I have been very lucky in my travels to Italy. I did a lot of work there and got to see a lot of the country and have lived both in the north and now in the south. I love everything about Italy. In so many ways it has figured out how to live happily. It is no wonder so many people want to go there. There is so much to see.
I have enjoyed its big cities:
I have also enjoyed its diverse areas:
- The lakes in the north
- The Adriatic Coast
- The Tyrrhenian Coast
- The Amalfi Coast
There are still some places I want to see so this is my current Bucket List:
- Cinque Terra (north) – These five small towns were once very remote and unseen by most tourists. Then the train came and brought many tourists to this region. There is a walking path connecting each of the five villages. You can also take a boat, Life here is simple and enjoyable.
- Portofino (north) – This Italian fishing community and high-end vacation resort is famous the world over. The cove here is very picturesque. When I think of Portofino I can hear Andrea Bocelli singing here.
- Lucca (Central) – A city in tuscany near the sea. It is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.
- The Tulli Homes of Alberobello (south) – These unique homes are round with pointy roofs. This is a very unique architecture that is strongly enforced in this city.
- Matera – Italy’s cave town (south) – Originated in the Paleolithic Period. The cave dwellings here were once slums and have been transformed into luxury housing and rentals. This is one of the most un pique cities in Italy and maybe the world.
- Sicily (south) – This unique island has so much to offer. From the volcano to its magnificent towns to its Greek ruins. Sicily is easily reached by ferry, train or car. All three methods of travel cross to the island on the ferry.
What is your bucket list for Italy?
Categories: Alberobello, Amalfi Coast, Bologna, Caves, Cinque Terra, Cinque Terre, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Matera, Milan, Naples, Portofino, Rome, Sicily, Tulli, Venice, Verona
Tags: amalficoast, Bologna, Italian, Italian people, Italy, Matera, Milan, Naples, No Tour Touring, Rome, Sicily, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Trulli, Venice, Verona
More and more travelers are headed to Italy. It is romantic, it has great food, the scenery is beautiful and the wine is world-class. These are the top destinations people are headed to:
- Venice – What can we say about Venice? It is truly a unique place on this Earth. To visit a city with canals instead of roads is unique. There are small pathways for pedestrians to walk on. You can find large and small piazzas. Saint Mark’s Square is the largest.
- Rome – Rome is ancient with evidence of the early Romans everywhere. The Colosseum, Old Rome, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese and Vatican City are a few of its main attractions. Rome has many piazzas that full of flowers, statues and markets.
- Florence – This is the true city of enlightenment. It is where the renaissance started. Attractions to see are Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Uffizzi Gallery, Uffizzi Palace, The David Statue and the many piazzas like Piazza della signora.
- Siena – Siena is a big small town with a lot of character. The duomo here is far more magnificent than its counterpart in Florence. Attractions here include Piazza del Campo where the annual horse race takes place (Palio of Siena), Duomo and its many churches. Siena has small streets with shops and great restaurants. Explore and enjoy it.
- Pompeii – This is not a current living city but a dead archaeological one. The original was Etruscan and then Roman before it was wiped out by a volcano (Mount Vesuvius) in 79 AD. It is just south of Naples and north of the Amalfi Coast. There are many homes you can visit here as well as hotels, shops and piazzas.
- Positano – This is one of our favorite cities in southern Italy. It is on the Amalfi Coast Road. This is a city of one road (one way down) and one million steps. It is not a place for the handicapped. Even staying on the road is a steep climb back up but there is a city bus that loops around from the bottom of this road. The two beaches are worth visits. Its restaurants and hotels are world-class. Most hotels have million dollar sea views.
- The Italian Lake District – Italy’s lakes are at the foot of the alps. With magnificent views and romantic small towns this is a must for anyone’s bucket list. The lakes are: Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, Visit the cities of Bellagio, Luzern and Ticino.
- Pisa – No trip should be without a visit to the famous leaning tower of Pisa. The duomo and baptistery near it are also worth seeing.
- Cinque Terre – The five lands! Here there are five cities on the mountain above the sea. You can take a ferry to some or train. There is a footpath between each town. These are very romantic with great views.
- San Gimignano – This is our favorite town in Tuscany and maybe in the world. It is preserved from the middle ages. You park or get off your bus outside the city walls and walk in. You can easily walk this entire town. It has towers that used to represent power, a duomo, piazzas and great restaurants and bars.
All of these and so many more should be on your bucket list. Tomorrow we will look at top places to visit in Italy’s south. Most tourists never make it here!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Duomo, Etruscan, Europe, Ferries, Florence, Food, General Travel, Il Palio, Italy, Museums, Pantheon, Pisa, Pompeii, Positano, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, San Gimignano, Siena, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Tuscany, Vatican City, Venice, Villa Borghese, Wine
Tags: amalficoast, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Positano, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Tuscany, Venice
Touropia lists the top 10 recommended places (in reverse order) to see in Italy:
- San Gimignano – This is George’s favorite city in the world. He saw it first before the tourists came. Even with tourists it is a spectacular walled mountain town.
- Manarola (Cinque Terre) – The cinque terre are 5 cities in the mountains that you can walk between on mountain paths. There is now train service to cinque terre.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa – This is very unique to see a building falling over that has become such a major tourist attraction.
- Lake Como – One of Italy’s most beautiful lakes at the base of the Alps.
- Positano (Amalfi Coast) – Positano is a unique town of a million steps and one road. The two beaches are beautiful and the restaurants are great.
- Pompeii – It took a major volcano eruption to make this Etruscan town a tourist trap. It is unbelievable to see what they had back then. Self cleaning streets, speed bumps, indoor plumbing, and homes you would die for today.
- Piazza del Campo (Siena) – This is one of Italy’s most impressive piazza’s.
- Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence) – This is an impressive cathedral in one of Italy’s most impressive cities.
- Colosseum (Rome) – Even with all of its marble facade stripped away, this is an impressive structure. Inside you feel like you are part of old Rome waiting to watch a gladiator fight.
- Canals of Venice – Venice is one of the most unusual cities in the world. An entire city of buildings atop millions of tree trunks sunk in the water. A city of canals and boats instead of streets and cars. Let your imagination run wild!
After you have seen the top ten above go to small towns and mountain cities. Swim at some of Europe’s best beaches. Have a pizza in Naples. Italy is unique and very romantic. Enjoy it… How many of these have you seen?
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Cinque Terre, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Pisa, Pompeii, Romance, San Gimignano, Siena, Small Towns, Venice
Tags: amalficoast, Florence, Italian people, Italy, Naples, No Tour Touring, Pisa, Positano, Romance, Rome, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Venice
OK you want a glamorous fun vacation in Italy. Where do you go? The Italian Riviera of course! Cingue Terre or five lands is a remote area of northern Italy that has 5 wonderful towns. It is located in the Italian Riviera. The seaside resorts here are magnificent. There are very few roads into this area. Some lead to a parking lot a half mile from the town. Those that exist are very small and damaged from rains in 2011.
The five towns are:
- Monterosso al Mare
Lonely Planet lists many things to do there. The towns are linked by a foot path and you can walk from one to the other. This is a vacation of activity, getting back to beauty and romance. Stay at a bed and breakfast and move from one town to the next. Pack lightly so you don’t have to carry everything with you. There is a train station in each of the five towns. You can move from town to town by train as well.
The famous Portofino is only an hour away from Cinque Terre. It is a definite visit while you are in this area of Italy. This might just be one of the most romantic spots in Italy. Book early as in the summer it is impossible to find a bed anywhere in Cinque Terre.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Beaches, Cinque Terre, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Romance, Small Towns, Trains
Tags: Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Romance, Tourism, Trains, Travel, Travel and Tourism