The beauty of Italy is that there is something for everyone. For some, Italy is the mecca of fashion, a source of inspiration and acquisition. For others, there is no other reason to go to Italy than to drink good wine and eat good food (there is nothing wrong with that). Then there are some (like the guy I share a bed with) who would be happy to never see the inside of another museum but could spend hours wandering through the streets of Rome marveling at the engineering feats of the ancient Romans.
Of course, you go to see the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, Michelangelo’s David. All of these are masterpieces and impressive but at the same time, it is not the works of art alone that draw millions of visitors to Italy each year. The siren song that makes Italy so enticing is not what you see, but what you do while you are there. Immersing yourself in la dolce vita, embracing the lifestyle and beauty that is Italy and taking time to understand the people and the culture. These are the things that set Italy apart, that make it so alluring and irresistible. You don’t go back to Italy year after year to see the Sistine Chapel one more time. You go for the unforgettable meal that you had, to feel the warm Roman sun on your face as you sit at a cafe sipping a cappuccino.
Here is a list of some amazing things to do in Italy that will take your trip from fabulous to exceptional.
- Take a cooking class
- Take a hot air balloon ride over Tuscany
- Sip prosecco at Caffe Florian in Venice
- Take the elevator to the top of the Victor Emmanuel Monument in Rome
- Attend a sagra (a small town festival usually featuring one seasonal food product like strawberries or chestnuts – this is the essence of small-town life in Italy)
- Visit a market (like the Vuccuria in Palermo)
- Take the chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro on Capri
- Ski the Dolomites
- Hike the Cinque Terre paths (the real hiking paths, not the Via dell’Amore)
- Participate in an olive harvest
- Attend a Living Nativity in Umbria
- Have granita di caffe at Tazza d’Oro in Rome
- Drive through the Val d’Orcia in a convertible
- Climb Vesuvius (or Etna)
- Go to a soccer game
- Have an aperitif at Punto San Vigilio, Lake Garda
- Stay in an agriturismo for a complete Italian rural experience
- Moped ride in Rome or Florence
- Eat pizza in Naples
- And finally… La dolce di far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. This is what Italy is meant for: sitting in a cafe with a paper and a cappuccino, passing the morning away with absolutely no plan; strolling through the streets (la passeggiata) on a beautiful sunlit afternoon; lingering for hours over dinner in the company of good friends. Embrace the Italian way. You can see things when you are there, but you don’t have to see EVERYTHING.
If you would like to add one (or all) of these experiences to your next trip to Italy, contact me and together we will create an adventure of a lifetime.