• Paulien Debrie

Sweet Italian Dreams

Here is the perspective from a European Millennial who was happy to share a bit of her own experience, and what she dreamed about during lock-down.

By: Paulien Debrie

Editor’s Note:

Italy is at the top of the list for most most travelers.

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Italy has been a beloved destination for generations. You can go north or south, enjoy the historic streets or a lovely beach day, indulge in the bustling city or the tranquility of nature… not to forget the creamy pastas or gelato!

A holiday in Italy is a holiday full of surprises. In the myriad of its picturesque little streets, you’ll get lost sometimes, or you’ll say: “Oh, we’ve been here before!”. Just know that behind every corner of those aesthetic streets, you’ll be pleased with what awaits you.

Whether it is a cute little restaurant serving delicious Italian food and wine, or one of the many artisan shops with handmade jewelry and bags, you’ll love whatever is crossing your route. Fashion is also what has always made Italy alluring. Big names like Prada, Gucci, Versace, and Giorgio Armani are based in the big cities. But smaller towns offer some nice boutiques, too!

Italy is the perfect place to indulge in rich history and culture, to enjoy the great gastronomy, and to soak up the sun. It’s the ideal getaway to revel in, as the Italians would say: dolce far niente or dolce vita.

There is a lot to do – or to lay back – in the cities of Italy. However, this country in the southern part of Europe is also full of wide-open spaces. The rolling fields in Tuscany, the Apennine extending along the length of Italy, the Dolomite mountains, and the area of Abruzzo are just a few examples of its beautiful nature.

Excited to get to know this side of Italy? An active adventure is waiting for you!

The Via Francigena Path is a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route. Starting in Canterbury, England and ending in the city of Rome, the route spans more than 2,000 kilometers or 1,243 miles. Of course, there are various possibilities that can be adapted to fit your time off and budget for an ideal hiking trip.

Those who are experienced hikers are challenged to walk north to south through Tuscany. During the 132 kilometers or 82 miles road from Lucca to Siena, you can stay in historic hotels in city centers, at simple pilgrim hostels, or at farms. After a long day of walking, the Italian gastronomy is waiting for you to indulge in!

You can also go more south, past Rome to the very ending of Italy, Santa Maria di Leuca. The overall path is always starting and finishing in a town. The trek goes through fields, woods, mountain paths, and villages. It’s the perfect combination of spending time alone in nature and enjoying Italian hospitality.

Looking for a relaxing holiday? Or do you love to discover the less-traveled journeys in Italy’s magnificent outdoors? Maybe you are seeking a combination? Here are some options to consider:

Grand Hotel Tremezzo is located on the western shores of Lake Como in Lombardy, northern Italy. The luxury hotel is an iconic art nouveau masterpiece. The eye-opening views of the lake, the town of Bellagio, and the Grigne Mountains provide the perfect mindset for starting The Via Francigena Path… or you can just enjoy the view!

The next property is originally a 13th-century castle. Today, Il Borro is home to one of Italy’s finest accommodations. They strive to practice traditional healthy principles of Tuscan living. Situated in the heart of Tuscany, Il Borro is located just 60 kilometers or just under 40 miles from Florence, 60 from Siena, and 20 or around 12 miles from Arezzo.

Immersed in the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi Coast, there is Hotel Santa Caterina. The seaside residence is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. It’s one of the special places to experience the great Italian hospitality and lasting sensations of wellbeing.

Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is also located nearby Amalfi. This exclusive boutique hotel and extraordinary luxury spa is filled with 4 levels of gardens. On each level, you can enjoy the amazing panoramas. With just 20 rooms and suites, it’s the perfect spot for escaping from your daily routine, or to relax after a long day of hiking! You can ask TravelAnne more about it as she has had the privilege of staying there.

Located in Savelletri di Fasano, in southern Italy, you’ll find Borgo Egnazia. A front view on the hills of the Itria Valley meeting the Adriatic Sea, and the Puglian countryside behind you… it’s the perfect occasion to see both sides of Italy’s nature! Borgo Egnazia is also a nice place to recharge and to continue your trip to the south.

Are you already dreaming of sunbathing on Italian beaches or discovering its surprising open spaces? Maybe now is a good time to start planning!

** Paulien Debrie is a Brussels based freelance writer and a student completing her Master’s Degree in Communications. She is also a former intern with Heintz Media Group, assigned to the TravelAnne team.

Editor’s Note:

Italy has always been and will continue to be by far one of the most popular destinations for US travelers wishing to travel to Europe. Clich Here to contact TravelAnne today and start planning!