‘La dolce vita’ is a celebrated Italian term, which means ‘the sweet life.’ It’s so easy to fall in love with Italy, as this beautiful country offers the finest of everything that we truly love in life, from a rich traditional food culture to more gorgeous scenery than you could fit into one trip. Anyone interested in cultivating their capacity to enjoy life should definitely visit Italy, a pleasant and abundant nation, where locals have taken pleasure and culturally advanced it into a refined science.
ART IN ITALY
During my extensive and passionate study of photography in college, I started to take on a deep appreciation for Renaissance era-art and architecture. They may seem unrelated at first but the great leaps of human understanding in the areas of light, physics and aesthetic proportion that occurred in the 15th century, echoed in the lens captures of the 19th. Renaissance cathedrals and chapels of Italy are some of the best places to experience full-sensory synergy, and take in the classic paintings by history’s greatest masters of the medium. One great example is the ornate St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. Furthermore, this ancient countryside is literally teeming with exquisite examples of classical art and archeology. If you are looking for something a bit more modern, check out the ultra-modern Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and enjoy the juxtaposition of groundbreaking new work against the watery city’s eloquent 18th century palaces and graceful canals.
WINE IN ITALY
At the springtime of European civilization, people in Italy were already setting to work, growing and fermenting grapes. Today, roughly a third of the world’s wine is grown in Italy, with a breadth of varieties to rival in number the diverse regions, themselves. Taking a cruise through the pastoral wine regions with a cute little convertible is a great way to spend a vacation. You can drive straight to the picturesque source and sample many types of wine in Italy, from the crisp white Arneis to the dark, robust Primitivo. I recommend starting with a rental car in Florence and heading into the Tuscan countryside for a classic wine tour with stops in Pisa and Siena, complete with a classic villa and long, decadent meals.
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert set the ‘Eat’ section of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ in Italy for a very good reason: Italian food is amazing! In Italy, a meal is not merely a pleasant way to absorb nutrients: it’s a philosophical stance that the bounty of the world is to be enjoyed without restraint, without guilt and without hurry. From your morning espresso to your nighttime sorbetto and limoncello, every meal in Italy is an opportunity to reset everything you’ve ever learned in America about pace and quality. Even better, the cuisine varies greatly by region. You can expect to enjoy a very different meal in Sicily than you will in Tuscany, and the Sicily road trip guide recommend the best local restaurants in the area. In Northern Italy, there is a greater emphasis on polenta and risotto and seafood than pasta dishes, so Veneto makes a unique culinary stop. Of course, pizza fanatics will want to include Naples, while Rome is famous for its spaghetti.
It’s hard to ignore the irony that the cartographic shape of Italy is quite similar to that of a boot, when some of the best shoes in the world bear Italian names. Milan fashion draws affluent shoppers and fashion journalists from around the world due to the creative and commercial success of graceful Gucci and posh Prada. While I am generally more likely to be seen strutting in Fila than Mui Mui (there happens to be a lot of cobblestone and dirt trails where I live), I can’t help but admire the graceful artistry of a pair of whimsically designed, luxurious shoes.
With an extensive 4,600 miles of coastline positioned in a primo climate, Italy doesn’t just boast the most beaches it Europe, it boasts the nicest, as well. You’ll have plenty to choose from, with nearly 250 sand beaches receiving Blue Flag status for unspoiled natural beauty and clean waters. However, it’s been said that the most beautiful natural beaches of Italy are found on Sardinia, so a committed beach bum can start their dream vacation with a car rental in Cagliari for gentle soft sand beaches and then proceed to Alghero to take a scuba expedition of pristine underwater caves and grottos.
Italian is a beautiful language that is, for a language learner, a quick jump away from French or Spanish. Even better, there is a rich array of Italian songs, films, operas, novels, and poems that are best enjoyed in their original language. This language is often colorful and very descriptive, especially when you start to delve into regional slang or profanities. The most vivid expressions are often in euphemisms or metaphors, so even the most practiced student of the Italian language may need to consider context, as well as the famed accompanying gestures to get a real sense of spoken meaning.
Italian auto makers are notable for producing innovative and stylish vehicles. Every make from Fiat to Maserati is thoughtfully designed to achieve automotive bliss on Italy’s intimate city streets, the swift Autostrada, and the rolling coastal villages.