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With the mountains of the Alps and the Dolomites to the north, the cones of Vesuvius, Stromboli and Etna to the south, wonderful lakes, glorious beaches and the rolling landscapes of its Tuscan heartland, Italy is stunningly beautiful. Once capital of the world’s most powerful empires, the country was the cradle of the Renaissance, is today the centre of the Christian faith, and has more UNESCO-listed culture sites than any other nation. It is therefore no surprise that Italy is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations.
Italy can boast some of Europe’s most celebrated cities with a millennia of archaeological riches testament to the importance of the Romans, Etruscans and Ancient Greeks. Majestic public buildings, magnificent domed churches, striking cathedrals and Italy’s signature Leaning Tower are all part of an unrivalled architectural heritage. Epitomising the Renaissance, the works of Italian masters Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Caravaggio adorn the country’s most notable chapels and grace its prestigious galleries.
Italy’s waterways were once ancient trade routes used by early Mediterranean settlers and the Romans. Italians Christopher Columbus, Amerigo, Vespucci and Marco Polo are some of the greatest explorers of all time. Today, a leisurely river cruise on Italy’s beautiful canals, the Po River and unique island-studded Venetian Lagoon, is one of the best ways to explore a truly diverse landscape.
We have found 7 Holidays available from £1,395pp
A historic 19th-century villa restored into a beautiful hotel, our amazing 4-star base sits within rich parkland near Treviso.
Join us at the Hotel Principe Palace in Lido di Jesolo for an 8-day bridge holiday, featuring a wonderful trip to Venice.
Staying at the lovely Acacia Marina resort, enjoy the beautiful gardens and a short level walk along the seafront promenade.
At the borders of Italy, Austria and Switzerland, the Venosta Valley has been a major thoroughfare of the Central Alps since Ancient times.
Join Nigel McGilchrist in this unknown area of southern Italy, full of treasures of art and architecture
Join Dr Marie-Louise Lillywhite in Venice, a city of highly distinctive character, exploring a number of 15th and 16th century masterpieces.
Explore the northern area of Italy, discovering its magnificent ancient monuments and outstanding mediaeval and Renaissance art and architecture
Italy is lauded for its beautiful scenery, Renaissance architecture and admirably sophisticated culture. It is one of Europe’s biggest, most influential countries, and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Diverse cities such as Rome and Florence are brimming with art galleries and architectural masterpieces; from the Colosseum to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the breathtaking beauty of this culture-clad country will pull you back time and time again. Spectacular Sicily boasts mountainous landscapes dotted with historic wineries and ancient ruins, whilst dreamy destinations such as Lake Como and Portofino offer postcard-worthy scenery.
From the sun-roasted countryside to awe-inspiring coastlines and opulent heritage sites, our rail trips ensure you see the best of Italy, taking in the landscapes from a unique perspective. If you’re looking to uncover the rich history and culture that encapsulates glorious Italia, join one of our Art Pursuits or Boxwood Gardens tours and enjoy a spectacular journey filled with memorable moments.
Explore beautiful Roman towns and castlesView Tour
The boot-shaped nation that rests at the bottom of Europe can often be neglected when travelling – the shape of the country may tempt voyagers to transport via boat rather than over land, but the sun-roasted Italian countryside must not be missed. Our rail trips ensure that you see the best of it, and at a leisurely pace.
Italy’s diverse cities provide something for everyone. If you look carefully, you’re sure to find the perfect city to suit your desires. Perhaps it will be the art galleries of Florence that you love most of all. Or the Colosseum of Rome. Or perhaps it will be the languid beauty of Venice’s canals and the staggering opulence of its Piazza San Marco that will pull you back to Italy again and again.
If you’re a fan of rich cheeses and juicy tomatoes, Italian cuisine will melt your heart. Pizza and pasta are synonymous with Italy, but you can get just as much satisfaction from their plethora of national desserts, such as hazelnut chocolate, tiramisu and gelato (their rich, far superior ice cream) – all of which should be consumed by the bucket load when staying in glorious Italia.
Passion is exemplified by the Italians, whether in their emotional opera music, world-changing paintings, or sporting endeavours. Free-thinking Italians pioneered the Renaissance movement, both its architectural triumphs and contribution to the arts and science. Michelangelo’s St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City is widely considered one of the finest architectural works in history, while his statue of David is still admired for its strikingly precise attention to detail. The statue now sits in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.