6 reasons why Italy should be your next destination

With a fascinating history, stunning art and architecture, sunny climes, a picturesque coastline and world-famous cuisine, Italy truly does have something for everyone. Here is our guide to why you should make Italy your next holiday destination.
Gondolas in Venice. Photo: Shutterstock
Gondolas in Venice. Photo: Shutterstock


1. Explore the lakes

The Italian Lakes have long been a retreat for romantics. Writers drawn to their shores include Pliny the Younger, Stendhal, Shelley and D.H. Lawrence, all of whom were entranced by the beauty of the region. Each of the lakes has its own character, but all are atmospheric and scenic. Medieval towns, romantic Verona, sweeping landscapes… what more could you ask for? 

Sheltered by the Alps, the Italian Lakes benefit from a microclimate that allows for the wonderful combination of a Mediterranean lifestyle in a mountainous landscape. You can enjoy a splendid trip to Italy taking in Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.


2. Experience enthralling history in the capital

Visit Rome and you can follow in the footsteps of emperors and saints, discovering the monuments and churches that define Rome as the capital of Italy and the ancient world. History is on every corner. You can glory in the majestic ruins of the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill. Wonder at the Capitoline and Pantheon Museums. First-class art collections are housed in beautiful buildings such as the Villa Borghese, and you can people-watch in stunning squares such as the Piazza Navona. 

But Rome has its modern side, too, with gritty neighbourhoods like Testaccio, home to contemporary art galleries and a funky club scene. The city has it all, bathed in sunlight throughout the year. Enjoy priority access to the historical monuments of Ancient Rome by booking onto Insight Guides' Exploring Vatican City and Assisi trip.    

The Roman Forum, Rome.

Ancient ruins in the Eternal City. Photo: Shutterstock


3. Drift along the waterways of Venice

Sweep down the Grand Canal on a vaporetto, smooch in a gondola or shun romance for an island ferry – or even a lagoon kayaking adventure. Whether you do Venice the traditional way or not, you won’t be disappointed. The city captivates, charms and seduces with its unique beauty, encapsulated in enchanting buildings and picturesque waterways. There is nowhere in the world quite like it. 

See St Mark’s Square, the iconic Basilica and the grandiose Doges’ Palace. Cruise down the Grand Canal to take in sights such as the Guggenheim and the Gallerie dell’Academia, both housing world-class art collections. Along the banks is a procession of stunning palaces, including the Ca’ d’Oro.


4. Venture to seductive Sicily

The island of Sicily, set in the middle of the Mediterranean and once the centre of the known world, offers the finest array of classical and Moorish sites in Italy. Its history spans 5,000 years and this island, home over the centuries to Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans, has everything from classical sites and cities, such as Palermo and Syracuse, to high inland mountains, woodlands, a dramatic coastline and rich agricultural land producing citrus fruits, olives and vines. 

The eastern half of the island is dominated by Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano, while the interior pushes north to the coast in the shape of the Monti Madonie. Good beaches are plentiful, washed by some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. On the east coast is Sicily’s most attractive holiday resort, Taormina. Travel the island in comfort on your trip to Italy as part of Insight Guides' Legend and Legacy: A Tour of Sicily.

Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy.

Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock


5. Soak up art and architecture in Florence

As the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence has been the focal point of creative activity for some of the world’s greatest artistic talents. The city’s major churches, such as Santa Croce, and world-renowned galleries like the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell'Accademia proudly display artworks from spectacular collections. The narrow streets and expansive piazzas are lined with elegant shops, traditional cafés and opulent palaces – none more magnificent than the Palazzo Pitti, across the Ponte Vecchio in Oltrarno. But if you want to see where the Renaissance began, the sublime Duomo complex is the perfect place to begin exploring this artistic shrine.


6. Drive the Amalfi Coast

Even without a Ferrari, this is the drive of a lifetime. Vertiginous views await on the winding, cliff-top coastal road linking Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Every twist and turn produces yet another spectacular vista, with colourful villages tumbling over steep cliffs and sparkling azure waters beyond. Explore the region on Insight Guides' Best of South Italy trip and take in the picturesque villages of Positano, Ravello, Scala and Amalfi. 

Amalfi coastline on the Mediterranean, Italy.

Amalfi coastline on the Mediterranean, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock


Ready to take a luxury trip to Italy?

Insight Guides can help you plan fantastic trips to Italy. Simply get in touch with us to share your ideas for the trip and to let us know when you would like to travel. Our local experts will then create a personalised itinerary based on your personal preferences, which you can amend until you're completely happy with every detail before booking. Our existing itineraries in Italy can offer inspiration, and keep in mind that all of our planned itineraries can be tailored to suit your own specific requirements.


Updated 28 March, 2019