Italy has always been a popular holiday destination for people who want to vacation in Europe. The Italians push friendliness to new limits and visitors more used to the reticence of Germany or the subdued hostility of the typical English city will soon find themselves opening up there and letting their hair down a bit more than usual.
There are numerous exotic destinations to head for in Italy where you can have an amazing experience. The breathtaking contrast of the regional landscapes, vibrant people, delicious cuisine and fabulous history and architecture guarantee a tremendously exciting and stimulating holiday break, however long you plan on staying. Here is our quick round-up:
Rome for imperial chic
You can’t do better than to start off with a visit to Rome, the Eternal City, once capital of the world’s greatest empire and now European capital of designer clothes, top boutiques and exquisite perfumes. It’s packed with magnificent sights and after dropping in to the Pantheon or the Colosseum, or viewing Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican, you can round off the day with some fine dining in one of the top restaurants or head for a club to dance the night away.
Treasures of the Popes
One of the highlights of a visit to Rome is Vatican City. This is, of course, home to the Pope and is absolutely stuffed full of treasures. The Vatican is actually the world’s smallest independent state and is entered through St Peter’s Square, which bears some of the most imposing Baroque style architecture in the world today. St Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest Catholic Church, with a seating capacity of 60,000. There’s a tradition that St Peter is buried under the church, and his Papal descendants are all buried in the grounds. Whether you believe all the blurb or not, you can’t help but marvel at the historical impact, accumulated riches and sheer power of the Catholic Church as manifested here in all its majesty.
After Rome, take a ride down along the east coast to the Bay of Naples. Access is easy by road but the train journey is stunning. This gorgeous region has been popular with holidaymakers since Classical times, and the great Republican general Marius actually built his retirement villa here, designed to look like his old army barracks. All trace of this has long since vanished, but there are still plenty of modern luxury villas of famous movie stars and industrial magnates, along with numerous boutiques and spas, so the decadence never really left. People come for the beautiful views across to Mt Vesuvius, and to visit the ossified city of Pompeii on guided tours. There are plenty of water sports to enjoy down in the Bay, and with all the excellent roads leading to Rome farther north, getting about by car is pretty simple too.
Filthy rich in Sorrento
Sorrento on the famous Amalfi Coast is renowned for its luxurious villas and there are many fabulous places to stay when you stop off in this historic city. It is now a well developed holiday resort and in addition to having a high concentration of five star hotels the whole city is geared towards providing entertainments and fine cuisine to well-heeled, discriminating visitors. Most of the top end villas are located at a hub just 5 kilometres from Sorrento City and are available for long- and short-term rentals. Also there are plenty of fully serviced apartments available and you can even hire a butler and chauffeur for the duration of your stay.
Villas in Sorrento typically come with al fresco dining areas, heated outdoor swimming pools and all the mod-cons. This is a style of living that Tiberius and Caligula would surely have appreciated as a chance to chill out from all the pressures of domestic debauchery and tiresome orgies.