How much do you really know about Italy? Maybe you’re an art-enthusiast and know of the famous work by Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Perhaps you are a foodie and can name the famous dishes of each region.
While Italy’s art and food scenes are a huge part of the country’s culture, there is so much more to explore while visiting. Here is the ultimate itinerary to touring Italy...
Benvenuto in Roma! Welcome to Rome!
What better way to begin your holiday than starting out in Rome? You may just feel like Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck while you’re there!
After settling into your hotel, the day is yours to explore Rome. Over the next two days, you’ll visit the Vatican and the sites of Ancient Rome, so use this time to visit a museum (here’s a good list to consider) or do some light shopping for souvenirs.
You can’t go wrong by having an authentic Roman dinner. Not sure where to start? Here’s a guide to 10 great Roman dishes.
Did you know the Vatican City is its own country? Learn about that and more while visiting the holy city!
Not only is Vatican City its own country, it’s actually the smallest country in the world! Most people think of it as where the Pope lives, but there are nearly 600 citizens that call the Vatican home.
Enjoy touring the Catholic capital today and seeing the Sistine Chapel. On its ceiling is the famous mural painted by Michelangelo in 1508. St. Peter’s Basilica is another must-see while at the Vatican. Many Christians were persecuted and killed by Nero, including Peter. The church was constructed over the same area as their graves to honor them.
Tour the wonders of Ancient Rome, including the colossal Colosseum.
Walk the ancient streets of Rome to see centuries old monuments, such as the Colosseum. The amphitheatre, built between 72 and 80 AD, is the largest in the world. It could hold 50,000 people during its sports events, executions, and dramatic performances.
The Pantheon, a temple built to honor the gods, is still in spectacular form even though it was constructed between 118-125 AD. Roman concrete is a mixture of limestone and volcanic ash, which form crystals that prevented the spread of microscopic cracks.
Palatine Hill, a four-sided plateau, is where Rome was founded. Legend has it that founders Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Mars, floated down the Tiber River as infants to be deposited at the base of Palatine Hill. These days, the hill holds many artifacts and structures from the ancient days.
Take one of Europe’s famed high-speed trains to Naples.
The absolute best way to travel within a European country (or even between a few) is via a high-speed train. Here’s why: Trains allow you to see much more of the country in a way that planes don’t. Sprawling vistas pass you by as you wind your way through the rolling hillsides.
Also, with Europe’s high-speed train, you get to places much faster than by car. So you still get that “road trip” feeling, but in way less time.
As you travel by train to Naples, you’ll be extra comfortable in a first-class compartment. After your arrival, a luxury van with transfer you to Sorrento, your home away from home for the next two days.
Spend your day soaking in the sun in Sorrento.
Ever wanted to see a mermaid? If the stories are true, there’s a good chance you could spot one in Sorrento! Okay, maybe you won’t see any mermaids, but that doesn’t mean this town isn’t straight out of a fairy tale or movie.
Nothing could be better than wandering through the coastal town of Sorrento on a sunny day. You’ll be at complete peace as you stroll down the streets with the warm seabreeze in your hair. Stop by any restaurant or bar to sample Sorrento’s famous libation—limoncello. This simple liqueur is made from sugar, alcohol, and a special kind of lemon that is only grown in the cliffside town.
Travel to Tuscany, Italy’s cultural countryside.
Tuscany has made its mark on the modern age, too. Diane Lane’s Under the Tuscan Sun and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love take place in the Tuscan region. Hannibal Lector’s drink of choice, the Chianti, is from Tuscany. And Florence is the birthplace of Machiavelli, who is considered to be the ‘father’ of modern politics and has inspired politicians from John Adams to Bill Clinton.
See the original ‘David’ by the magnificent Michelangelo.
Today’s tour of the Accademia brings you to the striking statue of David by the masterly Michelangelo. The museum also holds many other tapestries, paintings, and other works of art by famous Italian artists, but none are as well-known as ‘David.’ Standing at almost 17 feet tall, the statue is made of solid marble and weighs in at 5,660 kilograms—that’s 12,478 pounds!
Michelangelo was only 26 when he began work on the Biblical hero. He spent over two years perfecting the piece. While originally supposed to be a part of the Duomo, the statue was moved to the Accademia in 1873.