Seeing the top tourist sites when traveling to a country is definitely important, but it is not the only way to experience a new destination. I love the idea of living creatively by traveling creatively as well. Trying out new things, tasting new foods, learning a cultural tradition, these are all things I seek out when exploring a new locale. Below is a list of 10 creative adventures to help you explore Italy beyond visiting the famous Roman Colosseum or Leaning Tower of Pisa.
10 Creative Adventures to Discover the Essence of Italy
1. Shoot photos on the streets of Milan and spot the latest fashion trends. Pretend to be a fashion reporter and take quick pics of outfits you spot on the street. The well dressed woman shopping, the man waiting at the train station, the child on errands with her mom, fashion is everywhere!
2. Paint a mask in Venice. Of course there is no reason why you can’t just buy a beautiful Venetian mask, but why not have a little fun and paint your own. No painting experience needed, solid colors and a few accent lines may be all you need to create a sinister looking Plague Doctor mask (the iconic one with a bird beak), or a few splatters of gold is perfect for a dainty Masquerade eye cover.
3. Soak up the Tuscan sun and people watch in the square of a hilltop village. There’s no better place to embrace the culture and lifestyle of a new location than sit for a while in the town square and watch life go by. A game of chess, a neighborly conversation between errands, a group of kids enjoying the day, you’re more likely to get a much richer sense of life in Tuscany in the square than in the museum.
4. Take a cheese making class in Parma. A cooking class is a wonderful way to slow down from touring and embrace local culture.
5. Be one with the Masters and sketch your way around Florence. Florence is a feast for the eye. At every turn is a true Renaissance master piece. Whether it be a painting in museum or a detail etched into the side of a palazzo, make sure to have your sketchbook handy and see the city through drawing.
6. Hunt for the most beautiful marbled paper. Carta marmorizzata are masterpieces of their own. Take the time to peak into paper shops throughout Italy to find your favorite marbled paper design. If you are a paper person like myself, you can also spend an afternoon taking a class and make your own.
7. Dash about Rome on a red scooter. Possibly this is a bit more of a romantic notion than reality, but if you love to live on the edge a little, rent a scooter and see Rome the way many Romans do. Be sure to wear a helmet!
8. Spend the day on a fishing boat in Sardinia. The ultimate in slowing down – spending a day on a fishing boat in Sardinia or any of the wonderful coastal towns in Italy will give you an appreciation not only for the patience involved in fishing but how slowing down and looking around can ultimately be energizing. Watch other boats come in and out of the harbor, listen to the fishermen chat about their catches, marvel at the town’s architecture from the water, all great ways to spend a day in Italy.
9. Eat pasta in Palermo. Fresh pasta just tastes better in Italy. Be sure to try all shapes and sizes and discover your favorite.
10. Try every different flavor of Italian soda. Make it a tradition to sip a refreshing bubbly Italian soda in the town square every afternoon. This ritual will be a great way to wind down from site seeing and watch the town get ready for the evening. It may even be a habit you want to bring home with you.