Italy Makes for the perfect graduation gift

Food & Wine of Riviera del Brenta
Italy perfect Graduation travel Gift

The Perfect gift for your Graduate

Christmas is upon us and you might still be looking for the perfect gift to give your new or soon-to-be graduate. Whether he or she is a high school or university graduate, the option to travel abroad and explore a new culture can be a highly enriching event as well as an opportunity for personal growth that will certainly come in handy for the rest of their life. For parents or grandparents, gifting a trip is also a great way to reward students for years of hard work as well as provide continued encouragement for the road ahead.


Since ancient times, Italy has been a hub for history, art, and culture. Centuries-old palaces, churches, squares, castles, and archaeological sites that testify to Italy’s immense wealth are all waiting to amaze visitors. When you add the fact that Italy is home to many paradisiacal natural havens, outstanding food and wine, a zestful culture, and superb fashion, there is no doubt that a young adult will have plenty to appreciate during a trip to Italy. From the historic treasures of Rome and Venice, the artistic legacy of Florence, and the relaxing sceneries of the Tuscan or Piedmontese countryside, to the stunning coastal panoramas of Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast, Italy has every type of location to provide your new graduate with an exceptional and balanced travel experience. Read ahead to see some of our favorite spots fit for a graduate’s journey full of adventure.

Rome Italy Pantheon Unique Travel experience



Rome with its nearly 3,000 years of history is without a doubt a great fit for young adults to delve into Italy's rich past. While it's mostly known for ancient Roman ruins like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon, the Eternal City is also home to a stunning collection of Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassic art.

The Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica alone possess a priceless concentration of masterpieces, which include Michelangelo's frescoed Sistine Chapel, the captivating Pietà, and the Raphael Rooms. At the Capitoline Museums, visitors will have the opportunity to dig further into Rome's ancient history, while the Borghese Gallery will astound with its impressive collection by world-renowned artists, such as Titian, Caravaggio, Canova, and Bernini, to name a few.

Still, even the most serious sightseer will need time for some light-hearted activities. After all, this is a reward for long days and nights filled with studying. Does a food tour through Rome's historic trattorie, pizzerie, and gelaterie sound appealing? Or a day trip to Frascati to taste the "Golden Wine of the Romans"? After sunset, the buzzing Trastevere neighborhood is full of life, making it the perfect place to enjoy dinner and drinks among the locals.


A short train ride from Rome, Naples is one of Italy's most historic areas. Famously known for its lively culture, emphatic citizens, and—must we mention—where the world's first pizza was created, this lively city has a rich and long history going back some 4,000 years. In fact, Naples is one of the world's oldest cities.

Founded as an ancient Greek colony, Naples quickly grew to be one of Magna Graecia's most important cultural centers. Eventually, Naples became a Roman city before the Empire's fall, after which it went through numerous dominions including the Ostrogoths, Byzantines, French, and Spanish, as well as a stint as an independent Duchy. Through the Unification of Italy, Naples flourished as the capital of the influential Kingdom of Naples, which dominated Southern Italy from the 13th to the 19th centuries. While the Kingdom of Naples passed hands many times, each settlement left iconic marks that can still be seen today.

With a remarkable historical heritage reflected through stunning palaces, churches, museums, grand squares, and castles, history buffs will be stunned to take it all in, accompanied by a skilled local guide. Plus, just a 30 minute drive outside the city, lies Pompeii, which is famous around the world as the site buried by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD. While scenes of the plaster casts of the corpses buried alive can be overwhelming, exploring the rest of the excavations, including the amphitheater, the forum, the thermal baths, homes, and villas containing impressive frescoes and mosaic flooring, and other artifacts, is truly a sight to behold.

Art lovers will be mesmerized by the incredible and realistic details of the Veiled Christ inside of the small Chapel of San Severo. The marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino is one of the world's most remarkable masterpieces and a must-see attraction when in Naples. Other top sites include the awe-inspiring Cloister of Santa Chiara, a perfect escape from the city's chaos, as well as the striking Royal Palace, which dates to the 1600s.

A visit to Naples wouldn't be complete without experiencing what an authentic pizza should taste like at one of the city's historic "pizzerie". But, before indulging in the local delicacy, fun seekers will want to make their way to Piazza Bellini where the young locals gather and fill the café-lined square to socialize over the aperitivo.


With its masterful Renaissance architecture and countless artistic treasures waiting around every corner, Florence is a must for art and history enthusiasts. While exploring the city’s cobblestoned streets, graduates can follow in the footsteps of famed historical figures, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to name just a few.

Florence is home to an abundance of art museums, but two of the most notable are the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery. Here, graduates can take their time admiring many of the masterpieces they studied during art class, such as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s David. Of course, visitors to Florence must also see the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the impressive dome designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi and the ornate bronze doors of the Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti, dubbed “The Gates of Paradise” by none other than Michelangelo.

Speaking of churches, if there’s a place in Italy where one must dedicate time to admire several churches, it’s Florence. In addition to the monumental Duomo, other must-see churches include Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, which is the burial place of Florence’s most important figures, including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo. Also of note are the Medici Chapels, which house the remains of the Medici nobles. However, this is only a scarce list of religious sites turned museums whose interior art, created by the likes of Giotto, Ghirlandaio, Ghiberti, Donatello, and many other masters, one must witness.

In addition to the city’s art and history, graduates will enjoy soaking up Florence’s unique culture, which to this day remains influenced by the Medieval and Renaissance periods. The city center is filled with historic shops and boutiques where traditional crafts have been made by hand for centuries. Among the most renowned is the Florentine leathermaking tradition. An array of leather products can be found from market vendors to upscale boutiques and everything in between to suite all types of budgets. Both young men and women will enjoy purchasing a Florentine leather wallet or handbag as the perfect souvenir, or perhaps a briefcase or computer bag, to prepare for the start of a new career.

Just outside of Florence are countless gems waiting to be discovered in the breathtaking Tuscan countryside. Spend a day visiting charming Chianti wineries and picturesque villages tucked away amid gentle rolling hills. More adventurous travelers can even tour the area aboard an iconic Vespa or a vintage Fiat 500, both of which are sure to add local charm to the experience.

Students may also wish to visit Pisa, which is home to not only the famed Leaning Tower, but also one of Italy’s esteemed universities that dates back to the Middle Ages. Other highlights include Siena, famous for its biannual Palio horse race, and Lucca, renowned for its intact defensive walls and elliptical main square. Along the way, graduates can indulge in the highly-revered Tuscan cuisine, which is composed of seasonal, local ingredients that impart unforgettable flavors.


Without a doubt, Venice ranks at the top of any traveler’s list when planning to visit Italy. With roughly 100 tiny islands connected by 435 bridges, this city is one of the world’s most unique. Designated as a UNESCO Heritage site, the Floating City has a long and rich history that one must take in at least once.

Referred to as “La Serenissima” or “the Most Serene”, Venice’s history goes back even farther than the 5th century, which marks the first recorded evidence of settlements in the lagoon. Like other important Italian cities, Venice underwent periods of invasions and attacks. Notably, the Byzantines dominated for centuries until Venice gained partial independence in the 8th century. The city flourished through the Middle Ages as an important global trading port and noble Maritime Republic reaching its peak in the 15th century. Many of La Serenissima’s most affluent citizens became patrons of the arts by transforming Venice into a hub of artistic culture.

Today, impressive patrician palaces, churches, and other centuries-old buildings bear witness to Venice’s important history and wealth. Visitors will gasp at the stunning gold mosaic Byzantine-style St. Mark’s Basilica. Inside the pink and white-marbled Palazzo Ducale, which is the former residence of the doges who ruled over the island for more than 1,000 years, graduates will be amazed both by the opulent artistic and architectural details as they listen to interesting tales of events that took place inside. To know that Italy’s most famous playboy, Casanova, once had his prison cell inside the palace makes it all the more interesting. While it may be the least splendid of sleeping quarters, a tour of the palace will show visitors Casanova’s cell from where he made his impressive escape.

Venice’s influence in the arts beams wherever visitors turn. Through beautiful gothic palaces turned museums, events such as the Biennale or annual Film Festival, to nights of opera at the famed La Fenice Theater, Venice is the right place for young dilettantes. Despite all the splendor, don’t confuse Venice with snobbery, in fact, the annual Carnival of Venice is renowned all around the world for being one of the most spectacular and welcoming celebrations of all.

Each February, revelers from all over come to Venice to celebrate its rich and noble history dressed in the most elaborate and beautiful costumes and wearing iconic Venetian masks. Other traditional celebrations such as the Feast of the Redeemer in July and the Historical Regatta in September are important occasions in which all attention is turned to Venice. Locals and guests alike will enjoy the events taking place along the Grand Canal and the phantasmagoric display of fireworks that light up and reflect into the city’s historic domes, bell towers, and the lagoon.

Whilst not many may wish to visit Venice during premium Carnevale or other celebratory periods, Venice is always full of charm. At any time of the year, getting lost through the city’s historic “calle”, or tiny alleys, can turn into an adventurer’s most thrilling experience while getting to know the real Venice. An excellent way to rub shoulders with locals is to partake in a tour discovering Venice’s tradition of the “bacari”, which is an ancient Venetian term for a typical tavern. Venetians on the go would stop in at their favorite “bacaro” to enjoy delicious bite-sized finger snacks typical of the area called “cicchetti” and meant to be enjoyed with a great glass of wine from Venice’s surrounding wine regions or a spritz.

Another activity to enjoy while in Venice is a day excursion to the picturesque islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello, each offering its own special trade and charm. In Murano, visitors can see how the ancient tradition of hand-blown glass is still practiced to this day. Burano, a small and ancient fishing island once famous for its generations-old lace-making tradition and bright colorful houses, is now one of Italy’s most Instagrammable sites. Lastly, Torcello, the furthest of the islands, can be a quiet paradise in comparison to Venice or the other islands. Its main attraction is the 7th century Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which contains beautiful Byzantine mosaics from the 11th and 12th centuries.

With an extraordinary wealth of artistic and historic treasures, a unique culture that moves by boat, and a delicious local cuisine and excellent regional wines, graduates will surely grasp what makes Venice so remarkably special.


As the city that inspired William Shakespeare’s timeless Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Verona is a literate person’s city. It is also the city that adopted Dante during his exile from Florence and where he wrote De Monarchia as well as part of Paradiso from the Divine Comedy.

With a 2,000-year history, this former Roman colony is renowned for its incredibly well-preserved architecture and cultural sites, which make the historic city of Verona a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But above all, Verona has a special beauty and elegance that perfectly blends in harmony with its unique energy, attracting many young visitors each year.

Some of the ancient Roman sites include the old town nestled across the Adige River, the Porta Borsari (the ancient city gate), the remains of Porta Leoni, the Arco dei Gavi, the Ponte Pietra, the Roman theater, and the well-known Arena amphitheater, which today hosts the city’s Opera Festival in the summer and other musical concerts throughout the year.

Of the predominantly Medieval historical center of Verona, young travelers can delight in sites such as Castelvecchio, the 14th century castle, as well the vibrant Piazza Bra, the splendid Piazza delle Erbe, and Piazza dei Signori, the latter of which is encircled by impressive historic buildings including Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo del Podestà, Loggia del Consiglio, the Scaliger Tombs, and Domus Nova. One special site truly unique to Verona is Juliet’s House, which continues to attract lovers from around the world.

After taking in the many historic sites of the city center, young travelers might enjoy a visit to the verdant countryside surrounding Verona. Within the province of Verona lie several areas renowned for their wine, such as the Soave area and the Valpolicella area (home of the esteemed Amarone wine). Even without wine tasting, a day spent among the lush greenery of the countryside or exploring the Lake Garda area would provide the perfect respite for nature lovers.

Rome Colosseum Graduation Trip
Pompeii Naples Discover History Vacation
Girls Graduation Travel Gift to Tuscany
Venice Grand Canal on Gondola
Genova Graduation Trip Gift
Verona People Visiting Erbe Square


Aside from the multitude of historical and artistic contributions, perhaps one of Italy’s most significant gifts is its food and wine. Finding someone who doesn’t love pasta or pizza is difficult, even among the most disciplined health enthusiasts. And who doesn’t love a great bottle of Chianti, Brunello, or Soave wine? But Italy’s quality wines and regional cuisine go far beyond what most of us have ever tried; these delicacies offer anyone with a taste for the simpler, yet finer things, an unparalleled food-centric experience.

From north to south, Italy is ready to welcome graduates with exquisite and unforgettable flavors, but when you mix legendary food and wine traditions with the vibrancy of certain cities, there are definitely places more than perfect for younger foodies.

Emilia Romagna

Starting in Emilia Romagna, the region where some of every Italian home’s biggest staples, like Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, and traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena come from, visitors are bound to have a remarkable experience in Italy’s gastronomic capital. Then there are lasagna and tortellini among several other fresh egg-pasta based dishes we all love that were conceived here. The list goes on to include some of the tastiest salumi in all of Italy. Aside from the world-renowned Prosciutto di Parma, other cured meats to try when in Emilia Romagna are mortadella and the flavorful Culatello di Zibello.
With all of these high-quality products, it’s worth mentioning that this enchanting region rich in art and history, castles, and impressive Renaissance architecture, was the first region in Italy to adopt a strict criterion dedicated to the production of quality controlled food products. Known as the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) labels, products made here and throughout Italy, which carry such designations, respect ancient and strict traditions to achieve excellence and high quality.

Bologna, the region’s capital, makes a great base for new graduates. The city is famous for having the western world’s oldest university founded in 1088, which draws students from all over Italy and the world. Despite the city’s rich medieval historical center, Bologna has a bustling youthful energy and offers plenty of opportunities to immerse in both its rich food traditions, art and history, and a lively atmosphere from day to evening. Other cities worth the stop when in the area are Parma, Modena, Piacenza, Ferrara, or Ravenna, each possessing some of the region’s most stunning artistic treasures.

Graduates with a passion for motorsports are sure to fall in love with the Emilia Romagna region for a second reason. Known as the Motor Valley, Emilia Romagna is home to an impressive number of luxury car manufacturers, race tracks, car museums, and motorcycle manufacturers. Big names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Maserati, and Pagani all call Emilia Romagna home. Whether it’s catching a race at the Imola track, test driving a Ferrari at the Autodromo di Modena, or exploring the Lamborghini Museum, Emilia Romagna offers plenty of exciting opportunities for car lovers and thrill seekers alike.


When it comes to excellent food and wine, the Piedmont region is not too far behind Emilia Romagna. In fact, Piedmont is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, an organization that promotes and preserves local food and traditional cooking methods.

As the capital of the region, Turin is the first stop for most visitors to Piedmont, and this city rightfully deserves its spot at the top of your graduate’s travel list. Turin’s past is rich and illustrious, with the city serving as the former home of the Savoy royal family and the first capital of the unified Kingdom of Italy.

Between admiring royal palaces, visiting world-renowned museums (such as the Egyptian Museum), and spending time in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (home of the famous Shroud of Turin), young travelers will enjoy tasting the many culinary delights native to Turin and the surrounding area. Piedmont’s cuisine features fresh pasta (such as tajarin and agnolotti) as well as supreme meat dishes, remarkable local cheeses, and a plethora of rich, locally-sourced ingredients, such as mushrooms and truffles.

And then there’s dessert. Turin’s historic pastry shops are a must see for lovers of chocolate, pastries, and other sweet treats. Once a gathering place for intellectuals of the royal court and other historic figures, Turin’s pastry shops and cafés are among Italy’s finest. Additionally, Turin’s chocolate tradition is long-standing and it’s believed that Turin was the first city in Italy to develop a method of producing solid chocolate.

Travelers who venture outside of Turin will be rewarded with culinary experiences unlike any other. For instance, the town of Alba is home to the rare white truffles that are such an integral part of Piedmont’s cuisine. Then there’s the hilltop town of Bra, which is surrounded by vineyards. Bra is the headquarters of the Slow Food movement and its historical center exclusively features small, family-owned shops filled with local specialties that graduates will love.

Of course, it’s impossible to speak about Piedmont’s gastronomy without mentioning the wine. In fact, Piedmont is one of Italy’s most renowned wine regions. Wine lovers will fall in love with the Langhe and Roero areas, which are the home of eminent wines including Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, and Roero, to name just a few. While exploring the hills of Piedmont’s countryside, it’s very likely that your college graduate will find his or her new favorite wine.


Northern Italy’s Liguria region is perhaps best-known among Italians and international visitors for its beaches and historic coastal towns. With stunning gems like the Cinque Terre and Portofino, Liguria offers many unique areas for young travelers to soak up the sun and admire jaw-dropping seaside landscapes.

The region’s capital, Genoa, is a bustling modern city with a long history as a former Maritime Republic. Wandering about the city’s characteristic carruggi, sightseers will be pleasantly surprised at all the magnificence hiding behind these seemingly shady narrow alleys.
In addition to being the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is renowned for its historic palaces, stately squares, the magnificent 900-year-old Cathedral of San Lorenzo, and the impressive Acquario di Genova, which is the largest aquarium in Italy.

Genoa is also a university city and the revitalized old harbor area serves as the center of social life where graduates can mingle with the locals and try delicious regional specialties at centuries-old restaurants. The Liguria region is renowned for its pesto (a fragrant sauce made by grinding only the freshest basil with pine nuts, salt, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and cheese), and Genoa is undeniably the home of pesto.

Another beloved treat is focaccia, a golden flatbread so delicious that it can be described with only one word—addicting! Countless varieties of focaccia are made throughout the Liguria region, and the rest of Italy, but the true original is focaccia genovese. Topped only with salt and olive oil, this simple, yet delicious flatbread will live on in your graduate’s memories for years to come.

For another special treat, graduates can visit Recco, home to a unique variety of focaccia that can only be tasted in Recco. Focaccia di Recco is made by stuffing two very thin sheets of dough with local crescenza cheese. The result is a light, crispy, cheesy focaccia meant to be eaten right of the oven that is beloved by locals and international visitors alike.

Of course, this is only a brief list. While exploring Genoa and the Liguria region, graduates can look forward to trying other regional culinary staples including fresh seafood, local vegetables, and aromatic wines (such as Sciacchetra and Vermentino).

Venice Cichetti Food Experience
Bologna Tortellini HandMade Pasta
Piedmont Langhe Wine Barolo
Piedmont Brasato al Barolo dish stew
Amalfi Coast Spaghetti with Clamps Food Experience
Liguria and Genova Trofie with Pesto Souce


Italy boasts some of Europe’s most enchanting coastal resorts often characterized by picturesque cliffside villages and pristine beaches. Throw in fresh local cuisine, ancient ruins, unique architecture, and lots of culture, and young graduates might never want to return to the city.

The Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s most popular coastal areas and for good reason. Set along the Ligurian Coast, this area consists of 5 fishing villages positioned along the most dramatic backdrop consisting of terraced land and buildings set between rugged mountains and a tranquil sea. Belonging to the Republic of Genoa, the area’s history dates back to the 11th century. While Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are all famous for their breathtaking natural beauty, they each offer their own historical share whether it be through an ancient castle, a watchtower, or a 13th century church.

Designated a national park and protected marine area, the Cinque Terre is also a nature lover’s haven. Ancient foot-trails that connect the five villages provide for roughly 75 miles of hiking paths from which visitors can appreciate jaw-dropping panoramic views of the sea and colorful villages below. After a long day of hiking, there’s nothing better than to take a day to relax swimming and sunbathing by the sea. Under normal sea conditions, it’s also possible to travel by boat between the villages for stunning views from the sea.

While local-caught seafood plays an important role in the native cuisine, there are plenty of other dishes for the non-fish lover. Olives, lemons, and basil grown on hillside terraces are commonly used to flavor local dishes. Anchovies from Monterosso are a prized local delicacy recognized all over Italy. Foodies will enjoy trying the fried specialty in to-go cones and might not resist the urge to share on Instagram. Simple pasta lovers will find pesto from nearby Genoa, local focaccia, and a variety of other mouth-watering dishes to be the perfect choice. Any local dish can be paired with delectable white wines like the Cinque Terre DOC or Vermentino, produced from locally grown grapes.

Because of the Cinque Terre’s rugged terrain, the five villages are practically untouched when it comes to tourist infrastructure. Travelers will not find luxurious hotels but rather low-key accommodations; yet, what these charming villages might lack in amenities is easily compensated by their astounding natural setting and fascinating local culture.

Amalfi Coast

Unmistakably, one of Italy’s most conspicuous coastal gems is the Amalfi Coast. Nestled atop a 30 mile expanse of cliffside along the Tyrrhenian Sea, this impressive coastal area has lured the powerful and wealthy since Roman times. In recent decades, aristocrats, celebrities, and ordinary people alike continue to be equally attracted by the singular beauty of the Amalfi Coast’s shorelines. The Costiera Amalfitana, as it’s called in Italian, is comprised of 13 villages of which Positano, Praiano, Conca dei Marini, Amalfi, and Ravello are amongst the area’s main draws.

With a rich history that begins back in the 1st century BC, expanding through the time of the Amalfi Maritime Republic in the 9th century and up to the Middle Ages, the entire area is filled with a multitude of highlights of historical importance. In addition, different towns hold various cultural festivities throughout the year that celebrate music, the arts, religion, and other centuries-old traditions. Whether one chooses to stay in the quaint town of Amalfi, the colorful Positano, enchanting Ravello, or even Sorrento, which makes a great base for visiting the coast, visitors will be astounded by the sheer beauty of the area and each individual town.

Ravello, which is perched on a mountain, offers visitors extraordinary views of the coast. One must visit the romantic gardens and cloister at the 11th century Villa Cimbrone before heading to enjoy the jaw-dropping scenes from the infinity Belvedere terraced some 1,200 feet above the edge of the cliff. Villa Rufolo, another ancient villa from the 13th century along with its gardens, is especially worth seeing when the flora is in bloom. The 11th century cathedral and Moorish-Byzantine styled bell tower are also worth admiring.

The town of Amalfi reflects its heyday of the powerful maritime republic it once was. Young travelers will be mesmerized by the scene of the Duomo di Amalfi, the stunning 9th century Cathedral which features a mix of Arab, Norman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles. The Cathedral houses the crypt of St. Andrew whose remains were brought from Constantinople in 1206. Other ancient relics found within the Cathedral together with the artistic and architectural details are truly a sight to be seen. Once visitors have taken in the historical attributes of the town, Amalfi is the perfect place to slow down, enjoy a great meal, and people watch at one of the local restaurants or cafés. Getting lost in the labyrinth of tiny alleys is also a great way to explore this lovely town.

Of all the villages along the coast, Positano is perhaps the most widely publicized thanks in part to social media. With its stunning panorama of colorful buildings towering almost vertically against each other, and its emblematic majolica tiled dome, it’s no doubt Positano holds a special place for every traveler who visits this idyllic coast. The vibrant town is perfect to explore on foot strolling up and down the small streets that connect the town with the beach. Along the way, travelers will find shops, art galleries, and many cafés in which to try all things made with lemons. In fact, among this area’s most characteristic traits are the fragrant lemon groves. At almost every turn, there will be an array of lemon-scented products perfect as souvenirs, as well as limoncello, the lemon flavored liquor iconic of the area.

Graduates should designate at least a day to visit the island of Capri, one of the highlights of the Amalfi Coast. Capri’s magnificent natural beauty has inspired countless influential figures, from Roman emperors to today’s most renowned Italian designers, to own vacation properties around the island. Among sights one should take in are the spectacular Blue Grotto, the iconic Faraglioni, the ancient Villa Jovis (Emperor Tiberius’ vacation residence), and the chair-lift ride up to Monte Solaro for spectacular views of the open sea. Once the sun begins to set, young travelers will want to mingle with the rest of Capri’s jet-set dwelling around the piazzetta, the social heart of the island. Whether arriving on a private boat or public ferry, reaching Capri ensures a truly rewarding experience.

Offering a mix of history, delicious food, remarkable natural sceneries, and plenty of options to soak up some sun and sea, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most desired vacation spots perfect for rewarding young travelers who have been hard at work.

Cinque Terre Vernazza travel Experience
Italian Riviera Beach and Sea
Ravello Amalfi Coast Sea View

Travel can often be a positive life-changing experience; as the saying goes, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” With over 3,000 years of history and art pouring out of almost every corner, combined with the Italian art of living la “Dolce Vita” (indulging in long conversation whether on hours-long meals, a coffee or gelato break, over a refreshing aperitivo, or during the simple evening “passeggiata”) Italy and its tantalizing culture offers young travelers a most gratifying experience.

Whether your new graduate wishes to focus their perfect Italy graduation getaway on a specific passion, or tailor a trip around multiple areas of interest, Italy’s varied historical, cultural, and physical landscapes are ready to welcome young visitors with the perfect balance of locations and activities. No matter what Italian destinations are at the top of their list, Trips 2 Italy is primed to assist with planning your young loved one’s perfect itinerary.

Trips2Italy Winter Travel Perks

Italy’s La Befana Celebration

Food & Wine of Riviera del Brenta
La Befana comes at Night

While Christmas might be more famous worldwide, Italian children have another special holiday to look forward to in early January. On the night of January 5, the eve of the Epiphany, an old woman riding a broomstick is said to deliver gifts to good children throughout Italy. Though elements of this story might sound familiar, La Befana is uniquely Italian.

Italy's La Befana Celebration

The Feast of the Epiphany

January 6 marks the Feast of the Epiphany, a well-established religious celebration and a national holiday in Italy. Traditionally, the Feast of the Epiphany is a celebration of the arrival of the 3 Wise Men (or 3 Magi) who brought gifts to the newborn Baby Jesus. For Italians, the Epiphany officially marks the end of the Christmas holiday season. And, for Italian children, the morning of January 6 offers one last opportunity to receive sweet treats before the season ends.

Who is La Befana?

According to a legend dating back to the 12th century, the 3 Wise Men invited La Befana to join them in bringing gifts to Baby Jesus, but she did not accept. Eventually, Le Befana regretted her decision, but was unable to catch up to the 3 Wise Men or find the manger on her own. As a result, she decided to give small gifts to every child she came across in hopes that one of them might be Baby Jesus.

The tradition continues, and each year on the evening of January 5 La Befana departs on her broomstick and visits every Italian household that has a child. Children throughout Italy anxiously leave out a shoe or hang a stocking in hopes of receiving candy or a small toy from La Befana, who comes down the chimney or flies in through a window. If a child did not behave well during the year, traditionally La Befana leaves a lump of coal. However, everyone deserves a second chance and many Italian shops sell “carbone” candy, which is made to look like coal, as a fun treat for children.

Urbania: Home of La Befana

When she’s not delivering candy to children, La Befana is said to reside near Urbania, a tranquil town tucked away among the gentle hills of the Marche region. Naturally, from January 4 to 6 each year, Urbania transforms into a wonderland to celebrate its most famous resident. During this time, local children hang more than 4,000 stockings along the streets of the town center, while the adults decorate buildings with lights. The locals also celebrate with street markets, concerts, and other live performances.

There are plenty of activities for children of all ages to enjoy including a festive playground and creative workshops featuring ceramics (a traditional craft that Urbania has long been known for). Parents can partake in tastings of local products, such as crostoli (fried pastries), and wine. Families can also join walking tours of the town’s historic monuments, such as the Ducal Palace, the Bramante Theater, and the Church of the Dead, lead by none other than La Befana herself!

In 2016, Urbania even created a House of La Befana in the town hall. The attraction is open year-round with La Befana eager to welcome children from all over Italy. La Befana shows children how to make “carbone” candy, weave fabric with a loom, and tells captivating stories about Urbania, a land rich in culture and traditions. During the days leading up to the celebration of La Befana, a Befana Postal Office is set up in the town hall where children can mail letters to the kind old woman.

La Befana vien di notte

Italian children also celebrate La Befana with a short nursery rhyme that lives on in their memory long after reaching adulthood. Several variations are well-known throughout the country, but among the most popular versions is:

La Befana vien di notte
con le scarpe tutte rotte
con le toppe alla sottana/con vestito alla romana
viva viva la Befana!

This translates to:

La Befana comes by night
with her shoes all torn
with patches on her skirt/ (alternative verse) dressed in the Roman way
hooray hooray for la Befana!

Venice La Befana in Gondola Folklore
Italy Befana Folklore & Traditions

The legend of La Befana is one of the most celebrated examples of Italian folklore. While Italian children also cherish the arrival of Santa Claus (Babbo Natale) on Christmas, La Befana holds a special place in their hearts, bringing plenty of cheer and joy to ensure everyone has the chance to start the new year right.

Trips2Italy Winter Travel Perks

Last Call to See Italy without the Crowds

Food & Wine of Riviera del Brenta
Enjoy Italy Without Crowds

Winter is the perfect time to travel to Italy without the Crowds

Ready to travel? Don’t miss the unique advantages of visiting Italy before the spring and summer rush.

If COVID-19 has taught us one important thing, it’s that unexpected events can occur at any time. Therefore, we must embrace life, our loved ones, and all the things that make us appreciate every opportunity. After losing two years of normalcy, which had such a tremendous and meaningful impact on our social routines, when gatherings, celebrations, and travel came to a halt, we are suddenly experiencing a growing trend of travel bookings for 2022. Rightfully, as people's confidence in travel returns, so has the desire to embrace life to the fullest.

While Italy continues to enforce protocols to guarantee that the public health emergency is under control, leisure travelers from the United States and other countries have been allowed entry as of July 2021. Yet, until next spring, the number of visitors is expected to be significantly lower compared to previous years, which means that touring the country’s top historic landmarks with fewer crowds is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s about to pass you by.

Why You Should Travel to Italy This Fall or Winter

Consider a last-minute fall or winter vacation to Italy if you want to enjoy a more personal Italian travel experience with loved ones before the 2022 rush. Italy remains one of the Top 5 nations to visit and is high on many post-pandemic travel bucket lists. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an unparalleled richness of art and history where you and your family can spend every moment capturing limitless stories within its beauty. But is it too late? Absolutely, not! The first snow of the season is just beginning to fall, and magical winter white sceneries should last through early spring.

People Family Traveling Italy

Exploring Winter Wonderlands

Taking your family on a last-minute ski trip to Italy’s top mountain resorts is certainly within reach. Those brave enough to hit the slopes of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Dolomites or Livigno in Lombardy’s scenic Valtellina will be rewarded with an exhilarating experience.

However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed approach to Italy’s impressive mountain landscapes, the Italian Alps still have lots to offer. From sledding to cable car rides amid the snowy peaks, indulging in a thermal bath, or tasting delectable winter flavors via a culinary route, there are plenty of laidback winter activities to enjoy with those close to you. Simply strolling through snow-covered alpine villages, such as chic Cortina d’Ampezzo or elegant Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley, can be a rewarding treat of its own.

Italian Alps Dolomites Winter Wonders

Admiring Italy’s Art Cities

Of course, a fall, winter, or early spring getaway to Italy does not mean that you will be forced to hit the snow-covered mountains. While it wouldn’t be the best time to explore Italy’s most beloved coastal areas — such as the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, or the Cinque Terre — where the intensity and beauty of the local natural colors shine their best during the warmer months, the off-season is a great period to visit the country’s wealth of Art Cities. Cities rich in art and culture like Milan, Turin, Bologna, Ferrara, Perugia, and Palermo, as well as the usual suspects of Rome, Florence, and Venice, offer plenty of potential during the slow tourist months.

Florence Uffizi Museum Explore

Holiday Atmosphere

From December through January, imagine seeing some of Italy's most admired sites such as the Colosseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa completely illuminated for the Christmas Holidays. For families with young children, it could be the perfect occasion to take the little ones on a culturally enriching trip that’s sure to be stimulating.

The main piazze and grand cathedrals in cities like Milan and Florence are decorated with lights creating a magical holiday atmosphere waiting to be enjoyed with loved ones. During this period, many city squares are taken over by the traditional “mercatini di natale” (Christmas markets) which add to the bright and festive ambiance.

Travelers who aren’t fond of exploring open-air historic sites during the summer’s scorching heat are sure to enjoy an invigorating experience discovering the Roman Forum, learning about the captivating history of Pompeii, or admiring Greek architecture at the Valley of the Temples in Sicily’s Agrigento on a brisk day, and better yet, without the super-sized tour groups in tow.

Treiste Unita DItalia Square Festive Traditions

Enriching Family Trips

While many families with young students might feel it necessary to vacation during the summer, they would be surprised by the advantages of traveling to Italy during the winter or spring breaks. For example, lines to access major sites and museums are significantly reduced and so are the crowds inside most major sites.

Wouldn’t it be nice to experience the splendor of the Vatican Museums without having to touch elbows with strangers? Imagine taking in the spectacular frescoed ceiling that is Michelangelo's most renowned masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel without the usual large crowds. Or even admiring the impressive art at Florence's remarkable Uffizi Gallery in an intimate atmosphere. A must-see attraction when in Florence, the Uffizi is home to some of the world’s most prized works by Renaissance masters such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Caravaggio, to name only a few. Maybe one day young students will look back at those unique moments during their family winter holiday while studying about Da Vinci or Michelangelo’s legacies during an art or world history lesson.

Family Vacation Winter Months

A Night at the Opera

The cooler off-season months are also the ideal time to enjoy an opera, classical music concert, or ballet in some of Italy's most prestigious opera houses such as La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, or San Carlo Opera House in Naples.

Teatro alla Scala — commonly known as La Scala — opened in 1778 and is perhaps the most-renowned opera theater in the world. Ravaged by World War II bombing and subsequently rebuilt, the theater underwent a major reconstruction in 2004. Famous opera singers like Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti sung on this stage, and La Scala's great reputation continues to attract the best voices and orchestras.

One of Europe's most well-known theaters is La Fenice. Located in Venice, it opened in 1792, but was destroyed by fire and rebuilt three times. The current theater, like its namesake, rose from the ashes in 1996 with the help of wealthy donors and celebrities. The New Year's Eve performance is considered La Fenice's most significant event, and it regularly attracts some of the top artists in the world.

Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy's oldest opera theater, was founded in 1737 and hosted some of the country's first ballet performances. If you or your children enjoy ballet, the Teatro San Carlo is home to one of the most prestigious ballet academies in the world.

Reggio Emilia Theather Balcony

Low-Season Savings

Unless you plan on visiting Italy’s mountain resorts on your winter getaway, or travel during special holidays or events such as Christmas, New Year’s, and Carnevale, one extra perk for visiting the Italian art cities during the low season is that winter travel packages can often result in more appealing pricing compared to the summer months.

Trips2Italy Winter Travel Perks

If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to Italy with those close to your heart, whether your family or a treasured set of friends, you’re still in time to beat the 2022 travel rush. When you travel and witness unforgettable sceneries, you gain something that can never be taken away. With a customized itinerary planned by Italy experts, a fulfilling and perfect trip to Italy is guaranteed.

Exploring Italy’s Off the Beaten Path Art Cities

Italy's Off Beaten Path Cities

Exploring Italy's Off the Beaten Path Art Cities

Delve into Italy’s rich art and history culture through top off-the-beaten track art cities Trieste, Padua, and Reggio Calabria.

After months of being cooped up inside, exploring Italy’s art cities, which are filled with splendid and highly reputable, though in some cases lesser-known, cultural sites is the perfect way to embrace the return of international travel. Here are three off-the-beaten Italian art cities that can hold their own against Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan’s well-deserved hype. The beauty of having your own customized Italian travel itinerary is that you don’t have to follow in anyone’s footsteps, rather, you set your own path. Grab a pen because it’s time to add some new Italian art cities to your bucket list.


Not as well known among international travelers, Trieste possesses a wealth of aristocratic palaces and cultural sights immersed in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that should be experienced at least once. Right on the edge of the Gulf of Trieste on the northern Adriatic Sea, stands this fascinating port city capital of Italy’s furthest northeast region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Trieste has an expansive history, which goes beyond its days of being the Roman colony of Tergeste. Due to its strategic position, it has been an important commercial hub through its different governances up to the Austro-Hungarian reign. Trieste is less than 30 minutes from the border with Slovenia and enjoys a diverse cultural patrimony. Known as the city of coffee, Trieste may be the perfect spot to check off your art cities bucket list and can be explored at any time of the year.

Strolling through Trieste

Starting at the former Piazza Grande, known today as Piazza Unità d’Italia, at the heart of the historical center, visitors can admire the grandeur of the Hapsburg-influenced architecture surrounding the square. Elegant palaces such as Palazzo del Municipio (the City Hall), Palazzo del Governo, and Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino, among others, stand mere feet away from the sea. From sunset to nighttime, when the beautifully lit buildings reflect onto the water, it’s truly a stunning sight to behold.

Near Piazza Unità d’Italia you won’t want to miss the Roman Theater set at the foot of San Giusto Hill. It’s believed to date back to the 1st century AD and is currently one of the few visible traces of Roman architecture in Trieste. Amazingly, ruins are hiding beneath flooring of buildings that today house shops and hotels.

Continuing up to San Giusto Hill, you’ll reach the city’s 14th century cathedral of the same name. Built over an ancient Roman temple, it’s designed in the Romanesque style with a modest façade. Inside, visitors will be pleasantly surprised to see beautiful Byzantine-style mosaics and colorful frescoes representing St. Justus’s life that date back to the 13th century.

Just around the cathedral, you’ll want to continue to the Castle of San Giusto, a medieval fortress erected in 1469 during the rule of the Austrian Empire. From here, take in the sweeping views over the city and Gulf of Trieste. Afterwards, travel back in time by visiting one of the two museums housed within the castle: the Museum of the Castle and the Lapidarium of Tergeste which is dedicated to the history of Trieste during the Roman period.

After admiring the historical center and all its beauty, a trip to the 19th century Miramare Castle is a must. Once the home of Hapsburg Archduke Maximilian and his bride Princess Charlotte of Belgium, you’ll want to experience the sumptuous elegance within the palace’s walls and gardens, not to mention the stunning views over the Adriatic.

Other highlights include the palatial Faro della Vittoria or Victory Lighthouse. Standing in full glory on Gretta Hill, this pillar made from Istrian and Karst stone commemorates the casualties of World War I and celebrates Italy’s victory. If visiting between March and October, climb up to the top for vistas that expand as far as the coasts of Slovenia and Croatia during a perfect clear day. After visiting the lighthouse, head to Museo Civico Revoltella to stay immersed in the artistic heritage of Trieste.

Natural Wonders

With all the incredible nature surrounding Trieste, it’s hard not to get caught up in the beauty. Among the main natural attractions is the stunning Grotta Gigante, also known as Riesengrotte. Being the largest amongst the 10,000 documented caves in Italy, you’ll navigate down 500 steps to the cave’s Charles Finocchiaro Path at about 260 feet deep to witness the glorious glow of natural chandeliers in the forms of stalactites, stalagmites, and calcite flows.

Coffee Culture

A visit to Trieste isn’t complete without journeying through the historic cafés, which are emblematic of the local culture. Historically, this remarkable city served as a literary center where influential writers such as James Joyce, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba, and others would gather at the local coffee shops. Today, Trieste is not only renowned for its coffee, but the literary tradition lives on with museums dedicated to these writers, such as the Joyce Museum and the Svevo Museum. Whether it be Caffé degli Specchi, Antico Caffé Torinese, Caffé San Marco, or Caffè Tommaseo, grab a table and bring out your inner intellectual while indulging in a traditional coffee.

Set Sail at the Barcolana Regatta

If you’re planning a visit to Trieste during the fall, don’t miss the famed Barcolana Regatta. This international sailing regatta occurs every year on the second Sunday of October. The event is known as one of the most heavily attended regattas in the world. The course is roughly fifteen miles long and usually concludes near the heart of the city, Piazza Unità d’Italia.

From exquisite coffee to ancient Roman monuments and Hapsburg-era architecture, the chic city of Trieste offers endless opportunities to immerse in history and artistic heritage. For an unparalleled dose of culture, be sure to visit Trieste during your next trip to Northern Italy.

Trieste Miramare Castle View
Trieste Barcolana Regatta Event
Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia Unita DItalia Square


Admiring a vast amount of momentous art can make you feel a little lost in sceneries that have endured for thousands of years, but one of Italy’s most significant art cities, Padua, can lead you exactly to the perfect destination as it’s home to the patron saint of the lost, St. Anthony. This city, believed to be the oldest in Northern Italy, was founded in 1183 BC by Trojan prince Antenor. While it’s known as the economic capital of Veneto, Padua is also home to some impressive artistic treasures. In fact, Padua is featured twice on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to its remarkable 14th century frescoes, known as the “Urbs Picta,” and its Botanical Garden. Walk under the sunrise, sunset, or mid-day sky as you explore a wealth of cultural treasures, all lying within the beautiful historic center. From its splendid religious heritage, which includes the Scrovegni Chapel and the Duomo with its baptistery, to the foundation of its ancient university, to the elegant piazze where you can experience a bit of Padova like a true local, this incredible art city will make you wish you could stay longer.

Exploring Padua’s City Center

Padua is blessed with beautiful chapels and churches rich in art and history truly worth admiring, but, before you embark on this extraordinary venture, stroll as the city’s noblemen once did along imposing squares engulfed by elegant medieval architecture. Start at the Piazza dei Signori, one of the most emblematic squares, named after the grand Palazzo della Signoria, or Royal Palace of the Carreresi, who were Lords of Padua from 1318 to 1405. The Clock Tower, the Church of San Clemente, the Palazzo del Capitano, and Loggia del Consiglio also known as Loggia della Gran Guardia, surround the grand square, each recounting its own absorbing tale.

Nearby Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, which date back to the 13th century, are two squares thriving with local life. In the middle of both squares are important frescoes of the ancient court of justice, which form part of the collection of artworks designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In terms of monuments, Palazzo della Ragione is the main historical attraction. From its upper loggia, visitors will enjoys views over Piazza della Frutta and its colorful daily market.

If you’re craving more fresh air, head over to Prato della Valle, which is considered to be Italy’s largest square. Built in a Patrician style, common of the Venetian tradition, the square has an elliptical shape with a center island surrounded by a canal adorned with 78 statues of illustrious personalities such as the great Galileo, the poet Petrarch, and painter Andrea Mantegna.

Five minutes west of Prato della Valle is the Botanical Garden, the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1545 as a center for scientific research part of the University of Padua’s department of medicine, a purpose it still very much maintains today housing a substantial collection of exotic plants.

The University of Padua

Speaking of the University, whether you are a science geek or not, you will want to tour Palazzo Bo, the University of Padua’s main seat. As Italy’s second oldest university, and one of the most prestigious, the University of Padua paved the way for figures whose discoveries during the 16th and 17th centuries transformed the cultural and scientific history of humanity. Among the most prominent names are Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, who both studied the skies from within the university’s grounds.

The Belgian anatomist and physician Andrea Vesalius, founder of modern anatomy, spent six years during the 1530s teaching at the University of Padua. A guided tour will take visitors to see the Anatomical Theatre, where Vesalius studied the human body by dissection, as well as Galileo’s Aula Magna with the podium used during his lessons, the Sala dei Quaranta or “Hall of the Forty”, and the Aula di Medicina where lectures on medicine were first given.

Religious Sites

Padua is closely tied to religious tourism due in part to its renowned international pilgrimage site, the Basilica of Sant'Antonio di Padova. This seven-domed basilica was built in honor of St. Anthony, whom locals take pride in as Padua is his resting place. The basilica was built between 1230 and the following century utilizing different architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine, Renaissance, and Baroque. The saint’s remains are kept in a Baroque style chapel richly decorated in marble with other reliquaries, chalices, ex voto objects, and precious items. Be sure to dedicate plenty of time to exploring the Basilica and its priceless artworks.

Outside the Basilica, in Piazza del Santo, don’t miss the impressive statue of General Erasmo da Narni better known as “Gattamelata”, one of the early Renaissance works by Donatello.

Stunning Frescoes

Padua’s 14th Century Frescoes, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2021, are of remarkable artistic value. Located in eight different areas spread throughout the historic city center, overall, the frescoes have cemented Padua’s unique role in the development of Italy’s artistic heritage.

The most renowned of Padua’s frescoes are Giotto’s cycles located in the Scrovegni Chapel. However, other notable artists contributed as well including Jacopo da Verona, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Guariento di Arpo, Altichiero da Zevio, and Jacopo Avanzi. These artists were hired by local noble families, such as the Carraresi family, to create unprecedented fresco cycles that completely revitalized the city’s artistic life. The remarkable frescoes can be admired in palaces, such as Palazzo della Ragione and Carraresi Palace, as well as the Basilica of San Antonio and the Church of San Michele.

Despite being painted by a range of artists in diverse locations, a consistent sense of style and content can be admired across all of the fresco cycles. In particular, the frescoes are renowned for their portrayal of spatial perspectives as well as detailed human figures with rich emotions. Thanks to scientific advancements during this period, the artists where able to experiment with realistic perspective and convincing trompe-l’oeil effects. Likewise, an emphasis on humanism resulted in the wide range of human emotions featured in the frescoes as well as the practice of including the fresco’s patron in the work. Ultimately, Padua’s frescoes represent a unique intersection between scared art and the secular power of the city’s noble families.

Padua is a city emblematic of Italy, where traditional artistic heritage and noble palaces coexist with modern innovations. Padua is home to a diverse range of businesses, while the historical core and artistic and architectural treasures speak of traditions and history that are still very much alive today. A visit to Padua allows travelers to follow in the footsteps of St. Anthony and immerse in the city’s vast artistic treasures — two opportunities that should not be missed!

Padua Prato della Valle Unesco Site
Padua Eremital Church Altar History
Piazza Delle Erbe Padua Palladio
Padua Saint Anthony Basilica


Positioned at the toe of Italy's boot-shaped peninsula, along the Strait of Messina, Reggio Calabria is Italy's furthest south city on the mainland. Surrounded by the astounding deep blue colors of the Tyrrhenian Sea, most tourists pass it by as they make their way to Sicily through the strait, yet, this impressive city has much more to offer than just beautiful coastal sceneries. With a city center mainly rebuilt in the Eclectic and Liberty styles after a massive earthquake in 1908 left the city in ruins, one might not think Reggio Calabria has a rich and ancient history that can be traced to a least 4,000 years ago. Considered one of Italy’s top southern art cities, the possibilities to delve into art, history, and culture are beyond anyone could imagine.

Greek Origins

Reggio Calabria was founded in 720 BC by Greek colonists who named it Rhegion, for what was to be a daughter city to Zankle, today known as Messina. In 89 BC, the city became a Roman municipality, and while it flourished under the Romans, it retained its Greek traditions and language. To this day, a Greek-Calabrian dialect known as Greko is still spoken by many residents.

Over the centuries, the Moors, Byzantines, Swabians, and Bourbons would rule over the city, each contributing to its prosperous historical and artistic legacy. Yet, much of Reggio Calabria’s original Greek appeal remains intact. Historic evidence from the thriving days of Magna Graecia can be appreciated from the ancient city walls to priceless artifacts on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, one of the country’s most prestigious exhibits.

The Riace Bronzes

The Archaeological Museum is also home to the mythical pair of bronze statues known as the Bronzes of Riace. The two sculptures were discovered at the bottom of the Ionian Sea in 1972 and are believed to date back to the 5th century BC. Close to 6.6 feet tall and weighing around 350 pounds, the two nude male statues display impressive and highly realistic anatomical details from veins to hair, facial features, and even teeth. The bronzes have become an icon of the city that the locals are highly proud of.

Other Historic Monuments

If the Bronzes of Riace have sparked your curiosity about Reggio Calabria’s ancient past, you can continue on an enlightening tour visiting the Roman Baths and the Archaeological Park of Locri Epizefiri, where 4,000-year-old remains of both the Greek and Roman cities are open to the public. Remnants of buildings once housing theaters, temples, and private residences are sure to astound you. Back at the historical city center, 20 feet beneath the ground at the Hypogeum of Piazza Italia, explore the archaeological traces through six different layers of excavations where vestiges of life from the Hellenistic Greek period up to the early 19th century can be admired.

Built to last for centuries, stands one of the city’s most emblematic monuments, the Aragonese Castle. Untouched by the earthquake of 1908 that destroyed most of Reggio Calabria, this medieval castle dates back to the Byzantine period and has served as a defensive fortress through all the Byzantine, Swabian, Angevin, and Spanish Aragonese dominions. Today, it’s used as an exhibition space for cultural functions and it’s a must on any itinerary to Reggio Calabria.

Like every Italian city, Reggio Calabria has a number of lively squares, noble palaces, and beautiful churches. At Piazza Duomo, be sure to visit the imposing Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption built in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. The first cathedral was erected in the 11th century; however, over the centuries it was damaged and rebuilt more than once as it was unable to survive two wars and two earthquakes. The current building was constructed after the Messina earthquake of 1908.

For stunning sea views across the Strait of Messina, be sure to take a leisurely stroll down the city’s waterfront promenade. On clear days, visitors who glance across the strait will be graced with views of Sicily’s Mt. Etna.

With ancient ruins, remarkable museums, a vibrant artistic and cultural scene, and excellent beaches for relaxing among the locals, Reggio Calabria is the perfect seaside art city.

Reggio Calabria Riace Bronze Statue History
Reggio Calabria Aragonese Castle
Reggio Calabria Beach Mediterranean

Of course, getting lost in some of Italy’s serious history doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy other legendary sites or leisurely activities all during the same trip. From guided city tours and skip-the-line museum entrances to winery visits and tastings or even hands-on cooking classes, Trips 2 Italy can design the ideal itinerary so you can fully immerse in the country’s rich culture and traditions. If you are interested in any of these historic sites but can’t decide which area of Italy to visit first, contact your Trips 2 Italy travel specialist to customize your perfect travel package.

Trips2Italy Winter Travel Perks

Travel to Italy from USA: What you need to know

Travel to Italy from USA: What you need to know

Travel to Italy from the USA: What you need to know

Ready to plan your trip to Italy? Learn about the updated entry requirements to visit Italy from the USA.

After a challenging year, Italy re-opened its doors to U.S. travelers in July 2021. Since then, U.S. travelers have enjoyed exploring the country with fewer crowds. With museums, historic monuments, restaurants, and other points of interest fully open, now is the time to start planning a long-awaited vacation to Italy. Continue reading below to learn about the current entry
requirements to visit Italy from the United States.

How to prepare for your trip

COVID-19 measures in Italy have been updated in accordance with the Prime Ministerial Decree of March 2, 2021 and the Order of October 22, 2021 of the Minister of Health.

For all the people who, in the 14 days before entering Italy, have stayed in or passed through Canada, Japan, the United States and Israel, the legislation provides that, upon returning to Italy, the following is mandatory:

1. Fill out a digital Passenger Locator Form (only in case of lack of necessary tools to fill out the dPLF, you can use a paper-based self-declaration) and present it to the carrier or any other authorized person, either printed or on one's mobile device.

2. Present to the carrier, or any other authorized person, a certificate of vaccination stating that the cycle of vaccination has been completed with an EMA-authorized vaccine or EU Green Pass proving the same.

3. Take a molecular or antigenic test, carried out by means of a swab and with negative result, in the 72 hours before they arrive.

In case of lack of the certifications under points 2 and 3 (which are not alternative), travelers may still enter Italy but they must:

Undergo a molecular or antigenic test, carried out by means of a swab and with negative result, in the 72 hours prior to entering Italy.
Self-isolate for five (5) days, activating local health surveillance procedures by informing Local Health Authorities.
Get tested again, upon completing the prescribed self-isolation.

The discipline described above applies to travelers coming from Canada, Japan or the United States as well. These travelers may enter/return to Italy with a certificate of vaccination or a certificate of recovery in the form of a Digital Covid Certificate, or equivalent certificate, issued by local Health Authorities. They must take also a molecular or antigenic test in the 72 hours prior to entering Italy, carried out by means of a swab, and with negative result. Otherwise, travelers from Canada, Japan or the United States may still enter Italy following general provisions for Countries in List D, as described above (test, self-isolation, and subsequent testing).


1. Molecular or antigenic test
• Children from 0 to 5 years of age do not have to undergo a molecular or antigenic test.
• Children from 6 up to 17 years of age: the test is mandatory, if requested according to the relevant rules depending on the history of travel in the 14 days prior to entering Italy.

2. Self-isolation
• From 0 to 5 years of age, minors are always exempt from the requirement of self-isolation if they are accompanied by a parent who is also exempt from such requirement because of the possession of a certificate of vaccination (or a certificate of recovery, if applicable based, on the history of travel in the previous 14 days).
• From 6 to 17 years of age, at the same conditions named above, they are also exempt from the requirement of self-isolation. Nonetheless, they must undergo a molecular or antigenic test to enter Italy, depending on their history of travel. If they do not take the test when required as per Italian regulations, they will be subject to self-isolation, regardless of the vaccination or recovery status of their accompanying parent.

The provisions described above are in force until December 15, 2021.

Border Officers in Italy may always request that you fill out a paper-based self-statement upon arrival.

Further restrictions to movements may be adopted at national and/or regional level depending on the risk assessment carried out on a regular basis by the Ministry of Health. You can find useful information on local restrictions on the website of the Ministry of Health, by clicking: Containment Measures in Italy.

Travel back To Italy: What you need to know
Italy Tourist Enjoying Winter Travel without Crowds

COVID-19 Testing Required for U.S. Entry

Effective January 26, 2021 the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, vaccinated or not) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over before boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.

For additional information visit

Italy Travel Information


Containment Measures Effective from August, 6, 2021

By order of decree-law N.105 signed on July 22, beginning August 6, it will be mandatory in Italy to present a COVID-19 green certification (green pass) to access certain essential and non-essential services such as inter-regional means of transport such as in airplanes, high-speed and intercity trains, buses, boats, ships, and ferries, indoor dining, museums and sites of cultural interest, theaters and cinemas, public events, festivals and fairs, wellness centers and spas, thermal spas, swimming pools, gyms, sporting events, theme and amusement parks, game rooms, and social and recreational centers limited to indoor activities.

The Green Pass shall certify that you have had at least one dose of vaccine or have tested negative for a molecular or rapid swab in the last 48 hours or have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months with the intent to deal with the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 and for the safe exercise of social and economic activities.

It is expected that non-European travelers will be permitted access by showing a counterpart certificate from their countries of origin.

The COVID-19 green certification is not required for children excluded by age from the vaccination campaign (up to 12 years) and for subjects exempt on the basis of suitable medical certification, for which a dedicated digital certification will be created. Until this is available, those issued in paper format can be used.


Please note that the information herein provided to you is up-to-date as of the day this article was published. Conditions might change once the emergency declaration expires at the end of 2021.

Due to fast-changing government mandates and restrictions, this information is subject to change anytime and without notice. Please refer to government authorities for specific details and the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 Green Certificate and international travel, which can also be viewed at the following official websites:
Ministero della Salute (Italian Health Ministry)
European Commission
Travel State Gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Trips2Italy Winter Travel Perks

Regions in Italy Perfect for Exploring by Car

Travel Italy By Car

Perfect Regions of Italy for Exploring by Car

There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel and explore the Italian peninsula by car. Whether you’ve been to Italy before or are planning your first trip, including a rental car in your travel package is an excellent way to get in touch with the authentic side of Italy. While not all parts of the country are easy for visitors to navigate on their own, there are certain areas that are best explored by car. From verdant vineyards to countryside scenes and coastal escapes, let’s take a virtual road trip through Italy.

1. Palladian Villas and Wine Testing in Veneto Region

Though the most well-known city in Veneto is Venice, this northeastern Italian region is filled with many other treasures worthy of a spot on your bucket list. From history and culture to food and wine, Veneto is a destination our travelers fall in love with year after year. In addition to major cities, such as mesmerizing Verona, there are two distinct parts of the region that offer truly unique experiences for those traveling by car.

First and foremost, Veneto preserves the legacy of native son Andrea Palladio, a revered sixteenth century architect. Drawing inspiration from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture, Palladio’s distinct style influenced countless other architects in Europe and North America over the centuries. Today, the city of Vicenza and 24 Palladian villas in the Veneto region are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Vicenza, our expert local guides can’t wait to share the majesty of the famed Teatro Olimpico and other Palladian palaces and villas, such as Palazzo Chiericati, with you. After exploring the streets of Vicenza, continue your voyage along the banks of the Brenta River, which are dotted with Palladian villas and other villas commissioned by the Venetian aristocracy over the centuries. Your guide will point out the unique characteristics of each structure and explain the unifying elements of the Palladian villas, such as white columns, monumental staircases, and pediments.

One unforgettable way to take in the beauty of Palladio’s architecture and the surrounding scenery is to enjoy a cruise along the Brenta River. For true aficionados, it’s even possible to spend the night in a Palladian villa surrounded by the wondrous designs of one of Italy’s most influential architects.

Another local claim to fame is Veneto’s extensive wine-making tradition. From Soave to Valpolicella, there are several wine areas tucked away in the region’s hills that are just waiting to be explored. One of the most famous is located in the province of Treviso between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Referred to as the Prosecco Hills, this area is the birthplace of Italy’s most beloved sparkling wine.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, the dramatic scenery of the Prosecco Hills — punctuated by steep slopes and tapered ridges — is truly a sight to be seen. Amongst these landscapes, travelers can cruise along the Strada del Prosecco (Prosecco Road), which extends over 55 miles and connects the area’s centuries-old wineries where unforgettable wine tastings await. Get to know the winemakers themselves as they let you in on a few of their secrets. Along the way, there’s no shortage of picturesque countryside villages to explore from historic Collabrigo to Refrontolo, which is renowned for its ancient water mill that is still in use.

Much like its wine, Veneto is a region meant to be savored and experienced at a slower pace.


2. Wild Coastal Scenery and Etruscan Villages in Maremma

Italy’s Tuscany region typically conjures up images of rolling hills covered with vineyards and cypress trees. While those parts of the Tuscan countryside are certainly alluring, the region is home to varied landscapes, with some of the most internationally underrated found in the Maremma area. Located in the southern part of Tuscany, Maremma extends along the coast of the province of Livorno into the northern part of the Lazio region and ends in the province of Viterbo.

Mainly visited by Italian and European travelers, Maremma’s rugged natural beauty remains largely untamed. The landscape, once virtually uninhabited marshland, is now known for its protected natural areas and beaches favored by the locals. Visitors may enjoy hiking through the parks with a knowledgeable nature guide and learning about the local butteri, horseback herders native to Maremma, of which only a small number remain.

Quite a few of the towns in the Maremma area can trace their origins back to the Etruscans. This millenary history is best explained by someone who grew up in the area, has studied its past extensively, and knows these enchanting villages carved into tuff rock like the back of their hand. With the assistance of a local guide, you’ll have the opportunity to admire fascinating towns tucked away in the countryside that might have otherwise been missed.

A few examples include Saturnia, which is characterized by its historic hot springs, and Pitigliano, which is home to Etruscan ruins, medieval and Renaissance architecture, and a historic Jewish community. Other must-sees include the charming cliffside town of Sorano, the Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia, and Viterbo, which hosted the papacy for part of the thirteenth century.

Among the most unique examples of architecture in the area is Villa Farnese. Located in the province of Viterbo, this Renaissance palace dominates the surrounding countryside and features a remarkable pentagonal structure. Surrounded by lush gardens, the interior is home to detailed frescoes and grand staircases.

While visiting Maremma by car, travelers have the opportunity to stay in authentic countryside accommodations. From farmhouses to country estates, these historic structures surrounded by gardens or even vineyards are the best way to connect with the friendly locals and truly appreciate the natural surroundings.

For an unmatched mix of culture, ancient history, and natural beauty, look no further than the Maremma area; and, with a few extra days on hand, Tuscany’s iconic landmarks, such as Florence, Siena, and the Chianti area, can be worked into the same itinerary.


3. Rolling Hills and Historic Castles in Marche

A region of cliffs, beaches, hills, and mountains, Marche’s natural scenery is incredibly varied. We’ve touched on the incomparable beauty of the hilltop city of Urbino before. Known for its Renaissance architecture, the birthplace of Raphael perfectly embodies the rich history and undeniable appeal of the Marche region. And yet, Urbino is just one of the region’s many pearls.

With the Apennines to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Marche region is defined in part by the nature found within its borders. The interior territory is primarily composed of mountains and hills with stunning natural parks and reserves, such as Monti Sibillini National Park and part of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. Tucked away in the hills are small medieval towns full of charm, such as Corinaldo, which is renowned for its defensive walls and undulating streets that make it one of the most picturesque villages in all of Italy.

Along the coast, Parco del Conero amazes visitors with its rugged cliffs and tranquil bays. Hiking trails lead to the summit of Monte Conero where jaw-dropping views of the coast can be admired. Among the principal coastal cities are Pesaro, the hometown of opera composer Gioachino Rossini, and Ancona, the lively capital of the Marche region.

The Grotte di Frasassi, or the Frasassi Caves, are one of the most noteworthy natural wonders in the region and among the most extensive cave systems in Europe. During a guided tour of the Frasassi Caves, travelers can admire wondrous stalagmites, stalactites, a crystallized lake, and the captivating Ancona Abyss, a large cavern that reaches a height of 656 feet. It is estimated that the natural phenomena in the caves took over 1 million years to form.

The Marche region as we know it today has been greatly shaped by its past. The territory once served as the frontier of the Holy Roman Empire, and, as a result, the countryside is dotted with historic castles and defensive structures. Among the most renowned is the thirteenth-century Castello di Gradara (Gradara Castle), which served as the setting for the tragic story of Paolo and Francesca featured in Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Growing up, our guides from the Marche region played in the shadow of the Gradara Castle and today share their local insight with those who visit. Characterized by imposing walls and panoramic ramparts, the castle watches over a medieval village and offers stunning views of San Marino and Rimini. Other striking castles worthy of a stop during a road trip through Marche include the well-preserved Rocca di Mondavio and Rocca Ubaldinesca, which is perched above the Foglia River.

Though not as well-known among international travelers, the Marche region offers unparalleled and authentic experiences amid nature and history that will not disappoint.


4. Charming masserie and whitewashed towns in Apulia

With a gorgeous coastline, crystal blue waters, vibrant cuisine, and a rich history that dates back to the Ancient Greeks, Apulia is quickly becoming one of Southern Italy’s most desirable travel destinations. Located in the heel of Italy’s boot, this land rich in culture and traditions seems suspended in time.

From the lush countryside to the sparkling waters of the coast, Apulia offers incomparable experiences that awaken all the senses. As you drive through the winding roads of the region, be sure to stop in one of the traditional farmhouses native to Apulia. Known as masserie, these stone structures have stood the test of time. Originally constructed as rustic abodes for local farmers, today some masserie have been given upscale renovations, while others appear as they did centuries ago. Most are surrounded by typical Apulian countryside scenery with endless rows of ancient olive trees and a unique reddish soil dominating the landscape.

The masserie lie at the heart of Apulian culture offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. For a delightful and highly authentic experience, our travelers to the region might choose to spend a few nights in a masseria. If you prefer to stay in one of the region’s charming towns or along the coast, you could still visit a masseria to participate in unique local experiences, such as a hands-on cooking class led by a local nonna eager to share the culinary traditions that have been part of her family for generations.

Apulia’s charm also lies in the numerous captivating whitewashed towns that would be right at home in a fairy tale. From Foggia in the north through Locorotondo and Ostuni down to Otranto and Gallipoli, it’s possible to cross the majority of the region while admiring the crisp, white structures of each town. Though Ostuni is officially known as “The White City,” each of these destinations is defined by stunning white buildings that stand out against the background of the blue sea or verdant countryside.

As for food, we’ll guide you through the region’s best vineyards and olive groves where high quality wines and olive oil have been produced for centuries. Learn about the traditional processes passed down from generation to generation directly from the locals themselves. Listen as master winemakers and olive oil producers share the secrets of their craft with great pride.

Don’t miss the chance to literally break bread with the locals as you taste pane di Altamura, or Altamura bread. Hailing from the Altamura area in the northern part of Apulia, this historic bread is made following set protocols that define the specific type of wheat and production process. The result is a fragrant loaf of bread with a thick crust and a soft interior.

Whether you choose to stay in a countryside masseria, one of the stunning white towns, or a coastal resort, the Apulia region — one of Southern Italy’s brightest gems — is sure to leave a lasting impression.


5. Seaside paradises and pristine countryside in Sardinia

The enchanting island of Sardinia beckons to those who prefer to take the path less traveled. While the tourism infrastructure found in other parts of Italy isn’t present in the majority of the island, it’s precisely Sardinia’s untouched nature that makes this region attractive to travelers with an adventurous spirit.

If beach time and relaxation are your priorities, drive along the Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, which is positioned in the northeastern part of the island. This glamorous area is home to upscale resort towns, such as Porto Cervo. The clear blue water and white sands combined with elegant restaurants, bars, and clubs have attracted the jet set and celebrities from all over the world for decades.

To truly get in touch with the local culture, be sure to venture into the rustic countryside. Though Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, its sparse population results in a wild landscape largely free from the influence of man. Nature lovers will enjoy hiking their way through the hills and mountains of the island’s interior. You can also delve into Sardinia’s past by visiting one of the numerous nuraghi scattered throughout the countryside. These prehistoric stone structures date back to the Bronze Age and have become a symbol of the island.

During your time in Sardinia, don’t miss the chance to stay in an authentic agriturismo, which is a modest accommodation set on the grounds of a working farm. Here, the locals will be happy to show you how products such as cheese are still made following centuries-old traditions. There’s no better souvenir to take home with you than a small bottle of olive oil or vinegar made with care by your new friends.

Whether you come for the history, the beaches, the scenery, or all of the above, Sardinia is a place that remains part of you long after you’ve left.


Taking the time to explore Italy by car allows travelers to set their own pace and fully immerse in the culture, history, and scenery of a particular destination. Imagine enjoying a special countryside picnic or having unlimited stops to capture those special moments and stunning sceneries on camera. If you’re an adventurer who enjoys a bit of spontaneity, traveling through Italy by car can offer unique opportunities that other methods of transportation do not. After learning about some of Italy’s best regions to discover by car, we hope you’ve found some new inspiration for your next road trip through Italy.

Italy’s Best Underrated Archeological Sites

Italy's Archaeology Sites

Best Italy's underrated archeological sites

With a rich history that spans millennia, Italy is naturally home to hundreds of interesting archeological sites. Once you’ve admired the majesty of the Colosseum and walked through the preserved streets of the city of Pompeii, there are still plenty of noteworthy archeological areas throughout Italy to explore. The following list contains our favorite outdoor archeological sites that history and architecture lovers shouldn’t miss.

1. Aosta's Roman Ruins

Known as the “Rome of the Alps,” the city of Aosta is home to an impressive number of Roman ruins. Tucked away in the small region of the Aosta Valley along the border with France, a stroll through Aosta’s city center offers views of one remarkably well-preserved Roman monument after another, effectively making the city a large outdoor archeological site. Our knowledgeable and local guides who have extensively studied the city’s past and played among the Roman ruins as kids would love to show you around this ancient city.

Among the most evident vestiges of Aosta’s Roman founders are the imposing city walls, which continue to welcome visitors as they enter into the city. Amazingly, the thick concrete and stone walls are nearly fully preserved. Reaching a height of 21 feet, it’s possible to walk along the walls and admire the original Roman gates, two of which remain intact, as well as towers built during the medieval period.

As you begin exploring Aosta, take note of the streets. The orderly arrangement follows a Roman plan and your guide will explain how the city’s layout served the Romans from a strategic standpoint. Within the city walls are the ruins of the Roman Theater, which nowadays hosts concerts in the summer and the city’s annual Christmas market in the winter. Near the theater, remains of a later Roman amphitheater and marketplace have been uncovered.

With Augusta Praetoria Salassorum as the city’s original Roman name, it’s no surprise that a magnificent triumphal arch dedicated to Emperor Augustus stands just outside of the city walls. As one of Aosta’s most important monuments, the arch commemorates the Roman defeat of the Salassi tribe and the founding of Aosta. There are also two Roman bridges of note, one near the arch, called Ponte di Pietra, which once crossed the Buthier River, and the Pont d’Aël, which served as an aqueduct and transported water to the Roman colony. Today it’s possible to walk along the top of the latter bridge and admire views of the surrounding area.

With the exception of Rome, there’s truly no better place than Aosta to fully appreciate the vast history of the Roman Empire while experiencing countless ancient remains up-close.

2. Aquileia

Taking into account its current modest appearance as a small town in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, it can be hard to believe that Aquileia was once among the largest and most important cities in the ancient world. After its founding in 181 BC, Aquileia served as a trading center and military outpost for the Romans until it was destroyed by Attila in the fifth century. Subsequently, Aquileia became an important hub for the spread of Christianity throughout Europe.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Aquileia differs from other archeological sites in Italy as it remains largely unexcavated. Visible ruins are scarce and primarily include a bath complex, residential structures, funerary monuments, part of the amphitheater, and several columns of the Roman Forum — which have become a symbol of Aquileia.

In addition to these remnants, a treasure trove of Roman artifacts lies just beneath the vast green fields. As a result, Aquileia is one of the most important archeological reserves in the world. The ruins of the ancient city even extend to the port area. Aquileia’s strategic position on the Natiso River helped it become one of the wealthiest cities in the Roman Empire and various port structures can still be observed today.

Covering nearly 400 acres, the expansive archeological site is best explored with an expert guide. Our skilled guides provide historic context and ensure you don’t miss anything, which is especially important in Aquileia since most of the structures are still underground. To supplement your visit, stop by the National Archeological Museum where more than 2,000 ancient artifacts are on display.

Last, but certainly not least, travelers shouldn’t miss Aquileia’s Patriarchal Basilica, a medieval church built on top of an ancient complex. The current church houses a stunning fourth century mosaic floor, which is the single largest mosaic work in Italy.

Sitting at the crossroads of Ancient Roman and Early Christian history, modern Aquileia is a small town with an immense past.

3. Rock Drawing in Val Camonica

Italy’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site is tucked away amongst the Alpine valleys of eastern Lombardy in the province of Brescia. Known as Val Camonica, this area is home to over 140,000 figures and symbols carved into the local rock. Created over a period of more than 8,000 years, the drawings in Val Camonica are considered to be one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world.

Because the carvings are spread across a large valley and encompass 8 local parks, touring the area with a local guide is a must. Trips 2 Italy guides, who have studied the drawings and local history for years, are eager to share their insight with you.

The petroglyphs themselves are diverse and depict a variety of important cultural aspects, such as hunting, in addition to symbols and geometric figures. Interestingly, the drawings also mark cultural shifts in the local population, such as the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming. The interpretations of the drawings provided by your guide will be essential to understanding prehistoric customs and mindsets.

Discovered at the beginning of the twentieth century and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the rock drawings provide a valuable look at the history of mankind from the Neolithic Period to the Middle Ages. Visitors will be amazed by the level of detail achieved by our ancestors with primitive tools.

For a truly unique outdoor museum surrounded by pristine natural beauty that will satisfy both historians and hikers, look no further than Val Camonica.

4. Paestum

Often overshadowed by its neighbor to the north, Pompeii, the ancient city of Paestum is more than worth a visit in its own right. Founded by the Greeks as Poseidonia in the seventh century BC then conquered by the Romans, Paestum was eventually abandoned in the Middle Ages before being rediscovered during the eighteenth century. As a result, much of the original Greek city is intact, including three ancient temples.

While the ancient city once covered nearly 300 acres, nowadays approximately 62 acres have been excavated and can be visited. Spend a day exploring this incomparable archeological site with a local guide who will help you travel back in time to Magna Graecia.

Follow your guide through the ancient roads paved by the Greeks to experience Paestum through the eyes of a local. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to admire the nearly complete city walls, which span 3 miles, the amphitheater, and, of course, the temples that were constructed over a period from approximately 550 BC to 450 BC.

In addition to the Greek temples, it’s also possible to take in remains of the city’s Roman period including the forum, amphitheater, and a temple. Also of note are the painted tombs that date back to the Greek and Lucanian periods. The most renowned is the Tomb of the Diver, which is on display at the Paestum National Archeological Museum among other ancient works of art including painted pottery and terracotta statues.

With its immaculately preserved temples, Paestum is perhaps the best place in Italy to trace the history and culture of the Ancient Greeks who settled in the southern part of the peninsula.

5. Sicily

As far as archeological sites go, the island of Sicily has it all — the remains of ancient temples, theaters, villas, mosaics, and much more. While the majority of Sicily’s archeological sites are of Greek origin, one exceptional Roman monument can be found near the town of Piazza Armerina.

The Villa Romana del Casale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, boasts one of the most extensive and highly regarded collections of Roman mosaics on the planet. Dating back to the fourth century, the intricately detailed and elaborate mosaics span more than 37,000 square feet. The mosaics are in an impeccable state of conservation and offer invaluable insight into Ancient Roman culture. Due to its scale and variety of mosaics, Villa Romana del Casale is one place that would be simply overwhelming to visit without the guidance of a local art and history expert.

As for Greek ruins, one must-see is the Valley of the Temples. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples is a vast archeological area home to some of the most well-preserved Greek temples in the world. With 11 magnificent temples and other ancient structures to explore, our local guides can’t wait to share their passion for this remarkable place with you.

Other noteworthy sites include the well-preserved Greek temple located just outside of Segesta, as well as the Greek amphitheater of Taormina, which today is one of Italy’s most evocative concert venues. Also not to be missed is Syracuse’s Neapolis Archeological Park, which features a Greek theater, a Roman amphitheater, and the Ear of Dionysus, a natural cavern with exceptional acoustics.

We’ve only scratched the surface of Sicily’s impressive array of archeological sites. In fact, the island is filled with gems that are best explored by car. If you choose to rent a car, your Trips 2 Italy travel package will include our personal off-the-beaten-path suggestions, while if you travel with a private driver, your driver will be more than happy to show you places only locals know about.

With so many archeological wonders to admire, a trip to Sicily offers unforgettable encounters with the island’s past.

From Roman ruins to Greek temples and prehistoric artwork, Italy’s outdoor archeological sites transport travelers back in time. Whether you’re a devoted history buff or simply take travel as an opportunity to learn about the world’s greatest ancient civilizations, there’s nothing quite like setting your eyes on a historic monument or work of art that has endured for thousands of years.

Of course, getting lost in some of Italy’s serious history doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy other legendary sites or leisurely activities all during the same trip. From guided city tours and skip-the-line museum entrances to winery visits and tastings or even hands-on cooking classes, Trips 2 Italy can design the ideal itinerary so you can fully immerse in the country’s rich culture and traditions. If you are interested in any of these historic sites but can’t decide which area of Italy to visit first, contact your Trips 2 Italy travel specialist to customize your perfect travel package.

Recharge and Reconnect in Italy

Unifying Power of Trevel to Italy

Bringing Loved Ones Together Through Travel

As we look ahead to travel after the COVID-19 pandemic, intimacy is a key theme that will guide us from the early planning stages through the end of the trip. Working one-on-one with a travel specialist has always been the best way to handcraft an extraordinary vacation, and this will continue to ring true once we can travel internationally again. After having our worlds turned upside down and not being able to fully enjoy the company of close friends and family for over a year, tailoring a private travel experience to Italy can be a perfect way to compensate for lost time, re-embrace one another, and create new memories together without sacrificing safety.

Advantages of customized private travel

Have you ever dreamed of cruising through the Tuscan countryside with your loved ones on an iconic vespa? Or perhaps admiring the intricate details of the Sistine Chapel during an exclusive tour? Or even simply losing yourself in the history and charm of a medieval hilltop town?

All of these dreams and more can come true during a vacation to Italy tailored especially for you and those whose company you truly cherish. When you create a trip with a knowledgeable travel specialist, every detail — no matter how small — is carefully considered. From transportation logistics to skip-the-line entrance reservations and travel tips only the locals know, an individualized itinerary will always prove invaluable, especially after the pandemic. For an expertly planned vacation personalized to the needs of intimate groups that allows everyone to make the most of a once-in-a-lifetime trip, made-to-measure travel is the only way to go.


Traveling in a private small group

You may be familiar with traditional big bus tours or independent trips, but what exactly does it mean to travel in a private small group? Simply put, you get the best of both worlds. Private small group travel combines the freedom of solo travel, such as time at leisure, with the benefits of group travel, such as shared transportation — except instead of traveling with a group of strangers, you’ll create memories with your family or closest friends.

Escorted group tours typically feature rigid itineraries with countless activities scheduled back-to-back. When you craft a private small group trip, you set the pace. Want to have a designated day at leisure in each destination? No problem. Looking for a variety of activities, from cultural tours to food and wine tastings, that’ll keep everyone engaged? Just describe your interests to your travel specialist, they’ll take care of the rest.

One of the best parts of a custom-made vacation is flexibility. While some members of your party may choose to participate in certain activities, others can take a different tour or enjoy time at leisure. This ensures that there’s always ample time to create memories together while still leaving room for independent activities.

As a private small group, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy transportation exclusive to your party. This can maximize your time and allow you to see places you might have otherwise missed. For example, Rome and Florence are typically must-visits during a first-time trip to Italy, but there are plenty of lesser-known gems in between these two top destinations. During a personalized trip, you can make the most of your private transportation and stop in the picturesque hilltop town of Orvieto, or explore the Etruscan towns of southern Tuscany as you travel from Rome to Florence, or vice versa.

You’ll also enjoy private tours with local guides to truly immerse in the local history and culture. These guides have studied for years and are experts in their destinations. On top of a deep understanding of the history and culture of the places you’ll visit, the guides can also share hidden gems and spots favored by the locals. Plus, if you have special excursions in mind, such as visiting the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci or tasting high-quality specialty food products in the culinary capital of Bologna these can be easily factored into the itinerary of a bespoke trip.

During your tailor-made vacation to Italy, accommodations will be hand-selected for your small group based on your personal preferences. In cities like Rome, Florence, or Venice, you can enjoy the advantages of city center hotels located within easy walking distance of major monuments, museums, shops, authentic restaurants, and other attractions. History lovers will enjoy spending their nights in centuries-old palaces, yet there are also plenty of choices for those who prefer boutique hotels or luxury experiences. In the countryside, consider staying at an agriturismo or country estate where the friendly owners will welcome you as part of their family and show you how local products are made. Regardless of the type of accommodations your travel party prefers, there are a wide range of options available to meet your needs.

The beauty of private small group travel is that any of your specific preferences or special requests for tours, excursions, hotels, or transportation can be factored into the itinerary during the planning stage, ensuring that your dream vacation becomes a reality just as you pictured it. While returning to travel post-pandemic might require some small adjustments, safety will always be a priority when tailoring your unique travel itinerary.

Creating lifelong memories with those who matter

Take a moment to envision yourself and loved ones enjoying a special meal with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast under a lemon-scented terrace as the blue waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea crash against the cliffs below. This is just one of the incredible experiences you can share with your loved ones during a personalized vacation to Italy.

Take Italy’s millenary history, combine it with one-of-a-kind artistic treasures, natural scenery that varies from the snowy peaks of the Alps to verdant rolling hills and sunny beaches, and the most incredible food and wine you’ve ever tasted, and the possibilities are truly endless.

Families with children can bond during a hands-on pizza-making class, while a group of close friends might enjoy an intimate wine tasting at a family-owned winery in the Umbrian countryside. During truffle season, you can join a truffle hunter and forage through the woods for Italy’s most prized tubers. Active groups may wish to hike together along the coastal trails of the legendary Cinque Terre National Park or snorkel through the crystal-clear waters off the coast of Sardinia.

Of course, this is all without mentioning the history. Italy has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the planet. From Prehistory to Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Late Modern Period, and everything in between, Italy has it covered. Imagine exploring the preserved remains of the lost city of Pompeii, standing in awe at the sheer majesty of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, and floating down the canals that generations of Venetians have navigated for centuries — all in the same trip.

Private small group trips also allow you to slow down and truly engage with the local culture. Feel free to take the backroads and discover the places only locals know. From family-owned restaurants with incredible food to hidden churches with jaw-dropping artistic gems and panoramas that must be seen to be believed, you never know what you may stumble across.

No matter your interests, Italy offers an extensive array of unforgettable and one-of-a-kind activities that promote group and family bonding as well as a highly rewarding travel experience.


Travel adventures have the inherent ability to bring people together. Whether you’re looking to travel with an exclusive party of friends, your family, or both, a meticulously-crafted vacation allows for intimate experiences and opportunities to spend quality time together that all of you will treasure for years to come. If you envision Italy as a destination for your post-pandemic travel bucket list, contact Trips 2 Italy to begin working one-on-one with your travel specialist and create your unforgettable Italian vacation of a lifetime.

Top 5 Activities to Experience in Italy with your Family

Make Happy Memories with Family
Make Happy Memories with Family

Top 5 Activities to Experience in Italy with Your Family

Traveling to another country offers unique opportunities not only to unwind, but to bond with travel companions during culturally enriching experiences that can’t be replicated anywhere else. Italy’s varied landscape coupled with a vast selection of cultural, artistic, historic, and culinary offerings makes this scenic peninsula the perfect place for a post-pandemic family vacation. Continue reading to discover a variety of uniquely Italian activities that will encourage families with children of all ages to reconnect and relish in fond moments that will be cherished for a lifetime.

1. Meet Ötzi the Iceman at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano

In 1991, on an Alpine glacier at an elevation of more than 10,000 feet, a pair of hikers stumbled upon Europe’s oldest natural mummy. Preserved in ice for thousands of years, Ötzi the Iceman was discovered with his clothing and tools intact. Today, curious travelers of all ages can visit Ötzi in the Northern Italian city of Bolzano.

A trip to the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology allows families to step back in time and learn about what it took to survive in the frigid temperatures of this part of the world more than 5,000 years ago. The museum offers a specialized audio guide to help children immerse in the exhibit and get to know Ötzi and his story. The permanent exhibition outlines Ötzi’s discovery, provides an in-depth look at the objects found with the mummy, and offers a reconstruction of Ötzi’s possible appearance during his lifetime. Over the years, many museum visitors have been left in awe by the determination and skill of our Stone Age ancestors.

After visiting the museum, be sure to explore Bolzano’s remarkable historic city center with characteristic medieval architecture and an Alpine atmosphere that places the city at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and Germanic cultures. Take a break from sightseeing and enjoy a merenda in one of the pastry shops where you can indulge in the local strudel or an authentic Sachertorte. Surrounded by the vertiginous peaks of the Dolomites, Bolzano is also renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area including exploring the stunning mountains, enchanting lakes, historic castles…the list goes on!


2. Attend the Donkey Palio in Alba

Each year on the first Sunday of October, the city of Alba in the Piedmont region hosts what many consider to be Italy’s silliest historic event: the Palio degli Asini. The origins of this event can be traced to a medieval feud between Alba and neighboring Asti. As opposed to other medieval races still held in Italy, the Paglio degli Asini is lighthearted due to the temperament and antics of its protagonists, the donkeys.

The event opens with a historic procession complete with music, choreographed flag wavers, and elegant medieval costumes. The procession is organized by the locals and all nine of Alba’s borghi (historic neighborhoods) participate by representing a scene or an aspect of medieval life, such as the harvest.

The Palio itself consists of two rounds plus a final race to determine the overall winner. Amongst the fervent cheers of the locals, spectators of all ages will share plenty of laughs while watching the jockeys attempt to coax their stubborn, and often uncooperative partners, around the track and across the finish line. The sights and sounds of this immersive event promise a memorable experience that visitors to Alba will live alongside the passionate locals.

The Palio degli Asini also marks the start of Alba’s International White Truffle Fair, which is the city’s most important annual event. The fair attracts truffle lovers from across the globe for tastings, cooking shows, a truffle market, and more. The week following the Palio, the locals continue to celebrate food with a medieval food fair featuring an array of beloved traditional dishes, such as porchetta.

Thanks to its rich history, picturesque location in the Langhe hills, and exceptional local cuisine characterized by Barolo wine and white truffles, Alba is a superb family destination no matter the time of year.


3. Play Knights at the Castello di Gropparello in Emilia-Romagna

The Gropparello Castle, located approximately 50 miles south of Milan in the province of Piacenza, is literally one of the most enchanting locations in Italy. This genuine medieval castle perched over a ravine is part of a one-of-a-kind park where kids and their families are transported into a fairy tale. The woods surrounding the castle provide the perfect setting for knights, ogres, elves, fairies, witches, and wizards. In this real-life fairy tale, kids are the protagonists as they make their way through the magical woods with swords in hand to defeat the forces of evil and rescue a kidnapped fairy.

The Fairy Tale Park’s mission is to go beyond standard guided tours aimed at adults, and create an unforgettable cultural experience for children allowing them to truly engage with history. Led through the park by guides dressed as knights, all kids will be amazed as the fairies and other enchanted creatures of their imagination become reality. While the kids have fun, parents will appreciate the intent behind the park, which aims to foster teamwork, communication, creativity, and self-esteem.

Adults are also invited to join in during certain activities, resulting in fun for the entire family. After making their way through the enchanted forest, families can share a meal at the Castle’s tavern, which offers a fine menu of traditional recipes made with fresh, local ingredients — the perfect ending to a fairy-tale family adventure!


4. Treasure hunt in Ancient Rome

A vacation to Italy just wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the remarkable history of one of the world’s most ancient and powerful civilizations. For a special kid-friendly activity, families can embark on a unique treasure hunt through the most famous landmarks of Ancient Rome — the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. With a treasure map in hand, kids will channel their inner archeologist and solve clues with their family leading to a special prize. This unforgettable experience is sure to foster a new appreciation for history and ancient architecture in kids and adults alike.

As the largest and arguably most famous city in Italy, Rome needs no introduction. The charm of the Eternal City lies in the many layers of the city’s past. In addition to a treasure hunt through Ancient Rome, families may also enjoy exploring the authentic Trastevere neighborhood, admiring panoramas of Rome from the rooftop of the Vittoriano Monument, or taking an excursion to the Ancient Roman and Renaissance villas of Tivoli. There’s truly no better place to watch history come alive than Rome.


5. Make Pizza in Campania

After learning how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza in the region where this classic Italian staple was born, your family pizza nights will be forever transformed. A hands-on pizza cooking class is an excellent way to learn how to make Neapolitan pizza while fostering precious moments with your family. From picking fresh ingredients to the right oven temperature, all the secrets will be revealed during this fun and engaging class. Follow along with the local chef to learn the basics and work as a team to craft the perfect pizza. Once your pizza is ready, you’ll taste the fruits of your labor and share a traditional Italian meal with your family in an authentic setting, completing your engrossing cultural experience. It doesn’t get much better than this!

The sun-kissed region of Campania is an excellent starting point for families to get to know Southern Italy. From the millenary history and culture of Naples to the iconic beauty of the cliffside towns of the Amalfi Coast and the allure of the lost city of Pompeii, the Campania region is nothing short of magnificent.


Did the activities and places listed above inspire you? If so, this is only the beginning! From the northern edge of the country all the way down to the heel of the boot, Italy is filled with one-of-a-kind activities that bring families together. No matter where you travel to in Italy, profound experiences full of priceless moments — and an endless supply of pasta and gelato — are guaranteed.

Top 5 Activities to Enjoy with Friends during a Trip to Italy

Travel is Better with Friends

Our Top 5 Activities to Experience in Italy with Friends

Whether you’re working together to navigate the streets of an unfamiliar city or sharing a meal at a small, authentic restaurant favored by the locals, the intimate nature of travel allows for unparalleled bonding experiences among friends. Thanks to its millenary history, vast cultural wealth, legendary food and wine, and breathtaking art, Italy is an excellent destination for spending quality time with special friends. Not sure which places to visit? Take a look at our list below to learn more about the one-of-a-kind activities Italy can offer, each one ideal for a party of close friends looking to deepen their connections while venturing together.

1. Attend an opera at Verona Arena

Set in the evocative Arena — an Ancient Roman amphitheater that dates back to 30 AD — the annual Verona Opera Festival is one of the most revered music events in the country. From June to September each year, this already impressive amphitheater is transformed into a magnificent open-air opera venue unlike any else in the world. The origins of the festival date back to the early twentieth century when the heavenly acoustics of the arena were first discovered.

The festival was officially inaugurated in 1913 with Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, an opera that continues to have a special connection with the festival. Thanks to the Arena’s breadth and majesty, the venue lends itself to one-of-a-kind performances of monumental operas, meaning Aida often appears on the festival’s lineup together with other grand operas, such as Turandot, Tosca, and Nabucco. Over the years, the festival has hosted performances by the biggest names in opera including Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Plácido Domingo. For fans of opera, music, and live performances in general, an evening at the Arena with a group of friends is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

In addition to the opera festival, visitors to Verona have plenty more to explore. The city itself is renowned for its iconic cultural sights including Piazza Bra, Piazza delle Erbe, and Castelvecchio. As the hometown of Romeo and Juliet, couples will delight in the romantic atmosphere of Verona while visiting Juliet’s balcony or sharing an aperitivo at a local outdoor café during twilight.

What’s more, Verona is well-positioned with easy access to other highlights of the Veneto region including the vibrant city of Venice, the tranquil shores of Lake Garda (Italy’s largest lake), and the picturesque Valpolicella wine region. During a trip to Verona, the hardest part will be deciding what to see next with your friends.


2. Enjoy wine tasting with dinner under the stars at a countryside wineyard in Tuscany

Picture a scenic drive through Tuscany’s iconic landscapes as the late afternoon sun shines over rolling hills and cypress trees. Admire the rich scenery and historic vineyards before arriving at an estate in one of Tuscany’s renowned wine areas, such as Chianti or Val d’Orcia.

Breathe in the tranquility of the countryside as you explore the grounds. Then, when the warm air gives way to cooler temperatures, share a wine tasting aperitivo with your party of friends just before sunset. Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Tuscan countryside, you’ll learn about the winemaking traditions passed down from generation to generation that have shaped the area’s most renowned wines.

As the sun descends over the horizon, enjoy a dinner among the best of friends surrounded by the vineyards of the wine estate. Savor the flavors of Tuscany’s legendary cuisine and the freshness of locally-grown seasonal ingredients. This intimate dinner under the stars is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with good company. By the end of your evening, you could even add wine connoisseur to your list of accomplishments.

Whether you prefer to stay deep in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, or in the cities of Florence or Siena, surrounded by a wealth of art, history, and incomparable architecture, you and your friends can live the Tuscan countryside experience of your dreams.


3. Visit Sicily during the colorful Caltagirone Infiorata and evocative Feast of San Giacomo

The charming town of Caltagirone located on the island of Sicily may be small, but it hosts two of the region’s most fascinating cultural events. Caltagirone is best known for its ceramic art and the famous Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte, a staircase composed of 142 steps, each decorated with hand-painted maiolica tiles. The staircase, which spans just over 425 feet, dates back to the seventeenth century and was built to connect the newer and older parts of the town. Though this unique town is well worth a visit any time of year, it truly comes alive during two immersive folkloric events.

If you and your friends travel to Caltagirone in May, you’ll be graced with the beauty of the Infiorata. The event, which typically extends from April 25 to June 2, is held in honor of the Madonna of Conadomini. Just before the Infiorata begins, locals carefully place vases of colorful flowers along the steps of the Scalinata to create intricate images and motifs that differ each year.

During the Infiorata, visitors can attend other events as well, such as music performances and pottery workshops. The locals also host a procession through the historic center of town complete with period costumes, colorful carts, and gifts for the Virgin Mary that are brought up to the Church of Santa Maria del Monte at the top of the steps.

As if the beauty of the Infiorata weren’t enough, Caltagirone’s other main religious feast is also a sight to be seen. On July 24 and July 25, the town’s staircase takes centerstage once more during the Feast of San Giacomo, Caltagirone’s patron saint. This time, thousands of colorful candles are placed on the steps to create an elaborate, illuminated image. In addition to the light display, called Illuminata, the locals celebrate with music, fireworks, and a procession through town.

Even if travelers aren’t religious or devout Christians, the events can provide a unique opportunity to live completely authentic and local experiences that are part of Sicilian culture. Outside of these events, Caltagirone amazes with its historic city center as well as the Norman Baroque Cathedral of San Giuliano, ceramic traditions, streets lined with artisan workshops, and archeological sites…then there’s still the rest of Sicily to explore!


4. Participate in a cooking class at a typical Masseria in Apulia

Travel to the picturesque heel of Italy where time stands still and historic traditions are very much alive. As far as coastal destinations go, the region of Puglia seems to have it all: a long, rich history that began with the Mycenaean Greeks, dramatic cliffside towns suspended over brilliant blue water, tranquil countryside landscapes, iconic architecture, and, of course, one of the most distinct regional cuisines in all of Italy.

Venture into this legendary countryside with your friends to visit a rustic stone masseria (a traditional farmhouse native to Puglia) surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and coastal panoramas on the horizon. After taking in the atmosphere, you and your friends will begin a cooking class in the authentic setting of the masseria.

Follow along as a local culinary expert, such as a professional chef or a native grandma sharing her ancestors’ recipes, shows you how to prepare traditional dishes just as they were made in the past. With a culinary tradition as rich as Puglia’s, there are countless local dishes including handmade pasta, such as the typical orecchiette (a symbol of Puglia), as well as crunchy taralli crackers, divine fried panzerotti filled with tomato and mozzarella, or local focaccia flatbread topped with tomatoes.

No matter what delicious local specialty you learn to cook, after creating your culinary masterpieces you’ll share an unforgettable meal with your friends under the olive trees or another special corner of the masseria featuring the remarkable flavors of Puglia’s cuisine paired with locally produced wine. You’ll also have the chance to taste Puglia’s extra virgin olive oil, which is considered to be among the highest quality olive oils produced in Italy.

In addition to learning the secrets of Puglia’s cuisine, this remarkable region has plenty more to explore from the famous Trulli dwellings in Alberobello and the rest of the Itria Valley to the beautiful Baroque architecture of Lecce and the whitewashed skyline of Ostuni. Then, of course, there are also the region’s natural wonders, such as the Castellana Caves, and the inimitable charm of small coastal towns, such as Polignano a Mare. No matter how you choose to spend your time, you won’t regret a visit to sunny Puglia with your dearest friends.


5. Share a private dinner at Villa del Balbianello in Lake Como

For an extravagant and unparalleled experience to share with your closest friends, look no further than the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy. This picturesque lake is dotted with stately villas and expansive gardens. Among these, the gorgeous Villa del Balbianello is particularly renowned for its elegance. Villa del Balbianello’s location at the tip of a small peninsula makes it even more remarkable as the property, its gardens, and terraces are surrounded by water with stunning panoramas from every angle. Today, the villa is a museum that can be toured, and it can also be reserved for private events.

Imagine spending a few hours with your friends exploring Lake Como on a private luxury boat. Feel like the real jet set as you admire important historic villas and take in the most impressive views around the lake directly from the water. Afterwards, make your grand entrance by arriving at Villa del Balbianello’s dock in your private boat to begin the evening in style.

Within the luxurious setting of Villa del Balbianello, you’ll sit down for your private dinner party surrounded by rich collections of paintings, sculptures, and lavishly decorated rooms with period furniture. Feast on Lake Como’s refined local specialties consisting of fresh and flavorful ingredients. Admire incomparable views of the lake from the terraces of the villa and take an after-dinner stroll through the lush gardens. A private dinner with the best of company and particularly in this setting overlooking the lake will feel almost like a modern-day fairy tale.

Moreover, as the third largest lake in Italy, Lake Como still offers so much more to see. A trip to this area of the lake makes it ideal to explore other pearls, such as Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo as well as the historic city of Como, glamorous Bellagio, and tranquil Varenna.

The area’s natural beauty has also made it an idyllic shooting location for several films over the years. Villa del Balbianello’s exquisite scenery in particular has been featured in films such as A Month by the Lake (1995), Star War Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Casino Royale (2006). More recently, in March 2021, Hollywood stars including Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto were steps away from Villa del Balbianello to shoot scenes for the upcoming film House of Gucci directed by Ridley Scott. And, of course, George Clooney’s summer residence is nearby, meaning that A-list celebrity sightings are possible as the American actor often invites famous friends to his villa.


If you’re looking for an exclusive, inimitable experience tailored specifically for you and your most intimate friends, Lake Como is calling your name.

We hope the activities on this list have inspired you to dream about the unique experiences that Italy offers. No matter your interests or travel preferences, there’s plenty for you and your amici to enjoy in Italy. The only hard part is choosing where to go!