Italy is a destination that is absolutely wonderful for a road trip, and with a long legacy of building excellent sports cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari and Maserati, there is no shortage of great roads to drive. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Europe, then you will find no shortage of stunning sights and charming towns to visit here, while the culture and food found in Italy means your evenings will also be a joy. Here are a few locations that are worthy additions to any road trip itinerary, and they may even inspire people to plan their own trip.
The Amalfi Coast
This iconic series of picture postcard towns along the southwest coast of Italy has long been a desirable destination, and it has featured in many movies and television shows. The towns offer beautiful historic architecture, while there are also plenty of hiking opportunities, and the pleasant climate for much of the year also makes this a great option. It can get very busy along the coast road during the summer, so for a bit more freedom and the chance to really enjoy the twisting roads, this is a great place to explore in the shoulder season when it can be a little quieter.
An historic city in northern Italy, Bologna has been home to its university for over 900 years, and this vibrant city still has a youthful atmosphere despite the long history. The culture here is spectacular, with a huge number of museums worth visiting, while the famous towers of the city are also worth a visit. Famous for its meat and the wide range of locally produced ingredients, Bologna is also a culinary hub, and it is worth spending time tasting a few of the local delicacies such as spuma di mortadella as a starter and the mix of meat cuts served with an anchovy and garlic sauce that is bollito misto.
A short distance from the city of Naples, Pompeii was a vibrant city in the first century AD when the nearby volcano Vesuvius erupted, smothering the city in choking ash. This ash actually acted to preserve the city, and nearly two thousand years later the archeologists were able to reveal the city in such good state that it provides an amazing insight into how people lived during the Roman period. This is a fantastic place to visit, and the buildings and their people are presented in a way that is interesting and involving.
Grotte di Frasassi
Located in the northeast of the country, this amazing complex of karst caves is one of the most dramatic natural formations in Italy, and the network goes several miles into the hillside. The tour to explore the caves is spectacular, and the stalactites and stalagmites are very impressive, with the 'Organ Pipes' in one area of the caves being an almost unbelievable rock formation.
In the north of the country near the border with Austria, Trento is a trading city that is off the beaten path of most tourists but rewards those visitors who do make it here with some spectacular surroundings. History lovers will enjoy the Cathedral and the churches in the town, some from as far back as the twelfth century, while the castle is an imposing building built with defensive fortification in mind. The area is surrounded by the beautiful mountain Alps, while Lake Garda is just a short drive away.
The modern city of Florence still has many buildings from the era when the city-state of Florence was one of the most influential cities in Europe, with the Duomo being a particularly grand example. The Galleria degli Uffizi has one of the finest collections of Renaissance art in the country, while the Museo Galileo looks at the achievements and discoveries of the great explorer. Strolling along the banks of the River Arno on a nice day is a true joy, with the beautiful bridges and busy streets making for a vibrant and beautiful experience.
On the east coast of Italy, this town doesn't get the visitors it deserves, with several of the city's churches having been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and the Roman ruins of the Domus is a wonderful site. The city center is pedestrianized meaning it is a great place to explore on foot, and the Mausoleum of Theoderic the Great is another interesting place to explore, where the king of the Ostrogoths was interred in the sixth century.