Italy is an unmatched travel destination. Some of its regions on their own cater for more tourists than most other countries do. It simply has more, more varied, more beautiful, and better tourist attractions than almost anywhere else. Another reason for this popularity is the style this country seems to possess to a greater extent than almost any other.
Italy’s boot-leg shape and its scores of islands give it a disproportionate amount of coastline. The famous Italian weather, with warm sunny days for the greatest part of the year, certainly adds to this attraction. It’s difficult, almost anywhere in Italy, to find oneself very far away from some lovely beach, but the chic Italian Riviera, the breathtaking Amalfi coast, stunning Capri, Sicily and Sardinia are all justly famous. Italy has some of the most dramatic and beautiful coastline and beaches in the world, and some of the most dramatic and beautiful people on them. And a beach holiday in Italy means much more than sea and sun: even more time to enjoy the ubiquitously good cuisine and wine, preferably al fresco, gentle evening strolls showing off la bella figura taken to new heights, here everything is imbued with style.
Tuscany is to many their favourite part; the rolling landscape scattered with olive trees, vines and ancient buildings being the first image of Italy that comes to most people’s minds. There are very few settlements here that are not blessed with great natural and architectural attraction. Florence, the capital of this region, is Renaissance art and architecture heaven. No one should leave without visiting at least its cathedral (the Duomo), the Uffizi art museum, and Michelangelo’s David, or trying a succulent Bistecca Fiorentina with a glass of Chianti.
Venice, even in a country with such cultural wealth, simply stands out. It is one of the most romantic places in the world, with fabulous buildings crowded onto a series of little islands, the water literally lapping their doorsteps, boats replacing cars, trucks, taxis and buses, making it deserving of its appellation as “the most serene”. And getting lost is half of the fun, calling for a glass of the local “strawberry wine”. You don’t have to visit any sights or, in fact, do anything in Venice, other than succumb to it, to become enchanted.
Rome is steeped in history and atmosphere. Almost a thousand years as the largest and richest city in the West, and almost two thousand as the most important for the Catholic church, has left it dripping with sights such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican City’s St Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. You’ll enjoy this modern, vibrant city, however, as much for the colourful markets, elegant shopping, exciting nightlife, dazzling ice creams, chilled white wine and fantastic cuisine that you can enjoy here.
The Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily each merit at least their own holidays, Sardinia justly claiming that it is “almost a continent”. Completely different, they both boast simply stunning coastlines, gorgeous beaches, magnificent mountains, millennia of fascinating history and unimaginable gastronomic richness.
And for an idea of the range that Italy offers, consider the Alpine slopes, verdant and restful in the summer, ideal for a mountain walks, and, in winter, crisp, with dazzlingly white powder reflecting the bright sun in a blue sky; a dream for those who enjoy winter sports.
But don’t let this variety and choice make you spend too much time selecting an Italian destination: you’ll love wherever you go.