Italy Summer Vacation: 5 Amazing Places Aligned with “The Stars”

No time to read now? Click here to download as a PDF.

If you’re planning an Italy summer vacation, or even a visit during the shoulder season, make sure these 5 “star-struck” destinations top your list.

Known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant culture, Italy is a top-tier destination you’ll often see in popular films.

Whether you’re a movie enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a sun-soaked escape, Italy has something for everyone. An Italy summer vacation will surely to be a memorable getaway.

So, find out about the top 5 places to walk in the footsteps of movie stars. It’s great inspiration to begin planning an your Italian getaway. You’ll discover that not All Roads Lead to Rome!

guide to Italy summer vacation
Plan your Italy summer vacation to these amazing movie-inspired destinations.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn about 5 places that are perfect for your Italy summer vacation and beyond, including:

An American in Italy: The Most Exclusive Luxury Destinations

Italy’s tourism sector is experiencing a significant revival this year and the primary catalyst of this growth is the influx of American tourists. It is estimated that around 2.2 million visitors from the United States will grace Italy’s shores between July and September.

This generates a substantial revenue of €2.1 billion for Italy.

And with good reason. 

Aside from the favorable exchange rate between euro and dollar, two very popular television shows played a significant role in boosting Italy’s popularity:

  • Season 2 of The White Lotus was entirely filmed on the island of Sicily (specifically in Taormina)
  • Parts of Season 3 of Succession were filmed amongst the gorgeous hills of the Val d’Orcia region in Tuscany.

Both shows perfectly display what it means to take a vacation in the land of la dolce vita.

You’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery, luxurious palazzos, friendly locals, unparalleled history, vibrant culture and of course, amazing Mediterranean cuisine!

Italian Fashion
Italy is an icon of fashion, romance, and cultural heritage.

Italy is the perfect destination if you’re a traveler looking to experience luxury, charm, and all the best things that life has to offer.

Regardless of where you choose to go and what your budget is, Italy offers something for everyone. Start your star-aligned Italian summer with our 2024 guide to Italy, your celestial travel companion.

If you want to stay on trend, look to rent luxury properties and enjoy the amenities and privacy that these establishments offer.

A useful platform you can use to find and book accommodations is Bluepillow. It’s the first online metasearch engine in Italy. That means it aggregates holiday home rentals and hotels from all the main suppliers on the Internet.

When you search Bluepillow, you’ll discover a wide range of options, from country homes to historical palazzos, and much more. 

Having a great place to stay is an important first step to planning out your trip to Italy.

Vacation Like a Star: 5 of The Most Exclusive Italian Destinations

If you truly want to vacation like a star, look to these unique experiences. Each is worth a visit in their own right. They’re made all the more enchanting by their depiction on the silver screen.

1. Taormina, Sicily

taormina sicily | Enjoy Travel Life
Enjoy luxury accommodations in Taormina, where Season 2 of White Lotus was filmed.

Starting from the famous Island of Sicily, head to the San Domenico Palace, the Four Seasons Hotel in Taormina for an exclusive and unparalleled experience. That’s where Season 2 of The White Lotus was filmed.

With a whopping $5,000 a night for the most expensive suite, this former monastery turned luxury hotel is set in one of Sicily’s most gorgeous and picturesque towns.

The establishment consists of 111 elegantly furnished rooms and suites.

It also features:

  • A Michelin-starred restaurant called Principe Cerami
  • An indulgent spa
  • A magnificent (69-foot) outdoor infinity pool with breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea

2. Val d’Orcia, Tuscany

Val dorcia tuscany | Enjoy Travel Life
The Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main events featured in Succession Season 3 were mostly filmed near Siena in Tuscany. You’ll recognize scenes among the rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia region.

Val d’Orcia is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, characterized by small medieval towns, charming olive groves, and Chianti vineyards.

The primary filming location, Lady Caroline’s wedding venue, is Villa La Foce. This expansive estate spans 3,500 acres and is home to one of Italy’s most beautiful private gardens.

Villa La Foce was previously owned by renowned biographer and writer Iris Origio. You can even rent this beautiful space to host private events. Prices are available upon request.

3. Venice, Italy

canals of Venice
Embrace romance as you glide through the picturesque canals of Venice
st marks square venice | Enjoy Travel Life
Marvel at the “cake frosting” adornments at St. Mark’s Basilica.

With romantic gondola rides through the Grand Canal, the opulent architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica, and exclusive costumed Balls at Carnevale, it’s no wonder Venice has been a vacation hot spot for decades.

The Inferno (sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons) features scenes in which mega-star Tom Hanks takes Venetian water taxis and pans the iconic winged lion on the facade of St. Mark’s Basilica.

It’s just one of many movies set in Venice, including The Tourist, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Casino Royale, The Italian Job, and other top movies.

But if you want to go where the celebrities go, head to Antiche Carampane. Between the famous Rialto fish market and Campo San Polo, it takes some planning to find this unremarkable-looking place.

But it’s a true Venetian dining experience with a menu boasting the freshest seafood and delicious wines.

This off-the-beaten-track restaurant is known to host celebrities year-round. But if you visit during the Venice Film Festival, your odds of crossing paths with the rich and famous are good!

And even if you don’t, dining at the unassuming Antiche Carampane is one of the traditional Venetian dishes the locals enjoy.

For unique luxury stays, you’ll find plenty of boutique hotels in which to stay in Venice. Some offer views of the Rialto Bridge, others with rich Venetian decor and beautiful 9th-century Venetian styling.

And if you have the time, take the water taxi over to the islands. You’ll see artisan-crafted glass artifacts made in Murano, and timeless lace-making traditions, and colorful photo opps in Burano.

Related: 7 Most Romantic Places in Italy: Love is in the Air!

4. Positano, The Amalfi Coast

amalfi coast italy ravello | Enjoy Travel Life
Beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast overlook azure blue waters.

Almost nowhere in Italy is as picturesque with its seaside homes built into the cliffs than the Amalfi Coast — nor romantic.

In fact, if you’re a fan of the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, you’ll recognize the famous Positano Beach scene. It’s where Frances (Diane Lane) meets her new love’s family, dines at their family-owned seaside bar, and drinks delicious homemade limoncello.

This scene is not far from reality.

The Amalfi coast offers stunning beauty in each of its 13 towns and villages:  Amalfi, Atrani (the smallest town in Italy and setting of Under the Amalfi Sun), Cetara, Conca de’ Marini, Furore, Maiori, Minori, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Scala, Tramonti, and Vietri sul Mare.

Just about anywhere you stay will offer you incredible panoramic views. And the narrow, winding streets and steps (la scala) meander upwards (or descend) through the towns in a most romantic way.

Like Venice, the Amalfi Coast gets busy in the high season. But it’s truly worth a visit for a romantic, luxury escape to Italy.

5. Cinque Terre, “5 Lands” in Liguria

beauty of the Italian Coast
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Italian Coast.
manarola cinque terre italy 1 | Enjoy Travel Life
Take a guided tour through the terraced vineyards for exclusive wine-tasting.

Five traditional fishing villages make up the beautiful region in Liguria south of Genoa known as Cinque Terre (“five lands”): Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza.

Cinque Terre has plenty of film credits, both old and new.

For instance, Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida star in “Come September” (1961), set within a lush Italian villa in Cinque Terre. More recently, Pixar’s movie “Luca“(2021) is loosely based on Cinque Terre’s colorful village of Vernazza.

Perched upon the steep cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea, the villages are connected by a regional train as well as a hiking path. Both offer swoon-worthy photo opportunities.

Perhaps the most luxurious way to see Cinque Terre is to take a private luxury boat tour along the Ligurian coast. That way, you’ll get panoramic views of the colorful villas ascending the cliffs.

These sun-dappled towns are among the most romantic in Italy.

When you visit, you’ll discover lovely beaches, scenic trails, vineyards terraced into the mountainside, and excellent cuisine. Each village has its own unique charm and personality.

Look for small boutique accommodations for the most intimate of stays. Your hosts will likely be able to arrange a bespoke itinerary that goes beyond the tourist traps.

When you enlist the help of an experienced guide, they’ll help you navigate through the trails and vineyards to find hidden gems, panoramic views, and even exclusive wine-tasting opportunities.



Final Thoughts on Your Italy Summer Vacation

When you map out your Italy summer vacation based on these film settings, you’ll discover 5 amazing destinations that await you.

Discover the unveiled beauty, culture, and experiences that Italy offers, surrounded by its cinematic fame.

From enchanting cities to coastal wonders, culinary delights, and vibrant festivals, a trip to Italy delivers a truly unforgettable vacation.

So pack your bags, embrace the Italian spirit, and cast yourself in the leading role on a magnificent vacation to Italy!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.