8 Best Places to Visit in Italy for a Memorable Trip
The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Italy
One country we believe everyone needs to visit at least once in their life is the beautiful, wonderful country of Italy. From ancient ruins to cobblestone streets, to mouthwatering food you won’t want to stop eating, Italy is filled with so much charm you’ll never get enough of it.
If you have the time, plan your trip to Italy by stopping in multiple cities. Each place has its own unique feel and vibe, all worth experiencing for yourself (we’re just here to convince you to book that ticket ;) On top of the amazing architecture, food, and history, the people of Italy are of a strong culture, filled with genuine love for their country and history, and they enjoy sharing the beauty of it all with other people willing to learn!
So what are the best places to visit in Italy? It would be hard to go wrong when it comes to picking what cities to visit in Italy, but the following 8 are the BEST. The creme de la creme of Italian cities. Take a look below, and let’s get planning a trip to Italy!
8 Best Places to Visit in Italy
Home of the famous Duomo, unique architecture, and a fascinating art culture, Florence is our number one pick for big cities to visit in Italy. You have the Ponte Vecchio, which is a medieval bridge that currently holds jewelry shops and other high end stores. At night the bridge comes to life with street performers and Florence dwellers who are out for dinner on the town.
Which brings me to the food in Florence, and holy cow, you need to pig out when you visit Florence. Alongside the hundreds of delicious gelaterias, several of which you need to eat too much gelato from, you have hundreds of family run, authentic Italian restaurants on nearly every street in the city. A Florence cuisine staple is truffle, so you must try a dish with truffle in it. We recommend truffle pasta or risotto! Florence is a very charming city you just have to add to your Italy itinerary.
Yes, Rome obviously made it to the list, and while it’s a bustling city with many people, there are so many reasons you need to add Rome to your Italy itinerary. For starters, it is a fantastic hub for seeing the rest of Italy. From Roma Termini, Rome’s main train station, you can hop on a train to countless other cities. This is an easy and affordable way to see the country. Besides being a great hub for Italy travel, Rome is home of the most famous historical sites.
From the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain to countless breathtaking cathedrals, Rome is quite literally busting from the seams with rich history and culture. And as we heard a Roman say, “All roads start in Rome!” ;) Eat all the carbonara you can in Rome, stroll through as many side streets as possible, and wake up early for a beautiful sunrise to start your exploring.
While big Italian cities are great for those wanting to see famous monuments and experience a faster paced trip to Italy, Nicolosi provides you with quite the opposite. Nestled at the base of Mt. Etna (the famous volcano), Nicolosi is a quaint town on Sicily, one of Italy’s island regions. If you want to experience the laid back, slow pace of Italian life, then this is the perfect town for you. You’ll probably be one of two or three total tourists, as many people only venture up from Catania (a large port city) for the day. However, all the locals we stumbled upon were incredibly friendly and thrilled to be sharing their hometown with others.
There is still plenty to see and do here, not to mention all the activities you can participate in on Mt. Etna. Check out our Etna mountain biking guide if you’re up for a true Sicilian adventure! Book a stay in the charming small town of Nicolosi, and get ready for some relaxed exploring. Make sure you take a day trip to Catania as well; grab a bus ticket from a tabacchi (general store) and hop on the AST bus down to Catania!
A classic Italian trip will not be complete without visiting the famous road-free city of Venice. Take a gondola ride, visit Murano, or the “Glass Island of Venice,” and learn about the history of this unique city. Made up of 118 small islands and connected by canals, there isn’t anywhere else quite like Venice.
Known for its bridges, gondolas, and picturesque views, Venice is also home to a very popular Carnival celebration. Here, you will find unique gifts or souvenirs for yourself. Grab a mask made by a local artist for a true Venetian keepsake.
5. Ravello - Amalfi Coast
Looking for the perfect coastal getaway? You definitely want to visit the Amalfi Coast. This beautiful region of Italy boasts some of the world’s best beaches, mouthwatering seafood, and everything lemon. It’s made up of multiple smaller coastal towns, some of the most well known being Positano and Sorrento.
While those cities are well worth visiting, we recommend staying in the quieter, quainter town of Ravello. Split into two “sections,” Ravello sits higher up the mountain giving you the best views of the sea below, and Castiglione di Ravello is perched right on the rocky coast below. We found this to be the most unique town on the Amalfi Coast, and we even snagged an oceanfront Airbnb! And the best news here is you can easily visit multiple towns on the Amalfi Coast in one trip while staying in Ravello: check out our guide here to find out how!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an incredible sight everyone should see at least once in their life. But that’s not the only great thing Pisa has to offer. In this Tuscan city, you can also find ancient ruins, a bustling shopping street, some of Italy’s best gelato, stunning architecture, and so much more.
In fact, check out how to visit Pisa on a budget here! It’s surprisingly easy. Even strolling through the cobblestone streets of Pisa to see what you stumble upon is great fun. And make sure you add a walk down the Arno River to your Pisa itinerary!
7. Cinque Terre
Dreamy and relaxed, yet vibrant and breathtaking. That’s Cinque Terre, Italy for you. Located on the northwestern coast, Cinque Terre is a small coastal region made up of five small fishing villages. From the freshest seafood and beautiful houses, to mountain hiking and ocean swimming, there is something for everyone here.
Each town is special in its own way. There is a train you can take between all five towns, making it easy to travel around. If you’re determined, you can even see all five villages in one day. Check out our guide to the five villages for your travel planning! And bring your swimsuit if you're brave enough to jump in the cold water. Cinque Terre has some beautiful beaches you do not want to miss out on.
Situated in the heart of Italy, Assisi is a hill town in the central Umbria region. While Assisi is most well known for being the birthplace of St. Francis, you can hold any religious beliefs and still admire all the breathtaking views, the stunning architecture, and mouthwatering pasta.
Here, you will also find the Basilica of St. Francis which is architecturally stunning, and you can still admire the beautiful frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis from the 13th century. A great place for those of you wanting a quieter or historically rich visit to Italy, Assisi is the charming hilltop town you need to add your Italy itinerary. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes, it’s very hilly!
There is so much to see, learn, and do in Italy, it would be impossible to experience it all. So we’ve narrowed down the list to the best of the best places to visit in Italy. Now your travel planning will be easier! From the hills of Assisi to the beaches of Cinque Terre to the volcano adventuring in Sicily, Italy truly is a paradise for any type of traveler. There is something for everyone in Italy, and there will always be something new to experience in this amazing country.
So out of the above 8 best places to visit in Italy, what made it to your list? Have you been to any of these cities? Let us know in the comments below! And check out our guide on how to plan a trip to Italy on your own to make the planning process so much easier!