From the Venetian Lagoon and Val d’Aosta in the north to the Puglia and Sicily in the south, Italy is a country that boasts many of Europe’s most iconic and unmistakeable landmarks. Each region has its own unique, and fiercely protected, traditions and culinary specialities, meaning holidaymakers can return year after year without ever exhausting everything this diverse country has to offer. We’ve taken a look at a handful of Italian one stop wonders, all of which offer a unique and unforgettable way of seeing Italy.
For Couples – Giardini degli Aranci, Rome
Located on Rome’s Aventine Hill, the Giardini degli Aranci (Parco Savello) offers unparalleled views of the Eternal City. Couples can walk among the orange trees and take in the splendid panoramas of Rome below. The Dominican church of Santa Sabina is nearby, as is the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, where visitors can catch a keyhole glimpse of the Basilica of St Peter’s through.
For Families – Gardaland, Castelnuovo di Garda
Gardaland, Italy’s biggest theme park, is located on the southern shores of Lake Garda, close to Verona and some of Italy’s most beautiful landscapes. As well as its own aquarium, the park has a whole host of nerve-jangling rollercoasters, from which you’ll be able to appreciate the scale of the park before plummeting rapidly back to earth.
For Summer Nights – Bars and Super-Clubs, Rimini
Beyond the long stretch of white sand and sparkling water of the Adriatic, the centre of Rimini offers revellers and holidaymakers an array of bars and restaurants, perfect for an evening spritz and apericena after a hard day on the beach. As well as the chic hotels, bars and gelaterie, Rimini also has many of Italy’s biggest and best known super-clubs, where you’ll find supercool Italians rubbing shoulders with holidaymakers and backpackers.
For Foodies – Street Food in Palermo, Sicily
Italy isn’t short of good food, but the street food culture of the south, and of Sicily in particular, is unique. Visit Palermo to experience the local dishes that capture the island’s magpie heritage – combining the best of Italian, Arabic and North African cuisine. Deliciously simple dishes such as pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines) and sfincione, a fluffier alternative to pizza, shouldn’t be missed.
For Culture – The Palio di Siena
Italy’s most famous sporting event is a combination of horse racing and local sociology, with ten of Siena’s seventeen districts (contrade) competing in a thrilling horserace around the Piazza del Campo, the city’s main square and civic heart. Two-thirds of the city’s 60,000 inhabitants cram into the square with as many as 20,000 outsiders to watch as the jockeys and horses speed around the course at breakneck speed.