Monday, 6 July 2015

My Italian Wish List

Having visited every continent on this glorious planet of ours, except Antarctica, most of them more than once, it is to my shame and regret that I have yet to visit Italy.  For the art, yes; for the food, of course; for the scenery, naturally; but also because I am actually half-Italian!  Yep, but never been, how daft is that?!  It's so beautiful too.  Swoon...



Hopefully we will rectify my glaring error soon, as the girls would absolutely adore it there, I'm sure.  They are good Italian girls and love their pasta, olives and tomatoes more than any other foods, so they would certainly fare well.  And I just know they would go crazy for the architecture and scenery too.  I keep toying with the idea of a long worldschooling period, so maybe we will do that when they are a little older, although of course we could just take a relaxing break too!

Top of my wish list would be a trip to Florence, with visits to the classic Piazza del Duomo; the amazing Rennaissance collection at the Galleria degli Uffizi; and more beautiful art plus a glorious garden at the Pallazzo Pitti.  I might even indulge the girls with a trip to the best gelateria in the city, Il Gelato Vivoli, near Santa Croce.  Bliss!


Whilst a stay in one of the many glamorous hotels in and around the city would be fabulous, a far more family-friendly option would be one of these incredible Villas in Italy.  They have amazing facilities, are totally family-friendly, and in superb locations, often with pools or cool, quirky details.  I think I'll go for Tuscan countryside with a view like this, please.  (It's my wish list after all!)


Elsewhere, my must-sees would be the wonderfully evocative Trulli in Alberobello, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. This small town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, famed for these characteristic white-washed, conical-roofed houses.  Built from the local limestone, with thick dry-stone walls, these simple traditional structures, were originally designed this way to fiddle taxes and fool the authorities.  The local feudal lord, Count Acquaviva, moved his peasant workers to the village to clear woodland that he wanted to cultivate.  But if Alberobello stayed 'uninhabited', he wouldn't have to pay any tax.  The trulli could easily be dismantled in a hurry so were the designated style of housing in the village up until it was finally classified as an inhabited town in 1797.


The buildings are usually square and the roof is actually a dome, but usually built up into a conical shape and topped with a spire.  The very thick stone walls help regulate temperature inside.  They usually consist of one central room, with additional living space in the arched alcoves.  Often the houses consist of more than one trullo roof, almost like complexes with several roof-cones.  The whitewashed exterior, symbolic painted marks on the roofs, and the fanciness of the spire decoration are to this day signs of wealth and status in the community.  Oliver's Travels even has this incredible modern Villa Trullo for you to base your own trip to Puglia in:


My Italian pilgrimage wouldn't be complete without a trip to the beautiful Amalfi coast, beloved of many film location scouts, and glamorous stars from Humphrey Bogart and the impossibly sultry Gina Lollobrigida in the 1950s, to Robert Downey Junior in Only You in the '90s, and Kim Kardashian's honeymoon in recent years.  (Not intended to be level pegging!)  The epitome of glamorous travel for many years, the combination of blue sea, blue sky, and stunning shades of lemon yellow and bright blooms is hard to beat.  I think this gorgeous vintage Amalfi poster is just perfect:


And what of Rome, Venice, Lake Como, Sicily and all the rest, you ask.  Yep, they're on my list too, I guess I'll just have to keep going until I've crossed them all off!  To paraphrase Captain Oates "I am just going to Italy, and may be some time."


What would be on your Italian wish list?


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10 comments :

  1. Ferrara, Padua and Urbino are the less touristy gems which I visited and loved. I'd love to do a culinary course for a week in some Tuscan villa too. A girl can dream, can't she?

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  2. Kayleigh Duddy6 July 2015 at 21:28

    We are taking our first trip to Italy this summer, we are lucky enough to be in Germany for a few months this year with my husbands work, so we are drive to Venice Florence and Rome, he has done Rome before and is keen to show me around. I can't wait - roll on August xx

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  3. I have been twice and loved it both times, I loved Venice but we had a pushchair and a baby in a carrier so all the bridges and steps were fun. My wish list would be to go back but visit some of the places I missed without the kids, eat as much proper Italian pizza as I could, it just isn't the same here and lemon ice cream from one of the many gelaterias. I loved portofino too but having said that I did miss out on the leaning tower and I have always wanted to visit some Italian art galleries so Pisa and Florence would be on my list too

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    Replies
    1. Mmm, pizza... Portofino looks beautiful.

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    2. Mmm, pizza... Portofino looks beautiful.

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  4. Anywhere in Italy would be on my wishlist. But I'd love to NOT be pickpocketed.

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  5. Rome would be on the top on my list, followed by Venice and Sicily.

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  6. Love, love , love Italy. Top of my list is visiting the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Bologna, still haven't done Rome yet, the opera house in Verona and Sicily.

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