Italy, the land of the Romans, has a rich history kept by its people, the monuments built, and the culture. This can only be fully enjoyed by visiting Italy. During a visit, you can enjoy the hospitality of the Italians, and marvel at the various monuments, a testament to their hard work.
The cities will greet you with cultural richness, unparalleled cuisine, and awe-inspiring structures. At the same time, the villages will bring you peace in their beautiful fields of wheat and grapes sprinkled with human settlements. Whether you are in Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily, or Puglia, there is always something intriguing to watch out for, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, hilltop villages, cathedrals, baroque palaces, beautiful beaches, and rustic farm-to-table menus.
Southern European Charm: The fascinating South of Italy
Welcome to Southern Italy, a region of rich history and breathtaking landscapes, encompassing Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia. Naples, the cultural heart of Campania, is a city steeped in ancient history, with the Bay of Naples as its picturesque backdrop and Mount Vesuvius looming on the horizon. Its UNESCO-listed historic center is a labyrinth of narrow streets, vibrant markets, and historic churches. The Naples National Archaeological Museum showcases artifacts from nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, providing a captivating journey through time.
A short ferry ride from Naples transports you to the enchanting island of Capri – perfect for a day or weekend trip. Renowned for its beauty and glamour, Capri boasts the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave illuminated by ethereal blue light. Capri Town offers charming streets to explore, the Gardens of Augustus provide panoramic views, and local restaurants serve authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
Departing from Naples’s Molo Beverello, multiple ferry connections can take you to Capri traversing the Tyrrhenian Sea, offering passengers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples and the coastline. Whether you’re drawn to Naples’ historic richness or Capri’s idyllic charm, the accessible ferry connections make this Southern Italian adventure a delightful experience. A journey to uncover the allure of Naples and the captivating beauty of Capri, where each step reveals a new chapter in the rich tapestry of this enchanting region, should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Watch this video to learn more about where to visit in the South of Italy:
As you plan your next trip to Italy, here are some ways you can experience this beautiful country while still in the US.
Savoring the Italian life in the US
Italy has been part of the US since its inception, as it borrows the name America from an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. You can practically feel Italy in the US through:
Americans love Italian dishes and uniquely add American touches, but the dishes’ roots remain Italian.
Simplicity, fresh ingredients, and bold flavors characterize Italian food. The most popular Italian dish to date is pizza. Neapolitan (from Naples) pizza making, “pizzaiuoli,” is recognized as a cultural heritage by UNESCO. Pasta, risotto, gelato, and Italian cheese share almost the same prominence as pizza.
There are several ways to enjoy Italian dishes in the US: visiting Italian restaurants and pizzerias or enrolling in cooking classes at culinary schools or community centers to learn how to make them yourself. Once you have mastered cooking classes, you can visit a farmer’s market to explore stalls selling fresh Mediterranean produce, cheese, and olives to create some Italian-inspired dishes.
Watch this video to learn where in America to find the best Italian food:
Art and Music
Italian art is unrivaled, from the stunning Mona Lisa, the Colosseum, David of Michelangelo, and opera music. This element has been brought to American culture through writings and the importation of the physical arts.
There are several museums in the US showcasing authentic Italian art, with the National Gallery of Art housing the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the US. You can find both modern and Renaissance paintings, sculptures, and other forms of art in museums across the US, such as:
- Museo Italo Americano
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
- Heckscher Museum of Art, New York
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
- Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas
- Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California
- Detroit Institute of Arts
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Getty Museum in Los Angeles
Italian art is alive and dynamic; as a result, they refuse to be hidden in museums. Their music and performances are showcased in theaters across the US. Italian musicians and musicians of Italian descent have continued to entertain America over the years. Popular musicians of Italian descent in the US are Lady Gaga and the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest winners, Måneskin. The Italian language has equally loaned many words to the English language, with words such as “Ciao” commonly known and used everyday.
Watch this to get a glimpse:
Italian brands are also some of the most renowned luxury brands in the US, especially among sports cars and clothing. Some of the top brands include Ferrari, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, and Maserati.
Italian immigrants have also grown the American folklore with stories that have influenced Hollywood for ages, such as the Ponzi scheme by Charles Ponzi and the Mafia that featured Al Capone (one of the wealthiest criminals in American history).
There are also so many jokes crafted by comedians about Italians and the mob as a result of the New York City Mafia families gaining prominence.
Italy is quite populous, with a vast array of cultural history and idiosyncrasies. The people have created beautiful baroque housing with beautiful gardens that make it uniquely Italian. Fortunately, they have maintained their culture and brought it to America. We now eat their food, use their language, and enjoy their architecture in various cities in the US.