Of all the beautiful countries in Europe, my love affair with Italy is the strongest. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the azure waters of The Amalfi Coast, Italy is one of the most diverse and characterful countries I’ve ever discovered. The architecture, food, fashion and hospitality is unmistakable and if you’re looking to add a dose of luxury, Italy is definitely the place. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Naples, Amalfi, Ischia, Rome, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Florence on my travels, but there is still so much more of Italy that I want to discover. I’m collaborating with Italian travel specialists Luxo Italia to share my top 5 unique experiences in Italy
Based on Luxo Italia’s incredible portfolio of tailor-made tours, I’ve chosen unique experiences for an extra-special Italian holiday. Whether you’re a foodie, a culture vulture or simply want to get off the beaten track, I think there’s something for everyone in this inspiring Italian round up.
Dive into a Floating Pool on Lake Como
Perfect if you want to experience…The glamorous great outdoors
You’ve done all of Italy’s big cities, so what about escaping to the great outdoors? Framed by a dramatic backdrop of The Alps, Lake Como is arguably one of the most glamorous lakeside destinations in the world. Check in to the iconic Castadiva Resort and dive into the resort’s legendary pool that floats on the lake. For one of the most unique experiences in Italy, take a private speedboat to Bellagio. Nestled on the edge of Lake Como, it’s one of the most picturesque towns in Europe. Explore backstreets, step into secret gardens and relish this exclusive corner of Italy.
Go Wine Tasting in The Tuscan Hills
Perfect if you want to experience…the ultimate food and wine holiday
Tuscany is my favourite region of Italy that I’ve visited so far. If you’re looking for a culinary adventure filled with authentic cuisine and phenomenal local wines, Tuscany is the one. Be sure to hire a car and explore the beautiful Tuscan hill towns of Siena, San Gimignano, Bolgheri Chianti and Montalcino. For something extra-special, Luxo Italia can arrange a private wine-tasting tour to one of the most famous wineries in the region such as Chianti Classico, Montalcino or Bolgheri. Stroll through the vineyards, sit through a wine tasting session and learn about the entire wine making process from start to finish. Hosted by the winery owners, these exclusive tours can include private wine dinners inside the cellars.
Top Tip: If you’re planning to visit Italy between October and November, the region of Piedmont will be in it’s prime truffle hunting season. Foodies could consider a combination trip to Tuscany and Piedmont during these months. However, it’s a great choice to mix the culinary element of Tuscany with the culture of Siena and Florence at any time of the year.
Discover the Hidden Beaches and Caves of The Amalfi Coast by Yacht
Perfect if you want to experience…Rest and relaxation in spectacular surroundings
The dramatic scenery of the Amalfi Coast is something I got to see for myself last year and it was even more breathtaking than the photos. This part of Italy is one for the romantics, the honeymooners and those that love to be by the sea. Whilst hoards of day-trippers climb aboard the busy ferries to Capri, charter your own yacht to explore the Amalfi coastline. There are a series of secret beaches and caves along the coastline that are only reachable by boat, including the spectacular Grotta Azzura (Blue Grotto). This natural sea cave is 60 meters long, 25 meters wide and only visited by the privileged few.
Stay in a 16th Century Farm House in Puglia
Perfect if you want to experience…an undiscovered part of Italy away from the typical tourist trail
Down in the heel of Italy’s boot lies the coastal region of Puglia. Boasting half the tourists and double the space, Puglia is a hidden gem in comparison to the likes of Rome and Venice. With a magic combination of historical whitewashed towns, pristine beaches and authentic food, this region has an amazing balance of city and sea. Hidden piazzas and winding alleyways make the towns of Savelletri, Matera and Ostuni perfect for exploring. Just outside Ostuni lies Masserie Cervarolo, a charming 16th century farmhouse that has been converted into an 18-room boutique hotel. I’m going to Puglia in May this year and this eco-friendly hotel looks like the perfect base to explore this lesser-known region of Italy.
Top Tip: Matera is only a 3-hour drive from The Amalfi Coast, so it would be great to combine both of these destinations in 1 trip.
Walk through the secret passages of The Vatican and other iconic Italian landmarks
Perfect for…culture vultures and history lovers
Beyond the public areas of The Vatican lies a labyrinth of hidden rooms, which are off limits to the average tourist. With Luxo Italia’s connections, secret areas of The Vatican and The Sistine Chapel can be explored on an exclusive private tour of Rome. Over in Florence, intrepid explorers can also experience a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia or wander through the hidden halls of the Vasari Corridor.
What did you think of these 5 unique experiences in Italy? Are you planning a trip to Italy of your own? If you’ve enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment in the box below!
Want to read more about Italy? Check out these posts:
- My Tuscany Road Trip Part 1: Pisa to San Gimignano
- An Italian Adventure from Naples to Amalfi
- Monastero Santa Rosa Review, Amalfi Coast
About Luxo Italia
The experiences listed in this shortlist are just a taste of the bespoke Italian travel experiences that Luxo Italia can arrange. From the restaurants to the private tours, they personally test every experience available on their holidays to ensure everything is of the highest quality. With the passion and knowledge of Founders Paul Lewis and Andrea Degasperi, they specialise in creating tailor-made tours filled with authentic experiences. Find out more about the Luxo Italia story here.
Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Luxo Italia. Some images are owned by Luxo Italia. All views are my own.