Florentine cuisine derives from peasant dishes relying on homegrown ingredients and imagination. These dishes are prepared in traditional and innovative manners, and are on offer in the city's wealth of restaurants, trattorias, and enotecas (wine bars). Thanks to Tuscany's rich terrain and plentiful vineyards, Florence is home to some of Italy's most renowned wines.
Known as the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is widely regarded as Italy's artistic capital. Within the ancient medieval walls that enclose the historic center, the winding streets are dotted with as historic monuments and influential works of art. Walk the streets and you'll encounter awe-inspiring art - Michelangelo's David, Bartolomeo Ammanati's Fountain of Neptune - as well as great places to eat and drink.
For a traveler to Rome, the sights that first come to mind are the Vatican, the Colosseum, St. Peter’s, and Trevi Fountain. While these are all must-sees for the first-time visitor, you should leave at least a day for simply wandering around the historic center. Exploring the side streets, piazzas, and open-air markets is the best way to experience the authentic soul of the city.
Home to luxury international fashion labels, Florence is regarded as Italy's original fashion hub. This is the birthplace of handcrafted leather goods, and remains the go-to destination for exceptional shoes and handbags. But if you want to skip the designer boutiques, you can hit up the markets and outlet malls.
There's more to Rome than ancient monuments. The historic center is home to outdoor markets and shops selling hand-tooled leather goods. In residential Prati you'll find recognizable brands, while Italy's luxury labels are concentrated in the streets between Via del Corso and the Spanish Steps.
Discovering and tasting the region's many fine wines at Florence's numerous bars is a popular pastime. Listening to live music - be it in a thumping nightclub, a groovy jazz bar, or a classic opera house - is one of the best ways to mix with locals.
Florence is the kind of city that takes the guesswork out of kid-friendly entertainment. From intellectual and sensorial experiences like museum tours and cooking classes, to the fun outdoor options offered by lush and sprawling public parks, your kids won't know what they'll want to do first.
You can start your Roman night with an outdoor aperitivo, followed by light fare and Italian craft beer at a bar. After that, you could listen to an Italian tenor at the opera or head straight for the disco. Among the trendy areas for nightlife are Trastevere, the historic center, and Testaccio.
With activities and excursions that appeal to all ages, Rome offers plenty for families. Children will enjoy riding carousels in the parks, blowing bubbles in Piazza Navona, or taking the oath of brotherhood at gladiator school. A walk along the ancient Roman road, Via Appia Antica, is a memorable day out.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can see the best parts of it in just two nights. Here’s an itinerary which breaks down how to see the main sights of the spectacular ancient city, along with some hidden gems, in just 48 hours.
Naples is a dizzying assault on the senses. One of Italy’s largest cities, whose historic districts combine antique grandeur with modern urban grit, it's a rugged yet ravishing experience that'll please shoppers, foodies, and culture seekers alike. The city’s neighborhoods are compellingly diverse – you can stay anywhere from the statue-filled Historic Center to the refined elegance and natural beauty of the outlying suburbs.
Generations-old, family-run craft shops, antique hideaways packed with quirky treasures, and bustling markets selling fresh local produce are all the order of the day in Naples. The city is world-renowned for its expert tailors, so it’s the perfect place to splurge on a handmade shirt or a knockout suit. Then of course there’s the food, with irresistible delis and artisan grocery stores, selling some of the finest pasta, olive oil, and wine you’ll find anywhere.
Naples may be a loud and boisterous city, but it doesn’t feel the need to shout about its many treasures. It wears them with relaxed confidence, hiding magnificent frescoes and ornate sculptures behind rough and ready urban facades. Meanwhile, great squares teem with people, who pass by glorious architecture on their way to do some shopping, with barely a second glance. But take your time in Naples, and slowly its many glories will be revealed.
Foodies, this is it: the Holy Grail. In few other places will you see such passion poured into food, with so many grocers, butchers, bakeries, cafés, and restaurants stuffed into the tiniest of streets. Naples is the fire of Italy’s oven, and the birthplace of several classic dishes, benefitting from the glut of beautiful ingredients provided by Mother Nature in this sun-soaked, coastal region. In short, it is a city to sink your teeth into.
Accented by towering Doric temples, ancient amphitheaters and sweeping coastal views, it is hardly surprising that Sicily has become such a sought-after destination. An idyllic Italian break, the island is filled with accommodation options from clifftop villas to rustic farmhouses, boutique hotels to beachfront B&Bs. Set amongst fragrant citrus groves and old fishing villages, relaxation and culture are found in equal measures in this fascinating corner of Southern Italy.
Italy is renowned for its shopping and the sunny south is no exception. Perhaps not on a par with the exclusive shopping experiences offered in Florence and Rome, however, Sicily caters for its own market in abundance. With a good blend of shopping malls, boutiques, street markets and craft stalls, shopping in Sicily is undoubtedly a cultural experience. Here is somewhere you can soak up the relaxed southern Italian vibe as you peruse through a colorful selection of leather bags, brand name clothes and local crafts.
A nation famous for their food, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something in Sicily that doesn’t suit your tastes. Freshly grilled swordfish, hearty meat platters, rich parmigiana and crispy arancini: Sicily isn’t somewhere you go to lose weight. Experiencing a new wave of culinary creativity, dining choices are now extremely varied. Choose from a rustic trattoria to a swanky Michelin-starred restaurant, a relaxed bar to a cozy country restaurant: whatever you decide, though, you won’t be disappointed.
As the largest island bobbing in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily's sprawling coastline is filled with local landmarks. A treasure trove of smoldering volcanoes, archeological sites and Michelin-starred restaurants, there are plenty of areas to explore. Once ruled by the Ancient Greeks and part of the Magna Graecia, here you will uncover historical gems at every twist and turn. Soak up architectural splendors such as the Norman churches with their glittering gold mosaics in Palermo (Palatine Chapel), and the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalù.
A rich tapestry of history and culture interwoven with a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, Sicily has a lot of sway for the modern traveler. Reaching towards the North African coast, Sicily and its surrounding islands are packed full of attractions. Head to the city of Catania to marvel at beautifully constructed Baroque buildings, visit gritty Palermo to soak up the capital’s artistic vibe or simply laze on the lava beaches of the Aeolian Islands.
Roman ruins, baroque palaces and celebrated shops – historic Rome has three millennia of sights to explore. Step outside your Rome hotel with this guide to see the best of the city’s significant sights.
Rome is a feast for the senses, with traditional restaurants and modern bars. Book a Rome hotel and discover the city’s gastronomic delights with this tour of the top 10 food and drink things to do in Rome.
Book a Venice hotel and be swept away by romantic Venice. With its gondola rides, opera and lavish baroque buildings, Venice oozes romance from every piazza, bridge and canal.
A winter holiday in Venice means cosy days admiring Renaissance masterpieces, masked ball carnival celebrations or filling stockings with Italian food treats from the Christmas market. Book a winter hotel in Venice and avoid the summer rush and gallery queues.
A glass of chianti in a piazza, sunset over the River Arno and passionate paintings and frescoes – Florence wears its heart on its sleeve. See the city of romance in soft focus.
Experience history first hand on a Pompeii holiday and imagine how life was lived 2,000 years ago. Pompeii is Italy’s No 1 archaeological site, so book a Pompeii hotel and marvel at a city frozen in time.
The home of high fashion, fine foods and designer home interiors, shopping in Milan is part and parcel of a Milan city break. Shop till you drop and return to your Milan hotel with the latest fashions, food and homeware.
Easter church services, flowers and centuries-old traditions come together on spring holidays in Rome. To watch the Eternal City celebrate one of the most important dates on the calendar, book a spring hotel in Rome.
Street fairs, nativity scenes and festivities dot the calendar on winter holidays in Rome. Book a Rome winter hotel to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve in the Eternal City.
Whether you’re after a traditional mass in Rome or Easter celebrations in the Dubai desert, this guide to the top 10 Easter holiday destinations will help you book the right hotel for a spring break.
From old masters and Impressionists to contemporary installations, book a hotel in an art-lover’s city with this guide to the top 10 art gallery destinations in the world.
Whether you’re looking for a Venice hotel in the heart of St Mark’s or arty Dorsoduro, this guide to the sestrieri, or districts, will help you choose where to stay in Venice.
With 3,000 years of history, it can be hard to know where to start on a short break in Rome. Book a Rome hotel and see all the highlights with our attraction-packed itinerary.
Sipping coffee outside pavement cafés and people-watching from the piazzas are all part of a spring holiday in Milan. Book a Milan spring hotel to enjoy alfresco aperitifs and the advent of spring fashion in the city of style.
Holidays in Tuscany take you to walled medieval towns and Renaissance cities brimming with art. Book a Tuscany hotel to catch a local festival or follow tranquil back roads past vineyards and olive groves.
Whether you want history, tranquillity or the full shopping experience, this guide on where to stay in Rome will help you find the right Rome hotel to book.
Located at the toe of Italy's foot, the Mediterranean's largest island is a quintessential destination for art hunters, church aficionados, outdoorsy types, deep-sea divers and anyone looking to experience a bit of the old Italy. Stay in a Sicily hotel to experience the sandy shores, ancient villages and orange, lemon and olive groves of this mesmerising island.
Comfortable shoes and a map are all you need for a short break in Venice. Plan a few nights in a Venice hotel on the traffic-free island city with this itinerary.
The Leaning Tower is the iconic image of a Pisa city break. Of course you’ll want to climb its centuries old staircase, but you’ll soon discover there’s more to Pisa than just one building. Book a Pisa hotel and soak up the university town’s youthful energy.
A Rome city break immerses visitors in history and culture. Book a Rome hotel to explore a fabled past and vibrant present of ancient Rome’s ivy-clad ruins, glittering baroque palaces and modern art galleries.
A spring holiday in Florence means rejuvenating, mild days ambling through Renaissance gardens, fresh produce at farmers’ markets and high-octane Easter festivities. Book a spring hotel in Florence and see the city at its freshest.
A Florence city break will open your eyes to some of the world’s artistic wonders. Book a Florence hotel to come face-to-face with Michelangelo’s statue of David, or wander the Uffizi Gallery and its priceless trove of paintings.
It’s impossible to see every monument or painting on a short break in Florence. Get the best impression with a few nights in a Florence hotel by following this inspirational itinerary.
Wondering where to stay in Milan? From city centre Duomo views to the atmospheric Navigli canal quarter, find the right Milan hotel with this guide.
A short break in Milan is all about fashion, food and football. Book a Milan hotel and use this two-day itinerary to make the most of this bustling Italian city.
Whether you are looking for a Florence hotel near the Duomo cathedral or the Uffizi Gallery, this guide will help you choose where to stay in Florence.
Seaside promenades lead around the bay on a Naples city break, and Mount Vesuvius hovers magically on the horizon. Book a Naples hotel overlooking the sea and feel the energetic pulse of this city of baroque churches and Neapolitan cuisine.
Holidays in Italy take in ancient Roman ruins, baroque palaces and the canal cities of the Veneto. Book an Italy hotel in Tuscany’s Renaissance heartland or the capital city Rome and discover the beauty of Bella Italia.
Holidays in Capri take you sauntering along bougainvillea-clad laneways and exploring tranquil bays. Book a Capri hotel to watch the sun set over the Bay of Naples, and discover the island’s tranquillity when the day-trippers have sailed away.
An Amalfi Coast city break means relaxing by the beach and exploring whitewashed villages trickling down to the sea. Book an Amalfi Coast hotel to discover one of Italy’s most photogenic locations.
There’s not a car in sight on a Venice city break. It’s the canals that breathe life into this archipelago city on the Adriatic, Gondolas sweep under low wooden footbridges and past lively squares. Book a Venice hotel for a waters’ edge city awash in history.
Whether you’re looking for a business base or a romantic hideaway, somewhere for the family or a haven of pure self-indulgence, this guide to the top 10 hotels in Rome will help you choose a room in the Eternal City.
Cosmopolitan and classy, a Milan city break is about cafe-hopping, designer shopping and fine wining and dining. Book a Milan hotel to explore its historic centre, cutting-edge culture and dynamic vibe.
Forming a giant amphitheater around the bay of Naples, the city has an air of majesty which comes from being one of the oldest centers of civilization in the world. But time has also worn away at it, leaving its architecture a little frayed and faded, and streets which seem too small to hold the modern swell of citizens and tourists. Still, though it’s loud, crowded, and a little timeworn, that's all part of the rough and ready charm of Naples, which has a deep and joyous zest for life.
From opera and classical music concerts held in the city’s grand theaters, to trendy beach clubs with pounding electronica, nightlife in Naples is definitely eclectic. Dinner and coffee often goes on late into the evening anyway, at which point it’s easy to trip off to a wine bar or entertainment venue to keep la dolce vita going.
Any family looking for a cultural experience and a taste of adventure will be richly rewarded in Naples. If the crowds and chaos in the Centro Storico get too much, then Lungomare, the seafront promenade, is the ideal family recreation ground with parks and playgrounds. Nearby, Pompeii and Vesuvius are intriguing for any age.
From a distance, Naples can appear a little ragged around the edges - a hot, southern city with the hulking form of Mount Vesuvius in the background. But up close, it reveals grand, Renaissance palaces jostling for space alongside medieval castles, and extraordinary works of art hidden in the most ordinary of buildings.
Take a Vatican Museums holiday in Rome to marvel at the largest private art collection in the world, chosen by the clergy through the centuries. Book a hotel near the Vatican Museums in Rome and find some of the world’s great artistic treasures on your doorstep.