Places to visit in Italy
‘I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse’, the famous line uttered by Marlon Brando in the Godfather the film that glorified the mafia with their roots and traditions entrenched in Italy.
The size of the country in Europe is no bigger than California and is actually a peninsula with the boot shape mass of land sticking into the Mediterranean Sea. The country has diverse offerings, that makes it a popular destination for all age groups catering to multifold interests. The diversity ensures that everywhere in Italy is unique and has something special to offer. This article on the places to visit in Italy should help you in making up your mind and help you decide where to visit in Italy.
It can be overwhelming to decide where to begin your journey and which cities or places to visit when you are spoilt for choice. Just take a deep breath and read on and find the right places.
These are the best places to visit in Italy which should be on your list which accommodates diverse experiences to make your trip truly unique and special.
If you are a first time visitor, then you should obviously try and include the iconic Italian cities such as Florence, Venice, and Rome. It is essential for your trip to Italy after all Italy is best known for these famous cities. However, you may want to get off the traditional tourist path if you have the time to explore the off-beaten path and discover new destinations. These places will be equally rewarding and would also help you in avoiding the crowds in the more popular cities, especially in these times of social distancing and the dread of the Corona infection.
There are so many times that you are disappointed by the place you visit, cause you have such high expectation of the place due to the over exposure of it as an popular tourist destination. While you may be surprised to find that some of the best cities in Italy may be the ones you never planned to visit. Italy is a pot pouri of history, food, culture, architecture, and scenery and you certainly will not be able to experience all that it has to offer in one trip. Italy really does have something for everyone.
There are so many places to choose from in Italy, that you are bound to have an amazing time no matter where you go. It will be hard to find a person who has hated their holiday in Italy.
The foremost question about getting around in the country should be addressed first. It is best to get around Italy by train. It has many advantages – it is affordable, fast, efficient, and clean. There are even some overnight train options that are great and if planned properly could save you on hotel costs as well.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Italy:
On the South-West coast is the town of Amalfi which is one of the most beautiful and the best places to visit in Italy. Just South of Naples, the location of Amalfi is best for exploring the coastline and taking day trips to Capri. The attractive and colorful houses look over the sea and are just picture perfect. Your schedule in Amalfi should include exploring the magnificent cathedral with its ornate facade and Baroque architecture, enjoying the espresso at one of the café and spending some quality time at the beach. But what you should not miss is the spectacular views of the Amalfi coast from the cliffs near Atrani.
Sorrento is a lovely day trip that is easily accessible by a 1-hour train journey from Naples. It is another of the coastal towns with some of the best beaches. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea while walking along the cliffs.
Perched atop a hilltop is the town of Assisi which is southeast of Tuscany. It is the birthplace of Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone, who later would be renowned as St Francis of Assisi. The town is a perfect example of a small Italian town with churches, castles, ancient streets and a Roman amphitheater. Not to mention the beautiful views of the valley that surrounds the town.
The island just off the toe of the boot is Capri. It is one of the most unique and beautiful destinations in all of Italy. Located off the southern coastline, Capri can only be reached by boat, and ferries from Naples, Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast. It can be covered via a day trip however this beautiful island would definitely deserve much more of your time. Capri is famous for its high end, designer shops and elegant eateries. But if that is not what floats your boat and you want to take in the natural beauty of the place, then there are activities galore that can be found near the clear waters that surround the island. The most popular tourist attraction is to see the unusual glowing blue water in the cave – Blue Grotto. It is definitely a place to slow down and relax hence a day trip may not permit the indulgence that the place offers.
It is also known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. It is an absolute must to have Florence on your list if you are visiting Italy for the first time. It boasts of both artistic as well as historical attractions. The main tourist spots in Florence are the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Baptistery and Bell Tower, San Lorenzo Basilica and the Santa Maria Novella Basilica, the gorgeous Uffizi art gallery, Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens, and the important Palazzo Vecchio. If you are an art and artifacts aficionado then Florence is home to the best museums in Italy. You can see the famous works of art such as Michaelangelo’s David and many more such pieces of importance. Keeping Florence as a base there are many day trips that can be planned -such as the medieval towns of Siena and Lucca and Pisa – famous for its Leaning Tower.
For the first time traveler to Italy, Milan is often lower down on the list of places to visit in Italy. Due to its image of being a modern and fashion centric city it is often overlooked in favor of cities that offer more history and culture as an experience. The city offers a fabulous dose of the much needed Italian immersive experience of good food, coffee, and fun nightlife. Popular places to visit in Milan include the canals around Navigli and Milan’s main attraction – the stunning Duomo cathedral. Milan can also be used as a starting point for a day trip to Lake Como. That would probably give another reason for you to keep Milan in your list of places to visit in Italy.
The recent interest of Hollywood royalty in owning property in Lake Como is testament to the beauty of the place and is definitely one of the top most places to visit in Italy. it one of the prettiest travel destinations in the world with the most picturesque lakes surrounded by lush green gardens, affluent villas, and old little villages. Lake Como is famous for its idyllic location, gorgeous views, delicious food and wine. The lake has been a popular tourist destination ever since the time of Romans. The famous people that own homes in the area include George Clooney, Lionel Messi and Madonna.
The fascinating ruins of Pompeii is a must do if you are interested in ancient history. At the archaeological site, visitors can explore the massive park via a guided tour or can easily spend a whole day at the site on their own. You can visit the following sites in Pompeii – the amphitheater, Temple of Jupiter, Forum, Basilica, and many private residences. The ruins of Pompeii can be reached by train from Naples and would make for a perfect day trip.
In all probability you would commence your Italian sojourn in the beautiful city of Rome. In this list of the most important places to visit in Italy the city sits lower down in the order but that does not reflect poorly on the city. In fact, the reason it is not amongst the top is that the city does is not at the mercy of any order of preference. The city is a must, period. It is without a doubt one of the best places to go in Italy. Some of the most spectacular architectural treasures of the world can be found in Rome. Like the Colosseum and the Pantheon. The ancient city even accommodates another separate country within its borders – the Vatican City. There are so many things to do in Rome that you would probably need a second trip to experience all that it has to offer. There are the ruins of public baths, well maintained gardens, the Jewish Ghetto and world-class art. The city is an excellent and unmissable destination that is so breathtaking not only in Italy but around the world.
Another Italian island that is worth visiting and the best places to visit in Italy is the island of Sicily. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean and has diverse attractions on offer. It appeals to the lovers of history, the beach bums, foodies and is also home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world – Mount Etna. Get on a motorcycle and ride up and down the volcano for the best experience.
The smallest country in the world and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City is probably one of the richest countries in the world. It is one of the top places to visit and is encircled within a 2 mile wall. It is governed as an absolute monarchy with the Pope as its head. There are simply so many things to see inside the boundaries of Vatican City. A majority of the people who visit Vatican City come there to see St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum. Both of these attractions offer overwhelming collection of priceless art, history, and architecture.
Like a few other Italian cities, the historic city of Venice is also one of the most visited places in Europe. It would be difficult to run out of things to do and places to see in this magical city. Taking the signature gondola down the Grand Canal to sampling the local cuisine, a trip to Venice is a trip of a lifetime. This small city is incredibly popular with tourists and is a must see in Italy. The main tourist spots are Piazza San Marco and its incredible Basilica, Campanile and Doge’s Palace. The Rialto Bridge and Mercato are interesting places to shop. A word of caution about the steep prices of eating out in Venice. But don’t let that take away the joy of experiencing the great food in Venice, do not miss out on the delectable Venetian dishes at the local restaurants and bacarai (bars).
The above mentioned guide to the top places to visit in Italy is recommended for both couples and families. This article would have given you a clear picture of all the beautiful places in Italy and should help you decide on the places to visit in Italy.
Take your pick from the ancient streets of Rome to the lapping waterways of Venice, the serene beauty of the Italian Lakes to the dazzling glamour of the Amalfi Coast. Located at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Italy as it provides a picturesque and perfect scenery.
Italy is a country famous for its great food, incredible coastlines, and some of the most spectacular cities in the world. You can make your own list of favorite cities based on this article on the best places to see in Italy. It is a country filled with more amazing destinations than you can count.
The country’s violent crime rates are very low. As a pedestrian friendly destination, it is safe to walk even after dark. However, as with most destinations frequented by tourists, pickpockets and scams are commonplace at the country’s most popular attractions. However, the country’s north and center are considered to be the safest parts of Italy.
Like any tourist destination keep in mind the regular precautions about keeping money safely and dressing appropriately, sticking to groups and not venturing out alone. Most importantly remember that while in Vatican city, visitors in skimpy clothing are forbidden to enter holy sites.
The northern parts of Italy are considered cleaner than the southern art. But this does not put a damper on Italy being one of the best places to visit in Europe.