Top 10 Things to Do in Italy
Italy is always a great destination spot for spending your whole holiday in because there is so much to do. Taking a train along the coast line overlooking the sea is great way to reflect all the history you have just seen and learned about. So if you only have a few weeks and are looking to get the most out of your trip, then here is the Top 10 Things to do in Italy.
1.Get Lost in the Streets of Venice
Even when you have your map in your hand, you always end up getting lost in the streets of Venice. Maps are useless in the city on an island that has more history than many of the large ones in the country. As soon as you get tired of getting lost, take a ride on the Gondola in Venice – A tradition that travelers have been using for many centuries now.The gondola rides offer a very beautiful image of the city, while allowing you to pop some bubbly along the way through some of the 150 different canals that make up Venice. This romantic ride will take you through the canals in Venice where you will see the locals working and tending to their daily rituals, old buildings that have remained the same for hundreds of years, giving you an understanding to how Venetians live. You can get away with paying anywhere from 20 – 40 euros each person. Sometimes it helps when you have more people to join you who can also help pay for the champagne aboard.
Another option would be to hop on the slow-moving #1 Vaporetto at one end of its run and ride it to the other end.
2. Carnival Time
Go to the Carnival of Venice, where an array of spectators is dressed in Venetian masks. The tradition of the ceremony is 40 days before Easter and the start of lent. The designs of the masks represented different occupations in the 13th century while some believe it represented a social hierarchy among the locals.The festivities are all over the city but the main ones take place in the Piazza San Marco, Volo Dell’Angelo and Trae Marie. While you’re walking along the festivities, take a minute to take your mask off and grab a scoop of delicious gelato.
3. The Renaissance Era: History & Religion
Regarded as one of the finest cathedrals in the world, the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, completly shines the skyline. It was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, with the most famous piece being the astounding dome in 1434. There are a total of 414 steps lead up to a viewing platform with a panoramic view of the city.If you’re an art buff, then indulge on Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence – The Uffizi Gallery is on just about every must-do list for Italy as it is the top place to see an amazing collection of renaissance paintings that were contained in buildings once roamed by the Medici’s. Artists displayed here are considered to be the top in their class and will have you drooling at the expertise taken by each painting. Located in the heart of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery hosts works of art by great Italian artists such as Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. Most of the work dates back to the periods between the 12th and 17th centuries.
4. Where’s David?
The statue of David by Michelangelo is one of the most famous statues in the world. But what you may not know is that there are 3 statues and David is all over Florence with a reminder of the famous statue Michelangelo made famous. The famous artist was only 26 years old in 1501, but he was already the most famous artists during his era.The original which used to be displayed at the Piazza Della Signoria, was moved the Galleria dell’ Accademia to preserve the statue and had a replica was placed in Palazzo Vecchio. The third statue made of bronze which overlooks the city with amazing views.
5. The 5 Villages
The Five Villages or what’s better known to the world is Cinque Terre is a beautiful region about an hour away from Florence, where you see beautifully bright colored homes hanging on a hillside. The villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore can be reached through many ways but are only joined together by the many gorgeous trails that showcase the essence of the hillside region.To preserve the Cinque Terre’s natural and wonders, Italy has declared the region national park, a protected waterway and a UNESCO World Heritage site — including all 5 towns. Visitors can buy an inexpensive day pass to hike the scenic trail that laces together the unique communities. . Most vehicle traffic is restricted inside the villages. This is why the area is preserved well.
6. Leaning Towers
Not only is Florence a beautiful small city, there are many nearby towns to visit for half day trips. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually just one of many attractions that are close by. In the city of Pisa this architecture failure is now is now world renown. Work began on the tower in August 1173 and by the time they were done the third floor, the sinking in the foundation found the story to begin leaning and took about 199 years to build on and off again due to wars. Inside the eight story building you will find 7 bells that represent musical major scale.The entire Cathedral Square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and prior to restoration work in the 1990’s, it was predicted to topple over by the year 2000. Today, visitors can climb up the stairs of the tower for a fabulous view over the city. The Leaning Tower, also known as La Torre Pendete, stands on the Piazza del Duomo
7. Pizza Delights
There’s nothing like eating something as universally well-known as pizza in the place where it was born and for that you’ve got to go to Naples. The third largest city in Italy, Naples has a wide range of small shops and of course Pizzerias that will be sure to delight any pizza lover.If you look closely to at the famous Margarita pizza, you will notice the colors of the Italian Flag which has mozzarella, basil and rad sauce. was named after Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni.When you walk in to any pizza parlor, you will notice a traditionally domed, wood fired oven, usually made with stone or brick that has been the same design for hundreds of years. Taking their pizza seriously, there are protocols to these ovens that require the dome be 45 to 50 centimeters high, while the door must be 22 to 25 centimeters. The floor space is defined at 140 to 150 centimeters in diameter.
8. Coasting Through the Amalfi
Live life on the cliff side and attempt to drive along the Amalfi Coast. The group of small towns was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning stretch of coastline along the Sorrentine Peninsula. Hillside towns are built precariously along the steep mountains that cascade down to the sea.The snake like coast is very popular with tourists and is commonly seen on Instagram posts from these travelers. Aside from the wavy roads along the cliff side with a possibility of rocking falling and local Italian drivers zooming past you, the Amalfi Coast is worth the trip.There are a few options to take when you’re considering a tour on the Amalfi. You can always hire a private driver which will come pick you up from your accommodation and take you along the coast, while giving you some the opportunity to hear about the three towns of Amalfi, Positano and Rivoli. The group option on a public is more affordable and will still give you the chance to drive along the steep rocky roads, but if you’re looking to have a view from the sea, there are plenty of companies who offer private boat tours to the three major cities for those breath taking views you see all over Instagram. Staying in Sorrento is probably your best bet when it comes to your accommodation because it offers more transportation services, many tourist companies have offices there and is considered the hub of the tours, not to mention offers fairies rides to the hot spot island of Capri.
9. The City in Ashes
Go back in time at Pompeii – It’s considered one of the most infamous volcanic eruptions in history. It was a hot day on August 24, 79AD in Ancient Roman town Pompeii and Herculaneum when the mighty Mt. Vesuvius spewed volcanic ash in the air, smothering the two cities with its molten lava, essentially preserving the cities in miraculous form. At the site, you will see homes of the residents, the public amphitheater, where the ruler would be entertained, and the brothels that allowed men to show different sexual acts, based on the images drawn on the doors.What’s most chilling about this place is the fact that there are even human that have been preserved by the volcanic ash. Visitors can tour the site, walk along the old rocky streets, and see the efficient engineering used by the Romans 2000 years ago. You can also take a hike up Mount Vesuvius where you can where it all started. You can a ride half way up and once you get to the top, you can see a panoramic view of the nearby towns while also being also to look down the crater that gave Pompeii its resting place.
10. Colossal Gladiators
You may not know everything about the history of Rome, but once you set foot in the city, you will be immediately overwhelmed by the structures and rubble that lay within the city. The Roman Forum may require a little imagination to understand exactly what this area once looked, but its historical significance as the heart of the Roman Empire cannot be overstated. Pillars, partial structures, and foundations of former temples, courts, and public buildings pay tribute to Ancient Rome, which stood here for a thousand years.
Make sure to enter inside the Colosseum and be prepared to stand in awe on the cobblestones of the Roman Forum that filled over 50,000 spectators who came to see men fight to the death as slaves, many times the stage with have secret trapped doors with wild, hungry animals to keep things exciting. The Colosseum was so large, that they filled it up with water to have small naval battles with an advanced technology to remove the water by night for the events held. The Vatican Museums it’s self are a marvel to go through, where the Sistine Chapel is located.
There are more than 70,000 pieces are on exhibition in over 450,000 sq. ft., with another 50,000 pieces preserved in the vaults. Over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the battles at the Colosseum. The last gladiatorial fights took place in 435 AD. There is no way you’re going to see everything, so choose what you’d like to see wisely. The Pantheon is the Roman monument with the greatest number of records: the best preserved, with the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture and is considered the forerunner of all modern places of worship. It is the most copied and imitated of all ancient works. After a nice long walk around the city, go take a rest on the Spanish steps or check out the Trevi fountain at night. There’s so much to do in Rome that you’ll never be bored.
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