If you’ve ever been to Italy before, you’ll know the country has a lot to offer. From the vibrant culture to the outstanding cuisine and breathtaking art, a visit to Italy is a lot of things but boring is definitely not one of them. Perhaps the most difficult thing about recommending Italy as a travel destination for first timers is narrowing a list of reasons down to a select few – after all, the last thing you’d want to do is exclude something!
There are many ways to see this amazing country and really, unless you have a lot of time to spend on holiday, the best thing to do is see a little of everything, knowing that if you love it (and you will) you can return to spend more time in a specific area. One look at the Italian official tourism website and you’ll get a good idea on the major places to see and events to experience, but don’t forget about the harder to define reasons to see Italy. These are often more important than checking off specific locales!
Take a look below at a few of the things that make Italy a truly great travel destination.
Culture by Region
Many places in the world have a distinct feel within their own borders, making traveling throughout a country all the more interesting, but Italy takes this to a whole new level. With each region having a tradition stretching back further than most countries have been inhabited, taking a holiday to Rome will be very different than one in Florence, Milan, Venice or Sicily. In many ways it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what is different but it is impossible to confuse any one place for another!
Eating, Drinking and Merriment
Italy is a country based around these three pillars of living and a vacation here can’t help but include each of them to varying degrees. The rich seafood of the coastal locations like in Amalfi or the Cinque Terre towns is contrasted to the more hearty fare in the north and Mediterranean fruits of the land in the south. Wine differs greatly from one side to the next as connoisseurs will be in their element. All combined makes for a fantastic experience.
Old World Simplicity with a Modern Touch
So much of what makes Italy great is rooted in the interplay of the new and old, whether it’s in the small hilltop towns of Tuscany or the urban sprawl of Rome. Stores, restaurants and markets must make themselves work in the existing buildings that may have been standing for hundreds of years, fitted with modern amenities to make them functional.
Even your accommodation will vary greatly, from staying as guests in beautiful Italian houses, four room bed and breakfasts across from historic sites or ritzy five star hotels that were retrofitted rather than built for their current purpose. The result is almost everywhere you go and stay, you are a part of its history – its a remarkable feeling that can only be experienced to be understood.