Are you familiar with Italy by region? Although it might seem overwhelming, knowing the regions of Italy is an excellent place to start if you are planning a trip!
You can think of the country as 20 regions. These are similar to provinces or states. Which regions are best to visit? Here’s help!
International travelers often overlook the rural region of Abruzzo near central Italy. This is a shame because it has beautiful scenery, mountains, and beaches that make it a great place to “get away”. It’s also a popular place for tourists to visit, although many Italians do travel there. This is partly due to the fact that rural Abruzzo has been plagued by poverty for many years. Although things have improved recently, Abruzzo’s recovery was hampered by the 2009 earthquake that devastated L’Aquila (the region’s capital).
You want to visit Abruzzo if you: Love the outdoors and want to see “authentic Italy”, but you don’t have the means to drive (public transport isn’t the best); you want an active vacation; you need to travel on a tight budget (it’s usually quite affordable to stay in Abruzzo and eat there, especially when compared to other areas). ).
Aosta Valley lies in the northwest corner, between France, Switzerland, and Piemont. This area is, as you might guess, mountainous. This region is bordered by the Alps, which include Mont Blanc (here “Monte Bianco”) which is shared with France, and the Matterhorn, which is shared with Switzerland. Culturally and culinarily, the region is rich in diversity.
History buffs will find plenty of information here: Aosta is the capital and contains many amazing ancient Roman ruins. Other towns have medieval castles. Aosta Valley, an autonomous region, is also interesting politically. It is also one of the most wealthy regions in Italy, despite its agricultural heritage.
You want to visit Aosta Valley if You love winter sports, particularly skiing and snowboarding. If it’s summer you would love to hike or do other outdoor activities.
Basilicata, the southern region, is found in the boot of Italy. It is large and rural with a low population density. There are also lots of mountains and countryside. The Apennines run through it. Basilicata has been home to people since the Palaeolithic period. You can still visit the Neolithic cave dwellings of Matera in Basilicata, which is also a World Heritage site. Basilicata, one of Italy’s most impoverished regions, is also one of it’s most beautiful. It is filled with tiny villages, forests, lakes, and other beauty spots.
You’re driving to Basilicata (public transport is not great); you love the outdoors; active holidays are for you; you don’t have a lot of money, and you’re just as obsessed with Matera as we are.
Calabria, another southern region that is a must-see, sits in the “toe” of Italy’s boot. It is home to many beautiful beaches, as you would expect. It’s also mountainous so it’s ideal for hiking. Calabria, like most of Italy’s southern regions, has historically been quite poor. Despite its natural treasures and long stretches of beautiful coastline, Calabria is still quite poor. It’s relatively underdeveloped in comparison to other European seaside destinations.
You want to visit Calabria but still get away from the crowds. You’re on a tight budget and want to experience the best of southern Italy from its food to its small towns.
The southern region in Campania has much to offer, including the fascinating and chaotic Naples (here are nine reasons to not miss Naples). From the stunning islands of Capri, Ischia, and the world-famous ruins of Pompeii to the famous Amalfi Coast, Campania is Italy’s second-largest region. It has also struggled with poverty in its past. However, it has many off-the-beaten path destinations. We love Paestum which has the most beautiful ancient Greek ruins in Italy, as well as Salerno which is a busy, untouristy town along the Amalfi Coast.
You want to experience Italy’s sun-soaked south but have limited time. If you love Naples, you will love Italy’s most famous coast (here 5 reasons why we love the Amalfi Coast). You don’t need a car to get around Campania. However, you can easily use public transport to reach the most popular areas.
Emilia-Romagna, which stretches across northern Italy is rich and has the third-highest GDP per head in Italy. It is also a delight to visit. It is home to Renaissance cities such as Bologna, Ferrara, and Modena. There are beautiful stretches along the coast and, arguably the best Italian cuisine. Here you will find Parmigiano-Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. Ravenna is also a World Heritage-listed town known for its Byzantine mosaics. Here are 8 reasons why you should visit Emilia-Romagna.
You want to visit Emilia-Romagna, but they aren’t as touristy or crowded as Florence and Venice. You have a love for Italian sports cars (Ferrari Lamborghini Maserati, Maserati, De Tomaso, Ducati, Maserati, Maserati all have their headquarters here); you want the chance to try some of Italy’s most famous dishes, right where they are!
This small region is located in the northeast corner of Italy and borders Austria/Slovenia. It is an independent region like the Aosta valley, which accounts for its unique cultural heritage. Despite being small, Friuli boasts both mountains and seaside, as it is home to the last section the Alps. This region is markedly different from the rest of Italy in everything, including its cuisine and language. It’s rightfully proud of this!
You’re interested in outdoor activities and winter sports. You want to experience a different region of Italy with a multi-cultural background.
Lazio is well-known because it is home to Rome! It’s also home to the third largest population in Italy. This central region is home to more than just the capital of Italy. Lazio, named after “Latium”, has sandy beaches along its coast and small hills further inland. It is home to many famous lakes like Bracciano, Albano, and the beautiful Castelli Romani hills. There are also medieval towns and Renaissance gardens, and great archaeological sites like Ostia Antica. (Don’t forget to check out our post about the hidden treasures of the Lazio area!
Visit Lazio You’re eager to see Italy’s capital, and you love to combine city sightseeing with small towns, ancient ruins and lush country; you are a history buff.
This region is a little-known part of central Italy. It’s hilly and mountainous and boasts a long stretch along the Adriatic coast. It was once poor and agricultural in its past, but today it is well-known for its specialized industries like furniture and textiles. Tourists are also very popular in this region, although there are fewer visitors than in other parts of Italy. This is due to the beautiful beaches, mountains and small towns.
Liguria, a narrow strip of land along the coast of northwestern Italy, is bordered by France, Piedmont, and Tuscany. Liguria is known for its beautiful coastline, but not necessarily its beaches. The coast of Liguria tends to be rugged and rocky. It also has a rich maritime history. Genoa, the capital of Liguria, was a major maritime state in the Middle Ages, and Renaissance, and was the home of Christopher Columbus. Tourists know Liguria for its many resort towns like Portofino and Cinque Terre.
Lombardy can be found in northern Italy, near Switzerland. It is the wealthiest region in Italy (Lombardy has a strong presence in the areas of service, industry, and agriculture), but it is also the most populous. Its capital, Milan, is the second largest city in Italy. There’s also plenty of nature in Lombardy, which is the home of Italy’s “lake district.” It boasts destinations such as Lake Como and Maggiore.
Molise, Italy’s newest area (until 1963 it was merged with Abruzzo), is also Italy’s second-smallest region. It is mainly agricultural, producing wine, olive oil, and dairy products, as well as fruit and vegetables and cereals such as faro. However, hilly Molise also has beautiful small towns and countryside. It’s not a tourist hot spot, but it is a great place to stay and eat on a tight budget.
Visit Molise If: You’re looking for outdoor activities, adventure, and authentic small towns in Italy.
Piedmont’s northern region is surrounded on three sides by the Alps. However, it isn’t all mountainous. In fact, most of Piedmont is flat. It is home to many of the country’s farms, which produce food such as rice and wine. Some of Italy’s most renowned wines, like Barbaresco and Barolo, are produced here. This region is home to the Slow Food movement, which makes it an important destination for foodies. Piedmont is also industrial with the Fiat automobile firm based in Turin. Piedmont is home to beautiful small towns, Turin, a bustling city baroque, and its mountainous mountains. There’s something for everyone in Piedmont.
Puglia was the “heel” of Italy’s boot, and for a long period, it suffered much the same poverty as the rest. Although still poorer than the northern Italian regions of Italy, Puglia has an abundance of the industry today. Its agricultural sector, especially its olive oil, is one of the most important sectors in the country. Puglia is also becoming a hot destination, with international media and magazines focusing on its stunning beaches, beautiful countryside, delicious food, and unique architecture (like the trulli-shaped cone). This is an Italian summer favorite, but it’s not “undiscovered”. There are still parts to discover!
You want to visit Puglia if: You want to experience the best of Italy’s sandy beaches.
It is located between the Mediterranean and Italy’s west, just south of Corsica. This island has been a favorite summer spot for many years. The beautiful beaches and lively nightlife of Costa Smerelda are just a few examples. The interior of Sardinia is a completely different story. It’s a rural area, with many small towns, that is rich in agriculture. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the tranquility of Sardinia’s most well-known coastal areas, even if you visit them outside of July and August.
You want to see some of Italy’s most beautiful coastlines and beaches. You want to go in August and be surrounded by Italians.
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is a unique place and culture. It’s not even Italy, according to some Italians. Its unique and ancient history is what explains it. It was settled by the Romans and ancient Greeks. However, Sicily has some of the most important ancient sites in Italy. Later, the Arabs, Norman French, and Spanish conquered Sicily. This mixed-heritage background not only makes for great art and architecture but also delicious cuisine (check out our post on the best food to eat at Sicily ). These are just a few of the reasons Sicily is so popular with tourists.
You want to visit Sicily if You’re looking to go on a holiday to the beach; you are interested in visiting ancient Greek and Roman ruins; you love sunny, warm, dry climates; you would like to try authentic cannoli or ravioli (or pasta alla norma or granita or …).
Trentino-South Tyrol is also known as this beautiful, independent region in northern Italy. It was once part of Austria-Hungary. It was annexed to Italy in 1919. As you might expect, that means it has a very different–and Austrian-flavored–culture than the rest of the peninsula! The majority of South Tyrol’s population speaks German and not Italian. Trentino-Alto Aldige includes a large portion of the Dolomites, and eastern Alps mountain ranges in Italy, making it a popular destination for skiers as well as trekkers. You can also find Lake Garda here.
You want to learn German and Italian, you enjoy mountain sports, and nature, and you love to visit picturesque Alpine villages.
Tuscany is a well-known region. It has everything: beaches and countryside, food, wine, small towns, and the perfect tourism. It is home to some of the most beautiful cities in the country, including Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa. Its beautiful countryside is distinctly Italian with rolling hills, cypresses, and lovely vineyards. In fact, the landscape in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia has been designated a World Heritage Site since 2004. Tuscany is also known for its wine and food, with the region producing Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino among others.
Tuscany is a tourist destination. Some of the towns and cities are expensive and crowded. However, there are many undiscovered areas in this vast, central region. You want to feel like a tourist in Tuscany; You’re passionate about the Renaissance and wine tastings and vineyard visits; and you know you must see Florence and the Leaning Towers of Pisa.
Umbria is often called the “green heart” of Italy. It’s located right in the middle of the boot, next to Tuscany. Umbria is home to beautiful landscapes, beautiful hilltop towns, and vineyards of olive and wine, much like Tuscany. Find out 6 places we love in Umbria. It is also home to stunning architecture and art and has a fascinating history dating back to the Etruscans. Umbria is a bit more wild and off the beaten track than its neighbor, Tuscany. Although it is not an undiscovered area, Umbria is less touristy. It is also less expensive. (Here are some tips if you’re trying decide between Umbria or Tuscany to plan your trip.
You want to visit Umbria if you like Tuscany or you have visited Tuscany and enjoyed it.
Veneto is one of the most developed and wealthy regions of Italy. It’s also one of the most well-known tourist destinations, thanks to its capital, Venice. Veneto is visited by more than 60 million tourists each year. The Veneto, historically poor and agricultural, has seen a boom ever since the 1970s. In fact, it is Italy’s third richest region after Lazio and Lombardy. While tourism and industry are important, agriculture is still important. It produces some of the most famous wines in Italy, such as Prosecco, Valpolicella, and Soave. Venice, Verona, and Vicenza are some of the top towns here to see for their beauty and art.