Skip to main content


FROM THE food to the history, Italy offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveller.

Whether you are thinking about your first visit or are a regular, here’s a guide to what’s new along with a few useful tips to plan your 2024 escape.

Hotels and Restaurants

If you’re going to stay somewhere you may as well start at the very top.

The 24-room Passalacqua hotel re-opened in June 2022 after a year-long restoration to its 18th-century building which has played host to guests as illustrious as Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill and Vincenzo Bellini.

The prestigious World’s 50 Best Organisation named the Lake Como villa as the ‘World’s Best Hotel for 2023’.

In the Puglian town of Lecce, the seven-suite Palazzo Luce boutique hotel in the town’s historic centre is the brainchild of Milanese art collector Anna Maria Enselmi.

Once the residence of Maria d’Enghien, Countess of Lecce and Queen of Naples, the 14th century palazzo has been transformed into an art and design-filled hotel.

Osteria Francescana in Modena (Emilia-Romagna) and Reale in Castel di Sangro (Abruzzo) have been named the top restaurants in the country in the 2024 guide from Gambero Rosso, a leading Italian food and wine publisher.

The chefs at the helm of the winning restaurants, Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana) and Niko Romito (Reale), each earned 96 out of 100 possible points.

Palazzo Luce Suite, Lecce


Train Rides

A new, direct high-speed train service from Rome to Pompeii will hit the tracks in 2024.

Operated by Trenitalia, it will connect the capital with the popular archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region in under two hours.

Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. and has since become an archaeological park.

The service will make for a perfect day or overnight trip, departing Rome at 8:53am and then back to the capital from Pompeii at 6:40pm. Initially, it will run on the third Sunday of every month, with plans to increase in future.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has recently added new carriages to its existing fleet, allowing passengers to travel in pure luxury with new Grand Suites featuring double beds with private bathrooms, each themed on the journey’s lakes, mountains and forests.

The new suites also allow for a dining area for afternoon tea and breakfast, along with a concealed bathroom hiding a wooden toilet, a glass sink and a mosaic-tiled shower cubicle featuring rainfall showerheads.


Off the Beaten Track

Is Puglia Italy’s newest hot spot? While Instagram suggests Amalfi offers the prettiest coastline, Puglia delivers a quieter and authentic Italian experience with the same impressive scenery as its more well-trodden counterpart.

Visit the UNESCO-listed town of Alberobello to see the famous trulli houses, explore the baroque architecture of Lecce and enjoy Puglian cuisine with dishes like orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe and the famous Puglian burrata cheese.

Famous across the globe for its food, wine and scenery, the Piedmont region is a treat for all the senses and surprisingly under-visited.

Mid-March is the best time to taste local black truffles, decadent chocolate treats from the Cherasco commune, artisanal cheeses in the town of Bra and wines of the Barolo appellation.

Piedmont is also a poster child for two of travel’s buzziest trends: slow travel and wellness.

The region is the perfect place to savour Italian experiences, tastes and culture, and is home to spa towns like Acqui Terme which offer numerous wellness centres and thermal baths where you can relax and rejuvenate.

Travel Tips & Advice

With reduced capacity and elevated demand affecting flight availability since the pandemic period, low-priced airfares are still expected to be harder to come by next year.

But fear not; the travel rule of thumb is that the earlier you purchase your plane ticket, the easier it’ll be on your wallet.

“With visitation now close to resembling pre-pandemic travel, 2023 has been a bumper year for travel,” said Emanuele Attanasio, Country Manager, Italian National Tourist Board Australia & New Zealand.

“We’re looking at another busy year for travel in Italy, so it’s best to book as early as you can. If it is possible, really try and look at off-peak or shoulder season travel. Not only is it less busy on the ground, but you can save on airfares too.”

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a record 130,510 Australian residents returned from a short trip to Italy between June and August, almost double the number who visited during the same period a decade ago.

In 2024, consider travelling in June and September which offers summer-like weather and is a time when even the most well-trodden destinations are quieter making it easier to see the sights and make restaurant reservations.

If travelling to Italy over the peak period is a must, have faith that the country’s lesser-known destinations are filled with equally high-quality travel experiences.

Procida, off the coast of Naples, has all the Capri charm without the crowds and offers the same characteristic natural landscapes.

If you’re dreaming of a Tuscan escape, try Umbria. It has a deep and rich culture, a history stretching back to pre-Roman times and wines and culinary traditions you won’t find anywhere else in Italy.

“We want to ensure visitors always have the best experience in Italy no matter what time of year they travel, and visitors can avoid over tourism by making time in their itinerary for other unique destinations and experiences,” Attanasio added.

“Think agritourism in Italy’s rural regions, alpine snow sports in winter, or exploring Italy’s lesser-known islands throughout the year.”