25 ways to enjoy la dolce vita
GO ITALY:Italy has it all, from family fun, to sun, to walking in the footsteps of the Medici. We’ve rounded up 25 Italian jobs to suit all kinds of travellers.
Italy for families
1 For family fun you can’t beat a campsite holiday and Italy has one that puts the French to shame. The Norcenni Girasole Club in the Chianti region is a perfect base from which to visit such places as San Gimignano, Siena and Florence. Or stay put and enjoy great pools, leisure facilities and restaurants. Galway company KelAir Campotel has a week’s stay in a mobile sleeping five, arriving August 25th, for €630. See campotel.com.
2 Forget Disney. In Italy, it’s all about Gardaland. The theme park, which is close to Peschiera del Garda, is vast, well organised and great fun. In summer it stays open until 11pm and is particularly magical at night. Book your stay in the hotel before August 19th, for stays until August 31st, and you get free entrance to the park, plus free dinner for the kids. See gardaland.it.
3 For total rejuvenation, Club Med is hard to beat. Its resort in Napitia, Calabria, is a 20-hectare haven near the ankle of Italy’s boot, full of pine trees and bougainvillea. A week’s break based on a twin share basis, excluding flights, costs £880 (€1,124) per adult and £704 (€900) for kids, departing August 17th. See clubmedsunway.ie.
Italy for sunshine
4 For a good old-fashioned sun holiday, the Sicilian resort town of Giardini Naxos is perfect. It has great beaches, great bay views and an old fishing port at its heart. There’s no shortage of sunbeds either, laid out in perfectly symmetrical formation on the beach. Clickandgo.comhas a seven-night stay at Villa Linda Hotel, arriving September 19th, for two adults from €577pps, including BB. See clickandgo.com.
5 There’s still time to book a Tuscan villa, just. Castelmuzio is a tiny, hilltop hamlet in the south of Tuscany, close to the Umbrian border. The village has a small coffee shop, trattoria and grocery store, with Siena a 40-minute drive away. Stay at La Residenza, which sleeps eight and has its own pool, for seven days starting August 11th, for a villa-only price of €5,003. See jamesvillas.ie.
6 Sorrento is a buzzing holiday location, perfect for exploring villages along the Amalfi coast. The new four-star La Grand Hotel Favourita has a terrace offering terrific views over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. At the time of writing, Sunway has a week’s stay departing August 18th, from €1,074pps BB, including flights when booked online. See sunway.ie.
7 Explore the beautiful towns on the shores of Lake Garda, from historic Sirmione to bustling Riva, a haven for windsurfers. Take the ferry from place to place, or drive around its famous tunnels, James Bond-style. Just don’t end up in the lake like his Aston Martin did while filming Quantum of Solace. Crystal Summer has a web price for seven night’s BB at the two-star Hotel Miravelli in Garda, from €459pps, departing September 1st. See crystalsummer.ie.
Italy for activities
8 Walk your way around the Cinque Terre – the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso – that hug the cliffs of the Italian Riviera. A Unesco Heritage site, each is connected by hiking trails offering stunning views. Topflight has week-long walking breaks here in September from €829pps, including flights. See topflight.ie.
9 Make like a Medici with a wander through their beloved Mugello Hills. Stroll through vineyards, olive groves and woodlands, following ancient drovers’ roads and mule tracks, finishing up in bustling Florence. Inn Travel has four-night self-guided walking breaks for £572 (€730), tour only, based on two sharing. See inntravel.co.uk.