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Monday-Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday 9am-5.30pm

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A Globetrotters Guide to Italy

Tue Mar 2014

One of the reasons that Italy continues to be such a popular holiday choice is because it’s a country that offers everything. There is so much to explore in Italy, from the rich culture and historical sites, to the rolling countryside and stunning natural landscapes. It’s also one of the best places to relax, indulge and enjoy a truly luxury holiday.

With the gorgeous Mediterranean weather, the fabulous cuisine, fine restaurants and the breath-taking scenery, Italy really does have it all, making it the perfect destination for a deluxe holiday.

If you’re considering taking a luxurious break to Italy, here are the crème de la crème of deluxe destinations.

AMALFI COAST

Amalfi Beach

For beautiful coastlines and gorgeous scenery, you can’t get much better than Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Located on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has simply breath-taking scenery, from the magnificent cliffs to the azure seas glittering in the sun, it’s a truly stunning backdrop for any luxury holiday.

If you simply want to unwind, soak up the sun and enjoy romantic strolls along the shore with your loved one, the Amalfi Coast is the perfect location. This glamorous coastal region is home to many tranquil beaches and secluded coves that are perfect for a peaceful afternoon relaxing on the shore.

When you fancy taking a break from sunbathing, you can explore the towns and surrounding areas and soak up the culture instead. The Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer is situated not far from the main street and is an excellent concert venue, with regular live music performances.

Between June and September, the nearby town of Ravello hosts the annual Ravello Festival to celebrate music and film. A range of events take place during the festival including music and dance performances and film screenings.

LAKE GARDA

View Malcesine Lake Garda Veneto Italy

As Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda is more of a coastal resort than a lakeside town. This part of the country is very popular with tourists, due to the near-perfect climate, gorgeous landscapes and abundance of activities for every type of holidaymaker.

Lake Garda is home to a number of resorts that are tailored to suit a range of holidaymakers. So whether you’re looking for somewhere with charming villages and café culture or dramatic scenery and old town squares then there are variety of places from which to choose.

Southern Lake Garda is set away from the crowds and home to huge olive vineyards, lush lemon groves and is nothing short of a luxury traveller’s paradise. Home to an array of grand hotels, Desenzano del Garda is considered ‘the gateway to the lake’ and is an excellent mix of charming and historical elements of old Italy in a contemporary, cosmopolitan setting.

The charming and peaceful village of Sirmione is home to various historical sites, including Roman ruins and a majestic castle. This popular town is home to a number of thermal springs, perfect for relaxing and admiring the beautiful scenery.

VENICE

Venice 221

Venice is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and for good reason, too. This totally unique city is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Venice is a truly fascinating city and home to an array of jaw-dropping Venetian architecture, from the palaces of the Grand Canal to the impressive marble churches.

The city attracts a fair share of visitors throughout the year, but this romantic destination is home to some of the most stylish hotels deluxe travel has to offer. The city is not only a cultural hub it’s a curiously fascinating city. There are a range of unique experiences on offer, such as touring the city’s mazes of canals on a gondola, to exploring the stunning art galleries, fantastic gourmet cuisine and designer shopping experiences.

While there is an abundance of cultural experiences to enjoy in Venice, it’s also a great place to enjoy some relaxing downtime, soak up the Venetian atmosphere and relax with an espresso (or a glass of Prosecco) in St Mark’s Square.

 

What the bloggers think:

Victoria, blogger @Pommie Travels

“I have travelled to Italy’s big three- Venice, Rome and Florence- and each of these cities offers something completely different.

Venice has to be my favourite city in Italy though because the whole place is built on water and it’s like no other destination in the world. I love watching gondolas floating down the Grand Canal and getting lost along the back street canals.

It may seem rather touristy, but a gondola ride is a magical experience; just make sure you haggle for the best price. Additionally, if you would like your gondolier to sing songs or play the accordion, this will add to the price. Don’t be afraid to ask a few different gondoliers for a price, and try flag one down away from the main tourist areas.

The two most famous landmarks in Venice are St. Mark’s Basilica and The Doges Palace, which was the home of the Doge, as well as Venice’s government, courts and prisons for seven hundred years. Take a tour to explore the fascinating secret passages, offices, torture chambers and prison cells of the Doge’s Palace, including the cell of famous lothario, Giacomo Casanova.”

Jaillan Yehia @ Savoir There

“When I talk to people who are new to travel, the one destination I always recommend is Italy - and it’s the one place that I return to time and time again. Italy is the easiest place in the world to be in love; whether it’s with the person you’re travelling with or with the country itself, Italy makes you giddy with excitement. The cuisine is a constant joy, the culture is infectious and disarming and there’s an atmosphere of ease and Mediterranean charm that quite simply only Italy has to offer. 

Whether it’s Rome or Milan for shopping, Venice for historical city breaks, the Italian Riviera for beaches and the glamour of a bygone era or the famous food of Tuscany (and the not so famous but equally enthralling food of Emilia Romagna) it’s hard to think of anything Italy doesn’t have. This is a country that really gets under your skin and while it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, to know Italy is to love it even more.

My advice for anyone new to Italy is to spend a few days exploring the unsung heroes of Italian cities such as Genoa and Turin. Somewhat underappreciated compared to internationally-renowned beauties like Florence, these are places with a working core and a tangible soul, so as well as seeing the tourist gloss, you’ll see the real beating heart of Italy, and I guarantee you’ll come back for more.”