Italy is a large, long peninsula that juts out into the mediterranean sea and is surrounded by majestic waters on three sides. It also boasts an abundance of natural lakes within its borders. Both outside this land and within, there are numerous Italian islands; each one offering something unique to the curious travelling mind. Many of Italy islands are only accessible by boat however some are close enough to land that they are joined by bridges. While some of these offer the perfect beach getaway, others are full of history and attractions better suited for those looking to fill their days with exploration and awe.
The Borromean Islands are the perfect place to start your island hopping adventure. This cluster of three tiny land masses are located in Lake Maggiore and are a very popular tourist spot. These Italian islands showcase beautiful gardens, 15th century architecture, charming palaces and much more.
For those who love taking an amazing, colour-rich photo, another island worth seeing is Burano. This island was home to many fishermen and the best possible explanation for it's vibrant surroundings, according to the legend is that the homes were painted in bright pastel hues so the returning fishermen could easily find their way home after a long day at sea. Many people come here for the unique style of homes and buildings, as well as the friendly locals who run the cafes and shops, and there are many to enjoy. Just come and absorb all that is this island life, and don't forget to take lots of photos.
History buffs always enjoy visiting Elba Italy which is an island off the coast of Tuscany. It offers not only the spectacular views with a breathtaking national park, but also some historical significance. The island of Elba was the location of Napoleon Buonaparte's exile following a failed invasion of Russian back in the early 18th century.
Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Capri island is an amazingly picturesque spot with breathtaking cliffs and gorgeous blue waters. It is another very popular spot among island enthusiasts and has been since ancient Roman times. Capri is perfect for boating, swimming, snorkeling and would be an absolute mistake not to include it in your Italian islands hopping itinerary.
Also located in the Tyrrhenian Sea is a volcanic island named Ischia, it is also a must especially to those who with to spend time while rejuvenating the body and mind. It is best knows for for the healing waters of its thermal spas and the many mineral benefits enjoyed in the vicinity of this particular island.
Lake Iseo embodies a very special island, in fact it is the largest lake island in all of Europe. A visit to this island - named Monte Isola, will take you far back in time. There are no cars allowed on the island and the abundance of medieval churches and ancient architecture will absolutely transport you back a few centuries. This beautiful site can be reached first by rail and then a short ferry ride across the lake.
Near Sicily we have another gem - Ortygia, yet another one of those must-see Italy Islands if looking to deeply immerse in history. This island has been mentioned in ancient Greek mythology and is the site of some extraordinary archaic ruins, it is an absolute must for whose who appreciate magnificent architecture that tells a tale of time.
Hopping the Italian islands is a fun and adventurous way to see the the most beautiful spots of this country and experience sights and sounds that would be impossible to find anywhere else in the world. Sicily and Sardinia are an absolute must-visit when it comes to Italian Islands. With warm climates and beautiful beaches, these region-islands will not disappoint.
With islands located in the surrounding seas of the peninsula, in the country’s numerous lakes and even a few situated in Italy’s river system, there are over 450 islands worth visiting. Let the island hopping begin!
There are two main Italian Islands which are also regions: Sicily and Sardinia. Both of these have Intercity train service. Sardinia's main station is Cagliari in the south and you can take an Intercity train all the way to the top of the island.
Sicily provides relatively fast Regional trains for a good part of the island and serves the following stations: Palermo (main station), Messina and Catania. Their Intercity trains continue beyond to serve a few other stations on the rest of the island where fast train service is not available.
Use the handy Train Map to help locate the closest train station to the destination of choice.