15 Best Italian Islands To Visit To Live La Dolce Vita

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Looking for a gorgeous place to visit on your next European vacation? Here, you’ll find a guide to the best Italian islands that every avid traveler should visit at least once!

Love this? Also check the 15 Best Cities To Visit In Italy!

Collage of the best Italian Islands

You may have soaked up everything that areas like Rome and Cinque Terre have to offer.

But if you’re on the hunt for other gorgeous spots to visit around the Mediterranean, you might want to check out a few breathtaking Italian islands!

You probably know about hotspots like Capri and Sardinia. 

But I’ve also picked out a selection of lesser-known areas that are going to steal your heart!

And to make things even sweeter, these dream destinations are ideal for everything from casual day trips to romantic getaways.

So, prepare to explore the best Italian islands that will make your next trip one for the books!

Also check the 13 Best Italian Lakes You Cannot Miss.

The Best Italian Islands To Visit


A beautiful view of Capri's port
A beautiful view of Capri’s port

The Amalfi Coast is a gorgeous paradise that blends jaw-dropping vistas with beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants, and even ancient ruins.

And the glittering island of Capri is no exception!

There are so many wonderful things to do in Capri

You can start your trip with a visit to the Gardens of Augustus.

Not only does it cost just €1.50 to enter, but you’ll be treated to panoramas over the ocean and the iconic Faraglioni rocks. Plus, don’t forget to take an Insta-worthy picture of via Krupp from the top.

And if you want to take a closer look at those famous rocks, why not hop on a boat tour at the Marina Grande? Most excellent tours will cover the Blue Grotto, Green Grotto, and White Grotto, killing multiple birds with one stone!

If you’re a history lover, you’ll be able to drink in Italy’s past by visiting Emperor Tiberius’s Villa Jovis or wandering through Piazza Umberto I.

Whatever you choose to do in Capri, make sure you leave some time for sunbathing, grabbing fresh seafood, and trying a sip of Limoncello!


Aerial view of the incredible Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa
The incredible rabbit beach in Lampedusa

Lampedusa is part of the Pelagie Islands archipelago off the coast of Sicily, and it’s best known for its ridiculously clear waters.

Rabbit Beach is the place to be if you’re visiting during the summertime, as it’s completely protected and surrounded by crystal-clear ocean.

And you know what that means – it’s a total dream for snorkelers and diving enthusiasts!

If you want to find exciting marine life like octopi, stingrays, and groupers? Head straight for the statue of Madonna del Mare (which is worth a trip on its own!).

To recover from all that swimming, grab a pastry and gelato at Bar dell’Amicizia to refuel before going dolphin-spotting!

Throw in the breathtaking sheer cliffs and the beautiful Tabaccara Bay, and it’s easy to see why Lampedusa is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy!


Aerial view of La Pelosa beach in Stintino, Sardinia
La Pelosa beach in Stintino, Sardinia

If great food, stunning villages, and mega-yachts sound appealing, then you need to add Sardinia to your list of Italian islands to check out.

You can spend your time around the Emerald Coast visiting historic hotspots like the Su Nuraxi di Barumini (a defensive Bronze Age site!) or the Dunes of Piscinas

If you want more, you’ll find plenty of other Roman and Phoenician influences dotted around this large island.

And if you prefer laid-back vacations, why not stroll down the many incredible beaches while dipping your toes in the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea?

But if you take a second look, there’s much more to Italy’s second-largest island than beaches and history.

Part of what makes this area special is the smattering of coastal villages and the rugged mountainous landscape you’ll see from every angle.

It’s a perfect place in late spring for hikes and wine tastings as the peak season crowds haven’t hit yet! 

And if I’m being honest, visiting any island outside of the high season is one of my top Italy travel tips!


Panoramic aerial view of Campese bay. Giglio Island in Tuscany, Italy.
Cavoli beach, Elba Island

Elba is one of Italy’s most picturesque islands and is by far the most popular island in the beautiful Tuscan Archipelago.

But don’t worry – that doesn’t mean that tourists clog up every inch of the island during the summer months!

Yep, the fact that this spot is usually visited by local Tuscan residents helps keep things quiet.

While you’re here, make sure you try the catch of the day at any of the bustling local restaurants (ordering cozze alla marinara is always an excellent shout, BTW!).

If you’re a water baby, spend your time scuba diving around the sea caves of Formiche della Zanca. Alternatively, you can head out in a kayak for sightseeing!

And if you’re a fan of Italian history, it’s worth checking out the fascinating Calamita Mines, old-fashioned hamlets, and Villa dei Mulini.

To round off your trip, stop by Pomonte Beach for a colorful sunset over the Tyrrhenian Sea!


Sant Angelo fishing village on the coast of Ischia
Sant Angelo fishing village on the coast of Ischia

Not sure which Italian islands to consider for your next trip? You should definitely have the volcanic Ischia in the mix!

I’d say that this was an incredibly underrated spot as it remains one of Italy’s lesser-known island destinations. So, it tends to be far more affordable than competing spots like Capri, Sicily, or Corfu.

Spend some of your time visiting the Aragonese Castle (which sits on its own islet!). And miss the thermal springs and mud baths!

The Negombo Thermal Gardens and Poseidon Gardens are wonderful, but there are over 100 different options to choose from.

And if you’re not planning a trip to Ostuni in Puglia but still want to see some whitewashed houses, check out the charming fishing village of Sant’ Angelo!

Plus, I love that it feels a world away from tourist traps. 

This means you can grab authentic Italian dishes at a fraction of the price you’d find elsewhere.



The wonderful island of Procida in Campania
The wonderful island of Procida in Campania

You’ll find Procida tucked away on the Bay of Naples – and trust me, it’s worth seeking out!

It’s one of the most picturesque islands in the country with its charming seaside cafes, pastel-colored houses, and narrow streets.

If you have the stamina, hike up to the cliffs to the gorgeous village of Terra Murata where you’ll find tons of medieval structures.

The Renaissance Palazzo D’Avalos is also a must-visit, but don’t miss the incredible views over the colorful Marina Corricella from here either!

Want to dial things down a notch with white sandy beaches? 

You can easily spend days lazing around Chiaiolella, Chiaiolella, and Pozzo Vecchio which are the best beaches around!


View of Scopello at Zingaro Natural Reserve
View of Scopello at Zingaro Natural Reserve

Boasting everything from active volcanoes to balmy beaches and skiing opportunities in wintertime, Sicily is one of the beautiful Italian islands that does it all.

In my opinion, you’ll need at least a week to explore Sicily’s rich culture and history. And that’s because it’s the biggest island in the Med!

As the island has been influenced by various rulers over the years, you’ll find preserved Greek temples and Roman ruins dotted across Sicily.

If you’re not sure where to start, Selinunte Archaeological Park and Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples are immaculately preserved.

Once you’ve had your fill of history, relax on many of the pristine beaches in Sicily, like the white sandy beach in San Vito Lo Capo or the striking limestone cliffs of Scala dei Turchi.

And hey – the brave amongst you might even want to hike up the Mount Etna volcano for unbeatable views!

Want to know more? Check out the 11 Best Places To Visit In Sicily.


An image of the active volcano islands at Lipari Italy
An image of the active volcano islands at Lipari Italy

If you’re planning to visit the Aeolian Islands during your Italian adventure, then Lipari is a near-perfect base.

Not only does it offer amazing ferry connections, but it’s large enough that you never feel irritated by all the tourists.

While you’re actually on Lipari, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Old Town. 

It hosts everything from local souvenir shops to the stunning Cathedral of San Bartolomeo.

If you want to recoup at any point, Marina Corta is a beautiful square for chilling out with an aperitif while you enjoy the idyllic views.

Plus, it’s super easy to head out on boat trips if you want to explore the crystal-clear seas!


View of Lago di Venere in Pantelleria, Sicily
View of Lago di Venere in Pantelleria, Sicily

Calling all wine lovers! The next area on this list of beautiful Italian islands is just built for you.

Despite being universally renowned for its sweet wines and tranquil atmosphere, this spot is one of Italy’s lesser-known island destinations.

You’ll be able to grab amazing Italian local dishes in Pantelleria like the iconic Pantescan Kiss pastry. 

But you should also keep an eye out for North African influences as you’re only 30 miles from Tunisia!

And between visiting the 300 or so small vineyards in the area, make sure you check out the Dammusi.

They’re essentially whitewashed stone houses that were built sometime around the 10th century. If you’re adventurous, you can even stay in restored ones!

To round off your trip, embrace Mother Nature at La Montagna Grande National Park.

Here, you’ll find the enormous Monte Grande peak and the beautiful volcanic lake Lo Specchio di Venere!


La Forna, Ponza
La Forna, Ponza

You may not have heard of the charming island of Ponza, as it’s more of a summer vacation spot for Neapolitan and Roman locals.

But prepare to be blown away by its dazzling sea stacks, glorious sea caves, and diving opportunities!

This is one of the islands in Italy that’s just as beautiful as anything you’ll find on the Amalfi Coast. 

But this hidden gem is typically far less crowded and is just an hour from mainland Italy.

This gives you the chance to grab fresh seafood and mozzarella at any of the waterfront cafes or go hiking without stress!

Although you can spend your days zipping around town on a scooter or hitting the port area for shopping, don’t miss the ruins.

The Pilate Caves, Forte Papa, and the beautiful Cala dell’Acqua beach area are all must-visit spots if you’re here for history.

Plus, you can finish your day by cooling down with a few scoops from the Gelateria Blue Marine!


Beach of Cala Coticcio on Caprera island, Sardinia, Italy
The unreal beach of Cala Coticcio on Caprera island, Sardinia, Italy

Caprera is one of the most romantic Italian islands, as it’s home to the most beautiful emerald waters and charming beaches.

There aren’t any designated hotels on Caprera, which makes it an ideal choice for a daily trip that’s perfectly secluded.

You’ll adore the breathtaking Spiaggia di Cala Brigantina (it’s probably the most popular beach here!). But don’t miss out on the more private Cala Coticcio or Cala Serena if you want to steal a few kisses.

And while you’re here, make sure you check out the historical Fortification of Poggio Rasu that’s perched on the hilltops.

This little island is relatively compact, so I suggest tacking this on to a trip from Sardinia or Corsica.


A breathtaking aerial view of Stromboli
A breathtaking aerial view of Stromboli

Stromboli is packed with natural beauty, including one of the most active volcanoes in the world!

Many people visit Stromboli to head up to the iconic Sciara del Fuoco Viewpoint (Steam of Fire).

It’s an incredibly impressive slope where you’ll see bubbling lava and amazing fireworks from the small volcanic eruptions!

Just so you’re aware, It’s important to hike to the summit with an experienced guide. They’ll take you on safe routes and get you to the peak in approximately 4 hours.

Aside from the iconic volcano, you’ll also find black sand beaches (Grotta di Eolo is a must!) and a small village port in Stromboli.

To rest your weary legs after all that trekking, you can stop at one of the wonderful local restaurants for a spot of pasta and a smooth glass of wine.

I’ll drink to that!


Aerial view of Volcano crater on Vulcano island
Volcano crater on Vulcano island

If you can’t get enough of volcanoes, hot springs, and mud baths, then Vulcano is bound to impress.

The Fossa Crater here is breathtaking, and you can get panoramic views of the entire island from Capo Grillo

Plus, you can take an incredible bath in bubbling mud to rejuvenate those tired muscles after a trek up the Fossa.

Just be prepared for those sulfurous fumes as you’re walking around the bubbling caldera!

While you’re here, you should also try out the super flavorful catches at Trattoria da Pina

It has stunning waterfront views and is a classic family-run spot that serves genuinely authentic fare (always a win!).

If you have more time, why not sunbathe for an hour or two on the black sands of Spiaggia dell’Asino?


Campese bay, Giglio Island in Tuscany, Italy
Campese bay, Giglio Island in Tuscany

When it comes to quaint port towns, nowhere is more gorgeous than Giglio.

Not only is it surrounded by a rugged mountainside and glimmering turquoise water, but it has a distinctly laid-back feel.

It’s an easy spot to visit for a day trip as it’s just 11 miles from Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany. 

But don’t worry – you can easily soak up the fairytale vibes for several days!

Spend your time wild swimming along the coastline to spot a few sea urchins or pop into one of the many restaurants for a plate of pasta!

Fancy a spot of culture? You can explore the fortified city walls by hiking uphill to Giglio Castello which is home to a Baroque-style church.

Anything goes when the views are this glorious.


A wonderful beach in Favignana island
A wonderful beach in Favignana island

Favignana is the jewel in the crown of the Egadi Islands, and it’s a wonderful place to visit for scenic hikes and beachy vibes.

You should spend time exploring beaches like Cala Rossa and Bue Marin as you can easily go wild swimming. 

Then, you can stretch your legs by hiking to Santa Caterina Castle or going open-water diving!

Once you’ve sunbathed to your heart’s content, you can bop around the main town’s little shops or hop on a ferry to nearby Marettimo or Levanzo!

And if you need a bite to eat, feel free to stop by any of the charming little beach bars or pizzerias.

None of them will cost the earth!

Ready to explore these beautiful Italian Islands?

If you need any more tips or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll be more than happy to help!

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