Posts on Italy by Kyle the Vagabond:
Whether it be a sense of romance, history, or simply the food,
whatever the draw for a visit to Italy it was the right decision. Stoically holding down the center of the Mediterranean, this boot-shaped nation with such a storied past holds something for simply everyone. Modern cities provide ample city life in all regions up and down the coast, while those who prefer simple villages on the coast can eat their heart out in hamlets set by the sea. Winter sports buffs have the Alps as their winter playground, and food and wine connoisseurs have some of the world’s best samplings upon which to test their judgment. The streets are narrow and the people drive like maniacs, but its still easy to fall in love with lovable Italia.
Euro; 1 Euro = $1.26 (July 6, 2012) For currency conversion info visit xe.com
When to Go:
Being such a long peninsula, Italy weather-wise can be a land of extremes, given its Mediterranean location. The Alps region in the north can be inundated with cold and snowfall from November through April, with ski season being at its peak. While still in the northern reaches of the country, winters in cities such as Venice and Milan aren’t as chilly as the Alps, but can still be wet. Winters become more mild as you move south down the country, with Rome experiencing little snow but brisk evenings, and the southern reaches towards Naples and Sicily having mild winters.
Summertime reaches its peak in July and August, where temperatures can become uncomfortably hot in the south, Rome, and the hill country around Florence. Many Italians are on vacation in July and August, prices soar, crowds take over, the heat sizzles, and it can be an unforgiving time spent in the the country. Springtime from April through June is most likely the best time overall.
The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:
1. Always have a slice of pizza in your hand
Sold by the pound at many hole-in-the wall stands, all sights in Italy are simply better with some fresh baked thin crust pizza accompanying you.
2. View Florence from the Duomo
Absorb the scenery of the city’s red roofs stretching out to the Tuscan hillside from this historic monument.
3. Cruise the canals of Venice
While a gondola may not be in your budget, simply strolling the canals from St.Mark’s square to the Grand Canal, past exhibits of exquisite blown glass, will satisfy the Venice you’ve dreamed of.
4. Take a tour of the Coliseum and the Forum
Not usually an advocate of tours, the overall experience is amplified by understanding the history of the hulking structures surrounding you in this ancient city
5. Pay a visit to Pisa
Even if just to see for yourself, that yes, the tower is in fact leaning.
6. People watch from a cafe in Bari
Watch the world go by with a coffee and a light snack from a simple perch in this energetic port town.
7. Hang out under a 3300 year old Egyptian Obelisk, Rome
Set smack in the center of Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, this commandeered obelisk is most likely one of the oldest pieces of human history you will ever encounter
Need more suggestions? Check out some of these city breaks to Rome.