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Explore Italy in the hottest and brightest season, planning your holiday in one of the charming summer destinations

Where to go in summer in Italy? Relaxation and fun Sunny beaches or quiet mountains. Summer for Italians is more than a season: it is a lifestyle. Enjoy the quiet towns at 2 p.m. and the sunsets by the sea. Listen to the noise of holiday goers at restaurant tables and long night strolls. The summer months in Italy never disappoint, whether you love the high mountains or taking long swims in the clearest waters in the world. Everything will be truly unforgettable.
  • Islands
  • Sea
  • Mountains
  • Water Sports
  • Outdoor sports
Around the Gulf of Orosei between Barbagia di Nuoro and Ogliastra

Around the Gulf of Orosei between Barbagia di Nuoro and Ogliastra

Italian and Mediterranean, lying in the middle of the sea halfway between Africa and Europe: this is Sardinia, an island that, in its great variety of landscapes, history and traditions, has found its own proud regional identity. From the Carthaginians to the Piedmontese House of Savoy, via the Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Aragonese, the historical presences of foreign peoples on the island have left indelible marks on the territory of their passage. Signs that can be found in churches and palaces, inSardinian food and wine and in the Sardinian language. Conquests and dominations never completely compromised the survival of a strong local culture, born more than 3,000 years ago with the expansion of the Nuragic civilisation, the expression of a people of shepherds and navigators, farmers and warriors, who worshipped pagan divinities linked to the fertility of the land and the power of water and the seasons. The handing down of pre-Roman and pre-Christian customs and traditions, symbolising the cultural autonomy of Sardinia, is particularly evident in today's Barbagia, the destination of this itinerary along the Sardinian east coast. The name of this mountainous area derives from the term barbaria, used in Byzantine times to indicate an inaccessible yet fascinating territory: foreign populations, unlike in other parts of the island, never completely succeeded in taking possession of Barbagia. And still today, in these places, one encounters places that are still wild and uninhabited but also strongly anchored in traditions and always pleasant to visit in all seasons. In autumn, from September to December, for example, more than 30 Barbagia municipalities are involved in the Autunno in Barbagia event, such as Oliena, Dorgali, Orgòsolo and Mamoiada to name but a few. And on this occasion, every village is an open-air museum: the inhabitants open their houses and courtyards (cortes) and along the streets of the old town centre is a succession of events dedicated to the discovery of local cuisine and handicrafts as well as the historical and artistic heritage of this area. We might be able to see housewives baking bread or making pasta, farmers pressing grapes or making wine, shepherds making cheese and craftsmen working on wood or leather. Before reaching the sea of the Gulf of Orosei at Arbatax, which reveals a thousand shades of blue amidst caves, coves and steep cliffs, the itinerary takes us through villages, gorges and forests, creating its own programme in the unspoilt nature, with sporting excursions and moments of relaxation, across the two wonderful sub-regions of Barbagia: Nuorese and Ogliastra. Finally, from Arbatax we return inland to Orgòsolo, with its murals and picturesque surroundings.
Food and wine
Valle d'Aosta, flavours at high altitude

Valle d'Aosta, flavours at high altitude

Have you reached this earthly paradise? Then make yourself comfortable and examine the cheese menu, firstly with Fontina, the queen of Valle d'Aosta products. You will be able to recognise it by its sweet flavour and straw-yellow colour, paler in the cheeses produced in winter, when the cows are fed with hay, and deeper in summer production. These are followed by delicacies such as Gressoney toma cheese, salignon, reblec, brossa, seras and goat cheeses, each with its own story to tell. Listen and taste them all. Go on to classics such as Valdostana-style chops, polenta concia and ”soupe valpellineintze” (Valpellina-style soup); venison, chamois in salmì (in “civet”), trout, “carbonade”, a beef stew, and fondue, a single dish made with cheese, melted in a dedicated pot, to be consumed hot, are also excellent. Enjoy sausages, such as Vallee d'Aoste jambon de Bosses, a specially matured ham, Boudin with a refined taste, Saouseusse, seasoned minced meat, Lard d'Arnad, soft lard, Teuteun, salted beef udder, Motzetta, aromatic dried meat. The Alpine microclimate is the joy of apples, which develop intense flavours here. Try the Red and Gold delicious, Jonagold and Renetta: raw or cooked, they are sweet and versatile, the basis of smoothies, sweet or savoury jams, to be served with fine dishes. Last but not least, desserts and wines. For the first courses, try the tegole, torcettini - typical regional biscuits - and the blanc manger alla valdostana with cream; for the second courses, place of honour to all, such as the whites Muller-Thurgau and Pinot noir (vinified in white) and the reds Pinot noir, Gamay, Torrette, Nus Rouge. Had too much to eat? Here's a shot of Genepì, a digestive made from alpine herbs, artemisia.
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