All the coastal cities are romantic & beautiful!
Best food in Europe (yes, France, it’s true! Except for your salmon/trout).
Great Pasta, like you’ve never had.
A hill on every path, museum, cathedral, trail, or tiny town. Lots of walking & stairs required. Take substantial shoes.
Italian - most beautiful language, especially spoken by men in a low, persuasive voice. Many Italians know English but you can get by with a smattering of Spanish & just trying.
Prego means Come on, or Let’s go, or even Next in line.
Grazi is a great word to know and fun to say. So is Ciao.
Another Italian term - Agriturismo. Italy’s version of a B&B, on a working farm or more often, winery. Better yet!
A castle or walled city on every hill. Since they all used to be their own fiefdom, they have somewhat different personalities.
If you drive, a blue P sign indicates public parking in inner cities.
Roads are excellent, even in small towns. Tunnels are abundant, impressive & necessary since the mountains are granite, like our countertops.
Rome, crazy traffic; don’t even attempt to drive; Vespas dive, dart and dribble between traffic even huge tour busses. Same in Milano.
Use a travel or tour group to avoid long lines for great Roman artifacts in amazing Vatican Museum; (Substantial Roman ruins found all over Italy & Europe-Spain, Portugal, France, & Croatia, probably more! )
Serenity of Sistine Chapel is lost if there is a large, boisterous crowd; St. Peter’s Basilica is awesome; The Pieta will take your breath; Trevi Fountain is a work of art, but always crowded. Best studied from a photo.
Florence (Firenze) is a tour de force. Built by the Medici Family who had big bucks for art & whatever they wanted. Made their fortunes from textiles, tapestries & banking. $$
Siena - beautiful, well preserved walled city, rural, getting into wine country. Crazy horse race inside the plaza every year. Visited Chianti, San Gimignano, & Firenze from there.
Fall in love with Cinque Terre! Small towns, no traffic, we were there before cruise ships, so less tourists. We walked all but one leg of the trails between towns. Most are paved & distinct but some are paths between olive groves, slick when it rains. Opportunity to roll right down the mountain into the Mediterranean! Fortunately a train travels between towns and beyond.
Milano - big, busy working city. Driving/parking is a bitch. The Duomo is amazing! (All cities have duomos - cathedrals- but this one is special.) So is the one in Siena. Join a tour to see DiVinci’s Last Supper in Milano since visitors are limited. A-mazing!