Sample some autumn sunshine and culture
Florence and Rome are two of the most culturally rich cities in Italy, sharing some of the greatest art and architecture in the world. Why not treat yourself to some winter sun in these wonderful centres?
Florence is one of the most popular travel cities in Italy and holds many attractions for the tourist.
A Renaissance city in the heart of Tuscany, it has some of Italy's best museums, beautiful cathedrals and churches, and interesting streets and squares with elegant buildings and shops. Its most famous square is Piazza della Signoria, the heart of the historic centre and a free open-air sculpture exhibit.
The Loggia della Signoria holds some important statues including a copy of Michelangelo's David.
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Modern and old, past and present go side by side, all the time. Whether you are in Rome for three days, three weeks or three months, be prepared to step into the world's biggest open air museum. You can decide to follow the typical tourist paths or you can be lucky or brave enough to go off the usual tracks.
But whatever you do, don't miss the Trevi Fountain. Certainly the most famous and photographed fountain in Rome, legend has it that whoever throws a coin into the pond will return to Rome.
More than ever anchored to the continent, Portugal still evokes memories of that lost paradise of the great Renaissance navigators. Perched high on the country's beautiful Sintra Mountain Range, Manuel I's extravagant palaces hark back to the opulence of those times, full of the magic of that glorious past.
The Algarve, in the south, is a vast garden with Arabic influences that contains some of Europe's most beautiful beaches along its seaside cliffs.
Summertime in Malta is synonymous with outdoor living. There is no shortage of beaches to choose from: some fully-developed resorts offering all the requisite facilities, others more secluded, quieter and more pristine. And, if going to the seaside seems like too much of a challenge, then one can always opt to spend the day by the hotel pool.
Either way, one should never forget to put on plenty of sun-cream, especially on the little ones.
But Malta is so much more than just sun and sea.
With a rich history dating back thousands of years, the islands offer endless opportunities for sightseeing and exploration.
Prehistoric temples, roman ruins, medieval castles and walled cities, formidable forts, splendid churches and wayside chapels... these are just a few of the historical attractions that families can visit for that unique travel-back-in-time experience.