The basics
Italy: Once you arrive - Must read

Five things to do in Italy

Italy is full of exciting things to do when you're studying! Simone Flueckiger gives you some insider tips on what you can get up to

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While destinations like Rome or Venice put Italy firmly on the map for tourists, there are many other exciting places to see and fun things to do. Take a break from studying and explore compelling archaeological sites, hike along the Italian Riviera coastline or simply enjoy delicious Tuscany wine.

 

Cinque Terre

 

Set amid the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera, the Cinque Terre are made up of five picturesque and colourful fishing villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Connected via narrow walking trails, you can hike from one village to another within a matter of hours. Once arrived, go for a dip in the sea to cool off or reward yourself with delicious focaccia, ice cream or freshly-brewed coffee.

 

Although Cinque Terre used to be considered a secret gem, tourist numbers increased sharply over the years with 2.5 million visitors pouring into the area in 2015 alone.

Find out more about Cinque Terre

 

Pompeii

 

History buffs shouldn’t miss out on a trip to the remains of the Roman city of Pompeii in southern Italy, which was buried in ash and pumice in 79 AD following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. With the volcano looming in the background, the well-preserved ruins make for a haunting and compelling sight, and reveal lots of information about ancient Roman life. Once you’re done exploring the site, you can hop on a bus to Mount Vesuvius and hike up to the crater to take in the impressive view of the Bay of Naples. 

Learn more about Pompeii

 

Wine-tasting in Tuscany

 

Take a day off to explore Tuscany’s countryside while sampling the region’s famous wine. Florence-based operators offer tours that will take you to several wineries in the heart of the Chianti region to try different wines, types of cheese and other delicious treats. Alternatively, you can also sign up for a bike tour and cycle through the hilly landscape past vineyards, olive groves and romantic villas. You may want to go easy on the wine when you do that, though…

Discover wine-tasting tours in Tuscany

Find a bike tour

 

Uffizi Gallery

 

Located in the heart of Florence, the Uffizi gallery houses an impressive art collection stemming mainly from the Renaissance era. Home to paintings and sculptures by the likes of Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo, the museum attracts over a million visitors each year. With 45 different halls spread across the two floors of the historical building, you could easily spend a day discovering and admiring the priceless works of art.

Due to the gallery’s extreme popularity, you often have to wait in line for quite some time. If you want to skip the queue, order a ticket in advance from the museum’s website. 

Find out more about visiting the Uffizi Gallery

 

Valle dei Templi 

 

Just outside the Sicilian city of Agrigento lies the island’s most famous historical site, the Valle dei Templi. It holds the remains of seven temples, which date back to the 5th century BC and are among the most impressive examples of Doric architecture.

 

Agrigento was founded by Greek colonists around 580 BC, and became one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean. The “Pietro Griffo” museum, located on the main road connecting the temple site and Agrigento, illustrates the history of the town from prehistoric times to the end of the Greek-Roman era and houses over 5,000 artefacts. 

Learn more about exploring the Valle dei Templi

 

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About Author

Simone Flueckiger is a writer and NCTJ-qualified journalist based in Germany. She graduated from the University of Geneva in Switzerland with a degree in foreign languages and spent parts of her studies in France and the UK. She’s still an avid fan of travelling and languages, and is currently trying to learn Russian.