If you’re planning a vacation in Italy, you might be wondering what are the must see places in Italy and what are the best places to visit in Italy? It’s a good question! There’s so much to do in Italy, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Ah, Italia. One of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Italy has always been an amazing place to visit, and there are so many amazing must see places in Italy. The food is sensational, its history and architecture unmatchable, and it has an air of romance to it that is palpable throughout the whole country.
However, there’s more to the country than the Colosseum. In fact, the list of towns and cities in Italy is massive, and should you wish to visit them all, you’d find yourself travelling the country for months on end!
So, to save you the task of scouring the country for the must see places in Italy, we’ve made this concise list of twenty so that you can visit the ones that appeal most to you. Everywhere on this list is one of the best places to visit in Italy!
Let’s start… the best places to visit in Italy!
OK, without further ado, here’s my favourite list of must see places in Italy. I’ve spent lots of time exploring this beautiful country, and these are the best places to visit in Italy…
I’ve included some of my favourite day trips and tours in some of the locations below too. I really recommend using local tour companies as it’s such a great way to see the country and enjoy it. I always love recommendations, so I thought it may help you in the planning stages of your vacation!
On our list of must see places in Italy, we thought we’d start with the most popular and one of the most well known too! Rome carries much of Italy’s history, and is a city that lives and breathes Italian culture. Rome is, simply put, a wonderful city to visit, which is why it tops my list of must see places in Italy. I’ve written lots about the best places to stop in Rome and what to do see and do there, so feel free to explore this blog for more inspiration!
With classical ruins, stunning fountains and endless restaurants, Rome should absolutely be on your list of places to visit in the country. Not only is it the capital city, but it’s the epitome of a European metropolis that should not be missed. This is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Italy.
Florence is one of the top must see places in Italy due to its art scene. With canvases by Botticelli and Bronzino in close range to sculptures by Michelangelo, you’ll simply not be able to turn a corner in Florence without finding some fine art. It’s also one of the best places to visit in Italy because of it’s wonderful cityscape and historical scenery too.
However, though most come to Florence for its art history, there’s so much more to the area. With amazing shops and lovely restaurants, it’s an excellent place to relax and unwind too!
The Amalfi Coast (and Amalfi itself) has long been one of the top must see places in Italy on account of its sophistication and mystery. With stunning views, shimmering waters, and huge cultural draws (we’re talking museums, churches, and gardens), Amalfi is the perfect place to escape from reality.
There is so much to see on this stretch of coastline (see more of my photos of Amalfi), and it’s everything you’d hope for from a stunning Italian coastal landscape. There are soaring cliffs and hills, winding roads, secret hidden beaches, and colourful buildings built into steep hills. Honestly, it’s just magical, which is why it makes my list of the best places to visit in Italy.
I spent my honeymoon in Sorrento, and it was so beautiful. We flew into Naples, and it’s just a short hour drive to the magical, bustling Sorrento. What I love about Sorrento, is how close it is to other hubs like Naples and the Amalfi Coast, whilst also being slightly more affordable! It’s a perfect place to base yourself if you’re wanting to explore places like Amalfi, Naples, Capri, etc.
But what makes it one of the best places to visit in Italy? Sorrento itself is a bustling but equally charming Italian town, with brilliant food, a beautiful marina, clifftops over looking kitsch beaches… it’s just wonderful!
Though the leaning tower may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of this city, there’s more to this area than its famous symbol. What makes Pisa one of the best places to visit in Italy isn’t just the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
With stunning cathedrals, cemeteries and piazzas, Pisa is a fantastic place to spend a few days soaking in one of Italy’s most stunning cities. Though we highly recommend visiting the leaning tower of Pisa, be sure to spend more than a day here if you’ve got the chance, as it’s definitely one of the must visit places in Italy!
Positano is a stunning little village along the Amalfi coast, and it’s a hidden gem. Positano is colourful, magical and a wonderful place – it’s absolutely a must see place in Italy (here’s a list of what there is to do there).
Why is Positano one of the best places to visit in Italy? Well, Positano feels like you’ve stumbled upon the most beautiful village in the world, the colourful buildings, the sparkling ocean, and amazing food, and the cosy beach – it’s stunning!
Venice is an incredibly enchanting part of the country and absolutely had to make it onto our list of must see places in Italy. With romantic gondola rides, St Mark’s Square and numerous places that sell Venetian glass, it’s a unique and glittering city that shouldn’t be missed. I visited Venice a few years ago with my best friend, and enjoyed every second.
It surprised me in many ways (read more about that here) and I’ve been desperate to go back ever since. I just loved Venice, and it felt like somewhere from a movie. For me, Venice is one of the absolute best places to visit in Italy, and there’s nowhere else in the world like it.
The Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is a set of five cliff-side villages that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Though there’s great hiking and boating fun to be had here, what makes this one of our must-see places in Italy are the colourful buildings that line the streets.
Arguably one of the most famous sights in all of Italy, the Cinque Terre is a one of the best places to visit in Italy, because it’s a must-visit for a sleepy trip away from Italy’s more congested tourist spots.
Another location you’ll find along the Amalfi Coastline (can you tell I love it there?) this is a beautiful little village located high in the hills, overlooking the awe-inspiring coastline below and deserves it’s spot on my list of the best places to visit in Italy.
It’d be impossible not to be impressed by Ravello’s stunning backdrop – so make sure you take your camera! You’ll find historic churches here, cute little shops and cafes, and a few wonderful walking routes.
Top tip: Here are some Italian cocktails to look out for when you’re visiting!
Though this isn’t one of the most famous cities on our list, this baroque town is certainly one of the must see places in Italy and definitely one of the best places to visit in Italy. With churches, museums, and palaces galore, it’s the perfect place to take in some of the country’s finest architecture, and there are plenty of things to see and do in Lecce too.
Made famous in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this is certainly one of the best places to visit in Italy for literary lovers and romantics! If you’re planning a road trip of Northern Italy, Verona is a great place to start!
Verona is a must-see place in Italy that packs an artistic punch, Verona is just gorgeous! If you fancy living the Shakespearean dream, be sure to check out Julette’s house; a place that gives visitors the opportunity to grab a shot on the famous balcony, it’s not to be missed! If the Shakespearean side doesn’t quite float your boat, there are some truly stunning piazzas that don’t disappoint.
Naples is arguably one of Europe’s most historical areas, so if you visit Naples, be sure to check out its churches and monuments. If you’re interested in the history of Pompeii, then be sure to check out the archaeological museum which houses artefacts from the Pompeii archaeological site.
There’s just so much to do here, which is why it makes my list of the best places to visit in Italy… If the museum isn’t quite enough, you can even head out to Pompeii itself; only 40 minutes from Naples, you can view the site of the famous tragedy first-hand.
If you’re heading to Naples, be sure to add Capri to your list of must-see places in Italy. Capri is home to the stunning Marina Grande port, and the funicular will take you to the famous Piazetta.
With café terraces and magnificent views, this stunning place is well worth a visit and the relaxation, scenery and atmosphere is why it makes my list of the best places to visit in Italy. It’s everything you’d expect from an Italian break, and there are so many luxurious hotels and resorts on Capri too – it’s a favourite with celebrities!
If you’ve ever wanted to visit the place in which Christopher Columbus was born, then look no further than Genoa. With a great historical centre, great restaurants and even an aquarium with a replica pirate ship, this Italian port city is a fantastic place to explore.
Genoa might not make everyone’s list of the best places to visit in Italy, but it makes mine for it’s historical charm, and quirky attractions.
If you’re a fan of chocolate, then one of the must-see places in Italy is Turin. Every year, Turin holds a chocolate festival that is full of great tasting events and activities! So, for chocolate lovers, this is definitely one of the best places to visit in Italy.
However, that isn’t all. Turin is also home to the 2nd largest Egyptian museum in the world after Cairo, so if you can’t make it to Egypt then this should be your next port of call! This for sure makes Turin one of the must see places in Italy!
Milan is one of the must see places in Italy for those that love fashion. With a cosmopolitan vibe that draws visitors from all over the world, it’s no surprise that Milan has made it onto our list of the best places to visit in Italy. If you’re a fan of luxury shopping, then this is the place for you as outlets are dotted all over the city. However, fashion isn’t this city’s only strong suit.
Milan is also home to numerous cultural attractions such as the Scala Opera House and Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery. So, it’s well worth a visit for Italian culture-lovers too!
How could I write a list of the best places to visit in Italy and not include Lake Como? Italy isn’t all about coastal towns and historic cities… there are also the lakes.
Only an hour from Milan lies Lake Como. With stunning gardens and majestic villas, this is a must-see place in Italy for those that love to dream about the lush life. With panoramic lake views available, it’s a panacea for nature lovers too. Lake Como has it all, and it’s so breath-taking, which of course makes it one of the must see places in Italy for first-time visitors.
Next on my list of the best places to visit in Italy, it’s Garda lake. Garda Lake is one of the largest lakes in Italy and is located only an hour and thirty minutes from Milan. With stunning views available to visitors that are unmatched elsewhere, this is absolutely one of our must-see places in Italy.
You can’t really fault Italy’s lakes, they’re so perfectly maintained and looked after, and there are beautiful towns and villages and resorts dotted around the shores for people of all budgets to enjoy.
If you’re a big hiking fan, then be sure to hit the Dolomites whilst you’re in Italy. The Dolomites are big, intimidating and beautiful – which is why they make my list of the best places to visit in Italy.
If you though Italy was all about beaches and sipping cocktails in one hand, with a pizza in the other, you’d be wrong. Italy has so much more to offer! This place has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some of the finest flora and fauna around. As scenic drives are incredibly popular around here, you can easily get in your car to get some breath-taking views of the nearby mountains. Here are some key things to know before visiting.
Next on my list of the best places to visit in Italy, it’s Sicily. Sicily has a mild climate, so tends to be popular year-round. However, it’s not just Sicily’s climate that make it one of our must-see places in Italy. With Mount Etna one of the area’s most popular attractions, Sicily tends to be extremely popular amongst hikers and those that love a taste of the Great Outdoors!
One of the things that makes Sicily one of the must see places in Italy is actually the scenery and beautiful surroundings too!
If you love a good beach trip, then Sardinia should absolutely be on your list of must see places in Italy. This place has some truly stunning beaches, and when you’ve had your fill of those, you’ll be able to check out the great restaurants or ancient ruins of Nuragic culture.
Whether you’re a history buff or just love to relax on the beach, Sardinia certainly won’t disappoint and it’ll definitely make your list of best places to visit in Italy.
How could I write a list of the best places to visit in Italy and not include Vatican City? Whatever your religious beliefs, it’s worth paying the Vatican a visit just to marvel at the art, buildings and history of it all – it’s quite fascinating.
Vatican City is the smallest state in Europe and the central home of the Pope, this famous religious city is one of the top must-see places in Italy (located in Rome). Whether you want to get your fill of the Pope or check out the Apostolic Palace’s stunning gardens, Vatican City has plenty to offer.
And last on my list of the best places to visit in Italy (but by no means least) it’s Tuscany. If you’re looking to experience the best of Italian culture, then Tuscany is the place to be, there’s just so much to do and see in Tuscany. With tons of art, sumptuous food and friendly citizens, a trip to Tuscany won’t soon be forgotten.
What I love about Tuscany is the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, it’s a really special place to relax and unwind – which is why it’s the perfect location to finish my list of the best places to visit in Italy.
I hope this list of the best places to visit in Italy and must see places in Italy has been useful!
Hopefully this list has given you loads of ideas and inspiration and you’ve started to plan your visit to this stunning country! Italy has so much to offer, from beaches and resorts, to historic towns and cute villages. There really is something for everyone in Italy, which is why writing this list of the best places to visit in Italy wasn’t exactly difficult!
Take you pick from any of the above, and you won’t be disappointed. That much I know for sure!