Italy

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THE BASICS 

Italy: birthplace of the Roman Empire the Renaissance and a lot a very stylish clothing. Few countries have such a range of experiences: from fine dining, to some of the world’s greatest architecture and music, history all around you, skiing in the mountains and sun on the beaches. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s all packed into this long boot-shaped nation.

And there’s something decadent about Italy. Since the nineteenth century visitors have flocked to its piazzas and canals to drench themselves in the opulence and enjoy la bella vita. For where else will you be able to marvel at magnificent churches while you sit in the pavement cafes opposite with a truly excellent coffee in your hand? Or rent a villa in the Umbrian hills and watch the grapes slowly ripen in the vineyard below, before opening a bottle of last year’s crop with some friends?

So if you’re the type who loves to see, do and learn about the past during the morning and kick back in the afternoon, Italy’s the place to go.

TOP THINGS TO DO

A whistle-stop tour of Italy’s finest historical cities. You can begin in Rome, centre of the world’s greatest empire, and visit the Colosseum which held up to 50,000 spectators. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is full of architectural and cultural treasures that will probably inspire you to write at least a poem, if not an entire opera. From there, couples can venture to Venice, the most romantic city in the world, to take a gondola ride through the canals.

And for music lovers, the annual Puccini Festival takes place in Tuscany. Take a lick of Italian ice cream – gelato – in a genuine Italian gelateria and you will vow never to eat ice cream anywhere else. They come in a hundred different flavours, cost no more than a can of soft drink, and transport you to foodie dessert heaven. Just don’t have too many – a maximum of three per day seems sensible.

Skiing in the Dolomites or Alps is an experience every enthusiast should have. There’s a great range of resorts too, so whether you’re a complete beginner or an expert, on your own or with your family, there’s a resort for you. Our overall favourite is Madonna di Campiglio.

If you tire of skiing, there’s a variety of snowshoeing and hiking trails to keep you entertained. But if the sea’s your thing, divers can explore the waters around the islands Sicily, Marettimo and Sardinia.  

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The name Italy comes from the word italia,meaning ‘calf land’.
  • There are two independent states within Italy: Vatican City and San Marino.
  • Venice was founded over 1,400 years ago in a wide and shallow lagoon. It has been sinking into mud for centuries and is plagued by floods.
  • Pizza, the most famous Italian dish, was invented in Naples around 1860.
  • Rome is 3,000 years old.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

Experience Italy

  • marettimo sea front
    Diving in Marettimo is proving to rank with the very best in the Mediterranean Voglia Di Mare. Dive centre is based off the main square and their dive boat is in the port of Scala Vecchio, 3 minutes walk away. All the dive equipment is stored on the boat. Marcello ...
  • Sicily beach holidays
    Why not take a beachside villa for a week with friends or family. You can blend in with the locals and become part of the landscape to see the island from the inside.
  • diving in sardinia
    Sardinia is known for its white sandy coves with the sea having an amazing dark blue to turquoise palette of colours. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily. For your diving holiday in Sardinia we have chosen Palau, a small harbour town. Where boats of all ...
  • pantallerina
    Key Message Block There are many great options for diving in Italy, here are some of our suggestions: Sicily Sardinia At Crusader Travel, we’ve been creating magical holidays since 1968 CALL USBuild your custom escape with the help of our experts Enquire 020 8744 0474 All Offers Sort by Default ...

Where to stay in Italy

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