Hello May! The summer is just around the corner which means the vacation plans should be in the making! How about an epic Italian road trip? Bella Italia offers a lot!
As you might have realized, I am a true Italophile. I think there is no better country to go to for a quick getaway, a long holiday or a quick shopping escape. But. This country is simply DESIGNED for exciting road trips!
I think touring Italia by car is the best way to see it. With a network of well-maintained roads and motorways that weave through a landscape of snow-capped peaks, dreamy coastlines, spectacular lakes and historic towns, the country offers plenty of epic driving! And while some routes are undeniably challenging (Milano- Cinque Terre off the motorway or Salerno to Sorrento for example! ughhh), they all make for unforgettable experience.
I’ve picked 10 must-see Italian places you could include to your road trip this summer. You don’t have to drive all the way down from Lake District to Sicily – it would take you good two weeks for sure! You could fly to some of the biggest cities and take a road trip around two or more regions of Italy.
Stop Number One: Lake District
The world-famous Italian Lake District stretches across Northern Italy. It is the region when Italy is joined to the Alps. Lake District might not be the best place for the fans of exotic beaches or … the beaches in general. A trip to Lake Como, for example, means sight seeing, boats, eating and walking. Lake District is perfect for the boat lovers indeed! My top spot? For the most Italian mix of accessibility, scenery,
Highlights : Varenna, Como, Sirmione
Stop Number Two : Verona
Verona is a perfect place for a day-trip for the romantic ones! In it less crowded than the rest of the ‘IT’ Italian destinations, and the distance from one place to another is walkable. From opera festivals held in ancient Roman ruins, to a delicious cuisine, the city has a great deal of culture to be discovered and experienced.
Highlights : Arona di Verona, Juliett’s Balcony
Stop Number Three: Venice
‘Venice! A magnificent city! A city with an irresistible appeal to the educated, because of its history as well as its present charms.’ I visited Venice around 4 times (I don’t remember exactly) but I feel quite emotional about it because…. it was my hen party weekend destination. My girls took me there last Month! I generally think Venice is a magical city that deserves to be on everybody’s bucket list.
Highlights: Gondola Ride, St Mark’s Basilica
Stop Number Four : Tuscany
Italy lends itself to romance, there is no denying, but Tuscany is simply tailormade for it. The reasons to visit this part of the boot are countless: Chianti, cuisine, cypress alleyways, sunsets like nowhere else, the monuments of Siena, the fortified walls of C’asole d’Elsa to name a few… Those small Tuscan hill towns still conserve the atmosphere of the past. The villages and agri-tourism places are the real Tuscan essences, too. Ohh, you have to see it for yourself!
Sorry for not being specific about Tuscan destination to stop in but I really think you should pop in for 2-3 days and stay in some random agri places or castles in order to be able to fully enjoy this region.
Highlights: agri stay, Siena, Firenze, Chianti, Wine, Silk 🙂
Stop Number Five : Alberobello
I have seen a lot in this world. In fact, I have been to Italy 4 times this
Highlights : Trulli houses, Locorotondo, Martin Franca, Negroamaro 🙂
Stop Number Six : Taormina, Sicily
We visited ‘the Ionian Pear’ back in February this year. It was pouring! Yet still, this little Mediterranean town appeared incredibly charming. Taormina is located between Messina and Catania, two large Sicilian cities. It is mostly known for the iconic views of Mt Etna and its… shape as it’s a hilltop town. It is also known for its natural sights, hilltop churches and chapels and narrow alleyways. Despite the fact it is a small town, Taormina also offers a great nightlife and the whole variety designer shops, such as Parisi (my cousin got herself a pair of Valentino Rockstud stilettos with -30% discount!). There is also a cable car that links the city with the beach. Must-see for sure!
Highlights: Isola Bella, Teatro Antico di Taormina, Corso Umberto (shopping)
Stop Number Seven : Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast is said to be one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Or least it was voted as such by one of the most powerful search engines, vacationidea.com, Conde Nast and the BBC. Let me quote
Stop Number Eight : Rome
All roads leads to Rome. The reasons to visit one of the oldest cities in the worlds are many: culture, art, history, people, Colosseum. To me, it was one of the most valuables history lessons I have ever experienced.
Highlights : Rome is a highlight itself!
Stop Number Nine : Cinque Terre
‘Is Cinque Terre better than Positano?’ To me it is NOT. This is such an iconic and must-see destination! I am sure all the 5 Terre are, but we only managed to visit Manarola and Riomaggiore because of the lack of time and the heat. I wouldn’t recommend this place for people who are specifically looking for
Highlights: all the 5 terre but especially Manarola, Nessun Dorma
You could end your trip with a short visit to Portofino. There isn’t much to see here but I have fallen in love with its amazing vibe. Portofino is a sort of Italian enclave for the millionaires to go on the weekend. Or for Brad Pitt to jump to his fav yacht while in Europe. The views are amazing but the price you pay is extremely high.
It doesn’t change the fact that I would still recommend to go and stay for a day.
As for some tips : I recommend renting a car from GOLDCAR, where you could also use my 15% discount with the code: CARMELATTE15The price of a small car (like our feminine Fiat500) is around 25€ per day +insurance!, but I would recommend renting a very comfortable SUV, such as FIAT500L for around 50€per day +insurance. The fuel policy it full to full. The toll roads cost from 8€ to 16€, it depends where you are going from.