Sunday, 22 May 2011

All the Italian cities are unique

Managed to go to quite a number of cities around Italy, and like one of the owner of the Bed and Breakfast we stayed in said "There are three Italy - the Northern Italy, the Southern Italy and the middle one". I fully agreed! All the cities that we went to were very different - it felt like we were in different countries! And most of the time, the traffic best described the mood of the city.

Venice
There are no roads! In a city where you take the gondola for leisure cruise along the canals, where the main public transportation is the vaporetto (water bus) and you need to take the traghetto to cross the "roads" (ie canals), you know you're in a one-of-a-kind city! Venice is like no other! This visually stunning advertisement captures it all...


Bologna
Bologna feels like a young, energetic and animated city. The food was amazing and the gelato was probably one of the best I have ever had!

Rome (and the Vatican City)
All roads lead to Rome - I would not be surprised if this is still true today. Rome is definitely a metropolitan - the largest and most populated city in Italy! Cars and vespas buzz towards the Colosseum, priests and nuns walk around the many churches, tourists from all around the world throw in coins into the Trevi Fountain wishing to return - these are just some of the countless of things that are happening all around Rome! Even Vatican City, the world's smallest sovereign state, is packed with people.


Naples
I thought the traffic in Rome was scary, but that was before I went to Naples! They followed the road rules at their discretion, and when some kind soul stopped to let us cross on the zebra crossing, the cars behind honked him! Even when the light was green for pedestrian to cross, make sure you still look around you before crossing the road! The city and the people is pretty much like the traffic - going non-stop at high speed and full of energy!

Florence (and the Tuscan hills)
The historic centre is compact but sure does pack a punch. The centre is mainly traffic-free and only for pedestrians, and even then, the streets are wide. Compared to Naples, it was a breath of fresh air (and space). Florence is this fashionable and artistic yet laid-back young city - from the good looking Michelangelo's David to the street filled with the latest fashion, and the musicians and artists in its piazzas, there are much to see and explore. After just three days in the city, it felt like I've known the city well enough to want to stay there for much longer. It doesn't hurt that I kind of fell in love with the Tuscan amazing landscape and the small hill-top towns.


Cinque Terre
These five villages sit on cliffs overlooking the sea, with houses perched on top of one another. The towns are connected via trains and hiking paths (with we experienced first hand). The view are amazing, and the towns are small, although filled with lots of tourists during the day. The locals are friendly and it seemed to be a tight-knit community where everyone knows almost everyone else.


Milan
If Milan is a person, it would be one good looking model with rich taste and amazing style, and probably a little proud and arrogant too. There is no question about it, with the spikes and statues on Duomo, the architecturally amazing buildings around the city centre and the high-end fashion store - Milan is beautiful. Like a fashionable and rich good looking model, it could take time to understand what's underneath all the beauty. So, probably a day in Milan is not enough to really know the city.


{ The first photo is from Lavazza }

7 comments:

  1. In Venice, you gotta take the path off the beaten track really. Get lost in the back alleys, walk around and see where it all leads to. You get to meet local residents there who are more than happy to have a chat with you. I think a lot of them stay away from the touristy spots.

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  2. ...And of course a ferry from Venice to Istria(Croatia) is also a good option.

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  3. I got back from Italy a week ago and I'm feeling so nostalgic reading this. I visited Cinque Terre, and honestly, I was a bit disappointed by how it's been turned into a tourist town with foreign faces everywhere. I decided to skip the other cities and head to a small unknown town in northern Italy instead. It was pure heaven :) I've got the travelogue from Gargnano on my blog, incase you want to read for your next trip!

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  4. Folded my map away, and walked along back alleys in Venice, but somehow we still ended up in one of the main area! I guess, being an island and all, you can't really get seriously lost!

    I agree that Cinque Terre is quite touristy. Maybe I should have gone to another town like you!

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  6. It's true that Italy has its own charm. The beauty of its various cities really entices me greatly. Rome is my favorite.

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