The country of genius, of art, and of arguably the greatest empire in recorded history, you haven't traveled until you've been to Italy. Stunning art is everywhere, from cafes and street corners to town squares and graffiti - all leading to museum fronts that afford you the opportunity to mix with masterpieces. On top of that, you'll eat possibly the best food of your life. Why are you still sitting there? Go!
Rome - What else can really be said about Rome that hasn't already been said? Its beauty is indescribable, its history deep and incredible, and somehow the city's strength remains even nearly 2,000 years after the fall of its greatest empire. A living museum, Rome has to be a top 5 target on any traveler's bucket list.
Florence - The true heart of Italy's Renaissance, Florence has always been a city of masterpieces and masters. Today it welcomes millions of visitors each year to enjoy museums, some of the best food in Europe, close access to Tuscany's Wine Country, and to see famous works of art such as the David.
Venice - Perched on Adriatic, Venice is another example how how stunning Italy is across the country. Totally beautiful, its far different from Rome or Florence, and does in fact have its own unique personality.
Milan - Fashion, food, art, architecture - it's all in Milan, one of the world's capitols of class and refinement.
Naples - The birthplace of the classic Italian pizza and city closest to the famous ruins of Pompeii, Naples is seemingly older than Italy herself.
Verona - Just a stunning city in Italy's northern Veneto region, Verona is amazingly historic and lovely. Make sure to include this city that is rich in culture and some of the most beautiful architecture outside of Rome.
Colosseum - The famous Roman Arena was once the site of the most brutal entertainment sport in the Roman Empire, as well as the site of numerous important cultural events over more than one-thousand years. Today, it remains a must-see structure in beautiful Rome.
Venice Canals - Venice is built on canals, and in fact cannot be accessed by cars. These canals make Venice what it is, and are as idyllic as anywhere in Europe.
Vatican - The seat of the Roman Catholic church, the Vatican is actually her own country nestled in the center of the city. It's an amazing site for history lovers and those curious about the foundations of the Catholic religion.
Sistine Chapel - The amazing ceiling, painted by Michelangelo over a period of more than three years from 1505 to 1508, is one of the most remarkable works of art in the world.
Pompeii - The site of the famous ruins that have laid entombed in ash since AD79, what remains of the city is powerfully reminiscent of the way people once lived along Italy's coast, and what they must and endured as their city was covered by rocks, soot, and volcanic ash.
Leaning Tower of Pisa - The famous tower, perhaps a bit built up as a tourist attraction, is still an interesting location located within driving distance of both Florence and Rome.
Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore - Il Duomo, as it's called in Italian, this stunning structure is the architectural heart of Florence, and will be the building that reaches out to stunningly meet you in the city's center.
Amalfi Coast - Italy's stunning and cliff-strews western coast, about halfway between Rome and the country's north-western border with France. An amazing stretch of natural landscape and amazing cliffside buildings.
Roman Forum - A scattered tapestry across southern Rome of ruins that were once important drivers in the daily life of all Romans, and a powerful reminder of what this amazing city must have looked like during the height of its Empire.
Italy is a historical and artistic cradle, and a place that begs for significant time to properly explore. Start in Rome, and make the line from Rome to Venice, staying in Florence and "Wine Country" along the way. Continue adding as you wind back south to the Amalfi Coast.
Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, here are our recommended priorities:
4 days: Rome
7 days, add: Florence
10 days: add: Venice
12 days, add: Cinque Terre
15 days, add: Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast
18 days, add: Milan, Lake Como, Varenna
Language: Italian, but English and Spanish speakers can get around easily.
Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR is currently 0.93 for 1 USD. Like most countries on EUR, debit and credit cards will be easy to use if you call your institution ahead of time.
Power Adapter: In Italy the power sockets are of type F and L. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Emergency Number: 112
Read more about Italy!
Villa Borghese (today’s Borghese Gallery Rome) was created to host a valuable collection of Cardinal Shipyon Borghese (Scipio Borghese), who was passionate about collecting works of art. He was distinguished with a truly subtle taste and unique intuition as a collector. The idea of creating a country villa, as a place of joy and pleasure – Casa di Delizia, arose when its collection became… Read More
Carbonara is probably my favorite Italian dish, and it’s certainly among one of Tracy’s. It’s creamy, rich, and surprisingly simple in terms of time spent in prep, the ingredients involved, and the cooking method. We were actually taught how to make this dish by a Milanese chef, so we can tell you first-hand how it’s suppose to be made, and more importantly, how to… Read More
Rome is a city that is just as stunning at night as it is during the day, and as natural lights fade, street lights give birth to a city that is somehow different at night. In fact, it somehow feels like there’s as much to do in Rome at night as there is during the day – much of the reason for which is… Read More
Italian Pasta Rustica is a classic Italian dish that’s heavy on two major ingredients that we love – parmesano reggiano and garlic! While you can use regular parmesan in this recipe, and many will, there’s a different quality involved when using parmesano reggiano. If you’re able to do so, using the reggiano will bring out a much more velvety texture and deeper flavor profile…. Read More
Whenever we travel abroad we make sure to sample the local fares and delicacies, especially traditional dishes. But how often do we get to see and understand how they’re actually made, especially by a local chef? Well, pretty much never! We’ve always wanted to know and experience more about the food we enjoy across the world, and finally there is a way to do… Read More
Europe is a continent that has everything. From the sun-soaked beaches of Greece to the snow-capped wonder of the Swiss Alps or the emerald expanse of Tuscan fields, Europe offers something, somewhere, to everyone. Check out a great Europe Day Trip, no matter where you’re staying, and make the most of wherever you’re visiting! When one travels to Europe, it can be difficult to… Read More
Tripmasters.com is a website we’ve used for a number of years to book trips to not only Europe, but also South America and Asia. A cost-saving engine that provides great deals, you may have even read our thorough review on Tripmasters earlier in the year. However, a recent trip to Italy and Greece with Tripmasters gave us an opportunity to evaluate this cost-savings booking… Read More
Finding the right hotel in Rome was a challenge. Why? Because Rome is big. There’s much to do. Many piazzas. Many iconic places and statues. Many historical buildings. As is the same with most who visit, we wanted to be in the heart of it all – but, where is that heart? For us, after much research and deliberation, we believe we found the best of… Read More
One of the great things about visiting Rome is its proximity to other desirable locations on your bucket list, such as Florence. In fact, if you have a spare day in Rome, a day trip from Rome to Florence can be easily and conveniently had. We’ll show you how to make it happen! Why You Should Visit Florence Florence, the historical, artistic, and commerce… Read More
On our recent trip to Italy, Tracy and I followed a constant we follow that has always served us well – local, boutique hotels. We found an absolute gem, and one of the best hotel deals in Venice. To us, there’s something about avoiding the commercialism of global chain hotels, something that adds to the ambiance and cultural imbibing of our visits. There’s something… Read More