10 things to love about moving to Italy

10 things to love about moving to Italy

by Richard Brown
Stripes Europe

So, you just got word that you’re being stationed in Italy. You and your family have passports in hand and are ready to see what the European lifestyle is all about. Well, brace yourselves; Italy can be very overwhelming, especially to the newly arrived. The first thing that you’ll notice is that there are many places to see but not enough time to see them all. By the time you decide on where you want to go and when, times up! But don’t worry, we’ve done the homework for you. All you’ll need to do is pack and go!  

1. Carnevale

Depending on when you arrive, you can catch one of the biggest celebrations that Italy has to offer. Venice, the city on water, hosts a Mardi Gras style masquerade ball in the streets. Dating back centuries, Carnival or Carnevale is one of the oldest celebrations that the city has and goes on for about two weeks. Dine in on authentic Italian food while enjoying the sights and sounds of this Italian paradise.

2. Food

Yes, this isn’t your local Olive Garden, although that place is good. Italy is the mecca of Italian food, offering everything from pizza, lasagna, carbonara and many more tasty dishes. You’ll find out quickly, that you can eat like a local, but don’t worry about counting carbs! Italian dishes are portioned just right.

3. Architecture 

The saying, “Rome wasn't built in a day,” will mean more once you see how sophisticated and beautiful buildings are in any village or town. The Pantheon, one of Rome’s oldest buildings, is still radiant after over 2,000 years of existence. 

4. Art   

Italy has no shortage of museums. In fact, there seems to be one around every corner in Venice. With so many museums and galleries, getting a museum pass would be cost efficient and will save you time and money in the long run. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and travel light when visiting museums, as some are multilevel with a lot of ground to cover.

5. Cobblestone Streets    

You’ve probably only seen cobblestone streets in some fancy spot in your hometown, or a stock photo with a picturesque view. Well, get used to seeing and walking on them all the time in Italy. Cobblestone Streets have been used to cover roads and alleyways for centuries, but be careful — the stones can be slippery when it rains. Apart from the appeal and charm, they can cause you to stumble.   

6. Coffee  

Eating outside, or alfresco, is a big deal in Italy. You’ll notice many people sitting outside, enjoying a cappuccino and or a meal, especially in the summer months when the weather is good. Some of the best coffee in Italy is served in a cafe. In fact, if you are a coffee drinker, you may want to brush up on your ordering skills; the coffee culture here is intense.    

7. Capri Island

Hope you’ve been working on that beach body! Carpri Island is a popular tourist destination that's filled with upscale hotels and shopping. Located in the southern Italy region, this celebrity hot spot has natural beauty, nightlife and clear waters that’ll surely have you coming back for more.

8. Fast cars

If you like fast cars and nice views, head down to Milan and take one of the world's fastest cars for a spin. You’ll not only have the opportunity to test drive a Ferrari, but you’ll learn how to operate a sports car in general. The drive is 30 minutes long and is accompanied by a professional instructor to insure your safety.

9.  Rail tours

Ever thought about sightseeing by train? Well, hop on the Swiss Alps Berrina Express Rail Tour and discover what most tourist don't get to see. Snap pictures of Lake Como while admiring the Swiss snow-covered peaks. A stop at a Swiss resort town is also on this route, so depending on when you visit, the opportunity to create charming post cards for family and friends is highly recommended.   

10. History  

Don't leave Italy without having seen historic sites. The Roman Colosseum, Doge’s Palace and St. Peter’s Basilica should all be on your bucket list of places to visit. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking and waiting in lines. Some places don't allow picture taking from the inside, so don't be disappointed when you see a sign that says no cameras.

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