People come from all over he world to visit Italy and the majority of Italians choose to spend their holidays there as well, particularly in the mountains or by the sea. This means that there is a dazzling range of accommodation options on offer, from splendid hotels in old palazzi and historic residences, to simple family run pensioni and hostels. Those who want self catering accommodation are also well served with everything from stately, isolated villas in Tuscany to purpose built holiday flats in, or near, busy seaside resorts. Italian hotels are notorious for being expensive and short of services but you can nevertheless find excellent value in all price ranges.
Food is a serious subject in Italy. The Italians are justly proud of their fine cuisine and wines and many sociable hours are spent around the table. One of the great pleasures of traveling in Italy is exploring regional variations in pasta, breads and cheeses. Whether it is spinach filled tortelloni from the north or stuffed sweet red peppers from the south, restaurants will rarely serve anything other than Italian specialties. You don't have to head to the most expensive places for goods food, a simple trattoria, which has to answer to the local clientele, will often serve much better fare than the nearby international restaurants.
Italy is know for its quality designer goods, ranging from chic clothing and sleek cars to stylish household items. There is a strong tradition of craftsmanship, often from family run businesses, and there are numerous markets selling regional specialties. Apart from the town markets, it is not a country for bargains, but the joys of window shopping will offer plenty of compensation.