There are so many amazing places to visit in Italy. Here are some of my favorites!
Italy is easily one of the most visited countries in Europe.
Known for its fresh and delicious cuisine, its impressive ancient landmarks, its vast history and its passionate, heartwarming culture, Italy is worth all the hype.
In addition to these two, you’ll find other popular places and some less-touristy places on this list of amazing places to visit in Italy.
Whether you have a few days, a week, a month, or more to spend in Italy, definitely add some of these places to your bucket list.
15 Amazing Places To Visit In Italy
Before I get into the list of amazing places to visit in Italy, here are some of my favorite resources for traveling in Europe:
- Skyscanner for finding the cheapest flights
- Hostelworld for finding highly-rated and affordable accommodation
- Rome2Rio, Omio, or Bookaway for comparing transport options around Europe
- Worldpackers for finding work exchanges (Read my Ultimate Guide To Work Exchange for more info)
These websites will help you plan your trip around Italy and Europe with ease, and save money along the way.
From big cities and towns to lakes, mountains, and beaches, here are 15 stunning places to visit in Italy!
Of course, the capital city of Italy is first on the list. Although it can be very touristy and crowded, especially during peak travel season, Rome is still one of the best places to visit in Italy.
It has some of the world’s most well-preserved ancient monuments and buildings, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and many other lesser-known churches and landmarks.
History is truly around every corner in Rome.
There are also more modern landmarks that are world-famous, including St. Peters Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and more.
Read my article Non Touristy Things To Do In Rome for more unexpected things to see and do in Rome.
As the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is located at the southern tip of the country.
Sicily is actually a region of Italy, so there is lots to see and do here.
There are national parks and the two active volcanoes of Etna and Stromboli.
There are countless stunning beaches and coastal walks to try. San Vito Lo Capo, Mondello, Scala Dei Turchi, and Taormina are some of the best beach areas on the island.
Also be sure to visit Palermo, the capital city of Sicily. Palermo itself is one of the best places to visit in Italy for food and for history.
Between the famous street food and the impressive churches, palaces, museums, and Byzantine Mosaics, Palermo is full of attractions.
Even though Rome is the capital of Italy, Florence is probably more popular among tourists and backpackers. As the capital city of Tuscany, Florence is one of the best places to visit in Italy for first-time visitors.
Florence has all the best aspects of Italian culture: food, wine, history, art, architecture, lush landscapes, and more.
Visit the Central Market to taste all the best local food and take a day trip into rural Tuscany to visit the picturesque vineyards and sample wines.
The list of things to do in Florence is so long, but it is a great first stop in Italy.
4. Lake Como
Northern Italy is home to lots of gorgeous lakes, mountains, and forests. Those looking for rugged natural beauty and fewer crowds than Rome or Florence should visit the North.
Lake Como is one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes. Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore are the two largest lakes in the country, with Lake Como coming in at third largest.
Surrounded by charming towns and majestic mountains, the views around Lake Como are nothing short of breathtaking.
Varenna and Bellagio are the two most popular towns around the lake for tourists.
5. Cinque Terre
Located in northwestern Italy in the province of Liguria, Cinque Terre may have the most picture-perfect views in the country.
Translating to “Five Lands”, Cinque Terre consists of five cliffside coastal towns next to the sea. Each town has the iconic towering cliffs dotted with colorful homes, surrounded by turquoise sea.
You can catch the cheap local train in between the five towns, or consider hiking between them all if the weather is nice.
Be sure to eat lots of fresh seafood, dip your toes in the chilly ocean, and take lots of photos because this is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy.
6. Abruzzo National Park
This is one of the best places to visit in Italy that isn’t touristy. Established in 1923, Abruzzo National Park is the oldest national park in Italy and it is located about 2 hours east of Rome.
Set in the heart of the Apennine Mountains, this protected area is home to lots of wildlife and biodiversity. Visit here to hike in the forests, kayak on the Tirino River, canoe along the stunning lakes, or go skiing and sledding in the winter.
You can also visit the nearby medieval towns of Prezza, Tagliacozzo, and Santo Stefano di Sessiano.
The Abruzzo region is one of the more unique places to visit in Italy. So explore the national park and then see some Renaissance architecture and experience the culture of this lesser-known corner of Italy.
Read next: 20 Non Touristy Places In Europe
This hilltop town in Tuscany makes an easy day trip from Florence, as it’s a small town that can be fully explored on foot in a day. But you could easily spend more time in Siena if you fall in love with the local hospitality and charm.
Full of rustic buildings, winding alleyways, cozy cafes, and cobblestone streets, Siena is incredibly scenic and peaceful.
Stroll through the pedestrian-only Old Town of Siena, admire the Duomo Di Siena, and wander through the massive public square of Piazza del Campo.
Definitely climb to the top of the Torre Del Mangia and enjoy a panoramic view over Siena and the surrounding Tuscan hills.
Located in the Veneto region of northern Italy, Verona isn’t nearly as popular as its nearby neighbor, Venice. But that’s why I love it!
Verona is a true gem of Italy, and it’s not super popular among tourists. But it has some amazing things to see.
Visit the Verona Arena, a 1st-Century Amphitheater similar to the Colosseum. You can also visit Juliet’s Balcony, since Verona was the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
There are also numerous castles, gardens, cathedrals, museums, and classic Italian restaurants, cafes, and bars to visit in Verona.
This is another one of the best places to visit in Italy for food. Some even consider Bologna to be the Food Capital of Italy. And since all of Italy has amazing food, that is really saying something.
Bologna is known for being the home of Bolognese sauce, and has lots of delicious meat and pasta dishes made with fresh local ingredients.
Between the tortellini, lasagne, and fresh meats and cheeses, there is no shortage of things to try in Bologna.
The city in northern Italy is also known as the “Red City”, because of the buildings’ red-tiled roofs. Climb the two leaning Medieval towers in the city for picturesque views over the Red City.
10. Amalfi Coast
After Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast may be the next most scenic spot on Italy’s coast. Located in the Campania Region of Southwest Italy, this stretch of coastline has some of Italy’s most stunning beaches and views.
A highlight of the Amalfi Coast is the Isle of Capri, a rocky island surrounded by jagged cliffs and rock formations in the bright blue sea. You can take a boat tour to the Blue Grotto, a cave in the cliffs where the water shines a magnificent sapphire blue.
Another highlight of Amalfi is Positano, a black sand beach framed by colorful cliffside buildings and towering mountains.
This region of Italy also has delicious seafood and lots of fresh citrus, so be sure to try some limoncello, a blood orange granita, or any fresh citrus gelato flavors.
Beating Rome and Florence for the spot of “most visited place in Italy”, Venice is extremely touristy.
However, it is a unique spot and due to global warming, rising sea levels may flood the famous city in the future. So if you have the opportunity, don’t miss a visit to Venice!
This gorgeous city built on top of small islands, lagoons, and canals is full of postcard-worthy sights and landmarks.
The Grand Canal is where most of the action happens, though you can book quiet gondola rides through the smaller, more intricate canal systems of the city.
After taking in all the views of the colorful, canalside houses and churches, visit the famous Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Basilica di San Marco and the neighboring Piazza San Marco.
These are the most famous Venice attractions, though the real beauty of the city lies in exploring the quieter streets away from the chaos. A boat trip to the neighboring island of Burano with its colorful houses is always a fun idea!
Perugia is the capital of Italy’s Umbria region in Central Italy. It is most famous for its medieval walls that surround the city like a fortress.
In addition to the walls, Perugia also has lots of palaces, museums, cathedrals, and other landmarks.
Highlights include the Fontana Maggiore, a marble fountain with intricate designs, the Priori Palace and its art galleries, and Rocca Paolina, a 16th Century fortress.
There are lots of other charming towns near Perugia that are worth visiting as well, including Assisi, Spello, and Orvieto.
But if there’s one thing that puts Perugia on the list of best places to visit in Italy, it’s the annual EuroChocolate Festival.
Perugia is the chocolate capital of Italy! There are numerous chocolate stores and factories to visit here if you can’t make it to the festival in October.
Another one of the best places to visit in Italy for food is Naples.
This busy city near the Amalfi Coast is known as the birthplace of pizza, and therefore attracts foodies from all over the world. I’ve had the pizza here and it is just as delicious as everyone says!
Aside from indulging in lots of pizza, tour the ancient ruins of Pompeii and hike Mount Vesuvius when you visit Naples. Mount Vesuvius is a still active volcano, so always check local alerts before you do the hike!
Other Naples attractions include the 13th Century Castel Nuovo and the stunning cathedral, Duomo di San Gennaro.
Many travelers combine Naples with a trip to Sorrento, Capri, and Positano since they are all part of the Amalfi Coast.
In addition to Sicily, Italy is home to another beautiful island: Sardinia. Italy is actually home to over 400 islands, but Sicily and Sardinia are the major tourist islands.
Sardinia has beaches that rival world-class tropical destinations like the Maldives or Fiji. Some of the best Sardinia beaches include Porto Istana, Spiagga Del Principe, Spiaggia della Speranza, La Pelosa, Tuerredda, Su Giudeu, Capriccioli, and many more.
The crystal clear ocean with turquoise hues, the golden sand, and the mountainous scenery make the beaches look heavenly.
The small islands of the Maddalena Archipelago off the coast of northeastern Sardinia are also stunning. Caligari, the capital city of Sardinia, has great architecture, art galleries, and museums. Plus there are some amazing hiking trails in Sardinia!
Home of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, this city in Tuscany is another lovely spot to visit on an Italy vacation.
After taking lots of fun photos with the famous Tower and the nearby Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, continue exploring Pisa and check out all the other historic landmarks around the city.
The Pisa Baptistry, the Monumental Cemetery known as Campo Santo, the Palazzo dei Cavalieri, and the Church of Santa Maria della Spina are all fascinating.
Also, check out the National Museum of Pisa and take a stroll along the Arno River.
Pisa is only 1 hour west of Florence, so it makes a quick and easy day trip from Florence if you’re short on time.
Thanks for reading: 15 Amazing Places To Visit In Italy
Of course, there are many more amazing places. Italy is quite a large European country that is diverse in geography and landscape, and consistently rich in culture, history, art, and cuisine.
You really can’t go wrong visiting anywhere in Italy.
From the big touristy cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, to the lesser-known national parks, mountains, lakes, and beaches, there is always something special to experience.
Indulge in all the pizza, pasta, gelato, and wine. Throw in some fresh seafood and local fruits and veggies.
Walk so much your feet hurt and your camera memory card is completely full.
Talk to Italians as much as possible, and learn a little Italian if you want to commit. Most Italians are super friendly, passionate, fun, and hospitable.
Just cherish your time in Italy, because it is an amazing country and you’ll always want to go back.
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