Think of Italy
and what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the food, the fashion or
the fabulous works of art? Could it be the epitome of motor vehicles, the
Ferrari or perhaps the beautiful city of Florence?
springs to mind you cannot ignore that Italy is a country filled to the brim
with must-sees and must-dos. At Trafalgar we’ve rounded up our top ten icons of
pecorino, parmigianna, provolone, risotto, casatta, espresso, cappuccino,
gelati and mozzarella. Their very names have the ability to make your mouth
water while you search for the closest Italian restaurant to satisfy any
Italian food is very regional.
There are special dishes that are unique to one town or a small collection of
nearby towns, and there are twenty regions to choose from. Campania is best
known for pizza, salty capers, fresh farmhouse cheese and dried pasta while the
Liguria region is famous for basil Pesto sauce.
Fabulous Works of Art
Leonardo da Vinci
is perhaps Italy’s finest painter,
sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor,
anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist,
He was a man
before his time having conceptualized the helicopter, the tank, plate tectonics
and solar power but he will no doubt be remembered for two of his iconic
paintings – the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. And perhaps for
inspiring Dan Brown’s novel – The Da
If it’s red,
sports a throaty, growling engine and has a prancing horse on the hood then it
can only be one thing. A Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari’s dream of building the ultimate
race car became a reality when he left Alfa in 1929 to open Scuderia Ferrari in
Modena. The factory was moved to its present home in Maranello during WW2.
horse is called a cavillino rampante
and was the symbol Enzo Ferrari used on his racing cars and is the iconic
symbol of Ferrari today.
There are four
fashion capitals of the world – and Milan is one of them. To be considered a
fashion capital a city needs a strong fashion industry, be home to many fashion
professionals and have very unique street fashion. Milan fits the bill and is
our answer to Italy’s fashionistas. Many of the trends you see on the runways
and catwalks today were born in Milan.
Florence is in
the heart of Tuscany and home to Italy’s Renaissance where art, philosophy,
music, science, religion, literature and all the aspects of intellectual
inquiry collided into a cultural movement that had an incredible effect on the
whole of Europe. Florence is also home to fine food and wine and has the famed
Chianti wine region on its doorstep.
Choose from a
long list of iconic Italian architecture including the Leaning Tower of Pisa,
the Colosseum, the Doges Palace in Venice and St Peter’s Basilica (not strictly
speaking in Italy as The Vatican is a separate country).
The Leaning Tower
of Pisa must be one of the most photographed buildings in the world. By
building on marshy ground and not properly securing the foundations the Tower
has taken on its traditional lean.
The Colosseum was
known as the arena of death due to the thousands of animals and people who died
there in the name of entertainment. But it remains an iconic structure almost
as old as Rome herself.
is Italy's top carnival or mardi gras celebration. Carnevale season lasts
several weeks, culminating on Shrove Tuesday. During carnival season, Venice is
filled with costumed characters, entertainment, and food stalls. It is
definitely one of the most
famous and must-see Italian festivals.
Toss a coin in
the fountain or to be precise throw the coin over your left should while
standing with your back to the Trevi Fountain in Rome and you’re sure to
return. Or so the legend says.
fountain is also associated with a ritual for lovers. This legend pertains to the miniature fountain of
the left side, known as "the
small fountain of lovers". According to the legend, couples that
drink from the mini fountain will forever be faithful to their partner.
you prefer know that the Trevi Fountain contains a wide collection of
international coins and it is considered really bad form to try scoop them out
or attempt to swim in the fountain.
When in Rome do
as the Romans do and when in Italy it is worthwhile knowing a little of the
local language. It is such a lovely language filled with all the passion
Italians are known for. So here goes: Buon giorno is good morning, Buona sera is good evening while Buona
note means to wish someone good
night. Throw in a little Per favore (please) and Grazie(thank you) and you’ll be well on your way
to making friends for life.
There’s much to
be said of the shopping in Italy and this is our guide to what we think you
should be spending your hard earned travel budget on. Bring back some hand
blown glass from Venice, fabulous fashion from Milan, ceramics from Bologna,
leather from Florence, religious objects from Rome and wine from anywhere in
Because of its
long and great history, Italy is
the birthplace of many
important persons, some of whom
influenced the course of history and some of whom are famous for being famous.
Among them are many scientists, explorers and artists in particular.
Marco Polo and
Christopher Columbus are arguably two of the world’s most famous explorers,
while Florence Nightingale almost single handedly improved the survival rate of
the war wounded by introducing strict hygiene rules.
Famous actors and
singers include Sophia Loren, Luciano Pavarotti, designers Valentino and
well as the Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci and Micheangelo.
Priced from R20 100 per person twin share enjoy a
CostSaver by Trafalgar exploring the Italian Scene. This 10-day trip takes in Rome,
Naples, Assisi, Venice, Verona, the Italian Lakes, Pisa and Florence. This tour
includes breakfast daily, four 3-course dinners, unforgettable sightseeing such
as Juliet’s Balcony and a cruise by private boat to St Mark’s Square.