Wondering where to go in Italy? In a country with such glorious weather, delectable food, sublime scenery and a rich culture, it’s hard to know where to head first. Our guide reveals the best cities to visit in Italy and the top attractions to include in your travel plans for an unforgettable experience.
All roads lead to Rome. Yes indeed. Of all the cities to visit in Italy, be sure to include this iconic capital in your itinerary and witness first-hand why Rome is one of the most popular and romantic holiday destinations.
With its ruins, basilicas, piazzas and fountains, Rome will have you reaching for your camera like an Instagram-addict. If you love art and history, Rome will impress you with fabulous paintings, sculptures and ancient treasures.
Naturally, you’ll also want to see the city’s most famous landmarks, and there are plenty of things to do in Rome. Whether it’s the splendour of the Trevi Fountain, the awe-inspiring Colosseum or the holy atmosphere inside the Vatican—a tour around Rome is a sensational experience.
Best time to visit: The weather from March to May is pleasant. However, we suggest you avoid Rome in August, as it’s the hottest month and gets quiet as most locals close their shop to head to the coast for their holidays. You may also wish to visit in September to November, if you don’t mind the rain. While the summer seasons are quite pleasant to visit, Rome in winter has its own charm that is unparalleled to the warmer seasons.
A trip to Italy would be incomplete without seeing the famous ‘City of Bridges.’ This romantic city will steal your heart. A cliché but unmissable activity is a relaxing ride in a gondola, admiring the ancient Italian palaces and photogenic facades from the water. You can also hop aboard one of the many vaporettos that transport people around Venice, or take an excursion to a nearby island such as Murano, which is famous for its gorgeous glass.
There are so many incredible buildings built on the Venetian Lagoon. Pay a visit to St Mark’s Basilica and Square or the ostentatious interiors of Doge’s Palace. It is clear to see why the architecture of Venice has drawn millions of visitors for centuries.
Best time to visit: Go to Venice in the cooler months of March, April or May, or after July and August. Head to Venice in February and you’ll be immersed in a festival of masks, costumes and street parties for the annual carnevale, a festival that always draws millions of visitors eager to experience the biggest masquerade in the world. For more sights and activities in one of the world’s most romantic destinations, check out our guide on top 12 things to do in Venice.
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth and a must-visit for any traveller to Italy. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of Tuscany, one of the country’s most picturesque regions, so you have the option of exploring stunning Italian countryside too.
Get out to the olive groves and lush vineyards and find a quiet village market to try some yummy Tuscan food. Spring in Tuscany is also the perfect time to catch the area’s famous food festivals, with ‘Taste Florence’ held in March each year and the Gelato Festival in April, and you don’t want to miss Florence’s popular Easter fireworks spectacle Scoppio del Carro either.
If you love Renaissance art and all things Da Vinci, the city of Florence is perfect. There’s Da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation’ and Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ at the Uffizi Galleries, and Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery, but be aware, there will certainly be long queues during the months of June and July—art lovers can easily find a piece of heaven here.
Don’t miss Il Duomo, the city’s striking basilica that took 140 years to complete. Huge and incredibly beautiful, climb the 463 steps to the cupola to get awesome panoramic views of Florence.
Best time to visit: Florence is at its best in the springtime. Head here between March and June or September-November for the most comfortable weather. Avoid August, when most of the city closes up for the annual holidays.
It’s no surprise that Naples stands out for its phenomenal Italian dishes. As the motherland of pizza, Neapolitans proudly declare that their city has the best cuisine in Italy. However, this does not take from the fact that Naples or Italy in general offers much more than just pizza and pasta— try some of the best foods that Italy has to offer.
There are various things to do Naples and stuffing yourself with delicious Italian food is just one of them. In the crazy chaos of one of Europe’s most populated cities you’ll also find jaw-dropping examples of architecture and art. We recommend you check out The National Museum of Archaeology if you admire ancient Greek and Roman art.
For a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Napoli, take a train out to Pompeii and Herculaneum, two Roman towns that were destroyed by eruptions from Vesuvius in ancient times. Even if archaeology isn’t your thing, the sites present a compelling story and a grim reminder of the power of Mother Nature.
Best time to visit: Naples is most enjoyable in the cooler months between March and May, and September to November. Visit in June for the annual Pizzafest.
Tucked away to the south-east of the Alps, this understated northern city often plays second fiddle to typically Italian cities like Rome, Florence and Venice. But you’ll find Turin’s cool, elegant charm in its ordered boulevards and expansive piazzas. It’s a city perfect for quiet walks and contemplation.
Discover Turin’s royal history as the former capital of unified Italy. As well as palazzos all over the city. You can also find Turin’s equivalent of Versailles La Venaria (an opulent palace) 10 km outside the city is worth the trip out of town.
Chocoholics will be happy to learn that Turin is the chocolate capital of Italy. There’s a chocolate festival held in late November to early December each year, and the hazelnut and chocolate blend gianduja (the original Nutella recipe) comes from Turin too. There are more café’s per capita in Turin than any other Italian city, beautifully decorated in art nouveau style. You’ll easily find a cosy place to enjoy a cup of the city’s signature drink ‘bicerin’ (a hot chocolate made with espresso coffee and whipped cream) which is simply divine.
Best time to visit: Visit Turin in November to early December to get a chance to witness the annual chocolate festival.
When it comes to beauty, sunshine, enticing food and rich culture, Italy wins hands down. We’re sure you’ll agree that our top five destinations are worth heading to. Discover more tours and holidays in Italy and start planning your Italian experience today!