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Most countries would struggle to live up to a nickname like the Bel Paese, meaning 'beautiful country', yet Italy does it with ease. Modern life blends effortlessly with ancient history in Rome, which still draws thousands of visitors to its frescoed churches and impressive ruins.

Culture prevails in Florence, and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance boasts world famous collections of art and architecture. Trendsetting Milan, meanwhile, has made its named as Italy’s fashion capital, with glamorous Via della Spiga the destination of choice for the ultra stylish.

Couples looking for a romantic escape may prefer the gondola-filled canals of charming Venice, while Sardinia's pristine beaches are as popular as ever with the Italian elite looking for a summer break in the sun. Venture further inland for rugged countryside, lakes packed with flamingoes, and vineyards serving their own brands of robust wine.


The elaborate waterways that wind through Venice's streets mean it's no surprise that everything from tourists to vegetables arrives by boat. Embrace the Old World charm, keep hold of a paper map, and spend a day losing yourself in the tangled calles.

To get an authentic taste of the city's culinary highlights, avoid the more crowded tourist areas and seek out the bàcari (snack bars) for cicchètti and Spritz, or wind your way to Cannaregio for seafood with the locals at lively Paradiso Perduto.

Take the view of the Grand Canal from the iconic Ponte di Rialto, before browsing modern artworks at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Spend a day island-hopping around Murano and Burano: the latter is especially beautiful with its brightly coloured houses. Further from the centre is Lido, a sandy shoal off the coast, that welcomes sunbathers throughout the summer, and the Venice Film Festival each September.

The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice - Rates from EUR 265
San Marco 2159 · Venice
4.0 out of 5 Read all 200 reviews

Situated on the Grand Canal, steps from the Piazza San Marco, this hotel delivers stunning views from terrace suites and canal-side dining.

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