With over 50 million tourists visiting the country every year, Italy remains one of the top tourist destinations across the globe. From the ancient architecture like the Roman Colosseum to the romantic gondola rides of Venice, the country has so much to offer to its visitors. Every corner of the country has a piece of culture that any traveler would cherish for a lifetime. Italy has a well developed domestic transport system — especially the rail network through Trenitalia — which has made traveling within the country much easier over the years. Add to this the fact that many locals can speak at least broken English and you have all that you need in a foreign country. There is so much to do and enjoy in Italy for travelers of any age and interest. Here is a list of 8 such things to do when visiting Italy.
- Visiting Mount Vesuvius
Mt Vesuvius is not only a nature landmark of Italy, it is a part of the history of the country. The volcano is best known for its eruption in 79 AD that completely destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Located just 9 km from the city of Naples, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the site to see the ruins of Pompeii which have since been excavated. It is a great place to explore and understand the culture and life of ancient Italy. Mt. Vesuvius remains the only volcano in the European mainland which has erupted in the last 100 years and is considered one of the most dangerous because of the large number of people living nearby.
- Throwing a Coin in the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most notable landmarks in the city of Rome. Not only is it the largest fountain in Italy, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork in the country. Carved from the travertine limestone, the fountain features various gods and goddesses in varying postures. According to common folklore, if you throw a coin in this fountain, you will visit this city again. After tossing a coin in the fountain, take the 138 Spanish Steps next to it to have a bird’s eye view of grand old Rome.
- Taking a Cruise in the Canals
Taking a romantic gondola ride is one of the most popular activities in Venice — one of the must-visit cities in Italy. With a large part of the city submerged in water, there are more waterways and boats than roads and cars in Venice. Listen to the singing gondoliers as they wander along the narrow yet beautiful canals of Venice. Make sure that you are at the Grand Canal during sundown to witness some of the most picturesque views of the Rialto bridge. After the gondola ride, take a stroll in the Piazza San Marco which overlooks the majestic basilica. If you have time, take a water taxi for a day trip to Murano — an island which is known for its stunning glass artworks and free glass blowing demonstrations.
- The Mandatory Posing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Tuscan city of Pisa has numerous medieval palaces and historic churches but it is the famous Leaning Tower that has cemented its place in the tourist map of Italy. The Leaning Tower is part of a cathedral complex and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pisa is very well connected from neighboring Florence and the Tower is within walking distance from the train station. If interested, visitors can even take a tour of the tower and climb to the top. Souvenir hunters will enjoy the flea market near the entrance of the Cathedral Square.
- Visiting Michelangelo’s David
Such is the popularity of the statue of David by Michelangelo that the city itself has 2 replicas – at Piazzale Michelangelo and at Palazzo Vecchio. However, the original statue is housed in the Accademia Gallery and no trip to Florence is complete without a visit to this iconic gallery. This does not mean you should skip Piazzale Michelangelo, however, as the place is dotted with beautiful artworks. The best way to explore the place is to take a bus there and then walk down through the historic Ponte Vecchio — the oldest bridge in Florence.
- Enjoying the Cuisine of Italy
Food lovers will be spoiled for choice when they visit Italy. The Mediterranean weather and the varying landscape produces a variety of fruits and vegetables that are a culinary delight. When visiting Florence, take time off to visit the Tuscan countryside to sample the local olives and Chianti. In Amalfi, it is the lemon liqueur Limoncello. If you are visiting Venice, try the local Fritole and Spritz. And for dessert, you can try some delicious gelato.
- Exploring the Old Towns in the Amalfi Coast
Even during the scorching summer months, the whole coastline along the Salerno Gulf is dotted with tourists. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its beautiful coastal towns and islands like Capri, Postiano, Ravello, and of course, Amalfi. Most of these towns are best explored by foot. Walk along the small lanes passing through the neighborhoods or just stop by to enjoy a chat with an enthusiastic local. Take a break at any of the several al fresco cafes enjoying Italian wine and a romantic sunset.
- Exploring Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre, literally translating to Five Lands, is a rugged landscape comprising five hilltop villages on the Italian Riviera. The region is part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is presently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These 5 villages — Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Moneterosso — are popular with tourists but have retained an old-world charm. The best way to explore these villages is by foot. There are hiking trails that connect these villages and one can trek along these trails from one village to another — stopping overnight at any of the several small hotels that are found in abundance. The panoramic sunsets from the hilltops and the live local music in the evenings will make it a trek to remember.
Originally posted 2017-03-03 08:43:26.