Italy isn’t a place lacking in holiday destinations. From a romantic gondola ride to a machina (car) journey through the rolling hillsides, Italy has something to offer for everyone. Check out these 15 amazing reasons to visit Italy:
For the Romantic
Cinque Terre (La Spezia)
A postcard village with timeless charm finds cobbled streets, low archways, and brightly colored buildings that teeter precariously atop a seaside cliff. Simply idyllic, the most romantic way to approach is by ferry (Easter through Septmber from Genoa, Portofino, and Porto Venere).
No list about Italian romance would be complete without a gondola ride through the twisted waterways of Venice. Enjoy Murano glass shops, the epic Basilica of St. Mark, and the many canal bridges found throughout winding alleys.
A city steeped in history. Take the funicular to the tiny village of Brunate, stroll along the waterfront, or visit the ruins of several Byzantine churches on Isola Comacina.
Venice’s underrated neighbor, Shakespeare’s Fair Verona is no stranger to romance. Take a carriage ride through the narrow streets or visit Juliet’s house, complete with statue and balcony.
For the Adventurous
Rome and Vatican City
Take on the challenge of seeing Rome in a day (or three), making sure you stop off at the Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, the Coliseum, and the Vatican to admire the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Most recommended is to stay off the Piazza Navona, enabling you to utilize the hop on / hop off bus (and your own two feet) to explore like a real old city Italian.
Take in the sizzling, sulfurous waters that are famous in Terme, Saturnia. Legend has it the hot springs were formed by lightning bolts thrown by Jupiter himself.
For the Photographer
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The architectural masterpiece is begging for a creative photo session. Photographers will find a veritable playground with the angles of the building juxtaposed against the horizon.
South of Pienza you’ll find a glorious backdrop and perfect lighting in the form of rolling hills and cypresses. Known for supplying the scene for films such as “Gladiator,” this Toscana area will provide the vineyard-laden hillsides of travelogues and coffee table books.
At the center of Tuscany, climb the watchtower for an impressive perspective of the countryside. Take a few snaps of the 360-degree view, including of the surrounding cities and vineyards.
Ponte Vecchio in Florence
One of the most famous bridges in the world can be easily captured from the nearby Ponte alle Grazie bridge — especially during sunrise or sunset. Imbibe in the historic views Da Vinci would have enjoyed, and if you have time, take in the museum dedicated to featuring models, designs, and exploration of replicas of his machines.
Just north of Padua, the charming medieval town of Cittadella remains off the tourist beaten path. Walk the city walls for close-ups of architectural details.
For the Beach Seeker
Head to the coast and wake up to the lapping of the ocean waves. But Capri isn’t just any old beach spot. Take a chairlift to the peak of Capri for some scenery or visit the magnificent Grotta Azzurra.
Napoli Old Town and Positano
Start your Amalfi coast tour here. Visit the castle atop Montecalvario with 360-degree views of the city before moving along the coast to other picturesque sites, including Positano and its picture-perfect beaches.
BONUS: For the Peace Seeking Adventurer who Loves History!
If a non-touristy version of Italy is your desire, find the village of Ascoli Piceno, where the Travertine courtyards of the downtown area bar all but foot traffic in order to preserve the marble and old Roman ruins seen throughout the town. Over 300 churches dot the streets of this small city, where townspeople are found in prayer at all hours of the day. Enjoy a cup of café in a shop untouched since opening 100 years ago! There’s also no going wrong at any of the shops or restaurants if you’re looking for the “real Italy” experience, because here you will find very little English spoken! If you have need of solace, and to witness Italy as Italy was decades ago, Ascoli Piceno is your bonus stop in the trip of a lifetime.
Brandon Vallorani is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO, author of The Wolves and the Mandolin (ForbesBooks; 2017), and third generation Italian-American.
Founder of a media conglomerate recognized on the Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years, Brandon sold to a colleague in the business, and has more recently shifted focus to his other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and began his career in the non-profit sector. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
He lives in Metro-Atlanta, with his wife with whom he shares seven children, a son-in-law, and a grandson. In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing in casinos around the country, his three dogs, and learning Italian.