Italy Travel Guide
II Belpease - the Beautiful Country - is a land of mountain scenery and luxury ski resorts, glittering beaches and picturesque coastlines. It is ancient and modern, with more ruins and relics than anywhere else, and chic, fashionable cities too. Above all, Italy is one of the world's premiere destinations for enjoying fine food, wine and a good time - indulging in la dolce vita. This is an Italy travel guide dedicated to providing Italy tourism and tourist information with tips, advice and reviews, as well as information about Italian hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, and cities.
The Italian Alps & Dolomites
This is a spectacularly beautiful region where awe-inspiring alpine views dominate the landscape. From the majestic Mont Blanc and Matterhorn in the west through to the soaring rock towers, canyons and huge pink limestone plateaus of the dramatic Italian Dolomites further east. Snow is plentiful for downhill and cross-country skiers on the world class slopes, the climbing is challenging - ever for the most serious of mountaineers. The hikers can wander among lush alpine meadows, mysterious woodlands, hills and gorges guarded by picturesque castles, or through Italy's most scenic national park, the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. Classic cities such as Milan, Turin, Verona and Venice are also within reach.
For decades, Tuscany - in the middle of the Italian peninsula - has been the dream destination for many of the world's travellers. The region is blessed with a natural heritage of cypress trees, sunflowers, lush vineyards and olive groves. Every now and again these make way for rambling farmhouses, sleepy villages and bottle green hills topped by medieval towns. Within its boundaries lie some of the most beautiful cities in Italy such as the provincial capital of Florence, crammed with Renaissance art and architecture, the red-brown stone of Siena, and Pisa with its legendary tower, as well as the wine-producing Chianti region and ancient villages like Pienza and San Gimignano.
The historic region of the Veneto, in north-eastern Italy, is the most famous for Venice. Here, elegant buildings and palaces crowd around the labyrinth of canals - brimming with serenading gondoliers in their famous striped jerseys - and the ancient maze of narrow streets that contrive to give the city its inimitable charm. The influence of Venice can be seen right across the region and especially in the rich architectural and cultural heritage of the three great cities of Verona, a famous stop off on the Shakespeare trail to see 'Juliet's Balcony', Padua and Vicenza.
Travel south from Naples and you will wind around one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world. Idyllic seaside towns and pretty fishing ports cling to the cliffs and ravines above the Bay of Naples with the towering slopes of volcanic Mount Vesuvius slumbering in the background. Naples is a fascinating destination itself, but also a great base from which to explore the Amalfi Coast. Towards the southern end of the peninsula that stretches out into the ocean is the major tourist destination of ritzy Sorrento, where you can catch a ferry out to Ischia or Capri - famous as one of the most beautiful, romantic and magical of islands. No trip to the area would be complete without a visit to the Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
This is the ‘boot heel’ of Italy, the region of the far south-east. With the Adriatic Sea to the north and the Ionian Sea to the south, Puglia, or Apulia, is an inviting mixture of Italian and Greek cultures, kissed by the Mediterranean sun. Highlights include the beautiful city of Lecce with its distinctive pink sandstone buildings, old Gallipoli – a name derived from the Greek for ‘beautiful city’ – and Apulia’s world heritage sites in Castel del Monte, Matera and Alberobello. Of all the regions in Italy, this is also the one best known for its delectable cuisine and gracious hospitality.