Where to go in italy? Is there any country on earth that wears its history as lightly as Italy? Roman ruins sit cheek by jowl with Renaissance palazzos, while modern skycrapers cast their long shadows over neoclassical cathedrals. But there are many more reasons why this is the fifth most visited country in the world – the rolling landscapes of Tuscany, the sandy beaches of Sardinia, the fashion credentials of Milan, and the delectable cuisine of just about everywhere from the Alps down.
Firenze, the cradle of the Renaissance, is one of Europe’s great art cities. With frescoes by Giotto and Ghirlandaio, canvases by Botticelli and Bronzino, and sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, there is so much exquisite art and architecture within its ancient walls that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But, there is more to handsome Florence than just museums and monuments. It is bursting with quirky shops and quality crafts; a living city with an eclectic cultural life that embraces opera, classical music and contemporary art.
Where to go in italy VENICE
There are days when visitors to this exquisite jewel box of a city outnumber locals two-to-one, and when getting from the station to St Mark’s square is a battle. But despite this, Venice never loses its capacity to enchant: stepping out of the station to be greeted by a glittering canal with the dome of San Simeon Piccolo beyond remains heart-stopping, whether you’re doing it for the first time or the 100th. And even at peak visitor periods, you’re never more than a bridge away from quiet campi (squares), churches concealing luminous Madonnas, or handsome Gothic palazzi.
Where to go in italy ROME
Rome has been around for almost three thosuand years and yet carries all that weight of history with a dolce vita lightness of heart. It’s a city that combines the intimacy and human scale of a village with the cultural draws of a historic, art-laden European metropolis. Classical ruins and early Christian places of worship stand next to – or sometimes lie beneath – Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains. But there are also great neighbourhood trattorias, quirky shops and a buzzing aperitivo scene.
Milan can come as something of a surprise to those who are familiar with Rome and Florence and are expecting more of the same from Lombardy’s metropolitan hub, for this is a more northern European city in look and feel. Italy’s fashion and design capital, it has an international cosmopolitan outlook, a vibrant food and drink scene and scores of hotels to suit all budgets. Historical edifices sit cheek-by-jowl with modern skyscrapers, while a number of the city’s buildings have spectacular interior courtyards that remain largely undiscovered.