ITALY: Top Ten Things To Do In Italy
When visiting magical Italy, travelers won’t be able to avoid sensory overload, from the stunning sites and sounds of bustling piazzas, to the beautiful lively people, and who can forget about the food. You just can’t get a bad meal in Italy! Paolo Rossi, shares his top 10 favorites for this week’s feature. Enjoy!
Paolo Rossi’s Top 10 Italy…
1. Taste the food.
Spaghetti, pizza, tiramisu, espresso and mozzarella are just a few products of the popular Italian cuisine, which is famous for its diversity and its use of natural products. As nearly every region in Italy has its own traditions and specialties, you can try a tasty new dish every day during your tour across Italy.
My personal favorite: Pizza Calzone with an espresso.
2. Learn about Roman history.
The history of Italy goes back thousands of years, with the Roman ages as the most well known period. The Roman emperors left behind evidence of their reign across the entire continent, but the most impressing ruins and historic buildings can be found in Italy. You can’t leave the country without having visited the Colloseum, Foro Romano, Valle dei Templi or a similar site. Seriously. They will check this at the border.
My personal favorite: The ancient city of Pompeii.
3. Pick your favorite gelato flavor.
Yes, I know that I already mentioned Italian food, but gelato is something different. It’s unique. It’s an experience. It’s… well, you’ll have to come and try it yourself. And since everyone has his or her own taste, it’s your obligation as a visitor to find out what your favorite flavor is. Do you prefer the fresh taste of fruit, or would you rather have something extra sweet?
My personal favorite: Lemon.
4. Enjoy the nature.
Although Italy is one of the largest countries in Europe by population, there’s still a lot of unspoiled nature left to enjoy. The Amalfi Coast is absolutely breath taking, but the Italian Alps in Valle d’Aosta, the Tuscan hills or the Apulian nature are nothing less than amazing as well.
My personal favorite: Arcipelago di La Maddalena (Sardinia).
5. Visit the Vatican.
When you’re visiting Rome, you’ll have to visit the Vatican as well. Not just because the Holy See is literally a small country inside Rome, but because Piazza San Pietro is probably one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Also because Saint Peter’s Basilica is simply stunning, and because it’s probably your best chance of catching a glimpse of the pope.
My personal favorite: the Sistine Chapel.
6. Go diving.
Most people think about the Red Sea or the Maldives when it comes to diving, but Italy has several great diving spots as well. The clear blue water of the Mediterranean can best be enjoyed around the islands of Sardinia and Ustica, but the Costacuti Reef (Tuscany) or the shipwrecks off the shores of Apulia also are excellent places to dive.
My personal favorite: Cala Gonone (Sardinia).
7. See the inside of a church.
Beautiful architecture, amazing mosaics, painted ceilings and arches that seem to reach the sky; most Italian churches are an ode to God both from the inside and outside. There must be thousands of churches, cathedrals and basilica’s across the country, so there is no excuse not to visit one during your stay. Even when you’re not religious. Once you’ve entered one, you’ll have absolutely no regrets that you took the time for the visit.
My personal favorite: hard to choose, but I love the Duomo di Milano.
8. Take a stroll through an old city center.
The historic centers of over a dozen Italian cities are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which is an indication of the beauty and historic value of these city centers. The small streets, old buildings and unique piazzas make you want to stroll, not walk. And stay, not leave.
My personal favorite: Sienna (Tuscany).
9. Visit a museum.
The Vatican Museum is the most popular (and crowded!) Italian museum, with over 4.5 million visitors each year, but there are many other places to go to if you don’t like long waiting lines. No matter how small the town in Italy, there’s a museum. And each and everyone of these museums has a collection with the most beautiful paintings, archaeological findings or other pieces of art.
My personal favorite: Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Tuscany).
10. Taste the wine.
France may be the most well-known country in the world when it comes to wine, but the Italians make some fine wines as well. Actually, Italy is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world, together with Greece. Since the 2nd century BC, the Italians have been practicing their wine making skills, and you can taste this experience from nearly every bottle of Italian wine.
My personal favorite: a nice red Barolo.