Benvenuto to 2021, our resolution this New Year is all about exploring more of Italy. Our ISSIMO team is thrilled to share a line-up of our favourite most sought-after, in-the-know settings and spaces for you to enjoy in 2021. Places that get under your skin, fill your heart and keep the love affair with Italy going strong all year long. We love Italia just as much as you and are thrilled to share these hot spots, from the top of the boot to the tip of the toe to the bottom of the heel. May your 2021 be filled with Italianissimo travel!
To start your year on a high note, here are our top picks for where to go next:
Our ISSIMO Creative Director, fearless leader and Ms. Italianissima herself, Marie-Louise Scio has got her 2021 eyes set on Veneto, including a hunt for all-things Giotto with a stop to see his work at the Cappella degli Scrovegni and a bicicletta trip, journeying through the Palladian villas. A by land and by sea visit to all the jewelled islands in the Tuscan archipelago and a stay at Pardini’s Hermitage is also a must for the New Year, along with exploring more of Ischia, uncovering the alluring island’s hush-hush beauty and endless charm.
Pardini’s Hermitage, photo courtesy of Emiko Davies
For ISSIMO Editor, Erica Firpo, 2021 travel plans include a road trip through the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. She notes “I want to visit as much as I can – cities and towns like Trieste, which is home to Italy’s biggest piazza, the devil’s bridge in the Longobardo town of Cividale and the star-shaped city of Palmanova.” The ancient Roma aficionado also wants to enjoy a walk around Aquileia, immerse herself in the splendid natural surroundings of il Carso and take in a glass of wine from the Colli crew. En route back to her home city of Rome, she’ll make a pitstop in Emilia Romagna for a De Chirico-inspired bike ride around Tresigallo, the Città Metafisca (metaphysical city) before finishing up with some gnocchi di zucca al forno (roasted squash gnocchi) in Ferrara.
Giada Mariani, ISSIMO’s Assistant Creative Director, is ready to take on Umbria in 2021 with a visit to La Scarzuola, the Città Metafisica (yup, another metaphysical city, Italy has a few!) designed by 20th century creative, Tommaso Buzzi, along with attending the Festival di Spoleto to welcome in the summer. The warmer months will also bring several more summer escapes, including a stop in Sardegna to visit la Cupola di Michelangelo Antonioni which once belonged to the cinematic great, a jaunt to indulge in ceramics in Grottaglie, Puglia and a hop over to Sicilia for an eat-your-heart-out meal at I Rizzari.
Trentino Alto Adige is first on Margherita Crotti’s 2021 blowout travel list. ISSIMO’s Brand Consultant is looking forward to a stay in Merano at Villa Arnica, Ottmanngut or Villa Fluggi, the former home of Monocle founder Tyler Brulé. She’ll then head to Tuscany for a contemporary art weekend at il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri and a stay at the beloved Castello di Ama. She also plans to pop over to Emilia Romagna to visit Lucio Dalla’s Bologna home, finishing the day off with tortellini at a local osteria in the historic city centre. 2021 isn’t over yet! Her list also includes a jaunt to Liguria to visit Genova’s Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno followed by the fluffiest and tastiest indimenticabile focaccia di Recco. Finally, she’ll make sure to check out Villa la Saracena in Lazio’s Santa Marinella before the year comes to an end.
Martina Battison, Graphic Designer at ISSIMO, has Sicilia on the brain, and more importantly, Pantelleria with a stay at the Giardini di Pantelleria lined up for 2021. Nature is also calling with a walk through the hills and vineyards of Agriturismo Emidio Pepe in Abruzzoand in Le Marche, a hike in Monte Cònero natural park and a tour of the Sassi Banchi (white stone) and Sassi Neri (black stone) beaches. Lunch at Uliassi in Senigallia is a must after all that trekking, while a visit south to the much-loved city of Matera in Basilicata is also on the 2021 agenda.
Sicily seems to be on everyone’s radar for 2021 with Monica Isaza, ISSIMO’s Head of Special Projects, included. Though she’s an “islands of an island” girl, opting for visits to the often overlooked Pelagie archipelago including Lampedusa and Linosa. A venture to the island of Sardegna (we’re noting a theme here) and the fisherman’s village of Carloforte is also on her list, along with a trek in Toscana along the Via Francigena. And like Martina, a stop in Matera, Basilicata to round things out.
Regina Lastrucci, Product Development for ISSIMO, is all about Tuscany in 2021! Her go-to spots include Forte dei Marmi to eat spaghetti con le arselle (spaghetti with arselle clams) barefoot in the sand at her favourite stabilimento (which Tuscans call “bagno” and Brits call a beach club!) and Bagno Vignoni in Val d’Orcia to soak up the natural hot springs and destress from the previous year’s madness.
Laura Cau, Office Administration will head to Sardinia to visit La Pelosa, a wonderful and tropical beach in the Gulf of Asinara, and then eat the incredible food of Bombas in Cagliari. In Campania, shop the delicious babbà in Naples.