“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.” – Elton John
While Italy’s main cities like Rome, Naples, and Florence attract thousands of tourists, Italy’s islands are also hugely popular. In the last 10 years, tourism in Sicily and Sardinia has increased by 20%. This is hardly surprising given the beautiful beaches and landscapes.
Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea, and the Ligurian Sea.
How well do you know Italy’s main islands? Are you organising a trip there? How are you going to get there? What should you see first?
Let’s have a quick look at the main Italian islands.
One of the main reasons tourists head to Sardinia is because it’s filled to the brim with treasures including 7 of Italy’s 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Speaking of heritage, Sardinia has a strong identity, particularly due to its various festivals. The five most popular include:
Sardinia is home to both natural and manmade beauty. (Source: Simon)
In addition to festivals, what else is there to do in Sardinia?
Once you’ve done your trip around Sardinia, you’ll probably have built up an appetite. Here are some essential local dishes:
In 2017, a record 14 million tourists visited Sardinia.
Due to its size, Sardinia is a perfect destination to travel around for 10 to 15 days. Keep in mind that the Cagliari will be your first point of call since that’s where the airport is. There are direct flights from London and Manchester.
In general, you might want to focus on either the north or the south of the island to give you time to relax. You need to work out that suits your needs.
Capri is famous for its beauty and being the island of lovers. You’ll find romantic hotels like Punta Tragara and Luxury Villa Excelsior Parco. The Villa Tenerezza is also a good choice for those wanting to discover Capri and a good base.
Capri has some spectacular views. (Source: babusz)
Capri has a good climate year-round and with all its seaside destinations, it’s seen tourism increase by 25% in just 5 years.
How can you visit this unmissable destination?
You should know that going to Capri requires a bit of organisation. There’s no international airport and the closest airport is in Naples, which has regular flights from the UK. Once you’re in Naples, look for the following ferry companies:
Check out DirectFerries to find out more about timetables and prices.
Once you get there, after 3 to 5 hours of travelling, you’ll be ready to discover the island of Capri.
One of the other unmissable sites on the island is Anacapri, a town in the northwest. You can get there on the blue line and it’s just 15-20 by foot from the Blue Grotto. Anacapri is also popular for its charming ambience and its beautiful little Baroque church. It’s the perfect place to be by the sea.
If you want some fresh air, head to the top of Monte Solaro, at an elevation of 589m, which is also the highest point in Capri. There are some incredible views for you to enjoy after a few hours of walking. If you like a challenge, you might want to consider some of these hiking routes in Capri:
There are also several beaches, which we’ll talk about later…
Now, let’s have a look at the Island of Sicily, Italy’s largest island.
Sicily is the largest Italian island and is famous for its beauty and everything you can do there. It’s located just off the coast of southern Italy in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mount Etna is an active volcano. (Source: 6657176)
When you head to Sicily, you should know what to expect once you get there. You should know a little about the climate and weather:
Generally, it’s recommended that you visit Sicily between April and June or September and October to avoid tourists.
Whether you’re in the north or the south of the island, there are a few towns that you have to visit. These include:
Let’s not forget the specialities of Sicily, which are famous all over the world. You can enjoy pasta with aubergines by the sea on one of the many famous beaches in Sicily:
While we’re talking about beaches, here are some of the best across Italy’s main islands.
In Italy, and on its islands, in particular, there are plenty of watersports and activities you can do if you don’t feel like just lying on your beach towel: jet skiing, boat trips, or hiking. Italy is a popular seaside destination. Of its 5,175km of coastline, 96.1% is public beaches.
The beaches on the islands are some of the best in Italy. (Source: hirisflower)
Of course, there are also private beaches. A beach’s charm isn’t always whether or not the water is clear. In some cases, it’s its accessibility. There are also coves and grottoes where you can bathe instead of beaches. Some of the best beaches are:
There are hundreds of Italian islands. Some, like Sardinia, Sicily, and Capri, are famous for their charm, natural wonders, and beautiful beaches.
This is especially true of San Vito lo Capo in Sicily. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Italy. The Marina Piccola Beach in Capri is also very famous. If you want more nature, Berchida Beach in Sardinia is perfect.
Finally, here are three unique and private beaches for those who’d prefer some peace and quiet.
So are you ready to visit the Italian islands?
Before you go to Italy or its islands, you might want to learn some Italian. Fortunately for you, there are many talented tutors on Superprof who can help you. In terms of private Italian tutorials, there are three main types: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Face-to-face tutorials involve just the student and their tutor and are tailored to the former. Your tutor can work with your strengths and weaknesses and put together a programme for you. These tutorials tend to be the most costly but they’re also the most cost-effective.
Online tutorials are similar but you’re not in the same place as your tutor. Thanks to the internet, webcams, and video conferencing, you can learn a language online. Online tutors tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors because they have fewer outgoings and expenses and can schedule more tutorials each week.
Finally, group tutorials include groups of students learning together. If you and a group of friends, such as your travel companions, want to learn some Italian before you go, you can get group tutorials. With each student sharing the cost of the tutor’s time, this type of tutorials tends to work out cheaper per person per hour.