Special Interest Holidays in Italy

Exploring favourite activities or learning new skills – my suggestions for finding the ideal Italian holiday

Special interest holidays in Italy

Italy is an incredibly rich cultural destination, and it also possesses staggering natural beauty and varied landscapes. If you want something a bit more than a typical holiday, the country offers great scope for many kinds of specialist trip. Either independently or on an organised holiday you can learn new skills, brush up on old ones, indulge favourite hobbies, seek physical adventure, relax in a spa or pursue whatever special interests you may have.

Find and book hotels in Italy. With location maps and guest reviews.

Activity holidays

> Activity holidays in Italy
> Skiing

Whether you want to ski in the Dolomites, walk along the Amalfi Coast or fly over a gorge on a wire in Basilicata, Italy offers a range of active and sporting pursuits for an energetic holiday.

Cycling in the Dolomites

Learning skills

For a particularly fulfilling holiday, why not consider learning, or brushing up on, a skill. Photography, painting, cookery, writing and the Italian language are among the appealing subjects you can study on a trip to Italy.

> Study and learning holidays
> Photography holidays

Painting in Venice

Spa breaks

Relaxing at a spa has been a popular leisure activity in Italy for thousands of years and Italy still has historic and medicinal spas as well as luxury spa resorts.

> Spa resorts in Italy

Mud spa in the Aeolian islands


Italy is a highlight of many Mediterranean cruises, and here you can find an overview of the cruises which offer good coverage of Italy.

> Cruises

Cruise ship in Venice

Festivals & events

Opera, football, traditional religious celebrations, carnivals, foodie feasts, art, cinema and music festivals, historical re-enactments enliven the Italian year.

> Events and festivals
> Venice Carnival

Carnival-goers in masks, Venice
Venice Carnival

Art and cultural tours

It’s hard to imagine a better destination than Italy for a holiday devoted to art and culture. From gallery visits with experts to architectural itineraries, in this section you’ll find suggestions for the best cultural trips.

> Art and cultural holidays

Detail of painting by Il Pordenone, in Cividale del Friuli
Detail, by Il Pordenone
Note and disclaimer

Some types of holiday are more suited to independent travel, while other specialist holidays – such as cruising – are best left in the hands of experts. Booking a study course or special interest tour with a professional travel company, particularly if they are based in your own country, is a fairly safe and easy option. This way you can check their accreditation and insurance policies and raise any issues with them easily to give you confidence. However, it is also possible to book holiday activities and courses with local organisations in Italy. This may be a good plan if you wish to spend just a day or two, for example, diving or taking cookery classes.

In this section you’ll find practical suggestions along with links to help you plan all kinds of special-interest holiday. Note that external links to travel companies are provided in good faith, but Italy Heaven can’t vouch for any organisation or holiday listed. Read holiday descriptions very carefully to ensure they are suitable for you, and check what assurances and cover are provided by the firm you are considering. It is important to be very aware of your rights and entitlements if something goes wrong. Make sure that your own travel insurance covers any activity you will engage in.

On this site

Photography holiday in the Abruzzo

‘Flight of the Angel’ zipwire

Off the beaten track

Useful links & books

Find hotels in Italy

Italy car hire