So you think you’ve done all Italy has to offer? Think again! Here is your visit Italy Bucket List of the 12 things to do in Italy before you die!
Everyone who has a dream should go to Italy. It doesn't matter if you think your dream is dead and buried, in Italy it will rise and walk again
Italy is famous all over the world for its art cities like Rome, Venice and Florence but its wonders certainly don't stop there. Let's discover together some of the unmissable places to visit at least once in your life, starting from the majestic Alps and going down to the warm Sicily.
1 - Lake Braies, the jewel of the Dolomites
The Lake Braies is an enchanting body of water hidden within the Dolomites, a mountain range characterized by endless views and fiery sunsets. During the summer, the Lake Braies is emerald color, while in winter it is covered by a blanket of ice and snow, shining like diamonds. According to a legend, savages came to the Braies Valley to steal precious stones, so the local shepherds threw them on the bottom of the lake in order to hide them: therefore even today Lake Braies has iridescent colors like a jewel. On the shores of the lake, you can enjoy trekking, mountaineering, Nordic Walking, snowshoeing and fun boat trips.
2 - The witches of Triora
The town of Triora is a small urban center nestled in the mountains of the Ligurian hinterland. Triora was the scene of the largest witch hunt in Italy. The trials for witchcraft took place between 1587 and 1589 by the Holy Inquisition and were so ferocious and punitive to deserve the name of the town " Italia's Salem ". The sentences for witchcraft lead to death at the stake several young girls accused of being the authors of continuous plagues, acid rain, the killing of livestock and even cannibalism towards children in diapers. Even today the village retains a ghostly charm: the crumbling stone houses, the winding streets and the many stores that sell magic-themed gadgets. In memory of these tragic events was established a festival dedicated to witchcraft called Strigora which takes place on the third Sunday of August in the streets of the ancient burg.
3 - Rock Art in Val Camonica
In the heart of Val Camonica, in the province of Brescia, is the largest European site of prehistoric rock engravings: there are more than 200,000 engravings, the oldest dating back to 6,000 BC. These engravings represent themes of daily life: shepherds, scenes of hunting and war, domestic and wild animals and handicrafts. The most famous engraving is the Camunian Rose: this figure was chosen to become the symbol of the Lombardy Region and has also given its name to an excellent local cheese. Through the many paths that cross the Val Camonica, you can discover a treasure of ancient beauty engraved on more than 1000 blocks of stone and surrounded by a stunning mountain landscape
4 - The islands of Burano and Murano between glass and lace
A short distance from the famous Venice, inside the waters of the Lagoon, you will discover the famous islands of Murano and Burano, both easily accessible by ferry. Here you can discover the true Italian craftsmanship and venture among the many local stores for shopping completely made in Italy. The island of Murano is famous worldwide for its glass production and, walking through the town alleys, you can admire the magical rainbow spectacle of glass objects exposed outside the stores. In Murano's glass workshops you can watch the artisans at work among the furnaces and the glass blowing pipes and you can buy directly from the producers both majestic glass chandeliers and small souvenirs with delicate pendants. A few minutes by ferry from Murano you can reach the island of Burano, a charming fishing village characterized by pastel-colored houses. This island owes its international fame to the lace production made since immemorial time by the women of the island while their husbands fishing outside.
5 - Val d'Orcia, the Italian countryside you've always imagined
If you close your eyes and try to imagine the Italian countryside, your imagination will probably reconstruct an image of the Val d'Orcia. The sweet and wide hills are painted with warm and embracing colors, like a Renaissance painting: the yellow of the wild mustard growing in the meadows, the pink of the sainfoin fields, the red of the sulla that feeding bees, the green of the meadows and the cypresses. You will be enveloped by the aroma of fragrant broom and numerous species of wild orchids and, if you are crossing these beautiful trails at lunchtime, you will hear the sound of dishes and pots coming from the windows and the irresistible small of pici pasta with goose sauce. The Val d'Orcia brings to mind images of the golden age, a time when people lived in perfect harmony with nature.
The magnificent landscape of Val d'Orcia was included in the World Heritage List by Unesco in 2004.
6 - Castelluccio of Norcia and the lentils flowering
Castelluccio di Norcia is a small town in the region of Umbria which rises in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains. The zone is a point of reference for all the lovers of the outdoors sports: is possible practice trekking, riding horse, rafting and free flight in hang-gliding or paragliding.
The main attraction of Castelluccio di Norcia is the lentils flowering that takes place approximately in May and June: it is a natural spectacle of incomparable beauty that transforms the landscape in an expanse of amazing colors from purple to red and yellow to green. The feast of the flowering usually falls on the third and the last Sunday of June, however, there is no exact date to admire this spectacle, each year the flowering follows the weather of the season.
7 - The 7 Roman Hills
Famous as the eternal city that surrounds, the seven hills of Rome have gone down in history thanks to the famous myth linked to the founding of Rome and the story of the first seven kings.
Have you been to Rome and haven't made a trip to the hills? It's time to remedy! You will be enchanted by the typical Mediterranean nature of this area, because of the cypress trees and because of the enchanting lakes such as the beautiful Lake Nemi not far from Castel Gandolfo: in the lakes area take advantage of a visit the temple of the Goddess Diana Nemorense. The Roman hills are also famous for hosting some towns with important artworks such as Grottaferrata and its religious buildings, Frascati with its Tuscolan villas and its famous wine, Lariano and Velletri with their magnificent examples of Baroque architecture. The area is literally full of excellent taverns where you can taste the typical dishes of Roman cuisine such as bucatini all'amatriciana, spaghetti cacio e pepe and artichokes alla giudea, all washed down with one or more of the famous wines of the Roman Castles.
8 - Amalfi Coast, a balcony overlooking the sea
The Amalfi Coast is one of the Italian sites included by Unesco in the Word Heritage List. This stretch of coast leaning on the Tyrrhenian Sea looks like a long balcony overlooking the blue and dotted with small and charming villages overlooking the sea and interspersed with coves, beaches and terraces planted with citrus fruits, vines and olive trees.
The Amalfi Coast has often been used by Hollywood directors for its enchanting views and fabulous fishing villages that enclose the quintessence of "Italian holiday" and the "bella vita". Amalfi Coast is made up of thirteen towns, we talk about some of the most famous and unmissable: Amalfi with its amazing streets and numerous stores, Cetara - an ancient and quaint seaside village famous for its spaghetti, Positano the vertical village where many characteristic alleys slope down to the sea and Ravello with its breathtaking views.
9 - The "Sassi" in Matera
The city of Matera was elected 2019 European Capital of Culture and is one of the brightest pearls of the Basilicata region. The name "Sassi" identifies the two most important city neighborhoods that make up the historic center. When you see the amazing houses carved into the white rock many of you will remember the typical landscapes of the Palestinian cities of the time of Jesus: in fact in 1964 Pier Paolo Pasolini filmed here "The Gospel according to St. Matthew" and in 2004 Mel Gibson chose the area of the Sassi as the set for his famous film "The Passion of the Christ". The Sassi of Matera will offer you beautiful views and the wonder of walking in a rocky labyrinth built in prehistoric times. Another reason why you absolutely must visit Matera is the excellent cuisine: try the cazzomarro, a dish made of lamb entrails (liver, heart and lung wrapped in the gut) cooked on the grill or peperoni cruschi, a true regional gastronomic specialty.
10 - Ostuni the Mediterranean pearl
Ostuni is a town located in the region of Puglia and is called "White City": the name depends on the fact that buildings are entirely white. The city of Ostuni is very reminiscent of Greek cities because of the combination of pearly white houses given by the plaster with the deep blue of the sea. The old town area of Ostuni consists of a maze of very characteristic streets overlooked by white buildings, medieval churches and the beautiful Gothic cathedral. During your visit let yourself be ispired by a good lunch to discover the wonders of Apulian cuisine: orecchiette pasta with turnip tops, the typical Apulian panzerotto stuffed with mozzarella and tomato, cavatelli pasta with chickpeas, focaccia with onions and bruschetta with tomato; wash it all down with a good wine, we recommend either the Primitivo di Manduria or Nero di Troia. After that wait at least three hours before dive into the sea!
11 - The Nuraghi in Sardinia
Sardinia is a famous island known all over the world for its beautiful white beaches and its crystal clear sea. If you visit this wonderful jewel of the Mediterranean take your time to visit also the interior of the island and discover wild and unspoiled nature and the mysterious and fascinating Nuragic villages. These stone buildings testify to the existence of an ancient civilization dating back to the Iron Age, divided into tribes that lived isolated on this island for hundreds of years. Nuraghi are cone-shaped stone constructions, some articulated in real castles with towers that can reach up to 30 meters: their main purposes were defensive and religious as the famous Tombs of the Giants.
There are about 7000 nuraghi throughout Sardinia divided into archaeological parks easily visited that allow tourists to walk inside the villages and in some cases to access the stone building: it will seem like entering a time machine and be catapulted into the prehistoric era!
12 - The Val di Noto and the height of the late Baroque
After the dangerous earthquake that struck the Val di Noto in 1693, began a remarkable architectural reconstruction of the 8 most-affected cities of the valley: Catania, Caltagirone, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli. In a few years of work, these cities were transformed into the stylish mirror of the European late baroque thanks to a rare stylistic unity. The artistic and urbanistic quality of the buildings is wonderful and their architectural ideas definitely innovative are applied. The 8 beautiful towns that make up the Val di Noto are still the testimony of the happy creativity of that time when the European Baroque was at the height of its splendor. In particular, enjoy a visit to the Cathedral of Catania and admire its superb facade, visit the picturesque Ragusa and the churches of Noto.
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