While it's true there are plenty of fascinating destinations all over mainland Italy, for some of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean, take a journey to some of Italy's many islands. These top Italian islands offer some of the most beautiful scenery and culture activities you'll find in Europe and most are fairly easy to access.
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8 Stunning Italian Islands to Visit
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For some of the best of Italy without the crowds, Ponza is the largest of a string of islands off the coast between Naples and Rome.
With no public airport on the island, Ponza takes a little more effort to get to than some of the larger and more popular islands of Italy. You'll need to get to the port towns of Anzio or Formia first and then take a ferry from there. It's well worth the journey however,
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The largest island in the Mediterranean, there's enough to do to fill the itinerary of any kind of traveler on Sicily. The island has a distinct atmosphere, a far cry from mainland Italy, where life is slower and more relaxed. Explore the beautiful medieval town of Cefalu, hike Italy's most iconic volcano of Mount Etna, sample delicious Sicilian cuisine or just lounge on some stunning Mediterranean beaches, there's plenty of reasons to visit Sicily. If you feel like exploring some small islands, head to the Aeolian Islands Egadi Islands, or even Pantelleria which is closer to Tunisia than the rest of Italy.
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A volcanic island a short boat ride from the southern Italian city of Naples, Ischia offers everything you'd want in a Mediterranean island, beautiful golden beaches, calm azure waters and picturesque coastal towns. Along with the impressive Castello Aragonese, an Italian castle that sits dramatically on the side of a cliff.
Ischia is still not quite as popular as the neighboring island of Capri, which is much more developed and attracts tourists from all over Europe.
Due to the presence of volcanoes on the island, there are a number of natural hot springs on Ischia that offer the ultimate relaxation. Best of all, most of them are free to use.
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A short journey by boat from Ischia or Naples, Procida is a small island to the east that's popular for its brightly-colored harbor town. The island can be easily explored on a day trip from Ischia, you can walk around most of the island and the main sites in a few hours. It's well worth visiting Procida to explore the quaint streets and colorful houses that rise up along the island's hilly coastline.
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The second largest island in Italy, Sardinia is seen as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and for good reason. Its impressive coastline is a mix of dramatic rocky cliffs, idyllic white sandy beaches and picturesque coastal towns.
As one of the largest islands in Italy, while some areas and resorts see a huge amount of tourists visiting over the summer months, you can easily find towns with more peace and quiet, especially around the central parts. If you get bored of the beaches, there's plenty of mountains and hiking spots inland in Sardinia.
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It's hard to deny that the iconic city of Venice is a must-see at least once in a lifetime, however it's recommended to get of the crowded streets and head to some of the smaller islands around Venice. Murano and Burano are two similarly picturesque islands with canals crisscrossing around the town.
Burano has a different charm to Venice, what it lacks in magnificent architecture and historic structures, it makes up for with the beautiful colorful houses and calm canal-side streets. It's easy to get to both Murano and Burano from the main city of Venice using the public water transportation, the Vaporetto.
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Apart from Venice, Italy's east coast islands don't tend to see a huge amount of international tourism, with most visitors tending to favor popular islands like Capri, Sardinia and Sicily. For those looking for a little more adventure than just sunbathing on a Mediterranean beach however, the Isole Tremiti are a small group of islands on the east coast full of beautiful scenery and stunning turquoise waters.
While the might not have the huge developed beaches like you'll find on the west coast, the white cliffs and rock formations along with the shallow, incredibly transparent water have put the islands on the map for domestic tourism. Luckily the crowds of summer tourists from all over Europe have mostly yet to discover the Isole Tremiti, making it a wonderful option for those who want a little peace and quiet.
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Tuscany is one of the most idolized regions of Italy for its rolling hills and renowned food and wine, but most outside of Italy don't tend to realize that the area is also home to some beautiful islands. The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of small islands in between Tuscany and the French island of Corsica. The largest of which, Elba, is covered in dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful beaches, a far cry from the slow rolling hills that Tuscany is normally associated with. The food however is just as delicious as you'll find on the mainland, with an extra addition of the island's surplus of seafood.