Top 9 Italian Cities
Mon Oct 2015
All roads lead to Rome…! Without a doubt, Rome is extremely worthy of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits proudly as the cosmopolitan capital city of Italy. For a long period of time, seeing the rise and fall of empires, it stood as one of the buzzing, multicultural capital cities of the world.
Rome is awash with culture and seeped in history. From ancient monuments from when the city was the throne of the Roman Empire, such as the world-famous Colosseum and Imperial Forum, to the breath taking murals at the Sistine Chapel; Rome is fascinating and leaves its guests craving more.
You can either plan your own trip to Rome and stay in any of our fabulous hotels (we recommend the beautiful Hotel Victoria, opposite the Villa Borghese gardens), or you can enjoy the city as part of our City Breaks holidays, or Palaces and Gardens of Rome Explorer Holiday. Both tours will give guests the opportunity to learn more about this ancient city with guided tours, and venture into the surrounding areas to tread the footsteps of Emperors and Caesars in what remains of their fabulous palaces.
The city of Florence is a real jewel that makes up the crown of Renaissance Italy. Home of Michelangelo’s Statue of David who sits in Piazza della Signoria, and the famous Uffizi art gallery, this ancient city is bursting at the seams with history and art.
Nestled in the hills of Tuscany, guests can be certain that they are going to be well fed during their stay! Tuscany is renowned for its superb cuisine and equally notable regional wines. You’ll also find famous ‘Florentine’ beef steaks- succulent cuts of meat from the Chiaina cows from this region of Italy.
Plan your trip to Florence as part of your Inghams Italy City Break. Stay at the Hotel Brunelleschi which is ideally located only 50m away from the Duomo and 100m away from Uffizi Gallery. Or, if you want to explore more of Tuscany during your stay, you can visit Florence as part of the ‘Treasures of Tuscany’ Explorer Holiday.
Still navigable by the gondolas drifting along the iconic waterways, Venice is an ancient port town and has been a hub of trade for many centuries, and is now a thriving and popular destination for visitors. Romanticized by the likes of William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice, and the Victorian painter William Turner, take your time to wander through the backstreets and grab at ‘spritz’ of white wine with soda- a popular drink in the city.
One of the most famous events in the city is the famous Venice Carnival (30 Jan- 9Feb 2016), the masquerade of baroque costumes and strange masks is immense fun to attend as a costumed cavalier or simply as an observer.
Visit the city of Venice with Inghams Italyas part of one of our all-year-round City Breaks. Stay with us at the Hotel Bonvecchaiti Palace, a contemporary yet elegant hotel that is located only a few minutes from St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. The hotel serves some delicious food from their La Terrazza restaurant.
Home of the Milan Fashion Week, Milan really is the trendy cultural hub of Italy that is filled with charm, charisma and that impeccable Italian style. The city houses some of the biggest fashion brands on the catwalk (Gucci, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana… just to name a few!), and is also an architectural hotspot with the Sforza Castle and the staggering gothic masterpiece that is the Duomo.
When not shopping for high-end designer fashion, you can also visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper fresco that is painted on the wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Tickets can be scarce so make sure that you book in advance where possible.
Stay with us on the picturesque shores of Lake Como in the Grand Hotel Imperiale Resort & Spa in Tremezzoon the shores of Lake Como, an hour away from Milan whether by car or by train. There is a pre-bookable excursion available with Inghams Italyfor guests that include a visit to the Sforza Castle, La Scala opera house and the Duomo.
Definitely one of the livelier cities that Italy has to offer and not the one to miss! Sitting in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the now dormant volcano whose violent eruption in 79AD was documented by the Roman philosopher and memoir-keeper Pliny the Elder, there is a huge amount of preserved architecture and archaeology in Naples to get stuck into.
Naples is also considered to be home of the pizza, so don’t forego an opportunity to sample one of the city’s best pizzas (or three…!). Pizza aside, Naples is also considered to be a fantastic place for coffee culture, so make sure you sample a cup of short and very strong signature Neapolitan coffee!
Stay with Inghams Italyin one of our City Breaks at the Hotel Partenope Relais. This designer boutique hotel, a restoration of a neo-classical building that sits on the sea front, and harks back to the golden age of cinema with black-and-white stills from famous films on the walls.
‘In fair Verona, where we lay our scene’… and thus opens the introduction to Shakespeare’s famous Romeo and Juliet, but besides reenacting Act 1 Scene 1 from the tale of the star-cross’d lovers, Verona can be an exciting and romantic getaway. This distinctly medieval city has its roots in Roman architecture, which can still be seen at the amazing Verona Opera House. Guests can pre-book their tickets with Inghams Italy to see a performance here.
It wouldn’t be a proper trip to Italy without one’s mind wondering to the subject of food and drink..! Uncharacteristically for a town that sits this far north in Italy, the region produces some fantastic olive oils and wines from the Valpolicella region and is an up-and-coming region for the hip and trendy wine makers.
Stay with Inghams Italyon one of our organized City Breaks at the prestigious Hotel Due Torri, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group. This luxurious hotel is located in a 14th Century palazzo in the heart of historical Verona.
Seated amongst the rolling hills in Umbria, ‘the green heart of Italy’ is the city of Perugia. The old city crowns the top of the hill while the sprawling suburbs lie around it, so parking on the outskirts of the city and hopping onboard the funicular railway to the top of the hill has never been easier. The city sports some stunning views across the hills and the terracotta roofs dotted amongst the vineyards and olive groves.
As a visitor, take time to visit the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, filled to the brim with fascinating works of art and the building alone is a masterpiece. The old medieval Rocca Paolina fortress makes up the foundations one of the main piazzas and you can still walk through these ancient underground streets and marvel at how urban architecture grows and evolves over the centuries.
Guests of Inghams Italy who stay at the Hotel Le Tre Vaselle in Torgiano (between Perugia and Assisi)can benefit from having their own private car hire organized for them, so getting around Umbria is blissfully easy. Visiting Perugia is as simple as hopping in the car and going!
Dip your toes into something luxurious with a visit to Genoa on the Ligurian Riviera, a stretch of coast in Northern Italy. It’s a holiday spot often frequented by the rich and famous, but is now accessible to all. Genoa is a great place for a bit of a designer and high-end shopping, and the old city is awash with Renaissance and Baroque architecture. In fact- the Strade Nuove (‘New Streets’) have found their way onto the ‘Palazze dei Rolli’- a register of dwellings and locations deemed fit for visiting royalty!
The delicious green sauce made from fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan that is Pesto is a regional specialty that has found its fame worldwide. There are other culinary delights to discover in the region that change as the seasons go by.
For a real bit of glitz and glamour, stay at the Hotel Spendido & Splendido Mare in Portofino. This picture-perfect port town with swanky yachts grouped around the bay is the number one getaway for those who enjoy a bit of extravagance. Richard Burton even proposed to Elizabeth Taylor in this famous hotel that is perched above the town with fantastic sea views.
An essential earth-toned colour that features in every artists palette and also a charming town nestled into the Tuscan hills, Siena is as pretty as a picture and well worth a visit if you are enjoying a getaway in Tuscany. The city has the most spectacular Duomo cathedral, clad in white and black marble inside and out, the tiled floors depict some famous biblical stories.
Siena is also famous for its Il Palio horse race- a highly competitive bi-annual race (and Renaissance pageantry) that takes place around the perimeter of the central piazza. The whole town slips into festival fever with each ward, or contrade, of the city rooting for their personal home teams and colours, it is a fantastic Italian tradition that the people of Siena are still very attached to all these years later. The jockey’s race bareback on their horses and the whole event attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the world.
The Hotel Athena is situated within the high walls of Siena and only 500m away from the famous Piazza del Campo. It boasts of fantastic views from the panoramic rooftop terrace that overlook the vineyards and olive tree groves and an a la carte restaurant serving some Tuscan specialties. There is also car hire included, so if you feel like visiting the nearby towns of San Gimignano or Montepulciano (slightly further afield), the choice is yours!