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Despite the insanely hot weather and hordes of tourists, there’s no better place to spend your summer than in Italy.
I’ve spent several summers in Italy and dream of this time of year.
The sun doesn’t set until late in the evening. There are numerous beautiful beaches for you to visit and enjoy.
And, many Italian cities host festivals throughout the summer, so you’ll be surrounded by even more history and culture than you usually are.
Not to mention the exceptional summer foods featuring the sweetest produce you’ve ever tasted (usually locally grown) and cones upon cones of creamy gelato.
If you’re looking for places to visit in Italy in summer, you’ll find that while major cities like Rome and Florence are always amazing, they’re also always packed with people.
These are some of the top summer destinations in Italy where you can experience la dolce vita outside of the main recommendations.
Top Italy Summer Destinations
Corvara in Badia
Region: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
Corvara in Badia, a small Ladin village, is nestled in the Dolomites in the north of Italy and is best known for its winter skiing. But it’s just as impressive in the summer months – or even more so!
Corvara has something for everyone on a summer trip. Hikers can head in any direction and find some of the most spectacular hikes on the planet! Take the Col Alt gondola up to Pralongia plateau for a relaxing walk with views in every direction. For a challenging hike, make your way by foot and gondola to Puez Hütte.
Cyclists can participate in the Maratona dles Dolomites, one of Italy’s prime cycling gran fondo, attracting cyclists from around the globe.
Gran fondo (n.) – Originated in Italy. A long-distance road cycling event in which a large number of cyclists ride a marked route.Accessed june 14, 2020 from lexico
If you’re not competitive, take advantage of Dolomites Bike Day, when a loop of scenic roads is closed to cars for the day.
Families will love taking the cable car up to the SummerPark La Crusc from the nearby town of Badia. While the little ones are playing, mom and dad can relax with a refreshing skiwasser, an alcohol-free Südtirol soda!
Foodies should take advantage of the area’s abundance of Michelin-star restaurants, including La Stüa de Michil in town. Take the cable car up to Rifugio Col Alt for incredible dining in a mountain hut.
Corvara is best reached by car as part of the scenic Great Dolomites Road, which stretches from Bolzano to Cortina. If you’re without wheels, you can reach it with the excellent public bus system that runs through the Dolomites region.
Corvara has an abundance of excellent hotels – some in town and others in the surrounding area. Head to the luxury-level Hotel La Perla (Booking | Hotels) for a luxurious stay in the city. If you prefer an apartment stay, book Residence Villa al Sole.
By Candice Criscione from Mom In Italy
Region: Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
Although Bolzano in winter is beautiful, this city in the Italian Alps is one of the top Italy summer destinations.
Imagine where there’s usually snow, rolling hills of lush green grass.
It is totally encircled by the Dolomite Mountains, which means you can enjoy great outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing any time of year.
Wander through the city’s cobblestone streets, window shopping, and stop for a bite to eat at a café. You can also visit several Gothic-style buildings still standing from the Middle Ages.
The Renon funicular is the best way to see Bolzano’s magnificent views. You’ll fly high above the city into the mountains, capturing fantastic scenery of the peaks and the town below.
It’s also a great city to visit if you love outdoor adventures! Surrounded by the Dolomite Mountains, you’ll find skiing and snowshoeing here in the winter. But in the summer, there are numerous hiking and trekking trails through the mountains and nearby lakes.
Book a hotel at the Stadt Hotel Città (Booking | Hotels) if you’re interested in an elegant stay in Bolzano. This 4-star hotel in the heart of town, near Piazza Walther, provides luxurious amenities such as spa services, a steam room, and a sauna.
Region: The Veneto
Yes, Venice is one of Italy’s BIG THREE–Rome, Florence, and Venice–which means it’s pretty crowded during the summer months. However, it’s still definitely worth seeing in the summer. Venice is the only one built entirely on islands on the Adriatic Coast, which means you’re surrounded by outstanding ocean views.
For almost 1,000 years, the UNESCO World Heritage Site city was home to La Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic of Venice. Now, as the capital of the Veneto region, there are so many incredible things to do in Venice, many of which are perfect for Italy in summer.
Wander down the city’s narrow streets to get from one landmark to the next. Climb to the top of the San Marco Campanile and see the whole city beneath you, including the Basilica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale.
If you’re spending 2 days in Venice, you can take a boat trip to one of the outlying islands like colorful Burano or glassmaking Murano. You can even take the Vaporetto to the Lido for a beach holiday while visiting Venice.
Or, you can take an easy day trip to Venice from Florence, if you don’t have can’t spend more than one day in the coastal city.
There are also several excellent wine tours from Venice that will take you up into the UNESCO-protected Prosecco region. You can learn more about the bubbly white and taste test different versions of the wine to refresh on hot summer days.
Region: The Veneto
Verona, the gorgeous “City of Love,” is a fabulous place to visit any time of the year. Still, although it will be crowded, summer is a great time to visit.
Rise early to visit Juliet’s house and shout “Romeo, where for art thou Romeo” from the balcony. Enjoy a coffee or something more substantial from one of the many cafes, bars, and restaurants in the main square, Piazza Bra.
Climb to the top of the Torre dei Lamberti for an incredible 360-degree view of Verona, then discover the local markets.
It’s summer; it’s hot, so the perfect excuse to enjoy a delicious gelato from one of the many ice cream parlors. Also, take a trip to the nearby vineyards for the fabulous Valpolicella wines, especially the Amarone.
But what makes Verona really special in the summer is the annual opera festival. You don’t have to be an opera fan to enjoy this incredible performance in a Roman amphitheater.
If a three-hour opera is too much for you, buying a last-minute ticket on the day is usually possible. That way, you have a chance to experience the venue and the atmosphere, and you can always sneak out during an intermission. If you plan to stay for the whole experience, consider bringing a cushion. They will be on sale near the venue.
The summer evenings are also the perfect time to enjoy dining outdoors or wander around the picturesque city streets of Verona.
Getting to Verona is easy. There’s an airport just 12 kilometers from the city. Or take the train. Verona’s station is located on both the Milan – Venice line (east-west) and the Bologna – Brenner (north-south) rail lines. From the station, it’s just a short walk into town or take a bus or taxi.
There is accommodation to suit all budgets in Verona. Consider staying at the Hotel Giulietta e Romeo (Booking | Hotels), located in the historic center, just a short walk from the Arena.
By Sarah Wilson from Life Part 2 And Beyond
Limone Sul Garda
Region: The Veneto
Limone Sul Garda is a lovely little town perched on the hillside above Lake Garda. It’s the perfect place to stay and have a laid-back Italian vacation. Although Lake Garda is beautiful any time of the year, visiting in a summer month with the warm weather allows you to enjoy many of the outdoor activities that Lake Garda has to offer.
A unique way to explore Lake Garda is to hire a boat from Limone. Head out to see one of the many stunning waterfalls around Lake Garda or visit the world-famous James Bond tunnel.
Sticking to the water topic, you can also enjoy a wide range of water-based things to do in Limone Sul Garda, from windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet skiing, sailing, or paddle boarding.
When you are in the mood for some history, there are two churches that you must visit, especially if staying in Limone.
The baroque church, Chiesa di San Benedetto is wonderfully peaceful with spectacular views that make the little uphill walk to get here worthwhile. The inside of the church isn’t the most impressive; however, be sure to come check out the church at night as it is illuminated and looks so pretty!
On the other hand, Chiesa San Rocco in Limone has beautiful art and historical architecture that you can admire.
Hire a car and travel around the lake, exploring all the beautiful towns and sites if you are voting Lake Garda for a few days.
The Madonna Della Corona, built in 1625, is a must-see! The church’s location is a view not to be missed, and the church itself is also stunning, with ornate dedications and a lovely steeple.
To enjoy the fresh air, pop over to Monte Baldo for the day (by car or ferry). There is an excellent hike up Monte Baldo with kid-friendly routes, or you can even take the cable car and admire the wild nature and stunning views.
One of the best places to stay in Limone Sul Garda is the Appartamento Delux Villa Castellois. Not only is it spacious, but it also has 3 different balconies giving you the most breathtaking views of Lake Garda.
If you are traveling with kids, a great way to break up the many days of exploring the sites of Lake Garda is to visit Gardaland Theme Park, which has rides for the whole family.
By Jolene Ejmont from Wanderlust Storytellers
Region: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
A small city in the foothills of the Alps in northeastern Italy, Udine has not yet been discovered by many tourists. Ruled by the Venetians for many centuries, the town center has a square and a city hall that is a smaller version of Venice’s Palazzo Ducale and Piazza San Marco. Overlooking the town, they also built a large castle here in the 16th century.
Udine also has a long artistic history as the second home of famous Italian artist Tiepolo. Nowadays, there is also a fantastic modern art museum.
Due to its location, Udine was ruled by the Venetians and the Austrians. There are also Slovenian powers. This mix of cultures is best seen in its food which is a fusion of all three influences. The region is also well known for its wines. Italian beer brand Moretti was founded in Udine.
Staying in Udine is convenient for visiting many of the nearby attractions of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia province. For example, the little town of San Daniele del Friuli is famous throughout Italy for its prosciutto. Nearby also are the sandy beaches of the summer resort of Grado and the grand Roman ruins of Alquilea.
Udine’s elevated location makes a refreshing change in summer from the oppressive heat that envelops the rest of Italy. Although hot, the temperatures are still moderate enough to be enjoyed outside during the day.
By Shobha George from Just Go Places
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Lago di Como
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Italy in the summer, you can’t miss Lake Como. Located in Northern Italy, this beautiful lake is surrounded by picturesque villages, dramatic mountains, and lush gardens.
Although visiting Lake Como is a great idea year-round, summertime is arguably the best season to go. From June to August, the weather is warm and sunny, making it the perfect time to enjoy all the lake has to offer, from swimming and sunbathing to hiking and exploring.
There are several different ways to enjoy Lake Como on a summer getaway. One popular option is to take a ferry ride around the lake. This is a great way to see the other villages and attractions that dot the shoreline.
Bellagio is undoubtedly the most famous village on Lake Como, and it’s well worth a visit. This pretty lakeside town is known for its flowers, luxury hotels, and stunning views. You also can’t miss visiting Varenna, one of Italy’s most romantic towns.
Of course, no trip to Lake Como would be complete without spending some time relaxing on the beach. There are many different beaches to choose from, each with its unique atmosphere.
When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of great options in Lake Como. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, you’ll want to stay in one of the many 5-star hotels that line the shore. Alternatively, there are also a number of more affordable options, such as apartments and guesthouses.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Lake Como is sure to have something for everyone. If you’re visiting for the first time, it’s worth spending at least 3 days in Lake Como to fully experience all it has to offer.
By Kriszti from She Wanders Abroad
Portofino is a tiny–and incredibly beautiful–town on the Italian Riviera. It is a common playground for the rich and famous, who often moor their yachts and sailing boats in and near the bay.
The town is centered around the Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta, the large plaza at the end of the marina. It’s surrounded by colorful buildings and cafes – the perfect place to sit and enjoy a drink in Italy while people-watching, with views of the Ligurian coast.
There are plenty of restaurants and shops, but there are other attractions too. If you like to hike, the two-hour hike up the hills into Portofino Regional Park, around the cliffs, and down to the secret San Fruttuoso Bay is a highlight. There is a former abbey in the tiny cove, several restaurants, and a beach to relax on. You can take a ferry back to Portofino.
A steep–but short–walk in the opposite direction takes you up to Castello Brown, where there are breathtaking views over Portofino and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. The area is stunning in the summer. To take full advantage of the water and weather, take a boat cruise, a snorkeling trip, or splurge on a private cruise.
Another place not to miss is the gorgeous La Cervara. The highlight of visiting the former abbey is the incredible gardens–the only preserved Italian Renaissance-style garden on the Italian Riviera–overlooking the sea.
For a splurge, the sensational Splendido Hotel (Booking | Hotels) is hard to beat. The service is impeccable, and the views are to die for.
You can drive to Portofino, take a ferry from Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure, or take a connecting bus from the Santa Margherita Ligure train station.
By James Ian from Travel Collecting
Cinque Terre, meaning “The Five Towns” in Italian, is a string of centuries-old coastal villages on the Italian Riviera. The five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, are all uniquely beautiful and worth visiting in their own right.
Among the five villages, the most popular are Vernazza, Manarola, and Monterosso. Manarola is the most well-liked by Europeans, Monterosso is best for traveling families, and Vernazza is the most famous overall.
The Santa Marta Hotel in Vernazza is the most iconic place to stay in Cinque Terre. Their rooms are modern and have AC (not always guaranteed in Italy!) and a view of the harbor.
For budget travelers, there are also some fantastic hostels like 5 Terre Backpackers City in La Spezia, the gateway town to the five villages.
Cinque Terre has been around for hundreds of years, originally each a small fishing village before Italy’s tourism economy boomed in the 20th century. A location not only beautiful but also rich in history, there are documents dating back to the 11th century that mentions Cinque Terre by name!
It’s easy to get to Cinque Terre via Italy’s railway system. Trains come in multiple times a day from major transportation hubs Milan, Florence, and Rome, with the closest city being Genoa.
There is also a special train called the Cinque Terre Express that only operates between the five villages. The train runs every 15 minutes from 5 AM – Midnight in the summer months.
You can also walk from one village to another by taking the “Sentiero Azzurro,” a hiking trail connecting the villages.
Cinque Terre is an iconic vacation spot that will delight any traveler visiting Italy this summer.
By Katie from Katie Caf Travel
Region: Emilia Romagna
Another beautiful city on the Adriatic Coast, Rimini is famous for far more than its stunning shoreline.
The ancient Etruscans founded Rimini sometime before the 6th century B.C.E., but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the town became known for its rich cultural heritage. Gothic artist Giotto inspired the School of Rimini for artists, and he painted one of his famous crucifixions for the Santa Maria Novella Church. This city is also the birthplace of iconic Golden Age Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini.
During World War II, Rimini was heavily targeted and suffered heavy damage; however, the rebuilding they did after the war helped transform the city into the seaside paradise it is today.
Lay out on the city’s long stretch of golden sandy beach lined with luxury hotels, which starts from Parco Federico Fellini and extends the entire length of the town. If you have adventure-seekers with you, they’ll love playing around at Fiabilandia water and theme park, or riding La Ruota Panoramica ferris wheel.
Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, head into the city center to see some Ancient Roman landmarks like Ponte di Tiberio and Arco d’Augostso. And for Fellini aficionados, check out the Grand Hotel (Booking | Hotels), which he featured in Amarcord (1973), his memoir film, and his section inside the Rimini City Museum.
If you want to stay right on the water, Hotel Panama Majestic (Booking | Hotels) is a great option. It offers spacious suites with free Wi-Fi throughout, and spa amenities like a fitness center, sauna, and two rooftop hot tubs.
Viareggio is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy in summer. This dreamlike vacation resort is located on the coast of Tuscany and inspires in so many ways.
On the one hand, you will find one of the longest sandy beaches in Italy here in Viareggio.
On the other hand, the nostalgic bagnos, the so-called beach baths, which line the coast and conjure up a very distinctive summer feeling with their many colorful umbrellas.
The long promenade in Viareggio is unique and especially beautiful in summer, with countless colorful buildings and villas in Art Nouveau style. They are beautifully renovated and give the place its unmistakable flair.
A terrific selection of stores, boutiques, and restaurants along the promenade will delight you. Many locals come here to store, eat or just take an afternoon stroll along the pier. Especially on weekends, it is full of life.
You’ll find plenty of fabulous accommodations in Viareggio. The beautiful old hotels in Art Nouveau style–like the luxurious Hotel Plaza e de Russie (Booking | Hotels) and the charming Hotel President (Booking | Hotels), are both excellent choices for a summer vacation.
Viareggio is easy to reach! The nearest international airport is in Pisa, 30 km away. From there, it’s only a 20-minutes train ride to Viareggio.
By Martina from PlacesofJuma
Montepulciano, Italy, is a beautiful year-round destination, particularly in summer. Located in Southern Tuscany, this medieval hilltop village has much to offer sunny-season visitors, from musical delights to treats for the tastebuds.
July is the time of the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, the region’s annual International Art Workshop. Featuring top Italian performers, this highly-anticipated event will include creativity in all of its forms, from the theater to music, dance, and fine art. It runs for one month in mid-summer, usually in July. You can find more information on this year’s festival on their website.
In addition, since Montepulciano is renowned for its red wine, summer is the perfect time to sip and savor the delicious fruits of the region. Fortunately, August brings Calici di Stelle, the ultimate wine lover’s dream event.
Held around numerous Italian regions, Montepulciano is one of the best places to join in the festivities. You’ll select from one of six venues to enjoy your vino, including a lovely loggiato, a gorgeous garden, a sunset terrace, Montepulciano’s main piazza, and more.
Regardless of your destination, you’ll enjoy tastings of local Montepulciano wines, indulge in tasty Tuscan dishes, and dance along to live music. Later in the month, wine enthusiasts can look forward to additional festivities at Montepulciano’s annual wine barrel race.
This fun event features a barrel-rolling competition with competitors from various neighborhoods of Montepulciano.
To reach Montepulciano, you’ll want to fly to any one of the nearby airports, notably Perugia Airport, which is the closest. Alternative cities to consider flying into including Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Bologna. You’ll then want to rent a car to drive into the heart of Tuscany.
While there are many beautiful accommodations in the area – including some of the most romantic wine hotels in Tuscany – Borgo Tre Rose (Booking | Hotels) in Montepulciano is a perfect choice.
By Elena from The Carry-On Chronicles
Since most people only visit Pisa on a half-day trip from Florence, most people don’t experience the other incredible things to do here. You need to make a point of spending at least one day in Pisa.
This lovely Tuscany town on Italy’s coast is most known for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Originally built as a bell tower for the adjoining Cathedral, it began tilting in the 1300s when the second level was added. After climbing to the top, visit the rest of the Piazza dei Miracoli landmarks, like the Cathedral, the Baptistry, and the Cemetary.
Because most people come to view the Leaning Tower, the rest of the city is relatively calm. You’ll have a fantastic time going along the Arno River, which runs straight through town, exploring side streets and discovering great coffee shops and tiny stores around the piazzas.
But the real reason Pisa is a top Italy summer destination is Marina di Pisa. Only 20 minutes west of the city center is the Mediterranean Sea. The sand beaches are beautiful, and you can rent a lounge chair or lay your towel down by the water and relax the day away. There are also tons of great restaurants, nightclubs, and bars that line the waterfront.
Region: Le Marche
If you’re looking for another beautiful Italy summer destination, you need to check out Sirolo. Walking around the city center, you’ll feel transported back to the Middle Ages. The Conti Cortesi family built their castle here during that time.
Whether you prefer relaxing on the beach or more active activities, you can find everything here in Sirolo. There are several gorgeous white beaches with crystal-clear blue water. Spiaggia San Michele is adjacent to Spiaggia Urbani, offering cabanas and beach chairs for rent.
Named for a beautiful rock formation called Le Due Sorelle, the Blue Flag honored Spiaggia delle Due Sorelle offers a coastline of brilliant white pebbles. You can also easily rent a kayak on the beach for about €15 per hour for two people and paddle out to the rocks.
Conero Camere Hotel (Booking | Hotels) is a perfect little bed and breakfast for your days away in this idyllic town. The rooms are very clean, and they offer an excellent breakfast spread. And since you’re on the coast, there are several phenomenal seafood restaurants in town for you to check out.
Sirolo is easy to get to if you have a car; otherwise, you can take a bus here. The bus ride from Ancona lasts about 40 minutes–just make sure you don’t accidentally purchase a local bus ticket!
Need a beach vacation? Gaeta is your place. It is one of the best cities to visit in Italy during the summer. Gaeta is home to seven gorgeous beaches, making it a perfect place to beach hop and spend your summer vacation.
Gaeta is located in the southernmost part of the Lazio region, just over two hours from Rome and just under two hours from Naples. It is not an international tourist destination as there are no train stops nearby. The only way to get to this area is by car.
Seven Beaches of Gaeta
- Beach of 40 Remi
- San Vito Beach
- Sant’Agostino Beach
Each of these beach destinations offers something unique. Serapo and San Vito Beach are family-friendly beaches, perfect for swimming and building sandcastles. Fontania is a great place to snorkel and scuba dive because it has two grottoes and one with natural spring water. Arenauta is a nude beach. There really is a beach for everyone.
The accommodations in this area are exceptional! There are many resorts, one of the best is Grand Hotel Le Rocce (Booking | Agoda). This resort has a private beach and a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean.
A Gaeta beach vacation is the perfect place to spend your summer in Italy!
By Lisa from Planning Away
Civita di Bagnoregio
The Etruscan town of Civita di Bagnoregio is a magical Italian destination.
Perched on top of a plateau of volcanic tuff overlooking an immense canyon, the so-called “Dying Town” is laced with cobbled streets lined with medieval buildings. Visit Civita di Bagnoregio on a misty day, and the village appears suspended above the valley floor.
While this village in Lazio is short on sights, it is abundant with charm.
Traces of Civita di Bagnoregio’s Etruscan past can be found in its street system, a necropolis, and a chamber tomb.
The Church of S. Donato dominates Piazza S. Donato, Civita’s main square. This Romanesque church houses a wooden Crucifix from the school of Donatello, and there is also a fresco by the school of Perugino.
In summer, Piazza S. Donato is also the Arena for the Palio della Tonna, the village’s main festival. In a diminutive version of Siena’s Il Palio, donkeys race around this piazza in June and September each year.
To reach Civita, you must first get to the larger town of Bagnoregio and walk across the suspension bridge that links the town to the village. Note that there is a small fee to enter Civita di Bagnoregio, which you pay on the Bagnoregio side.
The easiest way to get to Bagnoregio is by car. The nearest train station is Orvieto, where you need to catch a bus.
Finally, if you want somewhere to stay in Civita, Profumo di Tiglio has garnered superb reviews. Alternatively, base yourself in nearby Orvieto and visit the village as a day trip.
By Bridget from The Flashpacker
Bracciano makes a perfect day trip from Rome, and it is a great place to visit in summer. In fact, it is a top-rated summer destination for the Italian capital’s residents, who like to come here and enjoy the fresh waters of Bracciano Lake, running away from the dry heat in Rome.
Bracciano is a beautiful medieval village, just an hour from Rome. It is famous for its castle, the 15th century Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, one of the best-preserved in Italy. The medieval village is also wonderful to explore and get lost on the narrow, cobbled streets flanked with stone houses decorated with flowers.
But one of the main attractions in Bracciano is the lake and its black volcanic beach. Bracciano Lake is one of the cleanest in Italy, which makes it very desirable to swim in. The lake is one of Rome’s main water reservoirs; therefore, all motor boats are banned from cruising the lake. If you want to explore the lake, you can always rent a kayak or a pedalo boat from one of the beach clubs along the shore.
In Bracciano, you will also find some great restaurants that serve local Roman dishes with a twist, using fresh fish from the lake.
By Joanna from The World in My Pocket
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Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Italy this summer, then make sure you head to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
Pompeii is one of the most famous places in Europe and was once a significant Roman city. Located near the Bay of Naples, this was one of the country’s wealthiest cities until 79 AD, when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Today all that’s left is the ruins of Pompeii. Tons of artifacts and over a hundred bodies have been preserved in ash since the eruption.
There is so much to see in Pompeii, so you’ll need to start your day early.
First, start by catching the local bus up to Mount Vesuvius. Plenty of tour operators on the main street will try to sell you bus tickets up the top. However, the local bus is a quarter of the price, and you’ll find bus stops dotted along the main road.
Once you’ve hiked to the crater, catch the bus back down to Pompeii and spend a couple of hours exploring this ancient city on a guided walking tour with an archeologist. Some of the most popular sites within the ruins include the museum, the Warrior Statue, the amphitheater, and the Forum.
Summer is one of the best times to visit, as the weather is more suitable for spending a day exploring the old city and Mount Vesuvius.
You can reach Pompeii easily by catching a bus or train from Naples or Sorrento. The other option is to head on a Rome to Pompeii day trip if you’re staying in Italy’s capital.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Pompeii, B&B Pompei Olympus (Booking | Hotels) is a great choice. It’s located just 0.6 miles from the ruins, and each stay comes with complimentary breakfast, WiFi, and air conditioning.
By Jack & Abbie from acouplescalling
Ravello & Minori
While the rest of the crowds flock to Amalfi Coast favorites like Positano, Capri, and Amalfi in summer, opt to fly a little under the radar. Instead, base yourself on the refined, elevated perch that is Ravello, or its rustic neighbor Minori, which sits by the water at the base of the cliffs leading up to Ravello.
Which you should base yourself in depends on what you’re looking for. Ravello is a little busier, seeing more day-trippers, but when they clear out come evening, the town and its surreal views are all yours.
It’s a premier location, with a clatter of luxury hotels with a hefty price tag. Still, there are also smaller guest houses and hotels that offer better value – you’ll just need to seek them out and book well in advance.
Ravello is famed for its two beautiful gardens. The first at Villa Cimbrone (renowned for its Terrace of Infinity) and the second at Villa Rufolo. Each summer, a stage is set up here for the Ravello Music Festival.
Minori is altogether more rustic, and you’ll mainly encounter Italian holidaymakers. Why it’s so overlooked remains a mystery, as it’s a glorious little seaside town that offers authenticity and a slow pace of life, just ten minutes by ferry from the bustling center of Amalfi.
At its center are the excavated ruins of a Roman villa and a small but solid selection of traditional Italian trattoria and local stores. It’s also fantastically located for exploring the rest of the Amalfi Coast, with regular ferries running from its small harbor.
Both Ravello and Minori can be reached by road, with Minori also fully accessible by sea.
By Issy from Cultured Voyages
La Maddalena Archipelago
The Maddalena Archipelago is a must-visit on any Sardinia itinerary and one of the most summer destinations in Italy.
During the summer months, a trip to these stunning islands near Costa Smeralda is even more worthwhile because you can spend most of your days swimming in the multicolored blue waters.
This national park is known for its fantastic beaches and the rich underwater world. You can go snorkeling here or even scuba diving if you’re certified. There are over 40 dive sites found here and a wide variety of marine life.
When visiting during the summer months, booking your accommodation and activities ahead is essential as it can get crowded (especially during weekends).
One of the best places to stay on La Maddalena Island (the largest island of the archipelago) is Excelsior (Booking | Hotels). Rooms are clean and comfortable, and breakfast is included.
You can take the ferry from Pulau to get to La Maddalena Island. The journey takes just 15 minutes, and boats depart every 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can book a day trip from Pulau. There are many different tours, ranging from budget group tours to exclusive private catamaran charters.
No matter which way you explore the Maddalena Archipelago, you’ll be blown away by the sheer beauty of this amazing part of Italy.
By Lotte from Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog
Alghero is easily one of the best places to visit in Italy in the summer. This small city is truly unique on the northwestern coast of Sardinia. Alghero is a Catalan-speaking town thanks to centuries-long domination by Catalonia and a relationship that continued even after its reign. An ideal destination year-round, it’s in the summer that Alghero attracts most visitors.
The city provides easy access to some incredible beaches. The best ones nearby are Le Bombarde and right next to it is Lazzaretto beach. These are small coves surrounded by a thick forest of Mediterranean pine trees, home to thousands of cicadas. You will hear their loud singing all day if you opt to visit these beaches.
Another nearby beach is Mugoni, a favorite of locals and from where you can see Capo Caccia (also visible from town). This promontory has plenty of easy trails where you can admire one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean.
From there, you can access the Escala de Cabirol, a stairway of more than 600 steps that will take you to beautiful Neptune’s Grotto. (You can also go there by boat from Alghero, in case you don’t feel like taking the stairs!).
At an easy driving distance from Alghero, you will find more places to visit: Nuraghe Palmavera, a well-kept example of a nuraghe, archeological sites only found in Sardinia; Anghelu Ruju necropolis; Porto Conte Natural Park; and Sella & Mosca Winery, where you’ll be able to taste some of the best wines of Sardinia.
Regular and budget flights allow you to get to Alghero from various Italian and European cities. You will find some excellent places to stay in town, but for a unique experience, opt to stay at Casa Villa Marina (Booking | Hotels), a small boutique hotel located on the grounds of Sella & Mosca Winery.
By Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia
Matera is a unique city in the region of Basilicata in southern Italy. Famous for its cave dwellings masterfully carved into the mountainside, Matera’s Sassi was considered one of the poorest parts of Italy only a few decades ago. So much so that in the 1950s, the people living here had to be evacuated due to the unsanitary living conditions.
However, the cave dwellings were not the problem. They were built to last. And so, some 60 years later, people started seeing opportunities in them.
These days, many cave dwellings have been transformed into unusual hotels just perfect for a unique stay. Others have been converted into atmospheric restaurants or museums.
Besides the cave dwellings, Matera is also famous for its rock churches that house priceless 13th-century frescoes. Matera is a special place to visit any time of the year, but it can become quite sleepy during the long winter months.
While that can mean seeing Matera devoid of people, nothing compares to seeing this city during the warm summer months when you can enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Sassi.
Summer is also when a myriad of concerts are organized in Cava del Sole, an old abandoned quarry, which can be quite a unique and unforgettable experience. Plus, there are so many other interesting things to do in Matera. Matera can be reached by train from Napoli or Bari.
By Laura from Travelers Universe
Polignano a Mare
Polignano a Mare is a small yet charming coastal town in the Puglia region, southern Italy. Perched on high limestone cliffs, Polignano not only has fantastic views of the Adriatic sea, but its beaches are also gorgeous.
Lama Monachile beach, located in a beautiful cove with emerald green waters, is particularly stunning and popular. You can admire the beach in all its beauty from either the Terrazza Santo Stefano viewpoint or the Lama Monachile Roman bridge.
Speaking of beautiful views, you should also stroll along Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, Polignano a Mare’s promenade. You’ll be rewarded with grand vistas of the sea and the impressive cliffs on which the town sits.
Another unique selling point of the town is Grotta Palazzese Restaurant, probably the most popular restaurant in the Polignano. This is due to its unusual location: a natural cave overlooking the sea.
Suppose you are looking for accommodation in Polignano a Mare. In that case, you should check out Cinquevite: it’s a lovely one-bedroom with a private terrace in the center of the town.
The easiest and fastest way to get to Polignano a Mare is to ride the train. There are direct connections between the town and Bari, the capital city of the region, and the journey takes around 40 minutes.
By Andreea from Andoreia
A trip to Sicily is always a good idea; however, with summer temperatures upwards of 40 degrees Celcius, locals and visitors tend to flock to the – overcrowded – beaches. Sharing 5 square meters of sand with 10 other people might not exactly be what you had in mind when you booked a trip to Sicily.
The little village of Erice is the perfect place to stay in Sicily to escape the heat and the hoards of tourists. Historical Erice has a mere 3000 inhabitants and is perched atop Erice mountain, 700 meters above sea level. Due to elevation, temperatures are wonderfully fresh, and the remote nature of the village makes it the perfect place to capture a rare glimpse of the Sicily of old.
Getting there can be done in several ways, the easiest being driving up and parking the car in front of the city gates (parking fees apply). Alternatively, head into modern-day Erice (located at the foot of the hill) and grab the cable car to the top.
Erice is the perfect place for slow travel lovers and anyone who loves non-touristy places in Italy to visit. The village has a few interesting churches, a fortress with sweeping views over Trapani and the Gulf of Trapani, and a host of small bakeries, bars, and restaurants to frequent. Even during high season, the village remains a little oasis of tranquility compared to the rest of Sicily.
By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer
Palermo in Sicily is a city filled with incredible architecture, immersive history, vibrant piazzas, and bustling streets. However, summer in Palermo is extra special as it’s a great time to hit the beaches or enjoy other outdoor activities while soaking in all the natural beauty.
The city is also a haven for foodies. You will find an abundance of a variety of food, so taking a street food tour is a highly recommended activity in Palermo.
Summer is the best time to hike up Mount Pellegrino if you enjoy hiking. You will be rewarded with astounding panoramic views of the city.
Head to the nearby Mondello beach for a relaxing day on the shores of the tranquil water. It can be easily reached by a 20-minute bus ride from the city center.
Do not miss out on visiting the historic architecture of Palermo, such as the Massimo Theater, Palermo Cathedral, Norman Palace, and Chiesa di Santa Caterina.
Palermo has a well-connected international airport with flights connecting to major European cities. It is also possible to reach Palermo by a ferry ride from cities like Naples, Genoa, and Valletta.
The Unìco Boutique Hotel d’Arte (Booking | Hotels) is a perfect place to stay in Palermo during summer. It has beautiful rooms with views of the Mediterranean sea. It also has an infinity pool and a hydromassage pool where you can spend a more relaxing time during your holiday.
By Anjali Wadhwa from Cheerful Trails
From finding natural wonders like stunning Italian lakes and beaches to beautiful cities and enchanting villages, you need to make sure one of these Italy summer destinations is on your next itinerary.