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Journeys in SlowMotion in Italy

  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
42  holidays found view
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Italian earthquake

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the earthquake which struck central Italy on 24 August. We are relieved that the hoteliers with whom we work in Umbria are safe and well. The damage to buildings and infrastructure means, however, that we are not currently taking new bookings for our Italy’s Green Heart journey, although we hope to offer it again in 2017. All other holidays in Italy remain unaffected.


  • magnificent cities & enchanting countryside
  • towns & villages steeped in culture & tradition
  • meandering journeys with plenty to see and do
  • proud, regional gastronomy & excellent wines
  • authentic, hand-picked hotels

 

The regions of Italy are astonishingly varied, and our wide selection of SlowMotion journeys allows you to choose one and explore it in depth. In the north, the little-visited and highly gastronomic region of Piedmont is home to great wines and the Slow Food movement, while the beauty of the Italian Lakes has inspired artists and writers for generations. Culturally rich Tuscany and mystical Umbria are, of course, best explored Slowly – with a curious mind and a healthy appetite; while, down in the Deep South, the pace of life – if anything – gets Slower still. The natural beauty of Sardinia is perhaps matched only by Sicily, where, additionally, Baroque riches and architectural treasures will make you stop and stare. Given all this, it’s easy to see how Robert Browning was inspired to write:

Open my heart and you will see
Graved inside of it, “Italy”.


The Grand Villas of Como

Not far from the elegant, lakeside San Giorgio Hotel in Lenno, midway down the western shore of Lake Como, is Villa Carlotta, just one of a succession of fine Italian buildings that – resplendent  behind velvet lawns and straightbacked cypress trees – are just as notable as their more illustrious owners. An imposing, 17th-century mansion with a priceless art collection and enchanting gardens (a riot of rhododendrons and azaleas in spring) Villa Carlotta is, like Como itself, an absolute feast for the senses.

Slow Food

Close to the Albergo Ascheri in Bra is Osteria Boccondivino, the traditional Piedmontese restaurant that occupies the same building as the Slow Food HQ, and where the movement’s founder, Carlo Petrini, sketched out his Slow Food manifesto in the late- 1980s. Although it began as a protest movement, specifically against the opening of a new branch of McDonalds opposite Rome’s Spanish Steps, Slow Food has a vital, positive energy; and with pleasure, enjoyment, conviviality and richness as its watchwords, its ever-growing band of followers remains firmly committed to la dolce vita.

Florence From Afar

If Fiesole (pronounced ‘Fi-ess-olé’, with typical Italian panache) occupies one of the world’s most sumptuous locations, overlooking Brunelleschi’s iconic Duomo from a fold in the Florentine Hills, then Pensione Bencistà, once an elegant villa and now a delightfully traditional guesthouse, offers a view to beat them all. The Simoni family, owners since 1925, will guide you onto their panoramic terrace so you can enjoy your prosecco aperitivo while gazing out on all of Florence spread below.

Renaissance Siena

Enchanting Siena, ferocious rival to Florence throughout the Middle Ages, now basks in something of bucolic haze. Its magnificent Campo, one of the finest medieval piazzas in Europe, is just four streets away from olive groves and vineyards, and the three hills on which the city is draped are full of easy-going, verdant charm. Contrast this with the heady elixir of its compact Renaissance centre, a flamboyant ensemble of palazzi and towers that plays host, twice a year, to the daredevil spectacle of the Palio (a horse race and so much more), and you have an intoxicating and hypnotic blend.

Heavenly Assisi

Assisi has been described as ‘the gentle soul’ of Italy and is imbued by the spirit of St Francis, the country’s patron saint who is affectionately known as Il Poverello – the ‘little poor one’. Held aloft on a spur of Mount Subasio, this alluring medieval town surveys the emerald-green Umbrian countryside with a benevolent gaze; and for all its inevitable baubles, trinkets and souvenirs, a serene and mystical atmosphere endures – the remarkable basilica, with its 13th-century Giotto frescoes depicting the life of St Francis, is both beautiful and deeply moving.

'Florence of the South'

Lecce’s over-the-top Baroque is wildly extravagant. This sumptuous architecture, enhanced by the easily carved, honey-coloured local stone (pietra Leccese) and featuring elaborately sculpted gargoyles and animals, is a feast for the eyes. Not everyone is a fan, of course (the Marchese Grimaldi famously claimed the façade of the Basilica di Santa Croce was like ‘a lunatic having a nightmare’), but for most people, it works. So take a stroll through this harmonious beauty – with its astonishing number of churches – and prepare to be stupito (amazed).

Ragusa & the Realm of the Baroque

Following eastern Sicily’s devastating earthquake of 1693, a lavishly ornamental style of Baroque arose from the rubble, with architects often using shades of grey and black from volcanic lava in their audacious projects. Splendid Ragusa – plus Ibla, its dreamy little counterpart – is much admired, and in sleepy Scicli you will almost have the churches and palaces to yourself. But the city of Noto (rebuilt in an entirely different location) is perhaps the most harmonious example of all, its twirling palaces and graceful squares dominated by an enormous Baroque cathedral.

The Sublime Sinis Peninsula

This dramatic peninsula, a protected haven for wildlife, is set between the Cabras Lagoon and the sea, and forms the northern part of the Golfo di Oristano. Explore the vast, saltwater lagoons to where pink flamingos flock; the beautiful coastline with its spectacular cliffs, pristine waters and quartz sandy beaches; and the promontory of Capo San Marco at the southernmost tip, where the ruins of Phoenician Tharros lie.
To delve deeper and linger longer, we suggest:
1 - 10 of 14 Holidays
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Flavours of Piedmont
Journey in Italy
Home of Slow Food & exceptional wine
Experience authentic and little-known Piedmont, one of Italy’s most highly gastronomic and beautiful regions – including Bra, the home of Slow Food.
read more >
27 Mar-31 Jul & 27 Aug-31 Oct 2016
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Classic Tuscany
Journey in Italy
The most quintessentially Italian region
Savour the fabulous art cities and blockbuster wines on a tour of quintessential Tuscany by car.
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26 Mar-31 Jul & 27 Aug-31 Oct 2016
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Umbria - Italy's Green Heart
Journey in Italy
The beautiful landscapes of romantic & mystical Umbria
Little-known Umbria delights with its varied landscapes, fascinating history of saints and abbeys, varied wildlife and tasty cuisine.
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23 Apr-15 Jul & 27 Aug-30 Oct 2016
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A Sardinia Discovery
Journey in Italy
Lagoons, mountains & emerald coast
A journey by car through the varied, enticing and dramatic landscapes of Sardinia, a relatively little-known island that is hugely rewarding to discover.
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21 Apr-3 Jul & 28 Aug-31 Oct 2016
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A Journey through Puglia
Journey in Italy
The natural & man-made treasures of Italy’s ‘heel’
Explore the ‘heel’ of Italy by car and discover a land of olive groves, picturesque coastal scenery, splendid Baroque architecture and a robust Mediterranean cuisine.
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26 Mar-30 Jun & 29 Aug-31 Oct 2016
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Treasures of Eastern Sicily
Journey in Italy
Baroque towns, Greek temples & volcanoes
This is a land of fascinating history and traditions that you explore by car from four elegant hotels in four exciting locations.
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26 Mar-30 Jun & 1 Sep-31 Oct 2016
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Temples, Coast & Egadi Islands
Journey in Italy
Western Sicily and its islands
Uncover the fascinating history, culture and landscapes of western Sicily by car, then kick back on the idyllic Egadi Islands.
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26 Mar-4 Jul & 1 Sep-31 Oct 2016
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Western Sicily's Temples & Coast
Journey in Italy
Discover the unique character of western Sicily
From Greek Temples to the Zingaro Nature Reserve, discover Western Sicily by car, with its rewarding discoveries, far-reaching views and gastronomic delights.
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26 Mar-30 Jun & 1 Sep-31 Oct 2016
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Italian Lakes Explorer
Journey in Italy
The sublime lakes of Lombardy
From Maggiore to Garda, via Como and Iseo, discover the ravishing scenery of the Italian lakes on a magical tour by car.
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15 Apr-25 May & 1 Jul-31 Oct 2016
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Wonders of Western Sicily
Journey in Italy
Western Sicily - city treasures & classical ruins
Using your hire car, you can readily explore this fascinating corner of western Sicily to discover a wealth of cultural and historical interest.
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1 Sep-25 Nov 2016 & 19 Mar-30 Apr 2017
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1 - 10 of 14 Holidays
Page: 12
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