Best places to visit in Italy

Italy is a five-course meal of a destination – what should you order?  

Italy has been high on holidaymakers lists since holiday travel began. Stunning architecture, food – oh-my-goodness the food, beautiful scenery, charismatic locals, quaint small towns, it’s a history book come to life - and that’s just the tip of the gelato. Holidays to Italy always seem too short, so like a tasty biscotti, make it sweet! You just need to choose your favourite flavour. 


The best place to get steeped in history 


The Eternal City. It doesn’t get much more historic than Rome, the centre of the once great Roman empire; the Colosseum, the Parthenon, Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi Fountain – each worthy of an Italian excursion in their own right – but in Rome, you get them all, and much more. You feel the history of Rome, not just see it. 

This sprawling Italian city is an adventure to get around and for many visitors, this will be their first port of call and an instantly immersive experience. Go with the flow and enjoy the frenetic pace and expressive locals as they get the most out of la dolce vita - the sweet life in Roma! 


The best place for fashion


In Italy, style is a way of life. In Milan, high fashion and classic style intermingle in this mecca for fashionistas and hipsters alike. Fashion Week brings the glitterati to bathe in a sea of couture and diamonds. For fashion-forward travellers, this might just be the best (beautiful) people-watching you’ll find. And for trendsetters searching for next year's look, take note, you’ll probably see it on the fashion runway in Milan. 

Unsurprisingly, the shopping is unsurpassed here – and while the emphasis is on premium brands, there are bargains to discover here too.  



The best place for coastal views 

Amalfi coast 

This rugged coast along the western ankle of the Italian boot just south of Naples is truly one of the best road trips in the world. Picturesque and adorable towns tumble from the hills to the azure sea. It’s the sort of place that a Vespa and a mate to share a ride with, seems like the best way to spend warm sunny days.   

The word is out about this drive, so you won’t be the only one weaving your way along the coast. One way to experience ‘the Amalfi’ and avoid some of the traffic is to take to the sea – travelling by boat will give you a different perspective of the coast, as you glide across the Mediterranean.  


Woman taking photo overlooking Amalfi Coast

The best place for food 


We’re courting controversy here, so let’s just say choosing one place in Italy for the best of the best food is nearly impossible! Seasoned travellers to Italy are probably saying, ‘so why Sicily?’  

Here’s why. This island off the toe of the Italian boot embraces its authentic Mediterranean roots, incorporating seafood, fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, and of course Sicilian interpretations of classic Italian pasta dishes that are so delicious anywhere in Italy. And if that doesn’t seal the deal - one word for you – Cannoli! 

Many Italian destinations offer food tours where you can eat your way around a town, city or region. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a few days in Sicily, than by following your stomach!  


Italian spaghetti

The best place for wine 


We have all probably scanned a wine list and chosen a Chianti. Travel to Tuscany and you can see why it’s exported around the world. The rolling hills peppered with vineyards and villas transport you right into the pages of a romance novel. It’s easy to fall in love with the region and it’s picturesque wineries – Tuscans call the Sangiovese grape the ‘King’ of Tuscan wine and a storyteller of the regions’ culture. 

In Italy, you don’t have to spend the earth to savour all Tuscany has to offer. Enjoy local establishments for better deals and very often in village restaurants the house wine is not only affordable, but a mighty fine drop rich in colour and full of flavour.


Best place to feel like a movie star 


The floating city of Venice is like something out of a dream – or maybe a movie. James Bond and Indiana Jones have both had adventures here, literally hundreds of other films have been shot here too. It’s hard not to think of a more iconic Italian location than Venice; the grand canal dotted with gondolas and striped- top gondoliers transporting visitors and locals alike to exotic city locations. Even if you aren’t walking in the steps of a star of the silver screen, it’s easy to feel like one here. 

Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it’s busy. You can avoid some of the crowds by starting early-, many visitors are day trippers, so if you hit the hot spots before they roll into town (at about 9.30 am) you might have the iconic locations, such as Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), largely to yourself.  


The best place for art 


Once again, no doubt a serious debate! In Italy, art is everywhere, but few would argue Florence was at the heart of the Renaissance.  Michelangelo’s Statue of David is here and is surprisingly imposing – at nearly 6m tall and carved from a single block of marble.  Discover the world renown Accademia and Uffizi galleries, the Duomo complex, Ponte Vecchio and much more. In Florence, you can immerse yourself in culture and art, learn about the art and artists, and impress your friends with you newly acquired knowledge! 


Leaning tower of Pisa

The best place for pizza


Ok yes, it’s food, but pizza in Italy deserves its own category! Pizza goes with Italy like…..well actually we can’t think of a better match than pizza and Italy. So, who does it best? That debate will continue, but the birthplace of pizza is settled - it’s Naples. You’ll find every possible type of pizza here, at every price point. It’s a point of civic pride to have the best pizza in Italy, so rest assured Neapolitans take it VERY seriously. Just don’t ask for pineapple in southern Italy. 


The best place to ski 


The Italian Alps are an often overlooked skiing and snowboarding destination. Located right beside the much more lauded French Alps, skiing in Italy is fantastic. Courmayeur - located on the opposite side of Mont Blanc from Chamonix (French) - is a classic Italian ski destination. The picturesque mountain village looks like something out of a fairy tale. Italian ski resorts are also generally cheaper than their French and Swiss counterparts so are a great option to help your Euro’s stretch a bit further. 

An Italian holiday should be on every traveller's bucket list. Whether you’re into classic architecture, renaissance art, great outdoor adventures, or just amazing eating – head to Italy and enjoy! 

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