The thought of not having a holiday until November (!) made me pine for my trip to Italy earlier this year. The land where gelato is as ubiquitous as leather shoes, coffee is taken like a Friday night tequila, and no one gives a darn that they eat pasta, bread and cake in one day.
Naples came in the form of my wonderful friend, effortlessly functioning (as only she can) in the city and speaking the language (as we all dream); riffling through endless cashmere at flea markets; Napoli was 100% authentic rough-around-the-edges Italian charm.
And don’t ever say otherwise.
Rome was done in a day – our train ride was accompanied by a white chocolate stuffed croissant (and why not?) and only took a few hours. Gucci, Louis and Fendi lined the Via Condotti, named the world’s most expensive street for a reason. Walk down at your peril… I won’t bore you with the perks on offer to a Classics nerd like myself. Basically if you’re in need of a bit of culture it does the job.
And finally Florence. I loved that you could get around on foot and get to know the city really well. This place has views, art, heritage, architecture, not to mention the original Renaissance poster boy. When the museums got too much there were the Boboli Gardens and parks aplenty to stroll around. Socially there was just the right balance between family-run restaurants and vibrant late-night bars with the all important aperitvo element – buy one drink, get a plateful of deli treats free. Result.
In short, this country greets you like a true Italian mama would – with two wet kisses, a table full of food and some serious schooling on her family tree.