern Italy is rich, both economically and culturally. It is characterized by its industrial past and its mythical companies, but also by its gastronomy. This has not stopped the region from retaining its authenticity, its art of living imbued with simplicity and sharing, and an idyllic environment sometimes wild. It is suitable for all types of travelers (nature, mountains, cities, idleness).
Each region has its characteristics. Piedmont travels between its alpine reliefs and its capital, Turin, industrial heart of Italy. Liguria, the Italian Riviera, oscillates between sea and mountains. Lombardy, its charming little villages and medieval basilicas. Veneto, characterized by its cultural and artistic richness, its religious heritage, is also one of the cradles of the history of art. Emilia-Romagna is home to a city steeped in history: Bologna.
Whether for coastal landscapes, the ancient and medieval architectural heritage, or the streets and their romantic atmosphere, there will always be something to delight his eyes.
In Tuscany, groves of cypress arranged parsimoniously on hills and interfluves. The old farms of Chianti plunged in a tide of green oaks, with the song of cicadas. Dusty dirt roads lined with dry stone walls and olive trees. Few places in the world can boast such a concentration of masterpieces.
Umbria deserves its name of “green lung” of Italy. She is certainly more secret and authentic than her neighbor Tuscan.
Southern Italy offers visitors rich regions with diverse landscapes. Campania has many assets, with Naples first. The dilapidation of some houses contrasts with the opulence of the baroque decor. Lovers of old stones will be conquered by almost intact ancient cities like Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Bay of Naples with its famous islands: Capri, Ischia or Procida. Finally, the Amalfi Coast unfolds one of the most sumptuous landscapes of Italy.
The discovery of Puglia remains that of a less monumental Italy but just as interesting with Lecce the Baroque. A land where stone constructions blend into the landscape, like the conical roofs of Trulli scattered in the countryside.
As for the discreet Basilicata, it still has a lot to reveal. What about Matera and its maritime coast, still preserved?
Calabria has remained peaceful. The sea is a heavenly blue, the mountains are beautiful walks and its capital Reggio Calabria has an impressive archaeological museum.
Florence is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Italian cities. It alone brings together 25% of works of Italian artistic heritage! She is also the symbol of the influential Medici family, who reigned supreme throughout the Renaissance. This Florentine lineage honored the city by promoting culture, economy, and politics. And, by a happy coincidence, Florence has never lacked personalities (artists, politicians) at this key period in the history of Tuscany.
Florence has also preserved its charm for centuries. Surrounded by green countryside, we admire beautiful Mediterranean villas, summer haunts Florentine wealthy, settled there for centuries.
Florence is not only a city-museum, it is also a city that moves and has fun. Let yourself be won by the magic of Florence by losing yourself at the whim of the alleys, this is the best way to apprehend it. Stroll in the early evening, at the time of the aperitivo, in the Oltrarno on the side of San Frediano and Piazza Santo Spirito. Bars and enoteche are legions and just want to share moments of conviviality.
And then we can also enjoy a certain solitude by taking the path of schoolchildren and discovering unusual places, far from the crowd of visitors. Everything then becomes calm and pleasure …
At first glance, Milan, the Lombard capital, does not seem to have the appeal of its famous neighbors, the gourmet Bologna, the historic Turin or the Genoa maritime. Think again!
Just arrived in the city, we are pleasantly surprised by the diversity of its neighborhoods and the multitude of museums and sites to discover. Taking in the whirlwind of incessant economic activity, Milan is a city that breathes – with great arteries and beautiful parks – where cultural life – including its famous Scala theater – is always rich.
Milan fascinates urbanism lovers and lovers of architecture and old stones. It is in its popular districts that one discovers it truer, more intimate, like the Milanese. And then, it is especially the capital of fashion and design, one of the most imaginative cities in Europe. In short, the Lombardy metropolis is synonymous with creativity, efficiency, and progress.
The 2015 World Expo was a real success, improving the distorted image of a sad and industrial northern city.
It is now forging a new post-industrial identity (the neighborhoods Isola and Porta Romana testify), trendy, dynamic and definitely won the title of città delle occasioni, the “city of possibilities” … No doubt, Milan is made beautifully and deserves in more than one way to be discovered!
Naples has a crazy identity: turbulent and eruptive, like Vesuvius, a majestic volcano overlooking a huge crescent-shaped bay. No other city in Europe has such a history, none has managed to cross the vicissitudes of centuries while maintaining its personality, saving its soul. Boiling, active, human, Naples offers beautiful slices of life to the visitor who will be lost by strolling in its streets.
On steep sidewalks, in the long avenue Spaccanapoli, on the steps of a church or on the terrace of a cafe, you can soak up the Neapolitan way of life. Lose yourself in the winding streets of Spanish neighborhoods before you get your fill of culture in the museums of the historic center. On the way, do not forget a stop at a good glacier! Climb then in a funicular, towards the hill of Vomero, to offer you a beautiful panorama on Naples and its bay.
At the time of the aperitivo, we go to the trendy and lively district of Chiaia to sip a Spritz. Finally, like the Neapolitans, adopt the ritual of the passeggiata, taking advantage of the softness of the evening to stroll on the waterfront.
If Naples has long suffered from its bad reputation: noisy, dirty, mafia … visitors have long since dropped their prejudices.
Today, we want only one thing: that Naples manages to preserve its soul and its well-defined character of city of the south, vis-a-vis the tourist influx. Now, let yourself be carried away by this happy rhythm of life, which will make you love the city and its inhabitants
Amateur of beautiful stones, this city is made for you! Because Rome remains truly an open-air museum, a city that has preserved a deep architectural homogeneity. The ancient temples and amphitheaters (some surprisingly intact) are an integral part of town planning until they still draw the city. The Renaissance palaces display a baroque more or less sumptuous, such as fountains and some squares, not to mention the narrow streets with the medieval charm that make it a place where all styles come together.
Lovers of good food will also be won over by Roman gastronomy.
And do not forget to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to be sure to return to the Eternal City …
Sitting in a grove of olive trees, among lentisks, myrtle and arbutus bushes, a Sardinian shepherd watches over his flock of sheep. Around it is only rugged mountains and wild valleys, mountains covered with cork oak forests, dotted with granite boulders. It’s Sardinia from the inside, timeless and eternal.
In the distance, high white cliffs descend to small paradises of fine sand, lulled by a sea of shimmering colors. It is the seaside Sardinia, the island of holidays and the big blue summer sky.
The so-called “cattle homeland” and “little hilly Argentina” was no longer a lost and abandoned island in the heart of the Mediterranean. But she knew how to keep the identity that is her strength, her raw beauty and her independent, proud and rebellious personality.
Even though some parts of the coast of Sardinia have sometimes been damaged by ambitious urban planning, the Sardinian coasts offer a natural splendor still wild. From Alghero to Bosa, from Sassari to Olbia, from Cagliari to Nuoro, from Barbagia to the islands of La Maddalena, the Sardinian roads all lead to a hilltop village, a beautiful Romanesque church, an amazing nuraghe, a beach with clear waters, a gulf surrounded by olive groves, a bay hidden in the maquis or a secret cove.
Crossroads of civilizations, Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, has forged a framework where, under the same sun, there are fabulous Greek temples, castles, and cathedrals erected in a style borrowing from the novel, the Byzantines and to the Arabs, Oriental gardens, palaces, and churches in late Hispanic Baroque. Sicilian artists have enriched their own traditions and know-how with artistic trends from elsewhere, creating Sicilian art in its own right. Fans of archaeological sites and Baroque art will be particularly delighted.
Over the centuries, Sicily has developed a cultural identity of its own, a way of life-based on an offbeat way of seeing things.
Sicily has nature more than favorable to the cultures, especially thanks to fertile volcanic soil and sun almost always at the rendezvous. In fact, she is a big producer of fruits and vegetables, dairy products and oil. The mixing of cultures has also enriched the gastronomy of the island. It is through Sicily that oriental flavors have spread in Italy.
Tuscany! A magic word that makes you want to escape, even to exile … Groves of cypress arranged parsimoniously on the hills and interfluves.
The large buildings of Chianti plunged in a tide of oaks, with as sound and light the song of cicadas and the zenith heaviness of the sun. The feverish Maremma and its Etruscan hinterland full of open catacombs. Dusty dirt roads lined with dry stone walls and olive trees.
The decor (sumptuous) may be planted, it still needs artists to give it its true face, magnify and interpret. However, Tuscany has never failed, especially in the Renaissance, with painters who have captured and showcase the essence of the landscape.
Florence, Siena, and Pisa are just the most striking examples of a flourishing Tuscan art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Few places in the world can boast such a concentration of masterpieces and geniuses: Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Dante, Machiavelli, and so many others.
Many other Tuscan cities will leave the visitor enchanted and amazed: San Gimignano, Volterra, Lucca or Massa Marittima.
Venice has this unique ability to provoke wonder each time we return. No cliché will ever make the atmosphere of its winding streets, squares, canals, bridges, and churches.
Venice, the Serenissima, is a city born from the sea and facing the sea, which has always struggled to preserve its independence. From this glorious past, it has kept palaces and old mansions which, today, are so many museums that testify to its superb of yesteryear.
Venice is charming almost every street corner, a strange mixture of déjà-vu and the astonishment of the discovery, the postcard and the half-word, a great dive in the Middle Ages and, until at his table, a real carnival for the taste buds!
So, take the time to discover it, leave the crowd. Get lost! Sacrifice your sense of direction on the altar of the resourceful, perhaps you will meet Corto Maltese, Commissioner Brunetti or a Casanova disappointed to have lost his maid at the exit of a museum. Also go to Venice in winter, in foggy weather, in snowy weather or when the bora is coming … Never has the city seemed so mysterious and secretive. And of course, go back to these popular and laughing festivals that seal, since the dawn of time, the love that the Serenissima has with the sea.