Find out where to spend Italian city breaks to visit the most beautiful cities from north to south and enjoy your foodie breaks in Italy! Here are all the places you should see at least once in your lifetime
Italy is one of the most fascinating countries in the world: history, art, food and wine, and breathtaking landscapes. The Belpaese can offer truly unique moments. It gives you the chance to spend foodie breaks, wellness weekends, romantic short breaks to Italy or weekends completely dedicated to sport and the outdoors.
Here is a small guide of the best-known and least-known itineraries, but which are worth visiting at least once in your life for their beauty. Unusual destinations for Italian city breaks among villages, natural parks, beaches, world-famous monuments and salt pans.
1. Aosta: a town in the mountains
Aosta is a small town in the Aosta Valley. It is surrounded by majestic mountains such as the Becca di Nona and Monte Emilius. Although not that big, this town is a treasure trove of historical wonders, including the Roman Theatre and the Collegiate Church of Sant’Orso. Not just Italian food holidays – you’ll be fascinated by the thousand-year history of this municipality!
Aosta with Italia Delight:
2. The Langhe: between good wine and nature
This destination is perfect for relaxing breaks in Italy immersed in nature. You will taste Italy’s best-known wines. The territory of the Langhe also includes small towns, such as Barolo and Alba with their vineyards and incredible views. During these Italy short breaks, it is worth visiting the most famous wine cellars and wine shops in the world, such as the Enoteca del Barolo, as well as municipalities with characteristic stone structures such as the town of Bergolo.
Italian city breaks in the Langhe with Italia Delight:
3. Ivrea: the capital of the Canavese
In Piedmont, Ivrea is famous not only because the city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019, but also for the Ivrea Carnival, the oldest carnival in Italy. A perfect destination for Italy city breaks immersed in history and literature. Just think that this small town is home to the Roman Amphitheatre and the “Palazzo dalle Rosse Torri” (Palace of the Red Towers), which was so named after the poet Giosuè Carducci.
4. Lake Como: in the Land of the Betrothed
Lake Como is the deepest lake in Italy. At 50 kilometres from Milan, it is certainly one of the most popular destinations for gastronomic tours in Lombardy. Mentioned in the incipit of The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, the Italian poet and novelist, Lake Como is also known for Villa Monastero and Villa Carlotta, two historic villas with wonderful botanical itineraries. Literature enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the “Castle of the Innominate”, dating back to the 14th century and cited by Manzoni in his most famous work.
Italia Delight in Lombardy:
5. Mortara: the city of Lomellina
Mortara is one of the most famous towns in the province of Pavia: it is part of the Lomellina territory and was founded by Celtic peoples. Although it is not one of the largest cities in Lombardy, it offers many opportunities for Italian city breaks. You can spend a weekend where art and games will be the protagonists in this city. Visit the collegiate church of San Lorenzo with its fresco of the Madonna on the Throne with Child. Take part in the famous Palio di Mortara, a competition between the seven districts of the city which takes place every two years.
Taste goose salami in Mortara with Italia Delight:
6. Trentino Alto Adige: land of mountains and enchanted villages
Trentino Alto Adige has been an Italian region with a special statute since 1972. Where to go for an Italian food tour? One of the most enchanting corners of the region is certainly the Cembra Valley, characterised by terraced vineyards supported by the famous dry stone walls. The Cembra Valley produces fine wines, including the famous Chardonnay. Agriculture is very important in the valley, as well as viticulture and fruit growing, especially small fruits such as strawberries and blackberries.
Trentino Alto Adige is also ideal for wonderful breaks in Italy dedicated to walking along Lake Tovel or Lake Braies.
Italian city breaks in Trentino with Italia Delight:
7. Verona: the city of love
Verona is one of the most famous art cities in Veneto. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, the city of love is the setting for the immortal story of Romeo and Juliet. Today it is the favourite tourist destination for many young lovers and has become the ideal place to spend romantic breaks in Italy. It is also known for the Arena, symbol of the city and opera house, and for Juliet’s house. Here you can still admire the balcony from which the damsel looked out for her Romeo.
Italia Delight takes you on a discovery of Verona:
8. Venice: the city of Carnival
Venice is the glittering city on the water that you can visit by boarding a romantic gondola, the famous Venetian boat known throughout the world. For city breaks Italy has much to offer, but… Where better to spend romantic short breaks to Italy than in this city? Visit St. Mark’s Square with its imposing bell tower and the Basilica with its elaborate marble decorations. A city where you can enjoy breathtaking views over the lagoon from every corner. Visit the Bridge of Sighs, one of Venice’s best-known tourist attractions. Don’t forget to plan an Italian food tour in the typical Venetian taverns to taste the famous cicchetti!
Enjoy amazing Italy weekend breaks, with Italia Delight:
9. Modena: in the city of Ferrari
Modena is the city of Ferrari and the birthplace of Luciano Pavarotti. It is the perfect place to spend cultural breaks in Italy. You can visit Modena Cathedral with the tomb of San Gimignano, the city’s patron saint. The city is also famous for its traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena PDO. A stop for a tasting in the Acetaia Comunale and a walk in Piazza Grande are therefore a must during a weekend in Modena to admire the Palazzo Comunale and enjoy the unique charm of the city.
Ideas for short breaks in Italy to explore Modena:
10. Genoa: city of the aquarium (and not only)
Genoa is known for its port, which is now the largest in Italy. It is the perfect tourist destination for Italian city breaks dedicated to discovering Italy’s largest aquarium (and the second largest in Europe). Genoa gives you the chance to enjoy a unique experience: observe the marine world up close. You can also stroll through the characteristic “carruggi” and discover the city with a delicious slice of focaccia genovese in your hands. Or you can admire the Lighthouse of Genoa, built to mark the entrance of ships into the port and testify to the city’s historic naval power.
Tips for weekend breaks in Italy to explore Genoa:
11. Portovenere and the Cinque Terre: in the colours of Liguria
Portovenere, together with the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso and Vernazza), have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997. Where better to go for a weekend than to the most famous tourist destinations in Liguria, immersed in their colours and suspended between the sea and the mountains? You will have the opportunity to visit these villages and be amazed by the views they offer.
Italy city breaks with Italia Delight:
12. San Miniato: halfway between Florence and Pisa
San Miniato is a small Tuscan municipality in the province of Pisa. A village famous above all for its white truffle, where you can spend a food and wine weekend hunting for truffles and tasting wines. An important cultural and historical attraction is the Tower of Frederick II, which was demolished by the Nazis and rebuilt in 1958. A municipality rich in local traditions, which will allow you to dedicate your breaks in Italy to discover traditional Tuscan wines.
In San Miniato, here are our Italian food tour proposals:
13. Val d’Orcia: a valley crossed by the river
The Val d’Orcia is a park immersed in nature in the province of Siena. It includes wonderful villages such as Bagno Vignoni, Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino. Bagno Vignoni is famous for its rectangular pool of hot thermal water, which emerges from an underground aquifer of volcanic origin. Montepulciano is famous for the vineyards that produce the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, making it the perfect destination for a food and wine weekend. Pienza, on the other hand, is the right destination for art lovers, who can visit the village built by Pope Pius II as an incarnation of the Renaissance utopia of the “ideal city”. For those who want to spend their Italian city breaks to discover great Tuscan wines, the perfect destination is Montalcino, as the village is famous for the production of Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
In the villages of Tuscany with Italia Delight:
14. Florence: in the cradle of art
The beauty and majesty of Florence will leave you breathless. A city to visit at least once in your life, where some of the greatest Italian artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Machiavelli worked. It is the cradle of Italian art, thanks to monuments and museums famous throughout the world: the Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Piazza della Signoria. The city is perfect for fantastic breaks in Italy dedicated to art and to taste the finest Tuscan wines, paired with the famous cantucci biscuits. Don’t forget to savour a tasty lampredotto sandwich during your gastronomic tour in Florence!
Italia Delight takes you to discover the beauties of Florence:
15. Grosseto: the refined Tuscan town
It is the ideal town for a relaxing weekend in the heart of Tuscany. A journey between culture with the cathedral of San Lorenzo and nature with the Maremma National Park, a true paradise on earth. In addition to the city of Grosseto, it is worth visiting Saturnia hot springs, the thermal park consisting of a single thermal spring with the Cascate del Mulino waterfalls, and the Etruscan town of Roselle, 8 kilometres from Grosseto. Don’t forget Pitigliano, carved into the tuff and characterised by a fortress that occupies part of the town. Grosseto is the ideal starting point for Italian city breaks to enjoy Tuscan cuisine or delicious Maremma soups.
Ideas for Italian city breaks in Grosseto with Italia Delight:
16. Campofilone: the town of pasta
Campofilone is a small medieval village nestled in the Marche countryside, best known for its ancient egg pasta. It is the perfect location for Italian food holidays dedicated to pasta lovers. Near the village, you can visit the production workshop and learn more about the history of a product dating back to the Council of Trent. Maccheroncini di Campofilone is a very thin type of pasta, which cooks in just one minute and is very often cooked directly in the sauce.
Italy city breaks in Le Marche with Italia Delight:
17. Spello: the city of flowers
Spello is a small Umbrian town famous for its flower displays and flower-filled alleyways. It is also famous for truffle, which is excellent in the area. It is part of the “I Borghi più belli d’Italia” Association and the citizens are committed to maintaining this role with pride by embellishing their balconies with floral decorations. A dive into history and art, which will make you admire the gates of Spello, the walls of Roman origin, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which preserves wonderful Romanesque friezes.
Gastronomic tours in Spello with Italia Delight:
18. Montefalco: in the wine village
Among the most beautiful villages in Italy, Montefalco offers suggestive views. Thanks to its geographical position, it has been given the nickname of the “Balcony of Umbria”. From the highest point of the village, you can admire beautiful views over Assisi, Spoleto and Spello. It is best known for the production of famous red wines, including Montefalco Rosso DOC and Sagrantino Montefalco Passito DOCG.
Get to know Montefalco wine with Italia Delight:
19. Viterbo: the city of the Popes
It is the city with the largest historic centre in Europe and had been the papal seat for over 20 years. The central core of the city, with narrow alleys and small balconies, creates a pleasant atmosphere for a walk to discover two beautiful buildings of Viterbo: the Palazzo dei Papi and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. The city is also known for the festival of Santa Rosa, which is celebrated every 3 September. In her honour, over 100 men carry an illuminated tower with the statue of the saint on top. The ideal place to spend weekend breaks in Italy among hazelnuts, olive oil and truffles!
Discovering Viterbo with Italia Delight:
20. Rome: the eternal city
Rome will enchant you with its breathtaking views, the alleys of the historic centre, the fountains and the majestic palaces. It houses the works of many famous artists, who have worked to make this city even more beautiful. Start exploring the city by visiting the Flavian Amphitheatre, known as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese, St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel. There is also room for those who want to indulge in a gastronomic tour. Stroll through Trastevere and enjoy a maritozzo with cream. Or sit down at a table in a typical osteria to taste traditional Roman dishes such as spaghetti alla carbonara, rigatoni con la pajata, abbacchio scottadito and carciofi alla giudia.
In the capital with Italia Delight:
21. Naples: the city of Pulcinella
The warmth of this city is truly incredible, from the alleyways of the Quartieri Spagnoli to the shops that make pizza a portafoglio or cuoppo di fritto to enjoy as you walk. Famous for the imposing Piazza del Plebiscito and the view over Mount Vesuvius, Naples is the perfect destination for Italian city breaks when you love art and relaxation, but also food and wine.
Discover Naples with Italia Delight:
22. Matera: the City of Stones
One of the oldest cities in the world, Matera is characterised by its typical Palaeolithic structure with houses carved into the rock. You can sleep in the ancient caves, which are now modern residences with all the comforts. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1993. Perfect for a relaxing weekend in Italy!
Italy Short Breaks: where else but in Matera with Italia Delight:
23. Polignano a mare and Trani: the two pearls of the South
For city breaks Italy has got two perfect destinations in Puglia. Polignano a mare is world famous for its sea caves and is ideal for a relaxing weekend between nature and sea. The town is characteristic for its narrow streets, white houses and flowered balconies. Trani, on the other hand, is mainly known for its port, which is now the symbol of the city. It is a perfect destination for history lovers, who can visit the city’s Fortino, and for food lovers, who can taste traditional Apulian dishes while enjoying the warmth of this city.
Italia Delight in Polignano a mare and Trani:
24. Salento: discovering the Heel of Italy
This corner of Italy offers a mix of flavours and traditions that will make you experience an amazing Italian food tour. Among the cities to see at least once there is certainly Lecce, which will surprise you with its history and beauty, Gallipoli with its crystal clear sea, Otranto is famous for its old town and New Year’s Eve. Finally, there is Ostuni, characterised by its typical white colour houses.
Italian city breaks in the heart of Salento:
25. Ragusa: the city of bridges
Characterised by its beautiful Baroque architecture, Ragusa will leave you breathless. It is the perfect destination for those wishing to visit archaeological sites or to enjoy gastronomic tours among extra virgin olive oil, Sicilian cannoli with ricotta and ancient grains.
Visit Ragusa with Italia Delight:
26. Bronte: the city of green pistachios
This is the ideal city for pistachio lovers. Famous for the production of Pistacchio di Bronte PDO, it is perfect for those who can’t wait to taste this Sicilian food! It is also known for its centuries-old history, which can be experienced by visiting monuments such as the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Annunziata and the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Ideas for Italian city breaks in Bronte with Italia Delight:
27. Racalmuto: in the hometown of Leonardo Sciascia
This city is a mix of history and literature: you can visit the Leonardo Sciascia Foundation and admire the statue of the writer. History lovers can also visit the Chiaramontano Castle. It is also perfect for Italian food holidays in the footsteps of Sicilian culinary traditions.
Italy weekend breaks to explore Sicily with Italia Delight:
28. Marsala: the city of Garibaldi’s landing
Read and re-read in the history books for being Giuseppe Garibaldi’s first destination, Marsala offers you amazing Italy city breaks to discover the Sicilian wine tradition: taste the famous Marsala wine, visit the vineyards overlooking the sea and savour traditional recipes.
Explore Marsala and its surroundings with Italia Delight:
29. Mamoiada: the town of the dark masks
Characterised by its typical black masks, worn by its inhabitants at certain times of the year such as Carnival, Mamoiada is also famous for its centuries-old vineyards. You can taste traditional Sardinian wines, including the legendary Cannonau di Sardegna DOC.
A weekend in Mamoiada with Italia Delight:
What better way to surprise your loved one than an Italy food tour package dedicated to discovering unique places and flavours?