7 best places to visit in ITALY
Curious about the best places to visit in ITALY? Italy, one of Europe’s most exciting countries, is the perfect vacation spot no matter when is your holiday.
You can visit Italy at any time of the year. Come in late spring, summer or early autumn for its gorgeous beaches. And anytime during the rest of the year to explore Italy’s beautiful cities which are rich with cultural heritage and history.
Italy is home to several world heritage listed attractions, ancient towns, natural wonders, renowned works of art, and some of the greatest cuisines in the world.
Italy is quite large, with a lot of great places to visit. It’s impossible to write about all of them, so we had to choose a few of our absolute favorites.
What to do in Italy? Here’s our list of some of the best places to visit in Italy.
7 best places to visit in Italy
Rome once was a very powerful city — a center of the Roman Empire and later the Christian World. In Rome, you are surrounded by the past everywhere you go.
Being rich with history and cultural heritage, Rome is one of the best places to visit in Italy.
Rome is best known for its ancient buildings, the most famous of them being The Colosseum of Rome (or Coliseum). It’s an oval amphitheater in the city center of Rome. It was completed in AD 80, and was the largest amphitheater ever built.
Rome’s oldest neighborhood, Ancient Rome, is where all the ancient buildings are located. The area is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Centro Storico is Rome’s historic center where you’ll find tiny cobbled streets, Renaissance architecture and baroque churches.
Rome has been an important center of religion and pilgrimage for centuries. Vatican, the world’s smallest sovereign state, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and the seat of the pope. And it’s located in Rome. Visiting the Vatican is one of the best things to do in Rome.
Venice is definitely one of the most famous destinations in Italy, and undoubtedly one of the most romantic ones.
Venice was founded in the 5th century, and built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea.
Venice is a maze of waterways, small streets, bridges and narrow paths. There are no roads in Venice. Vaporetto boats (kind of ferries), traditional gondolas (both private and public) and water taxis are the only means of transport.
Not only this unique city has spectacular scenery, but also priceless historical heritage. The most popular attraction in Venice is its architecture.
In Venice you’ll find great monuments such as Gothic Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica with its byzantine mosaics, and early Venetian Renaissance church — Santa Maria dei Miracoli.
3. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a world heritage listed region composed of five colorful fishing villages perched atop the dramatic cliffs.
The five villages date from the early medieval period.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Cinque Terre. Go exploring its medieval village streets and harbors, steep terraces, and beautiful terraced gardens.
Also, Cinque Terre has a network of stunning nature trails that lead from one village to another.
Cinque Terre is known for pesto, and joining a pesto making class is one of the best things you can do in Cinque Terre.
4. Naples and Pompei
Naples, the renowned capital of pizza, is one of the best places to visit in Italy.
Yes, a bit dirty and chaotic, but it is a fantastic place to experience the true essence of Italy.
Naples is the third-largest city in Italy, and one of the oldest ones. Naples’ Centro Storico (historic center) is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Naples is a great place to include in your must-see list not only because of its unique atmosphere but also because of the proximity to Mount Vesuvius and the ancient town Pompeii.
As you might already know, Pompeii stands in ruins because in AD 79 Vesuvius erupted and buried under a layer of burning fragments of pumice stone. Mt Vesuvius is a stratovolcano, and one of the most dangerous and most closely monitored volcanoes. The volcano has been quiet since 1944.
5. Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast is Italy’s most known coastline. It is featured in every guide book and every article about Italy, and deservedly so.
Its extraordinary beauty and great Mediterranean beaches make it one of Italy’s top tourist destinations.
Amalfi Coast boasts picturesque coastline with a steep and rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages perched on its cliffs.
Amalfi Coast will attract not only beach lovers, but also outdoor lovers and hikers, as the region boasts great hiking trails. Hiking trails offer beautiful views of rugged shoreline and turquoise waters.
6. Florence and Tuscany
According to some guide books, Tuscany is Italy’s most romanticized region.
Tuscany is best known for its olive groves and rolling hills and vineyards of Chianti.
And its capital —Florence — is the cradle of the Renaissance, and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
One of Florence’s most iconic sights is Santa Maria del Fiore — the 13th-century cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome. Other very popular sights include the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi Gallery, and The Palazzo Pitti.
Florence is also known for its impressive art collections. According to UNESCO, the city holds “the greatest concentration of universally renowned works of art in the world”.
The famed Uffizi Gallery is home to many iconic artworks, such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.” And The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture.
Due to its “Outstanding Universal Value”, the Historic Centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sicily is one of the regions in Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
This gorgeous Mediterranean island is rich with history and cultural heritage. Also, Sicily has some of the tastiest cuisines in Italy. Thanks to Greek, Arab, North African and French influences, the cuisine in Sicily is rich and extraordinary.
Sicily boasts diverse landscapes — beautiful beaches, sparkling seas, mountains, even an active volcano!
Yes, Sicily is home to one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes — mount Etna!
Palermo, the capital of Sicily, features a mix of architectural styles — Baroque buildings, Byzantine mosaics, Norman castles, and Arab domes.
Italy travel tips
- It’s very easy to travel around Italy. The country has a good transport system. Bus and train networks are great.
- Trenitalia, Italy’s national company, is the most popular rail company. Download the Trenitalia app. With this app, you can purchase train tickets on your phone, and save mobile boarding passes to your phone. The conductor will scan your ticket from there. No validation for mobile tickets is required.
- You can’t purchase local city bus tickets from a bus driver. You can buy tickets at local tobacco stores (Tabacchi). Do not forget to validate once on board. Most Tabacci stores aren’t open on Sundays.
- A rental car is also a great way to travel around Italy. If you plan to rent a car, get a small car. Parking spaces and roads in Italy are small. It’s easier to drive in Italy in a small car, and you’ll see that almost everybody has a small car.
- Italy is known for its delicious house wine. Definitely try it during your trip to Italy!
- Restaurants don’t stay open all day. Also, Italians eat their dinner late. So, don’t expect restaurants open for dinner earlier than 7 PM. They fill up around 8 PM.