Discover the Italian spring. Villages, landscapes and outdoor activities: Visit Italy suggests 10 fabulous destinations you should not miss in May.

Winter is gone. Get rid of coats, scarves and gloves: the outdoor season has begun! With its mild, pleasantly sunny days, Italian spring is the perfect time to visit hidden jewels or usually very crowded summer places. Here are 10 destinations you absolutely must visit in May. It's time to hit the road!

10. Sea holidays in Ponza with no summer crowds

Ponza

The six Pontine islands make up a wonderful archipelago situated opposite the beautiful coast of Lazio. The larger and best known is Ponza, a top-rated summer destination. May, therefore, is the ideal time to enjoy the gentle spring sun and the beauty of its places away from the summer crowds.

Ponza attracts many tourists mainly for the charm of its spectacular landscape, its charming old town and its splendid beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters.

After the sunset, the island goes wild to the sound of music with open-air discos. Otherwise, for those who prefer a quiet evening stroll, Ponza offers stunning night-time scenes. Finally, the island is also a popular destination for snorkelling enthusiasts.

9. Sicilian landscapes: Taormina with Isola Bella

Taormina

Goethe defined Taormina as a piece of paradise on Earth, and even today, the tens of thousands of tourists who visit this Sicilian town confirm the great writer's words. Situated near Mount Etna, Taormina is famous throughout the world. It has an invaluable historical, cultural and archaeological heritage enriched by its enchanting location by the sea.Its mammoth Greco-Roman theatre, breathtaking views and elegant medieval streets will enchant you, especially if you reach Taormina in spring, away from the dreaded heat of the long summer days.

Finally, to the south of Taormina, you'll find Isola Bella, a tiny islet linked to the mainland by a thin strip of land continually submerged and resurfaced by the tides. This wonderful Mediterranean pearl has been a natural reserve since 1998. For centuries, the dense Mediterranean maquis that covers it and the wild, impervious paths around its perimeter have enchanted poets and writers.

8. Hidden Lazio: the waterfalls of Castel Giuliano

Castel Giuliano waterfalls

A few kilometres from Rome, you can find some of the hidden naturalistic jewels of Lazio. We want to point out the beautiful Cascate di Castel Giuliano (Castel Giuliano waterfalls) in Bracciano. Born from streams and small rivers, these and other waterfalls in the area are lost in the dense Lazio bush, creating an unexpectedly wild place close to the Italian capital city.

The waterfalls and the surrounding environment that adorns them are perfect destinations for spring walks and hiking trails surrounded by lush and spectacular nature. There are several routes to get there, almost all of which are easy to follow, but there are some more challenging sections. Finally, after a pleasant trip to enjoy the silence of nature, it is worth visiting the village of Bracciano and the lake of the same name: you will be enchanted.

7. Liguria: the

Liguria

The "Maggio dei Parchi" initiative organised by the Liguria Region is an invitation to discover a still little-known side of this splendid part of Italy. Liguria is home to 18 protected areas on land, including the numerous natural parks that dot its perimeter, outstanding regional nature reserves, and state and regional marine protected areas. The calendar of events invites tourists and residents to be amazed and enchanted by the natural and cultural beauty of the region.

You can try trekking routes, diving in marine areas, birdwatching, guided tours in the parks, horse trekking, climbing, trails for hidden views overlooking the sea, nature photography, mountain-bike routes and more. Moreover, visitors can attend art exhibitions and local food and wine products fair stands. In short, discover Liguria in May, and you will have a satisfying experience!

6. Cycling in the Val di Chiana, Tuscany

Val di Chiana

Cycling enthusiasts should not miss the May appointment with cycle tourism in Tuscany. In particular, we recommend discovering the Val di Chiana, an immense natural expanse straddling the Tuscan provinces of Siena and Arezzo and the Umbrian provinces of Perugia and Terni. The area is a flourishing agricultural centre, rich in luxuriant land and green pastures, from which some of the most renowned Made in Italy products such as wine, oil and cheese are produced.

The valley is also home to beautiful art cities, including the Etruscan Chiusi, Chianciano (famous for its thermal baths), and Montepulciano, one of Italy's best wines producer and a must for slow tourism lovers. After these brief hints on places to visit in the Val di Chiana, we would like to suggest some routes to take by bike - easy, medium and difficult - to discover its natural wonders

- Tour from Torrita di Siena to Montepulciano (about 30 km) through the beautiful Sienese hills covered with vineyards;

- For a scenic but decidedly more challenging route, we recommend the tour from Chiusi to Monte Cetona;

- From Sarteano, you can cycle around Monte Cetona, crossing the heart of the mountain. A swinging cycling tour made up of continuous changes of gradient.

5. The most beautiful villages in Italy: Dozza in Emilia-Romagna

Dozza, just outside Bologna, welcomes its visitors in May with numerous events and activities. This medieval town is rightly included in the prestigious list of I Borghi più belli d'Italia (the most beautiful villages in Italy) thanks to its enchanting urban, artistic and natural beauty. It locates on the crest of a hill, and its historical centre preserves the original and splendid medieval building fabric. The mighty Rocca Sforzesca overlooks Dozza from the highest point of the town. It keeps magnificent ancient frescoes.

After all, art is everywhere in Dozza: the village is an authentic open-air museum whose streets, walls and squares are adorned with hundreds of colourful works of contemporary art. Moreover, if you love nature, Dozza also offers many excursions and scenic routes to be taken on foot or by bike. Finally, as already mentioned, you can take part in some local initiatives in May, most of them dedicated to food and wine tours among the irresistible flavours of Emilia-Romagna.

4. Campania's paradise: the Path of the Gods

One of the Amalfi Coast prides is the evocative Path of the Gods, a 10 km walk in the wilderness that attracts thousands of foreign and Italian tourists every year. This thrilling outdoor adventure leads through the winding, unspoilt rocky path connecting Agerola to Positano.

The breathtaking views will make the walk less tiring. What do you need? A mild spring day, hiking shoes and a camera to capture what will seem like paradise on Earth!

3. Alpine villages: Saint-Pierre in Valle d'Aosta

If you are a mountain lover, we suggest a trip to the beautiful village of Saint-Pierre. This small town in Valle d'Aosta, inhabited by just over 3000 people, is the ideal place if you want to breathe fresh air and reconnect with the world. The stunning Alpine scenery (731 metres of altitude) is softened by the mild temperatures of May, making Saint-Pierre a perfect spring destination.

This pretty little town is nestled in extensive apple orchards and vineyards, giving the landscape a charming, colourful hue. Finally, the imposing castle dominates Saint-Pierre and makes the scenery almost fairytale-like.

2. Unconventional Sardinia: San Pantaleo

San Pantaleo

Far from the hectic summer life of the coast, the Sardinian hinterland hides enchanting villages that looks almost frozen in the past. Spring is the ideal time to discover these beautiful places; here is one of them. San Pantaleo, a small hamlet in the municipality of Olbia, has just over a thousand inhabitants, but its liveliness will surprise you.

This oasis of peace is located on the slopes of Monte Cugnana. Its panoramic position offers a breathtaking view of the enchanting Costa Smeralda, located just a few kilometres away. The natural environment is wild and isolated, but its charm is irresistible. Ancient and modern buildings coexist in perfect harmony.

In addition, painters, sculptors, goldsmiths and ceramists' workshops populate the village and adorn it with elegance. The town's art market is a popular destination for local and foreign artists who, attracted by the beauty of the area, take refuge here to capture its essence in the peace of silence. Finally, the village offers many opportunities for outdoor activities: you can go trekking and hiking in the woods or walk the paths through the greenery. 

1. Mountain landscapes: the Fusine Lakes

Laghi di Fusine

In Friuli Venezia Giulia, just a short distance from the border with Slovenia, are the beautiful Fusine Lakes, set in a spectacular natural theatre. Located just a few kilometres away from the pretty town of Tarvisio (province of Udine), the water complex of glacial origin consists of two little neighbouring lakes (Lago Superiore and Lago Inferiore) surrounded by thick coniferous forests and framed by imposing peaks. The colours of the surrounding nature reflect in the crystal clear waters, offering a chromatic panorama that changes according to the season: warm colours in autumn and dreamy white during the winter snowfalls. The light of spring and summer, on the other hand, provides a backdrop worthy of the most beautiful fairytales.

The lush nature embracing the lakes turns emerald green, the warm sunlight falls on the mountains and the waters, enhancing its beauty. The paths surrounding the Fusine Lakes will take you on an amazing journey through the unspoilt nature typical of Alpine lakes.

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