Think holidays in Italy, and what springs to mind? Probably something completely different to the next person, that’s for sure. Whether it’s the craggy cliffs and sandy beaches of Italy’s beautiful coastline, the unforgettable sights in its soul-stirring cities or the chic lifestyle and outstanding beauty of its shimmering lakes, there’s always something new and different to discover. The great thing is, many holidays in Italy are available as package breaks through the likes of thomascook.com or as organised tours, so there’s always a fantastic experience or a sizzling deal to tickle your fancy. The last time I went to Italy was a trip down to Pompeii, where I got the chance to climb mount Vesuvius, a stratovolcano which scared the hell out of my sisters, but left me jumping for joy in excitement. This was an unbelievable trip, while it was also incredibly easy to get to the beach for a bit of surfing from where I was staying.
Anywho, where was I, let’s say you fancy a rural retreat that’s far from the madding crowd and offers the chance to experience the ‘real’ side of Italy. What could be better than renting a villa in rural Tuscany, perhaps an old stone cottage with a pool and a barbecue, hiring a car to explore the beautiful landscapes around you? By day, head off with a map and a picnic to discover rural Italy’s outstanding natural beauty, perhaps stopping to rub shoulders with the locals in a cheerful cafe, or to pick up picnic supplies in a town store. Then, head back to your villa in time to watch the sun sink slowly below the horizon as you cook up a barbeque and cast your mind back over yet another perfect day.
If you fancy something a little more city-centric, why not take a break in beautiful Florence, the lovely Pisa or the spectacular city of Rome? As a city that needs no introduction, Rome is a quite magnificent place that’s packed with incredible sights. Wander around the haunting Colosseum and feel the eerie silence envelope you, as you consider the thousands of slaves and gladiators that took part in bloody and brutal battles right inside these walls. Walk amongst the imposing pillared temples and crumbling remains of the Forum, and marvel at how the once all-powerful Roman Empire was brought to its knees. And of course, don’t miss the chance to melt some plastic in Rome’s designer boutiques and to dine on delicious waist-expanding cuisine.
There are so many wonderful holidays in Italy, it’s just a matter of finding your favourite. Which one will you choose? If you have stayed in Italy, do let me know in the comments below what your main tips on Italy would be. I would also recommend reading my article on animals you might find in Italy.