28
Nov

My favourite bits of Italy.

Despite the fact that it requires many thousands of dollars/kilometres for Australians to holiday abroad, and our currency is always being picked on by the bigger kids, we Strayans continue to travel overseas in rising numbers, and with craftier luggage tricks. Good on us.

I usually choose Italy. I’ll go there annually if they’ll continue to have me, despite my terrible pronunciation of “grazie”.

Some reasons include:

  • Carbs
  • Fashion
  • Negronis
  • Ricotta cheesecake
  • Swimming off rocks and no sand anywhere
  • No judgment when ordering a bowl of pasta, then pizza
  • Friendly, warm, welcoming Italians
  • Everyone looks great because everyone wears sunglasses always
  • Carbs

Like most people, I’ve done the classic Italian hotspots: Venice, Positano, Sicily and, of course, Athens. Here are some of my favourite things to do/see/eat/visit in the aforementioned hotspots.

Taormina, Sicily

We stayed in Taormina, on the beach, rather than up in town. But with a cable car swinging its way between the town (all the food/shops and most of the hotels) and beach (a handful of hotels and restaurants) all day, both options are good. Have a fancy, view-soaked drink at Grand Hotel Taormina, and outstanding aperitivo at Timoleone. Have your (daily) granita at Bam Bam bar, swim at Isola Bella, and make a day trip to Noto and Syracuse if time permits. Definitely eat lunch (or ideally stay) at Country House Villadorata, just outside of Noto, if you’re roaming. It served up the finest meal of my trip.

 

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Portofino

Portofino could never be accused of being cheap, but that’ll happen when you’re a) tiny, b) breathtaking, and c) overrun with super yachts and tourists. But it’s so lovely! Pop on your best boaty pastels and make the trip already! Head up to Hotel Splendido (often called the best hotel in the world, and after staying there, I’m a believer) for a sunset cocktail, and when the bill arrives suck it up and file it in your “Lifelong Memories” folder. Buy some cheese, wine and crackers in town and have a picnic in the surrounding national park; have a casual lunch at La Taverna del Marinaio, or walk away from the packed main square to L’Isolotto for some of the best pizza of your goddamn life. There’s a small, protected swimming area just below Splendido where locals swim laps (scene of one of the most magical rock swims of my life), or Paraggi beach just outside town.

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Venice?

Rome?

Capri and Positano?

Florence?

Click here.

Definitely not here.

Responses to this drivel: 7 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 7 )
  • Stephanie

    Squeeee!! Where is your gorgeous rashie from? I’m a super pasty so this would be perfect for me, and my unintentional slight addiction to blue things x 

  • Jac

    Zoe – Italy with a toddler – how did you cart him around?? Pram? Stroller? Hiking carrier? Let him walk? We’re heading over next year and not sure a pram is going to be that useful with all the cobblestones/stairs/tourists

    • zoe foster blake

      We’ve just taken travel strollers… Mountain Buggy Nano when he was 4months old, and the Uppababy G-Luxe this year. Both were fine on the cobblestones. Make sure you get one that folds up and down easily with sturdy wheels. And take a universal sun shade.

  • Julie

    You listed Athens in your Italy list. lol. I used to mix that up all the time too.

  • Belle

    Hi Zoe,
    I’m off to Sicily in September and I’ve booked a table at Country House Villadorata for a special birthday dinner. However, I can’t find any indication of price online. Can you let me know roughly what to expect, so I know whether I need to re-mortgage the house? Thanks!

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