Italy - Best European Destination Winner

Italy - Best European Destination Winner

No surprises here, Italy has done it, winning The Silver Travel Awards 2023 Best European Destination. As the leading Italian specialist, we’re exploring what makes Italy such a fantastic holiday destination.  

From the mystery of Italy’s historic cities and incredible art to luxury lake holidays and renowned food and festivities, let's discover why you should book your next Italian holiday.

The Best of Italian Cities

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Italy’s cities are by far some of the most popular holidays in Italy, and it’s clear to see why. The combination of history, art, romance, and adventure brings holidaygoers to Italian cities time and again.  

For history lovers, Rome holidays bring a sense of mystery and discovery. Said to be the world’s greatest open-air museum, there are hundreds of historical sites waiting to be explored. From the infamous Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain, you’re in for a world of history adventure.  

Those looking for romance should look no further than Venice. A traditional gondola ride with sweet serenades through the city while passing some of the most historic sites will have you falling in love all over again. This is one of the best ways to get around on your Venice holiday, taking you on a real Italy adventure.  

Verona offers the perfect mix of history and romance. The Gothic architecture of the opera houses and galleries gives a sense of the amazing cultural significance of the city. Juliet’s Balcony from the famous Shakespearian play also allows you to relive the captivating scene with the one you love.  

Shopping lovers will fall head over heels during their Milan holiday with some of the most incredible shopping in the world. Elegance and glamour envelop the city, making this an absolute must on your holiday in Italy.  

Foodies, Bologna is the gastronomic capital of Italy, so you know your tastebuds are in for the ultimate treat. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, which is famous for its Parma ham, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar…Did someone say charcuterie heaven?  

Another food extravaganza awaits in the city of Turin with some of the best gastronomic experiences in the capital of Piedmont. A fusion of traditional and modern techniques brings the very best Italian cuisine, along with the Italian Alps as a backdrop.  

One of the best ways to explore what Italian cities have to offer is with Citalia’s multi-centre holidays. We combine the very best of each city along with transportation and activity recommendations to ensure your Italy holiday is unforgettable.

Rest and Relaxation at the Italian Lakes

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Italian lakes holidays take you on a charming adventure filled with exquisite natural beauty and elegance. From historic lakeside villages to baroque palaces, the great Italian Lakes offer something for everyone.  

The largest lake in Italy—Lake Garda offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Located just west of Verona, this is your chance to soak up the gorgeous Italian sun while exploring the many elegant towns and historic castles surrounded by dramatic peaks. Whether you want to explore the history or relax lakeside with some fun water sports, Lake Garda holidays have it all.  

Luxury and romance meet on the shores of Lake Como. The surrounding peaks, along with the charming medieval towns, combine to bring you the very best of history and elegance. The gardens of Tremezzo and Varenna place you in the best seat in the house to marvel at the natural beauty of Lake Como. Argegno and Bellano are quiet and tranquil, perfect for relaxing afternoon strolls through the towns with gorgeous mountain peaks as a backdrop.  

Lake Maggiore holidays are ideal for adventure and romance. The second largest lake in Italy is situated between the Southern Alps of Italy and Switzerland. Lake Maggiore has a lot to offer with its five islands and forty-two towns— the options are endless. The small towns are an absolute treat with historic architecture, local cuisine, and endless views of the stunning lake, this is authentic Italy at its finest.

Wine and Wander Through Italy’s Countryside

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The Italian countryside is something out of a romantic movie. The traditional red rooftops of historic villages cascading down green hillsides, the countryside is pure magic. Wandering through the grape vines and sipping on some of the best the Italian wine regions have to offer is what awaits on your Italian countryside holiday.  

Tuscany countryside holidays are one-of-a-kind with a mix of glamour and medieval heritage that takes you back in time with the gorgeous green hills as your backdrop. The hilltop towns offer a quaint laid-back feel that will have you soaking up the historic architecture and sipping on some of the best wines in the world, right from the source.  

Often referred to as Italy’s green heart, Umbria holidays are full to the brim with traditions. The smaller towns are more authentic, giving you a true sense of untouched Italy. With the astonishing palaces, Romanesque cathedrals, and historic museums, history lovers will devour the history of Umbria. As for nature lovers, the incredible wildflowers in the spring and various biking paths through the hilltop towns are unlike anything else in the country.  

To truly experience the awe-inspiring Alps with its mountainous peaks and glaciers, Piedmont is where you want to be. The biking trails in the region make getting around to experience the best small towns and wineries very convenient. The town of Pollenzo takes winemaking to a whole new level, having its very own 19th-century University of Gastronomic Sciences and a Wine Bank. Foodies are also in for a gastronomic extravaganza with villages like Benevello, making the top of the list for must-visits. While it may seem like a small town with homey restaurants, trust us, the food here is on another level, with some boasting Michelin stars.

Balmy Beaches and Beauty of the Italian Coasts

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Get ready to soak in the view of a lifetime along the Italian coasts. From the beautiful beaches with soft golden sands to alpine backdrops putting you in the perfect spot to take in the region's natural splendour, Italy’s coasts are out of this world with holiday types to suit any needs.  

Holidays in Sorrento are all about small-town authentic Italian adventures. Still, you have access to the bustling city of Naples, situated about 1.5 hours away. Getting there is easy with the quick and convenient Italian railways. Sorrento may be small, but don’t let that fool you, you’re in for an all-round experience of the real Italy. From the lemon tree-lined streets with traditional artisans selling goods to immaculate views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, this is a true Italian adventure.  

Nearby, the Amalfi Coast has long been one of the top holiday destinations for the rich and famous. It boasts a gorgeous Mediterranean feel along the crystal turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The beautiful beaches invite you to dive in and savour the very best of the Italian coast. Amalfi is often described as the crown jewel of the Neapolitan Riviera, and it’s easy to see why. Situated under the enormous Monte Cerreto Peak, the pastel-coloured houses jump off the backdrop. It is the quintessential picture-perfect Italian coastal town. The Amalfi Coast is where you want to be for luxurious glamour with a touch of true Italian style.  

Puglia holidays will have you living la dolce vita in no time. The extensive coastline of Puglia alongside the historic cobbled streets, enticing sands, and traditional whitewashed villages puts you in the best space to relax and savour all this region has to offer. Strolling through the medieval towns with the sound of the ocean will have you feeling rested, while the expansive views of olive trees set the scene for the stunning natural surroundings of Puglia.

Paradise and Adventure of Italy’s Islands

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Not many people think of Italy when they think of an island paradise, but the country is full of some of the best island escapes in the world. From crystal clear waters, gold sand bays, and chic beachfront cafes for a cocktail or two, Italy’s island holidays are one of a kind.  

First up, Capri offers a world of authentic Italian tradition and luxury high-end shopping. Located on the Gulf of Naples, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an Italian who hasn’t been to Capri for an island holiday. There are two harbours where couples can enjoy roaming the winding streets and taking in the stunning architecture and natural landscapes. For the adventurers, the Blue Grotto Sea Cave awaits. Then it’s off to the traditional chairlift to take you to the top of Mount Solero with expansive views of the island.  

Holidays to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands are ideal for history lovers and adventure seekers. These amazing Italian islands are all about bringing the past to life, ensuring visitors get to explore the vast history. From Greek amphitheatres to great cathedrals amongst small fishing villages, you’re in for one of the best history explorations in the country. Sicily and the Aeolian Islands also offer a little slice of paradise. Golden sand, calm blue waters, and warm summer days make this the perfect spot for relaxing in the sunshine or days of endless fun with the water sports on offer. 

Discover the real Italy with Citalia

At Citalia we have 95 years’ experience in tailormade Italian holidays, and our Italy Experts are on hand to help you plan your perfect Italy itinerary.
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