On June 7th the unique setting of Venice will provide the backdrop for one of the most spectacular events linked to the history of the Bel Paese: the Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics, the origins of which date back to Italy’s glorious maritime tradition during the Middle Ages.

Every year, on the first moon of May, a woman would immerse herself in the sea to gather this gold and use it to make a yarn with which she would weave incredible fabrics. It sounds like a myth but it actually still happens in Italy today: this woman is called Chiara Vigo and she lives on the island of Sant’Antioco, the biggest of the islands of Sardinia, to the south west, around eighty kilometers from Cagliari.

In the heart of Tuscany is the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence. This ancient city is bustling with beautiful art, interesting architecture and plenty of spots to inspire romance on your holiday.

The weather in Florence is warm and sunny in the summer, and mild and calm in the winter. A light dusting of snow on the top of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore’s famed cupola, Il Duomo, is a captivating sight.

Football is a way of life in Italy. Kids grow up playing for the youth divisions of their hometown soccer club, and families spend their weekends cheering on the home team from the stands. Italian soccer is a must to see for any sports fan while on holiday, whether you attend a Serie A match or a tilt between two local clubs.

Just like top-tier leagues around Europe, Serie A matches are full of international superstars and top-quality football. Here are some of the most important matches on the calendar before the end of the year: