If there is a place I can shift without putting a thought it would be Italy, I often tell my husband how blessed I feel to see so many places in this dreamy country. If it all goes by the plan I would love to retire somewhere near Lake Como, even Naples would work. If you like me would love to start exploring Italy and later explore more of it’s surrounding you have come to the right place, my friend.
Before you start planning your trip do remember Italy is massive and unless you have a good number of weeks it’s impossible to see the whole of it without missing any important city. When I was young my family did a trip only to the major cities of Italy but as I got older and more attracted to this country I found myself visiting it more than often.
If it’s your first time venturing into the world of Italy, then below are some cities you shouldn’t miss. Travelling around here is easy as the trains are well connected but I wish I could say the same for driving, don’t get me wrong the roads are superb but it’s the traffic which gets in, regardless Italy is still one of my favourites.
Naples – You might be wondering why to visit Naples especially on your first trip to Italy but this is because this is the place where wood-fired Pizza was invented. I love the food in this region and of course the attraction too. There are plenty of day trips you can schedule from this region and it makes for a great base. One of the reasons why I would push for Naples on your first visit is because you can head to the majestic Amalfi coast from here, the historic city of Pompei, and the beautiful coast of Sorrento.
Sicily – This Mediterranean part of Italy is completely different from the rest of the country. This region is known for Europe’s most active volcano ‘Mount Etna’ which is worth seeing. There is a lot of Greek influence here so you will be able to find many Greek temples around, the food is heavenly especially their famous Cannoli. Some cities which are popular among the tourists are Catania and the dreamy Taormina.
Florence – The region of Tuscany is no hidden gem, well I wish it was as if you plan a trip during the busy seasons where there is no place to walk in the city centre. Tuscany has so many pleasing places with a plethora of history and culture attached to it that you wouldn’t want to miss it. Start your trip with a few days in Florence and then may take a day trip to the famed Pisa to witness The Leaning Tower of Pisa. The people in Florence are passionate about their food so don’t miss the Pappardelle or the Florentine Steak here.
Venice – If we speak about Italy then how can we not mention this romantic place, back in the days it wasn’t too overpopulated with tourists but nevertheless that’s hasn’t taken the charm away from Venice. Take a gondola and cruise over their canals, sit for a coffee at the famous St Marks Square or stroll along the quieter lanes to enjoy Venice at its best. Even though this city is a tourist trap when it comes to shopping and eating around I would suggest you be smart about that, if you intend to stay around that’s a good thing as many people visit this city for a day trip and you also get to see the alluring town in the evening. Some of the best hotels are in Venice, so you know you will be getting spoilt for choices here.
Rome – Being the capital city, Rome is, without a doubt, an exceptional place to see in Italy. You can walk around for days but there still will be something you must have not seen here, an abundance of attractions, and also a city which houses the Vatican. If you know the right places to eat, food will be amazing here. From Colosseum to some of it’s most historic churches there is a lot to see and do in Rome.
Milan – The fashion capital of Italy or should I say the world? Last year, I spend a good week in this gem of a city and I didn’t feel it was long at all. I walked around a couple of neighbourhood, ate the famous Milanese Saffron Risotto, stuffed my face with Gelato and I don’t regret it a bit. Milan is also a gateway to visit the popular Cinque Terra, Lake Como, and Lugano in Switzerland. The city is pretty, a bit touristy but that’s probably everywhere in Italy.
I do know these are one of the most known places in Italy, but if you begin from any of the above places before venturing to Bologna, Turin or Bergama you would have a deeper understanding of what to expect from Italy. If you have some learning experiences or tips from your trips please share your thoughts below.