Italy’s capital Rome is packed full of grand architecture, art galleries and museums. The lively streets are lined with cafes spilling out on to pavements, with caffeine-fuelled, sunglasses-clad customers looking the height of glamour. There is so much to see in the ancient streets alone of this city; you could almost be forgiven for not managing a single museum. The walled enclave within Rome that is the Vatican City is an impressive and unforgettable site.
The city-state is nearly entirely Renaissance architecture as St. Peter’s Basilica demonstrates. The Sistine Chapel has frescos by a string of the world’s finest artists, including works by Michelangelo. The Vatican Gardens cover over half of the Vatican territory; with lawns, flower beds, forests, orchards, vineyards, and medieval buildings making up a truly stunning Renaissance style garden.
The impressive snow capped skyline of the Dolomites will get the adrenaline coursing through any sports enthusiast. During summer months the trails throughout the region are ideal for walking and cycling, plus activities such as horseback riding and rock climbing are available.
Cable cars can be taken to over 2,000m, offering jaw-dropping views for miles around over rocky mountains, grassy plains, and down towards the lakes beneath. Winter brings with it snow, transforming the Dolomites in to a snow sports haven. There are a number of ski resorts in the Dolomites, many of which are held in high regard as some of Europe’s finest ski and snowboard locations.
Top of many bucket lists for Italy holidays is the beautiful and timeless city of Venice. Known for its setting, architecture, and culture in equal measure, Venice has a vast amount to offer visitors. The city sprawls across over one hundred small islands in the Venetian Lagoon, with the typical Venetian gondola the easiest mode of transport in-between.
The city is rife with history; splendid palaces and grand architecture is broken by piazzas, and connected by waterways, tiny bridges, and narrow side streets. The bell tower in the majestic St Mark’s Square is a fantastic viewing spot offering a bird’s eye view over the square’s monuments, the water-laced city and lagoon.
4. The Lakes
The Lakes region in Northern Italy has some of the countries most spectacular scenery. In the distance loom the mighty Dolomite mountain peaks, whilst closer are steep forested hills surrounding the sparkling turquoise waters of the glacial lakes. The waters are so clean they draw many sports enthusiasts eager to dive, windsurf, kite-surf, and sail.
Italy holidays aren’t complete without the obligatory pretty ancient fishing villages – here found dotted intermittently around the lakes’ shorelines. A delightful stroll around these improved only by a delectable Italian gelato (ice-cream). The stunning hilly scenery makes for excellent activities too; trails through the wooded areas are ideal for walking and cycling, with incredibly rewarding views the higher you reach. At the end of the day unwind with some authentic Italian cuisine washed down local wines.
If beach holidays are your thing, Sardinia is a fantastic destination for couples and families alike. The Mediterranean’s second largest island, Sardinia has a delightful mix of unspoilt landscapes, lively piazzas, traditional villages and luxury marinas. Sardinia is famed for its production of wines, cheeses, and fresh produce.
All of this can be enjoyed at waterfront markets, local cafes, or high-end restaurants; Sardinia balances them all across charming villages along its coastline. Quiet beaches have clean and clear water, white sand, and many are sheltered by rocky coves. Plenty of water based activities are available too; kayaks, jet skis, and pedalos can be hired, plus sailing and diving lessons are on offer as well.