Are you somebody who gets intrigued by ancient cultures, antique architecture and loves to explore more about it? Or may be somebody who is enamored of luxurious sports cars like Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini? Or are you a gourmet? If yes, then Italy is the country that you must visit atleast once in your lifetime.Italy is a country that can feed the interest of all kinds of enthusiasts.Glide on a gondola in Venice, explore the colourful towns of the Amalfi Coast, visit vast volcanoes in Sicily, or be surprised by delights around every corner in Rome. It's no surprise that tours through Italy have made their way into every traveller's hearts. Whether you want to bask on the blue Mediterranean shores of Sardinia, embark on hikes with unbeatable views in the Dolomites, sample the finest wines in Tuscany, or experience la dolce vita sailing across the Gulf of Naples, our Italian vacation packages and 7 day Italy itineraries offer experiences with the perfect blend of culture, arts and adventure.
Located in southern Europe on the Apennine Peninsula,Italy was the centre of ancient Greco-Roman culture, and in the 15th century, they invented the renaissance.Many of those city-states flourished during the Renaissance era, a time marked by significant intellectual, artistic, and technological advances but also by savage warfare between states loyal to the pope and those loyal to the Holy Roman Empire. Italy comprises some of the most varied and scenic landscapes on Earth and is often described as a country shaped like a boot. At its broad top stand the Alps, which are among the world’s most rugged mountains. Italy’s highest points are along Monte Rosa, which peaks in Switzerland, and along Mont Blanc, which peaks in France. The western Alps overlook a landscape of Alpine lakes and glacier-carved valleys that stretch down to the Po River and the Piedmont. Tuscany, to the south of the cisalpine region, is perhaps the country’s best-known region.
If you are planning to visit Italy on a tourist visa, then you must know the visa requirements.You will need a short-term visa to visit Italy which is valid for 90 days. This short-term visa is also known as the Schengen visa. As you may be aware the Schengen visa is valid in all the European countries which are part of the Schengen agreement. Italy is one of the countries under the Schengen agreement.With a Schengen visa you can travel to and stay in Italy and all the other 26 Schengen countries.
A valid passport whose validity will exceed the duration of the visa you apply for by three months
Old passports if any
Passport size photos
A copy of your completed and signed visa application form
Proof of hotel bookings, flight bookings and a detailed plan of your activities during the duration of your stay in Italy
Schengen travel visa insurance or a health insurance covering Italy and the Schengen Area for medical emergencies with a minimum coverage of 30,000 pounds
Copy of tour ticket
Proof of having enough finances to support your travel and stay in the country
Bank statement of the last 6 months
Proof of income tax returns
A cover letter explaining why you want to visit Italy, your duration of stay, date of return etc.
Documents proving your civil status which could either be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children etc.
Places to Visit - Rome
Rome, Italian Roma, historic city and capital of Roma provincia (province), of Lazio regione (region), and of the country of Italy.It is located in the central part of Italian peninsula , on the Tiber river. Rome is known as the Eternal City due to its rich history when it rose and fell many times, but always persisted and now wears its charm on its sleeve, something that is complemented by the charming locals.
The Roman Forum was once the centre of everyday life, and when the Romans wanted some fun, they went to the Colosseum, which is one of the major Roman attractions. The Palatine Hill is the main Roman hill and is the origin of the Roman State. You can visit all these and many more ancient attractions, such as the Pantheon, a former Roman temple, and a few important squares, as part of a guided tour that takes a little over three hours. You can also visit ancient and other landmarks on your own by bike, which enables you to explore streets that are inaccessible to cars and buses. You’ll also get a ticket to the Colosseum.The Galleria Borghese is housed in a real villa and is one of the most important Roman galleries with a rich collection of art from 15th to 18th centuries that includes the works of Bernini, Rubens, Raphael and Caravaggio.
Venice, known also as the “City of Canals,” “The Floating City,” and “Serenissima,” is arguably one of Italy’s most picturesque cities. With its winding canals, striking architecture, and beautiful bridges, Venice is a popular destination for travel.Made up of hundreds of islands in the Venetian Lagoon, the city can only really be navigated on foot or by boat. Motor vehicles are rare, giving Venice a kind of peaceful atmosphere that allows visitors to focus on enjoying the sights and tastes of the city.
Venice is a city for lovers, with its intimate gondolas and sublime artworks. But it's more than that. It's a city for everyone. If you have an interest in art, cinema, music, or architecture, or just want to be swept away by a magical destination, Venice is a city you will adore.If you love art, you'll love Venice. See masterpieces like Titian's "Assumption of the Virgin" in the church of I Frari or frescoes by Tiepolo at the Santa Maria della Pietà, or visit during the city's much more modern Biennale, when the whole artistic and architectural world comes to Venice to display their accomplishments.
Deemed an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape by Unesco, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy's most memorable destinations. Here, mountains plunge into the sea in a nail-biting vertical scene of precipitous crags, cliff-clinging abodes and verdant woodland.It's fabled cliffs, jaw-dropping views and heart-stopping drive are just some of its allures.
The rollicking ride that takes you along the coast begins in Sorrento, winds along the insanely-steep hillside high above the sea, twists along to towns like Ravello, Positano and Amalfi before ending with a sigh at the seaport of Salerno. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most dramatic destinations in Italy. Its beauty is worth the effort to get there.The colors are intense here: pastel towns lineup like sugar cubes on the green hills
sprinkled with bright yellow lemons, overlooked by turquoise skies dotted with brilliantly white clouds, and plunging down to sapphire seas.
It is a quintessential summer resort atmosphere but with astonishing natural beauty. There are tucked-away bays, deep gorges and sandy beaches. The hills offer hiking and horseback riding and tranquil towns to explore.
Cradle of the Renaissance, romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible, Florence (Firenze) is a place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine.Florence is home to one of the most famous art galleries in the world, where many Renaissance masterpieces are housed. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Florence every year just to see the famous pieces by historical artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Giotto and Titian, just to name a few.
Florence’s crowning glory, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, was built in 1436 by architect Filippo Brunelleschi. The Duomo is made of natural green, red and white marble, with intricately carved and designed details – but it’s the sheer size of it that’s most impressive.
The Italian Riviera is not short of rugged coastline or romantic towns and villages, but the five fishing communities of the Cinque Terre are its most iconic highlight.There’s a sense of authenticity in these villages, with few roads, perfectly preserved architecture and a network of stunning coastal and mountain trails.
The main tourist attractions are the Old Castle, the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Convent of the Capuchin.
The modern town stands at the foot of the Feniglia Hill, and boasts ruggedly beautiful beaches and natural areas. Finally, the Statue of Neptune, called the Giant, majestically guards the coastline from on high.
Top Hotels in Italy
It’s with good reason that Italy continues to top so many “dream destinations” lists. The food is outstanding, the architecture is beautiful, the history is ever-present, and the museums are full of important works.
GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO, LAKE COMO
This glam Art Nouveau retreat on Lake Como epitomizes Italian excess in all the right ways: exquisite parquet floors in the breezy open foyer, oil paintings of Botticelli-esque beauties in the intimate T Bar, and tufted, gem-colored sofas in the sitting room. The rooms are no less ornate—baroque buffs will appreciate the gilded bed frames and mirrors, along with the high ceilings, floor-sweeping curtains, and wall sconces. There’s a pool plunked directly in the lake, embedded neatly like a sapphire, that’s worth dipping into once you’ve had a treatment at the T Spa.
BELMOND HOTEL SPLENDIDO & BELMOND SPLENDIDO MARE’ PORTOFINO
The Belmond Hotel Splendido set high above the cove, and the Belmond Splendido Mare taking pride of place on the harborfront. The 70-room Splendido, on a steep, craggy hill overlooking the area’s fabled turquoise waters, was a 16th century monastery known for withstanding attacks from Saracen pirates. Meanwhile, the 16-room Mare sits on the Piazzetta, a respite from the lively Ligurian harbor. At the Splendido, fragrant wisteria and straight-backed juniper bushes flank the winding cobblestone walkways, and a narrow, gleaming pool hangs perilously over the waves below. Many rooms come with terra-cotta-tiled terraces where you can take your morning cappuccino, and some have stunning panoramic views of the cove. The wellness center offers “Muscle Melt” massages and treatments with Sicilian sea salt and turmeric-laced poultices; while at the restaurant, La Terrazza, local seafood rightly dominates the menu. The Splendido Mare, meanwhile, offers stylish modern rooms, intimate restaurant Chuflay, and even a gelateria right on the Piazzetta.
MONASTERO SANTA ROSA HOTEL & SPA, CONCA DEI MARINI, SALERNO
We all dream of a romantic, seaside Italian getaway and this one just might be it. The hotel occupies a restored 17th-century monastery just three miles from Amalfi. With 20 rooms, terraced gardens, clifftop Mediterranean views, and a pool that seems to find yourself right at that point of enjoying the seclusion without feeling isolated. Stroll the four levels of terraced gardens, and don't miss the spa, which includes sauna and steam rooms, a hydro pool, and tepidarium. You can enjoy a martini with a side of chess at the library and bar before dining on local Campanian specialties at Il Refettorio, the Michelin-starred restaurant, where the charming servers are straight out of central casting.
Must Try Cuisines in Italy
Though a slab of flat bread served with oil and spices was around long before the unification of Italy, there’s perhaps no dish that is as common or as representative of the country as the humble pizza.Today, there are essentially two types of pizza to choose from in Italy: Neapolitan-style pizza, or Roman-style pizza (though to be honest, many delivery places exist that is a happy medium between the two). Neapolitan-style pizza has a thick, fluffy crust. It tends to be a little smaller in diameter because the dough hasn’t been rolled out as far and it’s more filling. Roman-style pizza has a paper-thin crust and just the slightest crunch (you don’t want it to be soggy!) It’s larger in diameter but typically lighter and less of a gluten bomb.
Lasagna is a wide, flat pasta noodle, usually baked in layers in the oven. Like most Italian dishes, its origins are hotly contested, but we can at least say that its stronghold is in the region of Emilia-Romagna, where it transformed from a poor man’s food to a rich meal filled with the ragù, or meat sauce.
Traditionally lasagna wasn’t made with tomatoes (remember, those came over from the New World in the 16th century); only ragù, béchamel sauce, and cheese, usually mozzarella or Parmigiano Reggiano or a combination of the two. Even today, only a bit of tomato or tomato sauce is used in a traditional ragu, unlike most Italian-American dishes, which are basically swimming in tomato sauce.
This pungent, elusive fungus is one of the most expensive and coveted foods in the world – and Italy is one of the few countries where they can be found in abundance! Grown only in the wild, this tuber is found by hunting the forests and mountains of Umbria and Piedmont with dogs or pigs trained to smell it underground.
Truffles in Italy come in two forms, the rare and more aromatic white truffle, or the slightly less aromatic and slightly more common black truffle. The aroma is otherworldly, though certainly not for everyone – less enthusiastic consumers sometimes compare the smell/taste to gasoline. Still, their popularity abounds and Italian tartufi are one of our all-time favorite fall foods in Italy!
Italy is a tourist’s delight and its multiple facets are a big attraction but, taking cognizance of recent incidents, we’ve advised you a few things to take care of while you visit Italy:
i. Pick pocketing, theft of valuables including passports, pull-over scams on roadways are not uncommon. Theft statistics have gone up.
ii. Such incidents usually take place at major tourist spots (like La Sagrada familia, Casa Mila among others) , pit stops on highways, bus/metro/railway stations, airport waiting areas, queues for tickets, even lobbies/restaurants of hotels.
iii. Modus Operandi
Your vehicle could be stopped on any pretext including fake police or
highway patrol and your valuables forcibly taken away.
Handbags are picked from coffee shops and lobbies of hotels.
Your valuables, including trolley bags are targeted while waiting for
check-ins at airport and railway/bus stations.
Liquids including paint can be thrown to distract you and your
valuables can be targeted on the pretext of offering help.
iv. Physical intimidation is not uncommon in robberies.
v. The Italian police are helpful, but may have limited success in returning stolen property.
Some Travel Tips:
i. Always carry a copy of your passport, but keep the original document
safe in your hotel.
ii. Do not carry too much cash. Use plastic money which is freely
iii. Jewellery is the easiest item to be stolen.
iv. In case of any such incident, call the police. A police report will be
needed, if you require a duplicate passport.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate facilitates safe free movement of citizens in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. To get entry into Italy, travellers from Eu Member States and the Schengen Area (List C) are required to present the Eu Digital COVID Certificate showing that:
You have completed the prescribed anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination cycle at least 14 days ago, or
You have recovered from COVID-19 (the certificate of recovery is valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive swab), or
You have taken a negative molecular or antigen swab test in the 48 hours prior to entering Italy.
Wearing a face mask is always mandatory in indoor public places throughout Italy.
Masks are no longer mandatory outdoors, but you must always carry one with you and wear it if you find yourself in crowded conditions that do not allow the 1 metre safety distance to be maintained.
The following persons are not required to wear masks:
• children under the age of 6
• people with disabilities and their carers if the mask makes communication between them impossible.
Always keep a safe distance of one metre from other people and wash your hands frequently or, if this is not possible, sanitize them with alcohol-based sanitizing gels. You will find sanitizing gel dispensers at the entrances to shops, restaurants and other businesses.
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