Time on your hands this summer?
Team Yalla recommends taking in three of Italy’s most popular cities for a culture break to remember.
The trip is quite plausible and provides a taster of each destination, and if one city melts your heart, you can always plan to return for a longer vaycay and explore it in much more depth.
A three-city break can be fast and furious, so being well-planned is a must.
Aim touring the main attractions of each city, factoring time for breaks when you can really delve into traditional Italian fare at a trattoria, ristorante or osteria.
Team Yalla suggests spending two days in Rome.
Soak up the most cultural sites such as the Colosseum, considered the icon of Rome. Inaugurated in 80 AD, this colossal site is the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire. Holding spectacles such as gladiator fights, executions and animal hunts, it was the centre of entertainment for years. Today, it is one of Rome’s most visited tourist sites with over six million visitors each year.
Other sites in Rome that are a must-see include the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican.
City of culture
Your next stop should be the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence.
Hop on a on a high-speed train train, which takes the 62-mile journey north in just an hour and a half, travelling through Italy’s scenic Lazio and Tuscany regions.
Once in Florence, experience the world-class artwork, Michelangelo’s David and the city’s iconic Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral), which stands tall over the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
Stroll across the awe-inspiring Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge that is noted for its shops built along it. Make time to visit the Uffizi, which is considered to be one of the best art galleries in the world for Renaissance art.
Finally, head north again by high-speed train to Venice, passing through Italy’s scenic Tuscany and Emilia-Romagnia regions to the Adriatic coast. Spend a day or two – or why not longer? – in a city made up of more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea.
Cruise down the canals with a singing gondolier, climb the bell tower in the Piazza San Marco and explore the tiny streets and discover this city of immense beauty and historical significance.
Strolling across the iconic Ponte di Rialto that spans the impressive Grand Canal, connecting the San Marco and San Polo districts, is a must.
End your break at the Venice Lido for a spot of relaxation on a long stretch of beautiful beach on this separate island.
You will not be required to quarantine when you travel to Italy on an Etihad Airways “COVID Tested” flight. etihad.com
* Correct at the time of going to press. It is your responsibility to check with your airline before travelling.