What Not to Miss on Your First Trip to Italy

What Not to Miss on Your First Trip to Italy

When it comes to European trips, Italy is one of the most popular destinations, and for good reasons. The food is full of flavor, the cities give off a warm feeling and the wine is to die for. You could go to Italy with no plan in mind and still have one of the most amazing vacations, just because there are so many things you can do.

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What Not to Miss on Your First Trip to Italy

But with so many places to visit and things to try out, it is easy for your first trip to Italy to become overwhelming, so if you want to enjoy a genuine Italian experience, you need a good plan. Below is a list of things you must not miss on your first trip to Italy.

The exquisite art

If you consider yourself an art lover, then Italy will leave you completely breathless. The birthplace of renaissance art is nothing but a dream come true for those who love art, from the architecture of the cities to art galleries and random statues you’ll find while roaming the streets.

It is hard to choose just a few places to visit, but if your trip is short, don’t leave without visiting at least the following places:

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence: some of the most famous works of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Caravaggio are held here, amongst other stunning pieces.

The Vatican Museum: rumor has it, that the museum holds the largest art collection in the world, that could stretch for almost 9 miles if placed side by side.

Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan: no art lover would want to miss the monastery that holds the infamous da Vinci painting, The Last Supper.

Rome, all of it: from Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, to the Gallery of Mirrors and St. Peter’s Basilica, there is nothing but art spread all over the entire city.

The Tuscan wine

If you want to see good art, go to Rome, but if you want to taste good wine, nothing compares to Tuscany. The region of Chianti is known for its wine since the 13th century, being also one of the first regions that started importing Tuscan wine. Chianti wines are made mostly with Sangiovese grapes, but you will likely find Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon nowadays.

For a more expensive choice, Montalcino is the place for you. If you are a connoisseur, you are probably already waiting to try the famous Brunello di Montalcino, a wine made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes.

A trip to Tuscany can not be complete without a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, an exquisite red wine made in the medieval town of Montepulciano.

The delicious food

If you are a foodie, good luck trying to decide what meals to eat in Italy, because everything looks fresh, flavorful and full of color. Besides famous meals, such as pizza, lasagna, risotto, and ossobuco, that you need to try before leaving Italy, you also need to dig a bit deeper into the ingredients themselves.

All of those foods would be nothing special without the special ingredients that only Italians know how to make. Food connoisseurs at Emilia Delizia recommend not naming a trip to Italy complete without tasting at least some parmesan cheese, freshly made tomato sauces and balsamic vinegar and, for course, the delicious Parma ham served with melon, and the thing that holds Italian cuisine together - olive oil.

Leave some room in your luggage, because you will definitely want to come home with at least a few genuine Italian ingredients to elevate your cooking.

The Valley of the Temples

For a taste of pure history, the Valley of the Temples, preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an absolute must. Sicily was invaded quite frequently throughout history, ether by the Romans, the Moors and the Byzantines, but the ones that had the most impact in terms of archeological prints were the Greeks, making it the most significant Greek site outside of Greece.

From the beautiful temples of Juno and Hercules, to the stunning Garden of Kolymbetra and the well-preserved temple of Concord, prepare to get struck by the immensity that was the Greek Empire even far away from Greece.

The Garden of Kolymbetra is a rich botanical garden, unique in its beauty, that you can not miss when visiting Agrigento. Here you can find sweet oranges, lemons, figs, wild olives and pomegranates, as well as other plants and succulents.

Getting lost on the streets of Pompeii

Continue the history lesson by taking a trip to Pompeii and roaming the streets of the ash town. The city became famous after the Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and preserved the entire city, including its inhabitants, in volcanic ash. Prior to the eruption, nobody knew that the Vesuvius was a volcano, as it had not erupted for nearly 2,000 years.

For almost 1700 years, the city of Pompeii was forgotten about and, in the year 1738, while building a summer palace for the King of Naples, the workers stumbled upon the ruins of another city that was destroyed in the eruption, Herculaneum. As the excavations continued, Pompeii was also discovered and, much to everyone’s amazement, almost everything was left untouched and preserved under the ashes just as nothing ever happened. Even the graffiti on the buildings are still visible.

Climbing Mount Vesuvius

Since you are going to visit Pompeii, climbing Mount Vesuvius should also be on your list. The volcano is still active and erupted last time in 1944, but it was nothing compared to what happened to Pompeii. The climb is actually a 30-minute walk up to the top of the mountain, where you will be gifted with an amazing view over the cities below.

You can also take a peek into the craters and the climbing path is well-marked, so it will feel like taking a nice walk instead of an actual hike, much to the linking of those who are not particularly looking for a workout.

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