There’s been a mini debate here in the Door2Tour
offices as we decide on which destination to feature for our popular ‘Wishlist Wednesday’. After much deliberation we have decided that everyone should visit Italy on escorted tours at least once in their lifetime. You’ll find a little bit of everything including plenty of pasta, piazzas and pizza on Door2Tour holidays to Italy so check out our mini guide below…
Take a ride on a Vaporetto in Veneto
D’ya know what? Gondola rides are sooo last season, not to mention
expensive and not as romantic as many would hope and we’re sure you’ll think so too after you’ve spoilt your special someone with a ride on a Vaporetto. This is a perfect treat either before or after dinner with a tasty gelato in hand and a special someone to snuggle up to. The Vaporetto is the main waterbus route through Venice and allows you to travel from one end of the route to the other. If you’re taking the Vaporetto in the evening, make sure you grab a good spot near the sides of the boat so you can marvel at the Venetian sights at night.
Tour the Vatican
If you possess a love of history and art, then you cannot fail to have a visit to the Vatican Museums featuring high on your to do list whilst on holiday in Italy
. Unbeknown to many but The Pope has a wide collection of fine Art and those kind souls, the Vatican Officials, open this collection to the public in the Vatican Museums. You’ll find treasures from Egypt, the Near East and Etruria as well as ancient Roman sculptures and the beautiful Sistine Chapel with the most famous painting in the world on its ceiling! Make time also to see the Frescoes of Raphael and Michelangelo. You can either follow the tour yourself or perhaps pay a little extra and have a Guide show you all the important pieces so you don’t miss out on anything. Take your time as you explore the Vatican Museums as there is only one route to follow and you cannot go backwards. Also, with a guided tour, you’re more than likely to get to see St Peter’s Basilica as well.
Step back in time
No holiday to Italy would be complete without a visit to Pompeii where you can really step back in time. Back in 79 A.D,
the locals of Pompeii had forgotten that Mount Vesuvius was in fact a volcano and carried on about their daily business unaware of the impending eruption. Much of the city was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius but a lot of it was preserved by being buried under more than 60 feet of ash until it was discovered in the mid-1700s. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site but the massive influx of tourists each year has caused some deterioration to the site. Although many visitors prefer to go to Herculaneum as there are fewer tourists but the sights are still magnificent. Do note though that the majority of artefacts that archaeologists found in Pompeii are now kept at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples so you may wish to factor in a visit here to see everything up close.
Catch the Beautiful Game
Many football fans are passionate about their teams but the Italians put everyone else in the shade regarding theirs and you’ll only discover this if you take time out to catch a game in Italy. Serie A is the Italian version of the English Premier League and their football season runs from August through to May. Be careful though as the Italians are extremely passionate about their local teams so you are advised not to walk around town wearing colours of any but the local squad – you have been warned! To truly understand the Italian passion for football, you only have to see what happens to the opposing fans when they are visiting for a game. They are all seated together and are protected as they enter and leave from the home team’s fans and you thought football rivalry in England was bad!
Sample the famous gelato
For many this is a very simple task to achieve as you’ll find stalls selling gelato literally on every corner of any city you’re
visiting in Italy. Don’t panic about those waistlines either because gelato is made with milk not cream so technically you can eat as much as you like (within reason of course)! Looking for the perfect location to enjoy your gelato? We can mention a few must-see’s such as The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain in Rome
or with a loved one observing Juliet’s Balcony in Verona. If you do get to visit Italy and sample the gelato, let us know which is your favourite? Mine has to be bubblegum with mint choc chip – strange combination I hear you cry but don’t knock it till you try it!
Experience beach life the Italian way
Italy is quite simply overflowing with beautiful beaches to relax and catch some rays whilst on holiday. But have you thought of going off the tourist trail? If you do, wonderful delights await such as the Thermal Pools in Pigna where you can enjoy the clear waters and live dangerously going down small rapids. Perhaps hire a boat from the harbour in Amalfi and explore the coastline where you’ll find many lovely spots to drop anchor and sunbathe in complete privacy. When in Tuscany, make sure you visit Viareggio that boasts 3 miles of golden sandy beaches accompanied by hip and trendy bars. Think it’s fair to say that when in Italy, there’s no shortage of fab places to take in those rays and watch the world go by!
So who has been to Italy and what made you visit? Would you go back and if so, what would you recommend as ‘Must-sees and Do’s’ for the first-time visitor?