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.
– 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?
– 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.
– 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.
– 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!