From The Talented Mr. Ripleyto Star Wars, there are a lot of films that were shot in scenic Italy. There are a hundred different things you can do while in Italy, and you may never even want to leave. Crossing one town and city into another, you may start to wonder if you’ve been transported into a different country altogether.
Some of the most daring adventurers would choose to stay at least a month so they can travel the quaint little towns and Italy’s romantic cities. Others would choose to embark on Italy cruises that can take them to lovely Mediterranean ports, where cobblestone streets will bring them back in time.
With such diverse scenery, culture, and food, you can’t just stay in one city and be done with it. So, remember to pack your essentials and get ready to fall in love with Italy. Here are five locations you shouldn’t miss while you’re there.
This set of five seaside villages along the Italian Riviera is a day trip you shouldn’t pass up. Sample the fresh seafood or go cliff diving with the locals, and watch the postcard-worthy sunset before you head back to your inn at Riomaggiore. At Corniglia, prepare to take over 350 steps up a massive staircase that will lead to a beautiful, panoramic view of Corniglia. Reward yourself with a gelato after the climb.
Find inner peace and contentment as you sweep past the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. Live the idyllic country life amidst medieval castles and Romanesque churches, but within reasonable distance from spa resorts and summer music festivals.
Head to the northeast of Italy to commune with nature in all its majestic glory. In these parts, you’ll see the southern face of the Limestone Alps, all white and ready to be conquered. Quaint towns with beautiful lakes, such as the Rainbow Lake of Carezza and the Cadore, where Winter Olympics were once held.
You wouldn’t leave Italy without trying a gondola ride on Canale Grande, right? Pass by the iconic bridge of Ponte di Rialto and the Bridge of Sighs, where criminals were ushered to catch their final glimpse of their beloved city. There are many famous town squares, churches, and gallerias in Venice, but take the extra time to cross to the little island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Considered the underbelly of the Italian beast, Naples is still fondly called bella Napoli by its residents. Despite being the rougher part of Italy, the decay and crumbling bits of Naples present a different type of beauty—raw and unfiltered. Naples is a city of two faces, the one you see and the one underneath it. So if you’re on your way to the Amalfi coast, try a walking tour of the catacombs.
If you’re comfortable on a scooter, feel free to whiz in and out of crowds and tight alleys to get to your next destination. Don’t miss out on the best Neapolitan pizza and pastries you will ever have.
The Capodimonte houses some of the best Renaissance painters: Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Titian, and Raphael. The world’s greatest archaeological museum is also in Naples, where you can the remains of Pompeii from the eruption of Vesuvius in situ, completely undisturbed.
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Disclaimer: This conversation about taking a cruise in Italy with sponsored by Celebrity Cruises. All opinions and text are my own.