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Being a gem of a country, Italy is well known for its distinguished culture and natural beauty. It has it all from spectacular historic cities, white sandy beaches, and dramatic volcanoes. The dazzling country is crowned with breathtaking islands that represent much of its charm. Here are 10 beautiful Italian islands and archipelagos that must be included on your Italy bucket list.


1- Sicily

Being the largest island in Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is surrounded by three seas making it more special than any other. 

For a full experience, head without hesitation to Sicily where you will find the most beautiful mountains, beaches, ancient villages, and national parks. Adding to the serenity of Sicily, the island offers awesome cuisine. 

Sicily’s must visit destinations include the elegant Catania; the historic city of Syracuse; vibrant Arabian city of Palermo; the Valley of the Temples. Not to mention the mighty Mt Etna, the highest volcano in Europe.

2- Sardinia

The foodie island is a superb combination of Italian and African identities. Being the second largest island among all Italian islands and the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is a feast of an island with varied and vibrant surroundings.

It offers its visitors everything from natural beauty, sensational beaches, rich culture, beautiful turquoise seas and amazing food. 

On the north-east coast, you will find Costa Smeralda which is known for its jet-setters and Russian oligarchs. In addition, the mountainous mainland features pretty villages, as well.

3- Elba

Looking for a calm beach retreat away from the bustling city? Elba is the best choice for you. However, if you want to spend time entertained and doing activities, the island offers a variety of them. 

Tuscan Archipelago is the largest protected marine park in Europe, so it offers amazing diving and snorkeling experience. 

Other popular activities on Elba include climbing, mountain biking, and windsurfing. Additionally, the local cuisine is certainly not to be missed.

4- Ischia 

Lies in the Gulf of Naples, enclosed by the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ischia island is widely known for its panoramic landscapes and beautiful thermal springs. 

The main city of the island, also named Ischia, has so much to offer. It is divided into two sides, the old fashioned more historic with its towering Aragonese Castle Ischia Ponte, and the modern one including restaurants, bars and boutiques Ischia Porto. 

Moving to Forio town with its picturesque surroundings, it provides almost everything from wonderful beaches, fine dining, sightseeing, along with shopping and nightlife.

Here are some other places to see: the fishing village of Sant’Angelo, the Poseidon Gardens in the bay of Citara, the mesmerizing public villas and landscaped gardens lined along the island’s shores.

5- Lampedusa 

Lampedusa ,the largest one of the three Pelagie Islands, features breathtaking white beaches, a spectacular mix of rocks, small bays, sheer cliffs and picturesque landscapes - all lapped by the crystal clear sea. 

Spiaggia dei Conigli is the most significant beach in Lampedusa. The beach has been declared a nature reserve, along with its surrounding area. 

Head to the island’s only town, also named Lampedusa, for a selection of shops, restaurants, cafes and more. You will also enjoy the scenery of the town’s port and the palm-lined street. 

Not to mention the excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities you will find in this wonderful destination in the middle of the Med.

6- Capri

Lies in the Bay of Naples. Capri is one of the most well known islands in Italy. Capri is famous for being a summer playground for the famous and rich with its splashy hotels. However, the island overflows with culture and natural beauty. 

Capri offers its visitors great scenery of landscapes, blue waters, sea caves, iconic rock formations, beaches, pretty gardens and colourful buildings. 

Undoubtedly, the island’s top attraction is Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a sea cave illuminated by blue light, and the only one featuring a beautiful turquoise color. 

Give yourself a special treat and go hiking Anacapri, taking a chairlift to Mount Solaro and enjoying the Augustus Gardens that overlook the majestic Faraglioni, craggy rock formations over the sea. 

For a food treat, give their world-famous Limoncello a try and enjoy a slice of torta caprese, a flourless cake made of chocolate and almonds.

If you want to explore the island’s old town on foot, go off-season in autumn, where there is less crowd. 

7- Procida 

The tiniest island in the Gulf of Naples and less visited than Capri or Ischia, Procida is a peaceful destination even in high season. The Italian island is glowing with pastel-hued houses, pristine beaches and scenic ancient harbors.

Procida is a great place to combine seaside relaxation with culture and rural charm. The island remains mostly inhabited by locals, giving visitors the chance to mingle with its authentic lifestyle. 

Some of the highlights of the island are Marina di Corricella, a stunning colorful fishing harbor lined with a number of bars and restaurants; the livelier, yacht-studded Marina di Chiaiolella; along with beaches and small hidden bays dotted along the coast of Procida.

Additionally, the medieval old town of Terra Murata, the highest point of the island, is a wonderful place to visit and explore the amazing culture.  

8- Stromboli

Thanks to its small size, Stromboli is a perfect destination for you if you want to spend a quiet getaway. Being home to one of Italy’s three active volcanoes, the island lies in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is a part of the Aeolian Islands, in the north of Sicily. 

Stromboli only features a couple of beaches, and two villages (Stromboli and Ginostra) with whitewashed homes. It is also home to a dramatic volcano that many dare to climb up, although it can be quite dangerous.

Some other attractions of the island include Stromboli’s black lava beach, a perfect place for swimming and enjoying the sun. The nearby island of Strombolicchio is perfect for scuba-diving activities. 

9- La Maddalena

Located in the northeast of Sardinia (the second largest island in Italy), Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddalena, or La Maddalena Archipelago, is a beautiful national park consisting of 7 magnificent islands. La Maddalena is the largest and most appealing.

Visitors particularly come here to enjoy the beautiful unique beaches and the breathtaking Caribbean shores. There is a pink beach known as La Spiaggia Rosa di Budelli, but it can only be seen from the boat during your trip. Visitors can’t walk on it as it was protected by the National Park a couple of decades ago. 

The island is also home to stunning landscapes with walking trails and crystal clear waters for an amazing snorkelling and diving experience.

Don’t miss going to the thriving Maddalena town and explore the elegant boutique shops, awesome cafes, and restaurants serving delightful local delicacies.

10- Panarea 

Known to be the smallest yet exclusive Italian island, Panarea has become a favorite among Europe’s most notable jet-setters for the summer vacations. The island is a magnificent blend of cosmopolitan sophistication and barefoot island chic vibes. The island’s also known to be the party island, where the harbor fills up with glitzy yachts during the high season. 

Although the beaches aren’t as many and as magnificent as the other Aeolian islands, the island offers a number of rocky inlets to use as jumping-off points for the ocean.

The fantastic scenery along with the whitewashed houses, and the picturesque lanes, make it a gem of an island.

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