5 fairy tale places in Northern Italy*
Italy is one of those fairy tale places that is shrouded in all that is gorgeous: romance, history, culture, food and sublime vista after sublime vista. It is also one of those places that must be explored properly and not just skimmed over in a whirlwind weekend or quick week away. There is just too much to see. That is why I’m providing you with a list of places you must absolutely see in the north, where irresistible charm just seems to bubble up everywhere.
So, whether this is your first time in Italy or you are a connoisseur of this incredibly blessed place, you have to read on because this list is littered with magic. I can barely contain the excitement in my fingertips as I tap away.
I have no doubt that the names Lake Como and Bellagio will have you thinking about George Clooney, Las Vegas and Ocean’s Eleven. But the breathtaking town of Bellagio that stretches out onto Lake Como is about as far from Vegas as you can possibly get. Yes, the wealth is there, but so is a backdrop of the Alps, the crystal waters reflecting the morning sun. There really is nowhere better to start your day.
There are very few regions anywhere on earth that boast a culinary pedigree quite as astonishing – and delicious – as Emilia-Romagna; a region celebrated for is incredible gastronomy. Parma and Bologna have become famous the world over for the food they produce. The thing you absolutely must do here, though, is witness how cheese is made first hand. It would almost be criminal not to. Parmigiano Reggiano is made right here and to see just how will make it taste that much better.
There are so many sights of the Roman Empire to be seen right the way across Italy, but none quite compete with the old Roman arenas of Verona. Here you can find one of the most gorgeously-preserved structures that dates back to the year 30AD. That is truly astonishing. What’s more, it is still used to this day with over half a million people flocking to see the Opera here each year.
Is it possible to mention northern Italy and bypass the iconic city of Venice, where so many romantic films, breathtaking novels and beautiful paintings have been set, and for good reason too. This place really is beyond anything your mind can conjure up. Wander around the Piazzas, soak up the ambience and have a quiet drink in Harry’s Bar. Do all of these things, but not at the expense of exploring the canals by gondola, soaking in the ancient buildings that seem to hover on the water, stopping for the obligatory photo in front of the Rialto Bridge. Venice is top of my city break wishlist!
What better way to finish a day than to stroll around the small streets of Turin as dusk settles in? Yes, there are far more spectacular cities to see in Italy with much more impressive buildings and skylines, but none of them has the same level of Italian charm as Turin – that je ne sais quoi (ok, so that’s French!). If you do want to amble around the quiet streets with a purpose, though, then add the Palazzo Madama and the Palazzo Reale to your stroll, which are the most celebrated landmarks of this city.