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Italy – A country steeped in a history and culture dating back hundreds of years, and the birthplace of some of today’s most-loved art and literature. Beyond that – a world of culinary delights that has been passed down through families. For instance, we’re talking creamy carbonara, crispy bruschetta, and cacio de pepe… the list goes on. So whether you’re seeking the romance of Venice or the history of Rome, here’s 7 must-see places you simply can’t miss when planning your holiday in 2022 or 2023.

Tuscany – Italy’s Love Affair With Food

Picture this – a beautiful day driving through the lush landscapes of the Tuscan countryside, the air thick with the scent of Italian cypress trees. The destination? A family-run winery and olive oil farm. Here you’ll be greeted with the warmth of Italian hospitality – a glass of local wine at the ready. Unwind for a few hours, all whilst sampling local food to the backdrop of traditional Italian music.

Looking for a home away from home? You’ll be welcomed with open arms by the Lenzi family, who have been breaking bread and swirling wine with travellers for years in their family owned vineyard. Here it’s the simplest things that bring the most joy. A home-cooked lunch, homemade olive oil, and the chance to exchange a few stories whilst overlooking the rolling Chianti Hills. All in a day’s holiday.

Shakespeare’s Fair Verona

Whether you’re an admirer of Shakespeare’s works or just a romantic at heart – Verona is a must-see destination. At Juliet’s balcony, travellers gaze upon the very scenes that inspired one of the world’s most lauded playwrights. And whilst the Gothic architecture itself is impressive, it’s also worth walking a few paces to read about the stories of our own time too, etched on walls by the hundreds of lovers who pass by.

Lake Como – Peak District

Only an hour away from Milan exists one of the country’s most gorgeous spots in the Peak District – Lake Como. Driving to the lake, you’ll find yourself greeted by glistening blue waters and elegant villas at the waterside. The ultimate picture of serenity, take ample time to explore the enchanting scenery around one of Italy’s most famous lakes. Looking for that perfect panoramic shot? We’d always recommend taking a trip on the funicular so that you can fully appreciate the breath-taking views on offer.

Rome – The Colosseum

Rome is a city best seen on foot. A labyrinth of small cobbled streets and squares, you’ll find a piece of history hiding behind each corner. However, there’s one particular Italian site you can’t miss on your bucket list.

At nearly 50 metres high, the Colosseum is a magnificent sight to behold. Whilst walking the same steps as visitors to the games centuries ago, it’s easy to imagine the excitement of the crowds and the roar of the gladiators as they fought for victory. Just a short stroll away, nestled next to the Palatine Hills, also lies the battling grounds for the chariot race. Need a moment to collect your thoughts after a trip to the past? The grounds here at Circus Maximus offer the perfect spot to pause and admire the landscape, all of which once held the eager gaze of 150,000 spectators.

The Vatican City – The Sistine Chapel

The Vatican City – the prize jewel in Rome’s legacy for tradition, art, and architecture.

Here we’re gazing upon the works of world-famous artists and sculptors, including da Vinci’s unfinished masterpiece “St Jerome in the Wilderness”. A visit to the Vatican City isn’t complete without a study of one it’s most famous features too – the Sistine Chapel. Spend some time poring over the intricacies on the chapel’s frescoed ceiling – after all, with four years worth of detailing by Michaelangelo you’re bound to have plenty to admire.

Venice – The Floating City

Winding canals, cosy amber-lit ristorantes, and the faint sounds of Italian music. Explore Italy’s Floating City with a cruise along the peaceful Grand Canal. Above all, this is the perfect time to relax to the sounds of the gentle water and people-watch, all from the comfort of your gondola. Better yet, why not enjoy this personal cruise with a sunset setting and a glass of wine – the perfect way to unwind and bask in all things Italian.

The Ruins of Pompeii

Whether you’re an avid historian or just keen to channel your inner archaeologist, Pompeii holds some of the most well-preserved ruins in history. Naples’ bay was devastated by the eruption. Mount Vesuvius’s eruption led to almost 6 meters of ash and debris swallowing up the city, thus preserving it for centuries before its discovery in the 16th century. Since then, this UNESCO World Heritage site has become an unmissable sight for all those who travel for Italy. Want to dig further into the personal stories behind of the ruins? Join a Local Specialist around some of the key sights – including the Temple of Apollo and the Gymnasium.