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Warmer months in Italy - North to South

Italy is one of Europe’s best spring/summer destinations. With endless hikes in the Alps and Dolomites, freshwater lakes around Como, and two vast coastlines to keep you busy, it would be easy to overlook the country’s iconic cities. But these too are exciting destinations, with museums and gelato shops helping you cool off after exploring the scenic city streets.

The Route

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Itinerary Highlights

Canals of Venice; night swimming and incredible architecture in Milan; views and gelato in Florence; the history on the streets of Rome; and several quintessentially Italian beach towns.

Venice

venice

The famous canalized city comes alive in the warmer months

 

  • You can’t miss heading out onto the water. If your budget allows, take a famous gondola ride. Otherwise, the famous water busses offer a less intimate canal experience for a drastically lower price.

  • People-watch to your heart’s content from a coffee shop at Piazza San Marco, and then take a trip up San Marco Campanile for the ultimate aerial view of the city.

  • Heat getting you down? Pack your swimsuit and head for Lido, Venice’s very own beach town.

 

How to get there?

Arriving by plane? There are several ways to reach the centre of Venice, the most exciting of which is a ferry that takes just 30 minutes. If you’re arriving by train at the bigger international airports in Milan you can still reach Venice by train - the journey takes approximately four hours.

 

Milan

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Italy’s fashion capital simmers in spring and summer, but there are lots of opportunities to cool down

 

  • Check your calendar - summer in Milan is the best time for concerts, parties and special events that sell out months in advance.

  • That night time heat draining your energy? Take a dip at Bagni Misteriosi, a pool that’s open until 11PM in summer, often with live music to go with it.

  • Take in the incredible sight of the Duomo bathed in sunlight - head up to the roof around sunset for the most incredible views.

 

How to get there?

Trains from Venice to Milano Centrale are fast and frequent. They run throughout the day, and the journey time is typically under two and a half hours.

 

Florence

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One of the world’s most celebrated art and architectural centers

 

  • Narrow streets confusing you? Head to the top of the Duomo or Giotto's Campanile, or both, for the ultimate perspective on the city below.

  • Florence is gelato central in the warmer months - hop on the back of a snacking queue and load up on the world’s best ice cream to eat while you soak up the incredible architecture.

  • Feeling the heat? Escape into one of the city’s famous - and air-conditioned - museums, starting with the Uffizi Gallery.

 

How to get there?

There are regular trains from Milan to Florence, and the journey time is usually just 90 minutes.

 

Cinque Terre

Manarola, Cinque Terre

Head to the coast to cool off at this iconic seaside destination

 

  • Your first port of call should be the beach - there are several to choose from in Cinque Terre, so single out one that’s close and convenient.

  • Weather cool enough for a hike? There are several amazing walks and hikes between the famous towns that make up Cinque Terre.

  • Feeling thirsty? Visit a famous wine estate nearby for a crisp glass of cold white wine.

 

How to get there?

Trains from Florence to Cinque Terre run throughout the day. The quickest route between the two cities is just two and a half hours, though there are slower regional routes that will add up to one hour to your travel time.

 

Rome

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The Italian capital is hot and sticky and devoid of many locals in the summer holidays, but still well worth including

 

  • Cool off with a famous Roman snow cone, grattachecca - a flavored frozen water delight available throughout the city.

  • Stick to the river - Tiber comes alive with outdoor bars perfect for soaking up the atmosphere at  night.

  • Don’t miss the famous attractions - pack a hat and head out early to enjoy the likes of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Trevi Fountain before retreating to an air-conditioned restaurant or museum.

 

How to get there?

The train ride from Cinque Terre to Rome typically requires a connection in La Spezia, but even so the total journey time is a manageable five hours.

 

Sorrento

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The gateway to Italy’s famous Amalfi Coast

 

  • Longing for the island life? Pack your swimsuit and catch a ferry to Capri - they run regularly from Sorrento and it’s possible to visit the island as an easy day trip.

  • Use Sorrento as a springboard to the incredible Amalfi Coast - there are regular busses that run along the harrowing roads and stop at all the major towns along the way.

  • Spend a day exploring the quaint city of Sorrento - start in Piazza Tasso, wander into the various churches to cool off, and take in the stunning view of the ocean from Villa Comunale.

 

How to get there?

Sorrento is just two and a half hours away from Rome by train. You’ll need to connect at Napoli Centrale to ride the smaller EAV train for the final hour of the journey.

 

Salerno

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Appealing port city southeast of Naples, with easy rail connections to the south

 

  • Looking for great views and a slice of history? Take a walk up to Castello di Arechi, a medieval castle with a museum, nature trails, and beautiful views.

  • Minerva’s Garden is a great place to rest after a day of sightseeing - it’s a tranquil space that dates back centuries and is packed full of unique plant species.

  • Looking for a bit of a late night party? Head into the “Movida” around 9PM and see where the evening takes you.

     

How to get there?

The train trip from Sorrento to Salerno requires you to retrace your steps to Naples, but even so the total journey time is under two hours, which is likely to be quicker than any other form of public transport.

 

Palermo

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A unique coastal city that moves to a different beat than the cities up north

 

How to get there?

The train ride between Salerno and Palermo can take up to 10 hours, but there are several options available, including an Intercity-Night train that leaves shortly after midnight, and a faster all-day train that leaves at 10:35AM and arrives shortly after 7PM. Even though the journey is long, the coastal scenery is incredible.

 

Is this trip for you?

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Italy is perhaps one of Europe’s best spring and summer destinations, thanks to its lengthy coastlines, beautiful scenery, and vibrant atmosphere in the cities and towns. If you’re able to withstand temperatures on the hotter side by taking a dip in the ocean or ducking into a museum and would like to make the most of the outdoors, then this itinerary is definitely for you.

Which Pass?

Interrail mobile Global Pass

Our 8-day Italy Pass is the the best way to discover what these italian towns and cities have to offerIf you plan to include Italy as part of a longer journey, a Global Pass is also a perfect option.