Originally Posted by The_Masterplan
Hook me up on how to properly enjoy it.
Usually what i think to do is chill and walk around the city for a couple days and another two days go sight seeing.
Well.. first tip.. don't overdo it:
Italy is, of course, really smaller than US.. you couldn't say it's "big".. it's more.. "stuffed" with things to see :)
Avoid the "I'm in Italy, I must see Everything" state of mind, that would lead to trace a complex route that starts somewhere in Venice and forces you to foolish rushes to see Milano-Bologna-Ferrara-Firenze-Siena-Lucca-Volterra-Pisa-Urbino-Orvieto-Perugia-Roma... and you would be only half the way down. Choose one area (we don't have states, but the territory is divided in twenty "regions".. and some regions are so fille with wonders to see that it will take you more than a month just to "taste" them).
So.. choose one region, ore one city, and stay there. Take enough time not to have to rush, or decide to miss something. To explain, if you want to visit Italy for artistic reasons, well.. there's so many artistic things here (pictures, frescoes, sculptures, gems, and you have no idea how many more things) that most of them are hidden and forgotten in some warehouse somewhere.. this to make cleare that there's no way you could avoid missing something.. so it's much better choosing.
Well, where were we? yes. choose an area, and take your time. Then, decide if you want to see only cities or also landscapes. This decision influences the way you travel. If you want to visit the cities, trains are good... only problem is that last runs are often early.. say, it's hard to find a local train after 11pm
If you want to see a bit of countryside.. or mountainside.. or seaside.. or however anything that's not city, you could rent a car.
Whatever you choose, the approach is similar.. get a good guidebook.. but don't stick to it "because it's the guidebook". If you're in a city, once you have avoided those discrits that could be dangerous at late night (they're really few, in the whole country) let yourself get lost into the streets. Don't go find things because they're famous.. if you walk in Florence, or Siena, or Lucca, or Pisa (I live in Tuscany, these are cities I know a little more), there's so many things to see that you'll have no way to waste your time.. you'll find something you'll love to remember you're discovered by yourself. it adds fun.
And same for the countryside. Yes, there's a nice little town as the guide says, for sure, but be assured that there's another little one almost as good, that you could as well prefer, 5 kms away.. so just get your car, and drive where your feelings lead you.
In the end, your approach is quite good already. If you want some more help, you gotta tell me where you wanna go.