While many travelers enjoy a tour of Italy’s most famous monuments (or indeed a walking food tour of one of its most culinary neighborhoods!), one of the best ways to get to know Italy and to make the most of your trip is to explore the beautiful Italian countryside by car. Auto Europe – a car rental company which has been matching travelers with affordable cars in Italy for over 60 years – has assembled a terrific list of Italy driving itineraries, and we thought we’d highlight these 6 classic Italian drives in the event you choose to enjoy one of these routes on your upcoming trip.

Note: This post was originally published on January 13, 2016.

Amalfi Coast


Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula offers drivers breathtaking views of crystal-clear water and charming hillside villas. Start your drive in Naples and enjoy a scenic cruise around Mt. Vesuvio as you tour Sorrento, Positano, and Salerno. Total driving time for this 4-day trip is about 5 hours (108 miles of breathtaking views), and if you plan stops to dine and explore each of these fabulous towns you’ll leave with a deep understanding of and appreciation for Italian life on the Amalfi Coast.

Click here for the full itinerary.

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Stelvio Pass


If alpine views are more your style, then the Stelvio Pass driving route offers breathtaking vistas. This itinerary includes stops in Bolzano, Stelvio, Bormio and Livigno. Nothern Italy offers travelers unique cuisine and the opportunity to explore the stunning Ortler Alps. This might be our favorite road trip for nature lovers, as it offers you the chance to take one-of-a-kind alpine photos which will amaze your friends and family when you return from Italy.

Click here for the full itinerary.



Food and wine lovers will do well to enjoy a leisurely drive through the rolling landscape of Casentino Valley. This drive from Florence through the Tuscan countryside will allow you to pause at wonderful wineries, eateries and quaint Italian hotels – each sure to offer you the authentic Tuscan experience you’re seeking. A 63-mile trip, this route offers travelers plenty of time to explore, linger and delve into one of Italy’s most magical regions. Travel at your own pace while enjoying plenty of inspiring views of the iconic Tuscan countryside. While on your Tuscany trip, why not make a short detour to Florence to enjoy a food tour?

Click here for the full itinerary.



The famous island of Sicily offers travelers gorgeous vistas of the Mediterranean, a unique and storied history and some of the most delicious and interesting seafood cuisine in the world. The itinerary begins in Catania with stops on the slopes of Mount Etna, seaside Taormina and concludes after 87 gorgeous miles in Messina. This 3-day tour of Sicily offers travelers the opportunity to stop and explore roadside shops and cafes, pausing to enjoy your new favorite restaurants and classic monuments and ruins – a truly great part of the island to explore by car.

Click here for the full itinerary.

Lake Garda


While you may have heard of the glamor of Lake Como’s palatial estates, a drive through Italy’s Veneto region along the banks of Lake Garda offers savvy travelers equally beautiful vistas. Pause for photos with pastel-colored Italian villas and the lake’s crystalline waters as your backdrop, and enjoy the history of Verona, Brescia, Limone sul Garda and Trento on this fabulous drive. One of the longest routes in Auto Europe’s Italy road trip guide, the Lake Garda tour doesn’t disappoint. Begin in fabulous Verona and leave room in your itinerary for scenic detours. The itinerary also offers numerous restaurant recommendations, sorted by price, so no matter your budget you can find the perfect restaurant or café to leave you satisfied for the next leg of this delicious road trip.

Click here for the full itinerary.

Foothills of Sabina


If you’re planning a trip to Rome, this charming route which winds its way through the Sabina foothills from Rome to Terni offers you the chance to experience the beauty of the oft-overlooked Italian countryside which surrounds this famous city. Driving this route is sure to deepen your Italian experience and enhancing your understanding of Italian culture. Scenic detours include driving around Lake Albano among other beautiful areas. This route will take you through the Marcigliani Natural Reserve as you follow the banks of the Tevere River, and we recommend pausing at a roadside stand to sample high-quality olive oils from any of the impressive olive groves in this region. Drive to the summit of Mount Terminillo on your way to Amatrice before enjoying a drive through Lago di Campotosto State Reserve on your way to beautiful Terni. While in Rome, why not join a food tour or culinary class and get to know the region through its cuisine?

Click here for the full itinerary.

What Stunning Corners of Italy Will You Explore?

Of course, these 6 fantastic Italian drives are only the beginning. There are numerous locales that you can explore by car, all within reach of Italy’s major cities. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended tour of Italy, incorporating our food tours or cooking classes with a driving tour of the Italian countryside is a great way to leave Italy with a deep understanding of what makes this country so special.

Do you have a favorite drive in Italy not listed here? Inspired to rent a car and enjoy one of these trips? Let us know in the comments!

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