Adding it all up, I’ve spent nearly 6 months in Italy in the past few years! From North to South and back. From crowded ferries and chain-smokers to endless espressos, long party nights and plastic bottles filled with the best of cheapest wines. Check out some of my favourite photos of Italy and start creating your own Italy bucket list.
(Disclosure: Certain links to products and/or services are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission for any purchases that you make. This will not be at any cost to you.)
Table of Contents
- 1 My obsession with Italy
- 3 Summer times and the living is easy…
- 4 Sunset in Lake Maggiore and its abandoned Pier
- 5 Among friends, family, food and medieval villages: life in Castiglione Olona
- 6 Aosta Valley aka Castle Haven
- 7 Mt Etna National Park, 2 days at the biggest active volcano in Europe
- 8 My piece of paradise: San Vito lo Capo
- 9 Ragusa, Sicily gone Baroque
- 10 Ravello, you gotta love the Amalfi Coast
- 11 Naples, beating at the rhythm of the death
- 12 Subscribe
My obsession with Italy
As this is my 5th time in Italy and because today I became an Italian citizenship –yayyyy!–, I want to start by setting the mood for this post by listening to some Tarantella…
As you may know, many Argentinians actually have Italian roots. Our ancestors moved to Argentina at the beginning of the 20th century, and that applies to me too. It’s been my dream for the last 15 years to become an Italian citizen. Honestly, for a decade it seemed like an impossible dream but here I am; Italian, pasta-fed, and in love with this country.
So, if you are planning a trip to Italy and reckon it’s time to jot down-to-a-T your ultimate Italian Bucket List, get a bib because I guarantee you will drool as you scroll down this article JA!!!
Summer times and the living is easy…
I’ve visited Sicily twice because I’m a huge fan of this magical island! The first time, I spent a day exploring Palermo like crazy and then head out on day trips -thanks to which I “found” Cefalú.
The second time around my partner and I rented a car and road-tripped Sicily non-stop for 10 days, but only this time, we camped just outside town.
Cefalú is a very touristic small village that I adore and can’t get enough of! Full of life, colours and people enjoying the good life. Sunsets that leave you speechless, clear waters to swim in and stunning views.
Panoramic view from la Rocca di Cefalú –the Rock of Cefalu– it was well worth the sweat, dehydration and heat to get to the top in the middle of summer.
Sunset in Lake Maggiore and its abandoned Pier
Northern Italy has world-wide famous stunning lakes. I took this photo of my friend Erica last year at Lake Maggiore. It’s one of my favourites from Italy as we were there just by chance and right on time for sunset –we were actually going to the toilet lol–. If I had planned it, I’m sure it wouldn’t have worked! So thumbs up for physiological needs!
Among friends, family, food and medieval villages: life in Castiglione Olona
This village from the 13th century actually deserves all my love and devotion. It might not make the ranks of the best Italian medieval towns and cities as it’s quite off the beaten track, but still! It’s 100% worth it. This is my favorite place in Italy. Where my friend Erica and her family live, where they welcomed us with open arms and all the generosity humans are capable of.
According to my friend, they were included in the Lonely Planet’s guide “at some point”. If you happen to be here during your next trip to Italy, you can’t miss the Medieval summer festival at the end of June. And, I’m telling you, you have to come and share an “aperitivo” at the Kiosco del Castello, while enjoying the panoramic views from the hill.
As we were based here for a few months and the village is set on the Italian Nortwest, we would simply catch the train and follow our fave Milan one day itinerary!
Life is good.
Just 15 minutes by car from Castiglione Olona is the Lake Varese. This is the perfect spot for an amazing sunset like the one that you can see in the photo! Actually, a photo a took from this same sunset has been featured in Nomadic Matt’s social media.
Aosta Valley aka Castle Haven
If you head north-west you will get to the Aosta Valley. This region is in a convenient spot, located between Italy, Switzerland and Germany. All this area is unbelievably beautiful, especially if you come in autumn or winter as it is close to Monte Bianco –the highest peak in the Alps–. I would give it at least 4 days of exploring. Mission: Enjoy Valdostan delicious food, castles, fortresses and thermal baths… ahhhhh… –I need a new bib lol–.
Mt Etna National Park, 2 days at the biggest active volcano in Europe
Back to Sicily! Let me tell you this: all the time spent here it’s worth it. This National Park is typically a few hours day trip. But I would recommend spending at least 1 full day or even 2 exploring this area. There are many small villages on the slopes of the Volcano, and they have a very traditional, authentic vibe. You don’t need to book a tour, just head to the main entrance and find the main counter –where they sell the funicular tickets–. There you will find out the conditions to go up. As this is an active volcano sometimes the conditions change fast so do your research before hiking Mount Etna!
My piece of paradise: San Vito lo Capo
Before coming here I read many things about this village and its beach. That it’s too touristy, that the beach is not that good, etc. Ok, so, only if I was born in the Maldives Islands I would say this beach is not a piece of paradise.
To be honest, I quite enjoyed sharing the beach with a thousand Italian families!
Ragusa, Sicily gone Baroque
There’s nothing I can say about this place. This photo speaks for itself…
There are other places in Sicily where you can enjoy some good Baroque Sicilian style. Catania would be my favourite.
Ravello, you gotta love the Amalfi Coast
I won’t leave the Amalfi Coast out of this. That would be just cruel. One of the most classic postcards of Italy, the Amalfi Coast is a synonym of jet-set and fame but it can actually be quite an affordable destination. I took this pic a few years ago in Villa Rufolo.
Naples, beating at the rhythm of the death
If you’re a traveller that hasn’t done any research, you will be blown away by all the altars that you will find in every corner and wall in Naples. This is a place where tradition, life, death and culture joined forces to give birth to a city with a very peculiar identity.
Are you ready to buy the tickets for your next trip to Italy??? I can assure you that you will feel that you are in a Federico Fellini’s movie if you dare going beyond Rome, Venice and Florence. I’m so glad that I’m here already, blending beyond eating pasta and moving my hands dramatically as an Orchestra Director.
Hey u! I’m Martina, from Argentina. I’ve been combining travel and life overseas since 2013 in a quest for living alongside with creativity, joy and personal growth.
- budget guide
- queen charlotte track
- travel the world
- work abroad
- working holiday