From the southern heel of Puglia to the eastern and western coasts of central Italy and up to the mountain peaks of the North, we traipsed through valleys and challenged ourselves with breathtaking hikes. We were enthralled by remarkable cultural sites, stayed in charming hotels and savored some of the best that Italy has to offer.
Our travels started the first days of April admiring the architectural, geographical and cultural diversity in Puglia. Its massive ancient olive trees watch over the centuries with wisdom and the cone shaped trulli are like walking through a fairytale. One of our favorite destinations, the relaxed southern feeling unique to this area never ceases to enrich.
In May, the western coast of Tuscany rewarded us with wildflowers, chestnut forests and sparkling Mediterranean sea. No wonder the enigmatic Etruscans made their first settlements in this lush, mineral rich area. We followed the mysterious paths they cut through stone walls thousands of years ago; an evocative and inspiring experience. The history of the tiny stone towns sprinkled throughout the region is fascinating.
In June we went straight across the width of Italy to the Marche region which overlooks the eastern Adriatic coast. The geographical isolation has kept many of its cities unchanged. Different light, different attitude: the fields in the countryside are meticulously cultivated with grapes and wheat, and there is a plethora of mighty castles, deep, dramatic gorges and vast underground caves.
The Dolomiti crown bella Italia, and certainly reign in our hearts as well. These inspiring lacy peaks and ever-changing skies are marvelous in every season. The Dolomiti are now one of the best equipped mountain ranges for comfortable, even luxurious, hospitality and fabulous cuisine.
Our first trip in July brought an intergenerational group together to experience ten days of Hut to Hut hiking: we had a wonderful time and fabulous weather!
Our newest Friuli region tour was a fresh view of a lesser known area in north-eastern Italy which we explored with a group of intrepid friends. Imagine hiking idyllic trails in the Dolomiti Friulane without meeting a single person! Of course we also indulged ourselves with two superb Michelin starred restaurants.
A large group of uproarious colleagues asked to stay in one town and do hiking, cultural visits and wine tastings from there. We chose the lovely town of Bressanone, nestled in the Valle Isarco and surrounded by mountains, as our base. Joyfully open to every experience, a wonderful time was had by all!
One of our tours was a gift: realizing the dream of his wife to visit Venice and the Dolomiti, mixed together with his passion for fly fishing and cooking. We traveled the Dolomiti from east to west fulfilling all of their wishes. It’s always fun to mix fly fishing with hiking, cultural and culinary experiences!
Our last trip to the Dolomiti was at the end of September. Brisk temperatures but a special adventure ended our season in the mountains.
Last but not least…our inspired chef Tania! Her picnics are pure magic along the trails. The menus are varied, colorful, inventive and always delicious! Grazie Tania!
The calendar for next year is already filling with new adventures. We hope to see you soon in Italy!