Italy Versus Belgium, May The Best Team Win

In anticipation of Monday’s UEFA group stage match when Italy goes head to head with Belgium, Travelstart looks at what makes these two countries dream travel destinations. Both have introduced the world to great cuisine- Italian pizza, Belgian beer, Belgian chocolate, Italian gelato! Both are incredibly picturesque and attract millions of visitors each year. Both have a unique culture beloved internationally but which country wins out in the tourism stakes?

According to the World Bank Italy attracted 48,576,000 visitors in 2014, while Belgium attracted 7,887,000. Considering that South Africa is 40 times bigger than Belgium while only being 4 times bigger than Italy, tourism is booming in both countries.

Getting there

KLM offers excellent service on flights to Brussels and there are a range of affordable options to fly to Rome including Alitalia and Emirates, from as little as R7200 return. Both countries require South Africans to have a Schengen Visa. Always apply for a Schengen Visa for the European country you will be spending the most time in on your trip. Our article on France during UEFA Euro 2016 has useful, updated information about applying for your Schengen:

An added bonus when flying to Belgium is that you can fly KLM Dutch Airlines, find out more about one of our favourite airlines here:

A great idea is to hire a car and drive from the UEFA in France to Belgium and on to Italy, experiencing the best of both. Compared to South Africa the distances are small and the roads well maintained.

Would you rather?

Drink famous Belgian beer and ride in boats in Ghent, Belgium

ghent, boat

Courtesy of aris.setya via Instagram

belgian beer

Courtesy of _bianc via Instagram


Drink wine with a view and eat four different types of pasta on the Amalfi Coast, Italy?

trattoria amalfi coast

Courtesy of scottorozco via Instagram

4 different types of pasta

Courtesy of becbrowncommunications via Instagram

Walk the charming streets of Bruges, Belgium

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 10.07.42 PM

Courtesy of aris.setya via Instagram


Live under a Tuscan Sun in the Medieval city of San Gimignano near Florence?

San Gimignano street

Courtesy of patspada via Instagram

Authentic gelato in Florence

ice gream gelato

Courtesy of noghlemey via Instagram


Decadent Belgian chocolates in Brussels?

belgium chocolates

Courtesy of thisismicheler via Instagram

Marvel at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fior, Italy


Courtesy of rominar_88 via Instagram


Admire these unique Flemmish facades, Belgium?


Courtesy of aholidayaway via Instagram

Belgian singer Stromae sings of “Moules Frites” the famous Belgian dish of mussels and fries, would you rather indulge in this celebrated dish

moules frites, Belgium

Courtesy of azaleeaa via Instagram


Eat authentic Neapolitan pizza made with Marzano tomatoes (which grow on the volcanic plains south of Mount Vesuvius) and mozzarella di bufala Campana (made with the milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio)?

naples pizza

Courtesy of pizza_jew via Instagram

Discover the magic of Positano and Naples

positano at night

Courtesy of whatluluate via Instagram

naples street

Courtesy of vesuviocoast via Instagram


The Citadel of Dinant, Belgium?

Citadel of Dinant

Courtesy of aris.setya via Instagram

Citadel of Dinant

Courtesy of aris.setya via Instagram

The Royal greenhouses of Laeken, Belgium

royal greenhouses of Laeken

Courtesy of shensei via Instagram


Rome’s mighty Colosseum?


Courtesy of eat_clean_fit2a via Instagram

Sexy Italian wheels

Italy, sports cars

Courtesy of stephcullenxx via Instagram


Laidback Belgian wheels?


Courtesy of _bianc via Instagram

Milan cool


Courtesy of milano_go via Instagram

bar luce, milan

Courtesy of malay_mui via Instagram


Belgian chic?

beurre noisette, brussels

Courtesy of peche.hauton via Instagram

Find cheap flight to Belgium here.

Or if you’re team Italia, find the best flights here.

If you can’t choose then why not visit both? Italy is an inexpensive flight from Belgium and a Schengen Visa covers both countries.

May the best team win!
brussels, Euro

Courtesy of nyx.clips via Instagram

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