You don't know where to go on holiday in January in Italy? Here are for you ten destinations not to be missed.
If you are trying to decide where to go on holiday in January in Italy for the perfect stay, perhaps snow will be the first idea to come to your mind. Italy, in fact, is rich in wonderful mountains but has so much more to offer, in every season of the year, that even in winter you can gift yourself an holiday you won't forget.
Have fun skiing among the many snowy peaks, or discovering and rediscovering ancient villages and cities of art and why not, also romantic seaside resorts. And if you can't choose here are ten truly awesome destiations to help you choose where to go on holiday in January in Italy.
Where to go on holiday in January in Italy: why travelling in winter
Are you trying to decide where to go on holiday in January in Italy? Then someone will probably ask you why you plan to leave when the climate in becomes harsher. Actually, Italian winters are never too cold, especially in the south, and there are many good reasons to visit the beautiful country even in the off-peak season.
In Italy, for example, the celebration of the Epiphany is very heartfelt and very evocative, so if you decide to leave at the beginning of the new year, you will be able to enjoy the celebrations of January 6th. After the frenzy of the Christmas and New Year holidays, even the most popular tourist destinations become quieter. So January is a good time to travel, if you don't particularly like large crowds.Finally, nature in Italy shows off even in January. The mountains are covered in snow, to the delight of winter sports lovers, while in the south, the air is crystal clear on nice days, and you can enjoy incredible views without the summer heat. And what about the charm of the sea in winter? On Italian beaches in January you can take long walks in the warm sun, breathing in the scent of salt.
Let's begin our journey to discover where to go on holiday in January in Italy with the city elected Capital of Culture 2024. Pesaro, this beautiful town on the Marche coast, is surrounded by lush nature. Its beautiful sandy beach extends for kilometers, while inland it gives way to the Regional Natural Park of San Bartolo, a protected oasis with magnificent views and cute villages.
Pesaro is always full of events, often linked to music, as the famous composer Gioacchino Rossini was born here. His birthplace is now a museum that can be visited. However, the city boasts many other records, for example its long cycle path, which has earned it the title of City of Bicycles.
Pesaro is also the City of Ceramics, thanks to its artisan tradition that dates back to the Renaissance. Many beautiful works can be found in the Civic Museums of Palazzo Mosca. Finally, Pesaro is also known as the City that Reads, thanks to the initiatives and events aimed at promoting reading.
In Trentino, surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in Italy, there is the village of Pinzolo, a small jewel suitable for ski lovers, and not only them.
Here, the Brenta and Adamello Dolomites offer views that make the heart beat, and if the modern ski slopes are close and easily accessible, there are also many other activities to do. For example, you can choose a quiet walk in the largest protected area of Trentino, the Adamello-Brenta National Park, or a sleigh ride in the company of friendly Husky dogs. The Pinzolo ice palace has a nice Olympic rink where you can skate or perhaps watch a hockey match, while the center of the village offers many suggestive corners, many shops, or markets where you can learn about local crafts.
Furthermore, Trento is nearby and is certainly worth a visit for its famous Buonconsiglio Castle, but also for other unmissable attractions, although sometimes less well-known. One of them the MUSE, a large science museum suitable for all ages.
Sardinia is a land that boasts naturalistic scenery of rare beauty, but also a culture so ancient that it's lost in the mists of time. This makes this wonderful island not only an unmissable summer destination, but also one of the best places if you don't know where to go on holiday in January in Italy.
Many people, perhaps, don't know that the carnival in Sardinia already begins on January 16th, with the feast of Sant'Antonio. On this occasion the island lights up with a thousand bonfires which today are dedicated to the saint, but has much more archaic roots, since it actually arise from millennia old rites.
Mamoiada, close to the city of Nuoro, is one of the places where this festivity is most felt, in fact it lasts several days with dozens of lit bonfires, but above all, with the parade and dance of the Mamuthones, the traditional Sardinian masks that chase evil away. This custom is very popular here, in fact Mamoiada also has an interesting ethnographic museum which traces the very long history of the Mediterranean masks.
Probably, when you ask youself where to go on holiday in January in Italy, Sicily is not the first destination that comes to your mind, much less if the goal is skiing. Yet, in western Sicily there is a nice ski area, the one located within the Madonie Park, a beautiful protected area where you can carry out various activities all year round. In winter one of the most evocative trips is the night torchlight descent on the snow.
The Madonie Park itself is quite large, it reaches all the way to the sea and includes different landscapes and various municipalities. Among them there's also the pretty coastal town of Cefalù, one of the most popular destinations in Sicily.The ski lifts are instead located in Piano Battaglia, near the highest peak in the park, Pizzo Carbonara, which reaches 1979 meters and is also home to the rare Madonie fir trees.
The life of the crystal, the architecture of the snow flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of these things.
If there is a place in the world that needs no introduction, it's Venice. The lagoon city is always wonderful and fascinating, so why go there just in January? Seeing the Befane Regatta, for example, is an excellent reason. It's a race of particular boats, often mistaken for the classic Venetian gondolas, conducted by rowers dressed as Befane, the good witches that bring sweets to Italian children. It's more about the fun than the victory, but the regatta is still very popular and takes place on the Grand Canal.
Once the Christmas holidays are over, the city becomes a little quieter and easier to visit. Even if it rains, there are so many things to do and see indoors that getting bored will be impossible. In addition to its famous monuments, Venice also has many lesser-known destinations that you can enjoy exploring. Right in Piazza San Marco, for example, there is the Olivetti shop designed by the architect Carlo Scarpa, a true monument for those who appreciate 20th century architecture. The squeri, ancient shipyards where gondolas are still built and repaired, also certainly arouse curiosity, even if unfortunately there are only a few of them left. One of the most fascinating is that of San Trovaso in Dorsoduro.
Venice also has beautiful courtyards that constitute a world of its own, waiting to be discovered. Among the best known is the Corte Seconda del Milion, which is located in the place where Marco Polo once lived.
Are you looking for the comfortable warmth of a heated swimming pool, the pampering of a wellness treatment and also the beauty of nature? Then Tuscany is definitely the right place where to go on holiday in January in Italy. This region, already so incredibly rich in things to do and see, also has the largest number of spa resorts in Italy.
Saturnia is one of the most famous because it's a place of great beauty and charm where, in addition to an actual spa, there are also the Cascate del Mulino. The spectacle that nature offers here is truly unique, furthermore these wonderful natural pools are free, open all year round and accessible even at night.They are located in the province of Grosseto, in southern Tuscany.
In the warm south of Italy, in Puglia, there is a small town famous for its pretty white houses with cone roofs. This is Alberobello with its trulli, one of the Itria Valley's jewels. These houses made of dry masonry have a very ancient history, but in this area of Puglia they have always been built and today the town has as many as one thousand six hundred of them.
The spectacle offered by Alberobello, a UNESCO heritage site and rightfully so, is truly unique. In winter it even happens that the trulli are covered in snow, turning this town into the perfect place where to go on holiday in January in Italy.
As incredibly charming as the trully can be, however, they are not only nice to look at from the outside, there are in fact several that can also be visited inside. Among the most famous ones are the Siamese Trulli, two trulli under the same roof, or the church of Sant'Antonio, whose domes are actually cone-shaped roofs built in real trullo-style.
Last but not least, the Trullo Sovrano has the particularity of being larger than average and is the only one built on two floors. Today it is a house-museum and also hosts a bookshop.
3. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful medieval villages ever, difficult to describe in a few lines. In fact, its value does not lie only in aesthetics; this little jewel located on the top of a hill, in the heart of Tuscany, is truly a mine of art, culture and flavours.
Its towers, often linked to the names of important medieval families, but also to myths and legends, still define its skyline today and in the past there were even more. In the historic center, which revolves around Piazza della Cisterna, there are several churches, including the Duomo and Sant'Agostino, which house works by numerous artists, such as Ghirlandaio, Jacopo della Quercia, Pollaiolo and many others. Even the beautiful Town Hall is today an art gallery of immense value.This small town, also appreciated by Dante who lived there for a while as an ambassador, has gained fame and wealth also thanks to an extraordinary food and wine tradition. The precious saffron is still produced here today, while the wines of the region are a source of pride for all of Italy.
Furthermore, San Gimignano is located along the Via Francigena, the pilgrims' road, and is well connected to other unmissable places in Tuscany, such as Volterra and Siena, but also Florence itself.
Matera is a small city in Basilicata with a historic center that is almost unique in the world, let's find out why.
Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the main square, is a very lively place, surrounded by bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. Here is also one of the access roads to the Sassi, the two neighborhoods that make this town so unique. The small houses clinging to the mountainside, once inhabited by shepherds and farmers, are half built into the rock and create a setting that has no equal.
Today, some of these houses have become shops, others museums, others art studios and so on; in any case walking up and down the alleys and stairs of Matera is an experience worth doing at least once.There is also another good reason to choose Matera as the place where to go on holiday in January in Italy, or anyway away from the summer months, and that is the Murgia Materana park, right outside the centre. The park is full of rock churches and archaeological sites dating back to the Neolithic, its wild nature is of great charm and offers extraordinary views of Matera itself. However, this is one of the hottest areas of Italy, in summer the temperatures are scorching and can make exploring the park, but also Matera, definitely less pleasant.
1. Where to go on holiday in January in Italy: the Amalfi Coast
In Campania there is a winding road that runs along the side of the Lattari Mountains, joining the Sorrento Peninsula with Salerno. Here, traveling right over the sea, you will get to admire spectacular views of the villages that occasionally interrupt the long strip of asphalt, get to know the unmistakable flavors and aromas of Mediterranean cuisine, or perhaps be enchanted by the bright colors of Vietri ceramics, which are a important part of local craftsmanship.
The Amalfi Coast is an authentic paradise where to go on holiday in january in Italy, even if it's to cold to swim. Here, everybody will find what they're looking for. Positano is for glamour lover, for example, always very elegant with its characteristic alleys and romantic restaurants right on the seashore. In Amalfi you can breathe history and beauty, with the spectacular Cathedral in Arab-Norman style, with the ancient paper mills or with the monument to Flavio Gioia, the mysterious inventor of the modern compass. And what about Ravello, with its magnificent villas and hanging gardens that seem suspended in the air?January in the south can offer very bright days. When the sun shines don't miss a walk along the Path of the Gods, a trekking route rightly considered among the most beautiful in the world. When the air is clear, the winter light makes the sea seem even bluer, offering views that will make your heart beat.