The true Made in Italy lies in Italy’s neglected back streets
Even a frequent traveler would agree how easy it is to find oneself trapped in the center of a crowded touristic spot in the unknown land. Sadly, your holiday excitement can easily be crushed even in the most remarkable cities like Rome. (Pick-pocketing, endless queues, noisy flock of tourists, McDonaldisation, just to name a few.)
So how to avoid the unexpected Disneyland-like side, and experience the authentic – and often neglected – side of Italy instead. Here’s a hint: back-streets.
The True Cultural Gem of Rome
To discover the real Rome and its real history, one has to leave the bustling tourist attractions and pay a visit to the back streets instead. Wandering through the narrow streets, you’ll most likely to encounter authentic local shops, restaurants, antique stores and so on.
The Jewish quarter, or The Portico d’Ottavia, has the rich history and distinctive characteristics, allowing visitors to enjoy the local Hebrew bakeries and beautiful architecture in decay. For half a millennium, the neighbourhood has been the heart of Rome’s Jewish communities. Despite the gloomy history, The Portico d’Ottavia is thriving – and often under-explored by tourists – with its festive atmosphere.
The Cicchetti crawl in Venice
A couple of hours of backstreet exploration is inevitable in Venice. Hidden all over Venice, the local bars and restaurants are rife with hungry local foodies lingering on at the table, drinking a glass of wine and simply enjoying each other’s company. For Venetians, nibbles – or cicheti – are vital for a lively and friendly conversation with friends. These small, mouth-watering snacks are unique to the bars of Venice, the bàcari. The authentic cicchetti tradition has no superfluous frills (and definitely not a menu translated into 5 languages!) – just the perfectly prepared dishes of fresh lagoon foods and friendly services. No seats? No problem. Good company, good wine and bright entrance light are all you need for an unforgettable evening in Venice.
(From the Guardian)
‘Ancient Meets Modern’ in Milan
Wandering around Milan, you might be stunned by the number of well-dressed people at first. The city’s fashionable luxury designer’s shops have been portrayed countless times. But what about the modern, eclectic and clean-lined Milan interior design? Sure a four-star hotel room with a marble bathroom will always serve the best. But you can also find a myriad of hidden and stylish apartments where the ancient ruins and modern living coexists side by side. So if you’re lucky enough, why not experience a fine stay at one of those sleek Milan apartments?
(In this 1920s Milan apartment, a saffron-hued chair by 21st-century designer William Sawaya takes center stage, via.)
(Architect Massimiliano Locatelli converted a 16th-century church in Milan—complete with original frescoes, an altar and a crypt—into the perfect workspace for his growing firm, via)
Florence’s Hidden Street Arts
This medieval capital of Tuscany has much more to offer than the Renaissance art. Without a doubt, the renowned Uffizi Gallery is a must-see for everybody who has never been to Florence before. But again, if you’re tired of the touristy feel, then ditch the queues and turn to the quiet and timeless backstreet labyrinth to explore Florence’s thriving street art scenes. The variety of street arts ranges from the comical street signs to a cheeky street statue.
Speaking of Made in Italy…
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(Cover image via yatzer)