Bella Italia! A phrase you’ll hear many times from the Italians during your travels throughout Italy. It means Beautiful Italy and it’s something you will say after your visit. Many people have written brief articles about the places and culture of Italy, but it does not compare to the real life experience of being there. I’ll take you through the cities of Italy in the hopes you will visit and change your life. Let’s start off with Rome (Roma), the capital of Italy. The Italians will tell you that Rome is the largest outdoor museum in the world and it’s true. There are 2,000 years of history spread throughout the city and you never know what’s around the next turn. As you walk or drive through the city, you will see things that you have read and dreamed about for years. When you finally have the chance to see it in real life, it will be better than you have ever expected.
Now, there are many «Must Sees» in Rome, but unfortunately it would take many pages to describe all of the places you can visit. So, I’ll just talk about a few of them. Before you start your journey through Rome and all of Italy – buy a book about Rome (or whatever city you are planning to visit) and read about the site(s) before you visit. You will get a lot more out of the experience if you know what you’re looking at and know the basic history of the site. The first of the «Must sees» are the Forum and the Colosseum. Since, they are located near each other and you can walk from one to the other rather easily, you should see them on the same day, if you have the time. These two sites encompass a lot of History in Rome and are seen in many movies, which most people can relate to. Of course, you should visit the sites during the day to ensure you see everything, but the lights around the Colosseum at night are a great site to see as well.
The Colosseum and the Forum have not weathered the past 2000 years very well. Some parts of the sites may be hard to imagine, so some people have recommended a tour guide to help «piece together» the locations. Another «Must See» is the Vatican, of course. Did I mention to make sure you have a camera with a video option, if possible? You Do Not want to miss taking pictures or video of your experience in Italy because they will bring back the great feelings you had when you took them. The Vatican is located in Vatican City, which is not part of Italy but its own country surrounded by Italy. When you enter the Vatican site, you’ll be in a huge outdoor area (St. Peter’s Sqare) with Saint Peter’s Basilica in the backdrop. It’s an amazing site to see as you walk through the open area and take in the beauty and history.
Now, when you depart the Vatican, you can walk to the Sistine Chapel, which is another «Must See». It’s a short walk to the entrance but there is usually a wait to enter. The Trevi Fountain is another «Must See». It’s a beautiful structure sitting in a small Piazza (area) that you do not expect to be there. Finding the Trevi fountain is like what I described above – you turn the corner and you’re breathless. The detail is incredible and makes you wonder how something like this was created so long ago. Another one of my favorite places is Piazza Navona. It’s a public square that contains 3 beautifully sculptured fountains in the middle. Along the sides of the square, there are restaurants with outdoor seating, and also vendors selling paintings throughout the square. It’s a beautiful place to relax and have lunch. And when you’re finished eating, you must try the Gelato (Italian Ice Cream). You’ll love it. There are several Gelato stands in the area.
These are just a few of the places to see in Roma. You’ll see many other sites just traveling to the locations described above, such as Piazza Venezia, Campo di Fiori, Via Veneto, Castle of St. Angelo, Villa Borghese Park, Piazza di Popolo, Via Corso, etc. After you visit Roma, your next stop should be Florence (Firenze), Italy. It’s an easy hour and a half train ride to get to Florence and another great city in Italy.
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