A treasure trove of culture, history, good food and style, Italy is all these things and more.
Land of culture, artistic masterpieces, Renaissance learning, designer fashion, Roman ingenuity and, of course, great food and strong coffee. What else can you say about Italy? Well, how much time have you got? Holidays to this ancient country really are the stuff of dreams. The only problem is, with so much to see and do in this land of wonder, one trip just isn’t enough.
When it’s not thrilling you with its ancient Greek and Roman heritage, its medieval towns or its Gothic churches, it will be enthralling you with its bustling metropolises. Cities like Milan and Turin show the modern face of Italy, which is one of style, sophistication and above all else class. Where top-notch restaurants and nights at the opera sit comfortably with live music halls and techno pumping nightclubs. The other side of Italy is one of romance. And when it comes to love, nowhere knows the language quite so well as this country. Whether you’re taking a gondola trip down Venice’s Grand Canal, climbing Pisa’s Leaning Tower or meandering through Florence’s majestic squares, you won’t find anywhere quite so amorous as Italy’s medieval cities. Its countryside is equally enticing with mountains and lakes to the north, rolling hills and vineyards further south and, of course, the volcanic landscape of Sicily.
But it’s not all ancient marvels, action-packed cities and towns that give a new meaning to the phrase ‘love at first sight’. Italy is also a country of beautiful beaches, idyllic islands and action-packed resorts. The south is awash with unspoilt Greek-style coastal towns, from Calabria in the west to Puglia in the east. And, while the islands of Sardinia and Capri pull in the fabulous and the famous with their 5-star resorts, the Amalfi Coast attracts tourists in search of unrivalled beauty and picture postcard towns.
And then there is the ‘Eternal City’, or Rome to you and me. As the centre of the once powerful Roman Empire, this place is overflowing with things to do and see. With two thousand year old temples, stadiums and palaces, not to mention the treasures of the Vatican City, Italy’s capital is a culture vulture’s paradise.
The weather in Italy can be quite varied depending on where you are. The further south you go, the more Mediterranean the climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Further north, the summers are less intense and see snow in the mountainous regions during the winter months. Italy’s high season is July and August, which sees prices rise in line with the number of tourists. If you are after great weather, but fewer crowds, then come during spring and august. And if it’s Italy’s fabulous ski resorts you’re attracted to, then take your pick from November through to March.