Revealed: Italy’s best city breaks for great food, culture and scenery

First we were banned from overseas holidays. Then, mind-boggling travel restrictions did their best to keep us away as well. But now, finally, easier travel abroad is back. And what better way to celebrate than on an impromptu city break?

To dip your toe back into the world of exquisite cuisine, stunning scenery and culture, there is no better place to start than in Italy. Thank you Jet2CityBreaksHiding on the weekend has never been easier.

With flights, accommodations, and baggage included in their package deals, all you need to think about is where to go first. Here are some inspirations for you…

Naples

Colorful villas cluster on cliff fronts overlooking the sea, the scent of fine espresso in the air and the grandeur of Mount Vesuvius that sits proudly above the city – Naples is beautiful on every level.

Less than three hours from the UK by plane, this popular Italian seaside town is the perfect weekend destination – and travelers will get a feel for the things to do during their time there.

Enjoy the quiet Italian way of life while enjoying a stroll through the cobbled streets as life here warms up in the morning, take pictures of the beautiful churches or watch the locals shop from the café.

Then, the world is your oyster. History buffs may want to head deep underground into the old city’s labyrinth of subterranean alleys, known as Catacomba di San Gennaro. Generations of bishops have been buried in this surreal and wonderful world beneath the streets.

Of course, if you want to keep your head above ground in the sun, the ancient wonders of Pompeii and Herculaneum are only a short boat or bus ride. And if you don’t fill your tan overlooking the Gulf of Naples with gelato or pizza on hand, you’ve been wrong somewhere.

Pisa

Italy is the cozy place. This is a fact. But if you want to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and café culture, then Pisa, home to the famous Leaning Tower, is for you.

Located on the banks of the Arno River, beautiful Pisa has a lot to offer for those in need of a change of scenery. From lush, lush promenades to abundant riverside bars and restaurants, not to mention the wealth of great museums, galleries, and gardens (like the Pisa Botanical Gardens – and you absolutely should!), you’ll easily find yourself occupied as soon as you step out of your hotel room. It does not require heavy planning.

It only takes a weekend of staying in Pisa to feel like a local. Especially if you make the most of the city’s aperitif culture and sample as many riverside bars as possible during your visit…

Luca

Not far from Pisa is one of the least famous cities in the Tuscan region, Lucca. But don’t be fooled – just because it’s a little off the busy tourist trail doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a weekend of your time.

The most defining feature of this city are its walls, a Renaissance relic that encompasses this area of ​​clock towers and sun-filled squares.

Wine lovers will love the perimeter of the city surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye can see, while foodies will want to stay within its walls for some delicious Tuscan food. Creamy tortellini and rich, healthy rago top the menus at every bar in this neck of the Italian jungle. Or, as winter comes, expect hearty feasts of wild boar and pheasant cooked to absolute perfection. Bellissimo!

Unwind your culinary exploits through the winding medieval streets of Lucca – a must for those on a romantic getaway.

Florence

It takes just over two hours to fly to one of Italy’s most famous and amazing cities: Florence.

Shopaholics will love nothing more than to visit the designer stores here in search of the latest fashions, while the Uffizi Gallery will entice all those interested in fine art. Or, if you prefer something off the beaten path, check out the city’s well-established marble paper industry; You can even see artisans dancing the paper by hand in their shops if you look hard enough.

Florence is, of course, best known for David’s David and Cellini’s Perseus, but you’ll find plenty of outdoor beauty, too. The Renaissance Boboli Gardens is a great place to catch some sun or enjoy an iced coffee with a view, while away from the city, the Giardino delle Rose rose garden offers great views of this beautiful city. You can even see the famous Cúpula de Santa María del Fiore from here, which is made even more beautiful when surrounded by the fragrance of roses.

Rome

Italy’s capital is an essential city break for any traveler worth their salt – and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

According to ancient legend, the twins Romulus and Remus founded Rome around 750 BC, and a lot of history has happened since then, which you can see everywhere you go.

From the Roman Forum, where the ruins of the temples and government buildings that defined the world’s greatest empire still stand, to the 18th-century Trevi Fountain and the Baroque Spanish Steps (located near some gorgeous gelaterias), this place is history-lovers of the wonder.

While you’re in town, you’ll be just hop, skip, and hop away from Vatican City, the world’s smallest country and home to St. Peter’s Basilica. Artists, photographers, and historians alike will find it all too easy to spend a lost day at the museum here in all its splendor. And let’s not forget that this small country is also home to one of the most famous sites in the world: the Sistine Chapel.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t absorb everything during your short stay in Rome; At least you’ll have an excuse to come back for a few more trips.

Venice

Everyone’s favorite floating city, Venice, is perfect for lovers looking for a little R&D.

One of the best ways to get to know Venice quickly is to take a gondola ride. Sit back and relax as you gently wind the endless canal avenues through residential streets, under ornate bridges and past bustling squares as you settle into the Venetian lifestyle.

Once you’re back on dry land, head to Rialto Market and treat all your senses to delicacies like chitty, small snacks that can be anything from succulent sandwiches to small plates of fresh grilled vegetables and cured meats. Wash down with a generous glass of local Prosecco and you’re ready to go sightseeing. The rainbow-coloured fishermen’s homes of Burano, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Doge Palace are not to be missed.

Verona

Finally, if you want a city that is fun all year round, look no further than Verona – the jewel of northern Italy.

This place has it all, from the grand Roman amphitheater to warm dishes like risotto and gnocchi. Verona also has UNESCO status, and for any Shakespeare fan out there, you might remember it as the place where his famous star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet fell in love. You can even visit Juliet’s house and the balcony from which she called out to Romeo.

In summer, you can find cheap but great treasures at the flea market or sunbathe in Gusti Park. During the winter, settle in for an evening at the opera or explore the museums, such as the Museo Nicolis, home to some beautiful classic cars and motorcycles.

Olympia

Who said beach vacations were meant for long vacations? There is nothing more rejuvenating than a seaside getaway, and Olbia on the beautiful island of Sardinia is the perfect place for a weekend getaway full of energy.

This place has it all, from a lovely old neighborhood with great architecture, cool bars and wine bars galore, it’s all hop, skip and hop away from the white sandy beaches and blue waters.

Pizza and anything with seafood is a must while you’re here, or pack a picnic and head to Parco Fausto Noce, where you’ll see green space for miles, serene water fountains, and even a Roman amphitheater to explore.

Catania

Sicily is another getaway on the cards – but this one is definitely more culturally inclined.

Romantic Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, with the majestic Mount Etna overlooking the light-stoned streets and ornate church spiers.

Taking a gentle stroll on a quiet, sunny morning around the flower-filled streets here is a great way to unwind in the Catanian way of life – all while having a cup of espresso in hand. There is no doubt that these trips will take you beyond some of the city’s famous Baroque architecture, of which the cathedral is perhaps the best example.

After a long lunch of sea urchin spaghetti or cannelloni (followed by a sweet cannoli pastry filled with fresh cream), hike up Mount Etna for unspoiled sightseeing, or hit the local markets for some wallet-friendly souvenirs.

City breaks to remember with Jet2CityBreaks

Falling in love with weekend travel with Jet2CityBreaks – Now deliver ATOL-protected Italian city breaks to Rome, Naples, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Venice, Verona, and the Sicilian wonderlands of Catania and Olbia!

Jet2CityBreaks It includes flights, accommodation, free transfers and 22kg baggage included for a deposit of £60 per person, making travel simple. Plus, for an extra £1 per person, you can take out five-star travel insurance with COVID coverage absolutely free.

Click here to book your city vacation with confidence today!

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