While all roads may lead to Rome, they also pave the way out to explore the rest of the country, making Italy’s capital city the perfect place to start your trip. But first, take a few days to explore what was once the nucleus of the ancient Roman Empire. Sites such as Palatine Hill, which is steeped in ancient mythology, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Baths of Caracalla all tell of the city’s rich and powerful past. Combine millennia of history with high fashion, in-and-out espresso bars, darting mopeds and some of the best food on the planet and you’ll find yourself in a beautiful, buzzing city that will leave you smiling from ear to ear.
Enchanting, romantic, utterly beautiful and dramatic, it should be of no surprise that the age-old art of opera was born in the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’. Blushing with its terracotta rooftops, Florence was home to some of the world’s most brilliant artists and minds such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. The city itself is a display of incredible architecture and it’s no wonder that the entire city is UNESCO listed. Visit the Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and, of course, Florence’s oldest bridge, Ponte Vecchio.
A trip to Italy’s north wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the serene charm of the Tuscan countryside. An absolute treat for wine lovers, some of the country’s oldest wine estates are nestled amongst Tuscany’s soft, rolling hills. Discover the narrow, cobblestone streets in the medieval cities of Siena and Lucca and the many restaurants that celebrate the region’s plentiful produce. From cheese to truffles, pasta to pâté, Tuscan cooking is simple, honest and oh so good! And naturally enjoyed best with a glass of local vino.
The Cinque Terre (meaning five lands) is a string of centuries-old villages perched high on rugged cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Colourful, authentic, and incredibly charming, the Cinque Terre is, without a doubt, one of Italy’s most picture-perfect regions. The small harbours are busy with fishing boats and trattorias that serve up some exquisite seafood specialties, while the villages above grow delicious Mediterranean produce such as olives, grapes, lemons and herbs. It is also from up on the cliff edges that you will get the most incredible vistas of the Italian Riviera.
A little further along the Mediterranean coast lies the Riviera’s secluded gem, Portofino. Once a tiny hamlet in the hills, Portofino morphed into a glamorous playground for the rich and famous to while away their summers. Best reached by boat for the full theatrical effect, the photogenic harbour is filled with fishing boats and mega-yachts and offers spectacular views of the gorgeous pastel homes nestled on the water’s edge. But the sophistication doesn’t stop there. On land, meander through the coiffed streets for some luxury shopping, delicious bites and some very interesting people-watching. An aperitif in the Piazza Martiri Dell’Olivetta is a must and is where you will probably find our dear editor, Julia, sipping on her Aperol Spritz and soaking up la dolce vita.
Are you keen to join Julia in this magnificent part of the world? Her tour of Rome, Tuscany and the Italian Riviera is taking place through tour provider Collette from June 4th – 13th, 2020. There are limited spaces available so register your interest today by calling Collette at 0300 027 254 or emailing AUsales@collette.com