You’ve already been to Italy. You’ve got the sense of Rome’s antique atmosphere and Florence’s artistic vibe. Probably Venice’s gondola ride along the canal, as well. The truth is, Italy’s awesomeness goes WAY beyond that. Here are some insider advices from Andrea Degasperi, Luxo’s travel advisor and an insatiable Italian traveler. He has a knack for taking discerning travelers to discover the real, authentic side of Italy and personalizing the trip for each one.
Explore the Rocky, Intact Basilicata
It is probably Italy’s best hidden secret. A vast, marvelous, Paleolithic-style region so rich in arts and crafts. Sassi di Matera (“Stones of Matera”) presents you a white-washed town carved in stones and rocks. Come during the sunset hours, when romantically dimmed lights cover the stone-carved town, and the atmosphere is simply romantic.
Basilicata was part of Hellenic Magna Graecia, and a great number of ancient Greek settlements are still perfectly preserved. Ostuni, a white town constructed by the Greeks, features instead Matera’s primer Greek identity. Tourist crowd has not arrived in big yet, so the region still remains intact and true to self. I recommend to stay a few days in Palazzo Margherita: a cinema-themed private family palace. It is the best combination of old and new – it is covered in historic frescos and antiques, yet features modern cinema facilities. You can have a garden grill with family, an intimate afternoon tea, and end the day with a movie time in theatre.
*Matera - La città dei sassi
Deeply Relax in the Northern Lakes
The northern lake region is your way to meditation and deep relaxation. After a visit to Milan, disconnect with the civilization in these deep blue lakes. Lago Maggiore area hides many isolated little islands of extraordinary beauty: Isola bella, Isola madre, Rocca’angera are my picks for travelers that look for an exclusive paradise.
Don’t miss to visit the elegant villas in the region. Villa Taranto, Villa Carlotta, Villa Monastero have some of the finest examples of Northern Italian Renaissance arts.
*Isola San Giulio on the Orta Lake
Eat and Drink Well in Puglia
Every traveler falls in love with Puglia at the first sight: miles of white sand beaches, genuine and natural Mediterranean cuisine, and intensely good wine.
Food lovers will simply LOVE Puglia’s cuisine. Freshness and genuineness are the focus here. Vegetarians will find Puglia a bliss to eat! A simple vegetable dish and homemade pasta plate is already exploded with flavors and natural goodness.
Puglia’s mountainous landscape and hilly towns give its wine an especially intense flavor. Compared to the more mass-oriented Tuscan wine, the Puglia wine is more artisable and smaller in production. Negroamaro, Primitivo are Puglia’s signature wine that boost a very complex flavor and vintage taste. The intense wine really matches up with the character of Puglia people: so warm, genuine, and passionate about life. You wouldn’t feel like you are just a tourist. You are instantly part of the family.
* a delcicous plate of "orecchiette alle cime di rapa"