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10 Unforgettable Reasons Why You Should Travel To Italy

10 Unforgettable Reasons Why You Should Travel To Italy
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    Florence/Dennis Jarvis

    Italy isn’t just for travelers who crave the world’s best pizzas, pastas and wines. The food (and wine) in this uniquely boot-shaped country is one reason to add it to your bucket list, but the historic cities, snow-capped mountains, pristine coastlines and endless museums will assure you that one visit is not enough.

    These 10 cities, sites, tastes and experiences are more than enough to lure you into Italy, but we guarantee you’ll return with a list of reasons all your own.

    1. Falling in Love with Venice

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      Grand Canal/Maëlick

      You don’t have to be a honeymooner or even a lover of chick flicks to fall in love with Venice’s romantic vibe. The colorful, canal-filled city will make you want to snap photos until your memory card is full. In addition to the famed Grand Canal, with its rowing gondoliers, travelers can dine on fresh seafood, museum hop and stock up on souvenirs.

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      2. Hiking Along the Cinque Terre

      Vernazza, Cinque Terre
        Vernazza, Cinque Terre/ Daniel Stockman

        Also known as “five lands,” the Cinque Terre region has become a sought-after Italian destination in recent years, and for good reasons too. The colorful towns, appearing as if they’re dangling from cliffs, along the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre offer scenery that rivals Europe’s most famous sites.

        3. Sunbathing on Deserted Islands

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          Tabaccara, Lampedusa/ Luca Siragusa

          Italy is probably not the first country that comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “deserted islands.” However, Sicily’s Pelagie Islands are an off-the-beaten path alternative for travelers seeking turquoise water, white-sand beaches and postcard-worthy fishing towns. Visit Lampione to experience a truly uninhabited paradise.

          4. The Crumbling Ruins of Rome

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            Arch of Septimius Severus/Robert Lowe

            ‘Crumbling’ isn’t a common term of endearment for a city, but it is when you’re referencing the ancient city of Rome. Travelers can enjoy all of the 21st-century conveniences of luxurious accommodations, award-winning restaurants and museums after exploring the ruins of buildings that were once walked by Julius Caesar and Romulus. History buffs haven’t lived until they’ve wandered among the 2,800-year-old columns, temples and buildings of Rome.

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            5. Snacking on Antipasti

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              Antipasti/Kent Wang

              It doesn’t matter where you’ve sampled antipasti around the globe, it’ll never be as good as those in Italy. Start nearly every meal with an array of cured cheeses, marinated vegetables, prosciutto and carefully-made spreads. The antipasti dishes vary throughout Italy’s regions and restaurants, which means you can start your own taste test around the country.

              6. Walking the Streets of Florence

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                Florence Sunset/Maëlick

                Even more than Rome and Venice, many visitors to Italy will tell you their favorite city is Florence. The city’s more compact size makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Wander from the Duomo to the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Uffizi, the Mercato Nuovo, Ponte Vecchio and discover the countless other pieces of the outdoor museum known as Florence.

                7. World Heritage Site Hopping

                Herculaneum from above
                  Herculaneum/Andy Hay

                  Italy is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. Travelers can visit 47 cultural World Heritage Sites and four natural World Heritage Sites, ranging from the archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata to the Aeolian Islands and the Dolomites. Wherever you are around “the boot,” it’s guaranteed there’s a World Heritage Site nearby.

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                  8. Touring the Rolling Hills of Val d’Orcia

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                    Val d’Orcia/Kuranosuke Oishi

                    When many travelers envision their trip to Tuscany, they imagine sipping glasses of Chianti among green rolling hills. This vision is mostly correct, but Tuscany is a surprisingly large area of central Italy. It pays to focus on a specific area — like the medieval towns of Val d’Orcia perched atop the hills of Montalcino, Pienza and Monticchiello. Cruise along the Val d’Orcia backgrounds, bouncing between wineries and snapping photos of the heavenly views.

                    9. Adventuring in the Dolomites

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                      Dolomites/Navin Rajagopalan

                      Italy’s desolate islands and rolling hills aren’t the only natural wonders the country boasts. The Dolomites, a snowy mountain range in the Southern Alps, is a place where hikers, climbers, skiers and snowboarders can get their adrenaline thrills. You’re guaranteed to be wowed by the craggy peaks of the Dolomites — the range represented in the background of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa — whether you visit in spring, summer, fall or winter.

                      10. Slurping 300 Types of Noodles

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                        Fresh Pasta in Sorrento/Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble

                        Some travelers visit Italy for its food alone — and we don’t blame them. Italians serve up more than 300 types of fresh, homemade pasta. Making an attempt to taste all of the crave-worthy noodles and sauces means you’ll have to cancel your plane ticket home and stay a while.

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                        Featured photo credit: Dennis Jarvis via flickr.com

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                        Last Updated on May 21, 2020

                        The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                        The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                        You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

                        Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

                        Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

                        An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

                        Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

                        1. The Paleo Diet

                        The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

                        The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

                        In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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                        How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

                        The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                        With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

                        It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

                        Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

                        2. Whole30

                        The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

                        With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

                        During the month you are eliminating:

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                        • sugar
                        • alcohol
                        • legumes
                        • grains
                        • dairy
                        • soy

                        Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

                        At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

                        Finding Out How Food Impacts You

                        Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

                        With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

                        This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

                        3. The Mediterranean Diet

                        The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

                        For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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                        With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

                        • Fruits & vegetables
                        • Whole grains
                        • Legumes & nuts
                        • Replacing butter with olive oil
                        • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
                        • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
                        • Moderate amounts of red wine

                        Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

                        Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

                        With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

                        4. The Alkaline Diet

                        The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

                        The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

                        Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

                        The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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                        People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

                        One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

                        Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

                        There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

                        The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

                        What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

                        The Big Takeaway:

                        Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

                        Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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