The first time I went to Italy was my honeymoon.
I remember arriving in Rome and being completely overwhelmed. We spent the day bouncing between all the sites like the Colosseum and the Vatican. It was an exhausting day.
Little did I know this would be the beginning of a romance I will share again and again.
And I am not talking about the one with my husband.
Fast forward almost 11 years and we have been back to Italy at least once a year since. So it is fitting that I share some of the best places to visit in Italy.
Most are places we have been to like Rome, Florence, and San Gimignano. Some are places we hope to visit soon.
All are absolutely amazing and should be on your bucket list.
Best Places to Go In Italy
With the help of a few of my favorite bloggers, I have put together a list of the best places to visit in Italy.
You can see the list here or keep reading to really be inspired. I have to admit there are so many must go places in Italy that my list keeps growing and growing. You will also find some cheap places to visit in Italy. We have found the more under the radar the best (and more cost-friendly) things get.
So let's get started. Let's visit Italy.
- Polignano a Mare
- Ortigia (Siracusa)
- San Gimignano
- Cinque Terre
- Emilia Romagna-Bologna
What is the Most Beautiful Area in Italy?
Which City In Italy Should I Visit?
Where Should I Vacation in Italy?
Why is Italy the Best Place to Visit?
Best Places to Visit in Italy
Polignano a Mare
Photo Credit: Le Long Weekend
Polignano a Mare, on the Adriatic Coast of Italy’s heel, is a beautiful historical town in Puglia.
Divided in two by an ancient riverbed, a picturesque beach separates the old town from the new. Surrounded by craggy cliffs and whitewashed houses, it’s one of the most popular places to swim in Puglia, but there’s much more to discover away from the water.
Venture into the winding streets of the old town and you’ll be transported back in time.
Trattoria tables spill out onto the streets where locals and visitors alike spend hours nurturing good food, drinks & conversation. A few carefully curated boutiques are a pleasure to browse in, and scenic viewpoints offer spectacular vistas, where you can see the pockmarked cliffs being eroded by the swelling sea.
For a unique experience, you can dine in a restaurant located in one of these natural caves etched into the side of the sea wall.
Grotta Palazzese offers a unique and very memorable dining experience – although you will need to book at least a week ahead to secure a table with a view, and the experience doesn’t come cheap.
Those on a budget can grab a gelato and enjoy the views from above, or settle into one of the aforementioned trattorias to try the local specialty, Orecchiette pasta.
Recommended by Nadine from Le Long Weekend
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Polignano a Mare here.
Photo Credit: Travel Geekery
Ortigia is the Old Town of Siracusa (Syracuse in English), a lovely town on the Eastern coast of Sicily.
Located on a little island, its picturesque appeal starts right as you cross over the bridge from Siracusa new town. It’s right there where the Temple of Apollo is located, a wonderful remnant of a Greek temple from the 6th century BC, belonging to one of the oldest in Sicily.
The heart of Ortigia sees beautiful architectural gems such as the Syracuse Cathedral. It’s a highlight of the Piazza Duomo Square, but there are a lot of other picturesque buildings, such as the church of St. Lucia and the City Hall.
Castello Maniace is another site that shouldn’t be missed while in Ortigia. The majestic castle marks the southernmost end of Ortigia and sees a surprisingly low number of visitors.
There are no interiors to explore at the castle, but you’re welcome to walk freely around the citadel. Plus, it offers wonderful views over the sea.
Ortigia has a little city beach too, so if you get too warm roaming its streets, you can cool down easily.
Ortigia is highly recommended as a part of a Sicily itinerary of 7 days. A week minimum is recommended to explore and experience the East of Sicily because Ortigia is just one of many top places to visit in Sicily.
Recommended By Veronika from Travel Geekery
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Siracusa here.
Photo Credit: Brainy Backpackers
Also called the Manhattan of Tuscany, San Gimignano is impossible to oversee when you travel in the region. Sitting on a small hilltop beautifully surrounded by the lush green countryside spotted with local wine farms it is the picture-perfect image of Tuscany.
There is no secret that one of the most popular things to do in San Gimignano is to go wine tasting in one of the surrounding wine farms.
However, there is a lot of history to the once wealthy medieval town. Once you enter the 13th Century protective walls that still surround San Gimignano today, you can walk around the UNESCO World Heritage old town.
You will find 14 remaining towers of the original 72 towers that were built by affluent families to show their wealth in the Middle Ages.
Piazza della Cisterna, with the famous old well, is the center of tourism where you can easily walk to Torre Grossa which is the only tower tourist can climb. And it’s absolutely worth it with the mesmerizing views, not only of the town, but also of the surrounding, never-ending wine fields.
Make sure you visit 12th Century Duomo di San Gimignano whose interior showcase implausible frescos of famous Tuscan artists. Other points of interest are the Palazzo del Popolo and Torre e Casa Campatelli, a museum showcasing the rich history of San Gimignano.
Recommended by Linn from Brainy Backpackers
San Gimigano personally tops my list of best places to go in Tuscany.
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in San Gimignano here.
Photo Credit: Nomadic Vegan
You'd be forgiven for thinking that you just stepped into the Smurfs village when arriving in Alberobello. The conical roofs of the stone trulli houses that fill the town and dot the landscape of the surrounding countryside are completely different from anything else you'll see in Italy.
But as fantastical as they seem, the trulli actually have a very practical purpose. In this region of Italy, called Puglia, the soil is quite rocky and therefore difficult to plow. Before planting their fields, the local farmers had to remove all the stones. After which, they were left with a huge pile of rocks.
Recommended By Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Alberobello here.
Photo Credit: Fueled By Wanderlust
The five colorful seaside villages of Cinque Terre are a must-see on anyone’s Italy bucket list. Consisting of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, these tiny, enchanting towns look like something right out of a storybook. Whether for a day trip or a couple of nights, a visit to Cinque Terre is definitely worth your time.
One unique characteristic of the Cinque Terre villages is that they are only directly linked by footpaths and trains. While driving to any of the towns is a pain, the good news is that they are very easy to reach by train from big cities like Florence or Pisa. A lot of visitors can even manage to see all five villages in one quick day trip thanks to the easy train access.
Slower-paced travelers to Cinque Terre should stay for a couple of days to take full advantage of the scenic hiking trails. There are many hikes to choose from of all lengths and difficulties, with the most famous being the main coastal path that links the villages. No matter which you choose, you are bound to find gorgeous vineyard-lined lanes and deep blue Ligurian sea views.
After hiking, evenings in Cinque Terre bring romantic ambiance as the sun sets over the sea. Cap off a fun-filled day with a glass of vino bianco (white wine) at a local enoteca or grab a cone stacked high with gelato from one of many charming gelaterias in the area.
This will end the perfect retreat in paradise before heading back to the craziness of big cities like Florence and Rome.
Recommended By Theresa from Fueled By Wanderlust
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Cinque Terre here.
Photo Credit: Diapers in Paradise
Locorotondo is a small town not far from Bari in the Puglia region. If you wander off the beaten path to come to this hilltop town, it is not for any tourist attractions. Yes – there are beautiful churches, and yes – they are known for their sparkling white wine. But that is not what you come to Locorotondo for. You come for the feeling of the town itself.
Locorotondo translates to Round Place, which is perfectly fitting as this town is a circular labyrinth perched on the top of a hill. From the outermost road, you can gaze out across a field of trulli (circular huts) dotting the landscape.
Part of what makes Locorotondo so spectacular is the color. The entire town is completely white-washed except for the occasional Baroque palace, and that creates a stunning backdrop as every little winding side-street is overflowing with bright flowers.
It is impossible not to get lost in this tiny town, but getting lost is truly the best way to explore here. Choose any al fresco café to rest and recharge, and then continue to wander through this town that has earned the official Italian title of borghi più belli d'Italia (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy).
Whether for a romantic getaway, a solo adventure, or a road trip around Italy with kids, Locorotondo is a beautiful setting that deserves a stop on your next journey through Italy.
Recommended By Dani from Diapers in Paradise
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Locorotondo here.
Photo Credit: Travel Photo Discovery
One of the most beautiful and underrated cities that is a must-visit in Italy is in the Emilia Romagna area with Bologna as the capital of the region.
A historic medieval city with a beautiful old city center, the city just oozes with so much character and gorgeous architecture with lovely piazzas, ornately designed and covered walkways called porticoes, stunning churches, and of course the elaborate and colorful public markets.
Bologna's famous public market called the Quadilatero is right off the main square at Piazza Maggiore and is such a fantastic first entry to visiting and experiencing daily life and activity in Bologna's wonderful public market.
In fact, local and regional food from the area is very well-loved and supported by people living in the city and you can see everything fresh is celebrated and utilized to make amazing pasta, entrees, appetizers, and just delicious foods from the region.
Eating, shopping for food, and cooking are the biggest pastimes and enjoyment of a quality life here in Bologna and if you love Italian food at its best, head out to Bologna and visit the markets here.
Check out my post on Bologna's outdoor markets and specialty foods for inspiration here for more images and details of where to go and what to try out.
Recommended By Noel from Travel Photo Discovery
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Bologna here.
Photo Credit: Curls En Route
Located, in Piedmont in Northern Italy, Turin (or as the Italians call it, Torino) is hands down one of the must-visit destinations in the European country. From the breathtaking views of the Alps to the mindblowing architecture, Turin is an underrated city, often overlooked by travelers, that has so much to offer.
Turin is best known for its architecture as it hosts plenty of styles. You can marvel at Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical, and Art Noveau architecture, which makes a walk around the streets of Turin a truly enjoyable experience.
You can also visit the Egyptian Museum if you’re a fan of the Ancient Egyptian civilization. Of course, it’s not the same as the one in Cairo, but it safely comes in second place as it boasts a huge collection of over 30,000 Egyptian artifacts.
The most iconic site in the city though is the National Museum of Cinema. It’s located in the famed Mole Antonelliana tower, a 167.5-meter high tower which happens to be the tallest masonry building in Italy. So, if you’re a film buff, this place is definitely a must-visit!
It’s also noteworthy that Turin is more or less the capital of chocolate in Italy, as an Italian friend of mine described it prior to my visit. And sure he was right! I’d have to say, the chocolate truffles I’ve had in Turin beat those I tried in Switzerland!
Recommended By Nadine from Curls En Route
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Turin here.
What is the Most Beautiful Area in Italy?
Photo Credit: Strictly Sardinia
Recommended by Claudia from Strictly Sardinia
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Sardinia South here.
Image Credit: Darek and Gosia
The Amalfi Coast is considered as one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful place in Italy.
The Costiera Amalfitana is located in the Campania region in southern Italy, and extends from the famous Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare near Salerno.
Characterized by impressive landscapes where the mountains connect with the sea, wild nature, picturesque coves and small towns suspended on the rocks.
The Amalfi Coast is truly one of the best places to go in Southern Italy.
Along the Amalfi Coast leads one of the most interesting roads in Europe called Amalfitana. Although it’s a bit tricky to drive on, it provides breath-taking views from every corner. The views really are stunning! The Amalfi Coast can be crossed in one day, but you can easily spend a week here.
The mild climate makes Amalfi Coast a great place to relax not only in summer. It can be crowded and hot here in the season. In winter, however, you can count on truly spring temperatures and relative peace.
If you like the combination of the azure sea depths washing the cliffs, charming colorful towns glued to the rocks, and finally lush nature, you will find in Costiera Amalfitana your paradise on earth. In addition, it is also on the UNESCO list – so this must be one of the most beautiful places in Italy!
Recommended by Darek from Darek and Gosia
The Amalfi Coast is definitely one of my top 10 best places to visit in Italy. If you haven't been then consider adding it to your list.
You can find rates and availability on accommodations in or around the Amalfi Coast.
Photo Credit: Nerdy Footsteps
Lake Maggiore is one of the most charming Italian lakes in Northern Italy and in Southern Switzerland. Yes, the lake is divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy in Italy and Ticino in Switzerland.
Due to its location, the climate is mild throughout the year and nurtures rare and exotic plants in the area. The gorgeous setting of the beautiful blue water, surrounding Alps, and small villages on the coastline of the lake makes it a must in your Northern Italy itinerary.
A group of islands, called Borromean islands, grace the lake with their colorful houses and beautiful gardens.
Isola Bella, which translates to the beautiful island, is one of the Borromean Islands of Lago Maggiore, which is famous for its Palace, its beautiful garden, and a small fishing village. We even saw white peacocks roaming around in the gardens.
Isola Madre is the largest island of the Isole Borromee archipelago and is famous for its pretty Italian architecture and botanical garden that features rare and exotic plants.
Isola dei Pescatori, the third Borromean island, translates to the Fishermen's Island and is also knows as Isola Superiore. It is the only island out of the thee to be inhabited all year round.
The best way to reach Lake Maggiore and its islands is to take a regional train to Stresa in Italy. I highly recommend taking the hop-on-hop-off ferries from Stresa to the islands and enjoy the views.
Recommended by Nisha, from Nerdy Footsteps
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Lago Maggiore here.
Photo Credit: LindsaySilb
There are few places in Italy as breathtakingly picturesque as Positano.
The cliffside village, located in Southern Italy on the Amalfi Coast, is often referred to as the “vertical city” thanks to its dramatic—and steep—landscape.
It's also one of the best places to visit in the Amalfi Coast.
A seemingly infinite number of brightly colored homes, churches, and cafes can be found sprinkled throughout the hilly enclave, and no matter what time of day it is, their signature whitewashed stucco and tiled roofs seem to glow in the sun.
Among the can't-miss things to do in Positano? Sunset drinks at Franco's, an outdoor bar that’s attached to Positano’s famed Le Sireneuse hotel. It’s home to the best views (and the best Aperol spritz) in town. Go for a sunset drink, but be sure to get there early.
There’s certainly no shortage of delicious cuisine in Positano, but the standout restaurants that can’t be missed are Max, Da Vincenzo, and La Tagliata (just be sure to make a reservation in advance.) Chez Black is another hyped dining destination, and while it’s beachfront location is stunning, be prepared for a tourist-heavy atmosphere.
Looking to explore Positano’s scene after dark? There’s one place that people congregate for late-night revelry, and it’s called Music on the Rocks. The nightclub is quite literally carved into Positano’s craggy cliffside, making for a stunning place to party late into the evening.
Recommended by Lindsay from LindsaySilb
There is a reason why Positano always makes the list of Italy top places to visit.
You can find rates and availability for hotels in Positano here so you can start planning your trip.
Photo Credit: Travels In Poland
Situated in northern Italy and about an hour drive from Milan, is the beautiful enclosed Lake Como. Known more so for some of its famous residents (George Clooney among others), the lake itself is a sight to behold.
The drive around the lake is in a two-way narrow road that loops around and has hills and narrow turns throughout the entire drive.
Lake Como is known as a resort area, even though quite a few of its residents live there year-round. There are many villages to choose from on any side of the lake.
The lake takes an upside Y shape, and some of the most popular villages to stay at include Bellagio at the center intersection of the Y, Varenna, Menaggio, and Bellano, which all have a boat connecting them as they are major villages and finally, Como, which is located down at the bottom.
Lake Como is a place where you can take a boat from one village to another, ride bicycles along the road with spectacular views, swim in the late summer months at one of the dozens of lakeshore properties or even get a day pass at a hotel for the day.
The tall hills surrounding the lake give the lake a secluded feeling and the small villages that visitors can visit provide an authentic Italian experience.
Recommended by Diana from Travels In Poland
Are you ready to a plan a trip to one of the most famous places to visit in Italy. There is a reason why Lake Como usually makes everyone's list of top ten places to visit in Italy.
You can find availability and rates for hotels in and around Lake Como here.
Which City In Italy Should I Visit?
Rome, the Eternal City, is a must-visit when in Italy. Lush with history, culture, dazzling streets, incredible museums, sensational food, and the epicenter for the world’s smallest country, the Vatican.
The city is typically busy from spring until late fall and picks up for the holidays.
Rome attractions you should not miss are the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, Borghese Gallery, take a food tour, and of course, see the Vatican.
Pro tips for visiting: since the city is so busy in the spring, summer, and fall, it would be wise to book skip the line tickets to popular attractions, especially if you have time constraints, otherwise you would be waiting for hours to get into one thing.
Additionally, tipping in the city is not like western cities. The average tip is about 1-2 Euro, not 20%, but of course you are free to leave as much as you would like.
One thing to avoid is: sitting on the Spanish Steps. It is now illegal and you can get a fine. It used to be a place of congregation, but the city closed it down because of crowds.
Don’t forget to eat your weight in gelato and pizza and to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain so that you get to visit again!
If you're ready to visit Rome check out this list of Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Rome.
Recommended by Nicole from Take Me To Rome
Rome is one of the top 10 cities to visit in Italy so if you are looking to avoid crowds we have found that the best time of year to go to Rome is in November. We have visited a number of times and found that crowds were smaller in November.
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Rome here.
Photo Credit: Cassie The Hag
Bergamo is a beautiful city in Northern Italy with UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Bergamo Airport is just a 15 drive away but it is more commonly visited as a day trip from Milan.
The main city is modern and easy to explore, but the star attraction is the old town – also named Citta Alta – connected to the modern city via pathways or a funicular railway.
There are many things to do in Bergamo old town which is full of striking and historical buildings.
Visitors will enjoy the walk around the 14th-century Venetian walls with their stunning panoramic views over Bergamo, the Italian countryside and the distant Alps. The walls are 6km long and initially built for defensive purposes, although they are still in great condition as the city was never under siege.
Next, you can stroll to the Piazza Vecchia square in the heart of the old town. Another must-see is the 12th-century Santa Maria Maggiore church with its huge marble decorations, adorned with rich and impeccable detail. On the right of the church is the similarly captivating Colleoni Chapel.
There are many stunning walks, art galleries, and fascinating museums in Bergamo too.
For dinner, try casoncelli, a pasta dish cooked in a butter sauce – usually filled with meat but vegetarian options are available too – with a side dish of polenta.
Recommended By Cass from Cassie The Hag
Bergamo is one of the best cities to visit in northern Italy.
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Bergamo here.
Photo Credit: Sam Sees World
Venice is not only one of the most beautiful places in Italy, but also in the world.
The magic and enchantment Venice holds are unlike any other place on earth and its beauty is something else entirely. Venice is made up of 150 canals all with their own unique charm and beauty, colorful houses, and postcard-perfect views.
There is so much beauty to be found in the small city and even if you only have one day in Venice you can see and do so much.
The top attractions of the city are magnificent, to say the least. One of the first places visitors of the city head to is the vast Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. For first-timers, these are easily two of the best places to go in Venice.
The Grand Canal is the largest canal in the city and is lined with pastel-colored houses and is full of authentic gondolas!
While the Rialto Bridge is an ornate stone bridge that crosses the grand canal and is a must-see while in Venice. In addition to this, you must go to St. Marks Basilica which is a stunning church with an architectural design like no other. Those are just a few of the best places to visit in Venice, Italy.
Venice is an Italian city everyone should visit at least once in their life to experience the beauty, culture, and romance of this magical place.
Recommended By: Samantha from Sam Sees World
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Venice here.
Photo Credit: The Casual Travelist
Florence has a timeless appeal and few destinations capture the imagination quite like Florence, Italy.
Narrow cobblestone streets and charming cafes lend an air of romance while Florence’s grand palaces and beautiful churches inspire awe.
Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo have all called Florence home and these renaissance masters’ cultural legacy can be seen throughout the city.
The best way to get around Florence is by foot, Florence is compact and easily walkable and many streets are one way or pedestrian-only. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo as it is commonly known, is one of the most beautiful buildings in Italy with it’s pink white and green marble façade.
Whether you’re admiring the vast collection of the Uffizi Galleries or marveling at Michelangelo’s David there is no better place than Florence to see Renaissance art.
And these are just a handful of some of the best places to visit in Florence Italy. You could easily spend days admiring all the art.
Grab a cone of gelato and stroll along the Arno River for great views of the Ponte Vecchio before crossing over to the Oltrarno neighborhood to view the massive Pitti Palace and wander through the peaceful Boboli Gardens.
Recommended by Brianna from The Casual Travelist
Many say Florence is one of the best cities to go in Italy. I have to agree. It definitely makes my list of top 5 places to visit in Italy
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Florence here.
Photo Credit: Life of Y
The Sassi di Matera is one of those beautiful places you'll instantly fall in love with. The old city is rapidly becoming the place to visit in southern Italy. I'll never forget the first time I saw photos of this stunning ancient cave city.
The Sassi are a maze of grottoes, or dwellings, that are dug into the rock surface and there is evidence that people were living in these caves as early as 7000 BC. The landscape is so unique that Mel Gibson used Matera as the location for his movie The Passion of the Christ.
Up until the 1950's, Matera was relatively unknown to the rest of the country. The discovery of large families living together with their farm animals in their disease-ridden caves lead to Matera being labelled ‘the shame of Italy.'
Now, the Sassi are a UNESCO World Heritage site! A result of the continued hard work in making Matera an attractive choice for tourists. The city was even named one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2019.
The best way to explore the labyrinth of small streets and stairs is by foot. Don't miss the Matera cathedral at the highest point in the Sassi, and the rupestrian churches, built into the rocks hundreds of years ago. To really ensure you have a special stay in Matera, stay in a cave hotel. You're in a cave city after all!
Be sure you head over to Parco della Murgia, on the other side of the valley, for sunset. Watching the candles light up all around the Sassi as the sunlight fades is a magical sight you'll never forget.
Recommended By Jeff from Life of Y
It's no wonder why Matera tops lists of Southern Italy places to visit.
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Matera here.
Where Should I Vacation in Italy?
With so many cool places to visit in Italy, it is really hard to pick just one. However, here are some favorite spots for your next Italian Vacation.
Photo Credit: Travel Collecting
San Fruttuoso is a highlight of any visit to Italy.
It is a small bay on the Italian Riviera near Portofino. Boats leave throughout the day in summer from Rapallo via Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino in one direction and from Camogli in the other direction.
The bay is surrounded by steep wooded hills and is accessible only by boat or on foot.
A great way to get there is to hike from Camogli or Portofino. The hike to San Fruttuoso from Portofino starts up a long staircase, past terraced farms and cute houses, then flattens out and the trail skirts along the coast, high above the Mediterranean Sea. Portofino Bay is soon a tiny drop far below. The two-hour hike ends at a switchback down to the bay.
There is a lovely abbey that dates from the tenth century with a small museum inside. Deck chairs and umbrellas are set up on the beach and there is a café and several seafood restaurants. This is a great spot to have a long leisurely lunch.
The sea is cool and crystal clear – perfect after hiking to get there.
Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach, swimming in the sea or enjoying a glass of wine (or two). Then take a late afternoon boat back. It’s the perfect day trip, but there are also limited accommodations in a bed and breakfast there.
Another attraction is a sunken statue of Jesus called Christ the Abyss, just off the coast. Dive trips can be arranged in nearby Santa Margherita Ligure.
Recommended By James Ian at Travel Collecting
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in San Fruttuoso here.
Photo Credit: Taverna Travels
The Dolomites, or Dolomiti, is a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. In 2009, the region was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can reach Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the most popular areas in the Dolomites, within two hours by car from Venice.
The Dolomites is a hidden gem in Italy for many travelers, especially US travelers.
The Dolomites experiences two peak tourist seasons. The region gained some fame as a winter destination, having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
It will be hosting for a second time in 2026. However, the region has just as much to offer in the warmer months. Planning a road trip around the Dolomites in the summer is one of the best ways to experience Italy.
From rolling green hills and sharp jagged mountains, to crystal blue lakes and winding mountain roads, the Dolomites has no shortage of places to see! Be sure to pack a large memory card, because you’ll be stopping to take a whole lot of photos.
Every inch of the Dolomites is picturesque. A few main highlights include Lago di Braies, Lago di Carezza, and hiking to Lago di Sorapis. Hiking on Seceda mountain is another favorite — with a chairlift making it an accessible hike for all fitness levels.
Recommended By Taylor from Taverna Travels
The Dolomites definitely gets my vote as one of the best places to visit in Italy in winter. I mean it is stunning.
You can find availability and rates for accommodations in or near the Dolomites here.
Photo Credit: Nicole LaBarge Travel Blog
Recommended by Nicole from Nicole LaBarge Travel Blog
Taormina was one of the first places we visited in Italy and because of that, it gets our vote as one of the best cities to visit in Sicily. Especially for first-timers.
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Taormina here.
Photo Credit: Untold Italy Travel
If your nights are filled with dreams of hilltop towns in Tuscany then you should plan to visit Pienza when you go to Italy.
Perched on top of a rocky hill overlooking the stunning Val D’Orcia, Pienza is one of the prettiest towns in Italy complete with cobbled streets lined with pots of red geraniums and tiny piazzas home to cozy wine bars.
Pienza was designed and built by Pope Pius II in the 15th century to be the perfect Renaissance town and it certainly lives up to that goal. In the center of town you will find the town’s cathedral and the pope’s palace – Palazzo Piccolomini.
From here you can enjoy views for miles across the iconic Tuscan landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and cypress trees.
All the laneways branching off from the main square are words of affection. Take a stroll down Via del Bacio (Kiss Street) or Via dell'Amore (Love Street) and pop your head into charming boutiques and cheese stores full to the brim with rounds of the local pecorino sheep's milk cheese.
Pienza is around an hour and a half south of Florence by car. The best place to stay is at Il Chiostro di Pienza, a 4-star hotel with a charming atmosphere and famous views.
Recommended by Katy from Untold Travel
Pienza is definitely one of the best cities to visit in Tuscany. Interested in visiting?
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in and around Pienza here.
Where Should I Go In Italy?
Photo Credit: The Crowded Planet
Photo Credit: Horo Travel Memories
Italy is a country blessed with so many beautiful and historic places but the Leaning Tower of Pisa is arguably the most iconic. A lean of nearly four degrees doesn’t sound like a lot but the tower is a staggering sight in person and a popular comedic photo destination.
It is pristinely white, constructed from marble in the same Romanesque style that defines so many of Italy’s historic buildings. The tower possesses unmissable grandeur and majesty and it's lean makes it a truly unique destination, not just in Italy but worldwide.
It’s not just the tower that makes Pisa so popular, however. The Square of Miracles in which the Leaning Tower stands is also home to the often-overlooked Pisa Baptistry and Cathedral. Finished in the same style and on the same ambitious scale, the Baptistry and Cathedral complete a trinity of stunning architectural masterpieces.
Pisa is, like all of Italy, very easily accessible due to the country’s high-speed train network. Using Rome as your base you can reach Pisa by train in two and a half hours, with time to spare to explore nearby Florence too. This accessibility makes Pisa one of many great Italian day trips from Rome.
Recommended by Dan from Horo Travel Memories
You wouldn't want to miss one of the most popular places to visit in Italy.
If you are interested in staying the night you can find rates and availability for accommodations in or near Pisa here.
Villa Romana del Casale
Photo Credit: Travels with Talek
Italy is a wonderland of culture, natural beauty, and great cuisine. Among the most spectacular places to visit is the island of Sicily on the tip of Italy’s geographic boot. This enchanting island has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other location in Italy.
Among the cultural wonders of Sicily is Villa Romana del Casale a UNESCO site close to Agrigento in the southeast area of the island.
More than a villa, the site is better described as a palace. It is a meticulously excavated Roman structure dating from the 4th Century CE. This spacious palatial complex houses the largest and best-preserved collection of Roman mosaics in the world.
This villa is amazing. It's incredible that the mosaics are not more widely known. If the villa were located anywhere else, it would be a major tourist destination. But being located where it is, surrounded by the equally spectacular attractions of Agrigento, Ragusa, and Ortygia, it is just one more spectacular site.
The history surrounding this villa is very interesting. It was damaged at various times by earthquakes and marauders until it was totally abandoned in the 12th century when, as a final insult, a landslide covered the main sections and buried it.
Archeologists from all over the world excavated the villa throughout the 20th century and unearthed the most impressive mosaics. Surprisingly, they had survived relatively intact.
Today the mosaics and the villa stand as a testament to the artistic achievement of the ancient Roman world. Perhaps the villa has not been returned to its former glory, but at least we can see what a marvel this place must have been in its prime.
Recommended By Talek from Travels with Talek
Photo Credit: Travel Hacker Girl
Monte Isola is a lesser-known holiday destination in Italy.
It is close to such famous attractions as Lake Garda, Venice or Milan, so perhaps this is the reason it is often overlooked.
However, it is definitely worth a visit.
Monte Isola is the largest lake island in Europe. It is nestled in the gorgeous Lake Iseo, surrounded by mountains. There are regular ferry services from many of the lakeside towns.
Monte Isola is car-free, so you will feel like stepping back in time when you set foot on the island. The locals use motorbikes or bikes to get around.
You can transport bikes on the ferry or rent one in one of the charming little towns in the area. Cycling is in fact one of the best ways to explore the island. The 9 km circular route should take about 1 hour.
If you feel energetic, then you could take a 3 km detour to the 600 m mountain top, where a Sanctuary stands. It offers 360-degree scenic views to the whole area. In the summer months, swimming is also a popular activity on the island.
There are several free public beaches, some of them even offer kayak or paddleboard rental.
Recommended By Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl
You can find rates and availability for accommodations in Monte Isola.
Why is Italy the Best Place to Visit?
Beaches, mountains, wine, food, culture. Just a few of the reasons why Italy is the best place to visit.
When someone asks what is the best place to visit in Italy it is really hard to give them a straight answer. I mean I equally wouldn't know what to tell them if they asked what cities to skip in Italy.
I hope you have been inspired by our picks.
Map of the Best Places to Go In Italy
We put together this Italy travel map with all the places mentioned above to here you plan your Italy visit.
Whether you plan on focusing on one of the many Italy travel destinations mentioned here or spending a month touring Italy this map should help you get an idea of where everything is located.
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