Everything in Italy feels surreal on the first visit. It is almost always as if the lyrical lands call out to you, to come experience the art, history, culture and feast on the delicacies on offer. The remnants of the ancient civilisations are strewn across the nooks and crannies of the towns. Your first step into any of the museums of your choice, takes you back to hundreds and thousands of years, as the sculptures and figures come alive to befriend you.
It’s natural to be intimidated by a country as big as this and hence, we help you with a city by city guide with things to do, see and eat!
Rome- to journey into the past…
This capital city is full of surprises at every turn. From the colossal ruins that look strikingly beautiful, colourful streets, to art that inspires every bone in you, Rome is romance, culture and vibrancy all mixed into one! Of course, include the iconic monuments like the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon, but spare some time to look beyond these and visit Piazza Venezia to just walk around, Trevi Fountain, the city’s most popular, Piazza Navona, to see the locations of the famous movies like John Wick II, Spectre, etc. Rome has, since time immemorial made its mark in the Western Art world with its world-class museums, Byzantine mosaics, art-rich churches, frescoes from the time of Renaissance, and masterpieces by the ever-talented artists like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini and many more! Missing this city on your itinerary would mean missing to experience the dolce vita lifestyle—you just do not do that!
Florence- to experience a timeless way of life…
When you first step into Florence, you’d be surprised at how un-city like it is for a city! The devoid of skyscrapers, malls, even the crowds might startle you in the beginning but you’ll welcome it with all your love by the time you leave. This town sits back at the foot of a hillock village Fiesole, where you’ll see tiny cafes, smoky chimneys and the most beautiful houses. The coloured roofs will take you back to your school-time where you could only imagine houses of those shades in your drawing lessons. As you rent a bicycle to navigate your ways across town, the heady aroma of meat and cheese will pull you into dining at one of the many cafes. Don’t forget to order for a glass of wine or end your meal with a gelato. Beware, you’ll be spoilt for choice for anything you wish to eat. And somewhere, as you ride past Ghiberti’s gilded Gates of Paradise, you’ll remember how absolutely right Dante’s imagery was to picture a town so spectacularly well!
Naples- to have the feast of your life…
High on energy, higher on food, a soul-stirring heaven for art lovers and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes- that’s how people would describe Italy’s elegant masterpiece - Naples. Settled by Greeks, conquered by Romans, Naples is a heady mix of cultural wonder. The history that comes along with this city can put any library to shame. And the legends, well, you’ll know all about them when you come visit it. Be aware, mythic tales and unsolved mysteries are set in every Naples’ stone. Now, on to the main part, Naples is a food coma inducing haven. It’s here that you’ll find the country’s best pizzas, pastas and espresso. From garlic spaghetti with clams, to mouth-watering tomato and meat pizzas, this is where hunger meets pleasure and you succumb to gluttony. When you’re here, do not forget to try the masterpiece, Margherita pizza, named after the Austrian Queen, Margherita Teresa Giovanna after she dined at Pizzeria Brandi, a very old pizzeria close to the Royal Palace. And that’s not it, the city is also now recently famous for its addition to the UNESCO’s list of ‘intangible’ heritage for the Neapolitan art of pizza twirling.
Milan- for the sense of belonging in an alien city
This city might not sweep you off your feet, its elegance might not encapsulate you in its charms like Florence, it’s certainly not as magnificent as Rome, and as for food, it absolutely stands no competition with Naples. But… Milan defines Italy. Milan is like a home where you’re at your comfortable best and that’s what matters the most. When in Milan, equip yourself with a well-functioning GPS; it’s easy to get lost amid the crowd that acts as a maze at any given point. The city paved way to many iconic beginnings- Socialism, the Great War, the economic boom and many more. Include a visit to Duomo di Milano-a cathedral that took nearly six hundred years to complete, Sforzesco Castle, shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, watch an opera at Teatro alla Scala, do not miss visiting Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Da Vinci's The Last Supper and Pinacoteca di Brera, a palazzo used by Napoleon.
After all this information huddled in your mind now, which city is your first choice to visit in Italy, tell us?