There are no visa requirements for British nationals to visit Italy. British citizens only need to prove their citizenship by showing their passports to the Immigration authorities at the airport upon landing.
Italy is a culturally rich country. In fact, the word ‘culture’ comes from the Latin word ‘cultura’ which means “to cultivate”. Italy’s foundations are laid in the Roman Empire, ruled from Rome which is now the capital of Italy. The empire stretched along the coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and Northern Europe. The Renaissance first sprouted in Italy and breathed a new life into a darkening Europe. The Italian greats like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci created their masterpieces during this age.
- The Coliseum is at the very heart of Rome. It has been a symbol of imperial Rome when the Roman Emperor steered the world towards peace and war. Even though through the years the Coliseum has partially fallen to ruin by earthquakes and wars, one does wonder how it would be like when the ancient stadium was full of 80,000 people. The blazing swords of the gladiators and the roar of the lions in its arena would have captured the audience. Let the ancient structure capture your imagination. Be transported into a time when the colossal bronze statue of Emperor Nero peered over the rim of the Coliseum.
- The leaning tower of Pisa is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The unintended tilt of just 4 degrees of the bell tower has made it world famous. The tower had begun to tilt during its construction and modifications were made to balance the weight of the building but as the height of the tower increased, the tilt became worse. The tower was closed for renovations for a decade in 1990. After adding an 800-ton counterweight and injecting stabilizing chemicals into the foundations of the tower the architectural wonder was opened to the world, preserving its renowned tilt forever. Climb up to the highest story where Galileo did his gravity experiments and take a selfie just to brag a little.
- The Florence Cathedral is among the few supreme and magnificent examples of Renaissance architecture. The cathedral was completed in 1438 and since then has exuded brilliance and majesty. In its long history, the Cathedral has seen many renovations and graced artisans like Arnolfo di Cambio, Filippo Brunelleschi and Emilio De Fabris to attach their name with the building. The dome of the building is still the largest bricked dome in the world.
With a vibrant culture and a sophisticated society that is eager to express, Italians have found eccentric ways to celebrate life. They have created festivals that have stemmed out of religion but over the years have taken a life of their own. The Venice Carnevale is celebrated in the month of February. The entire floating city of Venice is transformed into a masquerade ball. The parades of boats and street performers cheer the Venetians in the anticipation of the Lent. The Battle of Oranges also takes place in February, in the city of Ivrea. The festival is the biggest food fight in the world. Young men and women patrol the streets on orange buses and hurl oranges at gangs equipped with more Vitamin C. The Scoppio del Carro festival start by stacking bundles upon bundles of fireworks on to a cart. The cart is driven by oxen and brought to the gates of the cathedral in Florence. The fireworks are then set ablaze and the night sky above Florence glitters with a million exploding stars in the month of April.
Italy has a well-developed transportation system. These include railways, bullet trains, bus networks, rapid transit systems and harbours. The cities of Brescia, Catania, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Rome and Turin all have rapid transit systems with multiple lines that crisscross the cities, connecting numerous stations. These cities also have commuter rails that are favoured by many workers going to their workplaces. Bus networks are divided into Urbano and Interurbano networks. Urbano buses move within the city centre but Interurbano travels further into the suburban areas.
There are many elegant five star hotels in Italy that have the opulence and grandeur of a 14th century Medici villa. The services offered at these facilities reflect the splendour of these hotels.
- Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa
- Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection
- Belmond Villa San Michele
- The Westin Excelsior Florence
- Villa Tolomei Hotel and Resort