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The Italian Bucket List: 25 things to do in Italy before you die!

From spectacular pizza to selfies in Pisa, here's our love letter to one of the world's great travel destinations...

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Summer colour: The multi-hued harbour in Vernazza

Summer colour: The multi-hued harbour in Vernazza

Georgous and captivating: Venice

Georgous and captivating: Venice

Roman holidays...

Roman holidays...

The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Positano on the Sorrento Peninsula, Italy. Photo: Deposit

Positano on the Sorrento Peninsula, Italy. Photo: Deposit

Chic little island: Ischia

Chic little island: Ischia

Meeting 'Juliet' in Verona

Meeting 'Juliet' in Verona

A Fiat 500 in Rome

A Fiat 500 in Rome

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast

A Food store showcase full of food in Bologna. Photo: Deposit

A Food store showcase full of food in Bologna. Photo: Deposit

St. Peter’s Basilica interior with light beam in Vatican City.

St. Peter’s Basilica interior with light beam in Vatican City.

JW Marriott, Venice. Photo: Facebook.com/JWMarriottVeniceResportSpa

JW Marriott, Venice. Photo: Facebook.com/JWMarriottVeniceResportSpa

Pompeii

Pompeii

 Mount Vesuvius looms over ruins of Pompeii

Mount Vesuvius looms over ruins of Pompeii

Rocca della Guaita, the most ancient fortress of San Marino, Italy

Rocca della Guaita, the most ancient fortress of San Marino, Italy

Capri

Capri

View of skiing resort in Livigno, Italy. Photo: Deposit

View of skiing resort in Livigno, Italy. Photo: Deposit

THAT selfie in Pisa. Photo: Deposit

THAT selfie in Pisa. Photo: Deposit

The Palio di Siena, held twice a year. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. Photo by Mario Llorca/Corbis via Getty Images

The Palio di Siena, held twice a year. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. Photo by Mario Llorca/Corbis via Getty Images

Spot the visitors! Mount Etna, Sicily

Spot the visitors! Mount Etna, Sicily

Pontile Bar at the Hotel Cala di Volpe

Pontile Bar at the Hotel Cala di Volpe

Typical trulli houses with conical roof in the UNESCO world heritage site of Alberobello, Apulia.

Typical trulli houses with conical roof in the UNESCO world heritage site of Alberobello, Apulia.

Venice (Italy): The Lido, a 11 km long sandbar in the lagoon. Photo by: Andia/UIG via Getty Images

Venice (Italy): The Lido, a 11 km long sandbar in the lagoon. Photo by: Andia/UIG via Getty Images

Naples - the home of pizza

Naples - the home of pizza

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Summer colour: The multi-hued harbour in Vernazza

Italy is more than a country. It's a state of mind. Sifting back over years of travel notes, that's the feeling washing over me.

I've buzzed past the Colosseum on a Vespa, witnessed the Palio in Siena, swum in crystal-clear water off Sardinia. But it was the passeggiata in Siracusa that really brought it home, that made the word 'Italy' one of the few that can instantly erase lines from my forehead.

It ain't perfect, of course. Driving in Italy is hairy; the difference between romance and real life in places like Naples and Sicily can be jarring, and tourist crowds are pushing Venice towards crisis.


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