Discovering Italy is not only about visiting awesome Florence, Venice and Rome. There are lots of other fabulous places out of the most common beaten tracks and perfect for a break offering great emotions, fantastic landscapes and amazing food.
Sailing at the Aeolian islands
One of the nicest breaks I had in the recent years, is a journey by sailing boat to Aeolian islands, a volcanic archipelago North-East of Sicily. It was great! Enjoying the silence, bathing in almost deserted beaches, savoring a good drink at sunset and having fun sailing toward the next island. Navigation was alternated with some exploration of the islands: a climb on the volcano at Stromboli, a nice walk through the tiny streets of Panarea, incredibly colored by big bushes of pink Bougainville and a visit to main island Lipari. There are several companies organizing weekly journeys to discover the islands and you dont need to be a sailing expert. Only give a little help, since sailing is a matter of teamwork. Best time to visit Aeolian islands is from mid June to end of July and early September. If possible, it is better to avoid August when the islands and the inlets are too crowded.
Gorgeous frescoes in Arezzo
Tuscany is one of the richest regions in Italy for art lovers and although less popular and often neglected, Arezzo is a little gem well worth a detour. The frescoes painted by Piero della Francesca, one of the greatest artists of the Early Renaissance, in the Basilica di San Francesco are a masterwork of Renaissance painting. There are no words that can describe such a gorgeous and impressive work of art, a must-see for anyone who is an art passionate. The beauties of Arezzo are not limited to the frescoes. Piazza Grande is a medieval square surrounded by awesome architectural buildings such as the Loggia del Vasari, the façade designed by Renaissance painter and architect Giorgio Vasari. The Episcopal Palace rebuilt in the mid of 13th century, and other beautiful examples of medieval or Renaissance architecture. Arezzo is a small city that can be best enjoyed by playing around the tiny streets and being caught by the local ambiance.
Fabulous wine tasting in the Langhe region
Piedmont is home of great red wines and one of the best places for wine tasting. As well as for amazing food is the area of Langhe with its mild hills. The Langhe area is famous for its wines, cheese and truffles (especially the famous white truffle from Alba). Spending a few days there, wandering through the countryside and its small towns, is an incredible rewarding gourmet experience. The best period to enjoy wine and food tasting is the Autumn, when the truffle market is at its peak. In October and November, Alba and the surrounding villages offer lots of wine and enriched by a generous grate of truffle. True, its expensive. But its an unforgettable experience of Italian gourmet tradition.
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My name is Simon, I am Italian, living in Milan although I grew up in a little town in Switzerland. I love travelling and as soon as I can, I run off to discover another little piece of the world. I also love the nature and outdoor activities, so whenever possible I go hiking in the mountains or diving underwater. You can follow and share my travel experiences on my blog Wild About Travel or follow me on Twitter.