The country's capital, Rome, is the perfect destination for lovers of culture. Sights to include on a must-visit list include the Colloseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. And these attractions only scratch the surface of what's on offer. There's also a dizzying array of places to eat including traditional family-run trattorias and upmarket restaurants as well as cafés where you can prop up the bar with an espresso.
Venice is a unique city which has to be experienced to be believed. Hopping on to a vaporetto (a water bus) to reach your next destination or travelling in a gondola are exciting ways to get around, and couples on special-occasion breaks can request an on-board singer or food to enjoy while travelling along the canals. Other Venetian highlights include St Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge and the Accademia Gallery.
Italy's two largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily, are excellent family holiday locations with beautiful beaches and jaw-dropping landscape. No visit to Sicily would be complete without a trip to the island's active volcano Mount Etna, and the town of Taormina, with a Greek amphitheatre and stunning views down to the bay below, is a popular place to stay. On Sardinia, the Costa Smeralda is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in Italy and is the place to head for an exclusive break mingling with the stars. However, if you have a more modest budget, the port towns of Cagliari and Alghero are great options and children will enjoy the boat trips on offer from Alghero's harbour.
Holidays next to Italy's largest lake, Lake Garda, offer activities for all of the family. Children will love a family trip out on a pedalo and visiting the theme park Gardaland, while parents will enjoy admiring the beautiful mountainous landscape and relaxing in spas. For the more active traveller, there are watersports galore as well as rock climbing opportunities. Other lakes to consider for trips away include Como and Maggiore.
Other Italian highlights include escaping the hustle and bustle of modern life in one of Tuscany's smaller towns such as Siena or San Gimignano, seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, admiring Michelangelo's David in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, food shopping in Bologna and skiing in the Italian Alps.
And, of course, you could visit the fabulous Amalfi Coast , staying in Sorrento and taking trips to Ischia or the home of pizza, Naples. Alternatively, enjoy posing in the fashionable city of Milan or visiting the fascinating historic city of Pompeii.
Depending where you fly from, flights to Italy from the UK take between 2-3 hours, with most flights arriving at Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumincino Airport (FCO) in Rome.