Things to see and to do in Italy

leisure in Italy
Updated 2020-06-16 09:21

Being an expatriate in Italy also means enjoying a number of leisure activities in your free time. Between art museums, archaeological sites, natural parks, bars, restaurants and sports activities, there is absolutely no chance of getting bored and everyone will certainly find something matching their taste.

Visits in Italy

Regardless of the region you are in, you will always find something exciting to see and do. Have you just settled in Milan? Take a trip to the Duomo, to La Scala or to the beautiful Lake Como which is about an hour by car. Rome, for its part, is a real open-air museum with the Colosseum, Roman Forums, as well as the Appia Antica Park. If you are in the Basilicata region, do not miss the Matera. In Abruzzo, you will enjoy the national park of Abruzzo Lazio and Molise and that of Gran Sasso. The typical streets of Venice, the smaller islands of Sicily and the Italian beaches, and even volcanoes like Vesuvius and Mount Etna, are other must-sees.

In most cities of Italy, there are public parks where you can take a stroll, organise a picnic, do your jogging, or just relax. You will also find historical, modern and ancient art museums like the Uffizi in Florence, the Archaeological Museum in Naples and the Vatican Museums in Rome. Of course, galleries often host exhibitions of renowned artists and a range of interesting themes.

 Good to know :

In many regions, students are allowed to visit museums free of charge or at discounted prices. They just need to produce a proof of status (a student card, for example). On the first Sunday of the month, in major cities such as Rome, Milan, Bologna or Florence, access to municipal museums is free of charge for everyone.

Places to visit alone or with your family in Italy

Whether you have moved alone or with your family, there are a number of places to visit and things to do in your free time.

For example, if you have children, you will be able to enjoy museums, walks and games in the parks on sunny days or sledging in the mountains in winter. National parks are another perfect place for families, especially if you would like to explore the local flora and fauna. Regarding archaeological parks, not all of them are suitable for strolling around. Besides, some museums are dedicated to discovery and some to children, such as the Museo dei Bambini in Rome.

The choice is easier if you are alone, as you can enjoy museums, strolling the streets, walking in the parks or walking trails, etc. There is something for all tastes, wherever you are.

Shopping in Italy

Shopping in Italy is one of the most popular activities among foreigners and Italians alike. Every city has a main shopping street, such as Via del Corso in Rome or Via Torino in Milan. You will also find shops everywhere in historical centres as well as in the outskirts and in commercial areas dedicated to the larger stores. Besides, most cities in Italy are home to many small, medium or large shopping malls, so you will be spoilt for choice.

Small shops also occupy a very important place in Italy, ranging from crafts to designer boutiques, to the small thrift store in your neighbourhood or the merchants selling local produce.

Eating in Italy

Eating is one of the main activities of Italians. In almost all conversations, you will hear them talking about food and dishes. No wonder the country is home to so many restaurants and places to eat typical dishes. If you want to eat out, you can choose from the following:

  • Trattoria
  • Osteria
  • Ristorante
  • Pizzeria
  • Bar Tavola Calda / Fredda (called differently depending on the region)

If you have a sweet tooth, you can get an ice cream at the Gelateria, or pastries at the Pasticceria. Bars offer all types of coffee and drinks, but you are more likely to grab a bite there, have an Aperitivo, or pastries in the morning along with a cappuccino.

Sports in Italy

Italy offers a wide range of sports activities, whether you like so watch sports or you would like to indulge in any of them. Gyms and fitness centres offer yearly quarterly and monthly subscriptions. You can also run, walk or cycle at the park.

There are also many specialised centres like yoga or martial arts centres, as well as swimming pools, tennis, football, rugby clubs, trekking and scuba diving.

 Useful links :

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