Heading south, the central region is a living and breathing manifesto of the past, with Rome and Florence being the most important destinations. Nobody should miss the renaissance masterpieces of art and architecture around every corner and in every nook and cranny in Florence, while Rome is a bustling modern city which blends seamlessly with its ancient Roman heritage. The tiny Vatican City should be on every tourist’s itinerary for its pomp, ceremony and art treasures. The countryside of this area is dotted with glorious scenery and the exquisite towns of Pisa, Siena and Assisi.
The flamboyant city of Naples is the capital of the country’s southern region and one of the oldest cities in the world – and is where one first notices the distinct difference between the north and the south of this country. A city which one either loves or hates, it is a meld of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the centre of the city – and a noisy, fast paced modern metropolis. Naples is a great base for exploring the southern interior region, including the preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were buried under the lava of the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79AD, the spellbinding Amalfi Coast with its medieval villages clinging to the rock face with glorious ocean views, as well as the islands of Capri and Ischia.
The Mediterranean island of Sicily and Sardinia have miles of beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, some of the best of Italy’s renowned cuisine and archaeological sites in abundance.
The charms of Italy are simply too numerous to explain in a short overview and simply have to be seen to be believed