Take a Northern Italy Vacation

Northern Italy encompasses the regions of Liguria, Valle d’ Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Fruili. This vast area includes the Italian Alps and Dolomites, the glorious Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, the Italian Riviera and mysterious and magical Venice. Aside from Venice , Liguria and the lakes area, this part of Italy is still undiscovered by tourists. Until the 2006 Winter Olympics, Torino (Turin) was a sleeping beauty, but it has now awakened and has shown its beauty to the world.

Portofino, Italy


Liguria is known as the Italian Riviera; it hugs the Mediterranean coast and offers wonderful resort towns such as Portofino, and San Remo as well as the now-famous Cinque Terre. Genoa is the largest city in this bustling region.

Manarola in the Cinque Terre

Valle d’ Aosta and Piedmont

Valle d’ Aosta and Piedmont are rural areas with the exception of Torino (Turin), a cultural treasure. From the Alps in the north to the vineyards near Barolo, this part of Italy is alpine or involved in agriculture. The Parco Nationale del Gran Paradiso is prized by naturalists for its unspoiled scenery and wildlife.

Gran Paradiso Mountain - Italy's highest peak

Gran Paradiso Mountain – Italy’s highest peak


The Lombardy region stretches from the Swiss Alps to the plains of the River Po. The lakes region to the north provides ample opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities. In the Po valley, agriculture reigns supreme. Milan, the center of Fashion and commerce is well worth exploring. It is in Milan where you can find the famous Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Milan Cathedral from Piazza del Duomo

Milan Cathedral from Piazza del Duomo

Trentino Alto Adige

Trentino Alto Adige is an interesting region because the language of Trentino is Italian and the language spoken in Adige is German. This area is located in the Dolomite Mountains and is a winter playground for snow-lovers.

Veneto and Fruili

Veneto’s terrain is mountainous to the north and flat to the south. Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, borders Veneto on the west. Padua, Verona and lovely Venice are the stars of this region. Both Veneto and Fruili border the Adriatic to the south. Fruili also borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. Trieste is a lovely port city on the Adriatic bordering Slovenia.

Venice gondolier

Venice gondolier


Climate of Northern Italy

The climate of Northern Italy is best described as cold winters and warm, rainy summers. The average winter temperatures in the lowlands are rarely below 40 degrees and the summer averages in the low 80’s. Rainfall is abundant in spring and fall with October being the rainiest of the year.

A Couple Of Our Favorite Hotels In Northern Italy

Colombina Hotel****
We love this hotel situated near St. Marks Square and with a breathtaking view if the Bridge of Sighs. You arrive at their doorstep by water taxi and enter a lovely lobby with staff ready to serve you. Hotels in Venice are extremely expensive, but this hotel is reasonable for its category.

Hotel Splendido*****L
This hotel is a luxury hotel beyond belief. Set atop a hill overlooking Portofino and the sea, the views are incredible and the service is as one would expect. The Splendido has a sister hotel, the Splendido Mare, located in Portofino near the sea. It isn’t as regal, but it is half the price and you are able to use the services at the Splendido. We stayed here and really had the best of both worlds. We swam in the Splendido pool and had a wonderful lunch and dinner there with views that just knock your socks off. We also enjoyed the Splendido Mare piano bar in the evening, listening to Italian arias sung by the talented piano player. So, for Luxury the Splendido is tops, but for a luxurious “bargain”, try the Splendido Mare.

Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com

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  1. says

    Hallo to all travellers going to Italy,

    I see more and more people (expecially 1st timers), asking about where to go or what to see in Italy.

    I have suggested this list already to several people, but I post it again hoping that can help more travellers.

    Depending on what you prefer (fashion, entertainment, art, history, summer vacation, food, trend) I have made a note, next to each city, where you can have any of the above.

    Suppose you begin visiting Italy from the northern part, here is the list of cities/towns I prefer:

    Milan (fashion, entertainment)
    Turin (history, art)
    Portofino, Rapallo (summer, trendy)
    Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda (summer)
    Genoa (history, summer)
    Verona (history)
    Venice (history, art)
    Parma, Modena, Ravenna, Ferrara (history, food)
    Bologna (history, food, entertainment)
    Florence (history, art, fashion)
    Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Arezzo (history, art)
    Forte dei Marmi (summer, entertainment, trendy)
    Chianti Region (food)
    Perugia, Cortona, Gubbio, Siena , Spoleto (history, food, art)
    Rome (history, art, food)
    Naples, Caserta (history, art, food)
    Capri, Ischia, Sorrento coast, Amalfi coast (summer, food, trendy)
    Palermo, Syracuse, Agrigento, Trapani (history, art, food)
    Costa Smeralda (summer, entertainment)

    Obviously the food is excellent anywhere in Italy, and in any city you walk through history. This is a simple guideline, in order to give you an idea about what you can find, depending where you go.

    For your hotels, I definitely recommend you to visit the following website: http://www.placesinitaly.com

    Buon viaggio

  2. ralph says

    i would like to receive advise about places that have both ski for
    young adults and other activities for third age persons.

  3. says

    Hi Ralph,

    You can do a search on the top right of our site under the pictures. You can look up skiing or whatever your interest, and you’ll find a list of articles to choose from.

    Best regards

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