Italy: Why This Country is Amazing (Plus Tips for a River Cruise!)
Every globe-trotter needs to visit Italy for one simple reason – it is the cradle of Western Civilization. Ancient Rome has defined the modern world in ways that are impossible to deny, and Renaissance has arguably saved the world by ushering in the unprecedented age of enlightenment in the realms of art and science. If you want to savor the scent of Tuscany, some tips for a river cruise and why you should get lost in ancient Italian cities, here’s why this ancient country is so amazing.
Italy is the beacon of history and civilization
The history of Italy is ancient, varied, exciting. While you are walking around the gentle hillsides and rustic vineyards of Tuscany or stroll down the narrow cobblestone streets of its dreamlike cities, you are basically standing on the shoulders of giants – Julius Caesar, Cicero, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Fibonacci, Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, Campanella, Columbus, Marco Polo, Amerigo Vespucci, Francesco Petrarch, and the list goes on – it is practically endless. Do you see where we’re going with this? Even though the cultural center of the world has relocated to the US, that doesn’t mean that Italy is relegated to the dustbin of history.
The cities will knock you off your feet
Thankfully, Italian cities have preserved this cultural heritage and now you can get lost among the facades of Florence that will make you feel as if you are a wayward traveler from the 1500s. Every city has incredible sights to offer – from magical Venice to enchanting Sienna, from eclectic Milan to spectacular Rome. The legendary landmarks, such as Coliseum, Piazza San Marco, Tower of Pizza and Ponte di Rialto are monumental, and still impress with their unchanging beauty that cannot be compared with any of the modern architectural structures.
You can go on an unforgettable river cruise
Italian peninsula is immersed in the Mediterranean blue, on three sides surrounded by the sea and the Alps mountain range in the north. The inland itself is a rich patchwork of varied topography, and if you want to savor its scents and beauties in a classy way, embark on one of the spectacular river cruises in Italy. Of course, enchanting barge cruises around Venetian region are a blockbuster attraction, but if you get a chance to travel down the river Po, do not miss it for the world!
The landscape has everything
Italian landscape has it all, from spectacular mountains to beautiful lakes. Within its borders, you can easily go from hot Mediterranean coast to a snow-covered pine tree woods of the Alps. If you are an avid hiker who likes to go on incredible adventures on foot, test your endurance and skill by going on the grand hike across the Dolomites. If you do not believe that Italy has practically everything when it comes to landscapes and topography, just go to the Accona region in Tuscany and marvel at its desert landscape.
All that food
Of course, above all else, Italy is known for its gourmet yet healthy menu of delicious meals. It’s practically impossible to get a bad meal in Italy, and even the street vendors that sell fast food will prepare a juicy, greasy wrapping that will overwhelm your senses and leave you wanting for more. This is a place where all food taboos are utterly destroyed as everything is so irresistibly delicious. The seafood, pasta, cheeses, high-quality black bread, olives, garlic, parsley and grilled vegetables – these are all the iconic ingredients of Italian cuisine for centuries and, dare we say, millennia. Of course, pizza is unavoidable part of the experience and don’t even dare to leave the country without enjoying panna cotta and some custom-made gelato.
Finally, don’t forget the rustic vineyards of the inland – the role model vineyards around the globe, from Australia to California. Not even French have managed to perfect the sophisticated art of winemaking as much as Italians did. After all, ever since the ancient Rome, and even before that, wine was the main intoxicating nectar among the locals. They have had time to practice. While you are travelling across Italy, it is nigh-impossible to imagine a meal without a glass of rich, tasteful wine. While you’ll hardly get a chance to sample it all, nobody will blame you if you end up on a week-long binge while you’re there. After all, wine is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and Italian wine is too well crafted to cause supreme hangover – as long as you drink in moderation, you should be A-OK.
Italy has emerged out of the most turbulent events in history as the beacon of civility that echoes all the way to modern times. The legacy of this mesmerizing peninsula, its cities, and countryside, is absolutely undeniable. So, as cosmopolitan people and travelers, we have to pay respects to this country and go on a sort of a pilgrimage down its expansive halls of time.