The narrow, cobbled streets of Alghero’s medieval citadel, packed with boutiques, bars and restaurants, slope towards the harbour and sweeping bay. Built in a buttery sandstone that glows a soft apricot shade in the setting sun, it’s Sardinia’s most picturesque Old Town. Spanish-style palazzos and street signs in Italian and Catalan reflect its proud heritage: 300 years of Aragon rule. Fringed by pine forests, long sandy beaches, hotels and bars curve away towards green headlands. It’s an idyllic setting.
In the Alpine foothills, just 50 km from Milan, Bergamo is the most striking city in Lombardy. Structured in two levels, the lower city is more modern and dynamic, whilst the famous ‘upper city’ boasts a stunning historic centre full of monuments and works of art. In the area around the city the Iseo Lake is well worth a visit, as is the sanctuary at Caravaggio and Crespi d’Adda – the most important company town in Italy, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
As capital of the Emilia Romagna region, Bologna is an art city, a university centre and a place renowned for its excellent cuisine. It hosts important international trade fairs and is one of the world’s greatest motor cities. Ducati, Lamborghini and Maserati were all born in Bologna and Ferrari’s headquarters can be found in nearby Modena.
Brindisi is a city in the region of Apulia in southern Italy, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It represents the gateway to its namesake Italian province packed with relics of vanished civilisations. Its cultural inheritance ranges from the remains of ancient Roman highways to Gothic and Baroque churches, cathedrals, frowning battlements of Swabian castles and fortresses dating back to the 13th-century Reign of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II.
The narrow and often steep granite-paved streets of Cagliari’s Castello District remind of a bygone age, when the town was dominated at first by Pisans, and later by the Aragonese. Built from white limestone, the walls and towers of the old town shimmer in the sun and are a magnificent sight, especially if you are lucky and approach the city from the sea, like the English novelist, D.H. Lawrence, did in 1921, when he described the old town as looking like a "Jerusalem without trees."
Beautiful historic towns dot the vast mountainous expanses of the Province of Cuneo. The landscape boasts a huge variety, from lush valleys, vineyards and natural reserves to rolling green hills and imposing snow-capped mountains, interrupted only by castles and quaint, tower-studded towns and villages, like the stunning Alba, Saluzzo and the regional capital of Cuneo. Locally produced cheeses, chocolates and especially wines are internationally renowned and sought-after, and the area also offers top-notch outdoor adventures.
Florence, the regional capital of Tuscany, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It is acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and stepping onto its historic cobbles it is easy to see why. Cradled between the surrounding hills, the city hosts some of the most famous works of art on the planet and the whole of the city centre is packed with stunning palaces, churches and monuments. The surrounding countryside is well-known for its rolling hills and its wine, particularly the Chianti area between Siena and Florence.
Meet Naples, the city where history and culture are intertwined with flavours and exciting activities. Explore the cemetery of skulls within the Fontanelle cemetery and the lost city of Pompeii, or visit the famous Vesuvius volcano and the island of Capri. Discover the lost tunnels of Naples and discover the other side of Naples, then end the day visiting the bars, restaurants and vivid nightlife in the evening. Castles, museums and churches add a finishing touch to the picturesque old-world feel.
Capital of the beautiful region of Sicily, Palermo is a fascinating hidden gem and a busy port city that brims with energy. Continuously changing, this city has reclaimed its place among Europe’s cultural cities. Palermo is full of sights and treasures: from Baroque churches and glorious Norman-Gothic architecture to Art Nouveau villas and lively markets – the flamboyant spirit of Palermo can be found down every corner of the city's chaotic streets.
Speaking of Parma, the first things that come to mind are probably ham and Parmesan cheese. Indeed, Parma is one of the most important culinary centres of Italy, but this city is so much more than that. Parma was the capital of a very powerful duchy, which left a legacy of stunning monuments and palaces. In addition, the splendour of that period created fertile grounds for the flourishing of art. In fact, Parma became one of the main centres for opera, thanks to its amazing theatres and its fine citizen Giuseppe Verdi.
Pisa is strategically located in the central part of Italy, at only 12 km from the Ligurian Sea, 20 km from the harbour of Livorno and the ferries heading to the Elba Island, Sardinia and Corsica, and 80 km from Florence. This city is closely associated with the Leaning Tower, but it also preserves, along with the whole complex of Piazza dei Miracoli - UNESCO World Heritage Site - and its medieval centre, numerous masterpieces of architecture and medieval history. The area around Pisa is also excellent for farm holidays, trekking, beaches and water sports on the Versilian coast.
Italians themselves head for Rimini for their holidays, which must be the best recommendation there is. Located by the Adriatic Sea, it is a sophisticated and stylish city known for its lively take on life. Fabulous restaurants and trendy bars serve good food and wine, while kilometres of beaches attract families from around the country. Rimini truly is a city for everyone.
Rome, known as the Eternal City, has attracted visitors for over 2,000 years. It is one of the most magnificent and romantic cities in the world, boasting an attractive mix of grandiose sights — the likes of the Colosseum, Roman Pantheon and Forum — and bustling city life. Life is sweet: the cake is there for eating. Italian designer shopping, smooth ice cream, frothy cappuccino and exquisite wines to name but a few things that draw in over 4.2 million tourists in search of a taste of Italian 'dolce vita' every year.
Over the years, Taormina has been a source of inspiration for artists from all over the world. Celebrated as the idyllic destination par excellence, it represents the ideal place to escape from the chaos of city life. Located 200 metres above sea level, it is settled on a coastal terrace, overlooking the vastness of the Ionian Sea. The natural beauty of the hill from which the city rises is completed by the view of the imposing Etna volcano.
As the poet Umberto Saba wrote: “Trieste has an unsociable grace. Located between the sea and the mountains of Carso, beautiful and fascinating, she does not like to show off, although she conquers her visitor at first sight.” Tergeste, as Trieste was named during the Roman era, is to be discovered on foot, to fully taste her richness and to breathe, through her streets, buildings and monuments, her 2000-year-old history.
There is no other city like Venice. It has 180 canals and 450 bridges connecting 118 small islands and magnificent buildings. It is a city rich with museums and historical landmarks of great artistic and cultural importance. The transient feeling and the quiet everyday life bring the whole together. The beauty of it all is truly apparent.
Verona, "the city of love," is world famous for its magnificent Arena and its association with Shakespeare’s love story, "Romeo and Juliet." It is Italy's fourth-most-visited city making it one of the most important tourist destinations in Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A city that will charm you with its elegance, warmth and easy-going atmosphere.