Pretty cliffside towns, famous Roman ruins and big plates of pasta – you’ll get a taste of it all on a holiday to Italy.
Italy. It conjures up images of freshly baked pizzas, morning espressos and stylish locals zipping around on Vespas. But that’s not all. The ‘boot’ of Europe is in the premier league of holiday destinations, thanks to age-old sights and some of the most scenic towns and villages going.
Edging the southwest coast is the Campania region. It’s home to foodie favourite, Naples, and the smart clifftop town of Sorrento. It's also the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, where you'll find pastel-painted villages and Instagram-worthy scenery. And just offshore you’ve got the ever-popular islands of Capri and Ischia.
Just off the toe of Italy’s boot lies Sicily. The island packs a lot in, from Baroque buildings and Roman ruins to golden sands and rolling countryside. The holiday hotspot here is Giardini Naxos, with its sandy beach and waterfront bars and trattorias. And fifteen minutes' drive up the road there’s the quaint seaside town of Letojanni.
Out in the Mediterranean Sea – just below Corsica – is the island of Sardinia. Here, you’ll find Caribbean-style white-sand beaches, a culture-crammed capital, and the Spanish-influenced town of Alghero, AKA Little Barcelona.
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Whoever coined the phrase ‘la dolce vita’ was spot on when it comes to Campania. This stretch of Italian countryside curves around the bays of Sorrento and Naples on Italy's south-west coast, and lines up world-famous ancient ruins alongside cosmopolitan cities and the mighty Mount Vesuvius. It's safe to say this corner of Italy really has got 'the good life' sussed.
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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