If you’re feeling full from all the turkey and just want to relax today, why not take a virtual tour through some of Italy’s most beautiful areas with us? Today’s post is from Patricia Evans, a mother, interior designer, and blogger. Can also find her talking about lifestyle and travel on the Huffington Post UK.


Travelling to Italy has been my dream since I saw the postcard mum sent me during a business trip years ago. The sun, the food, and the people are so fascinating. The photos and the stories that came with it show a vibrant culture waiting to be explored. When I had the chance to travel to Italy, I knew that I would take my time to soak in the experience. Fortunately, Italy is considered as a walking country and I took advantage of that fact to explore it.

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Cinque Terre

Meaning “Five Lands”, Cinque Terre was suggested by a friend after visiting it two years ago. The five villages comprising the area provide a very laid back atmosphere. I started my walking tour early in the morning after my arrival. I’ve read a lot about skin cancer and I had heard that the Italian sun can be too much at times, but it was better to be prepared so I always carried a sun block in my bag just in case. I know there are a lot of trails specifically meant for tourists, however, I love getting lost in a strange place and Cinque Terre is a perfect place to do it. Riomaggiore reminds me so much of the movie The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants. The medieval village provides deep small streets filled with morning buzz. Mothers cooking breakfast, children playing under the morning sun, and people preparing for the day ahead give a very relax yet purposeful atmosphere to the place. The case torri are awe-inspiring especially when seen up close. I stopped the urge to swim in Fossola beach and watched the beginning of the day instead.

I then took the famous Via dell’Amore from Riomaggiore to Manarola. The beauty of Riomaggiore made me forget my breakfast and had a brunch in one of the village cafes. The homemade bread and local cheeses are amazing and filling. I headed to the Church of San Lorenzo to be mesmerized by its Gothic Ligurian style. A local told me that the bell tower was used as a post to watch for potential raids in the ancient times. I followed one of the carrugi that led me to a breathtaking view of the sea. I must’ve spent the whole afternoon talking to the locals and staring at the sea as I found myself eating dinner at a seafood restaurant hours later.

photo credit: Bumpy Tours via photopin cc

photo credit: Bumpy Tours via photopin cc

Naples

Although I’ve decided to take my time exploring Italy on foot, I knew it was rather limited. So, after spending three days in Cinque Terre, I headed to Naples to experience Italy’s history and its bustling city. Italians must love walking as sidewalks in Naples are spacious and people are walking most of the time. After a quick nap at the hotel, I visited Piazza Plebiscito. I am not a history buff but I can smell history in the air. After enjoying a little bit of the midmorning sun, I visited the nearby Teatro di San Carlo. Although I wasn’t able to book a ticket, it was still amazing to see its facade.

Determined to tour the city in a day, I bought a slice of pizza verace napoletana and a slice of pizza napoletana marinara to eat while walking. This time I booked a tour in Naples National Archaeological Museum. I was immediately drawn to the marble sculptures. The pieces show how the ancient Romans view human body. My favourites are Venus Kallipygos, Farnese Atlas, and Farnese Hercules. The grace and the flow of these sculptures are unbelievable. Although there are other collections in the museum, including an Egyptian Collection which scared me a little bit. I didn’t have time to visit Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii so I decided to spend the afternoon in one of the public parks. Villa Comunale seemed a perfect place to relax and I spent hours mesmerized by the fountains and the scenery.

It was a very short visit to Italy and if I could stay longer I would have. The history, the style, and the culture are definitely worth the long hours of walking. As I board the plane back home, I promised myself one little thing: I will be back.

 

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