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Italy Holidays

If you're looking for a holiday that's brimming with art, history, flavours and fashion, wave goodbye to the UK and say "ciao" to bella Italia.

Quick Tips

Rome
60 million
Roman Catholic
Italian
Euro
GMT +1

A treasure trove of attractions

Affectionately known as the boot of Europe, Italy is a culturally rich country that is home to the highest number of UNESCO-protected sites and attractions of anywhere in the world, with a grand total of 47.

Rome is the world's largest open-air museum and around every corner there's a relic of Roman rule, with architectural wonders towering over the hustle and bustle of modern civilisation. "When in Rome" flip a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, climb the Spanish Steps and imagine yourself cheering on gladiators at the coliseum – just make sure you allow yourself enough time to see everything.

Although technically its own country, Vatican City is synonymous with sightseeing in Rome. At just 0.44 square kilometres, it's the smallest country in the world but holds great religious significance for Roman Catholics. Not everyone who visits is hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope himself though. Vatican City is also home to magnificent architecture such as St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, decorated with iconic Renaissance artwork by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael.

Places to Visit

Amalfi Drive

Visit this stunning stretch of coast, south of Sorrento with its twisting, winding roads and picture perfect views. This part of the world has inspired many budding writers including DH Lawrence.

Venice

Take a boat ride across the lagoon to the stunning city of Venice,wander the streets and sail the waterways before stopping at a street cafe for a refreshing glass of Italian wine.

Rome

Discover the world's biggest open air museum, you'll be transported back to Roman times in a flash. St Peters Square, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and Spanish Steps are just for starters, that's before you bring yourself back to the modern day with the fashionable boutiques and trendy restaurants.

That's amore...

Classically beautiful Tuscany is another region adorned with fine art, sculptures and architecture. Whether you're strolling the Michelangelo Gardens in Florence, marvelling at Siena's Gothic Piazza del Campo or taking touristy snaps of yourselves holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, there's 'amore' in the air. You really can't help but fall in love with these enchanting cities, or each other, making Tuscany a popular destination for a romantic getaway.

In stark contrast, modern Milan is stylish and sophisticated. Hailed as the fashion capital of the world it's fabulously flashy, darling, especially during Fashion Week when paparazzi are everywhere. Strike a pose in front of the spectacular Duomo di Milano or strut your stuff in the Quadrilatero d'Oro, the home of designer boutiques. And when you've shopped 'til you dropped, sit back and relax at one of Milan's many cafés and watch fashionistas totter past in high designer heels.

If ancient palaces rather than catwalks are your thing, maybe Venice will take your fancy? Sip an espresso and watch the world go by in St Mark's Square, before being serenaded by a gondolier as you drift down Venetian canals – possibly the most romantic setting in the world – or do a spot of shopping at quaint boutiques and quirky market stalls. Save yourself the tacky souvenirs and instead buy Murano glass, olive oil, Limoncello and quality leather bags.

Escape the tourist throng on the Neapolitan Riviera

If you're looking to explore further afield than tourist-packed cities, take a trip down to Italy's stunning Neapolitan Riviera. Bordered by Mount Vesuvius, the Neapolitan Riviera is one of the most beautiful and historically rich regions in Italy. It's here that you can visit harrowing sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum where entire civilisations lost their lives to volcanic eruptions. If you're looking for sun, sea and sand, head to the beach at Sorrento where you can marvel at the stunning landscape, dominated by Mount Vesuvius, whilst soaking up the sizzling rays and eating some gelato.

The home of pizza, pasta and mozzarella cheese, Italy's world-famous cuisine needs no introduction. We've enjoyed it the world over, but somehow it tastes just that little bit better in its homeland. Naples has a reputation for the best pizza in Italy, so if you're somewhat of a connoisseur you know where to head. For the true Italian experience, fold your pizza slice in half and eat it like the locals do.

The Amalfi Coast is famous for its pastel houses tumbling down the rugged mountainside and into the sea. The most exhilarating way to see this region is by whizzing along the famous "Amalfi Drive" coast road on a Vespa, which winds south from Sorrento.

Two Italian islands, two completely different characters

Sardinia and Sicily are luxurious islands off the south of Italy with good beaches and warm weather to compliment. Sicily is the football to Italy's boot and is home to Roman ruins and vineyards, lemon trees and olive groves that tumble down to meet golden sands. Sicily's volcano, Mount Etna, is the tallest in Europe and makes for a stunning backdrop to a beach holiday.

You'd probably expect Sardinia to have a strong Italian influence – being an Italian island and all that – but you could not be more wrong. Once a passage through the Mediterranean the architecture and culture has a strong Spanish influence, so much so that even the road signs are written in Catalan. However, one thing that this little island does have in common with its mainland is its love of food and fine wine. Sounds good to us! Sardinia's beaches are fine stretches of sand lapped by clear turquoise waves, making it a great place to go snorkelling.

The world's largest ski area

If you're more a lakes and mountains kind of holidaymaker, Italy's glacial lakes on the border with Switzerland are home to rustic mountain scenery, pretty little towns and a charming atmosphere. Whether you enjoy sunbathing, sightseeing, walking, swimming or sailing, or even just sipping a cocktail on the promenade, you're sure to have a fabulous time.

Not just a summer destination, Italy is home to the almighty Dolomites which are open for skiing between December and April. Skiing in Italy is famous for its blue skies and culture, tasty mountain food and lively atmosphere. The largest interconnected ski area in the world here has over 1220km of pisted runs accessible on just one lift pass. Now we'd be impressed if you managed to ski all of that in a week.

Location of Italy & Islands

Average monthly temperature (°C) for Italy & Islands
35°C0°C
Jan
JanuaryTemp: 13°C
Feb
FebruaryTemp: 14°C
Mar
MarchTemp: 16°C
Apr
AprilTemp: 19°C
May
MayTemp: 24°C
Jun
JuneTemp: 28°C
Jul
JulyTemp: 30°C
Aug
AugustTemp: 31°C
Sep
SeptemberTemp: 27°C
Oct
OctoberTemp: 23°C
Nov
NovemberTemp: 18°C
Dec
DecemberTemp: 14°C