16 places you must add to your Italian holiday bucket list

view of varenna town at lake como, italy
Italy holiday destinations: 16 places you must seejoci03 - Getty Images

Italy rarely fails to impress visitors who tend to fall in love with its awe-inspiring landscapes, rich culture and incredible food and wine, not to mention the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle (think driving through rolling countryside in a Fiat 500 or sipping prosecco from the shores of Lake Como).

Whatever the time of year or your holiday style, there’s an Italian destination for you. Browse our pick of the best Italy holidays for 2024 and you'll find places that are perfect for checking into an Airbnb, spots that are ideal for booking a holiday package on the beach, and other destinations that are best explored on a guided tour or luxury cruise, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in La Dolce Vita.

Our selection of top Italy holiday destinations includes classic favourites you'll want to visit time and time again, as well as ideas that will take you off the beaten path and far from the tourist crowds. Here are the best places in Italy for a 2024 holiday.

Italian Lakes

Soak up the sublime scenery of Northern Italy by visiting the great lakes, where you can explore iconic and glamorous Lake Como, discover little-known Lake Orta or cruise around Lake Maggiore’s enchanting Borromean Islands, while taking in some of Italy's most spectacular gardens and villas.

You can see the best of the region with Italian lakes specialist Inghams. Alternatively, try a Lake Como tour that takes in one of the best holiday destinations in Italy with a day in Switzerland and a ride on the amazing Bernina Express.

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With its winding alleyways, picturesque canals and countless historic corners (some of which still remain unexplored by visitors), you’ll never get bored of wandering the streets of Venice.

You won't want to miss getting to know the colourful nearby islands of Burano and Murano either, famed for their glass making and lace making. You can experience all the beauty of Venice on an eight-day cruise where you'll be joined by top chef James Martin.


italy holidays venice
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Amalfi Coast

Made for lovers looking to experience one of Italy’s most memorable holiday destinations, the Amalfi Coast offers the very best of the Med, from its Hollywood-worthy towns to the chic beaches. Sorrento makes for an ideal base from which to visit the likes of Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Praiano.

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The capital of Emilia-Romagna has a well-earned reputation as Italy's foodie capital - it is the home of tortellini and ragu (bolognese sauce), after all. An underrated Italian city, Bologna has its very own leaning tower, 25 miles of arcaded streets and cafes frequented by well-heeled locals and the many students who reside here.

If you're looking for an Italian city destination without the crowds, Bologna is a great choice. See the highlights of the city on a mouthwatering gourmet tour.


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The perfect Italian destination for wine-lovers, northern Italy's Veneto is the home of prosecco, made from grapes grown in the vineyards which dot the hills in this sunkissed region.

Good Housekeeping has a six-day self driven tour of Veneto, with private, behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at some of Prosecco's most prestigious wineries including the Andreola-Prosecco Valdobbiadene winery. You'll be staying in a beautifully restored villa right in the heart of Pieve di Soligo's historic old town.


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The Dolomites

The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges, are best explored on an active break, where you can discover the jagged pinnacles of the imposing rocks rising above picturesque valleys by hiking, cycling or climbing.

Head there in the summer to see the stunning scenery in all its glory, with holidays in the Dolomites available from Inghams. Alternatively, explore the Dolomites on Good Housekeeping's fantastic Northern Italy tour.


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Italian Riviera

Home to some of the chicest places in the country, the Italian Riviera attracts the jet-set to its photogenic towns and quaint fishing villages. Colourful Cinque Terre is popular for day trips, while elegant Santa Margherita and Rapallo offer a wonderful, laidback atmosphere.

For an exclusive getaway, look no further than Portofino, where you might even spot an A-lister. You'll find affordable trips to one of the best holiday destinations in Italy from Inghams.


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This UNESCO World Heritage city is an absolute must-see. Located in the region of Basilicata in southern Italy, historic Matera is carved into the rock face and is home to sassi, prehistoric cave dwellings set beneath the mountainside.

You can experience the city like a local by checking into an Airbnb. While here, taste specialities like orecchiette pasta and the tasty local bread. For an incredible holiday that combines Matera with Puglia's lovely towns and villages, join our unique tour, where you can taste your way around the region.


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One of the most picturesque regions of Italy, Tuscany captivates and delights visitors with its unforgettable cities, remarkable countryside and excellent vineyards. From irresistible Chianti to fascinating Florence, there’s so much to see and do on a trip to Tuscany.

Discover its rolling hills and medieval cities on a trip with Good Housekeeping. You'll get to experience the very best of the region with a strong focus on food, relaxing into Tuscan life with city tours, wine tastings and lots of farm-to-table dining.


italy holidays tuscany
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For a seriously stunning island that's as glamorous as they come, look no further than Capri. Here, you'll find elegant villas adorned with bougainvillaea, dramatic cliffs and the bluest of waters. It's no surprise that Capri attracts celebs and wealthy travellers to its shores and whatever your budget, this picturesque isle is worth a browse.

Booking.com has a huge selection of hotels and places to stay in Capri, including the lovely Villa Calypso.


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Packed with architectural treasures, bustling markets and mouthwatering cuisine, with specialities ranging from panelle and arancini to cannoli, Sicily offers a diverse island escape. Don’t miss a visit to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, or checking out the Church of Santa Lucia from The Godfather, where Michael Corleone’s wedding was filmed.

You can visit Sicily on a special tour with Good Housekeeping designed for solo travellers. You'll see some of the island's most incredible sights and historic gems with the company of an expert tour manager.


italy holidays sicily
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The capital of Italy hardly needs an introduction. Rome is a supremely stylish city, with something for everyone. If you're looking for buzzing nightlife, you might want to check out the Monti district, which has transformed into a bit of a hipster hotspot in recent years.

Rome is best known for its unrivalled collection of historic monuments. From The Pantheon to The Colosseum, you'll be hard-pressed to find another city in Europe with as much history along its streets.

There is a huge number of excellent hotels to choose from in Rome. We love the Anantara Palazzo Naiadi, overlooking the newly restored Fountain of the Naiads, and Mama Shelter, just a stone's throw from the Vatican.


trevi fountain, the largest baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world located in rome, italy
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Prefer to see a side to Italy that most travellers overlook? The less-travelled southern region of Calabria is ideal for getting to know the real Italy, from its white-sand beaches and hilly landscapes to its medieval villages.

Head to Tropea for some of Italy’s best beaches and child-friendly sands, which make it a great spot for family holidays. Expedia offers packages to one of the best holiday destinations in Italy.


italy holidays calabria
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Tuscany's capital and a world centre of Renaissance art and architecture, Florence is the city of dreams. It's romantic, cultural, foodie and packed with sights you could spend a lifetime exploring. Don't miss checking out Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and seeing another side to the city in Oltrarno.

As you'd expect from such an elegant and culture-packed city, there is a good range of excellent hotels to choose from in Florence, one of the smartest being the Four Seasons, set in a gorgeous Renaissance palazzo.


italy holiday destinations
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See a side of the country that the Italians have managed to keep untouched, where vineyards sprinkle the countryside and sandy coves characterise the coastline. Here, you can live out your dream of staying in an authentic Apulian trullo, visit wild beaches and wander the ancient streets of Otranto, Ostuni and Fasano.

You'll find sun-kissed holidays to Puglia from British Airways Holidays but for an unforgettable trip to Puglia, you'll want to check out our amazing six-day escape that includes iconic trulli, a bakery tour, olive oil tasting and more.


italy holidays puglia
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Another of Italy's foodie gems, Modena is the home of the famous Italian export balsamic vinegar, which is made from freshly harvested white grapes grown in the wider region's vineyards and aged in wooden barrels. The city also has plenty of historical architecture to boast about and also attracts fans of luxury sports cars as the hometown of the Ferrari brand.

Join Good Housekeeping on a trip to Modena and you'll visit a local Balsamic vineyard and enjoy a cooking lesson with a local chef.


metropolitan cathedral of santa maria assunta e san geminiano and the palazzo comunale, city hall, in piazza grande of modena at sunset emilia romagna italy
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