Ah, beautiful Italy! With its coastline, pretty harbours, wonderful vineyards, beaches, picturesque landscapes, breathtaking sunsets, rich culture, and intoxicating gastronomy – it's no wonder that, once you have arrived, you'll never want to leave! Here is some practical information on Italy as well as some things you must not miss if you're one of the lucky ones taking a trip to Italy.
In the shape of a boot, this southern European country bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the east, by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the Ionian Sea to the south, has a lot to offer travellers. Not for nothing is it one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. Each year, millions of visitors decide to holiday in Italy. And no wonder: it has everything it takes to make your visit unforgettable.
First, thanks to its Mediterranean climate, Italy enjoys very hot and dry summers, particularly in the south. Winters are a little colder, but you can still book a winter trip to Italy and have a great holiday!
Sicily and Sardinia
The two main islands belonging to the Italian boot are Sicily and Sardinia, which attract tourists from around the world every year to admire their coasts and scenery which are among the most spectacular in Europe.
The Costa Smeralda and the Gulf of Orosei
On each of these islands, there is so much to see that, in most cases, to explore everything, you need to reserve more than one trip to Italy. People visit Sardinia to attend one of its many festivals or horse races, to taste its haute cuisine and its local wine (Cannonau), to bask in the sun at one of its many resorts (the Costa Smeralda will leave you breathless), visit a medieval town (Oristano comes to mind), or to admire its wilderness and spectacular wildlife. Among other species, keep an eye out for sheep, wild boar, and the white donkey.
You must make sure that the rocky cliffs and breathtaking secret coves of the Gulf of Orosei are on your list if you want to return home with unforgettable memories of your trip to Italy!
Italian Specialties of Sicily
As for Sicily, it is one of the places that offers the best Italian dishes. Couscous with saffron and cinnamon is one Sicilian specialty, along with many fresh ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, shrimp, sardines, and, of course, its famous riccota.
You can also try the delicious pizza, an Italian specialty, cold cuts, pasta, and also Pizzolo, delicious stuffed pizza – another Italian specialty! No matter what you order in Sicily (and when travelling anywhere in Italy for that matter), don't bother counting calories, since you'll miss out on one of the best cuisines in the world.
Etna and Stromboli
People also travel to Sicily to admire its volcanoes: Etna in Catania and Stromboli on the Aeolian Islands, which continue to fascinate people with their occasional spectacles of lava and fumarole. Sicily is also a popular area for its many resorts, including the beaches of Cefalu, Scala dei Turchi, and Spiaggia dei Conigli, to name just three.
All Roads Lead to Rome
When you think of a trip to Italy, it is not possible to ignore Rome, the capital. This is where we can see some of the most beautiful vestiges of an ancient city, such as the Coliseum of Rome – a real must, the Pantheon – one of the country's best preserved monuments, as well as Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum.
Rome is also the perfect place to eat at a good Italian restaurant, on a terrace along a cobblestone street, go out to the bars, shop at trendy boutiques (Tridente, a wealthy shopping district carrying all the major designer brands, is the historic artistic quarter of the city), explore Roman ruins, and more!
The Amalfi Coast
Flanked by the province of Salerno, the Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most beautiful places to travel in Italy. Featuring a very rugged topography, it offers the traveller some of the best views in the country: coves, beaches, mountains, etc.
With its pretty villages with colourful hillside houses and the breathtaking cobalt blue of its unique coastline, it is amazing at every turn and will inspire you to book more trips to Italy!
The three most popular destinations on the coast are Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello, but many other towns and villages along the Amalfi Coast are also worth visiting, so feel free to explore to your heart's desire if you have the chance!
Tuscany and Florence
There are so many other must-see places in Italy that it is impossible to name them all. To take one example: the region of Tuscany and its capital of Florence grab your attention with their vineyards and endless olive groves, their hills, their authentic cuisine, their medieval festivals, and their stunningly-beautiful beaches.
The Port of Venice
The port of Venice, the most important port in the Mediterranean, cannot be overlooked when travelling in Italy, since it is a place of incredible beauty that every traveller should see at least once in their lifetime.