Italy has always been the epicenter of fashion!
Italy has always been the epicenter of fashion—from fashion houses like Valentino, Prada, and Armani to the seemingly endless stream of well-dressed Italian passersby on the street, it’s clear that this European country’s style isn’t going anywhere. Though flashy cities like Rome and Milan have long been heralded as the center of cosmopolitan style, the smaller towns and less-traveled areas have their own unique flair to offer to a traveler who is looking for something different. Check out our choices for a fresh take on Italy.
Caption: Provided by Le Sirenuse
Chic Town-Hopping in Tuscany
Florence has long been an epicenter for artistic talent and beauty—but Tuscany’s smaller towns are just as heavy on glamor and with no shortage of small-town charm. Towns like Lucca, Siena, Pisa, Chianti, and San Gimignano are perfect stops for the seasoned traveler who wants to get off the beaten path. One of our favorites is Il Borro Estate in Arezzo—a carefully restored medieval estate in the heart of Tuscany. The dazzling manor will trick you into believing you’re living in the time of the Medicis, but with the luxury and amenities of modern life. Olive oil and wine here are produced as they were centuries ago—but we’re betting that back then they weren’t offering olive oil and wine treatments in the luxurious spa.
Caption: Provided by Il Borro
Luxury in Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-romagna, part of Northern Italy, has something for everyone: stunning Byzantine architecture in Ravenna, the bustling capital of Bologna, and the foodie (and sports car) paradise of Modena. In Bologna, you can’t miss the Grand Hotel Majestic Gia’ Baglioni, a sophisticated landmark with true Italian style. And as far as food, any foodies visiting this famed region shouldn’t miss Modena. Among Modenese dishes you’ll find tortellini, the slightly larger tortelloni, and, of course, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Italy’s most acclaimed restaurant, Osteria Francescana, is located here—so make sure you plan you trip early enough to get a reservation! If you can’t squeeze in, the city is full to the brim with other delicious and acclaimed options. Don’t miss Ristorante da Danilo, famous for their tortelloni, the bustling and animated atmosphere, and plenty of regional Lambrusco wine to help wash it down.
Of course, many visitors to Modena will also be attracted to its place in the Italian automotive industry, as home to the famed Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati sports car makers.
Caption: Provided by Claire Riley
Unwind on the Amalfi Coast
Ok, this definitely isn’t a “hidden gem” of Italy anymore, but the Amalfi Coast still has its pockets of seclusion and relaxation! Le Sirenuse in Positano is a perennial favorite on the Amalfi Coast. A renowned staple for luxury travelers since 1951, Le Sirenuse boasts a serene spa and pool, a bar that is the spot to see and be seen, and of course, world-class dining at La Sponda—all tucked neatly into the hills of Positano. And please, don’t visit the Amalfi Coast without spending some time cruising around to the different towns and Islands nearby—especially the crystal clear water around Capri!
Caption: Provided by Le Sirenuse
We hope we’ve given you some fresh inspiration for Italy! Though you can never go wrong with the classics, the beautiful thing about Italy is that each town and region has more to reveal about this travelers’ dream country.
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Simona Cassius is President and Founder of Prana Journeys, specializing in luxury and wellness travel for families, groups and solo travelers all over the world - pranajourneys.com