Natural beauty, incredible food, artistic heritage and style are only the beginning of the treasures that you can experience on a trip to Italy. Here are six reasons everyone should visit Italy at least once.
Keen to visit Italy but not sure where to go? Take your pick from Culture Trip’s specially curated 10-day Northern Italy trip or our action-packed 10-day Sicily adventure.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
There are beaches everywhere
With over 5,000mi (8,046km) of coastline, you are never far from the beach anywhere in Italy. Only one region, Umbria, out of a total of 20, is landlocked. There are wild, empty stretches with dunes in Tuscany and tiny, crowded coves in Cinque Terre – which you can visit with Culture Trip on our specially curated 10-day Northern Italy trip. From Lido, a short ride a away from Venice, to the clear blue water found at the very bottom of the country in Puglia, there is a beach for every season and every mood. The island of Sardinia alone has well over 500 beaches. In the summer months, beach clubs with sun loungers, umbrellas to rent and restaurants for lunch dot the shoreline. Italy’s mild climate, particularly the further south you go, means you can visit the beach virtually any time of year.
Experience island life
There are over 400 islands in Italy. Even the city of Rome has one! Sicily, Elba and Sardinia are almost like countries in their own right with unique cuisines, language and landscapes. Sicily has entire sets of its own islands, with the Aeolian islands (which feature on Culture Trip’s 10-day small-group Sicily adventure) on one side and the Egadi islands on the other. The glamorous island of Capri is within easy reach of Florence, Rome and Naples where you can try the famous Caprese salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and dance the night away at one of the island’s hotspots. Visit the thermal baths on the island of Ischia or go hiking on Palmaria Island off the coast of the famous Cinque Terre towns.
Its Unesco World Heritage Sites
Italy boasts 51 Unesco World Heritage sites, which makes it home to more sites than any other country in the world. Did you know that every twist and turn from Positano to Vietri on the Amalfi Coast is one? The historic centers of towns like Siena, Florence and Pienza in Tuscany are also on the list. There are magnificent ancient temple ruins to visit in Paestum and Agrigento and don’t miss the active volcano of Mount Etna.
So. Much. Art.
The Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, the many Raphaels in the Pinacoteca, La Primavera by Botticelli — there is a mind boggling amount of priceless masterpieces in just the Vatican museums and the Uffizi galleries alone. If you only spent one minute in front of each work of art in the Vatican it would take four years to see each piece! There are also numerous smaller, quieter collections like the family collection inside the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome and the incredible cycle of Tintoretto’s at The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice. The marble sculpture of the Veiled Christ by Giuseppe Sammartino at the Museo San Severo in Naples is a wonder to behold. Is contemporary art your thing? The Venice Biennale held every two years gathers the biggest names and sometimes strangest works and installations in national pavilions inside the Giardini and the nearby Arsenale complex.
Italian food is simply the best
Italian cuisine is incredibly hard to define. Italy is a fiercely regional country and even short distances can mean dramatic differences in terrain, language and food. In the north, stews served on top of polenta and apple streusel are popular. In Sicily, there are strong Arabic influences with dishes like couscous and raisins on the menu. Roman food is rustic and hearty with pastas that have few ingredients and bold flavors like amatriciana and cacio e pepe. On the Amalfi Coast, seafood reigns. One thing you will find in every single region, however, is gelato. A scoop of this cold creamy treat as an afternoon snack is something every Italian will agree on.
In Vino Veritas
Italy has literally thousands of different grape varieties and has surpassed France in the amount of wine it produces. Much of what is produced is done on such a small scale that the bottles can’t be found outside of the region, let alone outside of Italy, so it’s easy to expand your horizons beyond glasses of Chianti and Pinot Grigio. A good rule to remember is if it grows together, it goes together, so on the Amalfi Coast look for wines from Campania, and if you are in Venice drink bottles produced in the Veneto region. Look out for enotecas, wine shops that almost always sell wines by the glass and small plates.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.