Why Italy makes the case for an alternative hen party weekend

Promotional feature with Italian Tourist Board

If you’re scratching your head over what to do for your pal’s hen party, don’t worry – we’ve been there.

Some brides-to-be love the girls’ tour shenanigans complete with strippers and clubbing, though your wander-lusting pal might want something more cultural and sophisticated. We’re throwing our lot in with a destination hen weekend in Italy, where there’s something for everybody with beaches, ski slopes, historical sights, thermal spa towns and no end of cheesy pasta and wine.

Here’s a couple of hot and cold itineraries that’ll keep the whole bridal party happy…

The sun-drenched summer route

No summer getaway is complete without a beach trip. Pack your best swimmers, sunnies and a towel as Ischia’s lush and sandy coast is a great stop on your hen. Soak in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean and make sure you snag a spot on Fisherman’s Beach, as you’ll have views of the town’s historical castle Castello Aragonese in the distance – making for one of the coolest #beachgrams ever.

While we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for pulsing Ibiza nightclubs, there’s something to be said for eating and drinking your way across Friuli Venezia Giulia. The region has worked tirelessly to cultivate Karst Valley and the work’s paid off, as it’s become gourmet wonderland. From rich olive oils and Marasca honey to jamar, cheese aged in the depths of the Karst Caves, it’s worth swinging by a picturesque vineyard or osmize to raise a glass of Terrano wine to your friend’s brand new chapter. (Who are we kidding, you’ll be raising more than just one.)

Round things off with a trip to Tuscany, where the glow up really begins. Famed for the thermal spas dotted around the region, you’ll be able to do as the ancient Romans did and chill out at the actual spas they used in in Rapolano Terme. Or, if you’re still hanging after your revelry at Friuli Venezia Giulia then the spa waters at Chianciano Terme are renowned for its healing properties – especially when it comes to your liver.

The snow goddess winter route

Bundle up and head to the Alps to see how the Italians aprés ski. Venture out to Lombardy in the winter months to cosy up at one of the regions luxury ski resorts, the ultimate hen base of operations for you to take the Alps’ slopes by storm. (Seriously, there’s over 70 different ski areas to take on.) Descend from the heights of Val Sassina to join elites like the Clooneys at Lake Como for fine dining after a hard day’s work.

After you’re all snowed out, you’ll be in dire need of some TLC. There’s no place better than Tuscany, a thermal spa wonderland teeming with natural hot spring water to rest your tired bones. Sink into the rejuvenating waters at world-famous spots like Montecatini Terme, where they’ve been pampering since the 15th century with natural thermal waters at architecturally breathtaking spas, or Terme di Saturnia – a mountainside retreat with free thermal baths if you’re thinking of your budget.

You can’t come to Italy and not eat pasta, so have your last carbo-loaded hurrah at Emilia Romagna before the pre-wedding diet. Renowned for their parmesan, parma ham and balsamic vinegar for dunking thick slices of warm bread into, you’ll be all set for the ultimate wine and cheese night with the girls.

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