Europe’s famous boot has everything you need for the pursuit of "la dolce vita"—the sweet life.
Most visitors head straight for the capital city of Rome, and rightly so. The Eternal City is home to some of Europe's most iconic sights, including the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Sistine Chapel (although, technically, that’s in Vatican City). Historical attractions aside, Rome is also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Italy, be they Michelin-starred establishments or simple hole-in-the-wall osterias (casual cafes).
For others, it’s Milan that calls. Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, as a trip to the designer boutiques in the Quadrilatero d’Oro (Fashion Quadrangle) will reveal. Art and culture lovers are well cared for too: Milan is home to the world-famous La Scala Opera House, not to mention Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, which is housed in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
And all of that is without even delving into Italy's other city destinations. Who could resist the pull of Venice's atmospheric canals and singing gondoliers, the art galleries of Florence, or the history (and brilliant mayhem) of Naples?
There’s plenty of life outside these cities too. Indeed, Italy is a country of astonishing natural beauty, with a rich landscape of sweeping fields, mountain ranges, and beaches. It’s little wonder that it’s often referred to as the bel paese, or beautiful country. For the best beaches in Italy, leave the mainland and head for Sardinia’s coast; Cala Goloritzè is such a stunning stretch of white sand and aquamarine sea that it’s been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1995. Or, if you’d prefer to stay on dry land, head to northern Italy and immerse yourself in the truly spectacular Alps.