This post has been sponsored by Luxury Villas, all thoughts and opinions my own xx
Holidays for me used to be all about drinking but now I’m excited to be planning my next sober holiday in Italy! In the old days, I’d pick the destination based on where there were great bars and restaurants, choose hotels on the Tripadvisor reviews of local culture (read: cheap drinks) and spend my days on holiday drinking figuring it was 5pm somewhere and therefore beginning drinking with friends at breakfast and continue for the rest of the day … I am very grateful that my holidays don’t look like this anymore, and I love that I get back from a holiday feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Rather than choosing holiday locations based on the nearest bar, I now choose places I really want to visit – and stay in places that have great reviews for style & comfort rather than their vicinity to a bar! I’m planning my next sober holiday in Italy and am keen to feel a little more like a (posh) local than in previous stays and so am looking at these luxury villas with a private pool to make the most of my time away.
I’ve been looking at different itineraries and places to go in Italy this year. I think I’m going to start with a Classic Italy tour – taking in Rome, Florence and Venice – and then settle into about exploring one location and living a little more like a local for a week!
Below I’ve listed my 4 favourite ways to make the most of a sober holiday in Italy:
All activities that will feel 100% better without a hangover!!!
1. Exploring the Natural Beauty of Italy
Italy’s natural landscape is beautiful, and so much better seen through clear eyes! Wherever you end up staying there will be some instagram worthy natural attractions so it’s worth getting outside and exploring your surroundings.
I’d love to see Furore Fiord. It’s said to be a natural wonder, and fiord’s are very unusual to Italy. A fiord is a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliff, I didn’t know that either – you learn something new every day! Apparently it is picturesque and the fiord is rinsed by turquoise water with a nice beach and the settlement gradually ascends the precipitous gorge. Old fishermen houses are scattered there. Found on the coast of beautiful Amalfi, Furore is one of the most beautiful little towns in the country. However, it is apparently relatively undiscovered by the tourists, although it is embedded next to popular Positano and features a breathtaking landscape. A natural beauty that I am definitely adding to the list!
2. Drinking Italian Coffee
Coffee is a huge part of much a part of Italian culture, and a great way to explore different places throughout your trip. Italian’s can be fussy about coffee (huge generalisation, sorry), and have certain coffee drinking rituals we don’t have in the UK. For example, they only order milky coffees in the morning and are unlikely to order it after a meal. They’re said to cringe at the thought of having a full tummy and putting a milky coffee on top of that!
I only drink decaf coffee these days, but last time I was in Rome I found plenty of good decaf to drink (and only the occasional eye roll from then barista!)
3. Reading all the Books set in Italy
One of my favourite things to do when holidaying in a destination, is to read books that are set there. This might sound odd but it’s a really lovely way to get a feel for where you are whilst relaxing.
A couple of books that I have ready to read (or re-read) on my next trip away are:
Angels And Demons, by Dan Brown
Dan Brown writes page-turners and, love him or hate him, his books have created readers from non-readers, whilst sparking passion and interest in history and art.
I read pretty much all of his books ten years ago but am going to re-read Angels and Demons before my holiday. If you read Angels And Demons before or when you travel to Rome—you can visit the places in the book in real life, which make them all the more exciting.
Italian Neighbors, by Tim Parks
This book explores the Italian lifestyle through the observance of a neighborhood on Via Columbre, the main street in a village just outside Verona. Tim Parks is an Englishman who married an Italian and has lived in Italy for thirty years, so he has an insider-outsider perspective on what he sees, which allows him to offer tips on how to not seem like a foreigner. I can’t wait to read this, it’s got great Amazon reviews and is said to be travel writing at it’s best – I can’t wait to read it!
4. Learning Italian
Italian sounds beautiful (to me) and I love trying to speak the language when I am away. What better way to spend your hangover free mornings in Italy learning to speak Italian and then using your language skills throughout the day and the duration of your trip?
If you are staying in a city then you can look for a language school, or a language exchange, however if you are staying in a more remote area – or are based in a beautiful villa – then I highly recommend Duolingo. It is an app that you can download on your iPhone (or android) and use to learn languages for free. I think it’s the best way to learn a new language, and you can use it to learn Italian! It’s made into a game, where you get points for correct answers and it teaches you to read, listen and speak Italian (or any other language of your choice!)
So there’s my 4 ways to make the most of a sober holiday in Italy, hangover free! I’d love to hear your tips.
Thanks for reading, L xx