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8 top destinations in Italy where Italians go

Time:2017-09-24 05:13wine - Red wine life health Click:

Italy travel

You’re at a restaurant and want wine, but you’re not sure what to order. A Tuscan Chianti or Piedmontese Barolo is always a solid choice. Or, you’re ready to splurge on new boots, a winter coat or a handbag.

Italian-manufactured clothing and footwear are coveted around the world for their quality and style. The point is, Italians have great taste. Like, Maserati- and Marni-level great taste.

That said, you can trust that Italians’ favorite domestic travel spots are as favoloso as their food and fashion.

Here, we’ve outlined the top destinations in Italy where Italians themselves vacation.

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Southeast Italy
The southeastern part of the country (i.e., the heel of the boot) is less crowded and more affordable than places like Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. Add sandy beaches with clear waters plus historic significance to the peaceful Puglia countryside, and it becomes very clear why this region is so popular with vacationing Italians. The beautiful and historic city of Lecce (the “Florence of the South”) is one of Italy’s most under-the-radar destinations for food and culture, with restaurants, shops, piazzas and palazzos radiating just about every direction from Basilica di Santa Croce -- perhaps the most beautiful church in the city.

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Lecce is located in the Salento region, which is famous for its wines. The wine-producing town of Salice Salentino is 30 minutes west from Lecce by car. On the Ionian side of Salento is historic Gallipoli, whose scenic old town is set on a limestone island linked to the mainland by a 16th-century bridge. Other popular places include the resort towns of Torre Dell’Orso and Otranto, a place defined by its ancient stone buildings, plunge-ready rock pools and laid-back beaches like Baia dei Turchi.

Amalfi Coast
Swarms of tourists -- even Italians -- arrive daily to see one of the world’s most famous coastlines. Yes, there are massive summertime crowds, exorbitant high-season hotel rates and hard-to-navigate roads, but the payoff -- taking in vertigo-inducing views of the Mediterranean and exploring unbelievably photogenic villages built into rocky cliffs -- is worth the travel hassles. Our Amalfi Coast itinerary is full of pro tips on when and where to go.

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Naples
Italy is a foodie destination of legendary proportions, and Naples more than pulls its weight on this front. The third-largest city in Italy, Naples is widely thought to be the birthplace of pizza, so many visitors here are on a pilgrimage to find the very best pie topped with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella and charred to chewy perfection in a wood-burning oven. Naples’ culinary delights don’t begin and end with oven-fired pizza: The port city is renowned for its seafood, spaghetti, gelato, zeppole, coffee, wine and limoncello (strong lemon liqueur, with an emphasis on the strong). Between euphoric throes of eating and drinking, there’s plenty else to do. Naples is one of the oldest cities in Europe -- its origins date to the 9th century B.C. -- and its profusion of art, architecture and archeology could vie with Rome and Florence. For example, the historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is home to the Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno, a 16th-century Baroque masterpiece; the Duomo, a Roman Catholic cathedral that broke ground in the 13th century; and San Giovanni Maggiore, a basilica with stone original to its fourth-century construction. Though Naples’ prestige dates to antiquity, the modern-day experience of the city is rife with grit, graffiti, trash, crime and congestion.

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Sicily
Sicily has long been a hub for writers, artists and expats. Today, the island’s millions of annual tourists include celebrities, NBA stars, media moguls from around the globe, and, increasingly, mainlanders. In fact, according to data from UnionCamere Sicilia (the organization of Sicily’s Chambers of Commerce), around half of Sicily’s visitors in recent years have been Italians themselves. Like those traveling from abroad, Italians come to Sicily to see sparkling seas, rugged landscapes, Roman and Greek ruins and charming old towns with winding cobbled streets and tiled roofs. Cefalu, in the north, is the quintessential Sicilian seaside town, packed with excellent trattorias and cafes. Hike to the top of the town’s iconic La Rocca for excellent views of the surrounding landscape and Tyrrhenian Sea. North Italy’s Mountains and Lakes
Most pop culture buffs could play a very quick word-association game with the phrases “George Clooney” and “Lake Como.” Long before it was a favorite for American A-listers, the famous Alpine lake and others nearby were Italian idylls for European royalty, romantic poets, diplomats and well-off natives. Even ancient Romans were drawn to the region’s spectacular lake and mountain views. Today, water sports, boating, hiking, biking (ambitious cyclists can loop Lake Como) and wildlife-spotting are favorite pastimes. In addition to Lake Como, Lake Garda (the country’s largest lake) and Lake Maggiore are top destinations in northern Italy. Their shores are lined with lush woodlands, beautiful villas and picturesque villages -- Bellagio on Lake Como (dubbed “the Pearl of the Lake”) and Riva del Garda and Bardolino on Lake Garda are especially popular stopovers.

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