Summer is nearing quickly, and with the rapid weather change, I can’t help but think about my next trip abroad. My last two Summers have been spent on Italian coasts, touring the Venetian Rivieras and Pompeii. For those who have an upmost adoration for the Italian isle, I have compiled a suggestive list of recommendations.
A romantic break away: Verona
Have you watched Letters to Juliet? If so, I’m sure you’re familiar with Verona, the city of Love. This city was my favorite city. You could say I did LOVE it. Ha. Built in the Northern region of Italy, Verona is considered as a medieval town. Verona was my favorite city for two reasons. 1) There was lots to do and see. 2) Everyone was so bloody loved up, and it was rather nice to see.
When touring Verona, I was eager to see two places in particular. Juliet’s Home and the Arena di Verona. Two massive sites to visit while touring Verona. William Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet was set in this alluring town. Rumor has it that Shakespeare’s tale was not a myth, and that a young girl named Juliet lived in Verona. Her home is open to the public. On arrival, hundreds of tourists bombard the entrance, taking photos under the archway where messages are written to loved ones in permanent marker. Unlike the film Letters To Juliet, it was rather busy, and getting a photograph was harder than expected. I was infatuated by the writings on the wall, young people asking Juliet for advice, looking for love. As you walked through the courtyard, you were given the option to visit the interior of Juliet’s home at a small price, giving you the opportunity to be photographed at Juliet’s balcony. It was a beautiful experience.
Another attraction which met my eye was the Arena di Verona. This is a Roman amphitheater which holds opera’s regularly. It was massive! Although we were sweating buckets whilst touring the arena, it was well worth the visit. I do enjoy historical settings, so if you feel similarly, I recommend a trip to this arena. Although Verona has few attractions to offer, it’s only minutes away from Lake Garda which holds breathtaking views. If you’re looking for somewhere warm and tasteful for a short weekend break away with someone you love, I can’t recommend this city enough!
A weekend away with friends: Venice
Venice is well known for its beautiful riviera which stretches for miles (which I did not expect). I visited Venice for a short period, which is definitely recommended. There are not many on-site attractions to visit. The views are where the river is. For those who are looking for a long weekend break away, why not tour the Venetian coast and take Gondola boat rides through the little towns amongst the small city. This city offered the best food and the most articulate mask shops, where I actually bought lots of beautiful Venetian masks for friends and family. If you visit this beautiful city, make sure you see the historical attractions there is to offer. One of the most aesthetic attractions in central Venice is Piazza San Marco, also known as Basilica Square. Saint Marks Basilica is located on the square, which you can pay entry to visit. My favorite attraction in Venice was the Gondola boat ride. It’s exactly what it looks like in the movies.. *swoon*. Although this did come at a very big price, €80 for four people, for twenty minutes down the river, but it was honestly worth every cent. I can’t recommend this spot enough if you’re looking for somewhere for a short time away with friends!
The party holiday: Jesolo
This place is unlike any other. Jesolo is a seaside resort town. This town was manufactured for those who want a week away in the sun. It holds one of the largest beach resorts in all of Italy. During the Summer, Italians commonly vacate here. If you are looking for somewhere with guaranteed sunshine, with plenty of unique ice cream parlors, Jesolo is the ideal spot for you. I ventured this city with my family, so going out wasn’t exactly on the to-do list. For those who love water parks, Jesolo had a massive Aqua-land just minutes outside the city. Festivities were usually held on the beach, so for those who’ve always wanted a beach party, Jesolo literally provides this.
The quiet week away: Lake Garda
I visited Riva Del Garda a few years ago, which is in the North of Italy. The best part of this holiday was the beautiful crisp views of the lake. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. If you are the type of person who enjoys long drives, this place is definitely for you. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a car rental, why not drive the full lake, bring a picnic, and find somewhere to relax. Another option is to rent out bikes! We stayed in Riva Del Garda. We toured the lake by water taxi, which gave us the opportunity to visit other grand sites and towns beside the lake. I also took the opportunity to cable car to the top of the mountains. The view was incredible. I had a little heart attack on the way up, but it was worth every second!
The history lovers holiday: Pompeii
This was one of the greatest experiences ever. I was lucky enough to visit Italy’s well known Pompeii, located to Mount Vesuvius (which is dormant, this scared me). Pompeii is a large archaeological site in Southern Italy which has been buried under mounds of ash. When Mount Vesuvius erupted, lava covered this town, killing the people of Pompeii. This site is tragic and haunting, but I truly adored it. On arrival to this town, you’re given a travel guide to the town, and preferably a headset, to listen to the story of each site you’re visiting. As this site was a Roman town, there are features which have been preserved such as tiling and design, which will cripple your heart with anguish. I was blown away by this site and if you have interest in history or archeology, I can not recommend giving Pompeii a visit. The outskirts of Pompeii is crippled in poverty, so be mindful and careful of belongings. Sorrento is just a few stops away by tram, if you make the decision to stay nearby. Don’t forget to visit Vesuvius too! I wasn’t brave enough.
The family holiday: Sorrento and The Amalfi Coast
Sorrento is located in Southern Italy. It faces the city of Naples which is an hour to two hour drive away in the car. This city is engraved into the mountains along the Amalfi coast. Why do most people go here? For sunshine. It’s advisory that you vacate Sorrento for a minimum of 10 days, unless you decide to coop up in your hotel and sunbathe. Most people prefer to take boat rides and tour the Amalfi Coast, which is exactly what I did! Regrettably, I did not pack travel sickness tablets, so if you have a weak stomach.. bring some. If driving the Amalfi Coast, you’ll be met with hundreds of twists and turns along the way, which are gut wrenching. The boat isn’t much better, I’m not going to lie. But once you’ve reached your destination, you will be quick to forget about that! The Amalfi Coast holds some spectacular views which I will never forget. Visit the blue grottos in Positano or detour to the isle of Capri. This place is unlike anywhere you’ll ever see.
I hope my recommendations are tasteful. I have yet to broaden my horizons in Italy. I cannot wait to venture Tuscany and see the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. Recommendations never go amiss! I hope these recommendations inspire some of you to venture abroad this Summer, be it for a short weekend away with your friends or a two week long adventure with the family!