Italy is a place synonymous with good food, wonderful clothes and rich culture. But Italians also know how to enjoy themselves, particularly on vacation. The main holiday time for Italians is August, with the period around the 15th August, known as ferragosto, being the peak. Romans leave Rome, Milanese leave Milan and vast swathes of the country are deserted as people go in search of mare o monti – the sea or the mountains.
Visiting Italy should be much more then a grueling tour of must-see monuments and museums. Whatever your interests, the country offers a wealth of other relaxing and unusual experiences. © iStockphoto/Thinkstock.
Probably the very fact that you are going to Italy on vacation is enough to keep you excited and your brain buzzing. Depending on where you are going and what type of vacation you have planned, there may be more than enough to keep you busy without the need for any extra ideas from us here at Made in Italy!
On the other hand, if you like to do your research in advance, and to have a list of activities and excursions planned for yourself and other members of your group, then we have compiled some ideas that might be worth looking into before you go. After all, it's all very well for you to be spontaneous and let serendipity guide you, but with a little foresight you may be able to combine a shopping trip with a spa treatment and still have time left at the end for a slap up meal in a luxury resort.
Spa holidays and the associated pampering are currently very popular in Italy and our guide gives you a few ideas on the best places to try, whether for a few hours or a few days.
The countryside in Italy is stunning and extremely varied and a little-known fact is that some of the most iconic landscapes – such as Tuscany's terracotta-topped farmhouses surrounded by a patchwork of fields drenched in sunflowers and strung with vineyards – are actually man-made. This is worth remembering as you sigh over the sight of a twisty, cypress-lined lane leading to a hilltop town.
The more obvious man-made attempts to modify nature can be seen in the country's many botanical gardens, which is why we have included a page detailing the best of them. When it comes to creating a picture-perfect environment using plants and flowers, few can manage it like the Italians.
No trip to Italy would be complete without a shopping trip (or ten!), and so our Made in Italy shopping pages will help you find the best shopping ideas, including designer outlets. You'll discover all kinds of interesting things to buy. Just imagine how jealous everyone will be back home as you as you unwrap your treasure from Rome or Florence.
Not many of us can resist a bargain and raking through flea markets in another country is an undeniable pleasure. Who knows what hidden gem you'll unearth? That's why we have included a guide to antique fairs and flea markets too, because not all shopping has to be for new stuff!
We hope you find these pages useful and that you will enjoy at least a few of the many wonderful activities and opportunities that Italy can offer you.