August 5, 2020

14 Best Places to Visit in Italy

Italy is filled with some amazing cities and towns to explore. Each one is similar yet drastically different, which can make it hard to plan the perfect trip to this picturesque country.

Use this as a guide when you plan your next trip to Italy!

1. Florence

Florence is such an underrated city! It’s the center of arts and culture in Italy, and you could easily spend quite a few days here, despite the city’s small size. This lovely city is also the perfect spot to start a Northern Italy road trip.

What to Do in Florence

Climb to the top of the Duomo. I did this during my trip to Florence, and it really made me fall in love with the city. Though there are around 400 steps to get to the top, I’m here to tell you that the view is extremely rewarding. Just remember that you have to purchase a ticket ahead of time to do this. Trust me, it’s one of the best Italy landmarks you can’t miss!

See the view from Michelangelo Square. This is the same view in the picture above! Michelangelo Square is a piazza located up on a hill in Florence. It’s a bit of a trek to get to the top, but you pass a whole bunch of fun craftsmen and vendors on the way up. The other option is to take a bus or drive to the top!

Marvel at David in the Bargello Museum. David is one of the most popular sculptures in the world created by Donatello. Though the sculpture is bound to be swarmed by tourists, it’s still worth seeing.

2. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is truly the best place that I visited during my trip to Italy! Plus, I’m here to tell you that yes, this place does exist and it does look exactly like the pictures.

What to Do in Cinque Terre

Hike between the villages! The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a Cinque Terre card. It doesn’t take long to hike between the villages either, and the views along the way are absolutely incredible. Try to hike earlier in the morning to beat the crowds.

See picture-perfect Manarola. Manarola is the most popular of the villages, mostly because it’s so picturesque! The photo above is of Manarola from the perfect photo-taking spot. Visit at sunset for an even better view!

Try pesto on any type of Italian dish. Pesto is from an area right near the Cinque Terre and absolutely should be tried while you’re here. I suggest trying it on pasta in Riomaggiore. You won’t regret it!

3. Pisa

Ah Pisa, the town of the infamous Leaning Tower! Honestly, this town is quite quaint, but it’s worth it to visit and at least spend a view hours seeing some of the most important sites. I recommend visiting on a day trip from Florence, which is super easy to do.

What To Do in Pisa

Take a touristy photo with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So, this is a given, but you have to do it. Your trip wouldn’t be complete without it, to be honest. Try to visit earlier in the morning to avoid all crowds, though.

Go inside the Cattedrale di Pisa. This is the gorgeous cathedral located right next to the leaning tower. It’s honestly so gorgeous inside. Keep in mind that it is free to enter, but you have to get a free ticket with a timed entry in order to go inside.

4. Venice

Venice is truly one of the best places to visit in Italy. I know that so many people think that it’s truly hit or miss, but I loved it. You really don’t need long to visit the city though. I saw all the best sights in 24 hours. Though I would’ve loved to spend more time in Venice, I saw everything on my list and walked almost every part of the city! Plus, Venice is a great way to start a trip for 10 days in Italy.

What To Do In Venice

Go on a Gondola ride! Keep in mind that this can be quite pricy. The prices that I saw averaged 80 euro, but that can of course change on the season and on the year. I recommend trying to find other travelers to share the boat with, because then you can split the cost!

Check out St. Mark’s Square. This is the busiest place in the whole city. Everyone is usually here, since it’s right next to the water and the Doge’s Palace. It’s also aptly named for being situated directly next to Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Visit St. Mark’s Basilica. Inside St. Mark’s Basilica is even more gorgeous than the outside! The cathedral is free to visit, but you do have to make sure your shoulders and knees are covered in order to enter.

Visit Murano, Burano and Torcello by Vaporetto. There are tons of beautiful islands right off of Venice’s coast, and these ones are 100% worth viewing.

5. Rome

Have you really visited Italy if you haven’t visited Rome? This is where dreams are made of.

What To Do In Rome

Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain. You really have to do this, but remember to throw with your right hand over your left shoulder, and not the other way around! Keep in mind that it can get really busy in front of the Trevi Fountain, but it is 100% possible to avoid crowds by visiting early in the morning right at sunrise.

Walk up the Spanish Steps. If it’s springtime, you have even more of a reason to do this! The whole staircase gets covered in azaleas and it’s truly beautiful. You used to be able to sit on the steps, but recently in 2019 that is no longer possible. I think it just makes the steps even more gorgeous because you’re less likely to get someone awkwardly sitting in your shot now.

Take a day trip to Vatican City. It’s basically located almost in Rome! The Vatican Museums you do have to pay to enter, but you can go into the basilica for free. Though you have to wait in line, I can guarantee that it’s one of the most gorgeous basilica interiors you’ll ever see.

Are you planning a trip to Rome? Check out this helpful post about what a local wants you to know about the city!

6. Amalfi Coast

Similar to Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular coastal villages to visit in Italy. While Cinque Terre is in northern Italy, the Amalfi Coast is in the south.

What to Do in the Amalfi Coast

Relax and soak up some sun on the beach. Though the beaches are so busy, they truly are so relaxing. Try to visit earlier in the morning so that you can get a good spot.

Go on a boat tour! This is one of the best ways to learn more about the area. They oftentimes will even bring you to the nearby islands which will only show you more beauty!

Walk the Path of Gods. If you’re a sucker for great sights, you have to walk this trail! It offers some of the best views of the coast.

7. Milan

Milan is known for being home to some of the best fashion in the world! The city is also known for its amazing architecture, but has lots of great areas to explore.

What To Do In Milan

Visit the Duomo di Milano. This cathedral is truly gorgeous on the outside and is even more pretty on the outside. Even if you don’t go inside, you have to at least check out the square in front of it to see it in all of its glory.

Go shopping. There is no way that you can visit Milan and not go shopping. Though this city is home to many high-end and luxury shops, there are also a good amount of budget-friendly stores.

Explore the Sforzesco Castle. Anytime there’s a chance to see a castle in Italy, you have to hop on it!

8. Naples

Most people will visit Naples just because it’s located near Pompeii and therefore serves as a perfect spot to stay. However, the city itself shouldn’t be overlooked because it’s home to some amazing scenery and top sights!

What To Do In Naples

Explore Mount Vesuvius. There’s a hiking trail near here that you can do to get one of the best views of it. This is the very volcano that destroyed Pompeii.

Planning a trip here? Check out this post on How to Visit Pompeii & Vesuvius in One Day!

Visit Ovo Castle. This is the gorgeous castle that’s in the photo above! It’s located right on the water and has some of the best views. Visit at night to see it right around sunset – you won’t regret it.

Check out history at the Royal Palace of Naples. Did someone say royal palace!? This palace has since been converted into a museum and has served as a top tourist sight ever since. It was popularly used by the House of Bourbon for many years.

9. Capri

Ah, Capri. Another gorgeous coastal town in Italy that absolutely must be explored, especially during the warmer months!

What To Do In Capri

Take a boat to the Blue Grotto. This cave got its name because the blue waters actually reflect off the inside of the cave. The only way to visit is to go on a boat tour, so you’ll want to book ahead. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Walk up to Monte Solaro. The top of this mountain has amazing views of the city down below. You can even see the water as far as the eye can see!

Explore the Gardens of Augustus. I’m a sucker for tranquil gardens, and that’s exactly what the Gardens of Augustus are. These botanical gardens are known for their great views of the water.

10. Verona

Almost everyone and their mother knows of Verona, but only because of its mentioning in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. There’s actually some great spots to explore in this adorable town!

What To Do In Verona

See Juliet’s House. This is the house that Shakespeare was supposedly inspired by when writing Romeo & Juliet. You can see the exact balcony that he used for inspiration in his play.

Write letters to Juliet. Yes, you can really do this! You can write a letter and either mail it or deliver it yourself.

Explore the Verona Arena. Though this amphitheater is essentially a smaller version of the Colosseum, it’s still just as interesting. It’s also always a lot busier than its Roman counterpart. You might even be able to catch an Opera show here!

11. Sorrento

Sorrento is a gorgeous resort town that is best known for its amazing views of the Bay of Naples, but there is also so much more to see there!

What To Do In Naples

Walk around Piazza Tasso. The piazzas in Italy are always so busy which makes them a great spot to visit. This square is known for its statue, but be sure to also check out the pastel yellow church.

See art at the Correale Museum. This art museum is located inside a villa from the 18th century! Even if you aren’t an art fan, you’re sure to love it here.

Relax at the Villa Comunale. If you’re looking for a place to lift your feet up and just take in the views in Naples, this is the place to do it. There are benches everywhere and your bound to find at least a quiet part of the park just for yourself. This is the perfect picnic spot too!

12. Siena

Tuscany was my favorite region of Italy, just because of how amazing and scenic it is. This city is located on top of a hill in Tuscany!

What To Do In Siena

Walk around Piazza del Campo. This piazza is split into wedges, almost like a clock! This is also one of the biggest piazzas in the whole country and holds a lot of importance to the city of Siena.

Visit the Tower of Mangia and Pubblico Palace. This is the town hall in Siena and it’s a great example of Italian Gothic architecture! The tower is one of the best landmarks in the city.

Explore the Duomo di Siena. This Duomo is very different than the one in Florence, but is still just as magnificent. It’s most well-known for its mosaics, so be sure to look out for them!

13. Lake Como

Lake Como is a huge lake in Northern Italy that is incredibly scenic and peaceful. Of course, there are many different villages around the lake. Below, find some of the best activities to do near the lake!

What To Do Near Lake Como

Visit the Villa Carlotta. This villa is a museum filled with some amazing art. Plus, it’s located right on the water and looks incredibly magnificent from the outside.

Explore the Villa Monastero. This villa is home to a breathtaking garden right on the lake. It’s also now a museum.

Check out the Mediterranean Villas. The houses around here are incredibly bright and festive – it almost seems like Cinque Terre in a way.

14. Palermo

Palermo is the capital of Sicily and is best known for its amazing cathedral! Some say that it’s Palermo is the gateway to Sicily!

What To Do In Palermo

Visit the Norman Palace. This palace is from the 9th century and is so large and stature that you couldn’t miss it if you tried. Today, it’s a museum that you can explore!

See a show at the Massimo Theater. The Massimo Theater is best known for its opera and acoustics! Book tickets ahead of time to ensure admittance.

Marvel at the Cattedrale di Palermo. Palermo is most well-known for this cathedral. It was built in the 12th century and holds the tombs of some of Italy’s royals.

From Palermo, you can easily take a trip to Calabria too! Here’s an amazing 5-Day Calabria itinerary for your next trip.

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  1. […] The stunning city of Florence resplendent with dramatic statues, stunning architecture, and picturesque images in every direction has to be Europe’s most beautiful city.  […]

  2. […] attraction on the Northern Ligurian Coast of Italy, only a bit above Pisa, and often described as one of the best places to visit in Italy. While planning my trip to Italy I didn’t know much about Cinque Terre apart from the photos […]

  3. Krista says:

    This is such a great list – I really need to explore more of Italy after reading about the places!

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