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Italy

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Italy

Italy’s great food, beautiful countryside, fabulous wine and long history are just some of the reasons you’ll want to visit this amazing country. There is so much to see and do in Italy, so allow plenty of time.

Rome

No other city can compete with the grandeur and beauty of Rome. With marvellous ancient attractions like the Pantheon and Colosseum, a stroll through Rome’s cobblestone streets is like walking through a living museum. You can’t leave Rome without a visit to the Trevi Fountain and Vatican City and step back in time at the Roman Forum and see ancient temple ruins and basilicas.

What’s On

  • Rome Jazz Festival - 6 to 23 November
  • Christmas Mass, St Peter’s Basilica - 24 December
  • Carnevale di Roma - 3 February to 9 March
  • Rome Marathon - 7 April
  • Natale di Roma (Rome’s Birthday) - 21 April
  • Rome Film Festival - October (dates to be confirmed)

When in Rome

  • Explore the Colosseum’s warren of tunnels where gladiators once stood awaiting their fate.
  • Devour pasta and gelato at a lively piazza or sample fried artichokes in The Jewish Ghetto.
  • Visit the Vatican Museums and discover the detailed works of the Michelangelo painted Sistine Chapel.

Florence & Tuscany

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence’s many churches and museums house some of the greatest treasures in the world. Climb to the top of Florence’s most iconic landmark, the Duomo or cross the famous Ponte Vecchio. While in Pisa wander The Square of Miracles and explore the Leaning Tower. Rich in history and art, Siena’s heart, Piazza Del Campo is most famous for the Palio horse race that takes place every summer.

What’s On

  • Epiphany - 6 January
  • Carnevale, Florence - 5 March
  • Florentine New Year - 25 March
  • The Palio, Siena - 29 June to 2 July, 13 to 16 August

When in Florence & Tuscany

  • Take a walking tour through the city and admire the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, and visit the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Explore the cobbled streets and piazzas of Lucca, hidden behind the imposing Renaissance City Wall.
  • Learn how to make traditional Italian pizza and gelato with a cooking class in Tuscany.

Bologna

Located in northern Italy, the beautiful and fascinating city of Bologna is a well-kept secret. The city looks much the same as it did during the Renaissance with its red coloured buildings, medieval palaces and covered walkways. Explore the churches, museums and discover the history of Europe’s oldest university. Bologna is renowned for its cuisine; don’t leave without sampling the local wines and delicious regional dishes.

What’s On

  • Trekking Bologna - 31 October to 1 November
  • Peroni Race Weekend - September (dates to be confirmed)
  • When in Bologna
  • Explore Piazza Maggiore, one of the biggest and oldest squares in Italy, the social hub of Bologna since the 13th century.
  • Wander around the Quadrilatero area, a medieval market where you can buy Bolognese specialties such as tortellini and local wines like Lambrusco.
  • Discover unmistakable Italian style at the Ferrari, Ducati and Lamborghini Museums.

Venice

Famous for the enchanting canals that wind their way through the city, Venice is a fascinating place to visit with a setting like no other city. Admire the stunning architecture, dating back to the 13th century, as you float on a gondola along the Grand Canal which snakes through the city. Visit inspiring art galleries including the Galleria dell’Accademia and the city’s most famous church, St Mark’s Basilica.

What’s On

  • Venice Carnival - 16 February to 5 March
  • Festa del Redentore - 20 to 21 July
  • Venice International Film Festival - 28 August to 7 September
  • Regata Storica - 1 September

When in Venice

  • Take a romantic gondola ride on the Grand Canal to see the Rialto Bridge and St Marks’ Square from the water.
  • Relax with a glass of wine in the famous Piazza San Marco, considered one of the finest squares in the world.
  • Watch a traditional glass blowing demonstration at Murano Island, home of original Murano Glass.

Milan & The North

From ancient treasures to chic boutiques, Milan is a city like no other. Historic churches and galleries blend seamlessly with high end fashion design and an extensive culinary scene. The lakes of Northern Italy are surrounded by snow-capped mountains and rugged hillsides and provide the perfect setting to relax and enjoy the Italian sunshine. Romantics will fall in love with Verona, home of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet while the Cinque Terre is an Italian treasure waiting to be explored. There are no cars here – travel is by train, ferry or foot along spectacular trails.

What’s On

  • Milan Autumn/Winter Fashion Week - 21 to 27 February
  • Milan Formula 1 Grand Prix - 5 to 8 September
  • Milan Spring/Summer Fashion Week - 19 to 25 September

When in Milan & The North

  • Travel by train, ferry or walk the coastal cliffs of the five hillside villages that make up the breathtaking Cinque Terre.
  • Admire the shimmering jewel in Northern Italy’s lakes district, Lake Como, it’s the ideal place to swim and relax.
  • View Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous artwork, The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.