The most beautiful road trips in Northern Italy

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Explore the rolling Tuscan hills, the shores of Italian lakes and more.

North Italy has everything; incredible food, idyllic landscapes, great art and culture and a pleasant climate. And a road trip is one of the best ways to enjoy it. For anyone planning or dreaming of their next getaway, why not rent a car and embark on one of these scenic and heavenly road trip routes in Northern Italy?

The Italian Lakes

The beauty of the Italian lakes cannot be overstated. Explore the villages of pastel-colored houses adorned with flower baskets and shuttered windows that line the shores of Lake Garda. Or break up a road trip with a boat trip to the grand neoclassical villas that line Lake Como’s sparkling blue waters, while mountains dotted with cypress forests and terraces of olive and lemon groves provide the backdrop. You can customize your road trip itinerary to suit your needs, whether you’re cruising around Lake Garda for a week. Or spend a lazy day driving 70km around the south coast of Como, stopping at charming little towns like Bellagio. Book a night at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini in the city of Como, an easy starting point for a trip around the lake.

The Dolomites

The Grande Strada delle Dolomiti (or the Great Dolomites Road) meanders 182 km through the magnificent granite peaks of the mountain range of the same name. The entire route runs from the city of Bolzano to a town called Cortina d’Ampezzo, but you can split it up as you see fit. However, you should tackle it at a relatively slow pace; This leaves time for detours on spectacular hikes and pit stops at vantage points in order to enjoy the landscape to the fullest. Expect castles, glaciers, crystal clear turquoise lakes contrasting with the gray granite, and amazing natural landmarks like the rugged Passo Pordoi. Start your journey with a stay in Townhouse Goldensterna B&B in Bolzano.

Milan to Rome

From Italy’s fashion capital to the capital city proper, this road trip itinerary takes in some of the country’s finest treasures. It’s a six-hour drive at a time, but should be broken up into a multi-day excursion. Stop in Bologna, a young city for its university (famous for being the oldest continuously operating university in the world) to taste ragu with freshly grated parmesan in the city where it originated. Next, visit Florence for a taste of Renaissance art and architecture. And Siena for its magical Tuscan cityscape, characterized by the Torre del Mangia towering over the main square, Piazza del Campo. Complete your trip to Rome with a stay at the Hotel Vilan.

Venice to Milan

Start with at least a few car-free days amidst Venice’s dreamy waterways, gondola rides and excursions to the lagoon islands of Murano and Burano. Then make your way to Padua, home to another of the world’s oldest universities, as well as some of the world’s most historically significant frescoes by Giotto in the city’s Scrovegni Chapel. Your next stop should be Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet and the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater that dates back to AD 30 and is still used today for opera and pop concerts. Get a show ticket here and spend the night in Verona before continuing to Milan to end your road trip with a stop at Moscow luxury B&B.

Turin to Florence

This road trip itinerary is a tourist one that takes in some of Italy’s most iconic sights, from the colorful terraces of the Cinque Terre to the photo-op-friendly Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Although it’s not recommended to drive the Cinque Terre — a series of quaint coastal villages with pastel-colored homes dotting the hills — you can park your car to walk the trail for this portion of your trip. There are also there is much to see and do in Turinwhere to start your journey (and Rent your car). And the beguilingly beautiful sight of the tree-covered church tower in the town of Lucca, which is also on the way. Not to mention mighty monuments like the exquisite Florence Duomo and its medieval Ponte Vecchio (or Old Bridge) that will be the grand highlight of your trip during your stay Corte Calzaiuoli Elegant Suites.

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