9 Reasons to Visit Italy
Beautiful landmarks, stunning views, and a lot of pasta are the first things that come to mind when someone talks about Italy. And although these are among the main reasons to visit the amazing country with a geographic boot shape, there are many more reasons to go and explore it on your next vacation.
Italy is a country located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and there you will find a mix of literally everything. From the famous Roman Empire heritage to the unbelievable Alps and natural beauties, the country will definitely never get old.
At Greca, we have gathered the reasons to convince you that Italy is your next all-year-long destination!
1. Explore Rome, the Capital of the World
Rome was once considered the capital of the world, and it is one of the most beautiful cities you can visit. Full of history, heritage, architecture, and tradition, the Italian capital has many things to do and explore, and you will be surprised at how limitless your options are for things to do there.
Explore the most important places in the ancient Roman Empire, starting with the magnificent Colosseum, considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, and the impressive Pantheon, or visit the interesting city of Vatican to better understand the most important aspects of Christianity.
Also, there are many sights that you cannot miss in Rome, and we should mention the popular Fontana di Trevi, which is famous for its myth known as "Three Coins in the Fountain" which goes like this: If you throw one coin, you will return to Rome. If you throw two coins, you will fall in love with an attractive Italian. If you toss three coins, you will marry the person that you meet. So get ready!
Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the incredible Roman Forum are some other places you should stop by to appreciate their beauty and history. It is impossible to end a list of things to do in Rome, but we can guarantee you that it will be a top-notch experience that you will never forget.
2. Try artisanal Italian Gelato
Italian gelato is known around the world for its density and flavor richness, attracting millions of customers. Gelato is the generic word for ice cream in Italy, and it comes from the word congelato, which means "frozen," and usually it is used in other countries to refer to this way of creating this delicious dessert.
To have the best gelato in Italy, you should go all the way to Florence, which is considered the birthplace of this delicious treat. For obvious reasons, this city has the most acclaimed gelaterias on the planet, and you will have the chance to taste the most interesting and intense flavors. Trying the popular fior di latte, cioccolato or stracciatella is just mouthwatering. Definitely, gelato is a culinary symbol of Italy!
3. Explore the vintage markets
Italy is a country full of history, and this is palpable in the flea markets that you will find around the country. From antiques and second-hand to food and spice markets, they are just a demonstration of how rich the country’s heritage is. For example, in Rome, you can find the Trionfale market, which is the largest food market in the capital with 275 stalls spread over 6.000 sqm of floor space and is considered one of the largest food markets in Italy.
Italy is a shopping paradise, and you will notice how local vendors work very hard to offer fresh and interesting products to locals and visitors. In Tuscany, antique markets and fairs have developed rapidly, with Lucca and Arezzo at the top of a long list of cities where, usually once a month, antique traders and collectors display their merchandise in the main piazzas.
The Mercatone Dell’Antiquariato Sul Naviglio Grande, in Milan, is one of the most attractive markets in the country as well, and takes place every Sunday from Viale Gorizia to Via Valenza, with a distance of about two kilometers. Once there, you will find around 300 stands specializing in high-quality antiques, with interesting items such as paintings, furniture, accessories, books, glasses, porcelain, board games, comics, and much more.
4. Appreciate a country full of Art
Art lovers... Italy is the place to be!
Italy has been the epicenter of European art for centuries, and you should start exploring the most famous period of art in Italy, the well-known Renaissance period, born in Florence between the late 13th and late 16th centuries. After this, Italy became among the top destinations to appreciate art in all its manifestations. This important period started as painters and artists decided to give a spiritual touch to their works and evoke deep religious meanings.
Without a doubt, Italy is home to one of the most impressive artistic heritages on the planet. Remember that it was the birthplace of famous artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. You will feel art literally everywhere, from the architecture, food, monuments, and music. There is an important presence of Romanesque and Baroque art as well.
Find below a list of eight museums to explore and appreciate the most beautiful art in the country:
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
- The Galleria Borghese, Rome.
- The Galleria dell' Accademia, Florence.
- Vatican Museums, Vatican City.
- Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua.
- The Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice.
- Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan.
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.
5. Eat pasta, pizza, and local gastronomy
Of course, you were probably expecting to read this reason, and of course, it is one of the most important ones. Italian gastronomy is just splendid, and it is part of the culture of the country. The Mediterranean cuisine of Italy is one of the most traditional and important in the world, and it has spread quickly all over the world.
One of the most interesting characteristics of Italian cuisine is its simplicity. They made most of their dishes with few ingredients but a lot of flavors. Quality means a lot to Italians, so you can expect to eat the most delicious food as they take the best care in selecting the right ingredients. Also, most Italian food is made from scratch and avoids processed foods, using olive oil instead of other fats mostly.
Italian cuisine is not limited only to pasta and pizzas, but the variety of cheeses, fresh fish, vegetables, and delicious desserts make the traditional gastronomy very exotic and appetizing. When visiting Italy, do not miss trying these delicious dishes:
- Panzanella, a Tuscan bread salad, ideal for summer.
- Bruschetta, an antipasto dish.
- Focaccia, a fresh bread topped with caramelized onions, cheese, basil leaves, tomato slices and olive oil.
- Pasta Carbonara, a roman dish made with eggs, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper.
- Local Pizza, one of the most loved and popular Italian dishes.
- Risotto, a northern Italian rice dish cooked with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Lasagna, stacked layers of lasagne alternating with fillings such as beef, cheese and vegetables.
- Fettuccine Pomodoro, a simple pasta dish with a delicious tomato sauce and fresh basil.
- Tiramisu, sponge fingers soaked in coffee, layered around and smeared with a creamy mascarpone mixture.
6. Enjoy the best Italian nightlife
Italy is not only about history and food, and as you can imagine, this popular country also has an incredible nightlife. Rome is considered one of the great party cities in Europe, and it is filled with rooftops, bars, and clubs to enjoy the best music and drinks. For example, Sicily, is filled with discos and scenes that go from bohemian speakeasies to thumping dance clubs and cocktail lounges with stunning seaside views, especially in Palermo and Catania.
But the prize for the best party city might go to Milan, known for its vast array of nightclubs, bars, and lounges that attract people from all over the world. Milan is regarded as having one of Europe's best nightlife scenes, so choose wisely where to spend your nights in Italy!
7. Fall in love with a Gondola ride
Going to Italy without having the pleasure of enjoying a gondola ride in the Venice canals is hard to believe. Situated at the edge of the Adriatic Sea, the magical city of Venice will offer you the experience of exploring the beauty of its architecture by riding a traditional gondola, which originated back in history in that same place, and which was the main transportation method for centuries.
Enjoy the canals of the city and pass by different areas to get a different perspective of Venice. Most travelers recommend taking a gondola ride on quiet canals rather than the crowded Grand Canal to appreciate and enjoy the ride better. Don’t miss out on the Rialto Bridge, a historic landmark, and kiss your partner under the Bridge of Sighs, as the myth says that a couple that kisses under the bridge while drifting below on a gondola at sunset will enjoy eternal love.
8. See the most beautiful coast in the world
Italy is blessed with the most spectacular coasts, filled with beautiful and picturesque towns to discover. You might have heard about Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, or the beautiful towns of Portofino or Capri, as they are fairy-tale places that you must visit at least once in life.
Cinque Terre is located in Liguria and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, and it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is well known for its coastline, beautiful beaches, colorful houses that are built into the cliffs, great hiking trails, great nature, and typical Italian cuisine and hospitality that will make you feel at home.
Further to the south, the beautiful Amalfi Coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Gulf of Salerno, will surprise you with stunning views and perfect towns such as Positano or Amalfi. Also considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been a popular destination since the time of the Greeks and the Romans. On the other hand, Portofino is an exclusive destination located on the Italian Riviera, with colorfully painted buildings, and it is a popular place to visit for artists and most of the influential people in the world.
9. Appreciate fashion everywhere
Milan is considered the Fashion Capital of the World and is one of the main fashion cities along with London, Paris, and New York. The city of Milan has a major influence on the international fashion scene, and it is rich in history, heritage, designers, trends, and styles. Italy, in general, started to gain fame in the fashion field, especially during the Renaissance period.
From luxury pieces to artisanal arts, fashion in Italy is a way of expression and the country is filled with the most wonderful jewelry, clothes, and high-end brands. The city of Milan hosts the famous Milan Fashion Week, where hundreds of designers prepare dramatic shows to expose their collections to the most acclaimed people. For you to have an idea, remember that brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Versace, and Prada were born in this incredible country.
These are only some of the reasons why Italy should be considered your next destination. It is a place where you can feel the tradition in the air, and you will undoubtedly want to return. Explore all the Travel and vacation packages to Italy we have for you at Greca, and get ready for the trip of your dreams!