Must see and do – Italy

Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens

Palazzo Pitti

Any place that had been not only the playground of the powerful Medici family but was also a residence for Napoleon and the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Italy would have to have been a grand place. The Palazzo Pitti (or Pitti Palace) doesn’t disappoint. Not just a grand building with all the trappings of money and power, but a lush, formal garden with amphitheatres, lawns and grand cascades.

Bardini Garden

Bardini 01

If peace, quiet, serenity and nature are your thing, then the Bardini Garden is a must see. Covering four hectares overlooking the Arno River, and with some of the best views of the old city of Florence, the Bardini Garden is a haven.

Villa Borghese and the Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese

After climbing the Spanish Steps and checking out the Trinita’ de Monti church, take a short walk to the north-west along the Piazza della Trinita dei Monti and enjoy the marvellous Borghese Gardens. These are the second largest gardens in Rome, covering about 80 hectares (148 acres), surpassed only by the Villa Doria Pamphili.

Villa Adriana

Emperor Hadrian had it good. The Roman Empire was at its peak, he was the boss, and he could do what he wanted with all those riches – no one would or could argue. What he chose to do was to build the biggest and baddest holiday house the world has ever seen. Thus was born Villa Adriana – or Hadrian’s Villa.

Greve in Chianti

Greve in Chianti

You know those Tuscan villages you read and dream about, the ones with a village piazza right out of the pages of a romantic novel? Greve is one of those villages, the  of the wine-growing region of Chianti (between Florence and Sienna), and host of Chianti’s largest wine fair.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano

If you’re touring through Tuscany, it’s likely that you’re doing so because you’re interested in either Italian food and wine or Italian history. You can enjoy a fantastic example of both in the UNESCO World Architectural Heritage listed medieval village of San Gimignano.


One of the master glass blowers in Murano

There are several islands in the Venetian lagoon, and probably the second most popular (after Venice itself) is Murano – the historical home of the world-famous Venetian glass-blowing industry.


The columns of a rich merchant's atrium

Pompeii is one of those very, very special destinations. It’s not the only archeological dig in the world that ordinary people can walk through, but it is one of the very few such places where you can really feel a part of the ancient city, and understand the lives and suffering of its last inhabitants.

Gondolas in Venice

Teddy takes a gondola ride

Don’t you dare say that the idea of a gondola ride through the canals of Venice sounds cliched or a tourist trap. Those things may (or may not) be true, but if you visit Venice without doing it, you will kick yourself!