Where to go in spring in Italy? From North to South, here are 20 travel ideas to enjoy it at its best.
The most beautiful season for travelling is back. Spending spring in Italy is perhaps one of the sweetest gifts one can give oneself. The climate, while still mild, is at its best, and the landscapes light up with wonderful colours.
If you decide to spend spring in Italy, you are spoilt for choice. From cities of art that smile again in the warm sunshine to landscapes of sea, lakes and hills, Italy offers plenty of travel ideas with attractive destinations that blossom in the spring season.
Spring in Italy: where to go?
Spring in Italy is wonderful from North to South. Blossoms and trees are coloured with new light, city squares come back to life and the sun reappears to make the landscapes shine. In short, for many, this is the best time of year to travel and enjoy the sights and locations without the hustle and bustle of summer or the cold temperatures of winter.
If you've decided to treat yourself to a spring escape to Italy, you'll need to do a little planning and we're here to help. We have selected 20 destinations and travel ideas for you to enjoy spring in Italy at its best, from North to South. Discover them with us.
20. Spring in Italy: the pretty coastal town of Termoli
Termoli is a picturesque coastal town located in the Molise region in south-central Italy. The town overlooks the Adriatic Sea and offers beautiful beaches of golden sand and crystal-clear water, ideal for relaxing and sunbathing. The historical centre of Termoli, surrounded by ancient walls, is characterised by narrow streets, stone buildings and picturesque corners, such as the Swabian Castle, a medieval fortress dating back to the 11th century that dominates the town from above.
The historic centre is also home to the Cathedral of San Basso, a beautiful 12th-century Romanesque church, and the Museo Civico, which exhibits archaeological and historical artefacts related to the city's history. Termoli's gastronomic specialities include fresh fish dishes, such as brodetto alla termolese, a fish soup typical of the area. Visiting it in spring is something unique.
19. Matera, the city of the Sassi, European Capital of Culture in 2019
Matera is a city located in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. Known as the 'City of the Sassi', Matera is famous for its ancient quarters of houses carved out of the rock, called 'sassi', which have been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period. These quarters, located on a hill overlooking the Gravina river, represent one of the oldest and most impressive examples of rock architecture in the world.
Matera was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and has attracted international attention due to its beauty and millennial history. The city is also famous for its food and wine culture, with a wide range of traditional Lucanian dishes, including the famous Matera bread. Matera is an ideal tourist destination for those who love history, architecture and culture, offering a unique and unforgettable experience in the heart of southern Italy. It will amaze you in spring!
18. Tropea beach, one of the most beautiful in Calabria
The beach of Tropea is one of the most famous seaside destinations in Calabria, located in the province of Vibo Valentia. Known as the 'Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea', this beach offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the crystal-clear sea and the rocky coastline. The beach is located at the foot of the historic centre of Tropea, a medieval village overlooking the sea, and is characterised by fine white sand and transparent waters.
The beach is about 2 kilometres long and offers numerous activities such as swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding. Tropea's natural beauty, combined with the city's rich history and culture, makes it a popular and fascinating tourist destination for those who wish to spend a relaxing holiday discovering the beauty of southern Italy. Visit it in spring, before the summer rush, you will not regret it.
17. The village of Sant'Agata de' Goti, a picturesque medieval village in Campania
Sant'Agata dei Goti is a picturesque medieval village located in the Campania region of southern Italy. Characterised by narrow alleys, stone arches, churches and historical buildings, this village represents a hidden jewel of antiquity in southern Italy. Sant'Agata dei Goti is located about 40 kilometres north-east of Naples, on a hilltop overlooking the Isclero river valley.
The village is surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls, which testify to its ancient history. Some of the sights of Sant'Agata dei Goti include the 11th-century Romanesque cathedral, the bishop's palace and the Museo del Vino, which presents a collection of local wine bottles. Did you know that Sant'Agata dei Goti is also famous for its cheese production? Among these is the highly prized goat's cheese 'Caciocavallo'. Moreover, the beauty and history of this village make it an ideal destination for lovers of history, art and culture, who wish to discover the beauty of lesser-known Italy, especially in spring.
16. Tour in the Langhe, among hills, wine and hazelnuts
With the sun reflecting off the endless hills and the scent of nature blooming once again, the Langhe is the ideal destination for a spring trip. The pearl of Piedmont, home of wine, truffles and hazelnuts, offers a variety of gastronomic wonders, and more, to discover and experience.
Alba is the capital of the Langhe and in 2017 was recognized by UNESCO as "Creative City for Gastronomy". The hills of this vast territory are dotted with numerous villages rich in history and cultural interest. Barbaresco, Barolo, La Morra, Neive, are all ancient medieval towns whose narrow streets are waiting to be explored in long and relaxing walks.
The ideal way to wander among the harmonious hills of the area, in springtime, is surely by bike, in order to fully enjoy the boundless landscapes between one village and another.
And after a long bike ride, what better way to relax than with a glass of the famous wines of the area? The excellent Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Dolcetto, Furmentin, Nebbiolo and Pelaverga (DOC and DOCG wines) are exported all over the world, but the best place to taste them is in the many wine cellars of the area that allow you to taste the local products in a very traditional way.
And finally? In the kingdom of hazelnuts, it is a must to taste the hazelnut cake (typical of the village of Cortemilia) which enhances the taste of this famous local product.
15. Val di Non in Trentino Alto Adige
Val di Non is a valley located in the province of Trento. It is known for its natural beauty, with the mountains of the Dolomites rising imposingly on its sides. The valley is crossed by the river Noce and the area is characterised by numerous apple orchards, vineyards and coniferous forests. This valley is also famous for apple production, with numerous companies growing this fruit and processing it into juice, cider and other typical products.
Other attractions in the area include medieval castles, such as Thun Castle and San Michele Castle, which offer panoramic views of the valley. Val di Non is also an excellent starting point for mountain hikes and outdoor activities, such as rafting and paragliding. Visiting it in spring is something wonderful.
14. The Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a wonder to know
The Tuscan Archipelago is a collection of islands and reefs located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Tuscan coast in Italy. The archipelago comprises seven main islands: Elba Island, Giglio Island, Giannutri, Montecristo, Pianosa, Capraia and Gorgona, and numerous smaller islets and rocks.
The Tuscan archipelago offers a variety of landscapes and activities: from white sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, from nature reserves to historic towns. The islands of the archipelago are also famous for their cuisine and local wines, including the famous white wine of Elba Island. The Tuscan archipelago is an ideal tourist destination for those who love nature, culture and good food, offering a wide range of activities to suit the tastes of all visitors.
13. Bay of Silence in Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante is a small coastal town located in the Liguria region in north-western Italy. Located between Genoa and La Spezia, Sestri Levante is famous for its sandy beaches and the beauty of its historic centre. The town is strategically located with a spectacular view of the Ligurian Sea and surrounded by lush green hills. The historical centre of Sestri Levante is characterised by narrow alleys, colourful houses and old Genoese-style buildings.
Among the main local attractions are the Baia del Silenzio (litt. Bay of Silence), a beautiful beach named after its quiet and peaceful environment, and the Baia delle Favole (litt. Bay of fables), so called because of its legendary beauty and enchanted setting. Sestri Levante is an ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing holiday by the sea combined with the discovery of one of the most beautiful and authentic towns in Liguria. In spring you can also enjoy the not too high temperature and the sea breeze.
12. The beauty of Lake Iseo, pearl of Lombardy
Lake Iseo, located in the Lombardy region, is one of the hidden gems of northern Italy. This lake, the fourth largest in Italy, is surrounded by mountains and green hills, and offers breathtaking views and unspoilt nature. One of its main attractions is 'Montisola', the largest lake island in Europe, reachable by ferry and famous for its picturesque narrow streets and historical architecture. Lake Iseo is also known for its crystal-clear waters and the many activities it offers, including sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and sport fishing.
A true paradise to visit in both summer and spring. On the shores of the lake are small villages such as Iseo, Lovere and Pisogne, where Romanesque churches, historical palaces and art museums can be admired. Famous is the footbridge over the lake, a floating bridge connecting the towns of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio, which offers a unique view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Lake Iseo is an ideal destination for lovers of nature and tranquillity, who want to spend a relaxing holiday.
11. The city of Urbino, a place of inestimable artistic and cultural heritage
Urbino is a city located in the Marche region in central Italy. This city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its Renaissance architecture and historical importance. Urbino is now famous for its historical centre, characterised by its cobbled streets, cosy squares and historical buildings such as the Palazzo Ducale, a magnificent example of Italian Renaissance architecture that today houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche. The city was also home to the famous Renaissance painter Raphael, and his artistic contribution is reflected in many works of art and monuments in the city.
Other attractions in Urbino include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a magnificent 12th-century Romanesque church, and the house where Raphael was born, which houses a collection of works of art by the famous painter. What you may not know is that Urbino is also a university town, with a lively cultural life and numerous restaurants, bars and shops lining its streets and squares. The city is immersed in a beautiful hilly landscape, with breathtaking views of the surrounding Marche countryside. Urbino is an ideal destination for those seeking a cultural holiday, in the beauty of spring, discovering a city rich in history and art.
10. The Marmore Waterfalls, an incredible excursion in the heart of Italy
The Marmore Waterfalls are a unique natural spectacle located in the region of Umbria, in the heart of Italy. With a drop of 165 metres, these waterfalls are among the highest in Europe and are one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region. The Marmore Falls were created by man in ancient times, when the Roman consul Marcus Curtius tried to divert the course of the river Velino to save the city of Rome from flooding.
The water of the waterfall falls in three separate levels, creating a magical and surreal atmosphere. The Marmore Falls also offer a wide range of activities, including rafting, hiking and cycling, and guided tours. In every season, the beauty of the falls and the surrounding landscape is breathtaking, making this place an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves nature and the beauty of the world.
9. The village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, an enchanting medieval village in Abruzzo
Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a charming medieval village located in the Abruzzo region of Italy. This ancient village is characterised by narrow streets, stone buildings and picturesque squares. Its historical architecture and privileged location at the foot of the Gran Sasso make Santo Stefano di Sessanio a popular tourist destination for those seeking an escape from urban life.
In the historic centre of the village are some of the best examples of medieval architecture in the region, including the 16th century Medicean Tower and the 14th century Church of San Lorenzo Martire. In addition, Santo Stefano di Sessanio is famous for its production of saffron, which has been cultivated in the region for centuries.
8. The village of Venzone, an ancient town at the foot of the Carnic Alps
Venzone is a charming medieval town located in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in north-eastern Italy. The town is famous for its beautiful historical centre, surrounded by imposing walls and towers, and its Venetian Gothic architecture.
One of Venzone's main attractions is the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dating back to the 14th century and with a 66-metre high bell tower, which offers a spectacular view of the town and its surroundings. Venzone is also famous for its gastronomy, especially its cured meats, such as San Daniele ham and smoked bacon, and local wines such as Friulano and Ribolla Gialla.
7. The Alcantara Gorge, a true wonder of nature
The Alcantara gorges are a natural wonder located in the north-eastern part of Sicily, Italy. They were formed around 8,000 years ago when a volcanic eruption blocked the Alcantara river, causing it to deviate and carving a basalt canyon. The walls of the gorges, up to 50 metres high, show the characteristic striations of solidified lava.
The crystal-clear water of the Alcantara river flows between these walls, creating waterfalls and natural pools that are a popular tourist attraction. The Alcantara gorges offer breathtaking views and represent a perfect combination of nature and landscape, making them an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
6. The Island of San Pietro, a small island in Sardinia to discover in spring
The island of San Pietro is a truly fascinating island located in the south-western part of Sardinia, Italy. Best known for its unspoilt nature and beautiful beaches, the island of San Pietro is something that is becoming increasingly popular year after year, yet remains a pure and unique place.
With its crystal-clear waters and the brilliant colours of the limestone rocks that surround it, the island is an ideal destination for those who wish to spend time in contact with nature and enjoy the beauty of the sea. In addition, the island of San Pietro also offers a wide range of activities such as trekking, fishing and boat trips, all in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere that makes it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Sardinia, especially in spring.
5. The Champorcher Valley, the beauty of the Aosta Valley
The Champorcher Valley is an Alpine valley located in the autonomous region of Valle d'Aosta, Italy. Known for its unspoilt nature and beautiful mountain landscape, the Champorcher Valley is an ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers. The valley lies right at the foot of the Gran Paradiso and offers numerous opportunities for mountain hiking, trekking, climbing and winter activities such as downhill and cross-country skiing.
The valley is also a place of great natural interest, with numerous trails leading to the discovery of breathtaking landscapes and rare and protected animal species, such as the chamois, ibex and golden eagle. In every season, the natural beauty of the valley makes it an unmissable destination for those who wish to spend time in contact with nature and enjoy the beauty of the Alpine landscape of the Aosta Valley.
4. Palladian villas, immersed in Unesco World Heritage gardens
The perfect season to enjoy the wonderful gardens of the Palladian Villas in Veneto (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994) is definitely spring. A tour among the historic sixteenth century residences with their imposing neoclassical architecture is the best way to immerse yourself in the history of the area.
Among the villas not to be missed we have Villa Capra, called the Rotonda for its circular shape, Villa Angarano or Villa Pojana, with its striking frescoes. And also Villa Valmarana ai nani (so called because of the statues with which it is decorated), the villa-tempio Chiericati and Villa Porto Godi with its majestic garden.
The Palladian architecture (from the name of Andrea Palladio, architect creator of this kind of construction and of some of the most important residences) is distinguished by elegance and purity of form. The houses, places of leisure and entertainment of the nobles of the time, are all crowned by extensive gardens decorated with plants that create symmetrical patterns and various species of local flowers. Walking in springtime among these wonders takes you back in time, in the quiet of these places surrounded by nature.
3. Ravenna, Bologna and Ferrara among mosaics, towers and castles
A spring travel idea suitable for art lovers is definitely a small tour among the historic cities of Ravenna, Bologna and Ferrara. The three centers of Emilia Romagna are more or less one hour away from each other by car, but they are also well connected by public transportation and easily reachable. This season is perfect to visit these famous cities of art, the mild climate is ideal for walking quietly among the streets and charming views of the typical brick architecture.
Ravenna, the ancient capital of the Western Roman Empire, still bears the traces of its important past: the Byzantine mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale, the church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and Sant'Apollinare in Classe (located outside the city in the harbor area) and those of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia are among the most beautiful works of art to be admired in the region, the gold and bright colors of the mosaic tiles contrast with the simple architecture of the exteriors of the buildings.
And again, if you want to get to the heart of Emilian architecture, it is impossible not to take a walk in the capital, Bologna, whose historic center is populated by the typical arcades painted with warm colors, ocher, red, yellow and brick color. The city offers many attractions: Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio, Piazza Santo Stefano and the Garisenda Tower and the Asinelli Tower from the top of which you can enjoy the panorama of the entire city and the green surroundings of the hills of Bologna.
Finally, Ferrara, with its famous Este Castle, a symbol of the city and main attraction, offers visitors a full immersion in its past whose alleys are populated by arches and hidden courtyards. The city's cathedral and Palazzo dei Diamanti also deserve a thorough visit before relaxing with a delicious local dinner in one of the area's typical restaurants.
2. Park of the Roman Castles and Garden of Ninfa, a walk on lakes and rivers
The Park of the Roman Castles offers numerous attractions from the naturalistic point of view and not only. The villages (17) and the views to visit are various and numerous: the famous Castel Gandolfo, ancient papal summer residence famous throughout the world for its beautiful gardens that house the remains of the Villa of Domitian and the Vatican Farm; Ariccia, home of porchetta; Nemi with its lake, the "Mirror of Diana", which housed the ships of Emperor Caligula and, finally, Genzano di Roma, famous for the feast of Infiorata (which takes place precisely in the spring season) during which is set up an immense floral carpet of about 2. 000 square meters! All these villages are located near Lake Albano and Lake Nemi, which, with their shining waters, offer an evocative natural environment ideal for exploring together with the historical centers.
Not far from the Castles is, then, the Garden of Ninfa, an ideal destination to fully enjoy the air and scents of spring. Declared a Natural Monument by the Lazio Region in 2000, this green space that rises along a picturesque river, has a very ancient history: the origin of the fortress, at the center of the garden, dates back to medieval times while in the sixteenth century Cardinal Nicolò III Caetani, a lover of botany, wanted to create in Ninfa a "garden of delights" and made a hortus conclusus, a garden bordered by walls with a regular plant, cultivating valuable varieties of citrus.
1. Bisceglie, Trani, Barletta in the footsteps of Frederick II
Lovers of the Middle Ages cannot miss a visit to these three wonderful cities in the North of Bari. In each of these cities, overlooking the Apulian sea, the footprints of the Norman Swabian past have left their mark in the churches and majestic castles.
Bisceglie looks like a picturesque medieval center: churches, palaces, and monuments are shown in a maze of houses and alleys. Here stands the Cathedral of St. Peter, built in 1295 classic example of Apulian Romanesque.
Trani is also remembered for its splendid cathedral on the sea, the white of the typical stone stands out against the blue of the sea that envelops the entire historical center and exalts the colors of the city port, one of the most experienced places in the city. Here you can taste the local seafood specialties and stroll among the picturesque boats. Not far from both cities, near Andria, stands the famous Castel del Monte, a symbol of the medieval history of the region and ancient residence of Frederick II.
Lastly, Barletta has a huge castle near the sea which dominates the city and has gone down in history for its colossus and the famous "disfida". The historical center is wide and studded with streets that recall the typical urban planning of the North of Bari.
Spring is definitely the perfect time to visit these coastal cities, before the advent of summer tourism and the torrid heat typical of Southern Italy.