The Etruscans were an important civilisation in the area of modern-day Tuscany and Umbria in the 6th to 1st century BC and the Ancient Greeks colonised much of Italy’s South. The site of the Greek city of Paestum on the Amalfi Coast and remarkable Valley of Temples in Sicily’s Agrigento both contain some of the best preserved Doric temples in Europe. Syracusa on the east coast of Sicily once rivalled Athens in the Greek world.
Italy’s post-Roman history is equally fascinating. After the fall of Rome it fragmented into numerous city states whose power was at their peak during the Renaissance. Today cities such as Florence, Siena and Venice all have much to offer on any historically focused holiday.