Italy has it all for us. Beautiful countryside with countless picturesque towns perched on hillsides surrounded by fields of sunflowers. Bustling cities cramped full of history, art and iconic architecture. Mouthwatering food and wine. The Italians really do make the best ice cream in the world. Add in an unparalleled passion, style and the most beautifully expressive language and you have the full set.
We are not the only ones who love Italy. It's the 5th most visited country in the world*. With mountains, lakes and a Mediterranean coastline to die for, there is something for every type of traveller.
- Italians guzzle fourteen billion espresso coffees each year equating to around 3.7kg of coffee per capita.*. All that coffee comes with some serious etiquette. Coffees with milk (cappuccinos, macchiatos) are only drunk in the morning never the afternoon. And coffee should be consumed standing not sitting. It can be quite the bun-fight ordering too so just get stuck in!
- The Italian driving style takes some getting used it. They drive incredible close, overtake often, and prefer to hog the middle of the road even on corners. But they are patient. We saw little road rage in 4 months even when stuck behind elderly drivers bumbling along at 8 kilometres an hour!
- No other country has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than Italy with 51 sites. Almost one for every week of the year.
When to Go
The best time to visit Italy is from April to June and September or October. Temperatures are more bearable and popular tourist spots are less crowded.
July and especially August can be hellish. Hot, humid and insanely hectic on the coast where urban dwelling Italians migrate to escape the heat. This leaves the major historic cities rattling with tourists.
Watch out for Ferragosto which usually falls around 15th August. Strangely many family run hotels, restaurants and shops close for anything from a week up to a month. Often with little more than a hand-written notice on the front door!
- Some legendary heavy-weight contenders go head to head in Naples vs Venice, Rome vs Florence and Amalfi Coast vs Cinque Terre. Check out who wins our vote and why
- Ever wondered what house sitting 240 grape vines is like in picture-perfect San Ginesio? Read The Italian Job to find out
- Day Tripper: 19 Beautiful Hilltop Towns in Umbria,Tuscany & Le Marche helps you choose the perfect day trip locations for you
- Get off the beaten track with some great trails with Walking with Wolves: 6 Stunning Hikes in the Sibillini National Park