Italy - The World's Favorite Vacation Spot

Venice Canale Grande Gondolier City

The U.S. Tour Operators Association, a professional association of travel agents and tour operators that arranges travel for more than 10 million tourists each year, conducts an informal survey among its members every year to determine the world's top vacation locations. Italy, the cradle of civilisation, the cradle of romance, and the location of the Holy Sea, leads the list of foreign vacation destinations year after year.

What is it about Italy that makes it so unique? The breathtaking environment and warm, pleasant climate are simply the foreground of the scenario. Italy is a vibrant mosaic of travel opportunities, a delectable medley of flavors and civilizations that has something to offer everyone. From the cosmopolitan culture lover to the adventurous, from the serious history student to the socialite, Italy truly accommodates to them all and everyone in between.

The cities and scenery of Italy are a veritable treasure trove. You might easily spend months travelling the countryside and still only see a fraction of what it has to offer. What draws so many people to Bella Italia each year?

Italy is known for its art. 

Italy was the epicenter of the Renaissance and is one of the world's most aesthetically diverse countries. According to UNESCO, Italy is home to half of the world's artistic and historic riches. You'll encounter creative and architectural marvels that you won't find anywhere else in Florence, Venice, Rome, Naples, Milan, and other places. Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Tintorello, Correggio, Donatello - the most prominent painters of all times worked throughout the country and left their legacies in murals, paintings, and statues. While much of the art is housed in museums in nearly every city, art may be found anywhere, from the spectacular stained glass windows of a small church in Abruzzi to the painted ceilings of cathedrals.

Historic Italy

Italy is the birthplace of history. Italy's cities and surroundings are a treasure trove of ancient landmarks, and it has long been considered as the cradle of Western civilisation. You can stroll the Via Appia and feel the weight of decades lift from your shoulders when you realize that this is the same road that Imperial Rome's army and civilians trod two thousand years ago. Explore the Coliseum in Rome or the preserved city of Pompeii and immerse yourself in history. The Vatican, of course, is the walled city within Rome that is the center and heart of the Catholic Church, and where scholars come to study old scriptures and artifacts.

It's worth going to Italy only to see the scenery.

Italy's picturesque panoramas are as diverse as its twenty regions. The natural beauty of Italy is as alive and vivid as the paintings of its most famous artists, from snowcapped Alps to sweeping white sand beaches. Beyond the cities, the wild beauty of the Tuscan hills, with their rugged, twisting pathways and terraced vineyards, may still be found. There are twenty-three national parks and almost 500 government-protected natural areas where you can go hiking. Sea cliffs and alpine mountains, undulating hills and vast plains can all be found here. And, of course, there's the sea, with its ever-changing yet eternal aspect.

Come to Italy primarily for the food.

The abundance of Italian cuisine and hospitality is well-known around the world. In the Mediterranean country, the concept of abondanza is well-understood. You'll see groaning tables and open, welcoming arms everywhere you walk, inviting you to eat! Mangia!! There is no single type of Italian cookery, thus a thorough tour of Italy is a gustatory delight. Instead, each region of Italy has its own distinct flavors and mixes based on local delicacies and meals. Tuscany is known for its seafood, Milan for its complex flavors and rich sauces, and Bologna for its classic red sauce. In Italy, eating and drinking well is a way of life, and whether you treat yourself to a five-star lunch in Rome or stop at a roadside ristorante in a small region, you'll be served the best of the best.

For your health!

Since Hippocrates' day, Italy has been known for its thermal spas and springs. Both saltwater and fresh water springs are used in Italian spas. Due to the country's geological characteristics and a network of subterranean volcanic springs, hot water thermal springs abound. Thermal baths are now a famous tourist attraction in practically every area of Italy, and have evolved into popular vacation destinations in their own right. More than merely baths are available at Italian health spas. Many are close to cultural and recreational attractions, and thus provide an excellent base of operations for your visit to the country.

Italy's Travel Treasures

Spend at least one day strolling around Rome if you visit the city. You'll come across a number of small locations and historical artifacts that aren't listed on any tourist map. These sites may have been discovered during the construction of another structure and never fully excavated, but they are nevertheless worth discovering and enjoying away from the throng.

Visit the well-known museums in the larger cities, but take a journey outside of the metropolis and search out little towns and villages for a true treat. Throughout the country, you'll come across some of the most remarkable and surprising gems buried away in alcoves or painted on the walls of village churches.

If you're staying in Italy for more than a few days, skip the hotels and rent a villa or cottage in a small town. It won't cost much more – and in many cases, it won't cost much less – than a good hotel stay, and your hosts will treat you like family while you're there.

Italy is a place of contrasts and beauty, and each visit deepens and warms its allure. It's no surprise that it consistently ranks among the top of the world's holiday destinations, or that so many visitors return again and again to its warm and inviting embrace.

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