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Roman Holiday – The Ultimate Travel Guide To Italy

 

Top Ten Vacation Destinations in Italy

Italy is a luxury vacation destination for the individual, couple, group or family that values history, architecture, the arts, music, theater, and cuisine. Aside from many Hollywood movies portraying the country in its magnificent splendor, it boasts of the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the entire world.

Italy is beautiful, versatile, full of passion, and inspires the soul and stirs the mind. Here are the top ten vacation destinations in Italy for those memorable vacation holidays.

1) First on the list is definitely Rome–the capital of Italy.
 
Rome is the most popular tourist location in Italy, with million of visitors each year. It has mind blowing art, incredible historical sites, fantastic food, and is an important musical center in the country. The main sights of the city include the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

The Colosseum is the historical site of the famous gladiator fights and is a great testament of Roman engineering. The Trevi Fountain is Rome’s most famous fountain and is a great focal point for people watching. It is said that whoever throws a coin into the fountain will eventually come back and visit Rome.
 

Rome, Italy

 
Whether you are a Woody Allen fan and have fawned over To Rome, with Love or dream of someday riding a Vespa with a Gregory Peck look alike as Audrey Hepburn did in Roman Holiday, Rome has, in some way pervaded our consciousness at least once in our lives. Rich in history, art and literature; rife with gorgeous places to eat and discover, Rome is definitely worth a thought when you are planning your next vacation.

 
 
Discovering the Best of Italy
 
 

Getting There

Rome is an international hub, so getting there should not be a problem. The easiest way would be to fly into Leonardo Da Vinci -Fiumicino Airport, also known simply known as Fiumicino Airport. Most major airlines have flights to Rome, and if you are travelling within Europe, you can avail of any of the train services, such as Eurostar.

Travelling In Rome

You will find plenty of ways to get around the city. Like most European cities, Rome is beautiful to walk around. In fact, you will probably see and discover more if you are on your own two feet (hopefully encased in Italian leather!).

However, many Roman streets are not exactly pedestrian-friendly. Being a tourist haunt, the roads are generally packed with people at any given time of the year, so much so that it gets difficult to walk. Traffic is heavy and sidewalks tend to cater only to people of Kate Moss’ size.

Some streets have no sidewalks at all, and that is when it gets a little difficult to breathe, with pedestrians moving in packs and jostling for space. Make sure you keep a tight hold on your purse and stay alert at all times.

Tip: A good time to visit the Italian capital would be in August, when most of the urban population go on vacation.

If you’d rather not walk, the city has a variety of public transport you can avail of. Taxis in Rome are…exactly what you’d expect Italian cabs and drivers to be like. Some will try to fleece, so be sure you always pay according to the meter and never by a pre-arranged fare.

You can’t step out onto the streets of Rome and hail a cab either – you either wait for one at the taxi ranks, or you call for one over the phone. Always make sure your taxi is either white or yellow, which is how you know they are licensed.

The bus service in Rome is fairly frequent and punctual, with buses running from 5.30 am to midnight. Some buses run through the night, though not on all routes. Alternatively, you could take the subway, or the Metropolitana, which, being away from the crowded roads is the swiftest way to get around the city. Look for a big red ‘M’ which marks the entrance to the Metropolitana station
 
 


Discovering Italy

 
 

Things To See And Do

If you’re a Dan Brown fan and have read Angels and Demons, you’ll want to follow the book trail and see some of the world’s most splendid pieces of art and sculpture, housed in Rome. The city is called a living museum, and has been home to many great artists.

Don’t miss the Colosseum, The city’s ancient amphitheater that was used for gladiator fights. There are usually massively long lines outside for tickets, so try and book yours online in advance.

Be sure to stop by at the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), the world’s largest Baroque fountain designed by Nicolas Salvi. They say there is a hidden gelato shop near the fountain that serves the world’s best gelato. And don’t forget to toss a coin into the fountain, to make sure you return to Rome at least once more.

The Campo de Fiori is one of Rome’s oldest marketplaces. During the day, this spot is a regular market, with stalls selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. By night however, it comes alive with restaurants and bars, and little tables and chairs spring up out of nowhere.
If you want to watch a piece of history being sustained against every kind of odds, the Pantheon in Rome is a perfect example. One of the best-maintained buildings from ancient Rome, since it was converted into a Christian nation; this is truly history come to life.
La BoccadellaVerita which means the ‘mouth of truth’ is another place worth a visit. It has become famous after being featured in nearly every movie shot in Italy.

 
 
Discover Italy
 
 

Shopping And Dining

Shopping in the Eternal City is an experience. One of the first words you need to learn is ‘saldi’ which means ‘sale’. Summer in Rome, when the Romans themselves are away, bring ‘saldi’ by the dozen – you will see massive signs in nearly every store window. Even designer like Roberto Cavalli and Christian Dior bring down their prices by a significant amount and if that is not enough, smaller boutiques in the Piazza de Spagna and across Rome sell beautifully-made clothes from lesser-known, but equally stylish designers.

Dining out in Rome ought to be a gourmand’s dream come true. You are in the land of pasta, pizza and antipasti; not to mention some very fine wine. However, do not just go into upscale eateries unless you really are on a big budget. Ask your hotel concierge or, if you can, a cab driver and find out about some little-known local eateries. Some of these will be bare and basic as far as décor goes, but their seafood will be the freshest, the pasta handmade and you’ll be treated to flavors like never before. Ask for the local wine and don’t forget to make a gelato stop.
 

Nightlife & Entertainment

Rome pulsates with life at night – it’s almost as though every night is a festival. Whether you’re up for a dance party at one of the city’s many bars, or you’d rather just stop at a café and have the house wine while you watch people go by, there’s something for everyone on a Roman night.

If you have brushed up your Italian, you could catch the theater or an opera. Rome plays host to some wonderful theater groups – classical as well as independent, and some dance performances as well.
A trip to Rome is a journey through the ancient and the modern.
 
 
2) The second top vacation location in Italy is Florence.
 
It is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Forbes named the city as the most beautiful city in the world. It serves as a great inspiration to artists and poets who’ve made their works of art by being inspired by the city. It is also believed to have the greatest concentration of art in the entire world. Famous sights of Florence include Michaelangelo’s Statue of David, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte–a religious site on a hill just outside of Florence with magnificent overlooking views of the city.
 
3) A great place for honeymooners and couples, Venice is one of the most alluring cities in the world.
 
The city is separated by canals and bridges and is one of the most important tourists destinations, not only in Italy but in the world, attested by its more than 50,000 visitors each day. Couples will find gondola rides on the canals as absolutely romantic, with its perfect line of Renaissance architecture. Famous sights include the Palazzo Ducale, a perfect example of Gothic masterpiece, and the Musica A Palazzo, with nightly Opera shows. Each year, Hollywood stars light the city during the Venice Film Festival.
 
4) For those who want a peaceful and relaxing vacation, Positano is the perfect Italian destination.
 
It is located in Campania, Italy, and is most famous for it being a sophisticated resort at the center of the Amalfi coast. During the 1950’s, famous author John Steinbeck wrote an article about the location, praising it for its beauty. Soon after, Positano attracted droves of tourists and many poets and songwriters have written their works of art in cafes that overlooked the sea waters. Famous sights include the Footpaths of the Gods, with breathtaking picturesque views of the village, and the Spiaggia del Fornillo-a fashionable beach resort area. Positano also has charming boutiques that cater to the tourist who love collecting local artistry and fashion.
 
5) Amalfi is a municipality in the province of Salerno, just southeast of Naples, whose trademark is its popular lemon stands along the coast.
 
British upper class in the twenties and thirties made Amalfi a popular holiday destination and it has remained such ever since. Its must see sights include the Museum of Handmade Paper and the Gothic architecture of St. Andrews Cathedral.
 
6) Siena is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a city in Tuscany, Italy.
 
It is one of the country’s most visited tourist locations but is most famous for the Palio. Palio is a horseback race that is held twice a year–in July and August. It is considered to be infamous and dangerous with bareback riders racing on cobblestones. Aside from the Palio, Siena is also famous for its art, museums, and cuisine. Its main sights, the Sienna Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo will make visitors feel like they were transported to the Middle Ages.
 
7) San Gimignano is a small town in the province of Siena that is famous for its well kept towers.
 
Perfect for vacationers who value history and architecture, it is also called The Town of the Towers. The town is also enclosed by a wall that makes visitors feel like they’re inside an enclosed city. The location boasts of fine examples of Roman and Gothic architecture and is also known for its famous white wine. The wine is derived from the Vernaccia grape which grows on the hillsides of San Gimignano.
 
8) Taormina is a popular vacation location on the east coast of Sicily.
 
It is perched on a cliff and overlooks the Ionian Sea. It boasts of many old churches, popular beaches, fine restaurants, and countless antique shops. Its main sights include the Corvaja Palace and the Ancient Theater that still holds performances and concerts today.
 
9) Riccione is said to have beaches that are a beautiful as the people who sunbathe on its shores.
 
A popular main summer destination in Italy, it attracts droves of young people due to its active and lively nightlife. The Riviera Romagnola boasts of many discos catering to this market. But Riccione is also ideal for families with children since this municipality in Northern Italy also has several theme parks. The Playa del Sol is a top destination for it being one of the best beach villages. Many aqua parks, beach resorts, and aquatic shows are available for the entire family.
 
10) And the last on the list is Selva di Val Gardena–a luxurious ski vacation destination in Italy.
 
It is located on the foot of two mountains–the Sella Group and the Langkofel and they loom over luxurious ski resorts, hotels and bed and breakfasts. The location is perfect for mountain and ski enthusiasts. Aside from these, the location also boasts of ruined castles, churches and bars. It’s the perfect destination for a luxurious and activity filled vacation.

There are many other worthwhile vacation destinations in Italy and you can choose from a wide variety of themes–from the Alps, to historical sites, to art museums, and beaches–the nation definitely has everything you need to have that luxurious and indulgent vacation.

 
 


 
Joint Post by Eva Krakowski and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
 
Joint us on twitter, Pinterest, follow our LinkedIn company page to learn more and get great tips on market strategy and solutions for your holiday properties.

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