Four incredible islands to visit in Italy

Italy’s islands are the epitome of Mediterranean living with their glittering waters and sun-drenched scenery. Here are four to explore…

Team Wanderlust
09 February 2024
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Italy has some very attractive islands that boast handsome good looks with soft white sandy beaches, gorgeous rolling landscapes and beautiful sea vistas. What most visitors don’t realise is that much of these islands are abound with unforgettable cultural and gastronomic encounters to enrich your island holiday experience.

1. Capri

Capri is a glamourous island that is frequented by celebrities, and its close proximity to Sorrento and Naples makes it the perfect multi-destination holiday island. This is where you can live up the luxury lifestyle while taking in the natural beauty of the landscape. On a clear day, take a boat trip to marvel at the optical electric-blue effect of the Blue Grotto and the massive limestone rock formation of the Faraglioni Rocks. There are also plenty of other water based activities from one of the two harbours on the island. Back on land, the main square, the Piazzetta, is where to go to see and be seen, whether it is for a morning coffee or an evening aperitivo. Try some of the local cuisines, from an authentic Caprese salad to a sweet slice of Torta Caprese, there are flavours that cater to every palette.

Spy the Faraglioni Rocks

Legend says the Faraglioni Rocks have a magical glow during the night which guides ships safely to land. The three massive limestone stacks have been enticing ‘tourists’ since the Romans, and is best viewed by boat. Rising above the water against the backdrop of Capri, the Faraglioni Rocks create a magnificent sight especially during sunset.

Where to stay

Hotel Caesar Augustus is an award winning, cliff edge property that was once the holiday villa of Russia’s Prince Emmanuel Bulhak, who erected the statue of Caesar Augustus on the corner of the terrace over a century ago, giving the hotel its name. The luxurious surroundings live up to the glamour of Capri and the cuisine served in the hotel’s restaurant is superb.

2. Sardinia

Famous for the clear, emerald waters that surround the island, Sardinia has captured the world with its coastal beauty. There is a concentration of private yacht clubs, luxury spas and golf clubs around Costa Smeralda, or, beyond the resorts and the white sands is a vast inland with rugged landscapes, scattered with archaeological sites, ancient city ruins and fascinating wildlife. Relax on one of Sardinia’s picturesque unspoilt beaches, or visit the many towns and villages of the island. There are also plenty of adventures to be had, from canyoning to scuba diving, and of course, the famous green train: Trenino Verde.

Hop aboard the Trenino Verde

When visiting Sardinia, put Trenino Verde, Sardinia’s Green train, on the to do list. This little train takes travellers into the heart of Sardinia, through narrow gorges and mountainscapes, through small villages and over ancient bridges. It is a visual journey that allows you to discover the wild side of Sardinia on an unforgettable day out.

Where to stay

A beautifully appointed property located along the cape of Baja Cala Battistoni, Hotel La Bisaccia offers a tranquil escape on Sardinia. Surrounded by green shrublands with a private beach among small coves of sand and rock formations, this is where you’ll feel immersed in the nature of Sardinia.

3. Sicily

As the Mediterranean’s largest island, Sicily has been settled, conquered and fought over through the millennia of its history, giving the island a kaleidoscope of cultures, architecture and cuisine. The active volcano Mount Etna is an obvious attraction, although there are quieter and wilder sides of Sicily on its northern Madonie mountain ranges for great hiking trails. Numerous Greek ruins can be found on the island, including the amphitheatres in Syracuse and Taormina, as well as the Valley of Temples near Agrigento. And when in Sicily, don’t forget to indulge in the fascinating street food culture. Grab a bite of the panelle, fried chickpea fritters, or pane con la Milza, a spleen and lung sandwich for a true taste of Sicily.

Wander the Greek Theatre of Taormina

Visit the Greek Theatre of Taormina, the second largest amphitheatre on Sicily. Wander between the stone steps and columns, soaking up the magnificent vista across the sea and mountains beyond, with the peak of Etna completing the brilliant view. The theatre hosts various live performances throughout the year, an experience to behold.

Where to stay

The family owned boutique hotel, Hotel Villa Belvedere, has been welcoming guests since 1902. This elegant property is in a secluded location on the hillsides of Taormina and enjoys breathtaking views over the Bay of Naxos and Mount Etna. Enjoy the serene gardens surrounding the villa or simply use it as a base to explore nearby Taormina.

4. Ischia

Imagine the idyllic picture of narrow streets lined with colourful houses draped in bougainvillea. Ischia may have its luxury hotels and beach bars, but its bustling town is alive with Ischitani people going about their day. This picture-perfect island just off the coast of Naples is loved by locals, and is filled with natural and ancient wonders. The silhouette of Castello Aragonese, on its own inlet, is a beacon of history. There are several gardens to admire and thermal baths to enjoy. At the end of the day, be sure to admire the sunset, which is particularly spectacular from the Church of Soccorso.

Visit the Castello Aragonese

Built on a small volcanic rock island, and only accessible by a causeway or tunnel, the medieval Castello Aragonese has seen many historical events through its existence, and is a fantastic sight to visit. A guided tour will offer insight into the history of the castle, plus, you could attend a concert for a truly memorable visit.

Where to stay

Hotel Le Querce is set amidst terraces and lush vegetation, with views of the Bay of Naples and the ancient Aragonese Castle. The comfort of the rooms, delicious cuisine and its own thermal spa makes Hotel Le Querce a great base for your stay on Ischia.

Explore with the experts


For 95 years, Citalia has been helping their customers discover the real Italy. They are experts in finding unique experiences for every type of holidaymaker, with extensive knowledge of the islands and their surroundings, their attention to detail and personal touch. Citalia’s Treasures of Sicily Small Group Escorted Tour is perfect for those looking for more insight and immersion of Sicilian culture. For solo travellers, the team will be able to craft the perfect itinerary for those looking to xplore the fascinating islands of Italy.

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