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Italy is a large country with many distinctive regions that differ quite considerably in culture, cuisine and landscape. Its plethora of ancient monuments and archaeological remains; fascinating cities with magnificent architecture that spans the centuries; lakes, mountains and a stunning coastline; all combine to make it one of the most popular destinations in Europe. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are particular favourites with those seeking lazy days by the sea. Almost everywhere in the world you'll find an Italian restaurant, so popular is the cuisine. What better to sample the delights of truly authentic dishes in its country of origen. It isn't all about pasta, pizza and rissottos. You can also enjoy the many low cost Italian wines.
Your choice of destination will obviously depend on the type of Italy holiday that best suits your interests. There is huge scope for those wanting an active break. The mountains in the north provide winter sports as well as having great hiking, climbing and cycling terrain for summer holidays. The lake district is ideal for less arduous walks and also for water sports. Wherever you go in Italy, you'll be able to combine physical activity with cultural visits. The country is awash with famous buildings, museums and galleries. As a whole, Italy is considered to be a romantic destination, and this is never more true than in the cities of Venice and Rome. Venice, with its canals and bridges, St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace, is a city beyond compare. With so many iconic edifices, it would be hard to do justice to the city during one short break. The Venetian Riviera appeals to families who wish to intersperse cultural activities with relaxing days on sandy shores. In the south of the country you have the great cities of Rome and Naples, the Amalfi coast, Vesuvius, Pompeii and Heraculaneum; the list goes on and on. Rome deserves at least a week in order to explore its major attractions. Early and late season are recommended when both prices and the temperature is lower. The city can become very hot in the summer. Popular city destinations include Florence, Milan, Turin, Pisa, Verona and Sorrento.
Italians are known for their generous hospitality and their warm, friendly welcome. Accommodation, whether it be a luxury hotel or apartment, or a humble guest house or bed and breakfast establishment, you'll find standards of comfort and service are high. Italy is a family oriented country and nightlife is rarely over exuberant. Evenings are generally spent with families eating out in child-friendly restaurants.
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