Have you already thought about what to do in spring in Italy? The chances are many, the places to discover will surprise you. Let's discover them!
Italy is a treasure chest of wonderful travel destinations to explore throughout the year. From snow-capped mountains to the sunniest beaches, from art cities to villages less known to mass tourism, there is always an opportunity to plan a trip, excursion or impromptu visit to a new destination that will leave you with lasting memories.
With the new year just beginning, a great idea is to choose a few fascinating places for a totally relaxing vacation in the months ahead. So are you ready yet to decide where to go in spring in Italy?
Visit Italy takes you this time to discover some destinations to consider if you are already imagining one of your next spring trips to Italy: we are going to discover magnificent beaches on the coasts of southern Italy, parks rich in naturalistic biodiversity, villages where time has stood still and art cities rich in cultural treasures of absolute value. Get ready for your new adventure!
What to do in spring in Italy: some travel ideas
The spring season is approaching, bringing with it a period full of sunny days and nature awakening after the long winter: so better take advantage of it to explore our wonderful country in the company of your family and friends. So let's get ready to answer the question that every adventure-curious traveler asks: what to do in spring in Italy?
Starting in March, already in some regions you will be able to enjoy favorable weather for your spring vacations in Italy, perhaps taking advantage of it to organize some nice weekend getaways. Sometimes the days of spring positively surprise us by giving us temperatures so warm and pleasant that they seem a real prelude to summer.
You could take advantage of the opportunity of off-season offers to visit some locations that are much more crowded at the peak of bookings. To plan one of your next spring trips to Italy, consider looking at destinations that are a bit more niche and you will surely be surprised by the wealth of experiences you can get from them.
So let's explore some destinations chosen by the Visit Italy editorial staff to provide you with inspiration in planning your next trip to Italy during the spring season.
The beaches of Salento
Among the destinations to consider if you haven't yet decided where to go in spring in Italy, we at Visit Italy recommend that you take a trip to one of the most picturesque areas in the south: the Salento region. The so-called "heel of Italy" will offer you miles of breathtaking seashores, which you can appreciate as early as the spring season.
If you love the sea in all its forms, you will be able to find two types of equally fascinating landscapes in this region: the coast on the Adriatic Sea from Otranto to Santa Maria di Leuca will amaze you with the beauty of its sheer cliffs and crags surrounded by marvelous stacks, perfect for lovers of wild nature. Along the Ionian Sea, on the other hand, the coastlines take on a less rugged and more welcoming appearance, with wide beaches of the finest sand and crystal-clear waters, more suitable for relaxing with the family and children.
In Eastern Salento, on the Adriatic coast, during your spring trip you can travel in stages through all the most fascinating seaside resorts in the area. In the territory of Roca Vecchia is the so-called Grotta della Poesia: it is not a real beach but a natural pool carved into the rocks. A place with a unique charm that tells the legend of a beautiful girl who used to dive into these waters and inspire anyone who met her.
At Torre dell'Orso, the transparent waters of the sea with emerald green hues and the flat cliffs of the coastline will make you feel in a timeless place. Near Otranto, the Baia dei Turchi takes its name from a landing of the Ottomans in the 15th century, and owes its beauty to the presence of the nearby Laghi Alimini Natural Oasis. Also worth mentioning is the magnificent Bay of Porto Badisco, a small inlet between Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca, which, according to legend, was the landing place of the epic hero Aeneas, and is perfect for a day of diving into its crystal-clear waters and relaxing in the shade of tree-lined areas.
Western Salento, on the Ionian Sea, on the other hand, can be the perfect destination for your spring vacations in Italy, with its long stretches of sand and miles of free beaches. The Gallipoli area is then renowned for its year-round offering of parties and nightlife entertainment.
The so-called Maldives of Salento is a stretch of coastline from Torre Pali to Torre Vado. Marina di Pescoluse is the most renowned beach in this area. We are located in the area of the Gulf of Taranto, in an area that enchants for its particularly shallow and transparent waters, among which you can stroll in total relaxation as if flying over the surface of the sea.
If you want to find a free beach more than two kilometers long, visit Punta Prosciutto in the Porto Cesareo area, surrounded by the Palude del Conte nature reserve. The Bay of Torre Lapillo, at the foot of a 16th-century tower erected against the Saracens, is a landscape made of the finest sand, with an exotic atmosphere with low cliffs and the presence of a coral reef. Punta della Suina, on the other hand, owes its name to a tongue of land that runs into the sea, dividing its splendid landscape in half. In the vicinity of Gallipoli, the Baia Verde has no less than four kilometers of coastline, perfect for your family's spring vacation: here the green-blue hues of the waters frame a resort in constant ferment, with a packed schedule of musical events and evenings by the sea.
For your spring trips to Italy, consider Salento and its crystal-clear beaches as a possible destination that will surprise you with its beauty and unspoiled nature.
The Madonie Park in Sicily
If you are a mountain lover and want to enjoy the beauty of nature during one of your spring trips to Italy, we at Visit Italy suggest you consider a destination that is perhaps a little less famous or frequented than others, but just as fascinating. In fact, Sicily is home to the Madonie Park, a protected area located in the province of Palermo that covers an area of more than two hundred square kilometers. Here stand some of the highest mountains in the region, such as Mount Pellegrino and Mount Gibilmanna.
This is a vast natural territory established as a park in 1989 to protect the biodiversity and characteristic landscape of the Madonie mountain range. This important natural preservation work has allowed the preservation of numerous endemic species such as the Sicilian orchid and the Apennine wolf. Along the Madonie Park area there are a whole series of historic towns and small villages to visit between nature hikes, such as Castelbuono, Isnello, Pollina and Petralia Sottana.
Every year hundreds of visitors to the park enjoy a wide range of activities, including hiking, trekking, birdwatching, mountain biking and horseback riding. Madonie Park also offers many opportunities for history buffs, with numerous archaeological sites and ancient monuments to discover.
Among the exceptional scenic backdrops you can enjoy by visiting the Madonie Park for your spring vacations in Italy, we particularly recommend a visit to the stunning Tiberius Gorges.
This is a kind of small natural canyon carved by the waters of the Pollina River, which presents itself to the visitor's eyes as a fascinating crossroads of rocks carved by water over millions of years: the gorges are about two hundred meters long and have walls up to twenty meters high. All it takes is a simple boat to penetrate the narrow meanders of this natural wonder, amid plays of light and shadow, hoping to suddenly catch a glimpse of the many species of fish or birds that populate the area.
In summary, the Madonie Park is an enchanting place for anyone seeking an immersive experience in the wildest and most unspoiled nature of Sicily.
In the springtime, organizing a short trip to a destination surrounded by nature is always a great idea, taking advantage of the increasing availability of beautiful days to make the most of the beauty of Italy. On this occasion, Visit Italy recommends that you choose the enchanting scenery of Lake Orta, located in Piedmont between the provinces of Novara and Verbania-Cusio-Ossola, as the destination of your spring trip to Italy.
The setting of this magnificent lake is that of a picture painted by nature-a beauty so timeless and fascinating that it was considered by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche as one of the main places of the heart he chose during his famous Grand Tour of Italy. Precisely because of its still almost "hidden" beauty compared to the other great Italian lakes, common feeling is that visitors to Lake Orta do not want to spread the word about its value being so exceptional, lest it be taken by storm by mass tourism.
Small tips. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the lake while enjoying an excellent lunch, we recommend Ristorante Monte Oro in Ameno. We love this restaurant because it is a place that combines the good food of Piedmontese cuisine with a charming location ideal for spending a beautiful spring day with friends.
In this almost supernatural setting, visual spectacle is expressed everywhere along the shores of the lake, from the spectacle of the blue waters reflecting the sunlight to the magic of the narrow stone streets and buildings filled with bright colors. And in all this stands out in the middle of the lagoon the wonderful Island of San Giulio, famous for its Benedictine monastery, Romanesque basilica and the finesse of its gardens and classical architecture.
The nature around Lake Orta is particularly beautiful and deserves to be experienced in every season: depending on your way of living your spring vacations in Italy, you can experience something different every day in these enchanting places, moving from the shores of the lake to the surrounding hills and up to the highest mountains in the area. There is a wealth of outdoor activities on offer: scenic walking routes, water sports, boat tours and mountain bike trails, as well as visits to nature reserves will make your stay so rich that you will want to return as soon as possible.
During your vacation at Lake Orta, We at Visit Italy particularly recommend visiting Le Pigne Adventure Park, an extremely well-maintained sports and nature area that is perfect for day dedicated to sports and contact with nature for young and old alike. The park offers a variety of adventure trails equipped with ropes, bridges, ladders, swings and other suspended elements, with large picnic areas and outdoor activities for maximum relaxation with friends.
Take note of these must-see locations as you're planning where to go on spring vacations in Italy: the areas of Piedmont surrounding Lake Orta are a rare gem in terms of both nature and history and culture. Enjoy your trip from Visit Italy!
The village of Sovana in Tuscany
Italy's cultural and artistic heritage is evenly distributed throughout its territory, both in its big cities and in its countless historic villages: among them, in fact, a way of life and an atmosphere of yesteryear is still preserved intact, which thousands of visitors want to experience every year.
This time we are going to discover Sovana, a small medieval village in the province of Grosseto, Tuscany. This charming place is very interesting for its wealth of archaeological finds, such as the perfectly preserved Etruscan necropolis and the Roman theater. The Etruscan era was the one that forged the soul and culture of this village, and today we can appreciate remarkable evidence of it thanks to celebratory remains from that era such as the Pola cave, the lldebranda tomb, and the tombs of the Typhon and the Siren.
If you choose Sovana to have an alternative experience during one of your spring trips to Italy, you will have various activities to enjoy. We recommend visiting the 9th-century Cathedral of Maria Assunta, known for its fine Romanesque architecture and an interesting panoramic location. Walking through the alleys of the ancient village you will discover a labyrinth of narrow streets that intertwine with each other, observing the lives of its inhabitants in a very intimate and fascinating way.
You will be able to visit the Roselle Archaeological Park, located near Sovana, an important documentary evidence to delve into the history and culture of Etruria. The Sovana Cave is a natural settlement that was used in ancient times as an Etruscan tomb, and today offers a breathtaking view of the countryside all around. All around the town of Sovana you will find an area surrounded by hills and vineyards, in which you can take advantage of excursions and walks in the beautiful Tuscan nature.
Finally, we highly recommend that you get closer to the culture of the place by tasting the delights of the local cuisine: in Sovana numerous trattorias and inns serve the most delicious dishes of the Tuscan culinary tradition every week, such as ribollita, pollo alla cacciatora and peposo dell'impruneta.
Mantua city of art
Let’s complete our overview of places to visit during your spring vacations in Italy by discovering a beautiful art city in Lombardy: Mantua.
Located on the border between Veneto and Emilia Romagna, it is a city with a remarkable historical past. Already in medieval times it was a protagonist of the European political and economic scene thanks to the Gonzaga family, who were its lords, marquises and dukes for no less than four centuries.
Based on its particular shape that extends around three large lakes located along the course of the Mincio River, Mantua has been defined for centuries as a "city of water" and considered as a small Venice, due to the beauty of its naturalistic and architectural scenery. For this reason, we recommend that you visit it following the two conceptual strands that characterize it, that of waterways and that of the beauties of Renaissance art.
Thanks to its small size, you can easily visit Mantua on foot to enjoy its beauties to the fullest. Walking through the historic center you will easily reach the main historical squares with the monuments symbolic of its ancient splendor. Among these, the most symbolic is the Palazzo Ducale, a complex of buildings brought together in the 16th century by the Gonzaga to form a real palace comparable to those of other courts in Europe. Here we will also find the Castle of San Giorgio, which houses Mantua's most important work of art: the Bridal Chamber by Andrea Mantegna, a cycle of frescoes with a play of perspective effects of rare beauty.
In Piazza Sordello you will find the cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, the most important religious building in the city, while a few steps away in Piazza delle Erbe you can visit the Rotonda di San Lorenzo: it’s the oldest medieval church in Mantua, inspired in its shape by the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The basilica of Sant'Andrea, made by Leon Battista Alberti, is where according to tradition a relic is kept with earth soaked in the blood of Christ, brought here by the Roman soldier and saint Longinus.
Don't miss a visit to another of the symbolic buildings in the city: the Palazzo Te, a splendid example of a Renaissance villa with frescoed halls and magnificent gardens commissioned by Federico Gonzaga as a place of leisure and pleasure. Inside you will find the civic museum and an international center of art and culture.
The artistic and architectural beauties of Mantua are truly countless, so we encourage you to define your visit as best you can if you choose this magnificent city for the next of your spring trips to Italy. It takes even just two days to complete your sightseeing tour, noting other symbolic places to experience: the Casa del Mercante, the Palazzo della Ragione, the Astronomical Clock Tower, the Bibiena Scientific Theater, the Palazzo d'Arco Museum and the Loggia delle Pescherie.
We also recommend you to experience Mantua while enjoying the beauty of nature in contact with the rich waters of its lakes. A great idea is to book a boat tour to observe the city from an enchanted perspective, sailing among floating expanses of water lilies and admiring the spectacular landscape views at sunset: the still, peaceful waters of the lagoon will give you peaceful sensations that you won't easily forget.
Visit Italy suggests you to hurry when planning your next spring trip, whether it's a short weekend getaway or a longer stay taking advantage of the low season. Check out what's new on our website for up-to-date tips!