Bursting with ancient monuments, fine art galleries and delightful trattorias, a journey into sun-drenched southern Italy will also introduce you to one of the best-loved stretches of the Mediterranean - the Amalfi Coast.
With 2,000-year roots, in Rome you’ll stumble across history at every other step. Firstly, there’s the Centro Storico, at its heart the baroque fountains of the Piazza Navona, the exuberant Trevi Fountain (remember your three coins) and the Pantheon - the ancient world’s best-preserved monument. Of course, you’ll need to see the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the fancy stores along Via Condotti. Leaving time to marvel at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and the cavernous interior of St Peter’s.
Further south in the historic heart of Naples, you’ll find grandiose squares and baroque churches to rival even those of the capital. Add to the mix a thriving arts scene, wonderful boutiques and a pretty waterfront where local families take their evening strolls. A gastronomic heavyweight home to Italy’s best pizza, no visit to Naples would be complete without sampling some of the city’s famous street food.
A mere hour away, running along the edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is irresistible. Picture rugged cliffs and terraced vineyards, fragrant citrus and olive groves, camellias and bougainvillaea, all tumbling down to a sparkling aquamarine sea. Days here are spent wandering about ridiculously pretty cliff-hugging towns like Sorrento and Positano. Lounging on beautiful beaches, and touring evocative ruins like Pompeii, the Herculaneum and Greek temples of Paestum.
Then there's Puglia, with its white-washed hill towns, ancient farmland and miles of stunning coastline that together form the heel of Italy’s 'boot.' Discover the vibrant port and university town of Bari, the baroque architecture of Lecce also known as the 'Florence of the South' and stumble upon the iconic 'trulli' stone huts with conical roofs in Alberobello and the Itria Valley.