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The perfect Roadtrip through Italy
Numerous cities full of cultural, architectural and archaeological highlights, a fantastic coastline with great beaches and idyllic fishing villages - anyone planning a vacation in Italy is spoilt for choice as to where exactly they should go. Why not see a bit of everything on a road trip through the country? NEW YORKER NEWS has put together a route that will take you around „The Boot“ in about two weeks.
Starting in Rome, the planned route heads south, via Neapolis along the beautiful Amalfi coast to Tropea in Calabria then on to the border of Apulien, from where it continues along the Adriatic coast towards the north, to such prestigious cities as Urbino, Verona and Bologna. The centuries-old coastal villages on the Italian Riviera are on the itinerary for this road trip through Italy, as is Tuscany with its medieval towns.
 

Roadtrip through Italy - the stations in the overview

 
Start and end point: Rome
If you are arriving by car, you should start your road trip in Verona. Otherwise, I recommend Rome as the start and end point. After all, you can never see enough of the "Eternal City" with its unique history and architecture. In addition, Italy's capital city has two airports, so you are sure to find a suitable flight. Both in Ciampino (served by Ryanair and Wizz Air, among others) and at the main airport in Fiumicino, you can easily rent a car, although I would strongly recommend to not drive into Rome's center - it's too chaotic! Instead, it is advisable to either rent a car after visiting the city, or to leave it in the suburb of Lido di Ostia. From there you can take the Roma-Lido train to Ostiense station at Porta San Paolo which has a direct connection to the subway that can take you to the center of the city.
 
You should plan at least two days to discover Rome, or even better, three. The good thing is that although Rome's historic center is large, it can easily be explored on foot as long as you have some comfortable shoes! An ideal starting point for a first tour is the Spanish Treppe, because you can quickly get to other sights such as the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum and St Peters Square. You can find more great tips for visiting Rome here.
Rome has so many sights that a lifetime is hardly enough to see it all (Photo: Getty Images)
Naples
On your way to Naples, be sure to make a detour to Castel Gandolfo, about 40 miles south of Rome. The village, above Lake Alba, is famous above all as a summer resort, where the popes have spent their holidays for centuries. There is also a small old town worth seeing.
We then continue on the A1 going south, a journey that takes about two and a half hours. Naples the Mediterranean city at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, is famous for its slightly chaotic lifestyle and the joie de vivre of its inhabitants. Of course, you can't leave the city of pizza without trying one. Be prepared, it will be the best pizza you have ever tasted! It is not for nothing that the Neapolitan pizza was recently included in the Unesco's cultural heritage. From Naples, it is also possible to make a trip to the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, which was buried during a devastating eruption of the Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
 
Tropea
The way south is on the legendary SS163, probably the most beautiful panoramic road in Italy. The Amalfi Channel, which connects the gulf of Nepel and the gulf of Salerno, is about 40 kilometers long and offers beautiful views of the sea and the coast. After the ride on the motorway (most of the national railroads are subject to tolls) through several national parks, we finally reach the region that forms the „toe“ of Italy’s boot: Calabria.
 
The coasts and beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea of Calabria are simply indescribable. Tropea is one of the most popular beach resorts in Calabriaand is ideal for those who love sandy beaches. Here you can enjoy sunny days, a light sea breeze, crystal clear water and delicious food. Tropea is also the ideal place for diving and snorkeling.
 
Lecce
On the route we pass through Calabria first heading north towards Salento and then turning towards Lecce. The capital of the Puglia region, Lecce is known by many as the "Florence of the South" because of its artistic heritage and its splendid buildings in the Baroque style. Lecce is a wonderful place to relax, eat fresh fish and drink delicious wine. In addition, there are some wonderful beaches nearby.
 
Vieste
As an intermediate stop on the long drive between Lecce and Urbino, I chose the former fishing village of Vieste on the "spur" of The Boot, on my road trip through Italy. The town is built spectacularly on rocks jutting out into the sea, and here it is wonderful to sit in a bar and watch the sunset.
 
Urbino
The next morning, we continue along the Adriatic coast towards the north. The next stop is Urbino in the Marche region of Italy. The Marche is located in the center of Italy with places full of charm, history and tradition that played an important role in the Italian Renaissance. Urbino is a real jewel of the region and, because of its architectural and cultural history, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Palazzo Ducale is the most renowned building in the city. Its slightly elevated position affords a dreamlike view of the surrounding countryside.
 
Bologna
Just two hours away from Urbino lies Bologna, in the centre of northern Italy. 
Bologna is often underestimated by tourists, but it is a very dynamic and lively city that blends the tradition of the Emilia-Romagna region with the modernity of a very international public. The center is an excellent example of the beauty of the Middle Ages, with narrow streets that house boutiques, bars and restaurants. Emilia-Romagna is also home to the best food in the world - parmesan, parma ham, bolognese, and mortadella, to name but a few. In small stores all kinds of pasta are selled, whole hams hang from the ceilings and cheese is stacked on the shelves. The "Torre degli asinelli" (tower of the donkeys) is the symbol of the city. You should plan for two days in Bologna.