Summer doesn’t mean only sun, beaches and sea. Italy offers a vast artistic and cultural heritage unique in the world, especially in its big cities. For this reason, summer is the ideal season and a precious opportunity to admire the main places of interest of the major urban centers in the Peninsula, emptied of the crowding and traffic present during the rest of the year; a further advantage is the summer offers provided by the hotels for tourists who want to visit these cities. Here are 8 destinations to explore and what to see:
Weekend in Venice
The lagoon city is unique throughout the world and the wonders to be discovered in the old Maritime Republic are many; we suggest you to visit the beautiful basilicas and museums in the water, to walk through the narrow streets, bridges, canals and, why not, take a lovely gondola ride. A must is the tour among the most beautiful islands, rich in colors and centuries-old traditions to be discovered. A suggestive experience? Visit the Murano Glass Museum to understand the fascinating production techniques of the famous glass. If you love seafood, then you must try the local specialties, prepared in typical Venetian osterias.
The Duomo, the skyscrapers, the Gothic basilicas, the medieval castles, the Renaissance villas and the many museums with their enchanting parks. Milan offers all kinds of artistic, historical and cultural attractions, but not only: it’s also the center of numerous international events and fairs. For shopping lovers, the Lombardy capital is definitely the ideal destination, as well as for those who want to try typical Milanese cuisine or ethnic restaurants from all over the world.
Weekend in Rome
In the Italian capital there is the embarrassment of choice; visiting Rome means making a real journey through the time of the Roman Empire, whose grandeur is manifested by its most important monuments: from the Colosseum to the Roman Forums, passing through the Pantheon and the various amphitheatres. The most famous squares are also to be seen, including Piazza San Pietro, the beating heart of the Vatican. Between a trip on the Roman hills and its castles and villas, don’t forget to try the local dishes, such as pasta carbonara or amatriciana, famous all over the world.
Weekend in Bologna
The capital of Emilia offers a wide range of possibilities; from the visit to the towers and its basilicas, through a trip under the arcades or the nature of the Bologna hills, up to a tour of the Fico factory, the largest agri-food park in the world where you can taste and buy all the food products of the made in Italy between tradition and innovation. Speaking of cooking, try absolutely the typical dishes of the Bolognese gastronomic tradition, considered the best in the world.
Spending a few days in the Neapolitan city in the summer season means being able to take advantage of the maritime climate of the city; for this reason it’s advisable to take a walk along the promenade of Naples visiting the historic attractions such as Villa Comunale with its colorful garden and Castel dell’Ovo. To immerse yourself even more in the green of the blooming nature and the perfumes of the orchards of the area, it’s absolutely necessary to take a trip on the Amalfi Coast and on the Sorrento Coast; instead for the lovers of archaeological and artistic sites, Pompeii and Herculaneum, the catacombs of Naples and the sunken city of Baiae deserve a visit. All seasoned with pizza and other Neapolitan cuisine specialties.
Weekend in Florence
The Tuscan capital offers an impressive amount of artistic wonders. You have to start from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s Dome; from here, for shopping lovers, you can’t miss a walk along the elegant Via Calzaioli, Ponte Vecchio and San Frediano district. Don’t miss the many squares, including Piazza della Signoria where stands Palazzo Vecchio, former palace of the Family de ‘Medici. Its many museums worth a visit, among which the Uffizi Gallery is the most famous. In order to relax after an intense visit, you can refresh yourself in the luxurious restaurants of the center that offer traditional Tuscan cuisine, or you can explore Florence from the Arno River on the ancient barns of the renaioli.
Weekend in Catania
Summer in Sicily means enjoying granite and Sicilian specialties under the sun and by the sea; however, this season is an opportunity to better visit the places of artistic and cultural interest in the city center and to make excursions on Mount Etna and in the Val di Noto, characterized by majestic royal palaces and churches in Baroque style. Some of the towns are precious jewels set in the valley, unique in their kind for the huge amount of beauty and history that is embedded in the walls of the buildings and the streets of the towns. An event not to be missed if you are in Catania in August is the celebration of the city’s patron saint, Sant’Agata, one of the most followed religious festivals in the world.
Weekend in Varese
Summer is a unique opportunity for nature lovers in Varese; in fact it’s called the “garden city” because of its many villas built in the eighteenth century, all surrounded by enchanting parks full of colors and floral aromas. For fans of outdoor physical activity, you can plan a trip to Monte Sacro with its spectacular view, whose path to get there is composed of 14 chapels. You can’t miss a dip from the shores of Lake Varese and also in the clear waters of the nearby Lake of Monate, surrounded by nature and with the picturesque view of the snow-capped Alps in the background.