Must see and do – Italy

When travelling through Italy it would be very easy to stick to the main destinations – Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, and so on. But that would be to miss some of the most startling and amazing locations. And even at those major destinations, there are countless things to do that you might miss if you stick to the obvious tourist destinations.

Here are some of Teddy’s favourite things to see and do in Italy.

  • Palazzo Pitti Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens - Any place that had been not only the playground of the powerful Medici family but was also a residence for Napoleon and the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Italy would have to have been a grand place. The Palazzo Pitti (or Pitti Palace) doesn't disappoint. Not just a grand building with all the trappings of money and power, but a lush, formal garden with amphitheatres, lawns and grand cascades. Originally built in 1458 as the home of one of <Read more>
  • Bardini 01 Bardini Garden - If peace, quiet, serenity and nature are your thing, then the Bardini Garden is a must see. Covering four hectares overlooking the Arno River, and with some of the best views of the old city of Florence, the Bardini Garden is a haven. With a checkered history going back many hundreds of years, the garden was in medieval times a series of walled orchards serving the Mozzi Palace - the building that now serves as the entrance to the garden. <Read more>
  • Villa Borghese Villa Borghese and the Borghese Gardens - After climbing the Spanish Steps and checking out the Trinita' de Monti church, take a short walk to the north-west along the Piazza della Trinita dei Monti and enjoy the marvellous Borghese Gardens. These are the second largest gardens in Rome, covering about 80 hectares (148 acres), surpassed only by the Villa Doria Pamphili. It was in 1605 that Cardinal Scipione Borghese began turning his vineyard into a the most extensive gardens in Rome at the time. The gardens were <Read more>
  • Villa Adriana - Emperor Hadrian had it good. The Roman Empire was at its peak, he was the boss, and he could do what he wanted with all those riches - no one would or could argue. What he chose to do was to build the biggest and baddest holiday house the world has ever seen. Thus was born Villa Adriana - or Hadrian's Villa. In the early half of the second century the Roman Emperor was pretty much a god. Whatever he <Read more>
  • Greve in Chianti Greve in Chianti - You know those Tuscan villages you read and dream about, the ones with a village piazza right out of the pages of a romantic novel? Greve is one of those villages, the  of the wine-growing region of Chianti (between Florence and Sienna), and host of Chianti's largest wine fair. It's a smaller village, but manages to keep itself busy all year round. There are art, ceramic, antique and fashion boutiques alongside the more traditional village shops. And if you're looking for <Read more>
  • San Gimignano San Gimignano - If you're touring through Tuscany, it's likely that you're doing so because you're interested in either Italian food and wine or Italian history. You can enjoy a fantastic example of both in the UNESCO World Architectural Heritage listed medieval village of San Gimignano. There are several walled cities remaining in Tuscany, but San Gimignano is one of the largest and best preserved. The hiltop has been settled since Etruscan times (around 250BC), and the township itself dates back to at <Read more>
  • One of the master glass blowers in Murano Murano - There are several islands in the Venetian lagoon, and probably the second most popular (after Venice itself) is Murano - the historical home of the world-famous Venetian glass-blowing industry. Murano could be called a little Venice, though the locals may not appreciate that. It has a main canal like Venice, which, while not as grand as the Grand Canal has a charm and beauty all its own. The buildings and shops that line the canal are as elegant as any <Read more>
  • The columns of a rich merchant's atrium Pompeii - Pompeii is one of those very, very special destinations. It's not the only archeological dig in the world that ordinary people can walk through, but it is one of the very few such places where you can really feel a part of the ancient city, and understand the lives and suffering of its last inhabitants. Pompeii is located a small distance inland from the Bay of Naples, just a short drive south-east of Naples itself. For those that aren't aware of the history, Pompeii <Read more>
  • Teddy takes a gondola ride Gondolas in Venice - Don't you dare say that the idea of a gondola ride through the canals of Venice sounds cliched or a tourist trap. Those things may (or may not) be true, but if you visit Venice without doing it, you will kick yourself! The prices for gondola rides are fixed by the city, just as each gondolier must be licensed and registered, and in Teddy's experience are generally adhered to. (Officially, rates are set by the Institiute for the conservation of <Read more>

 

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