The thing to remember about Italy is that almost no matter where you go it’s going to be beautiful, the food is going to be delicious, and you are likely to be surrounded by the kind of history and art that will grip your imagination and shed light on your perspective. It’s definitely worthwhile to spend time in the great art cities of Florence, Venice, and Rome, and major tourist sites such as Pompeii/Herculaneum, Pisa, and San Gimignano – but it can also be fascinating to get to some of the lesser-known jewels such as Siena, Lucca, Cinqueterre, Verona, Vicenza, Genova, the Valle d’Aosta in the Italian alps, Lake Garda, the islands of Capri and Sardinia, and many, many smaller towns and villas the names of which you’ve probably never heard.
As creative travelers, we have a special fondness for Sicily. The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is home to a fascinating volcanic landscape and some of the best-preserved Greco-Roman archaeological sites in the world. Travel to Villa Romana del Casale, a Roman hunting lodge renowned throughout the world for its elaborate floor mosaics. Relive the ancient past Greek temples and amphitheatres set on hillsides overlooking the sea. Climb legendary Mt. Etna, explore fortified mountaintop villages, and hike along the rocky coast to bathe in the limpid waters of the Mediterranean. Take a boat out to the tiny Aeolian island of Stromboli, which rises up out of the sea in a sheer volcanic cone. Explore whitewashed fishing villages and dramatic black-sand beaches. Climb a rugged mountainside at dusk to witness the volcano’s nightly display of erupting lava and ash.
Or you might opt for a quieter experience, taking advantage of the opportunity to write or paint from a home base in one of the numerous hotels set in rural villas in Tuscany, Umbria, and many other parts of Italy. There’s something incredibly special about waking up in a place that is basically unchanged from an earlier century, overlooking olive groves and vineyards, where the food comes direct from the farm to some of the most delicious tabletops in the world.
The opportunities in Italy are myriad, and it’s really hard to go wrong. We don’t have any “official” trips planned at the moment, but if you have ideas or dreams you’d like to explore, don’t hesitate to get in touch!