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

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Everyone’s heard of the Amalfi Coast! I visited this Coast on part of a cruise I took a few years back. Therefore I only got a few hours there and didn’t get to visit the famous Positano (Another Under the Tuscan Sun reference).
I want to sit in a cafe sipping Espresso (I don’t drink coffee but who’s asking?!), while the small waves lap softly below me. I’ll obviously be looking fabulous in a simple sophisticated Italian dress and large hat. As my head tips upwards revealing my face, a young Italian stallion will be smiling at me offering to take me for a drive on his scooter through the Amalfi Coast hills. We will stop off at one of ‘his’ amazing Amalfi Coast Villas, for a casual banquet with his family, before retiring to bed and… ok I’ll stop that daydream right there!
Moving swiftly on to the next destination I love in Italy…

Florence

Florence city views

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 - doorporn Italy

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.

Lucca town square in Lucca

Lucca is probably the city I have visited the most in Italy. My auntie has a villa in a small village not far from Lucca, so when we visited this was a regular day trip. You can walk or cycle all the way around the city walls, looking down on the higgledy piggledy streets below. It is a bit calmer than some of the other Italian towns as it isn’t one of most people’s top five Italian places.
It is a treasure trove of unique shops, from leather bags, to classy shoes or simple stylish Italian fashion. There are a multitude of unique family run restaurants serving fresh food and probably my favourite main square in a city, where you can watch the locals have heated, friendly arguments over their morning coffee.
The journey to Lucca is fun too, up a big winding road, that is oddly often filled with crazy people on bikes, who seem to think the tough journey up is worth the speedy journey down!? Think I’ll stick to the car!

Roma

trevi-fountain, Roma, best of Italy

My mummy’s name is Roma, so I’ve got to go back to take some Roma inspired pictures right?!
Well that and I didn’t actually get to see any of Rome when I visited. It was the starting point for my cruise so I just went straight from the airport to the boat.
I want to make a wish in the Trevi fountain, wander around the Colosseum like a Roman and take a food tour of ALL the best restaurants.
5 places in Italy to return to again and again

So have you been to any of these parts of Italy? Have similar daydreams to me about these places or maybe there is another spot in Italy I haven’t tried yet I should add to my list?! 

4 Comments

  1. hi there, planning on going to Northern italy in early august with 3 teens/tween for 10 days. flying into and out of Milan which includes venice. Can someone help me with an itinerary that includes a little bit of everything and not too taxing for the kids.

    • Jen Lowthrop Reply

      I’m just finishing a post about Parco Oglio Nord a national park just an hour from Milan. Look out for it, there is lots of fun and different things to do there… without being surrounded by the usual hoards of tourists.

  2. Italy has also become my favourite destination, and I would happily visit Florence every year if I could – it just felt right when I went. I’m really gutted I missed out on Lucca when I went to Pisa, so I’ll have to return (and maybe fit in Siena!)

    I’ve never really managed to get to the Italian coast, so that is next on my Italy wish list. Thanks for bringing back lovely Italian memories.

  3. Great!
    Yes, If any one planing for visit Europe, Italy must me On the top of the list. One of My favorite to,
    And the you talking about best 5 places to visit i Italy, I must the Italy it self is the places where even your a traveler you can Once feel you would Stay there forever. and Rome, Florence and Amalfi Coast is one My most favorite places across Italy.
    Great Post, Just remind me my trip to Italy.
    Thank you for sharing .

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