Looking to See Some Culture in Italy? Here are Some Ideas...

Looking for the cradle of European culture? Many would say the best place to head for is Italy, with the history of that diverse European culture presented in all its glory.

If you’re planning a cultural vacation to Europe, here are some facts about Italy and some ideas for how you might begin to absorb some of the country’s rich cultural history:



Rome, of course, came into the picture at the very beginnings of European civilisation – as long ago as 753 BC, according to legend.

Its long history has earned it the especially appropriate name as the “Eternal City”.

What to do:

  • Walk in the footsteps of Julius Caesar – probably Rome’s most famous son – who captured the city in 59 BC. There are plenty of historic walking tours available and Bellarome offers special VIP walking tours with a historian, as well as private and shared tours of the Vatican and Colosseum.
  • Every corner, every square, every alleyway in the Eternal City has something fascinating to discover that can help you imagine the history of the city. We recommend visiting the classic sights, such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City, but also spending some time discovering the ancient history at the Colosseum and Roman Forum.



If you are on the historical trail, why limit yourself to Rome alone? The Italy multi centre holidays we have put together here at Bellarome include a twin centre itinerary that takes you to the iconic city of Rome and the historic city of Verona – the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, of course, but the city offers a lot more besides.

What to do:

  • Verona is now home of one of the greatest classical music festivals, the Arena Opera, which is set in the atmospheric stage of a Roman amphitheatre. If you’re in town during the festival season (June to September) then we highly recommend catching a show. But, if not, the amphitheatre is still worth a visit.
  • If you have an interest in Shakespeare then consider a themed walking tour of the city that takes in sights from the play, including Juliet’s famous balcony.



The birthplace to masters such as Jacopo Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Paul Veronese, Venice is still a huge draw and attraction to anyone interested in art.

What to do:

  • A gondola tour of the city’s intricate network of canals is surely a must. Shared tours are available (for up to six people), but for a more pleasant experience, we recommend a private gondola tour.
  • Still today you can visit the workshop and exhibition space next to the very house in which Tintoretto lived and worked – the Bottega del Tintoretto – which is a wonderful treat if you have an interest in art.
  • To truly unveil the magic of Venice, we recommend visiting Doge’s Palace and the St Mark’s area. Keep in mind, however, that it gets very busy during the peak season, with long queues for tickets, so we highly recommend “skip the line tickets”.



Tuscany is renowned for its pretty countryside scenes and rich wines, and is a wonderfully serene and iconic part of Italy. If you are holidaying in Florence or Pisa, consider a tour of Tuscany that takes you to one of the region’s pretty villages, where you can discover the heart of Italian culture.

What to do:

  • While technically not a cultural tour, there are plenty of wine-tasting tours available from Florence or Pisa, and some also include cheese or cake tasting. They are a great way to discover the Tuscan countryside, as well as the authentic character of the region.
  • If you’re in Lucca during the summer months, consider catching a show at the Lucca Summer Festival. Music concerts take place almost every night during mid-July and attract top acts, including the Backstreet Boys, Lionel Richie, Simply Red and many more! The town is also home to several historic towers, including the Guinigi Tower.



Sorrento is a pretty coastal town in the south of Italy, not far from Naples. It is a popular holiday resort and features a pretty port, luxury hotel resorts, boutique shops and fragrant lemon groves. It is a great base from which you can discover the surrounding region.

What to do:

  • Sorrento is an ideal base for exploring the stunning Amalfi Coast via the mountainside-hugging road that was originally built by Ferdinand II of Bourbon in 1853. Several “Amalfi Drive” tour options are available and we recommend enjoying one of these to discover the coastal villages, such as the ever-popular cliff-side town of Positano. You can also see the three islands of Li Galli, famed as the haunt of mermaids, whose siren songs were intended to cast a spell over the intrepid Ulysses – only to end in the mermaids being turned to stone.
  • For something a little more exhilarating, take a tour of the epic Mount Vesuvius, where you can visit the volcanic crater and take in breath-taking views of the Bay of Naples.



Sicilian culture is in a class of its own – quite separate, in many ways, from the history of the mainland. It is this unique culture that reflects the great, historic melting-pot the island has been and which continues to echo to the tune of at least 12 cultural influences to this day.

What to do:

  • Agrigento is home to the Valley of the Temples, which is a UNESCO-protected sight with numerous Doric temples dating back to the Greek dynasty.
  • If you’re a fan of the Godfather Trilogy, seek out a movie sites tour, which will take you to some of the locations that featured in the movies.


These are just a few ideas for a cultural tour of Italy. It is impossible, of course, to describe the definitive tour – you will probably want to go back again and again to discover the diverse cities and regions. However, a multi centre holiday might help you to explore and soak up the distinctive cultures of more than one of the country’s many different regions and the rich and varied history that has moulded each of them.

To find out more about our multi stop vacations to Italy, check out the dedicated page on our website or contact an expert member of the team today on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 1-347-594-5500. Alternatively, click here to send an online enquiry.

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