Italy's stunning Mediterranean coastline and climate make it a popular destination to travel to. Rural towns offer a glimpse of traditional Italian life, whilst the bustling cities provide stunning architecture, world-famous landmarks and a vibrant nightlife. Structural remnants of the Roman Empire scatter the country, with a ruin around every corner.
The Italians are naturally proud of their past, but keep an eye firmly on the future. A slow pace of life is combined with fast cars and designer suits. Above all, the people like beauty and as designers they are unsurpassed. The family is an integral part of society and lunches and dinners are the time that everybody gets together. Food is of paramount importance and people take the time to make it and enjoy it. As such, Italian cuisine is world famous, and the variety and freshness of Italian produce will make any mouth water - before the ingredients even reach the chef's pan. To work up an appetite, the Italian coast provides opportunities for sailing and water-sports, whilst the northern mountain regions offer excellent skiing destinations.
All roads lead to Rome, but there are many different ways to get there, be it via haute-couture Milan, romantic Venice, renaissance Florence, the beautiful Garda Lake, ancient Pompeii, sailing from the Island Capri , or from the deep south in Sicily, or hiking along the famous Appian Way from Brindisi to Rome, whichever way you choose you are guaranteed not to be disappointed.
And don’t forget: When in Rome, do as the Romans!
Highlights from Italy
- You can’t go to Italy without going to Rome (aka Roma) , the only city harbouring a country within its centre. From the Forum Romanum, to the Colosseum, and from the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps, this city has more famous sites than many a nation
- Take a gondola ride down Venice’s famous canals (aka Venezia)
- See a fashion show in Milan (aka Milano)
- Visit Florence (aka Firenze) with it beautiful Basilica
- For a close up view of Roman life go to Pompeii, it’s like stepping back in time
- Ride or hike along the Amalfi Coast (aka Costiera Amalfitana) with its picturesque villages and beautiful beaches and coves
- Swim in Lake Como (aka Lago di Como) in Italy’s lake-district
- Ski or trek in the Italian Alps
- Wander around Tuscany (aka Toscana) with its traditional villages and landscapes
- Take a boat to Sicily and climb Mt. Etna
Hints and Tips for Italy
- English isn’t widely spoken, though you will get by in places frequented by tourists, still an Italian phrasebook will come in handy.
- The more popular tourist attractions can become very crowded in the season, if you can, try to plan your trip outside the main tourist seasons.
- Like elsewhere in southern Europe, dinners are late affairs, stretching on far into the night, something to think about if you have children.