Italy’s secret island destinations


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Italy recently authorized the return of Americans for tourism. Your next trip to Italy should be spared the crowded tourist cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. This summer why not visit a few islands surrounding La Botte which will not be overcrowded with tourists. Everyone knows Sicily, Sardinia and Capri but there are also Italy’s secret island destinations waiting to be discovered this summer.

Americans visiting Sicily
Tyrrhenian Sea in Sicily

The secret islands of Italy


Vulcano is one of the seven Aeolian Islands located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The name comes from the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. The island has one of the four active volcanoes in Italy and the island itself has many volcanic calderas.

Vulcano Island.

There is so much to do and see on Vulcano. Adventure types can climb its active volcano Gran Cratere. The island offers many walking tours to see sites such as Cape Grilo and Vulcanello. The island has a few spa and wellness sites that use local volcanic mud as a therapeutic treatment. Relax on the black sand beach of Gelso and swim in the “acque calde”) warm waters heated by hot steam.

Vulcano has many charming gourmet restaurants for visitors to explore. La Bottega di Vulcano offers delicious Italian, seafood and Mediterranean specialties served daily.



A one hour ferry ride from Trapani in Sicily will bring you to Marettimo. This island is located on the Mediterranean Sea and the most remote of the Egadi Islands. The island is so isolated that it will feel like it is frozen in time as it is primarily a rural community. There are a large number of donkeys and horses on the island which the locals use every day for work and transport. There are no hotels on the island, so most visitors tend to stay in rooms or apartments in town.


Due to the protected waters around Marettimo, it is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Many sea caves and caves are ready to be explored. The island is known for its wildlife, including eagles and peregrine falcons. Explore the ruins and learn the history of Casa Romana as you hike the trails.

What Marettimo offers is a selection of good restaurants. The island is full of restaurants serving seafood, pizza, Mediterranean and regional Italian cuisine. La Cambusa is called “a little gem of Marettimo” for its southern Italian, vegetarian and Sicilian menu.



This secret island is the favorite of many celebrities, including Beyonce, Bill Gates and Uma Thurman. Visitors arrive at Panarea via a ferry or hydrofoil from Naples, Milazzo, Palermo or Reggio Calabria. Panarea is a completely car-free island, so the only way to get around is by foot or with a golf cart.


Visitors will love exploring the San Pietro district with its gardens and terraces, palm groves and olive trees. There are many beautiful secluded beaches on the island, perfect for relaxing, snorkeling or swimming. The only way to get to many of the best beaches on the island is by boat.

Panarea has top notch dining options. Besides Italian and seafood dishes, you will also find superb cold cuts, sushi and bakeries on the island. Enjoy a fabulous alfresco meal of pasta or seafood at Cusiritati. This refined establishment also offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.


La Maddalena

A short ferry ride from Palau, Sardinia will find you in La Maddalena. This island is the largest of the seven eponymous island groups off the coast of Sardinia. La Maddalena is best known for hosting luxury yachts from the Costa Smeralda.

There is plenty to do on this idyllic island. One of the strengths of La Maddalena is its national park. The La Maddalena Archipelago National Park is unique as the park is a group of islands in the sea. Elsewhere on the island, scuba diving, snorkelling and boat trips are available for guests. half-day and full-day excursions.

La Maddalena.

La Maddalena has quite a few restaurants serving local specialties. Taste a vintage at the wine bar of the Vineria Nini before starting your good Italian meal. At La Maddalena, guests can also dine on delicious steak, various seafood or Mediterranean dishes for their evening meal.

La Maddalena2


Ponza is a popular place for Romans but is virtually unknown to international travelers. It is the largest of the Pontine Islands and is located between Rome and Naples on the Tyrrhenian Sea. You can get to Ponza by ferry from Anzio, located 40 km north of Rome.


Ponza has a multitude of activities available for visitors. There are a handful of bars and clubs in town for drinking and partying. You can hike along the many trails on the island. If you walk the old mule track you will find yourself at the highest point, the abandoned Monte Guardia naval building. You can also rent a wooden gazzo for a day and go from cove to cove.

There are a number of restaurants on Ponza which serve excellent Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. For a wonderful romantic dinner, head to Ristorante Dieci Maggio for their excellent Mediterranean cuisine.



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