Let Shifa Merchant Take You To Her #Fave Places In Italy

by | February 27, 2020, 17:51 IST

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Of all the trips that lifestyle blogger Shifa Merchant has taken to Italy, this one easily tops the chart. Italy is a country famous for its architecture, art, history and gastronomy. Italy boasts of a rich cultural heritage waiting to be discovered and like India, Italian culture changes with every city! 

So, read on as she helps you explore a different Italy, one that combines the old with the new, volcanic mountains with scenic coastlines, cave hotels with palatial stays, and more, much more!

1) Mount Etna, Sicily

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Fondly called “Mongibello” by locals, Mount Etna is an active volcano. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, it is one of the most sought-out natural attractions in the world. Did you know that, on average, this active volcano has erupted every 1.7 years? It also happens to be one of the oldest volcanoes in the world, with lava dating back to 1,500 BCE. Hike up this mountain volcano to see the craters that have formed over the years. The rich volcanic soil from this region is famed for the cultivation of grapes that yield exceptional wine!

2) Greek Theatre, Taormina


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The beautiful view of Mt. Etna follows you as you make your way to the Greek Theatre of Taormina, set against the backdrop of the Ionian Coast of Sicily on one side and the Calabrian Coast on the other. The construction of this amphitheatre dates back to
3BC, and was initiated by the Greeks. Once home to gladiator fights, the venue now hosts live concerts and events.

3) Matera City

 

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A representation of traditional settlements, the city of Matera dates back to the Paleolithic Age. It was also declared the European Capital of Culture 2019, as it combines the old with the new and houses 10,000 years of rich history. It is home to the famous “Sassi”, or ancient cave dwellings, which have received a makeover, allowing you to sleep in these UNESCO-recognised cave hotels.

4) Arena Di Verona

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This is hands down one of the most spectacular Roman structures in the world. Located in Piazza Bra, Verona, the Arena Di Verona dates back to the first century. It is commendable how this amphitheatre still stands tall and continues to host world-famous opera performances. The arena can hold up to 15,000 people, who are guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime sensory experience.

P.S. This location will host the official closing ceremony for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

5) Juliet’s House Verona 

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Stepping into what used to be “Juliet’s house” from the famous Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet left me with goosebumps. The courtyard was covered in love notes and locks, left by romantics from all over the world. The atmosphere was truly magical, and, even though the place was full of people, I couldn’t shake the feeling of pure awe. Fun fact: The locals believe that touching the right breast of Juliet’s statue brings you good luck and grants wishes.

6) Museo Nicolis, Verona 

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The Museo Nicolis in Verona is an unconventional automotive museum that houses exclusive mechanical treasures from the 1900s. The brainchild of Mr Luciano Nicolis, this is where you can trace the evolution of the automobile industry and style masterpieces, allowing you to explore the history of motoring. Some of my favourite brands were Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Lancia, and Avions Voisin.

7) Duomo Di Milano 

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Located in the Northern Italian city of Milan, the Duomo Di Milano is one of the most visited structures in Europe. The construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1386. Famous for its beautifully-crafted sculptures and spires, there are more statues in this cathedral than in any other in the world. It is believed that if all the statues were placed on top of each other, the height would be around 3.3 miles! The terraces also have 360-degree viewpoints, allowing you to enjoy all of Milan’s landscapes from up above.

Italy will leave you mesmerised and wanting for more. Here’s to more travels to Bella Italia!

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