Regularly setting new benchmarks for fashion and cuisine, Italy is also a nation famous for churning out masterpieces of art and architecture. Breathtaking monuments around every corner, sigh-inducing countryside views, ski slopes and celestial lakes – Italy has it all. In a country known as ‘The Boot’ for its distinctive outline, you’ll also notice diverse traits in each region. The northwest is home to the Italian Riviera, including the Ligurian jewels of Portofino and Cinque Terre. Enjoy some designer shopping in the fashion capital of Milan, world-class skiing in the alps or savour the idyllic shores of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. Venture northeast into the floating city of Venice and its majestic network of canals and stunning St. Mark’s Square.
The ancient capital of Rome is one big open-air museum with ruins seemingly at every turn. The architectural splendour continues in Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and Pisa, with its iconic leaning tower. Outside of the cityscape, take time to admire the small medieval villages, vineyards and rolling green hills of the Tuscan countryside.
The south shows another side of Italy altogether. Mount Vesuvius looms over Naples and the once-thriving Roman city of Pompeii, while the rustic islands of Sicily and Sardinia are encircled by the sparkling Mediterranean and offer hiking trails galore.
Like its regions, accommodation in Italy is very diverse. Its cities feature hotels, hostels and guest houses and apartments, but more rural areas range from ski chalets, campsites and even boats.
The 12 best places to stay in Italy: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests