9 Unique Experiences In Italy That Will Make You Go Back

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Planning a trip to Italy? Here are 9 unique experiences in Italy that will immerse you in the Italian life that are a must. Because traveling is not just a bucket list, but a way of experiencing new cultures and learning something from it. But before you read, let’s get into some details. Vacation was never a bucket list item before. But with this new status quo of people trying to show how many places they have visited, it has now become one. 

Vacation to me, is a means of going to a whole new place and experiencing a whole new culture. Looking at historical monuments are equally important, they remind us of how far humanity has come. It’s also important to gather a different perspective of life through someone else’s lens. And that is what a vacation in a new place gives you.

If you are someone who also enjoys this, I am sure you will love all of these unique experiences in Italy. So, let’s get started.

1. The Amazing Pistachio Croissant

Most of us have eaten Croissant at some point in our lives, and I have to be honest it has always been underwhelming till I tried one at an Italian cafe. The pure delight that I felt biting the crispy yet soft croissant filled with pistachio stuffing. It just blew my mind.

Unique Experiences In Italy

Even if you are not a fan of sweet breakfast, you will literally find it everywhere in Italy. From cannolis to croissants, you have these bite-sized breakfast items that are perfect for grab and go because people don’t eat at 8 am, they probably have breakfast even later as they are heading to work, since work does not start so early like in the USA.

This brings me to the next experience.

2. The Appertivs

This is a norm in Italy. From 5 pm to 8 pm, you will see most people hanging by a cafe chilling and enjoying some sort of drink and snacks. Nothing heavy, but something that will relax them after a long day of work.

Every place we went to had plenty of cafes where you will see people sitting outside and having some fun conversations while drinking and munching. The more important aspect is that they were socializing. In this digital age when people no longer have time to actually connect with each other, I saw how easy it was for Italians to just sit at a cafe and talk to each other whether, it was a small village like Pienza or a metro city like Milan.

3. The Country Living Experience

Tuscany is known for its beautiful wineries and olive oil tastings. But its also known for the ultimate country living experience. It really gives you the true perspective of slow living that I also talk about in this post. 

What fascinated me was the vast expansion of space and beautiful architecture even in these small hidden gems. Rent a small villa which comes with its own hill and stay for a few days. I got to wake up to an incredible view of the sun rising from the paddy fields. Most villas have their owners living close by, so if you need anything they are there.

But what excited me was the feeling that somehow time was at a stand still there like everything else. With the preserved architecture and nature, it felt like nothing really changed there except for adapting to modern technology. So, if you are someone who wants to chill and experience slow living, you need to stay in one of these villas.

4. The Spritz

This brings me to the cool drinks that we discovered in Italy – The Spritz. While to some it was merely a cocktail for me it was more than that. You will find these spritz in 3 main flavors – Limoncello, Aperol and Campari. All 3 of these drinks are made in Italy from Lemon and orange peels.

The cocktail is also very simple, nothing fancy like you see here in America. They make a big deal about them. Now, I won’t spill the secret (you can probably google it). But these drinks were the conversation starters. They are lightweight and won’t get you full. So, you can drink and eat at the same time. 

Most nights that’s what we drank trying to beat the Italian heat. But the best part was that I never got any hangovers from them. Yes, you heard it right. They are the hangover free cocktails I was dreaming about.

5. The Real Cappuccino

If you are an American, you know what the Cappuccino looks and tastes like. Large amount of frothy coffee that is sugary (maybe just the Starbucks ones). I usually skip it, because first I cant drink that much coffee and even if I want to, it just feels milky to me. But not the Italian Cappuccino. You walk over to any coffee shop in Italy, and you almost get the same Cappuccino.

It comes in these small pretty cups (with saucer too) and looks the same. And the best part is it tastes the same. Its not fully frothy, but has some milk and tastes like coffee instead of milk. And you don’t need a lot actually, which is the best part. That small cup is enough to wake you up.

6. The Slow Living

I think you will probably experience this in small towns in the USA, but its foreign to most urban places in the country. Everything is so fast moving that you barely have the time to experience anything. 

Now, people can argue that I felt this way because I was on vacation. But before I can even dive into this, lets get to understand what slow living actually means. It does not mean you are not doing anything, it does not mean you just have a few chores in the day. What it really means is that you have time in a day to experience life instead of just going through the motions, because you don’t have time.

I know I know it feels dense. But here me out. How many times in a day do you get to sit down and enjoy that cup of tea? Or step out into your backyard to smell the roses?

I saw in Italy even in urban areas people had time to step out of their offices to sit, eat and chat and laugh. A lot of Italians still went out in the evening or would do regular activities that you would barely see anyone here do. How do you experience it? Well head over to any caffe in the evening and you will find yourself surrounded by Italians with family hanging out and having a good time.

7. The Mercato

If you have been to other parts of Europe, or if you are an European, you already know about these Marketplaces. Our friends were surprised, but we experienced a bit of it in Madrid, Spain.

A Mercato is basically a shopping complex built only for food. You will find raw ingredients as well as prepared food and drinks. But its a place you go to if you are looking for good authentic Italian food at a good price and you dont have to pick one restaurant. It was a place you can literally go every day to enjoy a different dish. There is a seating area and bars to enjoy drinks.

It had its vibe! You no longer felt like a tourist. Everyone in there was a tourist. You enjoy the food and have a good time because there is music too.

8. The Men in Suits

I have put this as a title, but really women also looked so polished and put together. Modesty does not mean you look ugly. And Italy defines it really well. You don’t see people walking around in a shopping complex in Pajamas.

Photo by Mariya Georgieva

While Rome is much more touristy and you will see fewer Italians, Milan surprised me. I saw men in proper sport coats riding bicycles. And that was a sight for me. Looking put together was not just for fancy occasions there, it was a self-care essential. 

The older the men were, the better they dressed. And honestly, this inspired my husband to take some of these dressing habits back to the USA.

9. Families Are Fun

Now, I didn’t go to nightclubs and I am sure kids are not allowed there. But in most restaurants and bars, kids were welcomed. I know there is a huge controversy and I don’t want to get into it.

But being a mother at a young age, I can understand the frustration of so many women, who just want to go out with their kids to have a drink and are not judged for it. As if, we are doomed if we have a baby. We lose all our independence. 

Italy was different. I saw the same in Spain as well. Kids are not the center of their parents’ lives. They are a part of it. This normalizes women going out and actually enjoying their lives despite being a mother.

Planning For Unique Experiences In Italy

Now that you have read about 9 unique experiences in Italy that will make you go back there, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and plan your next vacation to Italy! If you want to know how we spent two weeks in Italy, I recommend you check out our 14-day Italy itinerary. Email us if you want a completely custom and unique Italian experience put together just for you!

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