Florence cathedral illuminated in the evening sunset, Italy
30 November, 20213 minute read

Which Italian city is for you?

Ah, beautiful Italy… There really is no other destination quite so stylish or captivating. A grandiose mix of cultural dominance that still impresses to this day, an interminable elegance reflected in ancient cities, architecture, as well as sweeping landscapes and coastlines.

In Italy, you’ll feast on the finest ingredients, drink exquisite wines, and see some of the world’s most priceless pieces of art. On our Italy tours, you’ll also get to see big name sights including the Colosseum, Pompeii and the Rialto Bridge in Venice.

On each of our Italy holidays we also offer special experiences as part of our itineraries. Sip wine on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, learn how to make pizza in a local trattoria, watch mamas making pasta on the back streets of Puglia, take a boat along the shimmering Italian lakes - so many wonderful moments to be savoured in what is an incredible European destination.

Whether you’re looking for holidays to Rome and Venice, the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and Sorrento, laidback Puglia or Sicily - or you want a grand tour of Italy to see them all, we really do have a huge range of escorted tours to Italy. We also understand there are just too many wonderful cities to choose from - so here's our mini guide to our favourite Italy holiday destinations and what you can see and do in each one.

Traditional Gondola rows through the Grand Canal past the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy

Venice

Venice is fairytale city that rises majestically from the lagoon. We’ll whizz into Venice on a local train, for a guided walk that takes us to the main sights, including the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. Afterwards, you’re free to explore independently. Perhaps take some time to take in the stately arcades that line Piazza San Marco (and indulge in a thick hot chocolate at the famous Café Florian); float along the Grand Canal on a gondola or get lost in the warren of backstreets and canals and discover the ‘local’ Venice. You’ll also be able to visit the Doge’s Palace and see its grand façades and ornamentation - all a reflection of the city’s 14th-century wealth and power, portrayed with elaborate, Venetian Gothic flair.

Florence

Romantic and utterly beguiling, Florence is home to extraordinary architecture and works of art. From its towering, frescoed buildings and Gothic churches staggering red-tiled Duomo, you’ll instantly fall in love with the city. We’ll arrive by train, and then discover the city’s highlights including the entrance to the Basilica di Santa Croce, the burial place of some of the most revered Italians. In the afternoon, why not visit the impressive Uffizi and see masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci, to name but a few? Or head to the Piazzale Michelangelo and a savour the incredible views across the rooftops and domes of Florence.

Ancient town of Matera in golden morning light at sunrise, Southern Italy

Matera

Featured recently in the new Bond film, No Time To Die, Matera is a city of caves and ancient neighbourhoods known as sassi. These series of grottos carved out of limestone sit precariously on the edge of a gorge. Once desolate, it has now welcomed visitors since it became a UNESCO heritage site, as well as the European Capital of Culture back in 2019. Monks first created this maze of living spaces and churches as they sought refuge from infidels at the end of the first millennium. Miraculously, they are still largely intact. We’ll explore these wonderful caves and be transported back in time.

Rome

Italy’s capital is a heady combination of cosmopolitan street life with ancient ruins and priceless treasures.

Known as the Eternal City, Rome’s ancient capital will take us back some 3,000 years with icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon dotted among the hustle and bustle of modern life. Our introduction to Rome includes a guided walk, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and entrance to the Colosseum. We’ll also get some free time to perch on the Spanish Steps and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain. We end our exploration with a visit to the world-renowned Vatican and Sistine Chapel.

Piazza IX Aprile and San Giuseppe Church, Taormina, Sicily

Taormina

One of Sicily’s prettiest summer destinations, Taormina perches the side of a mountain with exceptional views. Elegant and chic, we’ll have plenty of time to get to know this delightful town. We could go for lunch at a trattoria hidden in the backstreets. We’ll treat ourselves to zesty granitas alongside flaky brioche pastry. The buzzing Corso Umberto I is Taormina’s main street, running between the town’s two gates, Porta Messina and Porta Catania. It’s lined with designer boutiques and gift shops displaying handmade lace, colourful artworks and Sicilian delicacies. After you’ve had a wander, relax in Piazza IX Aprile, with its checkerboard floor, baroque church and Etna views; or in the pretty Villa Comunale gardens. For a flavour of Sicily’s Greek history (and more fantastic views), the Teatro Antico di Taormina is well worth a visit.

Sorrento

The gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is a maze of ancient cobblestone streets. We’ll head to the bustling Piazza Tasso, where we can watch craftspeople and lively street vendors. We’ll sip delicious limoncello and taste divine gelato. There are also several fascinating sites to see including the greenery-draped 14th-century monastery, Chiostro di San Francesco. The sea views towards Mount Vesuvius are particularly wonderful from Sorrento Park. From local pizza making to sunbathing on Sorrento's sea platforms, we’ll get the chance to truly relax and enjoy this magical town.

If you’d like to find out more about our escorted tours to Italy then please get in touch with one of our expert travel advisors. Or download our Worldwide brochure.

Image of blog author Ting Dalton
Ting

Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

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