Popes and pizzas. Gondolas and Gladiators. The Mediterranean nation of Italy has given the world more than its unassuming size would let on. And this Italy travel guide hopes to give a glimpse of those gifts. From the Alps to the Amalfi Coast and from Florence to Venice, from priceless artworks to scrumptious food, we introduce you to charming Italy and the dolce vita.
Italy loves to party, and its festivals are proof of that. February sees the Venice Carnival and the Battle of the Oranges in Tuscany. April is when the Pope undertakes the Stations of the Cross at the Roman Colosseum, Florence holds its Scoppio del Carro and every church across the country hosts and extravagant Easter Mass. Movie buffs could attend the world renowned Venice Film Festival in Sept
Most of Italy experiences Mediterranean weather with sunny days and cool evenings with spring in April and May and early autumn in September being the best time to visit Italy. While summer can have stifling hot afternoons, Indian visitors will have no trouble sightseeing and exploring the countryside. Do note that many small, family-run shops and restaurants shut during summers.
No Italy travel guide worth its salt would leave out the Eternal City, Rome. A sprawling metropolis that is over three thousand years old, Rome has history buffs and culture vultures salivating at the thought of walking its cobblestoned streets. The city’s historic heart is the magnificent Colosseum that looms over the city. Once the haunt of Caesars and gladiators of the Roman Empire, the ancient amphitheater now sees thousands of tourists roam its corridors every single day. When in Rome, explore the forum and climb up the Palatine Hill for a glimpse of Ancient Rome. And if your tastes in art lean towards the Renaissance, soak up the classical decadence of the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain or head to the Vatican Museums for a dose of some Michelangelo.
One of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice should be an essential part of your Italy travel planning. With canals crisscrossing palazzos, museums, galleries and renaissance churches, the city is beautifully quaint. Hop on a Vaporetto waterbus or glide lazily across the canals in a traditional gondola for a waterside view of Venice. When on land, when you’re not awestruck by the centuries old mansions that line the canals, visit St Mark’s Square. Arguably one of the most popular attractions in the city, the Piazza as it is also known, is the biggest square in the city and leads you to the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica. A fantastic example of Byzantine architecture, the gilded domes and spires enchant even the most jaded of travellers. The Doge’s Palace is an equally signifi
Pisa evokes images of its iconic leaning tower and generations of tourists posing with it if oddly creative ways. The 12th century tower isn’t, however, the city’s only attraction. The Piazza Duomo, where the bell tower is located, is also home to a magnificent cathedral, a baptistery and a cemetery known as Campo Santo. We also recommend exploring the Knight’s Square, the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo with its extensive collection of artwork from the Renaissance and the scores of churches and galleries that fill the city. Don’t forget to add “Whacky Leaning Tower Pic” to your Italy travel planning.
The city of Florence has been synonymous with art for centuries. While the world knows Florence for Botticelli and Michelangelo, the city has also produced mavericks of fashion like Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli. Located in Tuscany, Florence is often called an open air museum and rightly so. Renaissance masterpieces are found on every corner with intricately carved fountains, palaces and churches scattered throughout the city. Wander through the city’s museums, sip on some Chianti and dig into Florentine steak for an authentic Tuscan experience.
Not far from the city of Naples lies one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Italy. Pompeii was a bustling Roman city in 79 AD that was buried under nearly 20 ft of ash because of the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Tragically fascinating, the ruins of the city are some of the best examples of ancient Roman life in existence. Most Italy travel guides suggest a tour of the city with stops at the House of the Faun, the Temple of Apollo and the Villa of the Mysteries. Another unique feature of Pompeii is the presence perhaps the oldest graffiti in the world. In your walk through the millennia old lanes, keep an eye out for scribbles on the wall left by ancient vandals. Add a tour of Pompeii on your Italy travel planning list for an eerie glimpse of Ancient Rome.
The birthplace of pizza, Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy and also, perhaps, the oldest. And this offers visitors some of the most spectacular sights in all of Europe. From medieval castles to remnants of Ancient Rome, you have a lot to experience in Naples. An Italy travel guide favourite is the city’s historic city centre. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and its stunning attractions including Palace of Caserta, the Royal Palace of Naples, the seaside Egg Castle and the Naples Cathedral. Also worth a visit is the National Archaeological museum. If the ruins of Pompeii piqued your interest, this is where you will find some of the best preserved artifacts from the site. Naples maybe be known for its pizza but it is also home to the highest number of Michelin Star eaterie
The Amalfi Coast is an Italian superstar. Featured in scores of Hollywood films, the 50km long stretch of seaside is one of the most recognizable in the world. With red roofed pastel houses perched on rocky outcrops, the Amalfi Coast is distinctively beautiful with white beaches, luxurious seaside resorts and million dollar yachts. The coast is home to many historic churches and villas that were once home to nobility and Hollywood royalty. But your Italy travel planning for Amalfi is sure to focus on the seaside. Soak up the sun or sip on some red in a cliff top restaurant in Capri, Amalfi or the astonishingly picturesque Positano.
A favourite holiday spot for billionaires and movie stars, Capri is one of the most glamorous holiday destinations in the world. The island is found in the Bay of Naples rising sharply above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its powdery beaches, sheer cliffs and white washed villas make for the perfect addition to your Italy travel planning. When you find yourself in Capri, take a trip to the Blue Grotto. Recommended by most Italy travel guides, the sea cave is one of the most spectacular sights in all of Italy with its luminescent water lighting up the cave.