Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeLifestyleTravelTravel Guides

Top 5 authentic experiences in Italy

4 min read

Top 5 authentic experiences in Italy
An authentic Italian experience awaits, inviting you to explore the exciting history, architecture, and art Italy has to offer.
It holds one of the oldest occupied cities in the world, providing history lovers with enticing sites and authentic Italian experiences. 
If you want to learn about the real Italy and all it has to offer, here are the top 5 authentic experiences in Italy to enjoy on your next adventure. 

Capri and Anacapri (from Sorrento)

An authentic Italian holiday is not complete without a full day tour of Capri and Anacapri. Your adventure begins from Sorrento with a trip on the hydrofoil, arriving early at the port of Capri. This gives you enough time to wander around before the tour begins, taking in the sights and sounds. The guided walking tours of Capri and Anacapri, delve into the areas and show you what to explore. 
Anacapri is famous for its unique artisan crafts like painted ceramics, while Capri Town is all about designer boutiques with one-of-a-kind fashion pieces. There is enough time on both tours to explore each town’s cafes and gelaterias in your own time, a good espresso and scoop of authentic gelato await!
In Anacapri there are various options along the tour, including a trip to Villa San Michele with one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy. Also, a chairlift ride up Monte Solaro with stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Naples. Capri Town boasts the prominent Caesar Augustus Gardens, where you can explore the incredible local flora and impressive views. 

Archaeological Wonders of Rome

Rome is one of the most famous cities for archaeological history, and it’s no surprise once you’ve experienced the various ruins that make this city such a landmark holiday destination. The first stop on this three hour archaeological wonders of Rome tour is the Roman Forum.
Once a place for socialising and political gatherings, the Roman Forum is now made up of cobbled streets, ruins, and various towering columns that give you a sense of what once stood in the city. Your expert guide brings the entire area to life, inviting you to step back to 6th Century BC. 
Next, it’s on to the remarkable Colosseum, showing off the incredible building skills of past civilisations. Built in 80 AD, this was the place for witnessing a fight unlike any other, between man and beast. 
The last stop is Palatine Hill, which is believed where Romulus founded Rome. The area once homed some of the most fascinating architecture of the Roman Empire, one being Emperor Augustine’s palace. While all that remains are the ruins of some of these notable buildings, your tour guide will take you on a historic journey in understanding what life was like in years gone by. 
Image of the Colosseum building in Rome in Italy

Vatican Museum and St Peters

This small group tour of the Vatican Museum and St Peters invites you to experience some of the most historical works of art in the world. Starting at 2:30 pm at the Vatican Museum you will walk through the museum, seeing some renowned pieces, including the incredible works within Raphael’s rooms by the infamous Italian Renaissance painter.  There will be lots of opportunities to ask your professional guide any questions along the way.
After the museum, it’s onto the Sistine Chapel where you can marvel at the ceiling with awe-inspiring frescoes by Michelangelo that combine to make one of the most recognisable works of art in history. 
Lastly, St Peter’s Basilica awaits with astonishing architecture like Bernini’s Baldacchino and Michelangelo’s Pieta, a fantastic marble sculpture. This three-hour tour has a maximum of 12 people and makes for the perfect chance to observe and learn about some of the most celebrated works of art in the world. 
Image of the building of St Peter's Basilica in Italy

Pompeii and Vesuvius (from Sorrento) - Full Day Excursion

History lovers, your authentic Italian experience isn’t complete without a trip from Sorrento to Pompeii and Vesuvius. This full day excursion starts 45 minutes away from Sorrento in Pompeii. This is where the legendary volcano covered the city in ash, leaving behind a well-preserved city.  
On arrival, you’ll receive a headset and start your exploration of the baths, villas, and forums by an expert guide, taking you back to 79 AD. 
Before heading to the renowned Mount Vesuvius, it's time for lunch. Then it’s into the coach to climb 1,000 metres up the active volcano. When you arrive, it’s time to reach the crater on foot. When the weather is clear you’ll be transcended to a world of wonder among the clouds with panoramic views of the Bay of Naples. 
Image of buildings and ruins at the ground of Pompeii in Italy

Concert/Opera Tickets 

The opera and Italy go together like fine wine and cheese—a match made in musical heaven. The opera in Italy will transport you in time, telling tales, myths, and opening your heart to the sounds of operatic greatness. 
Opera contradicts itself. It is quite serious a lot of the time but can also be incredibly humerus in the themes with satire and dramatic flair. This is what makes the opera such a fascinating authentic Italian experience. It’s all about transporting you through waves of emotion. 
Italian opera is a fantastic cultural experience that invites you to enjoy one of the most beloved pastimes. Italy is home to some of the most beautiful opera houses, including La Scala in Milan and the Teatro di san Carlo; the oldest theatre in Europe. 
Tickets to some of the most legendary performances sell out quickly, it’s important to book your tickets well in advance. Luckily, Citalia is here to help with some of the best seats in the house. 
If you are an all-out opera lover, Citalia’s range of Italian opera holidays will take you along one of the best authentic experiences in Italy. 
Image of the building of the Teatro all Scala in Milan in Italy

Discover the Real Italy with Citalia 

Are you ready to experience authentic Italy? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!                                                                        
Visit to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit