Going on a holiday can be thrilling but planning the perfect itinerary before leaving the house can be hectic. To add on everything else, timing of your trip is an important factor.
People usually tend to make a trip when they have a few days off from work – sounds obvious, right? But if you live in a country with different holiday/peak seasons compared to your destination, then you should carefully evaluate the timing.
In Italy, our peak season is between June and August, when the weather is hot and sunny. Sounds like a perfect time for a vacation, doesn’t it?
Then let’s take a look at when to go and what to visit during summer in Italy!
WHEN TO GO
As I said before, June-August correspond to the Northern Hemisphere’s summer and they are the nicest and hottest months. If you hate crowded places, then avoid August, when everyone is on vacation, prices are very high and to find a spot you need to book well in advance.
June is the best month. It’s not too hot, prices are reasonable and not many people are travelling yet since schools are still open on the first week of the month. July is still okay, more crowded than August but still reasonable, also in terms of prices.
WHERE TO GO
Choosing a perfect summer destination in Italy isn’t that easy. There are too many choices. Sunbathing all day? Hiking in the middle of stunning natural landscapes? Or visiting monuments & museums? To make your planning a little easy, I’m going to list a couple of places where you could go, according to your vacation’s goals. So…ready, steady, go!
Both the Alps and the Appennini are perfect spots for those who want to avoid city crowds and escape to the sand & salt of the sea.
Vigo di Fassa in Trentino Alto-Adige is one of the “Most beautiful villages in Italy”. It’s located in the wonderful Dolomiti Alps which is ideal for walks, hiking and plenty of excursions. The strategic position allows you to explore the Carezza Lake and the nearby Canazei, another wonderful place to enjoy nature.
Civitella Alfedena in the Abruzzo region (center of Italy) is an astonishing small village, surrounded by nature in the Appennini mountains. The picturesque small streets and houses with white bricks & stones will make you feel like being in a fairy-tale. You can choose between walking through a pine forest to reach the Barrea Lake or exploring the National Abruzzo Park, with its breath-taking hikes – you might even get the chance to see some wolves! In any case, relax and no crowds are guaranteed.
Sardinia – the other vast Italian island together with Sicily – is the best place for you if you just want to enjoy the sea. Crystal clear water, long white sanded beaches and plenty of sun awaits you!
The best places are Villa Simius, in the south of the island, near Cagliari (Sardinia’s capital) and Teulada. For another spot of paradise on earth check out La Pelosa beach near Stintino, in the north-western part (near Sassari).
No matter where you are in Sardinia, you’ll feel on another planet. The typical & peculiar perfume that’s always in the air, the shining sun, the turquoise water and all its amazing beaches (called Calette) are always there to make your holidays unforgettable!
If you instead want to be away from everything and surrounded by a stunning sea, head to Lampedusa! The 20 sq meter island south of Sicily – you’re basically in Africa – it’s always quite windy and mostly deserted but it offers stunning beaches. Start with Cala Greca and Mare Morto beach, a perfect spot for snorkeling. You can’t miss the Rabbit Beach (Spiaggia dei Conigli) which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. During summer, part of the beach can’t be used since sea turtles lay their eggs and are surveyed by WWF volunteers.
MIX & MATCH
Imagine you want to relax on a deck chair, all day under the sun until you are super tanned but your partner can’t wait to visit that awesome medieval city or your friends want to go hiking. I’m sure it happened to you too.
How to satisfy everyone? Well, you’re lucky because you are in Italy! We have plenty of places where you can have a bit of everything!
Cities are one of the preferred destinations during summer, especially by foreign tourists. Even if it might be quite tiring to walk under the sun, some cities are so wonderful that I’m sure a bit of sweat won’t stop you from exploring! Moreover, there are always fresh churches & air-conditioned museums to go.
So start by visiting Perugia, its capital, a wonderful medieval city with stunning views. Enjoy a walk to see the Maggiore Fountain, the San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Priori Palace. Don’t forget to visit the Paolina Fortress, that until the end of 1800 had been a symbol of the Pope’s power.
Another must see is Assisi, known as Saint Francis’s city. Visit its stunning Basilica to admire Giotto’s frescoes that were destroyed during the 1997’s earthquake and then restored soon thereafter. Spello and Spoleto are two other typical villages, built on top of hills with a characteristic medieval aspect.
For some nature, head to Trasimeno Lake – the biggest lake in the center of Italy, surrounded by spectacular views and castles and with plenty of activities to do.
The Marmore Waterfalls with a 165 m jump are a must-see. After being deviated by the Romans, they’re still used nowadays to make a hydroelectric power plant function.
The ‘heel of Italy’, as it’s better known this region, is a great place to make everyone happy. As suggested by many locals, Puglia is the next best place to visit if you love quiet holiday destinations.
Start from the Salento area and visit Lecce where to admire the Sacred Cross Basilica, its Villa Communal with its beautiful gardens and the ancient Roman Theater and Amphitheater. Don’t miss the Castle – built by King Charles V in 1500 – and the most important square of the city, Piazza Sant’Oronzo, together with the breath-taking cathedral.
Gallipoli and Otranto are other two stunning cities, worth adding to your travel bucket list. Gallipoli offers long and sandy beaches close to the city center, while there are amazing beaches not too far from Otranto, which offers a much more beautiful city center and tempting night walks. If you are interested in enjoying nightlife, then Gallipoli is the best bet.
After some sightseeing, if you are craving a bit of nature then head to the Porto Selvaggio beach surrounded by a pine forest, with a wonderful sea with both very cold and warm natural currents. Sant’Andrea is another mandatory stop – spectacular cliffs with small paths to reach a crystal-clear water that’s ever inviting.
These are just a few of the best spots to visit in Italy in summer but you can find plenty of others! Being the country with the highest number of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, Italy will not disappoint you. If you still cannot make your mind, read this 5 reasons for visiting Italy at least once in your lifetime.
Francesca is a 26-year-old Italian girl who loves travelling! She really enjoy getting to know new cultures, new habits & new food and when she is not planning a trip, she is reading, staying fit & active, and of course…writing articles for her blog Italy From Tip To Toe.
She loves helping people to understand how beautiful Italy is and how to best plan their holiday here, choosing the best food to eat and selecting the most stunning places to see!
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