Italy’s charming old-world architecture and history, world-famous artistic offerings, sunny seaside beaches, sprawling vineyards, delicious food and romantic music all combine to produce a wonderfully alluring atmosphere. Whether enjoyed from a secluded spot in a local cafe, strolling along the avenues, or even from the vantage of a canal boat, Italy is one of the world’s most romantic destinations, perfect for a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary trip, or just a quiet getaway.
Rome is home to the Vatican (principal of the Roman Catholic Church). Remnants of the Etruscan civilization can be visited at Cerveteri, Vulci, Veio, and Tarquinia. The National Museum is home to some of the world’s primary archaeological treasures. Other museums house artifacts from ancient Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt, while Christian relics also abound. No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Roman Colosseum. The cathedral of St. Peter is also an important architectural masterpiece.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany, famous not only for its vineyards but also a treasure trove for art aficionados. Etruscan pieces, Roman ruins and monuments, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance masters and more can be found in the museums and architecture of this area. The Uffizi Gallery is an absolute must, housing the world’s most important painting collection. Michaelangelo’s “Pieta” may be viewed in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. The beaches of the area are varied, and nature lovers can visit the Isola of Elba and the National Park of the Argentario. The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is also located in Tuscany.
Milan is likewise home to striking examples of architecture, such as the Gothic Cathedral of Milan and the palaces from the Renaissance. Art museums abound in Milan as well, including those in the Sforza Castle, which are varied. The Brera Gallery, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, and the Poldi Pezzoli Museum house works by the great masters. The National Museum of Science and Technology is an interesting place to visit, while the Stradivariano Museum includes the finest craftsmanship of violins.
Venice, a jewel among Italian cities, offers not only the Guggenheim, but many other outstanding museums as well, including the Academy Galleries, the G. Franchetti Gallery, and quite a few others. In the surrounding area, Byzantine architecture is displayed at St. Mark and the Cathedral of Torcello. Travelers should take time to visit the local islands, including Murano, Burano, and Torcello. The scenery of the Dolomites should not be missed. But … Venice is a city that always evokes mental images of the canals with the canal boats traveling slowly along. A visit to the city would not be complete without enjoying this famous treat.
Travelers to Italy should check out last minute deals and year round specials offered on accommodations. A search for hotels in Rome (Roma Hotel) turned up a great bargain on a 3-star hotel at only EUR 38.00 when we visited. Hotels in Florence (Firenze Hotel) found a 3-star hotel offered at EUR 35.00 with an upgrade to a more luxurious 4-star accommodation for only EUR 49.00. Milan hotels (Milano Hotel) offered similar discounts with a 3-star at only EUR 35.00 and a 4-star for only EUR 45.00. Venice hotels (Venezia Hotel) offered better accommodations for still-reasonable prices with a 4-star hotel at EUR 46.00 and a very luxurious 5-star at only EUR 109.00 (what a great city to splurge on sumptuous hotel room and enjoy canal boat rides with your amore!