Italy is a country you could return to time and again, and still discover something different.
It is a country rich is history with fantastic food, wine and landscape, as well as friendly locals. It comes as no surprise that it is one of the top holiday destinations.
I have been to Italy multiple times and have loved each visit, which is why I wanted to compile a guide to my top 5 experiences in Italy.
- Be romanced in Venice
Some say that Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the World. However, I disagree. Venice tops my list of places to be romanced in. From the charm of St Mark’s Square, to the delight of the Gondola rides along the Grand Canal. Venice is a city that will mesmerise you and make you want to stay.
Venice is a city that you will need to visit more than once in order to experience it. It is a city of over 400 bridges and a maze of winding streets, with a lot to discover on every corner.
- Taste the authentic Italy
Do you know your Cannelloni from your Cellentani, or Lingune from Spagetti? Are you a foodie that likes trying new and local foods? Then Italy is the country for you.
Italy is a country with some of the most incredible food in the World. The flavours are sensational, and the chefs are passionate. Trying authentic foods in Italy is a must when you visit the country.
I could live off pizza, pasta and gelato, but know that my waistline would not approve.
If like me, you like to try local and more authentic foods, stay away from the hot tourist spots in cities and towns, and go further out, or around back streets. Food will be more genuine and much cheaper.
If you like knowing the history of foods, then experiencing a food tour is a great idea. This is something I have done in Thailand and Morocco, and it gives you a much better appreciation for how food in that country is prepared and how to better enjoy it.
You may also be more confident at cooking it for yourself upon your return home.
- Shop till you drop in Milan
Are you a bit of a fashionista? Are you in awe of Armani, or do you drool over Dolce and Gabbana? If so, Milan is the place for you. Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the World, and is home to some of the most influential designers. So when visiting this city, shopping is a must.
If you are in the city for some luxury shopping, then you need to get to Via Montenapoleone, which is known as Milan’s Golden Quarter, and where you will find desginer stores from Armani to Prada.
If you like shopping, but can’t quite afford the high end desginer labels, then you may like to take a stroll to the Corso di Porta Ticinese, which has been linked as being similar to London’s Portobello Road Market. Here you will find more unique clothing offerings.
If you aren’t able to make it to Milan, but equally love to shop, then Florence is a great place to visit for designer outlet shopping.
Aside from shopping, Milan is a great city to explore with a number of museums, an incredible cathedral and castle. So you can experience a lot of an Italian city, without breaking the bank.
- See the ruins in Rome
They say that all roads lead to Rome, and If you want to immerse yourself in history, then Rome is the place for it. Almost the entire city centre is a UNESCO heritge site. Rome is known as the Eternal City, as in Roman times, they beleived that no matter what happened to the World, Rome would go on forever.
There is so much history to immerse yourself in including the famous Coloseum which is over 2,000 years old, and the largest ever built. Stepping inside it, you can almost hear the roars of people during gladiatorial combats.
A trip to Rome must include throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain – it is best to get here really early, or late at night though, as it’ll be incredible crowded. Legend has it that you should toss three coins into the fountain. One will ensure you return to Rome. The second that you will find romance, and the third marriage.
- Set foot in the smallest country in the World
Whilst in Rome, you must cross over the (non-existent) border into the smallest country in the World. The Vatican is less than 1 kilometre squared, so it won’t take you long to see around. However, great things come in small packages and it is full of wonderful buildings to marvel at including the Sistine Chapel, which has the famous Michael Angelo painting ‘the creation of adam’. Cameras are not allowed int the Chapel, so visit and experience it with your eyes only The Vatican is home to the Pope, and you can view parts of his residence at the Apostolic Palace. You should also visit St Peter’s Basillica, which is an Italian Renaissance church, and incredible both inside and out.
Italy is a wonderful country, and you could spend a lifetime discovering it. I hope this guide gives you a small insight into some things you can experience.
Have you been to Italy? What are your top 5 experiences?