Once it’s safe to do so, here’s the trip we’ll book. We would love to return the kindness Odette Fada showed to us over the years, and Italy will need visitors then, more than ever.

A Couple of Days Near Bari
Driving in Italy is something my husband and I love to do. This time, we’d start in Bari, which receives international flights from a large array of destinations, and head south along the coast for about an hour to the whitewashed oasis of Borgo Egnazia. The hotel is one of the region’s most famous luxury stays; its monochromatic rooms are like floodlit sanctuaries that spill out onto expansive grounds. We’d spend a day or two adapting to Italy’s leisurely pace by chilling at the resort’s three pools, then carve out time to explore surrounding small towns with historic architecture, such as the conical-roofed stone structures called trulli.

Not optional: visits to local cheesemakers where the girls could pet goats and a baby-free sailing excursion in the shimmering Adriatic.

A Few More Days at Castello di Ugento
The hotel that inspired it all is just a bit farther toward the heel of the boot—a less-than two-hour drive from Borgo Egnazia. We could stop and stretch our legs in Lecce along the way; it’s one of the larger cities in Puglia, known for its impressive amphitheater, beautiful Baroque buildings, and lively piazzas. Then it’s another set of lazy days, punctuated by beach trips, lots of spaghetti ai ricci di mare (seafood pasta with lemon) in the area’s port towns, and an adults-only day in Santa Casarea Terme, which has sulphur-rich hot springs in a series of cliffside caves.

A Final Stop, in Rome
It’s one of the least car-friendly places in the world, so we’d return our rental and take the train to the capital—which I first visited on my honeymoon and haven’t revisited in too many years. It’s a little out of the way, yes, but I dream frequently about the perfectly charred pizza slices at Antico Forno Roscioli, the gelato at Millennium near the Vatican, and morning cornettos stuffed with ricotta and chocolate at Cristalli di Zucchero. Besides, once I learned how baby-friendly the Hotel de Russie is—it provides everything from diapers to non-slip bath mats and chef-made purees—I decided I had no choice but to make a pilgrimage. After all, the five-star icon is one of the most enduring (and alluring) classics in a city that’s full of them.

For now, consider supporting the Heritage Crafts Association, which is keeping cultural heritage alive across Europe and Asia even as small, hyper-local artisans struggle to stay afloat. It’s with this organization’s help that we’ll have sandal-makers and damask weavers to visit in places like Puglia when it’s safe to travel once again.

Want to add Puglia to your bucket list? Family Twist is a travel agency that can unlock the area’s best draws for—you guessed it—parents and kids, while Andrea Grisdale at IC Bellagio is a trusted source for luxury trips to Italy. 

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

First « 1 2 » Next