Explore Europe's charming 'boot' - our Italy travel guide is here to help. In modern Italy, not all roads lead to Rome: we can help you plan the perfect visit. As a country, Italy is a recent concept - created in the second half of the 19th century. Of course, there was the Roman Empire before that, though. Its majestic remains can be found throughout the country, from the Colosseum of Rome to the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento in Sicily, the ruins of Pompeii to Ostia Antica, and the Verona Arena to Herculaneum. But after the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy became a patchwork of powerful states that were often rivals and allies in short order. Veneto, Abruzzo, Campania, Umbria, Liguria, Piedmont.
.. each region has developed - and preserved - its own architecture, culture and food. Some regions, such as Sardinia, the Aosta Valley or Friuli-Venezia Giulia, have retained a special status with a high degree of autonomy. The elegance of Lombardy's largest city Milan (and its countless shops) is a lure for fashion lovers Tuscany, and Florence in particular, should be the first name on the list for any self-respecting traveller with a love of classical painting. If ocean views are your thing, you are spoiled for choice, from the intimate surrounds of the clinging Cinque Terre villages to the raw beauty of the Amalfi Coast and from the Aeolian Islands with their small whitewashed houses to Capo Vaticano in Calabria. Italy offers limitless possibilities.