5 reasons to put fascinating Italy at the top of your must-see travel list this year

5 reasons to put fascinating Italy at the top of your must-see travel list this year

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This is sponsored content for Collette. Italy's rich landscape provides endless opportunity for new experiences, from the iconic cities to the charming hill t...

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This is sponsored content for Collette.

Italy's rich landscape provides endless opportunity for new experiences, from the iconic cities to the charming hill towns there is always something to discover.

Now's your chance to experience it for yourself with the help of leading travel company Collette.

After more than 100 years of bringing travel dreams to life through guided tours, Collette is experienced in all areas of travel, and has a variety of tour styles and package options available, giving you a chance to choose the one perfect for you.

Expert guides are with you along the way to help you immerse yourself in the authentic Italy, while enjoying the comfort of 4-star hotels and inclusive meals.

Whether it's the old world traditions, the architecture of the cities or the natural beauty of the Italian countryside, Collette has specially-crafted tours that cover it all.

Here are five reasons Italy should be on your shortlist of must-see destinations for 2020.

1 Legendary cities

Explore the historical Colosseum in Rome.

Explore the historical Colosseum in Rome.

Wonderful cities like Venice, Rome, Milan and Florence are architecturally stunning and feature unforgettable history, culture and art. As you wander the old streets it is like stepping back in time, as the architecture tells magnificent stories about the past. Collette offers an amazing introduction to the country with its Rome, Florence & Venice tour that covers these beautiful cities in depth over seven days. Discover the many treasures of Rome including the rich history of the Colosseum. Get to know Venice, one of Italy's most unique cities, with your expert guide. In Florence embark on a walking tour featuring the city's artistic and architectural gems, and indulge in the culture at the Accademia Gallery featuring Michelangelo's extraordinary David sculpture. In Bologna enjoy tastings of cheese, cured meats, chocolate and gelato on a food lovers' walking tour.

2 Picturesque beaches

Amalfi Coast on Italy's breathtaking coastline.

Amalfi Coast on Italy's breathtaking coastline.

Italy has a large number of beaches, all with their own unique charm, attracting travellers from around the world, year round. Whether you prefer rustic and secluded or tropical and luxurious, Italy's coast offers all this and everything in between. Consider the Amalfi Coast and the Italian Riviera for the most special coastal experience. Collette's popular Rome and the Rome and Amalfi Coast nine day tour embraces the rich scenery, art, culture, food and wine of Southern Italy. After exploring Rome's architectural treasures and an in-depth visit to the historical Colosseum, travel to Italy's breathtaking coastline. From the charming seaside Sorrento to the dramatic beauty of the Amalfi Coast, Italy's beaches won't disappoint you. Be immersed in the local cuisine and sample some of the local specialties at a family-owned limoncello factory in Minori. Collette's tours include occasional free afternoons so you can explore on your own or just relax by the beach.

3 Lakes and mountains

Picturesque Lake Como located in Northern Italy.

Picturesque Lake Como located in Northern Italy.

Italy is known for its beautiful lakes, and Lake Como, the third largest lake in the country, is one of the most spectacular. Close to the Swiss border, this picturesque lake is well-known for the landscape that surrounds it. Dramatically steep hills and grand mountains become a backdrop to the ancient villages and gorgeous villas dotted across the landscape. Collette's Northern Italy and its Lakes tour is an eight day adventure that captures the essence of Northern Italy. Wander along winding canals and cruise on mountain-lined lakes as you take in the beauty of the landscape. Cruise Lake Como, a beloved retreat of the rich and famous, during a relaxing four-night stay on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Within this tour visit the ancient city Padua that is defined by the riverside promenades and stone step-bridges that surround the Bacchiglione River. Enjoy the inclusive nature of Collette tours as you get to savour the local cuisine, including a journey by boat to Isola dei Pescatori for a delicious farewell dinner.

4 Amazing countryside

Breathtaking countryside in San Gimignano, Tuscany.

Breathtaking countryside in San Gimignano, Tuscany.

Time stands still across the painted Italian countryside where beautiful and romantic villages never cease to amaze. In the hill towns and centuries-old cities of Tuscany and Umbria, discover another side of Italy, letting the old towns charm you. The Tuscan & Umbrian Countryside ten day explorations tour is the perfect immersion into local life. On the fertile grounds of golden vineyards and hands on in your own cooking class in a 16th-century Umbrian farmhouse, learn the delicious secrets of Umbrian cuisine, and also savour wines fit for the gods at local wineries. Explore the history of this area during a visit to Florence, the "Cradle of the Renaissance" and in Siena stand inside one of Tuscany's most ancient piazzas. This tour is a small group tour which operates at a faster "pace" than other tours by Collette. It's scaled at level four out of five in terms of pacing to reflect the more physically demanding activities involved such as walking over uneven terrain and climbing stairs. When picking a tour this pacing scale helps provide an insight so you can choose which tour is most suitable for you.

5 Ancient ruins

Mediterranean gem Cefalu, Sicily.

Mediterranean gem Cefalu, Sicily.

No matter where you go in Italy, you'll encounter fascinating ruins. Look around for temples, arches and government buildings that date back 2000 years. You will find the best selection of Greek ruins in Sicily where you can stroll around ancient streets and imagine what life was like all those years ago. Collette offers an unforgettable tour, Sicily & Malta, which explores the true essence of the Mediterranean and uncovers the ancient history of Italy throughout a twelve day tour. Meet a countess in her medieval palace and visit a family-owned farm where you'll hear Sicilian folk music and learn how ricotta cheese is made. Stand in awe at UNESCO sites, Agrigento's spectacular Valley of the Temples and ancient Greek historical sites in Siracusa. Discover and appreciate the everlasting influences left by ancient Greeks and Romans, Arabs and Normans on the journey along the Ionian coast.

What are you waiting for? Now is the time to plan your travel to this fascinating - and delicious - country.

Find out more by calling Collette on 1300 792 195 or visiting the website.

This is sponsored content for Collette.

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