From glistening Lake Garda and the snowy peaks of The Alps, to the scenic Amalfi Coast and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy’s stunning landscapes make for an ideal holiday destination. You could find yourself touring Tuscan vineyards, discovering the architectural riches of Rome, sunning yourself in Sicily or hitting the lively bars of Italy’s fashion capital, Milan.
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Comprising glorious crystal-like freshwater lakes such as Lago di Garda and Lago di Como, the Italian Lakes have long been a favoured holiday destination for Italian families and international celebrities. With the vibrant colours of painted medieval villages, the lushness of towering forested mountains, and emerald waters, they are hard to match in terms of pure aesthetic beauty. For luxury accommodation with breathtaking lake views, consider the Hotel Lago di Garda or the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Tremezzo.
The Italian Riviera
From the glitzy film stars' retreat of Portofino to the more rustic but equally spectacular villages of the Cinque Terre, the Italian Riviera, with its romantic turquoise-sea views, is another top choice for unforgettable holidays in Italy. Popular hotels include the family-friendly Hotel Villa Steno in Monterosso al Mare, the majestic, luxury Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino, and the value-for-money, quiet L'Arcobaleno Affittacamere in Riomaggiore.
No visit to Italy would be complete without exploring the awe-inspiring canals of Venice, which was built on approximately 115 islands, now linked by more than 400 bridges. One of the most sought-after luxury hotels is the enchanting Hotel a La Commedia, while the value-for-money Novotel Venezia Mestre is just a few miles from the Ponte della Libertà (Freedom Bridge) linking the mainland to the city.
Witness the Renaissance masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery, admire the exquisite architectural tapestry of the cathedral, and head to the Piazzale Michelangelo for an outstanding panoramic view of the city. Reputed accommodation establishments in Florence include the affordable, well-presented Hotel Touring Florence and the mesmerising Hotel Brunelleschi.
Don't forget to see the striking ruined temples of The Roman Forum, visit the astonishing ancient Colosseum, and explore other captivating sights such as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the adjacent Vatican with its enthralling Sistine Chapel. Affordable, highly regarded hotels in the city include the Hotel Petra and the All Ways Garden Hotel & Leisure; high-end hotels include the charismatic Barocco Hotel and prestigious The St Regis Rome.
Italy's vivacious deep south, Campania is the location of the astounding volcano-stricken city of Pompeii, the bustling ancient port of Naples, the charming, almost dream-like Amalfi Coast with its dramatic rocky coves, and the prodigious Palace of Caserta. You could book a stay at the luxury Grand Hotel La Favorita in Sorrento, the stunning Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano, or try the more budget-friendly Hotel Panorama in Maiori or the Aragona Palace Hotel on the wonderful island of Ischia.
Visit the incredibly well preserved ancient settlement of Ragusa, see the impressive Palazzo dei Normanni of Palermo, take a trip to extraordinary Mount Etna, or simply relax on Sicily's superb sandy beaches. For accommodation, consider the very affordable Hotel Ravesi in Malfa, or choose the magnificent, luxury Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea in Mazzaro.
National parks in Italy
There are 25 national parks in Italy, taking in the beautiful islands of the Arcipelago di La Maddelena, just off the Sardinian coast, to the infamous Mt Vesuvius. Our pick for a national park holiday in Italy would be the Dolomiti di Brenta park, found in the Dolomoites mountain range. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, excellent hiking and fantastic skiing opportunities.