Quite a few Italians (especially the older generation) own holiday homes and this is usually in fairly close proximity to where they live. For the Milanese it could be on Lake Como or the Ligurian Coast, and their families tend to use the house during the summer months. In the south, Neapolitans flock to the Amalfi Coast, the Cilento region or Calabria. I remember as a child growing up on the Amalfi Coast, my village of Minori would become extremely busy during the summer with families from Naples and inland towns.
As a child I didn't go on holiday and wasn't really too sure what a holiday was! I grew up by the sea and tourists from Italy and abroad would flock to our village and the rest of the coast, so I suppose we didn't feel the need - the summer months had such a holiday feel to them that I just joined in the fun! It was not until I settled in England that holidays mattered and then it would be my turn to go to Italy as a holidaymaker.
With the sea surrounding the majority of Italy and with such a variety from north to south, fine, sandy beaches or rocky coastlines, there is something for everyone so it is no wonder the Italians enjoy the sea so much.
Unknown to outsiders, coastal resorts such as Sperlonga, Fregene, Ostia and Anzio outside of Rome are popular choices for locals who wish to escape the stifling city heat. For anyone staying in Rome during the summer who fancies a refreshing dip in the sea, a day trip to the coast is simple by local public transport.
Italy is covered with mountains - from the Alps running from west to east across northern Italy and the Appenines stretching from Liguria in the north, right down to the very south forming the backbone of Italy. It is no wonder Italy is so beautiful! So for those who wish to escape the busy coastal resorts in summer and enjoy the fresh mountain air where they can enjoy the peace and tranquillity and the natural surroundings, a holiday "in montagna" is a popular alternative.