North to South Italy Itinerary: Exploring the Best of the Country
Italy is an amazing country for road trips. Travel from North to South and discover stunning landscapes, indulge in the Italian cuisine, explore vibrant cities, and relax on the beautiful beaches in the South. If you have the chance and time, we recommend adding Sardinia to your road trip, as it’s one of our favorite destinations in Europe.
The ultimate Italy road trip route:
- Bolzano (South Tyrol)
Tip! From Montepulciano, you can optionally drive to Livorno to catch a ferry for a road trip through Sardinia.
- Monte Sibilla
We eventually had to drive back home from Matera due to Corona. However, the following destinations were actually still on our itinerary:
- Amalfi Coast
- Cinque Terre
For the complete route, you would need at least a month. If you have less time, you can focus on one region, such as Tuscany, South Tyrol, Le Marche, or even Puglia.
Turin is the chocolate city of Italy, making it a must-visit destination. Although Turin is known as a somewhat gray industrial city, we found it to be a great first stop in Italy. The aperitivo culture is truly born here, and the city is filled with cool hotspots. However, if you have limited time for your road trip, you can consider skipping Turin and visiting it on a separate city trip.
Trentino was an unexpected surprise during our road trip. We ended up here by chance and stayed for a few days. The green surroundings are stunning and surrounded by majestic mountains.
Bolzano (South Tyrol)
South Tyrol is truly a gem! It’s an absolute must-visit during your Italy road trip. This region is located in northern Italy, in the southern Alps, and is mainly known for the Dolomites mountain range. The impressive mountain chain is characterized by steep cliffs and peaks.
Bolzano is the perfect base to explore the region. This vibrant capital of South Tyrol is a delightful city full of cool hotspots and attractions.
Despite being on a tight budget, we decided to visit Venice and I’m so glad we did. What a beautiful city! We didn’t want to miss out on the gondolas, charming streets, historic buildings, and countless bridges. Thanks to the ACSI card, we found a campground just outside the city for only 20 euros. We brought our own snacks and drinks and had a wonderful budget-friendly day in Venice.
Read the article “Venice on a Budget” for more information.
When it comes to charming cities in Italy, you won’t be disappointed. One of our favorite Tuscan cities was the charming Lucca. Stroll through the streets and relax at one of the many terraces while enjoying a delicious plate of pasta and Tuscan wine.
Read the article “Lucca Travel Guide” for more information.
Volterra is one of the most romantic towns in Italy. The drive to the town itself is an experience, as you’ll navigate a beautiful winding road through the Tuscan landscapes. Once you’re in the town, you’ll be amazed by its beauty.
Read the article “Volterra: Romantic Town in Tuscany” for more information.
Siena is one of the most famous Tuscan cities in Italy where you can wander around all day long. With its historic buildings and centuries-old cathedrals, the city is like an open-air museum. If you’re in Tuscany, we highly recommend visiting this city.
Read the article “Siena City Guide” for more information.
Montepulciano embodies Tuscany. Breathtaking rolling hills, endless vineyards, picturesque villages, and narrow roads. Attention wine lovers and foodies! Because Montepulciano is truly FOOD HEAVEN in Italy.
Read the article “Montepulciano, the real Tuscany” for more information.
Le Marche is also known as the new Tuscany. This region is still relatively undiscovered, and the nature here is truly breathtaking. The region is also known for its beautiful hikes, such as climbing Mont Sibilla. We didn’t attempt the climb, but even without it, the surroundings are worth visiting.
Termoli was one of our favorite destinations during our road trip. Not that this city is particularly special, but we found one of the coolest camper spots in Italy right by the sea. We spent our days on the beach and occasionally visited the bustling city of Termoli. The perfect combination!
Peschici is a charming white city located on the Gargano Peninsula. The town is built on a hill and is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. It was a bit of a challenge to get there with such a huge camper, but the journey was definitely worth it.
Alberobello, the capital of Trulli, is perhaps the image that everyone has of Puglia. It is the perfect place to start your Puglia road trip and an absolute must-visit destination.
If you want to explore more of Puglia, we recommend staying around the city of Gallipoli. This is the perfect place to discover more of the surrounding area with your camper. Throughout the year, you can find camper sites and campsites here, unlike other destinations in Puglia. Alberobello, Lecce, Matera, or Polignano a Mare are all within a maximum of 1.5 hours’ drive.
Matera bestaat uit een spinnenweb van smalle steegjes en eeuwenoude gebouwen. Het is misschien wel één van de mooiste steden in Italië die wij ooit bezocht hebben
Amalfi Coast, Naples & Rome
We would have loved to add the Amalfi Coast and Naples to our road trip, and if possible, make a stop in Rome and Cinque Terre as well. Unfortunately, the travel advice in Italy became stricter, and our dog became seriously ill on the way. We decided to take it easy and drive back home, but we will definitely come back again in the future to explore these beautiful destinations.
The island of Sardinia is a road trip paradise! Charming towns, unique landscapes, and stunning beaches await you. If you have the time, Sardinia is a must-add to your road trip itinerary. You can easily take the ferry from Livorno to Sardinia. To truly enjoy the island, we recommend staying for at least 2 weeks, but longer is even better.
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