Italy

Things to do in Italy

There are endless possibilities for things to do in Italy. As the seat of Western Civilization, there are many museums and historical sites that are not to be missed. The ruins from the Roman Empire can be seen across the land, but nowhere as well as in Rome itself. Standing inside the Coliseum as the sun sets over the City of Seven Hills is an experience not soon forgotten. There are many beautiful ecclesiastical sites—the foremost being the illustrious Vatican, seat of power for the Catholic Church and former Holy Roman Empire. It’s worth a visit to admire St. Peter’s Basilica and gaze at the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

If you are wondering what to do in Italy for shopping—look no further than the cobblestone streets of Via de' Tornabuoni in Florence. Stroll through the designer shops and save an hour for a turn through the Ferragamo Museum before hitting the picturesque Ponte Vecchio. For high fashion, Milan is the go-to city, especially during fashion week when models and designers arrive in droves to roam the streets in their seasonal finery.

There are many outdoor things to do in Italy, from stunning beaches to gorgeous hikes and bike rides through vineyards and olive groves. Check out the Travel + Leisure guide to discover what to do in Italy.

The weaving studio is located in a small workshop in Perugia's San Francesco delle Donne, a deconsecrated 13th-century church. Founded by Giuditta Brozzetti in 1921 to showcase the handwork of village women, it's now managed by her daughter and granddaughter.

At the eight-room hotel, made up of two country-style houses, you can take art classes on the lawn.

The museum houses an impressive collection of African and Asian art.

The Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO) is a contemporary art museum comprised of two separate locations. The original museum is housed in the restored 20th-century Peroni brewery with a glass-and-steel extension added by French architect Odile Decq.

The first spa from Acqua di Parma is at the seaside Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Our favorite indulgence: outdoor treatment cabanas overlooking the Mediterranean.

Originally a medicinal garden designed for the Medici in 1545, the Botanical Gardens of Florence, also called the Giardino dei Semplici (Garden of Simple), is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens.

During periods of acqua alta (high water), opt for a pair of stylish high-heeled rain boots in splashy red.

You’ll see fashionable people all over town—punky Japanese tourists to preppy Roman men—carrying these shopping bags.

For a healthy pick-me-up, head to My Juice in the MyChef food court at Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport in Rome. The focus here is on acentrifugato — a blended fresh mixed fruit or vegetable smoothie.

The Mercato di Testaccio is a real deal old-school indoor Roman market where locals come to pick up le spezie (the shopping). The market opens early, so shoppers can come for cappuccino and a pastry before browsing around.

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Carmelite monks will guide you through the 17th-century pharmacy where medicines were once concocted for popes.

If the Palazzo Esposizioni is lots of things to a wide audience, the Museum for the Art of the Twenty-First Century, which opened in the summer of 2010, proposes a more resolutely contemporary agenda: solo shows from first-rate artists such as South African William Kentridge and arte povera