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Best of Italy insights

With many of the classic icons of travel, Italy remains one of the most popular destinations in Europe.

Venice is not only visually stunning but amongst its many narrow winding streets there is a wide variety of fascinating shops, cafes, restaurants, gelataterias (ice cream parlours) and local crafts and souvenirs. A ride on a gondola is a unique experience, as is spending a pleasant afternoon in Piazzo San Marco.

For the active, there is the beautiful Cinque Terre (Five Lands) which is a string of five villages traditionally reached by walking along the steep cliff pathways. Nowadays, there is a train that connects them all running between the two main towns on either side of La Spezia and Levanto. However, you can still opt to walk some or all of the paths and enjoy a delightful lunch and glass of prosecco in the harbour at your favourite village.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

No trip to Italy is complete without visiting the leaning tower of Pisa. Renowned for its corny (but great fun) photos of people holding up the tower, it is also an impressive sight and, despite its lean, is an impressive piece of architecture.

The hill top towns of Perugia and nearby Spello are the perfect stop for wine tasting, fabulous food and relaxed meandering around superb historic well preserved towns. The views in these towns are often spectactular and in Perugia there is a wide terrace at the edge of town where visitors and locals gather to watch the sunset over the valley below.

The Colosseum in Rome

Then there is Rome! A truly spectacular city with so much to see that it's hard to cram it all in, even in 2 or 3 days. The highlight is the Colosseum. This 2,000 year old amphitheatre would be impressive if it was built in modern times, but when you realise just how ancient it is it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. The adjoining Roman Forum and Palantine Hill where it is quite easy to spend at least half a day.

The Vatican houses some of the most splendid buildings in existence. St. Peter's Basilica is the centre of activity, and the Renaissance church is both imposing and in fabulous condition. In the Vatican museums there are countless collections of incredible archaeological and artistic significance but the Sistine Chapel is the key draw. The frescos, including the ceiling painted by Michelangelo are, even today, so well preserved and bright that they look as they were only recently painted. Mix in the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and a host of other impressive places of interest, and you can be assured of never being stuck for something to do.

Italy is not just about historical artistic sites though; the lifestyle, climate, food and drink and the distinctive 'Italian' way make a trip here both exciting and relaxing at the same time.

We have lots of great trips in Italy and of course if you want something bespoke, our tailor made department can arrange that for you too.

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