Check out our suggestions of places to see on your next trip to Italy
With this article, we inaugurate a series of articles about home exchanges in Europe. To begin our adventure we chose Italy as our first destination, a country full of wonders to be (re)discovered.
The Italian community of GuestToGuest is the third largest in Europe after France and Spain. So why not take advantage of this and organize an home exchange in the name of history, art, culture and culinary traditions, sojourning for free in beautiful landscapes Italy has to offer?
Now it is up to you to decide which destination to visit in the “Bel Paese”.
We start our journey by riding a Vespa whizzing through the streets of the first great metropolis of humanity, imprinted on our minds the images of Anita Ekberg while she moves sinuously in the waters of the Trevi Fountain.
Rome, the Eternal City is an open-air museum. The ancient monuments that bear the glorious past of the Roman Empire, the majesty of the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, the Seven Hills and their legends, the countless places made famous by the movie industry as the Spanish Steps, the banks of the Tiber, the Orange Garden and many others, made the capital one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.Be captivated by the cradle of Western civilization between history and legend and do not forget to get lost in the local flavors of the Roman cuisine. “Spaghetti alla carbonara” or “bucatini all’Amatriciana”? This is the question!
Travel back in time to the Ancient Roman Empire in the Roman Forum
If Rome, given its importance, is the main catalyst of tourism Lazio, do not forget all the other places in the region that are pearls of great beauty and charm. A holiday in Lazio allows you to discover unspoiled nature of lakes, parks, towns and villages where ancient worlds still survive and a coastline that features sights of great interest. Despite being one of the youngest cities in Italy, Latina, created by the Fascist regime in 1932 on the reclamation of the Pontine Marshes, quickly became the second center of Lazio for the number of inhabitants.The urban structure of Latina reflects that typical one of fascist city, with rationalist architecture and full of elements celebrating Mussolini, see the Government Palace. Interesting also the structure of the Town Hall, which contrasts the civic tower in medieval style.
The palace of Piazza del Popolo in Latina
Do not miss the many points of interest in the province of Latina as the Regional Park “Riviera di Ulisse” and the “Circeo” National Park, which offer an incredible variety of colors, beautiful places and of significant historical importance as the archaeological museum and the Emperor Tiberius’ villa in Sperlonga or the Villa of Domitian on the eastern shore of the lake of Sabaudia.
Go on an adventure in the Circeo National Park in Sabaudia
Hard to decide? You don’t have to! We have many members in Lazio that are waiting to exchange their houses with you!
Sated and happy after our stay in Rome, it is time to celebrate our adventure with a good glass of Tuscan wine! Tuscany is a region that lends itself to different forms of tourism and holidays. Its landscapes, artistic heritage, its famous cities and winemaking tradition, make this region unique.
Florence, UNESCO World Heritage Site, birthplace of the Renaissance, is universally recognized as one of the cradles of art and architecture, as well as one of the most beautiful cities in the world for its many monuments and museums. Among the most well known places of cult and of art, we find undoubtedly the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce can be considered art galleries. Take a break between the works of Botticelli and Michelangelo’s David, stroll along the River Arno and stop by the romantic Ponte Vecchio.
A magic touch : a romantic view of Ponte Vecchio to end your day in Florence
From Florence we move to Siena, known for its great historic heritage and for its medieval urban architecture, the city is small and easy to visit. Start your tour from Piazza Del Campo, unique in its shell shape and in its brick color due to the paving cotto tile; go on with the Torre del Mangia, which offers a wonderful view over the town, and the Town Hall. Do not miss the “Duomo”, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, one of the most remarkable examples of Romantic-Gothic style churches, decorated with works by Donatello, Pisano, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio. We recommend taking part to the famous Palio of Siena held twice a year, where the “contrade” (Siena’s districts) challenge each other in a horse race. This experience with its history and traditions will captivate you!
Live an unforgettable experience, take part in the Palio di Siena
Last stop on our tour of Tuscany is Pisa with its leaning tower, a symbol of the city for its characteristic slope. Proposed as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Tower of Pisa is nothing more than the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a masterpiece of the Romanesque from Pisa.Visit also the baptistery, famous for its curious truncated cone dome, and the Campo Santo, the monumental cemetery where the greatest personalities of the city were buried.Not surprisingly, given their beauty, these four sites are enclosed in what is called the “Field of Miracles”, a unique architectural complex.
The majestic Cathedral of Pisa and its famous leaning tower
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From the Tyrrhenian coast of Tuscany we move to those of the Ligurian Sea.
Starting from the “Riviera Ligure di Levante” (east coast), we stop in La Spezia, a pretty town where the sea merges with the surrounding mountains. Situated within the Gulf of Poets, La Spezia, which expands towards the Apuan Alps, is an excellent base for inland trips. Nearby, you can find other World Heritage Sites, as Portovenere, famous for its old houses and churches, for its old castle and the picturesque caves, and as the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, characterized by the colors and scents of the Mediterranean Maquis and by the ancient ruins of the sixth and eleventh centuries.
Be amazed by the vibrant color of the Port of La Spezia
Venture through five miles of inaccessible coves and towering cliffs, where you can find intact and wild villages of incredible beauty that make up the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, guardians of an area declared a national park and heritage of UNESCO. The coastline of the Cinque Terre can appear inhospitable because it is rocky and steep, but it is also full of beautiful bays and beaches and wonderful scenic trails to discover. Cinque Terre have much more to offer other than the sea, their inland hides beautiful medieval villages, quaint shrines, workshops and typical dishes to feast on.
Spend a magical evening in Rio Maggiore, Cinque Terre
From Cinque Terre we move to Genoa, known primarily for his Aquarius, the ancient maritime republic encloses within its walls wonderful testimonies of its glorious past. Walking through the city you will discover the charm of the past, walking through the “caroggi, picturesque alleys of medieval origin and “creuze,” small streets built in walls, getting lost in the beautiful streets flanked by noble buildings and harmonious squares (Piazza San Donato, Piazza delle Erbe) where you find old churches. From the ancient center move to Via Garibaldi to admire the magnificence of its buildings.
The ancient charm of Piazza Ferrari in Genoa
How to refuse an adventure in Liguria to enjoy its paradisiac beaches, wild landscapes and heritage? It’s impossible! Find a house on HomeExchange to organize a home exchange in Liguria.
From Genoa, we take the highway A7 to Lombardy, culminating in Milan.We begin our tour from Pavia, the capital of the Lombard kingdom, which has a considerable artistic heritage due to its ancient origins and the past of great importance.The Duomo, Pinacoteca Malaspina, San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, the university and the museum located in the Visconti Castle are among the main attractions of the city.
The University of Pavia, one of the oldest university in the world
We continue our journey through the Italian capital of fashion and design: Milan. Do not overlook the classic route that includes the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Palazzo Reale, the Poldi Pezzoli and all the other wonders of the city, without renouncing to visit the Castello Sforzesco, the Monumental Cemetery or to take a boat ride by boat in the “Navigli”, the canals of Leonardo.
The grandiose front of the Cathedral of Milan
We end our Lombard adventure in Como, a popular tourist destination in the world. The town, which lives in symbiosis with the lake and the mountains that surround it, offers pleasant surprises with its ancient walls, historic monuments, the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio, the Duomo and the Tempio Voltiano. In addition to its scenic and historic attractions, Como is the ideal city to spend pleasant, cultural and entertaining evenings. The town is lovely and it has been a favorite destination for many travelers from intellectuals to famous celebrities throughout history.
A relaxing afternoon on the Lake of Como
The University of Padua, the Cathedral of Milan and the view on the lake of Como are just few of the enchanted locations that are waiting for you in Lombardy! HomeExchange’s members can’t wait to share with you their homes.
We conclude the first part of our tour of Italy in Veneto.
Among the most important economic region of Italy, the Verona offers its visitors a variety of attractions and artistic treasures.Verona invites you to follow the trail of Romeo and Juliet during a romantic stroll. Once you arrive in the city center, do not miss the Roman Arena, the city’s symbol and star of many festivals, the Piazza Bra, one of the largest and most beautiful squares of Verona, Castelvecchio and Juliet’s house, where you can admire the famous balcony and the bronze statue of the girl.
One of the most romantic place in Verona : Juliet’s balcony!
The beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel is one of the many reasons why you cannot miss a visit to the city of Padua. After visiting the Chapel, continue with the Musei Civici Eremitani and then to the Bò Palace, seat of the University of Padua, which counts among its professors even Galileo Galilei! Visit the Basilica of St. Anthony and admire the frescoes of Altichiero, a famous painter of the Gothic style. Finally, for a moment of peace and relaxation stroll around the Botanical Gardens, proclaimed UNESCO site, and finish with a coffee at “Caffè Pedrocchi”, meeting point in the nineteenth century of students and intellectuals who developed revolutionary ideas for an independent Italy.
Giotto’s masterpiece in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
It is impossible not to dedicate a stop of our trip in Veneto to a unique city like Venice. The gondola, symbol of the city is a fun and romantic way to get around the city. Enjoy, thanks to a ride in a gondola or speedboat, the long sequence of palaces of the noble families that overlook the Grand Canal and the famous Rialto Bridge to end your tour in Piazza San Marco. Coming down from the ferry, you will find yourself in the square that will offer you one of the most characteristic views of Venice: the Basilica di San Marco, the cathedral famous for its mosaic was the seat of the Patriarch of Venice; the Doge’s Palace, home of the doge and masterpiece of Venetian Gothic, and the Bell tower, affectionately called by Venetians “el paron de casa” (the landlord). If you can, participate in the Carnival of Venice, one of the most famous carnivals in the world.
A nice gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice
Fascinating and charming sights are awaiting those who travel to Veneto. Seize the moment and organize a home exchange with HomeExchange, you will not be disappointed!
Whether you decided to visit one city or to make a grand tour of Italy, join our community and discover the innumerable possibilities it has to offer!