Read Part I of ‘The Dolce Vita’ – the sweet and beautiful life in Italy now 🙂
So, you are asking yourself what to do in the boot-shaped country and which cities to visit and if there any small towns you should not miss? What a coincidence you landed on just the right traveler’s guide…
1. Madonna di Campiglio
This cozy little town is known as the noble skiing resort in South Tyrol. With its only 750 inhabitants, it is the perfect getaway for a weekend of relaxation in the spa or hitting the slopes. In addition, South Tyrol is interesting to experience because it has a very big influence from Germany. It is funny: South Tyrol in general is more relaxed than Germany, but stricter/ not as easy-going than Italy, so a middle thing.
Milan is the shopping capital of the world. Take in the glamour while strolling through the streets and seeking finest Italian fashion, which you will not find anywhere else. You should definitely visit the dome of Milan and maybe even walk the stairs to the top, you will be regarded with a breathtaking view overlooking the city. Yet the city does not have too many sights, so do not spend more than 2 days there.
3. Cinque Terre
Translated it means ‘five worlds’. Cinque Terre basically consists of 5 amazing towns, which are all very different. Every city has its own personality and they are all located on cliffs etc. surrounded by plenty of vineyards. There is no ‘best’ city out of those 5 – you have to visit every single one to fully understand the meaning behind ‘Cinque Terre’. There are also many hikes – starting from beginner and ending with expert. Many people end up staying about a week there because they just cannot get enough of the scenery, the seafood and the fresh pesto (typical Italian food!). 🙂
Roma, la cittá infinita – Rome, the infinite city. It completely stole my heart and I have no chance of ever getting it back. – my Rome experience ✨
Rome exists since 753 B.C. With so many historical and old buildings, it has still managed to have a vibe in the modern days, which will always have a hold of you. Rome’s pavements send life right through your body, giving you a feeling of joy, luck and fulfilment everywhere you go. If you stay in Rome, a hotel near the ‘Campo dei Fiori’ – one of the most famous squares – is good because it is located pretty much in the middle of the city and you can get anywhere in nearly no time. Have dinner in Trastevere. It is on the other side of the Tiber and the place where the locals live. Its charm is irresistible. Visiting the Vatican is also a must – I mean, one more country to add to your list, right? 😉 No seriously, it is fascinating to experience not only the former centre of the world, Rome, but also the centre of religion, the Vatican. Be sure to buy tickets in advance for all big and crowded sites you want to visit.
Florence is the mecca for all art lovers. The Uffizi Gallery – ‘Galeria degli Uffizi’ near Ponte Vecchio is an art museum filled with the most beautiful and famous paintings. Masterpieces of Botticelli, Raphael and even Da Vinci beautify the walls of the gallery. On the ‘Piazza Della Signoria’ you can spot Michelangelo’s world-famous sculpture David (only a copy, though. The original is located in another museum in Florence). My highlight was listing the ‘Santa Croce’. It is a church, which does not only look interesting but also includes the most breathtaking pieces in my opinion: the tombs of Dante (inimitable poet), Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and many others. Have a dinner at the colourful dome of Florence, it is really nice sipping drink there watching the nightlife take over Florence.
Just 70km outside of Florence is a town named Lucca. A book I have once read actually takes place in Lucca, that is what drew my attention to it. There are fewer tourists there and it is a perfect day trip if you want to beat the crowds on hot summer days in Florence. You can explore it by bike very well. I am not a big fan of getting to know cities by hop-on-hop-off buses etc. because a city is best explored by foot and when you can just change your mind and spontaneously visit a café/ a site/ …
Alberobello is famous for its so-called ‘Trulli: white houses with cone-shaped stone roofs. What really amazed me about this small village is that nobody knows where these houses come from and why they were built. Alberobello is the only place in the world to have these Trulli. With all the beautiful flowers it makes one’s heart beat a little faster. It even is a Unesco World Heritage Site, but be sure to come here as early as possible or late in the afternoon to beat the flocks of tourists.
2. Polignano a Mare
A small town located at “the Heel” of Italy. You can experience the rustical but authentic life of Italians in the south. The people in Polignano are some of the frendliest I have ever met and I was so surprised by how well their English is: It is better than that of Romans etc.! And the south, especially Apulia, is quite cheap – a meal for three people (everybody ate a starter and a main course and a good bottle of wine was also included) only cost 50€. Most of vegetables and fruits come from Apulia, their food is overall just delicious. Due to the long drive, not a lot of people make it to the heel – so be a traveler and discover!
Map: Polignano a Mare
The island of Sicily, which is often referred to as the football that is kicked by the boot 😉 , is perfect for the colder months like May or October etc. because it is still quite warm there. What most people would not guess is that Sicily’s inland is mostly hilly. Due to that, there are also some vineyards which are perfect for an afternoon of wine tasting. Furthermore, Sicily has the largest active volcano in Europe, the Mount Etna. Experience Sicily with a mix of sunbathing at the beach, scenery and its cuisine in the inland and plan a day trip to the capital Palermo.