One of the most noticeable things about Christmas is just how quickly the adverts change on the television. From being wall to wall toys and Santa, it is almost like, on the stroke of Midnight on Christmas Eve, Christmas is actually forgotten and the commercial breaks become one long travelogue. Sandy beaches, tropical skies and far away climes are the order of the day, as we escape the cold, wind and rain and dream about the Summer.
One of the most popular of European destinations is Italy, which is a perfect combination of culture, shopping, chic resorts and sandy beaches. It has food to die for, scenery that inspires awe and a history that is full and fascinating. Italy appeals because it has a holiday for everyone, whether you want to sip Aperol Spritz on the Neapolitan Riviera, walk around the Uffizi looking at priceless works of art, and just want to relax and top up your tan in Lido de Jeselo.
But Italy is not just about sunshine and beaches. It is a popular resort for skiing with both the iconic Dolomites and the scenic Italian Alps proving to be perfect for cross-country skiing and snow boarding. Snow shoeing is another popular pastime, and if you are a novice, you can sign up to skills weeks that can improve your performance in Winter sports.
If you decide to travel to Italy, you don’t have to limit your destination to just the mainland, or the obvious sites of Rome, Venice and Milan. One of my favourite Italian destinations is the island of Sardinia. The beautiful historic port of Alghero is a great favourite on the cruise ship circuit, and features a host of wonderful sites that range from an idyllic, long sandy shoreline, to the walled Old Town with its fascinating range of artisan and craft shops. There are a range of great restaurants that offer both indoor and outdoor dining arrangements, but for me one of the best ways to dine is to eat the huge and delicious, traditional stonebaked pizzas in the town square like the locals do.
Italy is a stunning destination for a romantic break or honeymoon. The Amalfi coast is simply stunning, a UNESCO world heritage site that has views that will simply take the breath away. Visitors to the Amalfi coast often take in a trip to the numerous vineyards and Olive Groves to get a feel for the real Italy, and what makes it such a fantastic, exquisite destination.