Whether it’s the flavors of Sicily or a cruise down the canals of Venice, there’s so much to love about visiting Italy. Go Ahead Art Director Adam traveled there this past spring on the Walking Tour of Tuscany, and came back with his own list of travel tips for getting the most out of an Italy trip. Check it out below.
1. Seek out the hidden gems
I was talking with my Tour Director, and she suggested I check out this little sandwich place call Trippa e Lampredotto during my free time. They only do one thing—tripe—which is an Italian favorite and something I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid. I put it in the back of my mind, but had kind of forgotten it until I ended up coming across the place as I was out exploring. There was a short line, so I asked the guy in front of me if the sandwiches were any good. He said it was the best thing in Florence, and he wasn’t wrong. For six euros, I got the sandwich and a glass of wine and ate it at a little wooden table on this quiet street.
2. Soak in the picture-perfect landscapes
It’s true that the light in Tuscany is amazing—it’s different than anywhere else. The scenery changes with the seasons, shifting from bright and green in the spring and summer to rich golds and coppers in the fall.
3. Be on the lookout for ancient history everywhere
The fact that you can go pretty much anywhere in Rome and run into ancient ruins totally blows my mind. Living in Boston, we’re in one of the oldest parts of the U.S., and the majority of our history only goes back a couple hundred years. Seeing walls, arches, wells, and more that are just part of the city’s architecture and are thousands of years old? It’s awesome.
4. Savor what goes into each meal
I love the time and passion Italians put into their food. In San Gimignano, I visited a sandwich shop where my entire meal was made with fresh ingredients, all carefully prepared by hand. The man working there was so excited to share everything with me, he told me all about each ingredient and had me taste each thing so I could really appreciate it. (It didn’t hurt that I washed it down with some local Vernaccia wine.)
5. Enjoy the moment
For me, the coffee culture in Italy really epitomizes the differences between the Italian and American state of mind. Here, everything’s to go, and you get a huge takeaway cup, and the coffee’s only just all right. Italians take a moment to enjoy their espresso at the counter before heading to their next destination. I love visiting a cafe, being elbow to elbow with locals going about their day, and taking a little extra time to enjoy the morning.
Have you traveled to Italy on tour? Tell us about a favorite moment in the comments!