Delectable cuisine and legendary ruins
Italy has had a profound impact on the art, cuisine, and spiritual life of Europe since ancient times. Shaped like a boot on the southern end of Europe, Italy is the seat of papal power, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and—perhaps most importantly—the world’s most popular cuisine. Experience cultural touchstones like Michelangelo’s David in Florence and the Colosseum in Rome. Bike through vineyards in Tuscany and sail through winding canals in Venice during your trip to Italy.
A trip to Italy is all about finding your dolce vita. Whether that’s eating seafood on the Sicilian coast, exploring ancient ruins in Pompeii, or skiing in the Alps, Italy allows you to live your best life. With more UNESCO sites than any other country in the world, you’ll experience the heights of human ingenuity, but don’t miss out on the small pleasures—you never knew a tomato could taste so good.
Wind your way to the heart of Rome where the Colosseum has welcomed crowds since 80 AD. This iconic arena could accommodate up to 87,000 people in its heyday, making it the biggest amphitheater in the world to date. On your tour, you’ll see the hypogeum—an intricate series of alcoves beneath the floor where animals and set pieces were stored in preparation for theater and bloodsports.
The facade of the Parthenon may seem eerily familiar as it has inspired so many subsequent monuments. Enter through the Corinthian columns to stand beneath the 27-foot oculus. Inside you’ll see evidence of the temple’s history, as both a Pagan and Catholic house of worship, in the statues of Roman gods and biblical figures. When you exit it’s hard to believe you are in the buzzing center of contemporary Rome.
From its history as a Mediterranean crossroads, Sicily is a wonderful mix of influences and yet distinctly itself. As you tour the mountainous heel off Italy’s southern boot, expect to see ancient Greek temples, Norman Castles, and Baroque frescos mixed in with colorful fishing villages and remote hilltop towns. Remember, whether you’re dining on the catch-of-the-day or streetside arancini, leave room for dessert, the sweets here are legendary—cannoli anyone?
Art, food, and landscape—who could want more? Tuscany, the central region of Italy, has it all. Visit Michelangelo’s David in Florence, hunt truffles in the forests of San Miniato, and tour vineyards in Siena. Take your trip offshore to visit Napoleon’s house of exile on Elba Island before heading back to the mainland for some papa al pomodoro—a rich tomato stew that is the quintessential Tuscan comfort food.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa should have been a beautiful, but innocuous structure. One of four buildings in the Pisa cathedral complex, this seven-story campanile slid onto the world stage thanks to a 10-degree tilt. Climb the 297 steps to the top floor for a new perspective on the eponymous town, where a vibrant cafe and bar scene waits to be explored upon your descent.
This famous floating city in the Adriatic Sea is where the roads are waterways and life is beautiful. Set sail on a gondola ride or explore intimate back allies and the Grand Canal on foot. Pass Harry’s bar, where the Bellini was invented, and continue east to explore the royal gardens. Make time for a picture on the Bridge of Sighs and finish your day with a candlelight dinner of spaghetti alle vongole.
The best time to visit Italy is in either spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner. Summer is the busiest tourist season and hovers in the low 70s. North of Rome, winters tend to be grey and wet—but the south remains temperate. If you’re after a vineyard getaway, March through May will be the most scenic though January through February is less busy - and don’t worry, the wine is just as good. If you want to see some Italian celebrations, consider planning your visit to coincide with one of the many festivals, like Tuscany’s White Truffle Fair in November.
Fast & easy travel planning
Individually designed dream trips
Personal advice from Tourlane experts
Flights, itineraries, guides - all from a single source
Free and non-binding offers