PREPARE for Rome, or anywhere else in Italy, now the five-day quarantine rule for UK visitors has been lifted.
After the vacation favorite dropped isolation requirements at the end of last month, flight searches soared 214%, according to comparison site Skyscanner.
And with returns starting at just £ 11, there’s never been a better time for an autumn break to the Orange List destination.
From tennis in Tuscany to limoncello in Sorrento, Kara Godfrey brings together the best getaways that promise relaxation and sun or activity and adventure.
Limoncello in Sorrento
LEARN how to make classic Italian liqueur limoncello on a seven-night tour of Sorrento, where you’ll stay at an organic lemon farm and explore Naples, Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast.
The tour – with a maximum of 12 – aims to give you a local view of the less-seen side of the region. Activities include pizza-making demonstrations, boat rides, and a cooking class.
GO: Seven-night tour starting at £ 1,119 on October 24th includes accommodation, daily breakfast, one lunch and five dinners. Return flights from Stansted to Naples from £ 26 per person.
Tennis in Tuscany
FALL is truly a great time to work on your tennis serve – in the central Italian region of Tuscany with its rolling countryside.
The weeklong trip includes 20 hours of professional coaching as well as tournaments and a daily Italian lunch. After a busy day on the court, relax at the 3H Villa Cheli hotel, with its swimming pool surrounded by hills.
OUTPUT: Seven nights in B&B at Hotel Villa Cheli from £ 130 per night, with Tuscany Tennis Holiday programs starting at £ 495 per person on September 19th. Roundtrip flights from Gatwick to Florence from £ 61.
Relax in Puglia
RELAX with friends and family around your own swimming pool with a villa vacation in Puglia, southern Italy.
Villa Castro overlooks the sea caves of Zinzulusa and Romanelli and can accommodate eight people. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea from the terrace and prepare a storm on the barbecue.
Guests can enjoy an outdoor dining area and a rose garden. Just 3 km from Castro Marina which has shops and boat rentals.
GO: Seven nights rental at Villa Castro is from £ 292 per person, based on eight people sharing. Round-trip flights from Stansted to Bari start at £ 20.
Rome at a low price
Treat yourself to a Roman vacation in the capital.
Check off all the major sights, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, and save your vacation pounds for fantastic meals by staying at a budget hotel.
The Oxford Hotel is located just off the busy Via Veneto, a short walk from all major sights. The family-run hotel has its own bar to cool off after a long day of exploring and is close to many restaurants and cafes.
OUTbound: Two nights in a room only at the Oxford Hotel will set you back from £ 189 per person with return flights from Heathrow on select dates in October, including 23kg of luggage.
Cruise on the Canal Blanc
FOR an easy way to explore the best of Italy, a cruise is the way to go. And CroisiEurope’s MS Michelangelo is the perfect little river cruise ship to get to the heart of the country.
Departing from Venice and sailing along the Canal Bianco, the six-night itinerary explores three Italian regions; Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto.
Highlights along the way include free cheese and meat tastings in Parma and an optional visit to the Ferrari Museum in Modena, as well as the cities of Verona and Vicenza.
GO: Six Night All Inclusive Cruise on the MS Michelangelo from £ 1,465 per person incl. flights on October 14.
Cycling in Sardinia
LET an e-bike tackle the Sardinian hills on a seven-night cycling holiday that will help you discover the island’s rural interior and its beautiful coastline.
The Cycling for Softies self-guided tour includes stops at beaches and coastal villages along the way, plus free wine tasting at a vineyard.
And don’t worry about dragging your luggage with you, as the tour includes suitcase transfers between hotels.
GO: Seven-night tour with Cycling for Softies from £ 1,645 per person, including accommodation, four evening meals and e-bikes. Roundtrip flights from Stansted to Sardinia from £ 44.
Boat trips to Ischia
The islands of ITALY have good weather until September and October, with temperatures in the mid-1920s.
The small volcanic island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples has been Covid-free since May. Stay at the San Montano Resort and Spa and you can explore the island’s coastline on boat trips, enjoy fishing trips to have your own dinner, and even cooking classes using the geothermal heat of the volcano.
As night falls, there are sunset harp shows and telescope stargazing.
GO: Four-night B&B at San Montano Resort & Spa from £ 1,049 per person, including flights from Heathrow on 6th October.
Island hopping tour in Venice
Gondola rides and shopping for the famous Venetian masks aren’t the only things to do on a getaway to the tourist hotspot.
The Hilton Molino Stucky hotel on Giudecca Island is one of the city’s finest places to stay, having recently opened a number of new rooms and suites.
You can enjoy glass blowing workshops on the island of Murano or pastry lessons with the hotel’s pastry chef. The hotel has one of the largest spas in Venice, as well as the city’s highest rooftop bar, guaranteeing panoramic views.
GO: Four nights, room only, at the 5H Hilton Molino Stucky from £ 398 per person, based on two adults sharing, with return flights from Heathrow on September 20.
Link with Lake Como
007 FANS can take a Bond-inspired trip to Lake Como this fall.
The seven-night trip with tour operator Jules Verne includes a visit to Villa del Balbianello, which features in the final scenes of Casino Royale, where the super-spy recovers with Vespa.
Guests stay at the 4-star Grand Hotel Menaggio and can enjoy a cocktail at the bar (shaken not stirred, of course).
Included excursions include a private boat trip and a lake cruise, with other tours available for reservation.
GO: The seven-night tour starts at £ 895 per person, including bed and breakfast, excursions and guides with round-trip flights from Heathrow on October 16 or 23.
Hiking and cycling Cinque Terre
THE multicolored villages of the Cinque Terre to the northwest are much more than beautiful sea views.
Fans of adventure activities can opt for Intrepid’s eight-day hiking, biking and kayaking tour through the Italian coast, visiting popular destinations such as Levanto and Portofino.
Reward yourself after a difficult journey by ending in Santa Margherita for a glass of his excellent Pinot Grigio.
GO: An eight-night tour with Intrepid starts at £ 1,335 per person including accommodation and breakfast, departing 12 September. Flights are extra, but return flights from London Stansted to Genoa start at £ 16.
Camping at Lake Garda
THE largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is breathtakingly beautiful but can be expensive if you stay at one of the many hotels by the water.
For a more affordable option, go for self-catering at one of the popular vacation parks near the lake.
Bella Italia Holiday Park has its own private beach, as well as five swimming pools, bars and restaurants. Stay in safari tents, mobile homes or air-conditioned bungalows.
GO: Seven nights of self-catering accommodation in an air-conditioned twin-bed bungalow at Bella Italia Holiday Park is from £ 363 total, based on six shares. Return flights from Stansted to Verona from £ 15 per person.