Travel to Italy
Travel to Italy – The Best Cities to Visit in Italy
Travel to Italy – Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine.
Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins.
Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
In 2020, Italy was the fifth largest European country in terms of population size, with an estimate of about 60 million inhabitants is ranked 23rd in population size when compared with other countries throughout the world.
Italian culture is steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music and food.
Home of the Roman Empire and a major center of the Renaissance, culture on the Italian peninsula has flourished for centuries.
About 96 percent of the population of Italy is Italian, though there are many other ethnicities that live in this country.
North African Arab, Italo-Albanian, Albanian, German, Austrian and some other European groups fill out the remainder of the population. Bordering countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north have influenced Italian culture, as have the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily and Sardinia.
Although highly diverse according to the region, Italy is considered to have a temperate seasonal climate.
The southern half of the country generally experiences a climate one would expect from a Mediterranean country, with hot summers and mild winters.
The northern areas and inland could be described as humid continental, while other inland areas at altitude experience very harsh winters.
Travel to Italy – Florence
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.
Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with approximately 400,000 inhabitants and over 1.5M in its metropolitan area.
The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, monuments, numerous museums and art galleries (Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti).
The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto.
The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture.
The proximity to the Arno river was an important factor in Florence dominating the world of leather production and all its eventual by-products – leather jackets and gloves.
The most picturesque solution for leather shopping is the open air markets in Florence such as San Lorenzo and Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, between the spacious Piazza Repubblica and Hard Rock Cafe and the lovely Ponte Vecchio.
The city attracts millions of tourists each year.
Forbes has ranked it as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Best Luxury Hotels in Florence
Best Restaurants in Florence
Travel to Italy – Amalfi
The Amalfi Coast is a 50 KM stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region.
It’s sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages are a major attraction.
The Amalfi Coast can be seen and experienced a number of ways.
But if you’re on a tight itinerary, the postcard-worthy Positano, with its colorful architecture and luxurious amenities, is quintessentially Amalfi and not to be missed.
While in Amalfi, visit Positano, Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Cave), Ravello, Villa Rufolo, Villa Cimbrone Gardens and Sorrento.
Best Luxury Hotels in Amalfi
Best Restaurants in Amalfi
Travel to Italy – Naples
Naples, a city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples.
Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby Roman town Pompeii.
Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture.
The city’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes.
Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle
Naples is the birthplace of the original wood-fired Neopolitan pizza.
The Short List of Do Not Miss
Pompeii And Herculaneum – Ancient City Excursion
Mount Vesuvius – Volcanic Mountain Climb
Naples Underground – Explore The Hidden Side
Funicular Ride – World’s Longest
Michelangelo – Admire His Real Works
Pizza – This Is Where It Originated
Piazzo del Plebiscito – Square with views of the Basilica Royal & the Royal Palace
The Ruins of Pompeii – Remains of people trying to escape the volcanic eruption.
Travel to Italy – Forte Dei Marmi
Forte Dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi is a seaside town in Tuscany, Italy, known for its beaches.
Forte dei Marmi is a playground for wealthy Italians and equally well-heeled visitors. Its wide, sandy beaches—strands are 4 miles long—have the Alpi Apuane as a dramatic backdrop.
The town was, from Roman times, the port for marble quarried in Carrara.
In the 1920s the Agnelli family (of Fiat fame) began summering here, and other tycoons followed suit. It remains the East Hampton of Italy.
In winter the town’s population is about 7,000; in summer, it swells to about 150,000, most of those folks staying in their own private villas.
The Pontile is a long pier offering views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, plus the city, which features the Apuan Alps in the background.
The walk along the promenade is punctuated by shops and posh boutiques, while downtown every Wednesday in Piazza Donatori degli Organi there is a big street market to do some shopping.
Sculptures dot the town center, including the marble Monumento ai Caduti war memorial.
Best Luxury Hotels in Forte Dei Marmi
- Hotel Principe Forte dei Marmi
- Hotel Byron Forte dei Marmi
- Augustus Hotel & Resort
- Grand Hotel Imperiale
- Villa Roma Imperiale
- Hotel Mauritius
Best Restaurants in Forte Dei Marmi
Travel to Italy – Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, characterized by a jagged and rocky coastline, interspersed with marvelous beaches of very fine sand.
The past fifty years have seen Sardinia become a hotspot for tourism, with the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the northern area becoming a favorite retreat of Italian celebrities.
Food in Sardinia is primarily seafood. Spicy fish soups called Burrida and Cassola, along with lobsters, crabs, anchovies, squid, clams and fresh sardines are all very popular dishes and ingredients along the Sardinian coast.
Most of the best things to do in Sardinia are concentrated on the coasts. The cerulean waters and soft beaches found at places like Cala Mariolu and Parco Nazionale dell’Archipelago di La Maddalena are some of the main draws, but hiking the northern coast’s Capo Testa or driving the Costa Smeralda to take in jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean are popular, too.
The biggest city is Cagliari, and even then you can consider it at most a medium sized city.
Cagliari is divided into four historic districts – La Marina, Stampace, Castello and Villanova – and in each you will find an abundance of museums, archeological sites, beautiful churches and a historical centre that is pleasant to explore.
It also is a fantastic destination for gourmets, as there are lots of excellent restaurants.
Olbia is a coastal city in northeast Sardinia, Italy. It’s known for the medieval San Simplicio basilica, and for cafes dotting central squares like Piazza Matteotti.
On the palm-lined waterfront to the east, the Museo Archeologico di Olbia has exhibits ranging from Nuragic artifacts to Roman warships.
The hilltop Nuraghe Riu Mulinu is an archaeological complex with views of the Gulf of Olbia.
Best Luxury Hotels in Sardinia
- Falkensteiner Resort Capo Boi
- Hotel Abi D’Oru
- Forte Village Resort – Villa Del Parco & SPA
- Petra Segreta
Best Restaurants in Sardinia
Travel to Italy – Santa Margherita
Santa Margherita Ligure materializes like a calm Impressionist painting.
You wouldn’t want to change a single detail of the picture-perfect seaside promenade in this fishing-village-turned-retirement-spot, where elegant hotels with Liberty facades overlook yachts.
Santa Margherita Ligure is one of the largest Italian Riviera resort towns between the popular Cinque Terre and the city of Genoa. Because it’s near Portofino and is on the main coastal rail line, Santa Margherita is the gateway to Portofino.
It’s decidedly less bling than Portofino, with some affordable hotel options and a surprisingly workaday town behind the waterfront.
Pretty buildings in Santa Margherita’s colorful historic center are decorated in typical Ligurian trompe l’oeil style.
Pleasant walking streets are lined with stores, gelato shops, bars, bakeries, and restaurants.
Churches to visit include the 17th century Basilica of Santa Margherita, Chiesa Cappuccini, and Church of San Giacomo as well as a couple of small oratorios.
Best Luxury Hotels in Santa Margherita
Best Restaurants in Santa Margherita
Travel to Italy – Bolgheri
Super Tuscan lovers: Look no further than Bolgheri, right off the Tuscan coast. This area boasts mouthwatering, full-bodied wines made from sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah grapes.
Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is one of the foremost producers in the Bolgheri appellation on the coast of Tuscany, particularly known for making one of Italy’s most famous and expensive wines, Ornellaia.
This Bordeaux-style blend is one of the original Super Tuscans, and is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, instead of Tuscany’s most famous variety, Sangiovese. Masseto is one of the most famous Super Tuscan wines, made entirely from Merlot.
It is made by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia and is known for its aromatic complexity, opulent fruit and tannic structure.
Best Luxury Hotels in Bolgheri
Best Restaurants in Bolgheri
Best Wineries in Bolgheri
Travel to Italy – Capri
Capri, an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather sandals.
One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave.
In summer, Capri’s dramatic, cove-studded coastline draws many yachts.
The island of Capri is famous for many reasons. It has jaw-dropping natural beauty, delicious cuisine and world-class shopping.
It’s also a place to see and be seen – there’s a reason why so many celebrities anchor their yachts in Marina Grande.
The world-famous public square’s official name in Capri is Piazza Umberto 1.
In the Caprese dialect, it’s called a chiazza, but it’s best known as the Piazzetta.
The clock tower chimes every 15 minutes, while the various cafés are full around the clock, from early-morning cappuccino drinkers to late-night, after-dinner digestivo sippers.
The busiest time is before dinner when the well-dressed stop for a drink.
The Blue Grotto’s extraordinary optical effect is created by the sunlight bouncing on the cave walls, producing electric-blue water that seems to glow.
Caprese Sala with vine-ripened tomatoes, milky mozzarella, aromatic basil leaves and a drizzle of sharply flavored olive oil, the caprese salad is a must-try dish.
Capri is a late-night town. It is perfectly normal to sit down to dinner after 10pm, and nightclubs don’t even open until after midnight.
Capri’s nightlife scene has famous nightclubs and discos and they stay open until the sun comes up.
Best Luxury Hotels in Capri
- Hotel Punta Tragara
- Villa Marina Capri Hotel & Spa
- Capri Tiberio Palace
- Caesar Augustus, Relais & Chateaux Hotel
Best Restaurants in Capri
Best Wine Tours / Cruises in Capri
Travel to Italy – Milan
Milan, a metropolis in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, is a global capital of fashion and design.
Home to the national stock exchange, it’s a financial hub also known for its high-end restaurants and shops.
The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of art and culture.
Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world, but its biggest draw is its cultural offerings.
After visiting the top attractions, the best thing to do in Milan is take in its bustling atmosphere (it’s a big business city), preferably in a piazza and with some gelato in hand.
And, pick up a small souvenir at the most beautiful mall you will probably ever see, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Best Luxury Hotels in Milan
- Grand Hotel et de Milan
- Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa
- Hotel Principe Di Savoia
- Armani Hotel Milano
- The Four Seasons Milan
- Mandarin Oriental Milan
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa – LHW
Best Restaurants in Milan
- Trattoria Mirta
- Ristorante Ribot
- Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia
- La Refezione
- Don Carlos Restaurant
- Zero Milano
- Terrazza Gallia Bar & Restaurant
Best Wine Bars in Milan
Travel to Italy – Rome
Rome was called the “Eternal City” by the ancient Romans because they believed that no matter what happened in the rest of the world, the city of Rome would always remain standing.
Exploring the city centre by foot surrounded by glorious monuments and colossal remains takes you back in time to the glory that was Rome.
Rome is the capital city and a special area of Italy, as well as the capital of the Lazio region.
The city has been a major human settlement for almost three millennia. With 2,860,009 residents – the country’s most populated community.
Rome has a whole lot to recommend itself: beautiful buildings, a warm climate, incredible food, and thousands of years of history to explore.
Rome abounds with iconic sites, but the Colosseum remains the city’s definitive landmark.
Completed in 80 A.D., this Roman amphitheater sits in the heart of downtown and is a great starting point for an exploration of the ancient world.
Historically, it was primarily used as an entertainment venue where Roman citizens would watch gladiators fight to the death or individuals face off against dangerous predators like rhinos or tigers.
The Roman Forum was once the religious and political heart of the empire.
Today, it’s a series of fascinating ruins and arches sitting smack dab in the middle of downtown Rome, in Campitelli, not far from the Colosseum.
The Vatican is the most essential museum to visit on an Italy vacation in Rome, but there are others that should occupy some of your time, including the Galleria Borghese.
The former villa of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the Galleria Borghese houses the family’s extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and antiques.
If you like adventurous landmarks that have the capacity to creep you out as you learn about the past, you’ll love the Catacombs in Rome.
Starting in the 2nd century A.D., these underground chambers became burial sites for Romans, specifically the Christians and Jews who eschewed cremation and instead chose to bury their dead.
Whether it actually brings you good fortune is up for debate, but a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the prerequisite coin toss is an essential part of exploring Rome .
Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
- J.K. Place Roma
- Hotel Hassler Roma
- Hotel Principe Di Savoia
- Hotel Eden, Dorchester Collection
- Fendi Private Suites
Best Restaurants in Rome
Best Wine Bars in Rome
Travel to Italy – Venice
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea.
It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.
The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Few cities can claim such a priceless art and history heritage as Venice.
This unique city with its magical, spectacular scenery is not just beautiful; it is a real miracle of creative genius: a city built on mud, sand and the slime of a difficult, inhospitable landscape.
The biggest attraction in the gorgeous city of Venice is the architecture — which is enhanced by the ancient canals that surround it.
As well as Piazza San Marco and St. Mark’s Basilica, the city is home to the Gothic masterpiece Doge’s Palace.
This pink and white marble buildings has to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated.
Not only is it a breathtaking example of Italian architecture, it is also the centre of Venice Carnival celebrations every year.
Just a short gondola ride from Doge’s Palace is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which is one of the world’s most illustrious modern art collections.
If you’re looking for more traditional works from the Renaissance period, spend some time at the Galleria dell’Accademia, which houses several classics from this era.
There are many places in Venice which characterise the city’s illustrious history and association with the arts and architecture.
Take the Bridge of Sighs, for example, which is a white limestone masterpiece that the interrogation rooms of Doge’s Palace to the prison.
But the most beautiful bridge in all of Venice has to be the Rialto Bridge.
This ornate structure hangs over the Grand Canal with masterful confidence.
Connecting San Polo to the sestieri of San Marco, the bridge has been rebuilt many times over the years.
Best Luxury Hotels in Venice
- The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel
- Aman Venice
- Belmond Hotel Cipriani
- Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel
- Ca’ Sagredo
Best Restaurants in Venice
Best Wine Bars in Venice
Travel to Italy – Lake Como
Lake Como, in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps.
The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio.
At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate.
Lake Como, also known as Lario, is the third largest of the Italian lakes (after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore).
With a maximum depth of approximately 410 meters (448 yards), Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe.
Its characteristic shape, reminiscent of an inverted Y, results from the melting of glaciers combined with the erosive action of the ancient Adda river.
This led to the formation of the two southern branches, in the midst of which there is the world popular Bellagio.
Located at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como provides one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world.
The entire perimeter of Lake Como is studded with charming villages and towns.
The most popular destinations are definitely Bellagio, Varenna and the city that gives its name to the lake, Como.
Beaches in Lake Como are the perfect place to relax during the hot summer days, and in some cases they also give you the opportunity to go sailing or windsurfing.
Beaches can be found in every corner of Lake Como, but if you’re looking for clean and pure water, head toward the central and northern parts of the lake.
Best Luxury Hotels in Como
- Vista Palazzo Small Luxury Hotel, Como
- Palace Hotel, Como
- Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Tremezzina
- Hotel Du Lac, Bellagio
- Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio
- Hotel Royal Victoria by R Collection Hotels, Varenna
- Hotel Villa Cipressi, by R Collection Hotels, Varenna
- Mandarin Oriental, Lake Como
- Villa d’Este
- VISTA Palazzo Lago di Como
Best Restaurants in Como
- Antica Trattoria del Risorgimento, Como
- I Tigli in Theoria, Como
- Feel, Como
- Ristorante Momi, Como
- La Punta, Bellagio
- Splendide Ristorante, Bellagio
- Albergo Ristorante Silvio, Bellagio
- La Mistral, Bellagio
- Il Cavatappi, Varenna
- Du Lac
- Alle Darsene di Loppia
- Ristorante Sottovoce
Best Wine Bars in Como
Travel to Italy – Lake Como
Puglia, a southern region forming the heel of Italy’s “boot,” is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline.
Puglia is the land of plenty.
The fertile heel of Italy’s boot is packed with silvery trees heavy with chubby green olives and fringed with sun-baked beaches.
Puglia is a mosaic of cultural influences pieced together by the handful of dwellers that left their mark through the centuries – you can see it in the architecture, hear it in the region’s dialect and taste it in the food.
Capital Bari is a vibrant port and university town, while Lecce is known as “Florence of the South” for its baroque architecture.
Alberobello and the Itria Valley are home to “trulli,” stone huts with distinctive conical roofs.
Puglia is special because it’s the slow-paced southern Italian way of life, stunning landscapes, and unique, down-to-earth culture.
Plus Pulia has sandy beaches, ancient forests, beautiful cities, and delicious food.
Puglia is famous for its olive oil production.
The region provides around 40% of the country’s olive oil, which amounts to around 300,000 tonnes every single year.
Handmade orecchiette pasta with turnip tops – is definitely the most iconic food of Puglia.
Orecchiette – literally “small ears” – is a shape of pasta dating to around 1500.
In the past, Puglia was known as the ‘bread basket of Italy’.
Puglia has the longest coastline of any Italian mainland region.
Best Luxury Hotels in Puglia
- La Peschiera
- Canne Bianche Lifestyle & Hotel
- Locanda Don Ferrante
- Est Santa Cesarea Terme
- The Capase Resort
- Locanda Don Ferrante Monopoli
- Borgo Egnazia
- Masseria Cimino