Venice never disappoints
If there is one city in the world that lives up to its expectations it would be Venice. Despite it being considered an expensive destination, thankfully exploring the city and soaking up the spectacular views will cost you nothing. Stunning architecture and the mystery of the lanes and passageways that wind their way through the city will enchant you. Certainly one of the most alluring and romantic cities in the world, where getting lost becomes a pleasure there is no place like it in the world. There is something relaxing about being surrounded by water and the distance hum of motor boats instead of the constant buzz of traffic. You will find, even in high season, it is one of the most stress free city breaks you have ever been on. From the magic of St Mark’s Square to the magnificence of the Basilica di San Marco, the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal it will never disappoint. Highly recommended is a water taxi to and from the airport, it will make you feel like a VIP and work every penny for the spectacular views of the city.
Rome – every corner holds a surprise
Wherever you look in Rome you are faced with a stunning view of an ancient artefact. From ancient pillars scribed with Roman numerals simply lying in the street to the opulence and grandeur of St Peters Square, one visit will leave you wanting more. A crazy, crowded, fast paced city that lives in the 21st century yet is immersed in an ancient world; Rome requires more than one visit and travel is made simple with regular flights from major airports including easy transfer to Stansted or Heathrow. The Roman Forum is located in one of the most ancient parts of Rome. A collection of ruins and historical buildings this area was the commercial, political and religious centre of ancient Rome. You can walk a short distance from the forum to the Coliseum so it’s the perfect way to spend the day visiting both. The sight of the Coliseum is so iconic and it is every bit as impressive when you arrive at the entrance. This grand structure built over 2000 years ago as an amphitheatre to host public spectacles such as the gladiator contests was designed to hold over 50,000 people. Of course the ultimate visit in Rome is to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Artworks in the Sistine Chapel dating back to the 15th and 16th century’s including Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’ are stunning and must be seen. St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City is another iconic landmark of Rome. You can wait up to 4 hours to get in so it is best to buy a ticket in advance that enable you to skip the queues. Be prepared for the crowds but again, with every exciting place to see in Rome, it is worth the wait.
Florence – the Centre of Italian Reniassance
Set at the foot of the Appennine Mountains, Florence is a small, spectacular city that has been described as an open air museum. Enclosed by ancient walls you are surrounded by masterworks of art and architecture with buildings and monuments that tell stories of the past. Florence is considered the birth place of Renaissance and has been known as the Athens of the Middle Ages. It was a medieval European trade and finance centre and was one of the wealthiest cities of this time. Florence’s museums, palaces and churches contain some of the greatest art treasures in the world. From the Duomo to Michelangelo’s David, you will be captivated by this magnificent city. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and its trademark dome is one of the most iconic symbols of Florence and of course no trip to Florence would be complete without visiting Galleria dell’Accademia, Europe’s first school of drawing, famous for several sculptures by Michelangelo, including David as well as a wide collection of 15th and 16th century paintings. Spend time wander around the ancient streets and admiring the architecture. Every corner you turn you will see a beautiful piazza, one of the most famous, the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella or the Piazza della Repubblica , the site of the Giubbe Rosse Cafe popular with intellectuals and artists met in the early 1900’s. The Piazza della Signoria is host to one of the best collections of outdoor statues in the world including a copy of Michelangelo’s David as well as Cosimo 1 dei Medici in the centre of the square. The piazza is a central point for some of Florence’s greatest attractions.
Written by a lover of Italy and Romance itself, Karen James, prolific writer for travel sectors including
airport transfer companies and other business sectors