Basilicata to Puglia
Best for: Caves and coast lines.
Combine culture and beach on a west to east journey from the toe to the heel of Southern Italy.
Start your trip in the lovely seaside town of Maratea, a serene dream of tinkling churches and sumptuous fish-specialist trattorias. Then drive inland for a stay in Matera, a UNESCO-listed town famed for its ancient cave-dwellings, which has served as the backdrop for many a biblical epic. Here you can explore a host of impressive churches and museums wh ile staying in a stylishly converted cave hotel.
Cross over into Puglia to round off your road trip by exploring the Adriatic coast’s sun-bleached sandy beaches and sheltered fishing villages. Be sure to visit the whitewashed hilltop towns of Ostuni and Alberobello, where you’ll see the iconic trullo houses, famed for their striking conical roofs, for which the region is known.
Best for: Olive groves and ancient ruins.
Discover historical riches, beautiful beaches and fantastic food at every turn on this Sicilian road trip.
Begin with a couple of nights in Palermo, the island’s intoxicating capital, before heading south to Piazza Armerina to visit the astoundingly well-preserved Roman mosaics. Then drive south-west to experience authentic Sicilian hospitality while staying on a working olive farm, the perfect base for a daytrip to the ancient Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. Back at the farm, we’ll arrange a tour of the olive groves after which you’ll enjoy a tasting session of the estate’s renowned olive oil.
Finish off with a few days exploring the Baroque towns of the island’s south-east. See Noto’s honey-hued stone buildings, wander Scicli’s pretty piazza and palazzi, then take in the sweeping views from Ragusa’s hilltop Duomo. Sightseeing done, pay an indulgent visit to Modica’s famed chocolatiers before dining on Sicilian specialities.
Central Italy – From Le Marche to Tuscany
Best for: Hilltop towns and hiking.
Nothing beats winding your way through the captivating countryside of central Italy, traversing the undulating hills from Ancona to Pisa.
Fly to Ancona, on Le Marche’s Adriatic coast, then head inland to the beautiful village of Monterado. From here you can explore authentic Italian towns like Urbino, just over the border in Umbria, within close proximity to wild beaches and secluded coves.
Drive west into the northern Umbria, known as Italy’s ‘Green Heart’, where you can tour mist-ribboned hill towns like Gubbio, Orvieto, Perugia and Assisi. Then head south-east for a stint in medieval Norcia, where you can go walking in the majestic Sibillini Mountains or go truffle hunting with a local guide.
For a relaxing finish, round things off with a stint close to the Tuscan coast in the unspoiled Maremma region.
Venice to the Dolomites
Best for: Mountains, lakes and lagoons.
Enjoy stunning natural scenery and active adventures on this northern road trip of snow-peaked mountains and glistening lakes.
Kick things off with a bewitching stay in Venice, one of the world’s most evocative cities. There’ll be no need for a car, as you glide down the Grand Canal by gondola and stroll through picture-postcard piazzas bursting with ancient churches and cosy bars.
It’s just a two-hour drive north to the jagged peaks of the Dolomite Mountains. Spend your days hiking winding mountain trails, cycling the larch forests of the Alta Badia or climbing via ferrata to explore dramatic mountain tunnels constructed during World War I.
Lake Garda is a short drive south. There’s walking and water sports if you’re still feeling active, or you may be content to simply gaze in wonder at the crystalline waters from your hotel’s terrace.
Best of our ITALIAN FLY-DRIVES
From rolling green hills and Renaissance culture to mighty mountains and shimmering coastlines, Italy has it all. So why see just one bit, but rather three or four?
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