The Originals Hotels’ visitors guide to Italy includes a selection of our local hoteliers’ best tips of what to do, what to see, what to eat and how to travel around Italy.
With a superb Mediterranean climate and some of the best cuisine in all of Europe, it is easy to see why so many visitors flock to Italy each year. From the Alpine north, to the historical and gastronomical Central Italy, to the beautiful beaches of Southern Italy, the country has something to offer everyone. The country is large and has one of the biggest populations in the European Union. Italy is a centre of design, fashion and high-tech industries but it also has a more laid-back pace of life in its more rural locations.
The economic heart of Italy, Lombardy is the richest region of Bel Paese. A world of elegance, Lombardy entices and impresses from its fashion powerhouse Milan to its famous lakes where the grand villas and ornate gardens compete for your attention against the backdrop of green slopes and snow-covered peaks.
First and foremost, Tuscany is picture-postcard-perfect. With vistas of gentle golden yellow and soft greens dotted with proud cypress bordering long-established olives and vines that are watched over by delicately perched villages – the views are as iconic as they are romantic.
Bordered by the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, the heel of the Italian boot mixes culture, gastronomy, history and beaches. To visit Puglia is to succumb to the charm of its spectacular coastline. The west and its rocks, the east and its long sandy beaches. Everywhere the ocean’s changing reflections invites swimming and cooling off.
Fiat cars, Nutella, white Alba truffle, Barbera wines...all were born here in Piedmont where the green hills covered with vineyards reach up towards high alpine peaks and down into the Po Valley. Italy's second largest region after Sicily, Piedmont owes its name to its geographical location "at the foot of the mountains". And what mountains! The majestic Alps, a playground for hikers and Italian and European skiers.
The largest island in the Mediterranean is a land of exceptional nature, architecture, cuisine and history. Greeks, Arabs and Normans left their traces here, with medieval palaces, baroque churches, Greek temples and oriental gardens fighting for your attention. The architectural and historical buffet on offer in Sicilian cities is as charming as it is varied.
Transports in Italy
Italian roads are good and well-maintained, especially in the industrial north of the country. All over Italy, the train network is reliable and runs to a strict timetable which never seems to be delayed by much, if anything. If you travel by train, then you must self-validate your ticket.
WHEN TO GO TO ITALY ?
For many, the summer holidays constitute the best time to go to Italy. The rolling landscape of Tuscany can certainly be very appealing at this time. In the far south, however, high summer can mean it is too hot for holidaymakers, so why not come in spring or autumn instead? The charming seaside town of Sorrento holds a popular music festival each October. In Sicily, Mardi Gras is a big festival that coincides with Lent each spring. Turin stages an annual film festival which takes place in late November and early December.
Italy is a diverse country with many activities to enjoy. Here’s our Italy visitors guide selection of the top three things to do during your stay.
Italians love football so going to any game is a great experience to be involved in. You can also enjoy one of the most-attended Formula 1 Grand Prix in the country by heading to the national circuit at Monza.
Italian cooking is famous the world over and cookery courses are offered in just about every urban centre in the country. Sign up for a day or even an entire week to learn the art of Italian cuisine.
Skiing and other winter sports are taken seriously in the north of Italy. The region which borders Austria – Trentino-Alto Adige – is well known for its great slopes.
As mentioned, food is a national obsession in Italy. For a fine dining experience in the capital, head to Ristorante All'Oro on Via Giuseppe Pisanelli which offers a selection of superb wines and a great tasting menu to get your Italian adventure up and running. During your stay, talk to your hotelier for personal recommendations on their favourite local dining spots. It’s local connections like this that make The Originals, Human Hotels and Resorts extra special.