Italy is a charming country with lots to see and do, making planning a vacation tricky as you try to figure out which cities and destinations to visit. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Italy.
Commonly the first place that pops into people’s minds when they think about traveling to Italy, Rome is a must-visit city that should be on anyone’s bucket list. One of the most well-known cities in the world, Rome houses some of the most famous landmarks in world history as well as offering picturesque backdrops of beauty and history around every turn. One of the best things to do in Rome is to take a Colosseum Skip-the-Line tour and check out Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel.
Whether you’re hoping to visit the Colosseum or see Michelangelo’s masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel, Rome has got you covered. In Rome, you can visit some of the best Museums in the world, and you’re also sure to embrace the local Italian culture. No matter your hopes for the visit, you’ll be happy with your choice to visit Rome.
Roughly a third the size of Rome, Venice offers many activities to plan your trip in a much more compact city. If you want to take a romantic vacation or a trip with the family to see the incredible architecture, amazing tours, and historic sites, or walk through the city along the beautiful canals, Venice is perfect for you.
If you’ve ever watched a scene in a movie and saw people being rowed through a beautiful city in a gondola, that was more than likely Venice you were looking at. A gorgeous city rich with history, Venice is a great destination to add to your Italy trip.
When you’re planning your trip to Italy, keep Milan in mind as a possible stop along the way. As with many other major cities in Italy, Milan is full of history. One of the neat things about Milan is how history converges with modern life in a unique way that makes the city worth a visit.
If you’re an art buff, you’ll be able to book a tour to view Leonardo DaVinci’s famous “The Last Supper”. If art isn’t your thing and you’re a sports fanatic, plan your visit to Milan when one of their famous football (soccer) clubs are playing, AC Milan or Inter Milan. Better yet, visit the city when they are playing each other for the full derby experience!
See Related: Best Time to Visit Milan
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting the Mediterranean, what better spot to visit than the largest island the area has to offer? Sicily offers visitors beautiful sand beaches and incredible views of the surrounding area, but it’s more than just a beach destination.
The second most active volcano in the world, Mount Etna, resides in Sicily and is a hot spot for visitors and hikers alike. You can book a private tour exploring Mount Etna. Spend days exploring ancient ruins, taking an adventure by climbing Mount Etna, or visiting some of the historic castles on the island before relaxing on the beach. Sicily has it all, no matter what you want to get out of your trip to Italy.
One of the biggest tourist attractions in the region lies in the small city of Pisa. You’ve probably guessed by now, the Leaning Tower of Pisa that you can visit on a half-day tour. Although the famous structure is the most well-known thing in Pisa, there’s plenty more to do in the historic city once you’re finished with the visit to the tower.
If architecture is your thing, this is the city for you. Other than the tower, you’ll want to check out the rest of the structures in the Square of Miracles, many of which are 800 or more years old. With the gorgeous architecture of the city combined with the restaurants and shops all around, you’ll be happy you took a day to visit Pisa while you’re in Italy.
Arguably the center of the Renaissance movement centuries ago, Florence is a must-visit destination for anyone making a trip to Italy. As the hub of the Renaissance, Florence is flush with work from some of the era’s biggest names, including DaVinci and Michelangelo, to name a couple.
To go along with the city’s artwork and beautiful architecture, Florence boasts some of the best views in Tuscany and fun guided tours because of all the towers to climb and peer over the city from. A stunning city in every way, you’ll want to spend a day in Florence to take it all in.
An easy addition to any trip involving a visit to Florence is to explore the whole region of Tuscany. Since Florence is the capital city of the region, feel free to leave the hustle and bustle of the city (or any of the other major cities in the area) and adventure out into the vast reaches of Tuscany. You can explore Tuscany on your own or join tours.
Known for its gorgeous backdrop of hills, trees, and fields aplenty, Tuscany offers visitors some of the best landscapes in the country. One of the biggest draws of the region is the incredible wineries. So if authentic Italian wine is your thing, be sure to visit Tuscany!
This one is more for those who want to see the ancient ruins of a famous city rather than those who want to visit a modern-day city full of life. The city of Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago, and the ruins remain in place today for visitors to journey through.
Exploring the city’s ancient ruins offers a unique perspective on the history of the area and provides history buffs and site seekers alike an unforgettable experience that is well worth the time during your trip.
Have you ever heard of Romeo and Juliet? Of course you have, it’s one of the — if not the — most famous plays of all time. Written by Shakespeare in the late 16th century, the romantic tragedy is set in, you guessed it, Verona. With that in mind, visiting locations of the play, such as Juliet’s house, is one of the main activities you’ll find in Verona.
The small city is full of other adventures as well, including more gorgeous architecture and Italian culture to explore. Stroll through the streets and stop in different cafes and shops or climb to the top of one of the many towers for unparalleled views of the city.
At the base of the beautiful Alps mountain range sits one of the country’s best spots for a romantic getaway with that special someone: Lake Como. Offering picturesque landscapes and unique views of the area in a much quieter setting than any of the major cities listed here, Lake Como is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Taking a boat ride across the lake and viewing the mountains, landscape, and villas all around is an unforgettable experience and can be a great way to spend a day in Italy. Within a short distance of Milan and close to Bellagio, there is plenty to do in the area, and you’ll be happy it was included in your trip.
One of the prettiest and most secluded places to visit is the little known island Pantelleria. Take a dip in the warm waters nearby and explore the natural spring and volcanic sand at the island’s center for an idyllic experience that offers more relaxation than possible on a busy trip to Italy.
To be as secluded as possible, swim in the island’s coves and stay at one of the resorts that will allow you to disappear into your vacation and be off the grid from the rest of the world. It is an ideal place for an archaeological tour.
As a former capital city of the Roman Empire, Ravenna should make the shortlist of Italian destinations while you plan the trip. Ravenna is the home of eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and one of the most visited cities in the Emilia Romagna and Bologna regions.
Rich with the history of the surrounding areas, Ravenna also hosts a music festival, guided tours, and some of the most delicious food you’ll find anywhere in Italy. So whether you’re a history buff, a music lover, or a foodie, Ravenna might end up being one of your favorite stops along the way as you travel through Italy.
Following closely behind Sicily and coming in as the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia offers visitors a plethora of potential activities to tackle while they are in Italy. You can enjoy a sailboat tour or book a beach tour by Tuk Tuk. The island’s interior is plush with mountains and is a must-see for any hikers out there, as it offers as many trails and amazing views as one can hope for. As you get to the island’s outer reaches, you’ll find incredible white sand beaches and beautiful towns along the coast.
Interestingly, Sardinia offers extremes on both sides of the spectrum when it comes to culture. On one side of the island, you’ll find extremely affluent people and waters filled with yachts. Travel a short distance to the other side and you’ll find people tending to sheep and making traditional clothing by hand.
Without a doubt, one of the most underrated and oft-overlooked places to visit in Italy is the stunning Dolomite Mountains. If you enjoy hiking and taking in some of the most breathtaking views imaginable, the Dolomites are perfect for you. They aren’t only for those who love hiking though, as cable cars will take visitors to some of the best places to get a view of — or from — the incredible mountain range.
The area is so incredible, it’s worth spending a couple of days here alone to drive, hike, and explore all the beautiful views that the Dolomites have to offer. With delicious restaurants and plenty of lodging in the area, the Dolomite Mountains could be an entire self-contained Italy trip in and of itself.
If you’re the beach-going type, a trip to the Aeolian Islands should be on your list without a doubt. Once you decide to visit the Aeolian Islands, be sure to check out some of the incredible beaches and its active volcano tour. You’ll also want to take in the breathtaking views you won’t find anywhere else.
Surrounded by volcanoes and hills, the beaches of the Aeolian Islands will provide you with unmatched relaxation and beauty while you soak in the Mediterranean sunlight. After your day on the beach, spend the evening at some quaint coastal towns for the full island experience.
Get Started Planning Your Trip to Italy Today
As you can see, Italy provides some of the world’s most incredible places to visit. Whether you’re looking for popular tourist locations like the Colosseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or you’re hoping for a more unique and secluded area to visit like Sardinia, Italy has it all. With many of these destinations, you can plan your trip around visiting a few or even making entire trips out of them each.
That’s the beauty of a trip to Italy, there’s so much to do and see, and there’s something for everyone. You can plan a trip that will be perfect for you no matter what you’re looking for. After visiting any of the places on this list, you’ll be ready to start planning the next trip back to Italy as soon as you get home!