Italy travel guides
Make the summer count at a beach party in Italy, Spain and France. Hotels.com has put together a guide to the best party locations in southern Europe this summer!View full guide
Italy travel guides
There’s only 1 curse on Venice, and that’s its beauty surely! The water and canals that make the city so special have also plagued it with flooding, erosion and humidity. Fortunately that’s very unlikely to ruin your short break in Venice just yet, but the city’s darker side might leave you feeling a bit shaken. Here are 5 places that should be on any Venice horror hit list.
In the world of wines, Chianti needs no introduction. Respected and adored by people all over the world, this wine has acquired a strong name for itself due to its radiant fragrance and finesse. But where and how is Chianti made?
Tickets to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa cost EUR 18. This is one of the major tourist attractions in Italy. You can book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues. Just read on and find all the information you need about the tower and other nearby sites.
Shopping is one of the top priorities of vacation goers. For those on vacation to Italy, shopping is very enjoyable because there are so many popular streets and destinations to choose from. The following is a list of top 10 famous shopping streets in Italy:
If your a fan of Sorrentino's La Grande Bellezza, the Oscar winning Italian movie, you may have noticed some of the stunning locations that were used during filming. Why not treat yourself to a stay at one of the terrific hotels near the locations of La Grande Bellezza and discover the wonderful sights in reality?
The throwing of coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome is a popular ritual that tourists from all over the globe just love to take part in. The practice of throwing coins in to the Trevi Fountain comes from a couple of legends that explains why so many people are so keen on coin throwing.
Here are 27 quotes that may make you consider Italy for a holiday.
William Shakespeare is regarded as one of the greatest English poets as well as playwrights of all time. Although known throughout the world, most of William Shakespeare's plays have been set in Italy for quite a number of reasons. These plays include; the Merchant of Venice in Venice and Taming of the Shrew in Padua.
Italy is a country famous for its art. The history of this beautiful place is steeped in grandiose architecture adorned by artistic embellishments second to none. Even back in the Ancient Roman times, Italy took architecture and artwork to an entirely new level. Some of the world's most famous artists are Italian, and some of the world's most famous museums remain in Italy, housing – you know where I'm going with this – some of the world's most famous artwork! Italy is much more than food and wine, although that's fantastic, too. Let's check out seven of Italy's incredible art museums; we'll stop for sustenance afterward!
Verona is one of the most beautiful and refined cities in Italy, and a top destination with visitors. A favourite attraction is the 'Casa di Giulietta' or 'Juliet's House' the home of one of Shakespeare's favourite, though decidedly unlucky, heroines. However, did you know?
The Versilia celebrity resort is full with wild surfers. Want to know more?
Do you fancy experiencing breathtaking views and exploring the quaintness of a series of villages? Then Cinque Terre will offer this and much more.
Looking for naturist beaches in Tuscany? Look no further. Tuscany has a host of incredible beaches and hotels that have become the major attraction to both local and international tourists. Here is a peek at three main nude beaches in Tuscany.
Located in the Como Province of Lombardy in northern Italy is Lake Como, one of the most popular destinations in the country for locals and tourists alike. Its popularity is based on a combination of the fresh air and water, the good climate, the surrounding mountains, and the water. The numerous towns surrounding the lake are also a major part of the appeal.
It’s a well-known fact that there is an abundance of attractions and sightseeing venues to take advantage of when you visit the city of Rome. Many forget that the spectacular Roman beaches just outside the city are only a train ride from the crowds and noise. However, if you are looking for a more unique experience in Rome, taking the train to the village of Santa Marinella will reward you with a day at the beach and some excellent seafood that you are unlikely to forget.
Venice is also an excellent shopping destination as well, but unlike other larger European cities, what Venetians consider shopping malls are more like street markets and other types of shopping venues. Here are some tips.
The south-eastern Italian region of Apulia is often called the ‘heel of Italy’, in reference to the country’s boot-like shape. The busy port of Bari is the area’s capital and Italy’s second largest southern city.
Almost everyone I know wants to visit the city of Venice in Italy for a number of good reasons. Some want to experience Italy’s well-preserved culture, others to tie the knot (yes, couples do go to the so-called “City of Romance” to get married), and some to simply have a wonderful time exploring the city’s laidback lifestyle. Aside from the wonderful things stated above, what made Venice more interesting and well-known around the world is the fact that it is surrounded on all sides by water. So what are you waiting for? Read on and I’m sure these fun facts are more than enough to make you want to go to the “Queen of Adriatic”, Venice!
The city of Rome is filled with world-famous historic sites. One could spend a week in this ancient city and still not see everything it has to offer. However, there are a few places in Rome that are considered “must-see” attractions due to their high-profile artistic, historical, and cultural values. They are some of the world’s ultimate sites to be seen and are on every world traveler’s checklist.
For the world traveler, city bus systems can be a financial lifesaver. While often less efficient than taxis, they are far more economical. When visiting Rome, Italy, the city bus system can be your best friend- or it could be a logistical nightmare. This guide can help.
The sun can be relentless in the summer months here in Rome. With everyone looking for a place to lay their beach towel it can become quite difficult to find the perfect spot. In my search for a strip of sand I wandered into the town of Sperlonga.
Having never been to Italy before, I wasn’t sure what to expect aside from the things my parents, who are from Sicily had told me. I had never left Canada before, was 2 weeks away from turning 26 and going to Florence on my own to work as an au pair. The things I learned and will pass on to other woman in my position were never mentioned in the guidebooks I read; hopefully they’ll be helpful to you.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe in search of fashion and glamour, then the city of Milan is a must-see experience you won’t want to miss.
Hey ladies! You’re in Florence you need something cute to wear and the clothes you packed along just aren’t cutting it. Working as an au pair on a fixed income, I shopped around but always ended up at the same 5 places when I wanted to buy something new without much cash to buy it with.
Ah, Italy! The most romantic destination of the world. If you happen to visit with your partner, you'd better plan a stay in a Florence romantic hotel as well, if you don't want her to hold it against you for the rest of your life.. And don't forget to bring your camera with you! This stunning city has too many things worth a picture. Here's a quick guide to help you choose the best spots to take pictures of Florence.
Taking a taxi in Rome, let alone any foreign country is never as easy as it seems. Throw in the language barrier and a conniving taxi driver into the mix, and you could very well start off on the wrong foot in the eternal city. Need not to fret, we’re going to arm you some tips that will hopefully help you fare better in fending yourselves!
Travel Agony Aunt received the following question from a traveler planning a family trip to Turin, Italy
Sorrento's proximity to the Amalfi Coast means it attracts visitors who are eager to sleep in luxury while being soothed with stunning views of the natural landscape. The good news is, this is not exclusive to big-budget travelers. No matter what type of accommodation you go for - bed-and-breakfast, residence, or family resort - you'll be met with the same gorgeous views and friendly service.
You may head to Sorrento with the intention of spending all your time admiring stunning vistas and scoffing pizza, but you'll soon find that many shops selling artisanal goods will lure your eyes away from the landscape and into their windows. You'll find colorful ceramics, intricate intarsia - or wood inlay - furniture, butter-soft leather goods, and beautiful handcrafted bottles of local limoncello.
There's little that can prepare you for the onslaught of natural beauty Sorrento has to offer. From volcanic sand beaches that spill into the Tyrrhenian Sea, to myriad hiking and biking trails that wind through the limestone Lattari Mountains, you'll be bowled over by nature. For even more breathtaking panoramas, you can take a day trip to the neighboring Amalfi Coast, then refuel with a gastronomic tour.
A southern Italian coastal town that overlooks the Gulf of Naples, Sorrento is a popular holiday destination that offers stretches of sandy beaches and the warm, clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its historic city center houses labyrinthine streets characterized by ancient ruins and stunning architecture, along with restaurants and bars serving up local delights.
You'd be hard-pressed to think of a Sorrento without blue skies and eye-popping vistas, but in the evening, you'll find an equally enchanting city that draws you in with its warm atmosphere and endless cocktails. You can enjoy a typical Italian aperitivo with locals, take in some live music, or dance the night away at a club.
Sorrento’s artistic heyday dates back to the 15th century, when artists and artisans drew inspiration for paintings, sculptures, and intarsia (wood inlay) decorative pieces from the area's stunning scenery. Today, you can explore museums filled with examples of these distinguishing forms of art, as well as take in traditional Neapolitan musical performances and operatic works.
Sorrento's position on the Bay of Naples and within the province of Campania puts it squarely in the heart of what many consider to be Italy's gastronomic center. As is the case with most of the country's cuisine, fresh, local ingredients reign in dishes that date back generations. You can expect fresh fish, vegetables, and pastas, as well as traditional Neapolitan pizza.
Nestled in the Gulf of Naples with Mount Vesuvius in the distance, Sorrento is a popular holiday destination. Its labyrinthine city center is laden with restaurants and bars, ancient ruins, and churches that offer an architectural trip through history - from ancient Rome to the Renaissance. You can swim at local beaches, jaunt to the Amalfi Coast, or soak up the culture with a glass of limoncello in hand.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Florence travel guide – centuries of art, Renaissance architecture and walks through romantic piazzas
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
An Italy travel guide – a grand tour of medieval hill towns, Renaissance culture and Mediterranean resorts
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.
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.
A Vatican Museums in Rome travel guide – the Rome of the popes, decorated by Michelangelo and Raphael
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.