Seeing some of the world's most famous sights certainly tops everyone's list when traveling in Italy. But taking part in an activity or trying something new, especially something you can share with locals, adds a special dimension to a trip.
It may be Venice's number one cliché, but drifting along a canal in the graceful curve of a gondola is one of the top things to do in Italy. Finding a gondolier is easy. They gather along the Grand Canal by the Doge's Palace and at Rialto Bridge, and you'll see them in their striped shirts and straw hats on bridges and canals as you explore the city. As he (or occasionally she) will be your guide, converse a bit to see if you're comfortable with their style and command of English
Tuscany's hilly countryside is best enjoyed at leisure, stopping to explore tiny settlements between the tourist attractions of the larger medieval towns that crown the hilltops. While a driving tour can cover more of these towns, a bicycle gets you closer to the land and gives you time to notice more details. A network of little-traveled and unpaved roads and lanes called Strade Bianche (white roads) wind through the orchards and fields of poppies that cover the hills south and east of San Gimignano, perfect for cycling.
You don't need to be an opera lover, or even like music, to be enthralled by the spectacle of a full-scale production in Verona's third-century Roman arena. And for those who do love opera, it's a thrill of a lifetime, right up there with opening night at La Scala. The arena itself is one of the largest and best preserved Roman amphitheaters, with all its vaulting and full 44 rows of seating intact to accommodate 22,000 opera-goers. The Verona Opera Festival, held every year in July and August, is one of Europe's most important summer music events, ranked with the Salzburg and Bayreuth festivals.
With all the ancient sites to visit in Rome, it's easy just to skim the surface and leave Rome without any real sense of life in the ancient city. An insider tour of one of the landmarks can take you deeper into the history and put the other sites into perspective.The best place for this is the Colosseum, where newly opened underground areas are accessible by visitors who book in advance and to those on in-depth tours. The latter gives the best introduction to what happened here, as a knowledgeable guide explains the maze of tunnels, passages, and cells deep under the arena floor, where the spectacles delighted Roman audiences.
Culture, history, food, wine, lakes, beaches, mountains, ancient ruins – one can go on and on about Italy! The darling of many avid travellers, Italy makes you fall in love right from the word go. Every region of Italy is distinct and has its own charm, attractions, and cuisines, making it an ideal destination for all. There are plenty of things to experience and tons of places to see; one trip certainly will not be enough. If you are thinking of an Italian vacation.