Ingrid Chua has travelled the world attending fashion weeks and countless events, since she is the woman behind fashion-lifestyle blog, The Bag Hag Diaries. Chua eyes the fashion world for deliciously stylish finds and along the way, gets to immerse herself in every breathtaking location she finds herself in. She loves learning about new cultures, meeting new people and everything that travelling has to offer. We asked her what favourite country in the world is and... it is Italy! Learn about this jetsetter's travel hot spots and destinations of choice. Take note of her recommendations and get ready for your next trip!
Torre di Palme
This is a quaint and beautiful historic town atop a hill located in the city of Fermo, and is part of Marche region of Italia. I highly recommend the bed and breakfast experience at Lu Focaro, run by a lovely Italian lady named Patrizia. She also runs the restaurant behind, Lu Focaro, which serves the best pasta made with the freshest available ingredients. Her breakfast is a smorgasbord of the best homemade pastries (the cannoli are addictive) that you can eat to your heart's content!
Venice is really one of Italy's most visited city by tourists but when I go back to visit, I stay away from Piazza San Marco and instead explore the other side. Apart from the odd tourist or two in Misericordia, walk off the beaten path from Ca d'Oro and you find yourself in a far more quiet area that still has Venetian charm but without the "noise". Paradiso Perduto is a great restaurant for dining, and make sure you order an appetizer of fried zucchini flowers and the fresh seafood pasta as the main-- the food here is definitely not touristy!
There is much to be said about this UNESCO World Heritage Site! It is nothing short of stunning. The seaside villages along the rugged coast of the Italian Riviera are romantic and extremely picturesque -- it is hard not to fall in love with Cinque Terre. The 5 towns (Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Riomaggiore) all have different attractions and their unique charm to offer tourists -- visit all if you can! Monterosso has a better beach compared to the other islands, and is easier for lodging if you choose to stay a few nights to explore the other towns. L'Osteria is a restaurant serves wonderful antipasto and Cinque Terre's local Ligurian pasta, trofie al pesto.
Florence or Firenze may not be a very big city, but two days was not enough for me to enjoy the place in its entirety. The Uffizi Gallery is a must, to see the statue of David and other precious works of art. A walk past Ponte Vecchio to explore the less touristy side of Firenze is also necessary. Spend some time in Santo Spirito area (Osteria Santo Spirito serves yummy risotto al funghi and trippa alla fiorentina) and check out all of the quaint shops. La Buca dell' Orafo also serves fantastic acciuge and beef! Bistecca alla Fiorentina at Il Latini is a must if you love steak. Pop by the Ferragamo shoe museum and the Gucci museum for a visit and shop in Luisa Via Roma, a multi- brand designer store a stone's throw away from the stunning Duomo. Hotel Savoy, JK Place, and Hotel Lungarno come highly recommended for accommodations. P.S. If you want to go outlet shopping, all you have to do is hop on one of the buses at the Santa Maria Novella station that take you to The Mall (hello Prada, Gucci, Tod's outlet).
Milan is not normally a city I would recommend because of its looks, but over the years of going there, I have come to love it so much. Apart from the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie (which houses one of the world's most famous murals by Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper), there are a lot more sights to visit in this city. I love going to the less- visited-by-tourists, Villa Necchi, for an afternoon of quiet introspection. Shopping along the Quadrilatero della Moda (Via Spiga, Via Montenapoleone) with pit stops to either Cova or Pasticceria Marchesi is a must. Some of my favorite restaurants in the city include Charleston, Il Giugno, Papermoon, La Bagutta, Santa Lucia (the spaghetti aglio olio pepperoncino is heavenly). A walk along Corso Como is also recommended-- with drinks at 10 Corso Como as the perfect way to end the night.