My weekends abroad are coming to an end. However, I really took advantage of the days I had and have managed to visit some amazing places. During this semester I was dedicated to visiting as many Italian cities as I could. Here are my favorite ones.
1. Positano: The Amalfi coast is stunning and definitely not overhyped. It is quite a journey from Siena, but I coupled this with a trip to Naples (not my favorite) to make the journey shorter. I highly recommend going in the off season. I went on a very nice weekend at the end of february and was able to relax on the beach care free. The beautiful mountains dotted with colorful villas next to the ocean makes for a wonderful weekend.
2. Matera: Another far journey, but worth it. Matera has a strange, interesting history and is the 2019 European capital of culture. Matera is tiny, like Siena, and you’re able to walk around the whole city and see everything you want in a weekend. The most popular view is of the Sassi, old cave like houses that are striking against the green landscape. There are lots of churches to see, and there are hiking trails nearby that are stunning as well.
3. San Gimignano: A perfect day trip from Siena. San Gimignano is even smaller than Siena so I wouldn’t recommend spending a whole weekend there, but it is definitely a must see. Climbing up the tower was my favorite part. I recommend just walking around, or posefully getting lost. The city is so quaint and cute and there are many spots that provide a good view of the Tuscan countryside. And, even better, the world’s best gelato store is in the city’s main piazza.
4. Venice: I know it’s popular and an obvious choice, but don’t miss out on this city. There is no other place like Venice. I went during Carnival and had a wonderful time just sitting in St. Mark’s square to people watch and marvel at the outlandish costumes. However, if you fear crowds, go before or after Carnival. As you’ve probably guessed I love just wandering around each city with no map or plan, but I really recommend doing this in Venice. You will get to see some interesting, narrow streets and get away from the tourist traps.
5. Perugia: A very cute place on the top of a hill. I recommend going on the trip with IES Abroad if you can. There aren’t a lot of tourists or tourist traps and there are plenty of amazing chocolate shops. The famous chocolates, Baci, are made here. If you have a sweet tooth, go to Perugia.
Italy is full of amazing, diverse cities and I recommend visiting as many as you possibly can. These were just a few of my favorites, and I prefer small cities. If you have different preferences Italy will still be able to offer you amazing places to visit.
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<p>I am 19 years old and am a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. I am working towards an anthropology degree because I am fascinated in all the different cultures, religions, and languages around the world. My hobbies include sewing, reading, hiking, camping, and traveling. Every summer I go backpacking with my family. Our most recent trip was to Rocky Mountain National Park. I am very excited to study abroad in Siena, Italy so I can practice my Italian and become immersed in a new culture.</p>