Northern Italy – Top 3 places you’ve definitely heard of…

As much as we like to get off the beaten track, we do venture to the classic locations and tick off as many stereotypical cultural activities as possible. Pizza in Naples, yes! Gondola in Venice, yes! Running into Lake Garda in the height of November, yes! Hang on, that’s just me and not what everyone does?! Obviously didn’t get the memo…

With that being said, here were our three favourite places from our time in the North of Italy.

1. Lake Garda

Top of the charts for us was certainly Lake Garda. Partially down to us not expecting it to be as great as it was, partially down to it being as great as it was! Split across 3 provinces (Verona, Brescia and Trento), Lake Garda has moved forward from the Mussolini base it was once known for and instead has moved forward with optimism. Lake Garda is the birthplace of the violin, a fitting instrument for its landlord and is home to natural sulphur spring. Just some of the many reasons to visit Lake Garda!

Staying in the South brings you the beautiful lakeside towns of Sirmione, Peschiera del Garda, Lazise & Bardolino, to name a few. Known primarily for distributing great wines from the region, these towns are also adequately filled with campsites, restaurants and hotels, accommodating for a variety of budgets. There’s even Gardaland for the kids (…& the 24 year olds….)!

The North is a much more rugged, Dolomite horizon landscape, where you marvel at the formations that have been created. Monte Baldo is a great hike and viewpoint for this and for the more extreme of you on here, paragliding is an option over the lake. Staying in Riva del Garda would be the ideal base for the North.

We went in November and it seemed close to the perfect time, if a bit chilly. Crowds pick up in the summer, as expected but

To see our post about it in full, click here

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30-months
The very
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Piggy looking over Garda
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2. Cinque Terre

What’s more to say that hasn’t been said about Cinque Terre?! All five towns radiate beauty, seep style and rake in the tourists, which was our key negative. A far cry away from the sleeping fishing villages they once were known for. Busy as it may be, it’s still an essential visit in Northern Italy and a place that takes your breath away.

It’s not all pretty villages. There’s hiking for the outdoorsy, beautiful pesto and gelato for you foodies and plenty of religious relics, there is sure something to moisten the pallet. My recommendation if we had more time would’ve been to do a pesto cooking course, from the masters! Although I feel like I can make oil, garlic & pine nuts into a sauce…!

I would avoid the high season unanimously, aiming for the periods prior to the low and high season (October & April). You may get more cats in these months than people! La Spezia is a great base for people travelling on a budget, where we stayed on a boat, an incredible experience. Also, take a trip down to Portovenere, another beautiful seaside town.

To see our post about it in full, click here

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Happy Hikers!
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Vernazza & Gelato

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Sunset over CT

3. Florence

Rounding off our top 3 is the alluring city of Florence, the art capital of the world (& Tuscany). Birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci, Pinocchio & Florence Nightingale, Florence isn’t just home to celebrities of yester-year. It is also home to some of the most beautiful architecture, sculpture and culture you will bear witness to.

An interesting fact of Florence is that it gave birth to the piano and it really resides with you how much Italy has offered and how much it still does now. Whilst walking around the city, marvel at the main attractions including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi before sitting down to Italian cuisine and their famous gelato. Someone once told us that you should have two a day whilst in Florence and it’s very easy to see why!

Florence, unlike a lot of other major cities, seemed extremely clean to us and probably why we didn’t choose Rome as our favourite city. Although wandering around museums all day isn’t our entertaining ideology, there are plenty to wander and we did enjoy the masterpieces in the Uffizi.

To see our post about it in full, click here

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Pig & Duomo

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A masculine sculpture…

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And that’s a wrap! As mentioned previously, Italy really does have so much to offer and it’s easy to see the affiliation with romance this country possesses. It’s affordable, magical and diverse, so pack your bags and step into the Bel Paese!

Visit Italy!

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14 thoughts on “Northern Italy – Top 3 places you’ve definitely heard of…

  1. Ahhh bella Italia. Visited all three, and all three roughly twenty years ago. In fact, had a big fight with then-boyfriend on the Via del Amore… but still together (and married) today. Love your photos!

    Like

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