I could only include cities in my list of 8 places to visit in Italy that I’ve posted below, but there are entire regions that would be completely left out. There’s just so much to see in Italy that I have a hard time condensing them all into 8 single locations. If you get the chance to explore Italy on your own, be sure to include as many of these marvelous places as possible. You won’t be disappointed!
Sicily is a tiny island rich in history, impressive buildings, delicious food, and sun-drenched beaches. It seems to include the best of both worlds; quaint island-life and all the perks of a city. When in Sicily, be sure to check out the Archaeology museum in Palermo, the two scenic castles in Erice, the amphitheater and Greek temple in Segesta, and the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento.
If it’s exotic seascapes you are searching for, then Campania is the region of Italy you don’t want to miss. Naples and the Isle of Capri are just two popular destinations in the Campania region. This area of Italy is also where Paestum and Pompeii are located. The Isle of Capri is a rather pricey are to visit, but well worth the cost. You can take a ferry from Naples to the Isle of Capri and enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the way. Paestum was formerly known as Poseidonia. This city is home to one of the most well-preserved Greek temples in the entire world.
A few noteworthy villages included in the Umbria region of Italy are; Orvieto, Spello, Perugia, and Assisi. Umbria has a similar laidback quality like Tuscany, but with more of an ‘undiscovered’ feel to it. Filled with artistic treasures and lacking an abundance of commercialism, the Umbria region is an excellent place to find plenty of peace and quiet. The Chapel of the Corporal, the Chapel of San Brizio, and the Well of Saint Patrick are all located in Orvieto. Spello is a great town to take a day and simply stroll through its narrow walkways and enjoy some fantastic Italian cuisine, while Perugia is known for its chocolate. Of course, you can’t leave the Umbria region before you see the Basilica of St. Francis and the Sacro Convento, both comprise the famous religious shrine in Assisi.
Rich in agricultural areas, Tuscany is the perfect place to relax after exploring the major cities of Italy. The gorgeous Tuscan countryside is located between Florence and Rome and makes for a great stop-over when traveling between these two larger cities. The Tuscany region includes many quaint towns where weary travelers can stop for the night and enjoy tasting the local wine without all the hubbub of the larger towns. San Gimignano is a Tuscan town which is known for its 14 medieval towers. Cortona has many charming piazzas and is most famous for its walls build by the Etruscans, who lived in Italy well before the Romans.
Rome is not only a happening place filled with tons of exciting nightlife, but it also offers plenty of art galleries, shopping, magnificent fountains, and the ruins of the Empire. The Trevi Fountain is the largest in the city. Legend has it that tossing a coin over your shoulder into this particular fountain will ensure your return to Rome in the future. The Neptune Fountain is complex and absolutely gorgeous. Visiting the Vatican Museums within Vatican City will enable you to see Pinacoteca, Raphael’s Rooms, and the Sistine Chapel.
City of Water and City of Canals are only two of the many nicknames given to Venice over the years. Tourists head to Venice just to get a chance to take a ride down one of the many canals in a gondola. Besides drifting down a canal in one of the flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boats, you can enjoy the magical atmosphere that surrounds Venice. The Piazza San Marco is a great place to start, when it comes to sight-seeing. Besides several museums, this is also the place where you can see Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Campanile. To get your fill of artifacts and art that ranges between the medieval and Renaissance eras, the Museo Correr is where you want to be.
Art and architecture are alive and well in Florence. This city was considered to be quite the art center during the Renaissance era. Most tourists choose to visit Florence solely for the abundance of museums available. Some key sights to see in Florence include; the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery, the Cattedrale di San Maria del Fiore, and Uffizi Gallery. If you wish to see Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David, then you’ll want to visit the Galleria Dell’Accademia in Florence. For a collection of additional museums to choose from, be sure to go to Palazzo Pitti.
Milan is where the Piazza del Duomo is located. It is here that you can visit the Palazzo Real, the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, the cathedral of Milan called the ‘Duomo’, and the Museum of the Duomo. Talk about some impressive architecture! There is also a convent that dates back to the fifteenth century. People generally flock to this convent to catch even a glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. This painting took 4 years to complete and covers an entire wall inside the convent. If you’re looking for decorative arts, fine arts, and antique weapons, then Museo Poldi Pezzoli might be more to your liking. There is a lot to explore within this magnificent city.
If you’ve already been fortunate enough to take a trip to Italy, did you get the chance to see any of the places mentioned above? What 8 places to visit in Italy would you include on your own list?
Top Photo Credit: -yury-