The land that birthed both Renaissance and gelato, Italy is no doubt a feather in Europe's hat. With it's lip-smacking cuisine known to be a feast to the senses, eyes and palette, artistic treasures and historical structures that remind the country of it's glorious past and not to mention awe-inspiring landscapes, this west-European nation will always continue to be a source of envy for several. Even though Italy has always been one of the destinations that tourists have flocked to, there are several hidden jewels waiting to be explored.
While visiting Italy, make sure the first stop is it's capital,Rome. Truly, the Eternal City in every way, it will take a lifetime to adsorb and relish every feature the metropolis springs up. History buffs will have a field day exploring all the ancient structures the megalopolis is brimming with such as the world-famous Colosseum - largest and most famous amphitheater in the Roman universe, the Pantheon - temple to the Roman gods, St. Peter's Basilica - biggest church in Christendom,Trevi Fountain - featuring the god of the sea Neptune, fringed by two Tritons, the Roman Forum - paying tribute to Ancient Rome and so on.
Truly one of the most romantic destinations out there, Venice is a magnificent water city made up of over 150 canals running though the metropolis and connected with each other by more than 400 bridges. A traditional gondola ride through the Grand Canal is a must for any visiting tourist. Romantic lovers will have a special reason to head over to the Bridge of Sighs. As per folklore, couples who kiss under the bridge at sunset will find eternal happiness together. Other notable highlights are St. Mark's Basilica - city's most famous church and St. Mak's Square (Piazza San Marco) - a popular tourist-friendly plaza.
Renowned to be one of the most famous attractions in the planet, be sure to visit Pisa to marvel at the architectural-wonder of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. When it comes to magnificent cathedrals with stunning interiors, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence or the largest Gothic cathedral in the planet - the Duomo housed in Milan comes to mind. Archaeological aficionados will be interested in touring the ruins of Pompeii, situated below the rumbling volcano of Mt. Vesuvius, and discover remnants of homes, markets, baths, temples, theatres, excavated human remains and streets marking the evidence of chariots. Explore the ancient Roman life that existed over 2000 years ago.
If you're heading over to Vatican City, then it goes without saying to visit the magnificent and renowned St. Peter's Basillica and St. Peter's Square apart from the other popular attractions. Italy has some lovely coastal areas and picturesque landscapes that can be explored. Often described as a town for for the affluent with expensive and extravagant villas, Lake Como is a desirable destination to spend a holiday due to it's gentle weather, similar to that of the Mediterranean. The picturesque appearance of the deep-blue waters flowing among the looming mountains and the thick luscious jungles is breathtaking to say the least. When it comes to scenic coastal regions, the beautiful stretch of the Amalfi Coast, UNESCO World Heritage Site or Cinque Terre with it's steep ocean-side hills and cliffs are popular with the tourists as well.
When it comes to Italian fashion, Milan and Florence are right at the top. Known to house every designer brand imaginable and exclusive fashion and couture boutiques, the Vio Monte Napolene in Milan is the 6th most costly shopping boulevard in the planet. When it comes to local merchandise, try looking for beautiful pieces of jewellery and accessories. Silverware boutiques and goldware shops are found abundantly. If you want to procure colorful glassware then Venice is the perfect destination for that.
Italian cuisine is world-famous with a few of their delicacies being consumed globally. Don't forget to gorge on a local pizza from a street-side pizzerias or relish a creamy rissoto and finally dig into a mouth-watering gelato. When it comes to sparkling and glittering wines, Barolo, Brunello and Chianti are some of the popular names that comes to mind.
Affluent travellers who are seeking the best luxury hotels will be satisfied with the stay options Italy has to be offer. Similarly budget tourists and backpackers will also find plenty of comfortable hotel apartments and accommodations providing a cheap stay.
Italy's climate is highly diverse and changes from region to region. The best time to travel to Italy are from April to June and mid-September to October as the weather is comfortable, pleasant and crowds are less.