It's easy to fall in love with Italy – the amazing culture, the delicious food, the stunning scenery, and the sheer magnitude of its history. There are so many places to check out in this vast country, and here's a list of some of my favourite places in Italy.
For Quintessential Italy: Venice
There's no better city to experience the magic of Italy than Venice. As touristy as it might sound, taking a Gondola ride is a must. Snap a photo (or ten) in San Marco Square and if you're feeling adventurous, climb to the top of the Saint Mark's Basilica for a bird's eye view of the city. Speaking of birds, you're likely to spot pigeons. Panning a day trip? Try Murano, Burano and Torcello islands.
For Art and Architecture: Florence
Florence isn't just the capital of Italy's Tuscany region; it's also the birthplace of the Renaissance. Art connoisseurs will have a field day exploring this cultural city, whether taking in iconic sites like the Florence Cathedral or spending the day viewing artwork at Galleria dell'Accademia. Make sure to try a few scoops of gelato in Florence, as the city is known for serving up delicious flavors.
For Big City Living: Rome
Jump right into the hustle and bustle of city life with a stopover in Rome. Not only is it home to the Colosseum, the Pantheon and Borghese Gallery and Museum, but also Pompeii is just a day trip away. In fact, you could visit the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Tuscany directly from Rome and make it back in the evening for a full plate of pasta. Also worth touring is Vatican City even though you'll likely wait on a long queue.
For Food & Wine: Bologna
Most travelers don't make it to Bologna on their first trip to Italy and that's a shame. Bologna is known for its innovative and inventive culinary scene and there are many interactive classes where you can learn how to cook your favorite pasta dishes like tortellini and ravioli. Italians are well aware of Bologna's historical significance but even so, it's far less crowded than Venice, Florence and Rome.
By Megan Eileen McDonough of Bohemian Trails.