Exploring the Best of Eastern Italy on a Scenic Road Trip

Welcome to Eastern Italy, a hidden gem waiting to be discovered on a scenic road trip. This region boasts stunning landscapes, charming towns, and a rich cultural heritage just waiting to be explored. Join us as we embark on a journey through this lesser-known part of Italy, from the picturesque beaches of Puglia to the majestic mountains of the Dolomites. Get ready to soak in the beauty of the Adriatic coast, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the history and traditions of Eastern Italy. This road trip is perfect for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, away from the crowds of the more popular tourist destinations. So buckle up and let’s hit the road, as we discover the best of Eastern Italy together!

Planning your Eastern Italy Road Trip

One of the most important things to take into account when planning this trip is the weather. We did it in the middle of the summer in July and in the Southern parts of Italy the temperatures reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 F) which is very hot. If you don’t like the extreme heat I would suggest doing this Eastern Italy Road Trip in May or September for much nicer temperatures during the whole trip.

Another tip is to book well ahead. You will probably need rent-a-car and accommodation on the way and it is best to book long before the actual trip, as these destinations and Italy in general are very popular especially during the summer. The hotels, apartments and rent-a-car are getting a lot more expensive closer to the travel dates. If you book in advance there is a change to get an “early bird” a.k.a early booking deal as this is a very common practice in Italy.

Traveling through the enchanting region of Eastern Italy promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. As you plan your road trip, be prepared to explore the captivating landscapes and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture that defines this lesser-known part of the country.

Start your journey in the mesmerizing South East Italy, where you’ll discover the breathtaking beaches of Puglia and the charming town of Polignano a Mare. As you drive along the coast, take in the stunning vistas and indulge in delicious seafood dishes that this region is known for.

Next, head towards the North East Italy, where the coastal region of Taranto awaits with its picturesque beauty and relaxing beaches. Here, you can soak up the sun and unwind, surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

No Eastern Italy road trip would be complete without a visit to the cultural and historic gem of Matera. Known for its ancient cave dwellings, Matera offers a glimpse into the region’s rich past and a chance to explore its fascinating architecture and traditions.

As you continue your journey, don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at the natural beauty of the Pescara Region, with its majestic mountains and breathtaking national parks. Explore hiking trails, indulge in outdoor activities, and embrace the tranquility of this unspoiled region.

No road trip in Italy would be complete without savoring authentic Italian cuisine, and Bologna is the perfect place to do just that. Known as the food capital of Italy, Bologna offers a culinary experience like no other. From traditional pasta dishes to mouthwatering gelato, your taste buds will thank you.

Finally, venture through the unreal nature of the Prosecco Hills, where rolling vineyards and charming villages await. This picturesque region is famous for its sparkling wine, and a visit to a local winery is a must.

With memories made and a sense of wanderlust satisfied, your Eastern Italy road trip concludes with a visit to the captivating cities of Treviso or Venice, where you can reflect on the incredible journey you’ve experienced.

So, start planning your Eastern Italy road trip and get ready for an unforgettable adventure filled with stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and authentic Italian experiences. Get ready to hit the road and discover the best of Eastern Italy, from South to North!

eastern italy road trip

Travel to the stunning region of South East Italy and begin your Eastern Italy road trip in the charming city of Bari. Bari is the best starting point for this trip as it has many low cost flights from all over Europe. Wizzair and Ryanair have occupied the Bari Airport and you can get there for as low as 10-20 euro.
Upon landing in Bari, you’ll immediately feel the warm Mediterranean breeze and the excitement of embarking on a new adventure. From here, take a short drive to the coastal town of Polignano a Mare, where you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.
Polignano a Mare is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and ancient charm. As you explore the narrow cobblestone streets and admire the colorful houses perched on cliffs, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Don’t forget to visit the iconic beachfront terrace, which offers panoramic views of the sparkling turquoise waters below.
In this picturesque town, you’ll also have the opportunity to savor traditional Italian cuisine. Indulge in delicious seafood dishes at one of the many waterfront restaurants, where you can feast on fresh catch-of-the-day while enjoying the gentle sea breeze.
After a day of exploration, relax on one of the town’s sandy beaches or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. Polignano a Mare truly embodies the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle, where time seems to slow down and worries disappear.
As the sun sets over the Adriatic Sea, find a cozy spot in one of the charming cafés and sip on a glass of local wine. Watch as the town comes alive with vibrant energy, as locals and tourists alike gather to celebrate the beauty of this enchanting place.
Your flight to Bari and exploration of Polignano a Mare will be the perfect start to your Eastern Italy road trip. Get ready to continue your journey through the diverse and captivating regions of Eastern Italy, as we uncover even more hidden gems and unforgettable experiences.

Cheap Flights to Bari

Origin - DestinationDeparture atReturn atFind tickets
TiranaBari13 April 202415 April 2024Buy from 35
MilanBari16 April 202419 April 2024Buy from 46
RomeBari20 April 202422 April 2024Buy from 47
VeniceBari9 May 202411 May 2024Buy from 48
CataniaBari16 April 202420 April 2024Buy from 50
SofiaBari11 April 202413 April 2024Buy from 74
BudapestBari31 May 20242 June 2024Buy from 101
ViennaBari19 April 202422 April 2024Buy from 107
MalagaBari17 April 202420 April 2024Buy from 112
BucharestBari18 April 202421 April 2024Buy from 113
italy road trip

Discovering coastal region of Taranto and relaxing on the beach

As you continue your journey through South East Italy, make sure to include a stop at the beautiful coastal region of Taranto. We wanted to start our trip with a couple of days of sunbathing near the sea. With its crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, this area is perfect for some much-needed relaxation after. Spend your days sunbathing on the sandy shores, taking refreshing dips in the sea, and enjoying the coastal breeze. The picturesque views and serene atmosphere will surely make this part of your trip unforgettable. So pack your beach essentials and get ready to unwind in the North East Italy’s coastal paradise.

eastern italy beach holiday

Indulging in the Culture and History of Matera

When you travel to South East Italy, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Matera. This ancient city, located in the North East Italy, is known for its fascinating cave dwellings, called Sassi. Explore the winding streets and alleyways, marvel at the intricate rock architecture, and learn about the city’s storied past. Visit the The Palombaro Lungo (Cathedral of Water) – This massive cistern carved out of the tuff is the pinnacle of a Neolithic tradition in Matera related to rainwater collection devices. It is also a very cool (literally and metaphorically) to hang out during the hot summer days.
Whether you visit the historic churches, admire the breathtaking views from the Civita, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere, Matera is sure to leave a lasting impression on your Eastern Italy road trip.

Places to stay in Matera

Marveling at the Natural Beauty of Pescara Region

As you continue your road trip through Eastern Italy, make sure to include a visit to the breathtaking Pescara Region. Going from the Southern part of Italy to the North you will notice a gradual change in the nature. The South is a bit more dry and desert like, with less vegetation, when the North is a lot greener and covered with plants and trees. The Pescara Region is when you start noticing this subtle transition.
Nestled between the stunning Adriatic Sea and the majestic Apennine Mountains, this area is known for its awe-inspiring natural beauty. Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes, from the rolling hills dotted with vineyards to the pristine beaches with turquoise waters. Take leisurely walks along the coast, hike through the lush greenery, or simply bask in the serenity of this untouched paradise. Marvel at the captivating sunsets and let the natural beauty of Pescara Region leave you in awe.

Tasting Authentic Italian Cuisine in Bologna

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure in Bologna, the gastronomic capital of Italy. From mouthwatering pasta dishes like tagliatelle al ragù to heavenly cured meats like mortadella, Bologna is a food lover’s paradise. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous Bolognese sauce, known locally as ragù alla bolognese, which pairs perfectly with freshly made pasta. When you need a break from all the delicious food, take a stroll down the historic streets of Bologna and explore the city’s iconic landmarks. And of course, no visit to Bologna would be complete without sampling the city’s famous gelato. Indulge in the flavors of pistachio, stracciatella, and hazelnut as you savor every delicious bite. So come hungry and get ready to delight your taste buds with the authentic Italian cuisine of Bologna.

Places to stay in Prosecco Hills

Venturing through the unreal nature of Prosecco Hills

Get ready to be captivated by the unreal beauty of the Prosecco Hills. As you drive through the rolling hills covered in vineyards, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a picture-perfect postcard. Take the time to explore the charming towns and visit local wineries to sample some of the region’s renowned Prosecco wine. Hike or bike through the vineyards, immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes. The Prosecco Hills will leave you in awe with its breathtaking views and the serene atmosphere of this wine lover’s paradise. Get your camera ready to capture the magic of this unreal natural wonder. You will feel like you are in a computer simulation. Many of the views are so flawless that you would mistake them for artificial intelligence (AI) creation. The region is not just known for its stunning landscapes, but also for its rich history and culture. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of Conegliano or Valdobbiadene, where you’ll find beautiful medieval buildings and charming local shops. Indulge in the delicious regional cuisine, pairing it with a glass of Prosecco for the ultimate gastronomic experience. Don’t forget to visit one of the local wineries, where you can learn about the wine-making process and even participate in a tasting session. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply a lover of natural beauty, the Prosecco Hills will surely captivate your heart and leave you wanting to return for more. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the unreal nature of the Prosecco Hills.

Cheap Flights from Venice

DestinationDeparture atFind tickets
Marseille24 April 2024Tickets from 18
Alghero6 April 2024Tickets from 18
Bournemouth6 April 2024Tickets from 18
Tirana11 May 2024Tickets from 19
Catania2 October 2024Tickets from 19
Prague17 April 2024Tickets from 19
Bucharest14 May 2024Tickets from 20
Paris19 November 2024Tickets from 22
Nice23 October 2024Tickets from 22
Geneva20 September 2024Tickets from 22

Visit and flight back from Treviso or Venice

After an incredible journey through Eastern Italy, it’s time to bid farewell to this beautiful region. As you wrap up your road trip, consider making a stop in Treviso or Venice before catching your flight back home. Treviso is a charming city known for its canals, medieval architecture, and delicious local cuisine. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit the historic churches, and indulge in a final Italian meal. Alternatively, venture to Venice and experience the magic of the floating city. Take a gondola ride along the canals, visit the iconic St. Mark’s Square, and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this enchanting destination. Say arrivederci to Eastern Italy in style as you soak in the beauty and history of Treviso or Venice before your departure.

I would say that Treviso is the cheaper option, because it’s airport is also operated mainly by low cost airlines. It is also not as crowded as Venice, and has many interesting landmarks to see.

In conclusion, a road trip through Eastern Italy offers a diverse and unforgettable experience. From the stunning coastal regions of Taranto and Polignano a Mare to the cultural treasures of Matera and the natural beauty of Pescara Region, there is something for every traveler. Indulge in the delicious cuisine of Bologna and be mesmerized by the unreal landscapes of the Prosecco Hills. And don’t forget to soak in the history and charm of Treviso or Venice before saying goodbye to this incredible region. Get ready for an adventure that will leave you with lasting memories of Eastern Italy’s wonders.

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