Travellers to Italy and even Italians themselves are spoiled with choice when it comes to going on holiday. There are so many beautiful provinces, towns, and landscapes to enjoy. From the mountainous regions in the north to stunning lakes and dramatic cliffsides, Italy has it all, which makes it a great choice when visiting as you will always have somewhere new to explore and something new to enjoy.
Whether you intend to commit to one epic trip around Italy for a month or more or want to fully explore the country on annual trips taken year after year, follow these steps to make each time you visit completely unforgettable:
Rent a Villa of Your Own
Villas are Italian beauty and luxury personified. It is on the Italian peninsula that they became popular, way back during the time of antiquity and revived in favour during the Renaissance. The goal of these villas was to create an idyllic setting that encouraged spiritualism and acted as a backdrop for the arts to be created. They are now located both in the countryside and in cities alike and can be rented out for a much more affordable price than you might think.
Holidays in Italy are simply not complete without a villa to call home. By renting a car, you can then explore the entire province to its fullest and really take home a piece of your own Italy to cherish forever.
Explore the Vineyards
Italy is famous for its wine, but there are more reasons than drinking to visit the famous vineyards in this country. Tuscany, for example, has some of the best, most stunning views in the entire country. Seeing the villas atop of vineyard hills, especially during sunset or in the early morning when a mist has settled into the valleys is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.
Enjoy Some of the Best Food in the World
Every town in Italy has great food and some great local dishes to enjoy. The secret to finding the best food in whichever province you have made your holiday home is to find the local gems. A great guide on finding these gems even without looking online is to:
- Stick to side streets and back alleyways.
- Avoid main promenade and especially corner restaurants.
- Choose a place frequented by locals
Tourist traps will get people in, no matter what. These restaurants can easily cut corners on food and especially ingredients because they know they don’t have to impress their guests to get them to come back again and again. Popular restaurants away from the beat and track, however, have worked hard to win the hearts and stomachs of the locals, and with great Italian food on hand, you are sure to eat exceptionally well.
Wander Through the Ancient Towns
It is so easy to escape the hustle and bustle of tourists in any town. You can opt for a town that is not on the tourist radar for some local authenticity you won’t be able to find in Venice or Florence, or you can simply walk off the main street. Venice, in particular, is exceptionally busy, but only on one main street. Most of the tourists there walk from the square to the bridge and then shop and eat along the way. They do this because they are cruise ship tourists who don’t have time for anything else and want to see as much of the “Top Ten” as they can.
With Venice and every single other popular Italian city, all you need to do is walk off the main streets. They will be more empty, more geared towards locals, and feel like your own haven.
Though you should have free-roaming, do be prepared if your phone doesn’t offer this feature. Download maps to be used offline so you can find your way back when you are done wandering, or better yet invest in an Italian SIM card if you can so that you can use your phone freely as you explore.
Soak in the Art and History
Do spend some time visiting the museums and invest in an audio tour at the very least. This way you can learn and really appreciate the history and art that has come out of Italy in the last few thousand years.
Don’t forget to mix it up. Though the Renaissance period in Italy produced some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures, modern art is definitely not forgotten in its art scene. Milan, for example, is a haven for modern art and sculpture, and making room for all eras of art is one of the best ways to experience the evolving culture of Italy.
Enjoy Live Music and Romantic Settings
Visit online to see if there are local events that feature music, otherwise just be prepared to take a pit stop and enjoy buskers and other
Find a Stunning Coastline of Your Very Own
Italian beaches are rugged and rough, but they are dramatic and stunning to see. That’s why if you can, you should rent a car and drive along it. The Amalfi coast, for example, is stunning. Of course, if you are too frightened to drive on narrow roads with a drop cliff on one side and rocks on the other, there are plenty of ferries you can take that will let you see the stunning views from the water.
Naples, in fact, is a great coast to enjoy and explore. The city is stunning, a maze of ancient buildings and cross-wire laundry lines, whereas the surrounding area of Vesuvius offers a unique and dramatic backdrop you and your whole family are sure to enjoy.
Return Next Year and Do It All Again
Italy has so many secrets just waiting to be discovered. From beautiful coastlines to stunning mountains, you could just cry looking at all this ancient country has it all. Make it better by wandering off the beaten tourist track and booking your own villa to call your home away from home. Even if you spend your entire time there and then explore the local area and town, you will have had an unforgettable and truly wonderful adventure that is worth repeating.