Are you craving an Italian getaway, but budget constraints or passport renewal delays have put your plans on hold? While there truly is no place like Italy, luckily the United States offers a multitude of domestic destinations that capture the essence of the country, offering a taste of the Bel Paese! America Domani has created a shortlist of places in the US that'll transport you to our favorite European hotspot in un momento!
Catalina Island, California
Only an hour ferry ride from Los Angeles, Catalina Island is a hidden domestic gem that will transport you to the Italian riviera or the Amalfi Coast with its picturesque views. This coastal haven boasts crystal-clear waters, rugged seaside cliffs, a Mediterranean climate, and serene beaches that radiate a dolce vita aura. During your visit, make sure to enjoy jetting off on boat tours, scuba diving, wandering the charming streets of the island’s capital, Avalon, or simply relaxing on one of the island’s tranquil beaches.
Coral Gables, Florida
A neighborhood of Miami, Coral Gables is a treasure trove when it comes to encapsulating the effortless beauty of Italy. Designed in the 1920s with a Mediterranean-style aesthetic in mind, Coral Gables offers a glimpse into Italy's architectural grandeur. A standout attraction of the area is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, architecturally inspired by 18th-century Italian villas of Veneto. The museum houses an impressive collection of art, ranging from ancient Roman-era sculptures to Renaissance paintings. The garden’s landscape architecture also evokes the sensation of strolling through a Lake Como villa, complete with scenic views of the Florida coastline in the distance.
Napa Valley, California
Embark on a journey to the Tuscan countryside with a trip to Napa Valley, California. Not only does Napa’s landscape mirror Tuscany’s with the golden hues of its rolling hills, but the region is also famous for its stellar wine production and boasts some of the most high quality wines in the country. Many Napa wineries even resemble enchanting Italian villas or castles, immersing visitors in an ambiance that channels the Italian experience while relishing the local wines.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
For those seeking an alpine escape akin to the Dolomite Alps in Northern Italy, look no further than North Cascades National Park in Washington! Nicknamed “The American Alps”, North Cascades National Park bears an uncanny resemblance to its Italian counterpart. This national park boasts craggy peaks, glaciers, lush pine forests, and unbelievably blue water that makes it almost indistinguishable from the Dolomites. Less than 3 hours away from Seattle, the North Cascades National Park is truly a natural wonder for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.
Emily Rascon is from San Diego, California and is currently in the process of completing her Masters in Human Geography through the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. She has always had a passion for traveling and learning new languages, having lived in Germany and now Italy. Emily loves reading books, going hiking, and of course, practicing her Italian! In addition, Emily enjoys creating content on TikTok, where she documents her life abroad and encourages people to find the confidence to pursue their inner wanderlust.