We love a bit of Italy! The food, history, art, culture, music and amazing sights - the list of reasons to visit Italy is infinite! While many cities fizz with action you'll always be able to find a slower pace in the many beautiful piazzas where you can sit and watch the world go by with a coffee or Aperol Spritz. There are mountains, lakes and ancient villages to explore and miles and miles of coastline to relax on. If you love your food you will been in heaven! Italians take such pride in their cuisine you will find an abundance of fresh, locally produced home cooked food available in many places.
It's almost impossible to list all the amazing sights but Venice has to be up there - just seeing how life exists on this precarious network of canals is amazing. Wandering the picturesque alleyways, bridges and of course the more famous sites such as St Marks square and Basilica are definitely worth facing the crowds for! Also on the list are Pompeii, Florence and Rome. All so different but all bursting with opportunities to look back over centuries and be impressed by how incredibly sophisticated some of our ancestors were.
We've also enjoyed holidays on the islands of Elba, Sicily and Sardinia. All make great seaside holiday destinations with interesting sights and natural landscapes to explore for the more adventurous. Seeing smoke rise from the summit of Mount Etna on Sicily is certainly an astonishing spectacle.
Finally we can't mention Italy without mentioning the Italian people We have always been so warmly welcomed in Italy and people have been particularly friendly and kind to our children.
Travel to and in Italy
Flying direct to Italy from the UK takes between 2 to 3 hours depending on where you are going and there are numerous airports served directly and daily from the UK. It is possible to drive and takes around 2 days to do it comfortably. See our How to go on a road trip page for more info on this option.
Travelling within Italy is pretty straightforward, public transport is plentiful and good value, both within and between towns, and there is a good network of roads if you want to drive yourself.
You can fly directly to the islands of Sicily and Corsica or get ferries from various ports in Southern France and Western Italy. See How to book a ferry for more details.
To check out your train options go here and if you really want to go by train in style (and have a big budget!) have a look at the Orient Express which goes from London to Venice.
Most popular airports:
Mainland Italy: Rome (Fiumicino), Rome (Ciampino), Venice (Marco Polo), Venice (Treviso), Florence, Milan, Turin, Pisa, Bari, Brindisi, Lamezia Terme, Pescara, Rimini, Ancona, Verona ... and more!
Sicily: Palermo, Catania, Comiso and Trapani
Sardinia: Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero
Go to How to Book a Flight for loads of flight booking tips and tools.
There is a broad range accommodation options in Italy with some incredible hotels, amazing campsites and idyllic Tuscan villas. Many options won't come cheap and will need booking in advance for peak periods but Italian hospitality is warm and efficient and you should be well cared for wherever you end up.
A few recommendations:
All over Italy
Agritorismo - Loosely translated as a 'farm stay' Agritorismo offers some great value, 'B n B' type, rural accommodation often with the option for some delicious home grown and cooked food. Most places are renovated old buildings set in the beautiful Italian countryside. Lots have swimming pools, restaurants and more often than not your hosts will make you feel like part of the family.
Residence Hilda- Spacious apartments in the centre of Florence with friendly staff on hand if you need them. Only a 5 to 10 minute walk to many major sights and a coffee shop and patisserie next door to watch the world go by from.
Santa Croce Boutique Hotel - Just a 10 minute stroll from the Rialto Bridge this plush hotel is a real treat. Sumptuous bedrooms, staff who go the extra mile, a wonderful breakfast and a secret garden where you can relax ofter a day of sight seeing.
Camping Ca'savio - Very well equipped campsite on Lido di Jesolo (a peninsula just north of Venice). Great place to base yourself for a Venice/beach combo holiday as the beach is on your doorstep and ferries run from Punta Sabbioni (3km away) into Venice and take 40 minutes. Pitches and a range of other accommodation options plus a shop, swimming pool and lots of activities.
Porto Sosalinos - Wonderful, chilled-out campsite with pitches and cabins set in a pine forest by the beach. It's very peaceful, surrounded by nature and has a great restaurant.
Stella Marina Sea & Sun - friendly little guesthouse overlooking the sea with a short walk along the beach into the town. Fab breakfast, friendly staff and clean, airy rooms.
UNAHOTELS Capotaormina - Amazing hotel perched on the rocks below Taormina with a swimming pool clinging on the edge. A tunnel under the hotel throws you out onto a lovely little private beach. The rooms are a little dated but comfortable, there is a shuttle into town and on a clear day there are views of a whisper of smoke coming from the top of Mount Etna.
Capital city: Rome
Area: 301,338 Sq km
Population: 60.5 million
Official Language(s): Italian
Tourist Board: Italy
Random Fact: Italy is said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world.