Winter approaches but Italy has always had a summer atmosphere, something similar to Greece and Spain. That’s what the cultures in the Mediterranean area offer, defined basically in two words: sun & beach.
On the other hand, as you might agree with me, possibly this is not the best season to think about sun and beach in Europe. In this case, I highly recommend Italy between their Mediterranean competitors, as I think its offer of culture with its ever-lasting cities is almost impossible to beat.
To begin with, an advice: Italians were never told how to drive. Somebody gave them a car as a birthday present and they have fun driving it. I hope daddy pays the repair shop fees. Seriously, if your plan is to take a ride on a rental car in the proximity of any big city, I would strongly discourage you from going ahead, unless you want to make use of your car insurance payment.
When you take the car away from them, they can be extremely nice people, open mind, and always ready to meet new people and have fun. Girls should be aware that nobody can flirt better than an Italian, so take care if you left your boyfriend/husband back at home, as they will really don’t care. They love to share! And talking about the things they share, what about some of the most important buildings that have made this country famous for?
Of course if you travel from Europe maybe you will begin at another place, but if you come from the outside, I would start the route in Rome. Rome is such a chaos of city that everybody asks themselves how those old buildings are still standing up. And that is true, highly trained hands and minds built those ancient structures that look to the sky, to eternity. Vatican City is a must see and the thousand of churches you will find when walking on the narrow streets of the old town will impress you, specially because you will find them all different from each other, being an entity by themselves, no pure repetitive work.
When lunch time arrives, tourist targeted actors will appear on the scene, promoting there terribly good slices of pizza in restaurants where you will be charged for using the fork, for the water they need to use to clean the dishes and possibly a thousand details more that will make your bill look astronomic. Keep away from those guys or you will spend all your budget with them. And remember that pizza in Italy is good everywhere, if Mr. Scaramucci does not cook it for you, Mr. Caballo will do. Simply, they do it good, it’s their life, so don’t try to eat the best pizza in the world.
Finishing your stay in Rome, I would emphasize in visiting Florence, specially to look at the cathedral and, if you can and your knees allow you, go upstairs to the very top of the building. The sights are really promising.
Another visit you can’t avoid is to the famous town of Pisa. And famous not because of it’s size, but for the tower that receives this name, that one day or another will finally smash a tourist when falling down. The degrees of inclination are going higher, so take the opportunity to visit it now that it is still there standing. Possibly Italians have the situation controlled but… oh, you really never know, they are Italians.
After this visit to the falling tower, I think you simply can’t avoid visiting Venice. Romantic destination together with Paris, Venice can be very tough to live in during the year, but I must admit it has a very strong appeal to tourists to get a “gondola” and surf the the “canale” at night-time. Hotels in the city can be very expensive, so my recommendation is to book one in Mestre, just at the outskirts of Venice, where you only need to take a 3 minutes ride to the city of water.
Finally, if time allows you, and also as it has a good intercontinental airport, finishing your trip in Milan to see the Cathedral could be a nice final strike to this Italian trip.
Sincerely, I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I have enjoyed my trips to Italy. Just remember to take care with Italians. They are not dangerous, but persuasive and good at drama.