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6 Reasons Why Italy Ticks Every Box for Travellers Over 60

By Jackie Parsons May 22, 2023 Travel

Are you mulling over where to go for your next holiday? After several tricky years, suddenly the world is our oyster! Interestingly, though, that doesn’t seem to make the decision any easier, possibly because as the years pass and we understand how fragile life can be, holidays become increasingly precious.

Since my 30s, I’ve spent at least six months of every year in Italy and always look forward to returning. Quite simply, for me, the country has everything I could possibly want, ticking every box in my holiday priorities as well as day to day living.

Enjoy Spectacular Landscapes

Firstly, it always strikes me that Italy has an unfair advantage in the beauty stakes! Quite simply, there really is something for everyone, whether your happy place is in the mountains, rolling hills or on the coast.

Mountain Air

If your idea of holiday heaven is views over snow-capped peaks and fresh mountain air, Italy offers plenty of options. In fact, the entire country is marked by mountain ranges which offer splendid hiking and outdoor activities.

Hiking in the Dolomites,

Northern Italy is bordered by the craggy Dolomites in the far northeast, and the peaks of the Alps which extend from the northwestern regions of Piedmont to Friuli Venezia Giulia in the east. Meanwhile, the Apennines form the spine of the country, joining the Ligurian Alps and stretching into the little-explored Abruzzo region to the east of Rome.

Gentle Rolling Hills

Looking for something a little gentler? Head for the classic landscape of rolling hills swathed in olive groves and vineyards in Italy’s central regions of Tuscany and Umbria. Piedmont’s Langhe region, characterised by rolling hills and ancient castles, is another very special area.

Coastal Italy

With a coastline that extends across just under 5,000 miles, you can really take your pick! I love the coastal stretch around Lerici on the Ligurian Sea in the north west, while in the south, the coastline around the pretty town of Maratea is every bit as breath-taking as that of the Amalfi Coast, minus the crowds.

Maratea – coastal view.

Experience Amazing Food and Wine

Italian food needs no introduction. After all, who doesn’t love a pizza, pasta or gelato? But venture beyond the tourist hotspots and you’ll find dishes made with passion, the very best locally sourced ingredients and, usually, a regional twist. You can certainly eat simply, but if you are a foodie, you’ll find ample opportunity to enjoy some exceptional food and superb wines.

Lose Yourself in Italian History and Culture

Wherever you stay in Italy, you’re never too far from the country’s big hitting cultural sights. Rome, Florence and Venice, of course, are crammed with enough entrancing art and architecture to last a lifetime. But for me, it’s Italy’s charming towns and smaller villages that are most memorable.

Marvel at Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna and explore the complex history of the evocative town of Pontremoli in Tuscany’s Lunigiana region. Or simply wander through the lanes and alleyways of delightful medieval villages such as Opi in the Abruzzo region.

Marvel at mosaics. Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna.

In Piedmont, towns like Saluzzo and Cherasco offer a brilliant insight into a region that remained under French rule until 1861. Or skip Venice and instead head for the wonderful neighbouring towns of Padua, Vicenza or pretty Bassano del Grappa.

Time to Relax

Let’s be honest, no-one does ‘la dolce vita’ quite like the Italians! And while that might not be the way you want to live your everyday life, it certainly makes for a relaxing holiday.

Take time out to linger over frothy cappuccinos in pretty piazzas and watch the world go by while you sip your Aperol spritz. And in true Italian style, before dinner, be sure to join the locals strolling along the seafront or through town with no particular destination in mind.

Stress-free Travel by Train

Whether you’re travelling by train or car, you’ll have no problem getting around Italy. Travelling by train in Italy is both easy and affordable which means stress-free adventure. Train travel is generally more relaxing than travelling by car and you’ll see far more of the countryside through a train window.

Venture beyond the tourist hotspots to explore smaller towns and cities where you can hop off the train and walk straight into the town centre.

Getting to other European countries is also easy from Italy. Cross borders into France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia and explore the fascinating cross border culture that exists between Italy and its neighbours.

Soak up the Sunshine

Of course you’re not going to find year-round sunshine, but you have a good chance of getting decent weather with blue skies and plenty of sunshine between April and October. If you’re planning to see the sights, it may be best to avoid the hottest months of July and August when the best place to be is in the mountains or on the coast.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are your top priorities when choosing a holiday overseas? Which country ticks every box for you? Or perhaps you have a favourite place in Italy you can recommend?

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Martha Mercure

I love traveling but I am hesitant to travel without a guide because I only speak English. What are your suggestions?

Jackie Parsons

In the cities many people speak good English but this is not always the case in the countryside. However, the Italians are generally very welcoming. I recommend learning a few basic phrases just to be courteous, remember too that Italians are fabulous at speaking with their hands and you can do this too. If you think you will feel too uncomfortable travelling without speaking the language you can look at joining a tour – if you were part of a small group you would meet some like minded travel companions yet still have the opportunity to interact with the locals.


Martha my friends and I who travel through Europe only speak English and it has been no problem. We have been to Italy, France, Greece, Holland and Belgium and many Caribbean Islands, BVIs, Mexico, Honduras, Belize … and I’m sure I’m Forgetting some… planning to go to Germany, Switzerland and Austria and so far we have had only minor difficulties. Typically phones had apps that can be translate if needed. And typically someone around, as long as you are in tourist populated areas, will speak
English. Happy and Safe travels!

Lynne Stevens

And what about box #7…affordability?

Lisa Brinkley

Actually, I’m in Milan right now, finishing up a four week trip from the Amalfi Coast to the north, and food, trains, museum fees have been reasonable. I have found Portugal and Spain to be more of a bargain, but it is quite doable.

Jackie Parsons

I believe that despite rising costs Italy is still a very affordable destination especially if you avoid the more popular destinations. I agree with Lisa’s comment below

Pauline Jones

Please spare a thought for all the Italians who have lost their lives, homes & livelihoods in the recent floods in Emilia Romagna. The article mentioned Ravenna which is still full of mud & filthy flood water. The people there are working night & day to clean up. Thank you.

Jackie Parsons

Hello Pauline – thank you for your comment. Our blog was written before the tragic floods in Emilia Romagna. It is a traumatic and challenging time for everyone in the region and the effects will be felt for years to come. We have close connections with many locals and businesses there and of course it is very much in the news here in Italy. It is heartbreaking.

The Author

Jackie Parsons is the co-owner of Hedonistic Hiking. She has been a tour guide since 1992 and has lead walking tours since 2000. She creates and guides Hedonistic Hiking’s all-inclusive gastronomic hiking tours throughout Italy. Alongside the hikes, all tours provide an unforgettable insight into the local history, art, culture, food, and wine, and are graded for ability. Find out more at

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