Best Restaurant – Osteria Francescana, Modena
Now, this category caused some controversy. Paul, is a huge fan of the quirkiness of Combal Zero, situated in the castle that overlooks Turin. But he was outvoted and top honours go to Osteria Francescana of Modena.
Patron chef Massimo Bottura is a culinary genius. His creations are inventive but acknowledge tradition. We suggest you go for the tasting menu partnered with the wine flight, though be prepared to tackle a full ten courses! Three Michelin stars?
Best Wine Trail – The Prosecco Road, Veneto
Wine lovers among you are spoilt for choice when it comes to Italy’s famous wine trails. Many choose Chianti, and why not? It offers a wide selection of wines – both red and white – though be prepared to do a fair bit of travelling. (It’s best by bicycle, during the summer.)
Piedmont is a must. To take in the Barolo museum in the small village in the heart of the Langhe is to transport yourself into the midst of a legend – and the tastings are reassuringly affordable. But our pick of the bunch? Head north of Trieste and pick up the Prosecco Road for a truly memorable journey through the hills at the edge of the Alps. Fine dining can be found, but cheaper, quality tavernas abound. And who can resist a glass of mid-afternoon fizz?
Best Selection of Hotels – CitaliaHotel Amalfi – Rome, Italy
Looking for a weekend away? Or maybe a little longer? Citalia has an absolutely huge range of hotel options for you in Italy.
Second to none when it comes to Italy, in which they exclusively specialize. And there are so many destinations to choose from. Want culture? Then opt for a city break – Rome, Florence, Venice, and many others. Want to enjoy some ‘me time’, or a romantic weekend? Then how about the Amalfi Coast? Or Sicily? Maybe you have a family and want to burn off some energy? Then look to Citalia’s hotel offerings around the southern tip of Sardinia. We’ve been constantly impressed with both the levels of service and the quality of accommodation that Citalia provides.
Best for Lakes and Mountains – InghamsLake Como – Lombardy, Italy
Anyone who’s been skiing on a regular basis will be familiar with Inghams. The company was established in 1934 and has provided both quality accommodation and access to great pistes ever since.
But the company has branched out… Yes, there’s plenty of snow sport to be, but if you would prefer hiking, cycling, or simply relaxing by one of the Italian lakes, then this company has plenty of other options for you.
Best for Activity Holidays – Headwater HolidaysMediaeval Umbrian Cycling by Headwater Holidays – Italy
Mention the phrase ‘activity holiday’ to most of us and we’d turning up our noses. Surely a contradiction in terms? And yet as our population becomes ever more health conscious we’re looking for other ways to spend our leisure time rather than roasting on a beach.
But being active during your annual break needn’t be all sweat and racing heartbeats. Which is why we’ve selected Headwater Holidays as the best company this year to offer breaks that combine the best of both worlds. Whether walking, cycling or canoeing (or even bird watching!) Headwater provides a means or ‘doing something’ as well as relaxing.