The very best things to do on your 2024 visit to Italy

Beautiful beach popular tourist small town of Monterosso in the Cinque Terre Park. The beautiful sandy beach in Italy. Seascape. Striped beach umbrellas on the shore of the Mediterranean sea. Romantic place.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    From fantastic food to coastal beauty or spectacular history, Italy offers a diverse range of travel experiences for every type of traveller.

    Whether you are thinking about your first visit or are a regular visitor, here’s a guide to what’s new in Italy along with a few useful tips to help you plan your 2024 escape.

    World-renowned hotels and restaurants

    Palazzo Luce suite, Lecce. (Supplied)

    • Stay at Passalacqua the world’s best hotel on stunning Lake Como: The tiny, 24-room hotel only just opened in June 2022 after a years-long restoration to its 18th-century building which has played host to guests as illustrious as Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, and Vincenzo Bellini
    • Dine at Italy’s freshly crowned top restaurants: Osteria Francescana in Modena (Emilia-Romagna) and Reale in Castel di Sangro (Abruzzo) have been named the top restaurants in Italy by the 2024 guide from Gambero Rosso, a leading Italian food and wine publisher. The chefs at the helm of the winning restaurants, Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana) and Niko Romito (Reale), each earned 96 out of 100 possible points.

    New travel experiences and places to stay

    Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Grand Suite. (Supplied)

    • A historic palazzo in Lecce has been reimagined as an art-led hotel. In the Puglian town of Lecce, the seven-suite Palazzo Luce boutique in the town’s historic centre is the brainchild of Milanese art collector Anna Maria Enselmi. Now transformed into an art and design-filled hotel, contemporary art lies at the heart of the 14th-century palazzo, once the residence of Maria d’Enghien, countess of Lecce and Queen of Naples.
    • Rome to Pompeii on Italy’s latest high-speed rail connection. A new, direct high-speed train service from Rome to Pompeii will hit the tracks in 2024. Operated by Trenitalia, it will connect the capital with the popular archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region in under two hours.
    • Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. and has since become an archaeological park. The service will make for a perfect day or overnight trip, the service departing Rome at 8:53am and then back to the capital from Pompeii at 6:40pm. Initially, it will run on the third Sunday of every month, with plans to increase in future.
    • The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express ups the ante. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, has recently added new carriages to its existing fleet, allowing passengers to travel in pure luxury with new Grand Suites featuring double beds with private bathrooms, each themed on the journey’s lakes, mountains and forests. The new suites also now allow for a dining area for afternoon tea and breakfast, along with a concealed bathroom hiding a wooden toilet, a glass sink and a mosaic-tiled shower cubicle featuring rainfall showerheads.

    Lesser-known destinations to uncover

    Turin, Piedmont. (Supplied)

    • Is Puglia Italy‘s newest hot spot? While Instagram suggests Amalfi is Italy‘s prettiest coastline, the heel of Italy, Puglia, offers a quieter and authentic Italian experience with the same jaw-dropping scenes as its more well-trodden counterpart.
    • Visit the UNESCO-listed town of Alberobello to see the iconic trulli houses, explore the baroque architecture of Lecce, and enjoy Puglian cuisine with dishes like orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe and the famous Puglian burrata cheese.
    • Perfect Piedmont is culture without the crowds. Famous across the globe for its food, wine, and stunning scenery, the Piedmont region is a treat for all the senses and surprisingly under-visited. Visiting from mid-March is the best season to taste local black truffles, decadent chocolate treats from the Cherasco commune, artisanal cheeses in the town of Bra, and wines of the Barolo appellation. Piedmont is also a poster child for two of travel’s buzziest trends: slow travel and wellness. The region is a perfect place to savour the experiences, tastes, and culture and is home to spa towns like Acqui Terme which offers numerous wellness centres and thermal baths where you can relax and rejuvenate.

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