Italy holidays are all about embodying ‘la dolce vita’ or ‘the sweet life’. It’s a philosophy Italians have been getting right for generations, as they continually find beauty in the simplest of things. Be it the few fresh ingredients needed to perfect a Margherita pizza or the winning combination of sun, sea and sand lining its coastline. You’ll be in good company on your Italian holiday too, as the birthplace of many great artists – Leonardo and Caravaggio to name just two – there are few parts of the world that can boast such rich culture (Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country on the planet),
romantic architecture and heart-stopping beauty than Italia. From Venice’s gondola-dotted waterways and Tuscany’s painterly landscapes to postcard-worthy Positano and the sought-after style of the Amalfi coast, a visit to Italy is to experience a sensory overload in the best way possible. This is a land that has inspired playwrights, novelists and poets, from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – brought to life in fair Verona’s pretty streets – to EM Forster’s ‘A Room with a View’, set against the romantic backdrops of Florence and Rome. The Italian beauty is almost as plentiful as the exquisite local cuisine on offer, using recipes handed down through the ages; we’re talking handmade cacio e pepe, wood-fired pizza and the creamiest gelato imaginable. All washed down with an Aperol Spritz or some Italian wine as you toast to a trip well spent.
Contact one of our Italy specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
From start to finish the trip was exceptional and Harriet and the staff at Original Travel had everything laid out perfectly in advance so traveling from city to city was seamless. In addition the services provided by your concierges in each area were outstanding. The app is great and we used it constantly to keep up with our daily schedule.
Between the tours and transfers between cities the app was an invaluable resource.
What can you find in Italy that you won’t find elsewhere?
If there’s anything we can learn from Italy, it’s how to embrace the ‘dolce vita’. Think coffee and biscotti in the morning sun (a serious tradition), outstanding feats of architecture and intense natural beauty from cypress-lined valleys in Chianti country to Capri’s azure sea. Admire the country’s extravagant architecture, be it Venice’s Saint Mark’s Basilica, Rome’s imperious Colosseum or the handsome baroque towns of Puglia. The city of Florence feels like one huge outdoor gallery with Renaissance architecture and a museum for every type of art lover, while Milan’s shopping area is just as beautiful as its haute couture. There’s a reason why Italians wax lyrical about their food - their culinary know-how is second to none. It’s all too easy to eat yourself silly with freshly grated truffle pasta, cuttlefish risotto and home-baked grissini at your fingertips. You’ll find hotel after hotel brimming with opulence and that charismatic Italian charm or an Italian Riveria home to quaint brightly coloured fishing villages and uber stylish resorts and so much more when you chose to holiday here.
Who is Italy best for?
Art fanatics can gaze upon the statue of David and study original Caravaggio’s in the likes of Florence, or peruse the iconic art of Rome’s Vatican City. If it’s an enviable Instagram page you’re after, then head to the Amalfi Coast, best for people watching, and frequented by the gliteratti. Sun worshippers should consider the beaches of Sardinia and Sicily that combine white sands with delicious cuisine and ancient archaeological sites. Food lovers can swoon over handmade spaghetti accompanied by a glass of chianti (or two). Whether you stay in a family-run farmhouse or glamorous villa, Italy holidays can cater for a wealth of palates, making it the perfect spot for families, fun-seeking groups, intrepid solo explorers and more. Either way you’ll be guaranteed smiling locals, with their bountiful warmth and generosity. They’ll insist you sit a little longer and eat a little more, as you share warmed loaves (dipped in balsamic and fresh olive oil, naturally) and stories of a country well loved.
What are the best ways to discover Italy?
It's no coincidence that we offer more regions in Italy than in any other country on the planet. There is just so much to see and do, from exploring the temples of southern Sicily to hurtling down a ski run in the drop dead gorgeous Dolomites on the northern border with Austria, and a few highlights (Rome, anyone?) in between. With so much to do, Italy is perfect for a tailor-made holiday, enjoyed in complete luxury. Travel the length and breadth in your own time, be it a long weekend away (the perfect time for visitors to explore one of Italy’s artistic cities) or if you have a week to spare then we recommend Venice, Florence and Rome, a winning combination. Add a couple of nights in Milan or a five-night stint on the Amalfi Coast unwinding on the sun-drenched stylish coastline. Even better, spend ten days on a road trip in a classic car travelling through Tuscany, Sicily or around the cinematic Italian lakes. Pizza lovers can make their pilgrimage to the mecca that is Naples, climb skywards towards the cliff-lined town of Sorrento or retreat to the tranquil haven of Lake Garda. However you holiday, you will be spoilt for choice with towns to explore, beach days spent basking in the Mediterranean warmth and view upon view of rolling hillsides and lakes.
When is the best time to visit Italy?
Arguably the best time to visit Italy is during the spring when keen travellers can enjoy the comfortable temperatures blessing March to May, with the promise of fewer crowds and a rebirth of the country's lush green vegetation. Making it the perfect time to flock to Lake Garda or Lake Como, in search of serenity and Italian escapism. Of course, the wildflowers in early April and climbing temperatures throughout the later months of spring, until the end of June, are equally captivating for those looking for a true Mediterranean experience. Winter brings with it a snow coated inland and skiers' paradise, with festively lit towns that come alive at night, confirming that no matter the season this is an area worth exploring.
Special things to do in Italy
Step aboard the Orient Express
Embark on one of the greatest train rides in the world. The Venice Simplon-Orient Express covers Verona, Venice, Paris and London depending on what route you choose. Enjoy old-world decadence as Pullman-style carriages gently pull you through picturesque European landscapes, serving up bellini-fuelled brunches and three-course champagne dinners complete with spotless silver service.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Take to the cypress trees and swathes of olive groves. Tuscany beckons with rural languor. Think grand Italian villas, hilltop fortresses and superlative sangiovese. Best explored on a road trip so you can pause at quaint wineries or take part in a spot of truffle hunting as you please.
Backed by mountains and engulfed in greenery (its named the greenest region in Europe), Abruzzo boasts a rare authenticity, which is undeniably captivating. Perfect for hiking, dips in the sea and unapologetically rustic but exquisite cuisine.
Hiking in Italy
Whether you want to hike the rolling Tuscan Hills bedding down in a rural villa, or challenge yourself along via ferrata routes in the towering Dolomites sleeping in remote rifugios (mountain lodges), we can arrange a trekking adventure entirely tailored to your needs.