Italy, which is located on the Italian Peninsula south of the Alps, covers an area of more than 300.000 km2. This includes the two largest islands in the Mediterranean, Sicily and Sardinia. In many ways, Italy is a highly diversified country. As you pass the Alps and drive southwards, you will notice the changing character of the landscape. The north is home to the subalpine lakes of Italy, the most popular being Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.
For families with children, a visit to the “Gardaland” theme park, which is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, is nearly a must during a visit to northern Italy. Each spring and summer, several million of visitors from all over Europe come here to enjoy thrilling rides in the park’s multiple roller coasters. As the park offers a lot of different attractions and rides it is, of course, also possible to go for a less thrilling experience. In any case, you and your family are in for a great day.
As you leave the foothills of the Alps, the fertile Po Valley appears before you. The Po river extends all the way from the Western Alps to the Adriatic Sea. At this point, there are various options for great holiday experiences. A few hours drive to the east you will encounter one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, Venice. The estuary of Po is situated just south of the city, which has been constructed on more than 100 islands in the Venetian Lagoon.
Venice played an important commercial role for centuries, which made it a very prosperous city. Some of the wealth was spend on impressive buildings and works of art, which you may still experience during your visit here. Be sure not to miss the Piazza San Marco, the city’s central square. It is surrounded by the city’s most important buildings, such as the Doge’s Palace, St. Marks Basilica and the impressive St. Marks Clocktower. Of course, the only way to go there is by gondola.
If you prefer to drive south through the Po Valley, the region of Tuscany is an obvious destination. Tuscany is not only home to the famous Chianti wine district, but to cities such as Florence, Siena and Lucca. Each of the cities is definitely worth a visit, but if it’s your first visit to Tuscany and you have to make a choice, then Florence us the place to go. It is the capital of the region with a history stretching back to 59 B.C., where it was founded by Julius Caesar.
Several centuries later, the European Renaissance emanated from the city. Scientists and artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were born in Tuscany, where both of them spend parts of their careers creating great works of art on behalf of the wealthy Medici family. Be sure to visit the Uffizi Gallery, which displays the family’s vast art collection. The historic centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can easily spend several days here.
The capital of Italy, Rome or “The Eternal City” as it is also known, is located in the western, central part of the country. Rome’s importance steadily increased, as the legions of the Roman Empire conquered large parts of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. At the height of its powers, the Empire ruled approximately 6 million km2 of land. The Colosseum is famous all over the world as one of the attractions you just can’s miss when going to Rome.
If you want to learn more about the possibilities of a finding the perfect holiday home for a great holiday in Italy, be sure to visit Sommerhus Italien, Ferie Italien, Ferienhaus Italien or Urlaub Italien.