"A country famous for it's fine cuisine, great history and culture mixed with stunning coastline views and hotels..."
Italy is a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s the land of the lakes for those who dream of sunset reflections and afternoon sailing. It’s the land of romance for those who fall head over heels for with the views along the Amalfi Coast, the elegance of the Arno River against the Florence backdrop, or the serenading sounds of gondoliers in pretty Venice. And it’s the land of history, knowledge and all the secrets of the world for those who are desperate to experience the famous Vatican City and its unbelievable frescoes or the surreal ruins in central Rome. But above all else, it’s perhaps most remembered as the land of fine cuisine, the sort of food that makes the rest of the world look completely inadequate when it comes to creating culinary masterpieces in the kitchen. But whatever Italy is to you, there’s no denying that it’s an outstanding holiday destination with something to appeal to all. Quite simply, what’s not to love?
Italy Travel Guide
At A Glance:
Families are always made to feel welcome in Italy as family life is at the heart of everything that they do here. Whilst the cities can offer a lot of choice in sights and attractions to keep everyone amused, the coastal areas, the famous lakes or the countryside can make great travel destinations to help kids reconnect with nature. And with tasty pizza and pasta dishes available everywhere, your little ones won’t find it hard to find something to suit their palate. And one thing’s for certain – gelato is everywhere! So you’ll never be too far away from your next ice cream parlour.
If you love the Italian food you’ve tasted back home, you’ll love authentic Italian food even more. Real Italian cooking is all about using simple, fresh ingredients. Nothing is ever over-complicated but the flavours are always outstanding. Typical ingredients are olives and olive oil, egg pasta in the North and flour and water pasta in the South, grains such as risotto rice, a variety of cheeses, various meats, seafood and vegetables – and of course, pizza! The regional dishes do tend to vary and some unique dishes to try include Bigoli (a signature pasta of the Veneto region), Ribollita (a Tuscan dish), Tortellini en Brodo (typically Emilia-Romagna) and Osso buco alla Milanese (a chicken dish from Milan).
History & Culture
From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, the Risorgimento Movement to battlefields of World War II, Italy has much to offer in terms of history. The country’s spectacular ruins form a historian’s paradise and the endless art galleries and museums form a culture vulture’s dream. There really is a lot to learn in Italy. Head to the capital to experience life in Ancient Rome, visit Sicily for some Greek history, or take to Florence to see one of the world’s most iconic engineering feats from the Middle Ages.
Busy, bustling, sometimes overbearing. The capital can be crowded during peak travel season but its mind-blowing ruins and captivating mix of old world and new world make it a bucket list must for anyone travelling to Italy. It’s not to be missed and you will need to set aside a good few days to explore the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trajan's Market and The Palatine.
Florence is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. Visit Florence Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio stone bridge, the Basilica of Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Giotto's Campanile, Piazza del Duomo, the Buboli Gardens and more. The city’s coffee culture is also thriving so you’ll be sure to find some great pit stops in between all the sights.
Without a doubt, Venice is Italy’s most romantic destination. It’s the city of love, passion and many a proposal over the years; and as it is famed as the tilting (and slowly sinking) city in the Veneto region of North Italy, now really is the time to visit! Grab a drink and watch the world go by at Rialto Bridge, take a gondola ride through the city’s waterways or soak up the magical atmosphere at St Mark’s Square both in the day and at night.
This is one of the dreamiest coastlines in the Med and it can be easily reached from Naples. Stay in stunning Sorrento and catch a daily bus to Positano, Praiano, Conca dei Marini, Amalfi and beyond or hire a car to explore the coastline taking you anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on how many times you stop to eat, shop or stay overnight. Plus don’t forget to catch a ferry over to the extravagant island of Capris where you’ll find everything from the Blue Grotto caves to high end designer shopping.
The Italian Lakes are made up of Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano and various other smaller lakes dotted around the lake region. This region is very close to the border with Switzerland so there’s a very unique culture in this Northern part of the boot. The Lakes offer some of the most spectacular mountain views with lush greenery all around.