Visit our page dedicated to the Eternal City and read our guide on traveling to Rome
Find out more about the city on water in Northeastern Italy that will charm all visitors by visiting our guide on Venice
Florence is a cultural powerhouse on the Arno river. The city is buzzing with all it has to offer its’ visitors. You would need at least a week if you were to visit all the galleries and museums. All of these are within walking distance of one another but be prepared to queue. We recommend the Palazzo Pitti and their surrounding gardens. Take a walk from there across the river along the Ponte Vecchio bridge. This used be a market for meat and fish but is now home to several jewellery stores. Take a left at the end of the bridge and go up to see Loggia dell’Orcagna, home to the most notorious statues you are ever likely to see. It is here too that you will see the copy of David. The real David can be seen in the Galleria Dell'Accademia. Walk about a block further North to the Duomo (Cathedral). It is extremely big in size and a must-see.
This Etruscan area of Italy includes Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and other cities. It is the Italian version of Provence in France and a must see if you have rented a car and enjoy driving in the country. The little towns have excellent markets with delicious traditional Italian foods and Tuscan wines. The rolling hills are covered in wheat and vineyards and are an excellent bit of respite from the sometimes overcrowded tourist hubs.
This must be one of Italy’s hidden secrets. The old town is situated on the top of the hill and only accessible by foot. In the centre is the Palazzo Comunale e Torre del Mangia translated as the Municipal Palace and Mangia’s tower. This magnificent square is surrounded by restaurants and cafés and should you visit in the beginning of July, you may be lucky enough to squeeze near the square to see their annual horse race. The horses are ridden bareback and are representative of the different districts in Siena. Take a walk up behind the Palazzo to see the Cathedral and take in all the little stores and cafes along the way.
This little provincial town is well worth a visit and is in the heart of Tuscany a short drive between Pisa and Florence. The most interesting part of the town is in the old quarter surrounded by the fortified walls. Here you’ll walk down the main street, Via San Giovanni, lined with artisan shops, tratorrias, cafés and clothing stores. All the shops are well presented and have a variety of interesting articles on sale. However, do beware as the prices are on the high side.
Besides the cute little lane full of interesting shops, the town also has a wealth of historical buildings to visit.
This is the biggest Port in Italy and therefore has a town that spreads over quite a few miles. Visit the old town to enjoy the beautiful architecture of the buildings, meandering little roads and have a view of the sea. The Basilica o Santissima Anunciatta is of particular intricacy inside.
Located in the Northwest corner of Italy and the Alps. Piedmont is full of stunning green forest, mountains, waterfalls and rivers, regional parks, protected wildlife areas and the main city of Torino with it’s famous Soccer team and home of Ferrari.
There are a number of mountains you can discover by going on hikes but we do recommend you do your research before going. Some walks can be done in a day but if you are planning to go for extended periods be well prepared, the sun goes down early and it gets very cold. One particularly nice walk can be taken from the town of Fenestrelle and lasts about an hour. Ask the locals to point you in the right direction.
Follow the tourist busses and you will be in the heart of the town where you can take in one of the wonders of the world – and rightly so! In the square you will be faced with three magnificent buildings – The Baptistery, the Cathedral and the famous leaning Tower of Pisa. It is possible to go into all three – the Baptistery costs €6 and you will be able to have panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the Cathedral costs €2 and the Tower will set you back approximately €15 in 2002.
To read more on this beautiful island please read our Sardinia
Sicily is the island below Italy and almost a country on its own. The island is large with many sights to see including Roman Ruins in and around small remote Sicilian villages; beautiful pebble beaches crystal clear waters and of course the bustling capital city of Palermo.
The Aoelian Islands are islands in the Mediterranean sea off the coasts of the Italian mainland and Sicily. The best known islands are Stromboli, Vulcano, Lipari, Panarea, Salina and Filicudi.
These volcanic islands off Sicily can be reached by ferry or hydrofoil from both the Mainland and Sicily. The ferries run from several places on the mainland, most notably Naples, and from the town of Milazzo in Sicily and you can choose the island you wish to visit. You can find out more about ferries to the islands by visiting - www.gruppotirrenia.it
Stromboli is most famous with its active volcano, Salina for the wine and Panarea for the wealthy visitors and villa owners.
Lipari is the most populated island. The town of Lipari is quite quaint with a few shops, restaurants and hotels catering to the many visitors. Sites of interest in Lipari include the Spanish fort, the town itself and the coastline dotted by decent beaches. When you arrive you will be approached by boatmen. They are there to take you to the beaches - these can only be reached by boat. They will arrange a pick up time with you. Be sure to take a picnic lunch with you and plenty of water – the beaches are far from everything, wonderful if you fancy a day out away from the crowds.
Below are the main features of Eastern Sicily
This is a popular beach spot for tourists and locals alike. There are various beaches to choose from – all with their own beauty. For an extra special day visit Isolabella. There is a large rock formation creating something of a “lagoon”- wonderful for snorkelling. It is a fair walk from the road above but there are loungers to rent for the day as well as great shop for food and drink. For some culture, be sure to visit the ancient Greek Theatre where Gladiators once fought.
Just outside Taormina are the beautiful gardens of Giardini Naxos. These are worth a look if you enjoy a bit of history. Giardini means citrus gardens and Naxos was the name of the first Greek Colony to settle Sicily. There is a pretty beach there and many small cafés lining the waterfront.
This active volcano is a must see and a good day trip. You can either walk up the mountain or you may want to catch the cable car. The craters on the surrounding mountains are splendid and the molten rock formations are fascinating.
This is a little village below Mount Etna. It is comprised of narrow roads, traditional Mediterranean homes and some lovely old churches. If you fancy a night out with the locals, go down into the town square on Friday night where you will see families out enjoying a meal or treat under the stars. Of particular architectural interest is the Cathedral in the centre of town opposite the main square.