Think Italy, think la dolce vita. Fine food and fine wine; art, architecture and endless culture; gorgeous backdrops and stylish shopping experiences; and temperate weather with the finest of summers – just a few reasons why the Beautiful Country should be next on your list for a villa holiday in 2021 and beyond.
You don’t visit Italy once; you return time after time for the rest of your life. A country that is as abundantly historic and cultural as it is beautifully diverse, from the sheer number of World Heritage Sites scattered throughout to the ski-friendly Dolomites in the north and the little-known charms of Calabria in the south.
So, when it comes to booking a villa holiday in Italy, having a clear idea as to what you’re after is essential, whether it’s the lounging by your private pool in the quiet Tuscan countryside or staying somewhere that offers you easy access to one of Italy’s many amazing cities, such as Bologna or Milan.
The north is especially appealing if you’re looking for an active, outdoor experience. Like the idea of a picturesque amble? Head west to the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. To the east, you’ll find Veneto, home to the legendary canals of Venice and the tasty prosecco superiore of Conegliano.
The north’s famous Italian Lakes are also ideal, particularly if you’re in the market for a romantic getaway. Of course, prices for villas in Northern Italy can a bit more expensive, but when you wake up to a backdrop as breathtaking as Lake Como, Lake Garda or Lake Maggiore, you can appreciate why.
Central Italy is largely made up of the natural wonders of Tuscany, the lush landscapes of Umbria – often referred to as Italy’s ‘Green Heart’ – the often overlooked Le Marche, where you’ll find plenty of cheap villas and mile upon mile of stunning coastline, and the historical riches of Lazio.
In many ways, these four regions collectively offer you an authentic introduction to Italy, which you can fully experience if you plan on renting accommodation here for one to two weeks and have the convenience of a hire car to get you around. Stay here and benefit from easy access to cities like Florence, Rome and Pisa, the Chianti vineyards and the beaches of Anzio, Ostia and Sperlonga, as well as the rugged, hike-friendly Sibillini Mountains.
Base yourself in the south and you’ll be able to explore the magnificence of the Amalfi Coast, where it’s possible to bag a cheap villa deal during the shoulder seasons (April–June and September–October); sample authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples, the spiritual home of the iconic dish; and take a tour of Puglia, the ‘heel’ on Italy’s ‘boot’. Be sure to check out the lush greenery of Foresta Umbra and the whitewashed cone-roofed houses of Alberobello, too.
Further afield, namely a short ferry ride from either Villa San Giovanni or Reggio di Calabria, Sicily awaits. The Mediterranean island is perfect if you’re looking for a true escape. If you’re on a budget, avoid staying in the capital Palermo or the touristy Taormina and instead look for villas in and around Caltanissetta or Cefalù.
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