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From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the ancient gates of Rome, there is always an adventure awaiting you in Italy.
As one of the hubs of modern civilization dating back beyond Biblical times, visitors get to experience the various eras of humanity along the roads of Italy like no place else in the world today. Grab a coffee, explore a square, and that’s all it takes to find something that is truly amazing in this nation.
Italy is more than an exploration of antiquities. A trip to Venice is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Rome offers some incredible metropolitan experiences. You can sip some wine on a beach, explore nature sanctuaries, or jet off to the Italian islands to experience some of the best hiking opportunities in the world. Want to tour a vineyard? Get up close and personal with a Renaissance masterpiece? Italy makes this happen.
There are plenty of Roman sites that deserve to be seen if you’ve never experienced them before. You can also explore the northern mountains, such as the Dolomites, to enjoy the warm hospitality of a small village that’s tucked in-between peaks. From the top of the world to the sea, Italy will literally leave you breathless if you give it half a chance.
With a mixture of historic culture, art and architecture, stunning natural beauty, incredible beaches, world-class shopping and fine cuisine and gelato, Italy remains the perfect holiday destination.
What city is right for your visit? Fashion, antiquity, and art can all be discovered wherever you choose to be. Italy is calling for you to take a holiday and explore all that it has to offer.
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10 Best of Italy
When visiting Italy, there are iconic destinations that should always be experienced at least once. There is St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum. One could, in fact, spend an entire holiday just exploring Rome or one of the other fantastic cities that dot the Italian landscape.
Our 10 best of Italy, as you will see, takes on a unique, cultural approach outside of what one might expect.
If you like the idea of visiting Pompeii, but you don’t like the idea of crowds, then this is the destination to choose. Within the ruins of this ancient city, you’ll find a 2nd century bath with its floor mosaic intact. There is also the Thermopolium, which was an ancient café where the menu was literally a wall fresco. This ancient sea port is a true masterpiece that you’ll love to tour.
There are two world heritage sites in this community to explore. Make sure you take time to visit the Villa Adriana, which was the estate of Emperor Hadrian. You’ll find ancient olive trees, towering pines, and plenty of adventures waiting for you. The stunning gardens of the Villa d’Este provide the foundation of an afternoon adventure too.
Necropoli di Banditaccia
Located in Cerveteri, this world heritage site is literally a city dedicated to the dead. There are squares, streets, and terraces which all work together with the raised tombs, now topped with grass. The amount of quiet you’ll find is surprising, even when the site is relatively busy. Then follow up your time with the Etruscan culture by visiting the national museum in the city.
Naples is one of the largest and most lively cities in Italy but the city’s main sites and attractions are condensed into the neighbourhood known as the Centro Storico (or Historic Centre), which is in fact a very small yet highly concentrated area. Naples is famed for being the birthplace of the pizza, so trying an authentic Neapolitan pizza is a must when visiting!
Rome, the Eternal City and the nation’s capital, epitomises everything wonderful about Italy. The ancient, medieval and modern collide to form a vibrancy that is rooted in the past but points to the future. Key attractions in Rome include the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the assortment of museums.
If you’re after romance, a trip to Verona is a must – the famous setting for the most romantic story of all time, Romeo and Juliet. In this fair city you can walk in the footsteps of the star-crossed lovers, and visit both Juliet’s balcony and her tomb. Verona also hosts an opera season throughout the summer, with performances held in the city’s Roman amphitheatre.
Turin is ideally located near ski resorts in Italy, Switzerland and France, including the resorts of Courchevel, Verbier, Chamonix and Tignes. If you’re thinking of staying in the city of Turin, then you won’t be disappointed. Boasting fabulous architecture, castles and charming squares, there’s plenty of sightseeing to be done!
This small community takes you back into Medieval yesteryear. There are small streets to explore, excellent restaurants to enjoy, and stunning views to see from the tops of the cliffs found here. There is also the stunning Orvieto Cathedral, which is one of the best Gothic churches of its type. The façade and frescoes provide a spectacular rainbow of colors to enjoy.
The Isle of Capri
Crossing the Bay of Naples, you’ll find a beautiful island that provides visitors with numerous options. The Blue Grotto is one stop that must be done during your time on the island. You can explore the ruins of the Villa Jovis, go hiking along the Monte Solaro, or rest in a sailboat and enjoy the gentle waves of the water.
Venice has charmed visitors from all over the world for centuries. Built on a series of more than 110 islands, the canals of Venice take you to attractions like the Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Basilica. Even sightseeing along the Grand Canal is worth an afternoon trip. Hire a gondola and relax as you get to enjoy the beautiful landmarks throughout this great city.
The best of Italy incorporates the history of this country, its various cultures, and so much more. Whether you come for Rome or you come to explore each region, you’ll find a holiday here to be the adventure of a lifetime.
When is the best time, travel to Italy
The best time to travel in Italy is not when the place is brimming with guests. Well, that is if you want to really take a good look at what the place has to offer. Spring, which is around April to May, is considered the best time to travel in Italy. The new leaves add to the splendour of the scenery and the absence of large crowds of travellers makes getting around Italy less of a hassle.
Autumn is considered the best time to travel in Italy as well. The period between September and November unveils Italy at its best. At this time, the grapes are harvested making sweet local wine and roasted chestnuts available just about anywhere.
The best time to travel in Italy is during winter too. Fur coats abound, long queues in front of museums are nonexistent, and a joyful spirit for the holidays can be felt in the air. Going farther south at this time enables you to forget the cold and damp winter season and allows you to linger on till the ski season which lasts from December till late March.
Summer can be the best time to travel in Italy. Skiing on the glaciers or simply taking a walk in the Italian Alps is a favourite thing during this season.
August is not a good time to visit Italy. Most establishments are closed as this is the time when Italians go on vacation.
Travel resources for Italy
A visit to Liguria
Despite its small size, Liguria has a lot to offer including the chance to explore the beautiful beaches and secluded bays of the Italian Riviera, wander the streets of the UNESCO protected old city in Genoa, hike through isolated mountain villages and explore the celebrated Cinque Terra.
Liguria, in the northwestern corner of Italy and stretching from the French border to the Tuscan border, is a region of marvellous contrasts. From the rugged Mediterranean coastline and charming seaside towns of the Italian Riviera to the remote medieval mountain villages and hillside vineyards of the Maritime Alps and the Apennines, holidays to Liguria are full of surprises and delightful discoveries. Liguria is best known for the colourful and laid-back fishing villages of the heritage-protected Cinque Terra, or five lands, as well as its delicious cuisine with homegrown specialities such as pesto and focaccia.
Liguria is an appealing destination for families and couples looking for a relaxing beachside holiday, great food in authentic trattorias and captivating history. Accommodation in Liguria ranges from simple, clean and bright family hotels to luxury historic villas and elegant hotels. The fashionable waterfront town of San Remo and the exclusive seaside resort of Portofino attract travellers looking for intimate and 5-star deluxe accommodation within walking distance of designer boutiques and upscale restaurants. Genoa, the capital of Liguria, has some grand hotels with stylish interiors in the old town. Cinque Terra’s few hotels are simple and authentic harbourside rooms for a relaxing stay.
Most people come to Liguria to walk one of Italy’s most spectacular coastline areas, The Cinque Terra, straddling the cliffs between Levanto and Portovenere. The walk follows ancient stone paths along a spectacular coastline passing through terraced vineyards and forests and dipping into the five beguiling pastel coloured villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. No matter where you travel along the dramatic coastline you’ll discover secluded rocky coves, golden beaches, beautiful Mediterranean sunshine, fresh seafood and snug beach resorts.
The Portofino peninsula, a playground for the rich and famous, is another popular area of the coast with the very chic and sophisticated pastel-coloured villages of Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Camogli and Rapallo all wonderfully picturesque and still retaining the history and charm of a traditional fishing village despite their glitterati clientele.
The capital Genoa, or Genova in Italian, is an intriguing modern port city that is well worth a couple of days. Lose yourself in the winding medieval alleyways, explore the grand architecture and while away a few hours in its history-rich museums. Genoa also has excellent restaurants and boutique shopping.
All along the coast and inland, lovers of history will be able to explore the ruins of ancient Roman civilisations, medieval abbeys and churches, as well as beautiful examples of Baroque architecture.
Head inland from the coast and a different Liguria awaits you. Take your time to explore isolated and sleepy mountain villages with their own unique traditions and cuisine.
For the thrill seekers and adventure lovers, you can make a beeline for the mountains to climb, mountain bike or hike. On the coast, there’s sailing, fishing, diving and windsurfing.
One of the highlights of a Liguria holiday is the exploration of the region’s diverse and wonderful cuisine, including excellent local seafood, olive oil, cheese, pesto and focaccia. Do as the Italians do and join the nightly passeggiata along the harbour with a gelato.
With its mild climate, picturesque villages, beautiful beaches, culture, art and natural beauty, Liguria is an unforgettable destination.
A visit to Neapolitan Riviera
The beauty of the Neapolitan Riviera is matched by the accommodation on offer no matter where you choose to stay. Hotels range from 2 to 5-star, and old-style grand hotels to boutique hotels. Apartments range from budget studios to luxury apartments. While locals tip that bed and breakfasts are cheaper than hotels in all areas of the Neapolitan Riviera.
The Neapolitan Riviera is located on the south west coast of Italy. A destination to absorb the richness of Italian culture, including histories of royalty, religion, and seaside village living. The beauty of this region is truly expansive – from coastal points to bays and from mountain tops to volcanic islands. Centred around the Gulf of Naples, a Neapolitan Riviera holiday will give you access to the seaside villages along the Amalfi Coast, the islands and the capital of the Campania region, Naples. Feast your eyes on the white washed facades of coastal buildings or pastel coloured homes dotted along the hills. Take in the characteristic scent of lemons and Mediterranean flowers and fruit accompanied by sea breezes.
For history buffs stay at Naples, where the streets of this ancient city will expose the long history of southern Italy. With the draw of tourists that Naples brings, it’s also a great spot for nightlife. Pompeii is a notable destination, along with Florence or Sorrento also host the regions heritage buildings and structures. These busier towns are also prime places to enjoy cultural events and activities. Smaller seaside villages along the Amalfi Coast host their own cultural traditions, events and entertainment; often taking advantage of their proximity to the sea. Staying at lesser known coastal towns of Massa Lubrense and Sant’Agata sui due golfi offer more affordable prices and their own unique stories and charm.
Your Neapolitan Riviera holiday will begin upon your flight’s landing in Naples. This capital of the Campania region is an ancient city recognised by as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find stunning architectural and artistic beauty among the 450 churches, the Royal Palace, and many museums and galleries.
You’ll also find a lively display of the tradition of daily food shopping at the outdoor markets. Make the most of your nights in Naples with its established nightlife.
After a stint of Italian city life, discover the islands of the Neapolitan Riviera. Ischia is a volcanic island brewing thermal springs. The island is also renowned for its’ hot water beaches, especially Baia di San Montano. For some entertainment, be sure to check out the popular summer concerts held at the La Mortella. Get there by a 30 minute water taxi ride from Naples.
A day and night on the island of Capri may be enough for the shopping and the nightlife, but it will surely seduce you like many before. Be romanced by Capri’s Concerti al Tramonto or Concerts at Dusk, held at Villa San Michele. This late 19th century museum-house boasts glorious views across the entire Bay of Naples.
The popular small town of Sorrento is elevated on cliff top, where you’ll see bathing platforms directly below. Sunbeds and cafés line the beach. Be sure to check out La Marinella Beach for crystal clear waters, where you can peddle boat, canoe or drink at the water bar.
The Punta Campanella region on the Sorrento Coast is a place to visit for sea lovers. In 1997, this uncontaminated region was declared a protected area. The Punta Campanella Marine Park is 30km of protected waters from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno. Host to inlets, bays and a diverse range of grottoes; great for scuba diving at the small reefs scattered along the coast.
Amalfi is another popular seaside town known for its steep winding streets and historic Cathedral, the Piazza Duomo. You’ll find the Piazza Duomo’s Basilica is now a museum, keeping many treasures. The Cathedral also houses the Cloister of Paradise, where Amalfi’s noblemen were buried in the 13th century. The Crypt is where the bones of Jesus’s first disciple, Andrew, are said to be held.
How is the weather in Italy?
When is public holidays in Italy ?
Below you can see a list of the public holidays / no working days.
|January 1||New Year's Day|
|April 25||Liberation Day|
|May 1||Labour Day|
|June 2||Republic Day|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|December 8||Immaculate Conception|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
|December 26||St Stephen's Day|
Largest city in Italy
Below you can see a sortable list of the largest cities in the country
|38||Giugliano in Campania||117,963||Campania|
|59||Torre del Greco||87,197||Campania|
|69||Sesto San Giovanni||81,130||Lombardy|
|91||Castellammare di Stabia||64,506||Campania|
|105||Marano di Napoli||59,472||Campania|
|132||Cava de' Tirreni||53,520||Campania|
|140||Mazara del Vallo||51,492||Sicily|
|145||Casalnuovo di Napoli||50,724||Campania|