My road trip around Italy:
In this article I share the highlights, but there was much more. The trip started in Lombardia, one of the region in the North, and I got there by plane from The Netherlands. All the rest was by car.
Ready? Let’s go!
The first destination was then Brescia, in the region of Lombardy, more or less 1hour driving far from Milan. The city is small but still is divide in 2 areas let’s say, the one we have visited and we loved is the Roman area, you basically walk in a Borgo, like you are in a small village, full of historical buildings. We have also visited (for free) the Castel, a medieval fortress. Often they also organize events up there.
This part of the city is the historical and, again, medieval part. You can drive there (out of the historical wall) or you can leave the car in Bergamo and take the funicular, it last 10 minutes but is part of the experience. Wear comfortable shoes and be ready for a jump in the past. Ah, don’t forget to try the “Casoncelli” if you stop there for lunch or dinner, I recommend the restaurant “Da Mimmo”. What about the wine? Wherever between Brescia and Bergamo go for any red wine of the Franciacorta area.
I’ll keep it short as it was our visit (a couple of hours), romantic and magic. The Arena is not that big but still give you that feeling of strength and glory typical of the Roman stories (entrance 10 euros per adult, 1 euro kids till 12years), you can visit for free the yard of Juliet and see the balcony, also here there is a statue of Juliet and they say is good luck if you touch her right boob! With 6€ you can visit the house of Juliet and the famous balcony of course.
Siena and surrounding
Last stop in the north of Italy was in Siena and a few villages around. In this case we have also slept there (B&B Siena in Centro, we got the apartment, nice, clean and 3 minutes walking from Del Campo Square and the Cathedral), so we spent more time to check around. Siena stopped itself in the time, the city centre is totally in another parallel of this world, you cannot believe to your eyes when you get there. The first thing to do is to buy the ticket to the ticket office in front of the cathedral to visit the main attraction (15€): Cathedral, Baptister, Crypt , Museum and the Facciatone for a spectacular view of the city. Don’t forget to seat in Piazza Del Campo and look up… you’ll tell me after you do it
In this Area we have also visited San Gimignano, but I want to add the stress on the experience of picnic in a cheese-farm (Caseificio) called Caseificio Cugusi, where you have the possibility to taste local and healthy food produced by the owners, drink the tasty wine from Montepulciano and having an amazing view on this village too. The basket for the picnic costs €2,50 and includes bread, cutlery, glasses and all you need to eat, the food and the drink is on your decision so as much as you take as much as you pay
Amalfi and Positano:
So beautiful and so expensive. The towns on the coast are small and cars are forbidden. You can get in and park (more or less 25€ per day) in a private parking or at the hotel parking and move from one town to another by boat. There are many companies that do the service, but they have all the same price. To go from Amalfi to Positano and back we paid 18€ (return ticket). I have to admit I really like Amalfi, if you go there don’t miss to visit the and the museum inside it.
The Campania region, where Amalfi is, is home for pizza, limoncello, babá and sfogliatelle. Give them a try
We slept at Hotel Amalfi, good one, but make sure they give you the room to the renewed floor.
This was a bit emotional since it is my hometown and I haven’t ever been so far for so long, already on the ferry boat (Sicily is an island, remember?) I was quite nervous.
I would love to tell you a lot about my city, but I don’t want to bother you too much, so I will just suggest do not miss the show of the at 12pm every day, is the most easy and fascinating way to learn about the history of Messina and, of course, visit the inside of the Cathedral. Did you know in Messina there is a Salty lake used as farming for mussels?!
Very proudly I must say that Taormina is part of Messina region and together with Milazzo are two of the best areas around.
In Messina, for breakfast, have a granita with brioche, you’ll adore it!
Around Sicily there are many others island (Eolie, Egadi and Ortigia). Ortigia is connected to the reat of Sicily via two small bridges and it is basically the old city centre of Syracuse. Walking around Ortigia is like being translated in another world, vintage, cosy and beautiful. A lot to say about it too, but let me underline what maybe you don’t find in the guides online: showing one of the oldest Sicilian traditions, the “Pupi” tell the story of Carlo Magno’s paladins and, overall, Orlando. If you are lucky enough you can be there when they perform a short show, it worth the ticket and time you spend there. Siculish is the place where to eat, it is new, fresh, the food is tasty and kept the Sicilian tradition. Giulia e Giuseppe (the owners) also have a very interesting story to tell about the name of the place and the idea behind it.
Of course we have visited the Neaopolis in Syracuse and as last stop we went to buy some ceramics to Caltagirone. Make sure you are trained once there, there are 142 steps waiting for you, you’ll get an amazing view once on the top as recognition, I promise!
Food in Sicily, and in general in Italy, is more than something to eat, is a social moment. In the south focus on fish. In Sicily try the cannolo, parmigiana (with aubergine, can be vegetarian), arancini and focaccia (this last one is typical in Messina).
I would have a lot more stories to tell, but for now I stop here. Don’t miss the video on you-tube about my road trip and please, feel free to contact me for any question.
Talk to you soon!