With 20 regions so distinct in character and landscape that they feel like 20 different states, it can be hard to know where to visit first in Italy. Indeed, Italy is one of those locations that travellers always find themselves returning to as there is so much to explore! Nevertheless, wherever you go, you can expect to be met with warm hospitality, great food and an abundance of cultural treasures.
Home to a number of important historic sites and cultural attractions, it is easy to see why Italy’s capital is such a popular destination for art and history lovers alike. The Colosseo or Colosseum is a must-visit for anyone on holiday in Rome. The amphitheater dates back 80AD when it was used as a ring for bloody gladiator contests and public spectacles. Other sites of historical interest in Rome include the Roman Forum and Palatino. Within the city of Rome is the Vatican City, which is the smallest independent state in the world and home to some of the most famous art in the world.
Spread across a series of canals, the romantic city of Venice is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Italy. From taking a relaxing gondola ride across the Grand Canal and taking in the fantastic architecture to exploring the city’s abundance of galleries and monuments, Venice is the ultimate destination for those looking for a couple’s holiday or a refreshing city break. In addition, if you visit the city on the prelude to Lent, you can participate in the Carnevale di Venezia, a flamboyant two-week celebration complete with fantastic costumes and masquerade balls.
Tucked away in the picturesque hills of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance, the city of Florence has captivated travellers for centuries. Undeniably, one of Florence’s principal draws is its wealth of galleries and museums. The most famous gallery in the city is the Uffizi gallery which has an abundance of Renaissance pieces. Indeed, there is an entire room dedicated to the masterpieces of Botticelli. Synonymous with Florence is the Duomo or cathedral which stands proud above the Piazza del Duomo. The Duomo is an architectural wonder and you can ascend the 414 steps to the top of the dome for an unforgettable panorama of the red-roofed city.
Rich in history and one of the world’s major fashion capitals, Milan is a fantastic destination for those looking for a sophisticated city break. There are so many interesting sites to see that it is often recommended to take a guided tour of the city. Popular sites include the Duomo which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world, Leonardo de Vinci’s famous Last Supper mural which is tucked away in the refectory attached to the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Museo del Novecento which showcases the best of Milan’s 20th-century art. As a high fashion epicenter, Milan is great for shopping. The most famous shopping district in Milan is Quadrilatero d’Oro or Golden Quad where you will find the likes of Gucci, Armani and Prada.