Italy’s glossy good looks are something straight out of a magazine – culture, scrumptious food, beautiful towns, cities and natural landscapes. Plus sun, sea and sand thrown in for good measure.
Perhaps you’re planning an Italian few days’ getaway to admire the stunning architecture of Rome, gondola rides in Venice or the breath-taking history and fascination of Pompeii. Or a family holiday is on the cards to soak up the sun on a beach holiday, Italy will inspire, relax and energise you all at the same time.
Wherever you choose to visit, around almost every corner in Italy you’ll find fascinating ancient sites or other-worldly scenery. If you fancy the south of the country and the splendour of the Mediterranean, the Amalfi Coast is a couples’ delight, with seaside towns such as Positano and Sorrento providing idyllic backdrops to a perfect few days away. Further north, Italy boasts treasures such as Lido di Jesolo and its golden sands, an area that’s bound to add the wow factor to any Italian holiday! Some of the islands off of Italy’s south coast are also great choices for a break, with Sicily’s welcoming hospitality and picturesque shores, or Sardinia and all the fascinating exploration and adventure that it offers. Add the famous 34-mile Costa Smeralda to the mix, with its seemingly never-ending beaches, and we’re not making your holiday decision-making process any easier.
At least whichever part of Italy you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll never have to venture too far for the next delicious glass of wine or heavenly antipasti platter. Buon appetito!
The capital city of the ancient world, and to this day a capital city for holidays and weekend city breaks, welcome to Rome. Exploring Rome isn’t just for history buffs either, visitors of all ages will love its unique blend of old and new.
Whether you want to follow the footsteps of the gladiators in the Colosseum, bask in the splendour of the Pantheon’s dome, or let your mind drift back in time with a walk around the excavated Forum, the Roman remnants are spellbinding. The Vatican is also a must-see, and once you’ve taken in your fill of sightseeing for the day, head to the nearby Via Cola di Rienzo for shopping therapy as well as delicious restaurants and wine bars.
Where better than Venice for a romantic holiday? The beautiful northern-Italian city is famed for its canal network and car-free centre. The city is made up of almost 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea, so you’d best get booking your gondola and motoscafo trips!
There’s culture around every corner. A gondola ride along the central Grand Canal and the maze of smaller waterways will give first-hand views of this truly unique city. Lie back and admire Byzantine architecture, narrow nooks and crannies, and the simple sense of history around every corner. The Piazza San Marco and its views over the lagoon, Gothic and Renaissance styles and the stunning St. Mark’s Basilica combine to give Venice a magnetic pull. Round off the day in style and watch the sun set over the city’s red rooftops from the Campanile bell tower.
Milan is a spot that captures all that’s good about Italian culture. Found in the north of Italy, in the Lombardy region, it’s a wealthy, luxurious area. It’s reputation as a fashion and financial powerhouse has resulted in a spectacular gothic cathedral and surrounding lawns contrasted with art displays and high-end shops and restaurants. The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is home to the work of many of the grand masters of art, or the planetarium will take you out of this world! Visit the Parco Sempione and its rolling lakes and trees, and fall in love all over again.
The Italian Alps
Whether you’re looking to explore the mountain on skis or on foot, the Italian Alps are stunning. Holidays to the Italian Alps are action-packed to say the least. You might not immediately think of skiing holidays when you think of Italy, but the Italian Alps hold seemingly endless resorts, including family-friendly and lively and wild. From whizzing down the freshly powdered slopes of Sestriere, to relaxing in a luxe bar in Courmayeur, welcome to the mountains – it’s beautiful up here.
Holidays to Lake Garda are all about stunning landscapes, laid-back activities, and delicious food and drink. A lazy morning sail, followed by lunch on the veranda, accompanied by an Aperol Spritz, or two? Why not? The town of Garda is really very special, with rich blue waters lapping the walls of castle-esque buildings, and rustic restaurants. Sirmione stretches right out into the water, and has its own lovely little marina to explore. Depending on where you’re staying in Lake Garda, Verona is easily achievable in a day trip.
Welcome to a region of Italy that perfectly blends old and new. Towns and cities buzz with life, while culture and tradition are cherished in day-to-day life. Take a holiday to Tuscany and you could find yourself exploring beautiful Florence one day, snapping photos at Pisa the other, and supping on heavenly stuffed courgette flowers and wild boar ragu. There are endless brilliant things to do in Tuscany as well, from vineyard and farm tours, to hiking tours and cookery classes. Tuscany also has a hive of hidden treats, such as thermal baths and cities built on cliff faces. Ready to explore?
Leaning Tower of Pisa
A tourist favourite, the unintentionally leaning bell tower of Pisa’s cathedral is a must-see when you’re in Italy. Once you’ve taken the famous photo of yourself holding up the tower, you should take a stroll through the ornate streets of the city and try a delicious lunch at one of the street cafés. As well as its lean, you’ll also enjoy the delicate and ornate nature of the tower, and a guided tour will give you fascinating insight into the world-renowned landmark.
If downright gorgeous could be summed up by one place, then Lake Como would most likely be it. The deep and dramatic waters of the lake at the foot of the Alps provide some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. The lake is also flanked by the beautiful towns of Como, Bellagio and Brunate, all of which are chock full of culture, quaint shops and bistros, radiating a bustling but relaxed way of life.
St. Mark’s Basilica
If you’re in Venice, then you simply must visit St. Mark’s Basilica – the main cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. Finished in 1117, it is now one of the most recognisably famous churches in the world. Its stunning Byzantine contours and golden glow make for a remarkable sight.
The headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City is an essential part of your cultural sightseeing of Italy. That said, you’ll actually be leaving Italy for the duration of your visit since the Vatican City is technically the world’s smallest independent state. Visit the Vatican Museum to admire its inspiring collection of Roman treasures, Renaissance-era frescoes, and of course the stunning Sistine Chapel complete with Michelangelo’s ceiling. Visitors young and old will be inspired by the hallowed walls of the Vatican.
Roman Forum and Colosseum in Rome
If you head to Italy’s capital and do nothing else, it’s well worth taking the time to uncover its ancient architecture. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a history buff or you’re not that fussed, you won’t help but be wowed by the stunning landmarks and marvellous monuments of the Eternal City. Begin at the Colosseum, where blood-thirsty gladiatorial battles were held during Ancient Roman times. Although the attraction is now overrun with tourists, there’s something quite beautiful about the imposing structure as it towers against the skyline. Next up is the Roman Forum, a meandering labyrinth of cobbled streets leading to some of the city’s most iconic monuments.
Whether you’re soaring down its winding roads in a vintage car or hopping aboard a bus, the road that snakes around Italy’s coastline is worth a trip. While the sheer drops and sharp turns might have you feeling on edge, you’ll soon forget about that when you catch a glimpse of its glorious views. Mountain plunge into the sea against a backdrop of glorious woodland, lined with candy-coloured houses and traditional trattorias. If you take a trip from Naples on your holidays to Italy, you’ll journey along the coast road and stumble across many of the Amalfi Coast’s most loved seaside towns. Visit the beautiful town of Sorrento, the so-called gateway to the Amalfi Coast, or experience the traditional charm of smaller towns like Positano and Ravello.
From the hand-stretched pizzas of Rome to the vineyards of Tuscany, it’s no surprise that holidays to Italy are so popular with food-lovers. While pasta and pizza are the first things to come to mind, there’s plenty of other mouth-watering dishes and enticing flavours to be found in this beautiful country. Northern Italy boasts rich dishes flavoured with butter and cream along with fresh fish dishes. Head to rural Tuscany and you’ll encounter hearty steaks and fine wines, as well as a fine selection of meat in Umbria. In the south of the country, there’s a classic Mediterranean flavour to be enjoyed with many vegetables and stews featuring on the menu.
Thanks to the many cafés and traditional trattorias across the country, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample some of Italy’s most famous foods. Take the humble cup of coffee, for example. Considered to be the best in the world, the best way to drink it is to make like the locals and sample a mid-morning espresso in a street side café – the perfect accompaniment to a long day’s sightseeing. Of course, a trip to Italy is incomplete without tasting a traditional pizza, and whether you try it by the slice from a vendor or in a family-run restaurant, you’ll soon see why this dish is so popular.
The best time to visit Italy depends on the kind of trip you’re looking for. As to be expected, the summer months are the most popular, wherever you go. July and August in Italy are especially busy. So if you’re hoping for fewer crowds, spring and autumn should be the time for you.
Beach resorts, in particular, go from sweet spots to hot spots in August. Most Italians tend to take their holidays then, so overcrowding is often guaranteed. For a slower-paced experience and to taste a less touristy Italy, aim to visit from April to June, or in September and October. Whether you hit the beach or head to any one of the striking cities, you’ll see a more authentic slice of Italian life.
The weather’s more favourable too in the quieter seasons. During the summer, expect it to hit 27°c or more. But during the spring, the highs are in the low to mid-twenties, making sight-seeing and explorations that little bit more bearable. If you want to swim, keep your visit between May and September. Outside of these times, the water comes with a chill.
Or maybe you’re looking for more of a winter-time tour of Italy’s most notable regions? Rome can be as beautiful in winter as it is in summer. During January, celebrations can be found throughout most of the piazzas. The old Italian folklore of Befana, the elderly woman who delivers gifts on the night of January 5th - known as Epiphany Eve - brings the usually bleak January atmosphere alive.
If you’re thinking about Florence, a trip in March could be ideal. March 25th is Florentine New Year, so expect to enjoy street parades and the excitement of medieval dress and music. Or find fierce fireworks gracing the skies in June for the Patron Saint Feast Day, with the historical football match, Calcio Storico, to experience too.
When it’s Venice that you’re vying to see, save May for a special occasion. The Festa della Sensa celebrates the sea and sports a successions of boats in a spectacular parade. Or plan your trip around the The Biennale art show celebrations, including the fabulous Venice Film Festival to experience an air of glamour during your jaunt.
City breaks, long weekends, peaceful retreats or full-blown beach holidays. Whatever type of holiday you’re after, Italy can deliver. Italy’s dramatic coastline, rugged mountain ranges, cultural cities, and quaint and sleepy hillside villages will delight and inspire even the most seasoned traveller.
Action and adventure fans won’t have to look too far for water skiing, diving, jet skiing or other high-adrenaline pastimes. While lovers of serenity can head to the hills of Lake Como where the only sounds are birds chirping and the waves of the lake lapping at the shores below. For a faster-paced getaway, Rome and its ancient history continues to hold its own on most bucket lists. It’s as though every wall, street and building in this majestic city has a story to tell.
Book your trip with easyJet holidays and we’ll make sure we find the ideal Italian holiday for you. Booking flights and a hotel in one simple easyJet holiday package means more great deals to suit you, so you’ll be able to concentrate on planning your activities, sightseeing and brushing up on your Italian – la dolce vita!