If you’re a fan of big-name sights, charming, clifftop towns and hearty grub, you’ll be sorted on holidays to Italy.
The famous boot
Italy holidays fit the bill for both beach getaways and city breaks. This place is the king of mixing sunbathing with sightseeing. Whether you’re dozing on Sorrento’s cliff-backed lidos or Sicily’s cosy coves, you’re never far from a top-billed landmark.
Campania’s the Italy you’ve seen plastered over postcards. Here, chocolate-box towns come with harbours full of tavernas – the blue and white tablecloth kind. Sorrento’s the head honcho, with its Bay of Naples outlook and cute, little shopping lanes. It’s also handy for daytripping – you can hop on a ferry, train or bus to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, massive Mount Vesuvis or glam Capri.
Sicily’s the island being kicked by the boot. It’s almost touching the mainland, but there’s a whole different vibe. This place does package holidays for history buffs. The isle’s scattered with all sorts of Greek temples, Roman villas and Norman cathedrals. All that said, Sicily’s got a family-friendly face, too. Its dinky villages are perfect for broods, with manmade beaches, lidos and café-stuffed proms.
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It was the Romans that first dubbed this slice of southern Italy the ‘happy land’. They set up shop in fancy, frescoed villas along the seafront – and even the Roman Emperors plonked down palaces. It’s no wonder when you look at Campania’s assets. Its clifftop towns hug the Bay of Naples and itsy-bitsy islands like Capri and Ischia are the sprinkles on top of the cake.
Vertical walls, sheer cliffs and sharp plateaux combine to make an unmistakable silhouette, widely considered one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, the Dolomites were named for the rock they’re made of. At dusk and dawn, the sunlight paints the mountains pink and purple, a phenomenon called enrosadira by the locals. Spend your days wandering through sweeping valleys and past clear lakes. Or head for the heights, either on foot or on one of the summer lifts, to find mountain paths and incredible views. This area is relatively unheard of in Britain, so you can experience natural Italian beauty without the hoards of tourists.
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