Luxury road trips in Italy

Sunday, 27 October 2015 4:00 PM

The beautiful country of Italy has much to recommend it, particularly its cuisine, rolling countryside and the azure-blue waters lapping its coastline. It is also a brilliant year-round holiday destination - you can go skiing in its Alps during the winter months, enjoy city breaks in the spring, hit its sun-soaked coastal resorts over the summer and wander round the cultural highlights of places like Florence and Venice when the leaves start to fall.

If you want to take in as much as possible of the Mediterranean nation, consider planning a road trip. You can start out in the north and make your way to various pit-stops along the way, ending up in the ancient city of Naples. Read on to find more tips on plotting your route.

Start in Milan

Flights from the UK to Milan take less than two hours, so you can be picking up your Auto Europe hire car from the airport and setting off on your road trip in no time at all. The city is famous for its fashion industry and you can spot the biggest brand names as you walk through the Quadrilatero della moda (fashion quarter). Via Monte Napoleone is the most stylist street in this district and is home to several fashion house headquarters, including homegrown talent Gucci. The road itself traces the Roman city walls that were erected by Emperor Maximian. Other highlights in this wonderful city are its vast gothic Duomo (cathedral), the Santa Maria delle Grazie church housing da Vinci's iconic Last Supper painting, and the nearby Lake Como.

Take the A1 to Pisa

About two and three-quarter hours from Milan lies the Romanesque city of Pisa, most famous for its leaning tower. It was built in the 12th century and started listing to one side 12 years later. Ever since, architects and engineers have worked to correct the subsistence but its lopsided nature has given the tower a special charm that lures in millions of tourists each year. For the best vantage  point, head to Porta Nuova and take lots of pictures. Other sights to see in Pisa are the Duomo, the Baptistry and Camposanto.

Skim the coast on the SS1 to Rome

Ah, Roma. Capital of Italy, centre of the ancient Roman empire, epitome of all things style and class. Its Coliseum, Pantheon, Forum and self-contained Vatican make the Eternal City an amazing place to visit for a cultural break. Make sure you spend some time drinking in the atmosphere at the Trevi Fountain, eat an ice-cream on the Spanish Steps and catch the sun in the Piazza Farnese.

Continue on the A1 to Naples

Our last stop on our tour of Italy is the city of Naples, known as an historic gem because of its UNESCO World Heritage status. Climb to the roof of the Castel Nuovo ('New Castle'), a mediaeval fortress that boasts an art gallery focusing on 19th century Italian art and city-wide views from the top, before heading to the world's biggest Roman architectural museum in the form of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

Coffee beans

A coffee-fuelled road trip in northern Italy

There's no need to worry about drink-driving in Italy - have a delicious cup of coffee instead

You can expect fireworks on NYE in Italy

Top Italian destinations for a luxurious new year getaway

If you're looking for somewhere to see in the new year in style, you can't get much better than Italy. The country is renowned for its excellent cuisine and wine, as well as its spectacular celebrations, so consider joining the party to welcome 2015.

Top ancient sites to see in Italy

A guide to Italy's ancient wonders

Famous for being one of the most sophisticated European holiday destinations, Italy is a wonderful place to visit on a luxury break - especially if you have a passion for history. Find out what to see and how to travel with our guide.

San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

A taste of luxury in Italy's top cities

With one of the world's top capital cities, Rome; a city built on water (Venice); and a city made famous by William Shakespeare in Verona, you can be sure of a heady mix of beautiful architecture, ancient history and fascinating culture.

See the Taj Mahal on a 7 Wonders tour

Luxury trip suggestion: visiting the New Seven Wonders of the World

If you're looking to splash some serious cash on travelling, organise a trip based on visiting the New Seven Wonders of the World. While only one of the ancient World Wonders remains, there is now a whole new set to discover.

Quirky luxury hotels - Maison Moschino

Quirky luxury hotels - A wonderland in an old railway station

Set in a 1840s neoclassical railway station in the heart of Milan, the Maison Moschino provides guests with a unique design experience where nothing is as it seems.

Capri has an idyllic coastline

Top 5 places to visit on a Naples sailing holiday

Taking to the water is an ideal way to explore the beautiful Bay of Naples and surrounding area. There is a fascinating city to visit on the mainland, along with some wonderful islands that are perfect destinations for luxury holidays.

Route 66 is legendary (Photo: Arizona Tourism Office)

Best road trips in the USA

Great American road trips are the stuff of legend. Whether you fancy yourself a bit of a Thelma and Louise type - sunglasses on and scarf wrapped around your head - or you are more of a Little Miss Sunshine group, there is a road trip for you.


Sign up to's ASPIRE.

Subject to terms of use and privacy policy

Top five luxurious things to do in Florence

Top five luxurious things to do in Florence

Italy is synonymous with luxury and where better for a luxurious city break than the Renaissance city of Florence? Here are some of our top five luxurious activities to do in the city, from gourmet eating, to opera in the Gardens of Boboli and Italian leather glove shopping.

Scandinavian chic in the heart of Palma de Mallorca

Hotel Tres, Palma de Mallorca

Esme Fox finds a boutique refuge and plenty of culture in Mallorca’s historic capital – Palma.