History, art, food, music, architecture, culture, sacred sites, charming villages, and stunning scenery are all around, and in an atmosphere that only the most confirmed curmudgeon could fail to enjoy. Plan your trip with our list of the best places to visit in Italy.
1. Via Krupp, Capri
While the risk of tumbling rocks means you can no longer stroll the elegant switchback bends that make up Via Krupp, that doesn’t stop the view at the top from being any less spectacular. Head up to the Augustus Gardens and gaze out at the best of Capri laid before you.
There are few destinations in the world quite like Venice. Its uniqueness can largely be attributed to the canals that run through the city like roads, carrying water taxis and buses in addition to its fleet of famous gondolas. As such, there is a palpable bustle here that may surprise some first-timers. For a relaxing Venice vacation, seek out the smaller streets and canals away from the busy Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.
Florence is perhaps the most “Italian” city there is. Packed with works of art around every corner, romantic Renaissance architecture, quality local food and wine and boutique shopping where designers first opened their stores, Florence encompasses the best parts of Italy in one small city. Days can be spent marvelling at the famous works of art such as Michelangelo’s statue of David, walking through the world-known Duomo and sipping on fine Tuscan wines.
4. Manarola, Cinque Terre
Manarola is one of the smaller towns in the iconic Cinque Terre, but don’t be fooled into thinking there’s not much to see and do. After hopping off the train, grab yourself some of that famed Italian gelato, take a dip in the Mediterranean sea and pose up a storm in front of this colourful little beauty. For a little ramble to work off that ice cream, head on the ‘Lovers’ Trail’ that goes between Manarola and Riomaggiore, which is especially picturesque at sunset.
Rome (Roma) is the capital of Italy and most likely, your first stop in the country. Rome offers a dazzling variety of sights and experiences. At every turn, you’ll discover ancient monuments, ornate medieval and Baroque churches, beautiful fountains, art-filled museums, and Renaissance palaces. The ancient Colosseum is one of the most iconic sites in the world, and modern Rome is a bustling and lively city and has some excellent restaurants and nightlife. Saint Peter’s Square and the Vatican City are also easily visited when in Rome.
The capital of Lombardy is also a hardworking and fashion-conscious city. Milan is also a dynamic and commercial powerhouse and home to the magnificent Duomo. This massive gothic cathedral towers over Piazza del Duomo and offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop.
The city’s main square is a popular local gathering point while the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an elegant 19th-century shopping mall where famous Italian brands are proudly on display.
Sforza Castle offers a glimpse into the long and complex history of Milan and houses artworks by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Piazza della Scala caters to fashionistas and fans of designer brands while the famous La Scala is a must-visit for opera and ballet aficionados.
Thanks to its famous Le Sirenuse hotel and a prime location on the Amalfi Coast, Positano is easily one of Italy’s most lust-worthy coastal towns.
Siena has changed very little over the past eight centuries, with a beautiful 13th-century main square, the Piazza del Campo, considered to be the heart of the city and famous for the twice each summer bareback horse race, Il Palio. Siena is less touristy and typically not as crowded as its neighbor to the north, Florence. If you feel up to it, climb the more than 500 steps of the civic palace for a spectacular view of Siena and its surroundings. While you’re here, don’t miss the Civic Museum, featuring outstanding Sienese works.
If you’re a foodie, add Bologna to your itinerary. If all you ever do in Bologna is pass your time with piles of pasta – you’re golden. Bologna is where you’ll find ridiculously rich ragu, perfectly hand-rolled pasta and magical mortadella. Bologna is also easy-peasy to access via other big European cities if you find yourself in Paris, Barcelona or Prague before hopping over because it has an airport. Big bonus!
Tuscany has always been the center of business, art, and politics in Europe. Among the most beautiful places to visit in Italy, the city also gained a lot of prominence as a major city of the Renaissance Period. Amazing work of art can be seen and enjoyed by the art lovers coming to this city. Tuscany is also known for its amazing crafts. Materials used to create amazing craft items are wood, metal, leather, marble, wool, and more.
Italy’s most famous tourist destination, Pompeii was once a thriving Roman city. The unexpected volcanic explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, buried the whole city and its residents 12 feet deep in ash. Once the excavations began in the mid-1700s, archaeologists found one of the best-preserved treasures like Roman baths, brothels and other public spaces. Today, the city offers one of the best insights into the lives of the roman that inhabited the city.
12. Lake Como
Nestled at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most romantic spots. Leave the hustle and bustle of Italy’s cities behind on a visit here.
One of the busiest metropolitan cities in the country, Naples is the capital of the Campania region in Southern Italy. The city of Naples offers a treasure trove of art works and historic sites as well as a vibrant atmosphere of shops, restaurants and nightlife venues. Many favorite Italian foods originated from here such as pizza, spaghetti and parmigiana. These dishes are taken seriously in Naples and usually feature fresh, locally grown ingredients. As it is nearby famous sites like the Bay of Naples and Pompeii, Naples presents an ideal base to stay while exploring the area.
14. Pisa and Lucca
These two nearby towns are worth visiting while you’re in Tuscany, the first for the exceptional Campo dei Miracoli complex and the other for its endearing charms. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, actually the campanile for the adjacent cathedral, is a well-known Italian icon, and forms the centerpiece of a UNESCO World Heritage site that also includes the cathedral, baptistery, and Campo Santo.
15. Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast is one of the most exotic European destinations, known for its ecstatic coasts bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is perfect for exploring the nature’s marvels in Italy. Positano and Fiordo of Furore are places located close by and demand a lot of time to enjoy its amazing attractions.