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Italy has a rich cultural heritage, with many museums, galleries, cathedrals and beautiful old towns. In the region of Umbria, you can see endless olive groves and vineyards. Sardinia has beautiful beaches and is a true Mediterranean jewel.
You can conquer the mountain peaks of the Alps and the Dolomites in the north of the country. In Bologna, you will find the oldest European university. Besides, you can see many important Roman and ancient Greek archeological remains.
Ready to start? Enjoy your tour of amazing Italy!
Rome: Discover the Beauties of the Eternal City
The Italian capital is the home of the ancient ruins from the Roman Empire, lovely museums, cathedrals and beautiful baroque buildings. You can start your tour of the Eternal City from the Colosseum. This large arena, which once received 50,000 visitors, was the central place where spectacular gladiator fights were held.
The best way to feel ancient Rome’s ambiance is to visit Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Those famous archeological sites were once an important political, social and commercial center of the Roman Empire. You can also visit the Pantheon, one of the best-preserved buildings of Imperial Rome. It used to serve as a Roman temple; today, you can explore the interior and admire the beautiful architecture and perfection of proportions.
The Vatican, the smallest country in the world, is within the city of Rome. Vatican City is the seat of the Pope. It also houses the amazing St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, where you can see masterpieces of Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael and other eminent Italian artists.
Rome is full of distinctive places, which you have to visit if you want to experience this city in the right way. You will be delighted by the baroque art in the Museo di Roma and the Renaissance sculptures in the Galleria Borghese.
Piazza Navona has many cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy gelato, pizza, pasta and espresso. You can also take a ride by Vespa with a guide and explore Rome from another perspective.
To end your visit to Rome, toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain. A legend that says if you make three wishes, one of which is to return to Rome, all your wishes will come true.
Florence: World Capital of Art
What a brilliant place! Florence is a paradise for art and architecture lovers. You can find the most beautiful museums and galleries in the world in this capital of the Tuscany region.
Michelangelo’s famous statue of David is in Florence. You can see this masterpiece in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Also, visit the Uffizi Gallery at Piazza Della Signoria, where you can admire the works of Botticelli, Titian, Leonardo Da Vinci and other famous Renaissance artists.
Palazzo Pitti is a magical place with galleries where you can see the most beautiful Renaissance artworks, stunning frescoes and works by Caravaggio and Rubens. Piazzale Michelangelo is set on a hill between Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens and offers the most beautiful Florence views. Don’t forget famous architectural sites like Ponte Vecchio bridge and Palazzo Vecchio.
Florence is also home to significant religious buildings such as the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Duomo, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
You can visit excellent museums and exciting places as part of day trips from Florence to other picturesque Tuscan towns. Don’t miss the Civic Museum in Siena, the leaning tower of Pisa, and high-grade wineries in Chianti.
Milan: A City of Fashion and Beautiful Architecture
Milan is known for its luxury boutiques and fashion weeks. You can find stores of the most famous fashion brands in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, on the Piazza del Duomo.
On the same square is the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milan), one of the world’s largest cathedrals, which took almost 600 years to build. You will be fascinated by the incredible details on the facade, as well as in the interior. The view from the terrace of this gothic cathedral is fantastic.
In Milan, you can also see La Scala, the Milan opera house, a grand concert hall. In addition to an excellent music repertoire, you can also enjoy the beautiful interior. In addition, you can visit the Museum of La Scala to learn more about opera and musical instruments.
Museum-lovers will be delighted with Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco), located in the city center, where you can visit several museums, like the Museum of Ancient art, the Egyptian Museum and the Antique Furniture and Wooden Sculpture Museum. Behind this castle lies the Parco Sempione, a large green area with paths for walking and cycling.
The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology is housed in a medieval monastery and features an exhibition dedicated to Da Vinci and his inventions. You can also see many scientific and technological subjects that have changed the world industry, aviation and transport.
Milan is also home to one of the most famous football (soccer) stadiums in the world. San Siro Stadium is known for its high towers and a capacity of as many as 80,000 visitors. In the museum inside the stadium building, you can learn more about the history of two local football giants – AC Milan and FC Inter.
Venice: A Unique Place of Exceptional History
Venice, Italy is a city of magnificent architecture and rich history. It is located on 118 small islands, between which is a network of canals. The Grand Canal is known for its numerous boats and gondoliers that take tourists on a lagoon tour. The gondola ride in Venice is one of the items on the bucket list of many travel enthusiasts.
The Grand Canal has four bridges, of which the Rialto Bridge is the most famous. It’s one of the landmarks of Venice and worth the visit.
Gorgeous St. Mark’s Basilica, situated at St. Mark’s Square, is filled with beautiful frescoes and Byzantine decorations. Also, you can visit nearby Doge’s Palace, o the seat of local rulers. Today, it’s open to visitors to admire its lovely interior.
You can also discover two of the most beautiful Venetian islands: Burano, famous for lace making and featuring colorful houses; and Murano, known for its glass-blowing demonstrations and sales shops.
To get the most out of your trip, learn how to make conversation in Italian! Check out Babbel to learn Italian with lessons that can be customized to fit your schedule and level of practice. Find the Italian lesson deals and other language options here.
Naples: The Soul of Italy
If you’re craving pizza, this is the place to be. Pizza originates from Naples, Italy. Neapolitan pizza masters will delight you with top-quality pizzas of different tastes. Before you come to the pizzeria for dinner, use the day to explore Naples’s exciting places and surroundings.
At Cappella Sansevero, you can see beautifully painted interiors and impressive sculptures. The Naples main square, Piazza del Plebiscito, is home to several outstanding buildings, such as the Basilica Royal and the Royal Palace.
For the most beautiful view of Naples and the surrounding area, climb Mount Vesuvius. A hiking tour to this volcano is not complicated, and you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of Naples bay. This volcano eruption led to the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
You can visit these places with local guides and see what they looked like at the time because the ashes protected them from decay.
Book your tour from Naples around Pompeii and Vesuvius for the day here.
From Naples, you can take a boat to Capri, one of the most beautiful Mediterranean islands. Its rocky shores also hide the fantastic Blue Grotto Sea Cave, which is very attractive due to the specific blue color of the water.
You can also visit beautiful places along the nearby Amalfi Coast, such as Sorrento, Salerno, Positano and Ravello. Because of its incredible natural beauty, the Amalfi Coast has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Puglia: Explore the Lovely Old Towns and Beaches
Puglia is a region in the south of Italy. This area was once ruled by the Greeks, as evidenced by archeological sites and the local population’s Greek dialect. The Puglia region has the longest coastline of all Italian regions and many stunning beaches, so it is a favorite holiday destination for many Italians.
Bari is the largest city in the region, with a beautiful promenade by the sea and a large public beach. The trademark of the town is the impressive Basilica of San Nicola. In the fairytale town of Alberobello, the tiny Trulli houses will charm you. This place is completely unreal and very photogenic.
Lecce is the most beautiful city in the south of Italy. It will surely remind you of Florence because of the magnificent baroque palaces and cathedrals. Among all these beautiful buildings, the Basilica di Santa Croce stands out with its grace.
Due to the stone churches and houses that locals built on the rock, the town of Matera is a frequent setting for many movies. Matera is under UNESCO’s protection due to its rich cultural and historical heritage and is the European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Most of Puglia’s places have an old town, with narrow streets and numerous small shops, cafes and restaurants. The whole area is also known for its old olive groves, from which top-quality olive oil is made.
You can spice up your tour of Puglia with a visit to Polignano a Mare and lunch or dinner in a restaurant located in a semi-open cave, with a beautiful sea view.
Cinque Terre: Charming Villages Preserve the Spirit of Old Times
Cinque Terre National Park is located in the Liguria region in northwestern Italy and is one of the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean.
You can explore five villages in this area on the Tyrrhenian Sea’s shores, with colorful houses built on cliffs. These villages are Manarola, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare.
The villages have preserved their charm and are not overly commercialized. Since the streets are narrow and there is not enough parking space, you can easily reach them by train from La Spezia, in just 10-15 minutes. Apart from Corniglia, you can also go to all other places by boat.
All these villages are similar, with charming houses and breathtaking sea views. However, you’ll need comfortable shoes because a lot of walking awaits you.
Take a walk through the narrow streets and climb the stairs to the lookout. You will enjoy the fantastic view of the blue sea.
Stop by one of the small restaurants and try the local cuisine. You will be delighted with the flavors of Italy in the seafood specialties, pasta and bruschettas.
Enjoy your meals to the fullest by working them off by booking a guided hiking tour around Cinque Terre here.
Lake Como: Feel the Magic of Wonderful Scenery
Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, with a depth of up to 410 meters (1,345 feet). It is located in the north of Italy, in the region of Lombardy. You can even sunbathe and swim here during the summer months because Lake Como has several lovely beaches. When weather conditions allow, you can go windsurfing and sailing.
On the shores of Lake Como, you will see several beautiful villas. They are known for their attractively landscaped gardens, of which Villa Monastero and Villa Balbianello stand out for their beauty.
To fully enjoy Lake Como’s natural beauty, you can take a boat tour from the picturesque town Bellagio. You will enjoy the view of the beautiful surroundings and greenery.
With a guided tour, you can visit Isola Comacina, the only island on Lake Como, as well as the beautiful places of Tremezzina, Varenna and Como. You can see the Gothic cathedral in Como and the Como Archaeological Museum, which houses certain objects, pottery and jewelry from ancient times.
You can reach the best view points of Lake Como from most places in Italy by funicular train. Brunate is a small town on a hill, from where you will have a breathtaking view. Don’t forget to try the local Lombardy specialties. We recommend buckwheat pasta pizzoccheri and risotto with lake fish.
Verona: The City of Love
You are probably familiar with Verona from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Like other visitors, visit Casa di Giulietta. Stand under the famous balcony or take a picture next to the statue of Julia.
The Arena di Verona is a well-preserved Roman amphitheater similar to the Colosseum, with a capacity of 30,000 visitors. Today, significant musical events are held in the Arena. If your visit to Verona, Italy coincides with a concert, this is an excellent opportunity to see the marvelous arena in full glory.
If you want to learn more about medieval times, visit Castel Vecchio, which was established in the 14th century to defend the city. Take a tour of the museum inside the castle, and see the beautiful Castle Vecchio bridge just next to the castle.
The Basilica of San Zeno is known as the place where Romeo and Juliet got married. It is worth a visit because of the extraordinary architecture. Visit a beautiful Giusti Garden on the east bank of the Adige River. After visiting all the sights, have a cup of espresso at Piazza Delle Erbe.
Lake Garda is only half an hour away from Verona. It is suitable for a day trip, and you will surely enjoy a boat ride on the lake.
Sicily: The Honest Beauty of the Mediterranean
If you are searching for a unique experience, conquer Mount Etna. It hides the highest active volcano in Europe, which is the most prominent landmark of Sicily.
In the Valley of Temples Agrigento in southwest Sicily, you can see the remains of exceptionally well-preserved ancient Greek temples. This place is considered the most significant archeological park globally and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the northeast of Sicily, you can see the remains of the ancient Greek theater in Taormina and the one in the city of Siracusa. You can also visit Palermo, the largest Sicilian town, and Savoca, the most beautiful Italian village. Besides important cultural and historical sites, you can also enjoy extraordinary Sicilian beaches, like Mondello and Fontano Bianche.
Sicily is also a famous wine region. Find quality wineries and bring home top local wines. Don’t forget to try local Sicilian cuisine. Cannoli and the Sicilian pizza Sfincione are awesome.
Book This Trip
Time to start planning your adventure to the most beautiful places in Italy? Be prepared with insider information on the best local restaurants, hotel or VRBO options and interesting shops by checking out Travelocity and TripAdvisor. When you’re ready to pick your flights head to Kiwi to find exclusive flight deals and ground transportation packages here.
Be sure to check out our Italy Travel Guide before you go!
Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty home-made lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family.