Only a few destinations are as prominent on vacationers’ wish lists as Italy. Whatever your travel preferences, you’ll find something to your liking in this country that is both exotic and familiar. A country full of history, art, architecture, culture, food, music, lovely villages, and breathtaking scenery is a hard one to resist.
Italy is full of magnificent sights to explore, from the rising Dolomite Alps in the north to the beaches of Puglia and the ancient temples of Sicily. So pack your bags, save this list and travel to the best places in Italy.
For most tourists visiting Italy, Rome is at the top of their list to see. Serving as the capital of ancient Europe and its current role as one of Europe’s most active cities, Rome is packed with tourists. The Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, the Appian Way, and the Palatine Hill are among the greatest attractions, along with the Vatican’s tremendous assets.
Take time to experience the city itself in between seeing significant attractions like the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Florence, the capital of the Italian Renaissance, is one large art gallery at times. The Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is a world-famous structure crowned by a gigantic dome that defies gravity. This is one of the world’s best Renaissance art ensembles, with its marble-inlaid bell tower by Giotto and the octagonal Baptistery with its outstanding bronze doors by Ghiberti.
Who could not fall in love with a city where the streets are made of water, the buses are boats, and the gondoliers’ songs float through the air? It is a magical city, with the city itself serving as the primary tourist attraction. The vast Piazza San Marco, often known as St. Mark’s Square, is the city’s heart and is surrounded by several of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
4. Tuscan Hill Towns
Tuscany’s undulating landscape is capped by stone villages whose foundations date back to the Etruscan era. Every house in the village is perched atop a hill and looks like a castle. It’s tough to pick one above the other because they all have their architecture, art, personality, and tale to tell. San Gimignano, with its many towers and mostly intact walls, seems much as it did in the Middle Ages when it was an important halt on the pilgrims’ path to Rome.
Let us tell you why Milan should be a destination you must visit. Milan is a city full of creative and architectural attractions. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in design, fashion, or shopping. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Verdi, Enrico Caruso, Toscanini, and designer Giorgio Armani have all called Milan their home and place of work.
6. Lake Como
Como is a popular summer resort of the affluent and famous in Italy. Lake Como, in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, is an affluent vacation area famed for its stunning landscape set against the Alps’ foothills. The lake is in the shape of an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that converge at Bellagio, a resort town. The city of Como, at the bottom of the southwest branch, has Renaissance architecture and a funicular that takes visitors up to the mountain town of Brunate.
7. Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Peninsula, just south of Naples, looks like a picture straight out of a fairytale. It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for the people who love surreal mountains. The houses appear to be linked to the cliffs behind them, and most of the streets in these picturesque communities are stairways. Flowers bloom everywhere, and beneath the villages are beaches sheltered in emerald bays.
8. The Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a collection of five centuries-old beachfront settlements along Italy’s rocky Riviera coast. Colourful buildings and vines cling to steep slopes in each of the five towns, harbours are bustling with fishing boats, and trattorias serve seafood delicacies and the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail connects the settlements and provides panoramic views of the sea.
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a well-known Italian monument that serves as the focal point of Italy. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that also includes the cathedral, baptistery, and Campo Santo. The set is completed with a museum showcasing some of the most exquisite gold and silver artistry from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.
Lucca, a nearby town with enormous walls and a park lined with trees, is one of Italy’s most beautiful destinations to visit. Within the fortifications, there are beautiful Romanesque and Tuscan Gothic churches, tower dwellings, and a Roman arena that has been “fossilised” into an oval piazza.
Verona is a city in the Veneto region of northern Italy, with a mediaeval old town situated between the Adige River’s bends. The setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” has what made the city famous. “Juliet’s House” is a 14th-century home with a little balcony facing a courtyard. The Verona Arena is a massive Roman amphitheatre that now hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, Siena competed with Florence for arts and culture, and it still has a variety of art and architectural treasures. With its inlaid marble facade and striped bell tower, the grand Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta stands out among Siena’s predominantly red-brick architecture. Among the famous artists and sculptors whose works may be discovered inside the cathedral are Donatello, Giovanni Pisano, Bernini, and Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Naples’ sheer richness will enthral you, much as Venice’s canals and the Renaissance are at the heart of Florence. With its little streets packed with colour, noise, and bustle, it’s a bustling region.
Naples has lots to see, see, and experience, with its treasure-filled cathedrals, stunning palaces lavished in the jewels of European royalty, and its famed archaeological museum displaying artefacts from nearby Pompeii.
Sicily has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in seven categories. The city is home to ancient monuments, natural wonders, and architectural treasures. Sicily is home to many ancient structures that are still in good shape. Selinunte, one of the largest Greek temples in Agrigento Valley is a perfect place to visit.
Tiny and tight, Turin is an industrial city like Milan. The capital of Piedmont is known for its refined architecture and cuisine. Many of the city’s highlights are accessible on foot. Its architecture and formal layout have majesty to them.
This mysterious Mediterranean island looks a world apart from Italy. Sardinia has a lot more to offer the adventurous traveller or even the sun-loving beach seeker, than its spectacular Costa Smeralda, the jet-set paradise of luxury enclaves nestled against the green waters of the northeast coast. The entire south is bordered by miles of white-sand beaches, and the rocky interior is an ideal hiking and climbing area.
Puglia would be one of the country’s most well-known tourist attractions if it were not so remote. Lecce’s capital is brimming with Baroque architecture, including stunning churches with finely carved facades made of native golden limestone.
In Italy, you will find beauty and culture everywhere. History may be found everywhere, from the Colosseum to St. Peter’s Square to the world’s greatest works of art to ancient Italian museums. Every city is stunning in its own right. You may not need an excuse to visit Italy, but if you do, this list should be your go-to resource.