Italy needs no introduction – being one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. A country famous for its incredible food, rich historical sites, highly regarded art, beautiful small towns and equally picturesque cities. The north features stunning lakes with Alpine backdrops while the South offers beautiful sun-drenched beaches and dramatic active volcanoes. There is something in Italy to entice every kind of traveller.
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Often referred as the Eternal City, Rome is a wonderful blend of historical sites, charming piazzas, world-class museums and icons of world culture. The city is packed with over 3,000 years of history in the form of ruins, art and architecture. Rome’s main sites include ancient attractions such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Pantheon. The Vatican is well known for St. Peter’s Basilica, the Apostolic Palace and the Sistine Chapel.
The capital of Tuscany, Florence is often described as a colossal outdoor museum because of its mass of art and architectural treasures. Set either side of the River Arno, its centrepiece is the iconic Duomo, with its elegant Renaissance dome. Located in the region of Tuscany, it is the perfect gateway for exploring Tuscany’s smaller cities and countryside.
One of Italy’s top travel destinations, Venice is a unique city famous for its beautiful canals, gondolas and footbridges. Besides the canals and the gondolas, St. Mark’s Square with the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace is the true icon of the city and not to be missed. Taking a gondola ride is one of the best ways to see the city. Be sure to include a visit to the smaller islands of Burano, Murano and Lido.
A global capital of fashion and design, Milan is known for stylish shops, galleries, and restaurants and has a faster pace of life than most Italian cities. It also has a rich artistic and cultural heritage such as its Gothic Duomo, with its beautiful marble façade, Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper and La Scala, one of the worlds most famous opera houses.
Naples is one of Italy’s most vibrant cities, located on the west coast. The city features one of the world’s largest historic city centres with a high collection of monuments, Baroque churches and Roman ruins. Top attractions in Naples include the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, the 13th Century Gothic cathedral and the vibrant Spaccanapoli district. Naples is also a great base for visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum and the famous Amalfi Coast.
Situated in Italy’s southwestern region of Campania, the Amalfi Coast is known for its extraordinary beauty. It stretches for 50km along the Sorrentine Peninsula with green pastures and lemon groves cascading down to the turqoise sea. Amalfi, the biggest coastal town, features a gorgeous duomo and charming pastel buildings.
The Cinque Terre (Five Lands), is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera in the region of Liguria. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore make up the five towns of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hiking trails that thread between the villages are some of the world’s most scenic, taking you past vineyards and olive groves, with dramatic seascapes at every turn. While each village has something different to offer, you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most culturally diverse parts of Italy, influenced by the many different cultures that have settled the island throughout its history. The island has earned seven places on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, three for its ancient sites, two for natural wonders and two for architectural treasures. No trip to the island is complete without a visit to the island’s capital, Palermo, where you can browse the city’s famous market places or explore the fascinatingly diverse architecture before heading to the coast, where you can find archaeological sites, fishing villages, and volcanoes.
Italy’s Lake District combines mountain vistas and crystalline lakes with medieval fortresses and beautiful lakeside towns. There are five major lakes and each one has its own flair and character. This area is popular year-round as you can hit the beach on a sunny day, participate in some exciting adventure sports, or visit in the winter for a ski trip in the Italian Alps.
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The major airports in Italy include Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, and Venice Marco Polo. Major airlines such as Emirates and Etihad fly from Australia to these airports, as well as Pisa Airport (near Florence) which is serviced by Qatar Airways. Many of the smaller airports have flights to regional European destinations. The closest airport servicing Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast is Naples Airport.
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