Destination Spotlight: Italy
May 27, 2014
As summer approaches, the allure of European travel is hard for the wanderlust-infected to ignore. Kids are out of school, vacation time at companies tends to be easier to procure and long flights can be rewarded with longer stays, rather than flying halfway around the world for a weekend. For those looking to see the best of what the E.U. has to offer, Italy features one of the best combinations of modern and the “old world,” outdoorsy charms and comfortable surroundings, and city bustle and countryside relaxation.
It’s the type of destination that appeals to a wide range of people – meaning that non-profits organizing a fundraising auction or event can maximize interest and bidding with a trip to one of Europe’s great vacation spots. And once a donor has secured a trip via one of our consignment auction travel packages, you can also act as concierge by referring them to any of the following monuments and attractions throughout the country.
Of course, those interested in history will find a plethora of day trips and activities in the country. From the Sistine Chapel to the Colosseum and the ruins of Pompeii, Italy is a high school history textbook come to life. The country is especially loaded with religious artifacts, like the centuries-in-the-making Basilica di San Marco, St. Peter’s Basilica and, though it is technically its own country, the Vatican. Even the famed Roman Forum has a great deal of religious history attached; among the destroyed buildings are the foundations of basilicas and temples.
As one would imagine, considering how Italian food is a near-universal staple of restaurants worldwide, the foodie adventurer has plenty to do while in country as well. Italian cuisine is best known for exports like pasta and pizza, of course, coming from Michelin Guide-beloved eateries like Osteria Francescana and Pergola, but it does not receive proper credit for its seafood. Restaurants along the Amalfi Coast, restaurants like Marina Grande and Osteria da Luisella serve up fish so fresh, as the guidebook writers at Lonely Planet once wrote, that “it is almost still flapping.”
One of the easiest ways to work off all the extra calories from Italian cooking may be to head out on a shopping trip. Whether it’s the modern art pieces of Capri’s Pop Gallery or the high end fashions of Milan, there are enough outlets in nearly every major city to force a traveler to check extra baggage on the flight home. But it is Florence that may attract the most shoppers at all price points, from the luxury shops of Via Tornabuoni to the markets and antiques of Mercato Centrale. For a more “local” experience, head to Cascine Market on a Tuesday for steals and deals.