Italy is such a diverse country that it’s hard to try and choose between the various regions. It truly is a rich tapestry, with each region having its own unique character and history. Whilst in the past, visitors flocked to the most well-known tourist sites, nowadays, it is clear that holidaymakers are increasingly looking to find the ‘hidden’ Italy and the less well-known spots.
In the North, the country is dominated by its beautiful lakes and mountains. The Italian Lakes is a stunning region, full of colour in the Spring and with crystal clear lake waters to enjoy in the Summer. With Lake Como to the West, across to Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, the region’s main cities include Venice, Verona and Milan. There is much to enjoy here in the Winter months too with the Dolomites just to the North for those serious skiers amongst you.
In the West, the two most popular regions are Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. The former is a group of 5 spectacular coastal villages that hug the sides of the cliffs in the Italian Riviera. Further South on the same coast, you will come to the Amalfi Coast. This is a stunning stretch of coastline that includes towns and villages such as Sorrento and Positano as well as the island of Capri. It’s also close to the spectacular historic site of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
As you move South through the country, Tuscany is perhaps Italy’s most famous of regions. Certainly, it is home to some of the country’s most famous cities – Florence, Pisa and Siena. However, to the East, Umbria is just as beautiful and whilst it may not boast as many famous names as its neighbour, its hilltop towns certainly rival the beauty that Tuscany has to offer. Both regions are famous for their wine production.
Marche to the East of Umbria offers just as much beauty, with rolling hills that can rival any in Umbria, but it is less well known as is Lazio and Abruzzo to the South. However, of course, Lazio is home to Italy’s capital – Rome – which welcomes millions of visitors each year. Its two most well-known tourist attractions are the Colosseum (which is the world’s 39th most visited tourist attraction, stacking up 4 million visitors per annum) and the Vatican Museums with just over 4.2 million visitors.
Whilst not that long ago, tourists to Italy very rarely made it further South of Rome, nowadays, the South of the country is seeing a massive growth in visitor numbers. Puglia in the South of the country, is very much the up and coming region of Italy at the moment. It boasts the most stunning coastline as well as amazing cuisine and beautiful rural landscapes. Its neighbour, Basilicata, will no doubt soon mirror this rise in visitor numbers as people flock to its most famous town – Matera – which in 2019 is the European Capital of Culture (and the setting of the latest James Bond movie!)
And then of course, we must not forget Italy’s two main islands to consider too – Sicily and Sardinia. Sardinia is a varied island, commanding high prices in the North East and yet the South is much more rural.
We’ve created a number of guides to help you decide which region of Italy is right for you: