Photo by Aaron Cranford
By Aaron Cranford
Unlike other places I have been to, Italy arguably offers more to first-time travelers.
When you travel to a country outside of the U.S. for the first time, you want to feel safe, but most of all, you want to have an amazing experience. I would like to return to every city and country I have visited because there always is something to enjoy wherever you go — whether that be standing at the feet of Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro or climbing to the top of a potentially active volcano in the Caribbean.
However, the sheer volume of spectacular sights and sounds accompanied with the many organized tours in practically every major and minor city makes Italy the perfect destination for first-time travelers.
I personally have traveled to many major cities in Italy, including Rome, Florence and Venice, and I also have seen wonderful small towns that are more remote, such as Camucia and Cortona in Tuscany.
New visitors must be aware of pickpocketing in Italy. Pickpocketers are normally located around popular tourist attractions in large cities, so if you do visit Rome or Florence, be wary of your belongings. If you are traveling to more remote towns and cities, then you should have nothing to worry about, but it’s always wise to err on the side of caution.
One experience should not serve as a basis for every experience, but I have had no issues with traveling abroad, so as long as you use your common sense and are aware of the people around you, then you should be fine. Chances are, you will be traveling with a group, friends or a family, so you should have comfort knowing that your circle will be looking out for your well-being while there.
If pickpocketing has you worried about traveling to Italy for your first time abroad, your focus is in the wrong place. Yes, you should worry about your personal safety and the safety of your belongings, but the experiences of seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in Cinque Terre, listening to an Italian choir sing in the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, riding a water taxi through the city of Venice and strolling through Colosseum in Rome are life events that everyone should have.
Here is a video of some of my experiences in Italy:
Where would you suggest traveling abroad to first? What country did you visit first?
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