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Planning your first trip to Italy and wondering which are the best places to visit? This article should help you decide what to see and where to go in Italy, even if the choice seems overwhelming at first.
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Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and one of our favorite places to return to again and again. History, architecture, bustling cities, charming villages, beaches, islands, mountains… Not to mention food, wine and friendly people… This country is incredibly diverse and has so much more to offer than you could imagine do it in one trip…
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Even after so many trips to Italy, we feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of this amazing country. There is so much to see and do!
In this article, we share the best places in Italy. This list is not just about the best cities in Italy. As beautiful as they are, Italy is much more than its main cities! In this guide, you will find not only the most impressive regions and islands of Italy, coastal areas, beautiful towns, but also the most beautiful nature and impressive landscapes.
It’s one incredible destination after another, each worth a trip from a different corner of the world. You can’t go wrong at any of these places! But put one or two of them together and you’re in for a real treat, one of the best trips you’ll ever take. Find out!
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The Eternal City is a must when visiting Italy for the first time! Without a doubt, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I often refer to Rome as a museum city. And it really feels like the whole place is one huge open air museum! Every street, every building, every city square, every park, every church and every monument is full of centuries old history.
It’s an amazing experience to see all the art, architecture and history that you’ve only seen in books or movies before.
No matter how much time you have planned in Italy, you definitely need to add Rome to your Italy trip!
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Not to be missed: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Vatican with St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, St. Angel Bridge and St. Angel Castle, Capitol Hill.
Nice to see: Campo de’ Fiori, Trastevere area, Circus Maximus, Baths of Caracalla (and many other ancient Roman sights), Piazza Venezia, Piazza Popolo, Borghese Gallery, Appian Way, Aventine Hill, Belvedere del Gianicolo and much, much more.
TIP: Also try to visit at least some of the most beautiful sights in Rome. Many of them are located near the most popular attractions, so it’s quite easy to add a few to your trip.
How much time you need: One full day is the absolute minimum in Rome, and if you plan your Rome day trip well, you’ll be able to cover all the main attractions. If you want to see all the best parts of the city and not just take pictures of the outside and rush through everything, plan at least 2-3 days. If you want to explore deeper and get off the beaten path in Rome, you can easily spend 5-7 days in the city.
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TIP: Take a look at our 4-Day Rome Tour – it includes all the major landmarks and many lesser-known amazing spots to make your trip even more memorable. See also our guide to Rome’s best neighborhoods.
Best time to visit: Rome is a year-round destination, but the best time in terms of weather is between April-May and September-October. It’s very hot in July and August, so it’s hard to appreciate the views. For less crowds and cooler weather, consider months like March or November. Also read what it means to visit Rome in November.
There are few places in the world that captivate the imagination like Venice. Without a doubt, Venice is one of the must-see destinations in Italy!
The entire city of Venice and its lagoon with 118 small islands are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. And when you see it, you’ll understand why. The whole city is an architectural masterpiece!
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The best way to see Venice is on foot, so be prepared to walk. A lot. Stroll the narrow streets, cross hundreds of bridges and take time to admire the details of the magnificent medieval and Gothic buildings.
(palace). You should also take a gondola ride! Not only does it provide a very different perspective of the city, but it’s also a real experience.
Don’t Miss: Venice Canals and Venice Gondola, St. Saint Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs and the Riva degli Schiavoni pedestrian promenade.
Nice to see: Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and an excursion to the neighboring islands of Burano and Murano. Libreria Acqua Alta, Campo San Polo, Jewish Ghetto, San Giorgio Maggiore Island and many Venetian churches. Also the La Fenice opera house.
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How much time you need: One day is enough to see the main attractions of Venice (here’s how to see the best sights in Venice in one day). If you make the day longer, you can even take a short excursion to the nearby islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. If you want to relax, plan at least two days to see all the sights of Venice and the surrounding islands. If you want to explore the city in more detail, plan 3-4 days. Here you will find a suggested schedule for 3 days in Venice with tips from a local.
A trip to Italy, especially for new employees, includes many cities and towns. And even if you’re not a big fan of city trips, there’s another city in Italy that you should definitely see, and that’s Florence (
Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region, is considered the cradle of the Renaissance. Here you will find works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and many others. The old city center is quite compact, but it is full of incredible masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.
Don’t miss: Duomo (Florence Cathedral), St. John’s Baptistry, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria and the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
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Nice to see: Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens, San Lorenzo Basilica and San Lorenzo Market, Piazza Santo Spirito, Santa Croce Basilica and views from the best rooftops in Florence.
How much time you need: One day is enough to quickly see the must-sees in Florence (see Florence 1-day itinerary). If you want to visit more museums and explore deeper, then you will definitely want to spend at least two days here. Plan an extra day for a trip to the Tuscan countryside (more details below).
There are 20 regions in Italy and honestly, they are all worth visiting. However, if you are traveling to Italy for the first time, Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions to visit. Not only because it is conveniently located between Rome, Venice and Milan, but also because it has so much to offer.
Tuscany has some of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Volterra, Prato, Arezzo – all these cities are worth visiting! And there are many, many more…
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Tuscany is also known for its beautiful landscapes with rolling hills and winding roads lined with cypress trees. It is also a great place for food and wine lovers. Some of the best Italian wines are made in Tuscany! Even if you don’t visit wineries, be sure to try Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti wines in local restaurants.
Don’t miss: Florence (see above), Siena (and the impressive Siena Cathedral), Pisa (see further below) and the magnificent views of the Val d’Orcia. See also our guide to the best towns in Tuscany.
How much time you need: Tuscany requires at least 2 days – one day in Florence and one (very full) day in Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Chianti. If you want to see so much in such a short time, consider this trip
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