Holiday ideas

Italy in May: 10 ultimate places to visit

How about a holiday in Italy this May? Here are our Top 10 travel destinations for the month. Check them out!

  • 1. Lake Molveno
  • 2. Lake Iseo
  • 3. La Thuile
  • 4. Sestri Levante
  • 5. Lake Trasimeno
  • 6. Mount Terminillo
  • 7. Follonica
  • 8. Pollino National Park
  • 9. Ischia
  • 10. Vieste
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Hands down, May is one of the best months of the year to travel. Spring is in full swing: the climate is mild, nature is blooming and the scents are inebriating. Before summer comes and tourists swarm the country, we’ve got 10 travel ideas you’ll find hard to resist. Unique places to discover from north to south, whether you’ve got a week or just a weekend - the possibilities abound!

Come along as we cross the bel paese from the sea to the mountains on a discovery of art, nature, culture and fun.

Lake Molveno, Trentino Alto Adige

A true natural gem, Lake Molveno boasts clear and clean bathing waters, pristine beaches and top-notch services. Located at the foot of the Brenta DolomitesMount Gazza and Paganella, it’s named after Molveno, a pleasant village which sits on the lakeshore and is known for its wellness resort. Lake Molveno is the deepest in Trentino (123 meters in depth) and is truly as pretty as a postcard. A holiday here promises relaxation, nature and outdoor sports galore.

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Ideal for a family holiday, Lake Molveno has great beaches, meadows, playgrounds, and kid-friendly attractions like miniature golf and a water park. Adults, on the other hand, can enjoy windsurfing, tennis, invigorating swims, boating or canoeing, and long walks along the lake banks. To immerse yourself in May’s natural splendour, visit Spormaggiore Wildlife Park a few kilometers from Molveno where you can observe native animals including wolves, owls, lynxes and brown bears.

Lake Iseo, Lombardy

This enchanting lake located between Bergamo and Brescia in Lombardy offers fabulous panoramic views, outdoor activities, excellent cuisine, a plethora of local events, and much more. May is the best time to visit Lake Iseo as the weather is mild and you can enjoy the sights free from summer’s tourist crowds. Explore the 67 kilometers of coastline by car, motorbike, bike or boat, stopping to visit the three nature reserves and picturesque villages along the way.

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Then there’s Monte Isola: Europe’s largest inhabited lake island. Monte Isola attracted international attention in 2016 thanks to the work of contemporary artist, Christo, who created the "The Floating Piers" installation here. The pretty island is home to eleven characteristic towns where arts and crafts of the past still flourish today. In May you can attend the Festival dei Laghi, the largest Italian festival dedicated to lake life and culture, showcasing typical food and wine, exhibitions, courses and tastings, as well as concerts, shows and other activities.

La Thuile, Aosta Valley

A solitary and enchanted place, where uncontaminated nature reigns supreme, La Thuile is ideal if you’re looking for complete relaxation or an active vacation. Located in Valle D'Aostaunder the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo, La Thuile is situated at an altitude of 1,441 metres. Its thick forests, incredible mountains and enormous glaciers dominate the landscape, which is part of an international ski area with 160 kilometers of slopes. As the lifts are located at particularly high altitudes, it’s possible to ski until late spring. Also in the area and well worth a visit are Chanousia Botanical Garden, Rutor Glacier, Lake Arpy and the Joux plateau.

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Sestri Levante, Liguria

For a holiday of pure beauty and leisure, choose Sestri Levante, a Ligurian pearl in the province of Genoaoverlooking the Gulf of Tigullio. Also known as the “city of two seas”, Sestri Levante lies between two bays: the Bay of Silence and the Bay of Fairytales. The beautiful medieval village has narrow and colorful buildings - typical of Liguria - where you can wander amidst the alleys and historic shops. Stop to admire Palazzo Durazzo-Pallavicini, the Convent of the Annunciation, Basilica of Santa Maria di Nazareth, Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, the Musel, (two exhibition centers that tell the story of the territory) and Palazzo Fascie Rossi, which hosts rotating exhibitions. There are plenty of picturesque walks to fill your afternoons, including the path to Punta Manara or Rocche di Sant'Anna.

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Lake Trasimeno, Umbria

On windy days at beautiful Lake Trasimeno you can almost hear the melancholy lament of the nymph, Agilla, tormented by the tragic death of her beloved Prince Trasimeno, son of the Etruscan king. From this legend, Lake Trasimeno in Umbria’s province of Perugia derives its name. An idyllic spot, its gorgeous landscapes, verdant nature, islands, villages, food and wine are especially delightful in May.

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Savor the architectural beauty in the towns of Castiglione del Lago, Città della Pieve, Panicale, Magione, Tuoro, Passignano, Piegaro and Paciano. Or get back in touch with nature at Oasis La Valle whose shallow waters and reeds are a nesting area for many migratory birds. For a unique tour, go to Polvese island in the center of Lake Trasimenowhere you can visit the churches of San Secondo and San Giuliano, the Olivetan Monastery and a castle restored in the fourteenth century. In the northern part of the lake lies Maggiore island, inhabited by about twenty people. There you can take a pleasant walk along the paths lined by cypresses, poplars and olive trees.

Monte Terminillo, Lazio

One of the highest peaks in Lazio, Mount Terminillo towers at an altitude of 2,217 meters.  Also called the Mountain of Rome, it’s part of the Reatini Mountains and located in the province of Rieti. In addition to being a very popular area for skiing, it’s the ideal destination for hiking, biking, Nordic walking, sky racing (mountain trail running), mountaineering and climbing. Mount Terminillo’s remarkable natural beauty and biodiversity are of rare and great value.

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History has also left its indelible mark here. The mountain is home to the Church of San Francesco, patron saint of Italy, and still houses one of his relics. 

For a magical holiday in the great outdoors, look no further than Monte Terminillo.

Follonica, Tuscany

The last town on the Grosseto coast, Follonica’s clean sea waters and well-tended beaches have earned it Blue Flag recognition. The Gulf’s fine sand and gently sloping seabed are perfect for young children. Fully equipped beach resorts, like Grove or Lido, are close to the center and reachable on foot or by bike. More distant but equally pleasant are Carbonifera, Torre Mozza, Cala Martina, Pratoranieri, Cala Violino and the untamed beach of Cala Civette. 

If you want to dedicate some time to art history, visit the MAGMA, the Museum of Cast Iron Arts in Maremma, Church of San Leopoldo, Grand Ducal Palace and the ruins of Castello Valli. Then continue your holiday in the countryside at the natural parks of Colline Metallifere Grossetane, Sterpaia and Montioni. 

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Pollino National Park, Basilicata

In the southern province of Potenza, the enchanting village of Francavilla in Sinni will woo you with local culture, nature, crafts and typical products. Located on the banks of the Sinni and Frida rivers in the heart of Basilicata, the landscape here is varied - alternating between mountain ranges, hills and plateaus with forests of beech and fir. The agricultural heart of the town is reflected in the ubiquitous groves of olive trees and vines cultivated for the production of olive oil and wine. Traditional handicrafts in wrought iron, wicker, ceramics, wood and embroidery have been passed down through generations. In the historical centre, the churches of Sant'Antonio and San Giuseppe are definitely worth a visit.

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Avid naturalists can choose one of many excursions in Pollino National Park, where the rich vegetation intertwines with history and art. The park is home to southern Italy’s highest peaks with altitudes up to 2,200 meters, including Serra Dolcedorme, Mount Pollino, Serra del Prete, Serra del Ciavole and Serra di Crispo. Dolomite rocks, limestone ramparts, and flowering meadows all make up the picturesque landscape. And then there’s the spectacular oak wood, where a spring of sulphurous water gushes, and rivers, deep gorges and wide valleys paint a breathtaking view.

With the warmth at the doors, the brilliant colours of spring and the scents of flowers in rebirth, the desire for the sea is increasingly impending. The offer in Italy, especially in the South, is so vast that it is difficult to make a choice. So let's try to suggest two places not to be missed in May.

Ischia, Campania

Upon reaching Ischia, you’ll find yourself in a paradise of beaches, spas, walking paths and excellent cuisine. The third most populous island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia, Ischia is part of the Phlegraean Island archipelago located below the Gulf of Naples. It’s easily reached by hydrofoil or ferry via frequent connections from the capital of Campania. 

A set of bays and fine sand beaches, such as Spiaggia dei Pescatori, English Beach and the inlet of Cartaromana are perfect spots to spend the day. At Cartaromana you can soak in hot thermal springs that emerge from natural basins and volcanic rock. It's a great place for scuba diving and trekking, or just breathing in the beneficial sulphurous steam.

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There are many dirt roads criss-crossing the hills and countryside of Ischia, which provide travelers with captivating glimpses of expansive sea views, tuff walls and nature in bloom. Don't miss the historic Aragonese Castle and colorful Mortella and Ravino Gardens. From 16th to 18th May, Ischia celebrates the martyr of the sea, Santa Restituta, patron saint of Lacco Ameno. The highlight of the event takes place on the beach in San Montano, where hundreds of people gather to witness the legendary symbol.

Experience all the wonders of spring on this captivating island -  an ode to wellness, history, nature and fun!

Vieste, Apulia

The beauty of the Apulian coast is indescribable. The "heel of Italy" is surrounded by dazzling seas, incredible beaches and wonderful villages. It’s almost impossible to choose one destination among so many beguiling options, but we’ve hand-picked a spot definitely worth a trip in spring: Vieste. This charming town is located in the province of Foggia, a strategic position for touring the entire Gargano territory. Its wide sandy beaches, some wild, others more tame, are close to the countryside but easily reached in just a few steps.

Vieste’s untamed coast is characterized by magnificent arches, sea caves, cliffs and coastal towers. Further inland in the Gargano countryside, centuries-old olive trees, Mediterranean scrub and the Umbrian forest make up an area of 10,000 hectares of unspoilt flora and fauna. 

In addition to its alluring nature, Vieste is also a hub of history and culture. Its historic center is full of points of interest such as the cathedral and Frederick Castle, and the neighboring villages of Peschici, Vico del Gargano and Rodi Gargano are equally delightful.

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Discover these fascinating and evocative places for yourself this May! A fun and restful holiday immersed in nature and culture, with plenty of outdoor activities, good food and spectacular views. What are you waiting for?

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