The great Roman Empire may be long gone but Italy continues to be a country with many riches. Impressive architecture, mostly World Heritage Sites, that has survived centuries can be found in almost all its cities and towns. Italy was also at the heart of the Renaissance, the golden age of culture that saw the rise of Italy’s greatest artists, such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli, and their works alone draw millions of tourists each year. Today, contemporary designers like Armani, Gucci, Ferragamo continue to do the country proud. Of course, Mother Nature herself has also been generous to Italy. Azure waters, snow-capped mountains, endless beaches and sprawling vineyards simply make it so easy to fall in love with Italy.


A principal harbor for over two thousand years, Bari is a charming city on the Adriatic coast. The old town, Barivecchia, is cherished for its medieval characteristics and buildings. As one of Southern Italy's more prosperous cities, Bari offers a wealth of shopping and dining options. It would be appropriate to do some gift shopping while in town. Bari is home to the bones of Saint Nicholas.



For centuries, Genoa has been a major commercial seaport. Today, it is one of Italy's largest cities. Located in northwestern Italy, in the inner harbour of the Gulf of Genoa, this city was once home to Christopher Columbus and world-renowned violinist Niccolò Paganini.

Within the city's medieval walls you can wander the caruggi (alleys) where the wealthy Genovese lived and guilds set up shop. The alleys are still home to specialty shops, Baroque and Romanesque churches and 500-year-old apartment buildings.


  • The Aquarium of Genoa, the largest aquarium in Europe, featuring sharks, dolphins, penguins, seals, sea turtles, jellyfish, giant Japanese spidercrabs, and more. Discover new ecosystems such as the flooded forest, the mangroves, the Madagascar reef and the Moluccan Islands. Adventurers of all ages will be swept away!
  • Lanterna, a majestic lighthouse perched on the rocks in Genoa's harbor since 1543, which takes 375 steps to climb but the view is worth it!
  • The 16th century Galleria di Palazzo Bianco (White Palace) and the fantastic art collection within: Portrait of a Lady by Lucas Cranach the Elder and the works of Bernardo Strozzi, Murillo, Caravaggio, Veronese and Jan Steen.

La Spezia

Between the water and the inland hills, La Spezia is one of the major harbours of Italy. Anyone with an interest in naval history will enjoy strolling along the inviting seafront and visiting the exhibits of the Museo Tecnico Navale. Walk the city’s pedestrian-friendly streets and take in sights such as the historical gardens with their dazzling array of colors. La Spezia also boasts outstanding works in the Museo Amedeo Lia, featuring medieval and Renaissance art.

Livorno (Florence/Pisa)

Livorno, in the Tuscan region of Italy, is ideally located for exploring some of the most beautiful cities in Italy, including Florence and Pisa.

History and the sea have made Livorno one of the most unique cities in Italy and certainly the most open. Livorno is a port city, and has always been an oasis of tolerance for all those persecuted for their religion, politics or race, who have enriched the city with a wide range of cultures and customs. Its names, buildings and dishes still show traces of its role as crossroads of the Mediterranean.


  • Venezia Nuova, or New Venice, the charming quarter filled with canals, islands and bridges, many from the 17th century. The network of streets and canals was designed so that goods could be easily transported to and from the nearby port. Even the elegant buildings had warehouses on the first floor. These buildings can be best seen in the centrally located Via Borra, one of the prettiest streets of the city. A great way to see Livorno is by boat along these canals.

Messina (Sicily)

Just three miles off the coast of southern Italy's mainland is the port town of Messina on the island of Sicily. This bustling town has a complex history with roots in Greek mythology but, because of an earthquake in the early 1900s, it's a relatively young city architecturally. Since the majority of the city has been rebuilt or refurbished within the last 100 years, you'll find the town has an interesting blend of new architecture and old styles.


  • The world's largest astronomical clock, Orologio Astronomico, in a 197-foot bell tower in the Piazza del Duomo. When the clock strikes noon, Ave Maria plays from a loudspeaker, and bronze mechanical figures start to move: lion roars, a bird flaps its wings, two historical heroines take turns ringing the bell, and a statue of Jesus emerges from a tomb.
  • The Duomo, the town's main cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo.
  • The Fontana di Orione in the center of the piazza, where you can make a wish.
  • The Museo Regionale for an amazing collection of art rescued from the 1908 earthquake, including pieces dating back to the 13th century.


In the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Naples features architectural delights and one of the world’s most important archaeological museums, The Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Naples is not only picturesque, it's also one of the world's greatest cultural centers, filled with extraordinary works of art and architecture in the classical Greek and Roman styles. Several interesting tours are available of the city itself and the fascinating places that lie just outside of Naples. Visit the ancient city of Pompeii or hop across the fabulous Isle of Capri to take in the breathtaking views from the mountaintop.


  • Pompeii, one of the most famous excavation sites in the world. A thriving city 1,900 years ago, Pompeii was devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. when 30 feet of volcanic ash and pumice stone covered it. Enter Pompeii by the sea gate and take a short walk to the hub of the city: the Forum. View the lavish temples and porticoes that have been beneath the ash for centuries.
  • The entrancing Isle of Capri, accessible by boat. There, eplore Capri Town, with its quaint streets, shops and cafés. Discover the Gardens of Augustus, overlooking the famous Faraglioni of Capri and Marina Piccola.
  • Amalfi Coast, one of the most breathtaking stretches of road in the world. Its ocean views and beautiful vistas make it one of the world’s most scenic drives.
  • Walking around the picturesque city of Naples, which also happens to be the birthplace of pizza.

Naples (Salerno)

Located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Salerno neighbors Italy's cherished Amalfi Coast. One of the larger cities in the area, Salerno is a lively modern center with a charming medieval sector at its heart. Set out from Salerno to visit the Amalfi Coast. Or stay and explore the city's long and eventful history before enjoying a leisurely stroll along Salerno's stunning Lungomare Trieste (seafront promenade), which rivals those of the French Riviera.


Located on a wide bay beneath the shadow of Mount Pellegrino, Palermo is brimming with modern day treasures, fine baroque buildings and elegant stores.
Marvel at the impressive Norman architecture that made the city famous, or discover the Massimo Opera House, Quattrao Canti , and Cathedral.


  • Museo Anti-Mafia, in the village of Corleone,just outside Palermo, which was home to the infamous Salvatore Riina, once Italy's most wanted man and the Mafia's "boss of all bosses." The Museo Anti-Mafia's exhibits depict the Mafia's horrific deeds throughout history and helps people understand the dangers of organized crime.
  • The International Marionettes Museum, for the world's most complete collection of "pupi" (puppets).
  • Castello della Zisa, an excellent example of Arabic architecture that was completed in 1175. Named from the Arabic word "el-aziz," meaning "the splendid one," the castle now also houses the Museum of Islam.
  • La Vucciria, Palermo's most famous market. "Vucciria" means "voices" or "hubbub", and this casbah-style marketplace is full of such commotion, aside from having the best foods Sicily has to offer.


Pisa, a city in Tuscany, has become synonymous with the Leaning Tower, its most famous attraction. Truth is, Pisa is a treasure chest full of surprises, with more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces, and various bridges across the Arno River. Discover the bright Lungarni quays walled by noble buildings, or explore its web of narrow, medieval alleys leading to the famous Piazza dei Miracoli. The birthplace of Galileo Galilei, who challenged the then worldview that the Earth was the centre of the universe - Pisa continues his legacy as an important university city with a lively student lifestyle.


  • The Campanile, or Leaning Tower, the city’s world-famous attraction. Originally intended to stand vertically, the tower started leaning soon after construction, because of a poorly laid foundation and a loose substrate that has allowed the tower to change its direction. Whether it’s a product of human error or an aberration of nature, it certainly has captured the attention and the imagination of visitors from all over the world.
  • Battistero, in the Piazza del Duomo, the largest of its kind in the whole of Italy. Its vast interior is fairly plain, but one of the most interesting features in the Baptistery is the simply astonishing acoustics, which echo around the interior. To enjoy these wonderful acoustics, it is worth arriving early in the morning, before the building gets too busy. When a choir sings in the Pisa Baptistery, it is memorable to say the least.


Portofino is an ancient marina long considered the Mediterranean’s most glamorous, a holiday destination of the rich and famous since the mid 1900’s. Designer stores display everything from children’s wear, ladies’ handbags, jewelry and leather goods, to the very latest in couture. The sea is so clear, you can watch small fish dart about the anchors as you dine at one of the many harbourside restaurants and cafes. Known as the "Pearl of the Riviera," it's hard to image a more captivating place than the cliff-lined cove of Portofino.

Simply sit back and enjoy the town's unadulterated beauty and unique charm.


  • San Giorgio, an old church and now a museum that offers a view of present Portofino that is a total contrast to the building itself. A tomb stone bears testimony that the relics of St. George are preserved here. You can Climb the staircase that leads from the church of San Giorgio to the ramparts of Castello Brown for a truly breathtaking view.
  • Castello Brown, a castle dating to the 16th century, once used to defend the area and now primarily a museum. The Castello Brown has one of the most fantastic views of the harbor and the Mediterranean Sea.


Both beautiful and historical, Ravenna is not only a destination in and of itself, but also the gateway to Bologna and San Marino. Once the capital of the Roman Empire, it's hard to miss the influences of Eastern Europe found in its precious marbles and rich mosaics.

Rome (Civitavecchia

The port of Civitavecchia is your gateway to discover the full magnificence of the ancient city of Rome. Whether it's the Forum, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon or St. Peter's Basilica that sparks your interest and intellect, Rome is home to a thousands of years’ worth of historical, architectural and spiritual sites. Depending on traffic, the drive from Civitavecchia to Rome takes approximately an hour and a half.


  • Remnants of ancient Rome, including The Forum, the hub around which the ancient Roman civilisation developed; and, the Colosseum, site of ancient gladiator tournaments.
  • The Vatican City, including the Vatican Museum, which houses the largest art collection in the world; St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world; the Sistine Chapel, a masterpiece of Renaissance art, the ceiling of which was painted by Michelangelo.
  • The famous Trevi Fountain, where you can toss a coin to make a wish come true.

Sardinia (Cagliari/Alghero)

The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia has an unspoiled coastline, surrounded by gorgeous blue waters and sandy white beachesand thousands of prehistoric features that lend a magical feel to this isle. Sardinian towns are often farther inland, leaving many beaches unspoiled and perfect for catching rays or scuba diving in amazing underwater caves.

Cagliari is one of the island's liveliest cities, and just happens to be a port of call. This city offers the best of everything: colourful festivals, architectural wonders, historic monuments, tranquil lagoons, and one of the longest beaches in the Mediterranean.

The port of Alghero is another major holiday destination in Sardinia.
Its lush harbour is adorned with olive and eucalyptus trees as well as umbrella pines.


  • Nuraghi, 700 mysterious cone-shaped buildings dotting the Sardinian countryside. These monuments are a memorable part of the island's landscape and culture.
  • Ghost towns in "the silent coast" of Sardinia. From ancient times to around 1960, the area was used for mining. Today, it features deserted villages and peaceful sand dunes.
  • Grotto of Neptune, one of the largest cave formations in Europe, its dramatic grotto lies beneath the sheer cliffs of Cape Caccia.
  • A landscape of exceptional beaches, rocky cliffs, and numerous underwater caves, perfect for rock-climbing, snorkeling, scuba diving and more.



Found on Italy's famed Amalfi Coast, the city of Sorrento is set atop some of the Mediterranean's most breathtaking cliffs. Close to Pompeii and a short boat ride to the must-see Isle of Capri, this quaint city will no doubt leave you wanting to return.


With endlessly winding medieval streets and secluded gardens hidden by stone walls, Taormina enchants visitors with its history and beauty. Old Taormina features archeological monuments and medieval homes like Palazzo Santo Stefano, along with magnificent views of the sea and the Greco-Roman amphitheatre, one of Sicily's largest. Dine on sumptuous seafood in the many quaint restaurants and shop for native crafts in the city's numerous shops.


One of the world's most beautiful and unusual cities, Venice is actually made up of over 120 islands in the Adriatic Sea. Because the city is connected by canals instead of streets, a good way to see Venice is on a romantic gondola ride. Established more than 1,000 years ago by seafarers and Roman refugees, this magnificent city continues to be the heart of Italian culture as well as a mecca for hopeless romantics. Take a walking tour through the quaint cobblestone streets and across the endless Venetian bridges to discover the intimate details that make Venice so unique. Soak up the lively atmosphere of St. Mark's Square. Roam the fascinating rooms of the Doge's Palace - and don't miss the view of the Bridge of Sighs. Stroll the cobblestoned "sestieri" of this magnificent floating city and discover its hidden treasures on your own.


  • St. Mark's Square, the city’s epicentre, where you'll find the 900-year-old Basilica of St. Mark.
  • St. Mark's Basilica, probably Venice’s most famous landmark. Built to enshrine St. Mark's body in the 9th century, it was rebuilt in the 11th century with a new, spectacular edifice. The interior is clad in wonderful mosaics and holds statues, icons and its famous horses, brought to St. Mark's after the 4th Crusade in 1204.
  • The Doge's Palace, the official residence of the Venetian ruler, founded in the 9th century. See its famous Bridge of Sighs, linking the palace to the state prisons.
  • A gondola ride through the canals. Relax and absorb the atmosphere of one of the most romantic cities in the world.