A male and female couple overlooking the Roman Forum in Rome

How to spend 48 hours in Rome

Rome is a busy place. Dating back 3,000 years, Italy’s capital city has accumulated an abundance of art, ancient ruins, architecture and culture. It was also, at one point, the centre of the Roman Empire. And these days it is home to Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. And who can forget the […]

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Vatican City during the sunset

6 ways to experience Classic Italy

Italy is synonymous with sophistication, luxury, and taste. Whether that is in the world of fashion, cars, food, music, or art – there’s no denying that the Italians have a talent for creating some of the world’s most admired belongings.  When you visit Italy, it is the perfect opportunity to admire some of its beautiful […]

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Which Italian city break should you try next?

Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy a quick city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.

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Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy an Italian city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.

Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south, you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.

Best for bustling city life…Rome

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Rome is bursting with all the quintessential elements of any Italian city: ancient history, delicious food, fine wines, and fascinating museums. But what differentiates the capital from the others is the multiple world-famous sites (Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon) and its bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere. Rome is perfect for fast-paced travellers who love to explore during the day, then drink stylish cocktails at night.

Best for couples…Venice

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Venice is just lovely. Its picturesque side-streets and scenic canals make the perfect backdrop to a romantic city break. And in the evening you can treat your sweetheart to a gondola ride, an orchestral symphony, or a canal-side dinner by candle-light.

Best for stylish fashionistas…Milan

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Milan is Italy’s fashion and design capital. Every year fashionistas flock here to experience the city’s incredible shopping, whether is the high-end Italian designers, high street favourites, or the independent boutiques. We’ve compiled a shopping guide to Milan if you don’t know where to start.

Best for art and architecture…Florence

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You’ll find extraordinary art and architecture around every corner when exploring the city of Florence. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and hasn’t changed much since the Renaissance: offering narrow cobbled streets, 15th- and 16th-century palaces, candle-lit chapels, and world-class art galleries housing works by Botticelli and Michelangelo.

As an extra bonus, you are only an hour’s train journey from the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the city of Lucca.

Best for Shakespeare fans and easy access to Lake Garda…Verona

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Verona’s claim to fame is its association with Shakespeare’s world-famous Romeo and Juliet. While the play by Shakespeare is technically fictional, the Montagues and Capulets families are very much real. Around Verona you’ll spot Shakespeare fans hunting out the real-world house of Juliet (which is now a museum, and her bedroom is furnished with the bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo e Giulietta), Romeo’s house (which is not open to the public), and Juliet’s tomb.

You can also twin a stay in Verona with a stay in Lake Garda, with multiple trains a day taking roughly 30 minutes.

Best for explorers…Sorrento

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Sorrento is technically a town, but it’s the most popular holiday spot on the Neapolitan Riviera. Built into scenic cliffs, Sorrento is the natural holiday of choice for keen walkers and hikers. But it is also a prime location for exploring the Bay of Naples. To the north, there are the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or you can climb up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius – the volcano that caused the disruption. To the east is the spectacular Amalfi Coast, with its cliff-hugging coastal road. You can also head across the bay to the fashionable islands of Capri and Ischia.

When you’re not exploring the nearby sites, relax with some food and drink – such as the famous limoncello liqueur and locally grown olives, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and oranges.

Best for foodies…Naples

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If you want to visit the Bay of Naples but really crave a city atmosphere, then we recommend Naples itself. It offers the same easy access to many of the same sights (like Pompeii and Herculaneum) while providing more of a buzz – but Naples’s main bragging right is its foodie heritage.

Neapolitan cuisine is slightly different from the rest of Italy and dates back centuries to the point where it’s hard for historians to establish the exact timeline of when it originated. Pizza is the most famous dish to originate from this city (so adored that the Italian flag was styled after tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) though you’ll find plenty of ragù, aglio e uoglio (garlic and oil), and seafood here (octopus is especially popular).

Which Italian city is your favourite?

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The Taj Mahal in India at sunset

Where will be popular in 2018? Our predictions

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There’s something about a new year that brings about the plan-making in us. Maybe it’s purchasing a new diary with fresh pages, or maybe now that the festive season is over our minds turn to what’s ahead.

If you use January as an excuse to map out your year, you’ve probably already thought about what countries you would like to visit. You’re not the only one as January is one of the most popular times of year to book, with airlines and hotels offering an array of early bird discounts. If you’re short on inspiration, however, here are our predictions on what destinations will be must-visits over the next 12 months. 

1. Japan

Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto during sunset

Japan is an island full of wonders. Whether you’re looking for sky-high cities, fascinating culture, or stunning natural landscapes, you’ll find it in this two-island destination. The country also boasts an impressive bullet train service, making it an excellent choice for a touring holiday if you can’t choose between the popular cities of Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

2. Vietnam

Tourists on a guided river boat tour in Vietnam

Vietnam is the perfect mix between old-school oriental charm and modern-day buzz. Its capital, Hanoi, is a mixing bowl of French and Asian culture and boasts a European feel with a lively old quarter. Down in the south though you’ll find tranquil beaches in the resorts of Hue, Nha Trang and Hoi An (but if you begin to crave the city, the bustling Ho Chi Minh City can also be found in the south).

3. Argentina

The Iguazu Falls from above.

South America is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, and Argentina is currently its hotbed. Get lost in the infectious spirit of Buenos Aires where you can tango until seven in the morning. Then take a trip to the breath-taking Iguaza Falls on the Argentinian and Brazilian border. And remember to pop by the Andes.

4. Italy

Colourful buildings along the coast in Genoa Italy

Thanks to its generous offering of tourist hotspots, Italy makes this list every year. Whether it’s the canals of Venice, iconic buildings of Rome, the shopping in Milan, the scenic views of Lake Garda, or the rich architectural heritage of Genoa – Italy offers something for every traveller.

5. China

Gold pavilion in Chinese garden

China is a fascinating country, whether you’re looking for city lights or iconic world wonders. Celebrate modern China in the city of Shanghai, with its high rise buildings, the charming People’s Square and first-class Grand Theatre. Then explore the oriental temples of Beijing, before moving onto the ancient sites of Xi’an – including the Terracotta Warriors.

6. Croatia

Old Istrian town in Rovinj Croatia during the day with lots of boats in the harbour.

Croatia has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, largely thanks to Game of Thrones. But this beautiful country is more than just the real-life location of the Red Keep and the House of the Undying. It is home to eight national parks, that are overflowing in fauna and flora, and the striking Postojna Caves.

7. Cuba

Buildings in Havana Cuba with a blue car outside them.

In 2017, the Cuban travel industry opened up and we’re predicting a rise in holidaymakers (especially from cruisers). A little bit different from the other islands in the Caribbean, Cuba boasts a unique, Latin-shaped history with an energetic atmosphere, as well as sunny beaches.

8. Thailand

A traditional boat in a secluded part of Thailand while the sun sets.

Thailand is always popular, and for good reason. Whether it’s the exotic aroma of lively Bangkok or the relaxed beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand offers something for beach-bums and city-lovers.

9. South Africa

Cape Town South Africa from above with the football stadium in full view.

If you’ve never been to Africa before, South Africa is the perfect place to start off. The city of Cape Town has plenty to offer such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and a modern waterfront with shops and restaurants. After you’ve explored the city, get back into nature with a safari in Kruger National Park or a shark diving expedition in Gansbaai.

10. India

The taj mahal in India from the front.

There are many sides to the country of India, but all of them are equally amazing. Feel the buzz in the bustling city of New Delhi, admire the Taj Mahal in Agra, or relax on the beaches of Goa. Whatever India you choose in 2018, we guarantee you’ll love it.

Where are you escaping to in 2018?

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Where to drink your favourite wine in Italy

Wine in Italy Italy is a famous holiday destination for many reasons: traditional architecture, skiing in the Alps, the canals of Venice, the historical sights of Rome, the designer fashion in Milan as well as delicious food and the wine that accompanies it. Italy is the oldest wine producing region in the world and remains the largest […]

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