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What to see in Italy

Italy Attractions


Littered with more than 3,000 years of history, Italy is a sightseer's paradise. Spend some time in Rome taking in famous sites like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, as well as the Pantheon. With artworks on display from the likes of Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Botticelli, it's a visual buffet for all visitors.

Head north to explore the canals of Venice by gondola or indulge in the wonderful shopping in the fashion capital of Milan. A little further south is the magical city of Florence, teeming with culture and Italian flair. Continue south past Rome to Naples and explore the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius, which can be seen standing sentinel over the city.

Italy takes a lifetime to explore properly because there is so much on offer for visitors. From the gondola-lined canals of Venice and the white sandy beaches of San Remo to the iconic Alps, Dolomites and Apennines, Italy has everything from beach holidays to luxury mountain ski resorts and a whole lot more in between.

The most popular time of year to visit Italy is during the summer months when most of the country can be enjoyed slowly like a fine Italian vintage. A trip to the rolling hills of Tuscany is in order to sample some fine wine and olive oil, as well as plenty of old Italian cuisine, while taking in the scenery of cypress trees, lush vines and olive groves. The more adventurous travellers can head to the Italian Alps and visit the resorts of Courmayer and Brevil Cervinia for some world-class skiing.


Amalfi

The town of Amalfi sits elegantly against a backdrop of steep cliffs and thickets of lemon trees. Terraced buildings climb down to the shoreline, their pastel hues enhancing the…

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Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill was the original capital of Ancient Rome. Once housing the Senate, it's the smallest but also the most famous of the Seven Hills. The main feature of the area is…

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Chianti Region

A circular route from Siena through the Chianti Region provides visitors to Tuscany with a wonderfully scenic and sensory travel experience. The route covers the villages of the…

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Cinque Terre

Strung along just over 11 miles (18km) of rugged cliffs between Levanto and La Spezia, the five fishing villages of the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre nestle precariously on the cliffs.…

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Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

One of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals, the Duomo presides over the Milanese Piazza bearing its name. Construction began in 1386 and continued sporadically until Napoleon…

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Gondola Rides

Surely one of Italy's most iconic images is that of gondolas being oared through the narrow canals of Venice by stripe-shirted, serenading gondoliers. These flat-bottomed boats…

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Mount Etna

Sicily's greatest natural attraction is Mount Etna, an active volcano which has been spewing lava and shaking the earth for centuries. The craters below the summit can be reached…

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Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the world's most inspiring architectural designs. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's is still the world's largest unreinforced…

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Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square)

Florence Cathedral is set in the heart of the city, its most distinctive feature being its enormous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The Campanile was built according to…

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Pompeii

In the year 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman city of Pompeii in volcanic lava and ash. The most evocative testimony to its victims is the 'frozen people', calcified…

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Portofino

Nestled in a sheltered inlet within the stretch of the Italian Mediterranean is the coastal resort village of Portofino, famous for its picturesque harbour. It has long been the…

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Positano

Positano retains the authentic character, endearing itself to artists and writers like Picasso, Escher and Steinbeck. Pastel-coloured houses and bougainvillea-draped hotels are…

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St Mark's Square

The city's first citadel and church were erected on the Piazza San Marco: the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco, respectively. The latter is a unique juxtaposition of…

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St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St Peter's tomb, containing notable sculptures including Michelangelo's Pieta. In the central aisle stands Arnolfo da Cambio's bronze…

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The Colosseum

Known to be one of the most impressive buildings of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was the largest structure of its era. Once holding crowds of 55,000 spectators entering via…

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The Grand Canal (Canalazzo)

The Grand Canal is a hub of activity in Venice, encircled by the elegant facades of the palazzi testifying to the city's past opulence. The best way to explore the architectural…

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The Uffizi (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

The Uffizi is one of the world's greatest art galleries, with a collection of Renaissance paintings that includes the works of Giotto, Masaccio, Paolo Ucello, Botticelli, Leonardo,…

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Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

The tiny Piazza di Trevi has been immortalised through this fountain built for Pope Clement XII. Arguably the most famous and most beautiful fountain in all of Rome, it's also…

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Ustica

An underwater city and a landscape of petrified black lava are the characteristics of the unusual little island of Ustica, just a short ferry ride from Palermo. The ancient volcanic…

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Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel

Scandal has somewhat tarnished the Vatican over the years, but this does not detract from the magnificence of the art collections housed within its buildings or the passion the…

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