Field notes from Italy

Sunil shares his experiences from a recent trip across Italy

Having recently returned from the vineyards and coastlines of Italy, Sunil – one of our New York-based Travel Experts – shares his notes on the trip. Follow his adventure on our Instagram Highlights, and head below to enjoy his field notes in all their fulsome glory.

In a word, it was “unforgettable”.

The arrival

Our flight from JFK to Milan was supremely comfortable (the passengers being mostly, it seemed, in-the-know travelers seeking the late summer sun). Arriving at Milan nine hours later, we stepped out into the Italian sun, Piedmont’s wine country beckoned. Wide, open, and clear.

The hotels

I was lucky to be staying at some of our favourite Italian hotels – steering away from the cookie-cutter chains, as ever. At Lake Como’s Tremezzo, you can really feel the owner’s love for what they do. The spa, pools, and restaurants were as glamorous as ever, with the added bonus that the very light crowds at the time made it feel like you had everything entirely to yourself.

The weather is still gorgeous through mid-October – I’m tempted to go back again.

Hotel de Russie in Rome, Italy
Ravello in Italy

The food and wine

I could speak forever about this most Italian of subjects. We started in Piedmont, famed for its robust Barolos and Barbarescos. What we didn’t realise was the sheer abundance of Michelin-starred gastronomy in the region, with La Ciau del Tornavento being the real highlight of the trip – with its exquisite views out over the Piedmont countryside. Unforgettable.

Tuscany, as ever, delivered in spades, with Medieval hilltop towns like Volterra and San Gimignano having more divine eateries than you can shake a fork at. The bistecca alla Fiorentina lingers with me still.

Moving south, I won’t quickly forget the taste of crisp whites and a particularly stunning frutta di mare on the Amalfi Coast, or the plate of proper cacio e pepe that I’ve been dreaming about for too long. It didn’t disappoint.

The overall feeling

Being in Italy is a divine and unforgettable experience. The smells, the food, the warm embrace of sparkling waters. I have worked in travel for many years, and I take genuine delight in giving people much-needed time away from their busy working lives. And Italy is the perfect antidote to that.

I could write for hours. But the bottom line is this. Go to Italy. Go now. Eat the cacio e pepe. Drink an Aperol spritz with aperitivoYou won’t regret a thing.