Italy vs Winter

A wooly hat, Ugg boots, a good bumper jacket and off we go – it’s winter in Italy! Yes, it might be cold, grey and rainy, or maybe not! Mediterranean weather is ‘’topsy-turvy’’, and always ready to surprise you with crisp sunny days. True, January and February a bright red nose will probably be in all your outdoor pics, and sadly you’ll encounter no flowering bougainvillea, roses or sunflowers, but Italy’s rich history, art and architecture will be unstirred, alive and mostly mystical and magical, for you to enjoy.

Winter is a time of quiet, a time of no crowds, a time to relax and enjoy. The locals are calmer now that they don’t have to elbow their way through tourist groups that follow coloured flags running for their lives, and you don’t get assaulted by random street hustlers, trying to sell you their cheap trinkets. It is a moment of reflection, of stillness, our known crammed cities are now filled with peaceful alleys & passageways,  a perfect scenery for instagrammers, a bliss for lovers that wish to enjoy moments of undisturbed space, a dream for those who feel that crowds and loudness is an experience they wish to avoid.

It’s called ‘’bassa stagione’’ – off season. This means having to steal a quick glance fighting for access against hordes of other visitors does not apply!  Walking through the narrow streets of Venice or hiring a gondola won’t be a mission impossible, and you will have a one on one with Giants such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, just to name a few.

Winter Gastronomy, this is sure another side that you will enjoy! For starters Italian food & wine is delicious and very much alive all year long, though winter is the time that you can have the unique opportunity to taste some traditional recipes that the summer visitors can only dream of – Polenta, Osso buco, Zuppa di Farro, Trippa  and many more. Imagine tasting these warm dishes in the deadly heat of August! Fairs and markets are active all year round, a myriad of small villages to visit that will embrace you and give you the deserved hospitality that summer tourist can only believe it a myth.

FYI, all pictures were taken In January except this last one. I was with delightful Anne & Diane from California, and we experienced thunderstorms in May!!!  This is to show that Summer is not always a guarantee …

True, travelling in January and February is not for everyone. Will there be rain? Maybe. But as the British say “rain is simply water”, just pack the right gear and off you go! Personally I have had the best of laughs under storms…

Italy is Italy, fascinating in every weather