Italy is a country that’s as varied as the palettes of its great Renaissance artists, awash with color and culture. Lose yourself in the green rolling hills of Tuscany, bathed in the orange glow of the setting sun, and sip a succulent limoncello while taking in the Jackpot City Casino ein sicheres Casino mit viel Spaß sapphire surf of the sea. Marvel at the fantastical cream-colored figures of the Trevi Fountain, and relax at a neighborhood trattoria with a ruby-red glass of the country’s best Chianti. This isn’t a place where you go to vacation – this is a place where you go to live.
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For centuries, Italy has been one of the most popular destinations for discerning travelers: a fact that’s undoubtedly linked to its rich history and cultural attractions. This is a country that saw the birth of the Renaissance and the spread of the Roman Empire; that has produced profound poets and legendary leaders; that boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth. It’s home to some of the world’s greatest cities – Florence, Venice, Rome – as well charming and bucolic towns and villages. Throw in a beloved cuisine and some of the friendliest people you could hope to meet, and it’s no wonder that Italy continues to draw people in – as it has for centuries.
Italy isn’t a place that you visit, it’s a place that you experience: touching all of your senses, engaging your emotions, in a way you never thought possible. While many might choose to walk the streets of the country’s historic cities or simply relax in its postcard-perfect countryside, these are a few special attractions that cannot be found anywhere else:
The climate throughout Italy varies by regions and seasons. The northern part of the country generally experiences longer, colder winters and more mild (but more humid) summers than the south. For instance, in a northern city like Milan, the temperature can get down to the 20s during December and January. A southern city, like Palermo, can experience 90s in the months of July and August. The central regions of Italy – Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, for instance – commonly have the best weather regardless of the season: you’ll be spared the heat of the south and the greater likelihood of rain in the north.
The peak travel seasons in Italy are late spring to early summer, and early autumn. Normally, many prominent attractions will be busiest in May and June, so the best time to go to the best-known destinations – Florence, Venice, and Rome – is either in April or in October. However, smaller towns and more rural areas are generally less crowded even in the height of the season, which makes for a nice option in those months when the major cities are packed with tourists from around the world.
Nothing will heighten your Italian experience like the perfect hotel, and Italy has a huge range of accommodation that is as eclectic and exciting as the country itself. Families will revel in the condo-style hotels that can be found off the winding canals of Venice, or the charm of a private villa deep in the hills of Tuscany. Couples will cherish the romance of a cliff-hugging suite near the Blue Grotto of Capri, and rave about that quaint hotel room right next to that incredible pizzeria and the sprawling Spanish Steps. Nor do the options stop there: you can step into the Renaissance splendor of a former castle, indulge in bubbly and room service at a posh Rome hotel, or charter a luxury motor-yacht to cruise along the Amalfi coast.
Visa and Passport Requirements
Italy is a member of the European Union, so Americans don’t usually need a visa or any other entry requirements unless you plan to work here or to stay longer than 90 days. Should you require a visa for either of these reasons, you can apply for one at the nearest Italian consulate: much of the process can be done over the phone, but you will need to visit a consulate in person before you receive your visa to travel.
Like most of Western Europe, the official currency in Italy is the euro. Changing money is very easy, although you generally get the best exchange rates if you withdraw cash from an ATM rather than exchanging bills at a currency exchange. (Many American banks have sister banks in Europe, allowing you to use their ATMs without incurring a fee.) For most of its history, the euro has been more valuable than the dollar, so keep that in mind when making your purchases. Restaurants tend to add a ‘service charge’ of up to 15% on their bills, so tipping is not necessary or even expected. (If you do want to add a tip for exceptional service, you can always leave a small amount of cash on the table.)
Italy is a modern nation with contemporary sensibilities, but it is also a country with a strong conservative past. Shorts are more common now than they were even fifteen years ago, but everyday fashion is, generally speaking, slightly more formal in Italy than it is in the States. The most important considerations when it comes to Italian etiquette relate to churches and other places of worship: many of Italy’s churches will ask that you cover at least your shoulders – and often your upper legs as well – before entering. There will usually be a sacristan at the door to inform you if you need to cover yourself further, and they’ll generally offer a large piece of fabric to wrap around you while you’re inside the church.
Like their delicious food, a holiday in Italy can be truly satisfying – strolling in the beautiful cities, soaking in the ocean views of Capri and relaxing in charming Tuscany, with its rolling countryside peppered with famous vineyards. Whether it’s your honeymoon you are planning, a luxury Mediterranean holiday or an exploration of Italy’s hidden secrets, just let us know and we will craft the perfect customized holiday for you.
Italy is ideal for longer vacations, as it offers you a variety of highlights that few countries can match – from medieval villages to cliff-side villas, Dolomites to the Italian Riviera, romantic cities and even more romantic wine regions. Get a tailor-made itinerary planned, picking and choosing the flavours you want most. It’s what we do, what we excel at, so give us a call and get the holiday of your life – on a platter.
Florence is one of Italy’s prettiest cities, steeped in history, with its grand old plazas and cathedrals and overall renaissance charm. Walking is possibly the best way to explore the charms of Florence, which you can do either through guided walking tours or on your own or you can opt for the convenience of cool Segway tours. Overnight at Florence.
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