Travel Tip Tuesday

Last week we discussed five general Italian experiences that are crucial for travelers in the bel paese.

And today … we are getting specific.

Here are five things every traveler should do to have the full Italy experience when on vacation.

– Climb the Duomo in Florence

Touted by many, and by that I mean my husband, as Italy’s most picturesque town, this renaissance city is a must for people who hungry for the full Italy experience. Climbing the Duomo is just icing on the cake.

And seriously, after you climb all of those stairs, you will want a piece of cake.

20090820_2379
photo credit: hslo

– Tour the Roman Forum

On my first day in the Eternal City, I raced to the Colosseum, darted to the forum and dashed up Palatine Hill.  Then, I did it again – with a tour guide.

And what a difference that made.

If you do nothing else with a tour guide in Rome … tour the forum. You’ll want an expert to help you make sense of the once-glorious rubble of the Roman Empire that now sits at your feet. Want a few other things to do when in Rome?

Traffic on canals :)
photo credit: Honza Soukup

– Walk around Venice

I have spent a grand total of six hours in Venice … two waiting for my mom to wire me money after someone ripped off my wallet, cash and cards and the other four I was, well … lost.

And I loved it.

Venice is a surreal experience, so get lost, wander the streets and buy some glass.

Cinque Terre
photo credit: PjotrP

– Venture out of the Big Three

and see how Italians live outside touristville. Yes, it *is* Italy, so touristy is a relative word, but how about heading to Umbria and trying some Perugia chocolate, visiting Liguria on the Italian Riviera or striking out for Naples and the Amalfi Coast for pizza and limoncello.

Non toccare
photo credit: kiaura83

– Keeping Coming South

Rick Steves says Italy intensifies the farther south you plunge-and although he was just referring to Naples, there is a whole other world down here in the foot of the boot most travelers never see.

In fact, most North American travelers never get south of Naples, to Basilicata, Puglia or Calabria and they miss out on what we think of as old Italy. Oh yes, my friends, old Italy is still thriving down here in the south, where few people speak English, the afternoon reposo is still sacred and you won’t be able to find a lunchtime pizza-or open pharmacy-unless you time it right.

These are just five great Italy experiences, what else would you add to the list?

Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

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Comments

  1. I am like the NYer who never went to the Statue of Liberty– and wasn’t she meant to look at anyway?– and I have never climbed the duomo at Florence. I’ve done all the rest and even go south. Just not Calabria yet. I do love spicy Calabrian food!
    Ask your two guys what I can use these pickled garlic cloves for?

    I will ask them! FWIW, I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and inside the Louvre the weekend before I left Paris … funny how those things work, isn’t it?

  2. All great suggestions and I couldn’t agree more on the exploring the South of Italy. It’s so much more intense in every way – food, weather, etc. I would add to the list: Find out when/where there is a sagra or food festival (check the tourist office or local papers) and go – whether it’s a chestnut, prosciutto, polenta or any other kind of festival, they’re fun and you may meet a lot of locals there.

    GREAT tip! Thank you, Linda.

    .-= Ciaochowlinda´s last blog ..In A Jam =-.

  3. I’m contemplating a trip down south for my next visit to Italy. Trick is, I do NOT want to rent a car…so how best to get around on public transportation? Obviously train from Rome to Naples is easy enough, but how to get out to the smaller cities and villages down the boot?

    And yes, the view from Florence’s Duomo is stunning!

    Ouch. Yea, definitely better to rent a car down here. You can travel to the south via train no problem and probably visit one main, more touristy place like Tropea, but it really is hard to get around otherwise.

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