Walks of Italy offers a variety of immersive, small-group walking tours through Italy. No matter if you are visiting Italy for the first or 10th time, our experts will take you beyond the tourist trails to give you an unforgettable experience.
Italy is a top choice for anyone’s bucket list. However, it is a long journey and there are so many amazing places and things to do that it is almost impossible to choose what to do on a two-week vacation. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. After going through our vast archives and talking to our tour guides, we narrowed down the list to 8 places that will make a lasting impression on you, change your life, shake your heart, inspire wonderment, and leave you begging to return to this amazing county. While you might not be able to visit every corner of Italy, this list should give you at least one thing to do or see no matter where you are. These are the 8 places you must see in Italy before you die.
1. Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica
Venice is full of beautiful churches. So what makes St. Mark’s unique? The interior. Over 85,000 square feet are covered in mosaics inside this 9th Century AD Basilica. The art and jewels of Venice, one of the most renowned Byzantine churches in Italy, are covered in over 85,000 square feet of mosaics.
Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Duomo
Florence, Italy’s Renaissance capital, is home to a wealth art and architecture. The Uffizi Art Gallery houses the majority of the paintings. You’ll find the finest Italian Renaissance art, including Botticelli’s Primavera and Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation. Also, you can see the Adoration of The Magi and other important works by Caravaggio and Lippi.
You can’t miss Firenze’s Duomo di Fiori after spending at least half a day in the gallies. Although it is not as impressive as other Italian cathedrals, its construction has changed the course of history. Brunelleschi, the cathedral’s architect, used ancient engineering skills that were once thought impossible. He built it without a wooden support structure, which was considered impossible, and didn’t tell anyone how. He even made a common stew for his workers to eat while on the job. This man is a Renaissance man. To truly appreciate his masterpiece, climb up the 436 steps to its top. Although it’s hard work, you will be rewarded by stunning views of Florence. You can also enjoy a large bowl of Peposo Beef Stew, Brunelleschi’s favourite.
One of the most important collections of art in the entire world is housed at the Vatican Museums. The museum is fascinating, moving, and integral to the fabric of western culture. It is a must-see if you want to learn more about the history and development of western art. No other collection has had such a profound impact on our understanding of art and its place within society as this one. Many people skip the rest and rush straight to the Sistine Chapel. But we recommend that you take your time exploring the vast building. This will allow you to get the most from your visit. Are you unsure where to begin? We’ve made a guide to the Vatican Museums for you! The map rooms are a hidden gem that is often overlooked.
Rome’s Trevi Fountain and Colosseum
The stunning Trevi Fountain is an iconic symbol of the ancient empire and a bastion to Rome’s rich history. The fountain, which brought fresh water to the center of Rome, was one of the first water sources in Rome. The fountain is especially beautiful at night when the massive statues and crystal clear water are lit up with lights. You can’t see the fountain from behind fences if you try to go. Construction is expected to be completed soon but these things can drag on. To make sure your coin can pass the barriers at the Trevi fountain, practice throwing your coin.
The same stone that is used to make the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum are actually used in the construction of the Trevi Fountain. While it would be foolish to skip the Colosseum on a Rome visit, you should make sure to see the inside. There’s so much more to this historic structure than can be seen from the outside. You’ll have to explore the underground for a better understanding of its impact on Ancient Rome.
We know it is wrong, but we cannot resist the temptation. The Pantheon is our second choice, because, alongside Brunelleschi’s Dome and The Pantheon, it’s the most spectacular in the world.
The Duomo in Milan
Nothing can compare to the sun shining off the pink-white marble of Milano’s Duomo di Milano. It is one of the most controversial of Italy’s great churches. The facade of the church is adorned with over 3,000 statues, spires, and other decorations that some regard as divine, while others see them as too extravagant. This gothic wonder must be seen to be appreciated. A trip to Milan would not be complete without a giro at the Piazza del Duomo. But, we recommend a visit to the terrace on top of the historic building to get the best views of the city as well as a close-up look at the cathedral. You want to learn more about Milan’s Duomo? Find out more about the Duomo di Milano by clicking here.
Pompeii in Campania
Pompeii used to be a port for the ancient Roman Empire. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most popular archeological sites worldwide. It’s more than just a site. The entire city has been preserved almost intact. It’s impossible to imagine walking the streets of this ancient city as they were 2 000 years ago. It’s beautiful, it’s inspiring, and it’s sad to think about the loss of many people’s lives. You should also visit the Roman Forum, the theatre (whose acoustics make it so you don’t even need microphones to hear the audience), and the public baths, with their towering columns. You can also visit the red light district to see some beautiful frescoes, if necessary.
Alberobello in Puglia
If you are looking for something truly special, then head south to Alberobello in Apulia (Puglia, in Italian). You can step back in time and visit the famous Trulli houses, which are ancient cone-shaped peasant homes. Alberobello is one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. Although less well-known, Puglia has some of Italy’s finest wine, seafood, and other products. The stunning coastline towns of the region offer some of the best food for less. This is the place to go if you want to experience Italy off the beaten track.
Trentino Alto Adige: The Dolomites
The alps are Europe’s most famous mountain range. However, the Dolomites in Italy are just as beautiful and less touristy than the alps. The mountains’ beauty and charm will inspire anyone, even those who live in big cities. To see a different side of Italy, head to the northeast. Here the language and food are heavily Austrian. We have six favorite spots in the Dolomites.
Are there any other sights we missed that should be included on this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.