The best part of a new year is new travel. The possibilities and adventures are endless but here are a few I’ve put on my list to get you started…
Milan It used to be that Milan was the business destination. A must see for fashionistas looking for great shopping, or models working the Fashion Week. But as a tourist stop, or a cultural holiday it was often overlooked and passed over. Now Milan has a new shine on it. While it still is not the most beautiful Italian city, it has done much to get rid of its reputation as depressing. New and exciting architecture has gone up near the outer rims of the city, old neighbourhoods have been polished. The Brera district offers picturesque corners and streets while the Galleria and Duomo remain one of Europe’s grandest main squares.
Scandinavia There has always been a great appreciation and fascination with the European countries in the far north. Their laid back living, cultural sensibilities, and Scandia design have made them all appealing in similar ways yet somehow they all have quite unique differences especially when it comes to the landscape. While Denmark and Sweden are possibly the more popular destinations, Finland and Norway are also joining the mainstream especially for the outdoor trip choice. Meanwhile top city Copenhagen, Denmark who’s popularity continues to rise thanks in part to it’s food culture, makes for a perfect weekend away. Embrace the “hygge.”
Nashville America’s “Music City” has always been a destination but in a quieter way. A bit of a working town for the country music crowd, suddenly Nashville is so very trendy. Instagramable trendy! Very much like Austin, Texas but on the East Coast of the States, the city is filled with cute coffee shops and hometown bars. And with renowned restaurants a part of the scene Nashville is not just for music anymore.
Matera I realise I have added Matera to my “Where to go” lists a couple of times already in the past few years, but now, this is it, this is Matera’s year. The city chosen as Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2019, was a forgotten, once impoverished town, will now have the travel world spotlight on it. And trust me it will shine. Matera feels less like Italy and more like time travel to the past. Matera is mysterious and a bit secretive which makes it all the more exciting to discover.
Provence Classic, iconic, the south of France is still one of the most enchanting places. Visions of sunflowers and lavender fields still cover the landscape in the summer months while picturesque villages such as Les Baux, Roussillon, Aix-en-Provence and the perfection of Gordes offer outdoor cafes in the shade and chilled bottles of rose to cool off, as if in an Impressionist’s painting. Come here to relax and smell the lavender…
Edinburgh It is hard to properly explain Edinburgh as it is at once small and charming yet somehow grand and overpowering. The broody, moody landscape and weather mix with reserved quaintness and a wink of fun. The imposing castle on the hill against the colour and prettiness of Victoria Street is a good example. The long winding alleys and stairs leading around the city feel mythical, so its best to approach the city in a walk and explore fashion and see here you end up. Hopefully it is at a whisky bar! And if you know nothing about whisky fear not as this is a perfect city for a bit of an education and some tastings with the locals.
Naples With the continuing popularity of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend made into a successful TV series, and the four book series loyally beloved by all its readers, it follows that Naples is now on the travel radar. And while the Naples in the books is different than the modern day city, the spirit is still there and thankfully Napoli herself is slow to change and the passion remains. The noise the chaos can be overwhelming at times but more often exhilarating, the nobility of the city and its dilapidated beauty shines through just like the city’s character in the books.