Feel like you have gone for ages without a holiday? Then it is time to plan the trip of your lifetime to Italy. From walking the verdant mountain trails and exploring the most beautiful secret gardens, Italy offers the best spoils of its Mediterranean landscapes. Most of the best places to visit in Italy stem from its beautiful natural landscape.
Italy is rich in culture, history and beautiful landscapes. Discover unique cuisines and street food. Experience the natural landscape on your hiking trips and outdoor activities. Visit the unspoiled national parks, the Dolomites in Northern Italy or the vast volcanoes in Sicily. Whether it’s your first time visiting Italy or you want to experience its beauty again, here are the top 15 best places to visit in Italy.
If you are looking forward to a heady mix of ancient temples, diverse landscapes or delicious cuisines in the region, ensure you visit one of the largest islands in Italy. Some exciting things to do in Sicily include sunbathing at the beaches and visiting breathtaking landmarks. Aside from the beautiful beaches and historical sites, the top attractions in the islands are the sleepy coastal villages and deadly volcanoes. Join tours to Stromboli Volcano on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The volcano has been active for over 2,000 years and still attracts tourists to witness the eruptions.
Mount Etna, the largest active volcano, should be on your itinerary if you are a thrill seeker. At 3,326 metres high, the mountain towers above the Ionian Coast. Tackle the volcano on foot or join a tour to the top of the mountain. If you are a wine lover, stick to the lower slopes, where exciting grape varieties are grown on the fertile volcanic soil.
One of the best places to visit in Italy is Venice. Discover the islands floating on this lagoon, linked together with bridges. It is a spectacular holiday destination with heart-stopping art, jaw-dropping palazzos and delicious dishes. Where else can you gaze at centuries-old paintings and inventions of Renaissance-era geniuses? Don’t forget to check out the wide piazzas, narrow canals and small squares that punctuate the city. Get the city’s best views by climbing the Campanile bell tower that dominates the skyline of Venice, or get a gondola to Ponte di Rialto Bridge and watch as the sun sets over the city.
A must-visit attraction in Venice is Piazza San Marco, the waterfront square. Marvel at the rolling domes, enjoy coffee at the centuries-old cafes under the porticoes or relax at the waterfront square as water sloshes around your feet. You can spend the day enjoying the most authentic attractions in Italy around the Piazza, like visiting the Basilica di San Marco. Stop by the Museo Correr on the opposite end of the square, and learn the story of Italy through objects.
Rome is one of Italy’s best holiday destinations for history and art lovers. The city’s ancient roots unveil themselves through historical icons like Pantheon and Colosseum. With breathtaking basilicas, priceless masterpieces by Michelangelo and exquisite artisan culture, it is no wonder Rome has been charming travellers for years. Rome’s tenacity is illustrated in the ancient monuments dating back 2,000 years. Marvel at the 50,000-seat Colosseum, popular for hosting frenzied spectators watching gladiators face off against wild animals. The iconic amphitheatre is an electrifying sight.
Retrace the footsteps of Roman history, like Augustus, Pompey and Julius Caesar, at the Roman Forum. It is a stretch of temples and markets that pass along sights like Arco di Settimia Severo and Tempio di Saturno. Walk through the tumbledown remains, and experience what was once the heart of the Roman Empire. You can also enjoy views of the Roman Forum from Palatine Hill. The gorgeous green expanse of seven hills has evocative ruins and towering pine trees with stunning views of the city below.
Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Then Cinque Terre should be high on your bucket list of the best places to visit in Italy. The enchanting villages and natural beauty make it a must-visit region. Ensure you visit Riomaggiore to experience the beautiful scenery at the tiny harbour as you watch the sunset. The houses at the harbour are painted in pastel colours of the Ligurian tradition. After a stop at the marina, follow the narrow path from the marina to the rocky beach. You can go for a swim in the clear waters or sunbathe. Alternatively, go kayaking or canoeing from Riomaggiore to Vernazza or Manarola.
If you love hiking, Cinque Terre has numerous trails to try out. Walk from Volastra to Corniglia and enjoy spectacular ocean views, vineyards and quaint villages. At Corniglia, experience the charm of the coastal village that rises on the top of a rocky promontory.
Famed for their charming alpine pastures, burning sunsets and scenic Rifugios, the Dolomites are spectacular mountain ranges in Northern Italy. While you cannot explore all the Dolomites on a single trip, ensure you savour everything the region offers. You can go on a hike along the popular serpentine roads and enjoy impressive views of the landscape. Hut-to-hut hiking is also a unique way to explore the scenery, discover hidden gems, and experience the culture and food in Northeastern Italy.
The Dolomites mountain huts are managed accommodations for hikers and climbers. They are accessible by foot, and you can wake up on a trail day after day. If you want to immerse yourself in the mountains, hut-to-hut hiking is the best way to explore the Dolomites.
Nestled in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and the Tyrrhenian Sea, Naples is the third-largest city and one of the best places to visit in Italy. While it doesn’t have the glamour of Rome or Venice, Naples is bursting with incredible attractions in an authentic setting. Explore the rich architecture and art scene, from ancient Greek wall fortifications to Roman-era theatres and Renaissance-era piazzas. Stroll along Spaccanapoli, which traverses the historical centre of Naples, and don’t forget to bite into a slice of pizza in the city where it was born.
While historical sites are popular attractions in Naples, you can enjoy outdoor adventures. Climb the summit of Mount Vesuvius on your hiking tour. The active volcano towers over the city, allowing you to experience impressive views of the Bay of Naples. Don’t forget that the volcanic crater awaits you! After enjoying the splendour, check out the ruins of Pompeii caused by the eruption of Pompeii’s Mount Vesuvius.
Among the most beautiful places in Italy, Florence is one of the top destinations for great food, history and incredible architecture. It is also home to famous artists like Niccolo Machiavelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Visit popular landmarks and monuments, like Piazza Del Duomo, Santa Maria Del Fiore and Giotto’s Campanile, to marvel at the beautiful architecture and art. Stop by Palazzo Vecchio overlooking Piazza della Signoria, with its 300-foot high bell tower that looms over the city. The archaeological site hosts the impressive Salone dei Cinquecento, with beautiful painted ceilings and frescoes. Ensure you explore the Roman Foundations in the basement.
Stop by Piazzale Della Signoria, one of the most beautiful squares in Florence. The top attractions in the city are located around the square, and you can visit the Uffizi Gallery, Loggia Della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio. Enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisines in the restaurants or people-watch in the cafes around the square.
Are you looking for an Italian island getaway? For sun and sand, Sardinia is one of the best places to visit in Italy to experience the traditional life of Blue Zone regions. Relax on the white sandy beaches of Costa Smeralda or enjoy surfing at Costa Verde. With over 200 beaches in Sardinia, you will be spoilt for choice. Discover isolated beaches away from the crowds or join other tourists at the popular beaches in the region. Aside from swimming and water sports, experience the great outdoors by exploring the treasure troves of the islands.
Hop on a boat and tour the island, or sail into a cove and drop anchor. Alternatively, head to the beaches on the other side of the island. Check out the well-preserved prehistoric ruins and unique Roman structures. The rural mountainous landscape of Sardinia is the perfect place for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Experience the island’s beauty, from the mountainous Sardinia landscape to the coast.
From striking landmarks to ancient art museums and natural attractions, Milan is a fascinating city and one of the best places to visit in Italy on your holiday. The capital of Lombardy has the perfect combination of avant-garde architecture and history, which co-exist to create a haven of attractions for history and art lovers. A must-visit landmark is the Duomo di Milano. Explore the cathedral and admire the imposing façade, rooftop terrace and beautiful interiors. Take the stairs or the lift up to the rooftop to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. Since the cathedral is in the city centre, it provides a focal view of the fashion capital.
Visit the largest castles in Europe at the Castello Sforzesco fortified complex, built in the 15th century, now home to several cultural institutions and museums. Marvel at the Last Supper fresco created by Leonardo da Vinci. The fresco is located in the refectory of the monastery.
The Amalfi Coast is Italy’s best holiday destination for good reason. The stretch of coastline is magnificent, not to mention the charming coastal towns that cling to the cliff. One of the top fun things to do on the Amalfi Coast is to hike the Path of the Gods and enjoy the beautiful view of the coastline. The hike takes two to three hours from Bomberano to Nocelle, taking you through ancient historical towns and ruins. If you can, go on a road trip from Sorrento to Bomberano and then start your hike. Take a ferry to the island of Capri from the Amalfi Coast, explore the villas in Ana Capri or enjoy the most magical sights at Blue Grotto.
Perched on top of a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the beautiful whitewashed city of Ostuni is one of the best places to visit in Italy. The town’s charming white houses, historical churches and narrow cobblestone streets provide a magical atmosphere. Spend the day exploring the ancient Centro Storico and be transported to a bygone era with a well-preserved whitewashed mediaeval town. Since Centro Storico is on a hill, you can enjoy incredible views of the rolling hills surrounding the city and the Adriatic Sea sparkling in the distance. Take time to explore the majestic Cattedrale Santa Maria Assunta, admiring the architectural details of the Baroque bell tower. Ostuni is known for olive oil, so you should taste some in the local salad dressings, fresh pasta and focaccia bread.
Delve into the beautiful metropolis, with a refined vibe that feels more like Francais in the fourth-largest city of Italy. The northern city of Turin doesn’t scream the scooter-screeching vibe of the south, but its elegance and modernity shine through. The charming city features palazzo-laced squares, porticoed streets and impressive galleries. Walk through the extraordinary royal palazzo and gardens, or linger over the food and wine in cafes while feeling the creativity pulse through the beautiful city. Spend the day museum-hopping and discover a varied portfolio of museums from the blockbuster Museo Egizio, featuring animal mummies, anthropomorphic coffins and priceless artefacts. Car buffs can visit Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile. Design and art lovers can stop by Palazzo Reale, which has personal art collections of Pinateco Giovanni e Marella Agnelli on display.
Eternalised in Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a romantic place to visit in Italy. Full of ancient history, Verona brims with vitality, and Eagle-eyed visitors can explore Roman-era amphitheatres alongside 19th-century townhouses and mediaeval churches. The cultural treasures make Verona the perfect city to experience culture and the best-preserved Romanesque buildings. Stroll around the city and explore the best landmarks. The Piazza delle Erbe is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, and it sits at the centre of Verona life. Here, you can sit and people-watch or visit during the market days. The local wines and vineyards make Verona one of the best places to visit in Italy. After trying the local food, visit the wine-producing vineyards near the city, where you can taste world-renowned wines — Amarone and Soave — from the surrounding regions.
Bologna is Italy’s most underrated city, with miles of UNESCO heritage-listed porticoes and the mediaeval terracotta buildings that give it the nickname La Rossa. With the elaborate Neptune Fountain, the Piazza Maggiore is the perfect first stop to discover people-watching opportunities. Grab a spritz or cappuccino and relax while watching the bustling city. For an incredible view of Bologna, climb the Asinelli Tower. Ensure you stroll down Via Drapperie, the most picturesque street in Italy, and explore the row of food shops and restaurants lining the street.
Looking for the best places to visit in Italy? Explore the oldest Italian cities on the rocky outcrop of the Basilicata region. The area comprises the highly historical and fascinating Sassi area, boasting a series of cave houses on the mountainside. Visit 13th-century churches with historical significance and explore the ruins of the oldest city in Italy. View the entire city from Belvedere Piazzetta Pascoli and Belvedere Luigi Gurrigghio and enjoy impressive views of Sassi.
If you want to experience the best places in Italy, join tours or group trips and participate in fun excursions. Are you interested in visiting Sardinia? Join the 8-day Sardinia Beaches tour between Maddalena and Costa Smeralda. This exciting tour has the perfect itinerary for exploring beaches, incredible landscapes and unforgettable moonlight nights. Simply choose the best time to visit Italy based on your interests and reserve the ideal tour. For instance, if you want a hiking or self-driven outdoor tour, book the 8-day Dolomites tour and explore the beauty of the surrounding regions.
Excited to learn about volcanoes and take road trips in mountainous regions? Then join the self-driven tour of Sicily East to enjoy good food, sunshine and picturesque villages. Discover the hidden gems of eastern Sicily, like Siracusa, Catania and Ragusa, for white sandy beaches and spectacular views of the valley below.