Italy Holidays Guide - Italy Cheap Flights
ItalyHolidays & Cheap Flights Guide. Browse travel information on Italy
Italy Holidays, Italy Holiday Packages Overview
Italy dips down out of Europe and into the Mediterranean like a women's leg firmly planted in a sleek stiletto, so it's hardly surprising that Italians are known for their impeccable style and fashionable dress sense. They're also known for once having an empire that stretched across the globe, and for having the most spectacular churches, frescos, sculptures and Renaissance paintings in all of Europe.
The Italy of today is littered with the relics of more than 3,000 years of history, and an atmosphere that ranges from the Armani-wearing-scooter-driving-espresso-drinking buzz of its cities to the quiet, pastoral existence of its hillside olive farms and seaside fishing villages.
From the depths of the canals in Venice, which floats on a series of islands in an Adriatic lagoon, and the bleached sands of San Remo on the Riviera, to the rocky crags of the Alps, Dolomites and Apennines, Italy has everything from beach holidays to luxury mountain ski resorts.
Italy's cities reveal awe-inspiring architecture from the curved arches of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence to the crumbling magnificence of the Colosseum in Rome. Home of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Carvaggio and Botticelli, its artworks are a visual delight to all visitors.
Nestled into the outskirts of Rome is the independent Vatican City, the seat of the Pope and home to the famous St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. The influence of the Holy Catholic Church on the people of Italy is still evident today in a series of holy festivals, carnivals, and parades involving young and old alike in almost every city, town and village.
Italy Regions, Provinces & Travel Destinations
The eternal city of Rome, constructed of ruins and in whose name the Caesars sought to claim the world, opens for the visitor as a living museum. The centuries peel back with each new vista in this great city of gladiators, lunatic drivers and well-rounded pasta posteriors. Vespas, nippy little Fiats and red sports cars speed past trendy sidewalk bistros and nightclubs, revealing the Rome of Fellini's La Dolce Vita. The chillingly stark facades of the Stadio Olimpico complex bring back Mussolini's attempts to reinvent the architecture of the Caesars.
Tuscany's rolling hills are garlanded with cypress trees, lush vines and olive groves that make way here and there for sleepy villages and medieval hill towns. The area rests languidly in the middle of the Italian peninsula, with parts stretching to the coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Snaking through the Tuscan landscape from Florence to Pisa and soaking its thirsty banks is the Arno River. Akin to the gentle flow of a river is the ebb of life in the region. People work in the fields in much the same way their ancestors did before them, producing some of Italy's finest wines and olive oils. From this same landscape emerges a profusion of art and architecture that has fashioned Italy onto the cultural map. Tuscany was the birthplace of the Renaissance, a period of unprecedented innovation in art, architecture and humanist scholarship. The grandeur of the High Renaissance was enjoyed during the Medici family's reign when they commissioned the art and architecture that lives on within the elegant precincts of Florence.
D H Lawrence passed through Sardinia in 1921 remarking on its geographic location as a place 'lost between Europe and Africa and belonging nowhere'. It is off the beaten track, but therein perhaps lies its appeal. The island's beaches are some of the cleanest and least crowded in Italy. The capital is Cagliari, a good base from which to explore other parts of the island. The National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari contains prehistoric tombs and other significant artefacts from the Punic and Roman periods. The resort of Costa Smeralda is a place of luxury and opulence, not suited to budget tourists, although interesting as a short stop. The Spanish tinted port of Alghero is the favoured package destination, especially among British holidaymakers. The inland town of Nuoro is a good station from which to explore the Gennargentu mountain range and enjoy the traditional village festivals. The Sardinian landscape is peppered with constructions from the ancient Nuragic civilisation. These stone structures are unique to Sardinia and are must-see sites. They are however not easily accessible as they lie in isolated spots throughout the island.
The Lake Country
The great northern lakes stretch like sparkling glass-topped vistas within a sequence of long, cavernous valleys descending from the Alps. Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda emit their unique sparkle onto the magnificent surrounding landscape and in turn attract diverse tourists to their banks. Younger travellers enjoy the sailboarding and nightlife experience of Lake Garda whilst sophisticates from Milan are drawn to the magnetism of Lake Como. Maggiore provides a tranquil, relaxed respite and can be enjoyed from the comforts of its surrounding luxury hotels.
Elegant Venetian buildings and palaces peer over the ancient maze of narrow streets and labyrinth of canals that contrive to make this a unique city. Tourists naturally flock to Venice to experience its inimitable charm. The downside of this can be felt in the narrow streets and cramped piazzas of its sought-after areas. A good way to get to know a more personal side of Venice is to saunter through its romantic back streets and residential quarters.
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