It’s no secret that Italy is a hot-spot for summer travel. It also happens to be one of my favorite countries to return to again and again. Italy is rich in culture, beauty and lets just be honest… food! It doesn’t matter which region you choose to visit, the food is fantastic and the people are always laid back and friendly. When I visit Italy, these are the places that I can’t pass up showing to my friends and family.
1. The San Lorenzo Market, Firenze
The San Lorenzo Market (also known as the leather market) in Florence is one of my favorite outdoor markets in Europe. It boasts hundreds of stands, with quality leather bags, leather jackets, leather gloves and wallets. Some of the best leather jackets I own have come from this market, and I can never pass up on a visit when in the area.
Tips: Be on the lookout for poor quality and fake items, as with any outdoor markets. Keep an eye on your belongings, as this is a prime place for gypsies to pick pocket your purse. Haggle for a deep discount on items.
2. L’ Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Napoli
Established in 1870, L’ Antica Pizzeria da Michele is one of the most well known pizzerias in all of Italy, famous for authentic classic Neapolitan style Margarita pizza.
The pizza they make is so delicious that at around noon a line will form and it will last straight through the evening.
The men that make this pizza carefully and skillfully whip these bad boys up in a matter of minutes… so if you are in a rush on your way back to the train, a great way to try it is to place a to-go order (you will only wait 5 minutes, I promise).
Another way to beat the line? Show up at 11 am when they just open and the place is practically empty. However, it will be completely full by the time you leave.
The one drawback is that this place will forever ruin your relationship with any other pizza, and you will become a pizza snob after you try this little slice of heaven.
Fun Fact: It’s the same place that Julia Roberts stuffs her mouth with this Italian delight, in the film Eat, Pray, Love.
3. Visiting the top of Anacapri, Capri
One of my favorite places on the planet is the beautiful island of Capri. Capri has some of the most breathtaking views on the Amalfi Coast, and my favorite spot on the island is at the top of Anacapri. After taking a taxi or a little bus to the other side of the island, you arrive in Anacapri where you can take a solo chairlift ride to the top. The views all the way up to the top are absolutely stunning. Once you arrive to the top you are surrounded with beautiful views in all directions. It’s easy to see why Capri has been a favorite Italian destination for years.
4. Volpetti, Rome
I knew that this was some place special from the first moment that I walked in. This Italian specialty store or “gastronomia” is decorated from top to bottom in the world’s finest meats, cheeses, wines, balsamics, olive oils and more! In a shop with so much to offer, it would be easy to become overwhelmed when choosing products, so I have some advice for first-timers… sample everything! Seriously, the staff will offer you to try so many meats, cheeses, olive oils, and wines that your head will spin. Every time I visit Rome, my trip requires at least one visit to Volpetti, and yours should too! Trust me, your tastebuds will thank you.
5. Scavi Tour, Vatican City
I am absolutely not the type of traveler that you will see on in a tour group. But, I will make an exception for the Scavi Tour at the Vatican. This tour is very small and only offered a few times a day in English. The Scavi tour will take you on a journey detailing the history of the Vatican. Then you will go underneath Saint Peter’s Basilica down to the pagan catacombs that used to be street level from before the time of Christ. Ultimately, it will lead you to the bones of Saint Peter that were only discovered in 1968. This is a very intimate, private and interesting tour that will give you a better sense of the foundation of the city. If you are interested in history you will love this tour.
There are so many reasons to fall in love with Italy, and some of these memorable places are why I return year after year.
What are your favorite places to visit in Italy? Comment below!