The unmistakeable boot of the Mediterranean, Italy is one of those special destinations which never grow stale. Italy is the gastronomic capital of the world, spectacularly beautiful in any season and boasting a simply breathtaking range of world class city breaks.
Most countries would be lucky to be able to count any one of the cities from Italy’s peerless showcase as its own. You could spend a week in any of Italy’s magnificent cities and you’ll have barely scratched the surface. There is a delightful democracy to Italy’s artistic treasures, spread evenly throughout the country. When in Venice, see the Grand Canal. While in Florence, see Michelangelo’s David. And when in Rome, see almost everything else.
Italy is often nicknamed the Bel Paese, and ‘beautiful country’ is an understatement. You can be skiing in the Italian Alps one day, cruising Venetian canals or sunning yourself on a Sicilian courtyard the next. Inland, travel through vast vineyards and rustic villages, encountering wonderfully distinct cultures, cuisines and dialects as you go. Alternatively, prepare to be amazed by the colourful towns of Positano and Ravello clinging to the rugged cliffs of the glorious Amalfi Coast.
Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Simply, it’s the heartbeat of Western culture. From the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and beyond, throughout history we have looked to Italy for inspiration – whether that’s how to create masterpieces on canvas or in the kitchen. While Italy can be seen as one enormous classroom, don’t miss the opportunity to let the beauty of Italy simply wash over you.
If you’re looking to get out of the cities and see what rural Italy has to offer, the best way to do this is through a vineyard tour. Whether Tuscany, Piedmont or Lombardy, you’ll discover that the Italian wine map is an excellent rule of thumb for planning your Italian adventure.
What Milan does today in the fashion arena, the world does tomorrow. With fairs in the spring and the autumn, attracting swarms of designers and supermodels, Milan is a place to see and be seen. Together with the glorious Duomo di Milano, and sights including Leonardo di Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, Milan is no poor relation to Rome.
Grace Cuciniello, Travel Counsellor recommends:
From Naples you could visit the amazing Amalfi Coast, which is a spectacular drive along the cliffs overlooking pebble beaches and luxury homes of the rich and famous. If you have the time I would suggest driving down to Calabria and stopping at Bagnara, which is located on the east coast and has a lovely beach which overlooks Sicily. You could also catch a ferry over to Sicily and explore this fantastic island.
There is much to love about Italy, such as the huge pizzas, overflowing panini, best coffee and great bars to pass the time and to enjoy the friendly and energetic lifestyle of the Italian people!