This article about Italy: The Ultimate One-Stop Resource for Travellers was last updated on September 07 2023.
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”
Italy has an inexplainable charm that even Verdi was willing to give up everything for this amazing country. One of the world’s best loved destinations, Italy captivates the heart and soul of every traveller in more ways than one.
In this article about Italy the ultimate resource for travellers, we aim to bring you a platform where travel experiences are crafted with passion along with details to enable you to discover the most beautiful facets of destinations in Italy.
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ITALY PLAYS THE MUSIC THAT FILLS YOUR SOUL
Italy, a fascinating land brimming with history, Roman ruins, best kept secrets, attractions, colours, food, passeggiata and so much more! Above all it’s rolling hills, ancients villas and the captivating sweet aroma of the grapes will fill your heart with music, taking you beyond the ordinary life with a little la dolce vita
PEOPLE AND CULTURE OF ITALY
Italy’s romance doesn’t just end there! The heart and soul of Italy are its people, one and all, welcoming you, greeting you with an unspoken sophistication of a nod and smile. Their hospitality goes further, much further when experiencing one of Italy’s dining pleasures where comfort is assured. Italian dining culture is popular around the world and it is so much more than just checked tablecloths, candles and wine.
FOOD AND THE SECRET OF SIMPLICITY IN ITALIAN INGREDIENTS
Italians are known to be lively, and passionate. They are passionate about life’s pleasures, food being the main amongst them. They are also people of tradition and habit. When it comes to food, they are happiest when things are done right.
Italian cuisines go beyond the simplicity of pizza and spaghetti, but simplicity is the underlying “ingredient” of Italian gastronomical delight. Preserving the simple authentic ingredients in Italian cooking through tradition and habit is an art deeply rooted in Italian culture. Recipes are passed down from one generation to the next, preserving these “secret” ingredients.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF ITALY
Italy is a peninsula that extends southward from the European continent into the Mediterranean Sea. Italy consists of two large islands, Sicily and Sardinia and many small islands as well. Nicknamed as “Bel Paese” which means beautiful country, Italy has some of the best, varied and beautiful landscapes on earth.
With its unique boot-like shape, the Alps stand at the broad top, which are among the world’s most rugged mountains. At its highest points are Monte Rosa which peaks in Switzerland and along Mont Blanc which peaks in France. The west of the Alps overlook a landscape of Alpine lakes and glacier-carved valleys that stretches to the Po River and the Piedmont.
From the central Alps running down the length of Italy is the Apennine Range. The Apennine Range widens near Rome to cover almost the entire width of the Italian peninsula. South of Rome, the Apennines narrow giving way to two wide coastal plains. One of the plains face the Tyrrhenian Sea and the other the Adriatic Sea.
The southern Apennines is home to wilderness and rare species such as wild boars, wolves and bears – unusual in western Europe. There are several active volcanoes here as well. From time to time, Mt Vesuvius throws up ash and steam into the air over Naples. At the bottom of Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea lie the beautiful islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY
Italy offers something for everyone throughout the year. All seasons have something special with celebrations, events and sports activities. Generally, the best time to visit Italy is spring (April through to May) and autumn (September to October). This is when Italy has the most favourable woceather and everything is still open everywhere.
The summer months are really hot and crowded especially in the major cities. If you are visiting during June, July or August, try and avoid the larger cities and visit the smaller towns in the mountains or by the coast.
My own favourite time to visit Italy is in the autumn-winter season, between late October and early November. The weather is perfect with lots of sunshine and very little rain. Everything is still open and the crowd is much less. I get to experience the truly authentic side of this beautiful country. Here you can find inspiration and information about what it was really like visiting Italy in November.
For a detailed guide to weather, festivals and best time to visit Italy, this guide about the best time to visit Italy has all the information for you.
SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS, TOURS & DAY TRIPS
Italy is an incredible country and is a popular tourist destination. Many tourist attractions sell-out fast especially in the high season. If you absolutely want to experience an attraction or an event, it is essential to book skip-the-line tickets, tours and excursions in advance.
For my own trips, I pretty much book all of my activities, tours, and day trips with Get Your Guide or Viator. This is my family’s and my favourite one-stop shop for all of our tickets and tours. We use them because they offer wide ranging activities at a destination, their customer service is always helpful, and they have one of the most flexible cancellation policies that I have known.
You can book directly with a local company. This means that you may not always be able to cancel for free, let alone receive a refund in case something goes wrong at the last minute. For this reason, using a well-established intermediary in the travel industry is helpful and Get Your Guide and Viator are the best ones I know.
Here are some specific “Things to do” guides in Italy which you may like to peruse for inspiration:
- Sirmione Old Town: 14 Charms in the Quirky Castle Town which You Must See;
- Guide to Top Things to do in Varenna;
- Amazing 18 Things to do in Bellagio;
- 31 Best Things to do in Verona;
- 19 Bucket List Things to do in Milan;
- Top Things to do in Peschiera del Garda, Italy.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN ITALY
If you are visiting Italy in the high season for example during Easter and June through to August, it is best to book your accommodation well in advance. Best priced and high quality accommodations are always gone first.
Below, you can find our guides about places to stay in Italy:
- Where to Stay in Lake Como: Top Town and Hotels
- 5 Best Areas to Stay in Milan.
- Top 7 Places to Stay in Verona.
For almost all of my trips, I book my accommodations through Booking.com and the only other alternative has been with British Airways because of Rewards I have accumulated. Booking offers a wide selection of hotels, B&B’s and privately owned accommodations. They also have the most transparent booking system along with excellent flexibility terms for payments and cancellations.
INCREDIBLE UNMISSABLE DESTINATIONS IN ITALY
Visiting Italy is your chance to really get to know the Italian natural landscape, its centuries of history, food, and through it, Italian people and their culture. Join me, as I explore this rich and famous land, one city at a time. I share valuable resources in travel and detailed city guides with tips and choices so you can design your holiday your way, embedding flexibility for your well-being.
The city guides encompasses individual articles for the best of the beaten track and hidden gems which you wouldn’t want to miss.
THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR TRAVELLERS TO ITALY
LAKE COMO GUIDE
Nestled amidst the breathtaking Italian Alps, Lake Como is a picturesque paradise that beckons travellers from around the world. This glacial lake, with its crystal-clear waters and charming shoreline villages, is a true gem of Northern Italy.
The enchanting town of Bellagio, often referred to as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” captivates with its narrow cobblestone streets, vibrant gardens, and stunning lake views. Nearby Varenna offers a more tranquil escape, boasting colourful lakeside houses and a romantic atmosphere perfect for couples.
Como City, the lake’s namesake, is a bustling hub where modernity meets tradition. Explore its historic center, visit the impressive Como Cathedral, and indulge in delicious Italian cuisine at local trattorias.
For those seeking a quieter escape, the offbeat Argegno offers a glimpse into authentic Italian village life with its charming squares and winding alleys.
To truly experience the magic of Lake Como, embark on a private boat ride. It’s the best way to uncover hidden coves, historic villas, and the unparalleled beauty that defines this remarkable destination.
Lake Como is renowned for its luxurious historic villas, and two of the most famous ones are:
Villa del Balbianello: Perched on the western shore of Lake Como, this stunning villa is known for its terraced gardens, panoramic views, and its appearance in several movies, including the James Bond film “Casino Royale.” Its romantic setting has made it a popular venue for weddings and events.
Villa Carlotta: Located in the village of Tremezzo, Villa Carlotta is famous for its magnificent gardens filled with fascinating plants and blooming azaleas and rhododendrons. The villa also houses a remarkable art collection, making it a cultural and botanical gem on Lake Como’s shores.
Lake Como is a dream come true for nature lovers, romantics, and adventurers alike. Explore this beautiful region of Italy with the following in-depth guides, packed with lots of information, experienced tips and answers to the “how-to” kind of questions fro seamless trips.
MILAN CITY GUIDE
Welcome to Milan, the vibrant heart of Northern Italy! All the articles in this Milan city guide section will take you on a whirlwind tour of this fashion-forward metropolis, where history, art, and modernity blend seamlessly.
Start your journey at the iconic Milan Cathedral, a marvel of Gothic architecture that dominates the city’s skyline. Nearby, discover Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper,” housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Booking tickets in advance is a must for this timeless treasure.
Explore the Sforza Castle, a historic fortress-turned-museum, and stroll through Parco Sempione, its lush neighbouring park. Don’t miss the Teatro alla Scala, one of the world’s most famous opera houses. For offbeat experiences, venture into the city’s hidden gems like the eerie San Bernardino alle Ossa ossuary or the high-fashion haven, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
And of course, immerse yourself in Milan’s culinary scene with a food tour or explore its contemporary art museums. To soak up the essence of Milan, consider a guided walking tour.
Discover the Italian charm of this city, known for its impeccable style and culture. Milan is your gateway to the best of Northern Italy. Peruse each of our in-depth guides to curate your seamless journey.
VERONA CITY GUIDE
Verona, where romance, history, and culture converge in a city that’s not just famous for its star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Our Verona city guide is packed full of information and pro tips which will lead you through the enchanting streets of this Italian gem.
Begin your journey in the vibrant Piazza delle Erbe, where centuries of history unfold amidst bustling markets and charming cafes. Admire the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheater that still hosts spectacular events today. Explore the Mazzanti House and climb the Torre dei Lamberti for panoramic city views. And yes, don’t forget Juliet’s balcony – a must-see for romantics. Verona’s ideal location, nestled close to Lake Garda, makes it a perfect base for day trips to this stunning Italian lake.
To truly immerse yourself in Verona’s magic, consider a guided walking tour or a food tour. Wander the cobblestone streets, savouring Italian flavours and uncovering hidden gems. Verona is a captivating destination, where every corner tells a story, and every moment is an opportunity to fall in love with Italy. We hope the following in-depth guides will help you to do just that.
GUIDE TO LAKE GARDA
The enchanting shores of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake and a true gem in the heart of Northern Italy. Nestled amidst picturesque alpine views, this stunning destination offers an array of delights.
Begin your exploration in the charming town of Peschiera del Garda, where historic architecture meets the tranquility of lakeside living. Don’t miss the iconic Sirmione, known for its medieval Scaligero Castle and the enchanting Grotte di Catullo ruins.
As you venture north along the lake, discover the scenic towns of Limone sul Garda, Riva del Garda, and Malcesine, each offering its own unique charm. Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Vittoriale degli Italiani, and the awe-inspiring Madonna della Corona sanctuary.
To truly embrace Lake Garda’s beauty, embark on a boat tour. It’s the perfect way to soak in the captivating lake views and explore hidden coves.
Whether you’re seeking historical wonders, natural beauty, or simply a serene escape, Lake Garda beckons with its Italian allure. Read out guides before you go for the best towns to visit and tips for best experiences.
FOR MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATIONS
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