Italy, a land of world-famous food, Roman ruins and beautiful landscapes where picturesque coastline gives way to rural villages, olive groves and tree-lined vineyards. To visit Italy on a luxury trip with Elite Travel Concierge, whether on a family holiday or couple’s break, is surely one of Europe’s great adventures.
It may well take more than one visit to fully understand and explore the many faces of Italy, as there is simply too much to see and do in one trip, and rushing things does not always suit the laidback Italian way of life! Of course, there are few better places to start than Rome, a true once-in-a-lifetime travel destination that deserves its place on anybody’s bucket list. Here, iconic ancient wonders such as the Pantheon, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican and Sistine Chapel must be seen to be believed, though in truth, the highlights of Rome are almost endless. Around every corner you can glimpse yet another remarkable building or atmospheric viewpoint. Rome is a place where there’s so much to marvel at, that treasures such as the Piazza Venezia, Villa d’Este or Castel Sant'Angelo – to name just a few – can go almost unnoticed, though would likely be the main attraction if located anywhere else. Then, amongst the epic sites and bewildering architecture, be sure to search out hidden backstreets, cosy restaurants and authentic bars to get a real slice of local culture. This is a living and breathing capital city after all.
Delve a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that the surrounding towns of Verona, Bologna, Florence and Genoa all have their own character, history, horizon and hidden gems, while fashionable Milan serves as a great entry point to the country’s clutch of Alpine ski resorts further north. Of course, there’s also Venice, a magical place where gondolas glide between flower-laden balconies and the smell of pizza fills the air. In Venice, the bell towers chime and visitors fill avenues surrounding Piazza San Marco and St. Mark’s Basilica, seeking their own secluded spot to take it all in. Despite the popularity of Venice, at the right time of year it is still possible to avoid the crowds and enjoy your own intimate experience.
Visit the Amalfi Coast for medieval ruins and quaint settlements clinging to the hillside, some of the most picturesque walking routes in Europe and a host of welcoming, family-run restaurants too. Here, in addition to the quaint fishing villages and postcard beaches, you find Pompeii, where the daily life of Roman citizens some 2,000 years ago has been frozen in time. This is thanks to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius which covered the entire town in petrifying lava, preserving it as it stood until modern-day excavations took place.
For food-lovers, Italy is a must. Not least for the delicacies and delights of Tuscany, home to some of the best Italian food and quality ingredients, traditional recipes and sumptuous wine varieties. A gourmet tour of Tuscany will be filled with mouth-watering meals, and no shortage of scenic sights, with undulating hills and Renaissance architecture providing the most memorable sunset views from the comfort of your chateau or vineyard.
Then there’s the spellbinding Dolomite Mountain Range and numerous high-altitude lakes including Lake Como, Gardia and Maggiore too, sparsely populated though nicely isolated and infinitely easy on the eye. Finally, if in need of a break from the mainland, the islands of Sardinia and Sicily are your perfect options, where remote resorts can combine with cultural daytrips and more of that irresistible Italian cuisine and wine; holiday heaven for one and all.