Favorite Destination: Italy

Why Italy?

Italy is one of our favorite European destinations because of its versatility and warmth. Italy truly has something for everyone. From historic winding streets, golden rolling hills, and imposing mountains, to stunning beaches and a wealth of history and culture. It can amp up the romance for couples on their honeymoon. Or offer a variety of adventures for multi-generational families with varying interests. And, it is a foodies paradise! There’s a reason Italy is on everyone’s bucket list.

Favorite Italian Spots

a map of Italy with favorite cities highlighted

Tuscany – Classic rolling hills, fabulous food, and the city of Florence! You can stay in the Stunning countryside to enjoy the vineyards, famous wines, and small towns. Or, you can head into the city for museums and stunning churches.

Bologna- Often called the slow-food capital of Italy, Bologna is a lovely hidden gem! It boasts incredible architecture, unique vibes, and unforgettable food. If you’re a foodie traveler, Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region are perfect for you. Additionally, it features UNESCO heritage foods like parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar.

Rome– The capital city is jam-packed with historic, artistic, and culinary attractions! There’s so much more than just the Vatican and the Colosseum; this is a big city with tons of sightseeing and amazing food. Plus, it’s a great home base for day trips to nearby towns. 

Amalfi Coast & Positano – Stunning. Simply breathtaking. The Amalfi Coast ignites romance. Sip limoncello and soak up the sun by the seaside in these luxurious cliff-top towns. 

Sicily – Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and incredibly fresh seafood greet you on this southern Isle. Plus, it’s easy on the budget and perfect for those who want to simply enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean. 

Lake District- Situated in the far north, you’ll find the famous Lake Como, Lago di Braies and Lake Garda. Because these beautiful alpine lakes take your breath away, they are the perfect combination of luxury and nature. And, they are a great jumping-off point for a side-trip into Switzerland. 

Italy quick facts guide

Top Tips

– Use your concierge! The hotel concierge is a great wealth of knowledge, from the best local restaurants and boutiques to fun upcoming events.

– Remember to validate your train tickets before boarding or you could incur a fine.

– Keep your ‘antennae’ up when at train stations, especially in the big cities. Con artists will try to load your bag onto the train for you and then demand a tip. Consequently, stay vigilant and don’t let anyone near your bags. 

-Always carry some cash, because some smaller local shops don’t accept credit cards. Additionally, it can sometimes cost a euro or two to use the public toilet.

-Bring a couple of shawls or scarfs to cover bare shoulders and legs when entering churches.

– Ask for the check. In Italy they want you to take your time and enjoy your food. So, they won’t bring you the bill until you ask for it. 

Top 5 Activities

Food Tours

No matter where you go in Italy, we recommend a food tour. Follow a knowledgeable local guide to different restaurants and food markets, enjoy a glass of wine, and sample some delicious bites. You’ll learn the history and cultural significance behind the local flavors – and this is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore a destination. Combine it with a cooking class to learn how to make your favorite dish! 

After Hours in the Colosseum

There’s certainly something magical about seeing such a famous ancient site without hundreds of other tourists. And, the after-hours tour gives you special access to some of the restricted areas and a tour of the underground dungeons. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of a nighttime visit! 

Walking Tour (or golf cart tour)

Particularly in the big cities like Rome or Florence, you’ll find there’s history on literally every corner. But, without the help of a local guide, you might never recognize it! Taking a walking (or golf cart) tour on your first day will give you a fabulous overview. 

Boat Tour to Capri

The Amalfi Coast should be seen from the water! You can enjoy a cool swim in the stunning Mediterranean and marvel at the dramatic cliff and rock formations hidden from the shore. Plus, you’ll have some free time to explore the island of Capri, and it’ll give you a whole new perspective on the coast. 

Ferrari Tour– Who hasn’t wanted to try driving a Ferrari? The Ferrari tour takes you to the home and museum of the famous car company and even lets you take one for a spin! However, it’s not all fast cars. You can combine this with an introduction to the important foods of the Modena/Parma area. 

Perks Our Clients Can Enjoy

  • A Shared Adventures team member is based in Italy and can provide pre-travel concierge services.
  • We have long standing relationships with excellent private drivers in Rome and the Amalfi Coast.
  • Access to special Signature Travel amenities in over 75 luxury hotels throughout the country. Including daily breakfast, resort & spa credits, upgrades, and more.

Inspiration & Trip Reports


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)