Thinking about the reasons to come in Spaghettiland, you should be probably convinced with two: food and beauty. Whether it is art or landscape, street food or gourmet dishes, what do you need to be convinced to spend your holiday here? But I do not want to stick to clichés, that’s why I’ll try to give you more reasons.
But let’s start from clichés.
If you are looking for rest, I certainly recommend a week or two on farm holidays. Thousands are the solutions: you only have to decide if you want to go to the sea (fly to Sicily, Sardinia, Apulia or Calabria), mountain (enjoy a stroll in Trentino Alto Adige or Aosta Valley), lake (Como, Garda or Maggiore in North Italy) or even country (under the Tuscany sun). Breathtaking views are everywhere and many, like Capri, Ischia, or Cinqueterre, are worldwide famous. If you want to plunge yourself into art you already know where to go. From the most renowned Rome, Florence, and Venice to the less exploited Turin or Palermo. Many cities offer museum cards, and some museums are free on certain days or hours but art can surprise you at every corner.
I do not want to say that our food is the best. Every country has its delicacies and everywhere you can eat well. What makes our cuisine special is not the quality or the recipes, it’s the variety. We do not have pasta, we have thousands of ways to cook pasta, serve pasta, and prepare pasta. The same dish can be served in several ways, moving from one village to another, even if a few miles away, can lead to a quite different way to cook that risotto or cake or sauce. We can argue for hours about what kind of cheese you need in that recipe.
A special mention should be given to Pizza. You might think there are many varieties, but if you speak with some Neapolitan you might be surprised to hear him saying that 3 or 4 are the varieties of pizza. I think I’ll write a specific post on that. Click on the Facebook button to be updated (mailing list coming soon).
So, book your holiday and start discovering small trattorias and restaurants. Use this simple rule: do not stop in the main street of a city, turn the corner and enter one of those lateral narrow streets. You could find cheap but nice places to taste the best of our traditions.
3. Special Sales
You will find sales all around the peninsula almost until the end of August when coats and boots will take the place of light dresses and sandals. But in many outlets, you can also find items from the previous fall/winter season. And if you go classic, you can always find the perfect jacket for the incoming cold season.
If you are visiting the capital, consider the possibility to spend a day at Castel Romano, 20 minutes from Rome where you will find items from top-quality Italian designers like Versace, Moschino, Ferretti, Kors. There is a bus that can lead you there from Termini station, at n. 58 of Via Marsala.
If you are in Torino here is the secret place I want to share (hey, if you have arrived so far reading, you definitely deserve it). Massanova, Via Pietro Micca n. 1. In the main street, Via Roma, you find the main Massanova store. In the one in Via Pietro Micca (2 minutes from Piazza Castello), you can find almost the same things but with really interesting prices. From Silvian Heach jackets to Ruco Line shoes, you can bring home something for a few euros.
4. Free cultural events
A lot of cities offer open-air cinemas, concerts, and fairs. This summer Torino has organized evening screenings of old movies in the Royal Palace Square. Bologna has a rich program of rock, jazz, and classic concerts many of which are free. Ask for brochures at the tourist office with all the updated events. You should find one in the main square or station.
5. Craft and Craftsmen
One of the most famous in Milan is the Market of Viale Papiniano, while in Torino you should visit the Market in the area called Crocetta. You can find really good bargains from perfumes, jewelry or clothes of unknown or famous designers.
If you are in Palermo, you should visit the Vucciria, while in Rome you should consider stopping in Porta Portese. Markets are great places to discover the life of a city or village. Some are very famous and have even been shown in movies. You can also find something to eat at a very low price and hear the vendor screaming to attract attention.
Did I convince you? Please, if you like this article share it and let me know if there are topics mentioned there you would like to discover more.