Share your trip reports and travel experiences around the world.
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Last year I went all round Italy. Amongst other places I visited Venice, Pisa, Rome, Florence, Sienna and Assisi.
I'm going to blast through what I thought.
In short: I loved it. Go.
Venice: Everyone with the smallest opportunity should GO to Venice once in their lives. I can't express that enough. If you could only go to one place for one day, I'd choose Venice over anywhere else I've seen on Earth just because of the pure experience. Once you've been, you've been, but you really need to see it once. It's like something out of Narnia, I felt like I was on another planet. Every step I took screamed out for a photo.
It's pretty typical of what you'd imagine- beautiful, quaint architecture, cloudy turquoise canals with gondoliers in stripy t-shirts rowing the decorated gondolas, amazing ice cream and a million loved-up couples. But the reality of actually being there and taking in the atmosphere really hits you. It's kind of surreal and dreamlike.
The typical walk takes you through meandering little streets to St Mark's Square where everything opens out into a grand plaza. Then you follow through until you reach the edge of the sea which just hits you suddenly, looking like a painting from the 1700s.
Don't go to Venice without a) doing the gondola tour b) going on the 'water buses'. The gondolas are very expensive but you really can't go to Venice and give them a miss. The gondola ride remains one of the highlights of my entire life. The gondoliers are wonderful and mine sung in Italian throughout, making it seem like a scene from a film. I was beaming the entire time.
Only negative: the food is rubbish. After hearing everyone tell you how great Italian food is, it's a real let-down. I paid 9 euros for a small, plastic-y plate of microwaved pasta tubes without garnish. Ack. You'll need to be dripping with money in order to eat anything remotely nice here.
Pisa: Calm, spacious atmosphere, loads of peculiar people to watch and a breathtakingly beautiful old monastry and tower. You can go up the tower to see amazing views of the surrounding towns and countryside or you can just have a look at the little stalls and sit on the grass. Worth a visit for an hour or two.
Rome: One of my favourite places ever. I'd rather go back here than Venice, because Venice has more of a 'been there, done that' aspect, but Rome is just a lovely, fairly typical European city. Slightly more chaotic than London but with something of the jubilant energy and history that I love London for. I went to all the usual places- the Colosseum, the Vatican, Fontana Di Trevi. I am desperate to return, it's one of those places you can't get enough of. On my last night there, walking through the evening streets with my boyfriend eating ice cream and roasted chestnuts, seeing the Fontana lit up, the street artists, the ruins, the shoppers- absolutely magical.
St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican and stumbling into tiny, atmospheric churches just put the cherry on top of the cake for this Catholic.
Florence and Sienna: Similar experiences of both. Beautiful, historical cities with a lot to look at in terms of art and architecure. Also good for shopping- lots of quality Italian bags, coats and shoes. Great for a more relaxing stay when you want to take your time looking around instead of rushing to one landmark after another.
Assisi: Usually one for the religious, being the home of one of the most-loved saints, but I'd definitely recommend it to a nonbeliever. One of the highlights of my trip was coming here. The sites related to Saint Francis were great, and as he is my favourite saint I really enjoyed learning more about him, but to be honest it was the town itself that really stood out to me. Come here for more of an experience of 'real Italy'. It's the only place I ate the beautiful Italian food I hoped for and saw famed Italian hospitality. The people are warm and absolutely lovely. The town is traditional, quaint and very photogenic! Underrated.
- Italy doesn't have its reputation for nothing. A must-see country.
- They don't speak English. Seriously. That includes the young people and the tourist areas. Either learn a bit of Italian or be prepared for difficult conversations with a lot of sign language.
- Make sure you mix up the more famous sites with hidden-away small towns and authentic Italy.
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
Italy is my home base country, while I work in different locations around the world (chasing the work). Let me say a couple things about Italy as a country. It is one thing to have extra money and come here to visit and go on holiday. It is a completely other thing to try and eke out an existence here, especially if you don't speak fluent Italian. As a rule, Italians do NOT speak English, as was stated above. Every little town has something historical to see and unique cuisine to experience. If you have stars in your eyes and think you'll find your paradise living here, take a cold shower. There is little to no work in Italy and there is a long-term hiring freeze in Italy for foreigners, since even 20% of Italians don't have work or are severely underemployed. For example, my wife has two Masters degrees and can't find work here...not even in a grocery store. If you want to take a year off and teach English here, go for it, but come back home afterwards. Just check the ESL sites for horror stories about teaching ESL in Italy. In short, Italy is perfect for three things: growing up as a child, retiring to a little village and having external sources of income/pension, and going on holiday. If you come here thinking you'll advance your career, you'll be severely disappointed.
Very good friend. I like your post and interesting sharing, i just want to ask about beautiful places of Italy, Because i want to visit Italy on my next tour, because i have already taken this niagara falls tour for my vacation, and i want to plan for visit on Italy in advance. so please let me now on this.
Manarola is one of the attractive place to see in Italy. It is one of the oldest towns in Cinque Terre. The “Five Lands” comprises of five villages noted for their beauty. Part of Cinque Terre charm is the lack of visible modern development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach it from the outside.
I want to get few information about kissimmee to boca raton transportation.
Italy is a nice country for visiting. I am tourist and see beautiful places are my favorite hobby. Last year I go to Florence city in Italy with my family for winter vocation. Florence has a great attraction for all tourists. I like in beautiful places of Florence. It is most populous city in Italy. Lake Como (Italian Lake District) is the best place of tourism. The lake is shaped much like and inverted “Y”. This is famous for the attraction villas which have been built here since Roman time. I like this attractive place for tourism.
My tour expierence with san francisco to las vegas bus was memorable.
I also love to visit the Lake Como. It is one of my most Favourite attraction around the Italy. Nice location, explore the surrounding areas but of course also the town centre. Reaching depths of over 400 m, Lake Como is also one of the deepest lakes in Italy. It has an area of 146 square kilometres, making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. Sailors and windsurfers take to the water while ferries shuttle visitors around. There are various restaurants, bars and coffee shops around.
The bus tours of niagara falls from nyc is great option for doing fun it is best for especially for kids.
livon555, after reading your post I have decided to visit Italy once again. I must visit Lake Como during my trip. I think it is a nice place to visit there but I have missed during my first visit. Can you tell me about its nearest attractions of this place? And also about the best hotels that are best to stay there?
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