Andiamo! Citalia Magazine Spring/Summer 2023

We are delighted to introduce you to issue eight of Andiamo!, the magazine from Citalia. This edition is focused on exploring and discovering the real Italy, leaving the bustling cities behind for the Treasures of the Coast. Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones as he takes us on an adventure in Sicily in the fifth instalment of the film franchise. Alternatively, enjoy the magic of the lakes with our feature on the lesser-known gems in the north. If you're seeking a different experience, step off the beaten path and discover the Top 5 Things to Do in Calabria – there's something for everyone! We are confident that you'll find lots of inspiration for your next adventure in this issue of Andiamo!, regardless of whenever you're planning to visit Italy next.

We are delighted to introduce you to issue eight of Andiamo!, the magazine from Citalia. This edition is focused on exploring and discovering the real Italy, leaving the bustling cities behind for the Treasures of the Coast.

Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones as he takes us on an adventure in Sicily in the fifth instalment of the film franchise. Alternatively, enjoy the magic of the lakes with our feature on the lesser-known gems in the north.

If you're seeking a different experience, step off the beaten path and discover the Top 5 Things to Do in Calabria – there's something for everyone! We are confident that you'll find lots of inspiration for your next adventure in this issue of Andiamo!, regardless of whenever you're planning to visit Italy next.


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<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

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

Indiana Jones in Sicily<br />

Follow in the footsteps of the ultimate explorer’s latest adventure<br />

Treasures of the Coast<br />

Castaway to the gorgeous Italian coastline<br />

Unearth Italy's many treasures! This season, we invite you to<br />

embrace your inner Indiana Jones, as we take you on summer<br />

adventures along the coast, into ancient ruins, and to sip up<br />

the secret wine culture of Sardinia!<br />

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

The Lost Foods of Italy<br />

Discover ingredients making a comeback<br />

Up, Up & Away<br />

10 views to remember

Our commitment<br />

to you<br />

All of us here at <strong>Citalia</strong> want to make sure that your well-deserved holiday runs smoothly.<br />

Our team is on hand to ensure that your eagerly awaited travels are everything you hope for.<br />

Travel with Confidence when you book with us.<br />

Around-the-clock support<br />

We offer a full 24/7 concierge service<br />

for complete peace of mind,<br />

both before and during your holiday.<br />

Curated by Italy experts<br />

ABTA and ATOL bonded, <strong>Citalia</strong> has been curang<br />

holidays to Italy for over 90 years, offering hotels<br />

and tours that are handpicked by us.<br />

Your complete service<br />

Your holiday with us includes your<br />

flights, accommodaon, and private<br />

transfers where possible, as standard.*<br />

Free amendment<br />

Change your holiday with no<br />

amendment fee (any extra holiday<br />

costs incurred are payable).^<br />

Refund guarantee<br />

If we have to cancel your trip due to flight disrupon,<br />

we will refund you, however we will always<br />

endeavour to find you an alternave. Guaranteed.~<br />

Health and safety<br />

All of our partners must adhere to<br />

local health and safety standards,<br />

which we closely monitor.<br />

* Where transfers are not possible, we will always suggest an alternave, whether that is local transportaon or car hire.<br />

^ Up to 21 days before departure you can change your holiday with no amendment fee (excluding internaonal flights, and any non-refundable in-desnaon costs).<br />

~ Up to 21 days before departure you can cancel free-of-charge and we’ll refund you less any non-refundable costs. Although every effort is made to ensure any<br />

non-refundable fees are minimised, there are occasions where we must commit to internaonal and domesc flights, accommodaon, and other services to<br />

support the running of our holidays. The value of non-refundable costs can be requested from your sales agent at the me of booking.<br />

All subject to change. Correct at me of print as of 21/04/23. Please visit <strong>Citalia</strong>.com for latest terms and condions.


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

The Explorer<br />

Hello and welcome to the spring/summer edition of <strong>Citalia</strong>’s magazine, <strong>Andiamo</strong>!<br />

Do you love to explore?<br />

With over 90 years of experience in the country, <strong>Citalia</strong> truly are the<br />

real Italy experts, as we are always unearthing new finds. We're the<br />

Indiana Jones of Italy, if you will!<br />

Our love for travel and passion for Italy sparked a desire to share<br />

our expertise with discerning guests, which is why our magazine<br />

<strong>Andiamo</strong>! was born.<br />

For travel inspiration and behind-the-scenes action on some of our<br />

preferred hotel partners or new experiences to add to your bucket<br />

list, then you’ve come to the right place, as we’re now into our<br />

eighth edition.<br />

Speaking of that renowned explorer, the upcoming installment of<br />

the legendary franchise was partly filmed in Sicily, and so we invite<br />

you to follow in Harrison Ford’s footsteps with our cover feature,<br />

Indiana Jones in Sicily.<br />

We also uncover the Lost Foods of Italy, and celebrate the<br />

underappreciated viticulture on Italy’s largest island, with<br />

A Wine Lover's Guide to Sardinia.<br />

Exploring is also all about looking with a fresh perspective, which<br />

is what we do with Up, Up & Away: 10 Views to Remember, which<br />

features hillside hikes, panoramic viewpoints, and cable car rides for<br />

you to consider. Discover natural lakeside delights in The Magic of<br />

Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta, or experience the Treasures of the Coast<br />

this summer.<br />

We delve deeply into our destinations so that our Personal Travel<br />

Planners can expertly craft the ideal tailor-made holiday just for you.<br />

We look forward to welcoming you to Italy.<br />

In this issue we give you the lowdown on several exciting spots,<br />

from one of Italy’s lesser-known regions with Top 5 Things to Do<br />

in Calabria, to some interesting new hotels and palazzo stays in<br />

Unearthing Rome & Tuscany.<br />

One of my favourite things about Italy is that it's teeming with<br />

ancient culture and historic sites. We feature a few this issue,<br />

from The Poetry Cave of Puglia, to the archaeological action found<br />

at The Big Dig: Paestum, which is often overshadowed by the Roman<br />

ruins of Pompeii.<br />

Helen Adamson<br />

Managing Director<br />

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

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


<strong>Andiamo</strong>! The Explorer<br />



08 12<br />

26<br />

Indiana Jones in Sicily Treasures of the Coast The Lost Foods of Italy<br />

Our favourite explorer is back - and this<br />

time he’s unearthing the sun-kissed island<br />

of Sicily. Are you ready to follow in his<br />

footsteps?<br />

The gorgeous Italian coastline invites you<br />

to castaway with us this summer.<br />

Italy’s food culture is a melting pot, where<br />

centuries-old ingredients and dishes are<br />

making a comeback.<br />

INSIDE<br />


SUMMER <strong>2023</strong><br />


6<br />

8<br />

Embrace your<br />

Inner Explorer<br />

Indiana Jones<br />

in Sicily<br />

18<br />

22<br />

Italy's Luxurious<br />

Resorts<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> in Sicily<br />

with AVIS<br />

12<br />

Treasures of<br />

the Coast<br />

24<br />

The Perfect View<br />

with Hotel Colonna<br />

Resort<br />

16<br />

A Day in the Life<br />

of a Personal<br />

Travel Planner<br />

25<br />

The Big Dig:<br />

Paestum<br />

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

Connect with us<br />

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

Cover image: Procida, Naples, Italy (Shutterstock)<br />

4<br />



36<br />

The Magic of<br />

Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta<br />

Move over Lake Como and Lake Garda.<br />

There’s more magic to be found in the<br />

lesser-known lakes.<br />

44<br />

Up, Up & Away<br />

Get a delightfully new perspective of Italy<br />

with our pick of 10 views to remember.<br />

48<br />

A Wine Lover's Guide<br />

to Sardinia<br />

Incredible, ancient wines that never make<br />

it off Italy’s largest island are ready to be<br />

sipped up.<br />

26<br />

The Lost Foods<br />

of Italy<br />

36<br />

The Magic of<br />

Lake Maggiore<br />

& Lake Orta<br />

44<br />

Up, Up & Away:<br />

10 Views to<br />

Remember<br />

30<br />

Unearthing Rome<br />

& Tuscany<br />

40<br />

Jewels of<br />

Southern Italy<br />

with Alyson<br />

Bardsley<br />

48<br />

A Wine<br />

Lover's Guide<br />

to Sardinia<br />

34<br />

Top 5 Things to Do<br />

in Calabria<br />

42<br />

The Poetry<br />

Cave of Puglia<br />

ABTA No.V4068<br />

Images courtesy of: Alyson Bardsley (<strong>Citalia</strong> guest), Augustus Hotel and Resort, Baia del Godano Resort & Spa, Excelsior Palace Portofino Coast, Grand Relais Dei Nuraghi, Hotel Caesar Augustus,<br />

Hotel Cannero Lakeside, Hotel Colonna Resort, Hotel Covo dei Saraceni, Hotel Metropole Taormina, Hotel Palazzo Avino, Palazzo Leopoldo Dimora Storica and SPA, Palazzo Navona, Palazzo Ripetta,<br />

Palazzo San Lorenzo and SPA, Risorgimento Resort, Shutterstock, Slow Food International, Toscana Resort Castelfalfi.<br />

Prices are estimations based on <strong>2023</strong>/24 travel and are correct at going to print but are subject to availability, restrictions, and change. Prices shown are based on 2 adults sharing and include accommodation, return<br />

flights from London, and private resort transfers (unless indicated as "car hire recommended". Flights from alternative UK airports are available. Please note that any flight or travel times included are approximations.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Embrace your<br />

Inner Explorer<br />

with <strong>Citalia</strong>’s Personal Travel Planners<br />

Discover where our Personal Travel Planners go exploring in Italy when they’re not crafting your tailor-made holiday!<br />

Venice<br />

“Walk away from the San Marco area and get<br />

lost in the lanes. You will always get back to the<br />

centre, guided by the Campanile di San Marco!<br />

Only open in the mornings, it’s worth getting<br />

up early to watch all the locals at the fruit and<br />

seafood market. From here, take a little foot<br />

gondola and cross the main waterway dodging<br />

all the other boats. If you are brave you can<br />

stand up like the locals! Venture to Giardini<br />

della Marinaressa for its unusual art sculptures,<br />

and the quieter surrounding streets with tasty<br />

little restaurants.”<br />

Linda Kulka<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

Ischia<br />

“Opposite Naples, the<br />

understated island of Ischia<br />

offers so much to the intrepid<br />

spirit. I keep going back as<br />

I’m always amazed every<br />

time. Despite being a very<br />

dry volcanic island, it has<br />

beautiful tropical gardens like<br />

La Mortella Gardens, where<br />

classical music is played all<br />

year round. I love the natural<br />

spas and beaches, as well as<br />

the unique borgos and castles<br />

like Castello Aragonese in<br />

Ischia Porto, and charming<br />

fishing villages like St. Angelo.”<br />

Sorrento<br />

“The town of Sorrento is amazing for<br />

exploring, filled with pretty cobbled streets<br />

and amazing eateries where you can try<br />

the best Italian cuisine. I love to get lost<br />

round the back streets that lead down to<br />

the Marina Grande with its pretty view<br />

over the Bay of Naples. I recently stumbled<br />

across a secret lemon garden, tucked away<br />

just a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Tasso.<br />

Filled with the most beautiful lemon trees,<br />

locals were making limoncello and offering<br />

tastings. This is a real hidden gem!”<br />

Erin Bridewell<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

Artan Prifti<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

Cinque Terre<br />

“Take the Cinque Terre Express from La Spezia, a train that allows you to visit the five unmissable<br />

towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso, or by traghetto (water ferry).<br />

If you’re up for a hike then there’s a seven mile-long main footpath with smaller paths connecting<br />

them. My personal favourite is the hiking trail Sentiero Azzurro, from Vernazza to Monterosso.<br />

Put on your hiking boots and start early in the morning as it can get very busy and you’ll want to<br />

take your time. The views are beautiful throughout, with small vineyards, streams, and cliff drops.”<br />

Romina Locci<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

Puglia<br />

“From the scenic countryside dotted with unique<br />

trulli houses and the crystal-clear waters off<br />

the Adriatic Coast, to the quaint, whitewashed,<br />

hilltop towns with their cobbled streets and<br />

stunning views, Puglia offers something for<br />

everyone and is definitely my favourite region<br />

of Italy for exploring!”<br />

Cassie Harris<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

6<br />





FRUILI-<br />


GUILIA<br />

AOSTA<br />

VALLEY<br />


VENETO<br />

Venice<br />




Cinque<br />

Terre<br />


MARCHE<br />

UMBRIA<br />


LAZIO<br />

MOLISE<br />

Sorrento<br />

Puglia<br />


Ischia<br />


Discover the Real Italy at <strong>Citalia</strong>.com ><br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Indiana Jones<br />

in Sicily<br />

Are you ready to follow in the footsteps of the<br />

ultimate explorer? Anticipated to be released in late June,<br />

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will excite<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> readers, as much of the filming was done in Sicily!<br />

After more than 15 years, Harrison Ford returns to our screens with the fifth instalment of<br />

the legendary adventure franchise, Indiana Jones. Aged 80 years, there’s a final adventure left<br />

in Ford as he dons his cowboy hat, khakis, and bullwhip once again. The premise of this sequel<br />

is ‘fitting into a world that seems to have outgrown him’. In this adventure, Ford is joined<br />

by Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag fame, and Mads Mikkelsen, who you’ll recall from<br />

Casino Royale, as well as his old trustworthy sidekick, Sallah, played by John Rhys-Davies.<br />

With its spellbinding natural beauty and plentiful archaeological treasures, the southern<br />

Italian island of Sicily is an obvious location for the legendary explorer. A 600-strong<br />

crew were on location, with some actors reportedly dressed as Roman soldiers,<br />

which may provide some clues to a time-travelling storyline in this long-awaited sequel.<br />

Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve unearthed the filming locations, so that you can<br />

have your own Indiana Jones moments in Sicily. Let <strong>Citalia</strong> take you into the heart of the action!<br />

8<br />



Parco Archeologico della Neapolis<br />

Syracuse<br />

On the east coast, Syracuse takes you into the sheer timelessness<br />

of Sicily, as you immerse yourself in a thousand-year-old city, with<br />

an even older origin story. Syracuse’s Old Town, known as Ortigia,<br />

is in fact a small island, but is connected by little bridges. Roam the<br />

medieval streets and decadent Baroque piazzas, and discover an<br />

impressive collection of ancient Greek ruins, as you breathe in the salty<br />

sea air of the nearby sparkling waters.<br />

Parco Archeologico della Neapolis<br />

One of Sicily’s greatest archaeological sites is the Neapolis<br />

Archaeological Park, which dates back to 734 BC and was one of<br />

the largest cities in the ancient world. It’s a classicist’s dream - and<br />

an ideal spot for Indiana Jones! Unsurprisingly, it’s a UNESCO World<br />

Heritage site.<br />

All in all, we recommend about an hour and a half to visit the park,<br />

which you can enjoy independently or on a private guided tour.<br />

At the entrance of the park you’ll find a second century Anfiteatro<br />

Romano (Roman amphitheatre), where horse races and bloody combat<br />

took place between gladiators and, occasionally, wild beasts. It’s one of<br />

the more recent monuments, so is usually left until the end of a tour.<br />

Sadly, much of the amphitheatre was destroyed by Spanish conquerors<br />

in the 16th century. You’ll also find the Altar of Hieron, allegedly<br />

the largest stone altar ever built by the ancient Greeks, where bulls<br />

would be sacrificed on feast days to honour the Greek god of sky and<br />

thunder, Zeus.<br />

The pièce de résistance of the archaeological park is its 5th century BC<br />

Teatro Greco (Greek Theatre), which was rebuilt in the 3rd century. It’s<br />

best viewed at its lowest position to give you a sense of size. You’ll<br />

find a few artificial caves surrounding it, some of which are believed<br />

to have been used to supply water for mock naval battles, and also<br />

as burial sites in the Byzantine age. At one point, this impressive<br />

amphitheatre could have accommodated an audience of up to 16,000<br />

to watch all the famous tragedies of its time. Even today, you’ll find a<br />

season of classical theatre running from early May until early July.<br />

You can also explore the Latomia del Paradiso (Paradise Quarry),<br />

an ancient limestone cave that is teeming with catacombs, but has<br />

also bloomed into a beautiful Mediterranean garden of citrus and<br />

magnolia trees.<br />

Orecchio di Dionisio<br />

You’ll find Syracuse’s most famous cave in the park: Orecchio di Dionisio<br />

(the Ear of Dionysius), a wide and deep cavern whose mouth is usually<br />

framed by ferns. Our sources tell us this features in Indiana Jones as an<br />

old mine. The renowned Italian painter Caravaggio believed its shape<br />

resembles a human ear and so gave the cave its name. Legend has it that<br />

the Greek tyrant Dionysius the Elder imprisoned his enemies here so<br />

that he could use the perfect echoing chambers to eavesdrop on them -<br />

and possibly even relished listening to their torture. While access to hear<br />

the sound from the top of the cave has been restricted in recent years,<br />

you can still test the acoustics for yourself from the cavern floor!<br />

Grotta Dei Cordari<br />

Also inside the park, you’ll find the Grotta dei Cordari (the Ropemakers’<br />

Cave), which is expected to feature in the film. It’s so named because<br />

skilled family craftsmen worked here for many centuries, using<br />

their legs and hands to stretch, twist, and weave rope out of hemp,<br />

coconut, and agave, from dawn until sunset each day. A popular<br />

attraction through the centuries, this cave has been depicted in several<br />

significant historical and religious paintings. The last ropemaker left in<br />

1984 when the cave was at risk of collapse and due to the onslaught<br />

of industrial methods. The cave was reopened to the public in 2021,<br />

after 40 years of closure.<br />

Castello Maniace<br />

Right at the tip of Ortigia stands a great 13th century Gothic citadel,<br />

Castello Maniace, which will feature in this year’s epic film, with<br />

scenes featuring horses, gunfire, and smoke! Built on rocks, it’s been<br />

continually restored and restructured through history. There’s a small<br />

antiquarium that features many artefacts found on site, however you<br />

might simply wish to gaze across the waters and dream of another time.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Cefalù<br />

In northern Sicily lies the coastal city of Cefalù, home to a pretty<br />

fishing boat-lined port and gorgeous beaches that laze alongside<br />

a great 12th century Arab-Norman cathedral. It’s an architectural<br />

masterpiece, with Byzantine mosaics and heady towers, all to a<br />

backdrop of mountains. The Italian film classic Cinema Paradiso was<br />

set here, and it’s no wonder, as Cefalù really does feel like a paradise!<br />

Filming locations included the marina, and the beautiful main beach<br />

of Lungomare. On a typical day, if you head down to the promenade,<br />

you’ll usually find it lined with trattorie and cafés rather than a film<br />

crew. Streets and houses around Piazza Duomo were transformed<br />

into the 1960s era for the film, complete with a traditional barber<br />

shop and café. Head to Lilies Caffè in Piazza Bagni di Cicerone,<br />

to see if you can recognise it from the film!<br />

10<br />



Trapani<br />

The lesser visited province of Trapani in the west of Sicily also got thrown<br />

into the limelight.<br />

Castellammare del Golfo<br />

One venue of choice was the historic town of Castellammare del Golfo.<br />

The literal Italian translation of ‘Sea Fortress on the Gulf’ is apt as you’ll<br />

find a medieval fortress in the harbour. It’s not the first time film crews<br />

have been here - Ocean’s Twelve was also filmed nearby, as was an<br />

Inspector Montalbano episode (The Sense of Touch).<br />

Some say that Castellammare del Golfo has the most beautiful peninsula<br />

in all of Sicily, so you may wish to unwind along the coast here. You’ll find<br />

a lovely lido culture with watersports at La Plaja. We heard word that one<br />

lucky visitor found Harrison Ford’s credit card on the beach, which he<br />

apparently lost while out strolling during a filming break.<br />

There are steep, winding streets up to the main town centre, which is<br />

where Roman gladiators were seen roaming during filming.<br />

Should you wish to explore further, the major city of the province is<br />

likewise called Trapani, and just a 40 minute drive away. It has many<br />

historical sights, including the Torre di Ligny (an astronomical clock), a<br />

pretty 19th century park, an atmospheric fish market, and an 18th century<br />

Spanish church that holds many mysteries.<br />

Marsala<br />

A 30 minute drive southwest of Trapani lies the town that famously holds<br />

the nectar of the gods, marsala wine. Possibly crucial to the new Indiana<br />

Jones plot, a yacht was filmed sinking here!<br />

Marsala has always been a strategically important port town for the<br />

many rulers over the centuries. What you’ll also find here is a centuriesold,<br />

still-working salt pans, which are home to native and migratory<br />

birds, windmills, and a fabulous network of waterways and pools. Take<br />

your time here - it’s well worth going on a boat tour and visiting the salt<br />

museum and the nearby nature reserve of Il Stagnone. You’ll also be able<br />

to explore beautiful Baroque architecture, an archaeological museum, and<br />

two fabulous white sand beaches. Plus, there are the local wineries to<br />

scrutinise too of course, which we highly recommend you do! Head to the<br />

historical Cantine Florio, one of Italy’s oldest wineries.<br />

Segesta<br />

With origins as far back as the ancient Elymians, one of the three<br />

indigenous peoples of Sicily, Segesta invites you back to a simpler time.<br />

More inland, it’s a tucked away spot of both barren hills and woodland,<br />

and at the top of one such hill you’ll unearth a great treasure: the Temple<br />

of Segesta.<br />

This beautifully-preserved ancient temple is believed to have been built<br />

around 420 BC, and is considered one of Europe’s best examples of Doric<br />

architecture. What’s more incredible is that historians and scientists<br />

concluded that this was simply a draft, and abandoned it before it was<br />

completed. They came to this conclusion as the pillars don’t have bases,<br />

and there’s no sign of walls or a roof ever having been built, nor was it ever<br />

painted or ornamented, so the temple’s purpose remains a mystery.<br />

To visit, we recommend you take the shuttle bus, or go early in the<br />

morning and take a somewhat steep walk up the hill.<br />

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones in Sicily this summer?<br />

A 7 night holiday in Sicily, staying at the UNAHOTELS Naxos Brach Sicilia starts from £899 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Treasures<br />

of the Coast<br />

Castaway to the gorgeous Italian coastline this summer<br />

and unearth hidden gems teeming with leisurely pursuits.<br />

There’s more than you would imagine: spellbinding ocean views,<br />

picture-perfect harbour villages, historic villas, Blue Flag beaches,<br />

and boatloads of fresh frutti di mare to tuck into!<br />

Portofino<br />

If you’ve not discovered the treasure of the Ligurian coast, this is<br />

definitely your starting point. With its brightly-coloured houses<br />

that tumble from the hills, Portofino is often compared to the<br />

villages of the Cinque Terre, yet this fishing village is an old-timer<br />

for seaside pleasures. Sitting on its own peninsula, Portofino has<br />

been attracting an exclusive culture for decades.<br />

You’ll find a decadent lifestyle of super-yachts, fine dining restaurants,<br />

designer boutiques, cafés, and bars. There are several slivers of<br />

beach that are popular with locals and visitors alike - and we suggest<br />

you explore away until you find your perfect spot. The hotels in and<br />

around this area are sublime: occasionally modern, sometimes historic,<br />

but always with enchanting views over the legendary Ligurian Sea.<br />

12<br />


Ravello<br />

Arguably the most romantic winding clifftop town of the Amalfi<br />

Coast, Ravello oozes a charming elegance. An unusual location<br />

for a town, Ravello was built in the 5th century to protect against<br />

invasion. Nowadays, you’ll find a rustic simplicity that’s been<br />

splashed with glamour. Many writers have been charmed and<br />

inspired by its lofty location - from DH Lawrence who wrote<br />

Lady Chatterley’s Lover here in the 1920s, to Tennessee Williams,<br />

Virginia Woolf, and the German composer Richard Wagner.<br />

Many of its historic villas and lush gardens have been converted<br />

into palatial hotels. There’s a world of lemon-fragranced al fresco<br />

dining to discover here, which is always served up with heart-stirring<br />

views. As you head through the narrow streets, you’ll eventually land<br />

up in the Piazza Duomo, home to an almost century-old cathedral,<br />

just one of the reasons why Ravello is a UNESCO World Heritage<br />

site. During the summer months, Ravello plays host to one of Italy’s<br />

oldest and most prestigious music festivals.<br />

Positano<br />

Send your postcard this summer from Positano, an Amalfi Coast<br />

favourite. There’s a touch of drama as its disorderly pastel pink,<br />

peach, and terracotta houses dangle cliffside over the sea. Within<br />

the town’s steep streets, you’ll find a delightful sprinkling of<br />

elegance found in its fashionable shops and art galleries, as well<br />

as fascinating history due to its crumbling buildings, underground<br />

Museo Archeologico Roman, and places of worship. Where<br />

Positano really packs a punch is with its sheer holiday spirit,<br />

thanks to its plentiful gelaterie and sunbeds on the beach, where<br />

you can unwind and listen out for the legendary call of the Sirens<br />

of Li Galli. For a more energetic pace, take the Path of the Gods, a<br />

marked trail that offers some of the best views of the region.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Porto Cervo<br />

Porto Cervo is both unusual and elite all at once - and is unlike<br />

any other Sardinian town you’ll come across! The reason for<br />

all its peculiarity is that it was built in the 1950s as a seaside<br />

resort for the well-heeled, with a mélange of architectural<br />

influence from Greece, North Africa, Spain, and, of course,<br />

Italy. The result was a playful, affluent resort that’s enhanced<br />

by an abundantly beautiful coastline. Its location in the heart<br />

of fashionable Costa Smeralda offers an amazing opportunity<br />

to roam about and uncover high-end boutique shops, galleries,<br />

and a sparkling yacht-lined marina, as well as the chance to<br />

taste the delicious dishes that Sardinia is famous for, yet often<br />

with a contemporary haute cuisine twist.<br />

Forte Dei Marmi<br />

When it comes to beach resorts on the Tuscan coast, Forte Dei Marmi<br />

is one of the originals, and it’s the history that gives this sweeping<br />

world of white sands and beach bars more magnitude. The town has<br />

attracted many great residents, including the opera legend Andrea<br />

Bocelli and the celebrated fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Ideal for<br />

families, the beaches, such as Bagno Angelo or Sant Maria Beach,<br />

are lined with neat rows of sun loungers and umbrellas, so you can<br />

bring a picnic and set up for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and<br />

watersports. More inland, you’ll find an array of seafood restaurants<br />

and pizzerias to suit every taste, and plenty of bars that overlook<br />

the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Time your holiday with the weekly<br />

market for a fun way to discover Tuscany’s regional delights.<br />

14<br />



Capri<br />

Capri is more than chic: she’s soaked in glamour, having been<br />

a holiday home to high society guests like Jackie Kennedy<br />

since the 1960s. The Romans built their impressive wisteriaand<br />

bougainvillaea-swathed villas here centuries before,<br />

which still cling to sweeping cliffs with the beautifully blue<br />

Tyrrhenian Sea below. Located on the southern side of the<br />

Gulf of Naples, Capri is in easy reach, but we recommend<br />

you stay on the island for a few nights because as the<br />

sun goes down and the day-trippers leave, Capri shows a<br />

different side. While the daytime plays host to flashy cafés<br />

and unique designer boutiques where you can splash your<br />

cash, the evenings are a delightfully suaver affair, where you<br />

can settle into a delectable restaurant in one of the island’s<br />

two harbours, Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. You can<br />

then wake up early in the mornings to experience the natural<br />

beauty and rich mythology before the streets fill up.<br />

Taormina<br />

Clinging to the mountainside in the foothills of Mount Etna, the<br />

ancient town of Taormina is a must-visit destination on the island of<br />

Sicily. It’s an ideal spot if you wish to soak up history and the Sicilian<br />

sun. For many centuries Taormina was ignored, until it became a stop<br />

for noble Europeans on their 18th and 19th century Grand Tours.<br />

This rediscovered appreciation is understandable, with its ancient<br />

Greek-Roman Theatre, impressive medieval castle, Palazzo Corvaja, a<br />

traffic-free main street, and beautiful panoramas over the Ionian Sea.<br />

You can head out on scenic boat tours around the cape to gorgeous<br />

grottos, and enjoy watersports like surfing and snorkelling, or simply<br />

kick back on the pretty shingle beaches.<br />

The Italian coast is waiting for you! Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


A Day in the Life of a<br />

Personal Travel Planner<br />

Lucia Burletson explains exactly what her role as a Personal Travel Planner involves<br />

and what guests can expect when planning a tailor-made holiday with <strong>Citalia</strong>.<br />

I’ve been working for <strong>Citalia</strong> for over six years now<br />

and so intimately know not only Italy, but the ins<br />

and outs of what makes for a great personalised<br />

holiday in this incredible country.<br />

Except for repeat guests who have travelled with<br />

me before, my role always begins with a phone<br />

call, or receiving a quote request through the<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> website. Then I’ll make the introduction<br />

and start getting to know our new guest. Myself<br />

and all the team are very flexible about when<br />

we can speak to our guests - evenings and<br />

weekends are naturally a popular time.<br />

Crafting a tailor-made holiday is so much more<br />

than just asking about the duration, dates, and<br />

number of travellers, it's about intimately getting<br />

to know interests and desires. I tend to ask<br />

exactly what three things you would expect or<br />

wish for in a holiday, and this usually helps get the<br />

conversation flowing.<br />

The most common question I get asked is do we<br />

offer excursions and the answer is, of course!<br />

Thanks to our long-standing on-the-ground<br />

presence, we’re able to arrange queue-skipping for<br />

popular attractions like the Vatican in Rome or the<br />

Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I’ve had a guest ask to<br />

spend a night at the opera in Venice, while another<br />

wanted me to book a special Andrea Bocelli concert<br />

in Tuscany as tickets were hard to come by, but I<br />

did successfully secure them for her! I’ve had guests<br />

who request a private English-speaking guide and<br />

chauffeur to take them to multiple historic sites,<br />

such as Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, which we can<br />

always organise quite quickly.<br />

No itinerary is ever the same.<br />

We can arrange very specific requests even before<br />

you’ve confirmed your trip. For example, if you’re<br />

scared of heights and want to ensure you’re on a<br />

lower floor in your accommodation then we can do<br />

what’s called a condition of booking and receive a<br />

guarantee in writing from our hotel partners prior to<br />

you even paying your deposit.<br />

16<br />


I frequently book special occasions like honeymoons or special<br />

birthdays, particularly to Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast, and<br />

I always try to arrange special treats and extras for such occasions<br />

with our Italian partners.<br />

Even if someone doesn’t know exactly what they want or where<br />

they want to go - which is quite common - it’s my job to pick up<br />

on the little details and make specific recommendations for both<br />

destinations and accommodation accordingly. This is where all the<br />

product knowledge that I’ve gained over the years comes in handy.<br />

Unlike other travel companies that have thousands and thousands of<br />

hotels in their collection, which can be quite overwhelming to choose<br />

from, we hand-select all our hotels. Most of these are excellent fouror<br />

five- star hotels, with the odd three-star boutique family-run hotel<br />

in the city, which are up to our high standards and usually do the job<br />

for guests who intend to be out and about exploring a lot. We usually<br />

give a couple of options within your specified budget.<br />

What <strong>Citalia</strong> is really good at is arranging<br />

holidays that hop around from place to place<br />

and offer variety - perhaps the lakes and a<br />

city, or the beach with the countryside. Italy<br />

is so diverse, and we can help you piece it all<br />

together. We can create numerous iterations<br />

of your itinerary, obligation-free, until you are<br />

completely happy with our suggestions.<br />

We can also include a variety of travel options, including rail and selfdrive,<br />

and we always include transfers throughout our itineraries as<br />

standard. It’s so much easier for us to sort it all for you, so you don’t<br />

have to worry about organising all the small little elements separately.<br />

What’s more, your trip is fully protected through ATOL and there’s<br />

always support along the way should you need it - either by emailing<br />

us or contacting our out-of-hours emergency number, should you<br />

have any difficulties, be it leaving your wallet in a taxi or your phone<br />

charger in one of the hotels! Our operations team are really on it -<br />

and good at identifying and fixing issues, such as a cancelled flight,<br />

even before our guests realise there’s been any problems.<br />

We have a lot of guests who have never been to Italy before. Some<br />

choose to book one of our escorted small group tours, which are<br />

completely exclusive to <strong>Citalia</strong>. I’ve noticed that first-timers in Italy<br />

often like to combine a city break with the countryside, be that<br />

Florence with the Tuscan countryside, or Rome with Sorrento. What’s<br />

popular now are the Italian lakes - often combining Lake Como with<br />

Lake Maggiore, while Lake Garda is the current favourite destination<br />

for family holidays.<br />

The first work trip I ever went on was to Lake Garda, and I went on<br />

a day trip over to Venice, which I didn’t realise you could do. It was<br />

such a great idea for guests who only want to unpack their suitcase<br />

once, that this has since become one of my favourite tips for guests<br />

travelling to this region!<br />

A destination that I’d say is overlooked is Calabria, due to the fact<br />

there are less flights going there, which is a real shame as it’s not as<br />

crowded and has a much more traditional Italian spirit.<br />

My ultimate Italian destination, hands-down, is<br />

Sorrento. I prefer to visit in October when it’s<br />

quieter but still really warm, and when there’s a<br />

beautiful light - in fact I’m planning to get married<br />

there myself next year! Having said that, I’m quite<br />

biased as my grandparents come from a town just<br />

outside of Naples, so Sorrento is in my blood!<br />

It’s quite common for guests who are travelling on business in the<br />

area to arrange an extended trip for family members, and I love the<br />

logistics of bringing these types of holidays together. The largest<br />

group I have booked a holiday for was a family of 14, all of whom<br />

were flying from different airports and on different days. They ended<br />

up staying at Forte Village in Sardinia on my recommendation, as it<br />

had something for all their different ages and interests!<br />

I get a real buzz out of receiving feedback from guests after they<br />

have returned from their holidays, and it’s such a sweet gesture<br />

when they specifically phone up to tell me how their trip went - it<br />

makes my job feel really worthwhile to be helping create holidays of<br />

a lifetime.<br />

One of the kindest words came from a guest who travels with us<br />

every year with her family of triplets. She was taking a holiday in<br />

Australia last year and she said, “I wish I had a ‘Lucia’ to organise my<br />

Australia trip too!”<br />

Interested in a <strong>Citalia</strong> holiday? Speak to Lucia or one of her fellow Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Italy's<br />

Luxurious Resorts<br />

Seeking a chicer stay in Italy? We’ve selected our favourite five-star properties<br />

that reflect their location perfectly, from a regal palace and a historical villa<br />

to refined resorts that offer sanctuary in their rich tropical gardens.<br />

Hotel Caesar Augustus<br />

Sheer luxury awaits you in this romantic historical villa, perched 1,000 feet above the Bay<br />

of Naples on the sparkling island of Capri, where you can savour breathtaking views from<br />

an impressive infinity pool and sun terrace. Stay in a crisp Mediterranean room or suite<br />

and embrace elegance and antique elements of this esteemed Relais & Châteaux property.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from £2,249 per person.<br />

18<br />


Hotel Covo dei Saraceni<br />

Embrace the suite life right on the stunning Neapolitan Riviera, in<br />

the heart of Positano. This family-owned property offers gorgeous<br />

panoramas over the Mediterranean Sea and the Duomo. A muted<br />

colour palette of white, green, and gold perfectly reflects the local<br />

environment. Enjoy exquisite light lunches or dinners on the terrace<br />

of the hotel’s renowned Restaurant Savino.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from £1,669 per person.<br />

Hotel Palazzo Avino<br />

The Amalfi Coast comes to you in a prestigious family-owned<br />

hotel in a stunning clifftop location. In the heart of medieval<br />

Ravello, it’s teeming with exquisite furnishings, contemporary<br />

art, and luxurious facilities. If you think the indoors are beautiful,<br />

then the outdoors will delight you! Head to the magnificent<br />

rooftop sun terrace and nearby beach club, which you can reach<br />

by a complimentary shuttle bus. You’ll definitely want to sample<br />

the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Rossellinis.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from £2,279 per person.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Hotel Colonna Resort<br />

Water babies will adore Hotel Colonna Resort, not far from Porto Cervo in northern<br />

Sardinia. Not only is it enveloped in an enviable 15 acres of exotic gardens, it’s also home<br />

to seven swimming pools and within walking distance of its own private white sandy<br />

beach, complete with sunbeds and umbrellas. Embrace your holiday vibe in the sunny<br />

Mediterranean decor and excellent facilities, including a wellness centre, and a restaurant<br />

serving up traditional Sardinian flavours.<br />

A 7 night holiday starts from £1,145 per person.<br />

Augustus Hotel & Resort<br />

Escape to Forte Dei Marmi on the Tuscan coast. As one of<br />

the region’s premier resorts, Augustus Hotel is set within a<br />

gorgeous botanical garden, nestled between a pretty pine<br />

forest and fine sands that caress the pretty Ligurian Sea.<br />

With two heated swimming pools, a spa, and several<br />

restaurants and lounge bars, the property includes seven<br />

private villas for an even more exclusive stay.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from £1,149 per person.<br />

20<br />



Excelsior Palace<br />

Portofino Coast<br />

Situated by the sparkling<br />

Mediterranean Sea in the heart of<br />

the Italian Riviera, this luxurious<br />

property has been reimagined from<br />

its palatial roots into a beautiful<br />

luxury hotel, where regal and<br />

historical elegance meets modern<br />

comfort. Breathe in views over the<br />

Rapallo Marina and Portofino Bay<br />

while you embrace refined cuisine,<br />

and exquisite facilities.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from<br />

£1,349 per person.<br />

Hotel Metropole Taormina<br />

In the historic Sicilian hilltop town of Taormina lies a gorgeous<br />

13th century property that radiates its fascinating heritage. It's<br />

an ideal place to relax after a day of exploration. Delve into the<br />

wine cellar and tuck into local flavours. You can look out across<br />

the Mediterranean Sea over to the mighty Mount Etna from the<br />

beautiful outdoor swimming pool, or while dining al fresco.<br />

A 5 night holiday starts from £1,399 per person.<br />

Are you ready to embrace luxury with a tailor-made <strong>Citalia</strong> holiday? Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Ultimate Road Trips<br />


Avis offers strategically located pick-up points across Italy, so whether you arrive<br />

by air, land or sea, you can enjoy a quick and easy check-in, giving you more<br />

time to spend exploring Italy’s incredible landscapes and historic sites.<br />

<strong>Summer</strong><br />

in<br />

Sicily<br />

With the help of our friends at Avis, our Ultimate Road Trips itineraries are carefully<br />

designed so that you can easily explore our favourite hidden destinations across Italy.<br />

There’s always plenty to do at each stop, so if you wish to swap any details or add more<br />

nights to our suggested itineraries then our Personal Travel Planners are here to help.<br />

This season, we take you on the perfect road trip across Sicily, which starts and ends<br />

at the international airport for your convenience. Stay in our handpicked selection of<br />

accommodation that truly reflects this wonderful island.<br />

22<br />



Days 1-3 Palermo<br />

Start your journey in Palermo, a port city with a fabulous fusion of<br />

cultures. Once you’re settled in, you can roam around the plentiful<br />

ancient markets as you tuck into Sicilian street food delights like<br />

arancini, cannoli, and sfincione, or take in the whimsy of a Sicilian<br />

puppet show. Head to the terracotta rooftops of the centro storico and<br />

explore the soaring 12th century Cattedrale di Palermo, which, like<br />

Palermo itself, has been shaped by centuries of influence. By night,<br />

lose yourself in a little alleyway trattoria, or head to the renowned<br />

Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele for an elegant evening of opera.<br />

Suggested Stay: Palco Rooms & Suites<br />

Days 4-6 Cefalù<br />

Days 6-11 Taormina<br />

On your sixth morning, it’s time to travel to your final destination, the<br />

beautiful medieval hilltop town of Taormina, located a two and a half<br />

hour drive away on Sicily’s east coast. Embrace the coastal lifestyle,<br />

with watersports or boat trips to the grottos tucked away in the<br />

sparkling Ionian Sea. The main street of the town, Corso Umberto,<br />

is home to many interesting shops, while there are many historic<br />

treasures to discover, such as the pretty gardens of Villa Comunale,<br />

Palazzo Corvaja, and a most impressive ancient Greek amphitheatre.<br />

You have plenty of time to explore the environs of Taormina too, and we<br />

recommend you walk or take the cable car up to the majestic volcano<br />

Mount Etna, or take day trips to Syracuse and the UNESCO World<br />

Heritage site of Ragusa.<br />

On your fourth morning, take the leisurely hour’s drive along the<br />

beautiful coast to Cefalù, perhaps stopping to soak in the Sicilian<br />

sunshine en route. If you leave Palermo in good time, you might like to<br />

take a short detour to La Rocca, a town named for its head-shaped<br />

hilly rock with ancient Greek remains that afford breathtaking panoramic<br />

views. Once settled in Cefalù, embrace the breezy culture of Lungomare<br />

Beach, breaking up time on the sands with exploring the pedestrianised<br />

streets of quaint Cefalù’s Old Town, or grabbing a refreshment or<br />

seafood lunch at the café-lined promenade. Take a day trip to Caccamo<br />

to witness a dramatic 11th century Norman castle. You might also like<br />

to visit Nebrodi National Park, a vast and inviting mountain range a<br />

couple of hour’s drive away, which is ideal for hiking through magical,<br />

unspoilt landscapes, and boasts fewer visitors than<br />

the popular Madonie Mountains.<br />

Suggested Stay: Victoria Palace Hotel<br />

Suggested Stay: Hotel Villa Belvedere<br />

Our 11 day Avis Ultimate Road Trip of Sicily<br />

starts from £1,699 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />



The Perfect View<br />

With Hotel Colonna Resort<br />

Delve into the luxurious world of Costa Smeralda in North<br />

Sardinia for a five-star stay that’s all about the location.<br />

When it comes to finding a glorious haven on Italy’s largest island,<br />

Hotel Colonna Resort knows no bounds. Tucked away in an isolated<br />

location in front of the beach by Cala Granu Bay, it’s ensconced by<br />

15 acres of exotic gardens and parks with an intoxicating fragrance.<br />

It’s an utter sanctuary, where you can immediately relax and escape<br />

the mundane.<br />

Hotel Colonna Resort boasts a quintessential Sardinian style of<br />

architecture and decor that’s both calm and elegant, with its terracotta<br />

tiled roofs and floors, wooden furniture, and crisp clean tones.<br />

A prominent feature of the resort is its inviting outdoor lifestyle.<br />

An ideal place for water babies, there’s an incredible seven outdoor<br />

infinity pools that sprawl out across the resort with their mini<br />

waterfalls, offering a cooling swim under the heady Sardinian sunshine.<br />

The main swimming pool appears to merge with the horizon, and<br />

comes complete with a huge sun terrace where you can dream<br />

away your days while looking out over spectacular views of the<br />

Mediterranean Sea, across to the craggy coastline of lush green<br />

mountains and upwards to the resort’s own softly swaying palms.<br />

While resting, you can relish being waited on with light snacks or<br />

cocktails at the Pool Bar.<br />

Then there’s the small private beach,<br />

just a short stroll away. Watch the turquoise<br />

waters literally twinkle before your eyes,<br />

as you lay back on your lounger under a royal<br />

blue umbrella, occasionally sinking your toes<br />

into the warmth of the white sands to gently<br />

remind yourself that yes, all this is real.<br />

Should you need to relax further, then you can escape to the Wellness<br />

Centre for a massage or beauty treatment, or perhaps dip into the<br />

Turkish bath or steam room.<br />

While it may feel like a world away from reality, the resort is just a 10<br />

minute drive from the elite resort town of Porto Cervo, and you can<br />

use the shuttle service to reach it should you ever feel like venturing<br />

out for the day.<br />

A 7 night holiday in Sardinia, staying at Hotel Colonna Resort,<br />

starts from £1,145 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

24<br />


The Big Dig:<br />

Paestum<br />

The stories of our ancestors and their daily lives continue to rise to the surface as<br />

more ancient discoveries continue to be found by archaeologists in southern Italy.<br />

On the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the archeological parks of Paestum and<br />

Velia are former Greek cities that offer a mesmerising collection of relics.<br />

Yet they continue to keep unearthing truths about the past. Just last<br />

year in January 2022, archaeologists working at the site discovered two<br />

ancient warrior helmets that date back to sixth century BC, one of which<br />

is Etruscan, and are believed to have been used in the Battle of Alalia,<br />

before the Greeks set sail to southern Italy and founded Velia.<br />

The archaeologists also discovered the remains of a temple, showing a<br />

beaten earth floor, tiles, the old walls, and inscribed pottery in the acropolis<br />

(the upper part) of the former city. The painted vases are believed to have<br />

been offerings for Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom.<br />

A visit to these archeological sites offers a wonderful day trip<br />

from Palinuro or Santa Maria di Castellabate in Cilento.<br />

A 5 night holiday in Palinuro, staying at the Saline hotel, starts from £749 per person. Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


The Lost Foods<br />

OF ITALY<br />

As diverse as its many regions, Italy is home to a most<br />

fascinating food heritage that goes back centuries.<br />

Now, there are many efforts underway to stop specific<br />

dishes and ingredients from disappearing forever.<br />

26<br />


Have you heard of the Basilicata caciocavallo podolico, or giant<br />

Vercelli rice? What about the dishes crapiata materana, or orecchiette<br />

di grano arso?<br />

Italian food is well-reputed around the world, yet the version you find<br />

outside of Italy is a homogenised representation, often reduced to just<br />

a few standard dishes, like pizza and pasta. In some cases, Italian food<br />

has been altogether misrepresented or adapted to its location, like<br />

spaghetti and meatballs or Chicago-style pizza. There’s so much more<br />

to discover.<br />

Is there an ‘Italian’ Food Culture?<br />

Italian food goes back centuries and is far more complex than you<br />

might first imagine. We cannot talk about this food culture without<br />

acknowledging that it was only in 1871 that Italy was unified. Before<br />

this time, areas were divided into distinct kingdoms, duchies, and<br />

Papal states, each with their own separate and long-standing heritage,<br />

and so you will always find regional nuances.<br />

More than that, Italian cuisine has been shaped by immigrants,<br />

conquerors, and ancient civilisations. Pasta, for example, is believed to<br />

date back to the Etruscans, who conquered Rome in 800 BC. Centred<br />

around Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, meals were predominantly bean<br />

and lentil based, with vegetables we probably wouldn’t recognise<br />

today.<br />

A Changing World of Flavours<br />

The Greeks brought makarios, an early variant of macaroni to Italy, and<br />

introduced breadmaking to the Romans. The ancient Roman Empire,<br />

known for their trading, was also influential and, while dishes were<br />

centred around spelt, grains and cabbage, they also brought in spices<br />

and herbs from all across the world, not to mention soft fruits like<br />

peaches and apricots.<br />

Medieval Sicily, meanwhile, was occupied by Arabs, who arguably left<br />

the largest influence on Italian dishes with their introduction of spices,<br />

fruits, and other ingredients. For example, in the 15th century the<br />

Arabs brought the aubergine from India, and spinach, artichokes, and<br />

chickpeas from North Africa. They also introduced the all-important<br />

durum wheat, which for two decades until 1988 was the only<br />

permitted grain that Italians could legally make pasta with!<br />

In coastal regions, fish and seafood was easily accessible, which<br />

influenced early recipes that remain to this day. Christianity influenced<br />

the daily diet too, with meat usually only eaten on religious occasions.<br />

Remarkably, the tomato, one of the quintessential elements<br />

of Italian cuisine, was only introduced to Italy in the mid-<br />

16th century. Native to Peru, Spanish explorers imported it<br />

into the Kingdom of Naples.<br />

There are many other staples from the New World that are now a<br />

permanent fixture in Italian cuisine, from courgette and chocolate to<br />

peppers and pumpkin.<br />

It was only after Italy’s unification that the more popular dishes<br />

we know today were born, including carbonara, pesto, and the<br />

quintessential margherita pizza. Thanks to technological and scientific<br />

breakthroughs, this is when preserving meat and dairy became<br />

commonplace and food could travel better.<br />

In Season<br />

At the heart of the Renaissance, the region of Tuscany played a major<br />

role in shaping the ingredients we know best today, such as cheeses,<br />

wine, and simple foods with lighter sauces. With its fertile lands and<br />

rolling hills, Tuscany experimented with growing a diverse range of<br />

ingredients.<br />

Italian cuisine has always been predominantly fresh, and throughout<br />

the year you’ll find that dishes are in tune both with the seasons and<br />

the climate.<br />

“We Italians only use fresh and pure ingredients for maximum flavour,”<br />

explains Gennaro Contaldo, <strong>Citalia</strong>’s Brand Ambassador and celebrity<br />

chef. “Also, we are always smart with how we store ingredients. Never<br />

put a tomato in the fridge - they are terrible afterwards! And only pick<br />

the tomato off the vine when you need it.”<br />

During the Renaissance, eating habits changed and became a source<br />

of enjoyment and exchange, much like the convivium style of eating<br />

that epitomises Italian food culture today.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


The Food Comeback<br />

The disappearing foods of Italy are teeming with their own soul or<br />

character but are simply at risk of getting lost in modern culture.<br />

These might be certain specific old breeds or a distinct terroir or<br />

microclimate that allows for items to grow a specific way. Or it could<br />

be an artisan tradition, for example the wisdom of making a particular<br />

product a particular way for centuries, that may only be known about<br />

in one village.<br />

At times, certain dishes may only be held in memory.<br />

Cibo Povero<br />

Another key feature of Italian food culture is cibo povero, which has<br />

been passed down in families from previous generations, occasionally<br />

undergoing local variations and personal tweaks. This style of cooking<br />

emerged from a time when food was scarce, and waste was sacrilege.<br />

Head to Matera, where the healthy hearty soup of crapiata materana<br />

comes from. As Katie describes, traditionally it would have been<br />

cooked at the end of harvest in huge communal cauldrons. When<br />

the people of the sassi (ancient stone dwellings) were moved into<br />

housing schemes, families would have adapted their own recipes of<br />

this dish into smaller cookware, and used different types of beans<br />

and vegetables depending on what was available. This was, until<br />

eventually, the remembered recipe nearly all but faded away. You’ll<br />

find an adaptation of this dish in her book, Food of the Italian South:<br />

Recipes for Classic, Disappearing, and Lost Dishes.<br />

“People think the word ‘povera’ means poverty, but what it really<br />

means is humble cooking,” adds Gennaro, who recently published his<br />

book on the topic, Cucina Povera. “You cook with the seasons and use<br />

everything. Most restaurants in Italy follow this rule.”<br />

One of the reasons you’ll find stale bread in many<br />

dishes, perhaps as a stuffing for fish or meat<br />

or baked into casseroles, is because there was<br />

a time when bread was only baked weekly in<br />

large communal ovens, so recipes had to<br />

incorporate it to avoid waste.<br />

Similarly, the grano arso we earlier mentioned is a literal translation of<br />

burnt flour, and there’s a story here. The long-standing custom after<br />

grain cultivation is to burn fields, however, just after unification, the<br />

people of Basilicata struggled and were very hungry, and so they would<br />

go and collect the charred leftover grains and mill them into a pasta.<br />

According to Italian food journalist Katie Parla, who speaks of this on<br />

the A Taste of the Past podcast by Heritage Radio Network, grano arso<br />

had a revival when chefs in Puglia discovered the tradition and turned<br />

it into the orecchiette (little ears) style of pasta in the 1980s.<br />

Today, you can find grano arso sold commercially and being served in<br />

trattorie topped with decadent fresh burrata, which is something the<br />

impoverished people would surely be shocked by. Cibo povero has<br />

become cool and is often the signature style for Italian chefs.<br />

Heritage varieties of vegetables and seeds that are no longer familiar<br />

or easily accessible are also at risk. Head to the surrounding areas of<br />

Milan to find a rare pink asparagus that’s coloured by the iron-rich soil,<br />

or to Liguria where you’ll find the unique Albenga violet asparagus,<br />

a deep purple variety influenced solely by its genetic heritage. The<br />

blood-red oranges of Sicily get their colour from Mount Etna’s volcanic<br />

slopes, while the Vesuvius apricots of Naples, a group of distinct<br />

varieties that grow in abundance around Mount Vesuvius, are delicate<br />

and perishable and therefore unsuited to the modern produce market.<br />

With climate change, producers are also working hard to adapt to<br />

environmental changes.<br />

When we re-engage with these disappearing foods,<br />

we celebrate artisanal techniques, respect the<br />

environment, and often tend to be more at one with<br />

nature and its cycles.<br />

These unique specialities become both the identity and notoriety<br />

of a specific place, and so are now being vehemently protected by<br />

regional designations and supported by local cooperatives. The rise<br />

in agriturismo is also furthering their cause, as guests engage and tuck<br />

into these traditions.<br />

28<br />



Finding Local Food Communities<br />

Part of this revival movement is being led by the Slow Food<br />

Foundation for Biodiversity, which has local groups or presidia<br />

of small-scale producers working to sustain production of at-risk<br />

foods, and a Cooks’ Alliance that unites chefs with producers. The<br />

Foundation also promotes the Ark of Taste, a catalogue of endangered<br />

traditional foods, from fruits and vegetables to animal breeds, cheeses,<br />

breads, sweets, and cured meat.<br />

For example, the aforementioned caciocavallo is a cheese-making<br />

tradition that uses a particular technique of curd-stretching.<br />

Specifically, the caciocavallo podolico found within Basilicata is<br />

especially prized as it’s made using a unique breed of cows that are<br />

farmed in a wild or semi-wild state.<br />

Meanwhile, the giant Vercelli rice, is grown in Europe’s rice capital in<br />

the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and is a very nutritious and<br />

historic grain that's ideal for preparing risotto. After the Second World<br />

War, production drastically reduced to make way for more productive<br />

plants, so in recent years the local presidia have been safeguarding it.<br />

Some of these rare foods have incredible names,<br />

such as Historic Rebel Cheese, a summer-only alpine<br />

cheese from Lombardy, or Ischia Cave Rabbit, which<br />

is farmed in deep caves similar to their natural<br />

environment and typically only eaten for special<br />

occasions on the island.<br />

As you’d expect, this important link between food and identity has<br />

established a huge source of pride. Wherever you’re going on your<br />

next <strong>Citalia</strong> holiday, we suggest you look out for the more unusual<br />

food specialities and dishes, and befriend a passionate foodie local<br />

who, we’re sure, will be happy to tell you more!<br />

Are you seeking a foodie-focused holiday in Italy? We can create the perfect tailor-made experience for you!<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Unearthing<br />

Rome &<br />

Tuscany<br />

When you think about Italy, what excites you most -<br />

venturing into a city teeming with ancient culture,<br />

or escaping along quiet cypress-lined roads into the<br />

quintessential countryside of rolling vineyards and olive<br />

groves? Why not enjoy the best of both worlds on your<br />

next <strong>Citalia</strong> holiday with a combined holiday in Rome<br />

and Tuscany?<br />

A holiday that combines Rome and Tuscany feels almost like a<br />

rite of passage, as it is what the well-heeled gentry of the 19th<br />

century would do on their Grand Tours of Europe.<br />

While summer is the most popular time to visit these two<br />

destinations, we especially adore Rome in the springtime as it<br />

seems to have a new energy as it emerges from winter, while the<br />

entire region of Tuscany in the autumn is a foodie’s delight, with<br />

the many foraging opportunities and sagres (food festivals)!<br />

To add to the adventure, <strong>Citalia</strong> are pleased to introduce<br />

several new properties into our Rome and Tuscany collection<br />

including a few restored palazzos, which allow you to continue<br />

to discover the real Italy.<br />

You might be surprised by just how easy it is to mix the Eternal<br />

City of Rome with the delicate pastoral delights of Tuscany<br />

into one joyful adventure. You can take a high-speed, non-stop<br />

train from Rome to the Renaissance Capital of Florence, which<br />

is a glorious 90 minute journey where all you need to do is sit<br />

back and watch Italy roll by. It’s easy to travel by train in Italy,<br />

as carriages have ample space for luggage, and come with air<br />

conditioning and a good WIFI service, plus the train stations<br />

are usually conveniently located in the centre of town.<br />

Alternatively, you can drive, reaching the border of Tuscany<br />

in under two hours, perhaps stopping off at one or two<br />

attractions en route, such as Siena, San Gimignano, Val D’Orcia,<br />

or the Chianti Hills. The route by road is wonderfully scenic,<br />

taking you through the landscapes of the Lazio region and close<br />

to Italy’s green heart, Umbria. The Tuscan roads are usually<br />

clearly marked and easy to navigate, especially with GPS.<br />

30<br />


Rome<br />

Beginning in Rome, to truly get a sense of the city, the best thing<br />

to do is step out of your hotel and walk. Perhaps you’ll stumble<br />

across the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, or the Pantheon? Or,<br />

take the panoramic bus tour, both of which will help you map out<br />

the city in your mind’s eye. You can then venture back to particular<br />

neighbourhoods that catch your attention later.<br />

We highly recommend you spend a night in the vibrant bohemian<br />

quarter of Trastevere, where you’ll find plenty of tables sprawling<br />

the pavements for a delicious tipica Roma meal.<br />

You’ve also got the entire Roman Empire to uncover,<br />

and the best way to do this is by booking one of <strong>Citalia</strong>’s local<br />

guided tours in advance, which take you to all the main sights and<br />

are suitable for the entire family. On these, you’ll get to explore<br />

the Roman Forum, stroll to the top of the Palatine Hill, and<br />

uncover the historical residence of the Caesars, all of which will<br />

be enhanced by the expert knowledge of your guide. And, would<br />

a trip to unearth Rome ever be complete without a visit to the<br />

mighty Colosseum?<br />

You can then experience Rome’s sacred side, again with a<br />

pre-arranged guided tour to the vast Vatican Museums and the<br />

Sistine Chapel, complete with its impressive ceiling painted by<br />

Michelangelo, before finishing up at the core of Catholicism, St.<br />

Peter’s Basilica, a feat of genius architecture.<br />

Palazzo Navona<br />

Given its location right in the heart of the Eternal City, the<br />

four-star Palazzo Navona is perfectly placed to allow you<br />

to roam Rome by day, and find a table at the many bars and<br />

restaurants right on your doorstep by night. While the rooms<br />

gracefully combine contemporary comfort with age-old charm,<br />

undoubtedly our most favourite spot in this intimate hotel is its<br />

exclusive rooftop terrace bar. This is the ideal place to raise a<br />

glass while watching the sun set over the city’s historic rooftops.<br />

Palazzo Ripetta<br />

Set in an iconic 17th century building and also in the heart<br />

of Rome, five-star Palazzo Ripetta offers you an elegant<br />

stay in one of its spacious rooms or suites. The property<br />

underwent a complete and considered renovation<br />

last year, the result of which is a welcoming, intimate<br />

atmosphere to enhance your Roman holiday. Be sure to<br />

head to the San Baylon restaurant for some classically<br />

Italian fine dining.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Tuscany<br />

Leave the city behind and venture out into enchanting Tuscany, where sleepy hilltop<br />

towns, sophisticated spa towns, and Renaissance piazzas are sprinkled with medieval<br />

heritage, undulating landscapes, and a dreamy romance. Where you head probably<br />

depends more on the season. With its miles of sandy beaches and pretty fishing<br />

harbours, the Tuscan coast is ideal in summer, and Viareggio is a wonderful resort town<br />

that we recommend. The sprawling countryside is always welcome, but has the most<br />

perfect light as we head into the late summer and autumn months.<br />

We highly recommend you take time to visit San Gimignano, home to 14 medieval<br />

soaring towers and beautiful craft shops, as well as Siena with its fan-shaped and<br />

renowned Piazza del Campo.<br />

En route, there are gorgeous yet lesser-known cobblestoned hamlets to soak up, such<br />

as Monteriggioni, or Radda in Chianti, which is at the heart of Tuscany’s impressive<br />

wine region and has arguably the most gorgeous views. Speaking of wine, it would be<br />

rude not to explore the expansive vineyards and impressive cellars with a wine tasting<br />

or two. If you’re lucky, your holiday will sync with one of the many wine festivals of this<br />

region too - salute!<br />

You might also like to venture to Colle di Val d’Elsa to witness the ancient art of<br />

glassblowing, situated between Florence and Siena. Colle di Val d’Elsa is known as<br />

Italy’s capital of crystal, given that it produces much of the country’s glassware.<br />

It’s also close to an ancient pilgrim route, Via Francigena, which you can walk.<br />

32<br />



Toscana Resort Castelfalfi<br />

Ensconced by vineyards, woodlands,<br />

and olive groves, the five-star Toscana<br />

Resort Castelfalfi feels like it’s a million<br />

worlds away, yet it’s just a 50 minute<br />

drive from both Pisa and Florence and<br />

a stone’s throw from San Gimignano.<br />

Beautifully blending a stone-coloured<br />

new building with a historic tobacco<br />

warehouse, the property offers<br />

attentive service and some great<br />

facilities. Here, you can engage in<br />

many rural escapades, including truffle<br />

hunting in autumn, a visit to the bee<br />

hives, organic cooking classes, and<br />

unwinding in the spa. Home to one of<br />

Tuscany’s largest golf courses, you can<br />

also tee off in tranquillity!<br />

Palazzo Leopoldo Dimora<br />

Storica and SPA<br />

Tucked away in Chianti’s medieval village<br />

of Radda lies the elegant four-star historic<br />

property, Palazzo Leopoldo Dimora<br />

Storica and SPA. Ideal for a wellbeingfocused<br />

holiday, charming spacious rooms<br />

look out over the calming Chianti Hills.<br />

There’s an amazing rooftop deck where<br />

you can sip on cool cocktails as the sun<br />

gloriously colours the Tuscan landscape<br />

orange, and two restaurants where you<br />

savour fine traditional Tuscan cuisine and<br />

wine. You can further slow down with<br />

wine therapy treatments in the spa.<br />

Palazzo San Lorenzo and SPA<br />

It’s easy to imagine you’re a historic<br />

regal guest with a stay in the four-star<br />

Palazzo San Lorenzo Hotel and SPA.<br />

This 17th century palace is situated<br />

in the heart of Colle di Val d’Elsa,<br />

and has all the alluring grandeur<br />

of its heritage while still offering<br />

comfortable rooms with modern<br />

amenities. From its soothing spa<br />

and swimming pool and a feast<br />

of local flavours served up in its<br />

restaurant and café, to its fabulous<br />

location in this fascinating hamlet,<br />

we completely understand if you<br />

never want to leave.<br />

A 7 night holiday in Rome and Tuscany starts from £1,399 per person. Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Top 5 Things to Do in<br />

Calabria<br />

Slow down in the southwest of Italy! The wonderful sun-kissed region<br />

of Calabria is a hidden marvel, brimming with everything you could wish for<br />

in a summer holiday. Yet Calabria remains one of Italy’s quieter regions,<br />

located right at the toe of the boot-shaped peninsula.<br />

From fabulous beaches, a fascinating world of ancient history dotted in<br />

both sleepy villages and archaeological sites, to an epic food and wine<br />

scene, and great parks of natural beauty, there truly is something to<br />

keep all the family happy in Calabria. Your Personal Travel Planners can<br />

create a bespoke itinerary that speaks to you - but here are a few ideas<br />

to get you started.<br />

1<br />

Grace the National Parks<br />

Step into Calabria and at times you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a<br />

bucolic Renaissance painting. There are three national parks across<br />

the region, but our favourite is Monte Pollino National Park. Go on<br />

charming walks through the flora and fauna-filled hills and valleys at<br />

your own pace, coming across bridges, streams and quaint villages<br />

along the way. You can also go cycling and rafting! The wildest part is<br />

the canyon Gole del Raganello, home to waterfalls and natural pools,<br />

and you may also uncover the Garden of the Gods, an ancient forest<br />

of loricate pines.<br />

More enchantment lies in Calabria’s beautiful Sila Natural Park, one<br />

of Italy’s oldest national parks and home to a rich array of native plant<br />

life and threatened species, including wolves, otters, and wild cats.<br />

Between the mountains and the plains, there’s a wild and divine spirit<br />

here. You can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, or simply tuck into<br />

a picnic in a picture-perfect spot.<br />

2<br />

Delve into Ancient Greece<br />

Ancient Greece profoundly influenced Calabria, and even today<br />

you can take a step back into antiquity and witness many classical<br />

treasures in an array of museums and archaeological sites. Right on<br />

the Ionian coast is the ancient city of Kroton (Crotone), which at one<br />

time was the cradle of civilisation. Its claim to fame is that it produced<br />

great doctors, Olympic athletes, and the great mathematician,<br />

Pythagoras.<br />

Venture further south into ancient Rome with a trip to Scolacium<br />

Archaeological Park, which houses the remains of this elite civilisation.<br />

Go with a guide who will show you around the theatres and<br />

amphitheatres, roads and streets, and innovative waterways.<br />

Slightly more off-the-beaten track, you might also want to head even<br />

further south to the medieval city of Stilo, which may feel like you’ve<br />

stepped back in time with its perfectly preserved Old Town. One<br />

of the highlights here is the Byzantine Church and an 11th century<br />

Norman castle.<br />

3<br />

Discover the Riace Bronzes<br />

Speaking of antiquities, in the coastal city of Reggio Calabria you’ll<br />

find the National Archaeological Museum. In this great building lies<br />

treasure that we’re sure Indiana Jones would like to get his hands on:<br />

the ancient Riace Bronzes.<br />

These life-size statues of naked, bearded Greek warriors are one of<br />

the greatest artefacts from ancient Greece, and are believed to date<br />

back to around 450 BC. They were discovered by a lucky diver in the<br />

1970s, just off the coast of Riace.<br />

Reggio Calabria, incidentally, is located at the exact centre of the<br />

Mediterranean and is known as the city of bergamot - there’s even<br />

an entire museum dedicated to this citrus fruit’s traditions! While in<br />

Reggio Calabria, visit another crucial emblem: its Aragonese castle, a<br />

fortress with circular towers.<br />

4<br />

Venture to a Ghost Town<br />

If you have a penchant for the supernatural, then be sure to add<br />

Pentedattilo to your itinerary. Located on a cliff and named for<br />

the fact it looks like a giant hand with five fingers, this town was<br />

abandoned in the 1960s. It’s teeming with mystery as it has always<br />

seemingly been tinged with misfortune, from ancient feuds and a<br />

massacre to earthquakes and landslides. If you’re looking for a surreal<br />

yet captivating experience, this is the place, and if you feel daring, you<br />

can even go rock climbing here.<br />

5<br />

Explore the Coast<br />

Did we mention how spellbinding Calabria’s coastline is? To the west<br />

lies the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea, while to the east is the Ionian Sea.<br />

Both offer deep blue waters and 300 miles of pure white sands that<br />

rival those found in the Caribbean. Our favourite spots are around<br />

the city of Tropea, considered the pearl of Calabria, where you’ll find<br />

golden coves, fishing villages, and bustling marinas.<br />

Go sailing or on boat trips to the nearby Aeolian Islands, a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage site, or the volcanic islands of Stromboli and Vulcano,<br />

which are home to open-air spas. You can also unwind in Tropea’s<br />

surrounding olive groves and vineyards.<br />

We also suggest you head to Scilla, which is just over an hour’s drive<br />

from Tropea and seemingly almost touches Sicily. Scilla is home<br />

to a pocket of beautiful fishing villages, including Chianalea, which<br />

is known as the Venice of the South. Come in time for sunset for<br />

romantic moments, before bobbing into a local trattoria to enjoy a<br />

feast of fish dishes, including the local speciality of swordfish.<br />

34<br />


A 7 night holiday in Calabria, staying at Baia del Godano Resort & Spa, starts from £1,395 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


The Magic of<br />

Lake Orta &<br />

Lake Maggiore<br />

Move over Lake Como and Lake Garda.<br />

There’s more magic to be found in the lesser-known lakes.<br />

Lake Como has its glamour and Lake Garda has its adventures and theme parks,<br />

but both can get very busy in the prime summer months. Why not take a trip away<br />

to our pick of secluded lakeside stays that have retained their spellbinding charm?<br />

36<br />


Lake Orta<br />

To the west of Lake Maggiore, on the other side of Monte<br />

Mottarone, lies one of Italy’s best-kept secrets: Lake Orta.<br />

The English poet Robert Browning said that Lake<br />

Orta was the place where ‘the Alps meet heaven’.<br />

Swaddled by dark green deciduous and conifer forest, petite<br />

Lake Orta holds a romantic allure, with its azure-blue glassy<br />

waters and only a smattering of buildings. If you visit during the<br />

week, it’s likely you’ll have a spot entirely to yourself. Find one<br />

of the many park benches and take a moment as you absorb<br />

the almost supernatural views of the light and spirit of the lake<br />

changing before your eyes.<br />

Lake Orta’s main town is the medieval Orta San Giulio, where<br />

you’ll find sleepy winding, cobblestoned streets of pastelcoloured<br />

houses that are quintessentially Italian with their<br />

flower-hung balconies and wooden shutters.<br />

Above Orta San Giulio lies a mountainside sanctuary, which has<br />

become a UNESCO World Heritage site given that it holds 20<br />

sacred chapels. Here, you can unearth terracotta statues and<br />

paintings depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi.<br />

The main square of Piazza Motta is where all the town’s action<br />

is, with gelaterie and trattorie dotted about, and a gorgeous little<br />

harbour with bobbing boats.<br />

Isola San Giulio<br />

Board a private boat or take the water bus to the enchanting<br />

Isola San Giulio, home to a 12th century basilica that was built<br />

by San Guilio (Saint Julius), who legend has it drove snakes - or<br />

perhaps even dragons - off this tiny island, except for one,<br />

which languished in one of the caves. Among the mossy stone<br />

buildings, you’ll find a Way of Silence, where you can quietly<br />

follow the trail and listen to the chanting of Benedictine nuns<br />

from the island’s half-century-old monastery.<br />

Every June, the island plays host to Cusio Festival of Ancient<br />

Music, where musicians from across the world perform on<br />

ancient musical instruments.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Lake Maggiore<br />

Breathe in the alluring alpine mountains and the fresh air that<br />

top off the sparkling waters of Italy’s second largest lake. Lake<br />

Maggiore oozes a timeless Belle Époque charm, with its quaint<br />

fishing villages, cobblestone streets, and elegant harbours and<br />

promenades. You’ll also find captivating villas with sprawling<br />

botanical gardens.<br />

Right in the north of Italy and close to the Swiss border, this<br />

gigantic lake boasts a distinct mountain culture that’s both<br />

calming and graceful as it extends beyond the eye into the<br />

regions of Lombardy and Piedmont.<br />

Given the wonderfully stretched length of the Mediterranean<br />

summer, you can visit throughout the summer and right into<br />

late September, before Lake Maggiore closes for the season.<br />

The western shore of Lake Maggiore is arguably the most<br />

popular, as it’s home to the elegant town of Stresa, which is an<br />

ideal base for exploration. As you wander around Stresa, you<br />

may feel like you’ve descended into the golden age of travel,<br />

as the town is flush with gorgeous waterfront mansions, many<br />

of which today remain as residences or have been converted<br />

into gorgeous luxury hotels. You’ll find designer shops off the<br />

main square, Piazza Giocomo Matteotti, and a beautifully-long<br />

stretch of gardens, Park Villa Pallavicino, right by the water’s<br />

edge. If you fancy hiking in the hills, there’s Sentiero delle<br />

Castagne, a lovely six mile trail through shaded chestnut groves.<br />

Also on the western shore is Lake Maggiore’s largest town,<br />

Verbania, which is known locally as the ‘Garden on the Lake’.<br />

Right on the edge of this town is the 19th century Villa Taranto,<br />

home to an impeccable botanical garden with over 20,000<br />

plant varieties. With a dahlia maze, and waterlily and lotus-filled<br />

ponds, this botanical delight was created by a retired Scottish<br />

army captain after the Second World War.<br />

If you’re in Lake Maggiore on a Wednesday, be sure to head<br />

to the town of Luino on the eastern shore to witness a most<br />

impressive market taking place.<br />

Perhaps the most visually bracing spot<br />

on the eastern shore is found south of Laveno:<br />

a 13th century hermitage and church that’s dedicated<br />

to St. Catherine, where its 14th century bell tower<br />

descends into the lake, and which you can visit by boat.<br />

We recommend you use the hydrofoils and traghetti (car ferries)<br />

that crisscross the lake to get around - and to get some of the<br />

best lake views!<br />

38<br />



Borromean Islands<br />

The star attraction of Lake Maggiore is its quartet of little islets<br />

called the Borromean Islands, which seemingly float between<br />

Stresa and Verbania. Named after the wealthy historical<br />

Borromeo family who to this day still own the islands, they are a<br />

marvel to observe up close. Boats leave frequently from Stresa<br />

so you can visit them.<br />

Isola Madre<br />

Located closest to Verbania, the centrepiece of Isola Madre is its<br />

Palazzo Madre, which is filled with a collection of marionettes and<br />

other relics of puppet theatre, as well as 17th century artworks.<br />

The palace is ensconced by English-style flower-filled gardens<br />

that you can stroll through and witness beautiful lake views.<br />

To enjoy the gardens at their best, visit in spring or early summer<br />

when they are in full bloom.<br />

Isola Bella<br />

The beautiful island, Isola Bella, is the most popular Borromean<br />

Island, as it boasts an ornate 17th century Baroque palace and<br />

the most luxurious Italian terraced gardens, where the fragrant<br />

scent of citrus trees linger in the air, and which are unusually<br />

home to white peacocks. In its heyday, the Borromean<br />

family would host epic parties with an enviable guest list,<br />

including, allegedly, Napoleon, the Prince of Wales, and Ernest<br />

Hemingway. There are many beautiful state rooms to stumble<br />

upon, including a glorious ballroom, and a music room filled<br />

with rare instruments.<br />

Isola dei Pescatori<br />

The quieter of the Borromean Islands, Isola dei Pescatori or<br />

‘Fisherman’s Island’ has no regal fanfare, but is merely a humble<br />

fishing village of about 50 residents where the doors face<br />

inwards to avoid flooding during the lake’s high tide. It’s worth<br />

stopping here for lunch or dinner as there are a few atmospheric<br />

trattorie where you can feast on the lake fish.<br />

Isola San Giovanni<br />

Further afield is the tiny island of San Giovanni, which<br />

remains as the private summer residence of the Borromeo<br />

family. Historically, the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini<br />

lived here. While it’s not open to the public, you can see the<br />

island from the shore if you head to the promenade at Pallanza<br />

in Verbania.<br />

A 7 night holiday in Lake Maggiore & Lake Orta,<br />

staying at Hotel Cannero Lakeside, starts from £1,169 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Jewels of<br />

Southern Italy<br />

Guest Alyson Bardsley shares her experience of going on<br />

one of <strong>Citalia</strong>’s Exclusive Escorted tour with her friends.<br />

I’m always looking at holiday<br />

brochures, and every year try to<br />

travel somewhere new with my<br />

friends. We’re a group of five girls<br />

who all used to work together.<br />

I’m unsure how we got talking<br />

about southern Italy, but we liked<br />

the fact that <strong>Citalia</strong> specialises in<br />

Italy and also offers small group<br />

tours, as we would get to meet<br />

new people.<br />

I once went on a three week-long private tour with a friend to South<br />

America, and even though we get on really well I did find it a little<br />

challenging being stuck with just one person’s company. It’s nice<br />

to socialise!<br />

I’ve always loved Italy and have visited many times over the years as<br />

it’s a country you can really immerse yourself in. I think the scenery,<br />

history, and culture is fascinating, the food is delicious, and the people,<br />

well they always look so effortlessly chic!<br />

I had always wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast, and<br />

so the Jewels of Southern Italy really appealed to<br />

me. Some of my friends had never been to Italy<br />

before, so they were happy to follow my lead.<br />

My friend Rachel and I took on the shared role of liaising with <strong>Citalia</strong><br />

to book our holiday, which was easy without any hitches. We also<br />

decided to extend the holiday, so we added a week in Ischia for a<br />

relaxing end to our trip.<br />

We got to see far more than we would have been able to on our own.<br />

Naturally, there are places you wish you could spend more time, but<br />

you always see the highlights - and I guess I could always go back to<br />

explore an area more deeply if I wanted to.<br />

We had the same two drivers throughout and on the longer journeys<br />

there were always plenty of comfort breaks. In each destination we<br />

had a different English-speaking guide who was an expert in that<br />

specific area.<br />

I felt the balance between touring as a group and time on our own<br />

to explore was just right. I warned the girls before we left that some<br />

mornings we would need to be ready to leave the hotel by 8.30am.<br />

They were concerned it might not feel like a holiday, but once we<br />

were there and not having to worry about logistics it was absolutely<br />

fine. We all had our own individual rooms throughout the tour, as it’s<br />

good to have a little time to yourself too.<br />

40<br />


I absolutely loved the Sansevero Chapel in Naples. It’s a beautiful<br />

chapel, holding the Veiled Christ statue. Christ is draped in what’s<br />

like a delicate sheet of gossamer. I’ve seen Michelangelo’s David and<br />

thought this was on a par!<br />

We visited the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pompeii, which was<br />

great with all the history and as you’d expect, hundreds of other visitors.<br />

The ancient archaeological park of Paestum was<br />

stunning and so well preserved. We went early in<br />

the morning when hardly anyone else was there,<br />

which made such a difference. I’ve been to the<br />

pyramids in Egypt and The Forum in Rome, yet<br />

I was blown away by how perfectly preserved the<br />

temples were. I’m sure it helped that we visited<br />

on a day with beautiful blue skies!<br />

The Amalfi Coast absolutely lived up to expectations. I thought<br />

Ravello was lovely and was so worth the journey even though it was<br />

hard to get to - you don’t get anywhere quickly with the curving cliff<br />

roads. We had a great wine tasting evening here.<br />

We also walked the famous Lemon Path. None of us are particularly<br />

super-fit and found it quite hard going, especially as it was boiling<br />

hot, but the scent of citrus was fabulous and the views were really<br />

spectacular, so I’m glad we went!<br />

We went for a limoncello tasting with the famous artisanal producer<br />

Carlo Mansi, in which we tried pistachio and melon liqueurs. He’s<br />

about 85 years old now and was fantastic, chatting away to us and<br />

letting us have photos with him.<br />

My favourite experience was going for a cooking class<br />

at a small farm near Paestum. We picked our own<br />

vegetables and learnt how to make authentic pizza with<br />

a Baronessa, before sitting down to eat our creations<br />

with her, which was supplemented with other dishes.<br />

The Baronessa is a fascinating individual who was<br />

obviously a socialite in New York and Italy back in the<br />

day, and shared many interesting stories with us.<br />

I thought Amalfi Cathedral was wonderful, not least because there<br />

was a wedding taking place, and I got a timely photo of the bride and<br />

groom on the steps. I’ve also always wanted to go to Positano, as I<br />

was mesmerised by how the houses seemingly balance on the cliffs,<br />

and it was just like in the photos. We went to a famous cake shop and<br />

sat outside the front enjoying the stunning views.<br />

Sadly, we couldn’t go to Capri the day we were meant to as the<br />

weather was too rough for the boat ride, but I’m glad that <strong>Citalia</strong><br />

took our safety seriously, and they refunded us all the money for the<br />

activity. As it happens, we were still able to visit Capri ourselves when<br />

we were in Ischia, which was a bonus. We took the cable car to the<br />

highest point of the island, which was equally terrifying and excellent.<br />

From Ischia, we also took a book to the small<br />

island of Procida, which is one of the most<br />

beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my life!<br />

The best meal we had was undoubtedly at the agriturismo we stayed<br />

at in Cilento, Granaio dei Casabella. Dinner here was phenomenal and<br />

served like an Italian version of tapas with burrata, buffalo mozzarella,<br />

cold meats, parma ham, padron peppers, fresh Cilento white figs,<br />

and various meats, including porchetta that came from their own<br />

organically-reared pigs. We also had a lovely farewell meal at a local<br />

agriturismo at the end of our tour, which was also very good!<br />

All in all, it was a very well-balanced holiday, and it is testament to<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong> that four of us are going on the Sicily Exclusive Escorted Tour<br />

this year, along with one of the couples who we made friends with on<br />

our last tour!<br />

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

Small Escorted Tours<br />

Let us bring the stories behind Italy’s cities, towns, and villages to<br />

life! Our bespoke group tours are personal and immersive, with<br />

a maximum of 18 people on each one, making them ideal for<br />

solo travellers, couples, or small groups of friends. Delve deeper<br />

with our unique hands-on experiences that will provide you<br />

with memories of a lifetime. All our escorted tours include your<br />

accommodation, selected meals and transfers, and knowledgeable,<br />

professional guides, so that all you need to do is show up!<br />

<strong>Citalia</strong>'s Exclusive Escorted tours start from £2,235 per person for 7 nights. Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />



Puglia<br />

Discover an unusual spot of natural beauty<br />

while you’re on a self-drive holiday in Puglia.<br />

42<br />


Have you heard of the poetry cave of Puglia? Located just<br />

a 30 minute drive from the beautiful Baroque city of Lecce,<br />

Grotta della Poesia is a unique natural pool that National<br />

Geographic declared one of the world’s most beautiful<br />

natural pools.<br />

Fed by seawater, there are actually two natural cave pools<br />

of varying sizes that have the most extraordinary sparkling<br />

azure water, and where the views across the coastline are<br />

heart-stirringly beautiful.<br />

Both pools are part of the protected archeological site of<br />

Roca Vecchia, home to a large set of Mycenaean pottery,<br />

and a 16th century watchtower. As you’d expect, the larger<br />

pool is a more popular spot.<br />

Legend has it that the cave got its poetic name as a beautiful<br />

princess would swim here, and writers would come and<br />

compose poems dedicated to her. While this is only a<br />

folktale, there are ancient engravings on the walls dedicated<br />

to a deity, Thaotor Audirahas, who was said to heal diseases.<br />

Posìa also means freshwater spring in Greek.<br />

You can reach the cave by sea on a guided kayak or canoe<br />

tour, or by land. Be sure to don a comfortable pair of shoes,<br />

as it’s a rocky path from the car park to reach the grotto, and<br />

bring sun lotion, a sun hat, and drinking water, as there’s not<br />

a lot of shade in the archaeological park.<br />

With its surrounding limestone cliffs, locals enjoy heartpumping<br />

cliff diving here, so if you do choose to take a dip in<br />

the water, be sure to keep your wits about you.<br />

There’s a small entrance fee that’s in place to limit visitors.<br />

We recommend you try to arrive early in the morning or at<br />

sunset to avoid both the crowds and the heat, ideally in the<br />

quieter months of June and September. If you’re looking<br />

for a more tranquil swim, consider exploring the sea caves<br />

around the nearby medieval town of Otranto, which you can<br />

also swim through.<br />

A 5 night holiday in Puglia, staying at Risorgimento Resort, starts from £1,059 per person.<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Up, Up & Away<br />

10 Views to Remember<br />

What better way to observe the natural beauty of Italy than<br />

with a bird’s-eye view? As you look out from across rugged<br />

cliffs and volcanic peaks, or mountaintops and dreamy<br />

harbours, we’ve got a treat for your eyes - and your soul.<br />

Ravello | Amalfi Coast<br />

Teetering over the cliffs, the alluringly romantic hamlet<br />

of Ravello undoubtedly wins the prize for the best views<br />

over the Amalfi Coast. Ravello may lack a beach, but its<br />

sprawling and sophisticated villas and wistful gardens nod<br />

back to its glory days and offer panoramas that stretch<br />

as far as the eye. Head to the Terrazza dell’Infinito (Infinity<br />

Terrace) of Villa Cimbrone, which is lined with regal columns<br />

and marble Romanesque busts, and where the vivid blues of<br />

the sky and Mediterranean Sea merge into a dream. Arrive<br />

before dusk to watch the sun dip into the waters.<br />

44<br />


Laveno Mombello | Lake Maggiore<br />

Brushing the eastern shores of Lake Maggiore lies the pretty<br />

little town of Laveno Mombello, which is best known for its<br />

historic role in ceramic and porcelain crockery. From here, board<br />

a comfortable two-seater cable car that will gently take you on<br />

a 15 minute ride almost to the top of Monte Sasso del Ferro,<br />

a beautiful mountain that allows you to admire Lake Maggiore<br />

and the surrounding smaller lakes, plains, and alpine mountains<br />

from an aerial perspective. If you wish, there’s the option to<br />

descend the mountain by bike on one of the paths.<br />

Pincio Hill | Rome<br />

Tucked away in the lush botanical gardens of Villa Borghese,<br />

Pincio Hill is named after a noble family and offers an idyllic<br />

panorama over Rome. This historic spot was prominently<br />

featured in the novel Daisy Miller by the American-British<br />

author Henry James. To reach it, you can follow the signs<br />

marked Pincio Terrace through the gardens. All along the<br />

promenade are regal busts of historical Italians. Alternatively,<br />

you can climb the steps up from Piazza del Popolo, which is<br />

similarly worth the necessary puff required. You’ll be able to<br />

see sweeping views over St. Peter’s Basilica and Gianicolo Hill.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />


Monte Baldo | Lake Garda<br />

Get on a gondola ride with a difference! The Funivia Malcesine-Monte<br />

Baldo in Lake Garda is considered one of the world’s<br />

most advanced cable car rides, as it flies up the mountains in<br />

just minutes. When you’re not breathing in the breathtaking<br />

panoramas of the snow-covered Alps and soothing Lake Garda,<br />

you’re just as likely to be blown away by the cutting-edge<br />

technology of the cable car's revolving cabins and contemporary<br />

design, with its glorious butterfly-shaped stations.<br />

Erice | Sicily<br />

Escape to Erice, a beautifully-preserved ancient hilltop village<br />

on the northwestern coast of Sicily that’s delightfully filled with<br />

centuries of different architectural influence. From the port city<br />

of Trapani, take the 10 minute journey by cable car to reach the<br />

town’s summit. Once there, you can stroll the cobbled winding<br />

streets while enjoying magical views over Trapani. On clear days,<br />

you can see the neighbouring but small mountainous Aegadian<br />

Islands that puncture the azure waters.<br />

Manarola | Cinque Terre<br />

Clinging to steep terraces, the five fabulous fishing towns that<br />

make up the Cinque Terre offer mesmerising perspectives as<br />

entire colour-filled villages seem to be suspended in the air.<br />

While there are plenty of viewpoints to uncover, we recommend<br />

you head up beyond Manarola Harbour where you’ll find a<br />

protected walking trail that you can pause on at any time for a<br />

fresh view. Get there early for peace and quiet, or in time for<br />

sunset for a golden experience. The panoramic terrace on Via San<br />

Giacomo in rustic Riomaggiore also provides beautiful views over<br />

Riomaggiore Harbour. Or, for a completely different perspective<br />

of the Cinque Terre, aboard a boat and look back!<br />

Como-Brunate Funicular | Lake Como<br />

Travel on one of Italy’s most historic and renowned cable<br />

cars - the Como-Brunate Funicular. As the name suggests,<br />

the route goes from the chic town of Como all the way up<br />

to Brunate, an atmospheric hilltop village. The journey lasts<br />

just seven minutes and at times is at an impressive gradient<br />

of 55%. Once in Brunate, you can hike or amble around<br />

the greenery and peek from telescopes or with your naked<br />

eye to witness the grand lakefront mansions and sparkling<br />

waters of Lake Como. Should you wish to walk back down<br />

the hill, there are a couple of good footpaths.<br />

46<br />


UP, UP & AWAY<br />

Monte Solaro | Capri<br />

The zingy fragrance of Capri’s famed lemon trees is just one<br />

way to invigorate your senses in Italy’s most modish island.<br />

The next is to take the Monte Solaro chairlift up to the island’s<br />

highest point. Monte Solaro is dubbed the acchiappanuvole or<br />

‘cloud catcher’. As the bird chirps, you’ll sail up over the town<br />

for 13 minutes. Once at the top you can witness spectacular<br />

views over the rugged coastline. If you’re lucky with a clear day<br />

then you’ll be able to see the Faraglioni Rocks, the island of<br />

Ischia, and across the Gulf of Naples to the shimmering Mount<br />

Vesuvius. After a light refreshment at the mountaintop bistro,<br />

you have the option of taking the return chairlift or walking.<br />

Mount Etna | Sicily<br />

It’s easy to see why Mount Etna is locally called the<br />

mongibello, or beautiful mountain. The jaw-dropping sights<br />

you see of the surrounding black lava fields and over Sicily<br />

are intoxicating. While some choose to trek to the top, you<br />

can take a 4x4 ride or cable car up the mountain for an<br />

easier visit. Located near Catania, not only is Mount Etna<br />

one of Europe's highest volcanoes, it’s also one of its most<br />

active ones. But worry not - there are guided tours to the<br />

peak crater with highly-equipped experts so that you can<br />

circumnavigate the volcano safely.<br />

Punto Panoramico | Tuscany<br />

Seeking the perfect place for views across Tuscany’s iconic<br />

countryside? Then head to the village of San Gimignano, home<br />

to impressive stone tower houses. Just a short walk from the<br />

town centre by the verdant park of Piazzale Martiri Montemaggio<br />

lies the Punto Panoramico (panoramic point), which gives you an<br />

incredible bird’s-eye view over a lush landscape of cypress and<br />

olive trees, vineyards, and distant lands.<br />

Are you ready for a new perspective?<br />

Speak to one of our ​Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />



Sardinia<br />

If you think the Italian wine scene is only about Tuscany, Piedmont,<br />

and Sicily, then think again! Situated in the Mediterranean Sea off<br />

Italy’s west coast, Sardinia is the country’s second largest island.<br />

But it also has another name: insula vini - wine island!<br />

48<br />


With its impressive untamed coastline teeming with secret grottos,<br />

beautiful bays, and silken sand beaches, you might be surprised that<br />

Sardinia is one of Italy’s 20 winemaking regions. Yet its mountainous<br />

forests and pastoral fields hold one of the Italian wine scene’s<br />

best-kept secrets.<br />

Sardinia has always enjoyed being different from mainland Italy. Its<br />

food has been heavily influenced by its historic roots of Arab and<br />

Spanish conquerors, and embraces a few simple ingredients to create<br />

honest, rustic dishes that mirror the delightful slow living of the<br />

island’s shepherds, farmers, and fishermen. And, there’s no better way<br />

to round off a meal here than with the island’s own distinctive wine!<br />

Sardinian wine rarely exists or is consumed outside of the island, which<br />

gives it an extra special edge.<br />

As it happens, the salty air, strong winds,<br />

balmy Mediterranean climate, and mineral rich soils<br />

provide the perfect foundation for winemaking.<br />

You’ll find vines growing in rolling hills in the southwest of the island,<br />

between the Sardinian capital of Cagliari and the city of Ostriano, and<br />

also in the plateaus in the north of the island.<br />

There’s much debate as to how winemaking began in Sardinia. Some<br />

believe the Spanish brought it to the island in the 15th and 16th<br />

centuries, while others think it was adopted by the Phonecians, long<br />

before the birth of Christ.<br />

Most recent studies suggest it was a civilisation native to Sardinia, the<br />

Nuragic people, who adopted wine, as ancient pips and a stone press<br />

have been found in archaeological sites. In fact, one local wine brand,<br />

Nuraghe Crabioni, is named after the thousands of striking stone cone<br />

structures that the civilisation built during the Bronze Age and remain<br />

dotted across Sardinia’s landscapes.<br />

There would have been a point in more modern history when most<br />

Sardinians cultivated their own small plot of vines so they could make<br />

and consume their own wine at home. Today, villages produce wines<br />

each with their own distinct character unique to your typical Italian<br />

wines. You can expect fruity red wines, crisp white wines, and even<br />

fortified dessert wines that are similar to Spanish sherry.<br />

In recent years, several wineries have opened up wine tours and<br />

tasting experiences, where you can get a better sense of the history.<br />

Plus, there are regular wine festivals taking place across the island<br />

throughout the year.<br />

The cooler northern areas of Gallura, Anglona, and Alghero offer up<br />

aromatic, fruity white wines, while the south and west of the island<br />

provides a more eclectic mix of red, white, and dessert wines, while<br />

still devoting two-thirds of production to red wine.<br />

There are several grape varieties that offer different wine styles,<br />

however the most renowned are the Sardinian trio of cannonau,<br />

vermentino, and carignano. You’ll also find several indigenous grape<br />

varieties, including bovale, torbato, semidano, monica, malvasia bianca,<br />

moscato, nasco, and nuragus, to name just a few.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>/<strong>Summer</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />



Cannonau<br />

Cannonau is undoubtedly Sardinia’s most popular grape variety, which<br />

is used for strong, full-bodied red wines with a wonderful dark summer<br />

berry aroma and earthy notes of flora, pepper, and spice. Better known<br />

as a grenache or garnacha in other areas of Europe, cannonau is the<br />

most planted and, indeed, drunk wine on the island, and is produced<br />

by the cagnulari grape in the northwest, and the carignano grape in the<br />

south (more on this one later). This wine enjoys being aged.<br />

You’ll find wineries with cannonau everywhere. We recommend you<br />

visit or drink bottles from Pala Vini to the north of Cagliari, Cantini<br />

Quartomoro in Ostriano, and Cantina Gostolai in Oliena. In the north<br />

of the island in Sassari Province, head to the small winery of Cantina<br />

Sorres, which, as the name suggests, is run by two sisters, and where<br />

you can find a good organic cannonau.<br />

Vermentino<br />

Popular in the northeast of the island around the cities of Santa Teresa<br />

and Olbia, vermentino is Sardinia’s most celebrated white wine. It’s an<br />

extraordinarily fruity, delicate white, with a refreshing but balanced<br />

acidity. Making up nearly 30 per cent of the island’s wine production,<br />

the vermentino vines are planted to face north to avoid direct heat and<br />

sunlight. The evening temperature drops and windy climate provide a<br />

certain complexity to its flavour.<br />

Some sommeliers would argue that you can taste the sea within it,<br />

as it has a slight saltiness to its taste, alongside notes of citrus, apple,<br />

peach, almond, and white flowers. Vermentino di Gallura is Sardinia’s<br />

only DOCG wine, Italy’s highest ranking wine appellation, and has<br />

been growing in the Gallura province for centuries. While typically a<br />

still wine, you may also come across sparkling vermentino. This wine is<br />

perfectly paired with the local fish and seafood dishes.<br />

In the northwest town of Alghero, you’ll find Sardinia’s most acclaimed<br />

and award-winning winery, Sella & Mosca, where over 1,000 acres of<br />

vineyards are cradled between the hills and the sea. You’ll also find many<br />

family-run wineries, such as Capichera in Gallura, serving this grape.<br />

Carignano<br />

Cultivated in the southwestern corner, carignano is Sardinia's other<br />

popular red, which is a more light and medium-bodied red compared<br />

to cannonau, and has a regal spirit. You can expect a sweet spiced<br />

aroma of cinnamon, clove, tobacco, and notes of cherry, licorice, and<br />

plum. You’ll find it being produced around Sulcis, Carbonia-Iglesias,<br />

as well as in Cagliari and Teulada. Carignano is perfectly paired with<br />

dishes of wild game or aged cheeses. The grape variety also produces<br />

an excellent rosé wine, which has a much lower alcoholic strength than<br />

most rosés. The iconic wine of carignano is Terre Brune, which is one<br />

of the more expensive bottles found in Sardinia. We recommend you<br />

visit the wineries of Cantina Mesa or Cantina di Santadi to try their<br />

potent bottles.<br />

Vernaccia<br />

Just south of Gallura in Oristano on the west coast, you’ll find the local<br />

Vernaccia di Oristano DOC, a powerful dry yet velvety wine. With an<br />

amazing complexity of umami flavours, it was the first Sardinian wine<br />

to receive DOC status, and is aged in oak or chestnut barrels. We<br />

recommend you visit Cantina della Vernaccia for a tasting.<br />

Nuragus<br />

In the southern province of Cagliari is one of Sardinia’s lesser-known<br />

indigenous varieties, nuragus, which is a dry, light-bodied white wine<br />

that is best served without being aged or chilled. It’s got a refreshing<br />

taste with zesty citrus, and delicate notes of ripe apple and white<br />

flowers. Head just north of Cagliari to the leading winery of Argiolas to<br />

try it, while also trying their award-winning bottle of Turriga, which is a<br />

blend of cannonau, bovale, and malvasia.<br />

Bovale<br />

Grown throughout the island, but particularly found in the central<br />

region of Mandrolisai, bovale is a red grape variety that is genetically<br />

similar to wild grapevines. It produces a smooth and friendly, mediumbodied<br />

red wine with aromas of blue and red berries. You can get good<br />

bottles from La Giara.<br />

Malvasia<br />

Unlike the rest of the Mediterranean, in Sardinia the malvasia grape<br />

is only found white. You’ll easily find Malvasia di Cagliari, a dry white<br />

wine with notes of tropical fruit, but there’s also the romantic dessert<br />

wine of Malvasia di Bosa with its notes of honeysuckle, chamomile,<br />

and almond. The fortified version is made in the town of Bosa, just<br />

south of Alghero. It’s pure treasure if you find a bottle during your<br />

holiday as it’s rather hard to find outside of the northwest coast!<br />

Torbato<br />

Exclusively grown on the northwest of Sardinia, where it was imported<br />

from Spain, the ancient white grape variety of torbato is one of the<br />

rarest wines you’ll encounter on the island. You’ll find this hidden<br />

gem in a still crisp, dry white wine that’s refreshing and aromatic,<br />

with notes of white flowers and fruit, and the sea. However, you’ll<br />

also find a sparkling variety, Spumante Brut, which is often used as<br />

an aperitif. There are just 200 acres left of torbato in the world, and<br />

it’s thanks to the wine estate Sella & Mosca who helped revive it. We<br />

highly recommend you visit them, as they offer a small museum on the<br />

winemaking history, as well as a fabulous cellar and wine shop.<br />

A 5 night holiday in Sardinia, staying at Grand Relais Dei Nuraghi, starts from £1,299 per person.<br />

Car hire recommended. Speak to one of our Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

50<br />


Discover the<br />

Real Italy<br />

"Knowledgeable staff and excellent communications. When I phoned to make a late booking,<br />

the young lady was very helpful. She recommended the most amazing hotel in Florence, which she said<br />

was her personal favourite in the city. Really enjoyed our stay and the service was amazing.”<br />

James D., Travelled to Rome & Florence, March <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

If you enjoyed reading this issue of <strong>Andiamo</strong>! magazine then look out for our next complimentary issue. Out Autumn <strong>2023</strong>.

To book or find out more, visit <strong>Citalia</strong>.com<br />

or speak to one of our Personal Travel Planners on 01293 765061<br />

WINNER<br />

52<br />


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