Italy is the boot shaped country and is home to the Pizza. It is also a country known for its impeccable fashion sense, high-end motors and artistic monuments. It is known as the birthplace of Western Culture alongside Greece.
This country has a huge variety of cities from canal driven Venice to fashionable Milan, which is also the centre of business in Italy.
Italy is based in Southern Europe and there are also two other islands which form parts of this country; Sardinia and Sicily. Italian is the main language, but both French and German are spoken in different regions alongside many other dialects.
Italy has a wide range of different landscapes but is primarily a mountainous country. The country has stunning coastlines and incredibly attractive countryside.
What to do/see in Italy
In Italy you have so much to do and see. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most commonly visited buildings in the country. Visitors climb the tower to see exquisite views of the city.
Steeped in history Pompeii displays the remains of ancient Rome and houses the ruins of old streets, temples and much more.
For a totally different view of history visit Venice’s San Servolo Insane Asylum Museum, where you can see historical treatments used on mental patients prior to its closure in 1978. Or for something much more light-hearted either go to Venice’s The Mad Coloured Houses of Burano (which is another island filled with hues of colour and brightly painted houses) or to Artesina to see the Giant Pink Bunny, which is on the top of the mountain (you physically cannot miss it).
In Ferrara Di Monte Baldo you can go to the Santuario Madonna Della Corona, which is a beautiful church built into the cliff face where men of religion would go to reflect and be totally away from society. It is relatively difficult to get to but once you are up there you have outstanding views of the valley below.
Finally, you must visit Mount Etna which is an active volcano in Belpasso. It was classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013 and really does allow you to get up close and see how volcanoes really work.
Where to stay in Italy
Italy has many fantastic options of places to rest after a weary day of travelling around seeing all the sights.
When you are in Marina di Pietrasanta you could look at staying in the Mondial Resort and Spa, where you have excellent access to the beachfront and a pool to sunbathe around on a lazy summer’s day.
For resorts in Rome you could consider The Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, which boasts panoramic views over Rome and has many sporting activities such as swimming in the outdoor pools, tennis or you can simply relax instead using their Turkish Bath.
Endeus also has a wide range of vacation rentals in Italy for you to consider when making your accommodation choice.
Or for the experience of a lifetime go to Aosta and stay in the Bivacco Gervasutti , which is a small unusual shelter resembling a section of an airplane.
- Italy has a lot of travel differences. For example you can’t hail a cab on the street, instead you must go to a taxi stand or telephone to order one in advance. Thinking ahead of your visit please consider the luggage that you are bringing and if you can carry it a fair distance. Taxis sometimes can’t get to small streets or squares so you might need to walk. Often there is not a lift in most buildings either.
- If you decide to go overnight on a train please remember that you must tick your correct gender on the booking. Public carriages are separated (when it comes to nightfall) and if you tick the wrong box you end up in the wrong carriage and can find yourself in a bit of trouble. Alternatively book a private space if you are a mixed gender group and are happy to stay together.
- Check for travel strikes on all modes of transport as they are very common and disruptions are regularly noted.
- Lastly, please don’t be shocked when a bill comes at the end of a meal and you see the added prices for ‘Coperto.’ This is only a few euros and is a cover charge which is additional to a tip and is per person. Tipping is between 5-10% normally.
Rome holds several ‘trump cards’ as a city, The Vatican being one of them. The city known as the ‘Eternal City’ is a catholic city with more than 900 churches to visit. St. Peters Basilica is steeped in grandiose and its interior décor will literally blow your mind as you climb higher and higher to the top of the building. See the ‘alternative’ Colosseum and go to the depths of the amphitheatre before heading back out to the city to wander the narrow streets of the Piazza’s where columns and fountains are on every corner. Feast in the operatic square facing the Pantheon; another architectural beauty.
Venice is a city you will never want to leave. Splurge on a Gondola to take you down the Grand Canal to view the best architecture the city has to offer. Hop off and go to the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge, go to ‘I Tre Mercanti’ for Italian specialities or simply wander in the beautiful cobbled streets. Take home a traditional Carnival mask or some of the fantastic hand crafted glass work. Visit The Glass Museum in Murano where you can watch the artists at work creating beautiful gifts and mementos of your trip. Capsule your time here by writing it down on the infamous hand crafted marble paper.
The home of Gucci (the Museum is in Piazza Signoria) and the Italian Renaissance, Florence is an artisan’s delight. For Botticelli’s classical fine art visit Galleria degli Uffizi or for Michelangelo’s masterpieces try the Accademia Gallery. From dream to reality visit the Institute of Science to see Galileo’s models from work he conducted in scientific fields. In the evening let street performers entertain you with statues and musical duets after relaxing in the Santo Spirito piazza far from the madding crowds. For night owls try Space Club or Tenax. Florence is a riverside city with soul!