Food – There are few places on the planet so well known for its food than Italy. Growing up I’ve always enjoyed Italian food, but it was American Italian food. There’s nothing quite like the real food in Italy and that alone makes your first visit a treat for the senses. Be it the markets, the shops or the restaurants, there are seemingly no limits to the quantity of delicious food in Italy. One of my favorite dishes is arancino di riso or rice balls. Arancino di Riso or rice balls come filled with a variety of ingredients, but I opted for the four-cheese filling with rice and peas. As with any great example of street food, the first bite was the best and the steamy center was the perfect antidote to a chilly winter’s afternoon. I was also surprised at how very filling they were, after one I was well sated and ready for a nap. Not bad for 3 Euro. I enjoyed the arancinos several times while in Northern Italy and even though I’d never seen them before, I hope our paths cross again sooner rather than later.
Attractions – As one of the centers of Western civilization, there is no shortage of sites and attractions in Italy. To experience them all would take a lifetime, but there are a few favorites that I can’t seem to get enough of. In Rome the Pantheon was a personal favorite, for reasons I can’t properly define. Perhaps it’s the shocking age of the building or the fact that it was thankfully repurposed into a church. But more than anything I think it’s the austere beauty of the Pantheon. It may be dark and forboding, but there is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. Leaving Rome the city of Bologna in the north is another favorite. Long known for its culinary prowess, the city has a lot more to offer than just a nice meal. One of my favorite Bologna activities was a visit to the Gelato Museum, just on the outskirts of town. There the visitor has the chance to not only learn more about the history of gelato, but to taste some of the fresh product as well.
People – As with any location, it’s the people who really define the experience. While the Italians absolutely have their quirks, they all share one quality – a fierce love of their country. It’s this patriotism that makes visiting so much fun. Everyone is eager to share their favorite attractions or restaurants, making every visit new and exciting. Italy is also very easy to visit. I tend to always find fantastic deals on flights to Rome as companies such as Monarch offer such cheap flights that are scheduled for reasonable times in the day and offer great service on board. If you look on the web when booking your trip you will see that for both travel and accommodation there are so many offers online that you will be sure to find a deal that suits you best.
Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and with good reason. The food, attractions and people make it a wonderful place to visit be it your first time or your tenth.
This post was brought to you by MindworkLabs but as always all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.