Whether you are young or old, want adventure or relax, have children or are traveling solo, the Amalfi coast (and its surroundings), have something for everyone. When researching this area, there is so much information, as it is a famous tourist destination- for good reason! If you have a few days to spend here, here is an itinerary of the Amalfi Coast with everything you cannot miss.
5 to 7 Days in Paradise – The best Amalfi Coast Itinerary
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 1 – Sorrento
Most likely, you will be coming from Napoli or Rome, so Sorrento is a good place to start. It is bigger than the rest of the towns on the Amalfi coast, so you have more options as far as hotels, restaurants and other services, but it still retains its small-coastal town charm. It is also easy to reach by train, bus, car or ferry, and it could be a perfect home base to see the rest of the Amalfi coast, Pompei and Capri.
What to see here? Stroll by the Villa Comunale, a beautiful park on a terrace overlooking the sea and gorgeous Sorrento Bay. There is usually someone playing a violin or harp- could it get any more romantic? Go for a dip at the beach- the water is all sorts of different blues! Walk through the adorable little and lively streets where you can taste limoncello in its birthplace and take some unique photography at the Vallone dei Mulini, a 200-year old abandoned mill set in a mysterious looking valley close to the main square. End the day with some delicious pizza or seafood pasta. Unlike some other towns in the Amalfi coast, Sorrento always has night life. Stay downtown if you like some action, or just outside the center for more quiet.
If you decide to base yourself in Sorrento here are some great hotel options:
The Grand offers 5-star luxury with all the features that guests would expect of a hotel of that standard including a private beach. It provides stunning views over the Bay of Naples as well as Mount Vesuvius.
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 2 – Positano and Path of the Gods
Sorrento is beautiful, but now get ready for more dramatic views as the cliffs get higher and the colors get more intense. Take a bus from Sorrento (or drive, if you are confident in driving on windy roads) and start your second day with a beautiful hike on the Path of the Gods. It is 5 miles long, starting in Agerola, but of course you can choose to walk it for any length. It is an easy path- starting from Agerola you will be going down the whole time, and there are benches along the way – and good even for children and older ones. Many legends surround this beautiful road, which was believed to be threaded by Greek divinities. The views are spectacular, as you are surrounded by green and overlooking the transparent sea. Near the Vallone Porto, not far from the end, you will also see a waterfall and a canyon. Bring some water and comfortable shoes, and in about 4 hours (including rest) you will reach the end of the trail which is in Nocelle, where you can walk down 500 steps and find yourself right in Positano (at least it’s downhill, right?).
Positano is small and can be seen in just over an hour, but it is considered the highlight of the Amalfi coast. The setting is simply magical, the way the town is vertically built on the precipice, the way the colorful homes and churches are framed by blooming flowers, and of course the water surrounding it all. By hiking in the morning and arriving in Positano in the afternoon you get to relax in this stunning setting and can enjoy the sunset here.
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 3 – Amalfi and Ravello
On the 3rdday, continue exploring the Amalfi coast by seeing 2 of the main towns: Amalfi, and Ravello. Amalfi is the biggest town on the coast, easy to walk (it is mostly flat!), and with beach access. The main square flaunts a beautiful cathedral, the Duomo di Amalfi, built in 987 with mosaics in the typical Amalfi colors – yellow and green. Inside the cathedral there is the Chiostro del Paradiso, which features Moorish architecture and gardens. There are many boat tours offered in the summer to see the coast from the sea- which is breathtaking- and most allow you to jump in the water.
Of course, if you want to visit the town of Amalfi, sit at a restaurant for lunch and spend an afternoon on the beach/boat, you can add a day to the itinerary and see Ravello on the 4th day. If you want to get an overlook, or you are not going in the summer, you can see each town in half a day. Ravello has two main landmarks: Villa Rufolo and Palazzo Cimbrione, two medieval palaces and gardens with Arabic architecture. Ravello sits higher on the mountain so the view from both of these villas are stunning and you can see two different sides of the bay. The gardens are beautiful, and the setting is almost unreal.
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 4 – Pompei
At this point of the trip, we have mostly seen amazing views, beaches, cliffs and cute towns. Pompei is a nice change of pace as it is a huge historical site where you can spend a day completely thrown in a different era. I love history, but always thought Pompei would not actually be “aesthetically” appealing, being a bunch of ruins left from a volcano eruption over 2000 years ago. At least that is what online pictures show. However, what you can’t understand from the internet, is the size of this place.
It is a real and proper CITY, so walking along its well-preserved streets, passing every home, temple, villa and shop is like time traveling, being completely immersed in this ancient world, imagining what their life (and their death) was like. Usually modern and historical coexist in many cities, but Pompei is unique in that the whole city has been left untouched. A tour guide is recommended to get extra interesting gems you could not get otherwise. Take a train from Sorrento (the Campania Express is a quick and comfortable one) and you will be left right in front of the entrance.
There will be queues in Pompeii so booking in advance allows you to get in quickly and not waste your time otherwise be there as soon as the archaeological site opens.
Here are a few options that I recommend:
If you want just to skip the line and see the archaeological site on your own I suggest that you buy a fast track entrance ticket.
No matter how you choose to visit the site, know that it is very busy especially through May to October. Bring a hat and a sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water.
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 5 – Capri
They say to save the best for last right? That is why Capri is number 5 on this list. If you see it first, nothing might impress you after it. Easily reached by ferry from Sorento, Napoli, Positano and Amalfi, Capri is a luxurious little island with some of the best views in the world. On arriving to Capri, you can take a boat tour to get an overview of the island and visit its majestic grottos with incredible light effects (such as the Blue or the Emerald grottos). The tours are about 15-20 euros per person, but if you are traveling in a group (up to 8) I recommend taking a private boat tour on one of the typical old Capri boats, for about 100 euros per boat (if you have 4 or more people you pay the same or less than the commercial tours and you are not with another 30 people).
Once you are back on land, there is a beautiful little rocky beach with some of the most beautiful and transparent waters in Italy. From the harbor, take the cable car to the actual town. It is full of fancy boutiques, stunning hotels, and romantic restaurants competing for the best views. What you must not miss, are the Giardini Di Augusto, splendid manicured gardens -made by Roman emperor Augusto on top of the island-which boast the best views of the Faraglioni (two giant rock formations in the middle of the sea) and of the Via Krupp, an amazing ancient path with many steps leading to the bluest waters of Capri. Do not miss this!
If you have an entire week, what can you see in the remaining two days? These are some suggestions.
Amalfi Coast itinerary: Day 6 & 7 Furore, Vietri and Ischia
More Amalfi coast: Other unique sights in the Amalfi coast include Furore, with its amazing 30 meters high bridge over the water; Grotta dello Smeraldo, a beautiful grotto with stalactites which can be toured in the summer from Conca dei Marini; Bagnidella Regina Giovanna, a natural sea pool with crystal clear water amidst Roman ruins; and Vietri, the town of ceramics, colorful and lively.
Italy is one of the most stunning places in the world for many reasons. It’s not only home to incredible landscapes, like majestic mountains and colorful flower fields, but is a land full of history and an intricate culture. In addition to this, you’ll find that Northern Italy is home to magnificent lakes which make the perfect getaway for travelers. They aren’t only a tranquil destination, but allow you to immerse yourself into the Italian culture in a unique way. Below are seven lakes in Northern Italy you must visit while in the area.
7 Lakes in Northern Italy to Visit
Limone sul Garda
Lake Garda is known for its mountains and incredibly clear water making it a popular place to go swimming and sailing. Besides this, you’ll also find many historic buildings scattered around Lake Garda,like Scaligero Castle, a 13th-century structure that features winding staircases to the top of it so you can get panoramic views of the area below.There’s also the Vittoriale Degli Italiani which was the home of the writer Gabriele D’Annunzio during the late 1920s and early 1930s. This villa sits on the edge of a hill and offers not only stunning views of Lake Garda, but is a great place to take a walk thanks to its massive gardens and unique outdoor sculptures.
If you’re looking for something a bit more modern to do, you’ll also find Gardaland. This family-friendly amusement park offers many rides and shows you can watch. There’s also the Parco Natura Viva, a local zoo filled with exotic animals and large dinosaur models.
Situated in the Lombardy region of Italy, Lake Como is a popular resort area. It offers many panoramic views, like of the Alps, and is known for its Renaissance architecture. While here, you can venture to Villa Carlotta which is an elegant mansion filled with ancient artwork you can view. The villa is also home to many gardens which are filled with numerous fragrant plants.
You can also take a hike up to Valsassina, a valley located between the Alps. It’s a popular place in Lake Como to go for a walk or bike ride. If you’re not up for walking, but want some incredible views of the lake, you can take a cable car up to Monte San Primo. This is the highest peak in Lake Como and offers views of the mountains and lake you can’t find anywhere else.
Another popular destination in the area is the Como Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral was built in 1396 and features ancient frescos and tapestries you can view.
Filled by the Oglio River, Lake Iseo is one of the best spots in Northern Italy to go hiking or to take a boat ride out on the lake. The area is filled with numerous things you can do. For instance, you can venture to the nearby Monte Isola, a small island situated in the middle of the lake. The island is called home by many people and is filled with 17th-century churches and the Rocca Martinengo, a medieval castle. Lake Iseo also features Castello di Grumello which is preserved to look exactly like it did back during the Middle Ages. The castle is also home to a winery where you can try some fresh wine and learn more about how it is made.
There’s also the Tadini Academy Gallery which is filled with the artwork once collected by Count Luigi Tadini during the early 1800s. It’s considered to be one of the oldest art collections in the region and contains many historic pieces of artwork by Italian artists, like Antonio Canova.
Lake Iseo is also home to Tinca, a fish used in many local dishes. While here, you’ll definitely want to try some at a local restaurant. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a boat and instead go fish for some yourself.
View to Lugano lake from Monte San Salvatore
Lake Lugano is nestled near the border of Switzerland and is just a short distance away from Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. This glacial lake is known for its vibrant mixture of Swiss and Italian culture and hosts many events and activities throughout the year, like a chamber music festival and an ice skating rink during the winter.
Besides this, Lake Lugano is also home to many historical structures, like the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto. This church is known for its Romanesque architecture and frescos. There’s also an ancient olive grove near the lake called Sentiero dell’olivo which you can wander around in and maybe catch a glimpse of a hidden grotto while doing so.
View of Lugano lake from Italian side.
Another great thing to try while in Lake Lugano is the fondue. You can visit one of the many cozy restaurants scattered around the area to try some mouthwatering cheese combinations.
Cannero Riviera on Lago Maggiore
Situated on the southern end of the Alps, Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in the country. It is nestled between the Swiss and Italian border so you’ll be able to get a taste of both cultures while here.
A popular place to visit while at the lake is Verzasca. This bright blue river flows between the Alps and is a great spot to go swimming or bungee jumping. There are also many boulders scattered around its edges which give the river a rugged look.
Isola Madre is another great place to venture to while here. This island is the largest of the Borromean Islands and is known for its stunning palace and luscious gardens. You can tour these gardens to see ancient olive groves, lemon trees, bamboo, and magnolia bushes, many of which have been here for centuries.
St. Catherine’s Hermitage on Lake Maggiore
The lake is also known for its UNESCO sites so you’ll be able to see a handful while here, like the Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity at Ghiffa, believe to have been built during the 1600s, and the Sacro Monte of Varese, a church filled with fourteen unique chapels you can explore.
While at Lake Maggiore you’ll want to make sure to try some of the local food, like handmade Gorgonzola, or a loaf of Crescenzin which is filled with walnuts, raisins, and figs. The lake is also known for its delicious honey made from the wildflowers that grow in the mountains. Because of the variety of flowers, the honey ranges in its sweetness levels and color.
This stretch of coast that goes from the towns of Positano to Vietri is a small slice of paradise. From stunning views, history, beaches, hiking and wonderful food, there is something for everyone. The more well-known towns such as Amalfi, Ravello and Positano, despite being touristy, must be seen. There is a reason they are so famous! But on this list you will also find less know destinations away from crowds (which are also more affordable), while still enjoying this gorgeous stretch of blessed land.
Depending on how long you want to stay, there are different options on where to stay in the Amalfi Coast. Some people see the Amalfi Coast on a day trip from Naples or Sorrento. In this case, if you want to hit a few towns in a day, you need to either rent a car (and stop wherever you like) or take a day-tour bus which usually hits Positano and Amalfi. You will get a nice idea of it in one day and still enjoy amazing sceneries. Of course, if you have more time, it is recommended to stay at least one night as you cannot see all of the Coast in one day. And waking up in any one of these towns is pure bliss.
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A local’s guide on where to stay in the Amalfi Coast Where to stay in the Amalfi Coast: Positano
This town needs to be seen at least once in a lifetime. It is reachable either by ferry by both Naples and Sorrento, or by bus from Sorrento (right outside the Sorrento train station you will see the Amalfi Coast bus- SITA). This is the very beginning of the Amalfi Coast. The drive is absolutely gorgeous as at every twist and turn you get to see a different sliver of cliffs, a different shade of blue and turquoise. As you get off the bus and see the view of this coastal town completely built on the cliff, with its pastel roofs and flowers, and the green mountains hitting the blue water, you will feel as if you are inside a postcard. Too beautiful to be true! Positano offers many high-end hotels right in the town. It is the most expensive and chic town on the Coast, so not the place to sleep for a more budget friendly trip.
Positano is virtually vertical, so prepare to walk up and down many steps! The town is small, so you can stroll its tiny, beautiful alleys and enjoy some shopping in one afternoon. There is a beautiful beach, crowded in August but not so much the rest of the year. Catch one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life here while enjoying a lemon ice-cream or granita inside a giant Sorrento lemon- this area is renown for their lemons! Enjoy delicious seafood at Ristorante Mediterraneo- a place also loved by locals for their home-made flavors, fresh fish, live music and friendly staff. You can also rent a boat from Positano and see all of the Amalfi Coast from the sea.
This is for you if: you are looking for an expensive place, want to be near the celebrities, you like to party and to shop and you don’t mind walking uphill and if you prefer a sandy beach.
A 4-Star hotel, Eden Roc on four levels with a lovely terrace and pool, you will feel at home as soon as you walk through its doors. Everything looks out to sea and you can just relax, take in the views and enjoy the service.
This Hotel was once an ancient villa owned by the Rispoli family. It now provides luxury accommodation for its guests in the heart of the old center. The restaurant offers the best that Italian cuisine can offer.
This quieter town is a great place to stay if you have a car. It’s pretty central so that you are not too far from anywhere on the rest of the coast. The restaurants and hotels are fairly priced, and anywhere you sleep you will wake to stunning, peaceful, ocean views. Furore is famous for its “Fiordo”, a 28 meter (91 feet) tall bridge that hosts a diving competition every year in July. There is a beach under the fiordo, reachable by walking down a good amount of steps. The water is very clean and transparent (unless it’s August!) and watching the sunset through the arch of the bridge is absolutely breathtaking.
A view of the Fiordo of Furore in the village of Furore
If you love hiking, the Path of the Gods is a short drive from Furore. The trailhead is in Agerola, and after about 5 miles the trail ends in Nocelle. It’s an amazing hike, good even for beginners as it is not steep. You will be surrounded by green and blue and see sights of the Amalfi Coast only visible from this trail.
A view of the village of FuroreBetween Furore and Conca dei Marini, there is a fantastic tour of the Grotta dello Smeraldo. In the summer time, for a small fee, you can take a boat tour of this scenic grotto with stalactites and emerald colored water.
This is for you if: you have a car, you are looking for a quiet area to stay, you like hiking, you need a more budget friendly option.
The hotel is situated within vineyards in a peaceful location with great views of the Amalfi Coast. It offers simple rooms with panoramic views, air – conditioning and free Wi-Fi. It also has a private parking and the stop for the public bus is opposite the hotel.
The biggest town in the Amalfi coast, Amalfi is good for everyone, including older ones and families with small children in strollers, as it is flatter compared to the other towns.It is also a good place for younger ones as it is busy with nightlife and has a plethora of bars, lounges, café’s and more. It is reached by every bus and ferry that comes to the Amalfi coast.
Amalfi has a beautiful main square with a colorful, architecturally majestic, cathedral from the 9th century. Aside from the main beach, which can get quite crowded, here is a small secret gem: Lido delle Sirene. This private beach is reachable by boat in the summer. The boat ride is actually FREE if you rent a beach chair and umbrella for the day once you reach the beach OR if you buy food at their café. It is a great deal as you can see Amalfi in all its glory from the sea, and then get to this “secret beach”. From where the boat leaves you, you will see a natural arch which leads to yet another smaller beach, with a big cave. The water is absolutely pristine here, and there are even small cliffs that you can jump off from.
From Amalfi you can actually walk to Atrani, the next town over, which is just over a mile away. Atrani is the smallest village in Italy, and it is super romantic. You can hike to Torre delloZiro, an ancient fortress that was used to defend Amalfi from the pirates! Again, this is another spot with stunning views. Try some local limoncello and amazing lemon pasta at Trattoria deiCartari.
This is for you if: you want to spend time on the beach, if you want to be centrally situated in the Amalfi Coast in order to explore all towns.It is also easier to walk around for families and older people.
The original convert that is now a lovely hotel was built in 1222 by San Francesco D’ Assisi. Its church is still used for ceremonies including weddings to this day. A beautiful choice, the cuisine is excellent.
This 49-room hotel has 4 Stars and wonderful sea views from the hotel, its rooms, pool, and restaurant. A family-run establishment, it is located on land that juts out into the sea and has a private beach.
A romantic town, more easily reached by car, good for people who like a more quiet place and just want to enjoy fantastic views and history. There is no direct beach access from Ravello, as it sits higher on the mountain. Ravello has 2 main points of interest: Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone, two medieval palaces and gardens. Villa Rufolo hosts the annual Ravello festival every summer, where world-famous symphonic orchestras play outdoors in the beautiful gardens overlooking the Mediterranean. Both villas flaunt architecture with Arabic influence and the gardens on the terraces are truly breathtaking. Hard to say which one is nicer,both are worth a visit to be surrounded by history, nature and some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth.
A short drive from Ravello, try Sal De Riso, a pastry shop in Minori , where some desserts famous in Southern Italy were invented-like Ricotta e pere and Delizia al limone. Hundreds of original (and delicious) recipes are found in this beautifully decorated shop.
This is for you if: you are looking for a quieter place away from the crowds, a more budget friendly option and if you don’t mind being away from the beach and the nightlife.
Formerly an old villa, this hotel has been in the Palumbo family since the 1930s. Looking over lemon groves and the sea, the restaurant’s chef actually conducts cookery classes for guests who want them.
Where to stay in the Amalfi Coast: Cetara e Vietri Sul Mare
We are now at the opposite end of the Amalfi coast, near Salerno. These two towns are near each other. They are reachable by bus from Salerno and Sorrento. They are a good mix, as far as not being touristy, but also being more lively at night compared to Furore or Ravello. Cetara is world famous for its tuna and for inventing the “colatura di alici”, an anchovie syrup put on pasta. It is a quaint fishing town, and you can taste some of its delicious productsat “Il Convento” restaurant. Cetara boasts a beautiful sandy beach at the bottom of its ancient watchtower. It is quite a sight!
As the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is one of the top destinations in the country for many reasons. It not only is filled with charming little towns, but features stunning landscapes and unique cultural activities you can partake in. If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful section in Italy, you can find some of the best things to do in Lake Garda below.
The Best Things to Do in Lake Garda
Tour the Scaligero Castle in Sirmione
medieval castle Scaliger on lake Garda
The Scaligero Castle in Sirmione is a former fortress that is considered to be one of Italy’s best-preserved castles. Built in the 13th-century, this castle features many rooms and areas you can explore, like the dungeon tower and drawbridge. The drawbridge features a staircase on the side which you can climb up to get panoramic views of the town below you. You can also check out the doors of the castle which are known for their intricate locks and metal gates. This castle is also surrounded by water, so you’ll see a few boats lazily float by while exploring it. You might also catch a glimpse of a few swans enjoying a swim in its waters.
Explore the Grotte di Catullo in Sirmione
Roman ruins – Grottoes of Catullus
These Roman ruins were first built in the 1st-century B.C. and now serve as an archeological park. As the former part of a villa, it is located on the edge of the Sirmione peninsula, so while exploring the beautiful ruins, you’ll also get incredible views of the nearby lake. When you’re done touring the grounds you can stop by the nearby museum which houses many of the artifacts found during excavations at the Grotte di Catullo as well as other places around Lake Garda.
Take a Ride on the Malcesine Monte Baldo Cable Car
Malcesine Monte Baldo Cable Car
If you’re looking to get incredible views while in Lake Garda, you can take a ride up the Malcesine Monte Baldo Cable Car. Open for 10 months during the year (mainly spring to fall), the cable car is created with a circular design and is covered in glass you can get views at all angles. Each ride takes about 30 minutes and will take you to the edge of Monte Baldo which is part of the Italian Alps. Once you arrive at the top, you can exit the cable car to take a hike through the mountain, or stay on the cable car to be brought back down. Keep in mind that tickets are required in order to enter the cable car and prices range depending on the section of the mountain you plan to get out at. If you plan to bring a bike with you, there is also an extra fee.
Wander Around Vittoriale Degli Italiani – The Italian Vittoriale
The Italian Vittoriale
This breathtaking estate overlooking Lake Garda was once home to Gabriele D’Annunzio, an Italian writer. This writer was known for his eccentric tastes which can be seen with the various decorations and garden designs around the home. You can tour the various structures on the property, like The Prioria and The Amphitheatre. There’s also the Puglia, an old boat that sticks out from the hillside. You can even see Gabriele D’Annunzio’s photographic collection which contains vintage photos of the Vittoriale Degli Italiani being built. After touring the home, you can wander through its many outdoor terraces which are surrounded by cypress trees and other native plants.
See the Scaliger Castle in Malcesine
Scaliger Castle in Malcesine
The Scaliger Castle in Malcesine is a towering medieval structure that overlooks Lake Garda. The castle has been destroyed many times throughout history due to fires and has been a fortress for many different countries, such as France and the Republic of Venice, when they once ruled over the land.
You can take a tour of the castle to learn more about its history and to see its various rooms inside. You can tour the Casermetta, which is where the guards once lived, and even climb up to a gunpowder magazine area which has been converted into a room dedicated to Goethe. You can also stop inside the chapel which is located on the lower portion of the castle and features a few faded frescos inside. There’s also the tower which you can climb up to get amazing panoramic views of the lake and castle courtyards. Besides the historical rooms, the castle is also home to the Museum of the Venetian Galleys and the National History Museum of Mount Baldo and Lake Garda.
Take a Tour of Isola del Garda
A villa in Isola del Garda
This island is the biggest island on Lake Garda. It’s known for its untouched natural landscape that’s dotted with historic homes. One of the most popular structures to visit is an Italian villa that features neo-gothic architecture and was built during the early 1900s. After walking through the villa, you can explore its fragrant gardens which feature colorful peonies, olive and lemon trees, and the stunning Lady Hillingdon rose. There’s also a park you can visit on the island which is home to numerous types of trees and known for its hidden lakes and streams.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything while here, you can sign up for a guided tour of the island. However, tickets are required for this and the tours start at various times throughout the day.
Explore Marmitte dei Giganti
Marmitte dei Giganti
These massive glacier potholes were created due to extreme rock erosion over time, although a local legend says they were a popular place for giants to get their water. You can view these massive rocks and see the strange twisting design carved into them due to the erosion. You can also see its main wells which have been found to hide many ancient arrows and ceramic pieces.
See Arco Castle
Arco Castle soars above Lake Garda and overlooks the lake and nearby Sarca Valley. This medieval castle was once home to the Arco Counts and features an intricate architecture. You’ll find a few paths you can take to climb up to the castle, all of which offer amazing views. You might even pass by some ancient olive groves on your way up.
While in Arco Castle, you can explore its rooms inside, like the Prato della Lizza, a balcony that offers panoramic views of the area, and the Torre Grande which has beautifully preserved frescos on its walls. You can also climb up to the top of the castle to seethe Torre Renghera which is home to some bells that once rang out through the town to call the locals to prayer.
Enjoy a Boat Tour on the Lake
When in Lake Garda, one shouldn’t forget to explore the lake itself. You can hop on one of the many boats that offer tours around the lake. Many boat tours will also take you to a few towns located beside the lake so you can experience each place for yourself.
Things to do in Lake Garda with kids
See Parco Natura Viva
Parco Natura Viva
The Parco Natura Viva is a safari park known for helping to protect many different types of endangered animals. This large park is divided into different sections, like Oceania and Europa, which cater specifically to animals that live in those environments. In addition to the animals, the park offers a variety of restaurants you can grab a bite to eat at. There are also peaceful picnic areas located around the grounds which allow you to sit in the grass and eat your meal while watching the animals.
Have Fun at Canevaworld
Canevaworld is another fun amusement park located in Lake Garda. It offers a variety of water rides you can enjoy, like a lazy river and massive waterslides you can cruise down. The park is divided up into various sections so you’ll find something that perfectly matches your preferences. For instance, there’s Playa de Coco which is designed to mimic a serene tropical beach and the Relaxing Geiser which contains numerous Jacuzzis you can enjoy.
Visit the Gardaland Amusement Park
amusement park gardaland
This amusement park first opened in 1975 and is known for its wild rides and fun..
Envisage deep blue waters sheltered beneath commanding, luscious green mountains and traditional Italian lakeside villas perched effortlessly on the sloping hills, and you have the magnificent Lake Como. Situated in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, and not far from the hustle and bustle of Milan, Lake Como is a paradise to escape to for tourists and Italians alike. In the summer, visitors can enjoy boat rides on the Lake, hiking around the spectacular natural scenery, as well as exploring the various towns and villages that are scattered around the Lake. This list will educate you as to what all of the towns on Lake Como have to offer, as well as the key highlights and experiences of each.
The most beautiful towns to visit on Lake Como
Perhaps one of the Lake’s largest, most vibrant and also, most popular towns, is Como. Filled with lively cafes, authentic Trattoria and plenty of places to sample Italian Gelato, Como is a great place to spend a day exploring. One of the highlights of Como is the spectacular Duomo, with its grand, dominating façade, and equally astonishing interior. A great thing to do in Como is to wander around the harbour, which is particularly beautiful in the early evening and at sunset; here you will discover couples, families and locals alike, all exploring the breath-taking views that are visible. There are also many people that go swimming in the waters nearby to Como town, particularly on the famous Italian summer days. A great thing about Como is that it is really well connected to Milan, taking just half an hour on the train, meaning it is a hub for day-trippers and tourists.
To many visitors, Bellagio is the true gem of Lake Como. Famed for its majestic Italian villas over-looking the Lake, and for being the home to famous individuals, Bellagio is a dreamy destination for so many reasons. The town of Bellagio is a classic, traditional Italian town, with its winding, narrow alleyways, steep-stairways and immense plethora of eateries and wineries. Bellagio is filled to the brim with beautiful gardens and villas to explore, and has an abundance of incredible photo-opportunities. Head to Via Giuseppe Garibaldi to splurge on some luxury Italian leather goods, such as bags, shoes and jackets, as well as exploring some independent stores that sell an array of unique items as well as souvenirs, which you can take home or gift to loved ones.
Located on the eastern shore on the Lake lies Varenna, a small and picturesque traditional fishing village. A great thing to do in Varenna is to visit Villa Monastero, which though mostly used for conferences, it occasionally open to the public to explore its traditional Italian façade and gorgeous interiors. The Villa is most famous for its long, thin gardens, which are beautifully detailed with exotic plants and flowers; they also offer breath-taking views of the Lake and luscious green mountains. Though Varenna itself is small, there is a plethora of authentic Italian eateries that serve up traditional dishes with locally sourced ingredients. Moreover, it is a great place to sample delicious local wines, as well as experiment with the abundance of gelato flavours. Another highlight of Varenna is the friendliness of the locals, who are more than willing to welcome and help out tourists and visitors.
One of the most popular tourist towns on Lake Como is Tremezzo, meaning that it is built up with gran hotels and incredible villas. Nonetheless, Tremezzo is one of the most beautiful towns on the entire Lake, which is saying something. Located near to Bellagio, the town is a stop-over point for many tourists and visitors who wish to visit somewhere slightly quiet, but still with enough buzz and vibrancy about it. One of the highlights of Tremezzo is the Church of St Maria, which is famous and popular for its incredible statue of Madonna Nera; the Church itself is also beautiful, and offers incredible views. Moreover, like most towns on Lake Como, there are so many villas to explore; most notably in Tremezzo is Villa Carlotta, with its grand white façade and commanding size, it has enticed visitors for years.
Nestled on the southern tip of Lake Como lies Lecco, a bustling town on the water’s edge. Unlike some of the other towns on the Lake that are predominately tourist hotspots, Lecco is a real working town, with lots going on, making it ideal for visitors who would perhaps like to see the authentic way of life on Lake Como. One of the highlights of Lecco is Visconti Bridge, which dates back to the fourteenth-century, and still exudes its traditional Renaissance charm. Moreover, ensure that you spend some time just wandering around the time, as there is a lot of Medieval and Baroque architecture to explore, not to mention some of the grand villas that you will be so used to seeing at this point! Because of its less-touristy nature, Lecco has some incredible restaurants that serve up absolutely delicious, authentic Italian dishes in traditional style restaurants.
The quaint town of Bellano is situated on the eastern side of Lake Como, and is far less touristy than many of the other towns on the Lake, such as Bellagio and Como. If you are someone who prefers the slower-paced lifestyle and significantly less tourists in favour of authentic Italy, Bellano could be the ideal place for you to base yourself on your trip to Lake Como. The top things to do here include relaxing on the lidos that line the shores; with breath-taking natural views, what better place to spend the day catching some sunrays and getting lost in a great book? There are also several lakeside hotels and restaurants that are perfect to stay in or sample some amazing food. Also, make sure you visit the famous Bellano Gorge, that was formed 15 million years ago due to immense erosion; it is a spectacular place to spend the day exploring and hiking around the area.
Many people who visit Lake Como agree that Menaggio is perhaps the most beautiful town on the entire Lake, which is saying something, as they are all so impressive and individual. Menaggio is on the western side of the Lake, and is one of the largest towns, meaning that a lot of visitors base themselves here when exploring everything that they Lake has to offer. In Menaggio, Piazza Garibaldi is lined with nineteenth-century buildings, and is essentially the hub of the town, with its abundance of cafes, bars and restaurants, all filled with a sense of life and excitement. Menaggio played an important role in the First and Second World Wars, and there are many tours and excursions you can embark on to learn more, and visit famous and significant sights as well.
This small and quirky town is situated very near to some of Lake Como’s major towns, such as Como and Tremezzo, making it a great stop-over point to explore. The town of Argegno is beautifully old and historic, with small and narrow stairways and little alleyways and side-streets that seem so intriguing and enticing to follow. If you are looking for a brilliant place to grab a late lunch whilst visiting Lake Como, Argegno is the perfect place to do that, as though it is small, there is a plethora of authentic eateries, many of which serve incredible, and locally sourced seafood, making it all the more enjoyable and memorable. Aside from eating, make sure you visit the Church of Santissima Trinita, which dates all the way back to 1632; the Church itself is beautiful and quintessentially Italian in architecture, but it also looks incredibly picturesque with the dominating mountainous scenery.
The small town of Cernobbio is situated on the northwest of Lake Como, and is definitely one of the most scenic. It is also one of the best places to visit if you love to explore the Lake’s villas, as Cernobbio is home to the famous Villa d’Este; this astonishing Renaissance building has historically housed many famous individuals, ranging from scholars to intellectuals, whereas now, it has been converted to a luxury hotel. Another villa worth exploring in Cernobbio is Villa Bernasconi; once the home of the massively wealthy Bernasconi family, the Villa is now a sought-after venue, particularly for weddings, due to its beautiful and unique exterior, and stunning gardens and views of the Lake. From every corner of Cernobbio, you are destined to find incredible views, so ensure that you spend a lot of time just wandering around the waterfront and absorbing the natural beauty in front of you.
As the capital of Sicily, Palermo is home to a vast amount of cultural and historical thingsfor guests to enjoy. You’ll find bustling markets filled with fresh herbs and spices, historic cathedrals covered in vibrant mosaics and frescos, and stunning homes that tower over the city with their intricately designed exterior. It can be an incredible experience to stroll through its winding streets to explore everything in the city. If you’re planning to visit Palermo for a day, you’ll find some interesting things you can do while here below.
One day in Palermo Sicily, things to do and see
Visit the Antico Caffè Spinnato for Coffee and Cannoli
The Antico Caffé Spinnato is a historic café known not only for its history, but delicious menu. Built in 1860, this café was and still is a popular hangout for locals to talk about current events. The café is well-known for its fresh coffee and mouthwatering cannoli. You can buy some and sit outside on its sidewalk terrace. To get to the café, you can take Via Maqueda. This is one of the main roads in Palermo so it will be easy to reach the café on it.
See the Teatro Politeama
The Teatro Politeama is one of the most iconic theaters in the city thanks to its rich history and astonishing performances. The theater first opened its doors in 1874 despite it still being under construction and not having a complete roof. Known for its archways, chandeliers, and intricate architecture, the Teatro Politeama offered a variety of different acts for guests to enjoy, like comedies, operas, and even circuses when it first opened. Many prominent artists have also performed here like Leopoldo Mugnone. You can walk through the theater with a guided tour or buy some tickets to attend one of the many daily events.
Take a Tour of the Teatro Massimo
This opera house is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Built in 1897, the famous Leopoldo Mugnone performed here as well. The theater offers numerous tours throughout the day, such as of the Royal Box which features red couches and a dazzling Murano chandelier. You can also see the Pompeian Hall which is known for its circular design that helps to enhance the sound of the music playing in it.
Explore the Palazzo Costantino
Created by Giuseppe Merendino, the Palazzo Costantino is a historic palace that will take you back in time to the 18th century. Once abandoned, you can walk around the palace to view its incredible collection of stuccos, furniture, and frescos that survived World War II. The palace towers high above the city so it will certainly catch your eye. While it’s often closed, it occasionally does open, so if you want to explore its interior, you’ll need to checkits schedule ahead of time.
See the Chiesa Santa Ninfa ai Crociferi
Designed with a stunning Baroque-Mannerist architecture, the Chiesa Santa Ninfa ai Crociferi (Church of Saint Nympha) was built in 1601. It’s known for its stone façade as well as its barrel vaults on the ceiling. This church was one of the first buildings to be situated on the Via Maqueda.
Stroll Through the Quattro Canti
Also known as the Piazza Vigliena, the Quattro Canti is one of the many public squares in the city known for its amazing display of Baroque architecture. Designed in the early 1600s, it was constructed to be one of the main traveling roads in Palermo and is home to a bustling intersection which creates a unique octagonal shape. This shape captures sunlight which makes the buildings and roads inside glow earning the Quattro Canti the nickname “Theater of the Sun.” The buildings bordering the street will amaze you with their massive columns and statues that are built into their walls. To get to Quattro Canti, you can walk down Via Vittorio Emanuele.
View the Fontana Pretoria
Built in 1554, the Fontana Pretoria, which translates to “Praetorian Fountain,” is an enormous fountain located in the middle of the city’s historic district. The fountain was originally located in Florence before being transported over to Palermo in 1574. The fountain is designed with steps leading up to its center which is also covered in statues of various mythological gods. Today, it’s considered to be a beautiful piece of art, but back when it first graced the city’s streets people were disgusted by the nude statues and would name them after corrupt city officials. You can view this fountain up close anytime during the day, and even night, as it’s illuminated in floodlights.
Travel to the Piazza Bellini to See the Church of San Cataldo and Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio
The Piazza Bellini is a stunning square that is known for its intricate mixture of different architectural styles. You’ll find many unique buildings here, like the Church of San Cataldo and Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio. The Church of San Cataldo was constructed in 1154 and features Arabian-Norman architecture. Its interior was never complete, due to the assassination of Maio of Bari, which explains the rustic and unpainted brick ceilings and walls. Today, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and you can walk through its halls and chapels with a guided tour to learn more about its interesting history.
Nearby is Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, a church built in 1145 that has a rich religious history. It was once home to the Benedictine Nuns of the Monastery who were known for their tasty marzipan fruit coveted throughout the city. The interior of the church is filled with colorful frescos and mosaics, vaulted ceilings, and ornate columns.
Stroll Through the Giardino Garibaldi
The Giardino Garibaldi is a stunning villa bordered by ancient trees whose massive roots you can see almost floating out of the ground. In fact, the city’s oldest tree (150 years old) is located here. Despite its peaceful appearance, the spot was once the location where executions took place in the city. However, today, it serves as a tranquil site to take a stroll or go shopping at the flea market which is hosted here during the weekend.
Explore the Piazza San Domenico
The Piazza San Domenico is one of the many squares located in the heart of Palermo’s historic city. It is home to many beautiful structures you can view, like the Column of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of San Domenico.
Shop at the Vucciria Market
After exploring the Piazza San Domenico, you can take a short walk over to the Vucciria Market. This is a historic open-air marketplace in the city. The market lines a small street and features numerous stalls that sell everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handcrafted items.
To get to the Vucciria Market, you can take Via Vittorio Emanuele, which will take you by historic buildings, or Via Maccherronai which is a quiet street known for being a popular place for locals to play briscola, a popular Italian card game.
Walk Around the Piazza Bologni
The Piazza Bologni is the perfect place to take a stroll to view historic buildings. The square, built in 1566, is known for its perfect rectangular..