Italy comprises some of the most varied and scenic natural environments on Earth and its political geography has been conditioned by its rugged landscape.
Italy is divided into 20 administrative regions, which correspond generally with historical traditional regions, though not always with exactly the same boundaries. A better-known and more general way of dividing Italy is into four parts: the north, the centre, the south, and the islands.
Within these four main divisions, the variety of the much smaller traditional districts is very great and depends on history as well as on topography and economic conditions.
Click on the regions to learn more.
The smallest region of Italy borders with France and Switzerland. It boasts the highest peaks in the Alps such as the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc, the roof of Europe at 4810 m above sea level. An ideal destination for winter sports lovers with its green valleys and fairy-tale castles, the Aosta Valley is also an enchanting place to live all year round. Exclusive resorts or mountain huts: hospitality is wide-ranging to meet the well-being needs of every traveller, who can choose from an amazing selection of experiences and excursions to discover the soul of the region. Strolling or cycling through Aosta and pearls such as Cervinia and Courmayeur, or immersed in the magnificence of the Gran Paradiso Park - where you can observe ibex, chamois, golden eagles and marmots.
The Alps form a backdrop to large, picturesque valleys, pools and rice fields, long rows of poplars and ancient farmhouses. Piedmont always reveals different panoramas where multiple experiences can be enjoyed. From the royal Turin - with its historic cafés, the Savoy residences and the imposing Egyptian Museum - to all the other provinces, endless traces of art and antiquity are to be found everywhere. Architectural treasures and natural monuments along the course of the River Po, which springs here before crossing all of northern Italy. Paths through parks - do not miss the Val Grande National Park and the Gran Paradiso National Park, the oldest in Italy -, Lake Maggiore and its islands are just some of the many attractions in Piedmont. Discoveries and surprises of all kinds await visitors all year round: famous ski resorts and enormous green spaces ideal for sports, not to mention a food and wine offering at its finest in the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato wine-growing areas.
Endless kilometres of coast on either side of Genoa, the ancient and glorious Maritime Republic today a hub for goods and cultures. With its port and residential areas at the feet of the Apennines and overlooking the sea, the historic centre of Genoa is characterized by a maze of narrow alleys typical of Ligurian towns. Liguria is a perfect destination for everyone, with relaxing ideas for quiet holidays or pure adrenaline for people seeking breath-taking experiences. Your breath will indeed be taken away by the beautiful seaside villages along the east and west coasts, perched on cliffs between sea and sky in enchanting inlets and bays, such as Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Iconic places known to everyone and other realities still to be discovered. Paths and trails overlooking the Ligurian promontory are the perfect destination for people looking for authentic contact with the beauties of nature.
This large region boasts infinite variations: Lombardy ranges from the Alps to the plains, from cities of art to small villages rich in history. It is also known as the "lake region", since it is home to more than fifteen, from Lake Garda to Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Iseo. Biodiversity is the added value of this dynamic region, where industrial production and agriculture, ancient and modern landscapes combine in a unique jigsaw. Milan, the capital of fashion and design, is a modern, international city with an increasing focus on green choices as well as being an open-air art gallery. The other cities are just as impressive, with their own character and special features, flavours and traditions - a legacy of the centuries and dominations that have left their mark on all of Lombardy. Take your time and discover a region that will always manage to amaze you.
Trentino Alto Adige
Trentino Alto Adige is situated in the very north of Italy bordering Austria and Switzerland. This setting encloses an extraordinary variety of landscapes: magnificent snow-capped mountaintops, woods, wide valleys, streams, lakes, the Dolomites, typical villages and the myriad shades of unadulterated nature. Hundreds of miles of ski slopes make this region a cutting-edge tourist destination, popular in both winter and summer for their natural surroundings, sport activities, and fun. Land of confluence between Latin and Nordic worlds, Trentino Alto Adige is the guardian of a remarkable cultural heritage, made up of prehistoric evidence, charming castles, sanctuaries and towns with great historical and artistic significance. A number of spa towns offer treatments and therapies. The provinces of the region are Bolzano and Trento.
The land of Venice: Venice alone would be excuse enough to visit the Veneto, yet the other wonderful attractions in this north-eastern region are not limited to the extraordinary, romantic city built on water. The entire region boasts dream-like mountains, valleys, lakes and beaches. The Dolomites overlook a sequence of natural oases and fortified citadels, noble villas set in fairy-tale gardens and places of immense tourist importance. Verona boasts the Arena and Juliet's house, while Padua, Vicenza and Belluno also have architecture and landscape wonders to be discovered. The Veneto is also home to museums you wouldn't expect to find that appeal to everyone, even children. Lastly, special itineraries and experiences in the Veneto are dedicated to lovers of Italian wine and Prosecco.
Friuli Venezia Giulia
Bordering with Slovenia and Austria, between the Adriatic Sea and high mountains, Friuli Venezia Giulia boasts a rich and varied heritage - the outcome of centuries of history and the merging of different peoples and cultures. Trieste still symbolizes all this today and wins the hearts of everyone with its austere architecture. Palmanova, on the other hand, is a perfect example of a XVI century fortified town: a rich offering for an unforgettable holiday, dedicated to physical activity, well-being and enjoyment. The Dolomites and the Alps are among the favourite destinations for winter sports enthusiasts, yet they are also delightful in spring and summer, with famous spas and ideas for everyone. Whatever the time of year, you must also taste local specialities and typical produce, including San Daniele ham and Montasio cheese.
A network of cities of art, small villages, seaside and mountain resorts rich in history and tradition, where you can discover the source of good living and a deep-rooted sense of hospitality. Emilia Romagna, a land of a thousand discoveries: Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, Ferrara, the Motor Valley, the Wellness Valley and the Food Valley are just some destinations. You may perhaps follow the Via Emilia, one of the most important consular roads in Roman times and still today a route embracing the many facets and features of the region. Every city and every village uphold the flavours and traditions of the past, while also being absolutely contemporary. They can also be discovered over routes on foot or two wheels. Don't miss the Romagna Riviera where long sandy beaches are perfect for families and meet the needs of sports lovers and kids looking for fun.
A discovery that may well begin with Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, along the "corridor" created by Vasari in the XVI century to connect the Uffizi Galleries and Palazzo Pitti. This will make you genuinely feel at the heart of an incomparable cultural and artistic heritage, testimony of the love for art by the numerous members of the Medici dynasty, passionate collectors of paintings, sculptures and art objects. Yet Tuscany is a unique historical treasure trove throughout the region: over and above Florence, this region is rich in cities of art such as Siena and Pisa, as well as small, picturesque villages, extraordinary and stunning views, rural countryside and gentle hills. All this is joined by magnificent islands and splendid coasts, protected parks and, last but not least, simple cuisine with genuine flavours and wines that rank among the finest in the world.
Thanks to its wonderful and unusual diversity, the Marches region emerges through harmonious and sinuous shapes, cliffs and caves alternating with unforgettable beaches. All the more, its hills evoke history, tradition and art, together with mountains fully equipped with ski lifts for skiing enthusiasts. Four seasons and countless destinations to meet every desire of people on holiday, from the discovery of tastes and traditions to the search for spirituality or well-being. Jewels of art and history, such as Urbino, the birthplace of Raphael, or Ascoli Piceno, the city of travertine, are just some destinations for visitors seeking culture and traditions. And don't miss the coast, dominated by the Conero, between stretches of fine sand, evocative scenery and still wild areas.
The green heart of central Italy, a land where there are still remains of Etruscan settlements, iconic towns such as Gubbio and spiritual destinations such as Assisi, all in a luxuriant natural context. Umbria boasts the highest number of Mediaeval villages in Italy, set between hills and valleys where Lake Trasimeno spreads out romantically with the stillness of its waters. Water is synonymous with energy and movement at the Marmore Waterfalls, near Terni, among the most striking in Europe. In this variegated setting, there are many possibilities for unforgettable holidays in contact with nature, searching for spirituality or strong emotions. Lovers of Italian cuisine can make choices at all levels: in family-run trattorias or at the court of many starred chefs.
The region of Rome, the centre of the ancient Empire: there is testimony throughout Lazio of passing centuries and history, a crossroads of secular and profane, with different visions of the world. And different architectures, towns and works of art. St. Peter's in Rome is the heart of Christianity, while small churches and abbeys are scattered all over the region, with towns for ordinary people and residences or castles for the nobility. The consular roads, which spread out radially from Rome to the rest of Italy, cross Lazio and its lakes, mountains and beaches. Paths through woods and valleys, in the shade of ancient aqueducts or manor houses, all set in beautiful countryside. Not to mention nature and archaeological sites and villages once favoured by kings, popes and emperors, where you can truly immerse yourself in history.
The mainly mountainous and wild territory of the Abruzzo region extends from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea and includes three National Parks, a Protected Marine Area, a Regional Park and more than thirty Nature Reserves, making it the largest natural history area in Europe. There are tourist resorts and areas equipped for skiing and winter sports set between pristine peaks and rocky walls in the higher mountains. The peaks of Gran Sasso, Monti della Laga and Majella then slope down over a series of hills to the sea. Seasdide facilities in Abruzzo are among the most varied along the Adriatic: jagged coasts with golden sand and the famous fishermen’s "trabocchi", animated beaches and solitary shores. Every place has its own, constantly evolving cuisine, taking a prudent and measured approach to modernity without distorting its identity.
Nature, history, art, ancient traditions and gastronomy are the treasures of this generous region still untouched by mass tourism. Visiting Molise arouses a sensation of "discovery", starting with its mainly mountainous and hilly territory, crossed by the characteristic "tratturi", the historic transhumance routes that connect pastures in Abruzzo and Puglia. The Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park reveals unexpected and magnificent landscapes hereabouts, while numerous nature reserves protect typical local plant and animal species. Unspoilt nature is also the setting for the two most important ski resorts in the region: Campitello Matese and Capracotta. The coast has sandy beaches surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, with a crystal clear and clean sea.
The mild climate, the richness of art and history, the love for cooking: all this makes Campania a place to be lived to the full, to be travelled on a journey of personal enrichment. A journey that can start from the sea, the undisputed king of the entire region, with its intense colours and coasts full of bays, inlets and rocky walls. Capri, Ischia and Procida (Italian Capital of Culture 2022) - world-famous masterpieces of nature - are set in the blue Gulf of Naples. A region where beauty and culture coexist, from Naples to the Amalfi Coast, from Pompeii to the Royal Palace of Caserta, in a kaleidoscope of colours, perfumes and emotions that fill the eyes and the heart.
Enchanting landscapes surrounding historic villages and cities of art: Romanesque and Baroque cathedrals and monuments characterise the squares, in the shade of imposing castles and noble palaces. From Gargano to Salento, Puglia is a treasure trove of priceless wonders. Lecce, Bari and Brindisi together with Ostuni, Trani and Alberobello are just some of the delights you will find in Puglia. A region with more than 800 km coastline with an offering for every traveller. Alongside tourism for families and lovers of wild nature, Puglia also pays close attention to the new generations, with places that have now become a "must" for the young, such as Gallipoli. Don't miss an excursion in the ravines, a cradle of rock civilization, between mysterious dolmens and menhirs, by way of the Itria Valley with its characteristic trulli and farmhouses.
You don't visit Basilicata by chance. You decide to stay here to live a different experience, immersing yourself in places where silence, colours, perfumes and flavours take you far away from the noise and stress of everyday life through unique sensations. The woods and forests covering the mountains are dotted with small, evocative villages even at over 1000 m above sea level, where pure air, genuine flavours and the beauties of nature combine with impressive historical testimonies. The area of the Monticchio Lakes, one of the most spectacular parts of Basilicata, is particularly beautiful and off the beaten track. The pearl of the region is Matera, a miracle of time with stones and roofs that become floors for the houses on the upper levels in an intense network of alleyways. And then Maratea, the Gulf of Policastro, fascinating villages and the splendid Lucanian Dolomites, where you can experience flying attached to a steel cable. A long list of emotions awaits you in Basilicata.
The pleasant climate, the splendid colours of the sea, rocky coasts alternating with sandy beaches, wild and mysterious nature, the intense and genuine flavours of local cuisine and testimony of its ancient origins make Calabria a unique place to live and discover in winter and summer alike. Reaching out to Sicily, the interior has the Dolomite scenery, peaks and lakes of the Sila mountains, even though the sea is the region's beating heart. Enchanting villages on the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coastlines, such as Tropea, and fascinating destinations such as Capo Vaticano are all worth a visit, while not forgetting the Riace Bronzes displayed in Reggio Calabria. Holidays of discovery, relaxation and taste are assured in an area that still offers scenes of the epochs and dominations it has witnessed over the centuries, with a pleasant climate all year round.
An emerald sea with small and large coves and pure white sand: this is Sardinia, an island that amazes visitors with its natural contrasts, light and colours. A land of ancient traditions, still dominated by wild and uncontaminated nature. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sardinia is predominantly mountainous but without high peaks, offering visitors a unique natural environment, that is harsh yet very sweet at one and the same time. Vast areas have remained magically intact and are inhabited by deer, wild horses and large birds of prey. Other areas have human settlements evolving over the millennia, such as the Nuragic civilization and its nuraghi, the tombs of the giants, sacred wells or houses of the fairies, from the hinterland to villages by the sea. Huge blueness dominates with its shades, penetrating into winding coves, along the coasts and the many beaches. A paradise for people who love the sea, from the night-life of the Costa Smeralda to the peaceful beauty of The Maddalena Archipelago, as well as for active holidays enjoying water sports, trekking and climbing.
Sicily - the largest island of Italy and the Mediterranean - is a surprising land rich in history and traditions, where arts and cultures are intertwined. There are endless reasons to visit Sicily from the sea to the mountains, by way of the countryside and fishing villages. Sicily boasts numerous pearls: Taormina and its Greek theatre, Agrigento with the Valley of Temples as well as Greek and Arab-Norman testimonies. The triumph of the Baroque in the Noto Valley, Palermo and Catania, the fascination of Etna, the unsurpassed beauty of the Aeolian Islands, Trapani and the Egadi Islands, Lampedusa and Pantelleria. The list of not-to-be-missed experiences and places is very long but they all share an unforgettable food and wine offering, the result of history and ancient traditions. Sicily's very mild climate means you can stay by the sea for even ten months a year. And remember what Frederick of Swabia, King of Sicily, said: "I do not envy God’s paradise because I am so satisfied to live in Sicily".