I recently visited Puglia, and I absolutely loved it! I stayed near Locorotondo to begin with, which is a beautiful town. There are fantastic views of the vineyards from here, which naturally means the wine is just delicious! The town is picturesque, well-maintained, and whitewashed, and has many small shops selling traditional Pugliese pottery.
I stayed with our new partners at the family-run Ottolire Resort in a stunning executive suite. It has a lovely pool, and once a week the family hosts a barbecue. Other highlights include spectacular views from the balcony, a jacuzzi with a trullo roof, and a small spa.
I am originally from Sicily and I love hilltop town of Taormina. There is a fantastic view of the world-famous Mount Etna from here. I highly recommend a visit to the Public Gardens – they are a real hidden gem, with ornate Roman style buildings and meticulous landscaping. Sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch whilst drinking in the spectacular scenery and appreciating the beauty of nature.
One of my favourite places to stay in Sicily is Casa Turchetti, which is a small and exclusive boutique hotel. You can enjoy an excellent breakfast on its rooftop terrace, and nothing is too much trouble for the staff here.
I would recommend visiting beautiful Ischia. It is a small volcanic island lying at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. There really is something for everyone to do here – it boasts thermal spas, vineyards, excellent walking, lots of history, and a stunning coastline. Forio is a port on the north western part of the island, with a lovely old tower, and excellent bars and shops just behind the seafront. Ischia is more affordable and less touristy than the Amalfi Coast and Naples, so it’s well worth visiting. You can do boat trips or hire from here, exploring the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Sardinia is one of my favourite places – in fact, it was the first place I visited with Long Travel back in 2002, the spring after I started here. Alghero is a charming, old-fashioned seaside town in the north west of the island. It has a beautiful beach, and a historic centre with characterful shops – the Italian coast doesn’t get much better than this. You can observe the Catalan-Italian heritage of the town in its cuisine – expect to enjoy fresh paella, and a real culinary mix, with the best food from both cultures.
I love to stay in Gabbiano Azzurro when in Sardinia for its family feel – the staff know their clients by name, and it boasts a beautiful private beach, as well as excellent service.
Rome is one of my favourite cities – it’s so beautiful, and its rich history is incomparable. There is so much to see in Italy’s capital; I would particularly recommend the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Colosseum, as the architecture of all three is just amazing. No visit to Rome is complete without seeing the Vatican City, the world’s smallest country. I love the Sistine Chapel – its frescoes, painted by Michelangelo, are unlike any others in the world.
The five-star Palazzo Montemartini is one of our very best hotels in Rome, and it is the only one that is crossed by the ancient Servian Wall, dating from the 6th century B.C.
Venice is one of the most magnificent cities in Italy – not only is it beautiful, it’s also a hub for so much amazing culture. My top picks include St. Mark’s Square, a visit to the opera, and of course, a ride on a gondola. Venice is a city built on water, so be sure to try some of its excellent seafood dishes during your stay. Whether you’d like a shorter city break here or would like to include it as part of a longer multi-centre itinerary, we’re here to help.
The luxurious Ca'Sagredo Hotel is a magical place – dating from the 15th century, it has been declared a National Monument. The Restaurant L’Alcova serves traditional Venetian cuisine, and your stay here is sure to be unforgettable.