Existing Member?

Faraway, so close

5 things you must do in Italy

ITALY | Friday, 26 August 2011 | Views [3128]

Let's sum up the things that are a must-do if you visit Italy, from North to South.

1-Visit Trieste

Trieste is the last Italian city just before the border with Slovenia, former Yugoslavia.

This city was annexed to Italy just after the Second World War, so it is easy to find people speaking Yugoslavian, and also, since it is pretty close to Austria, you will hear people speaking Italian with kind of a “German” accent.

This proximity has also influences on the food, you will eat bratwurst and Sacher and strudel as if you were in Vienna, but also on the temper and behaviour of people, who are less messy than the average Italian.

Trieste is our Chicago, our “windy city”, it is indeed one of the main ports of the country, along with Civitavecchia, Naples and Genua, and so it sits straight on the sea, the City hall has a great view on the bay just in front of it.

This makes winter really windy, with wind speeds that reach even more than 100 km per hour. sometimes This is what we call the “bora”.

Trieste is a mixture of Italian and Austro-Ungarian elegance, it is small and easy to walk through and a good starting point to go to the east or to go towards the Dolomiti.

2-Have aperitivo on the Navigli, Milan

Milan is the city where the aperitivo is at its best. Most people have dinner on it, as it is so abundant. But, if you want a kick of also a certain counterculture while you are in the Italian city of fashion and business, head towards the Navigli, you will discover a sort of little Venice right outside the business centre of Milan, where, on the two sides of the docks along the river, you can choose many hip places and trendy restaurants to sooth your desire of Negroni or Spritz and eat something.

3-Go to the Carnival in Poggio Mirteto, close to Rieti, central Italy

As you might know, Italy is where the Pope resides. I mean, in the centre of Rome, there is another country, the Vatican, which also happens to be right in the centre of our country.

Centuries ago the Pope was not just an old man that greeted people outside a window on Sundays, once the Vatican had an active army and fought wars.

So, to make Italy united, Garibaldi and his soldiers had to fight also against the Pope, fisically and bureaucratically.

They did both, but, before that, there is the story of this small village in the mountains 100km away from Rome, Poggio Mirteto, that fought against the army of the Pope and won.

Since then, the Carnevalone Liberato (Freed Carnival) takes place on the first Sunday of the Quaresima (Lent), starting from the morning to around 20pm, when a straw representation of the Pope is burnt.

It is a crazy day on which people dress up as devils, sexy nuns, Popes or whatever and drink and laugh as much as they can.

4-Have a walk in Garbatella neighborhood, Roma

Roma, despite being a big city almost impossible to cross on foot, is one of the nicest places to walk through if you focus on one neighborhood at a time.

Garbatella is one of them. Once the centre of vernacular Rome, here is where the people who worked at the Central Markets lived, now it is renewed and growing as a cultural centre where thatres, such as Palladium, where the important RomaEuropa Festival takes place, and also it is the place where the love for the main football team of the city, AS Roma, is felt.

If you wander around the beautiful 40's houses you will find many graffitis recalling the victory of the League by AS Roma in 2001, with portraits of the heroes of that time, among whom there is the much beloved and iconic Francesco Totti.

5-Go to the Egadi, islands in front of Trapani, Sicily

Just after having bought some panelle in front of the docks, you can jump on a ferry to Favignana, the bigger of the three Egadi islands. Once there, rent a bike and decide where to go to have a bath and get your suntan. Keep in mind that if the sea is rough on one side, you can easily go to the other side, where the water should be calm.

Levanzo and above all Marettimo are really worth a visit, you can get there by boat, try to ask for a lift from one of the fishermen or purchase a one day trip at the port in Favignana.

Marettimo has the cleanest and bluest water I have ever seen. Though, beware of some jellyfish which happen to wander around!

Tags: aperitivo, as roma, egadi, francesco totti, garbatella, italy, milan, sicily, trapani, trieste

About ssa

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Italy

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.