Do you dream of eating pasta all day? You should consider some of the best places to visit in Italy. Then, you can book a vacation that you’ll look forward to and will never forget.
29 of the Best Places to Visit in Italy
Italy is an excellent vacation spot in Europe. So, if you’re looking to plan a trip there, consider some of the best places to visit.
Here are some well-known and hidden spots you should check out. Then, you can enjoy everything that Italy has to offer.
Of course, we have to include the capital on our list of places to visit. Rome has a long history, so you can enjoy that or simply relax. Some buildings still exist from early in the city’s history. You can also visit the Colosseum or nearby Vatican City, which is entirely within Rome.
If you don’t want to focus on the history, shopping and restaurants are also available. The city is an excellent destination for families, couples, and solo travelers looking for a bit of adventure.
Known for its canals, Venice is another great vacation stop. You can ride through the canals on a water taxi or a gondola. If you don’t like riding on boats, you can walk through the city’s small streets to visit shops and other attractions.
Take a tour with a guide to explore the entire city or do so independently. However, it can be easy to get lost, so try to give extra time when getting somewhere.
Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world. But you don’t have to be into fashion to enjoy what the city offers. You can check out a soccer match or take in the gorgeous architecture.
There are also plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy coffee, wine, and everything in between. Of course, you can visit Milan Fashion Week or go any other time you want.
If you prefer visiting smaller towns, you may like the whole area of Tuscany. This place is home to the countryside in Italy. It’s a great place to see if you want to explore something new each day since there are plenty of small towns around.
Going to Tuscany is perfect if you want to get away from crowds. You can experience nature as well. And since it’s a whole region, you don’t have to choose just one town.
Siena is a small town within Tuscany, which feels similar to larger cities. You can schedule a day trip from anywhere in the region. Walk the town’s streets, visit the local cathedral, and enjoy yourself. If you fall in love with the city, you can spend the night there.
Florence is very similar to Siena, except it’s a larger city. This makes it an excellent destination if you want to shop and try new restaurants. You can also view Renaissance art throughout the city.
It’s one of the best places to go for your honeymoon. But you don’t have to be just married to find something to do in or around Florence.
Another large city worth visiting in Italy is Naples. The birthplace of pizza, you can enjoy some Neapolitan pizza as well as some espresso.
This city is also full of art and history, so you can take all of that in. Unfortunately, the city does have some crime, but you can avoid that by staying in the more touristy areas.
Pisa is another city in Tuscany, but you probably know of it thanks to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, the city is also home to tons of museums, palaces, and villas.
You can enjoy the city for its culture and tourist attractions. There are also many art and music festivals throughout the year to check out. Plus, the international airport makes it easy to fly in or out of.
Sicily is one of the best places in Italy to visit, especially if you like the beach. It can feel very similar to some Caribbean islands. However, you’re still in Italy, so you can enjoy pasta, seafood, and other local foods.
The island is also a great place to explore the history of the Roman, Greek, and other empires. You can have a long, relaxing vacation on the island or spend a couple of days there.
Sardinia is another large island that’s part of Italy. It offers beautiful beaches overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. You can go swimming or snorkeling to see the fish that live nearby.
Inland, you’ll find small villages and farms, and the locals can be friendly but quiet. So if you want to avoid the Italian cities, this is a great vacation spot.
Ischia is a smaller, lesser-known island in Italy. This volcanic island has spas and thermal springs that you can visit. Since it’s not as popular, you don’t have to deal with huge crowds when you visit.
However, it’s close enough to Naples that you can take a day trip. Then, you don’t have to choose between busy or quiet.
Also close to Naples, Capri is yet another fantastic island to visit on your trip to Italy. The island is home to shops, restaurants, and hotels. Many people love visiting the island and enjoying what it has to offer.
If you like exploring nature, you can hike on the island. You can also take a boat ride around the island to explore the waters and view the coastline.
Salina is part of the Aeolian Islands, and it’s just off the coast of Sicily. You can take in the beauty of the hills and volcanoes. Visit the villages by the sea to enjoy a bit of a small-town feel.
Rinella is a wonderful city to visit on the island. And you can take a boat to the other Aeolian Islands or to the Italian mainland.
If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you’ll want to visit Verona. This city offers tours to see the places that supposedly inspired the play, Romeo and Juliet.
You should also visit Verona Arena, an amphitheater that’s been in use since the first century. There’s also a beautiful garden called Giardino Guisti.
The namesake of the famous Bolognese sauce, Bologna is the perfect spot to visit if you like food. You can try the sauce over some lasagna or tortellini.
There’s also a gelato university and the actual University of Bologna. You can enjoy the terra cotta buildings as you walk throughout the city.
Sorrento is just south of Naples, and it’s right along the coast. That makes it a great choice if you want to go to the beach or hike near the water.
You can also book a trip to Sorrento and stay there during the evenings. During the day, trips to Naples and Capri are easy.
If you know much about Roman history, you’ve probably heard of Pompeii. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s home to ruins from the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
You can hike to the top of that mountain to take in the views of the surrounding area. There are plenty of historical ruins to see within the town if you don’t want to.
18. The Dolomites
You’ll find The Dolomites in the northeastern part of Italy. It’s a beautiful location for hiking or simply viewing the mountains. You can take a cable car during the summer if you prefer not to hike.
This spot is perfect for shorter and longer vacations. You can take in the scenery and enjoy what it’s like to stay in a mountain town. Plus, it’s pretty close to the Alps, so it’s great for skiers.
Genoa is one of the larger cities in Italy, and it’s a big medieval center in Europe. You can visit churches, museums, and palaces to explore a bit of history.
There’s also an aquarium that’s home to 12,000 animals. So, if you like trying new foods, you can enjoy some pasta, seafood, and bread. You can also view art in the town.
Portofino is a coastal city a bit southeast of Genoa. You can go swimming or diving in the nearby waters, and it’s not uncommon to see yachts in the harbor.
You can stay in town and enjoy the local attractions. However, it’s close to other sites, such as Castello Brown, that you can check out. And since it’s close to Genoa, you can take a day trip between the two places.
21. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre translates to Five Lands, and it refers to five small fishing villages in the northwestern part of Italy. Those villages have a train connecting them, so you can visit all or some of the towns.
There’s also a national park with the same name where you can explore nature. If you want to get away from the larger cities, this is a great area to visit.
On the eastern coast, you’ll find the town of Rimini. It’s one of the best beach resorts in Europe, thanks to nine miles of beaches with white sand.
It’s also a great place to experience all of Italy due to the theme park Italy in Miniature. There, you can view small versions of popular spots, and you can ride the Ferris wheel to enjoy the views of the city.
Puglia, Italy, comprises the entire region in the “heel” of the country’s boot. This area is the biggest producer of olive oil in all of Italy. You can enjoy a variety of restaurants and gorgeous beaches. You’ll also find castles, forests, and other areas to check out.
24. Lake Como
If you want to have a relaxing vacation in Italy, you may want to visit Lake Como. It’s one of the larger lakes in the country, so there are plenty of spots to check out the water.
The town of Como isn’t too far from Milan, so it’s a great day trip option. You’ll also be close to the Switzerland border, so you can travel to multiple countries.
25. Lake Orta
Another Italian lake worth visiting is Lake Orta, which is also in the north. It’s on the other side of Lake Maggiore from Como, so you can visit both lakes.
Of course, it’s also close to Milan if you want to visit a big city. However, you can enjoy the quiet towns in the Italian Alps, and you can find a skiing destination as well.
26. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast includes the town of Amalfi in the southwestern region. There are about a dozen other towns nearby, so you can visit some or all.
Amalfi is one of the two more popular cities to visit, and you can find restaurants and hotels there. It’s a fantastic destination if you want to relax or be more adventurous and hike to reach the cliffs overlooking the water.
Praiano is another small coastal town, and it’s a bit west of Amalfi. You can explore some secluded coves near the coast.
There are also some beachside bars, and you can stay in a local hotel to enjoy a night or two in town. The water is gorgeous, so you can go swimming or simply enjoy the view from afar.
While many of the best places to visit in Italy are near water, there’s also Perugia. This town is in the center of Italy and is the capital of Umbria.
There are monasteries and other gorgeous buildings that you can visit. You’ll also find the National Gallery, which is home to some local art from the medieval period.
29. San Cassiano
San Cassiano is a small mountain town in northeast Italy. You can stay in a rustic suite to enjoy the town. It’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to ski, and it’s close to Austria for day trips. Getting to San Cassiano can be difficult since it’s quite far from Venice, one of the closest large cities.
Things to Consider
When forming your list of places to visit in Italy, you have a lot to consider. Before you book your trip, think about the following elements and how they can affect you.
Time of Year
First, you may want to think about the time of year you want to visit Italy. This is particularly important when you’re visiting towns in the northern part of the city. During the summer, the cities may have more activities you can do.
On the other hand, you may want to visit during the winter if you want to go skiing in the mountains.
You can also look into certain annual events, such as Milan Fashion Week. That way, you’ll know which weeks to avoid visiting somewhere if you want to avoid massive crowds.
Next, you should think about who will go on your trip to Italy. If you want to travel solo, you have control over where you go. However, you’ll also need to be careful about where you travel.
Since you’re alone, you may want to stay in larger cities where you’re more likely to find a tour group to walk around with. But if you’re traveling with others, consider if you’re doing so with a partner or a group of friends.
Then, you can book activities that everyone will enjoy. And if you have kids, you’ll want to find a city or two with family-friendly activities.
When traveling, you might also want to upgrade your cellular plan to an international plan so that you can contact someone in an emergency. Or you can decide to stay near WiFi networks.
After you know who will be going to Italy, you can think about what everyone wants to do. If you want to relax, you may choose to visit a small town by the coast. On the other hand, Rome might be a good choice if you prefer shopping.
If you want to spend your vacation trying new foods, head to Bologna. When traveling as a group, think about different activities. That way, you can split up if you can’t agree on how to spend your time.
Some of the best places to visit in Italy are close to each other. If you can’t decide on one spot, consider staying in one location and taking day trips to nearby towns. Naples and Tuscany are a couple of great options for this.
They’re both close to smaller towns or islands that are easy to visit for a few hours in a day. If you don’t care about a day trip, you can go anywhere in Italy. But it can be nice to have the option of day trips, especially if you don’t get to travel very often.
You might also want to think about how many days you’ll be in Italy. For example, some people may only be able to visit for a week, so day trips might not be as feasible. However, you can make more day trips if you have more time.
You can also spend one week in your first destination and your next week somewhere else. Everyone is different, so consider your situation.
You don’t have to spend multiple weeks in Italy to take in all of the sights in one city. But a longer trip is nice if you can’t choose just one place to visit.
When it comes to scheduling activities, you may want to know how close the airport is to your destination. Larger cities almost always have an airport. However, it could take multiple hours to reach an airport from a smaller town.
This is important when it comes to scheduling the first and last days of your trip. It can also matter if you decide to spend a few days in Rome and a few in Milan. Flying between those cities is much more efficient than taking a train.
Keep the timing in mind when deciding where to stay and when to switch locations. If your destination isn’t near an airport, consider if there’s a train station close by. That can help you get to a city with an airport without driving yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still deciding where to visit in Italy, you may have questions. Here are some common questions and their answers:
What is the prettiest place in Italy?
The prettiest place in Italy can be subjective, but Florence tends to stand out. It’s home to beautiful buildings and museums.
What should you avoid in Italy?
You should avoid over-tipping, especially if you’re used to doing so as an American. It’s also important to avoid wearing casual clothes if you want to visit a church.
Is it expensive in Italy?
Italy can be expensive, and the average traveler spends about $60 to $150 a day. You can save money by bringing your own snacks and by getting water instead of a drink.
Are Italians friendly?
Italians tend to be very friendly and considerate. They can also be helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask for directions. However, like anyone, Italians can have bad days, so have patience with someone who may not seem helpful.
Do Italians speak English?
Some Italians speak English, and it’s more common in larger cities. So if you want to go to a small town, you may want to learn a bit of Italian first.
So, What’s the Best Place to Visit in Italy?
There are tons of excellent places to visit in Italy, from big cities to small towns. Consider what type of trip you want, such as relaxing or more adventurous. Then, you can look into a few destinations to help book the trip of your dreams.