Italy is one of the world’s most alluring travel destinations. It is brimming with outstanding art, historical buildings and spectacular fountains.
There are magnificent bridges and churches with sculptures by Bernini and Michelangelo. The Food and Wine is outstanding and there are plenty of enchanting villages for touring and tasting. Italy is a premier wine tourism destination.
Here are the Top Ten Reasons to Travel to Italy:
and the Renaissance.
Italy is imbued with superlatives. Italy has more than 47 World Heritage; more sites than any other country in the world. They have sultry fashion and vehicle design, outstanding culinary and entertainment options, spectacular beaches and magnificent art and architecture.
2. Italy is also a manufacturing juggernaut. It produces sexy, powerful driving machines. In 1929, Enzo Ferrari founded the racing team that led to the famous sports car.
The legendary Ferrari auto company recently built a new museum in Ferrari’s hometown of Modena.
Prestigious nameplates like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati thrill car enthusiasts around the world.
Italian design prowess spills over into the motorcycle industry. The sleek curves of Ducati, Cagiva, Aprilia and Motoguzzi offer exciting, desirable rides. Even the country’s Fiats and Vespas are alluring. The cacophony of Italy’s motorcycless can be heard throughout the world.
3. Captivating panoramic vistas of the peninsula’s majestic mountains, volcanoes and glistening seas enhance Italy’s timeless charm. The fascinating array of sights and travel experiences includes glorious cityscapes overflowing with art and architectural masterpieces in the Vatican City are captivating! Churches and museums are repositories of magnificent art. Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums contain the most spectacular art collection in the world. The Uffizi in Florence has more masterpieces per square foot than any other art museum in the world.
4. Italy’s historic cities are surrounded by dreamy landscapes coveted and replicated by Renaissance artists. Rolling hills are carpeted with vineyards and olive and citrus groves. The micro climates of wine regions from Piedmont to Sicily provide the Italian wine producers with resources and endless opportunities to produce highly-regarded local wines. Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes become estate wines that ultimately stock wine cellars throughout Italy. Italy supplies the world with the finest Barolo, Brunello, Amarone and Chianti wines. There are more than 300 varietals that are cultivated in many locations: by the sea, on the foothills of the magnificent mountains and in the southern-most volcanic islands.
World-wide Italian wine sales in 2011 were 13 billion euros with 700,000 wine estates and 30,000 bottlers. Outstanding wines earn accolades like “Three Glasses” (Tre Bicchieri) from Gamberro Rosso. In 2012, from over 20,000 wines tasted by Gambero Rosso panels, only 375 labels attained the “Tre Bicchieri” status. By the way, Italy also has outstanding olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed the World Heritage Convention. This International Treaty was designed to preserve the world’s greatest cultural and natural sites. Italy has a wide array of the designated World Heritage Sites. The sites range from archeological ruins to distinctive city centers like Rome, Florence and Venice. Sicily has incredible Greek Theaters and Temples.
6. Italy’s reputation as Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” destination is enhanced by the availability of superb accommodations. Italians have mastered the art of seaside lounging; many hotels offer rejuvenating spas, rooftop observatories and infinity pools.
Historic monasteries and villas have been converted into luxuriously appointed five-star hotel properties that meet the discriminating needs of sophisticated sojourners.
If you go to Rome, stay at the Hotel Majestic Roma on the Via Venato. This is one of my favorite properties. The historic architect Gaetano Koch catered to the luxury crowd and the hotel served as a backdrop for Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”. I love the panoramic views from the balconies of the newly renovated restaurant overlooking the Via Venato.
I love the Grand Hotel Mineva in Rome because everytime you walk out of the front door, you get to see Bernini’s famous elephant in Piazza della Minerva.
Another one of my favorites is the Hotel de Russie. The 18th century terraced gardens are close to the Popolo churches and they serve a great de Russie Martini with caviar. Near the Spanish Steps, stay at the Hotel Eden near the Via Condotti. They have a fabulous rooftop restaurant called La Teraza. The Hassler is at the top of the Spanish Steps. The 1885 building was reconstructed in 1938. There are fabulous views of the Pantheon, Aventino Hill and the Borghese Gardens through the 6th floor windows. Have lunch at the Palm Court Garden. I must admit that my favorite Vino con Vista hotel in Italy is Villa Cimbrone in Ravello; perched high above the Amalfi Coast.
7. Government-supported agritourism is growing exponentially across Italy since its inception in 1985. Agriturismo allows travelers to stay and dine at working farms. The government offers tax breaks and incentives to farmers who create rooms for tourists. There were more than 14,000 agriturismi in Italy in 2007; over 3500 in Tuscany and about 600 in Sardinia.
8. The nation’s flourishing culinary culture spawns superb cooking schools and gourmet restaurants. Many detail-obsessed chefs use fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Notable chefs earn sought after Michelin Stars, as well as Italy’s coveted “Tre Forchette” (Three Forks) Awards.
9. “Buon Ricordo” is an association of gastronomic entrepreneurs founded in 1964 (www.buonricordo.com). The union of member restaurants promotes regional cuisine with specialty entrees, membership cards and charming ceramic collector plates that celebrate local culinary tradition. There are more than 100 Buon Ricordo Restaurants in Italy. Card-carrying Buon Ricordo members are afforded hotel privileges as well. Outstanding Italian restaurateurs are passionately committed to palate-pleasing regional cuisine and wine. They offer extensive wine lists that provide depth and diversity of labels and vintages. They frequently retain devoted wine directors and sommeliers. By the way, Italy has the best desserts in the world!
10. Italy is a shopping paradise. Designer fashion luminaries grace Italy’s catwalks. Socialites and celebrities embrace the designs of Italian purveyors like Gucci, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Armani, Prada, Valentino and Ferragamo. Italy’s haute couture and ready-to-wear adorn global fashionistas.
To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides.