No trip to Italy is bad. You’ll never hear someone complaining about being underwhelmed by the Roman Coliseum or how they didn’t enjoy the food and wine. However, your interests should dictate what you want to do and where you want to go in Italy. For the glories of the Roman Empire, all roads really do lead to Rome, but what if your interests lie elsewhere? Here are three recommendations on where to go based on interests.
Classic Mediterranean Villages
If the Italy in your head looks like steeply built cliff-side villages over a sparkling blue Mediterranean, head to the Cinque Terre region of Italy. Italian-American and Italian travel aficionado Michael Canzian recommends these five villages of the Liguria region for their miles of footpaths, like the Monterosso Footpath and the Sentiero Vernazza a Corniglia, that will take you from town to town with breathtaking views. Located in northern Italy between Genoa and Pisa, on the upper front of the boot, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of a painting. Complete the image by renting a little two-seater to zip along the coastline.
The Historic Silk Road
Marco Polo, a Venice native, opened up the possibility of trade to the Far East back in the 1200s with his book The Travels of Marco Polo that described his travels through Asia and his 17-year stay in China. It was the start of hundreds of years of trade that came to be known as the Silk Road.
Venice was the last stop for traders from Egypt and Asia to sell their goods that the Venetians then took on to mainland Europe for sale. Venice was the clearinghouse for the gems, spices, silk, cotton and dyes Europeans craved. Michael Canzian recommends visiting Venice in spring before the tourists flood the town and before the fall floods literally flood the town.
Highlights of the Renaissance
Finally, when it comes to the Renaissance, all roads lead to Florence. The birthplace of the Renaissance, it was home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Boccaccio, Botticelli and Dante, to name just a few. Florence was rich in wool that it would trade through the Silk Road. It allowed local merchants to become patrons of the arts, and what art! Stroll along the Arno to the Uffizi Gallery. See Michelangelo’s David at The Accademia Gallery. Visit Dante’s home, amazing mansions and historic churches.
There is so much to see and do in Italy, you’ll want to return for years to come.