While Italy itself has an abundance of touristy things to do- profiting off a history so rich and vivid often one tends to forget the present day Italy. The beating heart and soul of a nation is more than the architecture and paintings of ages past. So in-between lining up for museums and strolling through dimly lit , ancient cathedrals make some time in your schedule to do these things.
1.Spend at least one day in a small village.
In small villages you see the authentic side of Italian life you miss in tourist traps like Milan and Rome. You wont regret it, wander through the old streets, watch nuns heading to church, see children shout and chase pigeons in the square. Eat sticky freshly baked buns and haggle with vendors in markets. Don’t know Italian? No problem. Some communication is better off without words. Take at least one day to soak in and appreciate where you are.
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I cannot stress this enough, Italy is a country where you leave everything gluten and sugar free at the border. Indulge in iced gelato, spicy sausages, mouthwatering pasta with cheese. Savor every bite. The Italians have perfected the art of cooking with passion. Each mouthful is the culmination of centuries of experimenting and family receipts passed down. Eat until you cant eat another bite. Then eat some more.
3. Meet Someone.
Hear me out- I don’t mean romantically (but hey if the shoe fits..) I mean- make a connection with another person. Have a conversation- divulge something. Whether it be someone you share a table with in a café, or just asking for directions. Meet another soul that you can look back at and smile. But if traveling alone -be safe about it!
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4.Learn some Italian.
When I look back at my time in Italy, what stands out the most to me was the language. The words strung together like music, sometimes loud and harsh- like when a grocer backed his van into another’s and the flurry and hand jesters that followed had me blushing (and I cant even speak the language!)
But sometimes the language flowed like music. Like when the mother of the family I stayed with- pressed her lips to her daughters forehead as she bid her goodnight.
Even if all you know how to order is pistachio gelato and an espresso in Italian- that’s alright. You made an effort- and you will always remember those words.
5 Take a Night Walk
Some cities are lovely by daytime but at night- become another creature altogether. This was Florence for me. Lights sparkling on the water, old squares of crumbleing brick full of people lounging, heavenly smells coming from the patios while waiter’s in crisp white shirts gestured invitingly with menus. Sometimes a half hour walk becomes the half hour you will look back on for the rest of your life.
Found on Travel & Leisure