The best holiday destinations in Italy

Aimee Spicer / 12 March 2015 ( 30 March 2017 )

What can you expect from the different regions of Italy? We cherry-pick a few of our favourite destinations to help you make the most of your trip



Italy is arguably the envy of the world; it has a long and fascinating history with some of the best-loved cuisines in the Med, a warm climate, stunning coastlines, snow-capped mountains for skiing, lakes for rowing, cities for romancing and islands to escape to.

With so much to recommend it, Italy deserves its reputation.

However, narrowing down what you want from your Italian holiday is important if you are going to make the most of your trip. 

Each region of Italy varies quite distinctly, from the sparkling glamour of the Riviera to the earthy agriculture that permeates Tuscany. 

So to aid you in your choice, we have cherry-picked a few of our favourite destinations, so that you will know what to expect from each of these different regions.

Discover more about Italy and what it has to offer Find out more here.

Adriatic Riviera

Beautiful scene of boats lying in the harbor of Grado, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, on the Adriatic coast in Italy
Beautiful scene of boats lying in the harbor of Grado, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, on the Adriatic coast in Italy

Often overlooked for the fairytale-like shores of Venice, the Adriatic Coast is lined with medieval villages, Roman ruins, and picturesque towns backed by postcard perfect landscapes. 

The Italian side of the Riviera transformed into a holiday hotspot after the infamous Mussolini poured a lot of money into its construction. 

As a result of this foresight, the area has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the county and welcomes generations of Italians and tourists to its shores every year, to soak in the sun and the lively atmosphere.

Gavinana

Tuscany, Italy - Landscape
Lying 820 metres up in the mountains, Gavinana is ideal for both walking and discovering the nearby historic cities that Tuscany is justly famous for.

A list of favourite places in Italy would hardly be complete without a nod to Tuscany, the beautiful interior of the world’s most famous boot. 

The agricultural heart of Italy, you will find authentic and locally sourced Italian cuisine and wine, a countryside that is lush and hilly, and welcoming locals. 

Gavinana is a small, typically Tuscan town nestled in the Pistoiese Apennine Mountains with terracotta roofed houses, stone churches and refreshing mountain air. 

The town also has the advantage of being set just north of Florence for those who want to take a spontaneous day trip, or spend a weekend exploring the museums of one of Italy’s most beautiful cities.

Picture yourself sipping a glass of red on a wine-tasting tour of Tuscany Find out more here.

Lake Garda

Lake Garda, Italy
Located in Northern Italy, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy.

The largest lake in Italy is sandwiched between romantic Venice and the financial hub of Milan, making it a popular getaway destination for Italian nationals and travellers alike. 

Lake Garda has a reputation for reasonable prices and – of course – the wonderful Italian culture and history seen in the stunning townships that dot the area. 

Writers and artists have long found inspiration here and it’s not difficult to see why Lake Garda sparked their creative energy. 

Try heading to Malcesine, a scenic town on the eastern shores, to visit the majestic castle or the striking Church of St Stefano.

Lake Molveno

Lake Molveno, Italy
Lake Molveno lies in the North of Italy, beside the Brenta region of the Dolomite mountains.

With the Dolomites dominating the landscape around this lake, amazing scenery is not hard to come by in Molveno. 

Lying a little to the north of Lake Garda, the area is made up in part of the Adamello-Brenta Nature Park, perfect for those looking to hit the trails for some hiking. 

For others who want to soak up the laid-back Italian atmosphere, the Molveno old town offers much in the way of bars and restaurants where you can sip a glass of Italian red and admire the views.

Sardinia

Tharros columns on a clear day, Sardinia
The Tharros columns are one of Sardinia's greatest attractions.

Sardinia is a self-governing island, considered to be one of the wealthiest regions of Italy with an exclusive reputation. 

You will find the odd celebrity and a landscape of yachts on its famous Costa Smeralda, but travelling further south will take you out of the glitz and onto beaches that are just as beautiful, far less expensive and much less touristy. 

If you are seeking a slice of azure waters and white sand, you can’t go wrong with this destination, as Sardinia has long held the title for having the best beaches in all of Italy.

Sicily

Greek Temple in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
Famous for history and archaeology as well as sun, sea and Sand, Sicily is a must see Italian region.

Another autonomous region of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and tows the line between northern Italian sophistication and southern Italian fun and sun. 

Find ancient Roman ruins in Tindari, a hilltop town, experience traditional Sicilian culture by exploring the villages in the interior, or relax on one of their many beaches. 

Whether you’re a culture vulture or a foodie, if you want to keep active or stay relaxed, Sicily has enough to keep each visitor happy.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.