The great Italian operatic composer Giuseppe Verdi once proclaimed to the world “You may have the universe, if I may have Italy” and without hesitation I’m inclined to feel that he got the better half of the deal. Indeed, Italy is beautiful. Wherever you go, be it the Dolomite mountains of the Italian Alps, the lakeshore districts of the Castelli Romani or Como or a countryside drive that will take you through the emerald green hills of Tuscany past acres of vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields, be assured that Italy will satisfy in the most immeasurable ways possible.
Make sure to drive the perfect luxury car to suit the occasion, with many highly exciting and luxurious rental cars available at Europe Luxury Car Hire, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Choose between a powerful and yet exceptionally stylish 4WD Range Rover for a mountainous escape, an open-top Maserati cabriolet to soak up the sun along a seaside drive, a V12 Lamborghini in a celebration of the grandeur found in Italian design or marry the moment with the sleekness and style of an exotic Ferrari. The options are yours, the time is now.
The Alps and the Dolomites
There are many fantastic mountainous drives through the Italian Alps, which forms the northern boundary of Italy. Jaufenpass, in particular offers an exhilarating journey, as a high elevated mountain pass that trails the Alps of South Tyrol. Climbing the steep elevation means that the road is very winding with many switchback turns which certainly add to the excitement of any trip. Upon the mountains descent travel west towards the Timmelsjoch Pass, another high mountain pass that forms a link through the Ötztal Alps along the border of Austria and Italy. The drive is strikingly beautiful as you view a horizon that seems to reach the world’s edge and climb through ice capped mountains that pierce a clear blue sky, combined they create an effect that is highly serene. In fact the drive’s serenity has preceded the region’s reputation, as the mountain pass is known as the “secret passage”, earning the title as it is so rarely used compared to the far more accessible trails such as the Brenner Pass.
In a trail of a thousand wondrous views, a drive along the mountain cliffside of Lake Garda is likely to stay with you forever. Over the years the area’s awe inspiring beauty has not gone unnoticed, in 1913 a correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung called it “the most beautiful road in the world”. Winston Churchill referred to this location as the “eighth wonder of the world” and not surprisingly, Lake Garda was selected as the scene of a car chase for the legendary James Bond. The drive follows the provincial Road No. 38 that runs along the deep gorge of the Brasa stream that at different intervals cuts into the mountainous rock and at others is a precipice that overlooks breathtaking views of Lake Garda and the surrounding forest. From the Riviera of Lake Garda it is only a short drive to the Tremosine Plateu, a peaceful oasis of life on a busy earth. Surrounded in the beauty of lush green nature, take the opportunity to explore all the varied flora and fauna of this protected natural sanctuary. With a few spas and resorts offering luxurious treatments, this is the time to surrender yourself to the elements.
Indulge all your senses in a highly aromatic and sensual tour through the wonderful Chianti region. Starting from San Casciano in the Val di Pesa leading to Greve in Chianti, this drive majestically combines the raw beauty of natural scenery, the taste of good food with the sensational feel of excellent wine. San Casciano, located approximately halfway between Florence and Siena, is a village both rich in its wine tours and history, making it an excellent starting location. Within the confines of the town’s medieval walls, celebrate the legacy that brings you here with a glass of the award winning Chianti Classico, visit one of the many ancient churches still standing and the museum dedicated to sacred art. With many highly romantic and wonderfully historical villas to choose from in Tuscany, a tour through the Chianti region becomes a must.
There is rarely an article on travelling Italy, that does not include the Amalfi coast, and at the risk of sounding predictable, we’ve included it in this list as well. The truth is, it’s hard to look past this region’s beauty, charm and underlying it all, endearing charisma. In a driving tour that will take you from Vietri located inland next to the city of Salerno to the coastal edge of Positano, this drive will take you through one of the world’s most enjoyable coastal drives. The drive is as exciting as the scenery is beautiful, all along the cliff’s edge, you will navigate your way through tunnels cut into the rock, bypassing other cars, trucks and frequent busses, try to mind the cyclists and pedestrians! Furthermore, it’s a challenge to do all this without getting distracted by the view, which only seems to build in grandeur as you lead your way through the twists and turns in the road. But, at least all is rewarded at the many clubs and taverns along the way, set amidst the charming coastal towns, there’s a whiskey at the ready with an accompanying warm welcome.
Lesser known, and yet equally remarkable is the southern end of Italy, where the small towns that dot the heel of Italy’s boot, appear like white pearls strung along a necklace. A wonderful vibe of art, history and culture pulsates through these towns, giving them all a fresh vitality. Take a drive through the southern end of Italy and feel alive. Start your drive from within the sixteenth century town of Alberobello, where the unusually striking canonical roof tops of the “Trulli” stand. Explore the region for its fantastic history, archeological finds show a history that date back to the Bronze Age, while the spectre of the Truili provide their own fascinating glimpse of history. Heading south drive along the fantastic views of the coastal plains until you arrive at the town of Otranto, considered by many to be the jewel of Salento. Situated in the midst of the Mediterranean’s warm climate, Otranto has been consistently inhabited since its origins in antiquity. As a popular tourist destination today, the history has been beautifully maintained and restored, where you can wander through the ancient towns seeing many of the art, frescoes and mosaics that were once the personal items of people from a time long gone.
By: Ethan Hews:
Ethan Hews is a luxury travel writer at Europe Luxury Car Hire. Europe Luxury Car Hire is a high-end car rental company offering luxury car rental in Italy, Spain, Germany, France amidst other popular European destinations.