1. Go Truffle Hunting: Truffle hunting is an age-old tradition here and one of the best things to do in Italy. Truffles, which are edible mushroom-like fungi that grow beneath the ground ear roots of trees, are such an intrinsic part of the Italian cuisine that the country also celebrates International Truffle Festivals!
What makes truffle hunting an exciting thing is that they are extremely hard to find and are considered to be a food fit for the Gods. They are found only inside dense forests and a truffle hunting tour will take you on elusive trails. Dogs trained in sniffing truffles also accompany some tours. The highlight of this activity is that after the tour, you are served a delicious meal made of the truffles that you picked.
Location: The best locations for truffle hunting are Tuscany, Le Marche, and Langhe.
Price: Truffle hunting costs start from Euro 110, INR 9175
Timings: The best season for this activity is between April to September.
2. Try The Amazing Street Foods: You are never left wanting when thinking of what to do in Italy for food! Italian food is not only about fine dining, pizza, pasta, and gelatos. Italy’s street food is extremely varied, interesting, and quite unique.
Some of the best things to try are Arancine (deep-fried rice balls served with arrabbiata sauce), Panzerotti (Calzone-type savoury pastry filled with cheese & tomato), Crema Fritta (Fried custard), Polenta (cooked cornmeal fried in sugar) and Olive All'Ascolana (crisp olives and filled with spiced meat spiced and parmesan).
Location: Central Italy for Olive All'Ascolana, Southern Italy for Arancini & Panzerotti, and Northern Italy for Polenta.
Price: Street foods start at around Euro 6, INR 500.
Timings: Summers are the best time as this is when you’ll find the maximum number of street food trucks and pop-up shops.
3. Hike to an Active Volcano: Go beyond mountain hiking on your next trip to Italy! Try hiking up till the crater of Mount Vesuvius, one of the only two dormant volcanoes in Europe, which is one of the most adventurous things to do in Italy. The fact that this mountain is still active and is dangerous has been attracting climbers since the 16th-century.
It is an exciting experience to see the mountain responsible for burying Pompeii city in ash in 79 AD. You will take an easy 30-minute hike to the top and traverse through trails covered entirely in ash & pumice. At times hikers have been able to spot the crater spewing a bit of stream.
Price: To be able to hike till the crater, you need to pass through Mount Vesuvius Park, the entrance fee of which is Euro 10, INR 834.
- March- October: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- April, May, June, and September: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- July & August: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
- January, February, November, and December: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
4. Take a road trip on Amalfi Coast: One of the most thrilling things to do in Italy is to see this place of extraordinary beauty, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This road trip will let you pass through picturesque medieval villages like Ravello, Praiano, and Positano.
The coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea is famous for its breathtaking beauty, expanses of stark blue-green waters, dramatic cliffs, and pristine white sandy beaches. Don’t miss stopping for a breather in the lush vineyards, olive groves, ancient churches and coves on your route. No wonder this trip finds a mention in National Geographic’s’ ‘Drives of a Lifetime’.
Location: The road trip can be started from Naples, known as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast.
Price: The entire 8-day trip would cost around Euro 2,000, INR 1.67 lacs. This includes accommodation, food, parking & petrol charges, entry fees, etc.
Timings: The road trip is most enjoyed between April-October.
5. Enjoy a Sailing Tour: Thinking of what to do in Italy on the weekend? Italy’s long coastline is dotted with remarkable beaches and islands that offer the perfect reason and opportunity to sail. This is the best way to step away from the usually crowded places and plunge into the stunning seaside beauty of the country.
You can rent powerboats, catamaran, skippered, or a bareboat that will let you explore colourful harbours, ancient villages, churches, and hidden sea coves.
Location: Bay of Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and Tuscany.
Price: Sailing tours start from Euro 143, INR 11,200.
Timings: The peak sailing season is between May and October.
6. Enjoy Cave Exploration: One of the most exciting things to do in Italy is to explore the dense network of its intriguing underground caves that have existed here since the Bronze Age dating back to 1200 BC.
These caves include walkways dug thousands of years ago with still-evident pick marks, ancient religious sites, deep ravines, and walls covered in pagan paintings and scriptures. These catacombs have seen centuries of wars and include sacred burial chambers and prayer places belonging to the Stone Age.
Location:Tuscany, Vintimiglia, and Toirano.
Price: The tours start at Euro 120, INR 10,000.
Timings: May-October is the best time to go cave hunting.
7. Take a Dolomites Hiking Trip: The Dolomites are famous for their stunningly rugged landscape, amazing hiking trails, and the panoramic views that they offer. One of the best things to do in Italy is to enjoy hiking amidst miles of woods, green-golden meadows, mountain lakes, and rugged cliffs in these ranges.
Some of the best routes to explore here are the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Loop, Seceda to Wolkenstein, and Alpe Di Siusi.
Location: Northeastern Italy extending from River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.
Price: The trek cost starts around Euro 50, INR 4176.
Timings: Period between June-September offers the best views and weather.
8. Take a Classic Gondola Ride: Cruising through its famous canals on a gondola and is considered to be one of the best activities to do in Italy. So much so that no trip to the country is complete without it! These watercraft emerged more than 1000 years ago in Italy for transporting people and goods and are now one of the most popular things that travellers tick off their bucket list.
Cruising slowly beneath the quaint bridges amidst magnificent architecture is something that you won’t forget anytime soon.For the best experience, you can opt for a gondola with a singer on board who will serenade you as you enjoy some of the greatest landmarks in the world. There are numerous tours to choose from- daytime tours and sunset & wine tours, etc.
Location: The best gondola rides are enjoyed in Venice.
Price: Gondola rides start at around Euro 44, INR 3700.
Timings: It can be enjoyed at any time of the day.