LA CIVETTA April 2019 - Page 49

The Year Abroad is one of the best gifts granted to language students. With its captvating

scenery, history, weather, food and architecture, Italy is the perfect destination for day

trips or weekend retreats between work or studying. Milan, Rome & Venice often

grace the top of Italian bucket lists but, despite the charm of the aforementioned

cities, there is so much more to discover! So, for the benefit of prospective Year

Abroad travellers, I gathered some final year Italian students to find out which

interesting trips stood out most for them on their Year Abroad. The following

three recommendations offer you a small insight into an Italy that is not often

found in standard tourist guides.


Kicking off our list is the Northern Italian tesoro Trento. I was

lucky enough to spend 6 weeks as an au-pair in this beautiful

city a few years ago, but don’t let my bias sway you from

visiting. Everyone who visits falls in love with the city

clouded in the towering Dolomite mountains and

surrounded by cascading vineyards.

“Rooted in its Alpine culture,

Trento gives you a glimpse into

how diverse Italy really is”.

Despite its proximity to Verona, you won’t find many tourists

here, forcing you to practice your Italian with i trentini whilst

wandering around the charming squares and winding shopping

streets lined with medieval frescoes. Trento also boasts the

Buonconsiglio Castle Museum completed in the 13th Century, a

beautiful cathedral featuring a baroque chapel and multiple museums.

You can even visit the secluded hill-top town of Sardagna in funivia [cable car]

which offers a breath-taking panorama over the city.

San Marino

Moving a bit further south, we find ourselves in the country of San Marino. Mainly comprised

of the hill-top fortress Mount Titano, it’s a must see for those seeking to take in the history

and scenery. Although not technically in Italy, the microstate is amongst the world’s

oldest republics and possesses a large collection of museums, interesting architecture

and traditional art. In the snow it has even been described as “an Italian Hogwarts”

and in the summer as a “green oasis”! San Marino is easily reachable as a day

trip from most northern cities and don’t worry, they still speak Italian and

there’s no border control, but you can ask for a passport stamp as a

souvenir of your trip!

Ravello - Amalfi Coast

We end our short list of hidden gems with Ravello. The

Amalfi Coast is a true holiday destination but Sorrento

and Positano often steal the spotlight, leaving towns

like Ravello mostly undiscovered by tourists. The

stunning resort town is bursting with traditional Italian

culture juxtaposed with iconic Arab-style clifftop gardens

and villas, whilst at the same time offering the luxury of

the sea, making it the perfect tranquil escape to soak up

some Campanian sun. If you visit at Easter or during summer

don’t miss the Via Crucis celebration and Ravello Festival!

Trento, San Marino and Ravello only

touch the tip of the iceberg when it

comes to interesting travel spots in

Italy, but I hope they inspire you to

venture out of your comfort

zone, make the most of your

Year Abroad and explore as

much of the beauty of il

Belpaese as you possibly can.

Saffron Bowtell

Pictures from Pixabay