Italy is a beloved tourist destination worldwide, which makes a strong case for its cultural appeal. Much of its heritage stems from its ancient and medieval history, natural environment, and gastronomy. But like any destination, Italy's culture changes from north to south, inland to the coast, and mountains to islands. Take time to decide which regions of Italy you want to visit, then consider getting off the beaten path in some of the more popular areas, like Tuscany or Rome. By stepping away from the crowds, you lift the veil and get a more authentic view of the local life and traditions.
To get the most out of a cultural trip, follow the path you're interested in, then go behind the scenes. For example, in bustling Florence, visit a local food market where city dwellers shop or join residents for an afternoon Apertivo in one of Venice's quieter districts. Take an art class in Cinque Terre to learn more about Italian sculpture and its cultural importance. Or, discover why Milan has such a fashion reputation with a workshop. When your trip comes to an end, you'll have a far better understanding of Italy's true character!
Food & Culture
Food is an essential component of a country's culture, and when it comes to Italy, gastronomy reigns. From food markets to locals enjoying an Apertivo, Italian food is its cultural essence.
Florence Food Markets Tour
Get to know Italian culture through its world-renowned gastronomy and explore Florence's vibrant markets. Start at the most authentic food market in the city, Sant’Ambrogio, where true Florentines do their daily or weekly shopping. A guide will take you to discover the best stalls, the importance of local and regional ingredients, and Cucina Povera, the area's famed peasant food. Then head to San Lorenzo Market in a historic Medici household to taste some regional specialties like extra virgin olive oil, Tuscan prosciutto, Chianti wine, and balsamic vinegar. Read More
Cannaregio Aperitivo Tour in Venice
Join the locals and experience authentic Venetian culture with the beloved Apertivo ritual, a pre-dinner drink with Chiccetti (snacks). You'll join a guide in the hip and historic Cannaregio district, home to Venice’s 16th-century Jewish Ghetto. As you bar hop with the locals, you'll taste various delicacies, such as bacala mantecato (creamed cod), sarde in saor (sardines in tangy onion marinade), and soppressa (soft salami). Read More
Food, Music, & Culture near Bologna
Explore the region around Bologna through its music, culture, stories, motors, and famous cuisine. You'll discover the production of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena in "Food Valley," visit the House Museum of Pavarotti, peruse the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, and enjoy a typical lunch in an authentic trattoria. Read More
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Behind every tourist attraction is a behind-the-scenes look at the local culture. In Venice, escape the crowds of the Grand Canal and visit the islands, or go beyond shopping and discover the secrets behind Milan's fashion reputation.
Discover Murano, Burano, Torcello & San Francesco in the Venetian Lagoon
Escape the crowds of Venice and enjoy a tranquil excursion into the Venetian Lagoon, visiting islands like Burano, Murano, Torcello, and San Francesco. Enjoy the brightly colored streets and quiet canals, explore monasteries and gardens, sip local wines, visit Venice's oldest church, and discover the glass-blowing heritage of Murano. You'll have plenty of time to wander each island, absorbing the unique culture and beautiful scenery. Enjoy cruising through the lagoon by boat, catching glimpses of stunning Venice in the distance. Read More
Milan Fashion Tour & Fashion Workshop
Dive into Milan's famous fashion reputation with a walking tour and workshop. Start in Montenapoleone, the heart of the Quadrilatero district, where nearly every corner features ateliers and fashion boutiques. This area is also the neighborhood where the best tailors in Milan lived and worked for decades. Admire the beautiful architecture and heritage window displays as you stroll down the streets. Then take the historic tram to the chic Corso Como, where celebrities frequent. Meet your instructor, a spokesperson for the highest Italian fashion standards, and attend a workshop where you'll learn about fabrics and style techniques while making your own garment. Read More
Carrara Sculpting Class in Cinque Terre
Channel your inner Michelangelo while attending a family-friendly marble sculpting workshop. A professional craftsperson will take you through an art studio, sharing details about the techniques used to sculpt the stone. As you learn about the history of the craft and its importance throughout Italy, enjoy local snacks like focaccia and pesto. Then it's time to get to work! With tools, safety goggles, and a slab of marble in hand, your instructor will help you carve your own unique masterpiece. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Cultural Italy Itinerary
Because Italy is a country that oozes fascinating and authentic culture, you can easily create an itinerary that fits your particular interests. To get a full view of the culture, consider combining two or three regions into one trip, such as Rome, Cinque Terre & the Northern Lakes Region, or Puglia, Amalfi Coast & Tuscany. The more variety you can add, the more culturally rich your experiences will be.
Depending on how many regions you plan to visit, you'll need one or two weeks in the country. But remember that authentic Italian culture moves at a slower pace, so if you can set aside three weeks, that's even better!
Learn more about how many days to spend in Italy and how to make the most out of your time.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following cultural trips in Italy: