Tourists and travel experts have long agreed that Italy is a special place, so much so that the country has become a de facto bucket list destination for just about everyone.
Famous for its incredible food, rich historical sites, notorious art, beautiful small towns and equally beautiful cities, countrysides and coastlines, it's safe to say Italy's offerings are unmatched.
There are literally hundreds of amazing spots dotted all across Italy and as such, there’s no shortage of some of the best places in Italy to fill your boots with amazing Italian deliciousness, no matter where you are in the country.
While visiting the iconic Italian cities such as Florence, Venice, and Rome is essential for your first trip to Italy, it’s great to get off the beaten path a little bit and try some new destinations that will be equally rewarding and at the same time, help with over-tourism in more popular cities. Some of the best cities in Italy may be the ones you’ve never thought to visit!
As the birthplace of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, it's not surprising that Italy should be so rich in masterpieces of art and architecture, or that it should have more UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites than any other country in the world.
But Italy's top attractions for tourists are not all art and architecture; the country is blessed with lakes, mountains, and a dramatic coastline that give it outstanding natural attractions, as well.
This list of top places to visit is only the beginning of outstanding things to see and do in Italy.
Italy's fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms.
The country is one of nature's masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few.
From the north's icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south's fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing.
One day you're tearing down Courmayeur's powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.
With many beautiful cities, a rich history, stunning landscapes, some of the most beautiful Mediterranean islands and of course delicious food, I can say without a doubt that Italy is one of my favourite destination in Europe.
In order to help you plan your stay in Italy, we have prepared this list of websites of the best things to do in Italy, with all the highlights and must-see attractions.
It will for sure give you an idea of your next travel destination.
So, what are the best points of interest in Italy?
Discover Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sicily and much more now
Europe's kinky over-the-knee boot has it all: popes, painters, polenta, paramours, poets, political puerility and potentates. Its dreamy light and sumptuous landscapes seem made for romance, and its three millennia of history, culture and cuisine seduces just about everyone. You can visit Roman ruins, gawk at Renaissance art, stay in tiny medieval hill towns, go skiing in the Alps, explore the canals of Venice and gaze at beautiful churches. Naturally you can also indulge in the pleasures of la dolce vita: good food, good wine and improving your wardrobe.
Most of Italy's attractions and museums can be visited without advance reservations but some require reservations and some you'll want to book in advance to avoid the long lines. Here's how to buy tickets ahead for these top sights.
Travel to Italy and you'll never be the same. Stroll the placid canals of Venice, live the dream in a Tuscany villa, or hike the UNESCO-recognized Cinque Terre. The famous boot-shaped country has something for everyone. Languid days and festive nights are hallmarks of this European star. Art, fashion, music, and especially food are incorporated into everyday life here in a way that will make tourists consider burning their return tickets. It's no wonder that so many people who vacation in Italy soon start scheming how to move there and live "La Dolce Vita" full time.
The country is not perfect though. Its historic cities have often been marred by development, beyond the showpiece sights the infrastructure is visibly straining, and corruption is rife. But as a visitor many of the old clichés still ring true – once you’ve visited, you may never want to travel anywhere else.
Italy might be the world’s most celebrated tourist destination, but it only became a unified state in 1861.
As a result, Italians often feel more loyalty to their region than to the nation as a whole.
This is manifested in Italy’s cuisines, dialects, landscapes and standards of living.
However, if there is a single national Italian characteristic, it is to embrace life to the full.
It’s demonstrated by the hundreds of local festivals to celebrate a saint or the local harvest. It's in the importance placed on good food and in the importance of family. And it's shown in the daily ritual of the evening stroll or passeggiata – a sociable affair celebrated by young and old alike in every town and village across the country.
There is also the enormous cultural legacy.
There are remnants of the Roman Empire all over Italy, most notably in Rome itself, while Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world. And every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
Popular Italy attractions include Rome's The Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Vatican City.
In Florence is the Duomo, San Marco, Statue of David and Santo Spirito.
Pisa is famous for the Leaning Tower, Campo dei Miracoli, the Baptistry and Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale. Aside from its canals, Venice has San Marco, St Mark's Basilica, Guggenheim Museum and Cannaregio.
In Genoa you'll find Palazzo Ducale, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Via Garibaldi and Galleria di Palazzo Bianco.
The beautiful Riviera is home to San Remo, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Corniglia.
The fashion icon of Milan also has San Satiro, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
The Northern Lakes are home to San Giovanni and Lake Como while Naples is renowned for Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento and Capri.
In Sicily Palermo, Valle dei Templi and Museo Nazionale Archeologico are popular.
Italy's name comes from the world 'italia' which means 'calf land', a reference to the Southern Italian tribal symbol of the bull. Italy has created a number of cheeses including ricotta, gorgonzola, parmesan, provolone and mozzarella.
Europe's highest peak is Italy's Monte Bianco in the northern Alps.
Last names in northern Italy generally end in 'i' while last names in the south often end in 'on'.
The most popular surname in Italy is Russo.
One of Italy's most popular ways to see and be seen is the pre-dinner passeggiata or leisurely evening stroll.
When To Go in Italy
Italy is at its best in spring (April-May) and autumn (October-November). During these seasons, the scenery is beautiful, the temperatures are pleasant and there are relatively few crowds. Try to avoid August, as this is the time that most Italians take their vacations, and many shops and businesses are closed as a result.
The Mediterranean diet, the Italian one to be precise, corresponds to the healthiest food regime there is. In addition to being healthy, Italian food is also good.
All of Italian food. From the north to the south of the peninsula, passing through the islands, each region has its own specialties that are worth tasting at least once in your lifetime.
And what about abroad? Just know that our way of eating has a name: ” Italian way of fooding “. Loved all over the world and hard to imitate.
And so the Italian way of eating is successful abroad for the conviviality, the health benefits and for its goodness.
A Latin language related to French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. Standard Italian and numerous dialects are spoken.
84% Roman Catholic, 6% Jewish, Muslim and Protestant
CurrencyEuro (€) Electricity220V 50Hz Electric Plug DetailsEuropean plug with two circular metal pins Country Dialing Code39
La Dolce Vita has never been sweeter.
Italy is the home of the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - art and monuments are everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its cuisine, its fashion, the luxury sports cars and motorcycles, as well as for its beautiful coasts, lakes, hills and mountains. Two independent mini-states lie within Italy: San Marino and Vatican City.
Here a list of top 10 Italy destinations:
- Città del Vaticano
- San Gimignano
Selected Italy travel guides blogs to discover destinations in Italy
Selected websites from who live in Italy or have visited Italy frequently, Italian experiences.
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