Please note our writers visited these destinations prior to the coronavirus pandemic

Is there any country on earth that wears its history as lightly as Italy? Roman ruins sit cheek by jowl with Renaissance palazzos, while modern skycrapers cast their long shadows over neoclassical cathedrals. But there are many more reasons why this is the fifth most visited country in the world – the rolling landscapes of Tuscany, the sandy beaches of Sardinia, the fashion credentials of Milan, and the delectable cuisine of just about everywhere from the Alps down.

So, from the ancient streets of Rome to the lapping waterways of Venice, the serene beauty of the Italian Lakes to the dazzling glamour of the Amalfi Coast, these are some of the Italian cities and regions that every traveller ought to visit.

Florence

Firenze, the cradle of the Renaissance, is one of Europe’s great art cities. With frescoes by Giotto and Ghirlandaio, canvases by Botticelli and Bronzino, and sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, there is so much exquisite art and architecture within its ancient walls that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But, there is more to handsome Florence than just museums and monuments. It is bursting with quirky shops and quality crafts; a living city with an eclectic cultural life that embraces opera, classical music and contemporary art.