Just about every traveler dreams of going on a European vacation at least once in their lifetime. And Italy often figures prominently in many of these highly sought-after itineraries.
Much like Spain and Greece, this boot-shaped nation is hundreds of years old and boasts a long and colorful history. The latter has, in turn, resulted in centuries’ worth of breathtaking architecture, art, and sculpture — and of course, one of the most celebrated cuisines in the world.
So, if you happen to find yourself en route to one of the most coveted travel destinations in the world, what should you do first?
Walk Around the Trastevere Neighborhood
Rome might be off-putting to some, what with its overpriced tourist traps and scam artists that seem to be lurking around every corner. If Italy’s capital city makes you feel the need for some extra room to walk, run, or even hop around in, look no further than the old Trastevere neighborhood.
Located a bit further from the capital’s bustling city center, this old neighborhood’s relatively quiet cobblestone streets are a nice reprieve from its tourist-oriented counterparts. Once you’ve gotten your fill of undisturbed brisk walking or even jogging, you can even stop in at one of the local eateries for a cheap but yummy bite.
Climb Florence’s Most Famous Building
If you have a taste for heights (and the adrenaline rush that often comes with scaling them), and you aren’t the least bit claustrophobic, go all the way up to the top of the Duomo in Florence.
The climb up this dome-shaped structure will not only get your spirits rising (pun unintended), but it will also give you a splendid, all-encompassing view of the city dubbed “Rome’s little sister.” As a bonus, you’ll also get a glimpse of the wonderful feats of architecture and engineering that went into building this structure on your way up.
Drive the Amalfi Coast
Channel your inner-daredevil and go for a drive along the Amalfi coast. Italians have quite a reputation for being among the world’s most reckless drivers and nowhere is this more apparent than on the treacherous road snaking its way along the Italian coastline.
If you’re brave enough, you can rent a car and attempt to navigate your way around this rather dangerous highway. If you actually value your life (but still would like to experience that roller-coaster like thrill of riding in a vehicle that appears to go over the edge in any minute), you can also hitch a ride with a local and then hang on for dear life, while enjoying the view of the picturesque coast, of course.
Pizza in Napoli
Grab an honest-to-goodness slice of Neapolitan pizza in its birthplace. Naples is widely credited as the very birthplace of the bread and tomato-sauce combo that has captured the hearts of people all over the world. It would be a crying shame to visit Italy and not sample this delicacy in the way that it was meant to be eaten.
Besides, after all that traveling, you’re sure to need all that extra energy that only a slice of pizza dripping with cheese and carbohydrates can provide.