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Italy

Did you know that Italy has only existed as a modern nation for around 150 years? For centuries, the country was a collection of city-states and separate regions and this pluralism is reflected in today’s Italy. From the metropolitan bustle of Rome to the historical beauty of Venice and the gentle landscapes of the rural South, Italy offers an infinite variety of sights, tastes and sounds.

Our guide to Italy

Best time to go

April - October

Italy has a rich history, from the Roman Empire to the golden era of the renaissance. The country has the highest number of UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world, and the eternal city of Rome is home to stunning ruins, beautiful listed buildings and vast museums. For those seeking less crowded attractions, walk along the oldest road in Rome, the Via Appia, which boasts plenty of sights rarely found on the usual tourist maps. Explore Pompeii and its beautifully preserved neighbour Herculaneum. Also, in Venice, climb the bell tower on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore to get a panoramic view of the city. Boat-tours, guided history tours and seaside restaurants will take you off the beaten track and ensure a truly authentic experience of Italian living.
   If it’s the sun and a gentle pace of life you are looking for, then experience the serenity of Italy’s islands. Ischia has stunning vineyards and on Lipari you can explore the villages wedged into the rugged cliffs. Similarly, famous for its natural beauty, Sicily offers more than crystal-clear water and white-sanded beaches. Numerous empires have come and gone and traces of the Romans, Greeks and Normans are still alive throughout the island. Experience Palermo and Catania, visit the ruins in Selinunte and explore the stunning Cattedrale di Monreale. In the evening, watch the sun set over the active volcano Mount Etna, while enjoying a glass of Italian wine.
   And now, let’s talk about food: Italians are passionate about cooking, and good wine is the lifeblood of the country. Each region has its own distinctive cuisine, and for the tastiest culinary experiences we recommended ordering what each place does best. Dig into pizzas in Naples, visit Sandri in Umbria for delicious cakes, try a cannoli on Vulcano, sample pasta a la Norma in Sicily and, when in Rome, leave plenty of room for pasta carbonara. Also, remember to grab an ice-cream cone and sit amongst the locals, enjoying the chatter and laughter beneath the evening sky. 

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