As a nation surrounded primarily by water, it’s no surprise that Italy encompasses a variety of islands. What will surprise you, however, is your selection. Italy’s islands range from Sicily and Sardinia, practically nations of their own in the Mediterranean, to tiny Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore, barely big enough to house the palace and garden that cover it.
Between these two opposites, idyllic Capri, the generally famous historic Elba, Stromboli with its nightly tectonic fireworks, a handful of various islands in the Venetian lake, and many others worth visiting.
Whether you’re trying to find a deserted beach, an energetic resort scene, a romantic hideaway, or a chance to explore mysterious prehistoric sites, you’ll find the highest places to travel with this list of Italy’s simplest islands.
Always listed among the best places to visit in Italy, Sicily might seem like another kind of separate country. At almost ten,000 square miles, about the same size as Luxembourg, it is the largest island in the Mediterranean.
Sicily has enough tourist attractions to merit a visit of its own, rather than a quick stop on a circuit. With seven UN agency World Heritage Sites – 3 ancient sites, 2 natural wonders, and 2 field study landmarks – and more than its share of beautiful beaches, Sicily attracts a variety of travelers.
The temples, amphitheaters, and villas of the traditional Greek and Roman civilizations measure the best surviving ancient structures: Selinunte is home to one of the largest Greek temples; in Agrigento, one of the first dead is preserved. The powder-white sands and crystal-clear waters of San Vito Lo Capo rank it among the best beaches in Italy.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sicily
With its language and cultural traditions, even with novel preparation, Sardinia looks even more different from the ground than Sicily. If foreign tourists at least recognize it, it is for the legendary white sand beaches and emerald waters of the Costa Smeralda, one of the main summer tourist destinations in Europe. Much of the island is fringed with golden sands, making the beaches on its south and west coasts just as spectacular.
More shocking to many is how quickly central Sardinia rises into towering rugged mountains and hidden villages that look like they are from the last century. Equally striking, to the delight of those curious about the mysteries of history, is the square measure of the many prehistoric sites, particularly the glorious nuraghi-like spherical stone towers that dot the island’s landscape.
Little is known about its origins, but many such squares were built so solidly that you can only explore corridors and climb spiral staircases that were built in the Bronze and Iron ages. Additional enigmatic megaliths and stone carvings add to the mysterious past of the island. And you are never apart from the beautiful sandy beaches.
Accommodation: Best Hotels & Resorts in Sardinia
A romantic aura surrounds the terrible name of this island within the bay of the city. Its high cliffs rise practically directly above the water, with its best-known landmark tucked away lower. The Blue Grotto is an ocean cave that small boats will enter; inside reflected daylight turns the water a brilliant blue.
Boat tours around the island reveal additional caves, arches, and thus the characteristic ocean stack rock formation on the south coast called Faraglioni.
The 2 cities of the island, the island and therefore the upper Anacapri, have a holiday air, as tourists arrive by ferries from Naples and Sorrento.
The highlight of Capri, except for the trendy cafes and boutiques, is the beautiful villa and gardens of San Michele, and the cliff-top Giardini di Augusto (Gardens of Augustus) of Marina Piccola and Faraglioni.
The trails follow the alignment for spectacular views, otherwise, you’ll ride a chairlift to the top of the best peak for expansive views of the entire island.
The Venetian Islands
Although the city itself is connected by a causeway, the metropolis is made up of islands linked by bridges or scattered across the lagoon. Four of the “separate” islands have a specific charm for tourists.
The Lido lined with long beaches is the playground of Venice and the oldest seaside resort in Europe, where royalty would gather in the grand hotels that also line its sands. Less glamorous today, it’s a cheerful holiday vibe and beautiful art movement design. a day at a recreation center is common for families visiting the city with children.
Murano is the center of renowned Venetian glass, and its canal is lined with glassblowers’ workshops and retailers trading their work and less artful foreign glass trinkets. Take the Vaporetto to watch the artists at work, and visit the glass warehouse in the 17th-century Palazzo Giustinian to learn more about glassblowers and the history of the island.
A longer boat ride takes you to Burano, its canals lined with brightly painted houses. Its fame is for its crafts, although much of what you see in its stores is foreign and not handmade. To imagine the $64,000 factor, stop by the Scuola di Merletti (lace school) and its small deposit.
Close to Burano is Torcello, of interest for its history as the original site of the metropolis, as early as the 7th century. Very little remains of the once-thriving city except for its cathedral, which opened in 639 and is considered the most effective remaining example of Venetian-Byzantine design. the magnificent mosaics start in the 11th century.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Venice: Best Areas & Hotels
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Ancient Greek and Roman hot springs spread to the island of Ischia, within the harbor bay, and tourists have appreciated its beaches and lush gardens ever since. to find all 3, head to Spiaggia Citara, where the elegant gardens of a high-end thermal spa overlook the beach. Or from the three-kilometer beach at Spiaggia dei Maronti, near the southern town of Sant’Angelo, you’ll access 3 outdoor thermal pools.
Prepare for crowded beaches in the summer, or take a water taxi to one of the secluded coves. From Forio on the west coast, you will visit Giardini Ravino to see succulents and cacti or the impressive La Mortella, beautiful gardens created by Susana Walton and British musician Sir William Walton.
You can get to Ischia from the port by ferry, and from the port of Ischia, you will get a boat to the smaller and less crowded island of Procida.
Known to history buffs as the home of the exiled Little Cape, Elba is best identified to sun and sand seekers by the miles of beaches that line its jagged coastline.
Facing the coast of Tuscany and reached by ferry from Piombino, on the Tuscan coast south of Livorno, Elba has one hundred and fifty beaches. They vary from long stretches of sand to small pebble beach coves. Some, like Sansone, have gentle, shallow slopes that are ideal places for family trips. The waters around the ocean cliffs are a favorite for scuba diving.
There are area drive things to try here besides the beaches. Hikers love the island’s trails, and if you like a hair-raising ride, you’ll take the basket-shaped car to the top of Mount Capanne.
One of the most common places to visit is Napoleon’s Villa dei Molini in Portoferraio, and his summer retreat, Villa Napoleone on the four-card Monte San Martino.
In the mid-1600s, Count Vitaliano Borromeo terraced a small island of Isola Bella opposite Stresa on Lake Maggiore, creating a lavish summer palace and terraced garden that attempts to blend every feature of Italian gardens into a really small house. The results of each can be a sensual overload of gilded trim, grand halls, statues, trees, flowers, and even a faux shell-encrusted cave.
It’s great fun to go and then enjoy a leisurely stroll through the extensive gardens and shady coastal paths of neighboring Isola Madre, with its own lesser summer palace.
Stop for fish from the lake at the even smaller Isola Pescatori, a fishing village that completes the trio of Borromean islands. you can easily visit all 3 in the future by boat on a Lake Maggiore Isola Bella hop-on hop-off ferry tour from Stresa, paying for as much time as you prefer to explore the palaces and gardens.
The volcano erupts so frequently that cruise ships schedule departures from Sicily for the evening so they can sit facing Stromboli to watch the fireworks against the night sky. It’s quite a sight, and watching it on a warm Mediterranean night from the folding chair of a cruise ship is one of the most romantic experiences in Italy.
What makes it particularly exciting – it’s an associate degree case|nevertheless|finally|finally|in balance} a very active, living volcano- is that you never realize what an unplugged hole in the Earth. In 2002, Stromboli blew up an entire slope of the island and sent it careening into the ocean.
Stromboli is just one of the Aeolian Islands off the north coast of Sicily and is reached from Messina or Milazzo by ferry. The six main alternative islands of the archipelago measure Vulcano (closest to the Sicilian coast), Lipari, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea, all rising from a bed four thousand meters deep.
The islands’ delicate climate, volcanic landscapes of fumeroles and hot springs, ancient relics (people have lived here since Neolithic times), and hiking and water sports make them standard places to go. you can tour Lipari and visit another of the Aeolian Islands on the daily Vulcano and Lipari Aeolian Islands Cruise from the port.
Caprera & the Maddalena Islands
In the Strait of Bonifacio, between Sardinia and Corsica and accessible to both, the Arcipelago della Maddalena seems to created entirely for sailing or swimming in the emerald water associated with resting on an idyllic beach with fine white sand. there a village, wherever the ferry deposits guests during the half-hour drive from Palau in northern Sardinia.
The main island connected by a causeway to the beautiful smaller island of Caprera, with additional beaches and, for history buffs, the home and farm of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the United Nations national general agency that brought the European nations in one country. There are many paths to walk in Caprera. Spiaggia di Cala Brigantine is a particularly beautiful beach, and the small Cala Coticcio is surrounded by wind-sculpted rocks.
Once on the islands, you can easily make small boats to take you to the square-sized beaches that are only accessible from the ocean. otherwise, you’ll take the La Maddalena Overland Boat Tour from Palau, which stops at many islands with time for swimming.
Off the Mediterranean shore between Rome and Naples lie the little Pontine Islands. Ponza, the most important of them, measures only eight square kilometers. Steeped in legends (in tune with Homer’s Odyssey, the magician Circe spent the summer here) and popular Romans, Ponza never visited by foreign travellers.
The terrain is steep, so please do not arrange to transport a bicycle. The best way to see the island is from the ocean, that’s easy because the port is full of taxi boats and numerous boats that you can rent to explore on your own. otherwise, you’ll take a cruise around the island with stops at beaches and major attractions.
These encompass the oceanic arch of Arco Naturale, the natural pools of Cala Feola, the caves excavated by the Romans, the white cliffs and the ocean caves. Candy-colored houses climb the streets at the top of the port, wherever there is a promenade, and high above the city there could be an installation with Mediterranean and exotic plants. You can reach Ponza by ferry from the city or from Terracina, south of Rome.
Accommodation: Where to Stay on Ponza Island
Drifting in the Adriatic, north of Gargano Land and a part of Gargano Park, the Tremiti Islands area is a little-known dry land named for its seismic activity (tremiti means earthquakes).
The most populated is San Nicola, but the most developed for tourists is San tenor, where the only sandy beach, Cala delle Arene, is located. The smaller islands of Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa are unstable.
A good way to see the islands is to take a boat tour, with stops at secluded coves and dive sites. The islands have long been a secret of different. under the water area unit caves; Rocky formations; black coral; the remains of war planes II; even a sculpture of Padre Pio, a highly revered 20th-century saint from that region. some of the marked underwater nature trails are also suitable for divers.
Water sports and walking trails offer most things to do on the Tremiti Islands, but the towns offer a few places to visit, including the Abbey of Santa Maria al Mare and a formidable castle, both at San Nicola.
For a change of pace from Tuscany’s Renaissance towns and medieval hill towns, hop on a boat for the 15-kilometre journey from Porto Santo Stefano to Giglio. the tiny island rises from the Tyrrhenian Sea on a very hilly plot that covered in lush Mediterranean plants, dense pine forests, and terraced fields.
Hiking trails climb granite peaks for spectacular views; otherwise you will take a bus between the 3 main coastal cities. The coastline can be a series of cliffs, rocky headlands and coves with sandy beaches, most of which can also be reached by bus. Taxi boats can take you to others, or on a cruise around the island to enjoy views of ocean cliffs and caves. You’ll see dolphins in the surrounding turquoise waters, also popular for scuba diving.
Although it is an excellent retreat for nature lovers and walkers, Giglio also has its historical attractions: the Roman emperor had a villa here, and in the center of the island is the 12th-century defense of Giglio Castello, surrounded by high defensive walls. and 7 original towers.
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