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The Ultimate Guide to Italy with Citalia

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The Ultimate Guide to Italy with Citalia
At Citalia, we have been helping our guests to discover the very best of Italy for over 90 years. Our experience and expertise, together with our attention to detail and personal touch, really does make us the UK’s leading Italian holiday specialist.
Our history in rail travel and relationships with trusted hotel partners mean we can build every aspect of your trip, so everything is taken care of before you even pack your bags. Whether you’re looking for an authentic city break in Rome, a glamourous stay by the lakes or an off the beaten track hidden gem, we take the time to handpick an Italian adventure bespoke to you.

Welcome to our Ultimate Guide to Italy!

Italy has something for everyone, from glistening coastlines and Islands, to off the beaten track hidden gems; iconic city breaks to multi-destination itineraries so you can see and do more in a single trip. Enjoy a glass of local wine with friends or spend the day exploring on one of our specially curated experiences. Italy has so much to offer, and we can’t wait to share some of our must visit destinations and events for 2023 with you. Andiamo!
Image of the city of Verona for our discover the real Italy ultimate guide to Italy

City: Verona

Verona is filled with culture and history. This city of love was the setting for Romeo and Juliet where you can discover the famous balcony at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House). The city’s main square, Piazza Bra is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat and watch the world go by before heading to the famous Arena di Verona for a night at the opera.
Save the date: Verona Opera Festival
Enjoy a night under the stars at the Verona Opera Festival as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. From 16th June to 9th September 2023, you can enjoy breathtaking performances of masterpieces like Verdi’s Aida and La Traviata at Arena di Verona - an event not to be missed!
Top Tip: Did you know Venice is just over an hour away by train? You could combine these two cities and discover more of the real Italy in one trip.
Image of the coastline and lake at Lake Como in Italy

Lake: Lake Como

With an air of elegance and grandeur, the Italian Lakes sparkle with their crystal clear waters edged with floral villages and picture-perfect piazzas. There are five iconic lakes in the north of Italy: Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore, Lake Iseo and Lake Orta. Each has its own special charm and ambience. Lake Como has a traditional feel, and the views are sensational. Como offers something for everyone with grand lakeside mansions to Michelin starred restaurants, verdant gardens to stylish boutiques. Elegant Bellagio offers the ideal place for soaking up the culture, while the pretty towns of Tremezzo and Varenna allow you to be at one with nature in the lush gardens. The extensive ferry network makes it easy to get around so you can head off the beaten track and stumble upon some hidden gems.
Top Tip: Holidays to Lake Como offer fantastic dining options – we recommend heading to Crotto dei Platani, one of the oldest restaurants on the lake. In a cave-like cellar, it has an interesting history and a delicious menu.
Image of the coastline of Liguria

Coast: Liguria

The Italian Riviera, also known as the Ligurian coastline, stretches from the border of France all the way down to Tuscany. The main city of Genoa splits the coastline in two with the west side showcasing charming resorts popular with Italians and the east side highlighting the most beautiful coastline in Italy with the picturesque town of Portofino and the iconic Cinque Terre. Home to a warm climate all year round and pretty fishing villages, Liguria is the ideal spot for your next holiday to Italy.
Save the date: Liguria's Spring Festival
Don’t miss the Spring festivals that take place here annually with the Monterosso Lemon Festival in May. The streets of this tiny town come alive with the fresh scent of lemons as stalls line the streets with crates and baskets filled with lemons – be sure to try Limoncino, Liguria’s own lemon liqueur.
A Must-see: Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is the collective name for five of Italy’s most picturesque coastal villages. These postcard-perfect places are all within just a few miles of each other, linking together to form perhaps Italy’s most mesmerising destination.
Image of a boat floating on the water in Sicily in Italy

Island: Sicily

For an island escape in 2023, the answer is Sicily. Sitting at the tip of Italy, it’s the largest island in the Mediterranean and ticks every holiday must-have: hot climate, crystal clear waters and idyllic white sand beaches. There are a magnificent seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sicily so take a step back in time and discover the history of this iconic island as you learn about the past with a visit to the Greek temples. Marvel at the Roman architecture and mosaics and tantalise your tastebuds with the Arabic influenced cuisine.
Head to the seaside town of Cefalù to spend long sun-drenched days on luxurious beaches or embrace the local culture with a walk through streets lined with craft shops. For dramatic clifftop views, Taormina offers an unforgettable experience. This beautiful town is nestled in the foothills of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, and has some impressive historical monuments. The most spectacular is the ancient Greek-Roman Theatre which still hosts live shows today, more than 2,000 years later.
A Must-see: The Aeolian Islands lie just off the north of Sicily and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Offering picturesque landscapes and plenty of relaxation, they make for the perfect day trip from Sicily.
Image of white houses in a street in the village of Puglia in Italy

Countryside: Puglia

Allow Puglia to whisk you away to a land that is culturally rich and enchanting. The heel of Italy is one of the country’s most magnificent regions, known for its vast coastline. Meander the ancient streets and fall in love with the hauntingly beautiful medieval towns. With whitewashed villages and magical cobbled alleyways, Puglia has some real treasures. Lecce, depicted as the Florence of the South, combines culture and commerce brilliantly with architectural delights. While Polignano a Mare settled on the Adriatic coast, is rich in history, with narrow winding streets, and a white pebble beach with hidden caves to explore. Nestled in the peaceful countryside you’ll find the small town of Alberobello. The trulli houses are the star attraction here with their white facades and grey conical roofs. These unique buildings have been transformed into shops, wine bars and museums. Wherever you choose to go, we know you’ll love Italy as much as we do!
Top Tip: Famous for its olive oil production, Puglia supplies around half of the country’s olive oil. Why not visit a local plantation to enjoy a tour and tasting?
 

Citalia's Choice: Sightseeing from Sorrento

Sorrento is a true Italian gem. Like many Italian towns, much of Sorrento’s charm is found in its lemon-lined streets, where you can spend the day browsing the hidden boutique shops. Sorrento is also very well-connected and makes the perfect base when looking to explore the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and picturesque Italian Islands, such as Capri and Ischia. Sorrento is also just a short train ride away from Pompeii where you can amble the ancient stone streets of this preserved Roman town.

Discover the real Italy with Citalia     

Ready for an Italy adventure? 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 citalia.com to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
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