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Italy and the Holy Sea

Italy is a country I regret not documenting during my travels. It is very unfair to write a short blog about a country so rich in history, art, culture, cuisine, religion and landscape.

It is an absolutely gorgeous place in every sense of the word and to an outsider the Italian life always appears pretty “Dolce Vita.” Yet, whenever I express my admiration for the beauties of the country to Italian friends, their reaction is usually one of disagreement. I guess for the locals, life is not as “Dolce” as it seems. It can be tough, expensive, bureaucratic, slow and frustrating…like everywhere else.

However, I personally have absolutely nothing to criticise about this stunning piece of land.

Italy lives up to all your expectations with regards to sights, food and elegance.

To top it all, every city, town and village has something different to offer, so it is worth visiting every corner of the country.

I personally could not choose between Rome, Naples, Pisa, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Venice, Milan…they are all worth a trip.

I guess some places deserve spending longer time than others. You should definitely spend more time in Rome, Florence, Siena and Venice than in the others listed above.

Besides the immense historical importance and artful and religious artefacts of Rome – of course, a country within a city, the Vatican included- , simply strolling around the many narrow streets and piazzas of Rome is enchanting. Even more enlightening for me was to rediscover the historical connections between the first capital of the Roman Empire and its last capital – my hometown – Istanbul.

You taste the medieval times along with real Italian pizza and watermelon juice in hot summer days in Siena, grasp the genius of da Vinci and Michelangelo in romantic Florence and wander the maze streets of Venice to find magic, mystery, wealth and again many connections to Istanbul.

My one piece of advice would be to choose to go to Pompeii rather than to Capri if you decide to make your way to the islands from Naples. Capri has nothing new to offer and is pretty similar to any Turkish or Greek island. However, where else than Pompeii would you get to see the volcanic destruction of a civilisation frozen under ashes for thousands of years?

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