Destination Italy – A Country of Contrasts

Imagine being sat outside a restaurant along the shores of Lake Garda after a day filled with amazing scenery, fine buildings, works of art and lavish history with a delicious freshly baked pizza and a glass of fine wine, followed by one of many varieties of ice-cream and a first-rate Italian coffee. Heaven!
It’s easy to see why Italy appeals to so many travellers year after year. ‘La Bella Italia’ has it all! The serene elegance of Venice, Renaissance treasures of Florence, the ancient wonders of Rome, stunning scenery around Lake Garda, the romantic charm of Verona and the spectacular cliff-top panoramas of Capri. The chances are you’ll find much more than you ever dreamed of when you visit Italy.

Italian Dolomites
Sunrise over Rifugio Lagazuoi in the Italian Dolomites

Best for Amazing Mountain Vistas

Picture the first rays of the morning, sun shining on the mountain tops and during the summer months forcing the wonderful alpine flowers into bloom on the surrounding pastures, or during winter reflecting off the crisp white snow.
The Italian Dolomites in the Sud Tirol are some of the most gorgeous mountain-scapes in Europe, dotted with pretty little villages and surrounded by lush green meadows.
From the tranquil Sud Tirol, the charming towns of Lake Garda with landmarks such as Riva’s Rocca Fortress and famous sights of Venice like St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs, are not too far away meaning true Italian culture and history can also be experienced.

Best for Superb Scenery and Sightseeing

The beautiful lakeside towns around Lake Garda have charmed visitors for centuries.
The southern lakeshore is low, rolling land. In contrast, the dramatic fjord-like northern end is surrounded by towering mountains and cliffs.
Most of the towns which nestle along the shore, such as Sirmione with its striking Scaliger Castle and Limone with its charming old fishermen’s houses and lemon groves, are popular as holiday resorts and have a very friendly and relaxed feel.
Wonderful sightseeing opportunities aren’t far away with the two largest cities in the Veneto area, Venice are Verona, just around the corner.

Lake Como
Sunset over Lake Como

Best for Stunning Lakeside Views

Not far from the cosmopolitan city of Milan you’ll find stunning Lake Como, which has been a popular tourist resort since the days of the Roman Empire.
Visitors ever since have admired the clear blue waters, delightful lemon trees and olive groves and luxurious villas dotted in the wooded lakeside slopes above.
The best way to appreciate the beauty of the area is by taking to the water. You could visit two of the loveliest villas on the lake, Villa Carlotta and Villa del Balbianello.
Another stunning lakeside region is Lake Maggiore with its beautiful gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Once you spend time there you will soon become familiar with the name of the Borromeo family, who own the islands named after them.

Best for Excursion Variety

Visiting Italy really can mean mountains, lakes, city sights, shopping, history, architecture, relaxation and art all in one visit.
You can spend a day in each place and experience it all. Then maybe choose one of two of your favourite places and come back again next year.
Imagine two glorious weeks in a country of contrasts.
You could visit Lake Garda to experience the ambience and charm of this lovely area and finish the day off with a delicious ice-cream along the shoreline of Sirmione, then move on to Venice to see the maze of bridges, weaving canals and Renaissance architecture.
Next visit Rome, the ‘eternal city’ with its unique and colourful atmosphere built on its ancient Roman past with famous sights such as the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.
Then have a more relaxing day in the popular resort of Sorrento on the Neapolitan Riviera with its many shops and fantastic views. You could see all of this and much more!

A visit to Italy isn’t complete without enjoying some local cuisine

Italian Food… bellissimo!

The southern region of Italy is known for growing red, ripe, juicy tomatoes. Vegetables such as sweet peppers also grow with exuberance and are added to Italian dishes of the region.
Naples is king of pizza in Italy and claims to be the birthplace of one of the most popular Italian foods around the world.
Cheeses such as ricotta and mozzarella add richness. Northern Italian cuisine highlights dairy products with rich sauces made of butter, cream and eggs. Ingredients native to the area are used. Meat and seafood from the coast is also common.
You’ll find many pasta dishes to try in Italy. Common pasta sauces in Northern Italy include pesto and ragù alla bolognese, which usually adds meat to the sauce. In Central Italy there are simple sauces such as tomato, amatriciana and carbonara. Southern Italian sauces include spicy tomato, garlic and olive oil, with the pasta often paired with fresh vegetables or seafood. There are approximately 3,500 different types of pasta. Examples include spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli and lasagne.
Italian desserts range from sweet to slightly bitter and are always delicious. Many desserts are made from cookies and biscotti, which are flavoured with nuts, candied fruit and light glazes.
A custard dish from Siena is now very well known outside of Italy, tiramisu. The layered dessert includes biscuit fingers soaked in espresso, liqueur, eggs, cocoa, and mascarpone cheese.
No visit to Italy would be complete without trying the different varieties of ice-cream or ‘Gelato’. Traditional flavours include almond, chocolate, coffee, mint, pistachio, rum raisin, strawberry and vanilla. Ice cream took hold in Europe when Marco Polo brought the Chinese recipe to Venice in 1292. Now 54% of Italians eat ice cream at least once a week.
If you would like to escape to Italy with Leger Holidays then you can view our collection of Italian tours on our website now.
Images courtesy of flickr user Bill Stanley, digitalurbanlandscape and avlxyz.

One Reply to “Destination Italy – A Country of Contrasts”

  1. Lake Garda Venice Verona
    9 day trip from sept 15 first experiance of a coach trip enjoyed it would go on another. Weather fantastic excet for two days one morning whilest on an excursion to simione the other day it rained was on the day we were on the way to catch ferry. As a single traveller i was made to feel very welcome by all the other passengers and drivers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *