Italy is the land of great cheese, wines, fabulous food, amazing vistas, and even more amazing people. You can totally get lost with the number of places to see and things to do. According to Jessica of The Home Dweller, who loves to travel and explore new places, here are 20 experiences that you simply must have while you’re in Italy.
1. The Trevi Fountain
Visit Rome’s largest and most famous fountain, the Trevi fountain, designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732. You’ll be fascinated by the depiction of Neptune’s chariot being led by Tritons using sea horses – each one representing the moods of the sea.
2. Tuscany & Umbria
Visit Tuscany and Umbria, and experience the rustic beauty, wine, salami, and olive oil that are made in the small, quaint and remote towns of Cortona and Montepulciano.
3. The Vatican Museum
Take a walking tour of the Vatican Museum and explore over 2000 rooms full of art. Check out Raphael’s Rooms and Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam fresco in the Sistine Chapel.
4. The Brenta Riviera
Ride a bicycle down the scenic plains of the Brenta Riviera, where 150 kilometers of cycling routes are laid out. You can rent foldable bikes to take on buses and park them for free anywhere.
5. The Colosseum
Visit the Colosseum whose walls still speak of the ancient battles where condemned prisoners fought off hungry lions. Even after two thousand years, this place still haunts visitors.
6. The Renaissance Museum
Spend hours walking through the Renaissance Museum at Florence. Get your fill of 50 rooms full of more than 1500 pieces of 12th to 17th-century art, precious paintings that have survived the Nazis and other ravages.
7. Palazzo Venier Dei Leoni
Pay a visit to Peggy’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal in Venice where heiress Peggy Guggenheim has collected art by 200 modern artists. These works have been saved from all sorts of wars and ravages by this heiress.
Experience the baroque architecture of Scicli, especially the Palazzo Beneventano and Palazzo Fava. This area is free of tourists. From here, you can go to Modica Marina and Sampieri for the best beaches and rocky coves in Italy.
Take a gondola ride through the romantic canals of Venice. Pass aromatic cafes, great monuments, churches, humble homes, and many landmarks as you float along, serenaded by your gondolier.
10. The Bassona Beach
Visit the Bassona beach, which is the only beach in Italy where women are allowed to go topless. This beach is free for tourists from all over the world, unlike other nudist beaches which are community only.
Eat Pizza in Naples, which is the birthplace of this international dish. You won’t get the Naples pizza anywhere – they are made in the authentic Italian style, thin, topped with great sauce and lots of local mozzarellas.
Sunbathe in Sardinia, the most tranquil place on earth. The Mediterranean waters are blue and the pristine beaches are surrounded by green hills and valleys which make for a very restful break while in Italy.
13. Mount Vesuvius
Hike the only active volcano in Europe, Mount Vesuvius; this mountain has not exploded in 5 years now. The breathtaking view from the top is worth the 3280 feet of hiking you have to do to get to the top.
14. The Leaning Tower Of Pisa
Visit the leaning tower of Pisa, and climb the 293 stairs to the top of the tower. You can see the entire city of Pisa from the top. The vertical tower was built during the 12th century but has leaned ever so slightly in the ensuing centuries.
Visit the legendary city of Pompeii, with its great sculptures and monuments. The old city was destroyed after an eruption from Mt Vesuvius many centuries ago. History buffs crowd to this city and its exciting, historical ruins
Check out Dante’s Statue and Juliet’s house (from Romeo and Juliet) in Verona, one of the most populous cities of Italy. This is a city of much historical significance and beauty and a must-have experience while in Italy.
17. The Vatican City
Tour the Vatican City; get your fill of Bernini, Michelangelo and magnificent works of art by all the great artists who have been commissioned by the Vatican to beautify the city. Best to walk around the narrow roads to see everything in this city.
Go shopping in Milan, the shopping destination for the fashion-conscious people of the world. Milan is the home of Prada and many other top Italian designers. Milan also makes the best leather goods, so if you’re looking for a good bag or a pair of excellent handmade shoes, this is where you go to.
19. The Nurrango Dwellings
Visit the Nurrango Dwellings in Sardinia; these are stone dwellings that are actually giant burial chambers. People used to live in them at one time but now they’re a major tourist attraction, because of their construction and associated mystery.
20. The Valley Of Temples
The Valley of Temples in Agrigento is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a fabulous archaeological journey through time. Meandering paths lead to several temples dedicated to ancient gods – Castor, Pollux, Juno and others.