It’s difficult to pick landmarks and attractions that everyone should see in Italy in their lifetime. But we have taken a look at some of the most beautiful places in Italy. These sights will enrich any Italy trip.
The Colosseum, Rome’s most impressive ancient monument, is still relatively intact despite nearly two thousand years worth of fires, earthquakes and riots.
Venice’s magnificent Piazza San Marco houses the Basilica di San Marco, Italy’s most lavish cathedral.
Lake Como is surrounded by dramatic mountains and lush hillsides. Its stunning landscape can be best enjoyed by zigzagging along the shores by boat.
It’s hard not to gravitate towards Piazza del Duomo when you’re in Florence. This square is beckoned by its iconic dome.
Romain remains in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Herculaneum are two places that offer a unique glimpse into the ancient Roman lifestyle and architecture.
Amalfi Coast – This rugged stretch of coastline is one of Italy’s most breathtaking. The scenic route is punctuated by picturesque towns and quiet coves.
Italy’s best things to do
Culture and history
Rome alone is home to enough historical attractions that it’s worth dozens of visits. Learn more about Rome’s architectural treasures and ruins, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Spanish Steps.
Florence is a beautiful city of exceptional art. It’s the jewel of Italy’s elegant crown, and home to Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” as well as Caravaggio’s “Medusa”, just to name a few of its masterpieces. The Accademia museum is a must-see for art-lovers, even though it feels like you are exploring a museum as you meander through Venice’s narrow alleyways and canals.
There are many opportunities to sail and windsurf along the extensive Italian coast. Scuba diving is very popular on Sicily and off the smaller islands. Water-sports don’t have to be limited to the coast. They can also be found along the rivers Como and Garda, Trasimeno, Bolsena, and further south towards Rome. River canoeing and canyoning are very popular in the mountains of the country. Find out more about outdoor activities and sports in Italy with our guide to all things active.
It’s not all about high-energy pursuits, though. The beaches of Italy are beautiful places to relax and soak up the sun. People also enjoy watching and taking pictures; eating, drinking and generally being very merry. These are the top beaches in Italy. They include secluded coves and lively seafronts as well as dramatic, cliff-backed harbours.
Skiing and snowboarding
It’s easy to ski or snowboard in the Alps from Venice, Turin, or Milan. Sestriere in Piemonte and Bardonecchia, in Piemonte are two of the most well-known ski resorts. Val di Fassa is located in the Dolomite Mountains. Learn more about the best winter resorts to ski.
Biking and hiking
These mountain resorts can be used as base camps for hiking or climbing in summer. For example, the dramatic and spiky Dolomites are a great place to hike. The trails can be subject to snow, sun, ice, and sand in one day. This is Italy at its best. The rolling hills of Tuscany or Umbria are ideal for walking and biking. A local guide can help you plan your trip.
What is the best time of year to visit Italy?
Italy is an all-year destination. The answer to the question of “What’s the best time to travel to Italy?” depends on your expectations. However, it is generally agreed that spring (April to June), or autumn (September-October) are the best times to travel to Italy. The temperatures are pleasant and you can avoid the heat of summer. This is top Italy travel advice.
How to Get to Italy
Flying in Italy is the best way to get there. There are regular direct flights to most of Italy from the UK. You can also fly directly from many cities in the US from Rome or Milan. You can also travel to Italy by train. This will reduce your carbon footprint while allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. If you intend to stop along the route, an Interrail or Eurail pass is a good option.
How to travel around Italy
It’s easy to travel to Italy by rail. The extensive system is reliable, inexpensive, and fast. Regional trains are slow and may not reach all destinations. However, regional buses can get to the places trains cannot. You can take a ferry or hydrofoil to get to the islands. The northern lakes region also has frequent ferries during the winter months.
It’s a great place to stay.
There are many options for accommodation when you travel to Italy. These include boutique hotels, youth hostels, and self-catering villas as well as family-run B&Bs, country farmhouses, and mountain monasteries. Although accommodation is not cheap, it is reliable and well-regulated. Be aware that although accommodation is readily available, it’s important to reserve ahead in order to secure your perfect spot in a popular resort or major city.
It’s time to try Italian food
It is a joy to sample the many quality foods and drinks that Italy has to offer. Italian cuisine is unique to each region. Umbria has a French influence with rich butter and cream sauces. Umbria is known for its salamis and hams. The southern diet is dominated by Mediterranean vegetables. The home of the humble pizza is Naples, while seafood is a dominant feature along the coast. Pasta is a common staple almost everywhere. Italians are known for their passion for coffee. The world is well-versed in Italian wine, with Tuscany producing the best Chianti and Veneto’s Prosecco a refreshing delight.
Italy’s culture and festivals
There are many festivals in Italy. Italians love to party and there are many festivals throughout the year. There are many religious processions, with Good Friday and Carnival being the most popular. There are also traditional events like the Palio horserace in Siena and food festivals that celebrate regional cuisine.
Nightlife in Italy
Rimini is the resort area that is arguably Italy’s clubbing capital. It is primarily concentrated along the coast and in Misano Monte, which is about 5km inland. Milan, the cosmopolitan fashion powerhouse, is also home to some of Italy’s most famous nightclubs. Milanos love to begin their evenings early with a “Happy Hour” that starts at six with an aperitivo, which is a pre-dinner drink that lasts up until nine o’clock.
Roman nightlife, while not devoid of clubs, is more focused on outdoor food-based activities. Roman pizza is a great example of the bohemian Trastevere, a bustling, home-cooked dish that Naples has invented.
It’s time to plan your trip to Italy
Rome was not built in one day. This means that you won’t be able to see all of its attractions in a single visit. If you are looking for inspiration for a few days in Italy then a weekend in Rome (preferably for longer) will be a great choice. This is true for city breaks in Venice and Milan as well as lesser-known Bologna or Genoa.
If you are looking for something to do for a week or more in Italy, it is worth considering the Italian Lakes and the southern coast of Italy. You can also take in Pompeii, Vesuvius and the island of Capri. You can also explore the island of Sicily for a more relaxing getaway.
Things to Know Before You Go to Italy
Do’s and don’ts when dining: Always wish your tablemates “Buon Appetito!” before you eat, and never start eating until everyone has sat down.
Takeaway food is not always legal or welcome. Florence has, for instance, banned street eating in the area around All’Antico Vinaio because of the chaos caused by the popular take-out restaurants.
When visiting churches or other religious sites, be respectful and quiet.
When passing someone on the street, say “Permesso”, just like you would in English.
- Italy travel tips: Practical advice
- Italy: Eat and drink
- How to Get to Italy
- Transport Tips for Getting Around Italy
- Italy shopping tips
- Italy’s Outdoor and Sports Activities
- Italy Travel Tips for Planning and On the Move
- The best time to visit It is
Electricity – The supply voltage is 220V. However, any device that requires 240V will work. Plugs have either two or three round pins.
Italy’s currency is called the euro.
The best exchange rate is offered by banks. Bank hours are Monday through Friday, 8.30 am to 1.30 pm and an hour in the afternoon (usually between 2.30-4 pm).
Most towns and villages have at minimum one ATM.
Hours of operation – Most shops and businesses are open Monday through Saturday, from 8am to 1pm and around 4pm to 7pm. Some close on Saturday afternoons. However, many remain open throughout the day. In large cities and tourist areas, Sunday shopping is more common than usual. However, traditional closing hours for all businesses and bars are Sundays.
Italy’s typical cost and money-saving tips
The south of Italy will be generally more expensive than the northern. You can expect to pay more in Venice, Milan and Florence, Bologna and less in Rome. Prices drop quite a bit in Naples and Sicily. If you are staying in a hostel and having lunchtime snacks as well as a meal at dinner, you can expect to be able survive on EUR50-60 per night. You’ll be spending closer to EUR130-140 per night if you stay at a moderately priced hotel and eat out two times a day. Although transport and food costs are low, room rates and hotel rooms are comparable to much of Europe. However, keep in mind that hotel prices can rise in July and August when many Italians go on holiday.
What should you pack for your trip to Italy?
Comfortable shoes are essential, even if your goal is to strut around trendy Milan in style. It’s great fun to explore Italy by foot, so don’t be discouraged by inadequacies.
However, Italians are well-known for their style so make sure you have something to wear in the evenings, even if you’re heading out on a vacation.
Are you traveling from other parts of Europe? Multi-plug adapter.
It is possible to learn Italian phrases in English, even though English is widely used. It is polite to try to speak little lingo in rural areas.
Italian summers can be hot and hot. Make sure to use sunscreen.
Is Italy safe to travel?
Italy is relatively safe. However, you can reduce the risk of petty theft by taking sensible precautions. Don’t show any valuables and don’t let bags get taken. The most dangerous areas are those in which pickpockets, scippatori and “snatchers” on scooters operate.
For more information on safety and travel requirements in Italy, read the government guidelines. UK citizens should follow Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. US travelers should consult the governmental travel advisory guidelines to Italy.
It is important to know what you should do in Italy.
If you don’t want to sit down, don’t order a cup of coffee. The cost of a coffee at a table is often twice that of one at the counter.
Do not ask for a cappuccino at lunchtime – the foamy stuff in Italy is best enjoyed with breakfast.
This is common sense. However, avoid restaurants that force you inside. Italy is home to many excellent restaurants. You don’t have to spend a fortune at the shady joints that are trying to make a profit.
Don’t rely on credit and debit cards. Many gelaterias, street food vendors, and trinket stalls only accept cash. You don’t want to miss the chance to get the ice cream of your dreams by being dependent on credit cards.