With summer upon us, we’ve pulled together our top five Italian road trips, perfect for a cruise in the sun with the top down. From Roman roads to mountain passes, Italy is blessed with some of the most stunning places to drive in Europe. Fuel up, strap in and take a tour of Italy’s most scenic roads.
Autostrada dei Trafori
The Autostrade 26 is a 197-kilometre long road that links the port city of Genoa with the ancient town of Gravellona Toce in the northwest of Italy. More commonly known as the Motorway of Tunnels due to its 46 tunnels and 58 viaducts, the route winds through the countryside of Liguria and Piedmont, passing through the historic towns of Alessandria, Santhia and Voltri along the way.
Passo Dello Stelvio
Arguably the most spectacular road in Italy, Highway SS38 crosses the Stelvio Pass at 2758 metres above sea level. The road winds up to the Stelvio Pass through a stunning landscape with breathtaking views of the Ortles mountains and Mount Scorluzzo. This scenic drive is especially loved by those who ride on two wheels, owing to the fact that before the pass there are 36 hairpins on the Lombard side and another 42 on the Tyrolean side. The Stelvio Pass was described by Top Gear as ‘the greatest driving road in Europe’.
Strada Statale Amalfitana
This scenic stretch of tarmac runs along the stretch of the Amalfi Coast between the towns of Sorrento and Amalfi. Officially known as the SS163, the 50-kilometre road twists and turns along the cliff-edge, high above the Gulf of Salerno. The drive along the Amalfitana rewards with stunning views across the Bay of Naples – on a clear day, it’s possible to see Capri, Sicily and Mount Vesuvius. There are plenty of places to stop along the way, with the route taking in the picturesque towns of Conca dei Marini, Furore, Praiano and Amalfi – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Chianti Road between Florence and Siena makes up part of the route used in the historical Mille Miglia race. The Via Chiantigiana as it is known locally is a 'wine road' dating from the 1700s when wine was transported from vineyards across Tuscany. As you would expect, the landscape has a Van Gogh quality with its swaying cypress trees, rolling hills, and stunning hilltop villages. This region is renowned for its wine, and some of Italy’s most famous producers can be found here.
This Roman road was built in approximately 241 BC and takes in a swathe of the Italian Riviera, between Pisa and Rome. With a sense of old-fashioned glamour, the Italian Riviera has an elegance and luxury that has long faded from many other European resorts. The route takes in beautiful villages and towns, such as the luxurious resort of Portofino with its dramatic tree-lined cliffs, ocean views and wonderful restaurants, where you can find the best bellinis in Italy.