Italy hosts the greatest number of UNESCO heritage sites in the world. It has one of the most diverse landscapes in Europe, gathering the majestic Dolomites and Alps mountains, amazing sea coasts that are famous all over the world, lakes, and rural areas to die for.
There are so many important sights in this country that you will need a lot of time to see at least half of them. But what you should know is that this picturesque European nation has a train system so well designed and so efficient, that you can jump on a train and enjoy the trip of a lifetime. Today we will get our travel gear on and take you on an Italian tour: backpacking the unbeaten path!
1. You Can Almost Taste the Atmosphere
Italy invented concepts like “dolce far niente” and “la dolce vita” – the Italian everyday lifestyle is a touristic landmark in itself. If you want to truly blend in, take the unbeaten path and visit the region in between Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. The scenery is breathtaking, and the small fishermen villages, the peace, the colors and the scents surrounding you make a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Include the villages of Vernazza, Manarola or Corniglia, take your sweet time to let the atmosphere sink in, live, eat and drink with the locals, get lost in the landscape and come back a new person.
2. Speaking of Tasting… You Can’t Miss the Italian Cuisine
You probably have Italian restaurants back home, but true Italian food cannot compare with anything you’ve ever tried. The best food in Italy is not in urban surroundings, cities, or touristic resorts. It is found in small holes in the walls of suburban regions, in villages and remote places. To visit Italy for a unique gourmet experience means eating homemade food. So, take your small backpack for travel for men, a map, and your appetite and try it:
- Fresh fish and seafood in Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast.
- Arancini (a dish that is absolutely amazing and rare in tourists’ restaurants) in Sicily.
- Homemade pasta and local wine in the Tuscan region.
- The famous pasta al ragu in Bologna.
- The original pizza Margherita in Naples.
- Saltimbocca in Rome.
- Limoncello on the Amalfi Coast.
Italian food is always fresh, light, simple, and healthy. Each city, region or village has its own special recipes and local delights. They grow olives in their backyards and tantalize you with different flavored homemade olive oils. They are masters of smoked meats and cheeses, so your Italian backpacking experience should follow the gastronomy route to understanding Italy better and fuller.
3. Italian Beaches Are Something to Die For
Europe has plenty of seaside resorts and high-end beaches, but Italy takes the cake. If you want to explore the Italian coasts, get your beach suit and your camera and enter a parallel reality. The scenery is amazing to the point of becoming surreal. If you want a memorable beach experience in Italy, don’t miss out:
- The Maddalena Archipelago in Sardinia – for its crystal clear turquoise waters and white sand like diamond dust.
- Costa Smeralda – one of the hottest and most visited high life Italian summer resorts.
- Scala Dei Turchi in Sicily – a natural wonder with healing properties combining incredible blue water with white rocks that shine like pearls. This is a less known and less populated area, so you will have the time of your life here.
- Cala Luna in the Orosei Gulf.
- Poetto Beach in Cagliari.
- Mondello Beach in Palermo.
4. Majestic Mountains and Beautiful Lakes Are Waiting for Explorers
As we said, a trip to Italy should take into account the exploration of the mountainous areas and some of the most important lakes and hillsides.
- Lago d’Iseo – set in Northern Italy, the lake and the small mountain town of the same name hosts some rare landmarks only the connoisseurs know and appreciate: the charming little village of Sulzano, the beautiful island Monte Isola, the small fishermen village of Maraglio and the Odolfredi Castle, among others.
- Lago di Como – considered being one of the most beautiful locations in the world and probably the most romantic place on the planet, Lago di Como allows you to take a trip back in time. It is probably the only place in Italy when you can see refined ladies walking the cobblestone streets wearing sun umbrellas, lace gloves, and Renaissance-inspired dresses and corsets. It’s the place where seasoned Italian gentlemen, dukes, barons, and nobility descendants smoke their pipes on sumptuous hotels’ terraces and enjoying their wines. The grandeur of the authentic Italian nobility is perfectly blended in with the Renaissance heritage and glamor – all set in a landscape where time seems to have stood still.
Don’t miss out Lago di Garda, Lago Maggiore, Lago Lugano, or Lago Orta. Every single one of them looks like a small corner of paradise.
Be it those lakes, hills, mountain tops and majestic rocks admiring themselves in the mirror-like waters, such places are a heaven for photographers, explorers and the ones searching for the true Italy.
But this is not all. Italy is a world marvel hosting other natural world wonders, mixing culture, history, spirituality and tourism with breathtaking scenery and a joy of life you will hardly find someplace else.