Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Italy Travel Guide

Italy is understandably dominated by its Roman past. But there is so much more for lovers of history, both before and after the Roman era. Prehistoric Italy goes back into the Palaeolithic. After the fall of Rome, different regions played were significant roles in developments of both eastern and western Europe. From prehistoric rock art to Etruscan tombs, Greek temples to Roman amphitheatres, Norman castles to Baroque churches, Italy has all this and more.

Reasons to Visit Italy

A well preserved Roman mosaic floor at the archaeological site of Nora.

Archaeology & Ancient Ruins,

Baroque Lecce Cathedral Puglia

Baroque Architecture,

Michaelangelo David
Art Old & New,
A summer  dinner .Pasta , pizza  and homemade food arrangement  in a restaurant  Rome   .Tasty and authentic Italian food.

… and Pizza & Pasta.

About Our Italy Travel Guide

Interesting Things to Know About Italy

Italy is home to one of Europe’s richest collections of prehistoric rock art, found at Valcamonica in the Alps. Well over 140,000 drawings have now been identified throughout this valley, with archaeologists believing that they were made over the course of 8000 years, potentially from the Palaeolithic all the way through to the Iron Age – some may be as late as the 19th century.
The capital city of modern Italy is Rome, once the centre of the Roman Empire which dominated swathes of Europe and North Africa for centuries. Many of Rome’s ancient ruins have been excavated, including the Coliseum, the Forum, the Palatine Hill, and the Circus Maximus. Walking these sites, today’s visitors can imagine the rich complexity of life in this ancient metropolis.
Italy is home to the world’s oldest continuously operating university, that at Bologna, which was established in 1088. In the 12th and 13th centuries it became one of Europe’s key centres for learning about civil and canon law, and it retains an internationally respected reputation to this day. Italy can also boast that it possesses four of the world’s ten oldest continuously operating universities.
Italy became a unified state in 1861. Reflecting the spread of nationalism across 19th-century Europe, it was at this point that Italian nationalists finally achieved their goal of unifying most areas speaking Italian dialects, although the Papal States held out until 1870. The new state remained a monarchy until 1946, when a referendum in the wake of the Second World War led to Italy becoming a republic.
Today, Italy is the only country in the world that possesses over fifty UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This testifies to the sheer range and quality of its historic built environment, from the lagoons of Venice to the medieval frescoes of Padua, and from the ruins of Pompeii to the Renaissance gardens of the Villa d’Este. It is little surprise that Italy readily attracts over 60 million visitors a year.

Find Places to Visit in Italy

Featured Destination

A close-up of the head of one of the so-called Giants of Mont'e Prama.

the Island of Giants

An island in the Mediterranean that is known for its beautiful, sandy beaches with crystal blue water as much as its prehistoric archaeological sites like no others anywhere else. Sardinia is a greatly overlooked European destination, for culture, gastronomy and outdoor adventure. Three thousand year old Nuraghe towers, giants’ tombs, sacred wells and sanctuaries ae just some of the extraordinary sites to see.

Inspiration and Itineraries

10 Things to Do in Rome
9 Historical Towns in Puglia

Five Popular Attractions in Italy

Colosseum Flavian Amphitheatre Rome


Pompeii Street Tracks


A view of the western façade of St Mark's Cathedral at sunrise with no people around.

St Mark’s Basilica

Built between 470 and 450 BC, the Temple of June occupies the highest and most panoramic position on the hill. The temple is considered to be one of the most elegant monuments in the doric architecture.

Valley of the Temples

St. Apollinare in Classe basilica church mosaic, Ravenna, Italy
Basilica of Sant’Apollinare

Explore Italy more deeply

Where to Go in Italy


From the Adriatic Coast to some of the highest peaks along the Apennines, Abruzzo is home to some of the most picturesque hilltop villages in Italy. 

Aosta Valley

An Alpine region in the north west of Italy, popular with hikers in summer and skiers in winter. Aosta was established by  the Roman Emperor Augustus.


Lying at the instep of the Italian boot, this is one of the areas colonised by the ancient Greeks, part of the so-called Magna Grecia. 


Inhabited since prehistory, Calabria has been home to many, from Magna Grecia to the Roman Empire, the Byzantines and Normans, the Angevins and Aragons.


Campania lies along the stunning Amalfi Coast, and home to Italy’s most popular sites, including Pompeii and Herculaneum, Paestum and Caserta Palace. 


One of the richest regions of Europe is to be found between the Apennine Mountains, the Po River and the Adriatic Sea. 

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

A rich area of prehistoric and ancient sites, and the many periods that follow. A region of immense cultural diversity into the medieval periods


The heartlands and origins of the Romans and the Roman Empire. But also home to the Etruscans and the Vatican City. 


As the narrow arc of land running between France and Tuscany, not surprisingly this region has a rich maritime history, and the home of Christopher Columbus. 


From Prehistoric engravings on glacial rocks, to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. From prehistoric pile dwellings to the world’s fashion capital.


The birthplace of Raphael, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, many towns and cities were important cultural, artistic and commercial centres.


Italy’s youngest region, and although mountainous filled with family run agriturismos, the region is known for its archaeological sites and Romanesque churches.


At the foot of the Alps, the region is known for its ancient towns and hamlets as much as it is for its vibrant cities and contemporary art. 


The heel of the Italian boot, or the Salento peninsular. A largely dry area, it is the least mountainous region in Italy. But, it is one of the richest  in archaeology.


The Island of Giants and white beaches with crystal clear water. Visit unique prehistoric nuraghe, Punic and Roman cities and striking Romanesque churches. 


The largest island in the Mediterranean, best known for the volcano Mount Etna and the many evocative ruins of ancient Greek temples.

Trentino-Alto Adige

Dominated by the Dolomites, this mountainous region has done much to create paths that bring together history, nature, art and architecture.


Florence a city thought by many to be the birthplace of the Renaissance now home to some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world. 


Often called the Green Heart of Italy, it also has many of the jewels in the Italian crown. A landlocked region characterised by historic hilltop towns. 


From the high peaks of the Dolomites to the lagoons of the Adriatic Sea. From Venice to Verona, cities so steeped in history they are themselves UNESCO sites. 

Historic Towns & Cities in Italy

What to See in Italy

A sunset over the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum in Rome.

Roman Italy - Italia

Rome developed from a city-state to a republic, to the ruler of the Italian peninsular and then an empire centred on the Mediterranean. For nearly a millennium mainland Italy was Rome. It is here that we have the greatest concentration of Roman ruins, landmarks and archaeological sites. From north to south, visitors to Italy can see the remains of amphitheatres and bath houses, the ruins of rural settlements and towns. With a vast number of local and regional museums showcasing excavated artefacts from these sites. 

The octagonal castle in spring with purple irises blooming in the foreground.

Castles & Palaces

Immerse yourself in Italy’s history through its captivating fortresses, castles and palaces. Found throughout the country, they tell us about diverse epochs and influences. From the fortified hilltop manors of the Middle Ages to the lavish Renaissance châteaux. They bear the signatures of the Lombards, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese and more. Whether marvelling at the defensive prowess of medieval fortresses or the artistic flair of Renaissance estates, exploring Italian castles is an enlightening journey through the varied stages of Italy’s past.
Valcomonica Rock Art

Rock Art

Italy has a handful of caves with images created in the Stone Age. The most well known being Grotta dell’Addaura on the northeast side of Mount Pellegrino in Sicily. There are other such caves in the Pulgia and Veneto regions. Italy is better known for the Val Camonica rock art of the Lombardy Region; the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here over 200, 000 images have been engraved on glacial surfaces scattered throughout the valley, covering a period of some 8,000 years.

Popular Tours & Activities in Rome