The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Italy: Uncovering the Best Places to Travel

2023-08-15 00:22:41 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of Vytravels.com, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.
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Italy, a country beloved for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine, offers an endless array of travel destinations. From the bustling streets of Rome to the serene waters of Lake Como, the options seem overwhelming. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie in search of the best pizza and pasta, Italy has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top travel destinations in Italy, highlighting the must-visit places that will leave you in awe. So, get ready to embark on a virtual journey through this beautiful country and discover the best locations to add to your bucket list.

 

Rome

 

 

Rome: A City Rich in History and Culture

 

Rome, once known as the capital of the world, has a legendary history that spans over two millennia. According to legend, the city was founded by a wolf-suckled boy and later developed into a powerful empire. Today, Rome is not only the home of the Catholic Church but also a repository of art and architecture.

 

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, Rome should definitely be the centerpiece of your itinerary. However, it's important to note that there is so much to see in the city that one visit might not be enough. From iconic landmarks like the Pantheon and the Colosseum to awe-inspiring works of art like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Caravaggio's masterpieces, Rome offers a wealth of cultural treasures. While exploring the city, be sure to visit the famous Trevi Fountain and make a wish for your return.

 

Planning tip: Due to the overwhelming number of attractions in Rome and limited public transport in the city center, it is crucial to carefully choose your hotel. Consider mapping out the sights you're most interested in before booking accommodations to ensure convenient proximity.

 

Asian Tourist Visiting Florence, Italy

 

 

Tuscany: A Renaissance Paradise

 

Tuscany, Italy's most romanticized region, offers a picturesque landscape of rolling hills adorned with cypress trees and olive groves. While Florence, with its stunning artworks and architectural wonders, is a must-see destination within Tuscany, there is much more to explore in this region.

 

Visit the Gothic majesty of Siena, the medieval skyline of San Gimignano, and the vineyards of the renowned Chianti wine region. Don't miss the scenic beauty of the Val d'Orcia, with its rolling hills and cypress trees.

 

Planning tip: If you plan to explore major towns and cities in Tuscany, it is recommended to rely on the region's extensive rail network. However, if you wish to venture into the countryside, a car is essential.

 

Rear view of hiking couple looking over valley, Brentei Hut, Brenta Dolomite, Italy

 

 

The Dolomites: Majestic Mountains and Ladin Legends

 

The Dolomites, with their pink-hued granite peaks, offer a dramatic mountain landscape that captivates the imagination. These mountains, known for their jagged summits and vibrant spring wildflowers, are also steeped in Ladin legends.

 

Whether you're drawn to the glamour of Cortina d'Ampezzo, the enchanting village of Sappada, or the breathtaking views from the Brentei Hut, the Dolomites offer a truly seductive experience.

 

 

Amalfi Coast: Coastal Beauty at Its Finest

 

The Amalfi Coast, located in the Campania region, is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning coastal landscapes. Stretching between Sorrento and Salerno, this rugged coastline is dotted with colorful fishing villages and small beaches that resemble real-life paintings.

 

The main attractions of the Amalfi Coast are the charming coastal towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, along with the famous Mount Vesuvius volcano. A visit to the nearby Capri Island, with its Blue Grotto and charming village of Anacapri, is also highly recommended. Nature enthusiasts can experience the coastal hike known as the Path of the Gods.

 

Planning tip: Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose to spend a day exploring the main towns of the Amalfi Coast or extended periods to fully immerse yourself in the region's beauty. Transportation, including day tours, ferries, and private cars, can enhance your experience of the area.

 

Amalfi Coast is one of the best places in Italy

 

 

Pompeii: Stepping Back in Time

 

Pompeii, frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., offers a unique glimpse into ancient Roman civilization. Exploring the ruins of this ancient city allows visitors to wander through Roman streets, villas, bathhouses, and even an ancient brothel.

 

As you explore the ruins, with the ominous presence of Mount Vesuvius in the background, consider the terrifying account of Pliny the Younger, describing the town's final hours. His haunting words paint a vivid picture of the cataclysmic events that unfolded.

 

Planning tip: If you have time, consider visiting Herculaneum, another city destroyed by the eruption. Smaller than Pompeii but better preserved, Herculaneum offers a unique perspective on life in ancient Rome. Easy access to both cities can be found via the Circumvesuviana train.

 

 

Lake Como: A Slice of Luxury

 

Lake Como, nestled in the shadow of the Rhaetian Alps, is Lombardy's most spectacular lake. The region is known for its lavish villas, which are home to movie stars, fashion royalty, and affluent visitors. The gardens at Villas Melzi d'Eril, Carlotta, and Balbianello are particularly stunning in the spring months.

 

The city of Como itself offers a wealth of architectural gems, from its Gothic cathedral to the striking Palazzo Terragni, a testament to Italian Fascist architecture. Exploring Lake Como is best done on foot or using the excellent ferry and bus network that connects the various towns and villages along the lakeshore.

 

A wide angled view of a large cove with shallow pale blue waters and a golden stretch of beach which is full of people.

 

 

Sardinia: A Paradise of Pristine Beaches and Ancient History

 

Sardinia boasts some of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in Italy, with its clear blue and green seas. While the Costa Smeralda, frequented by models and celebrities, displays luxury and glamour, much of the island remains a wild and untouched natural playground.

 

Explore the rugged coastal beauty of Santa Teresa di Gallura, the wind-carved cliffs of the Golfo di Orosei, and the dune-backed beaches of the Costa Verde. Inland, Sardinia offers a rich archaeological heritage, including mysterious nuraghi, burial sites, and traditional mountain villages.

 

A busy street in Naples. The street is narrow and hemmed in by tall apartment buildings. A motorbike with two passengers drives down the street, while people dine in cafes with tables spilling onto the pavements.

 

 

Naples: A City of Contrasts and Cultural Riches

 

Naples is a city like no other in Italy. Its vibrant and bustling atmosphere, combined with its rich cultural heritage, sets it apart from other destinations. Known as the birthplace of pizza, Naples offers an authentic taste of Italian cuisine.

 

Despite its reputation, Naples is a fascinating destination that warrants a visit. The historic city center, with its narrow streets and iconic landmarks such as Spaccanapoli and Via dei Tribunali, is a must-see. Other notable attractions include the Veiled Christ at Sansevero Chapel, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Santa Chiara Monastery.

 

Bay of Naples - one of the most beautiful areas to visit in Italy

 

 

Venice: A City of Dreams

 

Venice, with its 118 small islands, is a city that truly captures the imagination. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the entire city and its lagoon are an architectural masterpiece. Exploring Venice on foot allows you to appreciate the intricate details of medieval buildings and Gothic palaces.

 

While strolling through the narrow streets and crossing picturesque bridges, don't miss the opportunity to take a gondola ride. This quintessential Venetian experience offers a unique perspective of the city.

 

Planning tip: A day is enough to see the main landmarks of Venice, but consider extending your stay to fully immerse yourself in the city's charm. Excursions to the nearby islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello can enhance your Venetian experience.

 

Best places to see in Italy - Venice

 

 

Mount Etna: Europe's Largest Volcano

 

Best Destination for Thrill Seekers

 

Known as the "column that holds up the sky" to the ancient Greeks, Mt Etna is not only the largest volcano in Europe but also one of the most active in the world. According to ancient beliefs, the giant Tifone, also known as Typhoon, resided in its crater and illuminated the sky with breathtaking pyrotechnic displays. Today, she is simply referred to as "her" or "idda" in the local language.

 

At an impressive height of 3,326 meters (10,912 feet), Mt Etna towers above Sicily's Ionian Coast. Adventurers can choose to conquer her by foot or embark on a guided 4WD tour. Alternatively, exploring the lower slopes is also a remarkable experience, as it is home to some of Italy's most exciting vineyards thriving in the supremely fertile volcanic soil. Sicily, with its rich historical and architectural heritage, awe-inspiring coastline, and warm Sicilian hospitality, is undeniably one of the most captivating destinations in Italy.

 

Female tourist wearing a straw hat, seen from behind walking towards Corniglia village, a beautiful town on the Cinque Terre coastThe seaside villages of Cinque Terre are connected by clifftop footpaths © MStudioImages / Getty Images

 

 

Cinque Terre and the Liguria Coast: A Classic Coastal Haven

 

Best Destination for Classic Coastline Views

 

Liguria's remote Cinque Terre region showcases the magnificent beauty of coastal Italy. Nestled between cliffs, five picturesque seaside villages have existed in harmony with nature for thousands of years within the boundaries of a national park. Resilient locals have carved terraces into the steep cliffs, cultivating vineyards since the time of the Romans. Until the 20th century, transportation was primarily by sea or footpaths.

 

While each village in Cinque Terre is a sight to behold, don't miss the chance to hike along the famous Sentiero Azzurro, the most popular trail connecting these enchanting hamlets. Liguria's coastline is filled with one breathtaking coastal village after another, beyond just Cinque Terre. Highlights also include Portofino, Portovenere, and Santa Margherita Ligure.

 

Planning tip: Driving in this area is not recommended. Ferry services are available, but the most enjoyable mode of transportation is the train, which runs along the coast and conveniently stops at each village.

 

View of Alberobello's Rione Monti district and its trulli – traditional white round houses – at duskThe historic Rione Monti district in Alberobello showcases traditional trulli houses © Martin Jung / Getty Images

 

 

Valle d'Itria: Picture-Perfect Villages

 

Best Destination for Captivating Villages

 

Resembling houses straight out of a fairytale, the small conical-roofed cottages called trulli are a distinctive feature of Puglia, the charming heel of Italy's boot. However, these unique dwellings are not found throughout the region. To discover the enchanting Valle d'Itria, travel south of Bari, away from the coast, and up onto the high karst plateau. Here, the green fields surrounding towns like Cisternino and Locorotondo are adorned with trulli houses. Alberobello, the epicenter of trulli architecture, is a town characterized by streets lined with these fascinating structures. Undoubtedly, this region epitomizes the beauty of Italy.

 

Exterior of the Duomo di Milano and Piazza del Duomo with people walking in frontThe Duomo di Milano is a magnificent Gothic-style cathedral dating back to the 14th century © Olja Merker / Getty Images

 

 

Florence: The Birthplace of the Renaissance

 

 

Why Visit: Immersive Renaissance Art, History & Architecture

 

Florence stands as a living gallery dedicated to the era that played a pivotal role in shaping European civilization: the Renaissance. Every aspect of the city embodies this transformative period, from the ochre dome of the Duomo to the elegant palazzos and the remarkable collections displayed in its numerous museums and galleries.

 

Within the Bargello, Uffizi, and Accademia, visitors can spend days immersed in awe-inspiring works by revered artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and many more. Beyond these treasures, the city itself showcases the brilliance of the Renaissance in its churches, palaces, and piazzas.

 

For food enthusiasts, Florence is a haven where one can indulge in the renowned cuisine of Tuscany at local eateries or through immersive cooking classes. Additionally, it serves as an ideal starting point for exploring the picturesque Tuscan countryside adorned with vineyards.

 

Uffizi Square Uffizi SquareFurther Exploration: Beyond Florence, consider venturing to the lesser-known cities of Siena and San Gimignano. These charming destinations, although not as famous as Florence, offer glimpses into the same flourishing culture and wealth that made Florence an extraordinary center of the Renaissance. We can arrange an unforgettable driving tour to explore these nearby cities.

 

Must-See: The Pitti Palace, once the residence of Renaissance ruling families such as the Medicis during the height of their power. The palace's architecture, wall paintings, and stunning formal gardens provide an immersive experience into the time when Florence stood as the cultural nexus of the world.

 

 

Sicily: The Crossroads of the Mediterranean

 

 

Why Visit: Mount Etna, Baroque Villages & Ancient Ruins

 

Sicily, a unique land apart from mainland Italy, possesses a distinct language, cuisine, wines, and history shaped by countless waves of traders, invaders, sailors, and empires that have traversed this island throughout the millennia.

 

As the home of Europe's largest volcano, Sicily's grandeur extends beyond its iconic Mount Etna. The island's vast size entails that even two weeks would only scratch the surface of its wonders. The vibrant city of Palermo welcomes visitors with its Byzantine mosaics and a plethora of diverse street food options. Beyond the capital, one can explore Roman and Greek ruins, delve into the opulence of three flamboyant Baroque cities, and savor the wines produced on the fertile slopes of Mount Etna.

 

To truly unravel the island's complex history and understand how it has influenced local culture and cuisine, embark on a cooking class led by a knowledgeable anthropologist.

 

Beach at Cefalù, Sicily Beach at Cefalù, SicilyFurther Exploration: Dating back to the 5th century, the hilltop village of Sant'Angelo Muxaro offers a glimpse into the past.

 

Don't Miss: The hidden gem of Zingaro Natural Reserve, located on the northwest tip of the island, remains undiscovered by many tourists. Embark on a guided hike here to witness Sicily's stunning rocky coves and visit the Grotta di Uzzo, a Paleolithic shelter that once housed humans over 10,000 years ago.

 

 

Bologna: The Fat City

 

 

Why Visit: Medieval Old Town, Europe's Oldest University & World-Renowned Ragù

 

Nestled in the fertile Po Valley, Bologna boasts the distinction of hosting Europe's oldest university and is renowned for its world-class culinary scene. In the heart of the city, the medieval grandeur of Piazza Maggiore showcases the historical wealth of the region with its magnificent red-brick buildings, charming balconies, and arcaded streets. Uncovering the city's architecture through a guided walking tour offers insight into Bologna's captivating history.

 

To the east lies Quadrilatero, a labyrinth of narrow streets brimming with traditional food stalls and restaurants. Bologna's nickname, "La Grassa" or "The Fat One," speaks to the city's exquisite culinary offerings, which stem from the agricultural abundance of the surrounding countryside.

 

Indulge in Bologna's culinary traditions by participating in a hands-on cooking class or embarking on a gastronomic tour to meet the local farmers and artisans responsible for renowned products like Parmigiano-Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, and air-dried prosciutto.

 

Bologna, Bologna BolognaFurther Exploration: The best balsamic vinegar, Aceto Balsamico di Modena, is DOP protected and must come from Modena, a small historic city located northwest of Bologna. A guided tour of Modena offers opportunities to taste this remarkably complex condiment.

 

Don't Miss: The area between Bologna and Modena, known as Motor Valley, thrives as a hub for automobile production. Car enthusiasts should make sure to visit the nearby Ferrari and Lamborghini factories and museums.

 

 

Lake Garda: Italy's Largest and Most Beautiful Lake

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Lake Garda deserves a spot on everyone's must-visit list when exploring Italy. As the largest lake in the country and, in my opinion, the most stunning of all Italian lakes, Lake Garda offers an abundance of activities and attractions that will satisfy any traveler. Moreover, the lake presents different landscapes and vibes from north to south, making it worth visiting multiple times. For instance, the southern part of the lake boasts rolling hills and a Mediterranean ambiance, making it the ideal destination for relaxation, exceptional cuisine, and exquisite wines. Bardolino is an excellent choice for wine tasting, while Sirmione and Peschiera enchant with their beautiful castles and breathtaking scenery. Lazise, with its thermal waters, offers the ultimate haven for those seeking tranquility. However, my personal favorite is the northern part of Lake Garda, where the lake meets the majestic Alps, providing opportunities for thrilling adventures like hiking, mountain biking, sailing, and windsurfing. Riva del Garda and Torbole, in particular, cater to adventure enthusiasts and serve as perfect bases for exploring the surrounding Alpine region.

 

 

Lake Como: A Stunning Haven

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalyUndoubtedly, Lake Como in Italy stands as one of the most breathtaking destinations globally and ranks among the best places to visit in Italy. This picturesque lake is surrounded by lush green gardens, opulent villas, and quaint little villages.

 

Lake Como has long been a famous retreat for celebrities from around the world. Its idyllic atmosphere, magnificent vistas, and delightful food and wine create a paradise on earth. The legendary villas of Lake Como, such as the Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta, offer visitors an exceptional opportunity to step into the rich history of medieval Italy.

 

This lake has been a sought-after tourist destination since Roman times and continues to evoke the same emotions today. Sipping limoncello against a backdrop of mist-covered mountains, surrounded by luxury villas steeped in Italian history, represents the captivating essence of Lake Como.

 

5 Reasons to Choose Lake Como for Your Next Family Vacation

 

 

Verona: Italy's Most Romantic City

 

One captivating town that deserves a special mention on this list of Italy's best places is Verona. Famous worldwide as the setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Verona is renowned as Italy's most romantic city. However, Verona offers much more than just Juliet's iconic balcony!

 

Reminiscent of a bygone era, Verona showcases its rich history and stunning architecture. Its most celebrated attraction is the 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which can be explored during the day or experienced through the many concerts and performances held in the evenings. Verona breathes with life and endless possibilities!

 

Despite its romantic reputation, Verona is an ancient city with a remarkable past. Exploring its old town, venturing slightly off the beaten tourist path, reveals an authentic Italian town atmosphere that can be elusive in more popular destinations across Italy.

 

Not to be Missed: Verona Arena, Piazza delle Erbe, Torre dei Lamberti, and Juliet's House & Balcony.

 

Highly Recommended: Castelvecchio, Ponte Scaligero, Piazza dei Signori, Arche Scaligere, and the stunning views from Castel San Pietro.

 

How Much Time Do You Need: A half-day is sufficient for exploring the main highlights of Verona. With one full day, you can cover most of the city's best attractions. If you have two days, you can thoroughly explore Verona and enjoy a tour of the nearby vineyards.

 

TIP: Verona can be conveniently visited as a day trip from Milan. It also offers tour options from Venice.

 

LEARN MORE: Discover the Best Things to Do in Verona

 

Verona - one of the best cities to visit in ItalyVerona  

 

 

Milan: A City of Glamour and Rich Cultural Heritage

 

Milan

 

Despite enduring heavy bombing during World War II, Milan has successfully risen from the ashes to become one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. Renowned as a major fashion center adorned with designer shops, Milan also boasts surviving world-famous treasures such as Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, "The Last Supper," the prestigious La Scala Opera House, the majestic Castello Sforzesco, and one of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals.

 

Located in the Lombardy region near the Alps and the picturesque Lake District, Milan thrives as a fast-paced city excelling in business, shopping, and football. With its modern architecture and numerous attractions, Milan exudes a glamour that sets it apart from the predominantly historic cities that characterize Italy.

 

 

Italian Riviera

 

The Italian Riviera is a stunning coastal area located in the Liguria region of western Italy. It is renowned for its picturesque coastal villages such as Cinque Terre and the luxurious holiday resort of Portofino. However, there is so much more to discover and experience in this region!

 

The beauty of the Italian Riviera rivals that of the Amalfi Coast, but it is not as crowded with tourists. It is a destination that is best suited for repeat visitors to Italy, as it offers a unique experience beyond the popular Cinque Terre. I highly recommend taking the time to explore this region if you can spare an extra day or two in your Italian itinerary.

 

While Genoa is the largest city in the area, I would suggest focusing more on the charming coastal towns, as they hold more appeal.

 

Not to be missed: Portofino, Cinque Terre, and Camogli (featured image on top of this article).

 

Nice to see: Genoa, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Portovenere.

 

How much time do you need: You will need at least one day for Cinque Terre and another day for Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Camogli. If you also want to visit Portovenere and Genoa, I would recommend allocating at least 4 days in this region to fully enjoy your visit.

 

LEARN MORE: Discover the Most Beautiful Towns of the Italian Riviera

 

Portofino in the Italian Riviera

 

Portofino, Italian Riviera

 

 

 

Pisa

 

Pisa, the centuries-old rival town of Florence, is another must-see destination in Italy. While most people are familiar with its famous leaning tower, Pisa has so much more to offer.

 

The Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) lives up to its name with stunning architecture. Most of the buildings in this square date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Don't miss the impressive Duomo, the iconic leaning tower of Pisa, the Baptistery, and the beautiful graveyard.

 

After exploring the Square of Miracles, make sure to visit the city center of Pisa. You'll discover a charming Italian town bustling with locals, trendy cafes, restaurants, and delightful boutique shops. The stark contrast between the busy Square of Miracles and the tranquil atmosphere of the city center is truly remarkable.

 

Not to be missed: Piazza dei Miracoli with the leaning tower of Pisa.

 

Nice to see: Pisa town center.

 

How much time do you need: Half a day is sufficient to experience the main highlights and explore the city center. If you prefer a guided tour, there are options available that cover all the key attractions in about 2 hours. Click here to find out more.

 

TIP: Pisa is often visited as a half-day trip from Florence or combined with other nearby destinations. For example, you can take a day tour from Florence that combines Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano or a day tour to Pisa and Cinque Terre from Florence. There are also day tours from Rome that visit Pisa and Florence in a day, among other options. Including Pisa in your itinerary when planning a trip to Italy is easy and highly recommended.

 

Pisa - one of the best places to see in Italy

 

Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa

 

 

 

Emilia Romagna

 

Emilia Romagna is an often underestimated region in northern Italy that deserves to be discovered. Situated between the grand cities of Venice, Milan, and the Italian Lakes to the north, and Tuscany to the south, Emilia Romagna is often overlooked by first-time visitors.

 

If you are looking for an authentic experience in Italy, this lesser-known region is the perfect choice. Emilia Romagna combines the best of Italy with a smaller number of tourists. It offers a wealth of attractions including a rich history, breathtaking architecture, art, beautiful beaches, vibrant towns, and picturesque landscapes. Additionally, Emilia Romagna is home to some of the finest food in the entire country.

 

Not to be missed: Discover the charming towns of Ravenna and Bologna.

 

Nice to see: Rimini, Parma, Ferrara, and Modena.

 

How much time do you need: Allocate at least one day for Bologna (which you can easily visit from Florence for a day trip), and half a day for Ravenna. If you have more time, you can easily spend 4-5 days exploring this region.

 

LEARN MORE: Check out this Emilia Romagna Itinerary and discover the Best Things to Do in Bologna.

 

Emilia Romagna Italy - Travel Guide and Trip Itinerary including Rimini, Ravenna, Forlimpopoli, and Santarcangelo di Romagna

 

Colorful Borgo San Giuliano district in Rimini

 

TIP: If you are planning a trip to this part of Italy, make sure to include a day to visit San Marino. Although it is not technically part of Italy, it is definitely worth a visit!

 

San Marino is a tiny republic surrounded by the Emilia Romagna region in Italy. It is like something out of a fairy tale and absolutely worth your time.

 

Pro tip: Consider staying at one of the hotels in San Marino overnight so that you can fully explore this magical place without the crowds of day-trippers.

 

LEARN MORE: Discover More About San Marino

 

San Marino

 

San Marino Castle

 

 

 

Apulia

 

Apulia (Puglia) is a stunning region located in southern Italy, often referred to as the "heel" of the boot-shaped country. One of the main highlights of Apulia is its unique trulli houses, which can be found mostly in the town of Alberobello and the Itria Valley. These traditional dry stone huts with cone-shaped roofs are a testament to prehistoric construction techniques that have withstood the test of time.

 

If you are seeking authentic places to visit in Italy, I highly recommend exploring this lesser-known region. Apulia offers incredibly beautiful areas to discover, with a fraction of the tourist crowds compared to its neighboring regions.

 

A visit to this region is a sensory experience, filled with vibrant colors, enticing fragrances, and flavors that seem more intense than anywhere else. Time seems to slow down here, making it a perfect destination for those who seek a more immersive and local travel experience.

 

Not to be missed: Marvel at the trulli houses in Alberobello and embark on a scenic drive along the picturesque coast of Promontorio del Gargano, following the "heel" between Peschici and Manfredonia.

 

Nice to see: Visit the 13th-century octagonal-shaped Castel del Monte, explore Lecce (often called the "Florence of the South"), discover Bari, Trani Cathedral, Otranto Cathedral, Taranto, and the Grotte di Castellana.

 

How much time do you need: Set aside a day to explore the Terra dei Trulli (Land of Trulli) and at least half a day for the scenic drive along Gargano National Park. The rest of your visit will depend on your chosen itinerary and the attractions you wish to explore.

 

Trulli houses in Puglia region in Italy

 

Trulli houses in Alberobello

 

 

 

Siena

 

Siena

 

Siena is a city nestled upon three hills in the heart of Tuscany. It offers tourists a chance to step back in time to the Middle Ages with its well-preserved historic center and its world-renowned medieval horse racing tradition known as Il Palio. Once a wealthy city, Siena's historic center still boasts stunning works of art and architecture from that time period.

 

Siena's Piazza del Campo is considered one of the most extraordinary medieval squares in Europe. This fan-shaped plaza is celebrated for its architectural treasures, including the Fountain of Joy, the Palazzo Pubblico, and the Mangia Tower. The awe-inspiring Duomo is another architectural gem in Siena, showcasing Italian Romanesque design with its intricate marble floors, stained glass windows, sculptures, paintings, and carvings. When visiting the piazza, take a moment to relax, people-watch, and savor the local delights of wine, coffee, pizza, focaccia, and gelato at one of the vibrant cafes surrounding the cathedral. Siena is also home to one of Italy's oldest public universities, the University of Siena, renowned for its Schools of Medicine and Law.

 

 

Alberobello

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Alberobello is a picturesque town located in Puglia, southern Italy. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its traditional trulli houses, which are unique to this region. These limestone huts, dating back to the 14th century, have withstood the test of time and still retain their charm today. The town is a delightful blend of narrow walking streets, enchanting shops filled with local produce, and fantastic al fresco dining options that are perfect for families. To fully immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere, I recommend booking a stay in one of the storybook-like trulli houses.

 

From Boy Eats World

 

 

Amalfi

 

The best places to visit in italy

 

Amalfi, located in the heart of the Amalfi Coast, is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Italy. Nestled between towering cliffs, the town offers not only stunning views but also unique attractions of its own.

 

While not as famous as nearby Positano, Amalfi has its own charm with colorful houses overlooking the sea and a maze of cobblestone streets to explore. Make sure to visit the magnificent cathedral, which boasts ornate facades and a stunning Baroque interior. Afterward, you can treat yourself to a cup of coffee or a spritz at one of the bustling cafes surrounding the cathedral, or head to one of the beach clubs for a relaxing time in the sun. However, the highlight of Amalfi is undoubtedly the cliff-top stroll towards Atrani, which offers magnificent views of the Amalfi Coast.

 

From Untold Morsels

 

 

Assisi

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

The town of Assisi, perched on a hilltop in Umbria, is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, a beloved figure known for his love of nature and animals. Assisi offers a mix of historical and natural attractions, making it a captivating destination.

 

The town features numerous churches, with frescoes adorning their walls and ceilings. The Basilica, built in the 13th century, is a pilgrimage site that suffered significant damage during an earthquake in 1997 but has since been rebuilt. Today, its beauty shines through with barely visible signs of the tragedy. Other highlights include medieval castles, a Roman amphitheater, ancient winding streets, and breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.

 

Assisi is also celebrated for its excellent food, picturesque streets, and vibrant atmosphere. It is a place that combines history, culture, and natural beauty into one incredible experience.

 

From Women on the Road

 

 

Barbaresco

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Barbaresco is not only the "little brother" of the renowned wine Barolo but also a unique medieval village in the southwest of Piemont. Located in the Langhe Roero area, which was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, Barbaresco offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Langhe-Roero landscape.

 

The desecrated church of San Donato houses an enoteca, where you can taste the exquisite wines of the region. Exploring the "bar to bar" hiking or e-cycling route is a fantastic alternative for those without a car, allowing you to fully enjoy and explore this magnificent area. The combination of fantastic views, rich culture, and indulgent culinary experiences make Barbaresco a must-visit destination in Italy.

 

From Travelwoman

 

 

Bergamo

 

Best Places in Italy

 

If you are looking for a beautiful hidden gem, then look no further than Bergamo. This charming city surprised me with its impressive beauty. I never expected it to be so captivating. Spending just one day in Bergamo allows you to explore the stunning upper town, known as Citta Alta, and appreciate the city's main attractions.

 

Strolling along the Venetian Walls, which stretch for over six kilometers and consist of 14 bastions and four gates, offers breathtaking views of the lower part of the city. Visiting the pretty market square, Piazza Vecchia, is a must, with the Campanone Tower standing proudly nearby. Marvel at the Colleoni Chapel, the most beautiful building in the city, located just behind the square. The interior of the chapel is absolutely stunning, and I highly recommend taking the time to explore it.

 

Bergamo is an underrated destination in Italy, hidden away from the tourist crowds, yet incredibly beautiful.

 

From Arzo Travels

 

 

Bologna Italy

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Located between Florence, Venice, and Milan, the medieval city of Bologna often goes unnoticed by many travelers. However, Bologna, known as "La Dotta, la Grassa e la Rossa," offers a plethora of attractions and culinary delights.

 

Bologna, nicknamed "la Rossa" for its red-hued buildings, showcases a unique architectural charm. The city boasts over 600 porticos, which have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. For panoramic views, climb the countless stairs of the Asinelli Tower.

 

However, "la Dotta" refers to Bologna's vibrant University, the oldest university in the Western world. The presence of the university brings the city to life, filling it with a young and energetic atmosphere.

 

Bologna is also esteemed for its mouthwatering cuisine. This city, along with its surrounding region, Emilia Romagna, is the birthplace of beloved Italian dishes such as pasta al ragù (Bolognese sauce), tortellini, and lasagna. The local ingredients, including rice, truffles, cheese, and hazelnuts, contribute to the uniqueness of the cuisine. Don't miss tasting the delightful hazelnut cream products, including the world-famous Nutella. Walking around the pedestrian-friendly streets, you'll find yourself immersed in a gastronomic paradise.

 

From BRB Travel Blog

 

 

Bologna, Italy: A Hidden Gem

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Bologna, Italy is often overlooked by tourists, despite its convenient location just an hour away from Venice and Florence, two of the country's most popular destinations. Known as La Dotta, La Grassa, and La Rossa (the educated, the fat, and the red), Bologna perfectly encapsulates its nicknames. It is home to the oldest university in Europe and is famous for its iconic red rooftops, which create a stunning cityscape. Perhaps most fitting is the nickname La Grassa, as Bologna has recently become a leading culinary hotspot in Italy, attracting food enthusiasts from around the world. First-time visitors will be struck by the well-preserved medieval architecture that transports them back to the Middle Ages. With over 25 miles of covered porticoes, exploring the city is a joy no matter the weather. Whether you are seeking exceptional food, art, culture, wine, or simply the beauty of one of Italy's most picturesque cities, Bologna has something to offer. Find out more about visiting Bologna. From Travlinmad

 

 

Bolzano: A Gateway to Adventure

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Bolzano may not be the first city that comes to mind when planning a trip to Italy, but it should definitely be on your itinerary if you are an outdoor enthusiast. Located in the Italian Alps, Bolzano is the perfect base for exploring the Northern Dolomites and going on breathtaking hikes. Be sure to spend at least a day in Bolzano itself, as it is one of the best places to visit in Italy. Take a leisurely walk through the city center and visit Walther Square, where you can admire the beautiful flowered fountain and the impressive Gothic architecture of the cathedral. Don't miss the Mercato Delle Erbe, a vibrant market where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and sample delicious Tyrolean food and wine. While there are many more things to do in Bolzano, it is highly recommended to plan a multi-day itinerary in South Tyrol to fully experience this hidden gem in the northernmost part of Italy. Learn more about exploring South Tyrol.

 

 

Levanto: A Hidden Gem Near Cinque Terre

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalyLocated in the province of La Spezia, Levanto in Italy is a charming town that offers a delightful alternative to the more popular Cinque Terre. While not officially part of the Cinque Terre region, Levanto is just a short train ride away from Monterosso al Mare. Visitors to Levanto can expect breathtaking views, a pristine sandy beach, and opportunities for hiking.

 

One unique feature that sets Levanto apart from the other villages in Cinque Terre is the old rail line that has been transformed into a paved pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. This scenic pathway, which extends from Levanto to Framura, passes through captivating tunnels and offers stunning vistas along the way. Although the path is flat and not very long, with the captivating sea views and charming towns to explore, visitors can easily turn it into a memorable full-day adventure.

 

For those with extra time, embarking on a hike along the trail from Levanto to Monterosso is highly recommended. This trail is quieter than some of the more popular routes in the area, allowing for a more serene and immersive experience. Taking the time to explore Levanto is definitely worth it, especially for those seeking a quieter and less crowded atmosphere.From Family Can Travel

 

 

Livorno: A Coastal City with Charm

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalyNestled along the northwest Tuscan coast, Livorno is a hidden gem that often gets overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbor, Pisa. Just a 30-minute drive southwest of Pisa, Livorno offers a unique glimpse into the rich maritime history of Italy. Known for its "small Venice" feel, Livorno features charming mini canals that wind their way off the Via della Venezia bridge, giving visitors a taste of the lively atmosphere of one of Italy's busiest ports.

 

One of the must-visit attractions in Livorno is the 500-year-old Fortezza Nuova, an impressive fort that showcases the region's fortified coastal heritage. Another popular spot is the Mercato Centrale, a bustling marketplace filled with hundreds of stalls offering a wide variety of local produce and goods. For those seeking tranquility and breathtaking views, a visit to the Terrazza Mascagni, a magnificent architectural masterpiece overlooking the sea, is a must.

 

If the weather isn't ideal, a visit to the Acquario di Livorno provides an opportunity to spend quality time with the family while exploring a reconstructed Mediterranean Sea environment that showcases the diverse marine life of the region. And of course, no visit to Livorno would be complete without savoring the local seafood. Whether you're a seafood enthusiast or a culinary connoisseur, Livorno's restaurants offer a delectable selection of fresh seafood and Tuscan specialties that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.From The Elusive Family

 

 

Lucca: A Medieval Gem in Tuscany

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalySituated in the heart of Tuscany, not far north of Pisa and easily accessible from Florence, Lucca is a charming city that offers a timeless experience. Renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture, Lucca is a must-visit destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich history of Italy.

 

As you stroll through the old town, you'll be captivated by the enchanting atmosphere, with its winding streets, ancient cathedral dating back to the 1100s, and two awe-inspiring towers that are worth climbing. The Ore Tower provides panoramic views of the city, including the second tower, Tower Guinigi, which is adorned with trees at its summit. The city's imposing walls, which are incredibly wide and feature grassy areas on top, provide a picturesque setting for running, biking, or simply basking in the sun. Additionally, Lucca boasts a plethora of museums, churches, and a medieval plaza built over a Roman amphitheater, ensuring there is something to suit all interests.

 

While Lucca is well-known to many tourists, it remains relatively uncrowded in the fall season, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty without the usual hustle and bustle. Whether you visit during a different season or in November for the large Comic convention, Lucca is definitely a destination worth exploring and adds a touch of medieval charm to any Italy itinerary.From Travel Made Simple

 

Make your trip to Italy stress-free with this complete Italy Itinerary that includes all of my favorite places in Italy!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Italy: Uncovering the Best Places to Travel

 

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Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

The Majella National Park is a picturesque destination located in the heart of Italy's diverse landscape. It offers a plethora of activities for nature lovers, making it one of the popular attractions in the Abruzzo region.

 

The park is a haven for hiking enthusiasts, offering well-marked trails that allow visitors to explore its stunning beauty. As one of the most visited attractions close to Rome, Majella National Park provides an excellent opportunity to escape the city and immerse yourself in the blooming flora and fauna of this natural paradise. In addition to hiking, the park also offers camping and skiing experiences, catering to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're an avid hiker or simply seeking a serene day trip from Rome, Majella National Park is a hidden gem that promises unforgettable experiences surrounded by Italy's captivating wilderness.From Everything Zany

 

 

Maratea: The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Often overlooked by tourists, Maratea is a hidden gem located in Italy's Basilicata region. Tucked away above a stunning stretch of Italian coastline, Maratea offers a serene and unspoiled atmosphere even in the busiest summer months. Its secluded beaches and enchanting sea caves provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway or a peaceful retreat. As the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian, Maratea exudes charm and tranquility, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a more relaxed and authentic Italian experience.

 

Despite its lack of direct transportation links, Maratea's remote location adds to its appeal, as it ensures that the beaches remain uncrowded and pristine. Its colorful history, influenced by Arabic, Spanish, and French cultures, is reflected in the tantalizing flavors of its local cuisine. Maratea is a place where you can truly immerse yourself in the Mediterranean ambiance and indulge in the exquisite beauty of Italy's southern coast.From Luxe Adventure Traveler

 

 

Marettimo: Sicily's Best-Kept Secret

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Marettimo, a small and virtually unknown island off the coast of Sicily, offers a glimpse into the untouched beauty of Italy. While it may be overlooked by tourists, Marettimo has something to offer every traveler. From ancient Roman ruins to pristine beaches and scenic hiking trails, this hidden getaway is a paradise waiting to be explored.

 

For underwater enthusiasts, there are excellent opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving around the island, with diving operators providing guided tours and boat trips for those who prefer to stay above the surface. One of the unique aspects of Marettimo is its lack of mass tourism, allowing visitors to connect with the locals and learn about their rich culture and customs.

 

Reaching Marettimo is hassle-free, with regular boat services available from Trapani in Sicily that take approximately an hour. Whether you choose to embark on a day trip or stay longer, Marettimo promises an unforgettable experience immersed in the natural beauty and tranquility of the island.From Pack Up and Wander

 

 

Matera: A Step Back in Time

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Tucked away in Southern Italy, Matera is a striking city that transports visitors to another era. Famous for its ancient cave dwellings known as the Sassi, Matera has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These unique cave dwellings, considered the most outstanding and intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region, have been lovingly restored and now house thriving businesses, hotels, and restaurants. In fact, Matera has featured as a backdrop for several Hollywood films, including Wonder Woman, The Passion of the Christ, and The Nativity Story.

 

A visit to Matera is an opportunity to immerse oneself in history and marvel at the architectural wonders of the city. The Sassi districts offer an enchanting maze of narrow streets and stone houses that create a captivating atmosphere. The city's Duomo, with its glitzy and ornate facade, and the breathtaking frescoes by Luca Signorelli inside are not to be missed.

 

Matera also makes for an excellent base for exploring the coastal region of Puglia, known for its picturesque landscapes and idyllic beaches. Whether you spend two nights or more, Matera promises an unforgettable journey through time and an opportunity to witness the eternal charm of Italy's rich heritage.From Moon & Honey Travel

 

 

Modica: A Baroque Gem in Sicily

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Situated in the southeast of Sicily, Modica is one of the captivating Baroque cities that arose from the ruins of an earthquake that struck the region in the 17th century. Built on a gorge, Modica is a sight to behold, with narrow lanes winding up the steep slopes on either side of the valley floor. The city's unique topography creates a breathtaking backdrop, featuring majestic Baroque buildings interspersed among the surviving medieval stone houses.

 

One of the highlights of Modica is the Duomo di San Giorgio, an architectural masterpiece that sets the stage for remarkable drama. A visit to Modica is incomplete without enjoying a meal at the famous Osteria dei Sapori Perduti, where ancient recipes are proudly presented alongside a delectable array of dishes. Another must-visit spot is the oldest chocolate shop in town, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, where visitors can take a tour of the kitchen and learn about Modica's distinctive chocolate-making process.

 

As you wander through Modica's charming streets and immerse yourself in its rich history, you will discover the hidden gems that make this city truly exceptional. Whether you are a lover of art, history, or gastronomy, Modica has something special to offer to all who visit.From Smudged Postcard

 

 

Orvieto: A Hill Town With a View

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

For those in search of a stunning hill town experience in Italy, Orvieto is a perfect choice. This picturesque Umbrian town, located just an hour away from Rome by train, boasts a myriad of captivating sights and experiences that can be enjoyed in just one day. Perched atop a large volcanic rock, Orvieto offers magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, making it a true feast for the eyes. Climbing to the top of the Clock Tower in the center of town provides an even more breathtaking panoramic vista.

 

One of the highlights of Orvieto is its magnificent Duomo, a true masterpiece adorned with glitzy and ornate façades that belie its small-town setting. Inside, visitors can marvel at the amazing frescoes by Luca Signorelli, which add an extra layer of artistic grandeur. Exploring the charming streets and browsing the numerous ceramics shops that dot the town are also highly recommended.

 

To get a glimpse of Orvieto's captivating history, join a guided tour that takes you into the depths of the city's underground, revealing its Etruscan past and showcasing its unique and intriguing architecture. And no visit would be complete without descending into the depths of St. Patrick's well, an architectural marvel that will leave you in awe. Be sure to include Orvieto in your Italy itinerary for an unforgettable blend of history, art, and natural beauty.Dhara from It's Not About the Miles

 

 

Padua: Italy's Hidden Gem

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalyWhile Venice often steals the spotlight, the enchanting city of Padua, located in close proximity to the famous lagoon city, is an underrated gem that deserves attention from travelers. Boasting a rich religious heritage as the town of Saint Anthony, Padua has played a significant role in Italy's cultural history, housing one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities.

 

Among the must-visit attractions in Padua are the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua and the Scrovegni Chapel, with its fascinating frescoes created by the renowned artist Giotto. Padua also boasts beautiful squares, with Prato del Valle stealing the show as one of the largest squares in Europe. This expansive square, adorned with canals and statues, offers a delightful place to immerse yourself in the vibrant local atmosphere.

 

A visit to Padua is not complete without sampling the local coffee culture at one of the city's charming old-school cafés. Café Pedrocchi, one of the oldest cafés in Italy, provides an ideal setting to savor a rich espresso while soaking in the historical ambiance. Padua's unique blend of religious heritage, cultural significance, and culinary delights makes it an exceptional destination that should not be overlooked.From Surfing the Planet

 

 

Pavia: A Hidden Jewel in Lombardy

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Located in the north of Italy, between the bustling city of Milan and the picturesque coastal town of Genoa, Pavia is a delightful university city that enchants visitors with its countless churches and cobblestoned lanes. Boasting excellent transportation links, Pavia is easily accessible year-round, allowing travelers to embrace its rich historical legacy and immerse themselves in its vibrant atmosphere. The city's highlights include the magnificent Duomo, which Leonardo da Vinci had a hand in designing, and the buildings of one of Italy's oldest universities.

 

Pavia offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy, whether it's taking a leisurely stroll along the long flat pedestrian street of Corso Vannucci to experience a traditional passeggiata or exploring the multitude of charming delis, cafes, and gift shops that line its streets. For those seeking a unique cultural experience, a trip to the nearby Certosa di Pavia is highly recommended. This 14th-century monastery boasts exquisite Renaissance architecture and is considered one of the finest examples in the country. From its fascinating history to its vibrant streets, Pavia is a hidden jewel that promises an unparalleled Italian adventure.From Solo Sophie

 

 

Perugia: A Medieval Hill Town in Umbria

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Perugia, a classic Umbrian medieval hill town, offers visitors a unique and enchanting experience. With its long flat pedestrian street, Corso Vannucci, Perugia is the perfect place to indulge in a traditional Italian passeggiata. Families can be seen meandering through the streets, stopping at pizzerias and gelato stands, while couples relish in sipping Prosecco and savoring seafood pasta at restaurants with romantic terraces adorned with wisteria.

 

Exploring the streets of Perugia reveals a treasure trove of delightful delis, cafes, and gift stores, which invite visitors to immerse themselves in the local ambiance. A boat ride across the bay to the Isle of Capri is a popular excursion, offering stunning views and an unforgettable experience. And of course, no trip to Perugia would be complete without sampling the region's famous limoncello, a refreshing liqueur made from local lemons.

 

Perugia's medieval charm permeates every corner of the city, with steep cobbled streets, a large Etruscan gate, and the gothic Cattedrale de San Lorenzo and Fontana Maggiore in the main square, Piazza IV Novembre. For a unique glimpse into the city's intriguing history, a visit to the Etruscan stone cistern discovered underneath a palazzo is highly recommended. Whether you're strolling the vibrant streets or exploring Perugia's hidden layers, this medieval hill town guarantees an unforgettable experience steeped in Italian charm.From Travel Collecting

 

 

Pienza: A Quaint Tuscan Town of Beauty

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

For those seeking a charming and picturesque Tuscan town to unwind and relax, Pienza is an excellent choice. With its UNESCO World Heritage Site-status, the historical center of Pienza is a well-preserved Renaissance city that offers a serene and quaint atmosphere. Despite its small size, Pienza boasts breathtaking vistas, stunning architecture, and a rich history of pecorino cheese-making.

 

The historical center is a pedestrian-friendly area that can easily be explored on foot, allowing visitors to discover the town's hidden corners, including delis, cafes, and gift shops that exude authentic Italian charm. Pienza serves as an ideal base for exploring other small towns in the Val d'Orcia region, known for its picturesque landscapes and idyllic countryside. While Pienza can get crowded during midday with tourist groups, the atmosphere becomes tranquil in the afternoon, allowing visitors to savor the authentic Tuscan beauty at a more leisurely pace.From Local Passport Family

 

 

Ponte di Legno: A Mountain Paradise in Italy

 

Best places in Italy

 

When one thinks of a mountain resort in Italy, the idyllic Ponte di Legno immediately comes to mind. This stunning destination, nestled amidst the picturesque alpine scenery, offers an array of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Whether you're a beginner skier or an expert seeking challenging slopes, Ponte di Legno caters to all levels and promises an unforgettable winter getaway. With plenty of snow even when it's not actively snowing, the resort offers a reliable ski season and a range of thrilling activities, ensuring there's never a dull moment.

 

During the summer months, the majestic mountains of Ponte di Legno come alive with opportunities for hiking. You can explore the vast network of well-marked trails that wind through the captivating landscape, uncovering hidden gems and breathtaking views along the way. For those seeking a truly immersive experience, the local mountain associations have established free mountain shacks that offer a cozy place to rest and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.

 

Ponte di Legno is not just a haven for outdoor enthusiasts; it also boasts a charming town that offers a vibrant culinary scene and an array of high-quality clothing shops. Whether you're an adventure seeker or desire a leisurely escape, Ponte di Legno promises an unforgettable mountain paradise that will leave you in awe of Italy's captivating landscapes.From Boundless Roads

 

 

Positano: The Epitome of La Dolce Vita

 

As the jewel in the crown of southern Italy's lemon-scented Amalfi Coast, Positano epitomizes the essence of "la dolce vita." This idyllic town, characterized by its pastel-hued facades, cascades down a near-vertical cliffside, converging with the azure waters of the sea in a breathtaking display of beauty. Families wander from pizzerias to gelato stands, while couples sip Prosecco and indulge in seafood pasta on restaurant terraces adorned with romantic canopies of wisteria.

 

A leisurely stroll through the town reveals delightful delis, cafes, and gift stores, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience the true essence of Positano. For a unique perspective, hopping on a boat and exploring the bay that stretches towards the Isle of Capri is highly recommended. And of course, no visit to Positano is complete without savoring a glass or two of limoncello, a refreshing liqueur made from the area's famous lemons. Positano is the epitome of the good life that Italy is known for, offering an unforgettable fusion of natural beauty and captivating charm.From Driftwood Journals

 

 

Pragser Wildsee: A Nature Lover's Paradise

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

Living in Amsterdam, I am constantly reminded of the natural beauty that is just a few hours away from my hometown. Italy, with its diverse and captivating landscapes, boasts an abundance of breathtaking places waiting to be explored. One such place is Pragser Wildsee in the northeast part of the country, nestled in the Dolomites. As I ventured into this awe-inspiring landscape, I felt like I had stepped into a scene from "The Sound of Music," with its crisp mountains and an array of ochre hues.

 

Traveling in November, just after the hiking season and before the skiing season, provided ideal weather for hiking. Although some areas were cold, the sun shone brightly, offering perfect conditions for outdoor activities. Despite a recent storm that had forced cancelations, Pragser Wildsee remained a sight to behold. Its cyan-colored waters, framed by snow-capped mountains, wooden boats, and coniferous trees, reminded me of the rugged nature of Alaska. I highly recommend following the trail around the lake to fully experience the ever-changing views that this natural paradise has to offer.From Victoria's Travels

 

 

The Island of Procida: A Hidden Paradise in the Gulf of Naples

 

Best Places to Visit in ItalyItaly never fails to amaze me with its abundance of beauty and incredible food. While it's difficult to choose just one place, the island of Procida truly surprised me during my last trip. This hidden gem, often overlooked by mass tourism, remains untouched and radiates a rare charm that is hard to find in Italy. Imagine a blend of Santorini and Burano, nestled in the Gulf of Naples, and you have Procida. Whether you opt for a day trip or decide to stay longer, this slice of heaven is a must-visit if you find yourself in Naples.

 

Watching the sunrise from Terra Murata, with its sweeping views of Marina Corricella, is an experience that will take your breath away. The island offers a multitude of delightful experiences, from exploring ancient ruins to lounging on pristine beaches and hiking along scenic trails.

 

Accessing Procida is easy, with regular boat services from Naples. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of this island and experience the tranquility that is truly unique to Procida.From Dianamiaus

 

 

Ravello

 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

 

The charming towns and villages that dot the Amalfi coast offer a slice of paradise. Captivatingly picturesque, these villages sit high above the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Amalfi coast presents a myriad of breathtaking hiking trails that wind through the towering mountains. Exploring every village and embarking on every hike along the Amalfi coast could easily occupy several months.

 

Ravello, nestled in the mountains above the coastal towns of Amalfi and Atrani, holds a special place in my heart. To reach Ravello, we took a local bus from Amalfi, enjoying magnificent views along the way. On our return, we trekked down from Ravello, treating ourselves to incredible sights of lemon orchards, olive groves, and countless staircases. Though the descent was strenuous and left our leg muscles sore, it was an experience well worth it. Despite its small size, Ravello boasts rich history, numerous attractions, and delectable Italian cuisine.

 

My fondest memory of Ravello is from my visit to Villa Rufolo, one of the town's two renowned villas. This medieval masterpiece was remodeled in the 19th century and now serves as a hub for music, arts, gardens, food, and photography. The villa's beautiful buildings, towers, and gardens take visitors on a journey through the 13th and 19th centuries. Among its many attractions, the vibrant gardens overlooking the sparkling waters are the most photographed. However, the outdoor concert setting with the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea is the true gem of Villa Rufolo. I can only imagine the enchanting melodies that would resonate through this idyllic venue. From Story at Every Corner

 

 

Salerno

 

best cities in italy

 

Salerno, a charming port city in Italy situated south of Naples, offers a quintessential Mediterranean experience without the overwhelming crowds or exorbitant prices. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you savor traditional cuisine, take in breathtaking architecture, and admire the serene sea views. Notable highlights include:

 

- Salerno Cathedral: A magnificent Romanesque church that stands as a testament to impressive architectural craftsmanship. The ornate design and abundance of religious artifacts make it an essential historical monument to visit.

 

- Minerva's Garden: Located in Salerno's historic district, this oasis serves as a stunning combination of a public park and botanical garden. Stone archways and over 200 varieties of plants and herbs provide a serene environment for leisurely strolls.

 

- Salerno Harbor: A bustling hub of activity, the city's main harbor offers a fantastic vantage point to witness the ebb and flow of local fishing boats. Take a scenic walk along the pier and marvel at the picturesque cityscape.

 

- Forte La Carnale: Perched on a hill, this imposing castle allows visitors to soak in panoramic views of Salerno while delving into the city's rich military history. After exploring, indulge in classic Italian cuisine and savor a glass of wine at the on-site restaurant.

 

Salerno seamlessly combines rugged Mediterranean coastlines, splendid architecture, and authentic Italian cuisine, making it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From Coastlines to Skylines

 

 

San Marino

 

best cities in italy

 

Although San Marino is not technically part of Italy, it stands in close proximity to Rimini and is often associated with the region by travelers. Situated on mountaintops, castle fortresses characterize this microstate nation, spanning a mere 61 square kilometers in size.

 

Many visitors opt for a day trip to explore the charming streets and alleyways of San Marino, including stops at the First and Second Defense Towers, the Palace (seat of Government), and the old guarding post. For those with more time, additional experiences await, such as hiking up Mount Titano, the foundation upon which San Marino is built, or attending the renowned annual Medieval Festival.

 

Italy truly has a treasure trove of incredible destinations to explore. From the grandeur of Rome and the Renaissance beauty of Florence to the enchanting canals of Venice and the historical ruins of Pompeii, every corner of this country offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you're mesmerized by the breathtaking landscapes of Tuscany and the Dolomites, tempted by the coastal beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, or charmed by the picturesque towns of Lake Como and Verona, Italy has something for every traveler. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the rich history and culture, indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in the best place to travel in Italy.

 

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