Stories > Why you should spend your next winter in Italy
Why you should spend your next winter in Italy

Why you should spend your next winter in Italy

Published 2021-03-10 by Peter Ternström

Is your office your laptop and phone? Then you might have entertained the idea of spending a winter at a much warmer place than northern Europe. On the Riviera or Cote d’Azur, there is no need to garage your supercar for the cold season. Most importantly, spending time in a completely new spot in the world will do magic to your state of mind and general happiness.

Going away in the winter has been a megatrend for quite some time now. For the creative class that has their laptop and phone as their office, this has been standard procedure for the last decade. Important destinations have been Southeast Asia (the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand), Spain, Portugal and Florida. A home away from home during the harsh winters of the North.

Lately, a dramatic shift has happened. Working from home, away from the office, has become the new normal. Suddenly almost everyone can relocate for the cold season.

For Scandinavians, Spain is extremely popular. It seems that half my Swedish and Norwegian friends spend the winters in Marbella. Italy is not that popular. This is strange because it is a great place to stay, albeit a few degrees colder in the winter.

Where to stay

My favourite places in Italy are Tuscany and Liguria. Both are brilliant. The main difference is that Liguria, being directly at the Mediterranean coast is somewhat warmer in January.

Now, in inland Tuscany, it can actually get quite cold in January during the night. However, as soon as the sun peeks out on a clear day, temperatures quickly go above ten, maybe even fifteen degrees. If you love to drive a supercar, you can absolutely do it every day of the year.

In Tuscany, I strongly recommend the area between Pisa and Florence. This is a part of northern Tuscany that does not get deserted during the winter. You will be able to have a great experience in the region, with all restaurants and important vineyards open. Everything, from Florence to Chianti is right at your doorstep.

In Liguria, there are many options for you. My general advice is to stay clear of the small coastal villages like Portovenere, Cinque Terre and such. Go for a city that actually is functioning during the winter.

How about Santa Margherita Ligure? It is a city near Genova and Portofino that does not become completely dead during the winter. Also, I think San Remo is great. It is near the French border. Imagine day trips with your Ferrari or Lamborghini to Monaco and to the Cote d’Azur. Saint-Tropez is just two hours away. The harbour is quite beautiful in the winter, and many hotels stay open during the winter season.

Finding a place to stay

There are literally thousands of fantastic villas and bed and breakfasts that are empty during the offseason. Go to websites like Airbnb and you will soon find something really nice. The next step is to contact the owners directly and ask for a rental for the entire winter.

You can often get insanely great rates, simply because the property would otherwise be empty. For the owner, all rentals during the low season are extra profit. An unexpected and very welcome income. A house in Tuscany or on the Riviera can be found for less than one thousand euros per month. You can push the negotiation really far. Remember - the owner's alternative is zero income.

Make sure to include this

First of all, you want to rent the place directly from the owner. You want to stay away from the agencies. You just want to have the place for six months and then leave on the first of April. Sadly, Italy is a low trust society where contracts are crucial. For long term rentals, you usually end up in notaries signing complicated documents. This is expensive and super annoying.

Instead, offer a fixed sum upfront for the entire stay directly to the owner. No agencies involved. You want to include heating, electricity and most importantly Internet. For a foreigner, it is quite difficult to organise electricity and Internet directly with a provider. Make sure all this is managed by the property owner.

The Italian experience

I have spent winters away from Sweden since 2010. In Asia, on the Mediterranean, and in Italy. I even spent a winter in Montenegro, which was great! More about Montenegro in a coming blog post.

After a decade of wandering about I can safely say that Italy is my favourite. The food, the great driving roads and all the insanely beautiful spots to discover. Winter is a time where there are very few other tourists around, giving you the opportunity to explore at your own pace. You will have a much more genuine experience.

Life in Tuscany or Liguria in the winter

Is fun. There are an insane amount of great roads to drive with your supercar. Everything from mountain passes like Passo del Bracco, Passo dell'Abetone or Passo della Futa, to the extremely beautiful Strada del Vino in the Chianti district.

It is very little traffic during the winter, and the weather is actually quite nice. Even after the coldest January night, the temperature can easily go up to 10-15 degrees during the day. Pretty nice conditions for a spirited drive in a fast car. On the coast in Liguria, January is distinctively milder.

Also, life is surprisingly cheap. Dining out every evening is very realistic, without breaking the budget. For a relatively low cost, you will find yourself enjoying fantastic food and wine almost every night.

Soon, you will pass the point of no return. The point when you can no longer enjoy Italian food in your home country. It will never taste the same outside of Italy. This is a fact, many ex-pats experience the exact same thing. A Frutti di mare tastes vastly better in Liguria than in Warsaw. No matter how hard you try in Poland or any other country than Italy.

Contemplating spending next winter abroad? If supercars, great roads, fantastic food and wine is your thing, Italy is a great option.

Are you spending the winters in Portugal, Spain or Florida? I would love to hear from you, as I am working on a comparison between the countries for a future blog post.

Peter Ternström
peter@granturismo.org
Subscribe to our newsletter

The latest news and stories. All the best roads, hotels and restaurants. Invitations to exciting events. Be the first to know by subscribing to our newsletter.

Mondo Gran Turismo

The latest news and stories from the world of Gran Turismo

The greatest April Fools' joke ever
The greatest April Fools' joke ever
The digital nomad’s guide to Montenegro
The digital nomad’s guide to Montenegro
Austria to implement their own vaccination passport
Austria to implement their own vaccination passport
Digital Green Certificates are happening
Digital Green Certificates are happening
Sardinia is our new destination for 2022
Sardinia is our new destination for 2022
Happy Birthday to Lamborghini Countach - 50 years old this week
Happy Birthday to Lamborghini Countach - 50 years old this week
Why you should spend your next winter in Italy
Why you should spend your next winter in Italy
Here is all we know about the coming Ferrari 812 GTO
Here is all we know about the coming Ferrari 812 GTO
How a brand new Ferrari got ruined by a vomiting passenger
How a brand new Ferrari got ruined by a vomiting passenger
The secret behind a great cup of coffee (no one has told you about)
The secret behind a great cup of coffee (no one has told you about)
Six things you may not know about Ferrari
Six things you may not know about Ferrari
Nine highly unethical tips for the psychopath traveller
Nine highly unethical tips for the psychopath traveller
My nine most important advice for an excellent road trip in Europe
My nine most important advice for an excellent road trip in Europe
The new McLaren Artura hybrid car has no reverse gear
The new McLaren Artura hybrid car has no reverse gear
The epic story behind the Ferrari and Lamborghini rivalry
The epic story behind the Ferrari and Lamborghini rivalry
The five reasons we absolutely love Portofino
The five reasons we absolutely love Portofino
The 52 different types of Police in Italy
The 52 different types of Police in Italy
What it’s like driving a supercar in Italian traffic
What it’s like driving a supercar in Italian traffic
The most important beauty contest in the world - Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
The most important beauty contest in the world - Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
Here are the top twelve roads in Europe with a Ferrari or Lamborghini supercar
Here are the top twelve roads in Europe with a Ferrari or Lamborghini supercar
More stories

Testimonials

Peter Stavling
Peter Stavling
Photographer
"Nothing beats Peters events if you like super cars and a crazy time. Both thumbs up from me!"
Philipp König
Philipp König
Nürburgring Hero
"Gran Turismo's annual event on the Nürburgring is of epic proportions. Without a doubt the best supercar event on the track, that I really look forward to every year."
Andrzej Kuczynski
Andrzej Kuczynski
Mercedes-AMG power slider
"No one can organise better supercar events than Gran Turismo. Events like Gran Turismo Italia, Europa, Mille Miglia, Spa and Nurburgring are the best."
Fredrik Borgegård
Fredrik Borgegård
Gym chain owner
"Gran Turismo Events is the best thing that has happened to me. It is relaxed, a lot of driving and many fantastic participants."
The Drivers Collection

Events Calendar

Beautiful road trips and famous racing tracks since 2002. Supercars only.

Gran Turismo Riviera
8-13 June 2021
Forte dei Marmi - Portofino - Monaco - St Tropez
Gran Turismo Due Miglia
16-19 June 2021
Viareggio - Grosetto - Arezzo - Florence - Bologna
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Polonia
1-7 July 2021
Wroclaw - Krakow - Warsaw - Poznan
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Adriatica
11-19 July 2021
Slovenia - Croatia - Bosnia - Montenegro - Serbia
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Baltica
20-24 July 2021
Riga, Latvia
Gran Turismo Spa
9-12 August 2021
Spa-Francorchamps
Gran Turismo Europa
28 August - 5 September 2021
Kitzbuhel - Cortina - St Moritz - Monaco - St Tropez
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Nurburgring
6-9 September 2021
Nurburgring, Germany
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Italia
11-19 September 2021
Trieste - Cortina - Como - Modena - Chianti - Rome
Gran Turismo Toscana
5-10 October 2021
Maranello - Florence - Grosseto - Lucca
Gran Turismo St Moritz
January 2022
St Moritz, Switzerland
Fully booked
Gran Turismo Sardinia
15-20 June 2022
Sardinia, Italy
Contact us

While our head offices are in Geneva, Switzerland, the team is spread throughout Europe: Sweden, Poland, Italy and Croatia. Please select the appropriate team member to contact below.

For general enquiries, you can always use info@granturismo.org. For event registrations, please use registry@granturismo.org.

Peter Ternstrom Peter Ternström
President
+46 (0)70 530 06 89
Justyna Weclawiak Justyna Weclawiak
Head of event organisation
+48 509 706 651
Michal Weclawiak Michal Weclawiak
Event coordinator - General
‭+48 602 134 467‬
Chiara Mannucci Chiara Mannucci
Event coordinator - Italy
+39 346 763 22 74
Zdravko Anticic Zdravko Anticic
Event coordinator - Balkans
+385 (0)91 917 32 77
Pietro Bonuccelli Pietro Bonuccelli
Supercar fleet manager
‭+39 349 888 33 89‬
Marcin Jellinek Marcin Jellinek
PR and Media
+48 519 189 081
Joakim Niss Joakim Niss
Head of merchandise
‭+46 (0)70 468 60 75‬
James Holm James Holm
Photography
+46 (0)70 713 71 42