A holiday to Italy conjures up magical combinations of past and present.
Explore Italy's capital, Rome, and take in the picture-perfect architecture, from the grandeur of St Peter’s Basilica to the ornate statues of the Trevi Fountain.
Famous for its food, each area of Italy has its own speciality dish. Head south to Naples for authentic pizza or to Turin for creamy, warming risotto.
Italy holidays offer the chance to immerse yourself in millennia of history. Admire ancient ruins in the capital and at Herculaneum and Pompeii, or navigate the romantic, winding canals of the island city of Venice.
There is staggering natural beauty on display right across the country. The north boasts the Dolomite mountains and famous lakes of Garda, Maggiore and Como, while south of Naples lies the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.
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An Italy package holiday can cater to a variety of interests and any combination of itineraries thanks to its picturesque landscapes, incredible historical cities and diverse regional cuisine.
Italy has many ancient stories to tell, particularly in its capital, the former centre of the Roman Empire.
Much of Rome's architecture dates back almost two millennia, with the globally iconic Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon all dating from the first century.
Among the theatres and temples are echoes of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
The ornate features of the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese stand in perfect contrast to their backdrop of ancient ruins.
There are few things quite as romantic as floating through the canals of Venice in a gondola.
Take in the city’s streets of marble from the water by having a gondolier guide you along the Grand Canal or give it a go yourself with lessons taking place at the Ponte de la Sacca every 90 minutes.
When you’re ready to head back to land, discover one of the many cicchetti bars, also known as bàcari.
Blend in with the locals while tucking into a plate of small, delicious snacks.
Italy is home to the only three active volcanoes in Europe: Mount Etna in Sicily, Stromboli on the Aeolian Island of the same name and Mount Vesuvius on the Gulf of Naples.
Stand in awe at the foot of each of these eruptive giants or plan a guided tour to learn more.
Though still active, the volcanoes have been monitored for decades and are considered to be generally safe to explore with the assistance of an expert.
If the south is best known for its history and heritage, then let the north take the plaudits for its cuisine.
Florence has been long regarded as the birthplace of Italian gastronomy. Take a wander through the aromatic stalls at Florence’s prime indoor food market, the Mercato Centrale, and you’ll soon see why.
Think plump, juicy olives, hearty stews and indulgent and aromatic white truffles – the perfect destination for enjoying a food-based holiday to Italy under the Tuscan sun.
When you consider how many Renaissance artists have been born here, it’s no surprise that to this day Italy remains renowned for its art galleries.
Masterpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael are spread throughout the country.
The Sistine Chapel in the Holy See, Leonardo’s The Last Supper in Milan, and the Birth of Venus in Florence are just a few of the spectacles you can seek out during your time in Italy.
For a holiday in Italy that immerses you in the charm of this most charismatic of countries, look no further than Rome’s Trastevere neighbourhood.
This beautiful yet quiet area is so close to the city’s main attractions that you’ll probably be able to see some of them from your window.
In the evening, explore the winding, cobblestone streets lined with cafes and restaurants.
A little further up the river, Prati straddles the space between Rome’s historic centre and the Vatican, making it another great base for exploring the city.
Foodies looking to take full advantage of a city break in Italy should consider heading to Naples, Milan or Bologna.
Each of these proud cities has its own take on the country's classic dishes, in addition to regional specialities and buzzing street food scenes.
Be sure to book ahead if you’re looking to enjoy a special dining experience in one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants on offer in one of these sumptuous destinations.
The timelessly romantic city of Venice is perfect if you're looking to enjoy a honeymoon in Italy, with its charming hotels and stunning views.
The pretty neighbourhood of Castello is an ideal spot for lovebirds – you'll find that the further you travel from San Marco, the more the city takes on a local vibe.
Quiet and private, Castello is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for time away from the crowds in an authentically Italian setting.
The local currency used in Italy is the euro (EUR). Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs easy to find in towns and cities.
Italian is the main language spoken in Italy – however English is widely used, particularly in cities and larger tourist areas.
All major cities in Italy have good public transport, including bus and underground rail networks. Venice, however, makes full use of its waterways with an efficient fleet of vaporetti (small passenger ferries).
Italy observes many religious festivals associated with the Catholic faith. Expect businesses to close during both Easter and the festive season.
Italy is famed for its couture houses and fashion designers – a love of style runs like a seam through Italian life and culture. Venture to Milan to experience it to its fullest.
Here you can seek out the latest must-have labels in sumptuous surroundings such as at the domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the oldest shopping mall in Italy.
You can also head to the Triennale design museum to get a fascinating insight into the role fashion has played in helping to make Milan Italy’s financial powerhouse.
Milan isn’t alone in dressing well – you’ll find that the whole country loves to look good, especially on the passeggiata, the customary evening stroll through town.
Surrounded by the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, Italy boasts plenty of perfect coastline.
A favourite with Italians and visitors alike is the Amalfi Coast, which stretches from stunning Sorrento to Salerno. This coastline is dotted with tiny beaches backed by sheer cliffs and pastel-coloured fishing villages.
Around 30 minutes from Verona, you’ll discover the wonders of Lake Garda. This Italian gem is the largest lake in the country, its shores studded with charming towns.
First-time visitors should head to Garda town then take a ferry to Sirmione for the day to discover the gorgeous Jamaica Beach and the medieval castle Rocca Scaligera, which overlooks the lake.
You’ll find far more than just Roman temples depicting Italy’s religious affinities in Vatican City.
Almost three quarters of Italians are Christians, with Catholicism being the country’s majority denomination. The result is dozens of grand, decorated duomi (cathedrals) and basilicas each holding Latin mass throughout the week.
While it’s classified as independent from Italy – and is the smallest country in the world – Vatican City is home to the works of some of Italy’s most famous artists and sculptors.
It’s also where you’ll find some of its best cultural sites such as St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.
This cosmopolitan city is filled with energy and attractions. Discover its elegant architecture, many cultural treasures and spectacular beaches.
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