Things that every holiday maker must do in Italy

Holiday exploring

If you think you’ve been to Italy, think again. Whether you’re popping across the border from your mobile home in France or looking for a holiday home in this beautiful country, Italy never disappoints. But there’s so much more to see than the big hitting tourist hotspots like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Head for hidden Puglia
Right down in the heel of the country, this stunning region has so much to explore. Gothic cathedrals sit side by side with neolithic tombs, and the coastline is breathtaking. Architectural gems like Ostuni, the White City, and Lecce, with its brilliant baroque architecture, plus Alberobello with its circular houses known as trulli, are all well worth a visit. Head for Puglia in the spring or autumn to avoid the intense heat of summer, and don’t miss gorgeous port towns like Otranto and Gallipoli.

Feast in Emilia-Romagna
All foodies will want to make a beeline for Bologna, the capital of the region that is a food lover’s dream. From the delicious hams of Parma to the balsamic vinegar of Modena, by way of outstanding wines, Parmesan cheese and iconic pasta dishes, Emilia-Romagna has it all. There are plenty of food festivals celebrating everything this region has to offer, but don’t miss Bologna – the oldest university city in Italy, with its buzzing nightlife and a cool vibe – and the Sentiero Delle Foreste Sacre in the Apennines, where St Francis would walk and meditate.

Explore the great outdoors in the Majella National Park
Europe’s largest protected natural wilderness is a place of stunning wildflowers, breathtaking mountain landscapes and endless hospitality. The cuisine is as big-hearted as the welcome, but there are 500 km of walking trails to exercise it off. Rich in ancient history and alive with flora and fauna, this is the ideal place to escape from the crowds and relax.

Strike out for the islands
From volcanic mud baths in the Aeolian islands to mountain biking in Sardinia, Italy’s islands should be high on your must-visit list. From the show-stopping sight of active volcano Stromboli to the ancient Roman roads and unspoiled landscapes of cork and ilex forests, there’s plenty to enjoy when you go offshore.

March into le Marche
If you’ve ‘done’ Tuscany but love the vibe, head for the undiscovered le Marche, one of Italy’s great secrets. Feast on the local speciality of strozzapreti – priest strangler – noodles, washed down with fragrant white wine, and explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Urbino. This magnificent hill top walled city is the match of anywhere in the country. Head to the tiny village of Acqualagna in October for the truffle fair, and taste the peerless white truffles on everything from pasta to risotto.

Whether you want to spoil yourself with a short break or you’re looking for your dream holiday home, Italy is the ideal destination. Luxury caravans are the affordable way to enjoy more of the unspoiled countryside of Italy, Spain or Portugal because you’re in the heart of the country, where hotel-based holidaymakers rarely venture. So whether you want to trek the fearsome iron ways across the Dolomites, enjoy the tranquil splendour of the Italian lakes or chill out on some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, your mobile home makes the ideal base.

Try these dishes whilst travelling in your Tuscan caravan

Toscana Cover Image

One of the great pleasures of owning a caravan in Tuscany is the opportunity to enjoy some of Italy’s best food. These unmissable dishes are top of any foodie’s must eat wishlist. And while some of them might make you squirm – cow’s stomach sandwich, anyone? – most of them will leave you coming back for more.

Go on a truffle hunt

Every visitor to Tuscany has the enchanting village of San Miniato on their To Do List. But the advantage of visiting a region out of season is getting to do the things the locals do – and in October, that means truffle hunting. Shave nuggets of this culinary marvel over pasta or an omelette – and don’t miss the annual truffle hunting festival.

Enjoy an aperitivi in Florence
The Italians love the ritual of pre-dinner drinks, so don’t miss the evening passeggeri at 7pm in the heart of Florence’s old city. Enjoy an appetiser buffet of Tuscan classics like Crostini Toscani with chicken liver pate and panzanella, a bread, tomato and onion salad dressed with good olive oil.

Then for dinner, try the iconic bistecca alla fiorentina – a chargrilled T-bone steak from the local Chianina cattle. Each thick steak weighs in at around 2 kgs and comes cooked black and blue – don’t ask for it well done or you’ll be turned out of the restaurant!

Feast on local pasta
The Tuscans have a way of conjuring flavour from just about anything. Soups like pomodoro (tomatoes, bread and basil) and vegetable-packed ribollita with its beans and cabbage are classics, while the region has a wide range of different and unique pasta dishes.

Owning a caravan in Tuscany means dining out on specialities like pappardelle al cinghiale, thick cut noodles with a luscious wild boar sauce, or pici from Siena, a hand-rolled pasta made simply from flour and water. This ancient form of pasta dates back to the Etruscans and is most often served with cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or all’aglione, with tomatoes, olive oil and garlic.

The sweet stuff
Tuscany has its fair share of sweet stuff and you shouldn’t leave Siena without sampling a slice of panforte, a rich and delicious confection of honey, candied peel, dried fruit and nuts spiced with black pepper. Tuscany is also known for its cantucci, hard almond biscuits served with a glass of the luscious Tuscan dessert wine known as Vin Santo.

Also unmissable is a slice of castagnaccio, a naturally gluten-free cake made from chestnut flour, olive oil, pine nuts and rosemary. Delicious warm or cold, it’s also beautifully partnered by a glass of golden Vin Santo.

A rich glass of red
Owning a caravan in Tuscany means you can explore the local specialities without having to venture too far from home – which makes a nice glass of Chianti all the more welcoming. This rich ruby red wine is like the lifeblood of Tuscany. Look out for Brunello, one of Italy’s truly great wines, as well as the celebrated Montepulciano.

The food and wine of Tuscany have shaped its landscape and heritage in a way that can only be truly appreciated by spending quality time there. Owning a caravan in Tuscany lets you appreciate everything this rich and delicious cuisine has to offer.