If you’re searching for an authentic holiday, Italy could be the place for you. Not only is this stunning destination filled with years-old towns and villages that have remained largely untouched for centuries but it’s world-renowned cuisine still consists of ancient recipes and timeless dishes that are sure to leave you with a lasting taste of Italian culture.
Spend your days in the Italian sun exploring quaint little back alleys, wandering around breath-taking cathedrals and churches, or resting in a traditional piazza cafe while enjoying a rich and creamy gelato. Alternatively, take a stroll in the luscious green countryside among Italy’s wealth of vineyards or enjoy a walk along its meandering coastline to discover a selection of archaic hidden gems including ancient fishing villages, beautiful secluded bays and wonderfully white beaches.
Whether you want to experience true Italian culture or are simply on the hunt for some traditional treats, we’ve got some great tips to ensure you enjoy a truly authentic holiday to Italy:
Visit a Local Market
Whatever region you’re staying in, one of the best ways to experience authentic Italian culture at its finest is to take a trip to a local market. Across Italy, marketplaces alike are filled with boundless stalls and welcoming vendors offering a range of enticing goods for you to browse; from zesty Italian spices to fresh fruit and vegetables, delicate fabrics to antique trinkets, there’s something for everyone at these bustling bazaars.
Within these marketplaces, not only can you peruse a wealth of fascinating goods but you can also experience the unique local culture by mingling with the locals and immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle of the busy market atmosphere. While some of the most renowned Italian markets include the Porta Portese Market in Rome, Porta Nolana in Naples and Mercato Nuovo in Florence, whichever Italian market you visit, each share a charming buzz, the memory of which will stay with you forever.
Explore a Quiet Fishing Village
Italy’s coastline is home to a fabulous selection of gorgeous towns and villages; however, the five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre are perhaps the best preserved, with pastel-coloured houses, charming little harbours and white-washed streets constituting much of their appeal to nomadic visitors.
Whichever of the villages you visit in the Cinque Terre, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time; while they are ultimately less remote than they once were, their serene atmosphere and rustic appearance illustrate the remote way of life that still occupies these quiet communities. Visitors will no doubt be charmed by the bobbing fishing boats and narrow pathways that line these coastal settlements and can enjoy an idyllic day out exploring them by either foot or boat.
For those who love to hike, the Sentiero Azzurro trail offers a fantastic link between the villages and captures stunning views of the surrounding sea and mountains. Alternatively, a serene boat trip will enable visitors to sail along the winding coves and secluded shores, where they can stop for a dip in the beautiful blue waves and enjoy a breath-taking view back to shore.
Sample Some Italian Street Food
It’s no secret that Italy is known for its delicious cuisine; however, while restaurant dining is part and parcel of the holiday experience, sampling some Italian street food should also be on the cards for those who want to try some truly authentic treats.
Whichever part of Italy you’re travelling to, each region has its own unique street food, so you’ll never miss out on a rustic delicacy. For example, Sicily is known for its Arancini – deep-fried rice balls filled with stringy cheese, minced meat and green vegetables that are beautifully crisp inside and out. Similarly, Florence is famed for Lampredotto, a bun filled with meat from a cow’s stomach that has been soaked in a rich tomato broth and coated with herbs – not for the squeamish! Finally, the streets of Campania are home to Sfogliatella Riccia, a sugar-dusted pastry filled with sweet ricotta that’s adored by visitors and locals alike.
Immerse Yourself in History
There are a plethora of stunningly ancient buildings in many Italian cities and towns; from towering, Roman churches to wonderfully archaic cathedrals, visitors can immerse themselves in the country’s rich history wherever they go. However, while visiting popular historical hotspots is always enjoyable, there are a number of less famous attractions that can also be visited by those who wish to delve into the past…
The iconic submerged bell tower of Curon, a small town in northern Italy, is an incredibly surreal sight to see; close to the new town of Curon, it protrudes majestically from the aqua waters of the surrounding lake, serving as a stark reminder of the ancient civilisation that once thrived here before the flooding. Similarly, the Abbey of San Galgano is another ancient building that has withstood the test of time; a stunning example of Gothic architecture, this remote structure was built by monks in the 11thcentury and is great for open-air exploration.
So, if you’d like to experience an authentic Italian escape or want to find out more about some of these fantastic locations, contact our team here Quality Villas today or browse our fantastic range holiday villas in Italy online.
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