MY GUIDE TO LOCAL ITALY

Living in Italian 

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Tried&Tested: The Perfect Riviera Itinerary

You know exactly the sort of mini break you’re after. It involves enormous hats, a few dozen Aperol Spritz and lots of sunshine. Nothing smacks of sparkling sea and sunset aperitivo more than The Riviera, but you have no idea where to start. 

I promise this will spice up your instagram feed. 

Ferragosto: A Survival Guide

Ferragosto is a day which essentially sees the entire nation slap a sign on their shop/restaurant/office window/house reading ‘BRB. Gone to the beach’. For what better way is there to spend a day off than bronzing your bare bottom on a lilo? Or sunbathing in a line with your entire extended family, bottle of beer in one hand, slab of focaccia in the other? 

10 phrases which will immediately make you sound more Italian

Besides nodding vigorously and shrugging my shoulders a lot, I've found the following phrases extremely useful when trying to sound a lot more Italian

 

 
 

Basilicata

It’s like an old fairytale version of Italy. We’re all fools for not registering it earlier.

Miles of white sandy coast, two national parks, archaeological ruins and a city built from caves.

Matera - Pollino National Park - Craco - Castelmezzano - Maratea - Rotonda Policoro - Metaponto

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Campania

We’ve been fed two narratives about Campania: one which involves large sunhats, boats and an Aperol somewhere on the Amalfi, and another  which involves dodging unsavoury characters on the look out for unfastened handbags. 

In truth, Campania is a region of contrasts: tiny colourful islands and busy, bustling cities; spectacular coastlines and vast expansive countryside; Positano and Pompeii, Caravaggio and the Camorra etc. 

 

 
 
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Emilia  Romagna

Tortellini. Terracotta Towers. Pavarotti, Verdi, Ferrari. Balsamic Vinegar. Parma Ham. Tagliatelle al Bolognese. Notable lack of tourists...

I won’t harp on about it too much, else you’ll all be there, ruining my fun. 

 

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Liguria

It's hard to avoid using cliches to describe Liguria, so I'll just plough on and us every single one I can think of. 

Think pretty pastel villages carved into verdant mountains, turbo-luxurious Riviera towns like Portofino, tiny seaside fishing villages, isolated beach-front monasteries lapped by dazzlingly turqouise water and everybody's favourite condiment - pesto.

 
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Lombardy

There’s more to Lombardy than its marmite capital Milan.

Home to the perfect Lake Breaks – Como, Maggiore, Iseo and much of Garda-, rice paddies, Franciacorta wines, Unesco protected hill-top head turners, Alpine spa towns and some of the most beautiful Palladian villas in the country (prime see-how-the-other-half-lived territory).

 

 

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Lazio

Heart of the Roman Empire and home to The Eternal City, Lazio is also a region of large volcanic lakes, Appenine peaks, archaeological ruins, miles of custard-coloured coastline, thermal spas (hello!) and Spaghetti Carbonara. 

 
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Puglia

 

Puglia is the perfect salty-aired escape. The Greeks loved it, the Byzantines adored it, Madonna likes to show her face every August and even Helen Mirren has been espousing the virtues of the Salentine olive.

For who could fail to fall in love with a region carved entirely out of limestone, in a landscape of olive groves, beaches as bright as the Maldives and some of the best food in the country? 

 

 

 

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Tuscany

Many beautiful writers have written a lot of beautiful words about Tuscany.

 It is eternally popular, for good reason too.

From lushly carpeted hillsides of Chianti to handsome historic towns – Florence, Lucca, Siena, Arezzo and Pisa, Tuscany is probably one of the hardest regions to hate in Italy.

 

 
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Veneto

Home to everybody’s favourite bubbly stuff - prosecco.

It might be home to two of the world’s most romantic cities – Venice and Verona- but it’s a happy place for singletons too.

The region encompasses some of the most diverse landscapes in the country, from the foothills of the snow-capped Dolomites to the Euganean springs.

 

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Sicily

The largest island in the Mediterranean - much invaded and much loved.

 Greek temples, Baroque palaces, tiny volcanic islands, vast expanses of white sand and vineyards at high-altitude on Mount Etna.

 

 
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