Milan: former capital of the western Roman empire, famous for fashion and art, as well as being Italy’s centre of commerce. Although not as steeped in historical buildings or as aesthetically pleasing as some of the more classically Italian cities, Milan still attracts crowds of attention through its love of everything stylish.
“That’s the villa there, with the guest house next door”. A group of expats were talking quite loudly about a certain Mr & Mrs Clooney’s abode as we sailed by on the slow boat around Lake Como. It didn’t look like they were at home so popping round for the last pod of coffee was out of the question. Never mind! The journey itself was serene; a sublime panorama featuring a shoreline littered with elegant grand residences. We glided by mansions used in movies perched magnificently on the water’s edge and were given useful photo opportunity tips by the friendly boat crew.
‘It is the most beautiful walk and it is free,’ the girl in the cafe told us. Sold! What could possibly go wrong? We had just arrived in the area of Italy famous for five multi-coloured cliff-hugging villages and hungry for an adventure. Cinque Terre is made up of the pretty towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarolo and Riomaggiore. The hike from Levanto to the most westerly Cinque Terre settlement of Monterosso was our first activity. Levanto was a short cheap train ride from Vernazza, our base for the weekend, which we chose as it was noted to be the most beautiful and easily accessible by boat.
She clutched the cake to her heart and smiled. I couldn’t resist. Through a series of gestures I got the gist of what she was trying to communicate, this was her favourite, ‘Turta del Dunizet della Bergamasca’. I really hadn’t counted on there being two signature cakes in Bergamo, as well as a famous ice cream, but hey, in for a penny, in for several pounds of sugar! The best sales lady ever worked at La Marianna, Bergamo’s most revered pasticceria.
Incredibly beautiful and boasting great weather, seascapes, food and history- Italy’s southern island Sicily has an endless amount to offer its visitors. So, where better to start your Sicilian adventure than its fascinating capital Palermo. With flights from most major UK cities Palermo is a great place to start, or indeed enjoy your entire holiday without ever getting bored.