Most amazing place: Chiavenna, Italy

Last updated 11:30 01/11/2012
Chiavenna, Italy

MOUNTAIN JEWEL: Chiavenna, Italy.

Italy's Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast.

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This northern Italy village sits at the foot of the Swiss Alps, a good drive from Lake Como.

We have ties to it through family friends. We showed up at their doorstep five years ago, and 15 years prior to that.

The pure beauty in Chiavenna lies in the river, where you can have a cappuccino admiring Italian nature at its best.

Tourists hardly ever come here (probably because they haven't heard of it!), which makes it that more special.

Our Italian family, the Luccinetti's, have lived there all their lives and Giordano (the father) has a special place he likes to take us a short walk up the hill.

Once a small village, this forgotten place is being slowly restored by locals. For the moment it is a ghost town for us to appreciate the best view in the region overlooking Chiavenna.

We had lunch at Giordano's 'grotto', a little cave built into the hillside which remains exactly the same temperature year round (it can get over 40 degrees Celsius and below 0 outside).

This is where all the old men gather and store their homemade salami and wines. It made for probably the most special lunch I have had in my life! We also enjoyed a couple of special dinners there - the most simple, amazing lasagna, a mushroom risotto and of course tiramisu.

It couldn't get any more typical Italian. We stayed down the road at the most beautiful B&B recommended by the family, La Rosa. The owners are a wonderful family with the most amazing house.

We will continue returning to Chiavenna to see my Italian family. It's one of the most special places on Earth.

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