Whether been or never been to Italy, let’s all agree that we are deeply in love with it, home to Pasta, Pizza, Gelato, & Tiramisu, rich in culture, fashion, scenery, art, and impressive architectural styles. It’s such a charming country with diversified regions, each offering a different taste and a very enriching experience. What Italy has to offer is not just a holiday, whether you’re a foodie, a cooking buff, an adventurous, or a beauty appreciator, Italy has all it takes to guarantee you a perfect holiday.
So here is a list of 12 ways to get the best out Italy.
Visit the Islands of Venice (For beauty appreciators)
When people visit Venice they usually take the vaporetti (motor boat) to go from one place to another, a gondola ride, wander around Piazza San Marco and that’s it. What Venice has to offer is much more than that. Take a vaporetti ride to Venice’s islands of Murano, Burano & Torcelli. Murano is home to the famous colourful Venetian glass making, go for a behind-the-scenes factory visit or head directly to the Glass museum. Burano with its cheerful pastel-coloured tiny houses, famous for lace making will make you feel like you’re totally in another world. And Torcello with its underrated Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral.
That’s not Venice, it’s Burano by Martino Pizzol
Learn Pasta making in Italy (For foodies and cooking buffs)
Eating Traditional Italian Pasta sounds delicious, don’t we all love pasta in all shapes and all tastes, how about making it from scratch in a home style kitchen built in an 18th century building? Gnocchi, Taggliatelle, Ravioli, or simply Spaghetti & Fussili…you name it?. You will learn how to make pasta, cook it and finally enjoy eating it…About time to open an Italian Pasta Restaurant???…Maybe!
Head to Lecce; Florence of southern Italy for Pasta making lessons, yes it’s expensive but a mouth-watering experience that you won’t forget.
Photo by Richard RubberDragon
Try a “Gladiator for a day” course in Southern Rome (Guys will love it)
Haven’t you watched The Gladiator movie a hundred times over? Wondered how is it like to hold a shield and a sword? Enough fantasizing, time to put your dream into action, hop on a “Gladiator for a day” course in southern Rome, your chance to experience it for real.
Photo by SBA73
Photo by Laszlo Becskereki
Rent a Vespa & explore Italy like locals do (For the more adventurous)
Home to Vespa, those cute charming scooters, there is no better way to roam around Italy, but on a Vespa, just make sure that you have an International Motorcycling license (acquired the same way as an International driving license for cars in Egypt).
Photo by Daniel Peckham
Hike or cycle in Cinque Terre (For active travelers and nature lovers)
Cinque Terre meaning five lands is a magical string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera; Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, & Manarola. Linked by several trails that are best enjoyed when walked or cycled, or take the Cinque Terre Treno (train) for a day or two to enjoy such a beauty in the comfort of a train ride. If you are more of a water sports person you can hire kayaks, a snorkelling boat, or snorkelling gear, or just enjoy swimming on one of the beaches. Avoid the crowds of July & August, Cinque Terre is better visited in May till early June. You can stay in one of its villages, or at northern Levanto, southern of La Spezia, or even at Pisa –where you’ll get to explore the city of Pisa, famous for its leaning tower. It’s hard to tell which of the five villages is prettier than the other, they all have to be visited.
Sunset in Vernazza by Karthick Ramachandran
Christmas Market in Piazza Navona in Rome (best suited for children)
It’s more of a fair or a carnival, rather than a market. If you have kids they would love it as it has many rides, clowns, and balloons. The vendors sell all sort of things, it has the Christmas is in the air atmosphere with all the lightings and ornaments. The food is just amazing, so don’t forget to indulge yourself with a Giant Nutella Donut.
Photo by Gian Luigi Perella
Learn how to make Italian Gelato in the Gelato capital Bologna (For the love of gelato)
Imagine yourself on a very hot day, riding a Vespa or a bike, or even on foot roaming around small alleys, your eyes suddenly stop at a Gelateria (Gelato shop), sparkling ice cream buckets, decorated with chocolate chunks, nuts and berries. Going to Italy means eating a Gelato, followed by another Gelato and why not a third Gelato. A variety of flavours offered, don’t you eat anything but Artisanal ice cream. Can you believe that they have a Gelato University in Bologna? No wonder why they specialize in it and make it insanely good. Go for a Gelato making course, this is where you’ll learn to make heavenly combinations.
Photo by Irene
April 21st Rome’s City Birthday Celebration (For the “going back in time” fans)
They say “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, not every city celebrates its birthday, Rome does on April 21st of each year. This is when special events take place; concerts, parades, historical re-enactments at the Circus Maximus, this where chariot races were once held, fireworks over Tiber River and Gladiator shows and displays around the forum area and the Colosseum.
Gladiators gathering at Circus Maximus by Huffingpost
Discovering the ruins of Pompeii (For history buffs)
Once a commercial city, until a volcano -eruption of Mt.Versuvius- hit the city, completely destroying it and some of its neighbor cities, leaving it under ash and pumice, until it was re-discovered. Due to the lack of air & moisture, everything more or less remained as it is, they even discovered skeletons that were filled with plaster in order to figure out the positions that people took when the volcano erupted. It’s a bit creepy, slightly scary, however totally worth a visit.
Photo by Trey Ratcliff
Photo by Rori Haddon
Perfect Italian Pizza on the Amalfi Coast (For the love of Pizza)
You won’t get a sense of Italy unless you head to the Pizza capital of Naples (Napoli), birthplace of Pizza, nowhere else can you eat better pizza in all flavours, yet locals favour Margherita & Marinara, cooked in wood-fired ovens. Take a one hour train or bus to Sant’Agnello di Sorrento, 50 km south of Naples, this is where your journey to Pizza making will begin. In between cooking lessons, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful Amalfi Coast home to beautiful beaches, amazing scenery, monuments and hiking trails.
Photo by Florian Rieder
The Amalfi Coast by Fernando Olguin
Have you decided to take the first flight heading to Italy?
Got any other ideas to get the best out of Italy? Share them with us in the comments below!