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Best places to visit in Italy
7 min read
Updated on Dec 19, 2023

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Italy offers rich history, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes. With so many interesting spots to choose from, it can be hard to narrow it down and create the perfect Italy itinerary.

iVisa is here to help! With help from our travel experts, we listed the best places to visit in Italy and some practical tips for a stress-free holiday.

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The top 10 travel destinations in Italy

1. Rome

There's so much to discover in this ancient city! Rome has been a center of power, politics, culture, and development since its inception over 2500 years ago. It’s like traveling back in time.

The central location of the capital city of Italy makes it a perfect place to visit other Italian cities from. From here, you can take trains, buses, and even flights to all corners of the country.

Rome gets crowded in summer, and winter can be cold. The best time to visit Italy, especially Rome, is in the shoulder seasons in April-May and October-November. You’ll find pleasant, cooler temperatures, and more affordable transport and accommodation options.

Take at least four days to visit the historic city center and all the major attractions in the eternal city. Anything less won't let you get to know the city properly.

The Colosseum is one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so buy tickets online to avoid long queues. Also do not miss the Pantheon, the classic Trevi Fountain, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza del Popolo, Castle Saint Angelo, and the Roman Forum.

Reserve a day to visit Vatican City and its major sights: St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel.

2. Milan

Milan is one of the best places to visit in Italy if you like art, museums, architecture, and fashion. The city offers an interesting mix of sights dating back to the Middle Ages, and modern infrastructure. In addition, the city offers the best of Italian gastronomy with fantastic restaurants.

The city is compact and you don’t need more than a few days to explore the major attractions, such as the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera and the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology.

From Milan, some of the famous Italian lakes are easily reached, like Lake Como and Lake Garda.

For a better experience, avoid the fashion weeks and summer crowds. The best time to visit Milan is March-April (Spring) and October-November (Autumn). With its mild weather and shoulder season prices, Milan is a great place to visit during these periods.

3. Florence

There are many reasons to visit Florence in Italy. Its historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is one of the symbols of the Renaissance. It’s also an ideal base to visit the surrounding charming Tuscan towns and villages.

The Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Croce, and the Baptistery of St. John are among the top tourist attractions in Florence. Art lovers must include the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Uffizi Palace and Gallery in their itinerary.

In spring and summer, you can enjoy people watching on the promenades in the Boboli Gardens, Ponte Vecchio, and the medieval streets around the Piazza del Duomo.

You can easily spend 4 days wandering around this vibrant city. Considering the weather, the best time to visit Florence (and Tuscany in general) are April, May, June, September, and October. The summer months are hot, humid, and crowded.

4. Siena

Siena has the same Tuscan and medieval charm as Florence, but is more compact. It’s one of the most picturesque Tuscan hill towns to visit in Italy, with medieval cobblestone streets and gorgeous architecture. It's a great place to start your exploration of Siena's most famous sights, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Palazzo Pubblico, and Torre del Mangia.

You can explore the entire city in two days. If you stay longer, you can visit nearby wineries to taste the delicious local Chianti wine. Numerous wine tasting events are held in nearby towns during the harvest celebration in September.

5. Venice

Venice is one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy. Who's never dreamed of a gondola ride down the Grand Canal? It is one of the most romantic experiences in Italy.

But you can also enjoy the city without a soulmate. A great time to visit is during the Venice Carnival and the Biennale, among other events. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) are must-sees, as well as the Rialto Bridge, Gallerie dell'Accademia, and Doges Palace. Lido is a great place to relax and skip the crowds on gorgeous beaches.

Two full days in Venice are enough for most visitors to explore this famous city.

6. Naples

The home of the world-famous Neapolitan pizza! Besides that, it is also an important port city in the Mediterranean Sea, with the third-largest population in Italy.

Mount Vesuvius dominates the landscape with its legendary volcano that famously erupted in 79 AD and caused the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. You can visit the ruins of both historical cities.

The Naples National Archaeological Museum, the Castel Nuovo, and the surrounding area of the Piazza del Plebiscito are some of the must-see attractions.

Two to three days is enough time to see all the city's main sights. If you’re staying a bit longer, opt to visit one or two charming villages on the Amalfi Coast, such as Amalfi, Sorrento, Praiano, and Positano, just a 1.5-hour drive from Naples.

May is the best month to visit, when the city is not crowded, and the early-summer weather is good enough to enjoy the beautiful beaches in the coastal towns.

7. Pisa

Pisa is one of the smaller towns in Tuscany. It has beautiful historic buildings and over 20 historic churches, but the of course the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the main attraction.

Constructed in the 12th century, the tower’s foundations soon proved unstable, and the building began to lean. It is now protected with measures that ensure it keeps its angle without collapsing.

Other attractions worth a visit are the Baptistery, the Santa Maria della Spina church, and the Palazzo dei Cavalieri.

Located only an hour's train ride away from Florence, the city's top sights can easily be covered on a day trip. Simply buy tickets at the train station or online on the website of Trenitalia.

8. Turin

Turin was the first capital of Italy and has been a major cultural and economic center for the country for many years. Located in north-western Italy, it is a great place for a trip to Gran Paradiso National Park, a major climbing destination.

The Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Madama, Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, and Basilica di Superga are some of the top attractions in the city.

Take at least three days to explore all the key sights. It is best to visit the city during the autumn, when it is awash in beautiful red hues.

9. Capri

Capri is one of the best places to visit in Southern Italy. It’s easy to travel to the island from a coastal city like Naples or one of the towns on the Amalfi Coast. The best time to visit Capri is from the beginning of May to mid-June and from September to mid-October, avoiding the August crowds.

There are plenty of beaches for relaxing, with white sand and azure water. Among the special attractions is the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto), a beautiful flooded cave. Another must-see is the Via Krupp, a paved switchback path dating back to 1900 to connect La Certosa di San Giacomo and the Gardens of Augustus with Marina Piccola.

You can make a day trip from the Italian mainland if you have less time. Ideally, you should spend three or four days on the island. This is enough time to see all the sights and relax.

10. San Cassiano

This mountain town in the Italian Alps will offer an authentic experience. San Cassiano is a village to enjoy the old alpine charm, with historical landmarks, as well as luxurious hotels. Snow lovers will enjoy skiing the beautiful peaks.

Since it is a winter destination, the best time to visit San Cassiano is January and February, which usually has the best conditions for enjoying the snow.

Do I need a visa to travel to Italy?

Italy is a popular destination in Europe and has an endless list of reasons why you should visit. But before you go, make sure to get the right travel documents for your dream trip.

Most non-European visitors will need an Italy Schengen Visa or the ETIAS travel authorization from the end of 2023. Check our handy iVisa Checker Tool to find out exactly which document(s) you need, and apply instantly.

The Italy Schengen Visa explained

The Schengen Visa allows free movement between 27 member states, including Italy. The Italy Schengen Visa permits travelers to travel for tourism, business, or family visits. You can stay up to 90 days in the Schengen area, within a 180-day period.

The ETIAS Visa Waiver explained

If your nationality is visa-exempt to visit the European Union, you will need to apply for the ETIAS Visa Waiver to visit Italy from the end of 2023. It’s a simple online application process. The aim of ETIAS is pre-checking the traveler details before they enter the zone to provide more security for visitors and citizens.

Need more information about traveling to Italy?

If you have any questions about the Italy Schengen Visa, ETIAS, or other travel documents for Italy, contact us via online chat or email at [email protected].

Also check our ultimate Italy travel guide to learn more about the weather, transport, budget, and more.

  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en
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