Italy highlights: ancient history, famous cuisine, vibrant culture
Italy is one of Europe’s most popular Mediterranean destinations, and offers much to see and do. The diversity of the country is truly magnificent and an Italian cruise allows you to sample so much in one trip: discover the imperial past in Rome, see the much-photographed Leaning Tower in Pisa for yourself, immerse yourself in the gothic charm of Venice and unwind along the stunning coastline at Portofino. The home to world-renown food and wine, a varied landscape of spectacular views and steeped in culture and history, it’s no surprise that a cruise to Italy is on the bucket list for many.
Our travellers are regularly blown away by the picture-perfect views that an Italian cruise offers. There’s something really special about seeing the famous vistas of Italy, that have become so synonymous with beauty, culture and history, in real-life. That could be the extraordinary skyline of Florence with landmarks that date back thousands of years, the vibrant and colourful buildings set in to the dramatic cliffs along the coastline of Cinque Terre or Sicily’s aquamarine waters that seem to sparkle like nowhere else in the world. You’ll no doubt want to capture these precious views with your camera, but it’s also a wonderful experience just to luxuriate in these surroundings and embrace the unrivalled levels of beauty you find in Italy.
In fact, in the country that is known for producing some of the best wines in the world, it only seems fitting to admire the views with a glass of Italian wine in hand. From Tuscany to Veneto and Lombardy to Mount Etna, the country is full of a fascinating mix of well-established wine regions and up-and-coming wine makers in areas you might not expect. With an Italian cruise, you’re able to try the best of the country’s most famous export – whether that’s in the region itself or at a local wine bar stocked with bottles from every corner of the country.
Along with wine, it’s the food of Italy that also often draws many to visit. It’s probably one of the most popular world cuisines, and a trip to the country itself means you can discover the intricacies and variations of their most famous dishes for yourself. When you think of Italy, you probably think of pizza, and it’s fascinating to discover the regional differences from city to city. Naples, for example, is widely considered to be the birth-place of pizza and there you’ll find wood-fired pizzas with sparse toppings; in Rome however, pizza is served by the rectangular slice and baked in the oven. With so many delicious ingredients and dishes hailing from this Mediterranean hotspot, tasting your way through Italy is one of the best ways to reveal its traditions and history.
If you’re not too full after sampling the country’s gastronomic delights, you’ll no doubt want to soak up the extraordinary amount of culture and history that seems to emanate from every picturesque village, town and city. Stroll through Florence and you’ll come across the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries which are home to world-famous artworks, such as Botticelli’s Birth Of Venus and Michelangelo’s statue of David. If you’re a lover of history, retrace a gladiator’s steps in Rome - the city is filled with ruins that date back to 203 AD along with famous landmarks such as the Spanish Steps and the Vatican. There’s so much to see on a cruise of Italy, you’ll soon get caught up in the vibrant buzz of the country and may never want to head home.
Weather & what to pack
The summer months in Italy are warm and generally dry, with temperatures in the mid-twenties Celsius. Rome can be very hot at the height of summer and we recommend you wear light clothes and take plenty of water and sun tan lotion. Take a small rucksack and pack comfortable shoes for your explorations.