Italy has long been one of my favourite countries, in fact it is probably my favourite country in Europe, except my home of the UK of course. Nothing beats home, even for someone as travel obsessed as me.
However I could still see myself living in Italy for a few months. I imagine a much calmer pace of life. Longer lunches, lazy brunches, slow dinners, as you sip wine in an orchard. The kids running around chasing the dog as the sun sets and you laugh with your best friends and enjoy a delicious freshly cooked dinner.
Ok I am totally daydreaming here, I don’t even have kids, not even sure I want them (or at least not sure I want kids, plural!) and in reality I will probably be burning the dinner, the dog (there will definitely be a dog!) will be sneaking food off the table, and my friends probably won’t even be in Italy. But you get my drift… and yes the scene I just set was 100% stolen from Under the Tuscan Sun… a film which makes anyone want to move to Italy.
Anyway I’ve digressed again. So as Italy is a country I love and hope to return to again and again, I thought I would share my top 5 places in Italy I want to return to again and again.
Top 5 places in Italy worth returning to
I spent a day in Florence a few years ago and was blown away by its beauty. The churches, the tiny cobbled streets, the secret squares, the food… It is quite possibly the most beautiful city in Italy with so much culture.
I was only in Florence for one day so didn’t feel I gave the city justice. When I return I’d like to pretend I’m an art student studying the history of art in the city, visiting all the ancient buildings and museums like the Palatine Gallery or the Florence Cathedral.
I’d pretend to be intelligent taking notes in a beautiful little notebook and muttering ‘bellisimo’ as I move my hand with my fingers and thumb touching in that expression of appreciation. Sorry daydreaming again!
Parco Oglio Nord
Parco Oglio Nord is probably a part of Italy you haven’t heard of. Up in the north, to the East of Milan, it is a national park based either side of the Oglio river. The river was both a geographical and political boundary in the 13th century and some of the original buildings still exist today. The area is filled with beautiful little Italian towns with so many old castles and buildings you can spend hours just wandering around.
It is true Italy, without the masses of tourists, but still with the true Italian charm and facilities you would want as a tourist. Great hotels, amazing views and the most delicious food. The slightly more well known part where the river meets a beautiful Lago D’iseo and your breath is taken away by the landscape views and calm waters. People swim in the lake in summer, but for me the fresh winter air and piercing blue skies are enough to keep me wanting more.