Italy’s allure captures the heart of almost every traveler. From the ruins of Rome to the canals of Venice and the rolling hills of Florence, there’s a setting for every kind of adventure. Foodies delight at the specialties and authentic flavors of the country while culture vultures stand in awe at Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. Italy’s lake region and islands are a movie-star haven, drawing the biggest names in cinema since Hollywood’s golden age.
Rome gets most of the attention — and for good reason. The Colosseum and Pantheon are marvels from the ancient world and the famous Trevi Fountain draws visitors from around the globe. World-class shopping is the name of the game in Milan, where Valentino, Armani, and Versace are headquartered, and the jet-set lifestyle the brands bank on is alive and well around the shores of Lake Como, the island of Capri, and along the Amalfi Coast.
The food in Italy isn’t just legendary, it’s one of the reasons many come to visit. Entire itineraries are built around tasting the best Parmesan cheese, the richest red wines, and the freshest, most authentic pasta dishes. Each region of Italy has its specialty, such as Naples’s pizza, Florence’s pasta, and the gelato and café culture of Rome.
Art buffs flock to Venice to see its one-of-a-kind architecture and make pilgrimages to Florence to see Renaissance masterpieces up close. Touring any city by Vespa is a bucket-list staple — and finding true love on one is what dreams are made of.
For travelers coming into Rome, Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino is the main hub. For Milan, you'll generally come through Milan Linate or Milan Malpensa, which also services the lake district.
The best time to visit is from April to June or September and October when there are fewer tourists and milder temperatures. However, summer is the time to go if you're looking for a beach getaway or lake outings.
Book your Vatican Museum tickets online up to 60 days ahead for a quick and easy experience. If you're not into planning in advance, go early in the day or late to avoid crowds.
The national train company offers tickets online, where you can look up schedules and purchase tickets. Italy’s train system will get you between cities and once at your destination, there's excellent public transportation in most areas.
In Venice, the vaporetto is the boat equivalent of a public bus. Taking a ride is a must and will offer up amazing views of the canals.