Acknowledged as one of the principal birthplaces of western culture, Italy is home to a rich array of cultural treasures. Here you’ll find everything from artistic masterpieces and mouth-watering cuisine to stunning fashion and breathtaking landscapes; not to mention more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world.
So, if you’re a culture vulture and a visit to Italy sounds like the trip of a lifetime take a look at our guide to Italy’s cultural delights.
Each year in February, thousands of people flock to Venice to be a part of the city’s huge theatrical festivity known as Venice Carnavale. Beginning forty days before Easter and ending on Shrove Tuesday, the carnival sees Venetian residents don masquerade garb and fill the streets for several weeks of traditional frivolity. Activities and events take place in Venice’s many palaces and theatres, as well as in the streets and squares of the old city.
No trip to Italy’s capital would be complete without a visit to the country’s cultural heart: Vatican City. One of the most significant places to the Christian religion, Vatican City is also the world’s smallest state and home to a glorious spread of awe-inspiring architecture and historical sites. St Peter’s Basilica dominates the landscape and a climb up the 323 steps to the basilica’s dome should be at the top of any tourist’s itinerary.
Another ‘must see’ for history buffs is Rome’s most extraordinary monument: the Colosseum. The amphitheatre is the largest ever built by the Roman Empire and is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of Roman architecture. Completed in 80AD, much of the structure still remains, with visitors able to explore the site, absorbing the magnificent grandeur of the place as well as attaining a sense of the gory events that once took place here.
One of the oldest and well known galleries in the world, Uffizi Gallery is arguably the cultural highlight of Florence. Over 1.5 million people visit the 16th century palace encompassing one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Works of arts include some of the finest paintings to emerge from the city as well as masterpieces from throughout the rest of Europe from the 13th to 18th century.
Holiday insurance is vital for any trip abroad, whether meandering through Italy’s cobbled streets or hitting the ski slopes. It’s an essential part of any holiday, but you need to make the right choice. If your trip to Italy is your only holiday of the year, opt for single trip travel insurance, whereas if you’re off abroad a number of times make sure you’re fully covered with multi-trip travel insurance