Sunday, March 10, 2024

A Road Trip in Sicily

 With each Italian town possessing its own unique character and customs, the best way to experience the variety that this great country has to offer is by car.

Whether it be by a modern Ferrari or merely a sleek 1960s Alfa Romeo Giulia, to get behind the wheel upon the ancient streets of Italy is the only way to unlock the dramatic landscapes that have inspired centuries of world-famous Italian artists and architects.

Italy's history is a fascinating one and, given that the nation was previously a collection of cities and states that were individually owned over 150 years ago, the cultural diversity to be found in two Italian cities will never be alike. Expressions, dialect, and, of course, food are a local celebration and essential aspects of Italian life that can be missed on a guided tour.

By car, however, you really get to scratch under the surface of this sophisticated nation, and car hire with a company like Holiday Autos makes this an affordable choice. A classic Italian road trip would see you begin in the floating city of Venice and finish in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. This journey takes you through the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania and Calabria.

Taking in places such as Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Amalfi Coast and Capri, a road trip will mean you miss none of Italy's hotspots. However, you will also get the benefit of discovering one of Italy's many underrated National Parks such as Abruzzo National Park.

Abruzzo is a 150,000-acre protected area, most of which is covered with vast forests of beech, pine, fir, oak, maple and ash trees that are also home to several endangered species, such as the Apennine wolf. To add to its appeal, Abruzzo is only a two-hour drive from Rome.

Continuing south, the Greek and Spanish influences become apparent and you'll have many opportunities in Calabria and Sicily to experience the different techniques used to create pasta and pizza dishes, compared to the north. Upon arriving in Sicily, you may want to drive around the area of the magnificent Mount Edna, before you reluctantly drop off your rental car in the historic city of Palermo, located right by the Gulf of Palermo, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Given Italy's vast regional differences, the only way to take them all in is on the road.

Remember that if you are driving abroad, ensure that you are insured to do so. The Co-op offer car insurance which covers driving abroad so it could be worth a look if your provider doesn't.

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