Abruzzo & Molise

Scenery

Activities

Wilderness

Scenery

Vintage Italy lives on in the isolated mountain villages of Pescocostanzo, Scanno and Sulmona. En route from Sulmona to Scanno, the untamed scenery of the Gole di Sagittario gorge will bewitch you.

Activities

From Corno Grande (2912m) to Monte Amaro (2793m), Abruzzo’s parks offer hiking and skiing without the northern hordes. The best-loved route: the ascent of Corno Grande.

Wilderness

These regions excel in outstanding natural beauty. Traced with walking trails, the ancient forests of three national parks still rustle with bears, chamois and wolves.

Emilia-Romagna & San Marino

Food

Architecture

Activities

Food

Indulge in Modena’s aged balsamic vinegar, Parma’s coveted prosciutto (ham) and cheese, Ferrara's cappellacci di zucca (pumpkin pasta dumplings) and Bologna’s rich, comforting ragù (meat and tomato sauce).

Architecture

Tour the churches for a quick art-history lesson, from Ravenna’s dazzling Byzantine mosaics and Modena’s Romanesque cathedral to Bologna’s Gothic-Renaissance blockbuster Basilica di San Petronio.

Activities

It's time to hit the pedal. Bologna's cobbled streets recall a continental Oxford, while smaller Modena and Ferrara, the latter with 9km of old city walls, are two of Italy's most bicycle-friendly locales.

Tuscany

Art

Food & Wine

Scenery

Art

Read the story of the evolving Renaissance within the vibrant frescoes and paintings adorning Florence, Siena, Arezzo and San Gimignano. Notable mavericks include Giotto, Masaccio, Ghirlandaio, Lippi and Botticelli.

Food & Wine

Intoxicating white truffles and juicy Chianina bistecche (steaks) – few regions whet the appetite so lasciviously. Add a glass of Montepulciano’s Vino Nobile or Montalcino’s world-famous Brunello, and rediscover bliss.

Scenery

Cypress-lined gardens in Florence, terraced hills in Chianti, the Unesco-lauded beauty of the Val d'Orcia and Val di Chiana: Tuscany's landscapes seem sketched by its artistic greats.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Culture

Wine

Activities

Culture

The geographic proximity of Mitteleuropa (Central Europe) is echoed in the region's earthy Slavic flavours, Austrian cakes and minority languages, not to mention the cosmopolitan other-worldliness of oft-overlooked Trieste.

Wine

Italy's northeast corner is home to an ever-growing number of small, innovative and often natural wine producers; their products are swilled by locals well-known for their love of fine libations.

Activities

Dramatic, unspoilt Alpine wilderness sets an enticing scene for laid-back winter skiing, sublime summertime hikes and no shortage of wildlife sightings, from foxes and deer to chamois and lynx.

Liguria, Piedmont & the Italian Riviera

Activities

Villages

Food & Wine

Activities

From the slopes of Piedmont's Milky Way and the Valle d’Aosta to wild coastal hikes along the Cinque Terre, this northwest corner of the country is a pulse-raising paradise.

Villages

With chic medieval fishing villages along the Cinque Terre, quaint winegrowing villages on Langhe hilltops and secret villages in the Valle d’Aosta, it's not hard to find your ideal storybook refuge.

Food & Wine

Birthplace of the Slow Food movement, Piedmont has an embarrassment of culinary riches, from the truffles of Alba to the vini of the Langhe region.

Milan & the Lakes

Shopping

Gardens

Food & Wine

Shopping

Every style maven knows that Milan takes fashion and design as seriously as others take biotech or engineering. Best of all, top-notch discount outlets mean that even mere mortals can make a bella figura (good impression) here.

Gardens

Framed by gazebos, blushing bushes of camellias, artfully tumbling terraces and world-class statuary, Lombardy’s lakeside villas knock the socks off the ‘luxury getaway’ concept.

Food & Wine

Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona and Mantua, the cultured cities of the Po Plain, combine wonderful art and architecture with a slew of sophisticated, regional restaurants.

Naples & Campania

Scenery

History

Food & Wine

Scenery

From Ischia’s Med-tropical gardens and Capri’s vertiginous cliffs, to the citrus-scented panoramas of the Amalfi Coast, the views from this sun-drenched coastline are as famous as the stars who holiday here.

History

Sitting beneath Mt Vesuvius, the Neapolitans abide by the motto carpe diem. And why not? All around them – at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Cuma and the Phlegraean Fields – are vivid reminders that life is short.

Food & Wine

Campania produces powerhouse coffee, pizzas, tomato pasta, sfogliatelle (sweetened ricotta pastries) and an incredible panoply of seafood, eaten every which way you can.

Puglia, Basilicata & Calabria

Beaches

Wilderness

Food & Wine

Beaches

Lounge beneath white cliffs in the Gargano, gaze on violet sunsets in Tropea and soak up summer on the golden beaches of Otranto and Gallipoli.

Wilderness

A crush of spiky mountains, Basilicata and Calabria are where the wild things are. Burst through the clouds in mountain-top Pietrapertosa, pick bergamot in the Aspromonte and swap pleasantries with quietly curious locals.

Food & Wine

Puglia has turned its poverty into a culinary art: sample vibrant, vegetable-based pasta dishes like orecchiette con cima di rape (pasta with broccoli rabe) and wash it down with a Salento red from Italy's heel.

Rome & Lazio

History

Art

Scenery

History

Rome's ancient centre is history in 3D. Romulus killed Remus on the Palatino (Palatine Hill), Christians were fed to lions in the Colosseum and rulers soaked at the Terme di Caracalla. Ponder the remains of the great and the good in the catacombs along Via Appia Antica.

Art

The breadth of cultural treasures housed in Rome's museums and galleries is, quite frankly, embarrassing. If you plan on hitting several of them, consider one of the various discount cards available.

Scenery

Often upstaged by Rome's urban must-sees, the Lazio region harbours lesser-known delights, from the classic Mediterranean beauty of the Isole Pontine to the extraordinary stone village of Civita di Bagnoregio.

Sardinia

Beaches

Activities

History

Beaches

Famous for its fjord-like coves, crystalline waters and windswept sand dunes, surfers, kitesurfers, sailors and divers from Italy and beyond flock to the Costa Smeralda, Porto Pollo, the Golfo di Orosei and the Archipelago di La Maddalena.

Activities

Sardinia’s rugged, awe-inspiring mountains leave hikers and free climbers breathless. Climbs deliver stunning views of the sea, while Supramonte hikes traverse old, atmospheric shepherd routes.

History

The island's grey-granite landscape is littered with strange prehistoric dolmens, menhirs, wells and nuraghi, the latter huge, mysterious stone towers built by the island’s earliest inhabitants.

Sicily

Food & Wine

History

Activities

Food & Wine

Sicilian cuisine seduces seafood lovers and sets sweet teeth on edge. Tuna, sardines, swordfish and shellfish come grilled, fried or seasoned with mint or wild fennel. Desserts are lavished with citrus, ricotta, almonds and pistachios.

History

A Mediterranean crossroads for centuries, Sicily keeps history buffs busy with Greek temples, Roman and Byzantine mosaics, Phoenician statues, Norman-Romanesque castles and art-nouveau villas.

Activities

Outdoor enthusiasts can swim and dive in Ustica's pristine waters, hike the Aeolian Islands’ dramatic coastlines or watch the volcanic fireworks of Stromboli and Etna.

Trento & the Dolomites

Activities

Wellness

Food & Wine

Activities

Ski, hike, ice-climb, sledge-ride or Nordic walk in the Sella Ronda and the remote Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio. Real adrenalin junkies will want to scale the WWI-era vie ferrate (trails with permanent cables and ladders).

Wellness

Attend to your wellness in the thermal baths at Terme Merano, then stock up on tisane and cosmetics infused with Alpine herbs, grapes, apples and mountain pine.

Food & Wine

Bolzano beer halls, strudels, Sachertorte, sourdough breads and buckwheat cakes are just some of the region’s Austro-Italian specialities. Combine with regional wines such as Gewürztraminer and riesling.

Umbria & Le Marche

Villages

Scenery

Food & Wine

Villages

Perched snugly on their peaks like so many storks on chimneys, Umbria’s hill towns – Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, Urbino, Spoleto, Todi – are the postcard-pretty protectors of local traditions.

Scenery

Mountainous and wild, views come at you from all angles. Shoot up the funivia (cable car) in Gubbio or strike out into the snowcapped ranges of Monti Sibillini and the wildflower-flecked Piano Grande.

Food & Wine

Richly forested and deeply rural, the Umbrian larder is stocked with robust flavours, from wild boar and pigeon to Norcia’s cinta senese (Tuscan pig) salami and black truffles.

Venice & the Veneto

Art

Architecture

Wine

Art

Action-packed canvases by Titian and Veronese, stirring frescoes by Tintoretto and Tiepolo, all illuminating the path to the modern creativity showcased at Punta della Dogana, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and La Biennale di Venezia.

Architecture

Formidable castles, gracious country villas and an entire city of palaces on the water, many of the Veneto’s architectural landmarks admire their own reflections in glassy, historic waterways.

Wine

One of Italy's wine-growing heavyweights, this region is home to Valpolicella's cult-status Amarone, Soave's mineral whites and Conegliano's prosecco (sparkling wine), not to mention dozens of innovative blends.