Touring in Italy
In the 17th and 18th Centuries, the so called Grand Tour became a fashionable travel experience and "rite of passage" carried out by young members of European and American high-society who would travel through Europe (and especially Italy). After several stops and activities, the Grand Tourer would typically end up staying in Florence, Rome or Venice.
The primary value of the Grand Tour lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. *
The Grand Tour was usually done with the guidance of a guide and was certainly not for the masses. It wasn't until the 19th century that modern transportation (a train system) made this type of touring more democratic.
Even though contemporary tourism has little in common with 18th Century touring, perhaps some of the values of the Grand Tour have carried over to those who plan to visit Italy today. Perhaps, being immersed in a land full of history and art can elevate the spirit of today's traveler.