What are the best places to visit in Italy from north to south? Today I reveal all the best places in Italy to visit at least once in your lifetime!
I am delighted that you have come this far… I assure you that this is not just a travel guide! It is a whirlwind of emotions into which you will be catapulted, thanks to the tales of mystical landscapes and enchanting destinations. We’ll delve into the most beautiful places to visit in Italy together!
Italy is unique and I want to show it to you… Pictureque villages and amazing towns rich in history and charm, incredible lakes, sea and mountains complete a picture that makes this peninsula worthy of being experienced to the full and without limits.
I don’t know you, so I don’t know what your travel preferences are, but I’m sure you too will be won over by the endless activities to do around Italy.
Are you a food lover? Italy is the right place.
Are you a culture and art lover? Italy is the right place.
Are you a nature lover? Italy is definitely the right place for you.
There are plenty of breathtaking views and places to see in Italy. I suggest you read on, if you want to make this day unforgettable! 😍
The 32 best places to visit in Italy, all in one go!
But where to go in Italy then? I want to guide you on this magnificent journey from north to south through the top places to visit in Italy, so that you will be left speechless.
Food and wine, nature and culture are aspects that distinguish Italy, as they are for the 32 destinations I am about to reveal to you… Don’t hesitate to read on! I’m about to recommend you the best places to go in Italy! 👇
Among the popular places to visit in Italy, Val d’Aosta is a must! Here, overwhelmed by an extremely wild nature, you can admire the most enchanting castles of the entire peninsula, including the Fenis Castle and the Bard Fortress, truly magnificent masterpieces.
You can’t miss Aosta, the capital of the region. Here, between a visit to the Roman theatre and a stop in Piazza Chanoux, you can savour local delicacies such as chamois chivet or dishes based on Fontina PDO, such as fondue.
And what about breathtaking landscapes? I recommend a trip to Courmayeur, where, once you take the Skyway cable car, you can admire Mont Blanc in all its splendour, as well as having a great view of Monte Rosa.
Do you know where you can find the biggest open-air market in Europe? That’s right, in Turin, in Piazza Porta Palazzo!
Here, pampered by incredible food and wine mastered by agnolotti, a fresh pasta stuffed with meat, and vitello tonnato, you can accompany your meals with a sauce made with garlic, olive oil and anchovies really popular in the city, the so-called bagna cauda.
Needless to say, you absolutely must visit the Egyptian Museum… Did you know that it is the second largest in the world in terms of historical artefacts?
And so, sitting in one of the open-air cafés in Piazza San Carlo, you can enjoy an excellent glass of Barolo wine. Visiting Italy has never been easier!
Immediately greeted by the 121 metres of pure majesty of the dome of San Gaudenzio, you will be incredibly charmed! Novara is a small quiet city, suitable for your needs.
I have a little curiosity for you: together with Vercelli, Novara produces 50% of Italian rice, which corresponds to 25% of Europe’s total production… Isn’t that incredible!
That’s why you must try the traditional dishes, based on this all-Italian excellence. In particular, try Paniscia, a very poor man’s dish, and risottos, including risotto with gorgonzola. Now tell me that Novara is not one of the best places to visit in Italy!
Ah… Don’t forget to visit the historic centre, in particular the Visconti Castle and the Coccia Theatre, which is reminiscent of Milan’s La Scala Theatre. Novara is definitely one of the places to see in Italy!
Among the most interesting places to visit in Italy in terms of nature, landscape and wine culture, the Langhe deserve an honourable mention!
With so many places to see and so many castles to explore in these provinces of Cuneo and Asti, you can’t fail to visit the wonderful villages of Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco and Treiso.
If you don’t want to spend your time in this area in a hurry, my advice is to take the time to visit one of the many wineries. Savour local wines, such as Barolo DOCG, but also the famous Barbaresco. Admire the vineyards stretching for kilometres in a dreamlike atmosphere.
5. The great lakes of Northern Italy
Northern Italy is famous for its beautiful lakes, so I ask you: what else is there to see in Italy but these destinations I’m about to describe?
Shared between Italy and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is the second largest in Italy, while Lake Como is the deepest. It is here that you can admire the magnificent villages on its shores: Cavagnola, Soldino and Brienno.
On the other hand, if you want to try an exceptional wine such as Lugana, you can’t miss Lake Garda. It presents itself in all its beauty just outside Verona!
If you want to spend a weekend of pure relaxation in these must see places in Italy, you absolutely must try the lake fish, including perch, carp and agon… Really good!
6. Milan & Pavia
There are plenty of places to visit in Italy, I assure you, and Milan is clearly one of them. In a relatively small historic centre, you can easily visit the main attractions such as the Duomo and the Castello Sforzesco on foot.
If you’re interested, you can buy a ticket and enjoy a live show at La Scala theatre, one of the most beautiful in the world! I’d say it’s time to take a trip to Milan… The home of fashion and design is definitely one of the best places to see in Italy!
Hoping you’re a food lover, I’ll reveal two lesser-known dishes than the typical cotoletta alla milanese and ossobuco risotto. I am talking about pizzoccheri and mondeghili, special meatballs.
If you have time, I also recommend you go to Pavia. It is a very quiet university town, known for the beauty of its ancient palaces.
7. Trentino Alto Adige
On the border with Switzerland and Austria, Trentino Alto Adige is a wonderful region for nature lovers who want to relax in a spa. Here you will taste canederli, typical meatballs: you will become crazy!
And so, while skiing in the Dolomites, you will finally discover that you have reached inner peace…
Clearly, I have focused on nature, but it must be said that the Italian cities to be seen in Trentino are also real gems. So I suggest you take long walks in the alleys of Trento and Bolzano, you won’t regret it!
Verona is one of the top Italian cities to visit, I always suggest it to everyone!
You will surely know it as the city of love, having grown up since childhood with the famous story of Romeo and Juliet, one of William Shakespeare’s most beautiful plays.
In addition to visiting the historic centre, a jewel more unique than rare, it might be smart to spend a day at the Sigurtà Park. With its overwhelming charm, it was named the most beautiful park in Italy in 2013.
In April, don’t miss Vinitaly… During this event, thousands of people will be linked by a passion: wine! At the idea of tasting Amarone or Recioto della Valpolicella, aren’t you still convinced that Verona is one of the favorite places in Italy?
I say yes, also because the list of what to see in Verona would be very long.
9. Conegliano and Valdobbiadene
Now we find ourselves catapulted into the Veneto, in the areas where the famous prosecco wine is produced. Discovering the best of Italy while immersing yourself in the heart of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene is a truly unique experience.
My advice to you is very simple: taste Conegliano Valdobbiadene prosecco superiore DOCG, a special wine produced with a second fermentation in an autoclave. But don’t forget to take the Prosecco Route, a wonderful path that will fascinate you with its vineyards and taverns!
Conegliano and Valdobbiadene are two gems among our places to visit in Italy… There are many Italian destinations, but these territories really deserve special attention!
Do you have doubts about your next holiday? Run now to see Venice, without missing the wonderful islands of Burano and Murano!
A great idea is to breathe in the spring atmosphere. Wander through the alleys and admire the spectacular views that only its bridges and canals can offer.
This trip to discover Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, will leave you speechless.
Are you a lively soul who wants to experience Venice’s nightlife? Make sure you stop off at the city’s characteristic bacari. You can enjoy yourself sipping a spritz and tasting the typical sardines in saor.
But wait a second… This magnificent city also keeps the unique beauty of Murano and Burano, small jewels famous for their long traditions of glass blowing and lace making.
Trieste is a city with an ancient history, influenced by maritime peoples and Austria, which lies on the border. It is absolutely one of the best places in Italy to visit!
In the land where confetti was invented, you have to stop at one of the typical taverns. Here you can treat yourself to an excellent tagliolini broth and find shelter from the Bora, the wind that dominates the city.
Why not eat in one of the restaurants near Piazza Unità d’Italia? It’s the largest sea-facing square in Europe.
If you have time, you should absolutely visit San Daniele del Friuli and see for yourself the home of San Daniele ham PDO.
What better place to see in Italy than Genoa! Let yourself be captivated by a city that has so much to offer in terms of culture and entertainment!
What if you only had the chance to see one thing in Genoa? I would definitely say spend a day at the Aquarium, home to over 15 000 animals from 400 different species. It is known for being the second largest aquarium in the world at the time of its construction… Don’t you think this is fascinating?
I’m sure that once you’ve left the Aquarium, you’ll be looking forward to sampling the local delicacies, including pesto genovese and farinata, a famous local focaccia.
13. Cinque Terre
In this list, you cannot miss one of the places to visit in Italy that will fascinate you the most… the Cinque Terre!
A land of charm that only a few Italian sites can boast. The Cinque Terre represent nature’s revenge on the city, offering wonderful views and incredible cliffs overlooking the sea.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain the reason for the name of this unique territory! Everything is linked to the 5 ancient villages that are part of it: Vernazza, Monterosso, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Now that you have discovered this wonderful place, all you have to do is leave and enjoy a land of a thousand opportunities!
14. The Western Ligurian Riviera
Ohhh… The magnificent Riviera di Ponente! It is a true paradise for nature lovers. Surrounded by Mediterranean maquis in a landscape of olive and citrus trees, this place in Italy will enchant even the most tormented souls.
The sea, which is so blue that you can easily see yourself in it, is also a must!
The time has come to enjoy this fascinating place to the full, strolling through the unforgettable alleyways of the town of flowers. You will surely know it by the name of Sanremo, famous for the Italian song festival. Not bad, right?
Have you never tasted Modenese tortellini stuffed with prosciutto crudo? I wouldn’t believe it, even if you told me!
Modena is undoubtedly one of the must see cities in Italy, not only for its ancient history but also for the charm that makes it unique in the world. Ferrari and balsamic vinegar are just a little part of what makes this place incredible!
And after visiting the Museum of Stickers and the Civic Museums, you should absolutely try the “tigelle”, typical bread filled with the delicious Modena ham PDO… The taste is guaranteed!
Here’s a gem of a city to see: now you can’t say you don’t know where to go in Italy!
16. Rimini and Riccione
Here’s where I make even the most party-goers happy! It is in Emilia-Romagna that Rimini and Riccione are located. Every year these two seaside resorts are the destination of many people from all over Italy, but also from abroad.
If you want to spend a few days by the sea, lying on a sun bed, and then have fun in the clubs in the evening, Rimini and Riccione are absolutely the places for you!
If you have any doubts about your next holiday, know that on the list of best places to visit in Italy, Rimini and Riccione are definitely on there…
Stop what you’re doing right now and book a holiday in Tuscany as soon as possible! Among the places to see in Italy, Tuscany is a must. It is fascinating for its culture, as well as for its food and wine that is the envy of the world.
Ranging from historic wines such as Chianti, to the finest types of extra virgin olive oil, this land is rich in ancient cities and magnificent villages that rise near the best scenery in Italy.
There is no need to mention the unmistakable beauty of Florence, the charm of Pisa, the wonderful medieval atmosphere of Siena and the infinite wine culture of Montepulciano.
Falling in love with Tuscany is easy, forgetting it is very difficult, always remember that!
18. Urbino, Recanati, Ancona
Not sure where to go in Italy? Don’t miss out on these amazing places to visit in Central Italy! If you are a fan of architecture, Urbino and its Renaissance style should be on your list of places to see.
Between Recanati, known for the famous poet Giacomo Leopardi, and Ancona, where you can enjoy the crystal-clear sea, you really have no excuse to avoid a trip to Le Marche.
The only possible excuse could be that you don’t want to gain weight! Because I assure you that Ascoli olives and ciauscolo are so good that you want to eat more and more of them!
Here is the perfect region for truffle hunting: Umbria.
The amazing Umbrian towns immediately overwhelm you with their charm and stories. With its ancient past linked to Saint Francis Assisi is truly a marvel for the eyes and a must-see place of interest.
At the same time, I recommend a visit to Spello, a small village that during the famous Flower Festival held in June is filled with colours and flowers. A spectacle that leaves tourists from all over the world speechless.
Among the most fascinating villages you have the opportunity to see, there is Montefalco. Here you can sip its fine DOC red wine and the legendary Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, with a view of the surrounding nature… An experience not to be missed!
Just an hour’s drive from Rome, the Tuscia area exudes charm from every pore. Famous and appreciated throughout Italy for its delicious Roman hazelnuts PDO, Tuscia will make you fall in love with its beauty and enchanting treasures.
Is it or is it not one of the top places to go in Italy? You already know my answer…
Civita di Bagnoregio, “the dying city”, is definitely worth a visit and is one of the best places in Italy to visit.
However, I would also like to point out the Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo, an enchanting surprise to be experienced together with the family and children, who are always intrigued by the mystery.
About Rome there is very little to add to what you already know. Its majesty is known overseas and is worthy of the utmost respect.
As a large metropolitan city of almost 3 million inhabitants, whatever you want to do, you can be sure that it will be done, as well as whatever you want to visit or eat. The capital of the world has something for everyone, including you!
Of all the places to see in Italy, if you haven’t already, Rome is definitely one of the top! Colosseum, St Peter’s, Castel Sant’Angelo… The list of tourist spots could go on and on, but I want to give you more ideas on the best of Italy, exploring many more beautiful places!
22. Lake Bracciano
What could be better than jumping on the shore of the lake and being spoilt with local fish recipes?
Lake Bracciano has a lot more to offer, such as boat trips or other sporting activities like windsurfing and canoeing… Why not try them for the first time, right here, in one of the best places to go in Italy?
Between pike, eel and fried dairy fish, I can assure you that lunch will satisfy you, and a lot! Come on… There are so many other cool places to visit in Italy, read them all!
Ponza is an island near Rome where nature, blue sea and good food find a perfect balance.
The sea is so crystal clear and full of life that pleasant snorkelling activities are organised, and this also allows you to explore some of the mysterious caves on the island.
In this little gem far from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is a clear appreciation for shellfish. It can be seen in the island’s typical dishes, such as spaghetti with spider crab!
What more can you say? Pack your suitcase and be ready for this special adventure…Ponza is one of the best places to visit in Italy!
Among the top places to see in Italy, Molise is definitely not a second choice! Molise is much more than a land famous for its high-quality extra virgin olive oil and excellent wines.
Would you like to hear the bells tolling? I’m not telling you this by chance… In fact, Agnone is famous for being the ancient seat of production of papal bells, and in particular I want to mention the Pontificia Marinelli bell foundry.
If you want to go skiing and visit incredible archaeological sites, Campobasso is the place for you! In Capracotta, I can assure you that fun is guaranteed and that the Apennines are as well prepared as the Alps for its ski facilities.
Molise is waiting for you! What are you waiting for to put on your boots?
25. Naples and Campania
It’s time to conquer Campania and savour the best Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO you’ve ever eaten!
It is mandatory to visit Italy by going to magical places like Ischia. It is fantastic for its natural thermal baths that regenerate body and mind.
But if you like nature, I would strongly recommend an adventure in the heart of the Amalfi Coast and in particular in the Path of the Gods, a place capable of offering breathtaking views and unique emotions.
Don’t forget to come to Naples… You already know you have to try the pizza or pasta with potatoes and provola cheese, a speciality from Campania!
26. Vulture Regional Park
Who doesn’t want to spend some quality time away from big city traffic?
If so, you must visit the Vulture Regional Natural Park, one of the best places to visit in Italy. Here you will be able to experience unforgettable excursions in contact with wild nature, appreciating the wonderful medieval villages.
Do you know the Sveva water and the Lilia water? Both come from underground springs in Rionero in Vulture, an extremely pretty town.
Not to mention Melfi, right at the foot of Mount Vulture, whose famous castle has seen the settlement of many different peoples.
Finally, I would like to mention Barile and Rapolla, two picturesque villages. There you can taste the excellent local recipes (poor but tasty), typical of the peasant lifestyle, just as you can in the rest of Basilicata. An example? The broad bean and chicory soup, a perfect match in the mouth because of the contrast between bitter and sweet.
In this area, you can get in touch with the deep local wine culture, tasting the famous Aglianico del Vulture DOCG.
Ready to hear about one of the best places in Italy to visit?
Fascinating enough to be used as the filming location for the new Agent 007 movie, Matera is undoubtedly an Italian city to visit at least once in your lifetime… And that’s not just me saying it, just take a look at the awards it has received, including being named European Capital of Culture 2019.
A real jewel hidden in the mountains of Basilicata… Every time I think about it my heart beats! As you walk through the narrow streets of the town, you can admire the dwellings, carved right into the mountain.
Are you interested in extreme sports? Don’t worry, this wish can also be fulfilled nearby: between Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano you can take part in the Flight of the Angel.
I would also recommend a trip to Craco, which is famous for having become a ghost town following a landslide in the 1980s… We are talking about a village perched on the hills that still retains its unique beauty!
28. Polignano a Mare
This place is now famous all over the world for its fairy-tale sea and the breathtaking views it offers. Did you know that it was this very place that fascinated singer Domenico Modugno to the point of dedicating a song to it?
Oh yes… Caletta Lama Monachile was the inspiration for the writing of “Volare”, a song that all of us know well.
Of all the places to visit in Italy, Polignano a Mare cannot be left off your list… There is no way in the world that you could miss the opportunity to see its wonderful natural caves and take a well-deserved swim in the sea, one that you will never forget in your life!
Also known as the “Lady of Baroque” due to the Spanish dominations that completely transformed the city’s architectural style during the 1600s, Lecce is a place that encapsulates centuries of culture and unique charm thanks to its enviable beaches.
I highly recommend you try the quatara, a typical soup made with fish and shellfish, and pair it with a glass of Primitivo di Manduria DOC, a truly exceptional red wine.
Lecce is definitely one of the best places to see in Italy… Are you telling me you haven’t visited it yet? Why don’t you buy a train ticket?
Since ancient times, Calabria is a region that has witnessed many peoples with a glorious past, from the Greeks to the Romans and the Arabs. So many great places to visit in Italy, don’t you think?
Famous for many cured meats that have been awarded the PDO certification, including pancetta and Capocollo di Calabria, this land is the gateway to paradise… What do I mean? Its archaeological heritage as well as food and wine culture leave no room for misunderstanding!
Needless to say, between a visit to Crotone and a visit to Tropea, a little gem with white beaches, you will be overwhelmed by the charm of this region.
And if you’ve never eaten ‘nduja spread on a slice of bread, this is the day to do it.
Are you ready for our penultimate stop? Well, you need to pay attention because I am about to tell you about Sicily, one of the most beautiful islands in the whole world!
We move from Marzamemi, the fishermen’s village, to the unparalleled sea of Trapani. Finally we go to the capital, Palermo, the city where two figures were born who gave hope to an Italy in disarray: Falcone and Borsellino.
But among the cool places to visit in Italy and especially in Sicily, there is much more to talk about! Sicily is famous for its Baroque cities, including Ragusa, Siracusa and Agrigento. They are rich in spectacular architectural and artistic heritage.
Now I ask you: have you ever tasted Modica chocolate? I assure you it’s scary good….
And did you know that Marsala, as well as being known for its homonymous liqueur wine, was also the place where Garibaldi’s Thousands landed in search of a higher goal: the Unification of Italy?
I’ll tell you more: you should absolutely go on an excursion to Mount Etna, an active volcano that is the symbol of this region. Now that you know all about Sicily, what are you waiting for?
The list of top destinations in Italy ends with the home of Cannonau DOC: Sardinia. The regional capital is Cagliari, one of the places you must visit, just like the Maddalena Archipelago. The latter is made up of small islands bathed by completely blue waters and surrounded by magnificent corals. They can be admired thanks to the snorkelling activities that are organised.
I know, your mind is wandering and you’re thinking about the crystal clear sea of this world-famous island. But I assure you that the coastline is just the tip of the iceberg that this enchanting place has to offer!
Have you ever been inland to Sardinia? With forests, incredible villages and the Mediterranean maquis living and thriving undisturbed, the hinterland encapsulates the history and culture of this ancient region and its inhabitants. Among the best places to visit in Italy, Sardinia is definitely at the top!
Too bad… This incredible trip we took together is over! But now you have no more excuses and you have to visit Italy! Arm yourself with passion and a big smile on your lips… If not today, when? Travel and taste Italy, come on! 😉
Cover photo: Pixabay, BrotherSnare