When one speaks of Italy, one city always comes to mind: Rome,
Ancient Rome to be precise. But what does it mean for today’s
traveller? What does it have to offer that keeps visitors coming
back for more? Italy today is cosmopolitan, vibrant, and totally
Italy is synonymous to high-end fashion and technology whether one
is talking about clothes, shoes, bags or even cars. Brand names like
Gucci, Armani, Givenchy, Fendi, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati are just
some internationally renowned Italian labels. Italy is equally known
for its food, especially its variety of pasta dishes. Italian
cuisine is probably the most famous in the world and one can hardly
go around and not see any in the menu.
Italy has something to offer visitors of
different tastes and backgrounds. History buffs love coming to this
country because of the wealth of historic monuments ad art incorporated
into the busy, very modern cities of the country. Its museums and
galleries are packed with all kinds of work of art and it would take
several visits to completely see everything and even more to properly
digest what one sees. Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Boccacio,
Tintoretti, Bernini…the list just goes on.
And what about its operas and its singers? They also put the country on
the map. Verdi’s “Aida”, Puccini’s “La Boheme”, Rossini’s “La
Cenerentola”, and famous singers like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli,
Cecilia Bartoli, and many more give honor to the prestige of Italian
Rome, the capital city of Italy will take up most of one’s time when
visiting Italy. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps,
the Piazza Navona, the Roman Forum, catacombs, and thousands of other
Roman artefacts and ruins are just some of the things one will see
taking any of the various tours the country has to offer.
Within the city of Rome is Vatican City, the seat of the Roman Catholic
Church, the home of the Papacy. St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine
Chapel, the Vatican Museum, and St. Peter’s Square are some of the
attractions in this independent state within a country.
Another city in Italy is Florence or
Firenze to its locals. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto
and Pisano’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry of San Giovanni are some
attractions in the area. If history isn’t your thing, the shopping in
Florence is one of Europe’s finest.
What spells romance better than a trip
down the canals of Venice? Ride a gondola and view some of the most
famous homes of the medieval era. The ride terminates in an exploration
of the city’s most famous area, the St. Mark’s Square dominated by the
St. Mark’s Cathedral. Several cafes, restaurants, and boutiques line the
square and one can sit, relax, and take in the picturesque view.
The city of Milan is the center of Italian fashion. Known for style and
shopping, it offers a great chance for the weary traveller to relax and
recharge in one of its fine cafes or do some window shopping before
resuming a tour of the country. Styles that are not yet seen in other
countries are already discounted in some shops. This gives the fashion
savvy a chance to be one of the first to strut Italian fashion.
The cheapest way to make one’s way around Italy is through its very
efficient railroad system. Another way is by car. Because fuel is so
expensive n this area, going around by car is not cheap. But if one
wants the convenience of going about at one’s own pace and stopping just
anywhere, then this is the best way to travel. Air travel may be the way
to going from city to city fast is a priority.
The general lifestyle in Italy is
relaxed and comfortable. Italians appreciate their cup of cappuccino
in the morning, their latte machiatto during breaks, and their glass
of Chianti after work, just to unwind. In a country where haute
couture is local, designer Italian clothes are the norm. And the
God-given physical attributes of the Italians really show off these
designer labels in the very best light.
As a rule, Italians are friendly and helpful towards visitors. They will
patiently explain the menus in Italian or give directions to hard to
find areas. Since tourism plays a major role in the country’s economy,
the cheerfulness of its locals is a big plus in boosting its tourist
There is no other country quite like Italy. While other old world
countries are stuck in the past, Italy has moved beyond its famous ruins
and has achieved the near impossible: the perfect amalgamation of the
past with the present. This is what makes Italy a must-see.