Birthplace of the Renaissance, the Ferrari, and the oh-so-delicious Nutella; I’m pretty sure I could come up with at least a hundred different reasons why you should visit Italy. For your sake, I’ll limit my list to the top 10
1. The History
The center of Western civilization for over two millennia now, Italy's unique location and history have made it a crossroads for ideas, cultures, and aesthetics for thousands of years. Few countries have preserved their ancient historic sites as well as Italy. Nowhere else in the world can you stroll through the Roman Forum and stand in the same Colosseum that was used as early as 70-72 AD. Home to 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites from prehistoric cave paintings to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, it is hard to compete with Italy’s historical and cultural treasures.
2. The different regions and cities
Visit Rome for its rich history,
Florence for it’s art,
Pisa for it’s tower,
and Venice because there’s nowhere else quite like it in the world.
Much of the unique quality and appeal of Italy comes from the variety and individuality of its 20 regions. The Italian civilization was the first to stress the importance of cities. No other country in the world has so many towns, so different, so rich in art and history, and so beautiful. You can find medieval towns and inspiring churches, fishing ports, and charming little towns perched in unspoilt hills. From the romantic beach towns overlooking the Mediterranean, to the mountains, foothills, and the snowy alps; Italy packs all of this into what is about the size of Arizona. Just by visiting a different region, you can feel like you’re on the other side of the world!
A huge bonus is that Italy has a superb train network; Easily and affordably, you can experience multiple different regions during the same trip!
3. The Food
Italy provides you with a first hand experience of how true Italian cuisine should be. Although Italians are known throughout the world for pizza, pasta, and tomato sauce, there is actually so much more! Dining is truly an art form in Italy. The Mediterranean diet is rich with fish, herbs and olive oil, and can be very healthy. I was amazed how light and fresh everything was!
The style of cuisine varies according to the region, creating an unsurpassed culinary adventure. From family run trattorias and pizzerias, to fancy restaurants, you will never think of Italian food as spaghetti again.
And don't even get me started on the cheese!
4. The Gelato
Gelato is Italy’s version of ice cream and my version of what winning the lottery must taste like. There are gelato shops (gelaterias) on just about every street corner, in just about every city in Italy, serving up just about any flavor that your little heart desires.
5. The Wine
Yes, you can easily just buy a bottle of Italian wine at home, but everything just tastes better in Italy! Italy is quite possibly the oldest wine-producing region in the world; archaeologists have found evidence that Etruscans were making wine well over 2,000 years ago. Almost every region in Italy produces wine, making Italy the world’s largest wine producer by volume. Even if you’re not a serious wine enthusiast, you’ll surely appreciate the tradition and scenery of a trip through Italy’s vineyards
6. The Shopping
Home to countless iconic designer names; Fendi, Armani, Prada, it’s no question that Italy is famed for its shopping. Even though you may not be able to afford it, that doesn’t mean you can’t look! The streets are lined with different shops boasting beautiful displays in every direction. For all you shopaholics out there, a visit to the fashion capital, Milan, is a must!
7. The Art
95,000 monumental churches, 40,000 forts and castles, 30,000 historical residences with 4,000 gardens, 36,000 archives and libraries, 20,000 historical cities and towns, 5,600 museums and archaeological sites, and 1,500 convents; It is in Italy where you can find more than half of the worlds works of art, monuments, masterpieces, and sights. Although half of this legacy can be found in Rome, artistic wonders can be found around just about every corner of Italy. varied over nearly 2,800 years from the Ancient Greeks to the present day, Italy offers a rich combination of masterpieces from different areas and eras that can be found nowhere else in the world.
8. The Islands
Don’t forget that there is so much more to Italy than the mainland!
Translucent turquoise seas and pure white secluded beaches, dramatic volcanoes and thermal natural springs; With more than 80 picturesque islands within it’s borders, Italy offers some of the worlds most beautiful beaches! Offering glamorous resorts, shopping, nightlife, small beach towns, world-famous cuisine, and magnificent historic cities, the islands of Italy are certainly nothing short of spectacular!
Airfare to a lot of the islands is reasonably priced through airlines like Ryanair and Alitalia.
Easily one of my favorite cities in the world! Italys capital city, Rome, is a destination in and of itself with endless things to see and do. Rome offers more impressive ruins and staggering landmarks than any other place on earth. The Pantheon, Colosseum, St Peter’s Square, Navona Square, Spanish Steps etcetera, and Vatican City, don’t even scratch the surface of what Rome has to offer!
10. The People
Sometimes Italians get a bad rap for their impatience with tourists and their notorious reputation as the pickpocketing capital of the world, but I personally have never experienced any such thing. Italians are lively, passionate, and very social. I found the people to be an extremely warm and hospitable bunch!
Visiting Italy is like traveling through a living museum. There are endless things to see and do, and sure to have something that with appeal to everyone. It's rich in culture and beauty, and one of those places that truly lives up to the hype. A trip to Italy should be on everyone's bucketlust!
If you've been lucky enough to visit Italy already, what are your must see's and do's that I should add to my list?