The uninterrupted beauty of the Amalfi Coast makes it one of the best things to do in Italy, with its white cliffside houses, bursts of zesty lemons and glittering-blue waters to enjoy. There are hairpin roads that zigzag down to the coast, where a boat excursion allows you to look back at the gorgeous, UNESCO-listed area from the water. Within the area itself there are maze-like alleyways to navigate, narrow stairways to wander down and your next favourite bar or restaurant to discover, whether it’s for a glass of limoncello or simply the breathtaking views.
You can’t go to Rome and not check out the Trevi Fountain. It might be crowded, but it’s easy to see why: the large fountain is topped with an impressive sculpture of Oceanus and backs onto the Palazzo Poli, looking regal, historic and intimidating all in one go. Wondering why so many are keen to part with their coins and toss them into the fountain? It’s believed that one coin indicates you’ll return to Rome, while a second coin is to ensure romance and a third for marriage.
Matera is an Italian city like few others, with its iconic sassi (cave dwellings) clustered across the rocky gorge. These sassi have been occupied for thousands of years, although the living conditions eventually became so bad – livestock and family shared the same grottoes – that residents were eventually asked to leave. However, it offers a fascinating opportunity to explore restored recreations of traditional sassi life, and in 2019 it was selected as the European Capital of Culture.
What to do in Italy? Make the most of Venice, of course! Kick-start your visit by strolling around the wide-set Piazza San Marco, or St Mark’s Square, home to plenty of attractions as much as it is a starting base to venture further out. The highlight has to be the campanile, a 16th-century square tower, where a walk to the top offers great views across the square and waterways beyond.
If you’re looking for things to do in Italy, they don’t all have to be about the best museums, galleries and buildings. The large island of Sardinia, to the west of the mainland, offers fabulous beaches that are perfect for those looking to enjoy a slower pace. Slap-bang in the middle of the Mediterranean, the beaches are sublime meaning that you’re spoilt for choice: among some of the best include Cala Goloritze with its transparent water and secluded feel; La Pelosa Beach with its paddle-friendly shallow waters and even a 16th-century tower; and Cala Brandinchi, a more popular spot with its gorgeous white sand and thriving vegetation. The choice is yours!
In 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Centuries later, excavations re-discovered these two once-thriving Roman towns: from mosaic-tiled villas to fresco-lined bathhouses, as well as spartan brothels, wide-stone roads and hole-in-the-wall shops. In fact, thanks to the volcanic eruption, it allows us in the modern day to discover just what ordinary life was like in the Roman Empire, away from the emperors and their gluttonous wealth. Take a tour of these two historic sites for a glimpse into ordinary Pompeian life; it’s possible to visit both in a day or two. Browsing Italy holiday packages? Start off at the Amalfi Coast, where it’s possible to see Pompeii and Herculaneum on the same trip, before moving on to the rest of your itinerary.
Add a splash of glam to your trip to Italy with a visit to Lake Como, located in the northern Lombardy region of the country. It’s something like the Monaco of Italy, with its flashy cars, decadent buildings and ultra-swish clientele. There’s still plenty for the everyday visitor to enjoy, though, from historic palaces, well-clipped gardens and tasty cappuccino to enjoy while watching the colourful, beautiful scenes around you.