10 Best Places to Visit in Italy

Located in Southern Europe, this boot-shaped country is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for a number of reasons that include art treasures, trendy fashion, stunning landscapes, passionate people and top-class cuisine. Italy offers so much to see and do that it would take a lifetime to explore. An overview of the best places to visit in Italy:

10Naples
Naplesflickr/Zingaro

One of the busiest metropolitan cities in the country, Naples is the capital of the Campania region in Southern Italy. The city of Naples offers a treasure trove of art works and historic sites as well as a vibrant atmosphere of shops, restaurants and nightlife venues. Many favorite Italian foods originated from here such as pizza, spaghetti and parmigiana. These dishes are taken seriously in Naples and usually feature fresh, locally grown ingredients.

Read more: Naples Guide

9Italian Lake District

The Italian Lake District stretches across Northern Italy. The southern ends of most of the lakes are relatively flat but the northern ends are mountainous as the lakes reach deep into the Alps. Popular with tourists for over 100 years, the Italian Lakes combine good weather with attractive scenery. Garda is the largest lake, and offers stunning scenery, especially in its mountainous northern stretches. Como is equally stunning, with forested slopes rising directly from the water’s edge. Further west, Maggiore is less popular yet just as beautiful, with several popular family resorts.

8Sicily
Sicilyflickr/Leandro

The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy that also includes several smaller isles. It is separated from the mainland region of Calabria by the 5 km (2 miles) Straits of Messina. Home to every great Mediterranean civilization, Sicily is rich in art and history; from Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples to Palermo’s Baroque churches. The island’s most striking geological feature is Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano.

See also: 10 Best Places to Visit in Sicily

7Cinque Terre

Meaning “Five Lands,” Cinque Terre comprises the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso and Corniglia. Located in Italy’s northwestern coastal region of Liguria, the villages of Cinque Terre feature some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes that include steep cliff sides and wine terraces dating back to hundreds of years.

See also: 5 Beautiful Villages of Cinque Terre

6Milan
Milanflickr/UggBoy

Nearly destroyed from heavy bombing during WWII, Milan has since reconstructed and now shines as one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. Widely regarded as a mega fashion center teeming in designer shops, Milan also attracts many to its surviving world famous treasures like Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, the La Scala Opera House, the Castello Sforzesco and one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

See also: 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Milan

5Amalfi Coast

Situated in Italy’s southwestern region of Campania, the Amalfi Coast is known for its extraordinary beauty that makes it one of Italy’s top tourist destinations. Stretching 30 miles along the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is prized for its picturesque coastline that features shimmering bays, craggy cliffs, lemon tree gardens, multicolored villas and ritzy resorts.

Read more: Amalfi Coast Guide

4Pompeii

One of Italy’s most visited tourist destinations, 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 site is located near the modern city of Naples. A tour of Pompeii offers a fascinating insight into the everyday life of the ancient Roman world. Visitors can walk along the ancient streets to see the remains of bakeries, brothels and baths.

Read more: Pompeii Guide

3Venice

One of the best places to visit in Italy, Venice is a unique city in that is built upon a lagoon surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. Located in northeastern Italy, Venice is an archipelago of 118 islands all connected by hundreds of beautiful bridges and scenic canals. Of the canals, the Grand Canal is most famous and divides the city into two sections. Picturesque waterways and historic architecture make Venice one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Read more: Venice Guide

2Tuscany
Tuscanyflickr/imagea.org

Italy’s most famous region, Tuscany conjures images of beautiful rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. The many pleasures of Tuscany include tasting wine in Chianti, simply relaxing in hill towns such as San Gimignano or exploring Renaissance art in Florence. The medieval city of Siena also holds excellent works of art while its historic center is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy. Elba, the largest of several Tuscan islands, offers great beaches while Pisa is world-famous for its Leaning Tower.

See also: 10 Best Places to Visit in Tuscany

1Rome
#1 of Best Places To Visit In Italyflickr/archer10

Formerly the capital of the Roman Empire, Rome today is the government seat and capital city of Italy. Located in the country’s central region of Lazio, Rome is a vast and complex city that is both historic and modern at the same time. Best known for housing ancient Roman structures and the Vatican City, Rome has endured for more than 2,500 years as an important center for culture, power and religion.

See also: 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Rome

More great destinations can be found in the Explore Italy page.

Which destination do you consider the best place to visit in Italy?

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Map of Best Places To Visit In Italy

21 comments

  1. For me, Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is truly magnificent how the place is surrounded by waterways that made the city more unique than other cities.

  2. Sarah

    Verona is a beautiful city. I went there this summer and it was amazing! Lake Garda is also a beautiful place with lots of small villages and towns nearby for shopping!

  3. Beautiful Italy!! Fantastic world-known attractions, but also its less frequented areas can also offer an authentic experience, idyllic landscapes and lots of culture, history, enogastronomy. For example, the Maremma in southern Tuscany.. or the Salento in Apulia.. or the Tuscia in Latium

  4. Fabio P(Italian guy)

    Nothing to say against Genoa but honestly maybe another city from south will be better on that ranking. I mean Palermo. Unfortunaly is knows as the city of the mafia, but it’s so charming and extremely beautiful or Val Di Noto in Sicily there are the most beautiful baroccan churches in Italy and the look-out of the Etna. Sicily have 6 world heritage sites is the second region in Italy after Tuscany that have 7. And deserve to stay in the ranking. No way!
    From a not Sicilian Guy. I’m from Apulia

  5. yepunza

    I’m Italian and I don’t agree with this list. First of all, Naples is one of the poorest, dirties cities in Italy, second of all, in Milan there are just few things worth visiting (duomo, scala, galleria, castello and Leonardo’s “last supper”) but, of course it’s the city of shopping. Then, Genoa is really dirty too (less than Naples) Finally, In Pisa besides the field of miracles there’s nothing else! I don’t mean that there are the worst cities but they shouldn’t be in the top 10 best Italian cities! I would rather suggest you to visit: Turin, Ferrara, Urbino and Siracusa. But I mean, there are so many beautiful places that it’s hard to tell you which one is the best!!

  6. Paolo

    Hi guys. I’m Italian, and I’m from Milan. Many people, most of all are Italians, think that Milan is a poor cultural city. That isn’t the truth: Milan has got many treasures that nobody knows.

  7. Ramona Rhoades

    If you had only 3 or 4 weeks where in Italy would you go? We definitely want to see Rome, so where else?

  8. Pasquale

    I may be biased but the person that put this list together has never been to the best part of Italy – and to me that is Sicily! The history of this island can not matched by any part of Italy, Sicilian food is most delicious in the world and made with local natural ingredients Sicilian cities stand out because of the foreign influence it has experienced. Sicily has 6 Unesco listed sites and I believe this will be extended to 10 in the near future. Do your self a favour visit Sicily to find out for your self ,you be will so impressed you will want to go many times.

  9. Robin
    Author

    I’ve been to Sicily and yes it’s a great destination. However, for this list I focused on cities & towns rather than large regions/islands. Also, to me its totally irrelevant if something is a Unesco site or not.

  10. Lise

    I spent only 5 days in Sicilia. NOT ENOUGH. It’s such a lovely place to visit. Food and people are equally our favorite in Italia. What such an unique experience to climb and walk onto the dark land of Etna at 10000 feet and admire the mediteraneen sea almost smaller than you. I don’t know about Gene and Milan but I will return back to the south for sure. Pompei should replace Pisae. No kidding.

  11. Juan

    You have totally forgotten places in the southern Italy such as Bari, Otranto, Gallipoli, Lecce….
    And I think that Dolomites are beautiful too ;).

  12. Michael

    I have been to Rome, and the Amalfi Coast…..both deserve to be there. I think Salerno in the Campania region deserved to be there too.

  13. Ryan

    Just spent 3 weeks in Italy. travelling through Rome, Florence, Bologna, Amalfi, Sorrento, Pompeii, Venice, MIlan, and went to Pisa on a day trip.
    MY ORDER of these:
    1. Amalfi – Amafli and the Amafli coast is absolutely unbelievable. The most beautiful place I travelled to on this trip. The beach, food and atmosphere is to die for.
    2. Venice – what can I say, everyone knows Venice. I found it was a massive tourist trap and over crowded but, the city is beautiful and would go back.
    3. Florence. Close to everything, a day trip to Bologna or Pisa is so close, and with attractions like academia (david) and uffizi museums plus much more it is a must do.
    4. Rome – Colosseum is amazing, a true wonder and vatican is a must see. So as the city will keep you busy with history and attractions. Didn’t like the atmosphere. BUT is a must
    5. Pompeii. Stayed in the actual town of Pompeii as I heard naples was dirty, and all you want to do there is see the ruins. But trust me they were awesome. A must do and could have found itself higher on the list
    = 6. sorrento and milan – would go to see Capri (Sorrento) and last supper (milan)
    8. Bologna – Nice but it was nothing exciting. would just go from Florence if you had half a day to spare

    Hope this helps Travellers

  14. Diana

    I Love Italy.I Love Rome.Italy is a really Awesome Country.recommend you visit Italy as fast as you can and enjoy it.

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