A self-drive holiday is very rewarding in the sense that you get to see so much whilst travelling, and you have the freedom to stop when you see something exciting. Such as a beautiful landscape that you just have to take a photo of, or a small village that you happen to pass through with a charming bistro and an aroma and menu that makes your mouth water, that you would never have known about had you had a fixed Itinery.
With over 15 years experience of travel in Italy, the staff at In-Italia are delighted to be able to offer you their free advice on planning your self-drive tour of Italy. We love and know the landscapes of Italy well, how long it takes to get from place to place for example, and can customise an itinerary according to your needs and desires. We have handpicked a selection of over 1400 holiday accommodation options all over Italy, with great locations in cities, towns, the countryside and on the coast, and can recommend the best places to stay in on route to make your self-drive tour truly memorable.
Entering the borders of Italy by car from other countries in the north is very exciting. You will pass through impressive and ever changing landscapes and notice changes in the style of the architecture, the culture, the language and the food. Coming from France along the coast from Nice is a beautiful drive as you enter into either Liguria along coast or the more rugged Piedmont further north and inland. Driving down to Italy from France or Switzerland will take you through the impressive Aosta valley where you will traverse magnificent mountains with white glaciers on the peaks, and pass lush forests, lakes and valleys.
Coming directly from the north from Germany and Austria will take you through the mountain roads of the Brenner pass into the impressive regions of South Tyrol or Lombardy. In South Tyrol you can experience a rich gastronomy whilst you take in the most spectacular Alpine mountain scenery. Head south through the Tyrol down through Lombardy and stop off at Lake Garda and/or Lake Como, both equally beautiful and surrounded by charming towns. Coming into Italy from the east and northeast from Hungary, Czech, Slovakia for example will bring you into Italy through Fruili - a small but charming region with mountains and sandy beaches, then down through The Veneto which is famous for Venice and its other unique canal towns, not to mention the incredibly scenic Valpolicella wine district.
Do you stop off in Milan for a day of shopping, to see the magnificent cathedral, do you drive down the coast of Liguria, known as the Italian Riviera and visit the famous Cinque Terre towns? Tour the lakes in Piedmont, Lake Orta, or the larger Lake Maggiore, visit the charming wine towns of the Langhe wine district such as La Morra and Alba. Then enter Tuscany to the north stopping off at Pisa, then across to Florence before you head into the spectacular natural beauty of the Chianti Wine District with its rolling hills, many historic medieval walled towns such as San Gimignano, Pienza and Arezzo, wonderful vineyards and gastronomy.
Or alternatively you could stay inland and cross through the impressive Apennine mountains in Emilia Romagna, stopping off in Bologna and Modena, before venturing further south into the green heart of Italy - Umbria with its lakes, mountains and mysterious medieval towns and cities such as Assisi and Perugia. Really, these are just a few ideas, there are so many fascinating routes that you can take through Italy where the magic never ends. Of course no trip to Italy is complete without a visit to Italy's capital city of Rome in Lazio, but Lazio is so much more than Rome, with its stunning Odysseus Coast and historic towns.
Bear in mind that this whistle stop tour that we are describing is just the tip of the iceberg of discovery that is waiting for you when you take a self-drive tour of Italy, since it would be impossible to describe the whole of Italy in a few paragraphs. However, the south and all its gems is a must see whilst on tour in Italy. Campania in the southwest is, known largely for its Amalfi Coast with many towns listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list is a must see. But before that, you have the bay of Naples with the Mount Vesuvius's impressive profile looming over the bay. From here you can hop over to the beautiful islands of Capri, Ischia and Prodica then back to visit the famous buried city of Pompeii.
Abruzzo with its three national parks, charming historic towns and fishing villages, and Apulia with its whitewashed towns, famous Truli houses and stunning coastline surrounded by exotic nature, Calabria at the toe of the boot with its rich untouched nature and fabulous beaches and azure blue bays, from where you can hop across to the island of Sicily with a short ferry ride, and see Etna the smoking Volcano, and many more treasures. The list goes on.
You can search for accommodation in beautiful locations throughout Italy using the search machine at the top of the page and see what inspires you. Feel free to contact us for advice on planning your self-drive tour of Italy. We have had over 15 years of experience at planning tours around Italy and would be happy to help you plan yours. Email us using the contact link at the top of the page, call us using the phone number to the left of the page, or chat to us using the chat box to the left of the page. We are happy to help make your self-drive tour of Italy everything that you dream of and more.