Italy is one of the most dreamy destinations in the world all year round, but it is particularly fun to visit in the summer. Italians consider the annual August holiday sacred and manage to stretch the vacation vibe from June through September, so this is the season when food and cultural festivals are in full swing, the coastline comes to life, and the general pace slows so everything from dining to strolling is done at a leisurely, almost meditative, speed. These are the best places to visit in Italy in the summer

If you are looking forward to a summer trip to Italy, start planning as far in advance as feasible. Since summer is high season in Italy, you’ll want to book things like hotels and villas, yacht and speedboats, drivers and guides, and restaurants when the top choices are still available. Wait too long and you may find that the suite you had your heart set on or most sought-after table with a view is already reserved.

With so many stunning areas of Italy, it can be a challenge to narrow down your choices to decide where to book your holiday. Here are our insider picks for the best places to visit Italy in the summer, from seaside resorts to alpine getaways. Still not sure? Contact Visumo Travel and we can create a customized itinerary based on your specific travel style and preferences.

The Best Seaside Destinations in Italy

It comes as no surprise that Italy’s spectacular coastline tops the list of best places to visit in the summer. From the glitz and glamor of the Amalfi Coast and Capri to the authentic charm of Puglia and Sicily, Italy offers a wide array of seaside destinations for a romantic break, family holiday, or simply a few days (or weeks) away from it all.

The Amalfi Coast and Capri

This stretch of southern coastline and island opposite has been a favorite summer holiday retreat since the time of the ancient Romans…Capri is still covered in the ruins of Emperor Tiberius’ many pleasure palaces. Both the Amalfi Coast and Capri are almost exclusively summer destinations and shutter almost completely from November to April (Sorrento, located just outside the confines of the Amalfi Coast, remains lively all year round). Come spring, however, the hotels and restaurants throw open their doors, the beach clubs start setting up their iconic striped umbrellas, and the shops stock the latest season’s collections from some of the top designers in the world.

Plan to spend at least a few days on the coast and a night on the island to be able to savor the charming villages and spectacular views in the evening when the bulk of the tour bus crowds and day-trippers have left. Top attractions include the Amalfi Coast towns themselves—most famously Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello but also the lesser-known gems of Praiano, Minori and Maiori, and Vietri sul Mare. You’ll also want to venture along the Path of the Gods for superb views and stop at lunch at one of the delightfully rustic restaurants at the trail’s end. Don’t forget the excellent local food and wine, and you can explore local wineries or plan a jaunt to Cetara or Nerano, both famed for their traditional cuisine.

The highlight of the Amalfi Coast and Capri is, of course, their coastlines. Be sure to book a day cruise along the coast or to the island while there to take in the dramatic coastal cliffs and colorful villages from the sea. You can also opt for a multi-day mini cruise, mooring each evening at a different location to savor the very best of the area without ever having to deal with crowds or traffic.

Puglia 

If you’ve already visited the Amalfi Coast and Capri but loved the vibe (and cuisine) in southern Italy, Puglia is an ideal alternative and one of the best places to visit in Italy in the summer. Less glamorous than many resort destinations along the Tyrrhenian coastline, Puglia sits along the Adriatic side of Italy retains an authentic, timeless air despite its recent explosion in popularity. A number of luxurious resorts have opened over the past few years and the countryside is thick with fabulous holiday villas that were created from renovated “masserie” (farm estates) or “trulli” (conical stone dwellings).

By far the most scenic corner of Puglia is the Salento peninsula, which forms the “heel” of Italy’s “boot”. Here you can visit the ornate old town of Lecce, known as the “Florence of the south” due to its ornate baroque architecture, as well as picturesque whitewashed hilltowns like Ostuni, Locorotondo, or even Alberobello on the far northern reaches, home to the region’s famed “trulli”. Puglia is also known for its historic olive oil and wine productions, so foodies will have plenty of opportunities for culinary tours and tastings.

The crown jewel of Salento is its coastline, however, and no trip to Puglia is complete without spending time strolling the winding lanes of the seaside towns of Otranto, Gallipoli, Monopoli, and even the larger port city of Brindisi. Relax over a hearty, informal meal of fresh fish and seafood, savor a bottle of wine far into the evening, and enjoy watching the locals out for their evening “passeggiata”.

Sicily

With more art, architecture, and archaeology than the Amalfi Coast or Puglia, the island of Sicily is ideal for culture vultures who want to combine some days at the seaside with excursions to ancient Greek and Roman sites, guided visits to take in some of the most breathtaking art in Italy, and architecture walks through historic cities like Syracuse, Taormina, and Palermo.

Like Puglia, Sicily has seen a huge increase in luxury hospitality over the recent years and today is a top choice for travelers who want to experience the unique history and culture of this captivating island without sacrificing white-glove comforts and service. The island is quite big, so unless you have a full two weeks to spend exploring, you will probably want to focus on a smaller area. On the eastern side of the island, the towns of Taormina, Syracuse, and Ragusa beckon, as well as the rumbling volcanic peak of Mount Etna. The western half of the island is home to Palermo, Trapani, and Marsala and the ancient temples of Agrigento.

No matter where you are on the island, however, a beautiful stretch of beach isn’t far. From the cliffs of Scala dei Turchi to the stretches of sand at San Vito lo Capo and Cefalù, Sicily has some of Italy’s most gorgeous coastline. Charter a multi-day cruise or day-long sail to skirt the coastline or strike out to the Egadi or Aeolian Islands just offshore.

The Best Countryside Destinations in Italy

The seaside isn’t your only option for a summer visit to Italy. Summertime is perfect for exploring the Italian countryside to discover its historic hilltop villages, art-rich provincial towns, and postcard-perfect landscape. You can hop from town to town each day or book a few days in a centrally located villa or hotel and take day trips to the nearby sights.

The Chianti

One of the most famous corners of Tuscany, the Chianti is home to a clutch of storybook villages, boutique wineries, and thermal hot springs…all within striking distance of Florence to the north and Siena to the south. This area is home to some of the most famous Italian cuisine and wines, so ideal for an epicurean getaway. Book a driver or your own car and explore the scenic country roads or simply relax by the pool overlooking the patchwork of vineyards, olive groves, and oak woods.

Umbria

Those who have already explored Tuscany and want to enjoy a similar landscape and cuisine while discovering something new in Italy can head south to the bordering region of Umbria. Here, the rolling hills are just a bit wilder and the hilltowns just a bit less touristy…though word is out about Umbria’s authentic beauty and the region is no longer as under the radar as it once was. Highlights here include the Montefalco wine country, the provincial capital of Perugia, and the hilltowns along the Umbrian Valley: Assisi, Spello, Trevi, and Spoleto.

Le Langhe

The foodie mecca for travelers in the know, this area of Piedmont is where some of the most prestigious wines in the world are produced as well as the famed white truffle of Alba. Take in pretty towns like Bra, La Morra, and Alba between winery visits and unforgettable meals. The proximity to Turin makes this an easy fly-in-fly-out countryside destination.

 

The Best Alpine Destination in Italy

Finally in our guide to the best places to visit in Italy in the summer, for pure scenic power, there is no better alpine destination for a summer visit to Italy than the Dolomites. This UNESCO-listed group of almost 20 peaks covers the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/SudTirol in the Alps, straddling the Italian-Austrian border. The dramatic pinnacles and spires tower more than 3,000 meters above vast green expanses of Alpine forests and flowering meadows. Area resorts like Hotel Villa Abbazia in Follina the Rosa Alpina Hotel in San Cassiano in Badia offer easy access to hiking and biking but also Michelin-starred dining and indulgent spas.

 

Sorrento has been one of the most iconic resort towns in southern Italy since it was discovered by travelers setting off across Europe on their 19th-century Grand Tour. But millennia before British nobility and intellectuals, well-to-do Romans would also head south from Caput Mundi to relax on this stretch of coastline. In fact, there are still ancient ruins of villas and baths scattered across the area, a testament to its beauty that has attracted visitors for millennia. In this guide we present the best places to visit in Sorrento.

Though it is often considered part of the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is actually located on the clifftop of the Sorrentine Peninsula overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius on the horizon. A busy port for cruise ships and a popular bus tour destination, Sorrento sits halfway between Naples and Positano, the perfect position for setting off to explore for the entire swath of the region of Campania from the bustling city of Naples to sleepy Vietri sul Mare, which sits on the southernmost reaches of the Amalfi Coast. 

The town’s unbeatable location, however, draws formidable crowds of shore excursionists and day-trippers from June through September, and the narrow lanes of the old town and waterfront restaurants in Marina Grande can get overrun with tourists. We recommend staying at a hotel or villa in Sorrento for spring and fall getaways and opting for quieter spots to use as a base during the high-season summer months. 

Sorrento is ideal if you plan on spending your coastal holiday out and about sightseeing, but the town itself has plenty to offer as far as sights, activities, and dining. Since Sorrento’s old town is relatively flat and the Corso Italia, the main shopping street, is closed to traffic, it’s easier to get around than many of the other steep fishing villages along the coastline.  

Here are a few of the best places to visit in Sorrento:

The Best Things to See in Sorrento

There are a number of important cultural and historic sights in Sorrento. Among the most popular are:

Piazza Tasso

Sip an espresso and watch the world go by in Sorrento’s bustling main square, Piazza Tasso. This square is set above the “Valley of the Mills”, one of the many many “valloni”, or small gorges, which have been carved out over millennia by streams rushing from the hills set behind Sorrento down to the Mediterranean sea. Peer over the railing and you can spot the ruins of one of the many water-powered mills that once lined these gorges at the very bottom.

 

Corso Italia

Sorrento’s pedestrian-only high street sets off from Piazza Tasso and is lined with high-end boutiques, welcoming restaurants, and a handful of gelato shops. This is an ideal spot to rub elbows with locals during the evening “passeggiata” before heading into the warren of tiny lanes in the old town that sits between Corso Italia and the cliff edge over the sea. 

 

The Historic Center

The “centro storico”, as it’s known in Italian, is the most historic quarter of Sorrento. It is home to a warren of mostly pedestrian lanes lined with shops selling lemon-themed wares (echoing Sorrento’s history as a lemon producer), tiny traditional trattorias, gelato shops, and other businesses. 

It is also home to some of the most important cultural treasures in the town, including the frescoed Sedil Dominova, once the gathering place for Sorrento’s high society, and the Church of San Francesco with its lovely 14th-century cloister. The Cathedral and Basilica di Sant’Antonino are also set in the historic center, which is still encircled by the ancient city walls that were built to protect the coastal town from marauders and certainly one of the best places to visit in Sorrento.

The Villa Comunale Gardens

Set right on the cliff’s edge on the far side of the historic center, this public park boasts a panoramic terrace that offers one of the most spectacular sunset views in town.

 

The Museo Correale di Terranova

This enchanting museum houses the personal collection of the Counts of Terranova in their historic family residence. Stroll through the rooms to admire historic artworks, ancient artifacts, and Capodimonte porcelains dating from the 1700s.

 

The Museo della Tarsia Lignea

Sorrento is known for two things: heirloom lemons and the art of wood inlay, or, more precisely, marquetry. One of the most historic crafts on the Sorrentine Peninsula, this local art form is celebrated at this small museum dedicated to its history and evolution. Make time to admire the astonishingly elaborate works of marquetry in the collection.

 

Villa Fiorentino

This villa dating from the 1930s sits about halfway along Corso Italia and houses modern art exhibits, concerts, and other events dedicated to Sorrento’s artisan traditions organized by the Fondazione Sorrento.

 

Marina Grande

Perhaps the most charming quarter of Sorrento, this antique fishing village sits on the water’s edge beneath the historic center and is home to a number of excellent casual seafood restaurants, some of which are part of beach clubs. Three favorites include Da Emilia, a family-run traditional trattoria; Bagni Sant’Anna, a contemporary seafood restaurant that is part of the beach club of the same name; and Bagni Delfino (+39 081 878 2038), another beach club serving classic dishes with an unforgettable view making it one of the best places to visit in Sorrento.

The Best Beaches in Sorrento

Sorrento is, after all, a resort town that sits directly on the Bay of Naples, so it comes as no surprise that there are a number of beaches. Keep in mind that the beaches in town are small stretches of coarse dark volcanic sand that can get quite overrun in the summer. For more picturesque and less crowded spots, you’ll need to head slightly out of town. 

 

Marina Piccola Beach

Set at the foot of the cliff directly below the Villa Comunale gardens and next to the Marina Piccola port, this small strip of volcanic sand has a number of beach clubs with a small area of the waterfront and sundeck over the water. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas and there are beach club restaurants and/or snack bars.

 

Marina Grande Beach 

Lining Sorrento’s charming historic fishing village, this small volcanic sand beach is an ideal spot to bask before or after your lunch at one of the famed seafood restaurants located here.

 

Regina Giovanna Beach

A local favorite, the “Regina Giovanna” beach (also known as the Capo di Sorrento) is a small tongue of land jutting out into the sea where you can swim among the Roman ruins of Pollius Felix’ villa. Pass through the ancient walls and follow the flight of stairs down to a small lagoon that is joined to the sea via an archway. Queen Giovanna d’Angiò loved to bathe in this hidden spot, hence the name. Along the pathway to the left, the Solara beach is lined with flat-topped rocks where you can sunbathe; there is also a private beach club here, which rents sun loungers.

Best Restaurants and Wine Bars in Sorrento

Sorrento has excellent restaurants, most of which are casual eateries that serve traditional fare based on local seafood and fish. 

You will probably come across standards like Gnocchi alla sorrentina (fresh pasta tossed with a bright tomato sauce and local mozzarella); dishes that highlight the Limone di Sorrento, a particularly aromatic heirloom lemon; Provolone del Monaco, a slightly sharp cow-milk cheese aged six to 18 months; local extra-virgin olive oil; and walnuts from Sorrento, used to make “nocino”, another after-dinner liqueur.

 

Ristorante Tasso

Located just behind the square of the same name, this landmark restaurant has large, airy dining rooms, excellent cuisine, and serves pasta dishes, meat and fish main courses, and pizza. This is certainly among the best places to visit in Sorrento.

 

Ristorante Zi’ Ntonio (+39 081 878 1623)

A spacious eatery located in the historic center between Piazza Sant’Antonino and Piazza Tasso where you can often find seating even if you haven’t reserved in advance. Locals love the “risotto special” made with fresh seafood and shellfish, lobster, and prawns and served in a piping-hot skillet large enough to feed two (or three) people.

 

Ristorante 0’ Parrucchiano

Sample classic Sorrentine cuisine at the historic restaurant that has been famous for over a century for their cannelloni, invented here in 1870. You can dine al fresco in the internal garden and covered patio.

 

La Cantinaccia del Popolo Trattoria (+39 366 101 5497)

Set outside the crowded downtown, this trattoria is a favorite among locals for its authentic traditional cuisine like gnocchi alla sorrentina, as well as locally sourced beef for steaks.

 

Ristorante Museo Caruso

Dedicated to the famous Neapolitan tenor, who spent his final years in the nearby Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, this endearing restaurant is covered in opera memorabilia.

 

Ristorante Accénto

A contemporary bistrot-like spot Corso Italia that offers creative updates on traditional dishes.

 

Ristorante Decanter

This wine bar near Piazza Tasso has a vast selection of labels personally selected by the chef, a menu of local cheese and charcuterie boards, and even offers guided tastings.

 

Fuoro 51 Vinery

Another casual wine bar for a glass of Italian red or white paired with light finger food, tucked in the narrow lanes of the historic center.

 

Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890

Set outside Sorrento in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, this 2-Michelin-starred restaurant is considered one of the best fine-dining establishments in southern Italy. Dishes highlight local ingredients sourced from the family’s farm on Punta Campanella and other area producers. 

The Best Places to Stay in Sorrento

Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

The timeless elegance and breathtaking terrace overlooking the sea make this Grand Dame hotel a favorite for everyone from couples to families. There are internal restaurants and bars, a spa, pools, and sprawling clifftop grounds.

 

Bellevue Syrene

This chic Mediterranean hideaway sits above the sea and has contemporary white-on-white interiors, private indoor pools, and panoramic outdoor terrace dining – our final choice of the best places to visit in Sorrento.

The island of Sicily is one of the most unique and fascinating corners of Italy. The island has a richly variegated history, singular culture, distinct dialect, and true “fusion” cuisine—all of which reflect millennia of successive conquests that have taken control of the island. Each new wave, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, and French and Spanish Bourbons, has left a lasting mark. Today, Sicily is a captivating patchwork of architectural styles and a local culture that is both multiethnic and deeply Sicilian. 

Whether you’re an ancient history enthusiast, culture vulture, gourmand, or simply want to relax on the beach, Sicily offers the perfect retreat. In addition to its archaeological treasures dating as far back as Magna Graecia, spectacular Byzantine mosaics, and unparalleled cuisine, Sicily is also lined with gorgeous beaches and has become a luxury travel hotspot over the past few years, with a number of top-tier hotels and resorts attracting discerning clientele from across the globe. 

If you’re toying with the idea of a Sicilian holiday, Visumo Travel can plan a custom itinerary tailored to fit your travel style and pace. Here are a few of the best places to visit in Sicily to orient yourself:

The Best Places to Visit in Sicily: Palermo

Palermo has a history that dates back thousands of years when the Phoenicians established a colony on this strategic spot in the 8th century BC. The settlement was later conquered by the Romans, the Arabs, and finally, the Normans, all of whom influenced the architecture, language, and culture of this bustling Sicilian capital.

A spellbinding mix of picturesquely decaying Baroque palazzi with laundry flapping in the breeze from balconies overhead, bombed-out ruins left over from WWII, vibrant outdoor markets selling everything from local street food to home appliances, and an endless stream of traffic and pedestrians, Palermo is the essence of Sicily concentrated into a single city.

Top Sights to Visit in Palermo

Most of the city’s most important sights are set along Via Vittorio Emanuele. Here you can stop at Palazzo dei Normanni, the Norman palace home to magnificent frescoes, and the 12th-century Duomo, built by the Normans and later expanded by the Goths, the Spaniards, and the Neapolitans. There is also a clutch of smaller churches and palaces where you can make out the distinct Arab, Norman, and Byzantine architectural influences, as well as the Quattro Canti statues and fountains where Via Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda intersect. 

Be sure to stop by the  Fontana Pretoria in Piazza Pretoria, known locally as the Fountain of Shame. This 16th-century work caused public outcry when it was unveiled due to the plethora of nude statues adorning its pool. Another A-list sight is the splendid Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele—you may recognize it as the setting of the final scenes of the Godfather trilogy—the largest opera house in Italy.

If you have time, take a trip to Monreale, just 15 kilometers outside the city of Palermo. Here, the 12th-Century Norman-Arab Cathedral of Monreale awes with its shimmering 6,000 square meters of mosaics.

Palermo is known for its fabulously authentic open-air markets, chaotic and reflective of the city’s own mishmash of cultures and languages. The most famous are the historic Vucciria market, which has been operating for 700 years, that lines Via Roma toward Via Vittorio Emanuele in what is one of the most Arabic sections of the city and the Mercato di Ballarò, Palermo’s busiest market which covers several city blocks southeast of Palazzo dei Normanni.

Palermo has a number of local specialties that you can find in the city’s restaurant, but the most authentic local cuisine is found at the street stalls dotting the city center. Try pane con la milza (pani cà meusa or vastedda in the Sicilian dialect), a sandwich made of fried beef spleen, with lemon and cheese. If you’re looking for something less adventurous, go for panelle, a fried chickpea flour flatbread, or arancini, deep-fried rice balls.

On restaurant menus, search out traditional specialties like pasta con le sarde (with fresh sardines, anchovies, wild fennel, saffron, and pine-nuts) and pasta alla norma (with eggplant and aged ricotta cheese), and don’t forget the spectacular Sicilian desserts like cassata, cannoli, and almond cookies.

The Best Places to Visit in Sicily: Agrigento

Founded by the ancient Greeks in the 6th century BC, this city set on Sicily’s southern coastline was one of the most important in the Mediterranean during the Magna Graecia period and is home to some of the most spectacular Greek ruins in the world.

Top Sights to Visit in Agrigento

The UNESCO-listed Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples) is the hills outside Agrigento contains intact and  breathtaking Greek temples that are a must-see on Sicily, including the Temple of Concord and the Temple of Juno, both dating from the 5th century BC. You can also take in the remains of the massive Temple of Olympian Zeus, a spectacular telamon, or figure sculpted in stone, which once served as a pillar that supported the temple’s roof. 

While in the area, stop by the charming fishing town of Sciacca to soak in the timeless atmosphere of Piazza Scandaliato, visit the historic thermal baths (once beloved by the Romans), and shop for local ceramics.

The Best Places to Visit Stay in Sicily: Ragusa

Sicily’s UNESCO-listed capital of Baroque architecture, Ragusa is composed of two main districts: Ragusa Superiore, located on the hilltop and laid out in a modern grid pattern, and Ragusa Ibla, rebuilt where the historic center was destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century. This Medieval area, a captivating warren of winding lanes and small squares, is where the most exquisite Baroque churches and palazzi are concentrated.

A vibrant city where stately Baroque churches sit surrounded by bustling outdoor markets, cafés, and piazzas, Ragusa Ibla is one of the delights of Sicily. The city also hosts a roster of music and cultural festivals, is known for its street art murals, and even boasts a smattering of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Top Sights to Visit in Ragusa

Your visit to Ragusa will focus on Ragusa Ibla, known for its dozens of Baroque churches and palazzi constructed in the 18th century. The crown jewel is the Duomo di San Giorgio in Piazza Duomo. Other architectural treasures of note include the ornate Church of San Giuseppe, the Church of Santa Maria dell’Itria, the Church of the Santissime Anime del Purgatorio, and Santa Maria delle Scale.

We also recommend walking up the salita commendatore, the winding staircase that links Ragusa Ibla with Ragusa Superiore above, to admire sweeping views over the rooftops of Ibla and the surrounding countryside. Be sure to stop in for a stroll through the 19th-century Giardino Ibleo at the eastern end of town to unwind among the symmetrical hedges and pretty fountains under the shade of towering palm trees.

 

The Best Places to Visit Stay in Sicily: Syracuse

Like Agrigento, Syracuse was one of the most powerful cities in the Mediterranean city during Magna Graecia period and today is home to a number of spectacular archaeological sites right in the center of the old town. A mecca for archaeology enthusiasts, this beautiful Sicilian city will also charm lovers of Italy’s la dolce vita atmosphere and excellent cuisine.

Top Sights to Visit in Syracuse

Home to the largest Greek theater and the oldest Doric temple in Sicily, Syracuse’s Parco Archeologico della Neapolis is a must for ancient history buffs. Stop in Piazza Pancali to admire the Temple of Apollo, as well as the remains of the massive Altar of Hieron II, before continuing on to the city’s impressive archaeological museum. Fans of the Baroque period will appreciate the elaborate Duomo and the Church of Santa Lucìa alla Badìa, which houses Caravaggio’s “Burial of Saint Lucy”.

Take a trip to the nearby town of Noto, which has a Baroque 17th-century old town that was designated the “Val di Noto and the Baroque” UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002, along with nearby Modica, home to some of the best examples of the Sicilian Baroque on the island.

 

The Best Places to Visit Stay in Sicily: Taormina

One of the most panoramic cities in Sicily, Taormina sits atop Mount Tauro overlooking the island’s coastline, sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, and the looming volcanic peak of Mount Etna. Like other island cities, Taormina saw successive waves of conquerors from the Romans to the Arabs and Normans, and the old town is an open-air museum of different styles of architecture that has drawn travelers since the 19th-century Grand Tour. Today, it is one of the most popular destinations in Sicily.

Top Sights to Visit in Taormina

The most stunning sight in Taormina is its magnificent Greek theater, which dates from the 3rd century BC and was later renovated by the ancient Romans. Second in size only to the Greek theater in Syracuse and incredible state of preservation, this theater is still used to hold concerts and events. Built to overlook both the waters of the Mediterranean and Mount Etna, the theater’s acoustics still impress. 

After taking in the Greek theater, stroll through Piazza Vittorio Emanuele to visit Palazzo Corvaja, a heady mix of Arab, Norman, and Catalan-Gothic architecture, the Church of Santa Caterina, and the remains of a small Roman theater. Nearby Piazza del Duomo is home to the 15th-century Church of San Nicola has and has a delightful Baroque fountain topped by a centaur, the symbol of Taormina.

With its rugged cliffs soaring majestically over bright turquoise waters, Capri is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. From Roman emperors to Hollywood celebrities, the world’s elite has been retreating to this small island for millennia. Elegant villas draped in bright bougainvillea and some of the most exclusive hotels on earth beckon from the land. From the sea, exquisite yachts & state-of-art speedboats moor to take in the view. 

If you’re planning a trip along Italy’s southern coast, you will want to spend at least a day soaking in the sophisticated La Dolce Vita feel of this favorite haunt of Jackie O and Beyoncé. Shop the Italian and international haute couture boutiques along Via Caravelle. Stroll through the private art and archaeological collection in Villa San Michele. Linger over a drink in the buzzy main square, known as La Piazzetta. Bask in the sun at one of the private beach clubs facing the towering Faraglioni.

No matter how you want to experience the sublime atmosphere on Capri, Visumo Travel can help craft a dream-worthy visit. We love to share the unique barefoot luxury vibe that is both laid back yet white-glove. We can offer expert insights about how to make the most of your time on the island. In the meantime, here are a few of our suggestions for the best day trips to Capri.

Best Day Trips to Capri from Sorrento

Sorrento is one of the most famous resorts in towns along Italy’s southern coast and home to the storied Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. It sits on the northern coastline of the Sorrentine Peninsula looking across the bay to Naples and Vesuvius. The furthest point of the peninsula reaches out like a hand trying to touch the island of Capri. This proximity makes it a convenient jumping-off point for a day trip to Capri. 

From Sorrento, you can opt for a full-day visit to Capri or just skip across the 14-kilometer span of water for a few hours to escape the crowds on the mainland. Either way, be sure to plan at least one meal overlooking the sea while on the island.  

Best Day Trips by Sea

No trip to Capri is complete without a cruise around the island. We recommend a full-day private yacht charter for maximum flexibility both in pace and itinerary. You can set sail from the Marina Piccola port in Sorrento in the late morning. The skipper can take you along the beautiful coastline of the Sorrentine Peninsula past Punta Campanella, a marine reserve. 

Afterward, you should make the quick crossing over to the island. We recommend taking a turn around the entire circumference. If you get there early enough, you can beat the long lines at the Blue Grotto. Take in this magical sea cave and then cruise beneath the towering Faraglioni sea stacks. Be sure to steal a kiss as you pass under the archway in the central rock formation. You can also stop to take a dip in one of the many coves along the island’s coastline. For lunch, we suggest you stop at one of the waterfront restaurants to dine on the beach. You can sunbathe on land for a while or head directly back to your private yacht for a nap in the sun.

You also have the option of docking at Marina Grande, the main port on the island, for a few hours of free time to shop and sightsee on land. We can arrange for an island taxi pickup at the port for the ride up to the town center or for a driving tour of the island. Otherwise, relax for the afternoon on board with cool drinks and a completely customizable itinerary.

Best Day Trips by Land

If you don’t want to spend the day at sea, we can book you a simple private boat transfer by powerful speedboat to make the crossing in just minutes. You’ll be dropped at the Marina Grande port where an open-air island taxi and guide will meet you. You can decide to visit the Blue Grotto by land (be aware that the line to enter can be very long in high season) or spend the morning taking in highlights like Villa San Michele and Villa Lysis. 

For lunch, we suggest the Michelin-starred Il Riccio overlooking the water. Otherwise, we can book you into a beachfront restaurant so you can relax for a few hours on a lounger after your meal. 

In the afternoon, you’ll want to take a deep dive into the chic center of Capri town to shop the high-end boutiques and artisan workshops. You can also take in the views from the Gardens of Augustus and Tragara Belvedere. Before heading back to the mainland, grab a table in the bustling main square, known as La Piazzetta, for a cocktail. You may find a celebrity at the next table over.  

 

Day Trips to Capri from the Amalfi Coast

The spectacular scenery and fishing village charm of the Amalfi Coast make it one of Italy’s most A-list destinations. Positano and Amalfi, the highlights of the coastline, are set on the south side of the Sorrentine Peninsula. From here, it’s a fabulously scenic crossing to Capri. The island is one of the most popular day trips, if you can pull yourself away from the casual glamour of the Costiera Amalfitana. 

From the Amalfi Coast, we recommend setting aside an entire day to visit Capri as the crossing is a bit longer from this side of the peninsula. You can combine a private day cruise around the island with some time along the Amalfi Coast.

Day Trips by Sea

A cruise around Capri is a must if you are visiting the Amalfi Coast for a few days. For complete control over your pace and itinerary, a full day by private yacht is ideal. Depart in the late morning from Amalfi, Positano, or other ports along the coastline. Some waterfront hotels have a private jetty, so we can arrange pickup directly at your hotel. The cruise begins by skirting the length of the Amalfi Coast, so you can admire the Li Galli Islets and fishing villages like Nerano along the way. 

After passing the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula, you’ll head across to Capri and sail around the island. Opt to stop at the Blue Grotto for a visit (there can be a long wait to enter in summer) or continue on past the majestic Faraglioni sea stacks and Punta Carena lighthouse. Since you’ll be on a private yacht, you can stop where and when you choose for a swim. Relax over lunch on board or we’ll book you a table at a beachfront restaurant. 

In the afternoon, you can dock at the Marina Grande port for a quick stroll on land. Shop and sightsee in the chic center of Capri town and unwind with a final cocktail in the buzzy La Piazzetta main square.

Best Day Trips by Land

You may prefer to spend the bulk of your time discovering the island of Capri by land. In this case, we’ll arrange a transfer via speedboat to get you to the island quickly and comfortably. A driver and guide will meet you at the Marina Grande port. You’ll board an open-air island taxi to begin your day on the island in style. Highlights on land include the Blue Grotto, Villa San Michele, Villa Lysis, and a number of ancient Roman ruins.

The island is known for its range and quality of restaurants, so we can book you a table anywhere from a Michelin-starred hotspot to a casual beachfront eatery. Afterward, you can relax on a lounger at a private beach club or head to the authentic town of Anacapri to experience the quiet, timeless side of the island. You can even opt to take the chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro to admire the view.  

Before catching your private speedboat back to the Amalfi Coast, spend at least a few hours in the picturesque center of Capri town. Stroll the narrow lanes lined with designer boutiques and artisan workshops. Admire the panorama from the Gardens of Augustus and Tragara Belvedere. Linger at cocktail hour in La Piazzetta, the chic main square where celebrities from across the globe gather to see and be seen. 

 

Best Day Trips to Capri from Naples

Naples is one of the most captivating cities in Italy, a unique blend of opulence and grit. We recommend spending at least a few days discovering its treasures. Visit the world-class archaeological museum. Take in its ornate historic churches. Shop some of the best tailors in Europe.  

You can also use this teeming city as a jumping-off point for a day trip to Capri. We can book you a full-day private yacht cruise departing from Naples’ busy port. Set off in the late morning to sail across the Bay of Naples along the coastline of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Spend the day at sea off the island’s coast, docking to have lunch or sightsee on land. 

If you prefer to make the most of your time and explore the island by land, you can also opt to make the crossing by helicopter. A driver will pick you up at your hotel and drop you at the heli-port at the Naples Capodichino Airport. The flight to Capri takes about 20 minutes, and a driver will meet you at the Anacapri heliport on the island. 

 

Day Trips to Capri from Rome

Did you know that you can even take a day trip to Capri from Rome? We can arrange for a driver to pick you up at your Rome hotel and drop you at the Naples port for a day cruise. The best option, however, is a helicopter transfer directly from Rome to the island. The trip takes about 75 minutes. Once on the island, a driver can take you to the Marina Grande port to board a yacht for a day cruise. Otherwise, a driver and guide can meet you at the heliport for a driving tour of the island and lunch before the return flight to Rome.

 

Stunning views, romantic atmosphere, breathtaking venues, and unparalleled cuisine. The best Amalfi Coast is undeniably one of the most unforgettable destination wedding locations in the world. 

If you’ve decided to tie the knot along this exquisite stretch of Italian coastline, you’re not alone. Thousands of couples say “I do” against the backdrop of the cliff-lined waters of the Mediterranean Sea each year. Often, couples book the great wedding venues on the Amalfi Coast months – if not years – in advance. So, you should settle on where you would like to hold your wedding ceremony and reception sooner rather than later.

There are a number of different types of wedding ceremonies you can hold on the Amalfi Coast. The type of ceremony in many ways determines the choice of venues you have. Here are the main types of wedding ceremonies and the venues where events can be held:

 

Best Wedding Venues of the Amalfi Coast for Religious Ceremonies

 

Catholic Ceremonies

If you are planning on holding a Catholic wedding ceremony on the Amalfi Coast, here are a few things to keep in mind for you:

  • You will need to provide religious and civil paperwork. Religious paperwork includes permission from your parish bishop and pre-Cana class certification, as well as Christening and Confirmation certificates.
  • You must issue civil paperwork within 6 months of the proposed wedding date. And must deposit religious paperwork at the Italian Curia at least 2 months prior to the wedding.
  • Catholic weddings in Italy can be legally binding, but you will have to hold a separate civil ceremony before arriving in Italy depending on the church location.
  • You can celebrate your ceremony in English or Italian (via an interpreter).
  • You should make a donation to the church as a courtesy.
  • Bride and bridal party dresses must be modest and cover shoulders and knees.

Best Wedding Venues on the Amalfi Coast for Catholic Weddings

Though many of the Catholic churches on the Amalfi Coast only allow weddings for local parishioners, there are some notable exceptions:

Amalfi: the exceptional 11th-century Duomo that towers over Amalfi’s main square allows Catholic ceremonies for non-locals. For pure wow factor and photo ops on the sweeping staircase and historic cloister, this is one of the top Catholic venues on the coast.

Positano: the iconic green and yellow majolica dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the symbols of Positano. The gorgeous interiors are both sumptuous and intimate.

Ravello: there are a number of gem-like Catholic churches in Ravello for an unforgettable religious ceremony, including the medieval Duomo and baroque Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

 

 

Protestant Ceremonies

Though Italy is a predominantly Catholic country, there are plenty of wedding venue options for Protestant religious ceremonies, as well. To hold a Protestant ceremony, here are some facts:

  • You will need to provide religious and civil paperwork, which may vary depending upon your denomination (Adventist, Anglican, Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelist, Methodist, Episcopalian, etc).
  • You can hold a Protestant wedding in churches or in other approved venues including villas, gardens, and hotels.
  • If you meet the necessary paperwork requirements, your Protestant wedding ceremony in Italy can be legally binding.
  • Though most Protestant churches are found in larger cities like Naples, pastors will travel to ceremony venues across the Amalfi Coast.
  • You can celebrate your ceremony in English or Italian (via an interpreter).
  • You should make a donation to the church as a courtesy and respect any modest dress codes.

 

The Best Wedding Venues on the Amalfi Coast for Protestant Weddings

Protestant weddings allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility regarding the ceremony venue. Venues can include historic villas with a view, gardens overlooking the coastline, and luxury hotel terraces:

Amalfi: the two churches only allow Catholic wedding ceremonies. Couples can hold their ceremony in one of the town’s luxury hotels with panoramic terraces. Otherwise, the adjacent village of Atrani allows couples to hold Protestant wedding ceremonies in their delightful cathedral overlooking the sea.  

Positano: there is no Protestant church venue in Positano. This romantic coastal village offers some of the most stunning villa, hotel, and garden locations along the coastline.

Ravello: though there are no Protestant churches in Ravello, the local Catholic Diocese has made several of its finest churches available for Protestant ceremonies. Couples can have a Protestant pastor perform a ceremony in one of the town’s fabulous historic churches.

The Best Wedding Venues of the Amalfi Coast for Civil Ceremonies

If you’d like to say “I do” on the Amalfi Coast with a wedding ceremony that is legally binding but not religious, you can opt for a civil ceremony. Here are the basics you need to know: 

  • You must provide certain civil paperwork.
  • An Italian official (mayor or civil registrar) officiates at civil ceremonies. They are legally recognized in your country.
  • The officiant performs the ceremony in Italian with an official interpreter. The text contains both articles of the Italian civil code and traditional marriage vows. You can personalize the ceremony with music and readings.
  • Civil ceremonies must take place in locations approved by the Italian government. These include town halls and other venues approved by the Italian authorities like historic villas and panoramic gardens.
  • Often, Italian towns only hold civil ceremonies on weekdays.
  • You must have two witnesses at least 18 years of age.
  • There is no dress code.

The Best Civil Ceremony Venues on the Amalfi Coast

You can hold a civil wedding ceremony in a variety of venues on the Amalfi Coast, from grand historic city halls to other storied landmarks and gardens:

Amalfi: civil ceremonies are held in the elegant Salone Morelli in the town hall. This is a former Benedictine Monastery dating from 1300. You can also hold your civil ceremony at the impressive vaulted medieval shipbuilding arsenals in the center of town. 

Positano: this is one of the most popular locations for civil ceremonies as they are held on an outdoor terrace overlooking the sea (weather permitting). In case of inclement weather, you can move the ceremony into the adjacent town hall’s pretty majolica-tiled main room.

Ravello: if you dream of a garden wedding, Ravello is the ideal choice as civil ceremonies here are held in the Gardens of the Principessa di Piemonte. Couples are welcome to decorate with flowers and set up a marquee or floral arch. In case of inclement weather, you can move the ceremony into the 12th-century town hall’s elegant marble Sala dei Matrimoni.

 

The Best Wedding Venues of the Amalfi Coast for Symbolic Ceremonies

A symbolic wedding ceremony (also known as non-denominational or secular) is ideal to sidestep the hassle of gathering the paperwork necessary for a legally binding religious or civil Italian ceremony: 

  • This type of ceremony is not legally binding. You will have to get legally married in your own country either before or after your symbolic wedding in Italy.
  • You have complete freedom as far as the content and venue for the ceremony. It can be as traditional or unique as you prefer.
  • A pastor, an Italian officer, or a family member can perform a symbolic marriage ceremony,
  • You can personalize the ceremony with original vows, favorite songs, poetry, religious elements, or other rituals.
  • You can hold a symbolic ceremony anywhere private events are allowed. This includes historic villas and gardens to romantic luxury hotels and even private yachts.

The Best Symbolic Ceremony Venues on the Amalfi Coast

Symbolic wedding ceremonies can be held anywhere on the Amalfi Coast that is available for private events, from grand historic city halls to other storied landmarks and gardens:

Amalfi: one of the most popular venues for a symbolic ceremony in Amalfi is the historic Saracen tower than stands directly over the sea and affords spectacular views of the coastline and town. Otherwise, there are a number of luxurious hotels with panoramic terraces that are particularly photogenic.

Positano: the romantic gardens of the 18th-century Palazzo Murat are among the most beautiful along the coastline for a small symbolic ceremony (you can also hold a reception at the villa), and there are also a number of private villas and luxury hotels with panoramic terraces that can be used for intimate or large symbolic ceremonies.

Ravello: despite its small size, this clifftop village is home to some of the most incredible venues on the Amalfi Coast for a symbolic wedding ceremony, including the historic Villa Cimbrone panoramic gardens, intimate Villa Eva, or the sumptuous Hotel Belmond Caruso, considered one of the finest in Italy.

 

The Best Wedding Venues of the Amalfi Coast for Receptions

Where you will hold your wedding reception depends, of course, on where you hold your religious, civil, or symbolic ceremony. Logistics for getting a large group of people around the coast can be tricky, as traffic is often clogged. The best solution is to hold the ceremony and reception close enough that guests can walk from one to the other. You can even hold certain civil and symbolic ceremonies at the same venue as the reception, be that a private villa or garden or luxury hotel. Here are some of our top wedding reception venues on the Amalfi Coast:

Amalfi: Hotel Santa Caterina and Grand Hotel Convento can both host a number of types of wedding ceremonies from religious to symbolic, as well as the reception following. 

Positano: Palazzo Santa Croce is one of the most striking villas in Positano, its deep red stuccoed walls and panoramic terraces an iconic backdrop for any intimate reception…that said, there are countless villas in and near the town center that are unforgettable venues. 

Ravello: in addition to the gardens at Villa Cimbrone and Villa Eva, we love the Hotel Belmond Caruso and Palazzo Alvino, two impeccable luxury hotels that can hold both certain types of ceremonies and receptions.

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most stunning stretches along Italy’s Mediterranean Sea. Its dramatic cliffs drop straight down to the turquoise waters below. Its charming fishing villages are now some of the most fashionable boltholes in the world. It also offers spectacular waterfront hotels and restaurants. But which are the best places on the Amalfi Coast for a luxury getaway? Read on…

The beauty of the “Costiera Amalfitana” has been celebrated since the times of ancient Rome. Today, this relatively small area UNESCO-listed spot in southern Italy is among the most popular destinations in the world. To avoid the crush of tourists that invade each summer, we suggest staying at least a few days on the coast. That way you have time to savor its picturesque towns, jewel-like islands, nearby archaeological sites, and even Naples.

One of the first decisions you need to make when planning a luxury vacation on the Amalfi Coast is where you want to book your hotel or villa. At Visumo Travel, we know this area intimately. We can offer insights and assistance for booking your accommodations and planning your itinerary. Here’s a guide to help get you started on dreaming about your custom holiday on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

The Best Places on the Amalfi Coast

 

The Best Places on the Amalfi Coast – Sorrento

Though Sorrento is often considered part of the Amalfi Coast, this historic resort town is actually located outside the strict boundaries. A busy cruise ship port and bus tour destination, Sorrento sits halfway between Naples and Positano. It’s a convenient and popular base for the entire area from Naples to Vietri sul Mare, the southernmost village on the Amalfi Coast.

Unfortunately, its relatively accessible location makes it very crowded between June and September. This is when the high-season day-trippers clog the narrow lanes of the old town. We recommend booking a hotel or villa in Sorrento only in the spring and fall.

Sorrento is one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast if you plan on spending your time on the coast sightseeing most days. Its central location makes it easy to explore with a private driver on land or by sea with a private day cruise. The top towns, islands, and sights are all within about an hour.

If you’re traveling with family, you may also want to consider staying in Sorrento as the town is relatively flat. Other villages along the Amalfi Coast are virtually vertical and the steps and hills can be tough on children. Corso Italia, the main shopping street, is closed to traffic. There are also a number of family-friendly beaches in and near Sorrento, including Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. These beaches just below the center of town.

Best Places to Stay in Sorrento

Our top pick by far in Sorrento is the storied Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria for its timeless elegance and breathtaking terrace overlooking the sea. This is an ideal choice for couples (the spa is a huge perk) but also for families. The sprawling resort has ample outdoor space with a separate children’s pool and play area.

We also love the indulgent suites at the Bellevue Syrene. This chic Mediterranean gem perched above the sea has gorgeous interiors, private indoor pools, and panoramic dining on the terrace.

Best Places to Eat in Sorrento

We recommend Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, one of the best fine-dining restaurants in southern Italy with two Michelin stars. The chef uses ingredients sourced from the family’s farm on Punta Campanella and other local producers. The restaurant is located in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, just outside of Sorrento.

 

The Best Places on the Amalfi Coast – Amalfi

The Amalfi Coast is known for its postcard-perfect scenery and unparalleled cuisine, as well as a unique La Dolce Vita atmosphere. There isn’t much along the coastline as far as art and architecture as most of the villages were modest fishing hamlets until the mid-20th century. The one exception, however, is the bustling town of Amalfi, for which the coastline is named.

Once a wealthy maritime republic, Amalfi today holds the lion’s share of the coast’s cultural treasures, with a spectacular cathedral and historic paper making museum. It’s the largest town on the coastline and sits roughly at its center. It’s one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast if you are looking forward to visiting all the Amalfi Coast towns from Positano to Vietri sul mare.

Even if you stay within the confines of the town for the duration of your stay, there is plenty to keep you busy. First and foremost, visit the splendid 10th-century Duomo and its Cloister of Paradise. Other highlights include the 18th-century majolica floor in the Church of San Biagio and the historic Arsenale. This is where the Republic of Amalfi’s shipbuilders could once turn out an entire ship in just weeks. Amalfi’s Paper Museum is also worth a visit, dedicated to the town’s important history as a producer of hand-crafted paper.

Amalfi has some of the best shopping on the Amalfi Coast. B sure to buy handmade paper by Cartiera Amatruda, a workshop that has been producing stationary for royalty for 500 years. It also offers waterfront dining and a number of beaches. Just outside Amalfi, the clifftop villas of Ravello and winding staircases and narrow lanes of Atrani – the tiniest town in southern Italy – beckon.

Best Places to Stay in Amalfi

Amalfi is home to one of our favorite insider gems on the Amalfi Coast, the glorious cliffside Hotel Santa Caterina just outside of town. The hotel features two panoramic restaurants, a heated pool, and a private beach with elevator access. Our guests have a hard time tearing themselves away from this coastal paradise.

Couples who really want to get away from it all for a few days can settle in at the superb Monastero Santa Rosa. This is of the hottest newer luxury retreats along the coast set above tiny Conca dei Marini outside of Amalfi.

Best Places to Eat in Amalfi

We love the old-world atmosphere of the historic Da Gemma restaurant. They have been serving authentic Amalfi dishes since 1872.

The Best Places on the Amalfi Coast – Positano

Considered the pearl of the Amalfi Coast, Positano was once a humble fishing village. Today, it’s one of the most elegant boltholes along the coast. The center is bursting with luxury hotels, fabulous restaurants, and high-end boutiques and art galleries.

Though the town is now a buzzy outpost, its original jumble of colorful houses tumbling down the cliffside to the beach remains. The bright bursts of bougainvillea frame the towering church majolica dome, one of its most famous landmarks.

Positano is among the best places on the Amalfi Coast to stay if you just have a few nights to stay on the Amalfi Coast. You can experience all its beauty and glamour without ever having to leave the town. It’s also the hands-down favorite if you’re celebrating a special romantic occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary.

Best Places to Stay in Positano

The most famous hotel is the iconic Le Sirenuse, a luxury landmark. Scores of celebrities and nobility have stayed here over the decades. Today, its classic décor and luxurious dining options still position it among the finest hotels along the coast.

The indulgent San Pietro is also a Positano favorite with our clients. We love the chic interiors, attentive service, and inviting family atmosphere.

Best Places to Eat in Positano

For the meal of your life, there is no better place than dinner at La Sponda, the fine-dining restaurant Le Sirenuse. Each night, 400 candles are lit to bathe the dining room in an unforgettable golden glow.

 

The Best Places on the Amalfi Coast – Ravello

This tiny delight is the only town along the Amalfi Coast that does not sit at the water’s edge. Instead, it offers bird’s-eye views over the Bay of Salerno from the top of the coastal cliff. Ravello is famous for its two historic villas, the 13th-century Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone. Villa Cimbrone has an exquisite botanical garden and the Terrace of Infinity with some of the most sweeping views on the Amalfi Coast.

Set a bit apart from the other coastal towns, Ravello generally sees fewer visitors and the overall atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. In addition to its landmark villas and gardens, you can visit the town’s pretty cathedral and wander the sleepy old town center.

Best Places to Stay in Ravello

The Belmond Hotel Caruso is one of the best places on the Amalfi Coast to stay. This white-glove resort sits in an 11th-century palazzo on the clifftop with one of the most stunning infinity pools in Italy. Perfect for a relaxing retreat far from the crowds, you can unwind on the grounds or poolside. Guests also indulge in luxury spa treatments and enjoy drinks and meals with a view at the restaurants. The hotel shuttle runs between Ravello and Amalfi several times a day. Most of our clients are happy to settle in and recharge for the duration of their stay, however.

Best Places to Eat in Ravello

The Michelin-starred Il Flauto di Pan restaurant in Villa Cimbrone serves its contemporary Mediterranean cuisine made with organic ingredients grown in the villa’s gardens.