Italy’s 5 Most Beautiful Islands… You May Not Have Heard Of

The island of Ponza, one of the most beautiful off of Italy!

The island of Ponza, one of the most beautiful off of Italy!

When it comes to Italy’s beautiful islands, Capri is just one of many! Here are five other spectacular islands off the Italian coast—all boasting gorgeous scenery, beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and local character—that you probably haven’t heard of. Of course, we share them all with you… through photos! Which one is your favorite?

Procida (Bay of Naples)

The island of Procida

Forget Capri. Colorful Procida is also an easy ferry ride from Naples, and with everyone else flocking to Capri (or, secondarily, Ischia), it’s easily Bay of Naples’ least-touristy island. With its colorful fishing village, fresh seafood, and authentic character, it’s one of our favorite spots for a day trip from the coast.

Levanzo (Aegadian Islands, Sicily)

The only village on the island of Levanzo in the Isole Egadi

Want to get away from it all? Then head to lovely Levanzo. Off of the northwestern coast of Sicily, in a chain of three islands called the Aegadian Islands (or Isole Egadi), Levanzo is easily reached as a day trip from Trapani or Marsala. The island has just one tiny, peaceful village (Calla Dogana), tranquil beaches, dramatic cliffs, and lovely nature walks. For history-seekers, there’s also the Grotta del Genovese (visitable by boat), with Paleolithic graffiti dating back to 9,680 B.C.

Ponza (Pontine islands, off Rome)

Ponza off coast of Rome

One of the prettiest islands in Italy, Ponza is a favorite summer escape for Romans

Many Romans make the trek to Ponza at least once over the summer, driving the hour to Anzio and then taking a 2-hour ferry ride to Ponza from there. That’s because the volcanic island is, quite simply, stunning. Its villages are quaint and its water incredibly blue, while ancient cave pools, called Pilate’s Grottoes, are scattered everywhere. The island is so beautiful, even the legendary Circe chose it as her home; this is where she seduced and lived with Odysseus for more than a year.

Island of Elba (Tuscan archipelago)

Forno Beach on the island of Elba

Okay, you might have heard of Elba—as the famed location of Napoleon’s exile. But it’s also an island well worth visiting for its own sake. The geography here includes mountains, hills and beaches, the wine is renowned, and the history is fascinating, especially since Elba was French right up until the Italian reunification of 1860. Elba is easily reached by ferry from Piombino, a port town located a 2-hour drive from Florence or a 1-hour drive from Livorno.

Panarea (Aeolian Islands, Sicily)

One of the prettiest islands in Italy

The island of Panarea, in the Aeolian Islands

In the summer, Italians flock to the Aeolian Islands, a chain of eight spectacular isole off the coast of Italy. The inactive volcano of Panarea—at 1.3 square miles, the second-smallest island— is also one of the most lovely. Although it’s become a favorite celebrity hangout in recent years, Panarea is an especially great destination for scuba divers, who particularly like diving the shipwreck just offshore.

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5 Responses to Italy’s 5 Most Beautiful Islands… You May Not Have Heard Of

  1. Debra Eloise June 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    I just added a link on my blogsite to your blogsite! You have a wonderful website/blogsite and your business sounds wonderful and amazing! I am a professional photographer and writer and your photos and stories are inspiring. I have always wanted to go to Italy, but not the “touristy” way, and your offers give me hope that some day, I will finally get to fulfill my dream of going to Italy, especially the Tuscan area! THANKS

  2. Christina May 20, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    What is the name of the southern Italian island where only donkeys are allowed for transportation?

    • Walks of Italy June 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Hi Christina,
      Hmm—are you thinking of Asinara? Other than that, we haven’t heard of an island in Italy that’s donkey-only, just Greece. Let us know!

  3. Maryanto October 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Probably is Ginostra a very little island of the Isole Eolie. Car are not allowed and donkeys usually bring the tourists from the port to the houses. It is a very particular site, close to Stromboli vulcano. It is reachable only via sea and its port is the smallest port in the world. Fantastic.

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