Beautiful Italy is one of our favourite holiday destinations all year round, though summer is the time when both the towns and the scenery come to life. Blissful lake escapes, incredible city breaks, relaxing beach getaways – this country really does have it all. See the best of Italy this summer with our suggestions.
Drive the coastal roads of Amalfi
Though Italy’s drivers have an unfairly bad reputation, the country’s roads are home to some of the best drives in Europe, with one of the most scenic being Strada Statale 163, or the Amalfi Coast, 35 miles of sublime roads curving around the coast of the Sorrento Peninsula. Passing green hills, steeply-built fishing villages, and clifftop ancient monasteries, the best place to start is Salerno, with its 11th-century cathedral. From here you can head to Amalfi, where the windiest sections of road begin, and take an uphill detour to Ravello, the inspiration for DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. After Ravello, the road wiggles spectacularly past olive groves and tiny bays towards Positano, before stretching over the remainder of the peninsula to reach Sorrento.
Make the drive of your dreams happen by booking one of our Amalfi Coast hotels here.
Watch the sun rise over Venice
Venice is one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, but to see its true beauty in the summertime, you need to witness it before the waves of tourists begin to roam the streets. In the midst of the summer, the sun begins to rise just before 6 am, when the light reflects on the waterways and exposes silent piazzas and towers, bathing them in the soft morning sunlight. The major tourist bottlenecks, such as St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, are deserted at this time of the day, making it the perfect time to take in the main landmarks while enjoying the equally incredible views high in the sky.
Fall in love with this magical city and book one of our hotels in Venice here.
Discover the quiet side of the Italian Lakes
Once a tranquil, well-kept secret, today the larger Italian lakes, such as Lake Como, are bustling with tourists, meaning a discreet lakeside getaway is often difficult. Venturing to one of the smaller lakes, however, such as Lake Mergozzo, is a much more peaceful affair, with even swans at times outnumbering the number of visitors. Its sleepy namesake village promises pastel-coloured houses and winding hillside lanes, which offer sumptuous views of glamourous Lake Maggiore from their summit.
Check out some of our great lakeside luxury villas in Italy here.
Sail the waters of Puglia
From the seafaring town of Vieste, a collection of whitewashed houses and a grand lighthouse watching over the harbour, you can explore the varied and delightful coastline of Puglia, one of the most overlooked regions of Italy. From here, you can sail along the coast of the Promontorio del Gargano, a chalky landmass not unlike the White Cliffs of Dover to the shores of the Parco Nazionale del Gargano, where you’ll find copses of Aleppo pine and oak, with deer and wild cats roaming between the trees.
Explore Puglia with our range of boutique hotels – Italy is sure to become your new favourite destination!
Walk the Roman ‘passeggiata’.
Every evening, like clockwork, cities all over Italy come to life as families, couples and groups leave their homes to embark on the daily passeggiata (little walk). More than just a gentle stroll, the Italians use the passeggiata as a way to be seen out and about as well as to catch up with friends and acquaintances. In Rome, one of the most popular routes is to saunter in a leisurely fashion along the Via del Corso, north to the Piazza del Popolo, before ascending the stone steps to the top of the Pincian Hill. Public gardens, decorated with classical statues, swaying palms and tranquil ponds decorate the hilltop, from where you can also enjoy an impressive view of the Roman sunset, with the silhouette of the Vatican out in the distance.
Make your Roman holiday one to remember with our boutique hotels in Rome.
Image: Gerd, available under Creative Commons