They say all roads lead to Rome, which is great, because swapping busy city life for a sun-soaked Italian road trip couldn’t be easier. While it would take a lifetime to get to know all of Rome, renting a car online gives visitors complete freedom to see the rest of Italy in all its glory. Whether it’s hiking across craggy coastlines that drop away to brooding seas below, or wandering through color-splashed villages – dotted with blooming flowers – an Italian road trip can offer something for everyone.
There are two main options when setting off from Rome on a road trip – north or south? Starting with the northern option, take the E35 road – which becomes the A1 – and drive up to Florence. After a smooth two and a half hour drive, cutting through emerald green countryside, visitors will arrive at one of the world’s most beautiful cities. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known as the birthplace of renaissance art, and people from across the world flock to see Michelangelo’s Statue of David, which stands defiantly in the Accademia Gallery. Magnificent architecture waits around every corner, with the cathedral providing the highlight – with an incredible, wrinkled façade, and the world’s largest brick dome. Climb to the top for an unbeatable view over the city’s red roofs – the 414 steps also help visitors to burn off excess calories, after overindulging in pasta and dark red Chianti Classico wine.
Reluctantly leaving Florence behind, continue the road trip by driving west to Pisa, where photo opportunities with the Leaning Tower await. By this point, the jaw-dropping Cinque Terre coastline is also within easy reach. Leave the car in the town of La Spezia before hopping on the local train and trundling into the forested mountains that hide the coastline’s five famous towns. Clusters of pastel-colored buildings perch on the Cinque Terre’s stunning cliffs, and the lack of road access lends the isolated towns an authentic feel. Hikers can move between the five towns in around an hour and a half, and feel the spray from turquoise waves crashing against dramatic cliffs as they walk.
Another option is to drive south from Rome, towards the sprawling city of Naples. Sandwiched between the brewing Campi Flegrei volcano and the ominous cone of Mount Vesuvius, the city’s spectacular natural setting is only beaten by its contribution to Italian culture. Wander through the narrow streets of Europe’s largest historical city center – another World Heritage Site – before biting into a slice of simple but stunning margarita pizza, drizzled with freshly pressed olive oil, in the birthplace of the pizza.
Visitors to Naples are also perfectly placed to discover Pompeii’s volcanic history, and can walk through the eerie remains of the Roman town, which was buried under ash in 79 AD. If some sun, sea, and sand appeals, the Amalfi coast is a 30-minute drive away. The town’s crescent shaped beach is an idyllic spot to lie back with a dripping ice cream, and watch as colorful fishing boats bob gently on the water.
Post by Luke. Thank you so much for contributing to Of Revolt! // Photography Credits: 1 and 2.