Italy is renowned for its natural and architectural beauty; its highlights include the rocky cliffs and medieval villages of Tuscany, and the Gothic churches and canals of historical Venice. From the northern snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites to the sun-kissed shores of the Amalfi Coast, there’s something for everyone on a luxury Italy holiday.
The country is famous for its history, culture and art. Florence, Rome and Siena are particularly popular tourist attractions, but wherever you go, you are sure to find artistic beauty. Italy boasts 95,000 monumental churches, 30,000 historical residences and 20,000 historical towns and cities.
Of course, there’s one other thing that Italy is particularly known for – its food. No trip to this beautiful country is complete without sampling some classic Italian cooking, topped off with a glass of finest vino.
The island gems are probably Italy's best-kept secret and each one, distinctly, is its own individual world. Of the 700 official Italian Islands only 30 or so are inhabited. The most well known of these are beautiful Sardinia, with its perfect beaches, dramatic rolling hills and friendly people, exotic and famously glamorous Capri, and gloriously diverse Sicily, with its remarkable history, natural beauty and style.
Whether you choose to stay in a vibrant city of culture and art, or a tranquil little coastal village, you are bound to be treated to sublime cuisine and sensational scenery.
Time Difference: GMT +1 hour
Flight duration: 2 hours 50 minutes direct to Naples, 2 hours 20 minutes to Olbia (Sardinia)
Capital: Rome (Italy) Cagliari (Sardinia) Palermo (Sicily)
Visa requirements: No visa required
British Airways flies from London Gatwick and London Heathrow to various Italian destinations. Other airlines and UK departure points are also available.
Couples, historical and cultural interest, local dishes, beautiful and dramatic scenery, family-friendly resorts.
The Italian Islands enjoy a very warm and sunny climate, with temperatures at their height between April and September and dipping no lower that 15°C in the winter months.
If you’re after wellness and therapy, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Italy has the largest number of thermal spa centres in the world, inspired by a tradition of body and soul treatments that dates back to the baths of ancient Rome. The wonderful region of Tuscany in particular is home to a number of world-famous thermal spas, such as Saturnia, Montecatini and San Gimignano.
If you prefer your holidays a little bit more active, then Italy has plenty to offer. With its long coastline and large rivers in the north, it is no surprise that watersports are hugely popular in Italy. Sailing, diving, rowing, canoeing, waterskiing and windsurfing are all on hand in the country’s many coastal and lake resorts.
In the winter, Italy’s Alps become some of the most popular ski resorts in Europe, for both locals and winter sports enthusiasts from abroad. Whatever the season, Italy is an excellent choice for a spa or sports holiday.
Italian cuisine is famous all over the world and offers visitors an incredible variety of flavours and regional recipes. You simply cannot leave Italy without enjoying a classic pasta or pizza dish with some legendary Italian cheese or cured meats.
Italy is synonymous with art and culture, and has been the birthplace of some of Europe’s most prominent artists and artistic movements. Several of the best examples of Western architecture can be found here, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Milan Cathedral and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Art exhibitions, events and festivals run throughout the year, from visual art at the Venice Biennale to theatre and opera at La Scala in Milan.
Another thing the Italians are passionate about is football. The country’s two biggest cities, Rome and Milan, are home to two of the most iconic stadiums in the world: the Stadio Olimpico and the San Siro, shared by four of the biggest football clubs in Europe. Going to the Rome or Milan derby is an experience you won’t forget.