Italy is a real jewel of the European continent. And if countries were rewarded with Michelin stars, it would undoubtedly be one of the best. The earth steeped from top to toe in fascinating history, filled with astonishing architecture and decorated with world art treasure, it, like a Christmas tree, twinkles brightly on the Europe map. Relaxing, warm, sunny Italy with lots of wine varieties and four seas. With snowy slopes of peaked mountains and ski resorts. With crystal clear ancient lakes, powerful hot volcanoes and healing thermal springs. A delicious and fragrant country, profuse in a variety of cheeses, wines, prosciutto and, of course, pastas varieties and toppings for pizza – is a gastronomic treasure.
A Mecca for discount lovers and designer boutiques, antique shops and stores. Choosing this country for your trip, you will understand, the italian boot is incredibly diverse, and each of its regions is particular and where the real Italy is, probably, everyone will decide for himself. There a goodies for every taste!
If you are a fan of historical odysseys and the past, enclosed in stone, steeped in episodes, voices and even people blood, for several thousand years Rome is that city, which will bemuse from at first glimpse.
“And it is not clear any more, what is more eternal here, - this sky or this city, is sky background for Rome, or vice versa”. Visit the majestic Colosseum exactly at night, when under the agate sky, this symbol of the capital is enveloped in an especial mystical halo and, perhaps, in its dark corridors, you will stumble upon the spirit of the deceased gladiator. When visiting the multitudinous basilicas which are stunning in their architecture, do not forget about the underground catacombs and crypts with their tombs. Pitch-dark, damp and obscure, they will make a wild contrast to the magnificent, dainty decoration of the churches located above them. The catacombs of Saint Callisto and Saint Sebastian will quench your thirst for impressions. Become one of thousands of admiring tourists by joining the crowd around the spring of life - the Trevi fountain, be sure to flip a coin and make a wish. Be the heroes of the movie “Roman holidays”: in the early morning, in the rays of the affectionate rising sun, slowly walk along the marble steps of the Spanish stairs, taking with you a real Italian gelato. Look directly into the oculus of the Temple of all the Gods, hiding in its cool mysterious walls in the midday swelter. Standing under a single source of light, as if you were touching it, maybe it’s you who can guess the true purpose of the Pantheon. For those who love the essentials, the Maxxi Museum of Modern Art will delight you by giving you an interesting experience of comparing the Roman past with the present day. This is the city where eternity is interwined with the present as firmly as the lovers on the first night. It is full of citrus and sandy scent, impressive, amazing! And, slowly walking along his Apian Road, you unwittingly understand why all roads lead to Rome.
Or maybe you want to become a character in the book “Inferno” and how Robert Langdon unravels secret symbols and encrypted signs? Would you like to find a lost mural by Leonardo da Vinci? Or a secret passage to please the Freemasonry Box? Then, unconditionally, you should visit the casket town of Florence. Strange hatches and mysterious doors, with due attention, found by you, intriguing and tickling nerves! Take the Medici route through the secret Vasari Corridor, which allows you to move around the city secretly and discreetly. Look into all eyes, and perhaps carved in stone, orphic symbols, will still lead you to the laboratory of alchemist. In his vessel, Florence, for centuries, mixes the mystical and the beautiful! This city is the true cradle of representatives of world art – Botticelli, Michelangelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian – it is worth enumerating endlessly.
The Uffizi Gallery will give you the opportunity to enjoy impeccable paintings. And even those who are indifferent to architecture and reserved in their emotions can find Stendal syndrome on Piazza Del Duomo at the foot of the grandiose Cathedral of Santa Maria – Dal Fiore. Its grandiose dome, like a lighthouse, can be seen from anywhere in the city. And the panorama of Piazza Michelangelo, in the colors of the enchanting saffron sunset, like a brush of Giorgione, will leave bright strokes of paint on the canvas of your heart.
If you are eager to plunge into a fairytale fantasy carried away from routine and vanity, to be filled with inspiration going beyond and feel the lyrical strings of your soul – welcome to Northern Italy. You don’t have to be a romantic to fall in love with Venice or Verona.
These wonderful cities will soften the heart of even the most inveterate cynic. Venice, with its beauty, makes you tremble. Here, houses are like theatrical scenery, standing “waist-deep” in the water – both simple residential and real palaces. Peeling plaster, omnipresent mold and moss, covering the walls, is an integral part of the pattern of the city. Om the main street Grand Canal you can reach the main attractions by any water transport, because there are no cars!
Piazza San Marco, the most elegant square in the evening, then it gets its unique charm. The warm, copper-yellow light of the lanterns diffuses the night darkness and illuminates the majestic St.Mark’s Cathedral, the openwork Doge Palace and, flying against the blue sky, pigeons. Here on the square is the famous, oldest café in Italy, “Florian”, treats walkers not only strong national espresso with exquisite desserts, but also the beautiful sounds of violins. Nearby the Bridge of Sighs will make you take a deep breath with it, feel the salty sea adriatic breeze. Wandering through the labyrinths of Venetian streets, your main task is to get lost in them! Don’t pass by the motley shop windows of the Venetian handmade masks, they will not leave you indifferent. Venice is probably the best city for hiking with endless camera flashes. Venice is unique, its smoky blue waters like a mirror – reflecting a person’s mood – will be just the way you want to be.
Her sister Verona is a city of Shakespeare’s love. It seems that the story of Romeo and Juliet’s feelings has permeated not only the stone, but even the air itself. And if you’re not in love, you’ll definitely fall in love with Verona as you walk along the Ponte Pietro and look into the vortex of the Arno River. And a wonderful air panorama of the red-brick towers of the city, against a background of different blue sky, like a medieval picture from a fairytale book, opens from the square of the Castle of San Pietro.
For connoisseurs of nature, the world-famous Lake Garda and its cozy towns and villages, framing the water surface, will give peace and tranquility. Impossible scenery of the foothills of the Alps, you can see from the height of Monte Baldo mountain in the town of Malcesine.
Pure air, soft silence and a drug for eyes. Hiking, horse and bike riding on the contours of the mountains, as well as paragliding above the northern picturesque lake, and other joys will make you relax and be filled with inspiration of every conqueror of the altitude. Visit the commune of Limone Sul Garda to learn the secret of local longevity and swim in the lake’s crystal clear water. And the juicy citrus fragrance of fresh lemon, soaked in every piece of fertile land, will take you to the luxurious greenhouses that have been in operation since the 17th century.
It’s hard to think of a more picturesque place than Lake Garda, where all four elements, together with man, live in perfect harmony and the pristine pure beauty of nature.
As a passionate person, a lover of colour and a true enthusiast, you should visit Southern Italy and its heart, Naples. Life here is as ardent and hot as the character of the temperamental Italians here, like the warmth of the nearby Vesuvius volcano. Above all, try a real flavourful crispy, juicy pizza, it’s here because Naples is her homeland. Here, where not to look – narrow streets framed with shabby houses, between which stretches like festive garlands, drying laundry. And the main music of the city is the loud chatter and noise of dusty mopeds.
Between all this muddle, where under the “feet” of the houses lying peacefully and waiting for their time off, mountains of garbage, rise old elegant churches and steles. Entering the quiet silence of the Chapel of San Severro, you will enter another world – a world of harmony and art, accentuated by the smell of smoldering candles. The Umberto Gallery will delight shopping lovers and the main street of Napoli Spaccanapoli will take you into the whirpool of events and unforgettable experiences. Vertepes made by local artisans alone will make you watch and consider if you don’t even buy this miracle. Castles and catacombs, the noise and noise, cathedral and dilapidated houses, the smell of coffee and the scents of rubbish, even castles like Castel Del Ovo are all there. Despite the ambiguity and diversity of the city’s essence, Naples is surprisingly photogenic. It is as it is. It’s bright and colourful. It is astonishing and burning like a real Italian pepperoni!
If you want a riot of colours and an explosion of emotions, with an admixture of Arabic exotics, as well as to laze on the white beaches, admiring the perfect sea, basking in the southern sun, eating your vacation with juicy olives – go to Sicily. Mayor Palermo said, “To fight the mafia it’s not enough to call the police, the mafia is in the police. But don’t be afraid, the mafia doesn’t touch tourists”. And it really is. Here in Sicily, the gangster saga spirit is everywhere. And fans of the “godfather” are still drawn to the town of Corleone, because this is where the Goat Nostra was born. The capital of Sicily, Palermo, as a time machine will take you back several centuries – it seems that the city was built a thousand years ago, and still stands, not repaired. In some places untidy and sloppy, Palermo hides its zest. Its sloppiness is its charm. The Palermo Cathedral, on the other hand, impresses with its rich façade and the Palatine Chapel, dazzles with the luxury of its mosaics.
Palermo, like the rest of Sicily, is adorned by its original markets. By the smell of fresh green basil and ripe liquid orange, you can always reach the il mercato – the city market! Here, among the stalls with fragrant spices, fresh fish and seafood, among the bright colors of ripe fruits and vegetables, the heart of any city always beats. Sicilian people and food – things are inseparable! Sicily will delight you with its clean beaches with delicate turquoise waters, awarded with blue flags. And its sapphire depths with its caves and tunnels, magnificent reefs and shipwrecks will make diving lovers happy. And if you want to stir up the blood a little bit, the go to Skating no one of the most active in the world is the active volcano Etna. In every corner of the island you will always be welcomed by the Sicilians, the hospitable owners of the island, they are also the jewel of the island – avid and energetic, communicating with them is always a holiday. Sicily is a special island – an island of treasure!
Traveling in Italy, you can stay in hotels and hostels, as well as in apartments. The latter can be called another interesting and unconventional attraction of the country. Often, many Italian apartments are extremely original in layout and interior, and some architectural solutions will surprise and even make you puzzle for a while. Narrow spiral staircases right in the middle of the rooms, absolutely uncomfortable to lift your suitcases, the more pleasant that it has its own charm. Windows cut through the centre of the wall and offering a view not only of the staircase, but also of you, are for some reason in the toilet rooms. Thick squeaky oak doors with iron bars, old fireplaces, four meter high ceilings, carved arches and tiled floors, as if in an old train station, you can also meet. Multi-level apartments with lots of blossoming green terraces overlooking the city panoramas and much more can be seen in the apartments of the locals!
Italy’s property is also its cuisine, famous throughout the world. This attraction, even if you want, can not be avoided, and there is unlikely to be someone indifferent to her. Taste Prosciutto’s spicy snack, which will warm up your appetite, it is eaten here from morning to evening! Taste the king of hard cheeses – Parmesan and, melting on the tongue of Mozzarella de Buffalo, made of black buffalo milk. Since the Roman Empire, Italians have been making cheese and have become real professionals – around 600 kinds of cheese are made in this country! Traditional Bruschetta with tomatoes, salami, salmon and many others can serve not only as a great snack, while walking around the city, but also a real gastronomic adventure. Sweet dessert lovers will be delighted with delicate delicacies, and among them, of course, Tiramisu and Panakota – stay in a cosy pastry shop and get rid of worldly fuss. Air cake and a cup of strong Italian espresso – you deserve it! The salad of Caprese, which everyone knows, is particularly delicious here on Italian soil, and the nourishing aromatic Risotto with white chanterelles will please even the most refined gourmets. Popular Carbonara spaghetti, seductive Fetticcini with champignons and Dor Blue cheese, as well as wonderful, soaked in Lasagna sauce – dishes that require to taste them immediately! Italy wine has thousands of shades of taste and aromas! Tasting its different varieties, savouring its velvety, fresh notes, breathing in its rich multi-faceted flavor, you will become a real sommelier!
Italy is an amazing country, and all of the above is just a small part of what you can visit. And there is also a fashionable island resort of Capri with its elegant green landscapes, buried in colourful colors. Lake Como is a real diamond of Italy, the waters are shimmering with all the colors of turquoise, cut by the pointed snow-capped mountains. Ischia is the thermal gold of Italy and a real emerald city… Whichever city you choose for your journey, or maybe a few, each will fill you with unforgettable impressions, joyful feelings, new events, aesthetic pleasure, and when you arrive home, Italy will long remind you of itself with its bright aftertaste! It is not in vain, as it has already been said, that all roads lead to Rome – it is a guiding star, setting other roads and routes of Italian travel.