Travelling out of season is a chance to rediscover Italy’s most evocative cities of art.
27 Aug 2020
Italy’s cities of art are among the most highly-prized cultural tourism destinations in the world. Packed with monuments, churches, castles, museums, and historic residences, they make an ideal destination for a late-summer visit, when the air is a little cooler and the prices beginning to fall. Here are some great places to go right now.
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, full of historic places to see and great things to do: gondola and Vaporetto tours, carousing Venice’s bàcari (wine bars), shopping and a host of other things.
The concepts “traffic” and “car” simply do not exist in this city built on the water, which people visit along its canals, walking unhindered along its alleyways and crossing its bridges.
The most famous of Venice’s 400+ bridges are Constitution (or Calatrava) Bridge, connecting Piazzale Roma with Venice Santa Lucia railway station; Ponte degli Scalzi; Ponte dell’Accademia; the Rialto Bridge (the city’s oldest), and, last but not least, the Bridge of Sighs, which leads directly into St. Mark’s Square.
At dusk, you’d be remiss not to check out Venice’s bàcari, “small wine bars” perfect to sample the typical flavours of Venetian food and wine in a rustic, convivial environment. One of the reasons Venice is such a great tourist attraction is its long culinary tradition, packed with a huge variety of flavours and ingredients from the Lagoon, the Veneto region and beyond.
Sleeping in Venice.
To get the most out of your holiday, make the city centre your home at the Gruppo UNA Residenza Venezia, prestigious 4 Leoni tourist accommodation strategically located in the heart of the city, between Venice Santa Lucia and the Rialto Bridge. While remaining faithful to the traditional Venetian style refinement, this historic building has recently been restored. And if you’re looking for that perfect combination of luxury and charm, try out Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze, slap bang in the middle of the historic Cannaregio district.
With its historical and architectural wonders and top-tier culinary pedigree, Turin is a perfect city to discover (or rediscover!) in late summer. In fact, the centre of town is ideal to discover on foot, its beauties revealed as you go along.
Overlooked by elegant palazzos and the near-identical twin churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina, Piazza San Carlo is one of Turin’s most beautiful squares. Continue on to Piazza Castello and some of the most imposing Savoy residences in Piedmont, Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama, home to the Museum of Ancient Art. A stone’s throw from the Royal Palace is Turin Cathedral, a splendid example of Renaissance architecture where the Holy Shroud is kept.
Finally, take a stroll along Via Giuseppe Verdi and head towards the Mole Antonelliana, Turin’s flagship landmark and home to the National Cinema Museum. Make sure you don’t miss the Egyptian Museum, renowned throughout the world and second in size only to its counterpart in Cairo.
Staying in the city of magic.
A city as incredibly magical and rich in history as Turin deserves a hotel worthy of its name: Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze will leave you speechless. A symbol of ancient splendour, it’s located in an imposing rationalist-style building that is among Turin’s most refined architectural jewels.
The Eternal City of course has to be in our selection. September is an ideal time to visit Rome, the end of summer chasing away the sultry heat, leaving it pleasant to stroll through the city’s enormous historic centre. In fact, by far the best way to visit Rome is on foot, step by step discovering its most famous streets, squares and fountains.
Piazza di Spagna and its famous stairway awaits. Continue along Via Condotti until you reach Via del Corso. A few meters past Piazza Colonna you’ll get to the Trevi Fountain, an extraordinary place where you can stop for a few minutes and, if you believe in the legend, throw a coin in the fountain. Do not miss the Pantheon, the Roman Empire’s best-preserved building, and then continue to Piazza Navona to admire its three famous fountains. If you feel like a drink, you’re not far from Campo de’ Fiori, an area full of clubs, bars and restaurants.
Dedicate a day to the Vatican City, visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican museums to cast your eye over Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Continue along Via della Conciliazione to Castel Sant’Angelo. Obviously, you cannot visit the Eternal City without seeing Imperial Rome: the Roman Forum, Palatine and Colosseum... At the end of the day, cross the Tiber and enjoy an evening in Trastevere, a favourite haunt for travellers.
Get the full Roman experience.
There is so much to discover in Rome... on foot, which makes it important to stay in the heart of town. UNAHOTELS Decò Roma enjoys an incredible location, a stone’s throw from Metro stops A and B, near Termini station and close to Rome’s main attractions.
Naples overflows with beauty, stories, landscapes and attractions. Whether you’re travelling as a family, a couple or solo, the city will entertain and enchant you.
Piazza Dante is an ideal place to start a Neapolitan visit. In itself one of Naples’ top beauties, over the years the square has hosted a great many events, concerts etc. Form here, walk onto Spaccanapoli, a street that runs right through the heart of the old town, passing through many of the city’s places of interest, including Via dei Tribunali, which takes you to the museum of Cappella San Severo, home to Giuseppe Sammartino’s extraordinary Veiled Christ.
Take a side-trip to Pompeii and the volcanic crater reserve of Vesuvius. A visit to Vesuvius means climbing the slopes of this majestic volcano to an altitude of over a thousand metres. Once you’ve reached this altitude, you are rewarded with one of the most enchanting natural panoramas in the world, spanning both the Gulfs of Naples and Salerno.
At the heart of Neapolitan elegance.
Housed in a historic building, UNAHOTELS Napoli benefits from an ideal location and boasts all the authenticity of Neapolitan life. Located a stone’s throw from the city’s headline sights, this elegant 4-star hotel is an excellent choice if you want to immerse yourself fully into a Neapolitan atmosphere.
The incredible bulk of Etna and its snowy peak, crystal-clear waters along the Ionian coast, historical and archaeological heritage, baroque churches, palazzos and, of course, unique food and wine heritage...
Where’s the best place to start a tour of town, sometimes known as the “Milan of Sicily”? We advise setting off from Palazzo Biscari, the city’s most important palazzo, a stunning example of Catania baroque. From here, walk to Piazza Duomo, where the city began its reconstruction after the ruinous 1693 earthquake, rebuilding the seats of city government (the Town Hall) and the Church (the Cathedral). Catania’s symbol, the Elephant Fountain, is right in the middle of this square. The Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena, a jewel of late Sicilian Baroque and one of the largest Benedictine complexes in Europe, is a ten-minute walk from Catania Cathedral.
If you feel like grabbing something to eat or drink, look out for Catania’s unique kiosks: U cioscu attract people of all ages day and night, for refreshments and to meet up. They have become a symbol of the city’s daily life. The origins of these kiosks date back to the late 19th century, when Catania’s street vendors used to sell a drink called “acqua e zammù” (water with a few drops of aniseed) to refresh and quench Catanians’ thirst on hot days.
Make sure you visit Etna and its extraordinary natural park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013 and one of the world’s most recognizable and active volcanoes.
Sleeping in the heart of Catania.
Welcome to Sicily! Breathtaking views of Mount Etna and a location in the heart of town: it could only be Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze, a perfect Sicilian idyll that pays homage to Italian style in a faithfully-restored historic luxury hotel with all mod cons and unique identity.