Stephanie Yoder a RoamRight Blog Author

6 Must-Visit Italian Islands

Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Italy is surrounded on three sides by vast expanses of water, so it's not surprising that the country has a wealth of interesting, beautiful and sometimes mysterious islands. Ranging from the large and famous islands, like Sicily, to small and relatively unknown ones, like Lampedusa, the following list is a jumping-off point to take advantage of Italy's diverse range of scenic islands.

Sicily

Italy's most well known island is home to one of the most vibrant and unique cultures in Europe. Although separated from mainland Italy by just 5 miles of water, it's culturally entirely different. Occupied at separate times by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Spaniards, the language, food and architecture of Sicily represent a distinct blend of different influences. The island offers a diverse range of experiences to visitors, including beautiful Mediterranean beaches, ancient Greek ruins and still-rumbling volcanoes.

Sardinia

Although bigger than Sicily in size, Sardinia is an often-overlooked region of Italy. The island in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea is far more popular with Italian vacationers than foreign visitors. Unlike other islands in the area, Sardinia is not a huge clubbing hot spot. Instead, it is well regarded for its natural beauty and large, unpopulated swaths of wilderness. Visitors to Sardinia will be rewarded with beautiful scenery: long rocky beaches, inland caves and forest waterfalls. Sardinia is popular for outdoor activities like boating, surfing, rock climbing and camping.

Elba

History buffs will recognize Elba as the island where Napoleon once lived in exile. In fact, this island off the coast of Tuscany has a very long history, dating back to the Ancient Etruscans. Ruins of this long-gone civilization are still scattered around the island along with small villages and idyllic churches. In addition to many stunning beaches, visitors can tour Napoleon's winter and summer homes on the island.

Capri

Capri, a small island in the Bay of Naples, is famous worldwide for its literally legendary beauty. Greek mythology marks it as the home of the beautiful but dangerous Sirens that tempted Odysseus. In Roman times the island was a beach resort for the emperors. Now it's still popular with visitors, particularly in July and August when the area becomes saturated with sun-seeking visitors. The famous Blue Grotto is a highlight: an ocean cave where the angle of the sun makes the water glow an eerie incandescent blue.

Aeolian Islands

The Aeolians are a unique chain of volcanic islands off the coast of Italy. They are known for both their natural beauty and their strange geothermal properties. The island Vulcano is a strange place with hissing steam vents, geysers and hot mud baths, which visitors can swim in. The volcano that dominates the island of Stromboli is the only volcano in the world that has been constantly active throughout all of recorded history. At night visitors can climb up the crater and observe the glowing eruptions.

Lampedusa

Lampedusa is the largest island in the Pelagie chain, which stretches across the Mediterranean. The island is the southernmost point in Italy, although geographically it should technically be a part of Africa. The area is known for its stunning beaches, arid rocky scenery and clear waters. The most famous beach on the island is Rabbit Beach, which was voted the #1 beach in the world by TripAdvisor in 2013.

Which of these islands do you want to visit most?

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About the Author

Stephanie Yoder

Stephanie Yoder, a RoamRight Blog Author

Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.

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