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Italy in January: 10 travel tips on the best destinations

We usher in the New Year with our pick of the Top 10 provinces to visit in January, as well as some travel tips.

  • 1. Aosta
  • 2. Vicenza
  • 3. Cremona
  • 4. Sondrio
  • 5. L'Aquila
  • 6. Caltanissetta
  • 7. Reggio Emilia
  • 8. Bolzano
  • 9. Trento
  • 10. Piacenza
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In Italy, winter has arrived: it’s time for skiing, or perhaps relaxing in a luxurious spa. Opportunities abound to visit characteristic hamlets and try seasonal local food, which in January becomes a celebratory act at many traditional feasts.

Our first destinations are all in northern Italy, starting with Aosta, Vicenza, and Cremona. But there are also fascinating regions in central Italy, like Abruzzo and Emilia Romagna, plus Sicily, an intriguing region for its art and architecture, and a pleasure to explore even in this chillier month.

Remember: our Top 10 provinces for January have been selected from thousands of reviews by our users, like you!

1. Aosta

January’s Top 10 list starts with Aosta where you can embark on a culinary and cultural experience right next to the ski slopes!

Visit the Food Museum as well as the Wine Museum. The former is located in Maison Bruil in the hills of Introd. Here you can discover local products and learn about food conservation techniques used in ancient times, some of which are still practiced in the mountains today. The Wine Museum is located in Donnas and features traditional objects and tools used for harvesting and winemaking. This area is famous for the Donnas DOC wine, an absolute must on the menu! 

While there, don’t miss Introd’s lovely Parc Animalier and the Dora Bridges of Rhemes.

The entire province of Aosta is like a treasure trove and can be admired step by step, from its hamlets to its castles and churches. If you like touring castles, take note of these two: Castel Savoia, near Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Margherita of Savoy’s residence of choice, which overlooks the entire Belvedere valley up to the Lyskamm glacier; Castle of Issogne, which belonged to the bishops of Aosta, an example of Renaissance Gothic architecture which houses various art treasures.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Aosta

2. Vicenza

 

Una vera cartolina della nostra città. Foto di @enricocatt #vicenza #igersvicenza #igersveneto #visitveneto #igersitalia #rsa_street #seemycity #autumn

Un post condiviso da Instagramers Vicenza (@igers_vicenza) in data: 16 Nov 2017 alle ore 13:27 PST

The province of Vicenza, the second on our list for January, boasts a series of food events not to be missed! How about taking part in a feast?

From January 12th to 21st in Creazzo, the Sagra del Broccolo offers a full line-up of events and delicious food. Dessert wine lovers will go crazy at Breganze, which hosts the Prima del Torcolato (a dessert wine made from Vespaiola grapes), a feast open to the public during wine pressing season. Join the locals when they congregate in the town square on January 21st to celebrate the last day of the festival. And don’t forget to taste the regional wines presented by the Consorzio nel Fruttaio.

For kids, the Saint Anthony Abbot festival in Recoaro Terme, which takes place during the third weekend of January, offers special entertainment and amusement rides. Take a tour of the food stands and sample the local delights: your whole family will be happy!

Also, from January 12th to 21st you can take part in the soppressa feast, a typical salami made in the province of Vicenza. Restaurants that participate in the event present a myriad of innovative dishes using this local salami.

In addition to special happenings, don’t forget this province in Veneto also boasts enchanted hamlets like Marostica and Bassano del Grappa. Try to include them in your trip!

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Vicenza

3. Cremona

 
 
 
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Una quinta autunnale sulla Rocca di Soncino, non è un incanto? Foto di @fenixte #igerscremona

Un post condiviso da Igers Cremona (@igerscremona) in data: Nov 15, 2018 at 1:09 PST

Cremona comes next on our January destination list. If you’ve never been to the city itself, we suggest visiting the Torrazzo bell tower and extraordinary violin museum, Museo Stradivariano. Did you know that Cremona is the nougat capital of Italy? Don’t miss a visit to one of the many pastry shops where you can buy a tasty treat for friends and family. Also, visit the Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery near the Duomo.

The province of Cremona is situated in the midst of sprawling plains where Lombardy and Emilia Romagna meet. Visit the city center of Crema and its superb Duomo from the 1300s, then go to Soncino and explore the Sforza Fortress and 14th century home of Jewish printers. The hamlet of Pizzighettone along the banks of the Adda is worth a stop, as is Casalmaggiore sul Po with its truly charming Santuario della Beata Vergine della Fontana.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Cremona

4. Sondrio

If you choose to vacation in the province of Sondrio get ready for some fantastic skiing. Prices here, such as Aprica’s Skypass, are more reasonable than other ski areas in Italy. You’ll find some of the best skiing in Stelvio as well as Santa Caterina Valfurva (where slopes reach 2,900 meters) and Valdidentro. 

Once your ski boots are off, head to Livigno, the best place to shop, or Bormio, a famous town in the heart of Alta Valtellina where you can relax in its elegant spa and thermal waters. 

Valtellina boasts excellent regional food and wine products. Try the pizzoccheri, a buckwheat pasta topped with local cheese and cabbage, polenta taragna with locally foraged mushrooms, and taneda, a typical liquor made from herbs.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Sondrio

5. L'Aquila

 

#anversadegliabruzzi #yallersabruzzo

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If you’re headed to the province of L’Aquila, fifth on our list for the month of January, we suggest a visit to one of this region’s oldest hamlets.

Where to start? Right outside Sulmona in Pettorano sul Gizio, one of Italy’s prettiest villages. Every street has something to be photographed, from the ancient gate to monumental fountains and the old town walls.

Amidst the streets of Anversa degli Abruzzi, perhaps one of the best known hamlets in all of L’Aquila, you’ll discover treasures like the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie and S. Marcello. Try to extend your trip and visit the Sagittario river located inside a canyon, as well as Castrovalva, a miniscule village dating back to the first century with about thirty inhabitants, and finally, Scanno, one of the loveliest towns in the province of L’Aquila.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of L’Aquila

6. Caltanissetta

 

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Prefer to head south for the month of January? Then try visiting the province of Caltanissetta which offers a pleasant holiday atmosphere even in winter.

In the past, Caltanissetta was a very important mining town: the Mineral Museum is quite interesting and sheds light on the extraction processes, as is the museum devoted to sulphur with its collections of minerals, rocks, and fossils. 

In Caltanissetta you’ll find a beautiful Arab quarter, spectacular Castello di Pietrarossa, Badia del Santo Spirito and various historical palaces.

If you’re traveling with the family, then you’ll surely love the Musical Art Multimedia Museum in Enna, where paintings and music lead you on a journey showcasing Sicily’s greatest painters. 

One more tip: don’t forget to stop at the National Wine Museum which showcases more than 3,000 vintages.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Caltanissetta

7. Reggio Emilia

 
 
 
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🏆🎖02/01/2019🎖🏆 è lieta di presentare una tra le foto piú belle del giorno: Location: 📌✔La Pietra all’alba✔📌 Foto di 📸🏆👑@alebonni90🌟🏆 🔴↔visitate la sua bellissima  galleria↔🔴🔱 Complimenti per lo scatto👏👏 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 Admin : ✔antonardo✔ 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 Follow: @vivoreggioemilia Tag: #vivoreggioemilia #reggioemilia 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 È gradito Repost anche solo temporaneo. Grazie. 〰〰〰〰〰👑👑👑〰〰〰〰 👉 No Web pics 👈 〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰 #reggioemilia #mountain #winter #tagsforfollow #italia #italy #italian_trip #moodoftheday #pietradibismantova #mothernature #day #landscapes #wonderland #mycapture #vivo_italia #photooftheday #wonderful_places #vscocam #ig_nature #sky #mountains #instagood #sunrise #landscape_lovers #italian_places #nature #landscape #sunlight #sun

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Did you know that the province of Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna is famous for its antique markets? Why not visit a few during January on a lovely sun-filled day, and then stop and eat something delicious at one of our agritourisms?

For example, in the splendid historic center of Rubiera there’s RubierAntica, a market where you can find just about anything. There is also an antique market in Sant'Ilario d'Enza, called “Antiquari in Piazza”, or one in Cavriago held on the final Sunday of each month. The antique market in Guastalla stands out for its infinite number of prints and antique books, postcards, etchings, posters, stamps, musical scores and comics.

Reggio Emilia is also renowned for its delicious food, so after all this wandering about, we suggest you stop and savor the cuisine: gnocco fritto, risotto, boiled meats, and fresh cream… choose what you like best, or try a bit of everything!

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Reggio Emilia

8. Bolzano

 

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If you’re looking for culture far from your hometown, there’s no place better than the province of Bolzano. The liveliest city is Bolzano itself, but the outlying area is also populated with pretty villages where the locals will make you feel at home. If you’re in Bolzano in January, don’t miss the fantastic Christmas markets which go on until at least until January 6.

In the city of Bolzano spend time visiting the museums: the modern art museum is wonderful, as is the Museion or the Archeological Museum where you can see the famous ice mummy, Iceman.  

Enjoy a walk through nature to Castel Roncolo, a fortress located at the gates of the city, and a stroll along Lago di Caldaro. Then, to whet your appetite, visit the newly renovated Manincor Winery or follow Bolzano’s famous wine road where cantine and vineyards will tempt you with excellent local wines and traditional food. To name just a few: Salorno, Ora, Termeno, and Cortaccia.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Bolzano

9. Trento

 

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In the second to last position we have Trento, the ideal province for a relaxing winter holiday. Trento’s many spas have even more appeal in this chilling month of winter: imagine soaking in a steamy hot tub while overlooking a panorama of snowy mountains. What a sight, right?

Among the spas, we must mention Terme di Comano, the most attractive and affordable in the region. Terme di Comano is surrounded by a garden of over 14 hectares and immersed in the silence of the Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta. Its waters were famous even in Roman times. Besides lovely massages, you can enjoy an array of treatments designed to rejuvenate the body and soul.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Trento

10. Piacenza

Our final destination for January is also in Emilia Romagna, but this time in the lush province of Piacenza. If there are two words to describe this province they are: peaceful and fun. 

Drive through the serene countryside along Piacenza’s popular wine and food road. The well-mapped route is approximately 150 kilometers long and offers innumerable places to stop and taste local wine, salami and cheeses certified to special regional standards for quality and authenticity.   

For a fun cultural outing, we recommend a tour of the hamlets, medieval castles, ancient monasteries and splendid abbeys. Start from Bettola and Vigoleno and head to Bobbio, mentioned in the Italian Touring Club guide; Penice, great for skiing; Bettola, where Christopher Columbus was purportedly born; and Vigoleno, a hamlet ensconced behind ancient walls.

➡️ Discover our agriturismi in the province of Piacenza

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