WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

What to pack for Europe in winter

WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER – PACKING LIST

If you are want to find out what to pack for Europe in winter, then this post is for you.

While you might have to think about which places to visit in Europe in winter, you will also need to plan what to pack for the cold winter months in Europe.

While Europe might not be the biggest continent, weather conditions strongly vary. So, it does make a big difference whether you visit North countries like Iceland or Norway, Central Europe like Switzerland or France or Southern Europe with places like Valencia in Spain.

If you head to Southern Spain you will not need all the super warm winter clothes – and you will be happy with some warm pullovers and jeans. In the Nordic countries you will definitely need to pack differently.

In this post, you will find one general part of what to pack in Europe for winter. Then you will find out about what to pack for warmer countries like Spain or Malta, but you will also find out what to pack if you visit countries like Switzerland, Estonia or Iceland in winter.

First ski experience in Verbier, Switzerland what to pack in winter

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Winter Weather in Europe

Before talking about what to bring to Europe in winter, we should talk weather in Europe in winter. Because your packing list depends on where you visit.

Southern Europe is much milder and warmer than Eastern Europe or Northern Europe. While you could wear a light jacket in Southern Spain in the winter months, you surely have to dress very warm in countries like Norway or Iceland.

If you come to Europe in winter – come prepared. 

Be advised that the average temperature can reach as low as -10° degree Celsius in countries like Iceland and Norway and while it gets up to 15° degree Celsius in other countries.

Climate change has lead to much warmer climate in many countries – I remember the years – as a little child – where we had many days with freezing temperatures in Germany. And a lot of snow – but nowadays, snow is no longer the rule for many parts in Europe. But it can be.

What to do in Alicante, Costa Blanca

What to Bring to Europe in Winter – General Items

So, the first part of the post is a general packing ist. Then you will find an additional packing list for winter.

Luggage for Europe

Here is what luggage/bags you might need for your winter Europe trip.

  • Suitcase: Though it depends, where exactly and for how long you travel, I recommend taking a good, light, and quality suitcase with you where all your clothes and most of your toiletries fit in.
  • Carry-On: If you visit for longer and aren’t a minimalist, then you might need an extra carry-on luggage.
  • Laundry bags: They are great if you travel for longer and don’t want your dirty and clean clothes to mix up. I prefer them over plastic bags.
  • Packing Cubes: They are the new must-items when it comes to traveling, they are very handy and they also come in cool colors. I recommend using packing cubes because it makes packing and organizing easier.
  • For my handbag, I choose a cross-body handbag with a zipper (just to be safe) and several extra pockets. My tip: The size of the handbag is important: do you carry a camera with your? A water bottle? Keep that in mind when you decide on one handbag.
  • Passport Holder, since I have become more minimalistic, I prefer not using a passport holder but if you need a passport (and an ID is not enough) you might want to have one.
  • For a day at the hotel pool or for some shopping, I recommend a beach bag or a cotton bag. Plastic bags – fortunately – do costs money in many parts of Europe…and plastic you use only once, sucks anyway, so with a cotton bag you use for years, you do the environment a favour (and it looks much better than to carry your shoppings in a plastic or paper bag).

Toiletries to Pack for Europe in Winter

Lately, I have reduced the care products. Less is better if you ask me. However, in winter our skin is also subject to stress. Here you will find a detailed list – even if I do not use all products below throughout the year, you might use more products.

If I travel for 10 days or shorter I take travel sizes toiletries which I refill with my natural and organic beauty products from home. To pack light, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, cleaning water and cleansing milk is all in small bottles.

Of course, you could buy toiletries in Europe as well, but if you do not want to waste your time in drug stores or supermarkets, use this checklist for Europe.

  • (TSA Approved Clear) Travel Toiletry Bag (if you fly)
  • Sunscreen (even in winter – depending on where you travel to. If you go for a ski trip, then take it but you most likely will not need it for most other winter trips).
  • Travel bottles to refill – I refill them with my own organic products that I normally use (I do not use shampoo & conditioner provided by hotels)
  • Electric Hair Removal Epilator (only if you stay longer than a week or if you remove your bidy hair with it) – otherwise a razor or whatever you prefer
  • Face cream – (which I also use as a hand cream, so I do not have to take another cream).
  • Refillable Travel Size Perfume Bottle
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash plus Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Magnifying make-up mirror
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover + glass nail file
  • My favorite hairbrush (especially for longer hair) – or if you have less space take a comb
  • Hair ties
  • A small cosmetic bag with the following items: Mascara / Rouge / Eyebrow powder (Taming & Shaping Kit For Brows) / Tweezer / Eyeliner and Eye Shadow / Make-up brushes/ Cotton swabs

Here are a few more items which I personally do hardly use but which might be important to you, so I added them here:

hair spray, hand cream, foundation, powder, lipstick, sanitiser

Tech Stuff to Pack for Europe

  • I have my laptop with me whenever I fly – however, I do work online while traveling and I also watch Netflix on it.
  • My phone is without a doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) items.
  • My camera is a must – because Europe has so many great spots that need to be photographed.
  • I have to admit, that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
  • Power Charger – how long does your phone battery last? Not long? Neither does mine, so this  is an essential
  • Do you need an adapter? It depends on where you travel to in Europe, so please check if you need one for your destination.

Random Things to Pack for Europe

  • Umbrella (in many countries, like Germany, Switzerland, or England is can still rain quite a lot in the winter)
  • Guides
  • Medicine (headache pills etc.)
Cycling in London in winter

What to Pack for Europe in Winter

The key is dressing in layers for Europe in winter. The temperature can reach freezing levels, and yet the sun can be deceptively strong. Dressing in layers allows you to keep warm without compromising on comfort. 

Also, it really depends on where exactly you travel – as I mentioned before, Southern Europe has mild weather in winter where you will not need a super warm jacket and gloves plus a hat.

Depending on where you travel, the wind might make you feel much colder than the temperature actually says.

In worst case scenario, hypothermia and frostbite will be a result if If you’re wet and not appropriately dressed.

Your items should be versatile in function. For example, pack a jacket that is both waterproof and warm. In addition, comfortable walking shoes are essential.

December in Iceland, Golden Circle with Arzo Travels

Everyday Attire Essentials For Europe In Winter

At the top of your Europe winter packing list should be the following versatile, essential items. Using these items to dress in layers will keep you both stylish and warm. 

  • Coat – Warm And Waterproof: A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the very first items that you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight, trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 
  • Hat: Science tells us that we lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, meaning that it’s essential to keep this area warm. A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out.  A hat will keep you toasty warm whether you’re on the slopes, sipping coffee, or exploring the sights. 
  • Gloves: Have you ever tried to use your phone with frozen fingers? It’s a nearly impossible task. A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility, dexterity, and comfort. This makes it one of the most important items on your Switzerland packing list. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.
  • Scarf Or Turtleneck: A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. Not only do these items keep you warm, but they also prevent you from getting ill (and thereby ruining the fun). A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 
  • Leggings: There’s a reason that almost every woman owns a pair of leggings. They are both comfortable and snug. Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denims as an extra layer of warmth. 
  • Socks: When it comes to packing socks for your Switzerland trip – the thicker the better. Chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. If you plan on hitting the slopes at any stage, then you’ll want your socks to be extra-thick or padded for increased comfort. 
  • Thermals: A quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Switzerland. They provide the extra layer of heat that will allow you to spend an extra hour on the slopes, or to pack fewer items on your road trip instead of excess clothing.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: If you can only pack one pair of shoes, then make sure that they are a trusty pair of waterproof snowshoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Snowshoes allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 
Verbier in Switzerland in the winter

Winter Sportswear

One of the best top reasons to visit e.g. Switzerland during the winter months is winter sports opportunities. While most ski resorts will offer rental equipment, there are a few essentials to pack for yourself. 

  • Ski Jacket: When choosing the perfect ski jacket, you need to consider warmth, level of waterproofing, and freedom of movement. A jacket that is adjustable in fit, seals effectively, and dries quickly is the perfect apparel for snowboarding, skiing, and other winter outdoor sports.
  • Ski Pants: A trusty pair of insulated ski pants are the next essential item for all winter sports fans. Make sure that your choice of pants is breathable, warm, and waterproof. These details will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable on the slopes.  
  • Winter Protection: There are a few items that will make your winter vacation all the more comfortable. The last thing that you want is to be soaked on your first day, or get a migraine from snow blindness
  • Umbrella: Regardless of what time of year you visit Switzerland, it’s always a smart move to pack a foldable umbrella. The nifty item doesn’t take up too much space. It can be the difference between a leisurely stroll in the city streets and getting caught in a flu-inspired downpour. 
  • Chapstick: Visiting Switzerland in winter will most likely find you spending hours of fun on the snow-covered slopes. This can quickly dry out your lips and burn your skin. In this instance, you’re going to be grateful that you’ve packed your moisturizing stick of Chapstick. 
  • Sunglasses: The best days on the slopes are the ones accompanied by clear, sunny skies and good conditions. These circumstances also increase the glare of the sun on the white snow, making it close to unbearable on your eyes. A pair of polarized sunglasses or ski goggles can protect your eyes from the wind and bright light.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO PACK FOR EUROPE IN WINTER

Europe in winter is a fantastic travel destination. Whether you come for a ski trip in Switzerland, explore the Christmas markets in London or want to have a weekend trip to a warmer place like Valencia – Europe is so diverse and has something for every taste.

Just be aware of what to pack for Europe in winter and you can enjoy some fantastic time in Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy!

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to Visit in Southern Italy

Best places to visit in South Italy

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO VISIT IN SOUTHERN ITALY

Italy surely is one of the most stunning, most unique and most interesting countries to visit. It is so rich in sights and natural attractions that it is probably on the bucket list of any traveler.

And whether you visit Northern Italy, Central Italy or the south – there are so many places to visit that it can be overwhelming. Yes, you can see Italy in two weeks – but, you will miss out on many gorgeous places the country has to visit. I suggest to visit Northern and Central Italy and then explore the south of the country.

So, this post is only about the absolutely best places to visit in South Italy.

Some of my fellow travel bloggers share their tips on where to go in Southern Italy – here are the places to visit for your Southern Italy trip (btw, here is a post with amazing destinations in all of Italy).

Enjoy!

Naples

Katy from Untold Italy

Naples is crazy, chaotic and cool – and a must see in South Italy

@shutterstock

Often missed by people who bypass it en route to the Amalfi Coast, it’s a city with a fascinating past, fun street culture and of course, incredible food. Naples doesn’t have the dreamy, ethereal qualities you find in the cities of the north of Italy. Rather, it is a vibrant, living city of contrasts with a racing pulse.

Your first stop in Naples should be the wonderful Museo Archeologico with its collection of Roman and Greek artefacts and remnant of the disaster at Pompeii.

For Renaissance and baroque splendour, head to the Cathedral where the soaring vaulted ceilings and altar masterpieces are sure to impress.

Next, go underground and discover the San Gennaro catacombs – a spooky network of tunnels and passageways lined with graves and crypts dating back hundreds of years. At street level just walk with the crowds and stop at a cafe or bar and admire the people, street art and life of the city.

Sitting in the shadow of Vesuvius, the people of Naples make each day count and you should too. You can easily spend three unforgettable days in wonderful Napoli.

Lecce

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Often dubbed “the Florence of the South”, Lecce is indeed just as beautiful as the famous capital of Tuscany and yet sees only a fraction of the tourists.

@The Nomadic Vegan

Don’t expect a carbon copy of Florence, though; the two cities are built in very different styles. Whereas Florence embodies the Renaissance, the streets of Lecce are lined with ornate buildings from the Baroque period.

Already known as a rather flamboyant style of architecture, in Lecce the Baroque style has been given even more embellishments in the form of wrought-iron balconies and twisting columns.

In fact, the style here is so distinctive that it has its own name, barocco leccese (Lecce Baroque).

Sights not to miss include the Church of Santa Croce with its beautiful rose window and the ancient Roman theater and amphitheater.

But just wandering down one of the main streets, such as Via Palmieri, is equally enjoyable. Take it slowly so you can admire all the ornate details on the façades. And you’ll definitely want to linger over a few multi-course meals in the local restaurants!

The region of Puglia has a very distinctive cuisine, and you’ll come across many dishes that you’ve never seen before in any Italian restaurant. Using lots of local vegetables, grains and legumes, Puglian cuisine is also one of the most vegan-friendly cuisines in Italy.

Noto

Veronika from Travel Geekery

Noto is a small picturesque town in the Southeast of Sicily renowned for its Baroque architecture. You should visit Noto if you love exploring churches and cathedrals and if you have a sweet tooth!

Noto Sicily a must-see in Southern Italy. Veronika TravelGeekeryPinterest
@Travel Geekery

In Noto you can find one of the highest concentrations of churches, palaces and other religious buildings. They are everywhere and they’re all amazing. The Noto Cathedral is the most grandiose one and together with Noto’s historical center have been listed in UNESCO since 2002.

The best thing to do in Noto is just to stroll through the narrow streets clad in white tiles, popping into any church you feel like. Most are free to enter, with a few palaces charging for entrance.

Noto’s famous Café Sicilia is no lesser motivation to visit Noto. The Netflix-featured café makes possibly the best granita (=an ice-cream like dessert) in Sicily. The best and most original is the Almond Granita made from Sicilian almonds.

Café Sicilia has actually worked with local farmers and contributed to revive the traditional almond growing in Sicily! Granitas should be vegan, but check with the waiter to make sure there’s no dairy.

If you come to Sicily and spend at least a week, you definitely should not leave out Noto! Gain inspiration from this weeklong Sicily itinerary.

Santa Maria di Leuca

Michele of A Taste for Travel 

One of the best places to visit in southern Italy is Santa Maria di Leuca, located at the very tip of the heel of the boot of Italy.

Beautiful scenic seascape at Ciolo Bridge, near Santa Maria di Leuca, Salento, Apulia, Italy
@A Taste for Travel

Flanked by both the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, this picturesque town is small but famous in many respects from a religious, strategic and tourism perspective.

Some of the things to do in Santa Maria di Leuca  include kayaking or taking a guided boat tour of the grottos and sea caves carved into the rocky coastline, basking on the beach at a nearby lido or beach club and marvelling at the ancient watchtowers dating to the 15th and 16th centuries and originally intended to warn of attacks from the water by foreign armies, smugglers and pirates.

The lighthouse at Santa Maria di Leuca also happens to be the second most important lighthouse in Italy, after Genoa and is a popular landmark for photography buffs.

But the biggest draw for religious pilgrims is the Sanctuary or Basilica devoted to Saint Mary and constructed in 1720-1755  to commemorate the arrival of St. Peter during his travel to Italy.

The lighthouse itself is built on top of a Greek temple dedicated to Athena. A scenic promenade along the seafront connects the town with the lighthouse via a set of stairs flanking Mussolini’s Waterfall ( a monument celebrating the construction of the Apulian Aqueduct).

Nearby, within the Capo di Leuca region are the famous sights such as the pilgrim’s stop of Santa Maria di Leuca de Belvedere, Ciolo Bridge and several hiking trails and footpaths, dating back centuries.

Ischia

Helen from Helen on her Holidays

Ischia is a small island in the Bay of Naples, just across the water from the more famous island of Capri.

Ischia in Italy
@Helen on her Holidays

Ischia is already very popular as a holiday destination for Italian families, but is a little overlooked by travellers from other countries. It shouldn’t be; Ischia is a beautiful island with stunning landscapes, amazing food and loads of things to do.

Some of the best things to do in Ischia include: Enjoying a relaxing bath in Ischia’s natural thermal waters. Ischia is a volcanic island and blessed with over 100 thermal springs. Many hotels on the island have their own thermal spas and you can even visit a thermal bath used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

If you love gorgeous gardens, you should visit Ischia’s two world-famous gardens. The La Mortella gardens are set in a deep rocky valley and mix lush planting in the lower areas with fragrant Mediterranean foliage as you walk up the valley side. Nearby, Giardini Ravino is a leading (and very Instagrammable) collection of cacti and succulents.

Visiting Castello Aragonese. Ischia’s medieval castle is located majestically on a rocky islet, connected to the larger island by a long causeway bridge. Taking a 20-minute ferry across to neighbouring Procida, a tiny island with one of the most incredible views in Italy.

Ischia is a fantastic place to visit in southern Italy and ideal for a vacation of around a week.

Amalfi Coast 

Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

If you are planning a trip to Southern Italy, you will want to put the Amalfi Coast drive on your itinerary. Considered one of the most beautiful drives on the planet, this drive will take you past some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Italy.

@shutterstock

You can do this iconic drive in one day or take a few days and really enjoy the Amalfi Coast. If you do the entire stretch, you will drive from Sorrento to Salerno, or vice versa.

The distance is not very long, at about 56 km, but the road is narrow and winding, and you will want to stop often to take photos.

Some folks drive from Sorrento to Ravello and back, and that is doable in one day if you are based in Sorrento and want to visit the coast as a day trip.

The towns of the Amalfi Coast are super picturesque. Positano’s beauty is legendary, but the towns of Amalfi, Praiano, and Ravello are also gorgeous.

Stop for lunch at a restaurant with a water view, and enjoy a taste of limoncello, the liqueur made with local sweet lemons. Wander the little towns, browse the shops, and take in the views. If you are looking for souvenirs, the ceramics of Vietri sul Mar are famous.

With so much to enjoy, a drive along the Amalfi Coast definitely deserves a spot in your itinerary for southern Italy!

Alberobello

Nicky from Above Us Only Skies

Travel through Puglia, southern Italy’s heel, and you can’t fail to notice quaint, white-washed dry stone huts with conical roofs dotted around the countryside.

Puglia is one of the best places to visit in South Italy
@Above Us Only Skies

And if you visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello you’ll discover a whole village full of them.

They’re called trulli (singular, trullo) and are the main draw of Alberobello, attracting busloads of passengers every year to gaze at these splendid hobbit-like dwellings.

Many of them are used as shops. Indeed, in the main tourist area of Rione Monti, there are many trulli converted into hotels, restaurants and artisanal shops selling everything from trullo-shaped key rings to fine Italian wines. Of course, a peek inside the shops offers a closer look at the impressive vaulted conical roofs.

If you want to learn more about their fascinating history, including how they were allegedly developed as a tax dodge from feudal landowners, then pay a visit to the Museo Del Territorio. It’s a wondrous construction of ten linked trulli housing informative descriptions of how the dwellings were made and the history of the region at that time.

And don’t miss the opportunity to stay overnight in one of these tiny pieces of history if you’re going to be touring in this area of Puglia.

Positano

Samantha from Sam Sees World 

Talking about Positano – since it is such an incredible town, this deserves some more space in this post.

@shutterstock

Positano is one of the most magical and charming cities in all of Italy. It is located on Southern Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast and is built into the cliffside of the surrounding mountains.

Positano is a very popular travel destination due to the village’s iconic views and sights to see. Here you will find a pebbly beach with vivid blue waters, pastel-colored houses built vertically into the cliffside, boutique shops, and luxurious restaurants. It truly is a travelers dream.

Although it is a small village, there are a plethora of things to see in Positano. One of the best things to do in Positano is to visit the main beach. The beach is full of colorful umbrellas and is the perfect place to view the city from a lower angle and take a swim in the beautiful waters.

More so, Positano has a hike called the Path of Gods that stretches along the Amalfi Coast and offers stunning views of the coast and surrounding mountians, this is a must-do while visiting Positano.

After a day of adventures it is always nice to sit down for a delicious pizza in a restaurant with a view overlooking the city at night.

Positano is a great tourist destination year-round. In the summer months everything is open and alive; however, there are more tourists! If you prefer less tourist I suggest heading here in the shoulder seasons.

Palermo

Ivan from Mind the Travel

Italy’s largest island, Sicily, has an incredible capital, Palermo. The city holds an important place in the history of this southern archipelago which makes it – without a doubt – one of the best places to visit in Southern Italy.

Famous fountain of shame on baroque Piazza Pretoria, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
@shutterstock

Palermo has been a flourishing cultural, and trading center throughout  history, and scores of invading armies have left their mark everywhere.  

Think cultural and economic influences from the Carthaginians, Greeks,  Romans, Normans, French, and Spanish Bourbons. Palermo itself is like a cultural amusement park with its winding alleyways, street markets with the most delicious veggies and fruit, cathedrals with distinctive architecture, religious street processions.  

It’s all a little weird and surreal. That’s why some of the best things to do in Palermo include engaging with culture and absorbing the architecture. The events in the city’s social calendar are endless – scope them out before you go.

The real Palermo is experienced in its streets, markets, and through its food.  No trip to Palermo is complete without a visit to Vucciria, Ballarò, and Borgo Vecchio open-air markets. These offer some unbeatable experience.

The pedestrian-friendly streets made it easy to wander around the impressive palaces some of which have been turned into museums.Palermo’s cozy squares are filled with little cafes, music venues, art exhibits, and strolling visitors.

Street food in Palermo can be found all over town in little stalls selling yummy snacks like sfincione and arancini for about 1 – 2 Euros.

Another highlight on a list of places to visit in Palermo is Monreale Cathedral and its thousands of square meters of golden mosaics. Even if you are not into arts, this place is gorgeous so try to squeeze a visit  during your stay in Palermo.

The Aeolian Islands

Emily by Wander-Lush

The Aeolian Islands off the coast of north-western Sicily offer some of the most stunning landscapes in Southern Italy.

Aeolian Islands in Sicily by Emily Lush
@Wander-Lush

If you love island-hopping, lounging on black-sand beaches and exploring sweet Sicilian towns, this off-beat gem should definitely feature on your Southern Italy bucket list.

The Aeolian archipelago is made up of seven islands – Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Stromboli.

Because they’re volcanic islands (most are now extinct but Stromboli is still famously active), the soil is rich and perfect for growing grapes, capers, figs and other local produce.

Each of the islands has its own unique landscape and local culture. An ideal Aeolian Islands itinerary involves basing yourself on one of the quieter villages (I prefer Malfa in Salina) and visiting the other islands on day trips by boat. Highlights include swimming and snorkelling, and exploring the quaint towns on foot.

Other must-dos include hiring a jeep and driving to some of the viewpoints around Vulcano, visiting the world-class Archaeological Museum on Lipari, and hiking to the summit of Stromboli to see the crater up close.

To get to the Aeolian Islands, take a hydrofoil from Sicily (Messina or Milazzo).

Sorrento

Ashley from My Wanderlusty Life

For a great mix of everything that makes up the culture of Southern Italy, Sorrento is one of the best places to visit in Southern Italy.

Sorronto in South Italy
@My Wanderlusty Life

Sorrento is in the perfect location to serve as a base for your travels around Southern Italy. It’s within a short drive of the enchanting Amalfi Coast, the wineries of Mt. Vesuvius, the lively metropolis of Naples, and just a short boat ride to Capri and more of Southern Italy’s incredible and indulgent islands.

While in Sorrento, you can enjoy some of Southern Italy’s best food on specially curated food tours for all dietary preferences. You can tour olive oil production factories, organic wineries, and limoncello groves to learn all about Sorrento’s lemon-centered culture and history.

You can stroll the streets of downtown Sorrento with a gelato in hand during the bustling passegiatta before watching the sun set from your cliff-side balcony. Shop for locally made items and listen to old Italian classics streaming from the underground eateries.

Then you can spend the entirety of the next day swimming in the warm, emerald waters of the Mediterranean.

Southern Italy is truly a gem and you can see the best of it all from Sorrento.

Taormina

Rai from A Rai of Light

Taormina, often described as the most beautiful town in Sicily, is an old hilltop village that is filled with history, culture and charm.

@shutterstock

With its dramatic coastline, pretty beaches and enticing shops, the town offers a number of possibilities for a good time. It is well known for its archaeology, architecture, heritage, and history, with a whole lot to do. Don’t miss a visit to the Greek Theatre, Piazza IX Aprile, and the public garden.

The ancient theatre, a historical monument built way back in the third century BC, offers a glimpse into a primeval world.

For photo lovers it also offers the opportunity to get some great shots of the surrounding region. The main street, Corso Umberto crosses the whole center of the town and provides for some awesome shopping.

Taormina is somewhat touristy and it can also get really busy, especially during the holiday season, so a little planning is advised. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to get here and if pressed for time, it is possible to visit for just a day from anywhere in Sicily or Malta.

Capri

Lori from TravlInMad

The island of Capri off the Sorrentine peninsula in southern Italy is one of the most unique and one of the best places to visit in the Southern Italy.

Capri-Travlinmad

Capri is idyllic and reachable only by boat, and ferries from Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast can whisk you away to the island several times a day.

While many tourists visit Capri for a day trip, it’s worth so much more time for those seeking a relaxing and luxurious Italian holiday.  Once the crowds go home at the end of the day, the island takes on a magical quality. It’s as if the tourists have been let in on all the local island secrets.

Capri was once home to the Roman Emperor Tiberius, and later his misguided nephew Emperor Caligula, and visiting the ruins of their Villa is one of the most interesting things to do in Capri.

Hiking to Villa Jovis on the top of the island is an excellent day hike, along narrow streets accessible only by single motor carts and on foot, and you’ll be treated to some of the most amazing views over the Amalfi Coast. 

The island is also home to stunning rock formations and grottoes, so a boat trip is a must-do when you’re here. After exploring the famous Blue Grotto and a swim in the crystal clear waters, enjoy a late afternoon Aperitivo in the Piazza Umberto, then head for dinner at one of Capri’s incredible restaurants. Whatever you choose to do in Capri, it’ll capture your heart forever.

Gallipoli

Nadine from Le Long Weekend

With it’s crumbling façades and colourful port, Gallipoli epitomises the old-world charm of southern Italy. 

Gallipoli, Italy is one the most beautiful places in South ITaly

It’s the place to go to experience the real Italy, the one where the art of making pasta is passed down through the generations, and where groups of elderly men congregate on café terraces, coppola caps firmly in place.

It’s worthy of a few days’ exploration, even if all you really want to do is laze on the picturesque beaches that surround the town. The old Gallipoli is an island attached to the mainland via a bridge and is where you’ll want to head first. 

Walk the perimeter to get your bearings and take note of which bar you want to come back to later to enjoy uninterrupted sunset views.

Visit the Castello Angioino di Gallipoli, a historic building on the waterfront once used to ward off enemies that now houses a cultural centre, before wandering down one of the cobbled lanes that lead into the old town.

Admire the architecture on display and pop your head into one, or many, of the old churches to take in the differing styles. Then browse the small selection of boutiques and shops selling local wares, before heading back to that seaside spot for sunset!

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Coni from Experiencing the Globe

No visit to Italy is complete without the archeological site of Pompeii. These ruins have inspired songs, movies, books and more, and with great reason.

Pompeii - Experiencing the Globe

An entire city with houses, temples, baths, public buildings and shops was buried, giving you a fantastic opportunity to see how daily life looked like in a Roman city.

Pompeii was founded around the 8th century BC, and completely covered in lava and ashes in 79 AD by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The excavation of began in 1748, and it is still an ongoing process!

Don’t miss the forum, the brothel, the baths, the villa of the mysteries, the garden of the fugitives, the house of Venus in the Shell, the theater and the amphitheater.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not start the day on top of Mt. Vesuvius? It’s still an active volcano, but it’s safe to visit. A bus will drop you at the beginning of a well-marked path, where you’ll have a comfortable walk with about 200 meters of altitude change to the crater. After walking around it, you’ll get to try wine grown on the slope of the volcano!

You can easily visit Pompeii and Vesuvius in one day from Naples independently. Just take the train from Napoli Centrale, and enjoy these amazing sights!

Matera

Talek from Travels With Talek

Matera is a town in southern Italy, towards the end of the Italian boot shaped peninsula.

matera in South Italy

It is a magical, otherworldly place with rock formations creating caves above ground and underground tunnels and caves running the length of the city.

The city‘s caves are called the Sassi di Matera and the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Matera has been inhabited since paleolithic times. Throughout the centuries people have lived in the caves. Today some caves are still used as living quarters. A city tour will take you through some large caves used as homes. They look quite cozy and habitable with all the comforts of a regular home.

The city has made excellent use of its caves turning them into a major tourist attraction. You can stay in a cave hotel, eat in a cave restaurant and best of all, see magnificent artistic structures in an underground museum.  The statues are artistically lit and represent tango dancers, acrobats and other forms.

Matera is so distinctive that it has been used as a movie set for films such as Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ and the most recent Ben Hur.

Tropea

Annabel from Smudged Postcard

The town of Tropea is located in the southern Italian region of Calabria midway between Lamezia and Reggio di Calabria.

Tropea is a particularly pretty seaside town. It is perched on a clifftop overlooking the Mediterranean. Beneath the town is a popular sandy beach and a small rocky island crowned by the medieval church Santa Maria dell’Isola.  

Tropea’s central Piazza Ercole is the perfect place for a morning coffee and a spot of people watching. The town is famed for its delicious sweet red onions which are delicious in salads. Fiery chillies are also grown and widely used in food in this part of Italy.

Evenings are a lovely time to visit Tropea as the streets fill with people taking an evening passeggiata.

The beaches around Tropea and the nearby coastline of Capo Vaticano are the reason so many Italians flock to the town in summertime. Snorkelling is good here and there are boat trips available to the Aeolian islands including the active volcanic isles of Vulcano and Stromboli.

Many of them are used as shops. Indeed, in the main tourist area of Rione Monti, there are many trulli converted into hotels, restaurants and artisanal shops selling everything from trullo-shaped key rings to fine Italian wines. Of course, a peek inside the shops offers a closer look at the impressive vaulted conical roofs.

If you want to learn more about their fascinating history, including how they were allegedly developed as a tax dodge from feudal landowners, then pay a visit to the Museo Del Territorio.

It’s a wondrous construction of ten linked trulli housing informative descriptions of how the dwellings were made and the history of the region at that time.

And don’t miss the opportunity to stay overnight in one of these tiny pieces of history if you’re going to be touring in this area of Puglia. I am sure you will agree it is one of the places to visit in southern Italy.

CONCLUSION: MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN SOUTHERN ITALY

As you can see, the south of Italy is full of stunning places – and hopefully this list with the best places to visit in Southern Italy will help you create your itinerary. For more Italy travel tips click here!

best places to visit in South ItalyPinterest

THINGS TO DO IN SIENA IN ONE DAY

Siena in 1 day, Italy

THINGS TO DO IN SIENA IN ONE DAY

If you visit Tuscany, there are some must-see places like Florence and Pisa – but of course, Siena is another famous and popular city to visit in Tuscany. So, if you are planning your one day Siena itinerary, you can find out more about the best things to do in Siena in 1 day.

Siena is a perfectly-preserved medieval town and a shrine to Gothic architecture that should not be missed on any Tuscany itinerary. The historical center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and while there are many places to visit, this is a 1-day Siena itinerary.

Because as lovely as Siena is, most of us only have a limited amount of time to spend in Tuscany, and one day in Siena is good enough to see the main attractions and stroll the city. You will still have enough time to sit down and enjoy La Dolce Vita.  Remember that places like Florence are waiting for you.

However, there is surely more to see and one day in Siena will not be enough to cover all of the attractions the city has to offer (but you will see most of them).

view of the historic city of Siena, Italy _
@shutterstock

Travel Tips for One Day in Siena

Because of its location, Siena can be easily reached from other places in Tuscany by car, train, or bus. 

Like most of the town centers in the region, Siena is traffic-free. You cannot drive into the town, but you can park your car just outside the city center and walk or get there by bus/train, and walk from the train station to the old town or take a bus.

The old town of Siena is the place where we will spend most of our time.

So, whether you do a day trip to Siena or stay overnight, these tis should help you planning your Siena trip.

I stayed at a very lovely, small hotel with amazing views close to the old town – the design is quite unique and it is located just outside of the city walls. But I could not have asked for more value for my money (and dogs were allowed, so it was the perfect choice for me and my puppy). Find out more about Hotel Santa Caterina in Siena here. I could walk to the old town from my hotel within a few minutes.

THINGS TO DO IN 1 DAY IN SIENA 

Let´s get started with the 1-day Siena itinerary.

Piazza del Campo

As mentioned in previous posts, I often judge cities and towns based on their market squares. And Siena has a lovely market square, so you can imagine it is a lovely town.

Piazza del Campo a must-see in 1 day in Siena
@shutterstock

Start your day in Siena at the Piazza del Campo. The huge Piazza del Campo is the heart of the city and it is a unique, shell-shaped piazza with many interesting buildings and restaurants and shops.

Twice a year, July 2 and August 16, a famous horse race – Palio di Siena – takes place. But most of the time, it is a nice and lively square where you can do a lot of “normal sightseeing.“

There is also the Fonte Gaia, the largest fountain in the city, originally decorated with sculptures by Jacopo della Quercia. Here you’ll find some of the most interesting buildings in Siena – including the Palazzo Comunale (or Palazzo Pubblico) and the Torre del Mangia.

The Palazzo Comunale is a palace and the town hall, but it also houses the Civic Museum that is a popular place to see.

Torre del Mangia 

If you are about views – or some more physical exercise – then it is time to climb the Torre del Mangia. It stands at 87 meters and apparently offers some of the best views of Tuscany and with one day in Siena you surely have enough time to do so.

Siena tower, looking up

Unfortunately, the tower was closed during the time of my visit – otherwise, I would have loved to climb more than 400 steps – even though they are narrow and climbing towers in Italy can be tiring.  The 360-degree views are surely worth it. The tower should be open again, so make sure to plan in some time for the 400 stairs.

Civic Museum

Tip: If you want to visit the Civic Museum and the Torre del Mangia, you can buy a combined ticket for 13€ (available only at the ticket office of the Tower). Depending on the time, you can then have an espresso or drink at the piazza before continuing your journey to the next main place in Siena.

Piazza del Duomo

Now it is time to head to the next piazza: Piazza del Duomo which is another top thing to do in Siena in 1 day

View of Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Siena) and Piazza del Duomo in Siena. Siena, UNESCO a World Heritage Site
@shutterstock

You’ll have several attractions here – the Cathedral, the Crypt, and the Piccolomini Library – so you will probably spend a few hours here, too. 

Buy the fast pass entrance ticket for the Siena Duomo, Baptistery, Crypt, Libreria Piccolomini, Museo dell’Opera, and Facciatone.  The new guided tour, “Gate/Door of Heaven,“ is not included in this pass.

Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta

Let’s start with the Cathedral. I am not sure, but the cathedral looks pinkish to me. But since I have not seen this pinkish color highlighted in other blog posts, it might not be the case.

Piazza del Duomo Siena Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany, Siena cathedral

Either way, the Cathedral is stunning. It is a beautiful example of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture and one of the main tourist spots.

The current Cathedral was built atop an ancient church around the 9th century, and was consecrated in 1179. While it looks pretty from the outside, it also looks great from the inside.

Interior in Siena Duomo, martinho Smart, Shutterstock.com
Martinho Smart, Shutterstock

The interior is decorated with white and dark green marble, which reminded me a lot of the Cathedral in Genoa – one of my favorite places in Italy, by the way.

Inside, you can also see works of art by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Donatello – which makes it more like a museum. I have not done a tour, but apparently, there is a new guided tour that you can take called “The Door/Gate of Heaven” that allows you to see the Cathedral from the top, enjoying the great view which makes it one of the best things to do in Siena in 1 day.

Facciatone

With the Fast Pass ticket, you can then head to the Panorama dal Facciatone and climb the spiral staircase for great views of the Duomo.

Siena,view of the Del Mangia tower from the Cathedral's Facciatone belvedere
@shutterstock

The time at the top is limited, so enjoy the views and take pictures before heading back down.

Piccolini Library

The next stop is the Piccolomini Library, which was built in the early 16th century and dedicated to Pope Pius II. The library is inside the Duomo and is mostly known for Pinturicchio frescoes.

Crypt

The Crypt is located underneath the Cathedral and another place to see in one day in Siena.

Interior of crypt of Basilica of San Domenico or Basilica Cateriniana in Siena. John_Silver, Shutterstock.com
John Silver, Shutterstock

The Crypt is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent years – it was just discovered in 1999.  You’ll find many 13th-century frescoes that are worth visiting all on their own.

Then, it is time for the next stop.

Baptistery

The Baptistery of San Giovanni is dedicated to San Giovanni (St. John) and was built in the early 14th century when it was decided to enlarge the Duomo, but the facade has never really been finished.

Baptistery of Saint John ceiling interior in Siena Cathedral complex.Hani Santosa, Shutterstock.com
Hani Santosa, Shutterstock

Inside, you will find many beautiful frescoes and it is included in the Fast Pass ticket for the Cathedral – so don’t miss out on that one. Though it is connected to the Cathedral, you enter through a different entrance.

Opera del Duomo Museum

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is one of the oldest private art museums in Italy, and you’ll find it on the south side of the Cathedral.

Stained Glass in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Vjacheslav Shishlov, Shutterstock.com
Vjacheslav Shishlov, Shutterstock

You can find many of the original works from the Duomo here, from Giovanni Pisano, Duccio da Buoninsegna, and Donatello.

Santa Maria della Scala

If you then have time and energy left (visiting all these places can be exhausting), then visit the complex of Santa Maria della Scala. It is one of Europe´s first hospitals and one of the world’s oldest still-surviving hospitals, where pilgrims, as well as the poor and abandoned children, were welcomed. Now, it is a museum that is open to visitors.

Wander the Streets

One of my favorite activities in towns and cities is: to get lost.

Streets of Siena in 24 hours

Shops in Siena

Stroll the pretty streets of Siena and enjoy the (almost completely) car-free town center with its many side streets and numerous little shops and cafes. 

I am not into drinking wine, but if you are, pick one of restaurants on the side streets, order a glass, and enjoy La Dolce Vita. Or as I would do, order a lot of gelato and end your day in Siena this way.

CONCLUSION:  THINGS TO DO IN SIENA IN 1 DAY

Are you in Italy for two weeks? Then check out my Italy itinerary where I have also listed Siena as a place to visit in 14 days.

1 day in Siena will allow you to see the main sights – the city is one of the biggest in Tuscany and you could probably spend much more time here. But after I had spent a bit more than one day in Siena, I was ready to explore other areas in Tuscany. One day is enough to experience the best things in Siena but as many beautiful cities in Italy, it would not even harm to stay longer!

Safe Travels, Arzo

A PERFECT 2-Week Italy Itinerary

First-time in Italy_ An itinerary for Italy in 10-14 days

HOW TO SPEND 2 WEEKS IN ITALY

Are you planning your 2-week Italy itinerary and are wondering about the how to spend 2 weeks in Italy? Then this post is for you as I will share my ideas on how to create a Italy itinerary where you can see some of the most beautiful places in Italy in 2 weeks.

There are not many countries that are so rich in natural sights, as well as beautiful architecture and history! Italy plays in a different league and you could never spend too much time here.

While I have many favorite places in Italy, some quite unknown to tourists, I understand that the main tourist destinations like Rome, Venice, and Florence are on everyone’s bucket list!

For your first trip to Italy, these destinations are probably very high on your list, so I have created this itinerary to help you discover the main tourist hotspots with this 2-week Italy itinerary.

And I can assure you: Each destination is impressive and worth a visit. 

In two weeks you will experience some city life and, but you will also see a different side of Italy. But more on that later.

Trevi Fountain in Rome and more things to go in Rome

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARY

So, before talking about the perfect 14 day in Italy, here are some travel tips for your first-time trip to Italy, so you know how to get around, where to stay, and more.

HOW TO GET AROUND IN TWO WEEKS IN ITALY

I suggest flying into Rome and ending your trip in Venice (or the other way around). From there, you can get around easily by train.

I have done both: road-tripping and rail travel. For this 2-week Italy itinerary, I suggest using the train, because, to be honest, in Italy, the best way is to get around via train. You might have less freedom but will gain so much more …particularly, it is less nerve-wracking and way cheaper.

Petrol is sooooo expensive in Italy (it has some of the highest petrol prices in Europe, even more expensive than in Switzerland), and tolls are also pricey. Plus, the streets are narrow and Italians rush when it comes to driving!

Luckily, public transportation is a very good alternative: quite cheap, reliable, and very efficient. Trains might run late a few minutes (basically, all my trains were 5-10 minutes late but that is still tolerable in my eyes).

So, go with that!

BEST TIME TO GO TO ITALY

The places mentioned in this two week Italy itinerary can all be visited throughout the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. However, I recommend NOT visiting in the summer months. It is hot and sticky, expensive, and worst of all, every place is full of tourists. 

Understandably, tourists are here all year round, but in the summer months, be prepared to fight your way through the crowds.

There will also be no way to visit the attractions without “skip-the-lines tickets.“ Even during shoulder seasons, these tickets are highly recommended. In the summer months, there is no way around it if you don’t want to waste your time standing in lines for hours.

Check out more Italy travel tips here.

PLACES TO STAY FOR YOUR 2-WEEK ITALY ITINERARY

When I am road tripping, I don’t mind changing hotels regularly. However, since I suggest rail travel for you, I also suggest not changing hotels too many times as it makes the trip more stressful.

If you stay 14 days in Italy my tip is to have a base near/in Rome for exploring Rome and Vatican City, and then have a base near/in Florence. The same goes for having a base in Venice.

These places are, without a doubt, quite expensive and it might be easier to stay a bit further out of the city. If you do so, just make sure the train station is close by so that you can easily get to the places you want to visit.

If you stay in Italy for two weeks and visit Cinque Terre and its surroundings, I actually recommend staying in La Spezia, which is a city directly in front of Cinque Terre.

Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links which mean I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

2 WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARY – THINGS TO DO AND SEE

So, here is my 2 weeks in Italy itinerary, and I suggest arriving in either Rome or Venice.

For this itinerary, we will start with Rome and Venice will be the ending point of your trip. You can, of course, do the trip the other way around and start with Venice. I wouldn’t change the stops in between though, as they make sense looking at Italy’s geography.

Though this is a 2-week Italy itinerary, you can also explore most of the places in 10 days in Italy. Feel free to leave out one of the area and you have your 10-day itinerary.

DAY 1-3 IN ITALY: ROME AND VATICAN CITY

Day 1: Arrive in Rome

If you fly to Italy, I suggest heading to Rome. Rome has two airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino.

Both airports are well connected to the city center. The cheapest way to get to the city center is via a shuttle bus, and the most expensive is via taxi or private transfer and start your two week trip in Italy with in one of the stunning cities.

Rome (2 Days)

Start your Italy itinerary by visiting Rome. I suggest not wasting too much time in the hotel – head out and explore this ancient and special city.

You will not only be visiting Rome but also Vatican City, which is the smallest country in the world and located within Rome.

View from Castello del Angelo  - best viewpoints in Rome with Arzo Travels
@shutterstock

I’d say that the minimum amount of time for Rome and Vatican City would be 2.5 days. Three full days would be even better.

Here are the Best Things to Do and See in Rome:

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Hills & Palatine Hills
  • Spanish Steps
  • Monumento Nazionale a Vittoria Emanuele 
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Castello del Angelo

Here are my travel tips for Rome.

Where to Stay in Rome

Rome is one of the busiest cities in Italy – accommodation can be pricey though you will not find many of the typical 5-star hotel chains that you might know from other parts of the world (tip: stay close to the main attractions).

Luxury Hotels in Rome: St. Regis is one of the few hotel chains that also have a property in Rome – the hotel is popular because of its central location (it is within walking distance to Rome attractions like the Spanish Steps, etc.). Click here to find out more and get the best rates.

Mid-Range Hotels in Rome: This 3-star hotel is also popular – find out more about the Suites Farness Design Hotel.

Budget Hotels: Looking for a budget hotel in Rome? This might be the perfect choice for you:

We were a group of three and were looking for a big room with three beds – and we were really, really happy with our hotel. It was not spectacular but the location was good and so was the value for money: Find out more about the St. Peter Bed in Rome here.

If you prefer staying at an Airbnb, first-time users can save money using my link.

Vatican City (1 Day)

Half a day – full day

With two weeks in Italy, you will have time to visit another country as well. Crossing borders has never been easier than crossing the Italian border and entering a new country – Vatican City. I must admit, the trip to Vatican City, and to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, were the highlights of my Rome trip, so I highly recommend a day trip (or at least half a day in Vatican City).

That view....Places to see in Vatican City

Here are the best things to do and see in Vatican City:

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Spiral Staircase
  • Raphael‘s Rooms
  • St. Peter’s Basilica 

Check out this Vatican City 1-day itinerary with important travel tips.

DAY 4-7 IN ITALY: FLORENCE AND TUSCANY

From Rome to Florence

From Rome’s Termini Station, you can take the train to Florence, which only takes about 90 minutes. They say that the earlier you book, the better and cheaper it will be. However, I haven’t noticed that prices go up within a few days for train tickets.

So, I got my train tickets the day I left and did not see any increase in price – although, I did not visit during the high-season either.

Florence (2 Days)

Florence in one day is possible, but not fun – this city is bursting with attractions and sights. There is so much to do and see that less than 2 days would be a pity and with two weeks in Italy you have time to schedule in two days in Florence.

Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy
@shutterstock

So, to experience the city completely, you had a better plan in 48 hours and add the main attractions to your itinerary.

Even if you aren’t into art – believe me, I am not – art in Florence is a different matter and totally amazing – you will love the city. You might skip a few museums and “finish“ within 1.5 days.

Things to do and see in Florence:

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Basilica of Santa Croce 
  • Piazalle Michaelangelo
  • Piazza della Signoria

Either way, after Florence, it is time to do one or two-day trips (you can also do them in between the days you are in Florence). You can do San Gimignano and Siena Chianti together, or see Lucca and Pisa.

Where to Stay in Florence:

I did not stay overnight in Florence but took a train from my accommodation nearby. However, based on recommendations, these are my tips for places to stay in Florence:

Luxury Hotels in Florence: For the ultimate luxury hotel, check out rates at Florence’s Four Season. This hotel chain knows how to impress and it seems that it does a great job in Florence, too. Click here to get more information on the rates.

Mid-Range Hotels in FlorenceThis mid-range hotel is located close to the Boboli Gardens and the Piazzale Michelangelo. It offers free parking. Check out the rates for the Park Palace in Florence.

Budget Hotels in FlorenceHotel Bavaria is a 1-star hotel but it comes with a great location and decent ratings.  Click here to find out more about the hotel and the rates.

Lucca and Pisa (1 Day)

Full day

As mentioned, the main places in Italy are easily accessible by train. While I road tripped Tuscany, I often left my car at the hotel and used trains to get around, so I also suggest doing day trips this way.

Day trip to Pisa, The leaning tower of Pisa

So, when planning your two-week Italy itinerary, you should plan one one full day for Pisa and Lucca.

Lucca and Pisa can be done in one day from Florence. Pisa is well known for its Leaning Tower, but there is actually more to see. Lucca is a little gem, and while not really off-the-beaten-path, it is probably one of the least busy and least crowded places on this itinerary.

How to get to Pisa from Florence

By train, it is easy to get to Pisa from Florence (in Italian Florence is Firenze) – it takes about one hour and the cheapest tickets are less than 9€ one way.

Things to do and see in Pisa:

  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Cattedrale di Pisa
  • Piazza del Duomo
  • Camposanto Monumentale
  • Palazzo Blu

On your way back, stop in Lucca – a lovely charming medieval town.

Lucca and Pisa can be done in one day from Florence. Pisa is well known for its Leaning Tower, but there is actually more to see.

Secret places places in Italy, Lucca in Tuscany

Lucca is a little gem, and while not really off-the-beaten-path, it is probably one of the least busy and least crowded places on this itinerary.

Things to do and see in Lucca:

  • Guinigi Tower
  • Basilica of San Frediano
  • St. Martin Cathedral
  • Piazza dell ́Anfiteatro

Siena (1 Day)

Half-Day – Full Day

Here is another place you can add to your two weeks in Italy – Siena. It takes about 70-90 minutes to get from Florence to Siena by public transportation.

Siena is known as one of the best medieval cities in all of Italy and a must-see in Tuscany. So, add it to your 10-day itinerary as a day trip from Florence. The city sits over three hills, so comfortable shoes are a must.

Sienna tower, looking up

Things to do and see in Siena:

  • Piazza del Campo 
  • Duomo di Siena
  • Publico Palace
  • Tower of Mangia
  • Basilica of Caterniana
  • Foto Gala

Personally, I would try to add another town/place on this day, though some might also be interested in visiting San Gimignano, which is a famous village about two hours from Lucca. If you are in Italy for 14 days, you can add it (more on this later).

With Florence or Rome as your base, you have spent about six days in Italy so far – it is time for some beach time and a different side of Italy.

DAY 8-10 IN ITALY: CINQUE TERRE AND PORTO VENERE

If you have two weeks in Italy, I would add another 2-3 days in Cinque Terre and Porto Venere –  it is quite easy to get to Cinque Terre and Porto Venere from Florence. 

From Florence, you take a train to La Spezia (you cannot get to Cinque Terre by car  – it is almost impossible and will make your hard day harder, so park your car at La Spezia). From there, you will hop on the Cinque Terre Train, which will take you to Cinque Terre within minutes.

Cinque Terre (2 Days)

This string of five towns on the Italian Riviera is famous for its colorful, seaside houses and a great combination of relaxed Italian village life and some outdoor activities, like swimming and hiking. While I enjoyed my time in Cinque Terre, I would suggest not spending more than 2 days there – Italy has so much to offer and two weeks in Italy actually isn’t that much – and Cinque Terre is quite small.

Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore Harbor (1 von 1)

Things to do and see in Cinque Terre:

  • Riomaggiore
  • Manarola
  • Corniglia
  • Vernazza
  • Monterosso 

Porto Venere (1 Day)

This place is not a typical stop on most 2 week Italy itineraries but I loved it. Porto Venere is a small and lesser-known, but equally stunning (or probably even more stunning), little fishing village near Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre, half day trip to Porto Venere

Cinque Terre is quite small and you can do it in one day – 1.5 days max. Definitely add Porto Venere to your itinerary. I know, places like Portofino are more famous and popular with visitors, but after having visited both, I urge you to visit one of the prettiest places in Italy, which is… Porto Venere.

Things to do and see in Porto Venere:

  • Doria Castle
  • Promenade
  • San Pietro Church
  • Byron’s Grotto
  • San Lorenzo Church
  • Cemetery

Here is my Portovenere travel guide (with more pictures and info) and here is my Cinque Terre travel guide (also with more images and plenty of travel tips):

So, with these two days, spend 1 full day in Cinque Terre and half a day in Porto Venere – I want to leave half a day for your onward journey.

Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore is a popular place to stay in Cinque Terre. Here is the hotel I stayed at – check out rates and prices here. The location was okay, it did not come with any great views, but it was easy to reach from the train station and the room was quite big fir Italian standards. Coffee, juices, and sweets were free, so it was definitely not a bad place to stay at.

However, I would choose differently if visiting Cinque Terre again and it would probably be in Vernazza or Maranola.

If you are on a budget, I actually recommend staying in La Spezia. After two nights in Cinque Terre, I booked a hotel in La Spezia for two nights and used it as a base to get around and see other places in Cinque Terre (like Porto Verene and it is easier to take a train if heading to your next destination on your Italy itinerary). Click here to find the best hotel in La Spezia.

DAY 11-14 IN ITALY: VENICE, BURANO AND VERONA

From Cinque Terre to Venice

So, while the two weeks in Italy are almost up, you still have a few highlights on your Italy itinerary. I recommend that you now head to Venezia Santa Lucia and that you most definitely book early.

The whole journey will take about 2 hours.

Venice (2 Days)

Venice is a city like no other – I have never seen or experienced such a city before. Even those who didn’t like Venice, can‘t disagree on that.

Venice Itinerary 2 days

Seeing all the gondolas and ferries, and no cars around, makes this city quite surreal. So, you have to see and experience the city, the Grand Canal, gondolas, and everything else to really believe it.

However, the city itself is quite small. Venice is one of those Italy vacation ideas that you simply have to try. While there is definitely way more to see and do in Rome or Florence, Venice also has some attractions.

Things to do and see in Venice:

  • Grand Canale
  • Doge’s Palace
  • Saint Mark‘s Basilica
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Campanile Tower

But after one full day in the city, you will have seen all the main attractions and might even have time to visit a museum or two. So, check out my two-day Venice itinerary for a few more Italy tours.

Where to Stay in Venice

Venice itself has some great 5* hotels like the Gritti Palace with a lovely view of the Grand Canal. You can check the prices for the Gritti Palace here.

Click here for more hotel rates in Venice here.

Definitely make sure to plan a half-day for your trip to Burano – the most colorful place in the world.

Burano and Murano (1 Day)

It is very easy to get from Venice to Burano and Murano. You can buy a 24-hour (or 48-hour) pass, which allows you to use unlimited water taxis. Within 90 minutes, you are in colorful Burano. Spending 2-4 hours on the island is totally enough.

Best Instagram pictures for Burano

Things to do and see in Burano:

  • Get lost in its colorful streets (seriously, there is not that much more to do but this is actually a wonderful activity).

If you like, you can also visit Murano, which is on the way to Burano. See if you still have time left to discover this little island that is known for its glassworks.

However, I would make Burano a priority. Find more travel tips for this small island here.

Verona (1 Day)

One of the best, most pleasant surprises in Italy was the beautiful city of Verona. Though it was bursting with tourists, I have the feeling that it is somewhat underrated.

Verona in one day, the best Verona travel travel tips and best 1 day Verona itinerary
@shutterstock

And when I went through my own images, I understand what the problem is: taking great pictures is a bit challenging because it is so full of statues and attractions that something is always “in the way“ and it is hard to find a good angle. Thus, I hardly saw great photos that convinced me to go. Luckily, I still went and was happy I did because it is just the most charming city in Italy.

So, on the way to Venice, make sure to stop in pretty Verona and enjoy a full day there. 

It takes a bit more than one hour to get to Verona from Venice.

Things to do and see in Verona:

  • Casa di Giulietta
  • Piazza del Signori
  • Torre dei Lamberti
  • Piazza delle Erbe
  • Castelvecchio Bridge
  • Arena di Verona
  • Piazza Bra

Here is a detailed guide with more info about this gorgeous city.

Where to Stay in Verona

Verona is great for a day trip from Venice but of course you can stay there overnight, too. I highly suggest, picking a hotel directly in the city center and I would choose this hotel for my next Verona trip.

CONCLUSION: HOW TO SEPND 2 WEEKS IN ITALY

Wait, where is Milan? As you can see, some top places, like Lake Como and Milan, or the Dolomites are not on the list. They surely are lovely and have their charm, but with limited time (meaning less than three or even four weeks in Italy) for the first time, I suggest the places mentioned above.

If you are a traveler who is restless and wants to add even more places to the itinerary, I have more tips here. However, this itinerary is busy already, though it should not stress you out.

If you plan a trip to Italy, you’re sure to broaden your horizon and experience a variety of unique adventures. I can highly recommend that you travel to Italy for a guaranteed great trip.

You will be able to see quite a lot – and with this 2-week Italy itinerary you get a very good idea of the best places to visit.

However, you can never spend enough time in the country and 2 weeks in Italy is surely not enough (not even two weeks in Italy), so this first-time Italy itinerary will just whet your appetite for the country and you can see more of it on your next trip.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Things to do in Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy

Best things to do in Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy. Where to go and what to visit #sirmione

BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE AND MORE TRAVEL TIPS

Planning your trip to Lake Garda and to Sirmione? Then find out about the best things to do in Sirmione – the best attractions and places to visit.

Sirmione is probably the busiest town in the Lake Garda area. It is a real hotspot, and though I think I liked Limone just a little bit better, this was pretty cool as well.

Known as “the pearl of the islands and peninsulas,” Sirmione’s fame comes from its thermal waters that offer healing properties, and writers like Catullo and Goethe that hailed its beauty. 

Sitting on the south bank of Lake Garda, Sirmione has a population of almost 7,800 inhabitants and some of the best attractions around. If you’re wondering about Sirmione, what to do and what to see, this lively and fun town has a lot to offer.

Best tourist attractions in Sirmione, Lake Grada

SIRMIONE TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips to help you get to Sirmione on Lake Garda and get around the town itself. 

How to Get to Sirmione

By plane: Bergamo (Milan) and Verona/Brescia or Verona Airport are popular airports close by. From there, you either head to Sirmione by car or bus. 

By car: Sirmione is reachable by car from the A4 Turin/Venice motorway. 

By train: You can take the train to the Desenzano station, which is the most popular junction in Lake Garda, where all trains stop.

How to Get Around Sirmione

There are many places that you can walk to in Sirmione. But you are not allowed to drive in the old town. So, if you are driving, make use of one of the (paid) car parks. They do get more crowded the closer you get to town though and it might be impossible to find a parking slot – we had to do some driving until we found a spot.

If you plan to take a day trip and see other nearby cities in Lake Garda, there are boat and ferry services – and, of course, you can get around by bus.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Where to Stay in Sirmione

I stayed in Limone (a town I totally adored) – however, Sirmione is also a great place to stay in Lake Garda.

The most luxurious hotel in Sirmione is the Grand Hotel Terme – the 5-star hotel has thermal pools, and is located close at the lake and very close to most main attractions in Sirmione. You can check out rates and availibility here.

Degli Oleandri looks like a beautiful mid-range hotel perfectly located and with good reviews – check out rates here.

I you are looking for budget-friendly accommodations, Sirmione will make it hard for you but it is not impossible – check out all accommodations in Sirmione here.

Find my Lake Garda accommodation guide.

More Sirmione Travel Tips

Check out the following posts for more detailed information:

Lake Garda itineraries: 1-7 days in Lake Garda

Here are the most beautiful places in Lake Garda

Here are the most beautiful places in Northern Italy – for a perfect Northern Italy itinerary click here.

WHAT TO DO IN SIRMIONE

Sirmione is full of lovely attractions and also close enough for some delightful day trips. Here are some of the best things to do and places to visit in Sirmione at Lake Garda.

Stroll the Streets 

Wondering what to do in Sirmione first? Take a walk through the old town. Lined with restaurants, small boutiques, and colorful houses, the winding streets have plenty for your eyes to see. 

What to visit in Sirmione best things to do in Lake Grada

Best places to go in Sirmione best things to do in Lake Grada

I thought the old town was really nice, and the beautiful flowers that were everywhere I looked were so charming. I’m still a bigger fan of Limone’s old town, but this one was definitely worth a visit.

If you are looking for a bite to eat, there are pizzerias and gelaterias along the walkways. Rest, enjoy the colorful and lively city center, and get a taste of Sirmione.

Visit Scaliger Castle

One of the best places to visit in Sirmione is Scaliger Castle. Built in the 13th century, this is one of Italy’s best-preserved castles.

Best towns at Lake Garda Sirmione, Lake Grada

Where to go Sirmione, Lake Grada

It is located on the narrow part of the peninsula and surrounded by Lake Garda. There are three towers and the main tower that reaches 47 meters high.

Travel tips Sirmione, Lake Grada

These days, the only way to get to the castle is by crossing a drawbridge and climbing 146 steps. There are stunning views overlooking Sirmione and Lake Garda. 

While the views from inside are nice, the cost is about 6€, so if you are on a budget, skip this and just see it from the outside. These views are lovely as well.

Take a Boat Tour 

I love boats, and the sunset boat tour on Lake Garda is wonderful. You get some fantastic views from the water, so I highly recommend it. Make sure you book ahead.

Boat tour in Sirmonie

In front of Scaliger Castle, before you enter the old town, you will find the boat station where you can hop on. The tour takes you around the peninsula, which takes about 25-30 minutes. This is definitely one of the best activities in Sirmione.

During the off-season, you might be able to just hop on a boat without a prior reservation but in the busy months, I recommend to book your Sirmione boat trip in advance.

Spend Time at the Beach Behind the Castle 

There is a cute little beach behind Scaliger Castle, so once you are finished touring the inside and outside, and enjoying the views of Sirmione and the lake, head over here.

Where to go in Sirmione best things to do in Lake Grada

While you could swim in the water, I don’t suggest it. But it was a nice place to just relax and get some fresh air. There are some nice views over the water and I saw swans when I was there.

Sirmione can be busy even during the low season, so this is the perfect place to escape some of the bustle and crowds.

Swim at Jamaica Beach

Another one of the tourist attractions in Sirmione is Jamaica Beach. I did not actually visit it because I only saw it while on the boat tour. But apparently, it is a special place.

This beach is very popular and offers clear waters, great views, and warm waves to dip your toes into. This is not a sandy beach though. 

There is a tram that runs to the top if you don’t feel like walking. There, you’ll get the best views over Lake Garda.

To get to Jamaica Beach, come in through the old town.

TIP: Don’t have enough time? Then do a guided tour and discover the best of Lake Garda in one day.

Discover the Grotte di Catullo

The Grotte di Catullo is another point of interest in Sirmione, though I did not have a chance to visit it. This ancient Roman villa dates back to the first century, and its ruins are a very well-known and visited landmark.

Best tourist attractions in Sirmione, Lake Grada

The villa was reported to be the home of Catullo and his family, a Latin poet who died in 54 B.C. Because of sloping rocks, the building has sunk to different levels, with the main building in the northern part.

If you have the chance, visit the Grotte di Catullo. It is a lovely piece of Italian history and is even older than the Colosseum in Rome.

Visit GardaLand

GardaLand is one of the best things to see in Sirmione if you have kids – and even if you do not. I did not get to see it when I was in Sirmione, but it is extremely popular and a lot of fun.

The park has about 18 different rides to choose from, and there are also activities and other attractions. 

If you can, book your tickets at least 7 days in advance – then your tickets will be just 18€ each. 

In 2019, GardaLand will be launching a magical theme, including all new attractions. 

Take a Day Trip to Verona

If you are still wondering about Sirmione, what to do while here, a day trip to Verona would be a great idea.

Lamberti Tower view in Verona

Famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is the biggest city in the area. You can drive from Sirmione and it will only take about 1-1 ½ hours.

Once you arrive in this beautiful city, enjoy the lively and colorful piazzas. Stroll along the side streets and discover the heart of Verona.

If you are looking for a little more history, check out the Ponte Pietra, which is an arch bridge over the Aldige River from Roman times.

You can get to Verona by car or bus but there are also guided tours available. Check them out here.

Boat Tour to Limone  

When it comes to Sirmione, Lake Garda things to do, nothing beats a boat tour. Take the boat tour to Limone and enjoy a lovely day trip to one of the cutest villages I have ever seen.

Limone what to see and do in Lake Garda, Promenade

Going to Limone by boat takes some time – 3 hours to be exact – but it is full of picturesque scenery and worth the effort. The cost is 30 € for a round-trip ticket. You can also drive, or take the bus (but it is rather time-consuming). 

In Limone, you can explore the harbor and see tons of colorful houses overflowing with beautiful flowers. Find more pictures of this gorgeous town and get some Limone travel tips.

Venice

While I totally loved the area of Lake Garda, I suggest a day trip to Venice as well if you are in the area for more than 5-6 days. It takes about 2 hours to get to Venice by car/bus it Venice is probably the most unique destination in the world. No other place is like Venice.

Venice Itinerary 2 days

While 2 days in Venice and Burano would be a perfect time to spend there, you can see quite a bit in one day only. If you start your day early and book certain activities in advance, you will be able to get a very good glimpse of Venice.

Find my tips for the best Venice attractions.

FINAL THOUGHT ON VISITING SIRMIONE, LAKE GARDA

As you can see, there are so many things to do in Sirmione –  you might may have trouble fitting them all in. Hopefully, this list of Sirmione attractions has helped you narrow down where to go in Sirmione and what to see. 

It is a beautiful town in Northern Italy and you should not miss out on it.

Safe Travels, Arzo

Italy or Croatia? Which Place is Better to Visit?

Italy or Croatia, which is the better country to visit?

Italy or Croatia? Which Place is Better to Visit?

Which place to visit in Europe? Which country is the better travel destination – Croatia or Italy? 

While finding the perfect travel destination depends a lot on personal choices, there are a few parameters that might help you to find out if you should travel to Italy or Croatia.

Comparing countries is difficult and personal – this is supposed to be a post helping you to find the better destination to travel to. But it is not based on facts, but more based on my experiences and my impressions – so, you might disagree and have a different opinion, but this is for the readers who need some help when they are totally unsure about what to expect.

Spoiler: I think both countries are great and eventually you should visit Croatia and Italy. 

But of course, it is not always possible to visit both countries in a short period of time and so I have compiled a list. This list should help you in your decision-making process and finding out whether Croatia or Italy is the best to visit for you at the moment.

Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree – however, these are not facts but just my opinion.

So, without further ado, here are the arguments for or against Italy/Croatia.

History

Italy and Croatia both have a long history and buildings that tell a lot about the past. Both countries impress with medieval towns and sights. 

Dubrovnik views from the city wall

In Croatia, we have Dubrovnik with its medieval walls (that are still very-well maintained), Split, Sibenik, Pula, and more places that are perfect for anyone – not just the history geeks. 

However, Italy takes the cake here. Rome alone has so much to offer for history fans – hardly any other city in Europe can compete. Just think of the Colosseum!

Florence Michelangelo David Statue

Then we have the birthplace of the Renaissance – Florence. And let’s not forget all the small old towns that you can find in almost any town and city in Italy. 

Italy does not only win against Croatia, but would win this category against most countries, so the winner is clear here!

Road Trip

Which country is better to road trip? Italy or Croatia? My winner is clear: Croatia is the better place to road trip. At least, it is the more relaxed place to road trip. You may know that I drive regularly in Italy, but I am always anxious as heck – driving in Italy stresses me out (and also other non-Italians I have spoken to).

Best places to visit in the Dolomites

The thing with driving in Italy is: The views are often scenic – depending, of course, on where you drive, but especially in the mountainous northern part of Italy, where the window views are amazing.

However, if you use the highways in Italy, you have to pay. A lot. The tolls are extremely high. But if you use the side streets, it will take you forever to get from one place to the other.

Then, you have the crazy Italian driving style. I‘ll try to say it nicely – drivers in Italy are not very considerate. They tailgate (but somehow often don’t want to overtake), honk their horns whenever they feel like it, speed down narrow streets, and and so on. 

Yes, I love Italy and Italians, but driving in Italy has been – so far – not a thing I truly enjoy. In addition to this, cars without a special permit often cannot drive into town centers.

However, many people regularly report that the GPS does not warn them and it can easily happen that you drive there and receive a high fine (ask me, Bergamo charged me 70€).  Of course, it was my fault, but with all the stress that alreadys comes with driving in Italy, this is an unnecessary extra problem.

Driving in Croatia, on the other hand, is like a dream come true – although yes, tolls on the highways are extremely high. 

D8 street in Croatia when road tripping

Even higher than in Italy, BUT there are many, even more scenic routes that you can drive for free. You can avoid paying toll highways most of the time – even if you drive from Rovinj to Dubrovnik, you can basically – and easily – drive without using highways. And I promise, the roads and views are amazing.

Streets are mostly not narrow, but mostly wide enough – even the mountain roads. And streets, apart from cities and busy towns, are not busy, which makes driving in Croatia a lot of fun. 

In addition, the drivers in Croatia are completely different from the drivers in Italy.

They are much more considerate and patient. Yes, I love driving in Croatia – actually, the Croatia road trip has been one of my favorite trips so far (probably even better than driving in Switzerland with its amazing mountain roads).

Budget

Croatia and Italy are both NOT budget-friendly destinations, in general. 

Croatia is no longer a hidden gem with great prices – but most countries aren’t the most expensive travel destinations in Europe either.

If you visit in the summer months, both places will be expensive – you have pricey Dubrovnik (very pricey Dubrovnik actually) and Hvar in Croatia, and then many, many expensive places in Italy like Florence, Lake Como, Rome… (I could go on forever.)

So, in general, visiting either of the countries in July or August is not the best idea for your budget – but even though Croatia is not a cheap destination, overall, I would definitely say it is still cheaper than Italy in terms of accommodations, food, and activities.

So, if you are budget-conscious, then Croatia is probably the better place to visit, though prices are increasing with the more visitors the country gets.

Dog

If you are a dog owner, you might be wondering about whether Italy or Croatia is more dog-friendly.

Lago di Braies in the Dolomites

We have a clear winner: Italy is probably the most dog-friendly country in Europe (along with San Marino). 

This comes from two things: my dog loves Italy and the people in Italy love my dog. It is such a tight bond that they have created in the last few years.

So, why is Italy so dog-friendly? First of all, quite a lot of accommodations allow dogs.  Sure, not all do, but compared to many other countries in Europe, dogs are often welcomed – and many times, without an extra charge.

Second, Italians show a lot of affection to dogs (at least to smaller dogs). My dog, Puppy, makes friends daily (and he normally is not the friendliest dog) because Italians talk to him in such a beautiful voice (and Italian is such a sweet language that dogs like it in general, I assume).

Next, you can take dogs (smaller and medium-sized at least) into many indoor places. Taking dogs into restaurants is quite common in many countries, but in Italy I was allowed to take my dog into some museums, grocery stores, churches (yes, you have read that right), and other indoor buildings. 

Of course, sometimes dogs were not allowed and sometimes dogs were only allowed if carried in bags. In popular places like Pisa and Florence, dogs were not allowed at the main attractions at all. But in the end, no other country has been as dog-friendly as Italy.

What about Croatia? Well, Croatia is not really dog-unfriendly, but it is also not really dog-friendly. If you filter accommodations on Booking that allow dogs, you will realize that a lower percentage than in Italy allows dogs. And thus, that leaves you with a smaller choice of accommodations.

Traveling in Croatia with a dog

Also, dogs are not allowed in most buildings – I was even kicked out of a bus in Dubrovnik because of my dog.

I did not even check if dogs were allowed because I just assumed it would be fine (especially because he was carried in a little bag).

On the other hand, he was allowed on boats in Dubrovnik and Rovinj.

So, I would not say Croatia is very dog-unfriendly, but Italy is the best place to visit in Italy with a dog.

People

There is no clear winner and it is a close call, though I would probably say that Italians might win by a hair. 

So far, my experiences with Italians have been pretty positive – despite the fact that Italians often vote for right-wing parties. And I have heard from some other visitors, especially colored people, that they experienced some blunt racism even when they visited for only a few days.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything like that. Yes, I do look Italian, but people quickly realize I am a foreigner – due to my lack of language skills. But I love how friendly the people are – yes, Italian men are very flirty, but even the women are very friendly.

What about Croatians? Croatians are friendly, too – but somehow, they seem more reserved, and younger women in particular were not as friendly.

As for language, Croatians often speak better English (and many even speak some German,) but even communicating with Italians wasn’t a big issue. So, for me, Italians are the friendlier ones – but I sometimes wonder if the people are so overly friendly in Italy just because they really like my dog?! 

I don’t know and I have heard other opinions, so my tip is to be open-minded in this category.

Mountains and Lakes

The Dolomites in northern Italy, South Tyrol to be more precise, is one of the most stunning  outdoor places in Europe, if not the world.

Best lakes to visit in the Dolomites, Italy

With stunning lakes, like Lago di Braies and Lago di Carezza or Lago di Sorapis, and the uniquely-shaped mountain range of the Dolomites, it is one of the most distinctive and unique areas in the world.  This alone is reason enough to declare Italy the winner for mountain and lake lovers. 

Yes, Croatia is mountainous, too. Driving in the mountains in Croatia is fun and the views are beautiful, too.

Dubrovnik old town view Srd Hill

But the Dolomites win the race and bring the trophy home for all of Italy.

Weather

Both countries have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and colder (and wetter) winter months. So, both are great for beach vacations in summer, and perfect for sightseeing in spring and fall. And in winter, you can do some winter sports – at least in some areas of both countries.

In northern Italy, it gets really cold though in the winter months, and it is a perfect place for winter sports – but you can do winter sports in Croatia, too.

Waterfalls

Italy is known for many things, and though there are some waterfalls in Italy, it surely is not the first thing that come to mind when thinking about Italy.

Plitvice Lake in Croatia

One of the first attractions that comes to mind when talking about Croatia though is the Plitvice National Park with its many, many waterfalls.

Then there is the Krka National Park with even more waterfalls – so, if you chase amazing waterfalls, then Croatia is the place to go.

Fashion 

Are you a shopping addict? Then head to Italy – Italy is the fashion capital of Europe.  Especially around Milan, people are just extremely beautifully dressed, and in general, Italians are the best dressed people. 

It does not surprise that many famous fashion designers, like Armani, are Italian.

So, if you are a shopping addict, and especially into fashion, then Italy is the better place to visit.

Party

This is another category that I personally cannot really judge first-hand, but given the many big cities, I assume Italians have a lot of parties taking place. However, it seems that visitors love Croatia as a party destination. Think about the Yacht Weeks and Hvar – the party island. Younger people who like to party tend to flock to Croatia!

Beaches

Are you looking for a relaxed and still fun beach holiday? Okay, I am not the expert here as I am not the biggest beach person – but both Italy and Croatia have beautiful beaches.

Due to their locations, both countries have many beaches and it will never take too long to find a beach. You can even combine a city trip with some days at the beach. But there are differences. 

Beach in Croatia, road trip in Croatia

Many of Croatia‘s beaches are rocky or pebbly beaches – which is not to everyone’s taste. The water is clear and stunning, but it really comes down to whether you like sandy beaches or not.

There are definitely enough beaches to choose from, and if you really want to find a sandy beach, you can find those ones, too. Beaches in Italy are also stunning – not all beaches are sandy here, either, but you can find more of them.

So, both places are great for a beach vacation and I cannot really name a winner.

Food

If asked for one of the best foods in the world, many would probably name Italy in their top 3.

Vegetarian food in Italy-2

And Italy does have some amazing food – pizza and pasta are just some of the delicious food options. Let’s not forget about antipasto and gelato.

Yes, food in Italy is great and I don’t know anyone who seriously dislikes Italian food. There are, however, some big differences between southern and northern Italian food (I am more into southern Italian food, with its vegetables).

BUT Croatia is actually also known for good food – seafood and meat lovers especially are in heaven in Croatia. Food here is heavier though not bad. Yes, you can find international dishes (like the Indian food in the picture), too but that is not typical Croatian food.

Vegan food in Dubrovnik

Though I do not eat any seafood or meat, I did have some great dinners there and Croatia for sure did not disappoint.

However, given the overall reputation of food in both countries, Italy wins here.

Wine

So, for many, this might be another important aspect. Where do you get better wine? This is another category I am no expert in, but think of Tuscany!

Wine tasting at Ruffinio Relais Tuscany estate

Besides the green rolling hills, it is all about wine – what wine lover does not dream of visiting Italy and trying all the different wines? The biggest wine producer in Italy has also opened its own relais – perfect for anyone who wants to combine a vacation with wine tasting!

Yes, Croatia also has a long history of wine production, and if you drive through Croatia, you will find many vineyards along the way – but when competing against Italy, Croatia gets the short end of the stick.

Where to Go? Croatia or Italy?

This comparison is totally based on my own judgement – of course, I tried to back it up here and there with facts, BUT please do not take it too personally. 

It should help you find the perfect destination – we are all different and are all looking for different things when traveling. Both share a lot of similarities, but also some differences.

I do like both countries and have enjoyed my times there. But of course, it is not only we humans that are different, but also our countries. Maybe you agree, or maybe you disagree and have had different experiences. Either way, don’t take my opinion for fact, though I try to be as honest as I can be!

 

Safe Travels, Arzo

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in Summer

Hottest Summer Destinations in Europe for Female Travelers

Best Cities to Visit in Europe in Summer

Europe in December is a perfect time – but summer actually is an amazing time, too.

Actually, to many Europe is the perfect continent for a summer trip. Europe has it all (well almost)! Gorgeous beaches, stunning sceneries, fairy-tale towns and villages and vibrant cities. Though it is sunny and warm, it is not as hot as in many other parts of the world.

We have some fantastic cities in Europe which are just made for a summer vacation. It does not matter if you are a budget traveler or prefer indulging yourself in luxury on your trip, Europe will cover it all.

Ready to get some inspiration for your next summer trip? I asked some female travel bloggers to share their hottest summer destinations in Europ and they did:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which mean I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Read more: 17 cutest towns in France to visit.

Geneva in Switzerland

by Leyla

Geneva in summer, Switzerland
@shutterstock

Geneva is usually equated with humanitarian, health or human rights issues. People know it as the European seat of the United Nations and the home of the Red Cross.

But in summer, when many of the world’s top negotiators have escaped back to their home countries, the city explodes into color, its famous flower clock dressed up in blues and yellows and reds and the remarkable Jet d’Eau, or water spout, flies high into the air.

Whatever its political goings on, Geneva is a city built for summer.

You can stroll along Lake Geneva or sit in a café sipping a drink and watching the sunset, walk up to the Old Town, cool off in one of the city’s museums or on a guided tour of the UN, go for a swim (yes, the water is that clean), watch an outdoor movie or listen to live music, or hop on public transport and go hiking around the mountains that ring the city.

When you run out of things to do (hard to do), just give in: eat chocolate! You’ll be hard-pressed to walk more than a block without finding some sort of chocolate shop.

Leyla runs Women on the Road, dedicated to helping women travel smart, safe and solo.Check out more of her post at: Women on the Road.

Check out Tours & Activities in Geneva

Check out Rates for Accommodation in Geneva

Read more: 25 best things to do in Switzerland

Edinburgh in Scotland

by Liza

Edinburgh in Scotland
Edinburgh in Scotland – Photo @Tripsget

Edinburgh is probably one of the best summer destinations for those, who hate summer or have a sun allergy.

Just joking, Edinburgh is amazing in summer – all the places are open until late, the sun gets down almost at 11 pm and finally, there’s Edinburgh Festivals lasting for almost the entire month of August.

The Festivals in Edinburgh are world famous and the city gets extremely cheerful and crowded during this time. Actually, August is like a long weekend in Edinburgh, because the festive atmosphere spreads to every single visitor of the city and even to the residents of the city!

If only the weather was a bit better! Usually, it rains a lot in Edinburgh in summer, and the average temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius, so prepare some sweaters, rubber boots, and rain coats, and you’ll be enjoying the city a lot.

Lisa runs the travel blog Tripsget – to read more about Edinburgh check out her post 15 absolutely free things to do in Edinburgh

Check out Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

Read more: Best places to visit in Scotland

Positano in Italy

by Wendy

Positano, Amalfi Coast - Photo by Wendy Kerby
Positano, Amalfi Coast – Photo @Wendy Kerby

Positano on the Amalfi Coast is without a doubt one of my favorite places on earth. It’s the ideal summer getaway, where the pace is slow and the emphasis is on total relaxation.

Positano is a charming little town, that sits hugging the cliffside, giving you some incredible views overlooking the sea. What’s better than spending a summer in a beachside town, sitting on a balcony sipping champagne and toasting to that incredible view.

Now, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Positano. Well, other than admiring the magnificent scenery, indulge in the tasty Italian cuisine or perhaps sample a red wine or two.

Then there is the beach. Nothing says summer like lazing the day away on the beach. In fact, all that will be required of you, is getting up from your sun lounge for the occasional swim, before perching yourself back down again with a good book. Now summer just doesn’t get any better than this place!

Now summer just doesn’t get any better than this place!

Wendy runs Travel Drink Dine – read more about Wendy´s travel at  Travel Drink Dine

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Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic

by Sabine

Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic
Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic @The Travelling Chilli

Karlovy Vary is a beautiful resort town in the Czech Republic, famous for its healing spas located in the most exclusive and elegant buildings.

It is also home to 12 steaming mineral hot springs which can be found in the beautiful mill colonnade.

You basically take a relaxed stroll from one spring to the next, while sipping the sulfurous water by means of a traditional ceramic jug. They also have a so-called 13th mineral spring which is the famous locally produced herbal liquor Becherovka.

They also have a so-called 13th mineral spring which is the famous locally produced herbal liquor Becherovka.

What makes Karlovy Vary one of my favorite towns is the grandeur of the architecture all in different colors, hidden in a valley surrounded by hills and forests.

Various buildings have been used either as movie locations (James Bond with Casino Royale) or have been an inspiration for some movie directors (Wes Anderson with The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Sabine runs the travel blog The Travelling Chilli and focuses normally on destinations in Africa – check out her post for Africa inspiration.

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Seville in Spain

by Melanie

Seville in Spain, Alcazar
Seville in Spain, Alcazar, Photo @PAssport Amigos

I don’t have a habit of returning to places I’ve already been too, there’s always somewhere else I want to see more; but Seville is a place I would happily return to again and again. It’s just wonderful.

A vibrant city that’s easily accessible by foot with a fantastic mix of new and old. It really is a magnificent city and perfect for a long weekend break, or an even a longer stay.

Seville’s streets are bursting with tapas bars to cater for all budgets. Tables spill out onto the pavement, tall glass doors are thrown open to the sunshine. Sometimes you can hear the clip-clop of horses going by or you can just relax in the quiet of a simple, cool, shaded pedestrian back street.

Sometimes you can hear the clip-clop of horses going by or you can just relax in the quiet of a simple, cool, shaded pedestrian back street.

I love the food in Spain. There are some superb restaurants in Seville which I felt, for a major city, were quite reasonably priced. Yes, I confess, I did fly home with the top button of my jeans undone. Too much tapas and well, a country where the wine is cheaper than the beer, I mean, what’s a girl to do?

The best way to get around the city is on foot. Do while away a few hours in the gorgeous gardens of the ‘Real Alcázar’ and if you time it right you can smell the wonderful orange blossom.

If you’re planning on exploring more of the area do look at the train network too, it’s fast clean and reliable. We headed off to Cadiz from Seville, a lovely small town I’d highly recommend.

Melanie runs the travel blog Passport Amigos, where she shares her travel tips and experiences.

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Find out: The most beautiful places to visit in Spain

Florence in Italy

by Sheena

Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy
Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy @shutterstock

If only ever Summer vacation could take you to Italy. And above all, Florence.

The gateway to Tuscany, you will be spoiled with balmy temperatures, the perfect level for al fresco eating and drinking, open air concerts from the Maggio Music Festival for more classical sounds to Estate Fiesolana including jazz to other performing arts.

From elegant vibrancy to nightlife, Florence has it all this summer.

Fashion, Florentine cuisine, Renaissance, and best of all, some of the best wine. Stay comfortable in flat shoes, and walk around the city, enjoy an espresso in front of the Duomo, or take a drive out to the countryside and some of Tuscany’s finest vineyards (Antinori is my favorite).

With friends or a romantic holiday, Florence is ripe for an unforgettable summer destination. Check out the 2-day Florence itinerary to find out more about the stunning city.

Click here to find out more about 25 beautiful places to visit in Italy.

Sheena runs the travel blog Citizen Femme, a travel community for female travelers.

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Find out about the best 25 places to visit in Italy.

Dubrovnik in Croatia

by Sarah-Jane

View over Dubrovnik Croatia
View over Dubrovnik Croatia, Photo @Chasing Donkey

 –
Sat on the sparkling Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia you’ll find Dubrovnik, known as the“Pearl of the Adriatic.” It’s a must-see sight in Croatia. But why? For one, those UNESCO-Listed walls and the bright orange roofs that sit below them.
The old town of Dubrovnik is one of the best attractions in the city and in all of Croatia.

Of course, it is also that water! Those blue hues of the Adriatic Sea will get the goosebumps rising.

The best part of Dubrovnik is the view from the top of Mt. Srđ – I suggest you go at sunset for picture-perfect shots.

Local Tip: Sometimes Dubrovnik has a reputation for being expensive, but if you stay outside of the city walls, accommodation is cheaper, and eat and drink away from the main promenade known as the Stradun.

Sarah-Jane runs the travel blog Chasing Donkey – to find out more about her Croatia tips visit her travel blog.

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Cork in Ireland

by Denise

Cork City Lee River in Ireland in summer
Cork City Lee River in Ireland in summer, Photo @The Irish Family

Cork city and county in the south of Ireland is the perfect European destination this summer!

With direct flights from across Europe Cork is quick and easy to travel to. Cork is home to some of Ireland’s top tourist attractions.

Visit the famous Blarney Castle and spend a sunny afternoon strolling around the beautifully manicured gardens after climbing to the top of the castle to kiss the famous Blarney stone.

On a fine day the views from the castle show off the rolling green hills of Cork!  Why not hop on the train from Cork City and spend some time strolling around Cobh, Co Cork.

Formally known as Queenstown, Cobh was the departure point for millions of Irish who left the island in the late 1800’s & early 1900’s.

Cobh was also the last point of call for the Titanic & visitors will enjoy the Titanic Experience where they can become a passenger on the doomed liner and learn what life was like on the Titanic.

At the end of the tour, visitors will learn of their own fate on board the ship.

No visit to Cork is complete without spending a few hours roaming with the animals at Fota Wildlife Park.

Arrive for midday and be there to see the cheetah’s run to catch their dinner!!  County Cork is considered to be the food capital of Ireland and foodies will be spoiled for choice with a visit to any of Cork’s fine restaurants catering for all tastes and budgets.

Don’t forget to stroll through Cork’s iconic English Market & stop for a pint and some live music in any one of Cork’s traditional Irish pubs!

Denise runs the travel blog – This Irish Family where you´ll find much more information about Ireland.

Check out Rates for Accommodation in Cork

Bucharest in Romania

by Teresa

CEC Palace in Bucharest
CEC Palace in Bucharest, Photo @Brogan Abroad

I have to admit that the image I had in my head of Bucharest before I visited this exciting city, was completely blown away. I was expecting a bit of a soulless city, a conglomeration of concrete blocks from the communist area.

How wrong I was! In fact, it is totally the opposite. It has bagfuls of character!

Bucharest is such a photogenic city if you know where to look. It is not as obvious as in cities such as Paris or Barcelona, but Bucharest has so much character.

This character can be seen in the crumbling old buildings that could tell you a million stories if they could speak, in the quirky hidden alleys and in the modern spaces that show that this exciting city is full of life and has an exciting future ahead.

I got the feeling that Bucharest is a happening place and is about to become the next big thing in Europe. There are so many exciting things going in this city!

The foodie and coffee scene is no longer up and coming… it’s already there! And the nightlife… Romanians can party!

Teresa is a London-based traveler and runs her travel blog at Brogan Abroad

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Reykjavik in Iceland

by Ryazan

Colorful City of Reykjavik in Iceland
Colorful City of Reykjavik in Iceland

Who wouldn’t want to visit Reykjavik, Iceland?

Reykjavik is the most inhabited part of Iceland, but even if the majority of the Icelanders lives in Reykjavik, it’s still considered as a safe place. I can consider the charming capital of Iceland as one of the best places to travel as a female.

The locals are friendly, tasty Scandinavian and Icelandic dishes and great night life.

Not to mention the vast gift of nature to explore! If you’re lucky enough you can possibly see the Northern Lights from the Reykjavik.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can venture outside Reykjavik and do the Golden Circle tours or tackle the whole stretch of Route 1 that goes around Iceland.  You will be amazed how beautiful Iceland is, the country of the Ice and fire.

Ryazan, a UK-based blogger and SEO expert, runs the travel blog Everything Zany

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Find out about the best 12 things to do in Iceland.

Hamburg in Germany

by Cate

Hamburg in summer
Hamburg in summer, Photo @International desserts Blog

Hamburg, Germany is one of Europe’s best summer destinations!

Hamburg is a little more “off the beaten path” than cities like Berlin and Munich, and because it’s in northern Germany, you’ll enjoy long summer days.

Things to do in Hamburg: canoe through the city’s many canals, wander the streets of the Harvestehude neighborhood and take in the beautiful architecture, picnic on the Alster (the lake in the middle of the city), explore the narrow paths and thatched-roof houses of Blankanese, take a river cruise on the Elbe, people-watch at an outdoor cafe in the hip Sternschanze neighborhood, and then dance the night away on the Reeperbahn.

Want to explore Hamburg through food? Be sure to try a Franzbrötchen (a buttery pastry with cinnamon and other sweet fillings), a bowl of Rote Grütze (a red berry dessert topped with fresh cream, vanilla sauce or ice cream), and of course beer!

Cate runs the blog International Desserts Blog – where you´ll find recipes from around the world (including a recipe for above mentioned

Rote Grütze)

Check out Rates for Accommodation in Hamburg

Bremen in Germany

by Arzo from Arzo Travels

Where to visit in summer in Europe

Well, I could not help it but felt the need to share one of my personal most favorite summer destinations. I know you might say I am biased because I am from Bremen, but I do believe that Bremen is a perfect summer destination.

Once the sun comes out Bremen has a lot to offer: beautiful green parks which are just made to relax, a great promenade that are perfect for nice summer strolls, a beautiful old town, many historic old buildings, affordable cafes and restaurants (often lined up along our river “Weser”), a city center with plenty of shopping opportunities, and some museums for the people interested in culture.

You might not believe it: but Bremen even has its own beach (okay, admittedly it is very small but head to Cafe Sand to spend some hours at our beach).

Who could say “no” to a summer vacation in Bremen? Well, I would say, no one should. So, I hope to welcome you in Bremen on your next summer vacation! Click here to read more about gorgeous Bremen.

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What do you think? Have you visited any of the places and what is your opinion?

Thanks to my 12 guest writers for choosing great destinations in Europe!

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13 hottest summer destinations in Europe for female travelers

Safe Travels, Arzo

Travel Tips for Limone sul Garda, Lake Garda

Limone best places to see and best things to do in Limone, Lake Garda

Things to do in Limone sul Garda + More Travel Tips

Lake Garda is not only the biggest lake in Italy, but also one of the best places to see in Northern Italy because it offers a lot of activities, beautiful scenery, and cute towns and villages.

One of these cute villages in Limone sul Garda – actually it is not just cute, but the cutest of all the towns on the shores of Lake Garda and surely one of the best places to visit there.

Located on the western shores of the lake, Limone sul Garda has a population of only a bit more than 1,000 inhabitants. However, despite its small size, it is one of the prettiest places at Lake Garda and there are some fun things to do in Limone sul Garda.

In this post, you can find out why you should visit Limone sul Garda, what to do in Limone, where to go, and what to see in Limone sul Garda.

Limone where to stay Lake Garda

Limone Travel Tips

Before talking about the best things to do in Limone and the best tourist attractions, here are a few important things to know before visiting Limone.

Facts

Limone sul Garda is a town and comune in the province of Brescia, on the western shore of Lake Garda. Though it is one of the most famous places in the area, it is actually a vey tiny place with just a bit more than 1,100 inhabitants.

How to Get to Limone

By plane: Bergamo (Milan) and Verona/Brescia or Verona Airport are popular airports close by. From there, you either head to Limone by car or bus. 

There is no train station and the bus connection might not be the best, but bus services connect the towns along this western shore of the lake, with some traveling on to Brescia. 

You can also get to Limone by boat from Sirmione, Malcesine, or Riva del Garda.

By Car: We got to Limone by car (coming from Bergamo, near Milan). Streets are well paved (but driving to Limone also means, you have to pass some very narrow mountain streets).

How to Get Around in Limone

In Limone, you can walk to most places. You can also book a taxi and get to some of them that are not directly in the town center (like the cyclopath). Finding (free) parking lots is difficult and I suggest wearing comfortable shoes and being prepared for some nice walks (it is a bit hilly, but doable if you enjoy walking).

Best Time to Visit in Limone

Lake Garda, and Limone, are popular hotspots between April and October. While it is really hot and crowded in the summer months, I recommend visiting Limone in September or early October, or April and May. Limone can be – despite its small size – very, very crowded. It is not a hidden gem, so in the summer months, people from all over the world, and particularly from Germany, come to Limone sul Garda. 

September is still warm, but less busy, and everything (like restaurants and shops) is still open. Prices are lower in September and October, and spring, too.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Where to Stay in Limone sul Garda

There are a few hotels and accommodations that looked great – we stayed at a Camping site – but not in a van but in a small apartment on a camping site. I enjoyed it – my parents not so much because it was not really comfortable. However, here are tips for your perfect Limone accommodation:

Luxury – Hotel Splendid Palace is a lovely accommodation that offers many amenities and beautiful views from its rooftop pool. Check out rates here.

Mid-Range – Garni Gianmartin provides a savory buffet and lovely lake views. A favorite among solo travelers. Find out about rates here.

Budget-friendly – Hotel Cristina has a nice location and offers lake views, a pool, and friendly staff. Check out rates here.

Here are the best places to stay in Lake Garda.

Find the perfect accommodation in Limone here:

There are no 5-star hotels in Limone, but the Du Lac is one of the best-rated hotels in Limone and the 4-star hotel comes with great views. To find out more about the hotel and its rates click here.

Random Information

Restaurants have a cuperto – a fee that is charged if you sit down in a restaurant and order food. The fee is different at each restaurant (around 1-3€ per person). On the upper area and towards the beach are small supermarkets. Other than that, you will find smaller stores and shops where you can buy food and drinks to go.

There are a few water fountains, so bring your water bottle and refill it with fresh and free water.

Limone, Lake Garda best photography spots

Fun Things to Do in Limone sul Garda

Tiny, but gorgeous. Spending a few days in Limone is perfect for fully embracing this adorable locale. However, many just visit Limone for a day – so, while this is not a typical Limone itinerary, you can use it as a 1-day itinerary (or enjoy La Dolce VIta and just do everything on the list more than once over a few days).

So, here are my tips on the things to do or see in Limone sul Garda.

Limone sul Garda best places to visit

Stroll the Streets

Limone is incredibly sweet. As you walk through the windy streets, you will pass small shops, stores, and restaurants.

Lake Garda, Limone best things to do

Limone most instagrammable place in Lake Garda

But my favorite thing is the cute, old houses of Limone sul Garda. They are overflowing with colorful and vibrant flowers, hanging down from balconies and window boxes. It is one of the best attractions in Limone. 

Limone most beautiful places

Walk the Promenade

The promenade is beautiful and one of the best places to visit in Limone. It is also very modern, having been remodeled in recent years. Flags of many European countries are on display.

Limone where to go

Limone tourist attractions in Limone

The views are incredible. On one side, you can take in breathtaking mountain views. On the other side, you have views of lovely Lake Garda. You are surrounded by beauty.

If you’d like to sit and enjoy the scenery, there are some benches along the way, and colorful flowers, too. This promenade is truly Insta-worthy (yes, it is the most Instagrammable place in Lake Garda, but it is also so much more).

Enjoy a Gelato at the Harbor

The Harbor is a great place to take a break and buy a gelato. This is one of Limone’s most beautiful places. As you enjoy your dessert, you can take in the surroundings and wildlife. When I was there, I saw swans and even a turtle.

Limone best activities

Limone most beautiful places and best activities

The Harbor is full of colorful Italian houses, Mediterranean flowers, boats, and people enjoying the sights as well. 

Limone sul Garda best places to see

Walk the Cyclopath

The cyclopath opened in the summer of 2018, right before we arrived, and it is stunning. It runs along the mountains and is partially above the lake, which makes it just amazing to walk on.

Limone the most beautiful place at Lake Garda

This path was built for bicycles, but pedestrians are welcome, too. Its length is 1 km.

The cyclopath is not actually located in the city center, so you will need to travel north about 3-4 km to reach it. But despite being a little bit farther, this is one of the best tourist places in Limone and worth the extra trouble.

I recommend visiting early in the morning when there are not a lot of people there.

Relax at the Beach

There is a free beach here, which is not that common in Lake Garda. It is a pebble beach that offers toilets and restaurants. If you like watersports, there are a lot of options here.

Limone the most beautiful place at Lake Garda, beach day

You can swim at the beach, day or night. Make sure to bring your own towels. This is a lovely beach to just relax at.

Visit the Museum of Tourism

Stop at the Museum of Tourism, a local landmark in Limone. I did not have a chance to visit during my trip, but it is one of the most interesting places in Limone sul Garda. 

The museum is very nice and well maintained. It chronicles tourism in Limone, from the early days to modern times. There are tons of photographs and it is rather fascinating. If you have time to go, entry is free.

Learn About Lemons at Lemon Museum

This is another museum I did not visit, though I wish I had. Limone is Italian for lemon, and lemons are a big part of Limone’s history. Though most of the lemons are imported now, lemon cultivation has left its mark on the town. You can find tons of products made with lemons here.

The entry price is 2€, and the museum offers a look into lemon growing, providing lots of interesting information and a walk through the lemon grove. 

Apparently, the glasshouses are best seen at night, though, when they are illuminated. This is a gorgeous Limone place to visit, and I can’t wait for my chance to see.

Cycle Lake Garda

I prefer walking to cycling, so I did not do this myself, but Lake Garda is very popular among cyclists. The path surrounding the lake is about 120 km. 

Limone places to see

They have made it very accommodating to the riders and cyclists who visit. If you decide to cycle Lake Garda, there are tools along the way if you run into any problems, and also an air pump.

Boat Tour to Malcesine

From Limone, you can take a day trip to Malcesine. And the best way to do that – by boat! Since, Malcesine is located right across the lake, going by car would take forever, so this is both the fastest and most fun way to get there.

Malcesine and things to do in Lake Garda

There is a lovely boat tour available that will take you from Limone to Malcesine in 20-30 minutes. A round-trip ticket will cost about 10€.

Malcesine is a bustling town set at the base of Mount Baldo. This is a great place for watersports and hiking. And if you prefer to relax and just stroll, the old town and harbor are perfect.

Day Trip to Riva del Garda

One of the best places to travel in Limone is to Riva del Garda. On the very northern shores of Lake Garda, this beautiful village is full of activities and sights.

View from the tower in Riva del Garda, Lake Garda

To get to Riva del Garda from Limone, you can take a car or bus, or come by boat. 

Spend the day exploring the exciting old town, strolling the waterfront, and climbing to the top of the clock tower (only 165 steps up) for wonderful views. This is the perfect place for watersport lovers, and if you like colorful old buildings, there are plenty here to delight you.

Day Trip to Sirmione

Another great day trip is to the gorgeous village of Sirmione. While it is a little farther than Riva del Garda, it is worth the travel time.

View from Sirmione Tower

Getting to Sirmoine takes about 3 hours by boat – one way. By car is a little faster, about 1-1 ½ hours, and by bus, it will take about 2 hours.

Once you arrive at this village that sits on the southern peninsula, enjoy the old town – full of winding little streets and beautiful houses. There is also a castle to explore, as well as the ruins of Grotte di Catullo, an ancient Roman villa.

Visit the Market in Limone

Still wondering where to go in Limone? My final suggestion is the Market. Market day is on Tuesdays in Limone (not in the winter months though) and held in the mornings. 

While not as big as the ones in other towns along Lake Garda, this is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs and local products. The Market is a tradition and definitely one of the events you should see while in Limone.

As you can see, visiting Lake Garda gives you the opportunity to see one of its cutest towns. This list of the top places to visit in Limone and the most notable points of interest in Limone will hopefully help you have a fabulous trip here yourself.

Things to Do in Limone at Night

When you are in Limone and walk the promenade, head to the upper part of Limone sul Garda and to the street named “Via IV Novembre 24.“

Limone places to visit at night, Lake Garda

Limone top things to do

There you will find a globe and some musical instruments that are beautifully illuminated (some might say it is corny, but I say it is pretty, and next to the globe, you will also find a bridge that is illuminated with the Italian flag). Personally, my tip for the best place to visit in Limone at night (or evening).

 

As you can tell, I totally adore Limone – it is actually one of my favorite places in Northern Italy and I cannot wait to visit again! I hope, this quick Limone sul Garda travel guide will help you planning your trip and planning the best things to do in Limone. 

If you are planning a trip to Lake Garda check out my 1-7-day Lake Garda itinerary.

Safe Travels, Arzo

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