Visiting Italy has to be on your bucket list if you like traveling, or if you don’t know where to go on vacation. It’s a very popular destination, but it’s normal! Works of art, ruins, castles, palaces, beach, food, wine, history, architecture… You cannot get bored, no matter where you go. What to do in Italy? Here’s a list of the best cities to visit in Italy, then I’ll share Italy travel tips!
Places to visit in Italy
Cinque Terre is on the Mediterranean coast. It’s made up of five villages you have to see: Monterosso is the largest one and features a nice beach and excellent restaurants. Vernazza and its colorful houses, its small port, and the Doria castle. Corniglia the smallest village can be reached by a staircase of 370 steps. Manarola the olest village. And Riommagiore at the very east.
Hiking trails allow you to reach the villages. Sentiero Azzuro is the most popular but there are other ones. You can also get around by train or by boat. There are no cars in the area. So you can be active and hike if you want to. Or just relax on the beach. Cinque Terre is one of the best places in Italy! Here’s a complete Cinque Terre guide. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
I know it sounds cliché, but Venice is one of the most romantic cities in Italy. Needless to say, you have to go on a gondola rice. Always agree on the price and length of ride before you board. You also have to see Saint Mark’s Square, Saint Mark’s Basilica and its mosaics, the Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge and the islands of Murano and Burano.
To enjoy great food or a gelato without breaking the bank, avoid the main thoroughfares and squares. These are places with many tourists where prices are inflated. By the way, if you come in February you’ll enjoy the Venice Carnival. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Florence is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. It’s literally an open-air museum, where you’ll feel like traveling back to the Renaissance. Head to the top of Duomo for the stunning view of the city, and admire Michelangelo’s famous “David” statue. Visit the Uffizi gallery, the most beautiful paintings museum of Italy And have a gelato at Piazzale Michelangelo. Oh and you can spend some time to visit the neighboring cities in Tuscany (Sienna, etc.). Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
There’s no need to introduce Rome, the capital of Italy. It’s also an open-air museum, and it’s one of the most popular cities in Italy. Rome features top Italy tourist attractions you have to visit: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the piazzas, the Vatican, the Trevi fountain, Capitoline Hill, the catacombs… It’s impossible to get bored! I wrote a detailed article about my visit to Rome. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
This is where the famous Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet took place. It’s possible to see Juliet’s house and take a selfie under the famous balcony. But you need to know it’s always crowded there! Fortunately there’s more than that in Verona. Go to piazza del Erbe with its market bars and restaurant terraces.
But also the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, the oldest church in the city. And piazza Bra where you’ll see the Arena di Verona which was built in 30 A.D. It’s still used as a stage, Whitney Houston and Paul McCartney performed there! Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Milan is the world’s capital of fashion (with Paris). A chic city where the weather is a bit unpredictable. Fortunately there are many things to do in Milan. You have to see the Duomo (the cathedral), it’s wonderful! It took six centuries to build it! Head to the top for the view of Milan!
You also have to see the Sforza castle which is not far. Admire The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci at the church Santa Maria delle Grazie. To go shopping, go to the chic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Naples is the birthplace of pizzas! You’ll have to eat some when visiting Naples! It’s the European city with the largest historical center. That means there are numerous monuments and museums to visit! Head to the Duomo, the piazza del Plebiscito, the Vigiliano park, visit the archaeological park and the Royal Palace. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. You can get there by car (via a bridge), by ferry, by train or by plane. There are many things to do. Explore mount Etna, the second most active volcano in the world. Visit Catania, Taormina for the famous Greek theater and Syracuse.
Take some time to discover Palermo, relax on the beach at Cefalu, go to Agrigento to see the valley of the temples and visit the Aeolian islands. You can also climb Stromboli, another volcano in the area. Wanna know more? Here are the most beautiful places in Sicily. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Lake Como is in northern Italy, in Lombardy, not far from the border with Switzerland. A lake known for the beautiful gardens surrounding it and its wonderful villas. Get on a boat and hop off to visit the towns: Como and its city center, villa Carlotta in Tremezzo and its splendid botanical garden, villa Melzi in Bellagio, villa Monastere in Varenne.
Don’t forget villa Balbianello where a Star Wars movie was filmed, and Castello di Vezio. FYI many celebrities have houses there. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to visit lake Como from Milan.
The Dolomites is an area in northern Italy you have to see. In the winter, you can have fun and go skiing there, where peaks reach above 3,000 meters (10,000ft.). Cortina d’Ampezzo is the largest resort town. In the summer, you can go hiking or have an unforgettable roas trip from Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Also admire lago di Braies, a stunning lake. And visit Trento, a nice small town in the area. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to spend a day in the Dolomites.
The Amalfi coast
It’s one of the best places to go in Italy. You can either take a boat trip along the shore line, rent a car and admire the landscape, or hire a driver for the day. The villages are breathtaking: Sorrento and its view over the bay and the island of Capri. Positano, a colorful village with trendy cafés and fashion boutiques. Amalfi and its beautiful Duomo. Or Ravello and the nice villa Cimbrone. Here’s how to travel Amalfi Coast on a budget. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to spend a day on the Amalfi coast from Naples.
Sardinia sits just to the south of Corsica and to the north of Tunisia. It’s a rugged island which features long sandy beaches, prehistoric sites, colorful coastal town and hiking trails. Visit Cagliari, the capital of the island and especially the Castello district. Have a look at Costa Smeralda (the Emerald Coast), a jet-set destination for a luxury holiday.
And Su Nuraghe di Barumini, an archaeological site dating back to 1900 BC. There are also the Maddalena Islands and the Gulf of Orosei which offers beautiful beaches. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to go on a day trip to the Maddalena Islands.
If you like history, the ruins of Pompeii is an unmissable when visiting Italy Located close to Naples, at the base of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii was buried under lava and ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Pompeii was discovered centuries later, frozen in time. Therefore Pompeii is an open-air museum where we can see how the Romans used to live at the time. Houses, baths, graffitis, forums, frescoes… Nothing has changed. You can visit Pompeii by yourself or with a guide. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here for the guided tours.
You cannot visit Italy and not see its famous leaning tower of Pisa! It’s one of the most famous places in Italy! It’s been open and closed to the public several times as architects struggle to asses if it is safe to enter. If it’s open, head to the top to admire the city! In Pisa, there’s also the piazza dei Miracolo, the piazza dei Cavaleri and Borgo Stretto to go shopping and eat or have a drink. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
These were the best places to visit in Italy! Here are some Italy travel tips now!
Italy travel budget
- Accommodation in Italy is as expensive as our Western standards. One night in a hostel dorm costs between 15 and 30 euros ($17-34). One night in a mid-range hotel costs between 60 and 120 euros ($68-136). To stay in a luxury hotel, prices start at 150 euros ($170) per night. Click here to book your accommodation.
- Food is also as expensive as our Western standards. A snack (pizza slice, panini…) costs between 2 and 8 euros ($2.50-9). A simple meal (pizza, pastas) costs between 10 and 15 euros ($11.50-17), a bit more in touristy areas. Prices start at 30 euros ($34) for a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant.
- Regarding transportation, in cities there’s public transportation. One subway ticket costs 1.50€ ($1.50) in Rome. To get around in the country, there’s the train. One train ride costs between 10 and 60 euros ($11.50-68). A bus ride costs between 5 and 35 euros ($5.50-40). Regarding domestic flights, prices vary from 15 to 120 euros ($17-135). You can also rent a car from 30 euros ($34) per day.
- Regarding activities, most museums cost 10-20 euros ($11.50-22.50). A guided tour costs about 30-40 euros ($34-45).
Basically, if you’re traveling on a budget, you can get by with $70 per day. Otherwise you’ll spend about $160+ per day.
How to get around in Italy
In cities, there’s public transportation. To get around in the country, there are buses, trains, domestic flights or you can rent a car.
Best time to visit Italy
You can visit Italy all-year round and have a fantastic time. There’s no wrong time to visit Italy. To me, from March to May and September to November are the best months to visit Italy. The weather is nice and it’s not too crowded. From June to August, the country is packed with tourists and prices are higher. In the winter, it’s a bit cold in the north (about 5°C/41°F), but you have to see the Christmas markets.
Visa policy of Italy
If you’re an European citizen or coming from a Western country, you don’t need a visa to get to Italy. You can find all the details here.
Safety in Italy
Italy is a very safe country. It’s one of the best places to solo travel. But you need to know there are many pickpockets around popular tourist attractions (the Colosseum…). Keep your valuable secure, don’t flash anything valuable and make sure bags can’t be snatched. Bag snatching is not rare. Before traveling, don’t forget to get travel insurance. It will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Click here to get one.
Packing list for Italy
I’m not gonna list all the things to pack for Italy. I don’t know how long you’re gonna stay there, where you’re going in Italy, what you’re going to do and when you’ll visit. Take all the necessary clothes, toiletries, and also:
- hand sanitizer
- combination locks
- a money belt
- a security cable lock
- a travel plug adapter
- a stainless steel water bottle
- a lifestraw (a water bottle with a purifier)
- a menstrual cup (for the ladies)
Here’s a full list of travel accessories, which can be useful!
What to eat in Italy
Some travelers go to Italy just for the delicious food! Everything is so good in Italy! Of course, test a pizza there, like for instance the pizza alla romana. Also savor pastas like the spaghetti carbonara. Try the lasagnas. And of course don’t forget the gelatos ((ice creams).
That’s it! You can now visit Italy and enjoy your time there thanks to this Italy travel guide!
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- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.