Italy—the land of pasta, wines, and good times. And so much more! It can be hard to imagine how old and historic Italy really is. With ruins in the middle of cities that can be dated back to the Roman Empire to being one of the most influential countries that has helped shaped the modern world, we owe a lot to Italy and it’s past. And what better way to celebrate this history and culture than to go visit it? (And who doesn’t love an excuse to eat a lot of pasta?).
There is a lot to see in Italy and it can be overwhelming. Keep on reading to determine what your top spots will be on your trip!
Rome is the capital city of Italy and probably the most popular to visit. Tourists will come from all over to see the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Forum. While in the city, many will choose to head over to Vatican City to see St. Peter’s Basilica and the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. You can spend a month here and still not feel like you’re seen everything. Be sure to plan ahead a walking trail that takes you through the city in the most efficient way for what you want to do!
Hop on back of a rented Vespa and hold on, it’s time to go visit the Amalfi Coast! Located in Southern Italy, you will be amazed by the beautiful beaches and towns built into the cliffs over the sea. This is a great part of your trip to indulge in fresh seafood and fresh vegetables. You will see picturesque towns and can go hiking between towns to see a high up view of the coast. This is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.
Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy. If you’re in this area, you will see one tour in particular promoted a lot—wine tours galore! Sip on glasses of red and white while you take in the sights and scenes around the city. Attend a cooking class in Florence and indulge on your creation at the end. Visit the museums of Da Vinci and Galileo and see Michelangelo’s David. Take a day trip to Siena to visit their vibrant city center. And be sure to take photos of the breathtaking Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo—you can even visit the top of the Duomo!
Another beautiful and romantic spot in Italy, Venice is of course known of its canal streets and iconic gondola rides through them. While you absolutely need to partake in these rides, you also need to see for yourself the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. Walk through St. Mark’s Square and book a ticker to the Doge’s Palace. And then take a boat tour our to Buran and Murano and learn about the historical glass making that Venice has been known for over the centuries!
Located in Lake Como and gaining in popularity and stardom in recent years, Lake Como is a great area to relax on your Italian trip. Of course, you can still explore while you’re there, at places like Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta. But this town is known for its Renaissance architecture and the Brunate funicular. This can be a great two day stay to recharge before you keep traveling around the country.
In English its name means “Five Terraces” which represents the five towns that make up the Cinque Terre region. This is a full day trip and its easiest to at least get to the train that travels through this area by a tour. If you don’t want to stay in one of the towns, you can travel in from Florence, but make sure you don’t miss a way back to the city! Absolutely bring a bathing suit and jump on in after you have hiked between towns. And enjoy a nice meal, and of course wine, as you watch sunset over the sea.
An island off the boot of Italy (some call it the soccer ball), there is plenty to do while you visit Sicily. For those interested in ancient history, you can visit the Greek Theatre of Taormina of the Valley of the Temples. You can take a boat to the Aeolian Islands to see been more ancient history. Watch out for Mount Etna in case she wants to erupt—this volcano is the most active in Europe and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. And if you’re in Palermo, watch an opera performance at Italy’s largest opera venue, Teatro Massimo.
Not as popular as other Italian cities, Bologna offers so much to guests. You can visit the Western world’s oldest university or go on a culinary pilgrimage and enjoy parmesan, Parma ham, and balsamic vinegars. Climb up top Asinelli Tower and you will see that the city is covered in red terracotta tiled roofs.
This one may be a suggestion more so for Shakespeare fans that want their own Romeo and Juliet love story. You can wander through the city’s historic center and Piazza Bra. Climb up to Torre Dei Lamberti or visit the Verona Arena, an immaculately preserved Roman amphitheater that still hosts events today!
Of course, the first thing you need to get is a Neapolitan Pizza. After you’ve filled up, walk around Naples and take it all in. Visit the free, and very imposing, Ovo Castle. You should certainly visit Pompeii and learn about the destruction of Mount Vesuvius. Walk down Via Toledo and window shop. And explore the countless ancient churches and cathedrals throughout the city.
What are you waiting for? Get ready to indulge in food, wine, and history as you explore Italy!