Is anything better at banishing the winter blahs than dreaming about—or even planning—your summer vacation? We certainly don’t think so. That’s why we put together this list of fabulous things to look forward to in Italy this year.
Go ahead and feast your eyes—and get inspired for your next trip to this magical country.
1. Enjoy la passeggiata at dusk in Rome.
© Mario Sánchez Prada
There’s no better way to experience the romance of Rome than a stroll around Piazza Navona or Piazza di Spagna at dusk.
La passeggiata is the time to see and be seen—it’s the most Italian time of day. Grab a gelato to nibble along the way.
2. Learn to sip il caffé like a true Italian.
Before you take your first espresso at the bar, brush up on your coffee etiquette. Then mosey up to the bar, hand over your euro, and savor the rich, inviting aroma as your caffe is brewed. Why not try a decadent pastry or croissant with your morning cup?
3. Travel back in time at the ruins of Pompeii.
You don’t have to be an amateur archaeologist to appreciate the silent, mysterious ruins of this well-preserved 2,000-year-old city. Walk the ruins of Pompeii and get a feel for the way ancient Roman cities functioned during the days of Caesar.
4. Sail the Amalfi Coast and admire the pastel houses in Positano.
Sometimes you just need to sit back and drink in the beauty—and there’s nothing so beautiful as the gorgeous cliffside houses on the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy a little limoncello and watch the sun set over the sea. Absolutely unforgettable!
5. Practice the art of aperitivo.
© Ralf Steinberger
Goodbye happy hour, hello aperitivo. This distinctly Italian custom is your opportunity to sample some of the most iconic and delightful Italian cocktails. Try an Aperol spritz or a Campari and soda. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the bitter, herbaceous amaro. Want to play it safe? Order a prosecco.
6. Watch the sunset in Riomaggiore, the Cinque Terre’s most romantic village.
Who needs the French Riviera when you can explore the Cinque Terre? These picturesque and remote fishing villages have all the charm and mystique of Cannes or St. Tropez—but with none of the overcrowded, tourist-y vibes.
7. Steal a kiss on a gondola ride in Venice.
Paris has nothing on Venice when it comes to romance. Is there anything more intimate and warm than a moonlit gondola ride with your love...sipping prosecco...being serenaded by your own gondolier? When you want to celebrate romance in Italy, book a trip to Venice.
8. Eat gelato every afternoon in Florence.
Florence is the birthplace of gelato, and if you’re a bit of a connoisseur, you’ll find the finest artisanal gelato in this Renaissance city. Of course you should try the classic flavors—cioccolato, nocciola, and fragola. But don’t skip on some amazing new combinations from the best gelateria in Florence. Pear and caramel or rose petal gelato, anyone?
9. Take a pizza-making class in Sorrento.
Once you try real pizza in Sorrento, you’ll never eat Pizza Hut or Domino’s again. Better yet—take a pizza making class so you can make it yourself when you get back home. Italy is a wonderful place for a foodie vacation. Pick up a new culinary skill on your trip!
10. Lose yourself in Trastevere.
Everyone knows there’s a tourist side to Rome—but you can still experience the city like the Romans who live here with a walking tour of Trastevere. Ancient houses, graceful churches, cobbled streets, and friendly cafes filled with locals. You can’t do Rome without visiting this lively district across the Tiber.
11. Fall in love with Tuscan wines.
Italy is an oenophile’s paradise, and Tuscany’s wines are some of the finest in the country. Noble reds, seductive whites, and of course the classic Chianti—you’ll sip the day away on Tuscany’s wine trail. And if the wine doesn’t make you dizzy, the incredible Tuscan scenery surely will.
12. Fill your water bottle from a nasone, the public fountains in Rome.
Romans laugh at tourists who pay good money to street vendors for a bottle of water. The city is awash in public fountains, called nasoni, pouring out ice-cold spring water fed from the mountains above the city. Go ahead—give it a try. It tastes better than the bottled stuff and you’ll have a truly authentic experience besides.
13. Get to know Michelangelo.
The Pietá, the mighty Moses, and of course the Sistine Chapel—you know the most famous of Michelangelo’s works in Rome. But did you know his masterpieces are all over the city? Tour St. Peter’s Basilica to get a feel for his architecture or stroll the Piazza del Campidoglio. You’ll come away with a deepened appreciation for the genius of Michelangelo.
14. Eat cicchetti like the Venetians do.
When in Spain, enjoy tapas—and when in Venice, sample cicchetti. These magical morsels are filled with all the flavors of the sea, and perfect when taken with a glass of local wine. Venetians love their cicchetti, so make like a local and do a bacaro crawl so you can taste them all.
15. Hunt tartufo on Tuscany’s truffle trail.
Go deep in the Tuscan countryside to hunt for Italy’s black gold. But don’t expect a truffle pig—they’ve been outlawed for many years. You’ll love the truffle dogs just as much; did you know these amazing animals can sell for thousands of euros?
After your hunt, be sure to sample some Tuscan cuisine beautifully flavored with this delightful delicacy.
16. Make a date with David.
Don’t miss a chance to see the most famous sculpture in the world. Take a tour of the Accademia to get a glimpse of this marvelous man. Of course, if you’d rather skip the crowds, you can see an impressive replica—along with panoramic views of Florence—from the Piazza Michelangelo.
17. Follow Caesar’s footsteps in Rome.
When you think of Rome, you can’t help but think of Caesar. Get a feel for the man and his achievements by exploring the parts of the city where he lived and worked. Stroll the Via Appia, the road he restored during his reign. Wander through Trastevere, the neighborhood he called his second home. And definitely explore the Forum, the focus of Roman political life.
18. Indulge your inner chocoholic in Perugia.
A chocolate museum. A chocolate festival. Rows of artisanal chocolatiers. If you don’t think “chocolate” when you think of Italy—think again. Perugia is Italy’s chocolate capital and you’ll find charming shops and boutiques where you can sample the region’s finest confections. Make room in your suitcase to take some home. (If you can resist the temptation to eat them all up!)
Ready to make some magic?
Is Italy calling your name right now? Fill in a few brief questions here and we’ll help you put your plans in motion. We’d love to create your perfect Italy itinerary. And if you’re not quite ready to plan your trip, sign up for our free email course, I’ll show you just how easy it is to plan the perfect Italian vacation.