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Best Places to Visit in Italy-Where to Visit in Italy this Year

Italy, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, offers an array of unforgettable destinations. Having spent three months exploring various corners of this diverse country, I’ve gathered a list of places that have personally resonated with me. This guide reflects my journey through Italy, highlighting destinations that stand out for their unique character and beauty. While my experiences are shaped by the paths I’ve taken, they serve as a starting point for anyone looking to explore Italy beyond the surface. Keep in mind, there’s always more to discover in this expansive country. These are my picks for the best places to visit in Italy based on my experiences so far!

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Where to Visit in Italy

Why Visit Italy?

Why Visit Tuscany?

The allure of Italy goes beyond its fame, offering a tapestry of experiences that cater to every traveler. From its world-renowned cuisine to the deep roots of culture and history that weave through every city and village, Italy invites exploration and discovery.

The countryside unfolds in a panorama of natural beauty, dotted with charming villages where time seems to slow down. Whether you’re drawn to the artistic masterpieces of Florence, the ancient ruins of Rome, or the serene landscapes of Tuscany, Italy offers a depth of experience that is both enriching and captivating.

Each visit uncovers a new layer. This makes Italy not just a destination, but a journey through history, art, and the joys of life. It definitely lives up to the hype.

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Best Places to Visit in Italy


Florence Italy Complete Travel Guide

Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance. This is a city where art, culture, and Italian finesse converge in a stunning display of architectural and artistic splendor. As you wander through its cobblestone streets, every corner tells a story of innovation, creativity, and the enduring spirit of the Renaissance. The city itself is a living museum. This is home to some of the most precious works of art and architecture in the world. Florence’s compact size makes it ideal for exploration, inviting visitors to discover its treasures at a leisurely pace.

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Things to See & Do in Florence:

  1. Admire the renowned artworks in the Uffizi Gallery, including Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”
  2. Climb the Duomo’s cupola for unparalleled views of the cityscape.
  3. Take a leisurely stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, and explore the quaint shops along the way.
  4. Visit the Palazzo Pitti and the adjoining Boboli Gardens for a taste of royal life and outdoor beauty.

Tips for Visiting Florence:

  1. To save time, book tickets to major attractions online in advance.
  2. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall) for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.
  3. Don’t miss trying the local Florentine dishes.
  4. Spend at minimum 3 days in Florence to get the most of what the city has to offer.

For an in-depth exploration of what Florence has to offer, make sure to check out my Complete Travel Guide to Florence here.

Cinque Terre

Ciqnue Terre Complete Travel Guide

The Cinque Terre is a string of five ancient seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. With its colorful houses and vineyards clinging to steep terraces, azure seas, and a network of stunning trails, it offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and human craftsmanship. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Italy that embodies the idyllic Italian coastal lifestyle.

Each village boasts its own unique charm, from the bustling marinas to quiet, narrow lanes lined with trattorias. Cinque Terre is a testament to the harmonious balance between man and nature, offering serene vistas and a slow-paced life that captivates every visitor.

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Things to See & Do in Cinque Terre:

  1. Hike the Sentiero Azzurro trail that connects all five villages, offering spectacular coastal views. There are also many other hiking routes to take within the Cinque Terre.
  2. Enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean at one of the secluded beaches accessible only by boat or trail.
  3. Sample local Ligurian cuisine, including fresh seafood and the iconic pesto, in a waterfront restaurant.
  4. Explore the vineyards that produce the region’s famous Sciacchetrà wine, nestled among the cliffs.

Tips for Visiting Cinque Terre:

  1. Purchase a Cinque Terre Card for unlimited train travel between the villages and access to hiking trails.
  2. To fully enjoy the tranquility, consider staying overnight in one of the villages. The area becomes less crowded in the evenings and early mornings.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven paths and steps.
  4. Respect the fragile environment by staying on marked trails and reducing waste.

For a comprehensive guide to experiencing the magic of these five lands, be sure to check out my Complete Travel Guide to Cinque Terre here.

Lake Como

Lake Como Travel Guide

Lake Como, nestled in the Lombardy region of Italy, is a haven of tranquility and scenic beauty, framed by rugged mountains and lush gardens. This glacial lake, shaped like an upside-down Y, has been a popular retreat since Roman times, known for its dramatic scenery and elegant villas.

Among its charming villages, Bellagio and Varenna stand out as jewels worth exploring. Bellagio, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Lake,” sits at the intersection of the lake’s three branches, offering breathtaking views and sophisticated charm. Varenna, with its colorful waterfront and steep, narrow lanes, exudes a more laid-back atmosphere, perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the local lifestyle.

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Things to See & Do in Lake Como:

  1. Wander through the enchanting streets of Bellagio and visit the stunning Villa Melzi Gardens.
  2. Explore Varenna, especially the Villa Monastero, known for its long, terraced gardens and panoramic views.
  3. Take a boat tour to appreciate the beauty of Lake Como from the water, highlighting the elegance of lakeside villas and gardens.
  4. Enjoy a leisurely lakeside meal, sampling local dishes that blend Italian and Alpine traditions.

Tips for Visiting Lake Como:

  1. Spring and early fall are ideal times to visit, with pleasant weather and fewer tourists.
  2. Utilize the ferry service to easily hop between towns and experience the diverse character of each.
  3. For those interested in hiking, the surrounding mountains offer trails with incredible views over the lake.
  4. Remember to carry cash for smaller establishments and for tipping purposes.

Dive deeper into the serene beauty and rich culture of Lake Como with my Complete Travel Guide to Lake Como here, where Bellagio and Varenna are highlighted as must-visit destinations.

Amafli Coast

Best Places to Visit in Italy

The Amalfi Coast, a stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, is a landscape of towering cliffs, vibrant villages, and sparkling azure seas that has captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. Its beauty, steeped in history and drenched in Mediterranean sun, makes it a quintessential Italian paradise.

Among its numerous picturesque towns, Positano and Sorrento shine as the epitome of coastal elegance and charm. Positano, with its pastel-colored houses tumbling down to the sea, offers chic boutiques and seaside cafés, embodying the luxurious side of coastal living. Sorrento, perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its bustling marinas, is known for its sweeping water views, historic center, and vibrant citrus groves.

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Things to See & Do on the Amalfi Coast:

  1. Explore the steep streets of Positano, visiting its famous beach and the majestic Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
  2. Take a leisurely stroll around Sorrento’s old town and marinas, tasting limoncello, a local lemon liqueur.
  3. Enjoy a boat tour to appreciate the dramatic coastline from the water, including hidden beaches and grottoes.
  4. Visit the historic villas and gardens in Ravello, offering panoramic views over the entire coast.

Tips for Visiting the Amalfi Coast:

  1. Travel by the SITA bus or ferries between towns to avoid the narrow, winding roads.
  2. Late spring and early autumn offer the ideal balance of beautiful weather and thinner crowds.
  3. Footwear suitable for cobblestones and stairs will make your explorations more comfortable.
  4. Engage with the local culinary scene by trying seafood dishes and fresh produce unique to the region.

For an in-depth journey through the allure and splendor of the Amalfi Coast, with special attention to Positano and Sorrento, make sure to check out my Complete Travel Guide to the Amalfi Coast here.


Best Places to Visit in Italy

Venice, a city built on water, is an architectural marvel that seems to float on the lagoons of the Veneto region of Italy. Its intricate network of canals, historic bridges, and stunning palaces evoke a sense of timeless elegance and mystery. Venice is a city of romance and history, where the gondola-filled canals and narrow alleyways invite exploration and discovery. Beyond its iconic St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, Venice is a city of islands, each with its own distinct character and history.

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Things to See & Do in Venice:

  1. Lose yourself in the winding paths and bridges, discovering hidden gems around every corner.
  2. Visit the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, immersing yourself in the city’s rich history.
  3. Enjoy a Sunset Catamaran Tour to see Venice from a different perspective, basking in the golden hues of dusk.
  4. Explore the colorful island of Burano, known for its lace-making and brightly painted houses.

Tips for Visiting Venice:

  1. Early morning or late evening are the best times to wander, avoiding the peak tourist hours.
  2. Purchase a vaporetto pass for unlimited travel on the water buses to explore beyond the main island.
  3. Be mindful of high water levels, especially in autumn and spring; waterproof footwear can be a wise choice.
  4. Support local artisans by purchasing authentic Venetian crafts, such as glass from Murano and lace from Burano.

Venture beyond the surface of Venice with my Complete Travel Guide to Venice here!


Best Places to Visit in Italy

Verona, immortalized by Shakespeare as the backdrop for the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, is a city that combines its rich history with a vibrant contemporary life. Nestled in the Veneto region of Italy, Verona is celebrated for its well-preserved Roman architecture, medieval buildings, and romantic atmosphere.

The city’s ancient amphitheater, charming piazzas, and winding streets invite visitors to step back in time, while its lively cafés and boutiques offer a taste of modern Italian culture. Verona is not just a monument to the past; it’s a living city with a dynamic spirit that embraces both its heritage and its future.

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Things to See & Do in Verona:

  1. Visit the Arena di Verona, an ancient Roman amphitheater still hosting operas and concerts.
  2. Stop by Juliet’s House to see the famous balcony and leave a note on the wall of lovers.
  3. Explore the historic center, including Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, for a glimpse into Verona’s past and present.
  4. Enjoy the panoramic views from the Torre dei Lamberti, overlooking the tiled roofs and landmarks of the city.

Tips for Visiting Verona:

  1. Verona is best explored on foot, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for some cobblestone streets.
  2. Consider purchasing the Verona Card for free or discounted entry to many attractions and public transport.
  3. To avoid the crowds at Juliet’s House, try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  4. Don’t miss trying local dishes such as risotto all’amarone, made with the region’s famous Amarone wine.

Discover the allure of Verona, where history and romance meet in a timeless embrace, with my Complete Travel Guide to Verona here.


Best Places to Visit in Italy

Tuscany, with its rolling hills, ancient olive groves, and vineyards stretching to the horizon, is the quintessential Italian countryside dream. This region is the heartland of the Renaissance, offering a blend of cultural wealth and pastoral beauty. From the historic cities of Florence and Siena to the tranquil hilltop villages like San Gimignano and Pienza, Tuscany embodies the harmony of nature and art. If you are dreaming of rolling hills lined with vineyards, this is one of the best places to visit in Italy for you!

The region’s deep-rooted agricultural traditions are evident in its world-renowned wines and olive oil, making it a haven for food and wine enthusiasts. Tuscany is not only an experience that feeds the soul with its breathtaking landscapes, exquisite cuisine, and rich artistic legacy.

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Things to See & Do in Tuscany:

  1. Take a wine tasting tour in the Chianti region to sample some of the world’s finest wines.
  2. Explore the medieval streets of Siena and visit its stunning cathedral.
  3. Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the city’s remarkable architectural wonders.
  4. Visit the small town Arezzo for Medieval vibes and the oldest antique market in Italy on the first weekend of each month.

Tips for Visiting Tuscany:

  1. Renting a car is the best way to explore the countryside at your own pace, reaching small villages and secluded wineries.
  2. Visit during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.
  3. Always have cash on hand for small towns and rural areas where credit card use may be limited.

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Tuscany, where every hill and valley tells a story, with my Complete Travel Guide to Tuscany here.


Best Places to Visit in Italy

Rome, known as the Eternal City, stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Roman Empire and the richness of Italian culture. It’s a city where ancient ruins coexist with vibrant city life, where art and history are woven into the fabric of everyday existence. Rome is one of the best places to visit in Italy for history fans.

From the awe-inspiring Colosseum to the steps of the Vatican, Rome offers an endless exploration of architectural marvels, historic sites, and culinary delights. This city is not just a destination; it’s an experience, offering a deep dive into the layers of history that have shaped the Western world. Whether you’re throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain or enjoying a gelato on a sunny piazza, Rome captivates the heart like no other city.

Book your perfect stay in Rome on Expedia!

Things to See & Do in Rome:

  1. Explore the historic Colosseum and imagine the gladiatorial contests of ancient Rome.
  2. Visit the Vatican Museums to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
  3. Wander through the ruins of the Roman Forum, getting a glimpse into the public life of Rome.
  4. Take a moment of reflection at the Pantheon, marveling at its ancient engineering.

Tips for Visiting Rome:

  1. To avoid long lines at major attractions, book tickets in advance online.
  2. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as Rome is best explored on foot.
  3. Be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded places and on public transport.
  4. Try to visit some of the lesser-known sites and neighborhoods for a more authentic experience of the city.

Additional Best Places to Visit in Italy (That I Haven’t Yet Visited)

Best Places to Visit in Italy

While I’ve explored many corners of Italy, there are still destinations on my list for future visits, each offering its unique charm and allure. Here’s some additional best places to visit in Italy:

Milan: Italy’s fashion and design capital is not just about style; it’s also rich in history and culture. Highlights include the magnificent Duomo, the historic opera house La Scala, and the Last Supper painting. Milan serves as a gateway to exploring the modern alongside the traditional.

Puglia: In the heel of Italy’s boot, Puglia is famed for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries-old olive groves, and azure seas. Attractions like the trulli houses in Alberobello and the baroque architecture of Lecce make it a fascinating blend of culture and natural beauty.

The Dolomites: Offering some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes, the Dolomites are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s skiing, hiking, or simply admiring the breathtaking scenery, this mountain range in the northern Italian Alps is a natural masterpiece.

Sicily: This island is a crossroads of civilizations, offering everything from ancient Greek temples to vibrant street markets. Sicily’s rich history, combined with its volcanic landscapes and exquisite cuisine, make it a compelling destination for any traveler.

Sardinia: Distinct from the Italian mainland, Sardinia boasts pristine beaches, the enigmatic ruins of ancient nuraghe, and a rugged interior. It’s a destination where one can dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean.

Tips for Choosing Where to Visit in Italy

Best Places to Visit in Italy

Choosing the best places to visit in Italy for you can be as exciting as it is overwhelming, given the country’s vast array of must-see destinations and experiences. Here are some practical tips to help you plan your Italian getaway:

  1. Get Connected with Airalo e-SIMs: Ensure you’re always connected by using an e-SIM from Airalo. This will give you access to local data plans, making it easier to navigate and research places on the go.
  2. Use Omio for Trains: To travel efficiently between cities, use Omio to book train tickets. Italy’s train network is extensive and offers a scenic way to see the country.
  3. Consider Travel Time Between Destinations: Maximize your visit by realistically assessing travel times. Italy’s diverse geography means that travel times can vary significantly, so plan accordingly.
  4. Consider Renting a Car: For flexibility and the ability to explore off-the-beaten-path locations, consider renting a car. This is especially useful in regions like Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast, where public transport may not reach every hidden gem.
  5. Consider a Group Tour: If you’re short on time but want to see as much as possible, a group tour can be efficient and informative, offering a curated experience of Italy’s highlights.
  6. Embrace Slow Travel: Instead of rushing through destinations, consider staying longer in one place to truly immerse yourself in the local culture, cuisine, and lifestyle.
  7. Research Seasonal Events: Italy hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Researching these can add a unique and memorable dimension to your trip.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an Italian journey that’s tailored just for you, blending iconic sights with personal interests for an unforgettable adventure.


Exploring Italy offers a journey through a mosaic of cultural riches, natural beauty, and gastronomic excellence. Each region tells its own story. This guide has aimed to highlight personal favorites for the best places to visit in Italy, providing a starting point for your own Italian adventure. Remember, the best trip is one that reflects your interests and pace. Italy is not just a destination. It’s an experience waiting to unfold, inviting you to discover its many layers at your own rhythm.

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