Best Places to Visit in Italy this Autumn

Wherever you trust a shovel in the ground in Italy, you are bound to unearth a piece of history. The Apennine Peninsula is steeped in rich history and mesmerizing landscapes, attracting visitors from across the globe. Whether it’s the capital of Rome or radiant Palermo in Sicily, Italy throws a bit of everything at you.

Summer can be unpleasantly hot in Italy so autumn is the best time to visit. Harvest season in Umbria or Tuscany is something you shouldn’t miss, as olives and wines are delicacies Italy is known across the world for. In September and October, temperatures are mild 25 degrees Centigrade.

The best thing about the Italian climate is the fact it allows you to choose the temperatures that best suit you. For instance, when it is raining in Trieste in the north, it could be a perfectly sunny day down south in Campania where Naples is situated.

Useful resources for your journey to Italy in fall:

Most beautiful places to visit in Italy this fall

Rome, Lazio region

Colosseum-Rome-Italy

Rome is the capital city of Italy, so is automatically a must-see. It is an enchanting city which is full of history, culture and impressive architecture. Ideally, I would recommend spending a long weekend in Rome.

‘When in Rome’, as they say, you must ensure to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. You must have a guided tour around the Colosseum however you are free to walk around the Roman Forum at your own leisure. I would also recommend going back to the Colosseum one evening to see it lit up in the dark. There is nothing else like it!

Another famous and beautiful place to visit is the Trevi Fountain. If you toss a coin in, it is said that you will visit again in the future.

Looking for places to eat? Rome has a variety of places that serve delicious local cuisines. Visit the Piazza della Rontonda (which faces the Pantheon) or Piazza Navona (offers views of many fountains) for some lovely cafes and restaurants. You would struggle to run out of things to do in Rome!

It is a lovely city which you must visit at least once in your life. 

Suggested by Charlotte Ashby, simplycharlotte.blog

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna

Bologna

If you like to mix your food and travel, you’ll almost certainly end up in Bologna at some point. It’s the main city in the Emilia Romagna region of central Italy, a part of the world known for its fast cars and food. Bologna itself is the home of tortellini, the navel-shaped pasta, the Bolognese sauce known locally as ragù  Nearby  Modena gave the world balsamic vinegar, and Parma is the home of Parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano, better known as Parmesan cheese. 

Much of the city of Bologna is medieval and built-in red brick. Many of its streets are also porticoed, earning the city the nickname ‘la pianeta porticata’, the ‘porticoed planet’.

The place to start exploring Bologna is the main square, Piazza Maggiore, and the adjacent Piazza Nettuno, graced by a superb statue of Neptune. The Basilica of San Petronio on the south side of the square is one of the largest churches in Christendom, and the city’s cathedral is just across the square.

The main market and shopping area is just off to the east of the Piazza and is known as the Quadrilatero. A huge mall complex called Eataly has recently opened on the outskirts of the city, but the Quadrilatero is the real thing, with lots of small family-run delis and trattoria. The Quadrilatero ends at the two famous leaning towers, the Torre degli Asinelli and Torre degli Garisenda. You can climb the Asinelli Tower for an amazing view of the city’s red rooftops.  

Suggested by David Angel, Delve into Europe

Cinque Terre, Liguria

Cinque-Terre

Cinque Terre is a collection of five brightly colored hill-side villages called Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. They are located on the west coast of Italy, just north of Pisa.

As the majority of the village streets are for either foot traffic or the cars of local residence, tourists will find that the easiest way to get around is by train. If you are traveling by train through Italy then you would get off at La Spezia station and catch the local Cinque Terre train between the villages.

As well as the Cinque Terre train which runs all year round, there is also a series of walking trails between the villages. However, landslides are quite common and when we visited in early 2020 the majority of the trails were closed except for the one between Vernazza and Monterosso. During peak season there is a fee to walk the trails but in the quiet season they are generally unsupervised, and you can walk them for free.

The Cinque Terre card allows you access to both the trains and the hiking trails for a set daily fee however we found in the quiet season it was more economical to buy individual train tickets between the villages.

The villages are very laid back and are best explored at a slow pace to allow you time to wander down all the back streets and find your favorite village; ours was Vernazza. You should allow at least 2-3 days to explore all five villages. 

One of the most memorable things about the Cinque Terre villages apart from the brightly colored buildings and the stunning ocean views is the stairs. Everywhere you look is another flight of stairs. Your calves will definitely get a workout while you are there! 

Suggested by Susan Gan, Thrifty after 50 

Puglia, Apulia region

Puglia-Alberobello-Italy

Puglia is a wonderful place for a getaway in every season but autumn is a fantastic time when there is still the warmth coming through and even on our trip to Puglia in winter the warmth of the temperature as well as that of the people was significant. Puglia has a much slower pace than many other Italian regions, it’s all about good food and taking time to relax and enjoy life.

There are some wonderful beaches in this region of Puglia here which are much less crowded than the usual sandy hotspots and being out in the countryside is one of the best things to do here. The region is peppered with gnarly olive trees and it’s the perfect place to visit an olive mill and find out about the production of this beautiful amber liquid.

Another great trip out is to the quirky town of Alberobello which is filled with beehive-shaped houses called Trullo. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a really unique place to explore. Spend as much time as you can in Puglia as the main activity is to take in the environment and enjoy the great food and pace of life. This is somewhere you won’t want to leave.

Suggested by Nichola, Globalmouse Travels

Marche region

Marche-Ancona

Le Marche is one of Italy’s hidden gems. Located in the central east of the country, Le Marche is bordered by Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, and Abruzzo and it has wonderful sandy beaches on its east coast.

The landscape of Le Marche is varied: there are the soaring Sibillini Mountains, rolling patchwork hills, and meadows carpeted with wildflowers in early summer. There are some amazing art cities in Le Marche. In the north is Urbino, the birthplace of artist Raphael. In the south is Ascoli Piceno, with its picture-perfect square: Piazza del Popolo.

If music is your thing, head to Macerata where there’s an open-air opera concert in the summer months. Alternatively, there’s a lively jazz festival at the appealing seaside town of Fano. Inland, each tiny hilltop village hosts a gastronomic fiesta, each one showcasing its regional specialty. Despite the region’s obvious appeal, few foreign tourists visit Le Marche.

Le Marche holidays offer a brilliant blend of culture and relaxation. The region is great for a self-catering holiday: villas in Le Marche are cheaper than in neighboring Umbria and Tuscany but the views are no less beautiful. Alternatively, combine the three regions into a road trip across central Italy.

Suggested by Annabel Kirk, Smudged Postcard

Best Places to visit in Veneto

Verona

Verona-Romeo-And-Juliet

A smaller city situated in northern Italy and close to one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, Lake Garda, Verona is a quaint mid-sized city that offers an amazing perspective on the Italian way of life.  Less fast-paced than Milan, Verona is a great city to walk around and get to know.

Two days is about the right amount of time to spend in Verona.  Many sites can be visited by foot such as the Castel Vecchio, a former defense fortress, and one of the largest sites in Verona. The castle is one of the largest achievements in northern Italy and has a dedicated museum and a spacious open courtyard.  One of the most popular things to do is to walk the adjacent Vecchio Bridge, which is only for pedestrians and has great photo opportunities with every step.

One of the most popular attractions is Juliet’s House, where flocks of tourists take pictures and climb up to Juliet’s balcony.  Romeo’s House isn’t too far but isn’t as visited as the famed Juliet House.  Finally, the Arena di Verona is one of the most preserved areas in Italy and continues to be used as a venue for arts and entertainment.

Suggested by Diana, travelsinpoland.com

Venice

Venice-Canal-Grande

Here is the thing about Venice. There is so much to love that it makes you think why not just move here. Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, it’s a city with just canals. No roads. There is no city as unique as Venice all throughout Italy or even Europe for that matter.

One way to explore Venice is to just get lost in Venice and wander, rather than thinking about a bucket list. The main city of Venice is not too big. You can walk for hours and hop cafes, relax at one of the small squares sprinkled around the city.

Must-Visit Places in Venice

That being said, there are some must-see places. Built-in 1092, The St. Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco is a wonderful piece of architecture. Then there is the Canal Grande, the biggest of all the canals, that passes from one side of Venice to the other and snakes through the center of the city. You can take a gondola and see the city and the beautiful old buildings on both sides and a lot of landmarks. Don’t miss the Ponte di Rialto bridge from where you can enjoy an iconic view of this city along with the gondolas, ferries, and people. 

Visit San Marco Campanile, the tallest structure in Venice, and take an elevator up top for the best panoramic views of Venice.

Love arts? Make sure to visit Gallerie dell’Accademia, a museum with a wonderful collection of pre-19th century art and features works.

If you still got time, you can visit the bridge of sighs and Doges Palace. 

If you are visiting Italy or any other country in Europe, and need a visa, you can read more about the European visa requirements

Suggested by Deb Pati, The Visa Project

Best Places to visit in Lombardy

Milan, A Feast For The Eyes

Milano-Duomo-Square

Milan is about style, about fashion, about the best of the best – and autumn is when it all happens, starting with Milan Fashion Week, every September. In case you’re unable to nab one of the coveted entrance tickets (sold out long in advance), you’ll still experience it in the streets – models, celebrities, photographers, all will be jostling for space around town as they make their way from glittering venue to venue. Get out your best duds!

If the rain should happen to pelt (and in autumn, it does!) the perfect hiding place is the Galleria, an open-ended glass-domed shopping arcade, lined with shops, stylish cafés, and well-dressed Milanese. Nearby, the Duomo Cathedral awaits, whether you head inside for a glimpse of its precious Gothic interior or climb up top for the view if weather permits.

Fall is also opera season in Milan, and who wouldn’t sell their soul for a ticket to La Scala? (Or if you’d prefer, come in November for Jazz Week.) But like Fashion Week, opera performances are so sought after that only a miracle will land you a seat.

And speaking of miracles, it’s unthinkable to spend a weekend in Milan without seeing the Last Supper, housed in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. Do your research and know what to look for: not many people are let in together, and your time will be limited.

Suggested by Leyla, Women on the Road

Lake Como

Lake-Como-Italy

Lake Como is a freshwater lake in Northern Italy surrounded by the pristine foothills of the alps and has been a place of refuge for the wealthy since Roman times. It’s waterfront towns are lined with opulent palaces and villas, which is what people come to see.

The surrounding lakeside towns are what bring people to Lake Como, exploring the old pedestrian piazzas and enjoying the food, architecture, and atmosphere of the lake. The Bellagio is often labeled the most beautiful town in Europe, while the town of Como is a perfect example of renaissance architecture with its magnificent cathedral. 

It is convenient to have a car (or moped) to drive around the lake as the towns are spread out. However traveling by boat is much more fun, especially in nice weather. There are ferry boats as well as tour boats, or you can rent one for yourself and stop to swim wherever you like. 

You will need a couple of days to explore the towns, relax on the beach and venture into the hills. From the town of Como, there is a funicular that takes you up to a lookout point above the lake. This is also a great spot to go hiking from, as there are trails and guest houses throughout the mountains. 

Visiting Lake Como is different than elsewhere in Italy because it encourages you to live the life of an Italian rather than waiting in lines like a tourist. Hopping between picturesque Italian towns via boat is a luxurious vacation as you can ask for.

Suggested by Tara Whelan, Taras Travels

Best Places to visit in Tuscany

Florence

Florence

Florence’s reputation precedes it. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence in the 14th Century was a breeding ground of art, science, philosophy, and culture.

As one of the world’s top tourist destinations, Florence offers depth like no other. With artworks from masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli, a rich history thanks to the ruling Medici family and wars with neighbors such as Pisa and Siena, Florence offers an unforgettable visit in the Tuscany region of Italy.

First established by Julius Caesar in 59BC, Florence was a settlement for veteran Roman soldiers.

The Renaissance, from 1300-1600 was a period arising from the dark ages in which there were a re-discovery and re-focus on important areas such as literature, art, science, and classical philosophy.

Florence today is a tourist hotspot and one of the 3 most important travel destinations in Italy, along with Rome and Venice.

You can spend a few days in Florence or a month or more. But the must-see sights include the Florence Duomo (Cathedral), the Statue of David carved from Carrara marble by Michelangelo, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), and the center of Florence, Piazza Della Signoria with its famous Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace).

Not to mention the Uffizi Gallery which houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and others, as well as the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, the former home of the ruling Medici family.

Florence in Autumn is the best time of the year as the weather is still warm and there’s an energy to the city. You can head indoors for air-conditioning or stay outdoors to enjoy the many sights, not to mention the gelato!

Suggested by Matt, It’s all in Italy

Siena

Siena

Siena is one of the most charming towns in the beautiful region of Tuscany. The region itself is worldwide known for its breathtaking landscapes, great wines, heavenly food, and fascinating towns.

Siena is famous for its beautiful landmarks, art, and cuisine. The historic center is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, in highlight with Siena’s shell-shaped medieval square, the Piazza del Campo. 

Piazza del Campo is one of the largest medieval squares in the world. You can visit here the Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, the Torre del Mangia. The Gaia Fountain is facing the palazzo, in the top middle of the square. You’ll see bars and restaurants all around the side of the piazza, where you can sit to enjoy an aperitivo, or a lunch. If the weather is pleasant, you’ll notice people sitting on the ground on the piazza, chatting, or even having a picnic.  

When you visit Siena, make sure to add to your must-see list the Duomo of Siena, a magnificent gothic cathedral, with breathtaking interior decoration and frescoes. 

Once you got to taste traditional dishes in Siena, make sure to try the Siena pici, which is a type of spaghetti, and sweets (dolci) like cantucci or ricciarelli.

If you’re visiting Siena in the Autumn, one of the best things is that it’s less crowded, the weather is really nice, and there are some famous local products in season. Just consider the truffles, the grape, and the olives. There are plenty of agriturismo places in the area to check out and join harvesting.

Suggested by Helga Dosa, shegowandering.com

Montepulciano

Montepulciano

Although most visitors stop for a short visit to where the Twilight sequel New Moon was filmed, we recommend Montepulciano as an overnight stop on any Tuscan itinerary, especially if you are on your honeymoon in Italy.

Surrounded by city walls dating back to the 14th century, Montepulciano is an elegant Renaissance town that feels like an open-air museum. Best known as home to the Nobile de Montepulciano, arguably Tuscany’s most exquisite wine, this charming hilltop medieval town should be explored not only for wine tasting but to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views it offers over the entire region.

Once you are done with the main landmarks, like the Palazzo Comunale designed by Michelozzo, the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, the church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, and the Museo Civico di Montepulciano, you can safely go for a wine tasting itinerary and have an unforgettable dinner at one of the restaurant terraces overlooking the entire region. The thermal town of Bagno Vignoni, as well as Montepulciano’s wine-producing brother Montalcino, are easily reached from here so do not hesitate to make Montepulciano your temporary base. Luxury accommodation such as the Palazzo Carletti and the Borgo Poggiardelli are bound to make your stay memorable.

Suggested by Anca, Dream, Book, and Travel

Pienza

Pienza-Tuscany

If you ever find yourself driving in Tuscany, you will invariably reach the region of Val d’Orcia, to the south of iconic Siena. Gently undulating hills covered in vineyards, vistas, and lonely roads that disappear on the horizon, Cypress trees that punctuate the landscape, characterize this region that has been included in its totality on the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Towns like Pienza are the postcard-perfect addition to the landscape of Val d’Orcia. Situated atop a hill overlooking the Val d’Orcia, Pienza is best known as the “ideal city of the Renaissance”, in which Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini) wanted to exemplify Renaissance humanist urban planning concepts which were then implemented throughout Italy and Europe.

The town’s focal point is the central piazza with its four main buildings: the Palazzo Piccolomini, the Duomo, Palazzo Vescovile, and Palazzo Comunale. Totally worth your time is to take a marked walk to the side of the hill to the Pieve di Corsignano, a Romanesque church originally built in the 7th century and brought to its current shape in the 12th century.

Plan to spend at least half a day in Sienna, as it is not only an architectural gem but also a foodie’s paradise. Home to the well known Pecorino cheese, Pienza has plenty of authentic gourmet shops that sell, alongside Pecorino, every single Tuscan delicacy you can think of: home-made pasta, spices, salamis, and fine wines. Taste, enjoy and make sure to stock up for home.

Suggested by Anca, Dream, Book, and Travel

Lucca

piazza-anfiteatro-lucca

Lucca is a medieval city in Tuscany famous for its intact Renaissance-era thick city walls. It’s a popular tourist spot for not only its city walls which make a great bike ride but also its many churches and towers.

Known as the city of a hundred churches, the must-visit churches include Lucca Cathedral and San Michele in Foro.

Another must-see is the Piazza dell Anfiteatro (pictured above), made famous by its rare elliptical shape, it was once a Roman Amphitheatre and now a hive of popular cafes, restaurants, and bars.

Be sure to dedicate an hour or two to ride along the city walls and another couple of hours to explore some of the city’s famous towers including Torre delle Ore, once a defensive structure that was later converted to a horological clock tower. Climb its stairs for captivating views of Lucca.

But perhaps the most famous tower to visit is the iconic 14th Century Guinigi Tower with a rooftop garden poking out above the city skyline, making it distinguishable for miles around.

A half-day minimum is recommended to explore Lucca and see the popular attractions mentioned.

Suggested by Matt from ItsAllinItaly.com

Viareggio Beach, Lucca

Viareggio-Beach-Lucca

Viareggio beach is a stunning Italian coastal escape if you’d like a relaxing beach getaway as a couple or a large family during your dream Italy vacation.

Viareggio is situated on the west coast of Italy in the province of Lucca. The beach itself is long, wide, and flat, perfect to keep an eye on the kids or laze around with a book (or perhaps a cocktail?).

During summer, it’s popular with tourists, both Italians and foreigners and its expansive promenade offer a myriad of dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Stay for the day or stay for a month, the choice is yours.

While you’re enjoying the beach, if you turn back towards the east you’ll notice the majestic mountains of the Apennine National Park. Where else but Italy can you enjoy stunning beaches and captivating mountain views in one place?

If you’re traveling with kids, Viareggio beach offers calm waters with small waves where the kids can play while you keep a close eye on them.

It’s not all beaches and mountain views at Viareggio, it’s also known for its annual Carnival in February and March, which features paper-mâché floats parading along the promenade, a popular spectacle since 1873.

Make Viareggio part of your next trip to Italy to soak up the sun and enjoying a relaxing break from your travel schedule, you’ll be glad you did!

Suggested by Matt, It’s all in Italy

Pisa and Leaning Tower

Pisa-Leaning-Tower

Pisa, this place has a lot to explore, filled with historical and cultural aspects. The name came from a Greek word which means marshy land. Here local people are too friendly, which makes your trip more enjoyable. Being a  foodie person you will fall in love with the taste of Sullo Scio, a typical dish of Pisa. There are also varieties of fish and seafood dishes that taste delicious.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most famous tourist spot. Located behind the Cathedral. There is no fixed opening time. It varies along with the months.  Pay entry fee for 18€. Better buy it online. You will be allocated 30 minutes for visiting after getting the tickets. Visitors can even climb up the tower to get a wonderful view of the whole city.

To see some Romanesque art, visit The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It opens every day and charges €2 for entry. Pisa Baptistry is also another example of Romanesque art. It was made by Nicola Pisano. This is a great architectural building.

The presence of Piazza Dei Miracoli (Miracles Square) also made this place quite popular. If you are there on 16th June never miss the illustrations of San Ranieri. During this time the area is lightened with candles and it looks great.

Pisa is approximately one and a half hours’ drive from Florence. There is also a direct train and ticket price is about 10 eur. I suggest not to plan your tour during summer, it remains crowded and expensive. Autumn is a perfect time to visit Pisa.

There are lots more to tourism types to explore in this city. So hurry up and start packing for your tour. 

Suggested by Ruma, TheHolidayStory

Best places to visit in Campania

Naples

Naples-and-Vesuvius

Autumn can be one of the best times to visit Naples and the many attractions you can find in the area around Naples. The crowds of the peak summer season have gone, but the weather is still warm, and even the seasonal attractions are open well into October. Others, like Pompeii, are open all year round.

Must-see spots around Naples read like a list of the most perfect places to go in Italy. As well as the iconic archaeological site Pompeii, you can visit Herculaneum (another Roman city destroyed at the same time as Pompeii). You can even climb the volcano that destroyed them, Mount Vesuvius, and see the still-smoking crater that continues to threaten Naples to this day. In Naples itself, you’ll find one of the world’s best archaeological museums – ideal if the weather is more wintry than autumnal.

Along the coast south of Naples, you’ll find elegant Sorrento, and over the headland is the legendary Amalfi Coast. Freed of the crush of the summer, you can experience Positano and Amalfi at a more relaxed pace. Across the Bay of Naples is ritzy Capri, or for a more laid-back island, try Ischia, where you can relax in volcanic thermal spas until mid-October, or whenever you like if you visit the free hot springs at Sorgeto beach.

Suggested by Helen, Helen on her Holidays

Positano, Campania

Positano-Salerno

There are few locations in the world that are as awe-inspiring as the cliffside village of Positano. Located in an enclave in the hills, and trickling down to the Amalfi Coast, Positano has morphed from a quaint little fishing village to an international destination for the jet-set traveler.

Positano has much to offer for those seeking rest and relaxation, and it is only natural that it has gained such fame in the last 50 years.  It is home to luxurious hotels such as Le Agavi and the well-known Le Sirenuse, named after the private islands located just off the Amalfi coast. Legend has it that if you’re close enough, you can hear the mythical sirens that are said to inhabit the islands.

Aside from the hotels, Positano offers some breath-taking views of the colorful homes sitting on the hillside. Leave the map at your hotel and just wander around the village and find yourself a staircase that will lead you all the way down to one of the beaches. You’ll be guaranteed to find one – remember this is a village built on a hillside that descends to the ocean. It’s probably fair to say there are more staircases than there are roads!

Admittedly, Positano is not a location to visit museums, galleries, or shows – there isn’t even a cinema! It is a place to visit to simply relax at a cafe, laze around on glamourous beaches like Spiaggia Grande and browse the many trendy boutiques, if only to pick up a souvenir as a token of your time in this Southern Italian paradise.  

Suggested by Sarah Barthet, dukesavenue.com

Best Italian Islands to visit in fall

Sardinia

Cagliari-Sardinia

Often overlooked for more famous regions, Sardinia actually is one of the best places to visit in Italy, and contrary to common belief, it is a great destination year-round. While during the summer months enjoying the beautiful beaches is one of the best things to do in Sardinia, the island has a lot more to offer.

A proper trip to Sardinia should include a visit to its beautiful capital, Cagliari, and to the lovely Alghero and Bosa, on the northeastern coast. The latter is persistently recognized as one of the prettiest villages in Italy. If you have a knack for archeological sites, you won’t be disappointed: scattered around Sardinia you will find many “nuraghe” – which are unique to the island. One of Barumini is the most famous one and a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Sites such as Nora and Tharros will give you a good idea of the complicated history of the island, by clearly showing the stratifications of the many civilizations that lived here. 

If you are a fan of hiking and adventure sports, you will be in for a treat. Cutting through the island there are many good hiking trails for all levels of fitness, and if you fancy climbing, make sure to head to Gorropu, the deepest gorge in Europe (which is also great for hiking, by the way). 

One of the most rewarding hikes is to Cala Luna. It departs from Cala Fuili, a small beach outside of Cala Gonone, and in around 3 hours it takes you to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Make sure to walk this trail in early June or after mid-September, or the temperatures may get too high. 

Last, but definitely not least, Sardinia is a great destination for food and wine lovers. A visit won’t be complete without a wine tasting tour. The best place to do it is Sardinia, a small village at about 20 km from Cagliari, where there are many wineries. The best one is Argiolas, one of the best known on the island. Sardinia is also a pleasant place to visit, with the beautiful Romanesque style church of Santa Maria di Sibiola a bit outside the village, and Su Stani Saliu, a saltwater pond where pink flamingoes live and nest. 

Make sure to spend at least 10 days in Sardinia to enjoy everything it has to offer. The island is well connected to mainland Italy and to the rest of Europe via its 3 airports. Once there, rent a car to move around more independently. 

Suggested by Claudia Tavani, Strictly Sardinia

Sicily, Taormina

Sicily-Taormina-Teatro-Greco

Taormina belongs to one of the most beautiful places in Sicily and the whole of Italy. The picturesque town offers everything you could wish for: rich history, plenty of amazing monuments, beachside and delicious food.

If you visit for a day, you can never run out of what to do in Taormina. Most people head to the town because of the monumental Ancient Greek Theatre. The uniquely preserved amphitheater offers an insight into Roman and Greek history of the place, as well as stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea.

One cannot leave out strolling along the Corso Umberto Avenue stretching between the city gates Porta Messina and Porta Catania. A number of historical churches are located there too, with Santa Caterina and two churches at the Piazza IX Aprile square being the most notable ones.

The beach is only a short cable car ride away. You can either opt for the closer but smaller (and more crowded) Mazzaro Beach or walk just 5 minutes further to reach the beautiful Isola Bella Beach. From the actual beach, you can cross over to an islet of the same name, with an abandoned house and a series of paths leading through the greenery. A small fee is collected.

Suggested by Veronika Primm, Travelgeekery

Ponza Island

Ponza-Island-Port-Italy

A mere two hours from Rome you can have an island adventure equivalent to what you might experience in nearby Sardinia— only that it’s uncrowded and oh I forgot, way more budget-friendly!

Ponza is the largest isle of the Pontine Islands but is still just a mere 8 km squares making it the perfect size for a weekend getaway. It offers everything a dream island getaway should: impeccable fine dining, crystal waters, panoramic scenery, fiery sunsets, and fantastic snorkeling/diving.

The main activity you will be doing is exploring all the little coves around the island. Some you can visit via land, others only via boat. For this reason, I highly recommend that you rent a boat one day and use the other day to get around the island via Vespa- I mean, it doesn’t get any more Italian than this right?

The Piscine Naturali is a great little spot to explore. A cove that has been sculpted over the years by wind and water, it is the perfect spot to swim, sunbathe or even grab an aperitif- there are two restaurants right on the rock! If, however, you’re more for getting that perfect sunset, definitely head to Chiaia Luna for a romantic happy hour overlooking an exquisite bay.

By boat (I recommend renting your own as opposed to taking a tour), Capo Bianco was our favorite stop. Magnificently towering white cliffs surround this little turquoise cove where you can explore three different grottos. We stayed here for almost two hours just jumping in and out of the boat, checking out the fish, and just basking in these marvelous waters.

Ponza is a weekend is the epitome of that slow Italian vacation lifestyle we all want. Sunkissed skin, salty hair, heavenly food, and spritz, all aboard a Vespa or boat- I mean wow, or should I say “mammamia!”

Suggested by Linda Faison, Ladolcefitvita

Find more great destinations to visit in autumn:

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