Moving to Italy is the stuff that dreams are made of, and Italy has long been a bewitching destination for tourists and expats alike. While living in Italy may not always live up to your expectations, there’s no denying that the country and its attractions will wildly surpass all expectations. There is just so much to see and do in Italy that a lifetime wouldn’t be enough. Italy has been the home to some of the greatest artists and scientists who have redefined the world and our perceptions of beauty, art and science. The country is not surprisingly home to a great concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Italy has a wealth of historical and cultural sites, museums, theatres, art galleries, carnivals and fashion and shopping centers.It’s hard to list the top five attractions or things to do in Italy, as there’s so much to see and do that no list could do it justice. These five are by no means the absolute top attractions, but they are amongst the many that you try not to miss as an expat living in the country.
Spend a day in Venice
As clichéd as this may sound, you just can’t live in Italy and not visit Venice. This is one of the most famous and easily recognizable of all cities in the world. It is just as beautiful and magical as one can imagine, and it truly is the city of romance. No surprise that it’s featured as the backdrop in a number of movies like Everyone Says I Love you, The Story of Us and The Tourist. Venice has a lot to offer, and it’s not just meant for couples. The city is a treasure trove of history, with its quaint, unique architecture, and the winding waterways that are navigated through in gondolas. There can be few things as relaxing and surreal as riding a gondola through the waterways of Venice.
Shopping in Italy
Italy is home to the world’s top fashion and shopping destinations with cities like Milan, Florence and Rome. This is what every shopaholic dreams of and it is everything its built up to be and it’s also as expensive as you could imagine it being. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to splurge on shopping but still want to enjoy the shopping experience, it may be a good idea to frequent the malls on the outskirts of Rome, Florence and Milan instead.
Visit Vatican City
This isn’t just the center of the Catholic faith and the seat of its religious head the Pope, it’s also a site of great importance to art, culture and history. Although Vatican City may be the smallest country in the world, it is home to the greatest treasures of the arts, with the works of Renaissance greats Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and others like Raphael and Caravaggio. There are sculptures, statues, and historic figures around every corner, and no amount of time spent here will suffice.
Visit the Mediterranean beaches
The Mediterranean coast is everything it’s made out to be, and if you stay anywhere near the coast, you should make it a point to visit the beaches. With crystal clear waters and clean sand, the beaches in Italy are a delight for swimmers. The wonderful weather in Italy also ensures that the sea remains quite warm, and so you can literally spend most of your day in the water! If you prefer to go on a cruise, there are also plenty of cruises along Italy’s coastline.
Hiking, Climbing and Skiing
The Northern region of Italy is dominated by the world famous Alps, and attracts skiing enthusiasts from all over the world. The region has plenty of excellent ski resorts and winter sports facilities. There are also a number of national parks in Italy, especially in the Valle d’Aosta region and almost all of the national parks have excellent walking trails making walking and hiking popular activities.
There are plenty of other places worth a visit, and these include sites of historical importance like the city of Pompeii, the Coliseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa among others. Try not to miss out on any of the local festivals and carnivals if you want to get a real taste of life in Italy.