Italy From The Inside: The Definitive Survival Guide for Travelers

Updated 2013-10-07 12:45

More than a few times, I’ve caught myself sitting at work day dreaming about dropping everything and just jumping on a plane. In October of 2007, I did just that.

Life can grind you down when you get in a rut. In my case, I had a particularly bad case of the blues in October 2007. My girlfriend and I had apparently come to an agreement that there was no need for me to exist on the face of the earth. My glamorous and exciting Internet business had become a bore. All and all, I was in a rut and needed a change. The travel gods apparently agreed.

On a Wednesday, I made the final decision to sell my business, get what I could for it and hit the road. The next day, I received a call from a man in Newyork what wanted to buy my web sites. This was particularly interesting since I hadn't actually told anyone the sites were for sale. By the end of the day, we had agreed on a price, signed a contract and he was wiring the money.

First thing Monday morning, my bank verified the wired money had been received and credited to my bank account. I picked up a couple of American Express checks, packed a small backpack and headed to the airport in Newyork.

The Dream Comes True, Italy was my dream

I walked into the international wing of NY and did what every traveler has dreamed of doing. I stared at the flight board and just let the various destinations soak into my brain.

After a few misses, I was able to get a ticket. I passed through security, i picked up an eBook for Italy on the way. Three hours later, we lifted off the runway and I waived goodbye to rut for three months.

I've disdained heavy planning for my trips. I prefer a very loose schedule because I want time to live out unexpected events. If you ever get the chance to chuck everything and go travel for a few months, just do it. You never know when you'll get the chance again!

All About Traveling To Italy

Italy Tour is where culture, history and traditions mix together beautifully with modernity and fashion. What is attractive about Italy is that you will never find a single Italian flag, but they are still very particular about their culture and traditions ? and of course soccer. Italy is Known for its food, wine, people, culture, music, countryside - Italy Trip happens to be one of the most required after holiday destinations in the world.

If you want to experience Europe, you need to travel to Italy. No other country on earth offers the depth, breadth, and scope of Italy. For lovers of art, history, architecture, or music Italy is unsurpassable. From the Ancient Roman Empire to the Medieval Tuscan fortress towns and the Venetian Republic, Italy's incredible historical diversity has come together to produce a country so incredible, so remarkable, so beautiful as to leave the visitor with an unquenchable desire to return again and again. The legacy of the Renaissance and its masterpieces of art, music, and architecture have left such a tangible mark on the Italian soul one can barely help being swept along in the tide of culture. If you're a lover of nature, there are majestic mountains, crystal seas, rolling hills, fertile plains, sweeping cliffs, and magical lagoons, you need to travel to Italy.

Travel to Italy ' The Cities to See

Milan is rivaled only by Paris as the fashion capital of the world and is shopping at its best. Rome has been the heart of Italy from the time of the Romans through today; to walk its streets is to walk in the footsteps of Emperors and Popes. Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and its presence reverberates through the old cobbled streets and beautiful churches. Venice - the most unique and romantic city in the world, stands timeless and beautiful in the midst of the Adriatic, a magnificent creation highlighting man at his most artistic. Finally the majestic and striking natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast, a place to relax, soak in the tremendous natural beauty, dine on the world's favorite cuisine at its finest, and experience that special joy of being that is uniquely Italian. No matter what you're seeking, it awaits you when you travel Italy and visit its cities.

The Weather

When you travel to Italy, it's important to know that despite its geographical position at the center of the temperate zone, Italy has rather variable climatic characteristics. This is due to the presence of the Mediterranean, whose warm waters mitigate thermal extremes, and the Alpine arc, which forms a barrier against the cold north winds. Furthermore, when you travel Italy, remember that Italy is subject to both wet and moderate atmospheric currents from the Atlantic Ocean and dry and cold ones from Eastern Europe.

The Apennine chain too, confronting the wet winds from the Tyrrhenian, causes considerable climatic differences between the opposite sides of the peninsula. The differences in temperature between the winter and summer months are more marked in the northern regions than in the south and along the coasts. The mean temperatures for the month of January in the Po Plain fluctuate around zero, while in the Alpine valleys the thermometer can drop to -20º and snow can remain on the ground for many weeks.

Shopping In Italy

Italy is the peak experience for shoppers. Here you'll find creations in fashion, jewelry, furniture, glass or leather crafted by the most prestigious designers and manufacturers in the world.

The quality is high and so are the prices. This is especially so when considering all the taxes and add-ons that so inflate the cost of goods bought in Italy.

Shopping In Rome

Rome is a true shopper's paradise. Some people say the shopping outlets outshine the monuments. Fashion items are most alluring but other than clothing, you'll find tempting jewellery, antiques, books and home wares. But rents in Rome are very high and so are prices. You'll need inside info to get the best bargains.

If money is not a concern, head for the famous Spanish Steps and the Via dei Condotti. This is Rome's best shopping street but prices are astronomical. Here's you find all the classic outlets with their baroque or neoclassical facades - Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and the other grand names of shopping lore.

For more exotic and less pricey gifts, head for Via Francesco Crispi. You can get there by following Via Sistina 1 long block from the top of the Spanish Steps.

And don't forget the Roman markets, though many are not for the faint of heart. An example is the Sunday morning flea market at Porta Portese. This overcrowded event offers almost everything for sale.

Shopping In Venice

With a population of less than 70000 in the historic centre, Venice lacks shopping streets to compare with those of Milan, Florence or Rome. Venice's busiest shopping thoroughfare is the Merceri which runs from the Piazza to the Rialto Bridge. Most of the famous Italian labels have outlets here.

However, it would be a shame to spend your time in Venice buying things that could be found in other places. Far better to look for something uniquely Venetian. And what could be more uniquely Venetian than a Carnival mask? Carnival is held in February but the masks are produced year-round in Venice's many small workshops.

Another uniquely Venetian product is the fabulous glassware from the isle of Murano. Other local specialties include marbled paper which is available at various small outlets such as the renowned Legatoria Piazzes, lace and silk.

Then there are delightful low cost souvenirs such as rings made from glass and inexpensive ornaments such as silver earrings in the shape of carnival masks.

So as you can see, when you travel to Italy, there is much to experience. The culture, history, and beauty of Italy make Italy a top European travel destination.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.