Starting in beautiful Venice, enjoy a relaxing gondola ride before moving on to the fascinating cities of Bologna and Florence in stunning Tuscany. Next, it’s Rome with all its history and superb cuisine. Finish at beachside Viareggio, from where you can visit the famous leaning tower of Pisa.
Venice is a remarkable place, its streets and canals fringed with grand palazzi, historic monuments and beautiful churches. The city’s epic grandeur has attracted lovers, artists and poets for centuries, and never fails to inspire those who visit. It’s easily explored on foot – as you wander the pathways and bridges, you’ll come face to face with some classic Venetian scenes, with washing lines overhanging tiny canals and bustling piazzas lined with market stalls.
Watched over by its two medieval towers, Bologna is one of Italy’s foremost cities, not just in history but in culture too. Affectionately known as La Grossa (the fat) by locals, the city’s gastronomic heritage has ensured its place in the food hall of fame, with the much-loved Bolognese sauce famously originating here. However, there are many more reasons to visit today, with the city boasting countless medieval sights scattered throughout Europe’s second-largest centro storico.
Florence is a city like no other – romantic, bustling and utterly charming. Set in the heart of Tuscany’s rolling hills, this surprisingly small city is packed full of some of Europes most impressive artistic treasures. Known the world over for its world-class art and museums, Florence is an indoor and outdoor exhibition.
With more than 3,000 years of life, the city has long been one of the world’s leading centres of culture, and today reveals an array of diverse attractions. There are master artworks like the Sistine Chapel, numerous wine-fuelled feasts to partake in, and a raft of iconic sights, including the world’s largest amphitheatre – the Colosseum. Best of all, the majority of Rome’s attractions are within walking distance of each other, so you’ll be able to soak up the Roman way of life as you walk to the Pantheon or the Trevi Fountain. Maybe you’ll discover a hidden church with beautiful frescoes or a secret trattorie serving excellent wine from the Lazio hills. That’s when the phrase ‘when in Rome’ really comes in handy…
Viareggio is one of Tuscany’s most important beach resorts, offering sun-seekers more than six miles of sandy beachfront, and plenty of culture too.
The long ribbon of gold-sand beach is said to be one of Italy’s finest, and is frequented by well-to-do Italians and holidaymakers drawn by the traditional beach scene. Make sure you take part in the passeggiata – the evening social walk where families, couples and other locals take to the promenade to burn some calories before dinner.
When it comes to seeing the region’s sights, Viareggio comes up trumps again, with Pisa just a 25-minute drive away. Known around the world for its infamous Leaning Tower, Pisa has a surprisingly atmospheric side that few manage to discover, packed with authentic restaurants and pretty piazzas.