Spring breaks in Italy

Take a break and find adventure in Italy

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


ItalyThe spring months mark the perfect time for a getaway. Before the summer crowds have so much as stepped onto the airport tarmac, why not take the opportunity to enjoy your destination in all its tranquil splendour? Italy, of course, is a splendid place to visit at any time of the year, but a spring break in Italy is especially rewarding: wildflowers are in full bloom, the weather is balmy yet not oppressive, and charming spring festivals and processions are in abundance. Not to mention, of course, that you will benefit from the seasonal increase in daylight hours; although when darkness does descend, there’s no shortage of entertainment.

Naturally, you shouldn’t cram your suitcase with beachwear if visiting in spring. While you can still enjoy a dip in the sea, it’d be smart to pack a light sweater, scarf – even an umbrella for the occasional sun shower. So what adventures can you expect on your Italian spring break? Whether exploring Rome’s historical sites and Venice’s canals, hiking through the brilliantly verdant Dolomites, or strolling through Florence’s world-famous Iris Garden, you’re sure to have a memorable trip.

 

Five great Italian destinations to visit during spring break


   

Spring breaks in Castiglione del Lago Spring breaks in Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago is located in central Italy, on the shores of Lake Trasimeno. An impressive old fortress town, it offers spring breakers no end of opportunities to behold fascinating historical sites. Must-see attractions include Castello del Leone, a capacious, pentagonal castle built under the command of Emperor Frederick II and completed in 1247. After ticking it off your list, move on to the Palazzo del Comune, the Vignola-designed gallery and museum built in the Renaissance style. Oh, and arrive in town early enough in the season and you’re sure to enjoy the popular Tulip Festival; held in early April, it concludes with – what else? – a horse race!

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Spring breaks in San Teodoro Spring breaks in San Teodoro

Located on the eastern coast of Sardinia, San Teodoro is a spring breaker’s paradise. The granite massif of Mount Nieddu, characterised by waterfalls and vivid Mediterranean maquis, is well worth a visit, and the ideal spot for a day’s hiking or biking. Climbing to the summit is no mean feat – its highest peak lies 3,000ft above sea level – but get there and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and a whole lot of fresh air. Elsewhere, there are a dozen or so gorgeous beaches; La Cinta, with its powdery white sand opening out onto the San Teodoro lagoon, is perhaps the pick of the bunch. During Holy Week, though, one should take the time to visit San Teodoro’s many churches.

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Spring breaks in Lecce Spring breaks in Lecce

The town of Lecce is located on the heel of the Italian boot, and spring breakers who want to connect with history will love it. Nicknamed The Florence of the South, visitors enjoy absorbing the majesty of its Baroque architecture, while noting many Greek influences upon the region, too. Take a walking tour of the unforgettable Basilica di Santa Cruz; its facade is as rich in decoration as its past is in drama. Spring is also a perfect time to enjoy local Puglian cuisine, made up of fresh seasonal cheeses and vegetables, fish, excellent bread, and – of course – pasta. Elsewhere, there’s a 16th-century castle to visit, a Roman amphitheatre, and a glut of fashionable shops and cafés. Why not hire a bike and spend a day touring the sights?

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Spring breaks in Lake Garda Spring breaks in Lake Garda

Spring breakers who long to explore the northern parts of Italy are certain to enjoy Lake Garda, the largest of the country’s many lakes. Handily, other favourite hotspots – Venice, Milan, Brescia and Verona among them – are also nearby. Adventurous visitors can try everything from mountain biking and hiking to rock climbing and windsurfing here; or alternatively, simply wander the narrow, winding streets, dropping in on harbour towns like Sirmione as you go. The thermal baths and hot springs are a highlight. Meanwhile, a day trip to Densenzano wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the 12th-century castle looming mightily over the port.

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Spring breaks in Sorrento Spring breaks in Sorrento

Sorrento, on the western coast, rewards travellers with many things, not least incredible views of Mount Vesuvius, Capri and Naples. The Bay of Naples is a focal point of the area, but spring breakers are in for many treats when arriving at this time of year: lemon and orange trees are flourishing; the local limoncello quenches the thirst better than glacial water; various local attractions are given added beauty by the temperate climate. I’m referring, specifically, to the flower-garlanded cloisters of the Church of San Francesco. One can easily spend a full day strolling through the old town as a whole, but as Sorrento’s coast is rocky, don’t expect an abundance of white beaches... You can, however, top up the tan on one of many specially constructed platforms jutting into the ocean. 

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