Italy is one of the places I fell in love with a long, long time ago and the more Dane and I talk about traveling, the more it keeps creeping higher on our list. I’ve visited the beautiful country six times (!), but Dane has never been, so whenever I talk about the amazing food and wine, or the beautiful sites, he is just kind of like…can we go already?! Italy is not a huge country, but there is a lot to see when you visit. Its world-famous cities are ideal for sightseeing and “checking the box” touristy spots, but it also has many regions that are better for exploring further. Here are some of the best regions to visit in Italy (and some of my absolute favorites in the world)…
Italy: A Traveler’s Guide By Region
This island of Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy that is home to five million people. Palermo is the capital, and it is a great place to base yourself when you arrive. From Palermo, you could travel to other areas on day trips, or just use it as your starting point for a tour of Italy. Sicily is packed full of beautiful beaches and wonderful architecture. You could travel to the beach resort of Giardini Naxos one day, then to the historic town of Taormina the next. You could even take a trip out to the Aeolian Islands or see Mount Etna, so there is plenty to keep you busy for as long as you want to stay.
Tuscany (my #1!)
Tuscany is one of the most popular areas for Italian holidays. Its natural beauty is exemplary, and if you love the countryside, wine, history and relaxing, this is the place to go.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany, and it would be a shame to miss out on the city. Here, you will discover some of the finest collections of Renaissance art in the world, as well as attractions like the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio (great for shopping) and more.
The wines are famous far and wide, especially Chianti, and the cuisine is delicious. You will also find that the region is rich in World Heritage Sites.
Umbria is one of the smaller regions of Italy, making it even easier to travel around. It is landlocked, so there are no beaches here, but it is never hard to travel to the beach in a neighbouring region like Lazio or Tuscany.
The landscape is one of the biggest draws here. It is mainly mountainous and hilly, containing some of the most beautiful areas of the Apennines. Places to discover include Perugia, Spoleto, a stunning hill town, Assisi, and Lake Trasimeno, one of the largest lakes in Italy.
Abruzzo is only 80 kilometres from Rome, making it an easy area to explore if you start your holiday in the capital. With the Adriatic Sea to the east, you will enjoy enjoy 150 kilometres of beaches, and further inland the landscape is mountainous. For beach holidays mixed in with a bit of walking in the countryside, it is hard to beat.
The fishing town of Vasto is one of the most popular destinations, so you may want to start here. Alternatively, head to the region in the winter and visit one of over 20 ski resorts.
You can see why I love this country, yes? When planning your trip, you can choose one region of Italy and spend your entire vacation exploring it, or you can pick a few different ones and travel through them, spending a few nights in each destination. This is very easy to do in Italy, because the transportion is excellent – one train ride and BOOM! You’re there! My recommendation? Pick one of the above areas, or choose a few of them, and start planning your trip IMMEDIATELY 😉