If your vision of Italy is glamor, refinement, cosmopolitan cities, and seductive natural beauty, then Northern Italy is without doubt the place for you.
Italy’s northern cities have historically held the bulk of the peninsula’s wealth and power. In contrast to the drier and more agricultural south, the north of Italy is greener, cooler, more densely populated, and contains the vast majority of the country’s industrial and financial centers. It’s also markedly more ‘European’ in feel: bustling Baroque and Rennaissance jewels such as Turin, Milan, and Verona feel culturally and visually close to Paris and Vienna.
The cities of the north are full of contrasts: high fashion and haute cuisine sitting alongside world heritage monuments such as the Duomo of Milan or the Mole Antonelliana of Turin. Their world-famous museums and galleries hold genuine treasures – including Leonard da Vinci’s Last Supper – while modern counterparts push the envelope of art and design. Foodies will enjoy bouncing from a Michelin-starred gastronomic experience to the warm embrace of a traditional neighborhood trattoria.
Scenically, the north is quite simply stunning. Ranging all across Italy’s northern border are the majestic Alps, housing some of Europe’s finest ski resorts and adventures aplenty, from hiking and cycling to wine and farm tours. The glaciers of the Alpines trickle down to produce the gorgeous, highly glamorous Italian Lakes, where you’ll rub shoulders with the world’s wealthiest and most aristocratic locals. Later, hit the coast and marvel at the cliffs, beaches, and impossibly picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre – matched only by Amalfi for its alluring coastal scenery.
For many, Northern Italy is classic Italy. It is an equally attractive region both for those embarking on their first Italian adventure, or for return visitors – already seduced by Rome and Venice, and now ready to fall in love all over again amongst the region’s glittering lakes, mountains, coasts, and cities.