Italy is full of culinary delights, beautiful art and amazing architecture. From the ancient Roman city of Pompeii to the stunning Cinque Terre villages in Liguria, Italy offers a diversity that few other countries can match. Here are 15 must-visit places that you should add to your bucket list
1 - Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi coast is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, if not the world. There are so many different towns to explore here that you could easily spend a week or two exploring everything this coastal region has to offer. Some great spots include Positano which is famous for its colourful houses perched on top of mountains with amazing views, Ravello which gives you panoramic views over all of southern Italy including Capri island (home to Blue Grotto), and Sorrento where you need to try Limoncello liqueur!
2 - Naples
Naples is one of Italy’s most vibrant cities and it’s well worth a visit if you want to experience some real Italian culture. Here you’ll find narrow streets packed with market stalls, churches and bars, plus some excellent museums like the National Archaeological Museum which is home to many famous Roman artefacts.
Naples is also the birthplace of some of Italy’s most popular dishes like Neapolitan pizza, spaghetti carbonara and lasagna. There are so many places worth checking out when you’re here but if it’s your first time visiting then we recommend having dinner at one of the classic pizzerias that locals love such as Sorbillo or Di Matteo for authentic wood fired pies that will transport you straight back to Napoli. Another place not to be missed is Da Michele which is famous for their Margherita pizza – a simple but delicious pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil.
3 - Siena
4 - Venice
5 - Milan
Milan is the capital of fashion, and as such it’s home to some of the world’s most famous designer brands. But Milan is more than just a city for fashionistas, it is a city that has it all. From great food to stunning architecture.
You will want to try some of the regional cuisine during your stay in Milan. Some recommendations include tortellini with butter and sage sauce, risotto with saffron mushrooms, or pizza bianca.
Spend time exploring the Duomo di Milano cathedral, which was built in 1386 and modelled after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This impressive building dominates much of downtown Milan and features Gothic architectural details on its façade.
Walk through one of two historic districts of Milan. The first, centro storico or “historic center,” is the oldest part of the city and offers beautiful examples of early Venetian architecture. The second district, Brera, has been a popular destination since medieval times because it hosts many art galleries in addition to being home to historic churches and museums.
6 - Pompeii
7 - Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre or ‘Five Lands’ consists of five small fishing towns that are connected to one another via hiking trails and train lines. This area has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site because it’s so unique with houses built on top of the hills crossing over into each other, vineyards growing alongside cactus plants and luscious green forest everywhere you look! One thing I would recommend doing while here is taking the hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola which takes around 30 minutes but will give you some of the most stunning coastal views imaginable.
8 - Florence
The city of Florence in the Tuscany region is well-known for its rich history and culture. There are many things to see and do here, including the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Medici Chapels and Ponte Vecchio.
The architecture is beautiful, with a mix of medieval buildings that date back to Medieval times alongside more modern structures from recent centuries.
If you’re looking for some great food while you’re there, take time to try Florentine cuisine which includes dishes such as bistecca alla fiorentina – steak served with olive oil or butter on top, sage leaves, salt and pepper – or crespelle al sugo di bietole e pancetta – crêpes filled with Swiss chard and bacon. There are also many wine bars in Florence where you can enjoy a glass or two of Chianti, the region’s most famous red wine.
9 - Pisa
Pisa was founded by the Etruscans over 2000 years ago when they built several settlements on what was then an island surrounded by marshes and lagoons that were cut off from the sea.
Today it home to around 150 thousand people living mostly along its coast with some inland areas in between hillsides dotted with olive groves and vineyards.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa began to tilt during construction in the 12th century due to a weak foundation on unstable soil. It was closed to the public for many years because part of the tower risked collapse, but has since been reopened and stabilised.
10 - Rome
Rome is the capital city of Italy and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. There’s so much to see and do here that you could easily spend a week or two exploring everything this amazing city has to offer. From ancient ruins like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, to more modern attractions like the Trevi Fountain and Vatican City, Rome has something for everyone. And don’t forget to try some of the local food while you’re here – our favourites are carbonara pasta and gelato!
11 - Puglia
Puglia is a beautiful region in Italy that offers the perfect mix of history, culture and serene beaches. The laid back atmosphere and picturesque landscapes will make anyone want to visit this amazing destination. We would like to share with you some of our favourite places to explore while here!
In Puglia, there are many great things to see and do from visiting historic cities such as Lecce, Ostuni or Taranto, tasting authentic cuisine at famous restaurants such as La Locanda del Capitano or Il Forno di Vincenzo. In addition, one can enjoy the vast amount of natural beauty by hiking through the Gargano National Park which features mountains, rivers and forests full of wildlife or going for a swim in the pristine beaches along the coastline.
12 - Verona
Verona is a beautiful city located in north-eastern Italy which is most famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The city is full of fascinating historical buildings like the Roman Arena and Castelvecchio fortress, as well as a lovely old town centre with narrow streets and charming piazzas. If you’re visiting Verona be sure to check out Juliet’s house – which is said to bring good luck in love if you touch the right spot on the wall!
Be sure to try the local specialities, such as pasta with ragù (meat sauce) or polenta (cornmeal mush). If you’re looking for a sweet treat, Verona has plenty of gelato shops!
13 - Lake Como
14 - Sicily
Sicily is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, and it’s also one of Italy’s largest islands. It has an interesting history that dates back to the Phoenicians and Greeks.
Sicily is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Mount Etna, one of Europe’s most active volcanoes; Necropolis of Pantalica, an ancient site containing more than 5000 tombs dating back to the 13th century BC.
What delicacies should I try when visiting Sicily?
Arancini: These deep-fried rice balls are a Sicilian speciality and can be filled with anything from meat to vegetables to cheese.
Pasta con le sarde: This pasta dish is made with sardines, tomatoes, onions, garlic, raisins, and pine nuts and is a true taste of Sicilian cuisine.
15 - Sardinia
Sardinia is a breathtaking island in the Mediterranean. It is Italy’s second-largest island after Sicily, and it has been inhabited for over 2,000 years!
The rugged coastlines, shimmering turquoise water, and picturesque scenery make Sardinia a favourite destination for those looking to escape the daily grind.
One of our favourite villages to explore is Stintino. It’s located on the north-western coast and is known for its white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning sunsets.
There’s plenty to do on Sardinia, from exploring the villages and ancient ruins to lounging on the beach. The food is also amazing – be sure to try some of the local dishes like malloreddus (a pasta dish with sausage and tomato sauce) or porceddu (roasted suckling pig).