Roman relics, jam-packed beaches, hedonistic nightclubs and the memory (and memories) of film director and native son Federico Fellini make sometimes awkward bedfellows in seaside Rimini. Although there's been a settlement here for over 2000 years, Rimini's coast was just sand dunes until 1843, when the first bathing establishments took root next to the ebbing Adriatic.
Rising out of the cobalt-blue seas off Sicily's northeastern coast, the Unesco-protected Aeolian Islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi) are a little piece of paradise, a magical outdoor playground offering thrills and spills at every turn.
The Bay of Naples’ smallest island is also its best-kept secret. Dig out your paintbox; this soulful blend of hidden lemon groves, weathered fishermen and pastel-hued houses is memorably picturesque. Mercifully off the mass-tourist radar, Procida is like the original Portofino prototype and is refreshingly real.
A legendary idyll: Capri's beguiling combination of fabled beauty and hedonism has charmed Roman emperors, Russian revolutionaries and showbiz stars for decades. It’s the perfect microcosm of Mediterranean appeal – a smooth cocktail of chichi piazzas and cool cafes, Roman ruins and rugged seascapes.