To visit Italy, the epicentre of the Roman empire; is like walking into an era of Renaissance where the world’s most-renowned art compositions and architecture were designed. Italy echoes the epoch of Michelangelo’s David, Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Sistine Chapel’s frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth beneath the influence of its cultural prestige. It’s a cultural enigma that hosts the world’s maximum number of Unesco World Heritage sites as well, Byzantine riches. Italy’s gifts prolong ahead its arcades. While the remarkable natural diversity flaunts frozen lakes, sandy slopes, blazing craters, turquoise caverns, and coral-studded waters, flair enriches routine with unsullied bonds to intense espressos. Italy is also the realm of good food, it’s a gastronomy haven that prepares the world’s best-rammed pizzas, pasta ribbons, kinds of ravioli, crumbly pastries and sweet ricotta. The possibilities are countless therefore, we have prepared a list of five best places that you must visit on your first trip to Italy.
Roma or Rome is Italy’s largest city and capital. Recognized for its Roman Empire, Vatican City, La Dolce Vita, Seven Hills and Fountains, Rome is a millennium hub of culture, dynamism and religion with above 3000 years of permanence. While here, commence your tour by visiting Colosseum, the Flavian amphitheatre that narrates well-preserved antiquity. Here, you will recall the barbaric stories of hundreds of bloodthirsty gladiator battles that were attended by over 50,000 Roman spectators each time. The audio tour divulges comprehensive information on the battles. Post Colosseum, visit Roman Forum, another incredible sprawl of ruins, highlighting the political hub of the Roman Empire. Amongst the churches, museums and plazas – St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon, Vatican Museums and Piazza Navona are not be missed. Venture out to visit the Circus Maximus, a stadium that symbolises Roman chariot racing. Proceed to the famous Piazza Venezia, a beautiful square in the city centre and take the 3D Time elevator ride through 3000 years of ancient Roman history. In the evening, attend the Trevi Fountain, throw a coin, and make a wish and conclude the evening with a gratifying glass of Italian wine.
WHAT TO EAT IN ROME:
Cacio E Pepe Pasta, Nonna Betta Roman Artichokes, Da Danilo Pasta, Armando al Pantheon Veal and a Pizza by the slice.
WHERE TO EAT IN ROME:
Pizzarium, The Jerry Thomas Project, Forno Campo de’ Fiori, Salumeria Roscioli, Il Sanlorenzo, Cesare al Casaletto, and Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà.
It’s here in Rome, that you truly get to experience the sincere “Dolce Vita Lifestyle,” pertaining to the concept of breathing the intrinsically luscious Italian life. Romans love to overindulge in culture and art and in Rome, you can endlessly spend time, gallivanting and admiring the picturesque streets, enormous piazzas, street side cafes, cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
If you are visiting Rome then you wouldn’t want to miss Vatican City, the smallest country in the world. This Roman influenced territory toils as the Roman Catholic Church’s headquarters and is also known to reign as its own nation. Besides, it’s only a twenty minutes drive from Rome. In Vatican City, tour the famed Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museum and the Holy Basilica of St Peter’s church, distinguished for its Pieta sculpture and masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. The dining culture of Vatican City is just as astounding. It is, considerably a big Italian fare, comprising of several kinds of pasta, polenta and risotto recipes. Commence your meal with an antipasto appetizer, accompanied by a 1st and a 2nd main course.
WHAT TO EAT IN VATICAN CITY:
Gnocchi with pecorino, eggplant parmesan, cheese, cold cuts, Frittura Alla Romana, Beet spaghetti, Traditional Spaghetti, Poached egg on morel mushrooms, and Ricotta Ravioli.
WHERE TO EAT IN VATICAN CITY:
Osteria Delle Commari, Velavevodetto Ai Quiriti, Secondo Tradizione, Caffeteria Ruberto, L’Arcangelo, and Ragno D’Oro.
Located at a distance of 2.5 hours from Vatican City, is Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, known to be home to several treasures of Renaissance designs and architecture. If you are travelling from Vatican City then your first stop should be the hilltop, Piazzale Michelangelo. This site is renowned for hosting the imitation of the David statue, providing a bird’s eye view of the Florence. Some of the other iconic sights of Florence worth taking a trip are the Duomo Cathedral featuring a terracotta-tiled dome masterminded by Brunelleschi, Giotto’s Bell Tower, Uffizi Gallery displaying Da Vinci’s “Annunciation” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” and the Galleria Dell’ Accademia showcasing Michelangelo’s David sculpture.
A 4-hour drive from Florence will steer you to the Italian city of Padua. Enroute stop by Modena to visit the Ferrari Museum to understand the history of the world’s most luxurious cars. Modena from Florence takes about 2.5 hours by bus or by car. Keep aside a few hours to explore this impressive site. The most interesting, part of visiting this museum is that you can take a 30-minute ride in the Ferrari of your choice for an additional charge. (The museum fee does not include the Ferrari test drive fees) From Modena, Padua is only 40-minutes away. Padua is located in Northern Italy’s Veneto region, fondly recognised for Giotto’s 13th-century frescoes in Scrovegni Chapel and the enormous St. Anthony Basilica. St. Anthony’s Basilica, with its Byzantine-style domes and notable artworks, carries the namesake saint’s tomb. While here, also, take a walk through Padua’s old town where the 12th-century arcaded streets and stylish cafes await you. The food culture of Padua focuses primarily on the use of freshest ingredients that are undeviatingly purchased from the markets of Piazza Delle Erbe and Dei Frutti. Padua’s typical recipes date back to the medieval era and incorporate boiled meats with vegetables, rice, beans pasta and peas.
WHAT TO EAT IN PADUA:
Gelato, Fiorentina, Zuppa di Fagioli, Schiacciata, Cantucci, Pappardelle with Cinghiale sauce, and Lampredotto.
WHERE TO EAT IN PADUA:
La Bottega del Buon Caffe, Mattacena, Panini Toscani, I’ Girone De’ Ghiotti, Il Bufalo Trippone, Aurelio I Re del Lampredotto, and Amorino Panino E Vino.
After spending a day or two in Padua, head to Venice – situated only an hour away from the river Bacchiglione territory. Venice is known to be the World’s most romantic city and it’s best toured in a Vaporetto water bus. Experience the magic of Venice as you take a Gondola ride, hitting the most incredible Italian spots. Glide through the canals, visit the glass factory, and scout the Bell Tower, St Marks Square, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, New Prisons and the Venice Basilica. In the evenings, unwind by savouring authentic Italian dine and wine culture.
WHAT TO EAT IN VENICE:
Risotto al nero di seppia, Sarde in saor, Baccala mantecato, Risi e bisi, Mołéche, Fritole, and Fegato alla veneziana.
WHERE TO EAT IN VENICE:
Riviera, Ai Mercanti, Tuttinpiedi, Osteria Al Squero, Cocaeta, Birreria Zanon, and Pizza 2000.
Some of the best Italian spirits worth trying are Campari, Sbagliato, Spritz, Martini, Grappa and Amaro. A cheese and wine sampling, at an Italian countryside vineyard, will give you a lifetime memory to cherish.