Surrounded by sapphire seas and fringed with golden sand, Italy’s small islands make perfect holiday destinations – here are five of our favourites
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1 With the Tyrrhenian Sea lapping its shores and a mountainous inland terrain, Elba in Tuscany offers both the pleasures of lazy beach life and the challenges of scuba-diving, windsurfing and hill walking. And with local gastronomic specialities like cacciucco, a luxurious fish stew, you’ll enjoy excellent dining accompanied by some fine local wines. As Italy’s third largest island, and a popular summer retreat for many people from the north of the country, Elba receives more than one million tourists a year.
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2 Just 21km off the coast of Naples the tranquil island of Procida, with its jolly, pastel-shaded buildings, is a world away from the city.
As the smallest of the islands off Naples’ coast, and also one of the most attractive, it’s best explored by bike, as it was in the hit film Il Postino.
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3 Capri is perhaps the most iconic of Italy’s islands and is a perennial hotspot for celebrities.
Visit the stunning Grotta Azzurra, the famous Blue Cave – when the sea is calm, you can swim inside and experience the beauty of the sun’s reflection off the crystal waters. Truly spectacular.
You can find more features about Capri here
4 The Isole Tremiti are made up of four tiny islands off the coast of Puglia – San Domino, San Nicola, Cretaccio and Capraia.
They were used as convict stations until the 1930s but are now regarded as some of the most beautiful of all Italy’s many islands. San Nicola is the only one with a village that is inhabited all year round.
5 The volcanic island of Ischia is the largest of the Isole Flegree (of which Procida is also a part). The main industry is tourism, centred on the thermal spring.
Hire a scooter for the day and explore the less-crowded villages on the island away from Ischia Porto.
You’ll find more about Ischia here