Discover My Italy-With or without the kids! | Designer Travel

‘You can have the universe, if I can have Italy.’ So said Guiseppe Verdi…and I certainly agree. Italy is for everyone. Italy is for couples, gourmands, families, historians and fashionista’s alike. Italy is more than a country it’s a universe, one for which to hunger, yearn for and desire…

I believe that your Italian sojourn is about indulging each and every one your senses, but when you’re in Italy that’s not hard to do, just sit back and let mother-nature push the buttons.

Picture the scene…

Rustic Tuscan farmhouses flanked by landscapes of rolling hills and ancient vineyards, all bathed in seductive amber light. Alluring hilltop villages with their pretty piazza’s and humble churches that pull at your heart strings, enticing you to stay a while longer and to experience rural Italy just a little more deeply. The scent of passing Lemon groves and heady Cypress trees which hold the promise of sultry summer nights spent lingering over sensational wines and soul satisfying regional cuisine.  

Does this sound familiar? Then perhaps it should as the same Italian landscape has been the inspiration of famous artists and poets for centuries, as you can see we certainly share their passione Italiana!     

When a country is crammed with so much history and is so sublimely attractive the difficult question is often “where should I visit first?” Our suggestion would be to start with the ancient cities of Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice as these are always high on many peoples “must see list”, after exploring your chosen city head out to discover the amazing scenery and treasure trove of history that sits right on the doorstep.         

Lazio being the heart of the Roman Empire is chock a block with archeological sites including impressive villas once owned by famous Emperors, a ruined 4th Century port city, tombs of the Etruscans, ruined aqueducts and monasteries…and the list goes on. Lazio is dominated and largely defined by the capital Rome with its remarkable architecture, monuments, museums and bounty of religious art it has been captivating travelers for centuries. Rome is a city with a millennial history, in its typical streets and alleyways one can discover events and civilizations long past.

It’s not just the grown ups who love Rome, it’s a fascinating city for adults and kids alike, there are a number of child friendly museums and activities to keep the entire family occupied and when the heat is on simply slow down, stop for a gelato and head for the shade at one of the cities beautiful parks such as Villa Borghese, after all Rome wasn’t built in a day! If the kids are seeking an action packed vacation, then why not enroll them into the gladiator school for a few hours? Dressed in a traditional gladiator tunic, belt, leather protective glove and rudis (training sword), they can let their imaginations run wild as they play like Spartacus for a day, fighting off ferocious lions and sword-wielding warriors!    

Seeking a summer adventure? Then head for Umbria for a taste of old world lifestyle, it’s the new Tuscany but much quieter and a bit cheaper. Umbria is primarily mountains, hills and woods (home to the coveted wild truffle), streams and valleys, with ancient terraced vineyards and miles of precious olive groves. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria too, like Tuscany has its quaint hilltop villages such as Spelo, Gubbio and Montefalco. Many of the fortified medieval hill towns (especially the capitol Perugia) are rich in art, history and architecture but if it’s a family sojourn that you’re after then don’t panic! The there are tons of things to keep everyone occupied including art tours, cooking lessons, water colour painting, biking and climbing. Sounds too energetic? Then just hang out and enjoy the open spaces and wonderful scenery.      

Beloved of the romantic poets and latter day writers the region of Lombardy stretches out from the Alps to the lakes of Garda, Maggiore, Iseo and Como and is home to historic towns such as Mantova, Bergamo, and Cremona; and Italy’s fashion powerhouse and cultural capital, Milan. In Lombardy the mountains descend to meet the lakeshore and with wedding cake villas and elegant towns it’s easy to understand why it attracts wealthy Italians as well as its fair share of international visitors, including those moved loved “coach trippers”. But don’t be fooled by its `gentile’ reputation as there is a great depth to Lombardy that’s just yours for discovering.

In short, Lombardy’s the real deal with lakes, mountains, discounted designer shopping, luxury hotels and a great choice of family activities including entertainment parks, water sport activities including sail boats and speedboats, world class football and Formula 1!       


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‘You can have the universe, if I can have Italy.’ So said Guiseppe Verdi…and I certainly agree. Italy is for everyone. Italy is for couples, gourmands, families, historians and fashionista’s alike. Italy is more than a country it’s a universe, one for which to hunger, yearn for and desire… I...