There is an almost overwhelming list of possibilities of what to do on a holiday to Italy (besides eating your body weight in pasta and gelato), but lucky for you we've narrowed it down to a list of our top five ultimate Italian experiences that will make your holiday even more memorable. Whether you're seeking adrenaline-inducing adventure, a slice of culture, or an ever larger slice of pizza, our top recommendations for Italy have got it all...
Hiking the Pathway of the Gods in Amalfi
Make the most of the incredible views along the Amalfi Coast by heading on a walk along the Sentiero degli Dei, or Path of the Gods. The name alone should be a good enough indication of the beauty of the scenery along this section of coast. The path starts on the outskirts of Bomerano, and it's then a gentle three hour walk to Nocelle, the perfect spot for a long, rewarding lunch. Along this pathway you can enjoy some of the most dramatic clifftop views in Europe, but a tip for those travelling in peak summer: make sure you get up early enough to avoid the midday heat, and the crowds.
Cookery Classes in Bologna
Bologna is considered the food capital of Italy (a big achievement in this country), which goes a long way in explaining the city's nickname of 'La Grassa', or The Fat One. So, with this in mind, where better to head to learn the art of Italian cooking than here? Bologna is the ultimate place to learn how to make your own tortellini, rich ragùs, carnival sfrappole (sweet fried pastries), and all manner of other delectable dishes. Then to work off all that food, try climbing the 498 steps up Bologna's medieval Torre degli Asinelli tower, which provides the best possible views of the city.
The via ferrata, or 'iron roads', of the Italian Dolomites consist of an expansive network of iron ladders, footpaths and bridges, once used to move ammunition and supplies around these unforgiving mountains, and now provide the perfect adventurous holiday activity. We can organise trips for walkers of all abilities with expert guides who know the routes like the backs of their hands. However, we would recommend steering well clear of this particular activity if you suffer from vertigo!
Ride a Gondola in Venice
This may seem like an obvious entry, but it's a classic for a reason. There is no doubt that Venice is meant to be viewed from the water, so head out on a private gondola tour of the city to discover the charm and silence of the narrow canals of this floating city. Settle in as your gondola meanders through vibrant neighbourhoods, under bridges and past squares, and as you glide down the Grand Canal admire the centuries-old palaces on either side. To experience the waterways at their most beautiful, opt for a moonlit gondola ride back to your hotel after dinner, where you'll be guided along the winding canals as the lights reflect off the water.
Greek Temples in Sicily
In Sicily, explore the remarkably well preserved ancient ruins at the Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Looking up at the huge stone pillars of the Temple of Concordia, it's not hard to see why these Greek temples are a national monument of Italy. We can organise for a guide to take you around the site and bring the ruins to life with dramatic and informative tales of days gone by. Combine a trip to explore these temples with an afternoon in Agrigento for lunch and a wander, as well as the chance to sample some gelato.