As the summer season approaches, Italians eagerly anticipate their well-deserved vacations. A recent research study conducted by us sought to uncover the preferences of Italian travelers when it comes to selecting their vacation type and destination. Let’s delve into the fascinating findings and explore the diverse preferences of Italians.


Preferences by age

When examining the attitudes of respondents based on their age, a distinct pattern emerged. The youngest age group (18-35 years old) showed a higher inclination towards solo travel or venturing with friends. This can be attributed to the desire for independence and the thirst for new experiences that often accompany the younger generation. Exploring new places and creating lasting memories with friends or like-minded travelers aligns with their desire for adventure and freedom. Among these young travelers, agency-organized trips (both group and individual) and backpacking were the preferred choices. Organized trips provided the convenience of a structured itinerary, ensuring hassle-free exploration, while backpacking allowed for flexibility and the chance to immerse oneself in the local culture. Both options offer the opportunity to meet new people, foster friendships, and create unforgettable experiences. 


In contrast, respondents aged 35-54 were more likely to embark on vacations with their families, valuing shared experiences. This preference can be attributed to the stage of life these individuals find themselves in, where family bonds and creating lasting memories together become significant priorities. The desire to create a sense of togetherness and provide children with enriching experiences often drives these vacation choices. 


Interestingly, older respondents appeared relatively indifferent in terms of their preference for travel companions. This can be attributed to the fact that individuals in this age group often have more freedom to choose their travel companions or may have already fulfilled their familial responsibilities. They may be more open to various travel options, whether it be solo exploration or traveling with friends. 



Furthermore, the study uncovered varying vacation priorities among different age groups. Respondents aged 18-24 prioritized adventure and fun, seeking thrilling experiences during their getaways. The desire to engage in adrenaline-pumping activities, such as water sports, hiking, or exploring vibrant city centers, reflects the youthful energy and enthusiasm of this age group. 


The 25-34 age group focused on romanticism, yearning for intimate moments in picturesque settings. The desire for romance and the creation of lasting memories in idyllic destinations often drive their vacation choices. The allure of sunsets on the beach, candlelit dinners, and enchanting landscapes can greatly enhance the romantic experience for this group. 


For respondents aged 35-54, relaxation and comfort were key considerations, emphasizing the desire to unwind and rejuvenate. The demanding responsibilities of work and family life may drive the need for a tranquil and pampering vacation experience. Whether it’s a luxurious spa retreat, a beachside escape, or a scenic countryside getaway, the focus is on finding solace and indulgence. 


Finally, individuals over 55 cherished the aspect of discovery, seeking to immerse themselves in new cultures and explore unfamiliar territories. Having potentially fulfilled familial and professional obligations, this age group often embraces the opportunity to expand their horizons. Exploring historical landmarks, visiting museums, and engaging with local traditions enrich their travel experiences. 


Italy vs Abroad holidays

The research also shed light on the perennial dilemma faced by Italian travelers: choosing between domestic and international destinations. Astonishingly, a resounding 61% of respondents expressed a preference for vacationing within Italy. This strong inclination towards domestic travel can be attributed to several factors. 


Firstly, Italians have an innate pride in their rich cultural heritage and the diversity of their own country. Italy’s historical significance, artistic treasures, and renowned culinary delights hold an irresistible appeal for domestic travelers. Exploring the numerous regions and cities within Italy allows Italians to delve deeper into their own culture, traditions, and history. 


Additionally, the favorable climate found in various parts of Italy makes it an attractive destination for vacationers. From the sun-drenched coastlines of the Amalfi Coast to the mild Mediterranean climate of Tuscany, Italians can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, from relaxing beach days to exploring picturesque countryside landscapes. 


Furthermore, local food plays a significant role in Italians’ vacation choices. Italy is celebrated internationally for its gastronomic delights, with each region offering unique culinary experiences. Exploring the diverse flavors and regional specialties adds an extra layer of enjoyment to domestic travel. 


On the other hand, 15% of respondents favored traveling abroad, while 24% were open to exploring both options. Those who preferred to travel abroad cited several reasons for their choice. Firstly, the desire for novelty and cultural richness often drives the appeal of international destinations. Exploring different cultures, historical landmarks, and UNESCO World Heritage sites allows travelers to broaden their horizons and gain a deeper appreciation for global diversity. 


Furthermore, the allure of vibrant nightlife and entertainment scenes found in international cities often attracts those seeking lively and cosmopolitan experiences. The availability of well-established tourist infrastructure, including a wide range of accommodation options and efficient transportation networks, enhances the appeal of foreign travel. 


Planning the trip

When it comes to planning their vacations, a considerable 68% of respondents claimed full responsibility for organizing their trips. This trend highlights the growing independence and self-sufficiency among Italian travelers. Planning their own vacations allows individuals to personalize their experiences, choosing destinations and activities that align with their preferences. 


However, 16% of respondents relied on travel agencies for assistance, predominantly among the 18-34 age group. This reliance on travel agencies can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, younger travelers often lack the time or resources to extensively plan their vacations. Travel agencies offer the convenience of expert advice, curated itineraries, and logistical support, making the process easier for these individuals. 



Moreover, respondents who used travel agencies to book their vacations primarily opted for organized tours (both group and individual), cruises, and resort vacations. These packaged experiences provide a level of convenience and peace of mind, with accommodation, transportation, and activities meticulously planned. It allows travelers to focus on enjoying their vacation without the stress of logistics.



This comprehensive research study provides valuable insights into the vacation preferences of Italians, offering a thorough overview of the factors driving their decision-making processes. It highlights the diverse preferences among different age groups, shedding light on the unique priorities and desires of Italian travelers. 


Italy holds a special place in the hearts of Italian vacationers, with a majority expressing a preference for exploring their homeland. The country’s rich history, favorable climate, renowned cuisine, and cultural diversity make it an irresistible choice for many. Simultaneously, international destinations entice travelers with their novel experiences, cultural richness, and vibrant nightlife. 


As the summer vacation season approaches, the findings of this research will undoubtedly aid travelers, tourism boards, and businesses in tailoring their offerings to cater to the specific preferences of Italian vacationers. Whether it’s solo adventures, family getaways, romantic escapades, or cultural explorations, Italy and the world beyond offer a wide array of options to satisfy the wanderlust of Italian travelers. By understanding and addressing these preferences, both domestic and international travel experiences can be optimized to provide unforgettable vacations for all. 


Where will you travel this summer?