Italy is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, and there’s no secret as to why. This boot-shaped country offers gorgeous landscapes, art treasures, rich history, exquisite cuisine, trendy fashion, passionate people, and much more.
You could many weeks touring Italy, and you wouldn’t scratch the surface of all of the many sights to see. Below we narrow it down to the 7 most incredible places to visit in Italy.
For travelers who have limited in time in Italy, the list below contains some of the country’s must-see places.
The best things to see in Italy
The Amalfi Coast
Situated in Italy’s southwestern region, the Amalfi Coast is known for its extraordinary beauty – making it one of Italy’s top tourist destination. The shimmering coastline features shining bays, craggy cliffs, lemon tree gardens, multicolored villas and luxurious resorts. One of the most romantic and posh towns along the Amalfi Coast is Positano – which features exquisite, pebbled beaches, pastel houses and scenic mountains. One of the larger towns, Amalfi, features lovely plazas lined with restaurants while the town of Ravello is favored for its beautiful villas of gardens and art works.
The rolling hills of Tuscany. One of the most gorgeous landscapes on our planet. It is Italy’s most famous region, comprised of vineyards, cypress trees, and groves. There are many pleasures in Tuscany, wine tasting, enjoying renaissance art in Florence, and exploring the medieval city of Siena. Also within the Tuscan region is Pisa, which is world famous for its Leaning Tower, and Elba, the largest of the Tuscan Islands, which offers great beaches.
Meaning “Five Lands,” Cinque Terre is comprised of the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso and Corniglia. It is located in Italy’s northwestern coastal region of Liguria. The villages of Cinque Terre feature some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, including steep cliff sides and mountainous wine terraces. One of the best things about Cinque Terre are its world class hiking trails, that offer some of the best views of the Italian coast available in the country. We recommend The Blue Trail – a paved trail connecting all five of the villages.
One of the most popular tourism destinations in Italy, Venice is a unique city built upon a lagoon surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. It is an archipelago of 118 islands which are all connected by gorgeous bridges and scenic canals. Venice is often crowded, especially at the most tourist-friendly locations such as Saint Mark’s Square. We recommend spending a day getting lost in Venice – yes – literally getting lost. You’ll encounter some of Italy’s most gorgeous scenes, picturesque waterways and historic architecture.
While crowds of tourists fill Venice, Florence and Rome, Bologna remains relatively quiet in comparison. This medieval university town is charming, historic and fun to explore… and you’ll find Bologna’s local cuisine is light-years away from the American deli meat bearing the city’s name.
Rome is the capital of Italy, one of the world’s most historically important cities, and home to 2.9 million people. Ranked in 2014 as the 14th most-visited city in the world, you’ll often find some of Rome’s most famous attractions quite packed with tourists. You could spend weeks exploring Rome, getting lost in it’s world-famous architecture, restaurants and culture.
Pompeii is a famous Roman city which was buried under several feet of volcanic ash for nearly 1,700 years after the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The excavation of Pompeii began in 1748, however the site is yet to be totally unearthed. Located near the modern city of Naples, visitors can walk along the streets to see the remains of the ancient bakeries, brotherls and baths. It is essentially a glimpse into ancient Italian life, and its historical value makes it one of our top destinations to see in Italy.
The Italian Lakes
The Italian Lake District stretches across Northern Italy. The southern ends of most of the lakes are relatively flat but the northern ends are quite mountainous as the lakes reach deep into the Alps. These gorgeous lakes offer good weather and incredibly attractive scenery. Garda is the largest lake, and its mountainous northern region offers fantastic scenery. Como is equally stunning, and is world-famous for the many celebrities that have homes there. George Clooney’s villa was featured in the blockbuster movie Ocean’s Twelve. Further west resides Lake Maggiore, which is less popular but just as beautiful as the others. It’s also a great place to take the family with its many great resorts.