Romantic Italy seems to beckon lovers of all ages. Its magical countryside offers the perfect conditions for a romantic honeymoon. 3000 years of history, culture and cuisine have combined to create an atmosphere of fabulous food, subdued music, charming villages, winding lanes, intimate hotels, and a warm and enthusiastic reception wherever you go.
Those seeking sun and sand should head to the dramatic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast and the sun soaked island of Capri. Venice is magical with its misty and quiet canals, elegant architecture, spacious cafés around every corner, and classical music softly floating from St. Mark’s Square. A walk along Bellagio’s lakeside promenade on the shores of Lake Como will transport you through cobblestone streets and lush, sunny gardens. The breathtaking architecture of Rome is unforgettable, and the streets of Florence are a veritable trove of artistic masterpieces. With all that Italy has to offer, the hard question is not whether or not to go, but just what to see once you arrive.
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- St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the world’s smallest sovereign independent state, where you will find Michelangelo’s masterful sculpture, the Pietà
- Stop by the Sistine Chapel to see the frescoes that were the result of 4 years of Michelangelo’s labor.
- Rome’s Colosseum remains the greatest architectural legacy of ancient Rome. Opt for a tour to get the most out of your visit.
- Visit The Pantheon, considered an architectural wonder due to its perfect dome.
- Stop by the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in as you make a wish!
- No visit to Florence would be complete without seeing the following sights:
- Michelangelo’s masterpiece David in the Galleria dell’Accademia
- Uffizi Gallery- bursting with paintings and sculptures, you won’t want
to skip the Uffizi, particularly Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and
- Il Duomo- one of the world’s largest churches. It is well worth the
463 step climb to the top for the panoramic views of Florence below.
- Il Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge)- the last remaining medieval bridge
spanning the Arno River, it is famous for its goldsmith and jewelry
- Piazza San Marco:
St. Mark’s Square was the heart of Venice in its heyday as a seafaring
City. Now it is traffic free, and visited by Venetians, tourists and pigeons, throughout the day. Sit, relax and sip an espresso as you indulge in an Italian tradition of coffee and people watching.
- The Grand Canal:
Take a romantic gondola ride down Venice’s Grand Canal and enjoy the Gothic palaces and historic churches that line the way.
- The dramatic island of Capri offers sweeping views, narrow winding streets, and white washed villas. The rugged landscape makes for few sandy beaches; therefore you must pay to visit the swimming beaches, for example Bagni Nettuno. For 15€ you can sunbathe amidst the scenic cliffs and enjoy the use of a cabana, towel and deck chair. The more adventurous can swim from here into the Blue Grotto, but this is only recommended after 5:00 when the boats no longer visit and if there are calm seas.
- The Blue Grotto:
Charter a boat from Capri to a breathtaking and romantic cavern whose refracted light creates a stunning blue effect.
- A visit to Pompeii from the Amalfi Coast is well worth a day trip. Life 19 centuries ago comes to life thanks to the city ruined by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The most elegant ancient villas that are not to be missed are the House of the Vettii, with its courtyard, paintings and fresco-decorated dining room, and the House of the Mysteries.
Bellaggio-The Lake District:
- Explore one of the prettiest towns in Europe by venturing into the village’s crooked, often steep, cobblestone streets. Wander along the lake shore which blossoms with flowering shrubbery, or soak up the sun’s warmth on the Bellagio Lido beach.
- Car ferries sail across the lake to Cadenabbia on Lake Como’s western shore, where you will find Villa Carlotta, famous for its serene gardens, bursting with exotic, frangrant flowers.
Tips and Advice
- When to Go:
April-June and late September-October are great options for travel to
Italy. You will miss the summer tourism rush of July-mid-September.
Avoid August if possible, when it’s uncomfortably warm, and most Italians go on vacation. Try to avoid the high season of June through September when prices will be higher.
In the summer, it is warm all over Italy. South of Rome, temperatures can be in the 90s during the day, with the evenings comfortably cooler. Winters in Northern Italy are cold with rain and snow, but during summer months are typically in the mid 70’s.
The Euro is the official Italian currency. The easiest way to get cash is through an ATM machine; however they often charge fees for
International transactions. Bank of America clients can avoid the fees by withdrawing at Deutsche Bank branches while in Italy.
- When touring the large cities, beware of pickpockets. Be especially on your guard if approached by the small Gypsy children selling flowers or knickknacks.
- To call Italy from the United States, dial:
011+ Italy country code 39 + city code + local number
- To call from one Italian city to another, include a zero before the
- To call the US from Italy, dial:
001 + area code + number
- Make international calls from a public phone when possible, as hotels will charge higher rates.
- Italy is six hours ahead of United States Eastern Standard Time.
- In bars and cafés, you will notice different prices listed for food whether it is served al banco or à tavola. À tavola prices will be three to four times as much, as you’re paying for the privilege of sitting down and being served, as opposed to standing at the bar.
- For sit down meals, you will find a service charge of anywhere between 1-3€. Often a 15% tip is automatically included in the bill. Ask if you are unsure.
- Tipping is customary in Italy. 15% is often automatically included in your restaurant bill. Taxi drivers also expect 15% of the fare.
- Electricity in Italy is AC and varies from 115-220V. If you are carrying electronic devices, you may want to bring a transformer and adapter plug with you.
- Basic Italian:
Thank you | Grazie | graht-tzee-yey
You’re welcome | Prego | prey-go
Please | Per favore pehr-fah-vohr-eh
Yes | Si | see
No | no | noh
Good morning | Buongiorno | bwohn-djor-noh
Good evening | Buona sera | bwohn-ah say-rah
Excuse me | Scusi | skoo-zee
How much is it? | Quanto costa | kwan-toh coh-sta
The check, please | el conto, per favore | eel kon-toh pehr-fah-vohr-eh