What are the best places to visit in Italy? Discover over 100 stunning places to add to your Italy bucket list in this handpicked list of stunning Italian destinations!
I have been writing about Italy travel for the best part of the last decade but it has taken me until today to tackle a topic as big as the best places to visit in Italy.
The reason is not lack of ideas but rather, the excess of them: every time I started such a list, i found it intolerable to leave anything out because this is the problem with Italy: there are so many stunning places to visit, it is almost impossible to narrow them down.
So, I decided for a compromise and went for a list, but a big one: this is my list of the 100 best places to visit in Italy.
100 of the best places to visit in Italy: how to use this list
This is an inspirational list to help you plan your trip to Italy.
The first part is organised in sections (best Italian cities to visit, etc) and the second one is is organised by region.
Before you go to Italy, you can use this list to plan where to go
Once you are in Italy, you can go to the bottom part of this post and check what are the most beautiful places in Italy close to where you are.
What to see in Italy
Italy has something for everyone. In this list of what to see in Italy you will find:
- Large buzzing cities with unforgettable art
- Smaller towns and villages on rolling hills
- Beautiful coastlines
- Breathtaking mountain scenery
- Island shimmering in the deep blue Mediterranean
- Whitewashed villages
- Colorful towns
- Foodie stops
- Invaluable archaeological site
Inevitably, this list is non comprehensive and biased by my own experience. I hope you find it inspirational and useful to plan your next Italy adventure!
The best cities to visit in Italy
Italy has some stunning cities, perfect for sightseeing, museum hopping and shopping.
These are my favorites.
Rome – Roma
World famous Rome simply has to top the list of the best cities to visit in Italy because of its beauty, history and charm (I know, I am from Rome!).
Rome is large, busy and intense and can be hard to handle for first time visitors but with the right tips, you can plan a fantastic stay and see the best it has to offer without the stress.
Florence – Firenze
Florence is the quintessential citta’ d’arte (city of art) and visitors have been flocking here for centuries, attracted by its incredible museums, stunning medieval architecture and the city’s earthly delights of food and shopping.
Indeed, it is hard not to fall in love with Florence.
To see the best of it and avoid the crowds, make sure you plan at least a couple of days here so yo can make the most of the early morning and evening, when day tripper leave the city and you can get a glimpse of this living and breathing city.
Make sure you don’t miss the view over the city from Piazzale Michelangelo, the stunning Florence duomo and Santa Maria novella and of course plan at least one visit to one of Florence’s museums.
Venice – Venezia
Venice gets mixed press lately mostly due to tourism overcrowding and its consequences however, there is no place like it in the world and it if it is not the most beautiful place to see in the whole of Italy, it is surely very high up on the list.
To see Venice escaping the worse of it, pick your accommodation in a good area and plan at least 2 days in the city to make the most of quieter hours.
Milan – Milano
When it comes to sheer beauty, Milan is not as impressive as other big cities on this list but it has a stunning duomo, some priceless art (Da Vinci’s Last Supper is here) and it is a dream for fashionistas, so I highly recommend a stop, even if just for a day.
Naples – Napoli
Naples scares many tourists as it has a name for buying busy and prone to getting you scammed.
However, Naples is stunning and if you give a chance to its stunning museums and catch a view over its gulf, I am sure you will agree it is one of the most beautiful big cities in Italy.
Genova – Genoa
Few tourists seems to make their way to Genova but those who do tend to fall in love with it. Famous for the old port and the Aquarium, Genova is a city to savor slowly.
My favorite part is the old city center: take your time to discover its architecture and its peculiar caruggi (the town alleys) and make sure you seek out its terraces: many museums have free ones with incredible views over the city
Palermo is creeping up in popularity and with good reason. With incredible churches, history, art, weather and a food scene that ranks easily in the top 10 of best in the word, this is a stop not to miss
Turin – Torino
Torino gets mixed reviews from visitors who do not always expect the very special charm of this austere city, but it is a gorgeous city with much of offer.
Torino has gorgeous architecture, a beautiful city center with porticos and piazzas, world class museum and some of the most delicious food you can taste.
It is also the place where aperitivo was born (yes, it was not born in Milan like many think!) so if you love chocolate, pre-dinner drinks or truffles, this is the place for you!
Bologna is bets known for being a food heaven and for having given birth to ‘ragu alla bolognese’ or what visitors usually call ‘bolognese’.
While food here is indeed special (seriously, try tortellini), there is much more to see in Bologna than just the interior of restaurants: its piazzas and porticoes are lovely and the University gives to Bologna a buzzy, intellectual, wonderful atmosphere.
Bologna is wonderful in all season but is one of our favorite cities to visit in autumn especially
The best places to visit in Italy for colorful houses
Some of the most famous photos of Italy showcase charming villages with beautiful, colorful houses.
These are the best villages to visit in Italy for a color filled visit
A small island in the Venetian lagoon, Burano is a small colorful fishing village guaranteed to capture your imagination.
Easily visited in an afternoon from Venice, here you stroll along small canals overlooked by houses in the colors of the rainbow and can indulge in the the local cuisine (try the famous Burano biscuits), lace shopping, all while taking in romantic views over the lagoon.
Procida is an island of the coast of Campania and has one of the most charming and colorful villages in the whole of Italy, the beautiful ‘Corricella’.
here, the houses are perched on a hilly slope and form almost an amphitheater of colors overlooking the Mediterranean: from land or see, this is one of the best views in the whole of Italy.
Riomaggiore is very well know to international tourism as it is part of the 5 villages making up Cinque Terre, one of the most photographed areas of the whole it Italy.
Riomaggiore is one of the most beautiful of all the towns here and has the famous colorful houses you expect in the area.
If Riomaggiore is not enough, you can also get your fix of colorful houses overlooking the sea in nearby Manarola.
Perched on a rocky promontory on the Ligurian coast, it is a photographers paradise, especially if you get to visit towards the end of the day when the soft golden colors of the sun make the town’s color warm up to a truly incredible painted rainbow.
Another famous Italian gem with colorful homes and stunning views over the sea is Positano, the most glamorous town on the Amalfi coast.
It is easy to enjoy Positano: sit with the beautiful people sipping aperitivo or take a ferry to see it from the sea. In either case, the view will stay as one of the most unforgettable in Italy
Comacchio is pretty much off the beaten path in terms of tourism affluence but it if you are looking for a lovely view of colorful homes and canals away from the maddening crowds, it sure fits the bill.
Here you have colorful homes and an extra colorful boost: a colony of very pink flamingoes, one of the biggest in Italy!
Not all colorful towns in Italy have bright colors but this doesn’t mean they are not equally beautiful. If you are in the area, do check the pastel color landscapes offered by Sant’Angelo d’Ischia: its houses and the stunning marine views surrounding it make it Ischia one of the most beautiful pales to visit in Italy.
If you want to see colorful house but don’t have the Italian coast on your plans, do not worry: Varenna is on Lake Como, far from the sea, and has gorgeous colorful homes overlooking the lake.
This is a gorgeous place that can be easily visited as a day trip from Milan and one I highly recommend if you are looking for pristine, manicured beauty in wonderful natural settings.
The small island of Ponza is a gorgeous destination if you are looking for a sea and sun escape in Italy and captures your attention as soon as your ferry approaches its shores.
Its Borbonic port has beautiful colors and you cannot help but admire the strong red of the old warehouses overlooking the water and the pretty homes perched on top.
Best places to visit in Italy: areas of exceptional beauty
The Dolomites – UNESCO’s natural gem
The Dolomites are the most eastern part of the Italian Alps and they ate one of the most beautiful mountain landscape in the whole of Europe.
Tall peaks, green valleys, small churches with onion domes and houses with cascading flowers off their windowsill make this place a natural paradise with a welcoming touch and a picture perfect area of Italy like no other.
Cinque Terre – villages, hikes and see
Cinque Terre are one of the most photographed areas in the whole of Italy and with good reason.
Here, five small towns sit on vertical cliffs plunging into the sea and offer the visitor an extravaganza of small alleys, sea views and hiking opportunities.
Amalfi coast – coastal drive and stunning villages
Another very famous corner of Italy, the Amalfi coast has been attracting visitors for centuries, charming them with a breathtaking high coastline, scenic terraces and pretty villages.
Capri – capital glamour and sea views
The island of Capri is famous for being a magnet for celebrity and glamour loving visitors however, what is truly special here are the sea view.
Leave the busy town center streets and head to Tiberius’ villa or Anacapri to catch a view from the above or splurge into a boat tour and you will agree with me: in terms of sea views, this is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Italy, if not the most beautiful of all
Val D’Orcia -picture perfect rolling hills
In love with those photos of Italy with rolling hills, cypress trees and hilltop towns?
Then look no farther than Val D’Orcia, the most photogenic corner of Tuscany!
The lakes: lake Garda, lake Como, Lake Maggiore
The north of Italy has several lakes, the most famous of which are lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.
While different from each other and sometimes themselves varied (the north of Lake Garda is mountainous, the South is flatter) they are all excellent places for beautiful lakeside walks and views to match.
Castelluccio – blooming extravaganza
The plain of Casteluccio is a special place in Italy that comes to life once year.
In spring, fields of lentils and poppies bloom creating a rainbow of natural colors that is truly unique!
La Maddalena – sea lovers paradise
For a splash in the bluest water, head no father than to the archipelago of La Madalena, Sardina, a paradise for sea and boat lovers
Riviera del Conero – unspoiled white beaches and crystal clear water
Did you know Italy has gorgeous white beaches and crystal clear waters. No? You are not alone: this area of Italy is surprisingly off the beaten path despite being of great marine beauty
The Etruscan Coast
Tuscany is mostly known for its countryside and art cities however, it also has a stunning riviera with a beautiful coastline and some interesting ancient sites dating back to Etruscan time.
This is an area where the hill meet the sea: on the same day, here you can sun bathe, go horse riding or enjoy a visit to a historical hilltop town.
The best places to visit in Italy by region: what to see where
To help you make practical use of this list, I have organised this what to see in Italy section by region and followed a somewhat North to South order.
Gran Paradiso Park
The mane says it all: The Gran Paradiso, ‘Big Paradise’ national park does exactly what list says on the tin: sweeps you off your fee with stunning mountain scenery and a plethora of outdoor options to suit all ages.
This is the area of Italy with the tallest peaks and is one of the best places to go in Italy if you are looking for an outdoor type of holiday.
This is also one of our favorite places to visit in Italy with kids
Piemonte – Piedmont
Orta San Giulio
Looking for the beauty of the Italians lake region but fearing the crowds?
Then head to Orta San Giulio, a small town on lake Orta that was a favorite of many writers (lord Byron among others) and is a vision of small alleys, beautiful architecture and stunning views of the lake
Stresa and the Isole Borromee
Located on Lake Maggiore, Stresa is one of e reasons visitors flock to this beautiful part of Italy.
As well as Stresa itself, the Borromean island just in front are a delight and one of the best places to see in Italy if you are looking for serene landscapes, stunning architecture and garden visits
Torino – Turin
Stunning Italian city with a distinct Mittle-European feel (see also above)
Lovely Bergamo is a charming town offering beautiful architecture and sweeping views.
Less than one hour away from Milan, it develops at the bottom and a top of a hill: the lowest part of town is Bergamo Bassa and the one on top is Bergamo alta (alta=high) and is a wonderful place to visit to immerse yourself in the beauty of a medieval town
The small own of Como gives the name to one of the most famous lakes in Italy but is a small gem in itself. You can visit as a day trip from Milan or use is as a base to discover this beautiful area
Milan is world famous art city with incredible architecture (old and new), museums and unparalleled shopping opportunities.
Pavia was the capital of the Longobard kingdom between 572 to 774 and is home to thee second most ancient university in Italy after Bologna.
This long history means that Pavia still retains a lot of interesting and beautiful medieval sights (the duomo, the Basilica di San Michele and the city’s ancient towers are just some examples) and mixes them with a cool, university town type of vibe.
No trip to Lombardia would be complete without a stop at one of the most beautiful places on Lake Garda: Sirmione and its Scaligero Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Italy!
Trentino Alto Adige
Bolzano – Bozen
Bolzano is a lovely city with some special characteristics that make it different from anywhere else in Italy.
gateway stunning Alpine scenery, Bolzano is bilingual and offers an incredible mix of Italian and Austrian influences
San Candido – Innichen
A personal favorite of mine, San Candido is a small village in Val Pusteria, on the Dolomites and it packs a punch for both natural beauty an dpretty village charm.
Here you have beautiful ancient churches and a pleasant city center, which make the town a perfect base for visiting the area.
Don’t miss the art in the cemetery, which is unique (it is made by a local artist) and touching.
Misurina and surrounding area
Hikers should not miss the area around Lago di Misurina, one of the best places in Italy for summer hikes and winter skiing opportunities
Venice needs no introduction. Unique in the world, no matter how much tourism it gets, it will always make my list of the best places to visit in Italy, even with kids in tow (you can read about visiting Venice as a family here).
Verona needs no introduction: with a work famous arena and the so called Juliet’s balcony, Verona is one of the most famous cities in Italy and one not to be missed.
For the best experience, try to get away from the most beaten track and son’t miss the opposite side of the Adige river: the views from there are spectacular.
Riva del garda
Lake Garda is all beautiful but I have a soft spot for Riva. On the Northern shore of the lake, this is one of the best places in Italy to get peaceful lakeside lifestyle and stunning Alpine scenery
Vicenza and Veneto’s Palladian Villas
Lovers of architecture should not miss the chance to visit the many villas dotting the Venetian countryside and built by the hand of architect Palladio.
24 of them dot the countryside in the province of Vicenza for the delight of the cultural tourist
Friuli Venezia Giulia
The beautiful town of Trieste is often overlooked by Italian itineraries but not becasue not worthy of a visit but rather for its position in the easernnost corner of Italy.
if you are not shy of a little deoutr from nearby Venice however, Trieste is worth a visit: the city is tunning an has an important literary past and cultral trasition worth knowing.
See above: Genova is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy with something for all ages
Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia, Riomaggiore
Five in one for this entry but can we choose between the 5 villages making up Cinque Terre?
We can’t so they all make it into this list of the best places to visit in Italy at least one in a lifetime!
If going with kids, just make sure you read this first!
The Cinque Terre villages get all the attention but what if you wanted a taste of what Cinque terre is all about, minus the crowds and the train journeys? Then head no farther than Porto Venere, a gorgeous Cinque terre-esque village
Another place not to be missed in Liguria is San Fruttuoso: with a lovely beach, sea cove and medieval abbey, this is a special place and keeps its exclusivity thanks to a peculiarity: you can only reach it on foot or by boat!
A small corner of beach heaven: a tall cliff plunging into the sea and a small sandy cove yo sunbathe and see the rocks from the water
Sardinia – Sardegna
Sardinia should be on this list as a whole, it is so beautiful but since right now we are talking about the best towns to visit in Italy I am going to talk specifically about Laghero.
This is one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Sardinia and has something special: it used to be a Catalan enclave and still maintains much of its charm, which gives the town a distinctive character
La Maddalena and Costa Smeralda
If you are going to Sardinia looking for those crystal clear waters you have seen in photos, then head to Costa Smeralda and especially to the small archipelago of islands of la Maddalena just in front, a sea lovers paradise!
Beautiful, family friendly and with lovely beaches, Orosei is a little gem that fully deserves a place in this list of must see places in Italy
Toscana – Tuscany
Often forgotten by mainstream Tuscany itineraries, Arezzo is a great stop if you want to experience a more local feel and a treat for art lovers.
Its medieval centre got destroyed during the second world war, but many important landmarks and masterpieces are still here and are worth a visit.
Not to be missed are the Church of San Francesco with an important Piero della Francesca and the Church of San Domenico.
Learn here how you can visit as a day trip from Florence
Bagno Vignoni is a very small village in the heart of the Tuscan countryside with something special: a natural hot water spring that feeds a large pond in the center of the town!
The spring also offers the chance to bathe in the local spa where you can soak in hot water while admiring the rolling hills around you.
Best enjoyed with a glass of rosso or Morellino, the world renowned red wines of this region
Bolgheri is a small village in Tuscany with a lovely town center and an impressive entrance: a long road framed by cypress tree.
This quintessential Tuscan town was immortalized by poet Carducci in its poem ‘Davanti a San Guido’ and has a beautiful red brick castle, nice churches and beautiful artisan food workshops.
Cortona is the backdrop of the famous Under the Tuscan sun and is a lovely hilltop own worth visiting.
What is special here are the small streets climbing up towards the town’s main square, the views over the surrounding countryside and the food: don’t miss the local ‘ciaccia’ (a type of focaccia) with cured meats or vegetarian spreads: it is a delight!
Simply unmissable, one of the most beautiful places to visit in the whole of Italy (also see above under best cities).
Lovely Lucca is often mentioned as an alternative to busy Pisa but it is no second best.
A walled town with a gorgeous city center and stunning bastion walk, Lucca is one of the easiest cities to experience in Tuscany and a paradise for music lovers.
Composer Puccini was born here and the city pays homage with museum and performances often filling it ancient street with glorious notes.
The lovely and tiny hilltop village of Monteriggioni is a lovely place to visit in Italy to get a taste of what a walled medieval village must have been like.
An easy village to visit as a day trip from Florence, here you have a lovely piazza, a beautiful bastion walk and a yearly medieval fair that is fin for the whole family.
Over-tourism has ruined Pisa for many.
However, Pisa still is one of the most beautiful paces in Italy and if you can plan a visit to avoid the busiest hours (mid- morning to mid-afternoon) you will discover the view of the tower and even more of the battistero nearby is simply breathtaking.
There are many reason to add Pitigliano to your Italy bucket list.
The first it is its position: perched on top of a rocky hill in Southern Tuscany, Pitigliano is a vision, opening up in front of your eye almost like an hallucinatory from the road leading up to it.
it is also a city rich f history and culture and is know as the little Jerusalem because of its important Jewish heritage.
Stunning medieval abbeys surrounded by wide lawn are more common in England than in Italy but Italy does have one and is unbelievably beautiful!
It is called San Galgano and also has an interesting story: the one of the sword in the rock, still visible in the Abbey.
Your experience of Italy wouldn’t be complete without a stop in at least one hilltop village in Tuscany and what better choice than sAn Gimignano
With a stunning hilltop position offering commanding views of the surrounding countryside, amazing medieval towers and churches and world famous wine, this is simply a must see place in Italy (just make sure you stay the night: it gets a lot of day trippers and when the town is full the charm is gone)
have you seen that picture from the sky of steaming hot springs of luminescent white color overlooked by an ancient windmill?
That is Saturnia and more precisely the Cascate del Mulino, a hot spring forming a river with free bathing opportunities!
Siena is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy and one you cannot miss when planning a trip to Tuscany.
Its city center is an overload of history and red brick charm and piazza del Campo, its center, is one of the mot breathtaking examples of medieval architecture in Italy you can ever hope for
One of the best cities to visit in Italy for culture and food (see above)
Visitors go to Parma for its incredible food and stay for the lovely city.
As well as the home of parmigiano and Parma ham, the city also has an old University, beautiful churches and gardens and gave birth to composer Giuseppe Verdi, still celebrated in Parma opera house, worth visiting.
Ravenna is unique in Italy: one of the ancient capitals of the Roman empire, Ravenna still hosts some churches with Bizantine mosaics of unbelievable beauty.
The small village of Bracciano sits quietly along the shored of the lake by the same name, just outside Rome.
The village is pretty, the lake pleasant and there is something special here: the Corsini Odescalchi castle which is a turreted marvel worth visiting!
Civita di Bagnoregio
Civita di Bagnoregio is a very special place: located on top of a crumbling hill, this medieval town can only be reached by walking on a long bridge for the town of Bagnoregio.
Gaeta is a little gem perched on the Italian coast between Rome and Naples.
The town has a beautiful historical center and a stunning golden sandy beach: this is a great place tin Italy to enjoy small town vibes and beach time
The Eternal city, the city of echos, the city of living history and my hometown! One of if not the best place to see in Italy (no bias!).
Located juts outside of Rome Ostia antica is the ancient port of Rome and is now an open air archaeological park where you can admire and learn about the functioning of an old ancient city
aside form the Roman ruins, make sure you do not miss the medieval Borgo, a little gem few get to see, despite it being hidden in pain sight!
Ponza and Ventotene
Looking for small island charm and beautiful views? Follow the locals to the Pontine island, hidden Italian gem off the coast between Rome and Naples
Sperlonga is a small coastal town between Rome and Naples and has something special: a hilltop whitewashed center with small alleys and sea vies and a perfect sandy beach for lazy days of sunbathing.
If this is not enough to tempt you, it also offers easy access to a wonderful archaeological museum and the stunning Pontine islands including Ponza (see above)
Emperor Hadrian knew a thing or two about architecture and its villa in Tivoli near Rome is a wonderful example of its exquisite taste.
Not to be missed here are the remains of the quadriportico framing the large pool, which are a photographer’s dream
LIke Villa Adriana, Villa D’Este is in Tivoli but it is as different from the other villa as it can be.
While villa Adriana is of Roman times and is an archaeological site, Villa D’Este is a gran example of an Italian mansion, complete with stunning and manicured Italian style gardens
Assisi: St Francis’ birthplace
Assisi is a gorgeous medieval town with important history: this is the town that gave birth to St Francis of Assisi and that still now hosts the stunning cattedrale di San Francesco.
Assisi is one of those special places that manages to mix architectural splendor, religious significance and medieval charm and as such, makes out list as one of the places not to miss in Italy
Citta’ di Castello
Citta di Castello is in Umbra and is a beautiful small town in a gorgeous area (it also has one of the best hotels in Umbria).
Here, you have concentrated in a small area beautiful churches, towers and historical palazzi and the town has a special characteristics: unlike many others in the area, it is a Renaissance town, not a medieval one, with architecture to match.
Italy does hilltop villages exceptionally well and Orvieto is one of the most beautigul in the whole of the country.
Perched on top of a rock cliff in Umbria, in the center of Italy, Orvieto is a lovely town with more than a beautiful position: it also has a stunning duomo and the famous Pozzo di San Patrizio, sure to capture visitors’ imagination!
The lovely town of Perugia is the biggest center in Umbria and a gorgous town to visit.
Its center is closed to traffic and the city has some lovely churches and squares worth seeing.
When here, make sure you taste the famous local chocolate that make the brand ‘Perugina’ (lit. from Perugia) world famous.
A great way to enjoy this area is to stay in a local agriturismo such as this one that also offers cooking classes
Spello is a beautiful ancient village in Umbria with a beautiful walled center and something special: each spring, its streets turn into a carpet of flowers for the Infiorata, a religious celebration the city is famous for!
Riviera del Conero
White beaches, incredible sea and a local, off the beaten path feel This is undiscovered Italy at its best
Urbino is a stunning medieval town in Marche, one of the regions of italy international tourism seems to forget about.
It is a lovely town with a stunning castle and a dynamic university and one of the best places to visit in Italy to savor Italian history with a fraction of the crowds.
Abruzzo, a little bit like nearby Marche and Molise, is one of those regions that gets little attention but packs a punch in terms of natural beauty.
Come here in winter to see the picture perfect mountain villages that look like a nativity scenes or in spring and summer to enjoy the views of the Gran Sasso, the highest peak of the Appennines.
Make sure you also taste arrosticini, the meat specialty of the region!
This gorgeous coastal town gives the mane to one of the most famous places in the whole of Italy, the Amalfi coast.
Famous for its glamorous style and breathtaking coastal views, Amalfi is a wonderful town to use as a base to see the area but also has an important history and stunning duomo not to be missed
Caserta: home of the elegant Royal palace
If you love royal palaces, you cannot miss the stunning one hosted in Caserta. now UNESCO world heritage site, the palace (reggia) has beautiful gardens, glorious interiors and hosts the famous palatina library, decorated with stunning decorated with reliefs and frescoes
Italians have been honeymooning in Capri for decades and with good reason.
Amazing views, a mix of glamorous cafes and local feel streets (indeed , that is that too in Capri, it is not all luxury shopping) and some of the most beautiful sea views you will ever get. Capri is one of the best places to visit in Italy for all types of tourists
A gem of an island just in front of Naples. Less famous and glamorous than nearby Capri, Ischia is a small island paradise with great food, lovely views and, in the right season, great spa opportunities!
One of the most stunningly beautiful archaeological sites in the whole of Italy, Paestum has two gorgeous Greek temples beside each and an interesting archaeological museum worth visiting.
A smaller site than others on this list, this is a easy one to visit but packs a punch in terms of beauty and one of the best places to visit in Italy if you love ancient history and mythology
The most famous and the most glamorous town in the most glamorous part of Italy, Positano is a gorgeous (and pricey) corner of Italy with stunning sea views and food to die for
Pompeii doesn’t need introductions: world renowned for its fateful end by the hands of Mount Vesuvio, Pompeii is stunning and while often assaulted by tourism, still one of the best places to see in Italy for history lovers
Hercolaneum is often mentioned as an alternative to Pompeii and indeed, it ticks many of the same boxes asits more famous neighbour but also has a charm of its own.
Smaller and easier to manage than Pompeii this is a wonderful place to visit and one that will leave a lasting impression
Stunning villas overlooking the blue Mediterranean, a beautiful town center and food among the best in the whole of Italy? Sounds like your kind of place? Then don’t miss Ravello, one of the most beautiful and famous towns on the Amalfi coast
Seautiful Sorrento is often mentioend in teh same breath as the Amalfi coast indeed the two are so close to each other Sorrento is often considered the getaway town to the area.
however, there is much more to Sorrento that just good connections: the town is beautiful it has interesting museums worth visiting and amazing food to please the most demanding of palates.
Ignored by international tourism and, let’s be honest, often by Italians too, Molise is where you find the true off the beaten track Italy
The only region in this article I myself have not visited properly, I believe it belongs in this list as the best place in Italy to escape from it all (plus, Campobasso, Isernia and Termoli look amazing!)
Capital of culture 2019, Matera is a very special place in Italy. Built n very peculiar geographic conditions, the town is famous for its sassi, rock cut dwellings inhabited since Paleolithic times and its interesting medieval center.
Matera is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in Italy and one not to be missed
Puglia – Apulia
The small town of Alberobello is unique in Italy and the world thanks to one of the most peculiar typed or architecture you will ever encounter, i trulli!
I trulli are whitewashed houses with a peculiar round shape and distinctive roof style: you find them in Alberobello only and they make it one of the prettiest places in the whole of Italy!
Lecce’s nickname is ‘the Florence of the South’ and all it takes is a glimpse at its beautiful baroque architecture to realize that indeed, this is an incredible city of art.
Like Florence, Lecce is home to stunning churches but it has a distinctive style and character that makes it unique and worth to be known in its own right.
Lecce is also in a wonderful area and a great base for day trips: not to be missed are nearby Otranto, Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca.
A gorgeous small town in Apulia perched on top of a hill overlooking the Val D’Itria, Locorotondo is one of the gems of Puglia and a wonderful village to visit for a few hours, surrounded by beauty yet away from the crowds.
Fancy a stop in a gorgeous small whitewashed town? Then head to Martina Franca and allow yourself to get lost in its stunning whitewashed alleys!
Polignano al mare
Polignano al mare is one of those places made famous by instagram: you know that gorgeous Italian village perched on a sheer vertical rock face and plunging into the bluest see? That’s Polignano, Puglia!
Trani is a little gem on the coast of Apulia, the heel of the Italian boot. The town is lovely and has one gem you cannot miss: the duomo overlooking the sea, simply stunning.
You may have heard of Scylla in the myth of Scylla and Crybdis but this small town on the ede of Italy is no mosntser. Quite the opposite: this is a small gem and one of the most beautiful places yo visit in Calabria, the point of Italy’s boot
Tropea is in Calabria and more precisely sits at the top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean see, stunningly blue in this part of Italy.
Legends wants Tropea to have been founded by Hercules and its ancient origins gave it a beautiful town center that blends in perfectly with the area’s beautiful beaches.
Catania is the first glimpse of Sicily for many thanks to the city’s international airport but this city is way more than an entry point to the island
Located just beside the mighty Etna volcano, the city has a wonderful natural location and stunning baroque architecture in its historical centre and is also a great base for local excursion.
Perched on a hill overlooking the gulf of Trapani, Erice is a small village with meandering medieval alleys, charming corners and more churches that its small size may suggest possible.
The most famous sites in Erice are the duomo and the ‘castle of Venere’ but what steals the show here is the landscape around the town: the views from here are wonderful
The beautiul Sicilian town of is famous for a glorious Normal cathedral, dating back to the XII century and exceptionally well preserved.
Its facade has two towers and a (later) portico and the inside is decorated with wonderful mosaics, considered among the most remarkable in the whole of Italy.
This beautiful Sicilian sites is famous fro two things: incredible Baroque architecture and chocolate!
Located in the Southern part of Sicily, this is a gorgeous town worth visiting and also a good base for a road trip in the area.
If you fell in love with Sicily while watching Montalbano, then you cannot miss a visit to Ragusa and more specifically Ragusa Ibla, a jewel in the heart of Sicily.
This area is famous for a special type of baroque that you only find in Sicily and has that special crumbling grandeur that this part of Italy does like nowhere else in the world
Scopello, Segesta and the Zingaro reserve
Scopello is a teeny tiny village in one of the most beautiful areas of Sicily, teh stretch between Palermo and Trapani.
The village has a lovely town square and some nice alleys but the star of the show here is la tonnara, the old tuna factory offering views so stunning it gained a spot in the filing of Ocean’s 12!
Scopello is beside the Zingaro reserve, a protected coastal area of incredible beauty and one of the most special places in Sicily, the ancient temple of Segesta
Located on the eastern coast of Sicily, on a gorgeous stretch of the Sicilian coast, Siracusa capture the heart of visitors with two main sights: Ortigia, the old city center (do not miss the duomo here, read here why) and the archaeological park , one of the best places in the whole of Italy to admire Greek architecture.
Perched on a hill between the Etna volcano and the Mediterranea sea, Taormina has been attracting visitors for decades and is one of those places in Italy you should try at least one if your lifetime.
The star of the show in Taormina is the ancient theater, one of the best preserved examples in Italy, but do not miss the coastal views from the municipal gardens and peculiar Isola Bella, one of the prettiest sights in the area
The Valley of the temples
History lovers simply cannot miss the most incredible concentration of Greek temples in Italy, the so called valley of Temples near Agrigento.
The temples are now UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most important testimonies of the Greek culture in the South of Italy
Scala de’ turchi
Scala de’ Turchi is is Sicily and is a unique landscape not just on the island but in the whole of Italy. Here, the land meets the sea in the most spectacular way: forming a natural white ‘staircase’ plunging into to sea!
I hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the best places to visit in Italy and gave you inspiration for your Italy bucket list!