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!
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