Traveling to Italy is at the top of many travelers’ bucket list. The Western European country is known for its pristine location along the Mediterranian coastline, global cuisine, historical landmarks, and its contribution to the art world.
There are so many cities and small villages to explore in Italy that it may be confusing to know where to go while planning your trip — so we’re here to help. Here are the top 6 places to goa when you visit Italy and our recommendations for what to do while you’re there.
Things to do in Rome
If it’s your first time visiting Italy, Rome is a great first stop. The ancient city is loved for its historical sites like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain; visitors often adore the food here too.
Visiting Rome sometimes feels like stepping into a time capsule as the city is quite old. Don’t skip seeing the Pantheon (an ancient Roman temple) or St. Peter’s Basilica (world’s largest Basilica of Christianity) during your visit. If you’re visiting any historical site, remember to purchase tickets in advance online and anticipate long times.
To explore a different side of Rome, take time to explore neighborhoods like Trastevere or Monti. Trastevere is where you can find some of the oldest churches in the city. If you’re looking to eat and drink your way through Rome, Trastevere is full of top bars and restaurants.
Monti is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture as the neighborhood is the city’s oldest quarters. Locals and travelers alike flock to Monti for its cozy cafes and restaurants.
Things to do in Amalfi Coast, Italy
Headed south? The Amalfi Coast is one of the best places to visit in Italy. The region is made up of various towns and villages dotted along the coast. From Positano to Ravello, there is a perfect town in the Amalfi Coast for every type of traveler.
What was once a sleepy fishermen’s town is now a coastal hotspot. Go for the cascading colorful buildings along the beach, fresh food, and watersports like kayaking. Positano is perfect for travelers seeking some adventure.
Amalfi is the town most people think of when they think of this region. It’s a cluster of picture-perfect white buildings perched on the edge of the coast. Head to the capital city of Amalfi for calm beaches and a sip of the famous limoncello liqueur.
For a change of pace, head to Ravello. This charming town is known for its music scene. Music lovers flock to the town each year for the Ravello festival along with its stunning architecture.
Things to See in Florence, Italy
One cannot skip Florence while traveling to Italy. The city of Lilies is famous for its iconic structures, great food, and renaissance history. Your first stop in Florence should be witnessing the incredible Santa Maria del Fiore in person. The 15th-century cathedral is the third-largest church in the world and is one of Florence’s most visited attractions.
For the best views of the city, head to Piazzale Michelangelo for sweeping 360 views overlooking Florence. Foodies will love the two-floor food market called Mercato Centrale. This 19th-century food haven sells everything from wine and cheese to fresh pasta and fish. It is believed that Florence is the home of the original gelato shops. Head to Vivoli Gelato, the city’s oldest gelateria — they’ve been producing fresh gelato since the 1930s.
Travel to Tuscany, Italy
If you’re a wine lover – Tuscany is one of the best places to visit in Italy. The rural province in Central Italy is full of history, culture and medieval towns. The regions encompass many different cities which are all famous for differing reasons.
Wine loves should explore Chianti — here you’ll find the finest Italian vineyards. Located between Florence and Siena, you cannot leave without indulging in a wine tasting and vineyard tour. Bucket list travelers should cross Pisa of their list by visiting iconic places like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cattedrale di Pisa.
Art lovers should hop on over to The Uffizi in Florence to explore some of the best art of the Italian Renaissance. If island hopping is more your thing, head to the idyllic island of Giglio. Dotted with stone villages and surrounded by beaches, Giglio is the perfect Amalfi cost alternative.
Located in Northern Italy and just one hour north of Milan, Lake Como is the ultimate getaway. The wishbone-shaped lake sits at the foot of the Alps and is surrounded by beautiful towns with some of the top restaurants in the world. The area also boasts great boutiques and endless watersports. Lake Como seriously has everything you could ever want.
Some things to know when traveling to Italy: there are a lot of cathedrals and seaside views — and Lake Como has both. Architecture lovers shouldn’t skip seeing the Duomo of Como (Catherdral) and are likely to enjoy the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio, too. If adventure is what you seek, head to Jungle Raider Park. The park has everything from ziplining to bungee jumping — if you dare. If you’re a foodie heading to Lake Como then you will be excited to know that the region is brimming with Michelin star restaurants. I Tigli in Theoria is a highly-rated spot serving creative dishes featuring fresh seafood and quality meats.
Spending your days on Lake Como is easy living. Hopping abroad a boat for a day or indulging in watersports is common here. Kayaking, water skiing, and kitesurfing are all popular activities on the Lake making it an ideal destination for the whole family.
What to do in Venice, Italy
One of our top tips for Americans traveling to Italy? Don’t skip Venice. The world-famous city built on the water is popular for many reasons. Here you’ll find the iconic gondolas cruising the grand canal, street performers and endless pasta. Venice is also known for its many world-class art galleries and museums. Keep in mind that Venice is one of Europe’s most popular cities and is often overcrowded during the summer months. We recommended visiting in the low season (fall and winter) if possible.
If you’re wanting to see another side of Venice, head to the City of Water in February for carnival festival. The celebration dates back to Renaissance times and includes festive masquerade style outfits similar to those found at carnival celebration across the Caribbean and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
One of the best day trips to take from Venice is to the colorful island of Burano. Best known for its brightly painted homes, the former fishermen’s village is the perfect place to go for vacation photos. While you’re there, try some of the islands freshest seafood and homemade pasta at Trattoria Al Gatto Nero.
Safety Tips for Traveling in Italy
Italy is a beautiful country that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its own safety concerns. Many cities in Italy have high rates of theft, especially during the tourist seasons. If you’re worried about what cities in Italy to visit, we are always here to be your security and safety resource abroad.