Over the years Sarah and I have visited quite a few of the main tourist destinations of Italy, including Rome, Florence, Sicily, Venice, Sorrento, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.
The whole country is steeped in history, and that was one of the main reasons for my first trip there, given I’d spent five years at school and three years at university studying ancient history! Let’s explore some of the magic of Italy…
Rome & Pompeii
As you can imagine, there’s no way of spending eight years studying ancient Greeks and Romans without at least a passing reference to the wonder of ancient Rome and the tragic demise of Pompeii, with it’s perfectly preserved human and manmade treasures.
Neither location disappoints. In Rome there is history all around you, with the Colosseum and Pantheon particularly breathtaking place to visit, especially when you consider they have stood there for around 2000 years and remain in incredibly good condition considering.
More modern, but equally as memorable are the Trevi Fountain and St. Peter’s Basilica. Similar to London in some ways, it’s hard to walk around Rome and not be impressed by the views and history that surrounds you.
Pompeii is the very definition of a city trapped in time. When nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD the heat from the blast instantly killed all of its 20,000+ inhabitants before burying them, and their city, in around 25 metres of volcanic ash, where they remained undisturbed for around 1700 years!
Although access restrictions to the site have been more rigorous in recent years it is still an amazing place to visit, full of feelings and emotions and some of the best preserved archeological remains you will ever see.
Sarah and I visited Florence back in 2007, and had an amazing time. From the beautiful squares around the city, with statues and beautiful buildings in all directions, to the lovely food, galleries and museums it’s a lovely, romantic place to visit.
One of the most memorable parts of Florence was the Ponte Vecchio bridge which houses some of the more exclusive jewellers in Florence, and was a place where Sarah would probably have quite happily spent the whole holiday!
Sorrento & Amalfi Coast
Sarah visited both of these areas a few years ago, shortly before we met. Her memories are of beautiful vistas, amazing coastal views out to sea, attractive buildings along cliff edges and endless scenery. It’s definitely somewhere that we would like to visit together one day!
Italian Wine Tours
One thing that neither of us have done when in Italy is ventured out for a wine tour. There are many wonderful vineyards across the country, famous for some of the world’s best grapes, but all of our trips so far have been very much short breaks centred around sightseeing.
One area of Italy that looks lovely to visit one day and perfect for a wine tour is Piedmont. Independent Wines have produced a really useful guide to wine tours in Piedmont. The guide includes lots of useful tips about finding the right vineyards to visit and some of the best wines to try in the area such as the Moscato, Barbera d’Alba and the Barbera d’Asti. It also covers places to stay off the beaten track and even some great places to eat.
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