In April I had a week in Southern Italy. It was my first ever visit to this amazing country and I instantly fell in love with it.
I’ve often heard people rave about how they fell in love with Italy. The food, the culture, the wine, the history. It’s almost always the favourite country that our clients tell us about when they return from a European multi-country holiday. For me, it was a destination I planned to “get round to eventually” and has never been on the top of my ‘places to see before I die’ list. Oh how that opinion has changed!
My Italian soiree, hosted by Back-Roads Touring Co, began in Naples with a night in a hotel that screamed “You’re in Italy”, and over-looked the ancient streets of this big, bustling city. The next day included a visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta before heading to one of the most amazing historical sites I’ve ever visited, Pompeii.
Although this ancient coastal town (which is now 5 miles from the ocean due to the land created by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius) was covered in ash almost 2,000 years ago, the fact that it was only discovered 300 years ago makes it one of the newest, yet oldest, historical sites. It is so well preserved that there are still paintings on the walls of houses! I won’t go on about Pompeii - you must see it for yourself - I have to tell you about one of the most beautiful places on Earth, The Amalfi Coast.
I had five days in the lesser known town of Minori whilst branching out each day to places such as Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and the Isle of Capri. When you’re on the Amalfi Coast you have a permanent, incredible view to enjoy. Whether it’s the twinkling evening lights of the buildings that cling to the cliffs, or the inky blue waters of the Mediterranean, you have to remind yourself to close your mouth at every corner as you twist and turn along the roads that connect town to town.
The views rate 10 out of 10 for me and come second only to the food this region has to offer. The Italians have perfected the art of Agri-Tourism, an initiative promoted by the government to encourage land-owners to bring visitors into their homes and onto their farms to experience real life (and authentic Italian food) whilst learning about the agricultural industry itself. The best of these agri-tours was a cooking class using fresh mozzarella at a buffalo farm… Or was it the five-course luncheon at the winery excavated and built in the 1700s in a volcanic lava flow (perfect for keeping the wine cool under-ground)? No, it was the night we sat on bales of hay at an olive farm, tasting olives, goats cheese, prosciutto and roasted artichokes!
The thing is this, you could go to Italy and miss out on all of these great experiences if you don’t know where they are and how to book them. That’s where Back-Roads Touring Co comes in – they do all the work and all you have to do is coast along and enjoy the ride!
Before I knew it, I was on my way back to Rome for my flight home but with the decision made that I was coming back to Italy to see more of this amazing country.
I’d love to tell you more about Italy, and I will be hosting an exclusive escorted tour to Italy in 2019, so please get in touch for a chat or to register your interest. We’d love to hear from you!