Last Updated on February 22, 2021
Italy was one of the most anticipated countries on our travels through Europe. Both huge fans of wine, olives, pizza and pasta (who isn’t?!), we had been wanting to visit Italy together for years but for some reason, it never worked out. This year we finally made it – and had an incredible trip. We’ll cover our time in Italy more in subsequent posts, but here’s a taste of our time in Bel Paese, the beautiful country – our first impressions of Italy.
First impressions and observations of Italy
Italians love cats. There are cats everywhere.
Italian fishing villages are just so cute.
Italy has squat toilets. Who knew!
This is not an unknown fact about Italy, but it needs to be said: Italians make the best coffee drinks. Our favorites: Cappuccino, Macchiato, Espresso.
No tourist can leave Pisa without a funny Leaning Tower photo.
Italians are proud to be Italian.
Tuscany really is as pretty as everybody says it is.
Our favorite first impression of Italy so far: Italian pasta is as scrumptious as you’d think.
Cinque Terre is overrun by tour groups but when you visit these ‘5 beautiful lands’, you know why.
This is what Chianti wine looks like before it’s bottled.
Italian churches are beautiful. From the outside…
…and from the inside.
But they can also hold some pretty creepy stuff.
Even in Italy you can get your picture taken with a British phone booth.
Italian pizzas are giant and they taste perfect.
Italians invented pizza with truffles & zucchini. It’s delicious.
Pizza with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto is even better.
Italian door-knockers are intricately decorated.
Boar is a culinary specialty in Tuscany. You will see boars everywhere. Dead or alive.
Italian mountain towns are bellissima.
In Italy, naked men are everywhere, standing very, very still.
Italians don’t like their train system and at times, passengers get out protest on the tracks.
There are as many scooters and vespas in Italy as you might think.
This may not be a surprising observation about Italy: Italian gelato is addictive.
Italians take great pride in decorating their windows.
One of the most charming first impressions about Italy: Italians really all hang their laundry outside their windows.
Pisa has much more to offer than just the leaning tower.
There is wine everywhere. And it’s cheap. And so good.
There are many expensive ’boutique’ wines, some of those are cheap in their own way…
Italians like garden gnomes in their front yards.
Italy has thought-provoking street art.
Italian pastries are worth every single calorie.
The sunsets in Italy are picture-perfect.
Milan’s cathedral has a beautifully decorated facade depicting some pretty cruel scenes.
Italian markets are bursting with mouthwatering flavors and bright colors.
Italy is a great place for lovebirds.
It is hard to take ugly photos in Italy.
Maria | Luggage Guide
Wednesday 16th of July 2014
Milano! Such a great city, with some wonderful memories. Did you get chance to go on the top of the Duomo di Milano (cathedral)? The views are spectacular, you get to see so much of the city and surrounding areas. Another of my favorite places is San Gimignano, in Tuscany – well worth a visit. I could talk forever about Italy...
Friday 21st of February 2014
HHahaha your photo captions are hilarious! The reason why we hang our laundry outside is that it dries so much faster than it would on the inside! Perks of a sunny country! And cats... come to Rome! There are cats everywhere, I've got 3 and they were all stray cats! I love your blog and I loved your impressions on my own country and everything else really!
Saturday 22nd of February 2014
Thanks, Elisa :) It makes sense to dry your laundry outside, you've got so much sun! :) I love that you have three stray cats - I hope I'll get to take in some strays one day as well.
Thursday 9th of May 2013
Italy is truly amazing! If you live there for a while though they are a little bit too traditional=))) No doubt the food is great and so are the clothes;))) If you'd like to have look at my experience in Italy- have a look at my blog =)
Saturday 11th of May 2013
Hi Polly, thanks so much for sharing your blog! The 'ciao bella' thing is definitely true - the guys there just have to check out every single woman that walks by ;-)
Tuesday 7th of August 2012
Very nice pictures of "La dolce Vita" in Italy! Especially the garden gnome, who would have thought?
Northern Italy is picturesque too, although they don't consider themselves to be Italian there! Dolomites, Lago di Garda, Lago di Como, ...
Wednesday 8th of August 2012
Thanks, Florian! Who would've thought, right? Garden gnomes in Italy is not what one expects. I have been only once to Northern Italy (The Dolomites) and we passed Lago di Como when we went to Italy via Switzerland - it looked beautiful and we definitely have to explore more of Northern Italy!
Saturday 6th of August 2011
WOW there is a lot to absorb in this post. A lot of GOOD to absorb, seeing as how usually people talk about the snobbishness and materialism of people in Milan and Florence, not to mention the ridiculous treatment of women in the media and the insane politics. A fresh positive perspective definitely balances things out. Lovely pictures!
Monday 8th of August 2011
Jenna - it's true, we didn't mention the insane politics in Italy once! I think that's something you hear more about outside of Italy rather than within the country. While we were there, nobody wanted to discuss politics with us :-) Sure, Italy has its problems (economical / political) but our first impressions were 100 % positive. We fell in love with the country.