Italy is one of the most fascinating countries in the world! There is so much natural beauty everywhere, culturally significant places to visit, and let’s not forget the fantastic and amazing food! I’m sure I could list more than a thousand reasons why one would want to visit Italy. It has so much to offer: spectacular cities, ancient ruins, wonderful museums, soaring mountains, quaint villages, beautiful beaches, great natural scenery---and yes, fabulous wine!
Vacationing in Italy is a bucket list item for most people. I know it was for me. I stepped foot in Italy my first time in 2001 when I visited Rome, Florence, and Venice. I have been back four times since. Because of its natural beauty, it has become my favorite country. Most recently (2019), I led a group trip to Rome, Florence, and the Italian Riviera.
“One of the best things about traveling to Italy is its natural beauty.”
Rome is a dream! We crisscrossed the city to take in the historical ruins and monuments including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, and Pantheon.
Another “must see” destination was Florence! The city is the perfect size for those who like to take a walking tour, which we did. The centerpiece of Florence is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as the Duomo--where we walked up 463 tower steps to take in captivating views from the top.
We balanced out the trip with an exploration of the Italian Riviera and beautiful Cinque Terra—or five unique villages –including Monterosoo, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore. This coastal region of Cinque Terre is spectacular. Millions visit this region each year to take in breathtaking views, scenic hikes, and terraced vineyards. We hiked the 7.5 miles between the villages; however, you don’t have to get in that much exercise. You can reach the villages by boat, train, or bus.