Milan-based fashion designer J.J. Martin believes that experiencing Italy is all about building relationships. Adopting Italy as her home over two decades ago, she founded La DoubleJ in 2015, a brand renowned for its vibrant prints. Martin’s profound love for Italy is evident in her new book, Mamma Milano, a beautiful journey penned down as an ode to her unexpected love story with the “bel paese.” In it, Martin carefully curated a list of hidden gems in Italy that go beyond the ordinary tourist spots.
The Italian Art of Connection and Culinary Delights
Martin notes that Puglia is known for its picturesque coastline and olive oil. The southern region of Puglia is a vegetarian paradise. Indulging in the Mediterranean diet, she savors dishes like fava e cicoria and delights in local warm ricotta cheese for breakfast.
For Martin, every visit to a shop is more than a transaction; it’s an opportunity to sit, talk, and build relationships. From shopkeepers to taxi drivers, waiters to restaurant owners, she emphasizes the beauty of conversation and connection in every interaction.
Pesaro: Where Charm Meets Music
Located on the Adriatic coast in the Le Marche region, Pesaro, the birthplace of composer Gioachino Rossini, holds a special place in Martin’s heart.
The town’s charm, beachside villas, and the art nouveau Villa Ruggeri make it a must-visit. Martin recommends Hotel Excelsior for a beachfront stay and suggests exploring Ratti Boutique for designer shopping.
Forte dei Marmi and Palermo: Favorite Picks
Forte dei Marmi, a Tuscan beachside community, is celebrated for its spectacular coastlines and dynamic summer scene. Martin loves the relaxing atmosphere, Italian households, and the special Bagno Piero coastline club. Twiga, a sought-after restaurant and club, adds to the town’s attraction.
On the other hand, Martin’s love for Palermo is no less. Palermo with its astonishing architecture and sophisticated atmosphere captures Martin’s heart. The Sicilian Baroque buildings and the elegant Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi are amongst her favorites.