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Episode #155: 2023 Italy Trip Inspiration

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Looking for inspiration for a future trip to Italy? We ask some of our regular guests where in Bella Italia they will be visiting in 2023 and why. 

Show notes

In this episode, we hear from some of our regular and favorite podcast guests about where they will be heading in Italy in 2023. Their itineraries include volcanic Mediterranean islands, Tuscany’s secret southern coast, the Maldives of Italy, and following an ancient Roman road. 

Where is everyone looking forward to exploring in 2023?

Nikki Taylor

Nikki Taylor is an Australian expat and real estate expert, specializing in Italian property purchases for foreigners.

Nikki lives in the upper part of Puglia in Valle d’Itria, but is passionate about the south and will be spending time in 2023 discovering more of lower Salento.

One place that always intrigues her is a town called Nadò which is about 30 minutes from Lecce. It’s absolutely magnificent. It’s got beautiful baroque-style architecture and is less than 5 km from a beautiful beach town called Santa Maria al Bagno. Santa Maria al Bagno is a so pretty – like something straight out of a postcard. Nikki helps people buy real estate in Italy and the further south you go in Puglia, you find these gorgeous little undiscovered rustic towns, and the beaches down there are sublime.

If you visit the area, then it’s well worth heading for the gorgeous beachside town of Marina di Pescoluse. They have a lido and it’s known as the Italian Maldives. If you Google it, you will see why – with a sandy beach and emerald water. The water is also shallow, warm, and clear. It can feel like sitting in a giant bathtub and because it is so warm and stays shallow for miles, it’s great if you’ve got little kids, because of the shallowness, clearness, and lack of waves.

More on Nikki:

A 3 x Amazon best-selling author, Nikki’s work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and Millionaire magazines, and HGTV’s Mediterranean Life TV program. Nikki also writes the real estate section of Italy Magazine.
Residing in Puglia, you’ll find her enjoying “la dolce vita” with her husband and two italo-australiano bambinos. To find out more and join Nikki’s best-selling Italian property purchase program visit: www.italy-propertyconsulting.com.

How Nikki can help you find your dream home

Toni Mazzaglia

Toni has lived in Florence for 20 years and runs the food and wine tour company Taste Florence.

In 2023 Toni is dreaming about visiting Le Marche. Le Marche is a region that is not famous outside of Italy, so is a best-kept secret for those in the know. There are some amazing parks and beaches that Toni wants to visit including Numana beach and Parco del Cornero. It’s a gorgeous region and is not that far from Tuscany where she lives, so she plans on trying to take a week or two to really explore the area. She’d also love to head up to the Dolomites where a friend of hers lives near and is always telling her about all the amazing restaurants she goes to, so Toni wants to try these for herself.

More on Toni:


Though she started as a food and locations photographer, Toni gravitated to culinary studies, eventually attending Sommelier classes, living in a winery, and launching Taste Florence Food Tours in 2007.
She spends most of her time trying new places, testing recipes and tasting wine. Her passion is to share the culinary masterpieces of Italy with visitors.

Check out Toni’s Italy Fix Shopping List and Florence Visitor’s Guide (you can find Anglo world shop links at the bottom of the page)

You can find Taste Florence on these channels:

Michele Frolla

Having lived in Rome for three years, Michele is fascinated by ancient Roman roads like Via Appia Antica (the Appian Way), which connected Rome to Brindisi in southeastern Italy in Puglia, and also Via Flaminia (the Flaminian Way), which connected Rome to Rimini over the Apennine Mountains. In 2023 Michele is dreaming of visiting Via Aemilia, considered the noblest of Italy’s ancient roads – in the northern region of Emilia Romagna. For more than 2000 years, this road has connected several important cities, originally starting with Piacenza and leading down to Rimini on the Adriatic coast. Over time though, more colonies and towns sprung up on this road, including Modena, which is the birthplace of Pavarotti, the home of Modena Balsamic Vinegar, as well as home to many leading Italian car manufacturers, such as Maserati and Lamborghini. There’s also Parma, the home to Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and smaller towns such as Reggio Emilia, Cesena, and Imola. Visiting Via Aemilia makes for an amazing road trip, either by car or using Italy’s extensive rail network. Many years ago, Michele visited some of these towns by train, but in 2023, she’d love to travel this ancient Roman road again, more extensively and take the time to get to know each town and learn more about its history, culture, cuisine, and their local dialects, which as a language expert, she loves learning about.

More on Michele:

Michele is an Italian-Australian language educator and travel blogger and ‘guide’ behind The Intrepid Guide. Michele aims to enrich her readers’ travels with her detailed destinations guides and travel phrase guides. Michele also offers online language courses that use her unique 80/20 method to help you learn the local language so you can travel with confidence, enjoy meaningful interactions with the locals, and avoid being treated like a tourist. Follow Michele on social media as she shares fascinating and little-known linguistic and cultural facts.

Michele has recently won TravMedia Vlogger of the Year for her two YouTube channels The Intrepid Guide and Intrepid Italian with Michele. This is the first time I’ve won an industry award which makes it all the more special

You can find Michele on these channels:

Corinna Cooke

Corinna is the author of the Glam Italia guides and runs Glam Italia Tours – boutique tours to Italy for women. 

Corinna is looking forward to spending lots of time in Italy with her tours in 2023 and also to spending some me time in between the tours in some of her favorite secret places in Italy. She is especially excited to return to Tuscany’s gorgeous Maremma. The Maremma has an exquisite stretch of coastline dotted with breathtaking little towns and villages overlooking the Tyrannian Sea. The beach towns here are ridiculously picturesque but made even more so by the vibrant turquoise sea. With endless blue flag beaches, stunning beach clubs, and never-ending private coves and swimming holes, it is an absolute paradise for beach lovers. Corinna is planning to stay in Porto Ercole again. This charming, colorful beach town is visually spectacular and has loads to offer. Caravaggio fans will know that this is the place he died when making his way back to Rome.

The entire area is full of Etruscan ruins, tombs, and ancient Roman ruins. The Maremma is also full of sensational medieval hilltop towns with castles, fortresses, watchtowers, and ancient city walls. You can spend hours exploring every alleyway and lane, walking the walls, and climbing the towers for a 360-degree view out over the vineyards and the olive groves. In doing so, you get to burn off the calories you consumed while enjoying local handmade pasta and sipping on Super-Tuscan wine (which is from the Maremma). Her favorite little towns are Capalbio, Montemerano, and Pitigliano which are all wonderful in their own right and only a short drive from Porto Ercole.

One of the fabulous things about Maremma is that the tour buses just don’t go there. This means you can explore this beautiful part of Tuscany without the crush of tourists getting in your way. It’s easy to get to – very close to the Civita Vecchia cruise ship port and only a 90-minute drive from Rome Fiumicino airport on a mostly empty motorway. If you’re planning a trip to Italy or dreaming about one, be sure to check out the Maremma.

More on Corinna:

Originally from New Zealand she fell in love with Italy thanks to a high school art history teacher who introduced her to Italian Renaissance art. After moving to London and traveling throughout Europe, she couldn’t stop returning to her beloved Italy.

Now living in Phoenix in the United States, Corinna is a woman of many skills. She leads several Glam Italia small group tours to Italy each year and writes guidebooks of the same name exploring her favorite corners of beautiful Italia. And her “day job” is a make-up artist. But, her heart is always called to Italy. 101 Fabulous Things to do in Venice is her new book full of fascinating stories, tips, and tricks on how to have a fabulous time in Venice. 

You can find Corinna on these channels:

Maria Pasquale

Maria is an award-winning food and travel author and journalist. Originally from Melbourne, she is now based in Rome. 

In 2023, Maria is dreaming of visiting Sicily. It won’t be for the first time – she’s lost count of how many times she’s gone there but she just cannot get enough. It’s so dynamic, thrilling, exciting, and diverse. She’s thinking she’ll explore further the baroque architecture of Noto, maybe head back to Palermo or Ortygia, to the Aeolian Islands. Salina, Alicudi, Filicudi – which she loves.The Aegadian Islands and Catania are among other options – she’s spoilt for choice!

More on Maria:

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. With a formal background in political science and history, she is now an award-winning food and travel writer and journalist and contributes regularly to USA Today, CNN, Condé Nast, Fodor’s and The Telegraph.

The author of I Heart Rome, her lifestyle blog HeartRome, has readers in over 100 countries, a social media network that exceeds 40,000 and has been featured in BBC Travel and Vogue among others. Named one of Rome’s most influential people in travel by Italy’s La Republica, in Rome, you’ll find her walking the streets of Trastevere, checking out the latest bar for an aperitivo or dining with friends. How to be Italian is Maria’s second book.

You can find Maria on these channels:

Olivia Windsor

Olivia is a tour guide and Italophile who moved to Italy in May 2019 to indulge in her love for the land of la dolce vita, cooking, food & wine.

In 2023, Olivia and her Italian other half are planning an island escape to Salina, one of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. It’s meant to be lush, and green, famed for capers, wine, and, of course, beautiful emerald waters that they can’t wait to explore. Another visit to an island on her list is a long weekend away in Procida. You can get to this colorful island in just two and a half hours from Rome, which is where they live. She’s also very excited to head back to some of her favorite regions on the Untold Italy tours, including Piemonte, Tuscany, Puglia, Capri, and beautiful Umbria!

More on Olivia:

What was meant to be just 12 months has quickly turned into years! She has explored the country south to north, working in agriturismi and organic wineries before settling in Turin, Piedmont for the last year after meeting a local Piemontese man – they now live together in Rome. Olivia writes a blog called Livguine, named after her love for pasta and her nickname Liv and has just started offering virtual & in-person food, wine & travel experiences in Northern Italy.

Olivia is hosting some of the Untold Italy Tours across Italy in 2023.

You can find Olivia on these channels:

Places mentioned in the show

  • Valle d’Itria – northern part of Puglia
  • Salento – are of southern Puglia
  • Nadò – ancient town in Puglia, in the Province of Lecce
  • Santa Maria al Bagno – beach town near Nadò
  • Marina di Pescoluse – beach town in the Province of Lecce with a lido
  • Le Marche – region in eastern Central Italy
  • Numana beach – a beach in Numana in Le Marche
  • Parco del Cornero – rocky, natural park area by the sea in Le Marche with 18 hiking trails & wildlife
  • Via Appia/Appian Way – earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the republic, connecting Rome to Brindisi
  • Via Flaminia/Flaminian Way – Flaminian Way was an ancient Roman road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Rimini in Emilia Romagna on the Adriatic coast
  • Via Aemilia –  the road running from Rimini to Piacenza in northwestern Emilia Romagna
  • Reggio Emilia, Cesena, and Imola – towns in Emilia Romagna
  • The Maremma – area on the south coast of Tuscany
  • Porto Ercole – Italian town in the Maremma in the Province of Grosseto
  • Capalbio, Montemerano and Pitigliano charming little towns in the Maremma
  • Civita Vecchia – cruise ship port in Lazio
  • Noto – town in Northern Sicily known for its baroque architecture
  • Ortygia – also known as the Città Vecchia, is a small island city in Sicily
  • Aeolian Islands – a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily
    • Salina – the second largest island in the archipelago, formed from two now-extinct volcanoes
    • Alicudi – a wild island with no cars or ATMs. The island is named from the Greek word for heather, which grows on the slopes of the island
    • Filicudi – created by a volcanic event only about 1 million years ago, the island is known for being wild and unspoiled. It is only four square miles, most of which has been a nature reservice since 1997
  • Aegadian Islands – group of five small mountainous islands off the northwest coast of Sicily
  • Catania – city on the east coast of Sicily, at the base of the active volcano, Mount Etna
  • Procida – one of the Flegrean Islands off the coast of Naples

Resources

  • Caravaggio – painter of the late 16th/early 17th centuries, famous for his large religious works
  • Super Tuscans – red wines that are produced in the Maremma

Resources from Untold Italy

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