I’ve only been to Italy once, but since a dear friend of mine is doing a year abroad there, I wanted to list the things I did when I was there.
If you ever get a chance to go to Italy, you better do it. It’s such a beautiful city. If you want to see art, go to Italy. If you want to go shopping, go to Italy. If you want to eat good food, go to Italy. If you like getting lost, go to Italy. If you like history, go to Italy.
1. Go to art museums and chapels
If you have been living under a rock, Italy is chock full of art. Paintings, sculptures, textile, jewelry, and so on. But, you want to see all the classical, ancient Roman, and medieval art. I mean, to be in the presence of all these masterworks that you’ve read about in textbooks is crazy! Even if you’re not religious, chapels are covered in art. Lots of gold leaf paintings can be found in churches and chapels. This is because the light from the candles will reflect off the gold to illuminate the chapel at night.
2. Eat like an Italian
Italians are all about fun, life, and FOOD! Forget about that one “authentic” Italian restaurant back at home. You need to sit down in a real Italian restaurant and order a full course. The tour group I was with took us to all these great restaurants. I remember eating a 5 course dinner at some vineyard that was prepared by monks!
I highly suggest getting a thin crust pizza. I found this hole in a wall back in Sienna. I don’t remember the name or how to get there :(, but it was the best mushroom pizza I’ve ever had.
3. Visit the Vatican
This is a tourist trap, but going inside the Vatican is really cool. Warning, the wait time will take kind of forever, depending on what day it is. The price isn’t too bad, but you can’t really take pictures of anything. You do get to see the famous Michelangelo’s painted ceiling of the Life of Christ, the Sistine Chapel, and see some Popes’ tombs.
4. Shop for Leather and Jewelry in Florence!
Florence is known for it’s leather and gold jewelry. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Will it make great gifts? OF COURSE!
Florence is just a great place to go to, below are my pics of famous buildings and some statues.
5. Sip wine at the vineyards!
Okay, I didn’t do this, because my dad wouldn’t allow me. But why not go wine tasting? It’s like the most Italian thing you could do!!!