If there is one problem with taking your holidays in Italy, it is knowing just where to go. The country has such a wealth of contrasting, diverse and historically fascinating cities and regions; it is difficult to know where to start.
To illustrate that point, think about the top three Italian cities that might spring to mind: Rome, Florence and Venice. They are known throughout the world: each one has treasures enough to warrant a lengthy visit; they are not so very far apart; yet each has a distinct character and personality.
If you are in a quandary as to which city to visit, Rome, Florence, Venice holidays, with a base in each of the cities in turn, might offer the ideal solution.
It is impossible to sum up the riches that lie in store in such a multi-centre holiday – part of the fun and fascination lies in discovering much of that for yourself – but here are the briefest of thumbnail sketches for Rome, Florence and Venice:
- it is the capital of Italy, of course, but much more than that;
- from its legendary founding by Romulus and Remus– in about 750 BC – the city grew to become the very cradle of Western civilisation and the hub of a mighty Empire that would spread throughout Europe and the Middle East;
- it is a history which lives on in the very heart, soul and stones of this ancient centre of population – and not for nothing is it known as the Eternal City;
- as the authoritative Fodors guidesays, it might take many years for you to discover all that you want to see in Rome, but there are many principal landmarks you might want to be sure to take in – before arranging any subsequent visits;
- some of the places at the top of Fodors’ list, for example, include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, Vatican City and St Peter’s Square, the Spanish Steps, and Trastevere;
- if Rome is the eternal cradle of Western civilisation, Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance;
- its legacy is the most precious treasure trove of artistic work in the world – the city’s museums, galleries and churches house masterpieces painted by the greatest artists of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Donatello, and Brunelleschi;
- if ever you feel you’ve had your fill of fine art, head outside and wander the old backstreets, visit its parks and gardens or climb the hill to the church of San Miniato al Monte to view the whole of the city laid out below;
- entirely different again to either Rome or Florence, Venice is a unique “floating city”– built upon a maze of canals and without any road access for cars;
- Venice is for romantics – young and young at heart – and those with sense of adventure enough to escape the inevitable crowds and explore this fascinating and intriguing place for themselves;
- some have described the skyline of Venice as it rises from the lagoon as a “dreamscape”– and this is your chance to step into and share that dream, as lived by its laid-back locals.
Don’t just take the guidebooks at their word, but organise a multi-centre holiday and stay in all three glorious cities to discover why you’ll probably want to keep coming back again and again.