10 Tips for Your Summer Holidays in Italy

June 25, 2015
Margherita Scaglione

You’re planning a trip to Italy this summer and you are probably thinking that you already know everything about this beautiful country.
But anyway, before organizing your summer in Italy, we’d like to provide you with some hints you might find useful in order to make your holiday even more unforgettable.
So, here’s a list of our top 10 tips for your summer holidays in Italy… Let us know what do you think about them!

1. Take a walk by the Navigli in Milan

The area of the Navigli is one of the most fascinating sights of Milan, as well as the heart of the nightlife in the historic centre.
The neighbourhood takes its name (“navigli”) from those water canals, designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself. You will find here picturesque restaurants and night bars. You can have an Italian aperitivo, a traditional or fusion dinner, sitting outside on one of the two sides of the canal, breathing the typical atmosphere of Milan by night.
Take a boat during the day, for a unique tour of the city, or walk along the navigli during the evening, to admire the sunset light reflected on the water. 

2. Visit Rome at sunset

It may seem a classic, but don’t underestimate the wonder that Rome can be under the sunset light and at night-time. Away from its traffic and its busiest areas, you will be enchanted by the marble monuments enlightened by the orange light, as you’re caressed by the evening wind.
Walk through the city’s most beautiful attractions, admiring the sunlight filtering through the colonnade of Saint Peter’s Square, or climb the monumental Castel Sant’Angelo to enjoy a one-of-a-kind view.
There are several panoramic places in Rome where you can live an intimate experience as a completely different town reveals itself in front of your eyes, and walk by the PantheonPiazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain.
It won’t matter how many times before you’ve visited Rome before: it will always feel like the first one!

rome panoramic

3. Relax along Italian best lakes

If you want to discover a pretty side of Italy, this point will perfectly suit you. Italy is rich of wonderful lakes that offer amazing landscapes and charming atmosphere.
Not far from Milan, and immersed into the Mountain Chain of the Alps, you will find the charming Como Lake and the small town of Bellagio, an elegant place on a peninsula facing the lake.
You can head to the Lake Maggiore, surrounded by the city of Stresa and by the Borromeo Islands Archipelago, or to the Garda Lake, made unique by the small picturesque towns that surround it. A place we warmly suggest visiting is the Sirmione peninsula, dominated by the “Castello Scaligero” and enriched by the amazing Grottoes of Catullo. 

lake maggiore

4. Wander through outdoor markets

After a relaxing eXPerience (#3 on this list), here is a more “chaotic” suggestion, ideal if you want to breathe the authentic Italian atmosphere: discovering some of the most beautiful outdoor markets located around Italy.
If you’re in Rome, you can wonder around the iconic Campo de’ Fiori, where you can taste the typical pizza in one of the most ancient bakery of the city. If you’re in Sicily, you cannot miss the chaotic yet charming Ballarò market in Palermo, where the sellers will yell at you to get your attention on their local specialties.
Alternatively, choose one of the most impressive markets in Italy, the one on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, situated among typical Venetian water-canals, the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, or the San Benedetto Market in Cagliari (Sardinia).

5. Relax in the Dolomites

A wonderful way to have a break from Italian hot summer is spending some time along its mountains. Some of the best places in Italy are in fact nestled into the Alps, the biggest mountain chain of the country. Part of it, the group of the Dolomites is for sure the most impressive part.
Their typical colour, which becomes almost pink at sunlight and at sunset, surrounds some wonderful small towns, such as the exclusive Cortina d’Ampezzo, and other villages of the Sudtirol, where German and Italian culture have created a unique mix.
The Val Gardena and its small towns, the delicious culinary traditions and the opportunity to stroll through green tracks and breathtaking sceneries, make this places totally entitled to be part of our 10 favourite tips!

6. Explore the enchanting Apulia region

A summer in Italy wouldn’t be a “real summer”, if it doesn’t include a bath or a walk in Puglia, the heel of the Italian peninsula.
One of the main targets for Italian summer tourism, this region has anyway succeeded in keeping its identity intact. It is still embedded into its cities, in the old women making pasta at every corner, in the traditional white houses called “trulli”.
We couldn’t choose a single place to suggest in Puglia… There is Lecce, the city with the Baroque historical centre, Gallipoli, an old fishermen village, whose historical centre faces directly the sea.
Moreover, Ostuni, the so-called “white city” may definitively be worth a visit, together with Alberobello, where the “trulli” standing against the blue will offer you an amazing sight. 

7. Sail through Campania islands

The most beautiful islands of Campania can get quite busy during the summer, but are still definitively worth a visit during your Italian summer.
A good way to discover them in a quiet way is organizing a small cruise that encompasses them, and that will allow you to discover them at your path.
In alternative, you can find a relaxed, pleasant spot to enjoy them, starting from Capri, the jewel of Campania, and probably the most exclusive island in Italy.
Its famous Piazzetta, the view of the Faraglioni, and its out-of-time gardens together with the classy boutiques make it a unique place. The marvellous Ischia, famous for its thermal baths, is another natural beauty, together with Procida, the smaller and wilder one of the three. 

8. Dive into Sicily’s culinary specialties

Food is a serious matter in Italy. In this country, culinary traditions are deeply eradicated in Italian cultures, and are the result of different influences that crossed the Mediterranean Sea. In Sicily, they find their synthesis and maximum expression.
The first delicacy that comes to your mind is surely Sicilian granita, and its declination, Sicilian ice-cream, that will make you taste the scent of lemons and other local products of this wonderful land.
During the summer, nothing is better that walking around sunny Sicily with an ice cream in your hand, but don’t forget the other sweet specialties you will find here, like cassata and cannolo.
You will also be able to taste arancini and panelle together with ricotta and fish-based dishes, in addition to all the traditional Italian specialties.

9. Make a traditional “aperitivo” on the beach

You probably already know about one of the most eradicated Italian customs, the “aperitivo”.
If you haven’t yet tried a glass of Proseccositting in an Italian bar and nibbling cheese, ham or chips… Well you can’t say you really had an Italian eXPerience yet.
With this tip, we want to take you to the next level, the summer version of traditional aperitivo, on Italy’s most beautiful beaches. If you are up to meeting new people, listening music or enjoying the Italian sun plunging in the sea, you can’t miss that.
The coasts of Italy offer enchanting beaches in all of its regione… Sardinia, Lazio, Puglia and more. Once you get used to them, you won’t be able to live without!

10. Discover the hidden side of Sardinia

Another spot you might find crowded during summer months, but that you absolutely cannot miss, is Sardinia.  The perfect place if you want to have a funny, glamorous vacation between parties on the beach and runaways, but even you want to opt for a more intimate holiday.
In the latter case, we definitively have some tips for you, that will make you discover the most authentic and wild side of Sardinia.
The first option would surely be the Maddalena Archipelago, whose natural park and Caprera Island are among the most beautiful sea-side places ever.
Other amazing ones are the Island of San Pietro and its wonderful borgo, Carloforte or, if you like wild landscapes and woods, the Barbagia and Ogliastra regions will drive you crazy.

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