Italy Hotels, Attractions & Travel Guide
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Italy Travel Guide
An overview of Italy - from major hotels, attactions and localities to climate and weather information.
Italy is home to several amazing ancient resorts, namely Pompeii, which is quite popular, Naples, Ischia, Capri Baiae. The city of Rome receives millions of visitors each year, with popular sites such as the Vatican which is the worldwide headquarters for the Pope of Rome. The Vatican has several interesting museums such as the Pinacoteca Art Gallery which has impressive collections, the Sculpture Museums, Museo Pio-Clementino and the Etruscan Gregorian Museum. The museums display outstanding works by world renowned artists. Rome is also home to the impressive Colosseum, which is an ancient amphitheatre in the heart of the city, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, St Peter's Basilica and the Roman Forum. Also worth seeing is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese park and the Janiculum.
Other prime destinations include the romantic city of Venice, Florence, Naples, Genoa and Perugia most of which are famous for their historic imprints. Cities like Verona, Siena, Urbino and Vicenza are popular World Heritage Sites. Sicily and Sardinia attracts thousands each year, owing to their amazing natural setting. Italy has several romantic medieval hill towns, like San Gimignano in Tuscany, and natural fishing villages, like Positano. The islands’ beaches provide opportunities for swimming and sunbathing and exciting water sports in summer, hiking, mountaineering and other natural delights. Most of Italy’s northern cities are located in the Alps area which facilitates many winter sports activities such as alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and other snow fun. Then there is Central Italy with areas like the Tuscany wine region which has many opportunities for wine tasting and visiting centuries old wineries.
Italy has several wonderful natural parks. These include those in the Alps such as the Gran Paradiso, which is the country’s first national park, the Pollino, Calabria and the famous Mount Vesuvius National Park in the Apennines, the beautiful Forests of Casentino, Monti Falterona und Campigna National Park and the Sibllini Mountains National Park. Back on the coast are places like the Cinque Terre National Park, La Maddalena National Park and Asinara National Park. The impressive The Dolomite Mountains, the amazing water sports opportunities on the magnificent Lake Garda, Mount Etna, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como should not be missed.
Italy has many museums and sites of archaeological importance including those in Rome. These include the coastal village of Positano which dates back to the 10th century, the remarkable Valle di Templi, St. Francis di Assisi and Milan’s stunning Duomo. Also worth seeing are the Duomo of Florence, the Duomo de Orvieto, the dolphins and architecture at Portofino and the Botanic Gardens of Padua along with the healing baths of Bagno Vignoni.
The country has many noteworthy museums include the Archaeological Museum of Populonia, the Egyptian Museum, the Aquarium, Milan’s Science and Technology Museum and the Castelvecchio in Verona among others. A number of Gothic, Classical, Etruscan and Renaissance sites such as the Romanesque Leaning Tower of Pisa and the La Rotonda which forms a part of the Palladian Villas of the Veneto can be seen in Italy. Other Italian attractions are the Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Basilica and Doges' Palace.
For entertainment and gastronomy, Italy offers a wide range of superb restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres found in major cities and localities in the country. Each year, the country celebrates many international and local events. These include the Carnival of Venice, the Puccini Festival, the Venice Film Festival and Puccini Opera Festival, Tuscany Wine Festivals and Scoppio Del Carro in Florence. Other events such as the traditional Sagra Di San Efisio, Il Palio de Siena in August, L’Eroica in Tuscany which is a popular cycling race can also be enjoyed.
Italy has a highly diverse climate. Most of its coastal areas experience a Mediterranean type climate with warm, hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The northern inland areas of Italy experience a humid sub tropical climate with areas of higher altitudes like those in the Alps experiencing very cold, snowy winters. Lowland valleys can be extremely hot during the summer, which is why the beaches are so popular at that time of the year.
Italy has many excellent hotels. There are approximately 38,000 hotels throughout the country including those of five star qualities. These tend to be concentrated around the Mediterranean coastline at popular beach areas or in major cities such as Rome or Venice. Several bed and breakfasts, luxury self catering and serviced apartments, camp sites in natural settings and comfortable farm stays can be accessed as well. Well known hotels in Rome include the Principe di Savoia, Carlton Hotel Baglioni, Hotel Hassler and Hotel Splendide Royale. Lake Como is home to grand waterfront hotels like the Villa D’Este classified as a super luxury hotel. There is also the classic luxury Villa La Massa and Villa Olmi in Florence, as well as the Hotel Caesius, Bellevue San Lorenzo and the Grand Hotel Gardone on Lake Garda, all rated four stars. The Castello del Nero Hotel and Spa in Florence, Luna Hotel Baglioni in Venice and the Park Hyatt in Milan are superb stays as well. A wonderfully exciting vacation can be had exploring Italy’s natural and historical treasures, and experiencing the country’s unadulterated cultural scene.
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