How to Experience the Very Best of Italy: 5 Travel Ideas
If you’re looking for a new European destination to visit, consider Italy – it has largely managed to escape the effects of tourism, remaining traditional, picturesque and cultural throughout the years. If you’re thinking of visiting this beautiful country, here are five ways you could potentially do it.
1. Visit Rome – the Capital of the Country
There’s no way a visit to Italy is complete without visiting Rome at least once. The capital city is absolutely deserving of its title, with unparalleled history, culture and excitement contained within its borders – it’s here where you’ll find the Colosseum, the beautiful Trevi Fountain and, of course, St. Peter’s Square, where the Pope often addresses the nation amongst tens of thousands of spectators.
You won’t be able to make the most of Rome in a day, but you can certainly give it a good try – be sure to visit all of the landmarks, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon, whilst also getting a feel for the current culture of the city. The food here is (perhaps unsurprisingly) delicious, with the carbonara being a particular highlight – it’s often said to be the best in the entire world. Our recommendation for a restaurant? Caffè Novecento is perfect for your breakfast.
2. Explore the Wonders of Venice
It is arguably the most romantic setting in the world, and you’ll see why when you visit Venice and see it for yourself. Recommended by 1Cover for its culture, canals and history, said canals play home to the famed gondolas that flow slowly through the streets, with the Grand Canal being one of the most highly-photographed sights in the entirety of the country.
And then there’s other parts of the city, including the Campanile di San Marco (the bell tower often featuring in people’s photographs of Venice), the Bridge of Sighs and Doge’s Palace. But it’s the general aura of the city that makes for its romantic appeal – despite a massive amount of tourism, it manages to retain its feel of tradition and sincerity that is unmatched by any other city in the world.
3. Escape to Tuscany
An underrated destination compared to other areas of the country, Tuscany is a wondrous, culturally rich part of Italy that provides plenty of opportunities to escape the noise of the real world. With cities such as Florence, Pisa and Siena are here for you to explore, the former holding a lot of historical importance what with the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore attracting thousands of visitors each and every day.
But it’s the smaller, lesser-known towns in Tuscany that are perhaps the most surprising and exciting destinations to discover. San Gimignano is just one of them, the hilltop town lying just an hour away from Florence and Pisa – it’s worth the trip. Here you’ll find towering ancient buildings and a center surrounded by a big brick wall, hinting at the fascinating and profound history of the town. It’s also a great place for food – the pizza and ice cream here is phenomenal.
4. Bathe in the Waters of Lake Garda
Lake Garda remains one of Italy’s best holiday destinations – its vastness allows for multiple different kinds of adventure in the area. With many different attractions here, from Gardaland at the south-east tip of the lake to Monte Baldo towards the northern edge. In fact, there’s an abundance of untouched wonder to be discovered here, with plenty of amazing towns scattered around the perimeter of the gorgeous blue lake.
And the water itself provides a multitude of fun, from sailing to surfing, diving to flyboarding – water sports are a highlight of Lake Garda. If you’re an adventurous traveler, this could be the perfect destination for you, a microcosm of Italy’s vast culture in just one small part of the country.
5. Visit the Smaller Towns
Throughout Italy there’s an abundance of underrated towns worthy of your attention. Consider Crema, the small city famed by this year’s Best Picture nominee Call Me By Your Name – situated at the very north of the country, near Milan, this city is quintessentially Italian, a timeless town complete with beautiful colored buildings, sweeping landscapes and expansive countryside to explore.
And then there’s Sicily’s Cefalù, the picture-perfect town with calm turquoise waters lined by rustic buildings. There’s cathedrals here to visit, a promenade to stroll through as well as La Rocca, the overhanging mountain where you can watch the town live peacefully from above.
Do you have any more potential ideas for exploring Italy? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.