Looking for the best Italy summer destinations? Here is a complete list of the best places worth seeing, as recommended by travel bloggers from their experience.
I’ve studied, worked, and lived in Italy and have since then traveled back extensively. From the north to the south, east to west, I’ve traveled through most of Italy’s regions and have seen some even more than once. I couldn’t help but fall in love with all the small hidden villages, pristine beaches, delicious food, and colorful buildings.
There is so much you can see and do in Italy, that I can understand it is hard to choose only one place or region to visit.
So let’s see which are the best summer destinations you should not miss this summer!
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The Best Italy Summer Destinations
The Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular Italian destinations, and that’s for a good reason. The perfect destination during spring, summer, and fall, there are plenty of things worth seeing and doing.
The closest airport to the Amalfi Coast is Naples International Airport, and you can easily get to the coastline by train and bus, or boat (depending on the place you choose to stay in).
During summer you can explore some of the beautiful islands around, hike one of the scenic paths, enjoy the beach, go on a wine-tasting tour, step back in time at Pompei and Herculaneum, and sip some wine on a boat for sunset. Even though summer is the most popular time for visiting the Amalfi Coast, you can still plan your visit on a budget.
You can either choose to stay in Sorrento or Positano, or go for the smaller villages such as Cetara, Minori, or Vietri sul Mare.
One of the Italian hidden gems, Puglia is a region popular with locals and less so with foreigners. Places like Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, or Osturi are starting to gain interest, but you can still skip the crowds by going there, even during summer.
Land at Bari international airport, rent a car and drive around marvelous Puglia. From cities at the sea, pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear water, to historical sights and cities filled with personality, you will find it all in Puglia.
Choose to stay in a trullo – a traditional stone house with a special design, in Alberobello or Locorotondo. Or stay by the sea in charming Monopoli.
Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
If you’re looking to escape to Northern Italy for the summer, consider making your way to Milan, the bustling city that’s just a 3-hour train ride away from Rome! This city is widely proclaimed as the fashion capital of Europe and offers a myriad of fun activities to do!
For starters, the city is home to a couple of incredible architectural marvels! The most popular of the bunch is the Milano Duomo, which is the 5th largest Christian church in the world and serves as a magnificent example of Gothic architecture! Another attraction worth visiting is Sforzesco Castle, which used to be a medieval fortification and dates back to the 15th century. Today, visitors will find different museums and pieces of artwork there as well as a lovely park perfect for an afternoon stroll surrounding the exterior!
And when you’re ready to taste the fine Italian food, you can make your way to the Navigli district. This is the city’s most lively area, lined with a canal and plenty of restaurants and bars to dine or socialize at. Just be sure to try out dishes like risotto alla Milanese or Milanese meatballs for a true taste of the city!
So, if you’re ready to spend your summer vacation in the vibrant city of Milan, you can fly into Malpensa Airport and take the express train directly into the city.
And for places to stay, check out VIU Hotel Milan. The 5-star luxury hotel offers amazing amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible!
Alexx Hayward at Finding Alexx
The Dolomites mountains in northern Italy, right on the border of Austria, are a super popular summer destination thanks to an endless network of walking trails, mountain huts with stunning views, a variety of outdoor adventures, and charming alpine towns to discover too.
The Dolomites area comes to more than 6,000 square miles in total, with loads of villages to choose from as a base, but the two main gateway towns are Bolzano to the west and Cortina d’Ampezzo to the east. Bolzano has its own small airport with a few direct flights from other parts of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, and more, but the more popular airports to fly into are Venice, Milan, or Innsbruck in Austria, all within 2-4 hours by car, bus or train. There are plenty of accommodation options throughout the Dolomites, from fancy wellness hotels like ADLER Spa Resort to quaint village guesthouses to back-to-basics rifugios (mountain huts) for hikers on multi-day treks.
Once you get into the mountains, your opportunities for things to do are pretty much unlimited! There are walking tracks for all fitness levels as well as mountain biking trails if you prefer exploring at a faster pace. For a non-physical adventure, you can take it easy with a cable car trip to some of the best viewing platforms and rifugios, or simply enjoy a road trip with stops at famous places like Lago di Braies, Lago di Carezza and the St Magdalena church viewpoint. And if you want to get out of your comfort zone, a via ferrata climb needs to be on your bucket list.
If you want to indulge in the Dolomites cuisine, you’re in for a treat, because this region boasts a mix of Italian, Austrian, and German flavors. Rest and recuperate with a hearty meal in a rifugio mid-hike (Rifugio Averau is one of the best), enjoy creative pasta dishes at Pasta Lab in Bolzano, or treat yourself to some fine dining at St. Hubertus in San Cassiano.
Callie From Counting Our Footsteps
Bolzano is an ideal summer destination in Italy. Located right in the north of Italy, Bolzano is the capital city of the region of South Tyrol. It has the perfect combination of history, culture, nature, and Italian magic.
The city sits within a valley surrounded by the impressive Dolomite Mountains. This makes it the perfect city to visit for those who love nature and adventures. Not to mention the Austrian Alps are only a short drive away for some more incredible hiking.
Bolzano is well connected to the rest of Italy and even Europe via its central train station and Bolzano Airport.
Bolzano has a rich and diverse history which can be seen in its colorful architecture and various historic sites such as the Gothic-Style Cathedral. Perhaps the thing that makes Bolzano most unique is its blended history with neighboring Austria. You will get to see a mix of Austrian and Italian cultures in the city and German is also commonly spoken.
One of the most fascinating things to do in Bolzano is to visit the Museum of Archaeology and see the famous ‘Ice man’ Mummy. If you are looking for a little more Italian romance, then head to the nearby lake Caldaro for a refreshing swim, scenic boat ride, and sunset picnic.
When visiting Bolzano the best area to stay is the historic town centre. Arte Apartments are sleek, modern apartments right in the heart of the town giving you the perfect place to base yourself. For some of the best pizza in town make sure to visit Spizzico, they also have a great rooftop dining area to enjoy the city views.
Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina
Trento is a city located at the heart of the Alps in northern Italy.
Pleasant temperatures and delightful natural landscapes make Trento a trendy place to be in the hotter summer months.
For over 2000 years, it served as an important base at the start of the Dolomite mountain range. Nobles from Austria, Italy, and Germany called the city of Colors their home. This is mirrored in the medieval Venetian-style architecture of the castle overlooking the old town, as well as in the various palaces such as the Palace Thun and the legendary Fugger Galasso devil’s palace in the old town. Intricate mural paintings and cobbled streets add to the charm of this unique Italian city.
One of the best ways to enjoy the city as a couple from above is to take a cable car ride up to the Sardagna hill summit. Nature lovers will appreciate the Orrido di Ponte Alto gorge with its profound gorges and gushing wild mountain river.
Discover many more fun attractions in Trento. An eventful day in the Italian Alps deserves a beautiful meal in the Pizzeria da Albert in the old town and warrants a relaxed stroll through the old town to get a gelato at Gelatomania.
Getting to Trento is easy thanks to the international airport in Verona. Take a one-hour train from Verona to Trento or rent a car to drive up the stunning mountains roads to Trento, the choice is all yours.
La Maddalena, Sardinia
Claudia Tavani, Strictly Sardinia
Italians all agree that with its pristine beaches and clear emerald waters Sardinia is the best summer holiday destination in the country. Some of the best beaches in Sardinia are actually located on the northeast of the island, in La Maddalena Archipelago.
Also a national park, La Maddalena is made of a myriad of islands (one of them aptly named La Maddalena), mostly uninhabited and all protected. Here, you can spend your time beach hopping. The best way to enjoy the incredibly transparent waters of La Maddalena Archipelago is on a boat tour; but some beaches such as Cala Coticcio – locally referred to as Little Tahiti – can only be reached via a guided hike.
For a romantic evening, grab a perfectly mixed gin cocktail at Punta Tegge bar and watch the sun set behind the sea.
La Maddalena can be reached by ferry from Palau: car ferries depart every 15 minutes throughout the day. The closest airport is Olbia Costa Smeralda, which is about 45 minutes south of Palau.
Accommodation options abound in La Maddalena island, but if you want a good compromise between self-catering and the services of a hotel (ie a delicious breakfast every morning, and the option of booking guided tours), consider staying at Hotel Villa del Parco, which offers small self-catering apartments. There are many restaurants too. Locals swear by the Trattoria Dal Genovese, where you can sample genuine fish and seafood dishes.
Tuscia Region, Lazio
Claudia Tavani, My Adventures Across The World
The region of Tuscia comprises northern Lazio, southern Tuscany, and bits of Umbria. While most foreign travelers will certainly know about Civita di Bagnoregio, internationally famous as the dying city, and Orvieto, famous for its beautiful Duomo, Tuscia actually has much more to offer.
Use Viterbo, the capital, as a base to explore the rest of the region. You will need a car to move around as public transportation here is a bit lacking. In Viterbo, make sure to check out the Palazzo dei Papi, where the first Conclave in history took place; and the beautiful Duomo right next to it. Go for a walk along Corso Italia and grab a gelato at the legendary Chiodo: it only offers three flavors, but they are intensely creamy.
From Viterbo, head out on day trips to explore the rest of the region. Visit Bolsena – the small town and the lake that goes by the same name. Take time to explore Celleno Borgo Fantasma, a less crowded alternative to Civita di Bagnoregio where, contrary to the latter, the historical town had to be completely abandoned in the 1950s. The most romantic sight will definitely be the sunset over the lovely Vitorchiano, a small town about 15 minutes from Viterbo. For a fancy dinner, you may want to stop at Michelin-starred Casa Iozia: it’s not cheap, but the service is spot on, and the food is innovative and full of flavor.
The closest airport to Viterbo is Fiumicino. From there, it will take you about 1.5 hours to reach Viterbo.
One of the nicest places to stay in town is Gallo Nero, a small locally run guesthouse at the far end of San Pellegrino, Viterbo’s historic district.
The nicest restaurant in town is definitely Al Vecchio Orologio: here you can sample dishes of the local tradition with a modern twist.
Louisa at EatingAroundItaly.com
Bagno Vignoni is located in the heart of the Italian countryside, surrounded by the most iconic Tuscany views, most luxurious natural hot springs and filled with some of the best food and drink you will have in Italy.
The town by its central Renaissance-style square was built around the enormous hot springs pool originally built and enjoyed by the Romans.
This Tuscan town is best known for not only its iconic piazza but also the many natural hot springs surrounding it. You can either choose to enjoy the hot springs and their therapeutic health benefits in one of the many luxurious spa centers or you can bathe in the rich waters just outside the main square (you cannot swim in the main pool in the piazza).
To enjoy the free thermal waters, follow the small canals leading out of the main square and down the cliff to enjoy the up to 50° thermal water. Just beyond, you will come to the first large pool. Explore beyond for even more pools of various sizes. For a more intimate experience, book a couples massage and spa treatment followed by a romantic aperitivo overlooking the main square.
For a more luxurious and romantic experience, book a night at the Adler Spa Resort Thermae, a 5 star resort equipped with indoor and outdoor pools and a full spa. Enjoy the natural hot springs with the perks of your room, sweeping view of the Val D’Orcia and an amazing restaurant all in one place. For a more affordable option, choose Hotel Le Terme, located in the main square overlooking the ancient Roman pool of Bagno Vignoni.
Eat at Osteria del Leone, just off the main square. Enjoy typical Tuscan fares such as pici all’aglione, tagliatelle con tarfufi and stewed rabbit or guinea hen. Keep in mind the menu changes periodically depending on the season and availability.
You will need a car to arrive in Bagno Vignoni. The best solution is to fly either to Rome or Florence, rent a car directly at the airport and drive. It’s about 2 hours South of Florence, passing through Montepulciano and Pienza, or about 2.5 hours North of Rome, passing through Chianciano Terme.
Zi from Craving Adventure
Located in Lombardy, northern Italy, Lake Como is the perfect destination for a summer retreat. The lake’s deep blue waters are embraced by lush green mountains, providing a stunning backdrop for your adventures.
Lake Como is the perfect place for romance, with charming towns like Bellagio and Varenna where you can stroll hand in hand through picturesque streets, filled with colorful houses and delightful shops. You can also take a leisurely boat ride on the lake or simply relax on one of the lake’s lovely beaches or find a cozy spot along the shore for a romantic picnic.
For a truly remarkable stay at Lake Como choose the exquisite Grand Hotel Tremezzo. This luxurious lakeside hotel offers unparalleled views of the lake.
Lake Como is also a haven for food lovers, offering mouthwatering Italian cuisine. Indulge in fresh seafood, homemade pasta, and heavenly desserts at Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio or Il Gatto Nero in Cernobbio.
The closest airport is Milan Malpensa, and from there, it’s an easy drive or train ride to the lake.
If you’re visiting Milan, Lake Como makes for an excellent day trip. Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and fall in love with the beauty, serenity, and romance that Lake Como has to offer.
Valentina from Valentina’s Travel Guide
A fantastic city most travelers don’t know about is the beautiful city of Trieste. Located on the northeast side of Italy, Trieste has been described as the hidden gem of the Adriatic Sea. Built by the Austo-Hungarian empire, it is a mittel-European city where many influences have been mixed to create something you cannot find anywhere else.
From the Austrian architecture visible all around the city to the culture and food you will love to taste. From Hungarian and Austrian to the famous Italian cuisine, you will find so many new dishes you must move there to try them all. An unmissable dish in Trieste is “pasta alla Busara,” spaghetti with a delicious crayfish or lobster sauce. One of the best restaurants to try is the Al Nuovo Antico Pavone.
Trieste is also famous for the Barcolana, an annual regatta that attracts thousands of sailors and tourists worldwide to assist in this incredible event.
The sailing race takes place in the Gulf of Trieste and is known for its exceptional starting line, formed by boats stretching across the bay. The Barcolana is a beloved tradition in Trieste and a must-see event for anyone visiting the city.
One of the most romantic things to do in Trieste is to have an Aperitivo in the central city square, Piazza Unita’ d’Italia, while looking at the sunset. Trieste has many fantastic hotels, but the most famous one is the Excelsior Palace, located in the city center and offers a stunning sea view.
You can reach Trieste from the local airport, Trieste Ronchi dei Legionari, only 30 minutes by train from Trieste train station or in 2 hours by train from Venice.
Trieste could be the perfect summer destination in Italy if you are looking for a clean sea, delicious food, and the hospitable culture only Italians can offer.
Gaeta is one of the best summer destinations in Italy. Unknown to most international tourists, this hidden gem is the perfect place for a beach vacation.
Gaeta is a city in the province of Latina, in Southern Italy. Gaeta is about 1.5 hours away from Naples, Italy, and 2 hours from Rome. Making it the perfect day trip to the coast.
You can visit 1 of 7 Gaeta beaches. Some are great for scuba diving and snorkeling, while others are known for grottoes with natural springs. One of the most well-known beaches is called 40 Remi because it takes 40-row boat strokes to get to the beach.
A popular tourist site is Montagna Spaccata. This mountain near the sea split in two when Christ was crucified. Many people come here on a religious pilgrimage.
If you are looking for romantic things to do the resorts in the area are incredible. The Grand Hotel Le Rocce is one of the best resorts in the area.
This hotel has beautiful balconies that overlook the ocean. It also has an incredible pool that overlooks the private beach. Not to mention the food served at the resort is so good. This is the perfect place to stay for a summer vacation in Italy.
Gaeta is a fantastic Italian summer destination.
Nestled on Lake Como, the beautiful town of Bellagio in Italy is a great summer destination. Located in the central part of the upside-down Y-shaped lake, Bellagio is easily accessible from Milan. The closest airport is Milan Malpensa Airport, with direct flights from Krakow , Paris, Frankfurt, and many more destinations.
Bellagio is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, with colorful lakeside villas and gardens, and panoramic views of Lake Como. The cobblestone streets are great for leisurely strolls and exploring Italian shopping.
One of the best romantic things to do in Bellagio is to explore the magnificent Villa Melzi Gardens. These stunning gardens boast picturesque pathways with beautiful gardens and flowers, and tranquil lakeside views.
You can also take a romantic boat ride on the lake straight from Bellagio, which is one of the best experiences of being in this city as it is a central hub for boats exploring the water.
The luxurious Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni is an elegant 5-star hotel located in the heart of Bellagio and offers breathtaking views of Lake Como. It has great service which is perfect for couples on a romantic retreat.
La Punta is a renowned waterfront restaurant that offers traditional Italian cuisine. The dishes are made from locally sourced ingredients, and the restaurant itself has panoramic lake views and a romantic ambiance.
In Bellagio, you can also explore charming boutiques and artisan shops where you’ll find unique souvenirs and handmade crafts.
Bellagio really offers a perfect blend of beauty and ambiance that makes for a perfect summer getaway.
Gemma, Two Scots Abroad Travel Guides
While Bellagio is the most famous village at Lake Como for day-trippers and holidaymakers, it gets crowded during the high season and is pricey when it comes to accommodation. Another charming option is to spend time in Menaggio, on the western shore of Lake Como.
Located at the mouth of the river Senagra, visitors can do everything on their Italian lakes bucket list in Menaggio. Such as drinking wine and snacking on aperitivo at Enoteca Re Di Quadri, dining on Italian food at La Grolla Menaggio, hitting a sugar fix from La Fabrica del Gelato, visiting churches like Chiesa di Santa Marta, shopping for local souvenirs at Lavender Shop, and people watching on the main square, Garibaldi.
There’s also a variety of outdoor activities in Menaggio, like sunbathing at the Lido di Menaggio, golfing at Menaggio Cadenabbia, and cycling a refurbished abandoned train track!
One of the most romantic things in Menaggio is to take a boat tour on Lake Como to see the villages and mansions from the water. This private tour is well worth the money on a hot day.
There are many ways to get to Menaggio. Firstly, fly into Milan and drive to Lake Como. Secondly, take the train to Varenna and then a ferry to Menaggio. Or, finally, let professionals organize everything by booking a place on a day trip by bus for a unique thing to do from Milan.
Menaggio has a variety of accommodations for all budgets, including Hotel du Lac, with secure parking, a hostel for backpackers called Lake Como Youth Hostel La Primula, and a campsite.
Michela at She Goes the Distance
Sirmione, a vibrant town on Lake Garda situated on a peninsula that stretches out from the lake’s southern coast, has everything to satisfy your dreams of an Italian summer: nearly 360° views of Italy’s largest lake, a medieval castle surrounded by a turquoise moat home to swans, and a charming village center full of shops and outdoor restaurants.
Sirmione is most easily reached by car – the closest train station is in Desenzano sul Garda and the closest major airport is Verona Villafranca Airport. After you park in the lots right outside of town, you walk up to the Castello Scaligero, Sirmione’s most outstanding landmark and one of Italy’s best-preserved castles, built in the late 1300s. To enter the town center, you must cross the flower-adorned bridge over the castle’s moat and through a stone archway, an experience that truly feels like you are walking back in time.
One of the can’t-miss things to do in Sirmione is walking along the lungolago, a path that starts on Via Dante and passes the romantic Giardino Grazia Deledda, continuing all the way down the shore.
Make your way down to the end of the peninsula where you will find the most unique part of Sirmione, the Grotte di Catullo, an archaeological site of the ruins of a Roman villa.
Nancy at Map and Family
If you’re looking for a romantic Italian getaway that’s a little off the beaten path, then you should check out the lovely Asti. Deep in the heart of Piedmont in northwest Italy, Asti is surrounded by rolling green countryside, dotted with vineyards and hilltop villages. It’s rich in culture and history and is famous for its world-class wine. And Asti even has its own Palio horse race in September, the oldest in Italy. Sounds like Siena in Tuscany? Yes! But without so many tourists.
The medieval town of Asti is set in the wine-growing region known as Langhe, Monferrato, Roero which in 2014 was designated a UNESCO world heritage site for its long tradition of wine production. The sparkling white wine, Asti Spumante is internationally famous, but the region also produces some of the best red wines in Italy like Barbera and Barolo.
And that’s not all, top quality white truffles are found in Monferrato and Langhe. No surprise then that the LMR region has plenty of Michelin-star restaurants! But you will also eat and drink wonderfully well and affordably at lots of Asti’s local restaurants and wineries.
With Asti as a base, you can enjoy life in an authentic Italian town whilst also exploring the surrounding area. You’ll find local food markets packed with super-tasty freshly grown produce, ancient towers, and castles, antique fairs full of treasures, and wineries offering tastings, tours, or picnics in the vineyards.
Further afield you could spend the day in elegant Turin, home of Fiats and fabulous chocolate, with art galleries and boulevards designed for browsing. Or head south to the Ligurian coast and glamorous Portofino or one of its neighbors for a day at the seaside.
How to get to Asti: Fly to Turin, then hire a car, and the journey to Asti takes less than an hour. Cuneo and Milan’s airports also serve the region.
Where to stay: Sunstar Hotel Piemont, is a stylish and romantic boutique hotel on a hillside outside Asti, with panoramic views, a pool, a restaurant, and a wine cellar.
Dhara of It’s Not About the Miles
Located in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, Verona is famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and makes for a charming summer travel destination.
Verona has an airport with flight service from many places in Europe and beyond, or you can arrive by train from a larger city like Venice, Milan, or Bologna.
Verona is truly a romantic city, with beautiful churches and architecture, pretty cobbled streets and flower-bedecked balconies, and excellent food and wine.
Be sure to climb to the top of the Lamberti Tower for views over the orange rooftops of the city, or take the funicular to the Castel San Pietro for expansive views of the city and the Adige River. Step inside the Cathedral of Verona and other churches in the UNESCO-designated historic center.
Stroll the scenic Ponte Pietra or the historic Ponte Scaligero. Browse the stalls in the lively Piazza delle Erbe and explore the Arena, Verona’s well-preserved Roman amphitheater.
Stay in the Hotel NH Collection Palazzo Verona, housed in a 14th-century structure. Enjoy a special meal at the Dari Restaurant and Enoteca: the food is excellent and the wine list is extensive.
Joanna at The World in My Pocket
Venice is one of the most romantic destinations in Italy, if not in the world. There is a certain magic to walking along the canals, riding in a gondola, or enjoying delicious seafood dishes by the water. Getting to Venice is very easy, the city is served by two airports. The low-cost flights usually arrive at Treviso airport, which is about an hour away from the city, by bus. The main airport in Venice is Marco Polo, which is connected both by bus and by boat to the city. Cars are not permitted inside Venice, so you will get dropped off in Piazzale Roma, from where you can either walk or continue by vaporetto to the area where your hotel is.
Whilst a lot of people visit Venice in summer, there are plenty of areas where you can find solitude in the city. Most of the hidden gems in Venice are outside of the beaten path, so don’t be afraid to break away from the crowds and find them. Venice is too small to get lost in it. Don’t miss the Jewish Area, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, or the Corte Nova under passage.
When it comes to accommodation, to experience the charm of the city by night, it’s best to stay overnight here. A great place is Ca San Rocco, a cute B&B close to the train station. For authentic Venetian food head over to Osteria Al Ponte La Patatina, a small restaurant that serves great fish dishes.
Nina of Nina Out and About
Pescara is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in Italy. Located in Abruzzo, the city is a summer hotspot for locals coming down from the mountains to relax beside the beach. The roads are windy and precarious, so when they hit the beach, they are ready for some proper relaxation.
The best way to picture its location is to think of the boot shape of Italy. It’s on the Achilles heel.
This Adriatic coastal town is home to old fortresses, amazing lemon gelato, and locally priced shopping with amazing quality. The main street is closed to traffic so you can stroll along the pavement to the sand without worry of Italian drivers.
To get to the town, you can rent a car and drive 7 minutes northwest. Or you can take a 26 minute bus – although it’s not usually on time.
The most romantic thing to do is to pack a picnic and head to the beach. Or head to Da Bacone for beachside dining if you don’t want to get sandy.
The local fish is incredible so be sure to order some!
There aren’t a ton of hotels in the city. Hotel Maja is the best spot for beach access. Otherwise, it’s best to get a B&B or homestay. Italians tend to stay in resorts or just come down for a day trip. Hotels book up fast in the summer, so be sure to plan ahead or book a B&B instead.
Sarah at In Search of Sarah
If you’re seeking a city in Italy that’s ideal to visit during the summer, head to Bologna! This historic city, located in northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, is not as frequented by tourists as other destinations such as Rome or Venice, but has a plethora of amazing things to do.
Bologna is easily reachable from Rome Fiumicino Airport or Venice Marco Polo Airport by high-speed train in 2 hours. However, if flights are available from your location, Bologna also has its own international airport!
From historic architecture, incredible food, and a variety of unique things to see and do, Bologna offers something for everyone. Italians flock to Bologna for the ancient food markets and culinary scene, so you’re guaranteed to have an authentic Italian gastronomical experience!
For those seeking some romantic things to do, head for the rolling hills up to San Luca for some of the best views of Bologna. There are also numerous opportunities to do food tours, winery tours, and even a hot air balloon ride! These tours are best done during the summer to take advantage of the warm evenings, favorable weather, and later sunsets.
No trip to Bologna would be complete without sampling the amazing dishes that the ancient city is known for. There are a number of intimate and romantic restaurants to dine at to sample Ragù Bolognese, tortellini, balsamico di Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano, and lasagne. The top recommendations are Antica Osteria La Mura and Ristorante Al Sangiovese. Reservations are highly recommended.
For a comfortable night’s sleep with fantastic amenities, check into Attico di Via D’Azeglio, just a 10-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore. Plush accommodations offer views of the terracotta rooftops and mountains and include breakfast at a local cafe.
Helen at Helen on her Holidays
Ischia is a small island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, with everything you could possibly want in a summer destination.
A 90-minute journey by bus and fast ferry from Naples airport will see you arrive in Ischia Porto, the main port; from there everything on the island is within just a few miles by bus or taxi.
The area between Ischia Porto and Ischia Ponte on the north coast of the island is a popular place to stay, with lots of hotels, easy access to transportation around the island, and plenty of shops and restaurants.
Ischia has been famous since ancient times for its thermal baths. The island is volcanic, and warm volcanic waters bubble to the surface at around 100 thermal springs across the island. Many hotels have their own thermal spas, or you can enjoy the islands’ hot springs at the Negombo thermal park; spending the day dipping into Negombo’s 14 pools set in lush gardens with beautiful views is wonderfully romantic.
Other things to do in Ischia include visiting the island’s two internationally-renowned gardens, seeing the gorgeous village of Sant’Angelo, relaxing on the island’s beaches, and visiting Castello Aragonese, a castle that perches on a rocky islet.
Ischia is also blessed with some of the best food and wine you’ll have anywhere in Italy. Everything tastes fresh and delicious, and even the simplest foods like bruschetta are out of this world. For an outstanding taste experience, visit Garden Fruit Ischia in Ischia Ponte; part greengrocer, part restaurant, and totally mouthwatering.
Alex and Leah at Alex and Leah on Tour
Without a doubt one of the best Italian Summer Destinations you can visit is Portofino.
Situated on the Italian Riviera coastline, Portofino is popular with the rich and famous but it’s surprisingly affordable if you’re looking to take a day trip to this beautiful fishing village.
Even though Portofino is littered with designer shops, the main attraction is the harbor and the variety of restaurants that encompass the famous Piazza Martini dell Olivetta square. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find some top-quality restaurants serving some incredible food, as you would expect. Whether it’s fresh fish, handmade pasta and pizza or an Aperol Spritz, Piazza Martini has it all! Soto opera has all of this in abundance and it won’t disappoint.
This has to be up there as one of the most romantic things to do, nothing beats having a late lunch whilst people-watching with a stunning background.
However, if you enjoy a more romantic walk, why not head down the harbor itself where you can look back on the picturesque village itself and admire its beauty? Alternatively, there’s always to short climb up to the Castello San Giorgio that has unrivaled views over the Riveria.
The nearest airport is Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo and it’s very easy to get to Portofino. Simply hop on the train to the Santa Margherita Ligure train station. Right outside the station is the 782 bus stop to Portofino!
If you’re looking for a hotel nearby, Hotel Piccolo has you covered. The views are out of this world and the staff will make sure you have a stay to remember!
Denise at ChefDenise
Located in western Tuscany, Lucca is one of the best destinations in Italy to visit during the summer. Just a half hour from the beautiful beaches of Viareggio, you’ll want to hit the coast for some fun in the sun. Summer is also the perfect time to explore the Tuscan hills when the grape vines are full of fruit just before harvest.
However, there are so many things to do in Lucca, including a summer festival in July, that you may decide not to leave the city. Lucca is surrounded by medieval walls which cars can only enter with a permit. The walls are one of the greatest attractions and walking the path on top of them is a great way to get acquainted with the city and see the many towers the city is known for.
Take time to linger in the Piazza Anfiteatro, a perfect spot for history and architecture enthusiasts. This square retains the shape of the ancient amphitheater that once stood in its place. You can still see some of the ruins at the entries.
Stay at the Grand Universe Lucca conveniently located in the Piazza del Giglio near the Piazza Napoleon. From here you can walk to most of the highlights and many of the best restaurants in Lucca like Buca di Sant’Antonio and Michelin-starred Ristorante Giglio right next door.
Lucca is easy to get to, thanks to its proximity to two major airports, Pisa International Airport, and Florence Airport. From the airports, visitors can easily reach Lucca by train.
Yesenia from The Sisters Voyage
If you’re planning a summer vacation in Italy, adding Sperlonga to your summer itinerary is a must-do! This hidden Italian gem offers a romantic ambiance and a delightful escape from the busy city life of Rome.
To get to Sperlonga by plane, the most conveniently located airport is Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. From there, you can hop on a train or rent a car to embark on a stunning journey along the Italian coastline.
The Grand Hotel La Playa is a great place to stay that offers gorgeous views of the sea and has a romantic atmosphere. This 4-star hotel is near the beachfront and has lounger chairs, sea views, and a pool.
Once you arrive in Sperlonga, explore the historic city center and take a moment to note the cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed houses that look like they are straight from a postcard. In the afternoon, walk to the Piazzetta, a lively and culture-filled area with yummy cafes and restaurants.
Regarding romance, Sperlonga’s beaches provide the perfect setting for romantic sceneries. Find a secluded spot on the beach, set up your beach towel, and relax with a loved one as you sunbathe, then grab some delicious local wine and enjoy aperitivo during sunset.
If you’re hungry, head to Il Porticciolo, a popular restaurant in Sperlonga. Indulge in beyond-amazing seafood dishes, such as fresh fish and mussels, to flavorful pasta while you take in panoramic sea views. When you’re done with your food, grab some decadent desserts or sip on an Aperol Spritz while enjoying the coastal scenery.
Spring in Italy – the top destinations
Winter in Italy – destinations & events
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