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Welcome to Italy. Birthplace of western culture and of art. Home to dramatic history and more UNESCO world heritage landmarks than the number of pizza slices you’ll inevitably consume on a trip here. Italy is awash with ancient incredible well-preserved gems on every corner, spectacular food on every sidestreet, exquisite wine in every cellar…
Although Italy is shaped like a boot, it serves up delights like a stuffed Christmas stocking. The history it boasts is incomparable, from walking in the very footsteps of the Romans in Rome, to the immense duomos of Florence, and the stunning cathedrals that mark every major city, arriving in Italy is like jumping headfirst into another century.
When it comes to art, with the likes of Michaelangelo, Raphael and Da Vinci hailing from Italy, not much more needs to be said. Italy doesn’t just shout about its world-class art scene, it’s impossible to get away from it.
The country is littered with masterpieces from the greatest artists and architects in history, and getting lost in a city will result in your jaw-dropping further with each turn as you discover magical fountains, intricate frescoes and delicate archways.
Of course, when it comes to Italy, you can’t forget to mention the food and wine. Simple recipes made with fresh, incredibly high-quality ingredients and a huge helping of love make Italian food stand above the rest of the world, whether that’s classic Neapolitan pizzas, hearty Tuscan stews or velvety Roman pasta dishes. And the wine needs no introduction.
And Italy’s allure stretches even further than its riveting history, its world-class cuisine and its bellissimo art. In fact, Italy’s nature is a masterpiece of its own. One day you could be up in the dramatic, rugged Alps, the next you’re discovering the rolling, misty hills of Umbria, before soaking in the crystal clear waters of the Amalfi coast. All in all, Italy will capture your soul with the slow, pleasurable pace of life, and astound with its beauty.
Food & Wine
The secret to Italian cuisine is patience, simplicity and passion. Recipes use no more than a few, extremely high-quality ingredients so that everything tastes fresh, is packed with flavour, and is utterly addictive. The quality of the ingredients comes from the love and patience the Italians show in growing and producing food.
Corners are never cut, additives and pesticides are a taboo, and you can be sure every mouthful is the work of years and labour and expertise, from 36-month aged Parmigiano–Reggiano, to meticulously cured Parma ham. Rich ragùs, velvety arrabbiatas, creamy carbonaras, all these sauces that drench famous Italy’s pasta are a statement from each corner of the country of their very best ingredients.
The same goes for the wine. In the wine capital of the world, perfect weather conditions and fertile soils have combined to create a peninsula dripping with incredible vineyards and master craftsmen. Travel throughout the country trying fresh, clean Prosecco, light, delectable Barolo, or rich, earthy Corleone, and let evenings stretch for hours in cosy, atmospheric wine bars.
Art & Architecture
Everywhere you travel throughout Italy, you are constantly reminded that this is a nation of artists and dreamers. Crumbling aqueducts snake through dreamy hillside landscapes, soaring Roman columns erupt from busy city streets, elegant piazzas and beautiful fountains materialize in the narrow lanes.
No other country in the world can boast the work of Bernini, Michelangelo dotted around, or museums overflowing with priceless works of art from every era imaginable.
From the Romans to the Renaissance, the Byzantines to the Baroque, every civilization and every era that has left its stamp on the country has done it with proper elegance and style.
When is the best time to go?
When it comes to travelling to Italy, the off-season (November-March), is quite possibly the best time to visit the cities. It can be a little chilly, but you dodge the queues and the stifling heat that threatens to overwhelm at times, particularly in August.
On the coast, you might find a few hotels and attractions shut, so the shoulder season (April-June and September-October) can be an excellent time to visit any part of the country. Bask in warm temperatures, enjoy festivals and local holidays, and soak up the addictive Italian lifestyle.
Top 10 Must See Italy Sites
- Lake Como
Umbria Wine & Bike Tour
Top Things to do
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