Where to start when talking about Italy? Well, if you intend to travel there, Rome and Venice are good places to start.
Perhaps you have heard of him? It goes without saying that Rome has quite a remarkable past. Let’s see, in Rome you will find…[deep breath]…the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Church of Santa Agnese, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and a guy named Allassandro. Just making sure you’re paying attention. In fact, Rome is packed with historically significant attractions. It seems you can’t turn around without running into something that built, captured, or destroyed an Emperor. For those willing to risk possible wrath, there are also the new Divinci Code walkthroughs, which take you to the locations found in the book.
Seriously though, Rome is a city that you must visit at least once in your life. No article could do it justice, so I’ll stop here.
Basically I refer to Venice as the floating city even though it is apparently sinking. If you’ve seen Venice in movies or TV shows, the depictions are accurate. Piazza San Marco looks exactly the same, birds and all. The Grand Canal is, well, a huge canal with amazing houses lining it and ships sailing through this canal. Built on marshes in a lagoon, the city doesn’t really have much room to grow. It just seems frozen in time.
Once you’ve conquered the tourist attractions, it’s time to get serious about Venice. The best way to do this is to stand in front of your hotel or hostel, determine which way the tourist attractions are, and start walking in the opposite direction. While it may feel like you are driving the wrong way on a highway for a few minutes, you will eventually begin to enter the real Venice.
A completely different side of Venice will appear and you will love it. You will find small cafes with locals happy to talk to you. [and non-tourist prices]. In fact, the Venetians will tend to hold you in high esteem since you are a tourist who overlooks the touristy areas. This, of course, will logically lead to a whirlwind of introductions to this nephew, that son of a brother, and so on. The next thing you know, you’ll be complaining about Italian politicians and how things used to be better in the past.
While Rome and Venice are great travel destinations, you can’t go wrong in Italy. For the more adventurous, set your itinerary with the ancient map on a wall and the dart technique.