Ten places in Italy you really shouldn’t miss!
Italy must be one of my favourite places to holiday, it's got everything! beautiful beaches, mouth watering cuisine, friendly locals, stunning scenery, rich history, and as if that wasn't enough it's reasonably affordable too. If you're planning a trip to this most wonderful country, here's my advice on the absolute must see places. Squeeze in as many of them as you can!
No doubt it's already on the itinerary - a total must, there's so much to see and do in the Italian capital. In all honesty the hordes of tourists can be a bit of downer, but the city is so beautiful and so rich in history that it's easy to look past the busyness. Try and visit outside of summer ie; April/May, September/October to avoid mass crowds, it'll be reasonably warm during those months too. Take my advice and venture outside of busy tourist areas to find more authentic restaurants, there's little to no authentic eating spots to be found along Rome's busiest streets. Don't miss the Vatican City, the Colosseum, and the Trevi fountain. Make sure you get tickets the day before for the Vatican city and also for the Colosseum, if you don't pre-book you'll waste half the day waiting in line and you'll be kicking yourself for not taking my advice! Vatican City, tickets Colosseum, tickets
The infamous floating city, another one that's probably already on the list. It's an unbelievable place, every turn leaves you feeling more wonderstruck than the last. It's literally the only place like it in the world which makes it very special indeed. Experts predict that as sea levels rise Venice will be the first city to disappear, who knows when that will be! but one day the beloved floating city might not exist, so get there before it's too late.
This wonderful place is soaked in history. I'll never forget seeing the graves of some of the most famous renaissance figures, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. And of course the ever so famous 'Statue of David'. To see the historical gravestones of the aforementioned you need to visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, as with the Colosseum and Vatican city it's worth pre booking tickets online to save queuing for hours! Basilica di Santa Croce, tickets and to see the statue of David you need to visit the Galleria dell'Accademia, Galleria dell'Accademia, tickets. One night in Florence is really enough to see it all, but if you have more time to spend here then I suggest staying outside of the main hub amongst the rolling hills and vineyards and doing day trips into the city centre, bliss!
I cannot recommended this place enough! I had such a wonderful time here. It was everything I'd hoped Tuscany would be and more. Notice I haven't included Sienna on this list?... that's because I didn't think it was anything to write home about. In fact I was pretty disappointed after leaving. The Tuscany I'd imagined featured rolling green hills, acre after acre of vineyards, peace, tranquillity, and watching the sweltering Tuscan sun sink into the horizon with a rich red wine in hand. If that's the type of Tuscan experience you're after, trust me Chianti is the place. I stayed at a vineyard called 'Nittardi' and I cannot put into words how amazing it was! http://www.nittardi.com/
A true gem of the Mediterranean, in fact it's the largest island that inhabits the Med. Although Sicily is technically part of Italy, Sicilians like to consider themselves their own independent nation. For that reason you'll have a very different experience here than anywhere else in Italy. There's plentiful seafood which makes for a unique spin on Italian cuisine, and there's fantastic swimming spots dotted along the islands irresistible coastline. There isn't much else to do here besides swim, eat, and relax... sounds like heaven right?! the best part is that there's far less tourists here than most of the other places on this list.
This tiny little town must be one of the most unique and picturesque places I've ever been. I adored it! It's located on Italy's southern coastline in the province of La Spezia. For those who are obsessed with pesto like myself, this is where it was created! so fill your boots. Make sure you do the coastal walk along the cliff, it's seriously breathtaking. We walked from Riomaggore to Corniglia, but you can hike all the way from Riomaggore up to Monterrosso, the walk passes through all five Cinque Terre villages. It's not for the faint hearted though! it's a 5 hour trek and there's ALOT of stairs and steep inclines, so worth it though. Plus, the more calories you burn the less guilt you'll feel when you're scoffing that pesto pasta 😉 http://www.wanderingitaly.com/a/cinque_terre_hiking_trails.htm
The Amalfi coast.
Rated one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and rightly so! it's stunning. Sheer rock faces drop into a sparkling deep blue sea that's dotted with colourful townships. I must warn you that the drive can be a little frightening at times! especially if you're going by bus, but it's totally safe 🙂 if you fancy stopping over for a couple of nights along the coast, Positano is a great choice, as is Amalfi itself.
The Isle of Capri.
The land of the most enormous lemons I've ever seen! and the yummiest might I add. Capri is just like something out of a Dolce & Gabana advertisement, it has a real sense of old time beauty. Don't miss the winding walk (it's called Via Krupp) which takes you up to the top of the island and back down, the views up there are unforgettable. And make sure you have a fresh lemonade too! you can also buy superior quality limoncello in Capri.
Another of Italy's totally unique places. You've really got to see it to believe it, it's incredible walking around the ghost town of Pompeii, i was in awe learning of its discovery and what happened there. I definitely recommend visiting! you only need half a day to walk around and see it all, it's not somewhere you would need or want to spend the night.
If you're a beach lover, Sardinia will be right up your alley! The beaches are up there with those of the Balearic Islands. The water is a vivid turquoise and glistens invitingly, you'll find soft white sand - no rocks, and that beautiful warm Mediterranean water that I love so much. Inland Sardinia is mountainous, so if you're a hiker you'll be well pleased. Like Sicily, there's not all that much to do here besides relax! it's the type of place you come to simply unwind.
There you have it, like I said try and visit as many of these incredible Italian gems as you can during your trip and have the best time ever! 🙂 I definitely recommend hiring a car if you can, it's a great way of getting around and Italy is small enough country that you'll never be driving for very long between destinations. The only thing is that if you have a car and are planning on visiting Venice, it's best to stay outside of the city and get the train in. You can't drive in Venice (there's no roads) the closest you can get a car is 20-30 minutes walk away from the city centre. You could park in one of the parking lots in that area, but be prepared to wait in a long queue to get a park, and it'll cost you €20.00 per day. And obviously neither Sicily nor Sardinia are accessible by car! but you can easily hop on a domestic flight to either or both destinations at the beginning or end of your trip.
Over and out x