The Roman civilisation was one of the great empires whose developments in law, arts and administration remain infused throughout modern western culture today. The architectural gifts stand impressively evident for all to enjoy. Around 1000 years after the decline of the Roman Empire, it was Florence that played host to the renaissance and spearheaded the revival in high culture. As a nation, Italy was formerly unified in 1861 when Rome was declared the capital and Victor Emmanuel II proclaimed as King. Today, Italy celebrates its extensive history, proudly displaying the wealth of treasures while continuing to navigate the complexities facing modern Europe.
Italy experiences different climates across the nation but in general the weather allows a year round exploration of the country. August is the hottest month in Rome with the mercury averaging around 30 degrees, while January is the coolest month with the temperature rising to around 11 degrees. Venice follows a similar pattern but is much cooler in winter with the mercury only rising to around five degrees in January. On the other hand Sicily enjoys mild winters with an average of 14 degrees in January.
The Italians host festivals through the year. Notable events include the Verona Opera Festival held in a Roman amphitheatre, the Venice Film Festival and the Florence Biennale, a significant arts festival. As Italy is the spiritual heart of Roman Catholicism, Christian festivals are held in special regard especially Christmas and Easter.
When flying from Australia to Italy most airlines fly via a third city with a total travel time averaging around 25 hours. Airlines that fly from Australia to Rome include:
Luxury abounds throughout Italy, from beautiful opulent options in the nation’s capital through to boutique hotels and B&Bs in the Italian countryside. The Italians understand style and will ensure your accommodation is suitably comfortable.
Cities such as Venice and Florence are widely considered extremely romantic and as such offer the perfect backdrop for honeymooners desiring a special shared experience to start their life together. From international chains through to imitate luxury options, there are many elegant accommodation choices in these special locations. View Honeymoon options
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
The Eternal City, the nation’s capital, continues to shine brightly as a significant destination steeped in ancient history, basking in medieval glory and celebrating cosmopolitan urbanity. Big ticket attractions in Rome include the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum, and the Pantheon. Be sure to throw a couple of coins in the Trevi Fountain, admire the Vittorio Emanuele monument and traipse up the Spanish Steps.
Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance and today the artistic legacy remains. Be sure to visit the Galleria delgli Uffizi, Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Similarly Venice is a must do Italian destination; there’s nothing like a gondola ride through the canals. Naples is a Mediterranean Sea port worth exploring and provides the perfect launching pad for a day trip to Pompeii to wander through a Roman town unchanged since it was destroyed by Vesuvius in 79CE. The fashion capital is undeniably Milan in the north and Pisa with its tower is a significant icon.
For natural beauty head to the Amalfi Coast, appreciate the rugged beauty of Cinque Terre by walking between the five towns or experience Sicily, where the pace of life is that little bit slower. Inspire passion by visiting the house where Juliet lived in Verona, as Romeo called to her from the pavement.
Don't leave home without...
Necessities can generally be obtained in the larger cities, however speciality items or your preferred products are best brought from home. The Mediterranean sun can be particularly strong so bring your favourite sun protection with you.
It is the Italians who invented the siesta, a rest after lunch. Many shops shut around 1.30pm and reopen after the siesta at about 4pm. The main meal of the day is lunch and the locals enjoy a smaller dinner relatively late at around 9pm. A soothing gelato generally follows the evening meal. The Italians love their wine and believe it makes the perfect accompaniment to their cuisine.
Things to be careful of…
Most visitors enjoy their Italian stay without incidence. However, tourist scams are not unheard of. If someone approaches you in the street for no obvious reason, it’s best to remain sceptical, keep calm and wish them all the best.