3 Must-see historic cities
Urban Italy is perfect for sightseeing and a burst of culture. Pisa, famous for its Leaning Tower, also has 20 historic churches, and Padua has retained its medieval charm thanks to its ancient university. Of course, the canals of Venice are hard to beat, and make it unlike any other city you will ever see.
4 Beautiful buildings
Andrea Palladio left a mighty mark on the Veneto region. The 16th century architect erected hundreds of gorgeous villas and palaces and, reviving the Greek and Roman styles, made an impact across Europe. Vicenza, home of his finest creations, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5 An abundance of art
Michelangelo, Botticelli and, of course, Da Vinci – Italy has produced some of the greatest artists in history. In the galleries of Florence art lovers can truly indulge themselves, but Venice and Rome also boast incredible collections.
6 Sparkling, azure waters
Italy has 4,720 miles of coastline, most of it spectacular. Sorrento is particularly impressive. Dine in a trattoria by the sea, enjoy a trip to the chic island of Capri, and gaze across the azure seas of the Amalfi Coast.
7 Vineyards and vino
The cellars of Tuscany are filled with some of Europe’s finest wines so it would be rude not to stop for a vineyard tasting session. If you journey along the lesser known White Wine Road in the Veneto region you’ll find yourself in the home of sparkling Prosecco.
8 Shop 'til you drop
From fashion to food, shopping in Italy is always world class. Browse the designer boutiques of Rome and Florence, snap up seaside styles in Sorrento or check out the chic shops around Lake Garda. Plus, nearly every Italian town boasts a colourful market.