24 Best Summer Destinations in Italy: Your Ultimate Fun-Filled Guide

Looking for the best summer destinations in Italy? I’ve got you!

With its incredible blend of history, culture, food, and coastlines, this Italy has a plethora of incredible destinations to check out during the summer months.

best summer destinations in italy

This Mediterranean gem is undoubtedly one of the world’s most picturesque and diverse countries, and this is never more apparent than during the sun-soaked summer months.

Whether you’re a fan of ancient ruins, seeking a romantic getaway, or just looking to soak up the sun on pristine sandy beaches, Italy has it all.

To help you plan your ideal holiday, we’ve curated a list of our top summer destinations in Italy that showcase the very best that ‘il bel paese’ (the beautiful country) has to offer.

Best Summer Destinations in Italy

1. Amalfi Coast

With its vibrant colors, dramatic cliffs, and shimmering blue sea, this picturesque 50-kilometer coastline stretches from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno and boasts some of the best summer destinations in Italy if beach time is what you’re after.

best summer destinations in italy

Some of the must-visit towns include Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, each offering their unique charm and attractions.

While exploring this enchanting destination, don’t forget to indulge in delicious Italian cuisine at the local restaurants and cafes. Catch a boat tour or lay back on the beaches as you watch the sun set over the sea.

2. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” is also one of the best summer destinations in Italy for beach lovers.

best summer destinations in italy

This stunning collection of five colorful villages is nestled along the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera.

Start your itinerary in Riomaggiore, the southernmost village, and make your way through Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and finally, Monterosso al Mare.

If you’re up for a walk, hike the scenic Sentiero Azzurro, or “Blue Path,” which connects the villages, giving you a chance to soak up the panoramic vistas and snap some unforgettable photos.

3. Portofino

Portofino is a picturesque coastal village in Italy, famous for its colorful harbor and exclusive yachting scene.

best summer destinations in italy

A must-visit destination during your summer in Italy, Portofino’s crystal-clear waters, lush green hills, and vibrant atmosphere will steal your heart.

Upon arriving in Portofino, you’ll be greeted by the charming Piazzetta, a square overlooking the yacht-filled harbor, where you can indulge in mouth-watering Italian cuisine at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Another must is to explore the winding alleys that lead to various local boutiques and art galleries.

4. Bari

Bari is a charming city located in southern Italy that boasts gorgeous beaches, vibrant piazzas, and historic sites, making it one of the best summer destinations in Italy for a well-rounded vacay.

best summer destinations in italy

This picturesque coastline destination offers a delightful mix of crystal-clear waters, ancient cultural attractions, and flavorful local cuisine.

As you wander through the maze-like alleys in the old town, you’ll come across beautiful churches like the Basilica di San Nicola and the Cathedral of San Sabino.

Moreover, you’ll find stunning sunsets over the Adriatic Coast, so make sure you leave your afternoons free to experience them!

5. Positano

Positano is perfect for those seeking a laid-back, casual atmosphere filled with breathtaking views, colorful buildings, and delicious Italian cuisine.

best summer destinations in italy

You’ll quickly fall in love with the warm Mediterranean sun, vibrant flowers, and the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea that surrounds you.

During your visit to Positano, make sure to wander through the maze-like streets lined with artisan shops and locally-owned boutiques. You’ll find handmade sandals, ceramics, and lemon-themed souvenirs at every turn.

Aside from that, don’t forget to relax on the pebbly beaches, like Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo, where you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or go on a boat ride for incredible views.

If you’re still on the lookout for travel insurance for your trip, I always recommend Safety Wing for great prices and coverage abroad (they’ll cover medical expenses in case of any accidents, travel delays, cancellations, and much more).

6. Alassio

Alassio is a hidden gem nestled along the Ligurian coast and one of the best summer destinations in Italy for those looking for something a little quieter.

With its beautiful sandy beaches and charming town center, it serves as the perfect destination for your summer retreat.

While in Alassio, make sure to visit the famous Budello street, which features winding alleys lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants where you can experience the authentic Italian way of life.

7. Sanremo

This stunning coastal city, also known as the “City of Flowers,” is nestled on the western coast of Liguria.

In addition to its picturesque scenery, Sanremo is known for its rich history and lively cultural scene.

You’re sure to be charmed by the Old Town, which boasts narrow streets, quaint shops, and plenty of authentic Italian cuisine to tantalize your taste buds.

Don’t forget to catch a live music performance – after all, Sanremo is the birthplace of the celebrated Italian Music Festival!

8. Sardinia

Sardinia is a fantastic summer destination that you don’t want to miss in Italy.

With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich history, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak in the Italian sun.

From enjoying water sports along the coast, to exploring ancient ruins and vibrant towns, Sardinia offers a variety of activities to suit any traveler.

As you explore the island, make sure to sample the local cuisine. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, sip on the local wine, and savor traditional Sardinian pastries.

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9. Capri

With its famous Piazzetta, beautiful villards, enchanting gardens, and centuries-old footpaths, it’s no wonder Capri is known as one of the best summer destinations in Italy.

best summer destinations in italy

During your visit, make sure to take the iconic chairlift ride to Monte Solaro for breathtaking panoramic views of the island and its surroundings.

Moreover, make sure to spend a day at one of Capri’s many chic beach clubs, or explore the famous Blue Grotto, a beautiful sea cave that glows with an eerily enchanting blue light.

10. Elba

Elba is a charming island nestled in the heart of the Tuscan Archipelago.

Known for its stunning beaches and rich history, it’s an ideal destination for a laid-back summer getaway.

Among the many picturesque beaches, you can’t miss the sparkly white sands and crystal-clear waters of Sansone Beach, which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

After a day of soaking up the sun, head over to one of the island’s exquisite seafood restaurants. Try some traditional Italian dishes like cacciucco, a mouth-watering fish stew that will leave you wanting more.

11. Lake Como

With its picturesque sights and wide range of activities to choose from, there’s always something for every traveler in Lake Como, making it one of the best summer destinations in Italy no matter your interests.

best summer destinations in italy

This quaint, lakeside village offers plenty of attractions, especially for those who love nature.

Think scenic hiking trails, boat rides across the lake, and lots of cafés overlooking the lake to get a good idea of what to expect during your time at Lake Como.

12. Montepulciano

Montepulciano is nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany, offering you a taste of authentic Italian life.

This medieval town boasts stunning views of vineyards, olive groves, and the surrounding countryside.

While you’re exploring its winding streets, make sure to stop by the town’s renowned wine cellars to sample some Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a delicious red wine produced in the region.

Aside from its picturesque beauty, Montepulciano offers a variety of charming experiences and impressive architecture.

If you’re an art buff, don’t miss the chance to attend the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, an annual arts festival held every summer, featuring music, theater, and dance performances.

13. Lake Garda

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest and most popular lake.

best summer destinations in italy

Nestled between Veneto, Lombardy, and Trentino, this picturesque destination offers a unique landscape of breathtaking beauty.

From the towering Alps in the north to charming lakeside towns, Lake Garda has everything you need for a perfect summer escape.

Here, you can craft an itinerary exploring the lively streets of historical towns like Sirmione, Riva del Garda, and Malcesine, going wine-tasting, or enjoying water sports like sailing and windsurfing across the lake,

If you’re still on the lookout for travel insurance for your trip, I always recommend Safety Wing for great prices and coverage abroad (they’ll cover medical expenses in case of any accidents, travel delays, cancellations, and much more).

14. Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo, nestled in the heart of the Dolomites in northern Italy and it’s one of the most picturesque places you can visit.

With its charming alpine village vines and breathtaking views, Cortina is definitely one of the best summer destinations in Italy if something a little different is what you’re looking for.

During the summer months, you can take advantage of the endless trails for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, while immersing yourself in the surrounding beauty of nature.

15. Fiera di Primiero

Fiera di Primiero is a charming little town located in the region of Trentino, Northern Italy.

As a summer destination, it offers you the perfect escape from the bustling city life.

Surrounded by the majestic Dolomite Mountains, the town is known for its enchanting beauty, historic architecture, and warm hospitality.

During your stay in Fiera di Primiero, you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, or simply strolling down the cobblestone streets, savoring the enchanting atmosphere of this quaint town.

16. Cortona

Cortona, a charming hilltop town in Tuscany, offers you an ideal summer getaway with picturesque landscapes, rich history, and delicious cuisine.

best summer destinations in italy

During your stay, make sure to visit the town’s well-preserved Etruscan walls and immerse yourself in its impressive history.

The stunning Santa Margherita Sanctuary and the Etruscan Academy Museum should be at the top of your must-see list.

17. Lake Maggiore

Another of the best summer destinations in Italy is Lake Maggiore, nestled between the picturesque regions of Lombardy and Piedmont.

best summer destinations in italy

The lake is surrounded by several towns and villages, so you can decide where to stay depending on what you’re after.

Either way, you can expect lots of delicious food, lakeside restaurants, delicious wine, and striking vistas no matter where you stay.

Moreover, make sure to check out Borromean Islands, which make for perfect for a day trip.

18. Chianti Region

If you’re looking for a summer destination in Italy that combines breathtaking landscapes, incredible food, and world-class wine, then look no further than the Chianti region.

Nestled between Florence and Siena, this idyllic countryside is dotted with charming medieval villages, lush vineyards, and vibrant olive groves, providing the perfect backdrop for a laid-back summer vacation.

Your days in Chianti can be spent exploring the region’s picturesque towns, like Greve in Chianti or Castellina in Chianti, where you can wander the narrow streets, dine in cozy trattorias, and sip local wines at rustic enotecas.

Check out this foodie guide to Florence.

Of course, no trip to Chianti would be complete without a wine tasting tour, which will allow you to sample some of the world-renowned Chianti Classico, a velvety red wine that’s truly a taste of Tuscany.

19. San Gimignano

San Gimignano is another of the best summer destinations in Italy.

This quaint, medieval town perched on a hill in Tuscany has managed to maintain its signature skyline with 14 towers, earning it the nickname “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” and a status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During your visit, make sure to sample some of the local specialties, such as the vernaccia wine and safron.

Moreover, don’t miss out on some of its iconic attractions, like the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Duomo di San Gimignano, and Palazzo Comunale.

20. Rome

Even though it may sound a bit cliché, Rome will always be one of the best summer destinations in Italy.

From the Colosseum to the Vatican, there are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in Italy’s rich history and culture.

While strolling through Rome, be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good luck.

You’ll also want to grab a gelato on the way to the Pantheon and experience the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona in the evening or take up on the chance of going on some of these unusual day trips from Rome.

21. Milan

As Italy’s fashion and industrial capital, you’ll find a wealth of exciting activities and attractions to explore in this metropolis, making it one of the best summer destinations in Italy if something more bustling is what you’re after.

Plus, the combination of history, culture, and modernity found here offers a unique experience for any traveler.

During your stay in Milan, be sure not to miss the breathtaking Duomo di Milano, the city’s iconic cathedral.

And, of course, be sure to indulge in some delicious Italian cuisine at any of the countless restaurants and pizzerias throughout the city.

22. Pisa

Pisa is mainly known for its iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, but there is so much more to explore and experience.

best summer destinations in italy

The city has a rich history with stunning architecture, friendly locals, and mouthwatering Tuscan cuisine.

First things first, visit the Piazza dei Miracoli or Square of Miracles where you will find the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pisa Cathedral, and the Baptistery.

While these landmarks are a must-see, don’t forget to wander around the city and discover its hidden gems like Palazzo della Carovana and the riverbanks of the Arno River.

23. Venice

Venice, the beautiful and unique city built on water, is another of the best summer destinations in Italy for those looking for an extraordinary experience.

With its intricate network of canals, breathtaking architecture, and rich history, Venice offers a dreamy and romantic atmosphere that’s hard to match.

As you glide along the canals in a traditional gondola, you’ll find yourself awestruck by the elegance and charm that this floating city exudes.

During your visit, be sure not to miss popular sights such as the iconic Piazza San Marco and the stunning Basilica di San Marco.

Get lost in the winding streets and stumble upon hidden gems, like quaint little shops and authentic Italian eateries.

24. Florence

Ah, Florence! You can’t go wrong when choosing this breathtaking city as it’s definitely one of the best summer destinations in Italy (and year-round, for that matter).

best summer destinations in italy

Rich in history and culture, this charming city is often referred to as the birthplace of the Renaissance.

As you stroll through the cobbled streets of Florence, make sure to explore the city’s numerous museums and galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia.

Don’t miss out on the unique chance to see Michelangelo’s iconic statue of David at the Galleria dell’Accademia.

After that, head over to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, where you can marvel at the impressive dome designed by Brunelleschi and admire Giotto’s towering Campanile.

Packing Essentials for a Summer Trip to Italy

  • Maxi dresses are a great way to look stylish and stay cool.
  • Universal travel adaptor. Italy uses a Type C plug, so you’ll need an adapter this one to make sure you can charge all your electronics.
  • Linen clothing! Not only is this fabric trending this summer, but it will also keep you fresh and it’s easy to mix and match it. Here’s an example from Amazon.
  • Portable charger so you can charge your phone on the go and never run out of battery, I’ve use this one from Amazon.
  • Packing cubes. Packing cubes are your best friend when it comes to packing light. They compress air and help you stay organized. I use and recommend this set of packing cubes from Bagail.
  • SPF! Lots of SPF!
  • Moisturizer. You’ll probably be in the sun a lot, so make sure to keep your skin super hydrated.
  • Travel insurance. This is a must! I recommend Safety Wing as it’s super affordable and flexible.

Italy Summer Outfit Inspo

What is the best month to visit Italy during the summer?

Summer in Italy typically starts in June and lasts until September, but the months vary in terms of weather, crowds, and prices.

To help you decide the best month for your visit, let’s break them down individually.

June: The beginning of the summer season in Italy tends to be warm and sunny.

Temperatures range from 20℃ to 28℃ (68℉ to 82℉) and while it’s not extremely hot, it’s perfect for outdoor adventures like hiking and beach days.

June is also the month when many festivals and events kick off, giving you plenty to see and do.

With that said, be prepared for a surge in tourist crowds.

best summer destinations in italy

July: This month is when the real heat sets in.

With average temperatures soaring to 30℃ (86℉), it’s a great time for sun-seekers and beach bums.

Italian cities like Rome and Florence get quite hot, so it’s wise to plan your sightseeing during the morning or late afternoon hours.

August: The temperatures remain high during this month, but many Italians take their own vacations, leaving some of the best summer destinations in Italy slightly less crowded.

However, they flock to the coastal areas, meaning that popular beach destinations might feel more packed than ever.

August is also known for “Ferragosto,” a national holiday celebrated on August 15th, which often sees many businesses and attractions closed.

best summer destinations in italy

September: As summer draws to a close, September sees temperatures cool down a bit with averages from 20℃ to 28℃ (68℉ to 82℉).

As most of the tourists begin to leave, this is an excellent month for those looking for a quieter travel experience while still enjoying warm weather.

The famed Vendemmia (grape harvest) occurs during this time in Tuscany, making it an ideal month for wine lovers to visit as well.

MonthAvg. Temperature (℃)Avg. Temperature (℉)CrowdsPrices
June20 – 2868 – 82MediumMedium
July25 – 3077 – 86HighHigh
August23 – 3073 – 86HighMedium
September20 – 2868 – 82MediumMedium

How to Get Around Italy

When in Italy, there are plenty of ways to get around and explore this beautiful country.

Your main options would be by train, bus, car, and even plane for longer distances.

By Train: Italy has an extensive train system, with Trenitalia being the primary operator.

There are high-speed trains called Frecciarossa and Frecciargento covering the long distances, like Rome to Milan, in just a few hours.

Regional trains are slower and cheaper, ideal for visiting smaller towns.

You can either buy tickets at the station or book them online.

Train TypeSpeedDestination Examples
FrecciarossaFastestRome, Milan, Venice
FrecciargentoFastNaples, Bologna
RegionalSlowerSmall towns, local

By Bus: Buses are a great option for shorter distances. Operated by different companies, they cover almost every small town and village in Italy.

Tickets can be purchased at bus stations or sometimes directly from the driver.

By Car: If you want the freedom to explore Italy at your own pace, renting a car might be the best choice.

Italian cars tend to be small, making it easier to navigate through narrow streets.

Be aware of Italy’s traffic rules and restricted traffic zones called Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL).

  • Useful tips for driving in Italy:
    • Drive on the right.
    • Respect the speed limits.
    • Do not drink and drive.
    • Pay attention to ZTL zones.

By Plane: When traveling between distant cities in Italy, you can take short domestic flights.

They’re usually super affordable and can get you around some of the best summer destinations in Italy in no time.

best summer destinations in italy

How Much Time Do I Need for a Summer Trip to Italy?

If you’re trying to figure out how much time you need to fully enjoy a summer vacation in Italy.

Well, this ultimately depends on your interests and priorities, here some suggestions below to help you make the most of your trip.

1-2 Weeks: The Highlights
If you’re short on time or just want to hit the main highlights of the best summer destinations in Italy, you can cover a lot in 1-2 weeks.

Your itinerary could include:

  • Rome (2-3 days)
  • Florence (1-2 days)
  • Venice (1-2 days)
  • Cinque Terre (2 days)
  • Amalfi Coast (2 days)

2-4 Weeks: Explore the Regions
For a longer, more relaxed trip with time to fully explore different regions, plan for 2-4 weeks.

In addition to the highlights above, you might include:

  • Tuscany (3-4 days)
  • Dolomites region (3 days)
  • Bari (3 days)
  • Positano (2 days)
  • Lake Como & Lake Garda (3 days)

How to Visit the Best Summer Destinations in Italy

Choose your destinations: To make the most of your Italian summer, plan your trip around your interests.

Whether you’re a beach lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Italy offers a variety of destinations to suit your needs.

Start by listing out the places that you must visit and build your itinerary around them.

Transportation: Once you’ve decided what the best summer destinations in Italy are for you, figure out what are the best ways to get around so you can plan an itinerary.

Accommodations: Italy offers a wide range of accommodations for every budget, from luxury hotels to quaint bed-and-breakfasts.

Packing essentials: Remember that Italian summers can be hot!

Pack light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes for walking.

Don’t forget your swimsuit if you plan on hitting the beach. For visits to religious sites like churches and cathedrals, carry a light shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders.

FAQs About the Best Summer Destinations in Italy

Where should I go in Italy for a summer beach holiday?

If you’re looking for the best summer destinations in Italy for a beach holiday, consider Positano, Bari, or the Amalfi Coast.

What are the top budget-friendly summer destinations in Italy?

For some of the best summer destinations in Italy that are budget-friendly, consider Puglia, Abruzzo, and Calabria.

Puglia offers beautiful beaches, charming towns, and delicious cuisine at a lower cost than some other regions.

Abruzzo combines unique landscapes, historic sites, and affordable accommodations.

Calabria is known for its pristine beaches and budget-friendly options.

Can you suggest a summer trip itinerary for exploring Italy?

A popular summer trip itinerary for Italy might include starting your journey in Rome and visiting famous sites like the Colosseum and Vatican City.

From there, head to Florence to explore the stunning architecture and art scene.

Next, visit Cinque Terre to take in the picturesque coastal villages, followed by Venice to experience its famous canals and St. Mark’s Square.

Finally, head down to the Amalfi Coast to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Where is the coolest place to escape the summer heat in Italy?

To escape the summer heat in Italy, consider heading to the Italian Alps in areas like South Tyrol, Aosta Valley, or Trentino-Alto Adige.

These regions offer cooler temperatures, scenic landscapes, and various outdoors activities like hiking, biking, and rafting.

What are the best Italian destinations for young adults in the summer?

Some popular Italian destinations for young adults in the summer include the cities of Rome, Florence, and Milan, where you can find lively nightlife, entertainment, and cultural events.

The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre also attract young travelers with their beautiful scenery and laid-back atmosphere.

If you’re into island-hopping, consider a trip to Sardinia, Sicily, or the Aeolian Islands.

Which Italian towns are must-visits during the peak summer months?

Italian towns that are must-visits during peak summer months include Positano and Ravello on the Amalfi Coast, San Gimignano in Tuscany, Cefalù in Sicily, and Alberobello in Puglia.

Each town offers unique experiences, from stunning views and picturesque landscapes to fascinating history and charming architecture.

best summer destinations in italy

Best Summer Destinations in Italy: Conclusion

Italy offers an array of stunning summer destinations that cater to every type of traveler.

From the sun-kissed beaches of Cinque Terre to the cultural tapestry of Florence, the choices are as diverse as they are captivating.

I hope this guide to some of the best summer destinations in Italy helped you plan the perfect escape!