|The formidable Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. All photography property of EuroTravelogue unless specifically noted.|
Hands up who loves the idea of touring winding passages of Italy, seated on a cherry-red Vespa, zipping through the cobbled lanes of Tuscany and beyond, to the elevated villages of the Amalfi Coast? Ever since I first tasted Rome, I have been in love with Italia; the language, the culture, the unbridled passion and of course, the spell-binding sights hidden behind jagged coastlines and a lush veneer of acceptable tourism. Go to Rome, everyone must; once you’ve stayed a while, caught up with the "Fountain of the Four Rivers" in Piazza Navona, toured the Pantheon, and felt staggered by the Colosseum, cut loose from the traditional trappings and treks. Another beauty can be found beyond Rome, four more in fact, resplendent in history combined with the modern age.
|The "Fountain of the Four Rivers" in Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy.|
|The five enchanting lands of Cinque Terre. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
The Cinque Terre (directly translated as the five lands) is wreathed with fertile olive groves and ancient vineyards, laced along a rugged cliff face and perched precariously there, colourful and wondrous to the foreign eye. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s difficult to explain the textured existence of its inhabitants, spread out between five intricate villages. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are characterised by signature charms all of their own; to capture the essence of this cornucopia of colour (you’ll have trouble dragging your eyes away from Vernazza), slap on your best smile, pull on your hiking boots and feel your inner snapper as you capture the Sentierro Azzurro (the Light Blue Trail) with your camera.
|Harbor view from Anacapri. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
Capri isn’t a big town distraction or a quaint island city—it’s simply a beautiful island with hospitable people, scrumptious cuisines, tiny markets and spectacular vistas to ponder the meaning of life. If you're landing in the Marina Grande, there's a private jetty where hydrofoils will take you on a grand tour of the island including a stop at the unforgettable Grotta Azzurra. Hop aboard the ski lift to the top of the Monte Solaro for jaw-dropping views, or visit the most fashionable square in the world—the Piazzetta and via Camerelle famous for its designer boutiques. But don't be fooled by the trend-centric cafes and private boutiques of Anacapri, there is an undercurrent of affordability and authenticity, propagated by the charm of vegetable plots, sun-worn stucco and a kaleidoscope of villas punctuating the sky blue shores.
|Timeless city of Venice.|
Very rarely will you visit a city as diverse and puzzling as timeless Venice; the tenacity, ingenuity and spirit of the Grand-Canal-palace era is clearly evident as water laps gently at your doorstep during high tide. Out of the marshes rose the maritime empire of Venice—a mecca of beauty, sophistication and style. Be sure to cruise down the Grand Canal for spectacular views of the Gothic and Byzantine palaces lining its shores. Then head to Piazza San Marco, the only square worthy enough to earn the title of piazza, otherwise known as campo; where you'll find the St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, certainly you don't want to miss these. It's best to book a tour so that you bypass the hours-long queues. Of course, the museums are here as well—the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Accademia. Don't miss Tintoretto's ceiling at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Teatro de la Fenice as well! Get your photo taken anywhere along the palazzi-lined waterways—a most expansive masterpiece collection of rustic reds, golden antiquities and azure waterways.
|Santa Maria del Fiore in the heart of Florence.|
Do you have an extra few days to spare? Visit the Renaissance capital of the world—Florence—and be awe-struck by its iconic landmarks: the Piazza della Signoria with its towering Palazzo Vecchio; the Uffizi Gallery with its extensive Medici collection of masters' art; Brunelleschi's Santa Maria del Fiore or more commonly known as the Duomo; Santa Croce; and the treasured Ponte Vecchio lined with dazzling shops brimming with gold. Inspired? Check out this site and you could be away on your own Roman holiday.
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