Andiamo! | Citalia Magazine Winter 2021

A first in Citalia’s history, this quarterly magazine celebrates our dedication in bringing you the very best of Italy for the last 90 years. Andiamo! means ‘Let’s go!’ in Italian. While 2020 has been a difficult year for the world of travel, we hope that our inspiration helps you armchair travel until your next holiday.

A first in Citalia’s history, this quarterly magazine celebrates our dedication in bringing you the very best of Italy for the last 90 years.

Andiamo! means ‘Let’s go!’ in Italian. While 2020 has been a difficult year for the world of travel, we hope that our inspiration helps you armchair travel until your next holiday.


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<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />

<strong>Andiamo</strong>!<br />

James Bond in Italy<br />

007's most scenic settings<br />

Undiscovered Italy<br />

The road less travelled<br />

Discover our handpicked selection of destinations<br />

that you can safely visit in <strong>2021</strong><br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

Gennaro Contaldo<br />

An Italian Christmas<br />

All aboard!<br />

Rail travel in Italy<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020


Our<br />

commitment<br />

to you<br />

<strong>Andiamo</strong>!<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />

Many of us share a mixture of feelings surrounding the realies of going on holiday once again.<br />

At <strong>Citalia</strong>, we are commied to working with trusted partners and making sure their hotels<br />

meet our standards to give you the peace of mind that you can holiday safely.<br />


Curated by experts<br />

ABTA and ATOL bonded, we’ve been<br />

creang holidays for over 45 years, offering<br />

a 24/7 concierge service for peace of mind.<br />

Free amendments<br />

Be able to change your holiday up to three<br />

mes with no amendment fee (any extra<br />

holiday costs incurred are payable).<br />

Trusted partners only<br />

We make sure that our partners<br />

have your safety and well-being<br />

at their core.<br />

Free cancellaon<br />

If COVID-19 has affected your travel<br />

plans you can cancel your holiday up to<br />

three weeks before departure for free.<br />

Privacy opons<br />

Private accommodaon and dining<br />

opons are available. All holidays<br />

come with private transfers to resort.<br />

I am thrilled to welcome you to edition one of <strong>Citalia</strong>’s new lifestyle<br />

magazine, <strong>Andiamo</strong>!<br />

A first in <strong>Citalia</strong>’s history, this quarterly magazine celebrates our<br />

dedication in bringing you the very best of Italy for the last 90 years.<br />

<strong>Andiamo</strong>! means ‘Let’s go!’ in Italian. While 2020 has been a difficult<br />

year for the world of travel, we hope that our inspiration helps you<br />

armchair travel until your next holiday.<br />

I’m not long back from a winter break in Venice with my daughter.<br />

This holiday reminded me just how important travel is to help<br />

us reboot and reconnect with our loved ones, and also<br />

highlighted just how safe and normal travel can feel, in spite of<br />

these difficult circumstances.<br />

I for one have already begun planning my holidays, with trips already<br />

pre-booked to Matera and Milan, in order to have something to<br />

look forward to in the New Year.<br />

Our <strong>Winter</strong> 2020 magazine, Sweet Dreams, is packed with ideas<br />

and advice from our very own Italy Experts. We hope it will inspire<br />

you, whether you’re looking for a trip of a lifetime, want to travel<br />

through Italy by train, or are simply seeking a blissful beach where<br />

you can soak in the sun.<br />

With the festive season fully upon us, we have Gennaro<br />

Contaldo’s Italian Christmas, bringing you the history of the classic<br />

Italian winter warmer of cioccolata calda, and take you on an<br />

adventure to explore some of the world’s best wines with our<br />

feature, Piedmont Wine Region: The Essential Guide.<br />

Our Undiscovered Italy highlights hidden regions and our<br />

handpicked, recent additions of secluded stays, helping you to<br />

safely navigate through Italy, while our Unique Sleep feature shares<br />

our collection of wonderful and unusual stays. Sweet dreams really<br />

do await, and remember, at <strong>Citalia</strong>, we are committed to working<br />

with trusted partners to ensure their hotels meet our standards to<br />

give you peace of mind.<br />

We are open and ready for business, and look forward to<br />

welcoming you on your tailormade <strong>Citalia</strong> experience in <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Desnaon Knowledge<br />

We will only offer you desnaons<br />

that we know are safe to travel to,<br />

underpinned by FCDO advice.<br />

Health and safety<br />

All of our partners must adhere to<br />

local health and safety standards,<br />

which we closely monitor.<br />

And, in anticipation of the new 007 film, due to be released in the<br />

springtime, we showcase scenic settings of Britain’s favourite spy,<br />

with our James Bond in Italy cover feature.<br />

Helen Adamson<br />

Managing Director<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



<strong>Andiamo</strong>! Sweet Dreams<br />



8 12 20 36 40 44 28<br />

James Bond in Italy<br />

Italy has played a starring role in the iconic James Bond<br />

films since the 1970s, and the forthcoming <strong>2021</strong> film is<br />

no different. Discover 007’s most scenic settings.<br />

A Very Italian Christmas<br />

with Gennaro Contaldo<br />

Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo shares<br />

his foodie traditions this festive season.<br />

The Legend of<br />

Ischia Island<br />

Meet the Neapolitan Riviera’s<br />

pretty little secret.<br />

An Insider's Guide<br />

to Amalfi<br />

Step into a pair of local shoes.<br />

Nicole Storey shares her typical<br />

day living in Amalfi.<br />

Real Italy,<br />

Real Experiences<br />

Immerse yourself in the local<br />

culture with <strong>Citalia</strong>’s pick of<br />

Real Experiences.<br />

Undiscovered Italy<br />

Meet Italy’s unsung regions<br />

and our handpicked collection<br />

of secluded stays.<br />

All Aboard!<br />

Gain a new perspective<br />

with our guide to rail<br />

travel in Italy.<br />

INSIDE<br />


2020 EDITION<br />

6<br />

8<br />

Inside Italy<br />

James Bond in<br />

Italy: 007's Most<br />

Scenic Settings<br />

16<br />

20<br />

Trip of a Lifetime:<br />

Ultimate Italy<br />

The Legend of<br />

Ischia Island<br />

28<br />

32<br />

All Aboard!<br />

Rail travel in Italy<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> Warmer:<br />

Italian Hot<br />

Chocolate<br />

38<br />

40<br />

A Foodie's Guide to<br />

the Amalfi Coast<br />

Real Italy, Real<br />

Experiences<br />

48<br />

50<br />

Sapori D’italia:<br />

Authentic Italian<br />

Recipes<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>’s Sweet<br />

Dreams<br />

Our Italy Experts<br />

dream destinations<br />

for <strong>2021</strong><br />

12<br />

A Very Italian<br />

Christmas with<br />

Gennaro Contaldo<br />

22<br />

Piedmont Wine<br />

Region: The<br />

Essential Guide<br />

34<br />

Unique Sleep:<br />

Unusual Places<br />

to Stay<br />

44<br />

Undiscovered Italy:<br />

Hidden Regions<br />

14<br />

On the Trail<br />

of Manzoni's<br />

Masterpiece in<br />

Lake Como<br />

26<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>'s Pick of<br />

Blue Flag Beaches<br />

36<br />

An Insider's<br />

Guide to Amalfi<br />

46<br />

Undiscovered Italy:<br />

Go Slow & Safe<br />

ABTA No.V4068<br />

<strong>Andiamo</strong>! is a publication of <strong>Citalia</strong> | <strong>Citalia</strong>.com | Travel with Confidence | 01293 765061 | TailormadeMarketing@travelopia.com<br />

Managing Director: Helen Adamson | Publisher: Madhatter Creative Co. – Jen Marsden | Design: K8 Design Marketing Ltd – James Palmer<br />

Connect with us<br />

Images courtesy of: Images courtesy of: Albergo dell’Agenzia, Aquatio Luxury Cave Hotel & Spa, Baia Del Godano Resort & Spa, Borgo dei Conti Resort, Brunelleschi Hotel, Bynder,<br />

Ca' Sagredo Hotel, Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel, David Loftus, Gennaro Contaldo, Grand Hotel Minareto, Grand Hotel Punta Molino, Grand Hotel Victoria concept & spa, Hotel<br />

Brunelleschi, Hotel Londra Palace Venice, Hotel Praia Art Resort, Hotel Su Gologone, l Frantolio di D'Amico Pietro, Naturbike, Nicole Storey, Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA, Pexels,<br />

Pixabay, Ristorante Taverna della Torre, Shutterstock, Terra Sessana Country Resort, Trulli Soave, Unsplash, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Villa La Capanne, Villa Mastrissa, Villa Sparina.<br />

Cover image: Modified photograph by Spencer Davis (Pexels.com/@spencer)<br />

Prices are estimations based on <strong>2021</strong> travel and are correct at going to print but are subject to change. Please note that any flight or travel times included are approximations.<br />

4 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



Discover<br />



FRUILI-<br />


GUILIA<br />

the real<br />

Italy<br />

We’ve<br />

been helping our customers discover the very<br />

best of Italy for over 90 years.<br />

Our experience and expertise, together with our<br />

attention to detail and personal touch, really does make<br />

us the leading Italian holiday specialist.<br />

AOSTA<br />

VALLEY<br />

TURIN<br />

Po<br />


LO LC LM<br />

LI<br />


MILAN<br />

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LG<br />


VERONA<br />



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VENETO<br />

VENICE<br />

CC<br />

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MARCHE<br />

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LG<br />

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LI<br />

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Lake Como<br />

Lake Garda<br />

Lake Maggiore<br />

Lake Iseo<br />

Lake Orta<br />

NEW for <strong>2021</strong><br />

S<br />

C<br />

Pt<br />

UMBRIA<br />

T<br />


Paestum Ps Ricadi R Palermo<br />

Pl<br />

ROME<br />

LAZIO<br />

MOLISE<br />


NAPLES<br />

PUGLIA<br />

Gavi<br />

G Pollenzo - Bra<br />

Po Montecastelli Pisano<br />

Mc<br />


Am<br />

Amalfi Coast<br />

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Cp<br />

So<br />

Am<br />

Ps<br />


Cp<br />

Capri<br />


I<br />

Ischia<br />

Si<br />

So<br />

Sicily and the Aeolian Islands<br />

Sorrento<br />

R<br />

Cetona<br />

C Seggiano<br />

S Pantalla<br />

Pt<br />

Pl<br />

Si<br />

SICILY<br />

Città di Castello<br />

CC Montepetriolo<br />

M Todi<br />

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6 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



ROME<br />

Spectre (2015)<br />

The Eternal City hosts Daniel Craig’s Bond for one of his<br />

nighttime car chases. In his trusty Aston Martin, Bond<br />

whizzes past the ancient Vatican City, through the narrow<br />

streets of the districts of Monti and Prati, and onto Gianicolo<br />

Hill, before winding up in the Tiber River. This is all to avoid<br />

the sinister criminal organisation, Spectre.<br />

007 TRIVIA<br />

Even when Bond is allegedly in Brazil, Bond is in Italy.<br />

In the film From Russia with Love the scenes of him<br />

at a training camp were actually filmed at the<br />

Monastery of San Nicolò al Lido in Venice.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Dine in style at La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri, one of<br />

Italy’s best restaurants. With three Michelin stars and<br />

some of the best views of Rome, it would be rude not to<br />

bump into Bond.<br />

James Bond in Italy<br />

007’s Most Scenic Settings<br />

Italy has played a starring role in the iconic James Bond films since the<br />

1970s, and the forthcoming <strong>2021</strong> film, No Time To Die, is no different.<br />

Here’s our round up of 007’s most scenic settings in Italy.<br />


The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)<br />

In The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s Bond pays a visit<br />

with Agent XXX Anya Amasova to Costa Smeralda in northern<br />

Sardinia. He stays at Hotel Cala di Volpe, an oasis perched on<br />

the cliffs.<br />

Also featured in the film is Vista Point where you see Bond<br />

embroiled in a classic car chase - sporting a Lotus Esprit no less<br />

- that take in the main Piazza della Chiesa in San Pantaleone.<br />

The final scenes show Bond relaxing on Romazzina Beach on<br />

the coast, east of Cala di Volpe.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

In honour of Bond, visit the Lobby Bar at Hotel Cala<br />

di Volpe, and enjoy a martini, shaken not stirred.<br />

VENICE<br />

From Russia With Love (1963),<br />

Moonraker (1979), Casino Royale (2006)<br />

Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig all have a fling in<br />

Venice portraying James Bond.<br />

The iconic end scene of From Russia with Love features James<br />

Bond and Tatiana Romanova kissing in Venice, as they travel on<br />

a water taxi under the iconic Bridge of Sighs. (Truth be told, it<br />

was likely filmed in a bluescreen studio, but we won’t’ judge).<br />

Fast forward sixteen years and we see Bond back in Venice in<br />

Moonraker, travelling by gondola along the Canal Grande, barely<br />

escaping assassins in a speedboat. Unbelievably, Bond takes his<br />

gondola ride out of the water and through Piazza San Marco,<br />

Venice’s famous main square, before checking into Venice’s<br />

Hotel Danieli. We also spot Bond at Ca’ Rezzonico, a former<br />

palace now turned 18th century museum.<br />

In 2006, Bond returns to Venice in Casino Royale, sailing the<br />

Canal Grande in a luxury yacht, and chasing his love interest<br />

Vesper Lynd through Piazza San Marco and various alleyways,<br />

before mooring up outside Belmond Hotel Cipriani, and battling<br />

the baddies inside a dilapidated palazzo.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Board a private water taxi from the airport or train station<br />

so you can arrive at your hotel in style - the tuxedo is<br />

optional. We recommend you stay at the unapologetically<br />

grand Belmond Hotel Cipriani.<br />

8 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />




For Your Eyes Only (1981)<br />

In For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore’s Bond takes to Italy’s<br />

mighty Dolomites, with a visit to Cortina D’Ampezzo, home of<br />

the 1956 <strong>Winter</strong> Olympics - and the next destination for the<br />

2026 <strong>Winter</strong> Olympics.<br />

When Bond isn’t engaged in epic ski and bobsleigh chases, off<br />

piste he’s staying in the century-old hotel, Miramonti Majestic<br />

Grand Hotel.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Enjoy a decadent stay at Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel.<br />

In the film, Bond stays in room 300 but the actual balcony<br />

belongs to room 108.<br />


Quantum of Solace (2008)<br />

Quantum of Solace features Lake Garda right from the opening<br />

credits, where Daniel Craig’s 007 is engaged in another car<br />

chase starting in the village of Malcesine, through Navene and<br />

Tempesta and all the way to Riva del Garda.<br />

With his magical spy skills and perhaps a little creative licence,<br />

Bond is suddenly found in the marble caves of Carrara in the<br />

Apuan Alps of Tuscany, which are located about a five hour<br />

drive away.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Enjoy a candlelit dinner by Lake Garda’s sparkling waters<br />

during your stay at Hotel Sirmione e Promessi Sposi.<br />


Casino Royale (2006)<br />

Daniel Craig’s Bond makes two appearances in Lake Como in<br />

the 2006 film Casino Royale, both times having a preference for<br />

the lake’s western shore. In the first scene he is recuperating<br />

after being tortured by the film’s villain, Le Chiffre. This was<br />

shot at Villa del Balbianello near Lenno.<br />


Quantum of Solace (2008)<br />

In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s Bond is found at one of<br />

Italy’s most famous events, the traditional bareback Palio<br />

di Siena horse race, which takes place twice a year in July<br />

and August at Siena’s Piazza del Campo, a UNESCO World<br />

Heritage site.<br />

But Bond is too distracted<br />

to enjoy the celebrations or<br />

the stunning architecture, as<br />

he’s busy chasing a member<br />

of the secretive Quantum<br />

organisation through the<br />

crowds and over Siena’s<br />

picturesque rooftops.<br />

MATERA<br />

No Time to Die (<strong>2021</strong>)<br />

In the much-awaited forthcoming Bond<br />

film, No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s Bond<br />

takes his Aston Martin to Basilicata in<br />

Southern Italy, where he spends time<br />

among rugged cliffs in the hilltop town<br />

of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage<br />

site. Bond zooms through the snaking<br />

boundary road of Via Madonna delle<br />

Virtù and the two Sassi squares of Matera<br />

at high-speed.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Stay in a luxury cave hotel, the brand<br />

new Aquatio Luxury Cave Hotel &<br />

Spa. This is unequivocally in keeping<br />

with the Bond style we have come<br />

to expect.<br />

Bond’s second appearance is when he is surprised by the<br />

mysterious Mr White at his lakeside villa, and he shares his<br />

classic catchphrase with us, Bond, James Bond. This was filmed<br />

at the private residence Villa la Gaeta in Sant’Abbondio, which<br />

is located near the resorts of San Siro and Menaggio.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

Hire a boat to whisk you across Lake Como’s waters for<br />

a private excursion to Villa del Balbianello. Include some<br />

champagne and strawberries to make Bond proud.<br />

Bond also visits Talamone, located on the beautiful coast of<br />

southern Tuscany, to visit his friend René Mathis, who lives at<br />

Villa Le Torre.<br />

007 GLAMOUR<br />

James Bond loves cool cars and gadgetry, so why not<br />

have your own vintage car experience with a vintage Fiat<br />

500 tour through Tuscany? Throw in your own fiasco (the<br />

straw basket that traditionally encloses the squat bottles<br />

of chianti D.O.G wine) for good measure.<br />

10 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


Christmas is just around the<br />

corner and Italian chef Gennaro<br />

Contaldo will, like many of us,<br />

be spending the festive season<br />

with his friends and family.<br />

Food is an incredibly important part<br />

of Italian Christmas celebrations,<br />

however, unlike in the UK, there is<br />

no set Christmas meal. Dishes differ<br />

according to regional tastes and traditions.<br />

Christmas Day lunch is a large affair that<br />

features four or five courses, starting with a<br />

selection of antipasto dishes. Main courses may<br />

consist of anything from roast capon and beef,<br />

to chicken and game.<br />

Sweet treats such as panettone and pandoro<br />

are shared and Gennaro always makes struffoli,<br />

traditional bite-sized Neapolitan pastries<br />

covered in honey and decorated with citrus zest.<br />

If you fancy trying something other than your<br />

traditional turkey this year, here’s an Italianinspired<br />

Christmas menu for your pleasure.<br />


Porchetta Natalizia<br />

The traditional porchetta hails from Lazio and is a perfect centrepiece for<br />

your Christmas table. Eaten hot or cold, it is just at home on your plates<br />

during Christmas dinner as it is with leftovers in the days following.<br />

In Gennaro’s festive recipe, the pork loin is stuffed with a filling of minced<br />

pork, herbs, and chicken livers, before being rolled and roasted in the oven.<br />

Zuccotto<br />

To end your meal on a sweet note, swap your Christmas pudding with<br />

Gennaro’s zuccotto, a delicious dessert made with panettone. This Tuscan<br />

dish is made with plain sponge and ricotta but as it is Christmas, Gennaro<br />

uses surplus panettone to make this a very festive dessert. Zuccotto can<br />

be made in advance of Christmas Day, which makes it a great recipe if<br />

you are looking to get ahead and keep your day as simple as possible.<br />

Christmas<br />

with Gennaro Contaldo<br />

12 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



Lake<br />

Como<br />

On the Trail of Manzoni’s Masterpiece<br />

Lake Como is the place of sweet dreams, with whimsical,<br />

soul-stirring landscapes that have inspired romantic poets and<br />

artists for centuries. What better way to explore this enchanting<br />

place than through the eyes of one of Italy’s great writers?<br />

Lake Como has always been<br />

swathed in a romantic aura.<br />

During the Renaissance period<br />

it was Leonardo da Vinci who<br />

found inspiration here, and many renowned<br />

18th and 19th century poets from across<br />

Europe - Stendhal, Goethe, Mark Twain and<br />

Flaubert included - chose this destination as<br />

their writing retreat.<br />

Alessandro Manzoni, one of Italy’s most<br />

famous writers, was born in Lake Como in<br />

1785 and based his most celebrated novel, I<br />

Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) in the city of<br />

Lecco, which sits on the southeastern shore<br />

of Lake Como, and the surrounding environs.<br />

A troubled love story about a young couple<br />

called Lucia and Renzo, I Promessi Sposi<br />

continues to be one of Italy’s greatest classics,<br />

not dissimilar to how the British laud William<br />

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.<br />

Lake Como is an obvious setting for Manzoni,<br />

as it is framed by picturesque mountain ranges<br />

and snow-capped peaks, rolling farmland, and<br />

vineyards. In the novel, Manzoni described<br />

Lake Como as, “A country I would call one of<br />

the most beautiful in the world!”<br />

Along each coastline of Lake Como you<br />

will find the delightful towns of Menaggio,<br />

Varenna, and Bellagio, which are known as<br />

the region’s golden triangle.<br />

As you stroll through Lake Como’s towns, you<br />

will be reminded of the novel, as you come<br />

across monuments that have been lovingly<br />

preserved through time, including intricatelydecorated<br />

churches and grand noble houses.<br />

In Como you’ll be able to visit the Basilica of<br />

Sant’Abbondio and the opulent 18th century<br />

neoclassical Villa Olmo, while in Bellagio, a<br />

beautiful pre-Roman town known as the Pearl<br />

of Lake Como, you can explore steep streets,<br />

romantic gardens and the fine architecture of<br />

Villa Melzi and Villa Serbelloni.<br />

In Lecco, you'll find monuments that both<br />

celebrate and introduce the writer, including<br />

the Baroque-styled Manzoni Museum, and a<br />

proudly-standing statue in Piazza Manzoni,<br />

named so in his honour.<br />

“That branch of the lake<br />

of Como, which extends<br />

southwards between<br />

two unbroken chains of<br />

mountains…”<br />

Opening line of Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi<br />

Looking right onto Lake Como and a five<br />

minute walk from the small village of<br />

Menaggio lies Grand Hotel Victoria concept<br />

& spa, which provides a romantic escape and<br />

an abode for artistic inspiration.<br />

This property was recently acquired and<br />

completely renovated to align its design to<br />

the modern world, however a few of the<br />

public areas evoke Manzoni’s Lake Como<br />

through their historical expression.<br />

Overlooking the sparkling waters, Grand<br />

Hotel Victoria concept & spa's restaurant,<br />

1827 Restaurant is named after the date of<br />

the first publishing of I Promessi Sposi, while<br />

the ambiance of Lago restaurant cleverly<br />

marries together heady, prestigious 19th<br />

century decor with an airy, contemporary<br />

space featuring an open kitchen. Meanwhile<br />

Bar Manzoni is an exclusive lounge-bar<br />

that has elegantly conserved the property’s<br />

original architecture.<br />

To fully venture into Manzoni’s amorous<br />

masterpiece, the hotel can arrange a private<br />

luxury picnic on a boat right in the middle of<br />

Lake Como.<br />

If you’re lucky, you might just spot George<br />

Clooney, Madonna, or one of a number of<br />

modern-day celebrities who own villas on the<br />

shores of this enchanting lake.<br />

Lake Como is best enjoyed in combination<br />

with Milan or with the other Great Italian<br />

Lakes found in Northern Italy.<br />

14 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


Trip of a Lifetime<br />



VERONA<br />

Ultimate Italy<br />


VENICE<br />

ROME<br />



SICILY<br />


You’ve got 25 days to embark on an authentic Italian odyssey. Where do you go?<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>’s Italy Experts have created an epic journey that celebrates Italy’s best-loved<br />

destinations and iconic landmarks, from the lakes and mountains of the north to the<br />

spellbinding coastlines of the south.<br />

VENICE<br />

Awake to the spectacular<br />

scenery of the Swiss Alps<br />

and the Italian Dolomites,<br />

before taking a peaceful<br />

water taxi to your hotel<br />

upon arrival in Venice.<br />

Once you’re refreshed,<br />

the city is yours to explore,<br />

from the Byzantine<br />

architecture of St Mark’s<br />

Basilica and Doge’s Palace,<br />

to the islands of Murano,<br />

Burano and Torcello.<br />

Days 2&3<br />

Day 1<br />

Days 4-6<br />

LONDON<br />

Start your Ultimate<br />

Italy adventure<br />

in London, where<br />

you’re welcomed<br />

on board the<br />

Belmond British<br />

Pullman at London<br />

Victoria. Once<br />

you’ve crossed the<br />

channel, transfer to<br />

its sister train, The<br />

Venice Simplon-<br />

Orient-Express, for<br />

an immersive rail<br />

experience on the<br />

world’s foremost<br />

luxury locomotive.<br />

Learn more on<br />

page 30.<br />


Wave goodbye to<br />

Venice and wind<br />

your way by train<br />

to majestic Lake<br />

Garda. Surrounded<br />

by dramatic peaks,<br />

elegant towns<br />

and fairytale<br />

castles, stroll<br />

around admiring<br />

the architecture,<br />

sculpted gardens<br />

and peaceful<br />

promenade of<br />

this sophisticated<br />

destination.<br />

16 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />


VERONA<br />

The City of Love awaits.<br />

The epicentre of<br />

Renaissance artistry can<br />

be found in Museo di<br />

Castelvecchio, or you can<br />

discover designer stores at<br />

Via Mazzini. Spend a night<br />

at the opera and under<br />

the stars at the impressive<br />

Roman amphitheatre<br />

Arena di Verona.<br />

Day 7<br />

Days 15-18<br />


BAY OF<br />

NAPLES<br />

Discover the true<br />

meaning of La<br />

Dolce Vita on the<br />

Neapolitan Riviera.<br />

Stroll through pretty<br />

Sorrento and relax<br />

on the beaches of<br />

the Amalfi Coast.<br />

Marvel at the<br />

UNESCO World<br />

Heritage site of<br />

Mount Vesuvius and<br />

take your time at<br />

the ruins of Pompeii<br />

and Herculaneum.<br />

Days 8-11<br />


Prepare to be<br />

captivated by the<br />

magnificent worldfamous<br />

Duomo<br />

Cathedral. Gaze<br />

at Michelangelo’s<br />

David at the<br />

Accademia Gallery,<br />

and take a day trip<br />

to the medieval city<br />

of Siena.<br />

SICILY<br />

Delve into history, art<br />

galleries and architecture<br />

in Palermo, the capital of<br />

Sicily, and wander through<br />

bustling marketplaces<br />

laden with heavenly<br />

cannoli and candied fruit.<br />

Explore Teatro Massimo,<br />

the neoclassical opera<br />

house, before escaping<br />

to Taormina to witness<br />

Mount Etna and<br />

scenic boat tours of<br />

neighbouring islands<br />

Vulcano and Lipari.<br />

Days 19-25<br />

WIP<br />

ROME<br />

In the Eternal City,<br />

meet some of the world’s<br />

greatest monuments -<br />

the Colosseum, St. Peter’s<br />

Basilica, the Trevi Fountain<br />

and the Sistine Chapel.<br />

Dine amid the flower stalls<br />

of Campo de' Fiori.<br />

Days 12-14<br />

18 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



INSIDE<br />

ISCHIA<br />

AROUND<br />

ISCHIA<br />

Castello Aragonese<br />

Ischia’s iconic symbol, Castello Aragonese, is a<br />

medieval fortress complex with monasteries,<br />

watchtowers and churches that cover an<br />

entire islet off the main shore. To reach it you<br />

cross on a stone bridge flanked by the water.<br />

The Legend<br />


Chances are high that you’ve never heard of the island of Ischia - until now.<br />

Meet the Neapolitan Riviera’s pretty little secret - home to a wonderful legend<br />

and hot thermal springs.<br />

The island of Ischia was<br />

sweeped up in glamour in<br />

the 1950s and 1960s when the<br />

love affair of Elizabeth Taylor<br />

and Richard Burton emerged while the<br />

couple were on location for the 1963 film<br />

classic, Cleopatra.<br />

Other major personalities of the time - Sofia<br />

Loren, Jackie Kennedy and Ava Gardner<br />

included - flocked to the island, and would<br />

spend their days lounging at Bar Maria Caffe<br />

Internazionale in the village of Forio, which<br />

continues to thrive today.<br />

Yet, in recent decades, the island of Ischia<br />

has stayed out of the limelight, despite being<br />

bigger and arguably more beautiful than her<br />

famous sister - Capri.<br />

This plays to Ischia’s attraction. For the<br />

most part, Ischia remains relaxed and<br />

low-key, evocative of a simpler time.<br />

In place of high design boutiques and<br />

glamour, you will find humble whitewashed<br />

streets filled with vivid pink bougainvillea<br />

and bountiful citrus trees.<br />

Ischia is easy to reach too - she’s just a one<br />

hour ferry hop across the Gulf from the city<br />

of Naples - and it’s effortless to combine<br />

this enchanting destination with a holiday<br />

in the Amalfi Coast or Sorrento.<br />

Of Myths and Legends<br />

Inhabited for centuries, Ischia was first<br />

conquered in 700 BC, and the ancient<br />

Romans and Greeks gave Ischia a fantastic<br />

origin story. The legend goes that a titan<br />

called Tifeo rebelled against Zeus, the king<br />

of the gods. An unhappy Zeus defeated<br />

the giant by throwing a mountain against<br />

him, forming a new island - Ischia. To this<br />

day, it is said that Tifeo remains imprisoned<br />

underneath the island, and it is his tears and<br />

warm breath that account for the island’s<br />

natural hot water springs and fumaroles.<br />

Nature’s Spa<br />

Ischia has hundreds of natural thermal<br />

springs due to its volcanic nature.<br />

You can embrace these warm healing waters<br />

in the many natural spas dotted throughout<br />

the island. Every spa is different too, from<br />

Poseidon Thermal Garden, the island’s<br />

largest thermal park that is located by the<br />

beach, to Nitrodi Hot Springs, an oasis<br />

tucked in the middle of the island.<br />

Don’t miss the tiny Roman spa of Cavascura,<br />

which demands a 40 minute hike to reach but<br />

is absolutely worth a visit with its naturally<br />

heated showers, saunas built into a cave, and<br />

massages with fango, therapeutic mud.<br />

Sant’Angelo<br />

This picture-perfect pedestrianised village sits<br />

on a steep hill where you will find gelaterias<br />

and ceramic shops. With a slow, sleepy pace<br />

by day, at night Sant’Angelo is shaken to life<br />

by locals and visitors alike, who swarm the<br />

village’s eclectic bars and pizzerias. Try a<br />

chilled rucolino, an arugula-based liquor and<br />

a local speciality.<br />

Maronti Beach<br />

This is one of the island’s largest beaches<br />

where you can find Roman thermal baths.<br />

With a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, you’ll<br />

find bustling beachfront cafes that overlook<br />

crystal clear waters and the island of Capri.<br />

Monte Epomeo<br />

Ischia’s primary peak remains largely ignored,<br />

and wrongly so. Take a four and a half mile<br />

leisurely hike through forests and simple<br />

hamlets where vine-strewn restaurants serve<br />

up staples of fresh mountain rabbit and<br />

earthy flavourful stews. At the peak you’re<br />

rewarded with remarkable views over the<br />

glittering sea, with Capri, Naples, and Mount<br />

Vesuvius on the horizon.<br />

Archaeological Museum<br />

of Pithecusae<br />

This former villa turned museum hosts<br />

Greco-Roman treasures from the island’s<br />

archaeological sites, including Nestor’s<br />

Cup, an 8th century BC clay vessel that<br />

was mentioned in Homer’s classical novel,<br />

The Iliad.<br />

La Mortella Gardens<br />

Amble through spectacular exotic gardens<br />

that boast a charming teahouse and an<br />

amphitheatre that plays host to various<br />

musical concerts throughout the year.<br />

Day excursion to Procida<br />

It’s really easy to visit Procida, a littleknown<br />

and very pretty island between<br />

Ischia and the mainland. The island’s main<br />

town, Corricella, is perfectly-perched on<br />

a steep cliff side and is a riot of colour<br />

with its historic streets and toy houses.<br />

STAY<br />

Grand Hotel Punta Molino is a five star<br />

hotel that has a private beach, thermal<br />

spa and three distinct swimming pools.<br />

It’s strategically located between Ischia<br />

Porto and Ischia Ponte and is a 10<br />

minute walk from Ischia’s best bars and<br />

restaurants.<br />

20 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


The Piedmont countryside in Northern Italy is home to some of the world’s best<br />

wines. Let <strong>Citalia</strong> take you on an adventure through the vineyards as we introduce<br />

you to the grape, the terroir, and the vintages of this incredible region.<br />

Piedmont’s sweeping vistas of<br />

rolling vine-clad hills is a sight to<br />

behold, where rows upon rows of<br />

bountiful grapes invite the novice<br />

wine enthusiast and master sommelier alike.<br />

While there’s a warming sun on the Langhe -<br />

the hilly area by which this renowned wine<br />

region is known - you’ll also notice a chill in the<br />

air due to its high altitude.<br />

In Piedmont’s tiniest hamlets you’ll find some<br />

of the world’s greatest wines, which are<br />

meticulously crafted through time-honoured<br />

wisdom and parochial traditions.<br />

In Piedmont, winemaking is very much a<br />

traditional affair, as more than 80% of the wine<br />

product is certified as DOCG or DOC.<br />


Like all wine-producing regions the world over,<br />

it is the unique terroir that provides the base<br />

for Piedmont’s wines, which is then refined by<br />

individual craftsmanship.<br />

Piedmont mostly produces red wines, and it is<br />

predominantly the Nebbiolo grape that is the<br />

prize and pride of every winery here.<br />

Piedmont<br />

Wine Region<br />

The Essential Guide<br />

It was the ancient Greeks who were the first<br />

to introduce grapes to the region, which was<br />

then built upon by the Romans. By 1000AD,<br />

Nebbiolo had already gained a name for itself.<br />

Nebbiolo, much like the Pinot Noir or Sangiovese,<br />

is an elegant grape variety that is extremely<br />

difficult to grow and has a low yield, which limits<br />

the number of bottles produced each year.<br />

A lesser-known variety to Piedmont is the<br />

Dolcetto grape, which translates from Italian as<br />

quite sweet, and is aptly named due to the high<br />

concentration of sugar present in the fruit.<br />


Italy produces more wine than any other country, therefore in<br />

order to separate the best from the rest, there are three wine<br />

certifications, known as appellations, which are synonymous with quality<br />

and indicate superiority.<br />

DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) is the highest<br />

level of wine classification. They are made in the most traditional way, must<br />

be produced within the area of origin, and are stringently analysed to ensure<br />

they feature common characteristics within a small territory.<br />

“For the people of Piedmont’s hamlets<br />

wine is a guardian of tradition”,<br />

explains Stefano Nirta, <strong>Citalia</strong>’s Regional Destination Manager,<br />

“It is more than just a drink, it is history. Each vintage places<br />

a stamp in time and shares stories of a particular year.”<br />

DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) wines are of a similar albeit<br />

lesser stringent expectations and testing of DOCG wines.<br />

IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) remains a highly prized classification.<br />

IGT wines are often made in slightly larger production and allow<br />

the winemaker to add their own signature touches - including elements<br />

of modernization - into the winemaking process.<br />

22 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />





The two most famous wines of Piedmont are Barolo and Barbaresco,<br />

which are both named after the small towns in which they are<br />

produced. Both of these wines can be perfectly paired with game<br />

and red meat, truffles, and mature cheeses.<br />

Barolo Wine<br />

Barolo, produced solely out of 100% Nebbiolo grape, is the most<br />

famous wine from Piedmont and is known as the king of wines - and<br />

the wine of kings. It’s a wonderfully rich and earthy wine with a hint<br />

of spice and cocoa.<br />

Maturation of Barolo takes a minimum of 38 months - and a<br />

minimum of 62 months for the riserva label - but the best Barolo<br />

are aged for 20 years when the flavours really express themselves.<br />

Barbaresco Wine<br />

Also made from the Nebbiolo grape but from vines grown at a<br />

slightly lower altitude, Barbaresco is one of Piedmont’s oldest wines.<br />

While the production process has had several iterations over the<br />

centuries, Babaresco was first produced in the Roman era, and today<br />

you can find it produced in the towns of Barbaresco, Neive, Treiso<br />

and San Rocco.<br />

Barbaresco is a very elegant wine with a velvety soft and wellstructured<br />

taste, with nutty and sweet-spiced vanilla and cinnamon<br />

notes, and hints of tobacco.<br />


The parish of Pollenzo was built on viticulture (the science of<br />

winemaking) and since 2001 has been home to an epic Banca del Vino,<br />

or Wine Bank, which exists to preserve the historical importance of<br />

Italian wine. Located in the historic cellars of Albergo Dell'Agenzia, a<br />

unique neo-Gothic hotel, you'll find over 100,000 bottles from some<br />

of Italy’s most esteemed producers. The Banca del Vino is a unique<br />

place to go for a wine tasting or to purchase a very special vintage to<br />

remember your holiday. To add to the wine holiday experience, each<br />

one of Albergo Dell'Agenzia's spacious rooms and suites have been<br />

named after Piedmont’s prestigious wines.<br />


When you don’t have your nose in wine, you must try Piedmont’s<br />

other famous accolade.<br />

The tartufi bianchi, or white truffles, are a luxurious natural food<br />

with an impeccable scent and earthy, garlicky flavours, which are<br />

delicious when shaved on top of traditional tagliolini pasta.<br />

For centuries gastronomists have travelled to Piedmont from across<br />

the globe to source this premium truffle variety, which is believed to<br />

have aphrodisiac qualities.<br />

Tartufi bianchi are harvested from the hills of the Langhe, just south of<br />

Alba and Monferrato, from late September right through to January.<br />

While Piedmont is best known for its red wines, there are a few<br />

white wines to sample here, which feature the native Cortese and<br />

Arneis grape varieties.<br />

Cortese Bianco Wine<br />

The gateway to Piedmont’s fine white wines begin in the little village<br />

of Gavi. Wine cultivation has been part of the culture here since<br />

time immemorial, and the renowned DOCG white wine of Gavi,<br />

made with 100% Cortese grape is dubbed ‘Barolo Bianco’ - the<br />

white barolo. Crisp and lime-scented, Barolo Bianco is best paired<br />

with fresh seafood such as grilled prawns, and pesto-based dishes.<br />

Nebbiolo Bianco Wine<br />

In the district of Roero, the Roero Bianco must contain 95% Arneis<br />

grapes, which has helped revive this fragile and low-yielding<br />

variety, which was on the verge of extinction until the late 1960s.<br />

Nebbiolo Bianco Wine is similarly known as a white barolo, and is<br />

ideal for enjoying light salads, seafood, and the no-frills but delicious<br />

spaghetti aglio e olio.<br />

Maturation of Barbaresco takes a minimum of 26 months - and a<br />

minimum of 50 months for the riserva label. Again this wine tends to<br />

have a fuller flavour as it ages.<br />

Dolcetto Wine<br />

Dolcetto wine is produced from 100% Dolcetto grapes that are<br />

grown in the small towns of Alba, Acqui and Asti, each imparting<br />

their own character and unique flavour profile.<br />

Unlike Barolo and Babaresco, Dolcetto matures rather quickly and is<br />

ready to be drunk almost straight away. In fact, it is frowned upon to<br />

consume a bottle older than five years.<br />

Dolcetto wine is an intense dry red wine with a really fruity bouquet,<br />

including strong notes of cherry. It’s ideally paired with salami, pastas<br />

in meat or mushroom sauces, stews, and legume-based dishes of<br />

chickpeas or cannellini beans.<br />

Barbera Wine<br />

Barbera wine is rather foreshadowed by Piedmont’s wine heroes.<br />

It is both rich, juicy and light-bodied, with notes of strawberry.<br />

You’ll also taste oak, due to the fact it is matured for six to fourteen<br />

months in oak casks.<br />

Produced in Alessandria and Asti on south-facing slopes above the<br />

nebbia (fog), Barbera wine is very much considered an affordable<br />

wine of the people, to be enjoyed while it is young and no later than<br />

five years from production.<br />

Barbera is best paired with barbecued meats, root vegetables, pizza,<br />

risotto, and simple tomato-based pasta dishes.<br />



Discover an annual food and wine festival with difference at<br />

Corsa delle Botti. Local cantinas (wine shops) gather teams of<br />

three or four ‘pushers’ to race their branded barrels around the<br />

main piazza (square) in the city of Nizza Monferrato. This historic<br />

race has been occurring since the 19th century and provides a<br />

wonderful weekend where you can sample fine local wines.<br />

24 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020

Santa Teresa di Gallura | Sardinia<br />

Nestled on Sardinia’s northern tip and within easy reach of the<br />

Maddalena Islands and Corsica, you can find flour-white sands and<br />

waters so blue they almost look photoshopped!<br />

Polignano a Mare | Puglia<br />

Located below an old town of labyrinthine lanes, Polignano a Mare is<br />

bookended by cliffs, and you’ll regularly see locals hurling themselves<br />

off into the clear blue Adriatic Sea during the summer months.<br />

Blue Flag<br />

Italy’s coastline is a stunning medley of quaint fishing villages, long swatches of sand, and<br />

small coves. Blue Flag certified beaches meet a rigorous criteria set by the Foundation for<br />

Environmental Education, which includes water quality for bathing, sustainable tourism,<br />

and environmental management. In 2020, a whopping 407 Italian beaches were awarded<br />

the Blue Flag accolade, and of this list, we share our firm favourites.<br />

Tropea Beach | Calabria<br />

Tropea hosts a dazzling coastline of white-sand beaches and gelateria-lined<br />

streets. Located beneath Santa Maria dell'Isola monastery, your beach day is<br />

made with umbrellas, loungers and pedalos available for hire.<br />

Viareggio | Tuscany Coast<br />

Easy to reach from Florence, you can admire stunning views over the<br />

Tyrrhenian Sea at Versilia Beach, a long, wide stretch of sand that’s lined<br />

with chic bathing establishments.<br />

Santa Maria di Castellabate | Cilento<br />

Tucked away in a national park you’ll find a historic, elegant palazzi and<br />

quaint fishermen’s houses enclosing a sandy bay that boasts a wide<br />

promenade, lovely beaches, and safe bathing.<br />

Marina di Ragusa | Sicily<br />

Experience a long stretch of golden sands and crystal clear waters.<br />

This sleepy hamlet comes to life in the summer with its seaside<br />

restaurants, lounge bars, and watersports opportunities.<br />

26 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



ALL<br />

ABOARD!<br />

When you gaze out of the<br />

window, you’ll quickly realise<br />

that every train journey in Italy<br />

is full of contrasts. You’ll spot<br />

everything from traditional<br />

farmland and stunning hillsides<br />

to small towns and cities.<br />

Day 1 – Pisa to Florence<br />

Arrive at Pisa International Airport and<br />

board the shuttle service to Pisa Centrale<br />

railway station. A one hour journey to<br />

Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway<br />

station lets you spend your first evening<br />

exploring Florence.<br />

Day 4 - Rome<br />

Spend a full day exploring Rome: the<br />

Roman Forum and Colosseum in the<br />

morning, and an afternoon tour of the<br />

Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.<br />

Day 7 - Sorrento / Amalfi Coast<br />

Day 2 - Florence<br />

Peek inside the beautiful basilicas of<br />

Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, or<br />

climb the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore<br />

Cathedral for amazing views.<br />

Day 5 - Rome to Sorrento<br />

Take a leisurely high-speed train journey<br />

south to the resort town of Sorrento,<br />

which takes about an hour and 10<br />

minutes, followed by a local train to<br />

Sorrento or a car transfer, both of which<br />

take around one hour.<br />

Day 8 - Sorrento to Palinuro<br />

Day 3 - Florence to Rome<br />

Take the 90 minute high-speed train from<br />

Florence to Roma Termini railway station<br />

and soak up scenic Tuscan views and the<br />

remarkably rural Lazio region en route.<br />

Acquaint yourself with the Eternal City.<br />

Day 6 - Sorrento<br />

After a hectic few days in the cities, it’s time<br />

to take it slow. Wander into Sorrento’s old<br />

town for some shopping, relax by the pool,<br />

or stroll down to the marina.<br />

Day 9 - Palinuro<br />

Rail travel in Italy<br />

If you’re looking for a new perspective of Italy, then why not explore the country by train? Sit back and<br />

relax as Italy’s stunning scenic fields and picture-perfect vineyards are framed by your carriage window.<br />

Experience a leisurely day at your resort<br />

or take a day trip to explore one of the<br />

most beautiful regions of Italy.<br />

Day 10 - Palinuro to Taormina<br />

From Sorrento, travel to Naples to catch<br />

the train south to Palinuro. Direct services<br />

take a little over two hours.<br />

Day 11 to 14 - Sicily<br />

Explore Palinuro. Hit the beach and take<br />

a boat trip to the Blue Grotto sea cave, or<br />

lace up your trainers for a hike along the<br />

stunning coastline.<br />

Day 15<br />

Train travel in Italy is often the fastest way to hop between<br />

destinations, thanks to Trenitalia, the country’s high-speed<br />

train service. Some of the trains, especially between the<br />

major cities, go over 100mph, and there are minimal stops.<br />

Unlike Italy’s airports that are on the outskirts of towns, train stations<br />

are in the heart of the action, so the moment you disembark you’re<br />

already immersed in your new location. Unlike travelling by car, you avoid<br />

congested roads and parking challenges in busy neighbourhoods.<br />

Standard seat carriages are surprisingly comfortable on Italy’s trains.<br />

Most chairs share a table that gives you extra room. You’ll also find heaps<br />

of overhead storage, window blinds should you wish to take a little siesta,<br />

and information screens that keep you posted about your journey’s<br />

developments.<br />

Business class carriages benefit from extra leg room, reclining chairs,<br />

as well as complimentary snacks and refreshments.<br />

There are so many variations of how you can travel through Italy, whether<br />

you wish to explore the highlights of Italy, or venture to hidden gems in<br />

sleepy towns.<br />

As with all <strong>Citalia</strong> holidays, we create bespoke, flexible itineraries using<br />

our in-depth expertise.<br />

For a two week rail holiday that features the best of Italy, we recommend<br />

the following route but, if you only have one week, we can tailor the<br />

itinerary so that it ends on day seven.<br />

Experience a train journey with a<br />

difference as you head south. The<br />

journey from Palinuro to Taormina<br />

(via Sapri, where you’ll change trains)<br />

takes between five and six hours and<br />

let’s you experience the train ferry for<br />

the short crossing to Sicily! The entire<br />

train is loaded onto a ferry, then off at<br />

the other end and back onto the tracks<br />

for the rest of your journey.<br />


If you’d like to avoid flying<br />

completely then you can!<br />

With four full days in Taormina, you’ll<br />

have plenty of time to explore the town<br />

and beyond.<br />

After a fortnight of Italian adventures,<br />

it’s time to head home.<br />

28 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


THE<br />




Escape back in time to the glory years<br />

of train travel. The most sublime train<br />

tour in Italy is already laid out for you -<br />

and on a silver platter no less - with the<br />

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.<br />

For one of life’s most luxurious experiences,<br />

you needn’t look further than the<br />

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. This is a lavish<br />

five star rail experience that embraces the<br />

timeless glamour of the roaring 1920s as you travel in<br />

lovingly-restored vintage train carriages.<br />

Experience the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London<br />

to Venice or Venice to London. As General Manager, Pascal<br />

Deyrolle, explains, “Each and every one of our journeys are<br />

an incredible experience. If I had to pick a favourite, it would<br />

be Venice to London. Saving the train until the end of your<br />

trip means you end your holiday on a high, and arrive back<br />

into London in style.”<br />

Each journey is intricately planned so that the train passes<br />

through the most beautiful scenery during the day, so you<br />

don’t miss anything at night while you're asleep.<br />

Every single carriage hails from a particular European route<br />

during the golden age of travel, and a plaque at the end of<br />

each carriage explains their history.<br />

Some of these carriages have even shaped popular culture.<br />

Car 3309 was built in Belgium in 1926 and was part of the<br />

rake that was stuck in a snowdrift for 10 days in western<br />

Turkey in 1929, inspiring Agatha Christie to write Murder on<br />

the Orient Express.<br />

Deyrolle adds, “Our Grand Suite carriages are like nothing<br />

you’ve seen before. Every corner is flawless – each detail<br />

created with exquisite craftsmanship. Each time I walk<br />

through those carriages I feel as though I’ve stepped into<br />

another world. We have three new suites joining the train in<br />

<strong>2021</strong> and I can’t wait for our guests to experience them.”<br />

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is very much a social<br />

experience, just as it would have been for the high society<br />

of bygone days.<br />

Feel free to don a tux and dress to the nines during your<br />

journey, as Deyrolle explains,<br />

“Your attire is all part of the experience.<br />

A journey with us is a celebration, so<br />

take this opportunity to be your most<br />

glamorous and wear the outfit you’ve<br />

always dreamt about.”<br />

As the night draws to a close, you can retreat to your<br />

lovingly restored Art Deco cabin, where plush banquettes<br />

are whisked away to make space for restful slumber.<br />

30 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



Discover the origin and rituals of cioccolata calda -<br />

Italian hot chocolate has a subtle culture all of its own.<br />

Cioccolata calda, the Italian hot<br />

chocolate drink, is intended for<br />

the cool and crisp months. In<br />

fact, if you try to order cioccolata<br />

calda outside of the winter season, you may<br />

receive a confused look and a polite refusal.<br />

Cioccolata calda is decadently thick and more a<br />

dessert than a drink. That’s because it’s made<br />

with real pieces of intensely dark chocolate,<br />

which gives it a very different composition to<br />

the powdery, sugary cocoa and hot chocolate<br />

found in Britain.<br />

While you can opt to drink cioccolata calda, in<br />

Italy it is always served with a small espresso<br />

spoon so that you can eat it and slowly savour<br />

the flavour. To balance the rich chocolate<br />

flavour, cioccolata calda is often served with<br />

cantuccini, the crunchy, twice-baked Italian<br />

almond biscuit.<br />

Cioccolata Origins<br />

Cantuccini, the perfect accompaniment to cioccolata calda<br />

Some of Italy’s historic<br />

cafés literally serve<br />

cioccolata calda on a<br />

silver platter, emblazoning<br />

an indulgent memory<br />

in your mind.<br />

Cioccolata Calda<br />

The preparation of traditional<br />

cioccolata calda is a jealously<br />

guarded secret by Italian chocolate<br />

masters, but Stefano Nirta in the<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> team has been kind enough<br />

to share his recipe.<br />

For centuries, chocolate has been a savoury<br />

ingredient in Italy, as the cocoa bean is<br />

naturally bitter and so is treated like a spice.<br />

During the winter months, it is common<br />

to find piatto principale on the menu which<br />

features chocolate, such as pappardelle in a<br />

rabbit and chocolate ragu, Torta alla Milanese,<br />

made with minced beef, or wild boar with<br />

agrodolce, a sweet and savoury sauce.<br />

While drinking chocolate dates back 4,000<br />

years to the Mesoamerican civilizations, bicerin,<br />

the little glass, may have been Italy’s catalyst for<br />

cioccolata calda.<br />

Bicerin originates from the 17th century when<br />

the royal dynasty, the House of Savoy, licensed<br />

Monsù Gio Antonio Ari, an Turinese chocolatier,<br />

to sell a chocolate drink topped with whipped<br />

cream and espresso. Served in a small glass<br />

with a metal handle and base, this became a<br />

classic Italian drink, and bicerin remains popular<br />

across Piedmont today.<br />

An Indulgent Experience<br />

During your Italian holiday you might be<br />

surprised to see that cioccolata calda has a hefty<br />

price tag, with some cafés charging around £10<br />

for one cup.<br />

This may seem extravagant, however cioccolata<br />

calda is a winter ritual to be embraced. Italian<br />

cioccolata calda focuses on the provenance of<br />

its luxurious, silky smooth chocolate, as well as<br />

little signature additions, such as Himalayan sea<br />

salt, Indonesian cardamom, cinnamon, or ginger.<br />

A Personal Affair<br />

It’s up to the individual how this delicious<br />

Italian winter warmer tastes. Naturally bitter,<br />

if you prefer a sweeter note then it is perfectly<br />

acceptable to add a spoonful of sugar or two.<br />

You can request your cioccolata calda senza<br />

panna (without whipped cream), con panna<br />

(with whipped cream) or panna a parte (the<br />

cream separately).<br />

Cioccolata Calda<br />

In Italy<br />

Cioccolata calda is served in cafés,<br />

bars and gelaterias across Italy. These<br />

are <strong>Citalia</strong>’s favourite places for a<br />

unique, memorable experience.<br />

Turin<br />

Caffè Al Bicerin, Piazza della Consolata<br />

Florence<br />

Rivoire café-bar on Piazza della Signoria<br />

Florence<br />

Venice<br />

Caffè Florian, Piazza San Marco<br />

Rome<br />

Jonathan Bar, Viale Carlo Felice<br />

Ristorante Angelina a Trevi, Via Poli<br />

Piedmont<br />

Café Converso, Bra<br />

Milan<br />

Cioccolato Italiani, Via Moribondo, Milan<br />

Chocolat Milano, Via Giovanni Boccaccio<br />

Marchesi 1824 (across Milan)<br />

Serves 2<br />

Ingredients:<br />

• 100g 70% (or higher) dark chocolate<br />

• 375ml whole milk<br />

• 1 tsp cornstarch<br />

• Optional: whipped cream and grated<br />

chocolate to serve<br />

• Sugar to taste<br />

Method:<br />

Place broken pieces of chocolate in a<br />

small saucepan and add 1-2 tbsp of milk.<br />

Warm gently on a low heat, stirring until<br />

the chocolate begins to melt.<br />

Slowly add the remaining milk and<br />

stir until combined. Whisk in the<br />

cornstarch. If you’d like to add a pinch<br />

of spice, like cinnamon or ginger, then<br />

add it now.<br />

You can add some sugar for a touch<br />

of sweetness, or leave the drink<br />

as is for an authentic, bittersweet<br />

taste. Simmer gently for a couple<br />

more minutes, stirring occasionally<br />

to ensure it doesn’t burn, until the<br />

chocolate is thick enough to coat the<br />

back of a spoon.<br />

Pour into two mugs. If you wish, you<br />

can add whipped cream and extra<br />

grated chocolate.<br />

32 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


Hotel Su Gologone | Sardinia<br />

Rest among vineyards, almond and olive groves in this rustic experience hotel, which overlooks the Cedrino Valley. Each room is uniquely adorned with local craftwork.<br />

Trulli Soave | Puglia<br />

Stay in an individual trullo, a whitewashed conical-shaped home in the pretty<br />

UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello, for an authentic Puglian experience.<br />

Ca' Sagredo Hotel | Venice<br />

Step back in time in this delightful, listed 14th century palazzo, which embodies<br />

traditional Venetian style. The grand breakfast room overlooks the Grand Canal.<br />

Unique<br />

Sleep<br />

Unusual places to stay<br />

Seeking the most memorable stay of your life?<br />

Cave hotels, castles, art resorts - Italy has it all.<br />

Hotel Praia Art Resort | Isola di Capo Rizzuto<br />

Breathe in the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea at this boutique, adults-only art resort in Calabria, which has tasteful and occasionally quirky décor,<br />

and a Michelin-starred restaurant.<br />

Aquatio Luxury Cave Hotel & Spa | Matera<br />

Languish in luxury where modern function and ancient natural limestone rock have been brilliantly stitched together in this utterly enchanting cave hotel.<br />

Pagliazza Tower at Hotel Brunelleschi | Florence<br />

Slumber in an intimate, opulently decorated sixth century Byzantine tower in the heart of Florence, and get whisked into the city’s historical spirit.<br />

34 34 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com citalia.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



An Insider's Guide to<br />

Amalfi<br />

Ever wondered what it’s like to actually live in the beautiful<br />

Amalfi Coast? Nicole Storey shares a typical day in her local shoes.<br />

The views of Amalfi from here<br />

are just stunning and we pause<br />

to drink it all in, it never gets old.<br />

Nicole Storey lives and works<br />

in the Amalfi Coast.<br />

@nickipositano<br />

After living on the Amalfi Coast for<br />

over twenty years I sometimes<br />

feel like there isn’t much left for<br />

me to discover. But after recently<br />

catching a ferry over to Amalfi to meet a<br />

friend for drinks I realise that there is always<br />

something to see and do that I may not have<br />

noticed before. The secret for me is to act<br />

like I am showing someone around for the<br />

first time. What would I want them to see?<br />

We sit, as we always do, at a table outside the<br />

Gran Caffe, overlooking the beach and the<br />

main street where we can greet passersby that<br />

we know. It is morning still so we order milky<br />

cappuccinos and fresh fragrant pastries. In the<br />

afternoon we might order prosecco or an aperol<br />

spritz with some olives and crisps.<br />

Afterwards we will stroll along the promenade<br />

and cross over into the town.<br />

I love to duck into Cloister<br />

del Paradiso on a hot day, a small<br />

magical garden around the side<br />

of the Amalfi Cathedral.<br />

It’s a bargain for only €3, which includes a<br />

visit to the most elaborate church crypt I have<br />

ever seen.<br />

We pop into shops to say hello to the owners,<br />

and browse for simple gifts. Salvatore, who<br />

owns the Amalfi Lemon Experience (which is<br />

well worth experiencing) is standing outside<br />

his lemon shop and we stop to chat. He fills my<br />

pocket with lemon sherbets and I buy a couple<br />

of bags to take home to friends.<br />

We stop to say hello to Gian Paolo at JP’s<br />

Boutique. Everyone loves his simple fish design<br />

T-shirts in navy and white, and I buy a small<br />

white dress with sparkly silver fish as a fourth<br />

birthday present for a friend’s daughter.<br />

We stop off at the Pansa Gelateria and treat<br />

ourselves to ice cream, which we take down to<br />

the seafront and eat while watching a frantic<br />

game of kayak volleyball.<br />

We walk back up, passing the Gran Caffe<br />

and along the road towards the Hotel Luna<br />

Convento where we can see Atrani - a small<br />

fishing village - around the corner.<br />

It only takes a few minutes to arrive in Atrani,<br />

Italy’s smallest municipality. The artist MC<br />

Escher was inspired by this small town’s winding<br />

alleyways and houses piled on top of each<br />

other, and as we explore the streets and tunnels<br />

we stumble across various photos of his work<br />

showing the exact angles that inspired him.<br />

We walk back up to the road and cross<br />

over to the Luna Carpark where the big<br />

whitewashed pedestrian tunnel cuts through<br />

the mountainside back into Amalfi.<br />

Crossing over from the Amalfi Cathedral, we<br />

stop for lunch at Ristorante La Piazzetta in the<br />

Piazza dei Dogi, sitting outside where we can<br />

watch life go by.<br />

Locals with bags of vegetables greet each other<br />

as they pass by. Tonino the hairdresser on the<br />

corner comes over to say hello to me, while<br />

Francesco brings out a huge plate of handmade<br />

pasta cooked with shellfish in a big wrap of<br />

paper. He unfolds it in front of us and fragrant<br />

garlicky steam billows out. They leave us to<br />

eat and afterwards we catch the ferry back to<br />

Positano, sated and happy.<br />

Nicole<br />

36 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



The Foodie's Guide to the<br />

Amalfi Coast<br />

“If you’re in Minori, enjoy a leisurely aperitivo at<br />

Pasticceria Sal De Riso. I recommend sitting outside<br />

and watching the world go by before heading off<br />

to Giardiniello Restaurant. Over the years it has<br />

expanded, but still remains the same friendly<br />

family-run establishment, renowned for serving<br />

good home cooking. Expect fish, pasta dishes,<br />

and ricotta dumplings.”<br />

Gennaro Contaldo<br />

The Amalfi Coast offers a feast for all the senses, not least of all your<br />

tastebuds. <strong>Citalia</strong>’s Brand Ambassador, Gennaro Contaldo has helped<br />

us roundup our favourite food traditions and pit stops along the way.<br />



Tuck into the Amalfi Coast's own traditional<br />

dishes during your next holiday.<br />


The Amalfi Coast proudly embraces<br />

southern Italy’s love of citrus. You’ll<br />

find oranges and lemons in many<br />

sweet and savoury dishes.<br />

You’ll receive a warm welcome at Il Gusto<br />

della Costa, a wonderful limoncello factory<br />

in Praiano, where you’ll have the chance to<br />

sample limoncello, the zesty, brightly coloured<br />

liqueur with its smooth sweet taste, and sweet<br />

locally-grown orange jam.<br />

After you’ve admired Amalfi Cathedral in the<br />

main square, we recommend you indulge in<br />

refreshing, palate cleansing lemon granita<br />

alongside some delicious pastries. And there’s<br />

nowhere better to do this than at Pasticceria<br />

Andrea Pansa, a traditional bakery founded in<br />

the early 19th century.<br />


As you would imagine with its immediate<br />

proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea, the seafood<br />

along the Amalfi Coast is mouthwateringly<br />

divine and delightfully fresh.<br />

Many of Amalfi’s traditional dishes are fishbased,<br />

featuring gamberetti (shrimps), pesce<br />

rosso (redfish), pezzogna (sea bream), ricci di<br />

mare (sea urchins), polpo (octopus), pesce azzurro<br />

(blue fish) and molluschi (molluscs).<br />

Along the principal road that links Positano<br />

and Praiano you can find La Taverna del<br />

Leone, a truly authentic restaurant that all<br />

the locals frequent. Not only will you find<br />

yourself indulging in platefuls of local antipasti,<br />

freshly made pasta, handmade pizza, and fish<br />

and seafood, you get to experience the most<br />

breathtaking sea views.<br />

Alternatively head to Montepertuso, which sits<br />

just above Positano. Ristorante Donna Rosa is<br />

what puts this little town on the map, with its<br />

fresh, seafood-filled pasta dishes.<br />


Positano is a wonderland of eateries. As<br />

you wander the labyrinthine alleyways and<br />

backstreets, in among the bougainvillea-clad<br />

houses and fashionable boutiques you will find<br />

bustling trattories and chic cafés. Kick back and<br />

watch the world go by.<br />

Scialatielli con frutti di mare<br />

Scialatielli is a fresh, short thick pasta with<br />

a slightly curvy shape that originates from<br />

the Amalfi and is typically served with<br />

seafood.<br />

Totani e patate<br />

A classic dish that combines<br />

sauteed red squid with fried<br />

potatoes, onions and garlic.<br />

Acciughe ripiene<br />

A dish of filled anchovies which,<br />

despite being a traditional pauper<br />

dish, is absolutely scrumptious.<br />

Mozzarella all'amalfitana<br />

A light dish of fresh buffalo mozzarella and<br />

prosciutto ham that’s wrapped in lemon<br />

leaves.<br />

Sfogliatella<br />

A shell-shaped, crispy-layered pastry that<br />

is filled and topped with dollops of luscious<br />

lemon cream.<br />


Food is such an integral part of the local<br />

culture that the Amalfi region is a haven<br />

of local sagre (food festivals) during the<br />

summer months, so much so that it’s hard<br />

not to stumble upon one.<br />

Look out for Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, a<br />

local festival in the small village of Conca<br />

dei Marini, the Festival of San Pietro in<br />

Cetara that celebrates the patron saint of<br />

fishermen, and GustaMinori, which takes<br />

place in the historical town of Minori.<br />

38 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


Real Italy<br />

Real Exper i<br />

ences<br />

The old adage of 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' perfectly<br />

conveys <strong>Citalia</strong>’s promise to deliver you the Real Italy, and there’s<br />

no better way to do this than with hands-on activities that bring<br />

you closer to local people. Immerse yourself in the local culture<br />

with <strong>Citalia</strong>’s pick of Real Experiences.<br />

VENICE<br />

Glass-Blowing on Murano Island<br />

Take a private one-hour excursion to a boutique workshop on<br />

Murano Island and learn the traditional craft of glass-blowing with a<br />

Murano maestro. Glass-making has evolved over the centuries, yet<br />

Murano remains one of a few places in the world where the oldfashioned<br />

method reigns. The expert workmanship of basic tools<br />

and fire result in beautiful, unique vases, jewellery, and sculptures<br />

that hold the acclaimed Murano Glass trademark.<br />

SICILY<br />

Palermo Street Food & Catacombs Tour<br />

Venture through Palermo’s streets on this wonderful guided walking<br />

tour. Wander through the city’s street markets and historic squares in<br />

a small group as your guide regales you with historic tales. You will be<br />

taken into establishments favoured by real Sicilians, including bakeries<br />

and old inns, and given the chance to sample classic Palermitan street<br />

food. Your final stop is at the renowned Capuchins’ catacombs.<br />

Sunset on Mount Etna<br />

Experience a mesmerizing sunset with an evening tour of Mount<br />

Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. You and your fellow<br />

companions will be driven through lush landscapes that make way<br />

for lunar-like lava. As the terrain gets bumpy, switch to off-road<br />

vehicles. Your final leg is an exhilarating 30 minute trek with your<br />

expert alpine guide. With the volcanic heat underfoot, watch as the<br />

sky illuminates into a spellbinding palette of orange hues before it<br />

descends into darkness. After the drama, tuck into a typical Sicilian<br />

dinner with wine in an inviting mountain chalet.<br />

Suggested Stay<br />

Grand Hotel Minareto, Syracuse<br />

ROME<br />

Exclusive Night Tour of the Vatican Museums<br />

Skip-the-lines and avoid the usual crowds of the Vatican Museums<br />

with an exclusive Friday evening visit. Your expert professional guide<br />

will shed light on the Gallery of Tapestries and The Geographical<br />

Maps, Raphael's Rooms, the Vatican Library, and Michelangelo’s epic<br />

Sistine Chapel. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can enjoy<br />

dinner at the Vatican City's restaurant, Le Carrozze.<br />

Suggested Stay<br />

Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & SPA, Rome<br />

Essence & Perfume Experience<br />

Italian perfume has been renowned since the 14th century. Venice<br />

was the world hub of perfumery for several hundred years, which<br />

is why this city is the obvious location to learn the perfumery<br />

craft. At Palazzo Mocenigo, a former aristocratic residence<br />

turned museum, you’ll spend two hours being guided through the<br />

complex world of aroma and its history as you concoct your own<br />

personalized perfume to take home.<br />

Suggested Stay<br />

Hotel Londra Palace Venice<br />

The famous 'When in Rome' proverb<br />

was attributed to the theologian and philosopher Saint<br />

Augustine, during a conversation between Saint Ambrose<br />

about how different Italian cities had fasting days.<br />

40 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />




PUGLIA<br />

Cooking Class in Cisternino<br />

Vespa & Chianti Tour<br />

What better way to explore the Tuscany countryside than taking a ride on<br />

an iconic symbol of Italy, a Vespa scooter? In a small group, your guide will<br />

help you navigate the Chianti Hills, unearthing sleepy medieval villages<br />

along the way. This fun-filled full day experience includes a stop for a light<br />

Tuscan lunch and guided winery tour at a renowned local vineyard.<br />

Pizza & Gelato Making<br />

Start your day in the heart of Florence with a three hour hands-on<br />

cooking class. Your local chef will introduce you to the history of<br />

two Italian classics: pizza and gelato. Learn the all-important doughstretching<br />

technique, and pizza sauce secrets. For the gelato you’ll gain<br />

insights into sourcing the best raw ingredients and developing natural<br />

colours, as well as heating and freezing techniques. Afterwards, sit<br />

down with your small group and tuck into your final creations together.<br />

Sunset in Siena & Chianti Dinner<br />

Experience the beauty of Tuscany with an afternoon excursion to<br />

the medieval town of Siena. Before the sun sets, wander the narrow<br />

streets and marvel at the magnificent architecture, including the<br />

world-famous Piazza del Campo. You’ll then head to a typical wine<br />

estate in the heart of the Chianti region. Experience a romantic dinner<br />

under the stars in the midst of a long-established vineyard. Tuck into<br />

local produce, including salami, bruschetta and other delicacies, while<br />

sipping on precious wines that have been personally selected by the<br />

winery owners.<br />

Experience a hands-on authentic cooking class in one of Italy’s most<br />

beautiful villages. The traditional Ristorante Taverna della Torre opens its<br />

kitchen to you and other guests for a 45 minute lesson. You’ll have the<br />

chance to prepare two specialty pastas that are typical of Cisternino and<br />

the Itria Valley: orecchiette and taralli. Afterwards, tuck into a local lunch,<br />

which features local cheeses and specially-selected Puglian wine.<br />

Bike Tour in the Itria Valley<br />

Experience a half day bike tour through Itria Valley. An experienced<br />

team will help you select a suitable bike and then you’re off on this<br />

guided bike ride! This is a 24 miles round trip where you’ll be taken<br />

along small country roads dotted with rural houses and traditional<br />

trulli, and through various small towns and villages, including<br />

Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Cisternino.<br />

Olive Oil Factory & Tasting Visit<br />

Head to Il Frantolio di D'Amico Pietro, an organic farm that has been<br />

producing fine Italian extra virgin olive oil since 1917. In the factory<br />

you’ll be let in on the generations-old family secrets: the different olive<br />

varieties and how they are hand-picked, and the choice of extraction<br />

processes. Finish your experience in the tasting room to sample this<br />

award-winning Apulian olive oil.<br />

Suggested Stay<br />

Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel, Torre Canne di Fasano<br />

Suggested Stay<br />

Brunelleschi Hotel, Florence<br />

42 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



ITALY<br />

HIDDEN<br />


Cilento is Italy’s best kept secret.<br />

Located just south of Naples, the walking paths and coastal roads of<br />

Cilento will reward you with inspiring sea views, highland backdrops<br />

and picturesque harbour towns. The waterside trattorias arguably<br />

boast the best buffalo mozzarella in Italy! It’s also a wonderful place<br />

to explore Italy’s rich archaeological heritage.<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> Recommends:<br />

Take a trip to Vallo di Diano National Park for its ancient sanctuaries<br />

and settlements, including the impressive Certosa di Padula monastery.<br />

Umbria is Italy’s green heart.<br />

Landlocked Umbria is a truly authentic corner of Italy and is a feast<br />

for the senses with its museums, galleries, Romanesque churches<br />

and cathedrals that dot the verdant countryside. Wander through the<br />

narrow streets of historic Perugia, take a guided tour of spectacular<br />

Etruscan caves at Orvieto, or admire the frescoes of the Basilica di<br />

Francesco and the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> Recommends:<br />

Enhance your Italian escape with a train journey across the rolling<br />

Tuscan countryside to Siena, enjoying a glass or two of Orvieto<br />

Classico along the way.<br />

Beyond the historic cities and world-renowned iconic sights, you’ll find the<br />

real Italy tucked away. We highly recommend discovering the spectacular<br />

coastlines, romantic towns and medieval hilltop villages that are found just<br />

off-the-beaten path. In our experience, the more you explore, the more<br />

secrets you will reveal. Meet Italy’s unsung regions.<br />

Piedmont is Italy’s foodie haven.<br />

While the region is awash with green-gold vineyards with its firm footing<br />

in viticulture, Piedmont is also a hotbed of culinary excellence, with its<br />

focus on local production and food provenance. The small town of Bra<br />

and its parish, Pollenzo, is the birthplace of the international Slow Food<br />

movement, and home to the unique and highly-acclaimed University of<br />

Gastronomic Sciences.<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> Recommends:<br />

Combine Piedmont with the city of Turin to enjoy its Baroque<br />

architecture against the backdrop of the Italian Alps.<br />

Lake Orta is Italy’s untouched lake.<br />

Forest-lined Lake Orta is a stunning and serene region of Italy, and it’s a<br />

mystery to us why it doesn’t receive the same spotlight as neighbouring<br />

Lake Maggiore, despite its mesmerising attractions. Hugging the lake’s<br />

shores, the village of Orta San Giulio is filled with narrow cobbled lanes,<br />

tiny fishing jetties, and lakeside gardens. It’s topped by the UNESCO<br />

World Heritage site of Sacro Monte di San Francesco, where you will<br />

find 20 little chapels dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> Recommends:<br />

Combine the romance and tranquillity of Lake Orta with the history<br />

and architecture of the city of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher<br />

Columbus.<br />

44 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



ITALY<br />

Where: Ostuni, a small town perched on a steep hilltop towering over the<br />

plains of Puglia. Its whitewashed houses and trulli stone buildings with their<br />

unique tapered conical roofs make for a picturesque escape.<br />

What: Experience candlelight dinners, rural ambles, and traditional Puglian<br />

pasta and jam making classes.<br />

Stay: Terra Sessana Country Resort, a quaint and serene resort with four<br />

secluded and unique villas that suit different family sizes seeking a home-fromhome<br />

experience.<br />

Where: Ricadi, a picturesque, rural town in the southern Italian coastline of<br />

Calabria.<br />

Why: Embrace adventure at a slower pace. Home to vineyards, farms and olive<br />

groves, it will feel like you’ve stepped back in time.<br />

What: Go hiking along scenic trails, lounge on white beaches, go snorkelling in<br />

warm waters, and explore the many natural grottos.<br />

Stay: Baia Del Godano Resort & Spa, a tranquil beachfront resort overlooking<br />

the sparkling blue Tyrrhenian Sea, is an idyllic spot for an extended stay.<br />

GO SLOW<br />

& SAFE<br />

Where: Gavi in Piedmont, located a one hour drive from the Ligurian Coast<br />

and the Italian port city of Genoa. Steeped in agrarian traditions, Gavi - home of<br />

the ‘white barolo’ - is a hidden gem destination for a wine holiday in Italy.<br />

What: Taste the award-winning DOCG Gavi wine at source, and tuck into local<br />

flavours.<br />

Stay: Villa Sparina, a family-run winery-resort and farmhouse hotel, home to<br />

the Michelin-plated restaurant, La Gallina.<br />

Where: Montepetriolo, in the Umbria region of Perugia, and known as the<br />

Garden of Italy.<br />

Why: Feel like you’re a million miles from anywhere in a luxurious rural retreat.<br />

What: Go horseback riding, hunting for decadent truffles, wine tasting, or<br />

simply unwind for the day in an exclusive spa.<br />

Stay: Borgo dei Conti Resort, a historical manor house and estate regally<br />

restored by Relais & Château that feels like you’re in the pages of a fairytale.<br />

After all the uncertainty of 2020,<br />

we know you’re craving a<br />

holiday, and you’re probably<br />

wondering the best way to have<br />

one safely. Our recommended approach is<br />

to get away from the crowds and find your<br />

own quiet corner where you can bring several<br />

generations of family together.<br />

Whether you choose to stay in a boutique<br />

resort with spacious gardens for al fresco<br />

living, or rent your own private villa with<br />

an outdoor swimming pool, for <strong>2021</strong> we’ve<br />

expanded our collection of secluded stays. Get<br />

inspired by our hand picked selections.<br />

Where: Montecastelli Pisano, a medieval fortified village tucked away in the<br />

heart of rural Tuscany.<br />

Why: Experience slow, al fresco Tuscan culture surrounded by olive groves and<br />

cypress trees.<br />

What: Enjoy secluded barbecues, walk the many nearby trails, and explore<br />

historical attractions, including nearby Siena and San Gimignano.<br />

Where: Taormina, an ancient hilltop town on Sicily’s Eastern coast.<br />

Why: This is the perfect launchpad to discover Sicily’s beautiful coastline,<br />

including the beaches of Giardini Naxos and the Bay of Taormina.<br />

What: Visit the renowned Greco-Roman Teatro Antico di Taormina, amble<br />

pedestrianized streets, soak up the Sicilian sunshine and enjoy watersports and<br />

boat rides.<br />

As Heather Green, Senior Regional Destination<br />

Manager at <strong>Citalia</strong>, explains, “There’s truly a<br />

treasure chest of hidden gems in Italy that will<br />

provide a safe, unhurried holiday base.”<br />

“Italy’s rural areas provide wonderful<br />

agricultural experiences that revolve<br />

around genuine hospitality, spectacular<br />

landscapes and local food and wine,<br />

while our selection of lesser known<br />

cities offer up many cultural delights.”<br />

Stay: Villa Le Capanne or Villa Centopino, both elegantly restored Tuscan<br />

farmhouses with sprawling private grounds and a swimming pool and jacuzzi<br />

area. They are ideal self-catering options for two couples holidaying together, or<br />

a small family.<br />

Stay: Villa Mastrissa, a luxurious and spacious private villa that accommodates<br />

up to nine people. There are two private outdoor swimming pools and a terrace<br />

with gorgeous views to enjoy.<br />

46 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />



Pappardelle with Sage &<br />

Roasted Hazelnut Sauce<br />

Piedmont<br />

Red wine (Nebbiolo or Barbera)<br />

Due to favourable soil conditions, the rolling<br />

Langhe hills of Piedmont boast arguably<br />

the world’s best hazelnuts. In fact they<br />

are a protected food type, the Nocciola del<br />

Piemonte IGP.<br />

Sapori<br />

D’italia<br />

Flavours Of Italy<br />

Tuck into <strong>Citalia</strong>’s selection<br />

of warming winter dishes.<br />

Hazelnuts are frequently flaunted in local<br />

desserts due to their sweet note, including<br />

that famous chocolate and hazelnut paste.<br />

But Piedmontese cooking also uses hazelnuts<br />

as a savoury ingredient. This simple yet hearty<br />

dish, inspired by the region’s salsa di nocciole, is<br />

scrumptious on cold winter nights.<br />

Serves 4<br />

Preparation time: 15 minutes<br />

Ingredients<br />

• 400g freshPappardelle<br />

• 200g hazelnuts<br />

• 250g button chestnut mushrooms, sliced<br />

• 150g fresh Parmesan cheese, grated<br />

• 200g butter<br />

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped<br />

• 10 sage leaves, chopped<br />

• Sea salt and cracked black pepper<br />

Method<br />

Heat the oven to 180°C and lightly toast<br />

hazelnuts on a tray for about six minutes, until<br />

they are light brown. Allow them to cool before<br />

roughly chopping.<br />

Bring a pan of water to boil while you are making<br />

the sauce.<br />

Melt the butter on a low heat until it is frothing in<br />

a large frying pan. Add the chopped mushrooms,<br />

garlic cloves and the sage leaves before adding<br />

in the nuts and season to taste. Cook the sauce<br />

lightly for a couple of minutes then take off the<br />

heat.<br />

Add your Pappardelle to the boiling water and<br />

cook until it is al dente, then remove it from the<br />

heat. Add one tablespoon of the cooking water<br />

into the sauce and stir in.<br />

Drain the pasta, and mix in the sauce. Cook for<br />

a final minute then stir in the parmesan cheese.<br />

Serve immediately.<br />

Farinata<br />

Liguria<br />

Crisp white wine (Vermentino)<br />

Farinata is a thin chickpea pancake. With its<br />

traditions in Liguria’s port city of Genoa it’s a<br />

popular street food that can be found across the<br />

Italian Riviera. Legend has it that Roman soldiers<br />

used to cook it on their shields!<br />

You can enjoy farinata either as a light meal with<br />

salad or as an appetizer. For ultimate flavour,<br />

eat farinata hot when it’s just been cooked.<br />

Serves 4-8<br />

Preparation time: 2-4 hours<br />

advance prep, 20 mins cooking<br />

Ingredients:<br />

• One litre of tepid water<br />

• 300 g sifted chickpea (gram) flour<br />

• 115 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra<br />

for the pan<br />

• A few sprigs of fresh rosemary<br />

• Sea salt and cracked black pepper<br />

• Fried onions (optional)<br />

Method<br />

Slowly mix the water with the chickpea flour and<br />

then whisk to remove any lumps. Leave aside a<br />

few hours.<br />

Upon your return, remove any foam that’s<br />

appeared on the top, and add in the olive oil,<br />

rosemary sprigs, and season to taste preferences.<br />

Preheat the oven to 220°C and heat a flat pan.<br />

Once it’s hot, add a few drops of olive oil until<br />

a thin layer covers the base. Heat for a minute,<br />

then add a 1cm thick layer of batter.<br />

If you wish, sprinkle a few fried onions on top<br />

prior to cooking.<br />

Bake for 20 minutes, until it’s golden brown.<br />

Gennaro Contaldo’s<br />

Tiramisu<br />

We had to include Italian chef Gennaro<br />

Contaldo’s tiramisu recipe, as while it looks<br />

impressive, it’s an easy dessert to prepare during<br />

the busy festive season.<br />

Meaning 'pick-me-up', the signature ingredients<br />

of tiramisu are fresh mascarpone, hailing from<br />

Italy’s Lombardy region, and strong Italian<br />

espresso coffee.<br />

Serves 4<br />

Preparation time: 20 minutes<br />

Ingredients<br />

• 250ml mascarpone<br />

• 250ml double cream<br />

• One egg yolk<br />

• 2 tbsp sugar<br />

• ½ vanilla pod seeds<br />

• 180ml espresso coffee<br />

• 2 tbsp coffee liqueur (Kahlua)<br />

• 12 Savoiardi biscuits<br />

• Cocoa powder for dusting<br />

• 25cm in diameter round shallow dish<br />

Method<br />

In a bowl or container, combine the coffee and<br />

coffee liqueur. Set aside.<br />

In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone,<br />

cream, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla seeds together<br />

until they are well mixed. Set aside.<br />

Dip the biscuits in the coffee mix and line the<br />

dish. Pour over the creamy mixture and spread<br />

evenly all over. Dust with cocoa powder. The<br />

tiramisu can be eaten immediately or stored in<br />

the fridge until required.<br />

48 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com <strong>Winter</strong> 2020<br />


Inspired?<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>’s<br />

Sweet Dreams<br />

Browse our new collection of hotels and villas with our 2020-<strong>2021</strong> brochures<br />

to help you plan your next <strong>Citalia</strong> experience with us.<br />

We asked our Italy Experts which destination they are dreaming of visiting in <strong>2021</strong>. Here’s what they told us.<br />


VENICE<br />

Leanne<br />

Hall<br />

I am dreaming of travelling to Florence next year with<br />

my mum. This will be a delayed birthday present for<br />

my mum and her first trip to Florence. I can’t wait to<br />

sit with a coffee and watch the world go by, while<br />

admiring the beautiful cathedral of Santa Maria del<br />

Fiore. I have also planned an excursion from Florence<br />

into the Tuscan countryside to do some wine tasting.<br />

Claire<br />

Wood<br />

I am dreaming of travelling to Venice next year. My<br />

mum hasn’t been to Venice in over 10 years and she<br />

loved it all those years ago and has always wanted to go<br />

back, so I am looking forward to treating her after the<br />

tough year we’ve had. We’re looking forward to sitting<br />

in St Mark’s Square tucking into a lovely Italian lunch<br />

while taking in the stunning Venetian buildings and<br />

visiting Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge.<br />

Linda<br />

Kulka<br />


I am dreaming about being able to revisit the lovely<br />

little quaint villages of Liguria, not so much the famous<br />

ones (Cinque Terre and Portofino), but the little lesser<br />

known ones that I discovered on my last trip! On my<br />

list are Camogli, Alassio, and Chiavari - with its famous<br />

chickpea flatbread - farinata. Santa Margherita is my<br />

absolute favourite with its amazingly beautiful church –<br />

the Santuario Di Nostra Signora della Rosa in the centre.<br />

It looks so ordinary on the outside but is absolutely<br />

stunning inside! There are so many little villages to see<br />

and it is so easy to just jump on a train that goes around<br />

the coastline and see each one without having to move<br />

hotels if you prefer not to. I cannot wait to be able to go<br />

back there, even just for a lovely long weekend, sitting<br />

by the little marinas with a lovely Prosecco Negroni!<br />

Katie<br />

Barton<br />

Karen<br />

Knight<br />


I’m dreaming of going back to Tuscany. We used to have<br />

great family holidays there, staying in a villa and driving<br />

around all the small towns and investigating them. The<br />

landscape is so pretty. I highly recommend going to San<br />

Gimignano and climbing the tower. It offers fantastic<br />

views of the town and countryside.<br />

SICILY<br />

I am dreaming of visiting Taormina in Sicily. My husband<br />

and I visited on a day trip many years ago. Having been<br />

to Italy many times it’s one of the prettiest towns I have<br />

ever seen, with its beautiful cliff top location, and with<br />

Mount Etna as your backdrop.<br />


Miranda<br />

Jump<br />

I’m dreaming of Sardinia: looking up at clear blue skies,<br />

swimming in the turquoise blue waters and relaxing on<br />

the fine sandy beaches. I would love to have a browse<br />

around Porto Cervo, stop for a coffee or prosecco, and<br />

of course, do some people watching!<br />

Order<br />

Order<br />

your<br />

your<br />

complimentary<br />

complimentary printed copy<br />

copy<br />

today<br />

today ><br />

Call our ITALY EXPERTS on 01293 765061<br />

Call our ITALY EXPERTS on 01293 765061<br />

50 <strong>Citalia</strong>.com

To book or find out more, visit <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

or speak to one of our Italy Experts on 01293 765061<br />


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