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Europe & North Africa / Italy

Luxury Travel: All-time Favourites

Lydia Gard, Editor of Mr Fox; Contributor to Condé Nast Traveller and Tatler

I’m a huge proponent of far-flung adventure with kids, but nowhere on earth tugs at my heart – or my passport – like Italy. La Dolce Vita is a cultural triumph, the fabulous architecture and superlative landscapes work in harmony to keep travellers in perpetual states of awe, while the familial, cheek-pinching, bosom-embracing open-heartedness of the Italians themselves means a family holiday will invariably result in a new raft of Aunties and Uncles whose houses are open to future visits. From the Ligurian coast to the Puglian countryside, the Umbrian hills to the Aeolian Islands – as Verdi so eloquently put it: ‘You may have the universe if I may have Italy’.

Italy’s legendary ‘Dolce Vita’ is more alive than ever, infusing its art-filled cities, wine-rich countryside and jet set resorts. A landscape of endless variety forms the backdrop to ‘Il Bel Paese’ and Italy’s colourful history; the rumbling volcano of Mount Etna in Sicily, the white-washed conical ‘trulli’ of Puglia, the breathtaking Amalfi Coast and the sun-dappled beaches of Sardinia. Tours of Italy can begin with sleek gondolas drifting ethereally along the Grand Canal and a labyrinth of narrow alleys and open squares characterise inimitable Venice. Its peace contrasts with the buzz of Rome; the exuberant rush of Vespas forms a chaotic soundtrack to the city’s wonders. Here history is preserved in the dramatic Colosseum, where mighty gladiators once sparred before immense crowds. Tuscany beckons with halcyon days filled with long, alfresco lunches and the exuberant flow of fine Chianti. Vineyards and patches of bright sunflowers skirt the lower slopes of the hills and inundate the mist-hazed valleys resting between breathtaking vistas. Renaissance opulence combine in Florence; its cobbled streets and animated piazzas dressed with unmistakeable Italian flair. Moving south, the sweeping Amalfi Coast seems to surge triumphantly from a shimmering blue sea. Positano clings to the vertiginous cliffside, speckled with lemon groves, a montage of pastel coloured buildings and mosaic-covered domes. The Mediterranean islands possess the reputation as a playground for the glitterati with their sophistication and style. A luxury Italy holiday of quintessential glamour – La Dolce Vita prevails.

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Italy Essentials

Approx. Flight Times London to Pisa 2 hours 10 minutes / Catania 3 hours / Olbia 2 hours 20 minutes / Naples 2 hours 45 minutes / Rome 2 hours 50 minutes / Verona 2 hours 25 minutes / Milan & Venice 2 hours / Bari 3 hours 45 minutes
Time Difference GMT +1 hour in winter / +2 hours in summer
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Italy Hotels & Itineraries

Introducing some of the best 5 star resorts in Italy.

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Top ten things to do in Italy

  1. Enjoy a private tour of the Vatican
  2. Drive down the Amalfi Coast to experience the magnificent panoramic views
  3. Join a hands on Italian cooking class
  4. Take a boat trip from the Marina Grande to Capri's La Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto)
  5. Climb to the top of the Duomo for a birds eye view of the beautiful city of Florence
  6. Enjoy the local Chianti on an Italian wine tasting tour in Tuscany
  7. Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Venice Carnival, which takes place every year just before Lent
  8. Hike in the Etna National Park - home to spectacular Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world
  9. Visit fin-de-siecle Bellagio in the Italian Lakes, thought to be the most beautiful town in Italy
  10. Explore the Borromeo Villa and exotic gardens on the island of Isola Madre on Lake Maggiore

Justine Picardie travels to the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Justine Picardie, Editor-in-chief at Harper's BAZAAR and Town & Country, recently visited the Amalfi Coast with Carrier - discover her journey.

When is the best time to visit Italy?

Italy is a year round destination especially for city breaks, with a largely temperate climate with regional variations. Summers are hot especially from Rome southwards, whilst spring and autumn are mild. Winter in the south is warmer and drier than in the northern and central areas which can be much colder with snow fall in the mountainous regions.

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Our team travel extensively, getting under the skin of every destination and hotel that we feature while building key connections and relationships along the way. In-depth knowledge of a destination is only part of what is required to curate a couture holiday experience; we also get to know you and what matters to you, meaning you receive genuine recommendations and a truly individual travel experience, and our Carrier Masterclasses ensure our travel experts are the best in the industry at tailoring bespoke and unique holidays.

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Carrier has been tailoring holidays worldwide for over 35 years and has firmly established its reputation as one of the leaders in the luxury holiday market. We have been voted ‘Favourite Tour Operator’ by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine more times than any other company in the past decade, and have been featured in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine’s Top 10 Tour Operators for 2016. Carrier has also won several national travel industry accolades, including ‘Luxury Tour Operator of the Year’ from TTG Luxury and Advantage Travel Centres.

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Why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? The best suites in some of the world’s plushest hotels, the first choice of flight seats, attention to detail, no restrictions or limitations - how luxury holidays should be. Your holiday desires are well taken care of, whether you wish to learn new life skills while training with a Bodyism expert, or uncovering centuries-old bushmen secrets in Botswana with expert safari guides. Children can follow the life of a panda keeper one day and cook dinner with a Beijing housewife the next. Carrier can make it happen.

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