Italy is globally famous for its MADE IN ITALY tag names (I do have a couple of GUCCI suits from Milan, that suit my “lazy” body perfectly) which represent the most impressive names in fashion & interior design where you can admire in the streets and malls throughout the country. But it is not only recognized by this, Italy is much more (also for Godfather’s origins hehe) !. History and culture make compact to the daily life of every Italian. We are not here to describe the country’s culture though, in the post below I have accumulated 10 spectacular places that are destined to become everyone’s’ mythological “Valhalla”.
10. Civita di Bagnoregio, Viterbo, Lazio.
Civita di Bagnoregio has everything to succeed: a unique location, history on all four sides, instagrameable to no more power and magic in true Call me by your name style. However, it is known as “il paese che muore”, a nickname that refers to the progressive deterioration of the hill on which it is located. Faced with this situation, the administration of this town in the Lazio region began to take measures to prevent it from dying until it became “the town that wants to live,” according to statements by local chef Maurizio Rocchi. After a few years of encouraging tourism due to cultural events and festivals, tourism grew remarkably and, with it, the economy. But the mayor of the moment, Francesco Bigiotti, wanted it to grow even more and decided to start charging visitors. It might seem like a contradictory measure, but the case is that it managed to encourage tourism: in 2010, a total of 40,000 people approached one of the six towns that make up the area, while in 2018, only Civita di Bagnoregio managed to reach one million. A figure that joins the millions of tourists who come to Italy annually. In fact, there are many Italian destinations that suffer the consequences of mass tourism, among which the quality of life of the locals is affected. In Civita di Bagnoregio, however, the circumstances are somewhat different: only 12 people live in the village together with a colony of cats. Since the entrance fee began – which originally was € 1.5 and now reaches € 5 -, the locals have had to live with more visitors each year. For Bigiotti, the measure has improved the life of the premises and has created more shops. Of course, the number of tourists who only spend a few hours in the town has also increased.
9. Abbazia di San Galgano, Chiusdino, Tuscany.
The site consists of the hermitage called “Rotonda di Montesiepi” and the great abbey, now completely in ruins and reduced only to the ramparts, a tourist destination, located in the Tuscany region, about thirty kilometers from Siena, in the municipality of Chiusdino. The church is a beautiful and evocative example of Cistercian Gothic architecture, it is perfectly oriented, has an East-West facing apse and has a double-inclined façade that from the outside shows the internal spatial division, in this case with three naves. The absence of the roof, which highlights the articulation of the architectural structure, links the abbey with those of Melrose and Kelso in Scotland, Tintern in Wales, Cashel in Ireland, Eldena in Germany and the Convento do Carmo in Lisbon.
8. Campo Imperatore, Abruzzo.
It is a vast plateau located 1800 meters high in the province of L’Aquila, which in winter becomes one of the most important ski resorts in central Italy. In summer, on the other hand, it is covered with flowers. The route from Tagliacozzo to Campo Imperatore is largely road.
7. Cascate del Varone, Trentino Alto Adige.
The Varone waterfalls are located in Garda Trentino, a few kilometers from Lake Garda and the town of Riva del Garda. They are easily reached as they are on the main road leading to Lake Tenno. The falls are truly something unique and deserve to be visited. Parking near the entrance to the private car park of the structure where you can leave your car for free for 2 hours. At the entrance I go up a few steps and find a house on the left while on the right an area with benches and umbrellas where you can stop and eat something. The ticket for residents in the area is 3 €. Through the turnstile and through a portico where there are a series of photographs of the construction of the building and the park. It should be noted that in the early 1900s the architect of the Vittoriale di D’Annunzio signed the building near the ticket office which is still standing today.
6. Cascate delle Marmore, Terni, Umbria.
Terribly beautiful, as defined by the great romantic poet George Byron who dedicated splendid verses to the Waterfall. The noise of the waters of the river Velino that precipitate in the Nera, with three waterfalls of 165 meters, echoes for kilometers in the final part of the Valnerina. A fascinating and impressive spectacle created by man, derived from the technical and engineering skills of the ancient Romans. A wonder that for centuries has aroused curiosity and aroused the admiration of travelers from all over the world. Today the Waterfall, just 7 km from Terni, is a point of great interest for the tourist system of the area; It offers the many visitors fascinating tours and innovative services as well as the possibility of practicing exciting sports such as rafting, in the part of the river that is at its feet. But! Attention! The waterfall is still used for the production of electricity, it is open and can be visited only on days and at established times.
5. Erice, Trapani, Sicilia.
Traveling half the island of Sicily almost without knowing what to see in Erice is like groping through a room blindly. Fortunately, the visit to this town full of history turns out to be as successful as the excursion to the Temple of Segesta. In addition, the traveling gods gave us a little fresh air and little influx of visitors. A perfect cocktail. Visiting Erice is like walking through cobblestone streets that twist like a snake. Getting lost means going uphill. Going uphill means reaching a castle. And arriving at the castle means having the best views of Trapani, San Vito lo Capo, the Aegadian Islands and even the Castellammare del Golfo valley. The walk is worth it. Highly recommended.
4. Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore, Piedmont.
Isola Bella is located in the Gulf of Verbania, on Lake Maggiore, one of the largest in Italy. It is part of a tiny archipelago that consists of three small islands and an islet. With only a few hundred meters long from side to side, it is one of those three islands called “Borromeas” because it is part of the properties of the important family of Milanese nobility that bears that name. On the basis of a fishing village, from the middle of the seventeenth century the construction of a palace began in honor of the wife of Carlos III – the woman from whom the island takes its name -, one of the most prominent characters of that dynasty. Later, the complex was completed with extraordinary gardens, giving rise to one of the most harmonious and beautiful works that we can contemplate on an island located on the waters of a lake.
3. Isola di Loreto, Lombardy.
Isola di Loreto is a private property, which is located north of Montisola. Isola di Loreto is popular for its beauty and the quality of its glacial waters. The same in its surroundings has a great natural diversity, since you can find from olive trees to chestnut trees and vineyards. Monte Isola is another of the great beauties that you can contemplate.
2. Vipiteno, Bolzano, Trentino Alto Adige.
The city of Vipiteno still preserves in its conformation the structure of the medieval period. The small city is divided by the civic tower, the Tower of the Twelve, into two nuclei (Old City to the north, and New City to the south; the New City was built in 1443, after a great fire), aligned along of a central street, with shops and hotels instead of the old artisan wineries and inns. Also the architecture of the buildings has preserved the forms of the past.
1. Alberobello, Puglia.
The main tourist activity in Alberobello is to admire the trulli, walk through its narrow streets, enter interesting museums and its craft shops or typical gastronomy. The most picturesque areas of Alberobello are those composed mainly of Trullos, more than a thousand of them. One of these areas is called “Rione Monti” and consists of small and narrow alleys with a high slope crossed by other wider streets on the slopes. It is a very picturesque area and offers many very attractive points of view, both far and near.