Whenever we think of visiting countries, Italy comes to our mind for its astounding locations. There are multiple places to visit in Italy that are highly remarkable for food, archaeology, monumental wonders and further valuables. Out of innumerable names, the notable places to visit in Italy are Venice, Milan, Rome, Florence, Sicily, Pompei etc.
This homeland of the ancient Roman Empire covers 301,230 square kilometers creating beautiful cities throughout the country. The natural sceneries make the country a tempting destination for people. Encircled by mountains, beaches, lakes and pine forests, Italy offers an amusing treat to the visitors.
The eye-catching beauty of five villages in Liguria facilitate tourists to go for cliffside fishing. However, the visitors are not only keen for natural views but also for the man made attractions. The man made Venice city built solely on water attracts thousands of travelers every year. It is built on 120 Islands by using clay, sand and wood. Other than these, there are some more must-visit places in Italy. Let’s check them out.
The Best 22 Places to Visit in Italy
1. Castelluccio di Norcia, Umbria
Ever thought how a clustered human settlement in a rural area can be a part of the attraction? To know the answer, you certainly have Castelluccio in Umbria to visit. Situated at the Monti Sibillini National Park, the eye-catching village consists of only a bit more than 100 residents. The peak of attraction is not the houses but rather 1270meter of flower-carpeted plains. The beauty of Castelluccio enhances during the month from late May to July as flowers bloom at that time.
Poppy, Cornflower, Daisy, Wild Mustard, Rapeseed, and Orchid are some prominent flowers that can be seen. Dispersed by red and yellow color, the plains glorify the environment. Castelluccio is surrounded by abbeys, farms, castles, medieval villages and cultivated fields. Apart from sightseeing, this place is perfectly suitable for hiking, hang gliding and horseback riding. From all the mentionable places, Castelluccio is one of the most notable places to visit in Italy.
2. Blue Grotto, Campania
Aquatic locations have always drawn people towards it. Likewise, the sea cave of Campania is no exception to this. The glowing water of Blue Grotto brightens up the cavern as sunlight passes through a small hole. This creates a blue reflection and gleam through the sea water.
However, the color of this sea cave changes from blue to emerald light depending on the water clarity and light source. When an object is placed inside the water, it appears as silver. Small bubbles cover up the outer light and end up giving the silver effect.
The measure of blue Grotto is 60 meters long, 25 meters wide with a depth of 150 meters. Usually a rowboat of four persons is used to take the visitors for sightseeing. To witness the dazzling effect of light in water, Blue Grotto without a doubt is a mesmerizing place to visit in Italy.
3. Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia
Situated between France and Italy, this group of seven islands and small islets is one of the noteworthy places to visit in Italy. As per their sizes the names of seven islands are Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria, Budelli and Razzoli.
Among all the islands, Maddalena is the largest island having a human-inhabited town and crystal water. It is a well-known tourist location for the boaters as there is a designated national park. The granite coastlines create an enchanting view to look at.
4. Lago di Braies, South Tyrol
Italy is widely known for its dolomite structures emerging through the natural sites. Lago di braies, is one of those places standing out for a limpid water lake surrounded by the dolomite peaks. Appearing as the emerald green color, the water makes the lake look distinctive. Encircled by dolomites from three sides, lake braies look conspicuous. One of the famous dolomites is the “Seekofel ” which is only found in this location.
Tourists usually enjoy hiking through the high dolomites and rowing boats into the crystal water. Sometimes the visitors take a walk and relax on the small meadows of the southern shore. This place is titled as “Pearl of the Alps” for its popularity among the tourists. Among all the beautiful spots, lago de braies is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Italy .
5. Gran Paradiso National Park, Graian Alps
This 703 square kilometers park is named after the name of the highest mountain existing in that location. The main motive of securing this area as a park was not tourism rather to save Alpine Ibex from extinction. Eventually, Gran Paradiso park ended up saving other species along with Alpine Ibex. Moreover, the Visitors find this park exquisite for having lakes, mountains and ice all at once.
Consisting of 183 lakes, 120 mountains and 59 glaciers, this naturally formed site catches the attention of everyone. The mountains and valleys are chiseled by glaciers and water branches. Gran Paradiso is well known for hiking during all the seasons except for winter. Although winter facilitates people with snowshoe excursions. For witnessing some incomparable beauty, Gran Paradiso National Park is one of the most remarkable places to visit in Italy.
6. Mount Etna, Sicily
Despite having the risk of volcanic eruption, Mount Etna offers visitors with ancient variations of woods and rivers. Pines, Chestnut trees, Oaks, Beeches and many more wood species are found there. In fact, the oldest and the largest tree situated in mount Etna is commonly known as “Hundred Horses Chestnut”. Lava from the volcano has molded the soil creating some paths. These naturally formed paths are followed by the tourists leading them to different sites. Large rivers sliding around the mountain creates a heavenly scene to be enjoyed by the tourists.
During the summertime, experts guide the tourists to hike through the craters wearing proper protections. Climbing is famous among the people as Etna park provides nature trails. Apart from climbing and hiking, trekking, rafting, horseback riding, paragliding, ski mountaineering, cross country and downhill skiing are some sports that are practiced there. For exploring caves and other oases, Mount Etna is one of the notable places to visit in Italy.
7. Lake Garda, Northern Italy
One of the most prominent places to visit in Italy is Lake Garda as it is considered to be the largest one existing among all others. Situated at the northern side, this stunning spot is known for its crystal water along with various plantations.
Mediterranean trees like Cypress, Chinese Windmill Palm, Parasol Pine as well as Lemon and Satsuma are found. These trees enhance the beauty pleasing the eyes of the tourists. Consisting of 5 main islands and numerous islets, visitors also enjoy roaming around human habitation. Salmo carpio is a rare salmonid fish that is found and enjoyed by visitors in lake Garda.
8. The Colosseum, Rome
The historical landmark that makes Italy popular all around the world is the Colosseum. It is an open air establishment that was created for performance, sports or any media of entertainment. This brick concrete amphitheater attracts visitors for its age and size. It could hold around 80,000 people as an audience at the sitting area.
Activities like animal hunt, combat battles, dramas based on mythology and many other stagings were done. Even though it is half ruined, yet it is considered as the “Seven wonders of the world.” The Colosseum was severely affected by one of the earthquakes and was not amended afterwards. Because of the ancient remains and historical narratives, this place still remains as one of the crucial places to visit in Italy.
9. Montalcino, Tuscan Hill Towns
Brunello di Montalcino is an old village surrounded by walls in Tuscan. This village is a middle aged territory situated on a hilltop. Medieval architecture like Martello tower of 1361, makes this place an important tourist spot. At the government building of Tuscan, a well known clock tower is found below which there is “Piazza del popolo” or the main square.
Museums like Museo Civico and Diocesano d’Arte Sacra house makes Montalcino an eminent place. Moreover, innumerable religious paintings, sculptures and glass museums represent their history. Visitors from all around the world come to visit Montalcino to enjoy fine wine, exquisite food and learn more about Italian culture. For experiencing art, beauty and history it is one of the considerable places to visit in Italy.
10. Montepulciano, Tuscany
This mesmerizing town is considered as one of the filming locations for its beauty. There are narrow walkways facilitating easy way out through every corner. Surrounded by grape farms, Montepulciano produces magnificent red wine which makes the city renowned. The place is filled with restaurants, architecture, art and small shops.
As a historical structure, there is a 14th century tower that offers sightseeing around the rural side. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a delicate place whereas the Church of Santa Lucia is an altarpiece. The visitors sit on a limestone ledge and enjoy the delicious food that is well known at this place. For exploring a pleasant area with the enjoyment of soul food and wine, this is one of the convenient places to visit in Italy .
11. Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia
Considered as one of the most heavenly places, Cascate del Mulino makes visitors spellbound with its nature oriented creation. When the water barges from the waterfall onto a rock, it ends up creating a spa of warm water. There are wells made of rocks that are naturally carved. This spa is enjoyed by the visitors for free which brings more tourists to this place.
The well water brings minerals from the underground source which is known to be curing ailments since the Roman age. For its magical scenery, Cascate del Mulino is one of the mandatory places to visit in Italy.
12. The dolomite mountain range, North East Italy
The exceptional limestone alps catch the attention of visitors from all around the world. These Carbonate dolomites contain protected routes created inside the rock walls during the first world war. Tourists come to see these historical routes and learn about various sites. People enjoy activities like hiking, cycling, base jumping, mountain climbing, paragliding, and hang gliding on these mountains. These adventurous actions can only be done during summer, spring or late autumn.
Although in winter, skiing is renowned among the dolomites. Some long distance footpaths are naturally created among the mountains, which take one week to walk. Hikers/climbers walk through these paths and cover with much exhilaration. Open air museums at the five towers, introduce visitors with the historical movements taking place at that very place. UNESCO declared this mountain range as a World Heritage Site for its historical remains. Because of its wonderstruck beauty, the dolomite mountain range remains as one of the best places to visit in Italy.
13. Isola Bella, Sicily
If you want to plan a fascinating itinerary that combines history, art, and nature, Isola Bella is the location to aim for. After around 400 years of hard work, hundreds of engineers, architects, cabinetmakers, plasterers, and painters gave rise to the extraordinary transformation of Isola Bella from a deserted rock to a place of astounding delights.
Palazzo Borromeo, the beautiful palace at Isola Bella will take you on a historical journey while you wander through its 20 rooms. In the garden of the island, you will come across a perfect integration of fountains, obelisks, vegetation of the ten scenic terraces, and the heraldic symbol of the Borromeo family that is the statue of a Unicorn.
You will be enchanted by the centuries-old camphor tree, sweet perfumed Osmanthus, the Mexican pine, the snowflake-like flowers of Halesia diptera, and other rare flowers and plants. Overall, the baroque-style palace and Italian-style garden seduce a huge number of tourists every year.
14. Camogli, Liguria
Camogli is the most romantic and beautiful riviera town in Italy that you can’t take your eyes off. Due to its beautiful panorama, this seaside village is a significant addition on our list of the best places to visit in Italy. Apart from the enchanted landscape, Camogli features castles, museums, and popular picturesque festivals throughout the year.
Once known as the city of a thousand white sailing ships, Camogli not only attracts tourists for its beauty but also for its charming history. The historic buildings facing the sea, ruins of age-old castles, and a large seaside promenade full of restaurants make this city a perfect holiday destination.
Boat trips and hiking are the two notable excursions that no tourist dares to miss in this city. A walk to the summit of Mount Portofino or boat trips to the Punta Chiappa will be some enjoyable additions to your Italy itinerary. The multi-colored houses and cheery fishing boats distinguish this city from the other Italian cities.
15. Villa Cimbrone, Ravello
The shooting location of Tenet, Villa Cimbrone is not particularly famous for the movie rather it’s fame is due to its stunning belvedere, the Terrace of Infinity. Lined by a series of marble busts that sparkle on clear days, the Terrace of Infinity overlooks the blue sky above and Mediterranean waters below. The view downward is not for people with height phobia and it remains undisputed as the finest in the world.
This 11th century villa has been renovated many times over the centuries. A walk around the finely manicured gardens will give you a memorable experience to cherish for the rest of your life. The villa is also popular as a wedding, reception, and honeymoon destination.
16. Venice, North East Italy
Built solely on water, this island based city draws attention from people surrounding the world. About 118 islands exist underneath the city, segregated by canals. Each island has individual bridges summing-up to 400 that connect with the other. Beguiled by its beauty, tourists not only visit Venice for sceneries but also for its artwork and compositions. This city has a crucial role in the history of music, as it has flourished the operatic and instrumental subjects.
Furthermore, there are prominent architectural sites depicting history. Doge’s palace, Grand canal, Rialto bridge, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Bridge of Sighs are some of them. Some of these locations offer sightseeing of the palace, museum, footbridge, ancient cathedral, white stoned bridge etcetera. In short, Venice is one of the wholesome places to visit in Italy that offers all kinds of treatment.
17. Milan, Northern Lombardy
Along with the fascinating cityscape, Milan has a lot more historical structures to offer the visitors. It is a land filled with prestigious heritage and sophisticated art. Milan Cathedral is one of the most renowned architecture known for its ancient design. It was built around the seventh century and still remains intact. This second largest cathedral in Italy facilitates people to enjoy sunrise from the rooftop. Visitors are allowed to roam inside the corridors enjoying the nature ablazed hallway. Various political declarations, religious announcements, debates and movements took place in this precious church. This location makes Milan well famed for attracting tourists to this cathedral.
The Sforzesco castle is another notable site of Milan that can be visited. Because of having several museums and arts from the ancient age, this castle takes people back to the 14th century giving a surreal experience. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is another well known location of Milan. It is a shopping arcade of rich brands created during the 19th century. Visitors pay a visit to this location to experience luxurious shopping and enjoy food at gourmet restaurants. The four storied gallery has shiny glass at the ceiling and marvel on the floor. The elegant style and exquisite mosaic design creates an alluring view to look at. Therefore, Milan is undeniably one of the topnotch places to visit in Italy.
18. Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
This ancient city owns Europe’s oldest university established during the 11th century. This is a peak of attention for tourists since ancient heritage attracts people. Furthermore, Bologna is known as the city of culinary or the capital of culinary. Meaning, the most pleasing tasted food of Italy is found here.
There are red terracotta rooftops throughout the city creating a beautiful vibrant view. When the sunlight falls on a rooftop, it makes a bewitching scene to gaze at. Enriched with heavenly food and sophisticated wine, Bologna is well known for historical structures at the same time. At the entrance of the city, two ancient towers are situated representing the family’s prestige. Military activities took place at the Tower of Asinelli and Garisenda back in those days. Tourists visit those towers and enjoy the surreal view of Bologna from the top.
The figure of Neptune and four angels in Bologna is one of the noticeable places for tourists to visit as well. The four angels indicate the rivers of four continents: Amazon, Nile, Dandu and Ganges. This figure is one of the unique fountains that too with a significant meaning. This is why photographers come all the way from their places to only take a look at the creation.
There is a remarkable museum known as the “Museo della Storia di Bologna” referring to the history of the red city. The museum is divided into several parts depicting art and heritage of different ages. Visitors get engaged with the history and learn with great enthusiasm. Because of all the amazing treats Bologna offers us with, it will remain one of the mandatory places to visit in Italy.
19. Pisa and Lucca, Tuscany
Pisa and Lucca are two beautiful nearby towns situated in Tuscany. Both of these towns are well known for alluring natural sites and historical monuments. Pisa is a city famous for its architectural site Cathedral Square. The Square is divided into three structures, The Cathedral, The leaning Tower and the Pisa Baptistry. The leaning tower is the most surprising site for which a lot of visitors are attracted to this location. The tower is leaned for about four degrees due to unstable foundation yet it has been standing for centuries.
The heart of the Cathedral Square is the medieval cathedral having an exquisite design to be beguiled at. The front of the architecture is made of gray marvel and white stone. For the extraordinary interior and exterior design alongside artistic statues, visitors never miss a chance to pay a visit to this honorable location. In addition, the Pisa Baptistry is considered as the largest baptistry in Italy. The beam of the Baptistry depicts many artistic features. For this incomparable architecture people love to visit Pisa of Tuscany.
On the other hand, the nearby city Lucca is well famed for art and is a preserved center of history. Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is a remarkable site where buildings are created surrounding a square resulting in an oval shape. Visitors reach the center using four gateways placed at four vertices. A 45 meter building known as a Guinigi Tower, also makes Lucca a charming place to visit. This Romanesque-Gothic architecture has 233 steps to climb to reach the top.
Evergreen oak trees are found at the rooftop which enhances the beauty of the tower. Lucca is known for gigantic city walls which protected the location. Alongside art, the town is filled with a lot of churches and cathedrals. For all these prominent locations and historic assets, Pisa and Lucca are two of the prominent places to visit in Italy.
20. Verona, Northern Italy
For being the setting location of Shakespeare’s “Romeo Juliet”, Verona is a very liked city among the tourists. Situated at the meandering Adige river, this city holds many historical sites attracting people from all over the world. Castelvecchio of Verona is a beautiful red brick arched bridge created to protect the castle. For its highly advanced design, this ancient bridge is visited by all. Like the Colosseum, Verona also has a precious amphitheater following an ancient pattern.
The Roman Arena is one the most famous sites for its artistic attributes and shows taking place at that amphitheater. This city also holds a cathedral and churches established around the city. Among them, a brick built church known as Sant’Anastasia is a remarkable location for the visitors. The interior is decorated with marble and the life story of St. Peter is carved in stones. Tourists have listed this city as one of the prominent places to visit in Italy for such amusing locations.
21. Genoa, Liguria
This leading port of the ligurian sea brings attention to all tourists with its charming locations. By introducing people to the largest aquarium in Italy, Genoa has earned fame among all the visitors. Acquario di Genova, is a spectacular globe structured museum made of glass and steel. It introduces 12,000 animals of 400 different species including birds, marine mammals, fishes, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. Inside the aquarium, a huge tropical garden is situated educating people about the endangered ecosystem.
Genoa is well known for being the motherland of Christopher Colombus, the explorer. Two gigantic stone towers are seen at the gateway known as Porta Soprana. Visitors roam around this location just to witness the ancient view. Being an aesthetic location, Genoa remains one of the remarkable places to visit in Italy.
22. Pompeii and Herculaneum, Campania
Pompeii is an ancient city which got buried under the volcanic ash during the Mount Vesuvius eruption. The nearby city Herculaneum was buried by the same eruption but that time it was molten lava. The city remained stiff in the way it was buried for hundreds of years until the 18th century, when the excavation was started.
After the excavation, buildings, rooms and public spaces were found depicting Roman life. Things like eating cups, plates, vessels, wood and textile were found giving the picturesque of the first century. Visitors with archaeological interests explore this location with great curiosity. To learn about history and culture, Pompeii and Herculaneum is one of the most prominent places to visit in Italy.
What to Pack for Italy
- Women should pack a headscarf or shawl. It will save you from excessive sun exposure and can be used while entering churches.
- Pack comfortable and stylish shoes. If you want to explore Italy and witness the best of it, a lot of walking will be needed.
- Keep sunglasses along for protection from UV rays.
- Pack portable charger, international adapter, money belt and other essential gadgets that you generally use.
- Always keep a reusable water bottle along.
Best Time to Visit Italy
Italy gains different moods during different seasons so it depends on you to decide which Italian mood will suit you the best. If you prefer comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds, spring and autumn will be the right choice to visit Italy. In the country, spring is from March to May, and autumn is from September to November.
The beauty of Italy’s nature remains incomparable during the month of April. From early April to the end of June, the blooming wildflowers and rising temperatures are a real draw to the tourists. The heat coming down from October, the grape harvest at its best, and fewer tourists enhance the country’s beauty to a whole new level.
It’s better not to visit Italy during Winter. Because it’s the off-season, there are limited opening hours of some attractions, and northern Italy remains wet and cold. July and August are the busiest months in Italy with high prices and temperatures.
If you want to know a specific month that will be the perfect time to visit the country, it’s June. In this month, Tuscany revives with blooming olive trees, poppies, wildflowers, and the smell of lavender. The fine morning sunlight warms you up as you drive along the roads of Tuscan hills lined with pine and cypress trees.
Common Etiquettes to Follow in Italy
- If you are having a meal with an Italian family, wait for the host to order to start eating.
- Don’t eat whilst walking. However, Italians drink espresso while walking.
- Give compliments if you visit someone’s home.
- If you are giving flowers as gifts to someone, avoid giving chrysanthemums as they symbolize death in Italy.
- Don’t tip waiters at restaurants. An extra charge known as “Coperto” will be included in your bill, so there’s no need of giving an additional tip.
- Avoid short and revealing clothes if you are about to visit churches.
- Learn some Italian greeting phrases.
- Don’t touch fruits and vegetables at the market with bare hands. There are plastic gloves in every shop for customers, use them.
Being a country of exquisite beauty, Italy offers both fancy and simple traveling experience. This European land represents incredible cuisine and adventures to relish. Reason why, visitors never miss putting Italy in their travel list. Moreover, this country helps us to acknowledge the chronicles of past events and refresh our minds.