Acknowledged as one of the birthplaces of Western culture and home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the planet – it’s safe to say your Italy holidays will be a fascinating affair. Whether you arrive in search of artistic wonders, historical awe, delectable cuisine or stunning scenery, Italy is a country that will never fail to disappoint.
From ancient and historically significant cities that boast diverse culture and some of the world’s true wonders, to beautiful and rugged landscapes that are home to vineyards, groves and nature parks. Throw into the mix an endless supply of dramatic coastal scenery and unique islands such as that of Sicily, with its own personal identity and ethos, and you may just be visiting the planet’s most enthralling destination during your holidays in Italy.
Florence runs Rome close as Italy’s most fascinating destination, a Renaissance city of art and architecture that will take your breath away. Don’t miss the stunning Duomo, the masterful Uffizi Gallery and the beautiful Ponte Vecchio. Venice is another must-see, the ultimate city of romance, with its unique network of canals snaking around sites such as St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. In each and every one of Italy’s famed cities you’ll encounter a wonderful culinary scene and an array of great Italy hotels in which to rest your head – and you’ll need your beauty sleep when you find yourself with so many things to do and see.
In the north of the country is the fantastic retreat of Lake Como, famed for its clean air, clear water and striking mountains, making this area a perfect paradisiacal escape. Along the lake’s edge are numerous beautiful little towns that cling to the water, while a bustling outdoor pursuits and water sports scene attracts more than just holidaymakers seeking some rest and relaxation.
Italy also boasts some beautiful islands, none more significant than Sardinia and Sicily. These large islands are situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea and offer a mixture of differing culture and wonderful landscapes to holidaymakers. Sicily is a rugged island, home to ancient ruins, a great trekking scene and the imposing Mount Etna, while Sardinia is a little more sedate, known as a haven for nature lovers who come in search of natural parks, stunning beaches and a vibrant sailing culture.
A holiday to Italy has a lot to offer, and with such a short flight time from the UK it’s the perfect place for a city break. Some of the best locations include Rome for its breathtaking architecture and Milan for its fashion forward shopping and nightlife. A trip to Naples promises you the best pizza you’ve ever tasted, while Venice and Florence offer unbeatable romantic breaks for couples.
Boasting an impressive selection of museums and art galleries housing some of the worlds most famous paintings including The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, Milan, Florence and Rome have a renowned reputation for galleries that are a must see on your Italy trip. Another ideal way to spend the afternoon is gliding through the busy waterways of Venice on a Gondola, the ultimate way to see the city in style.
Italy’s reputation for opera and theatre will not disappoint those coming on an Italy trip looking for evening entertainment, nor will the selection of restaurants serving the best in local and other European cuisine.
The country’s architecture is some of the most photographed in the world, and no holiday to Italy would be complete without visiting the gravity defying Leaning Tower of Pisa, compelling Coliseum or once in a lifetime Vatican.
It’s easy to mistake the winding streets of Rome or Florence for architecture that belongs in a museum, and for couples looking for a romantic getaway, visiting one of the cities many museums is an ideal way to spend an afternoon learning about its historical and religious importance. Taking a barge through the waterways of Venice is also an unforgettable experience.
The areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Sicily are famous for producing mouth-watering wine, and an ideal way to spend an afternoon on holiday in Italy is to take one of the many winery tours available to sample the local produce. Another popular activity is to release your inner explorer and take to horse for a Tuscan riding adventure.
Italy’s chic residents are likely to be found sipping a glass of Tuscan red wine late into the night, so make like the locals and enjoy a late dinner at a local restaurant before heading to the opera in Rome, where open air performances are frequent.
There’s a mix of accommodation available in Italy to suit all budgets. For a romantic getaway in all out luxury, head to Venice for the Westin Excelsior Lido Resort, or for more affordable choices consider Firenze in Florence, situated in the attractive city centre.
Home to a premium selection of family friendly attractions, Italy holidays have something for every taste. The kids will love Gardaland’s mix of rides and aquarium, while you will enjoy the beautiful scenery its surroundings have to offer. Italy also boasts a selection of well-maintained museums and zoos suitable for all ages.
One of the best ways to get fit and take in the individual Italian culture is to hire bikes and take a ride out into the scenic countryside, where the mountains surrounding Lake Garda and Como have world renowned trails suitable for all abilities. Another family friendly Italy holiday idea is to visit Italia in Minitura, the kids will love this miniature theme parks with a mix of rides.
There’s a wide selection of hotels available in Italy to cater for families of all sizes. If it’s luxury you’re looking for head to Borgo La Bagnaia , Tuscany for a country retreat with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, or Hotel Rivoli in the heart of pretty Florence.
With world-renowned food, a holiday in Italy will certainly keep all family members happy. For the best pizza, head to its hometown Naples, and for mouth-watering ice cream don’t miss those served by vendors in Verona. For kids, there’s also a wide selection of restaurants serving English food if needed.
Boasting a varied terrain, adventurous groups will find Italy a playground just waiting to be explored. The northern lakes of Como and Garda are a summer haven for mountain biking, hiking and watersports, with many sailing events being held here. In winter, the area transforms into a working ski resort with runs suitable for all abilities on holiday in Italy.
As a cosmopolitan country, Italy plays host to a large variety of nightlife suitable for all ages. From bustling clubs in fashionable Milan and Rome to open air theatres and opera performances, a night out in Italy can take you anywhere from a laid back wine bar to a popular night spot playing the latest in European beats.
Planning a holiday to Italy around one of the many annual festivals is a great way to experience its unique culture. The Venice Carnival celebrates the traditional Venetian masks and run up to 40 days of lent, it’s a time of lavish celebration where the whole city gets involved regardless of social class. We recommend checking what’s on, and booking early to avoid disappointment.
With so much to do and see on your trip to Italy, why not spend a few days city hopping to get the most out of your group trip? Rome is an excellent place to start, and with a varied selection of accommodation available there’s sure to be something for every budget. Historic Pompeii is also a must see and easy to reach from nearby Naples.