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Destination Guide for Italy

June 23, 2016

Travel around a country which is known for its romance, fashion, wine, food and people.  Italy is a great place to see, from the beaches in the South and the mountains in the North, Italy has plenty of sights and different cultures no matter where you travel too.  This is where the Roman Empire was run from and the signs can still be seen today.

 

Rome

All roads lead to Rome so do as the Romans do and roam around Rome.  Once the capital of the Roman Empire, Rome is now the capital of Italy and is a host to millions of visitors each year.  There are lots to see and do whilst you are in the capital and if you are a fan of history and architecture, there is something on each road will spark your interests.  The most famous of the old buildings still standing today is the Colosseum.  You can get entry to the Colosseum, roman forum and Palatine all for 12 euros.   The Colosseum can only accommodate 3000 people at one time due to safety.  This may cause a little delay when queuing to enter.

 

 

The Pantheon is a temple which was constructed as a dedication to Pagan gods.  It also held the record for the largest free standing dome for 1300 years.  It is free to go inside but can become quite busy.  Not too far from the Pantheon is the Trevi Fountain.  There is a tradition to stand with your back to the fountain and flick a coin over your left shoulder with your right hand.  This will ensure you will return to Rome in the future.

 

Rome is a special city as it has a city within itself. The Vatican City is situated near the centre of Rome and is internationally recognised as an independent state.  The head of the Catholic Church can be found here and is a pilgrimage for the believers.  Inside the Vatican City museum, you will find corridors or paintings, tapestries, statues and of course the Sistine Chapel.  Painted by Michelangelo

 

Venice

A trip to Italy is not complete without a stop off in Venice.  And you better stop off quick before the water rises and Venice will be submerged.  Thanks Global warming.  The largest public area in Venice is Piazza San Marco.  Here you will see more pigeons than you will humans.  In fact, Venice has a pigeon population of 100,000 where as humans have a population of 60,000.  A quick warning, don’t feed the pigeons.  It is illegal to do so and you will be fined.

 

A must do whilst you are in Venice is to have a gondola ride.  Prices can differ from each boat, so be prepared to haggle for the best price.  A little tip I used was to ask how much the trip was, found out the cost and then said we might come back after getting something to eat.  It worked and we dropped the price by 30 euros.  The trips usually last about 1 hour as you weave through the flooded roadways.

 

Throughout the city, you will pay different prices for a cup of coffee.  The price becomes more expensive if you want to sit outside on a chair, cheaper if you sit inside, cheaper still if you stand and the cheapest if you get take away.

 

Florence and Pisa

Florence is the capital of the Tuscan region, famous for art, wine and magical sunsets.   The city comes to life after dark as the streets are filled with people wining and dining.  During the day, you can catch a glimpse of the David Statue.  Although Florence has many replicas pitted throughout the town, the original is at the Accademia Gallery.  The cost is € 12,50.  The best to see the red tiled rooves of the buildings is to walk up the Duomo.  Tickets are € 15 but are well worth the view from the top of the tower.   The town of Pisa is 45 minutes on the train from Florence.  There is not much to see and do at Pisa except to see the leaning tower of Pisa and the Duomo di Pisa.  Join in with the hundreds of tourists trying their hardest to push the tower straight again. 

 

Sienna

Sienna is about an hour and a half from Florence and is an ancient town perched on top of a hill.  Each year, Il Pailo is held in July and August.  It is a traditional bareback horse race.  There are 13 neighbourhoods all competing to have their horse first over the line.  Join in on the spectacle and party the night away with the victors.  During the rest of the year, you can visit and stroll through the narrow streets, find hidden shops and drink Tuscan wine.

 

Naples

Home of the Pizza, Naples is a dirty city but the gateway to the Amalfi Coast.  The airport allows access by most countries in Europe.  From the streets of Naples, you can see Mt Vesuvius in the back drop and the Isle of Capri in the ocean.  About an hour journey south on the train will take you to the ruins of Pompeii.  An ancient Roman city captured in time from a devastating event.  The very same Mt Vesuvius which is the backdrop for Naples is the same volcano which erupted in 79 AD covering the city with metres of volcanic ash.  It would be nearly 1700 years later before Pompeii was rediscovered.  

 

Isle of Capri

Step into the world of the rich and the famous with a trip to the Isle of Capri.  You can catch the ferry from Naples or Sorrento for around 20 euros.  During the summer months, you can also catch it from Positano, Salerno and Ischia.  When you are on the island, you can catch the local buses to travel to all the different areas.  Another way to travel around is to circumnavigate the island with a boat tour.  This will stop off at the infamous Blue Grotto.  Wait on your tour boat until the small row boats are free to take you inside the Blue Grottos.  Be prepared to duck as the entrance is quite low.  Once inside, the turquoise water will produce a magical place where you can forget about all your worries.

 

One of the best views on the island is from atop of Mount Solaro.  You can either trek up to the top or pay 11 euros for a return trip on the single seat chairlift.  From the top you can see all the quaint little towns with the cafes.  Mind you, the price of food and drink is about twice as much as you would pay on the mainland.

 

Amalfi Coast

This is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.  The Amalfi coast starts in the West at Sorrento and finishes in the East at Salerno.  Between these two cities you will find steep cliffs, hidden coves and windy roads with towns clinging to the side of the hill.  These towns such as Positano, Praiano, Atrani and Conca Dei Marini each have something in common, they are stunning.  The temperate waters of the Mediterranean Sea provide an excellent summer vacation spot.  Walk along the promenades while you eat your Gelato and sit in the cafes while you drink your expresso.

Lake Como

In the north of Italy you will find an inland lake known as Lake Como.  A couple of hours north of Milan and a touch south of the Switzerland border, Lake Como has the Italian Alps meeting a fresh water lake.  The lakeside towns are littered with mansions where the rich and famous come to play.

 

Cinque Terra

This translates to the five terraces or five villages.  The colourful buildings from the harbour village of Vernazza can be found all over the internet when you search for Cinque Terra Images.  And like all the other villages, go there to look at the picturesque landscape and do not much else.

 

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Safe Travels

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