Italy holidays

Italy holidays

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Holidays to Italy are sure to capture your imagination. Whether you’re seeking a break in a bustling city hopping from one ancient landmark to another, planning a remote island getaway among glitzy yachts and Michelin-starred restaurants, or simply want to kick back and relax on one of the country’s beautiful beaches. It’s no surprise that this idyllic hotspot is one of Europe’s top destinations.

Discover timeless architecture, Roman ruins, rustic villages, fortified wines, and world-renowned food around every corner. Grab a gelato as you wander through cobbled alleyways before checking out designer stores in Italy’s big-name cities. And if you’re guaranteed one thing, it’s romance! From cocktails in front of the Colosseum to gondola rides in Venice and breathtaking ocean vistas along the Amalfi Coast - there’s no better place to pop the question than a holiday to Italy.

Don’t worry, party-goers are covered too. Milan and Sicily are top players in the nightlife world being home to some of the swankiest clubs in Europe.

Things to do

With so many bucket-list adventures and famous landmarks it can be hard to know where to begin. However, few Italy holidays are complete without paying a visit to the impressive Vatican City, where the iconic Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica showcases some of the best High Renaissance art in the world. And when you’ve had your history fix, pigging out on pizza in the birthplace of the Italian crust, Naples, is a given. Or, you can always tour Tuscany’s winding roads and Sardinia’s vibrant vineyards.

For natural marvels, a trip to Pompeii will have you reaching for your camera with Mount Vesuvius as your backdrop. But if the coast is more your scene, Capri and Tropea are teeming with sun-kissed stretches. Holidaying with the kids in tow? Check out Italy’s largest waterpark featuring a 42-metre-tall drop slide and pirate ship! Or for little daredevils, Gardaland Park features some impressive rollercoasters. And Shrek fans can unleash their inner Sir Lancelot with a visit to one of the country’s medieval castles. 

Places to stay

Cities like Rome, Naples and Florence in central Italy habitat some of the country’s best cultural attractions. Further south, the picturesque towns of Sorrento and the Bay of Naples, offer a piece of traditional Italian life with authentic experiences, excellent food and fresh locally grown produce. Sardinia’s wild coastlines and secluded coves make it the perfect spot for sightseeing by car. If you’re after awe-inspiring architecture, then Sicily is packed with must-see marvels, such as the original Greek settlement of Ortigia in Syracuse, breathtaking baroque towns like Modica and Ragusa Ibla, as well as beautiful natural landscapes.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Amalfi | Ischia Porto | Florence | Lake Garda | Limone | Malcesine | MilanRome | Sant'Agnello | Sardinia | Sicily | Sorrento | Venetian Riviera | Venice

 

Map of Italy

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Italy enjoys a varied climate boasting hot summers in areas like Sicily and Sardinia, and sizzling warm temperatures from April onwards in the Bay of Naples. The conditions in the Alps during winter are also perfect for skiing.

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Approximately two and a half hours

The main international airports in Italy are Malpensa Airport in Milan and Leonardo da Vinci Airport (also known as Fiumicino) in Rome, although visitors also frequently fly to smaller airports, including Venice Marco Polo, Naples, Olbia and Comiso.

Italy is best for...

Foodies: Italy’s world-renowned reputation as a culinary hotspot is evident whether you visit its finest restaurants or  rustic trattorias. Once you try some fresh, authentic pasta you’ll be rushing back for seconds. And each region has its own specialities from Rigatoni Carbonara in Rome to stockfish in Venice. But no meal is complete without a glass of local wine!

Couples: Holidays to Italy are some of the most romantic in the world. Here, Shakespeare was inspired to write Romeo and Juliet. And we can certainly see why with relaxing sailboat rides over to the island of Capri, candlelit dinners in Sorrento and luxurious stays in Sardinia’s Porto Cervo.

Nature lovers: Hiking boots at the ready! From the supersize Lake Como to the frosty Alps and towering Mount Etna, there’s no shortage of natural wonders. And don’t forget to swim the bay of Val di Sogno or take a cable car up Mount Baldo

Fast facts for Italy

Language: The language spoken in Italy is Italian. While most of the staff in hotels, bars and restaurants speak some English, a casual ‘per favore’ and ‘grazie’ can go a long way.

Currency: You’ll need to change your pounds and pence for Euros before taking your holidays to Italy.

Local time: Italy is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Naples International Airport for Sant'Agnello (transfer 1 hour) and Amalfi, Sorrento and Ischia Porto, around 1.5 hours away. Verona Villafranca Airport for Lake Garda, around 1.5 hours away. Venice Marco Polo Airport serves Venice, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport serves Sardinia and Comiso Airport serves Sicily. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Italy is 2.5 hours. 

Tourist information: Further Italy tourist information can be found at the official website for tourism in Italy.

Local tax: In most areas of Italy you’ll be charged a local tourist tax and will need to pay approximately 1.5 - 4 euros per person, per night, to the hotel. Children under 18 don’t pay the tax. Charges can be higher if you’re staying in one of the major Italian cities.

Visa / health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Holiday destinations related to Italy:

 

Getting around Italy

By bike: Italy’s smaller towns such as Cassone offer excellent sightseeing opportunities from the saddle of a bicycle. You’re not limited to where you can explore either, whether you bring your own set of wheels or rent one when you arrive. The trains and ferries will transport your bike free of charge.

By train: For longer journeys, there’s no beating the incredible views that roll past your window from the country’s speedy and affordable train network.

By taxi: If you’re in a rush, a taxi is one of the fastest ways to get around. Authorised cabs are white with fitted metres and you can hire one from a yellow taxi rank.

Events in Italy

Madonna Del Rimedio: September sees carnival fever erupt across the country. If you really want to immerse yourself in the experience, head to Sardinia’s festival of the Madonna Del Rimedio, over in the town of Orosei. Lasting up to 18 days, expect stalls stuffed with traditional foods and street processions.

Vinitaly: Each area of Italy has its own wine speciality, from the crisp and refreshing white Lacrime di Cristo found in the Sorrento area, to the rich red Nero D’Avola, which is widely enjoyed in Sicily. But when you simply can’t choose, Vinitaly is a must-visit festival housing 3,000 wines in Verona every April. 

Lights, camera, action: The legendary Venice International Film Festival occurs between August and September. Unlike many other film festivals, screenings are open to the public, but you’ll need a ticket to attend. So  put on your best  outfit and do some serious celebrity-spotting by the red carpet. The Summer Film Festival in Taormina, and its many exclusive premieres, takes place in an open-air amphitheatre every year in June.

Italy weather

Temperature: 15 - 30 (°C)

The weather in Italy can vary, particularly between the north and south. In general, summers are warm and bright with the mercury climbing quickly to around 30°C in southern spots like Sicily. The spring and autumn months offer plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures for sightseeing. While the winter climate can drop to below freezing in the Alps, providing ideal conditions for ski holidays.

Cities like Rome, Florence and Venice can expect hot, dry summer months with temperatures peaking between 26°C and 30°C. If you prefer cooler climes perfect for exploring Roman ruins, the best time to visit Italy is in the spring (April to June) or in autumn (September to October) when temperatures range from 15°C to 23°C on average.

What should I pack?

If you’re heading to Italy in the summer months, you’ll need plenty of sun cream, a hat and sunglasses. And if you’re planning a beach break then swimwear is also essential. Younger ones who like to splash in the sea might want to pack some armbands too. 

During the winter months, a light jacket or waterproof is a good idea for rainy days or cooler evenings, while comfortable footwear is a must for avid explorers. Especially if you’re heading to super-scenic locations like Rome, Florence, or Venice.

Best hotels in Italy

Discover the best destinations to visit in Italy

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Italy Holidays FAQs
Italy FAQs
What are the best holidays to Italy?

For beach breaks: try Sardinia, Sicily and Puglia, all renowned for their beautiful beaches.

For family fun: explore Sorrento and Naples, scoff pasta in Rome, or get active at Lake Garda.

For couples' escapes: Venice and Florence are made for romance. Drive the idyllic Amalfi Coast. And chill out beside Lake Como.

What is the best city break in Italy?

You’ve chosen well – Italy’s home to some glorious cities! Here’s a quick summary of our top recommendations to help you decide:

Rome
Rome was once at the heart of the Roman Empire, so you’ll find archaeological wonders like the Colosseum amphitheatre and the Roman Forum in amongst the hubbub of city life.
• You can also visit Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon temple.
• Kickstart your day in the capital with a caffe latte and a cornetto (the Italian croissant, not the ice cream!) and head out exploring.
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Venice
• A fantastically walkable city, famous for its canals, bridges and lack of roads. You can’t help but get up close to the sights when you’re exploring those winding little streets on foot!
• Snuggle up with your favourite person on a romantic gondola ride along the canals, passing palatial old buildings on the way.
• Top Venice experiences include visiting St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, shopping for beautiful glass on a boat trip to Murano, and watching the sunset over the Grand Canal.
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Milan
• Famed as one of the most fashion-forward places on the planet, Milan is for you if like your cities to come with bags of elegance and style.
• Not bothered about haute-couture or designer shopping? Well, there’s tons of history and art too, from the unmissable Duomo cathedral (it’s huge!) to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
• Unwind with a mesmerising concert at La Scala opera house, a lakeside picnic in Parco Sempione, or a leisurely meal of risotto alla Milanese and the local osso buco stew.
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Florence
• Art lovers rejoice! Florence is chock full of works by some of history’s most renowned painters and sculptors. You might want to make the Uffizi Gallery the focus of your stay.
• The architecture here’s so incredible, the whole city centre has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Take in the view from the top of the Duomo (Florence Cathedral), have a selfie with Michelangelo’s David, browse the shops on Ponte Vecchio (the picturesque bridge) and take a wander through the sensational Boboli gardens.
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Naples
• The beautiful coastal city of Naples (Napoli to the locals) is a perfect launch pad for exploring the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Or catch the ferry to Capri island.
• Stroll around the atmospheric Old Town (Centro Storico) – highlights include the street of Spaccanapoli, the underground ruins of ancient Neapolis, the modern art at Madre Museum, and the avant-garde nightlife.
• Tuck into a classic Neapolitan pizza, a mouthwatering sfogliatelle pastry, or the catch of the day. Don’t miss the chance to go wine tasting at the foot of Mount Vesuvius!
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Is there good public transport in Italy?

Yes, Italy's network of transport options makes it super easy to explore when you don’t want to hire a car.

• Hop on the local bus or tram to get around the city sights and out to nearby towns and villages. You’ll need to buy a ticket before you board.
• There are also underground metro systems in several cities, including Naples, Rome, Milan and Turin (Torino).
• Intercity rail services mean you can even make a day trip to Rome from Milan if you’re up for the 3-hour journey.
• In more rural areas, such as around Lake Garda, buses are the most common public transport. Plus there are train services for longer journeys.

Find out more from Discover Italia.

Is Italy good for cheap holidays?

It can be, if you plan ahead. Here are our top tips for cheap holidays to Italy:
1. If you can, book your holiday for spring or autumn. As a general rule, it’s cheaper to get away outside peak season.
2. Check out these budget hotels in Italy. You might be surprised what you can get for less than £500 per person!
3. Think about staying just outside the main towns. Using public transport instead of staying in a prime location will help you save some pennies.
4. Find out where the locals dine. Trattorias are usually a low-cost option and these family-run restaurants give you an authentic experience too.
5. Make the most of free attractions, from coastal walks to museums. Even some of Italy’s most famous sites, including the Colosseum in Rome, offer free admission on certain days, so it’s well worth doing your research before you go.
6. If you’re planning on lots of sightseeing, a multi-attraction pass could be a really cost-effective option, combining several top things to do in one price.

Which is the main airport in Italy?

Italy’s main airport is Rome Fiumicino (airport code FCO) but that doesn’t mean it’s the one you’ll want to fly to. There’s at least one airport that’s handy for each destination, and we’ll get you booked on flights to the best one for the part of Italy you’re visiting. So you can look forward to spending more time enjoying your holiday and less time travelling!