Italy: 7 places to travel to in the boot country is written by Ida Dreboldt Kofoed-Hansen.
La Dolce Vita in Italy
Italy is a great country to travel in. The country has beautiful nature, exciting culture and, not least, delicious food.
Since the travel time from Denmark is manageable both by car and by plane, the Danes are generally quite happy to holiday in Italy, where you can really enjoy 'la dolce vita', the sweet life. Therefore, in this article we have collected a lot of information about Italy, so that you can get an overview of the country's many benefits.
Italy has many great beautiful cities that are worth traveling to. From the editorial side, however, we have chosen to highlight three cities that we believe are the epitome of Italian history, culture and food scene.
In addition, we tell you more about the north-east, north-west, central and southern Italy.
So read on and learn more about the seven places in Italy we think you should travel to.
Rooms: Culture, history and gastronomy
If you love history and culture, don't be fooled a trip to Rome.
Italy's capital is packed with historic buildings, bubbling fountains, magnificent statues and cozy streets, just a trip for those interested in culture. Roman antiquity peeks out everywhere, and it's almost like moving around a living museum.
The city is full of exciting sights that are worth a visit, but it can be expensive for the wallet. Many of the famous places like the Vatican Museum and the Colosseum cost a lot to visit, but if you have the money, it's great.
If not, don't despair. It is also a great experience to walk around the Colosseum or see it lit up in the evening darkness. All in all, there are a lot of exciting and free cultural-historical experiences in the city.
The food, on the other hand, has to be paid for, and there is something for every taste. But remember to find the places where the Italians themselves eat, because both price and quality are better than the tourist traps.
Florence: The artistic center
Florence i Toscana is the artistic center of Italy. The city was one of the focal points of the Renaissance, and here you can follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo, Leonardo and Botticelli. They strolled around between exactly the same houses and squares that you yourself can today.
The city houses many historic buildings including the Palazzo Vecchio, which is the city hall. Inside, big names like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo have adorned walls and ceilings, making the entire building a work of art.
If you have a taste for art and would like to get lost in the great works, a visit to the Uffizi Museum is a must. The building was formerly an administrative office of the city government, but is today known as the finest art museum in Florence - perhaps even in the whole world.
The city itself is very beautiful, with wonderful squares and cozy streets that invite you to explore. If you are a foodie, there is also something for you: Florence is full of really good food experiences.
There is no doubt that Florence is a popular city, so you can safely expect that more languages than Italian will be spoken in the city streets, and there is pressure in the popular places. It may therefore be an idea to visit the city out of season. Should you need a detour from the city, they are beautiful and interesting Tuscan cities Lucca and Pisa close by.
Venice: The city on the water
Venice is known as a city full of romantic atmosphere, and it is not difficult to find beautiful places where you will almost be breathless from the impressions.
The city is visited by no less than 20 million tourists a year, and it is therefore difficult to avoid large crowds. If you're up for it, get lost in the warm, narrow side streets, where there's nothing to see at first glance.
Once you've just turned a corner twice, you're all alone in old crooked streets oozing with ambiance. When looking at a map, keep in mind that many of the street names are channels and not streets. It can be a little confusing. There are no ice cream parlors and souvenir shops in the crooked, narrow streets, but in return you get a sense of old Venice.
You can also take a look at the colorful island of Burano if you want to get away from the crowds. Having said that, the large squares and beautiful palaces where everyone else comes are also definitely worth a visit.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency for the food in Venice to not be as good as in the rest of Italy, as there are so many tourists that the restaurants are not dependent on return visits.
Northeast Italy: Dolomites and coffee museum
The northeastern part of Italy borders Austria og Slovenia. A large part of the landscape is characterized by the beautiful mountain pass, where you can ski under the Dolomites, and there are many who go on ski holidays in the area.
But you can do much more than that. The Dolomites are also a fabulous place to spend time both spring, summer and autumn with hiking routes of all shades.
Like many other places in Italy, there are lots of cities with beautiful historic buildings. The old port city of Trieste is close to the border Slovenia. The Italians have a close relationship with coffee, but in Trieste the hot black drink is really appreciated; they have a coffee museum and even an annual coffee brewing festival. If you're in town anyway, do not deceive yourself for this whimsical experience.
It is also in the north-eastern part of Italy that you will find the city of Udine. This old medieval town has, among other things, a very beautiful palace, built by the same builders who built palaces in Venice. The city is worth a visit and has a number of exciting sights.
The climate is not warm in the same way as further down in Italy, as the mountains affect the weather of the area. But that does not mean that it is not hot. You are on the right side of the mountains and can easily experience summer days at 30 degrees. Thus, it is perfect if you are not into the heavy 'siesta heat' you find further down in Italy.
Northwestern Italy: Lakes Como, Garda and Maggiore
This part of Italy has a coastline towards the Mediterraneanhavet and is an obvious destination if you want to swim. The Italian Riviera in the region of Liguria is known as a lovely holiday area with access to beautiful beaches.
It's not just along havet, there are bathing opportunities. Here are also the three large, beautiful lakes Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. All three have brilliant blue water, fantastic scenery and delicious food close by.
On Lake Maggiore you will find three small islands called the Borromean Islands, which are definitely worth a visit. They are located right next to each other and one houses a small fishing village, the other a palace and the third a botanical garden. They were created by Italian counts a little over 400 years ago, where they gave free rein to the imagination.
There is nothing better than sitting in a cafe along the water, sipping one Aperol Spritz and enjoy the view of the illuminated islands in the evening. If you love beautiful lakes, but would like to experience something different than the famous ones, we can recommend the lake Idro near Brescia right between the more famous lakes.
The climate is warm here, but the many mountains usually ensure that the heat does not become completely unbearable. It also makes the landscape very varied, depending on where in the area you are. There are some pretty beautiful hikes in the mountains if you get tired of lazing in the sun.
The area around Turin in the region Piemonte is possibly one of the most overlooked travel areas in the entire country. Consider, for example, the cities of Bra, Alba and, not least, Asti, which have given their name to the ultimate holiday drink: Asti Spumante.
All in all, there are great wine experiences to be had in Piedmont, where, among other things, they produce the world-famous Barolo. You can also go to the winter festival in Aosta all the way up to Mont Blanc.
Central Italy: Authentic culture
Italy exudes art, culture and nature, and in the central part of Italy it all comes together. This part of Italy has coastline on both sides and it's a no-brainer to visit the area if you want to dip your toes in havet.
If you're looking for a bit of authentic Italian culture, try looking away from the big tourist areas and into the small towns. Not much English is spoken here, but the hospitality is top notch.
In this part of Italy lies Umbria, which is called 'the green heart of Italy'. The region is located right in the middle of Italy and is the only region that neither borders other countries nor has a coastline. The Apennine mountain range snakes its way through the landscape, which varies between peaked heights and lush valleys. Between all the glorious nature lie the medieval towns of Assisi and Spoleto, both oozing with historical charm and trickling fountains. Completely idyllic.
It is also in central Italy that you will find Toscana; the region which is known for its fantastic food and phenomenal nature. The area is known as the most beautiful in Italy, and it also feels like walking around a landscape painting when you move around the area.
There are many Danes who visit Tuscany every year, so it is easy to find accommodation there. There is a reason that Toscana is as popular as is the case.
If you love Tuscany and want a better place, you can go to the lesser-known one southern part of Tuscany.
The climate in the middle of Italy is on the very warm side in the summer, so you have to take into account a break in the middle of the day if you want to travel to the area during the summer period.
If you are not into the very hot temperatures, then early spring and autumn are definitely also a great time to see Italy. However, you should be aware that the Italians themselves have their summer holidays in August, so some places are a little depopulated during this period.
Southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia
The southern part of Italy actually makes up a fairly large part of Italy's area, but it is not an area that is so visited by Danes. And it's a shame, because many good experiences await there.
When the "real" Southern Italy starts is a little different depending on who you ask, but for us at the editorial office it is especially the islands Sicily og Sardinia, which exudes a southern atmosphere. But also Calabria at the very bottom has something special about it.
Geographically, Calabria forms the tip of the Italian boot. The area is not nearly as visited by tourists as the rest of the country. It's a bit of a shame, because in Calabria there are lots of exciting things to see. Especially the old buildings in the small villages are worth a visit.
Compared to the big cities like Milan, Rome and Venice, Calabria is a poorer area – which is perhaps why the area is a bit overlooked by tourists, even though it is beautiful and has its charm.
Sicily is the size of Jutland, but has a phenomenal landscape that is hugely varied. Although of course there is also life in the big cities, agriculture takes up a lot of the island. Sicily's climate is particularly suitable for olives, wine and grain, which are produced here.
The temperature is around 25 degrees, and in the southern part of the island, where the winds from the Sahara desert hit, it can be up to 40 degrees. Sicily has many beautiful cities and exciting destinations that you should visit. And if you need to experience something different on those edges, you can slip further down to Malta just south of Sicily.
Sardinia stands a bit by itself in Middelhavet west of the mainland, but is considered part of Southern Italy. The island is not a well-known tourist destination for the Danes, which is a shame, as it has a lot to offer. Part of the island is very touristy with a focus on beach resorts and beachgoers, but as you move away from them and into the heart of the island, you will find an authentic, exciting island that can do much more than be a bathing paradise.
The food in particular is known for the authentic local ingredients, reminiscent in that way of 'new Nordic food' in Denmark. Sardinia has plenty to offer at all.
You can also experience the southern Italian atmosphere on the mainland.
250 kilometers south of Rome you will find Naples and not least Pompeii - also spelled Pompeii - the famous city which was buried by lava and burning ash from the volcano Vesuvius around the year 79.
The city is fantastically well preserved, and so much has been excavated over time that you can spend a whole day exploring the city. If you are interested in history in any way, it is an obvious choice.
Italy is worth traveling to, both summer and winter. The food is good all year round and the warm-hearted Italians are always enjoyable company. The challenge is simply to find out where in the country to start your journey.
Have a good trip to Italy!