Italy is getting more and more popular as a luxury tourism destination: this country attracts big-spending travelers thanks to its natural treasures, its stunning masterpieces and its top-notch hotels, provided with exclusive facilities.
Two destinations are in high demand this year: Sicily, the land of unique flavors and views, and Sardinia, the island that stands out from the usual. The following itinerary is designed by Italy Luxury Guide, a collection of luxury hotels in Italy. Plan a holiday in the so-called Belpaese, you’ll be amazed by plenty of privileged activities to do here.
Taste volcanic wines and visit UNESCO sites in Sicily
Combine a nature trail with a guided wine tasting in “the island within the island”: this is possible if you visit Mount Etna, the active volcano located between Messina and Catania, added in 2013 to the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The Etna Park extends from the summit of the volcano to the towns surrounding it and is possible to follow a route starting from the Sapienza Refuge ski area, lying at the south of the crater at elevation of 1910 meters. Here, a cableway runs uphill to an elevation of 2500 meters, from where the crater area is accessible.
Etna is a stunning tourist attraction, especially if you like active holidays, because is the highest and most active volcano in Europe and its landscape constantly changes (lava hardens and craters collapse). You can book hiking tours or jeep outings to explore this protected area, check this website for further details: http://www.tiowo.com/etna-trekking-nature-en.
Due to its peculiar microclimate, vine cultivation and wine production on Mount Etna are well-known since ancient times; I suggest visiting two vineyards offering guided tours and wine tastings, the best way to appreciate the Etna DOC, a label including white and red wines.
Barone di Villagrande is a winery located in Milo, on the eastern slope of Etna, a natural amphitheater that descends towards the sea. Visit the Barone vineyards is an opportunity to taste typical Sicilian dishes paired with top wines, a gourmet experience that will let you fall in love with Sicily. For reservation email to email@example.com, or call +39 393 0076588.
I Vigneri is a consortium of vineyards spread throughout small towns on Etna and boasts the highest vineyard in Europe, located at Vigna di Bosco, at 1300 meters. The wine produced here is the IGT Rosè Vinudilice, so take advantage of a visit to taste it and discover the differences with the other varieties, such as the Rosso I Vigneri, aged for 5 years in amphorae instead of a wooden barrel. These are the contacts of the winery for info and visits: phone +39 0933 982942, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ortigia island, a gem in Sicily
Southeastern Sicily is one of the emerging destinations according to the most selective travelers, because of its baroque towns and the unique blend of ancient Greek ruins and elegant palaces, refined in every detail. Here you should stop at Syracuse, described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, a nice place both for its beaches with long white sandy shorelines and for its archaeological finds.
The top sight here is Ortigia, a small island separated from Syracuse by a narrow channel; here you will see not only historic monuments, but even boutiques, restaurants and bars. Piazza del Duomo is the center of Ortigia, where rises the Cathedral, built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena, the baroque style Palazzo Beneventano and the church of Santa Lucia.
Don’t miss a visit to the daily morning street market, where to buy the delightful food specialties, the best souvenir ever for foodies.
Wander around Ortigia and soak up the sights along the walk, you’ll be rewarded by this Sicilian hidden gem.
Celebrities’ favorite beaches in Sardinia
Costa Smeralda is worldwide known as the most expensive location in Europe and one of the favorite destinations by VIPs, due to the golf clubs, the private jet services, the white sand beaches and the top-class hotels situated in this small coastal area in Northern Sardinia.
Sardinia is an all-time destination that discloses its attractions even in off-season: book a stay in September or October if you want to visit more leisurely the Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda, in Italian).
Liscia Ruja Beach is one of the must-see beaches here and is located between Portisco and Cala di Volpe; this beach boasts fine white sand and crystal clear water (with color shades ranging from green to blue), is surrounded by the greenery and is reachable only walking through a 2 km dirt road.
Lounge beds and umbrellas are available for rent on the beach, and there are even a bar and a restaurant, ideal for a tasty break after a relaxing swim.
Another beach liked by celebs is Spiaggia del Principe (also known as Portu Li Coggi), between Romazzino beach and Capriccioli. Here you can discover the real origins of Costa Smeralda, in fact Prince Karim Aga Khan IV decided to financing the development of this area in 1961 after had visited this beach.
Principe Beach is divided by rocks emerging from the coastline and surrounded by Mediterranean maquis, and its water features wonderful hues of turquoise. This spot is also recommended for snorkeling, due to the wide variety of small fishes that swim in its shallow waters. Celebrities love this beach because is a perfect hideaway from the crowds and the photographers, a slice of Heaven in the Mediterranean Sea.
The trendiest venue for aperitifs and clubbing in Costa Smeralda
If you want to enjoy to the utmost your stay in Costa Smeralda, go to Baja Sardinia, where is located Phi Beach, the hottest beach club in the area featuring popular Djs, a saltwater swimming pool and an elegant outdoor bar, fit for aperitifs at sunset or a refined cocktail after dinner.Phi Beach is just in front of the Napoleonic fortress of Forte Cappellini, dating back to XVIII century, a breathtaking location that is quite away from the hustle of Porto Cervo.
This beach club includes a restaurant, specialized in Mediterranean dishes, the bar Chiringuito, situated along the border of the pool, and a hidden terrace with soft sofas, reserved for private parties and romantic dinners, The Rock Club, an exclusive spot where to enjoy the outstanding setting of this cove. For further info, visit the website www.phibeach.com.
Sicily and Sardinia are both peerless destinations for demanding tourists, choose a 5 stars hotel or a high class resort to spend a dreamy vacation and enjoy the attractions mentioned in this route!