Italy's Perfect Summer Roadtrip

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From the highest tip of the Dolomites, the colourful houses nestled within the Amalfi Coast, to the rolling hills of Tuscany, we’ve put together the perfect road trip in Italy this summer.

Amalfi Coast


Flooded with vivid colours, lush greenery and towns nestled like jewels on the coast, start your trip in the enchanting Amalfi Coast. Situated next to Naples, explore this colourful coastline and enjoy a chilled glass of limoncello whilst you indulge in the warm summer's evening.

Where to stay:

Casa Angelina: white is the colour that dominates this hotel, perfectly contrasting with the deep blue of the sea. Discover the old fisherman’s houses at the foot of the hotel, opening onto the Baia di Gavitella, a bay of crystalline blue water. Feel bewitched by the enchanting surroundings and tranquility of Casa Angelina.

What to do:

Often considered to be one of the most picturesque towns on this 50km stretch of coastline, make sure you visit the colourful Positano. Best viewed from the sea, take a boat out and admire this picture-perfect town whilst you indulge in the glimmering waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Explore the gorgeous waterfalls of the Valle delle Ferriere, take a tour through the magnificent Grotta dello Smeraldo Cave (Emerald cave), escape the tourists and head up to the heights of Ravello, or just simply relax on the beach and indulge in the fresh sea breeze.

What to eat:

Boasting some of the world’s finest seafood cuisine, make sure you try the “scialatielli ai frutti di mare”, a simple, traditional yet tasty dish of the Amalfi Coast where the flavours of the fresh pasta marry the freshness of seafood such as mussels, clams, squid or prawns. The unique and unmistakable taste left in your mouth will take you on the perfect culinary journey.

Rome


An unparalleled and timeless beauty, your next stop is the Eternal City of Rome. Lose yourself in its narrow cobbled streets, and soak up its history through the array of palaces, cathedrals, magnificent squares and fountains, and let yourself be enchanted by this alluring city.

Where to stay:

Encapsulating a part of Rome’s most recent history, Hotel de Russie will complete your visit. Dating back to the 1800s, indulge in the hotel’s personality and authenticity which blends history and contemporary design, classic architecture and art deco furnishings. Regardless of which room or suite you choose to stay in, each of them offer an alluring glimpse of the Eternal City with different perspectives, leaving you feeling inspired.

What to do:

For the quintessential Roman experience, leave your car for the day and hop on a Vespa to explore this ancient city. The first and obvious choice is to go visit the magnificent Colosseum - a historical amphitheatre where gladiators once fought; toss a coin and make a wish in the famous Trevi fountain; admire the world-renowned paintings and sculptures at the Vatican Museum. Be sure to explore the narrow cobbled streets, discover some traditional hidden boutiques and uncover the city’s best kept secrets. There’s so much to do here, you won’t know where to start!

What to eat:

Meaning ‘cheese and pepper’, make sure to taste the simple yet delicious Cacio e Pepe - a traditional pasta dish from the modern Roman cuisine. Simply formed of fresh tonnarelli pasta with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, olive oil and crushed black pepper, enjoy this delicious meal with a glass or two of Chianti Classico.

Umbria


Maybe it's just because this was the region where Saint Valentine was born — a romantic atmosphere radiates within the region of Umbria. Indulge in its peaceful landscapes and harmonious architecture that blends with its natural surroundings.

Where to stay:

Situated in the gorgeous Umbrian countryside on a 70-acre nature preserve, discover your perfect stay at La Segreta. Explore the historical grounds surrounding you, indulge in the cherry groves and explore the charming forests and valleys. This endearing farmhouse will leave you feeling so rejuvenated and inspired, you won’t want to leave!

What to do:

Prepare yourself to be mesmerised by the gothic architecture of the Duomo di Orvieto cathedral. Explore the historical centre of Basilica di San Francesco, wander through the green blending valleys and be enchanted by Umbria’s mesmerising culture - this region will never fail to amaze its travellers.

What to eat:

Originating from its Etruscan roots, expect to go on a tasty culinary journey with the irresistible flavours of Umbrian cuisine. Each town has their own specialities, but you can’t go without tasting some delicious traditional Bruschetta. Simple but tasty, indulge in the locally produced olive oil and garlic infused bread with this appetiser. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, Truffles have been a delicacy in Umbria since the ancient times. Grown abundantly in the region’s countryside, Umbria produces more black truffles than anywhere else in Italy - you’ll find these in any restaurant!

Florence


The cradle of the Rinascimento - where beauty originated, this city is the perfect blend of art, history, culture and craftsmanship. It’s impossible not to associate this city with rich traditions, fine art and romanticism with every corner telling a thousand tales.

Where to stay:

Standing on the site where the ancient city market, Mercato Vecchio, once stood, spend your stay in Florence at the enchanting Hotel Savoy. Built in 1893, this hotel truly is the pure definition of Italian luxury. From marble decorations to neutral palettes of gold, why not continue your road trip to your next stop, Tuscany, with a bespoke, individually tailored Ferrari road trip? Simply pick out the car of your choice and continue from your night of luxury in Florence to a road trip to remember.

What to do:

From galleries bursting with works from Michelangelo and Da Vinci, to its large collection of boutique shops, you’re spoilt for choice with what to do in this enchanting city. Climb up 463 steps in the famous Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore to reach the highest point in Florence, gaze upon one of Botticelli’s finest pieces, The Birth of Venus, in the Uffizi gallery, venture to the beautiful Giardino Bardini and pick up some delicious local produce at the Mercato Centrale.

What to eat:

The Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Florence’s most famous dish, is an absolute must-try. A large Florentine steak that’s fire-grilled to perfection, be sure to share this with a friend as it’s huge! This dish is traditionally cooked over roasted chestnuts to achieve that smoky flavour. Whatever you do, make sure you never ask the chef to make it any differently — there’s one way, and one way only the chef will make it, each chef using their own signature techniques.

Tuscany


A postcard-perfect region, explore the lush green vineyard-covered hills and never-ending landscapes that Tuscany has to offer. With divine food and wine, and history and culture, this is the perfect Italy that we only see in our dreams.

Where to stay:

Locanda Al Colle is your perfect home away from home. Nestled within the hills behind the Tuscan town of Viareggio. A stay at this gorgeous farmhouse will complete your journey through Tuscany. Indulge in the mixture of 30s,40s & 50s style furnishings, wake up to the scent of homemade pastries and join the owner and his friends at their informal dinner parties — prepare to be overwhelmed and spoilt by warm hospitality.

What to do:

After wandering through Renaissance palaces and impressive monuments, you’ll want to make this stop off a little bit more memorable and adventurous, right? Try changing your mode of transport and rent a bike to go explore the hills, vineyards and villages of Chianti. If it’s one thing that Tuscany does well, it’s their wine. Why not spend your day learning and tasting the local Tuscan wines whilst you indulge in the enchanting green surroundings? It’s a place you won’t want to leave...

What to eat:

With so many Tuscan dishes to choose from, let’s start with something delicious yet simple. Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan tomato and bread salad with sun-ripened vegetables including cucumber and onion, seasoned with basil, olive oil, vinegar and salt — the perfect dish to start your meal with. Pappa al Pomodoro is another must-try Tuscan dish made traditionally using stale bread with tomato and other seasonal vegetables — this hearty soup is the perfect comfort food!

Milan


The city of fashion, shopping, business and entrepreneurship, explore this trend-setting, yet historical city, and indulge in the different vibrations Milan has to offer. Be inspired by its mixture of historical architecture and modern design and uncover the fashion hotspots' best-kept secrets.

Where to stay:

Situated in the heart of Milan, stay at the gorgeous townhouse of Palazzo Segreti. Formed of individually decorated rooms and suites, enjoy a glass of wine or two in the hotel’s winery and be enchanted by the contemporary style that blends seamlessly with the ancient soul of the city.

What to do:

This is one for those who are drawn in by elegant Italian architecture and historical buildings. Be sure to visit the world's oldest shopping mall, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Pull up a chair at one of the bars along the enchanting Navigli District, and be mesmerised by the glimmering city lights reflecting onto the canal; book a show at one of Europe’s finest opera theatres, Teatro alla Scala, and get your camera ready for the city’s most important landmark, Milan’s Duomo - a gothic cathedral that dates back to the fourteenth century.

What to eat:

Taste one of Milan’s most flavourful and delicious dishes, Risotto alla Milanese. With a saffron-infused golden hue, this risotto dish is without a doubt the most important dish to try in the city. Creamy yet simple, the taste has been refined over centuries and you wouldn’t taste another risotto dish like it.

Lake Como


With so much to explore in the Lombardy Lakes, be inspired by the aristocratic Lake Como. Chosen by poets and actors who fell in love with its natural surroundings, be enchanted by the poetry of the hills reflecting onto the water, its magnificent lake-side villas and A-lister atmosphere.

Where to stay:

Situated right in the heart of the romantic Lake Como, stay at the enchanting Filario Hotel & Residences. Filled with original pieces made by Italian craftsmen, feel in perfect harmony with the serene surroundings. Why not enjoy a glass of wine or two on the hotel terrace and take in the magnificent views of the Alps and lake that this hotel has to offer?

What to do:

A shopper’s paradise, this glamorous area provides one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world. With so many options to choose from, be sure to explore Lake Como’s colourful towns. Often referred to as the Pearl of Lake Como, wander through the cobbled streets of the enchanting Bellagio and admire its gorgeous architecture; enjoy a cappuccino by the lake in Como after a day of shopping, and why not rent a kayak for a couple of hours and watch the sunset over the gorgeous mountains that glimmer onto the lake.

What to eat:

With many dishes to choose from such as the Polenta side dish, to the traditional Panettone dessert, tantalise your tastebuds with the delicious Risotto con Filetti di Pesce Persico, a renowned dish that has been an Italian delicacy for centuries. Made with local freshwater fish, this white risotto is rich in noble proteins and omega-3 fatty acids — an absolute must-try!

South Tyrol (Dolomites)


Welcoming its visitors all year round, your next stop is the Dolomites, a Unesco World Heritage site. Nestled within the enchanting region of South Tyrol, discover its hidden lakes, indulge in its magnificence and explore its natural surroundings. Be sure to pack your hiking boots!

Where to stay:

If you’re looking to stay somewhere with some serious personality, the eco-friendly Seehotel Ambach welcomes you with a seventies atmosphere and geometrical architecture. Why not take a dip in the eco-lake, explore the lush Mediterranean gardens and relax in the hotel’s bath house that blends seamlessly into the enchanting landscape. This retreat is an immaculate oasis with rewarding views of Lake Caldaro and the majestic mountains.

What to do:

Wake up before sunrise and start your adventure here! Venture to the Val di Genova, one of the Alps’ most beautiful valleys, and admire the series of magnificent waterfalls along the Sentiero delle Cascate trail; hire a boat in the serene Lago di Braies, ‘the pearl among Dolomite lakes’, and be enchanted by the emerald green waters beneath the alpine mountains; wander through the city of Bolzano, a gateway to the Dolomites mountains set in a valley filled with gothic architecture; and of course, hike up the mountain! With loads of outdoor activities to try in South Tyrol, you are spoilt for choice.

What to eat:

Traditional food in the South Tyrolean region is unlike anything you’ve tasted before. With a mixture of the German and Italian language in the north of Italy, try to think of dishes that have a combination of Italian, German and Austrian culinary traditions all in one! If you visit Bolzano, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a bakery on every corner — literally! Therefore, make sure you try the Krapfen and Rollen (sweet pastries). They are heaven!

Venice


A unique city magically floating on water, Venice is the ideal city to end your perfect Italian summer road trip. From regal luxury infused with contemporary art, to history permeating each corner, be mesmerised by the gondolas traversing its iconic canals and the beauty of the city reflecting the aristocratic colours of the lagoon.

Where to stay:

With so many hotels to choose from, none boast the true atmosphere of Venice quite like Ca Maria Adele. Located next to the Santa Maria della Salute, this majestically renovated boutique hotel is filled with contemporary pieces that exude typical Venetian grandeur. With exquisitely themed rooms, indulge in the velvet blood-red chairs, lavish golden furniture and regal wallpaper. You couldn’t find a more perfect stay in Venice to end your trip than at the romantic Ca Maria Adele.

What to do:

From gondola rides along the Grand Canal to world-class museums, you are spoilt for choice with things to do in this enchanting city. This year the Venice Biennale is well under way, filling the city with art from all over the world, so be sure to visit this cutting-edge event of the year. Indulge in the sublime architecture of the famous St. Mark’s Basilica, discover the hidden boutiques and take in the incredible atmosphere that fills the city day or night!

What to eat:

With a huge variety of Venetian cuisine, there are many dishes to choose from. Venice’s most notable dish is the Baccala’ Mantecato, a salted Baltic codfish prepared in olive oil, garlic, parsley and creamed in a blender. With Venice’s close proximity to the sea, the fresh local seafood on your plate will truly take you on a great culinary journey. Another obvious but delicious choice is Gnocchi. If you haven’t already had the ‘quattro formaggio’ (four cheeses) gnocchi, you’re in for absolute Italian culinary bliss!