I’ve just touched down in London. The brunt embers and hues of summer have passed, and the city is now enveloped in an autumnal aura: the leaves are the colour of mahogany and the air is crisp and fresh. The day’s (alas) are shorter, and the nights longer.
I hate saying goodbye to summer, and often I’ll hold onto the nostalgic longings of the beating sun, warmer temperature and twilight evenings. Summer in London is effervescent and the infectious, it’s hard not to catch the bug as we all shake off our corporate shackles and adult demeanour and replace it with the fervent energy of our former sweet 16 years.
Europe, by comparison lives for summer. The beaches are invaded with tanned, toned and slender bodies, the physical manifestation of a long (workout) hard winter. The hair is lighter, and the wrinkles less noticeable as our skin soaks up the beating rays like the thirsty and dehydrated animal that we are.
In summer, the days seem endless and the possibilities for excitement and daring fun are endorsed.
This summer, I found myself once again enjoying the Italian season. Last year it was Sicily and Cinque Terre, and this year I journeyed to Sardinia – the haven for all (rich) Italians.
We were out of pocket in comparison to our fellow sun-adoring comrades, but we made the most of our days. The sea was our constant companion and we slowly became ingrained within the tapestry of the Costa Smeralda region.
If you want the real Italian summer, ensure you flock to the sea. The Mediterranean it the Italian’s best friend during the scorching summer, and it’s within these shores that you’ll find the true meaning of the la bella vita.
On that note, here’s my top 3:
It’s the haven for rich Northern Italians, and you’ll find a totally different clientele than that of its neighbouring islands. But apart from the flurry of people, it’s also an exceptionally beautiful place. It’s not mass produced as a tourism hotspot, and therefore it hasn’t lot it’s bucolic or provincial charm. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1960s before Sardegna actually became a place to visit and set up your summer abode.
True Italy can only really be found within the backstreets of Sicily. Transport yourself 300 years back and be enthralled traditional methods and lifestyle of the Sicilian people. It’s a harsh and barren landscape, dry and desolate in parts but unmistakably beautiful. However, the hangover of a former violent community still lingers in the air, and there is a dark undercurrent present. Everyone should visit Sicily, it’s the core of Italy.
It took me by surprise how beautiful Cinque Terre was. Liguria is unique: the cliff straddles the Mediterranean sea and therefore the beaches are small and hidden coves. Cinque Terre was and is a seaside port town. Fishing continues to be their main currency, well, that and tourism. But don’t be put off of the throngs of tourists that visit this UNESCO site – it truly is remarkable.