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The good life

Postcard-perfect scenery, gorgeous beaches and cities stacked with big-name sights – long-legged Italy manages to pack a lot into its borders. And no matter which part of the boot you plump for, you’ll find fantastic food, fine wines and a healthy dose of la dolce vita.

Explore the boot

In the north, romantic Venice reigns supreme, while nearby Lido di Jesolo supplies the sands. A bit further south lies Campania, home to the dramatic Amalfi Coast and cliff-hugging towns like Sorrento, Ravello and Positano.

Italian islands

Holidays to Italy aren’t just confined to the mainland, though. At the toe of Italy’s boot is Sicily, which ticks off gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins and friendly resorts. And then there’s Sardinia, with its craggy coastline and sun-bleached beaches.

Key information

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The largest of the Italian Lakes, Lake Garda stretches between the Alps and the Dolomites, embracing a diverse scenery, ranging from low-lying countryside on its southern borders and rising to the north with perpendicular cliffs draped in pine forests. Sheltered in a natural suntrap, the area around Lake Garda enjoys a warm climate in which olive groves and lemon orchards flourish.


This vibrant Italian seaside town on the edge of the Venice Lagoon has an impressive collection of top-end hotels and high-rise apartments, making it one of Italy’s most popular destinations. There’s a sparkling marina, a dozen piazzas brimming with trattorias and all-night discos, plus Via Bafile, Europe’s longest car-free avenue.


Lido di Jesolo’s beach is a 15-kilometre swathe of golden Dolomite sand, lapped by the rolling waves of the Adriatic. The Lido section in the east is busy with sandcastle-building competitions, games of beach rugby, and a portfolio of watersports. For a more pared-down beach, try the outlying sands of La Pineta in the west – they’re backed by pine forests and the pace is much more easy-going.

Family-friendly attractions

Lido de Jesolo packs in tonnes of family-friendly attractions. For starters, there’s Aqualandia, Italy’s number-one waterpark and home of the world’s tallest slide – the 42-metre Spacemaker. Then there’s New Jesolandia, a fairground that has a giant ferris wheel, chair-o-planes and a skyflyer. And next door is Pista Azzurra, the go-kart track where F1 legends Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher raced as teenagers.

Close to Venice

A 90-minute ferry ride across the lagoon takes you to Venice, the fairytale city of canals dotted with gondoliers and sinking palaces filled with Renaissance masterpieces. St. Mark’s Square is a breathtaking setting for a morning cappuccino. Apparently, if you kiss under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset, you’ll be granted eternal love.


A beautiful position

Cobblestone streets, colourful flowers and picture-perfect views of Mount Vesuvius and Naples – as a resort, hilly Sorrento comes up with it all. This sophisticated place on the southwest coast of Italy also offers designer boutiques, lively bars and great restaurants. And it’s at the heart of the Neapolitan Riviera, so the beautiful towns of Positano and Amalfi are within easy reach as well.

Cobbles and cafés

Pavement cafés and tucked-away antique and craft shops cram the maze of cobbled streets of Sorrento’s old town, making it an ideal place for a wander. For culture vultures, the old town also has an impressive church – the 11th-century Chiesa di San Francesco – plus a bell tower, a monastery, and a cathedral with beautiful frescoes.

Bathing platforms

They’re not big on sandy beaches here, so swimming Sorrento-style is via wooden or stone bathing platforms beneath the cliffs. The shores might be rocky, but the platforms mean you can easily dip into the sea. Seafront hotels usually have their own, and there are public platforms too, where for an entrance fee you get changing areas, places to eat and showers.

Daytrips to Pompeii

Pompeii is about 40 minutes away from Sorrento by train and a proper must-see. Life in the town – once a popular holiday resort with the Romans – was stopped in its tracks when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying everything – and everyone – in molten lava. Two thousand years later and you can see some of Pompeii’s citizens, frozen in time where they died.