Undoubtedly, Italy is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. From the city sights of Rome and Florence to the beaches of Naples and surrounded by the vineyards of Tuscany and Veneto, visitors are spoiled for choice, so it can be tough to build your Italy itinerary. After visiting nearly every region of the country, these are my favorite things to do in Italy, including a blend of hidden gems and the best places to visit.
Italy features incredible architecture, stunning landscapes, delicious wine, lively cities, national parks, medieval art museums, and all the beaches you could ask for on the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Seas.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then, there’s the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Vatican Museum, and the canals of Venice. These are just a few of the country’s world-famous attractions, with thousands of other unique places to see.
Don’t forget about the food; delicious pizza, pasta, and gelato are just a few foods in Italy that people have enjoyed worldwide. When you travel to Italy, you will have no trouble finding these tasty treats around every corner.
With so much on offer, knowing where to start when planning a trip to Italy can be tricky. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit and things to do in Italy. Andiamo!
Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and explore the hidden treasures of the Amalfi Coast on a private boat excursion. This six-hour tour takes you to some of the most beautiful caves and grottoes along the coastline, providing breathtaking views of the coast and towns along the way. Swim in the sparkling turquoise waters, stop in picturesque spots for a swim, and let your local captain show you all the best hidden spots.
On this small-group tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, you'll enjoy VIP access and skip all the entrance lines! With an expert guide leading the way, you'll explore some of the most iconic artwork and historical artifacts in the world. From the Gallery of the Maps to Raphael's Rooms, you'll be blown away by the sheer scale and scope of the Vatican collection. And of course, no visit would be complete without stepping inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's magnificent frescoes up close.
Discover the secrets of Rome on this small-group tour of three of the city's most significant historical sites. Skip the line at the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum with an English-speaking expert historian tour guide. Learn about the history of Ancient Rome through stories and anecdotes while exploring these incredible ruins. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Eternal City in all its glory!
- Most significant landmark – The Colosseum
- Best park – Bellunesi Dolomites National Park
- Best free activity – Roadtrip along the Amalfi Coast
- Best activity for kids – Mirabilandia
- Best activity for adults – Roman Catacombs
- Best food – Pizza in Sicily
- Best nightlife – Bar del Fico and the Rashomon Bar & Club (Rome)
- Best all-around accommodation – Park Hyatt Milano
Best Things to Do in Italy & Places to Visit
1. Amalfi Coast
Address: 84011 Amalfi, Province of Salerno, Italy
Among the finest, beautiful things to do in Italy is, without a doubt, a road trip along the Amalfi Coast. This coast of Italy has it all: dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, cute little hill towns dotting the hillside, and of course – incredible panoramas.
If you plan on driving the Amalfi Coast, be prepared for some hair-raising turns and drop-offs. But it’s all part of the experience, and worth it for the views! Trust me; you won’t find views like these anywhere else.
Stop in cute little towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, explore their winding streets, sample some delicious limoncello, or enjoy a leisurely lunch by the water. And don’t forget to dip in the crystal-clear waters – it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. You can even rent a boat for the day and explore the coastline from the water on a boat trip.
If you’re in the mood for some active things to do in Italy, this coastline is also home to great hiking trails. Hike up to Monte Tre Calli for incredible views over the coastline, or tackle the more challenging Path of the Gods hike.
If you’re eager to avoid crowds, head to the Amalfi Coast in the shoulder season (April-May or September-October). But if you don’t mind a few more people around, summer is the best time to visit as you’ll surely enjoy the weather, boating, and beaches.
You can visit the Amalfi Coast on a road trip from the nearby city of Naples or base yourself in one of the coastal towns and explore at your own pace.
See Related: Best Family Vacation Spots in the World
2. Vatican City
Believe it or not, Vatican City is its own country! This tiny city-state is located within the city of Rome and is home to some of the most famous sights in Italy. The Vatican Museums are a can’t-miss destination, even if you’re not particularly interested in art or history.
They’re huge, and there’s so much to see that you could easily spend a whole day here. Highlights include the Sistine Chapel, with its world-famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo, and the Raphael Rooms, equally remarkable. Admission tickets to the Vatican typically have a guided tour, so book in advance!
If visiting Vatican City, you’ll also want to tour St. Peter’s Basilica. This magnificent church is one of the largest in the world, and its interior is stunning.
Make sure you go to the top of the dome for views over Rome – it’s an incredible experience. And don’t forget to explore the rest of Vatican City, including the impressive Vatican Library and the beautiful gardens.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Italy
3. Blue Grotto
Address: 80071 Anacapri, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
The Blue Grotto, known in Italian as the Grotta Azzurra, is a sea cave on the island of Capri. It’s one of the best places to visit in Italy and one of the essential destinations in Southern Italy. When the sun hits the water just right, the cave glows a beautiful blue color.
The blue light is caused by sunlight reflecting off the white limestone walls and the bottom of the cave. It’s a magical sight that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
To get to the Blue Grotto, you’ll need to take a small boat from the island of Capri. The boat will enter the cave through a small opening, and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the view of the Adriatic Sea. The best way to experience the grotto is on a guided boat tour of the cave.
You’ll sail into the cave on a small rowboat, and if the weather conditions are reasonable, you can spend some time there. Remember that the cave is only accessible during certain times of day when the tide is just right.
And since it’s such a popular place in Italy, there will likely be a bit of a wait to get on the boat. But trust me; it’s worth it. A trip to the Blue Grotto is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and unquestionably one of the unique things to do in Italy.
For an extended stay when you visit Capri Island, check out the Hotel Villa Ceselle. This beautifully appointed 3-star hotel is located in the village of Anacapri and offers gorgeous vistas of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet each morning, and there’s even a shuttle service that takes you into Capri town.
See Related: Best Travel Books for Italy
4. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
When you think of iconic Italian landmarks, this leaning tower is probably one of the first things that come to mind. The Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous buildings in the world, and it’s certainly worth a visit when you’re in Italy.
The tower is located in the city of Pisa. Despite its name, it’s part of a larger complex known as the Piazza del Duomo—this square houses multiple beautiful buildings, including the cathedral and baptistery.
The Pisa Tower is approximately 60 meters tall and famous for its unintended tilt. The tower was built on unstable ground, and over time, it slowly started to sink and lean to one side.
Today, the tower is stabilized, but it still leans at an angle of about 3.9 degrees. Visitors to the building can purchase entry tickets to go all the way to the top, and from up there, you’ll get incredible panoramas of the city of Pisa. The outside of the tower is always swarming with tourists trying to take photos, so make sure you snap a selfie while you’re there!
See Related: Best Tours in Italy
5. Visit the Tuscan Countryside
For an authentic Italian experience, you can’t go wrong with visiting the Tuscan countryside. This picturesque region is located in central Italy, and it’s famous for its rolling hills, cypress trees, and vineyards. It’s the perfect place to experience the Italian landscape’s true beauty.
One of the best ways to explore the countryside of Tuscany is by renting a car and driving through winding roads. This will allow you to stop and visit the quaint hill towns to sample delicious wines at a vineyard. Alternatively, a pre-booked wine-tasting tour of Tuscany is always a good idea.
And if you’re lucky enough to visit in the springtime, you’ll be able to see the fields of wildflowers that bloom throughout the region. No matter when you visit, a trip to the countryside of Tuscany promises to be a highlight of your Italy vacation.
The best place to visit in the Tuscany region is Florence. This beautiful city is home to the world’s most renowned art and architecture. Some highly recommended destinations in Florence include the Duomo, the Baptistery, Piazzale Michelangelo, and the Uffizi Gallery.
You could easily spend days exploring all the experiences this city provides. To keep your time efficient, I recommend taking a tour of the town and its surrounding areas to make the most of your time there. Alternatively, you can take a day trip to the nearby city of Pisa to see the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
You can also visit the small town of San Gimignano, the inventor of the modern-day skyline, or Lucca, which is just a short drive away. This quaint town inspired the setting for the popular new Disney movie “Lucca.” Consider staying a few days here to explore the city and its surroundings – this Tuscany vacation rental is a converted monastery ideally located in Tuscany.
See Related: Top Reasons to Travel to Italy
6. Take a Gondola Ride in Venice
Address: S. Marco Stop, Riva degli Schiavoni, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Venice is one of those places that you have to see to believe. With its winding canals, beautiful architecture, and bridges spanning the water, Venice is one of the most popular places to visit for couples. It’s romantic, it’s unique, and it’s unquestionably worth a visit!
One bucket list item for many people is to take a ride on a Venetian gondola. These small boats are the primary mode of transportation, and they’re a great way to see the city from the water. Gondola rides can be a bit pricey, but they’re worth it for the experience if you’ve never done one before.
For those partial to activities in Venice on a budget, I recommend taking a self-guided walking tour through the city and getting lost in the winding streets. It’s tough to beat this way to explore Venice than on foot; you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.
Ensure you walk across the Rialto Bridge, as it perfectly displays Italian architecture in an idyllic setting. You’ll have a chance to get up close and personal with Venetian architecture and maybe even stumble upon a hidden cafe or gelato shop.
Pro tip: This guided tour combines a walking tour of Venice and a gondola ride, and it’s a great way to see the city on a budget. If you plan on doing both, I recommend doing the walking tour first and then the gondola ride. That way, you’ll already have a good lay of the land and know where you want to go during your gondola ride.
See Related: Best Museums in Florence to Visit
7. Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius
Pompeii was an ancient city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The infamous city was buried under meters of ash and wasn’t rediscovered until over 1500 years later.
Today, Pompeii is a popular tourist destination, one of Italy’s best things to see. It’s an eerie but fascinating place to visit, and it gives you a unique insight into what life was like in Rome in the middle ages.
Exploring Pompeii is not for the faint of heart. The city is exceptionally well-preserved, but it’s also very eerie. It’s easy to imagine the terror the citizens must have felt as they were buried alive by the volcanic ash. But despite its gruesome history, Pompeii’s ancient ruins are one of Italy’s best places to visit.
I recommend taking a guided tour of the ruins with an archaeologist. Without one, you won’t have as much intel into the history and the significance of what you’ll be viewing. There are plenty of tours to choose from, and a guide can answer any questions.
This Pompeii tour takes you through the city of Pompeii and the nearby town of Herculaneum, which was also destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. You’ll get to enjoy a nice lunch and wine tasting before heading back to Pompeii for more exploring of the prehistoric sites.
Pro tip: Pompeii is located near Naples, and visiting Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius in one day is easy. I recommend doing a guided tour of Pompeii in the morning and then taking the bus to Mt. Vesuvius in the afternoon. That way, you can learn about the city and its history before exploring the volcano that destroyed it.
See Related: Best Pompeii Tours from Naples, Italy
Address: SS16, km 162, 48125 Savio RA, Italy
Mirabilandia is a massive theme park located in the town of Ravenna. The park is divided into four different areas, each with its theme. There’s an adventure land, a water park, a kids’ area, and a movie-themed land. Spanning over 850,000 square meters, Mirabilandia is the largest amusement park in Italy and a popular place to visit in Europe.
Mirabilandia is one of the best things to do in Italy for families, and it’s a great place to spend a day out as a family. Plenty of rides keep everyone entertained, and the park is exceptionally well-kept. Some of the most popular rides at Mirabilandia include the iSpeed coaster, the Divertical roller coaster, and the Katun inverted coaster.
If you’re visiting Italy during the summer and looking for outdoor adventures, I recommend spending a day at Mirabilandia. It’s the perfect place to beat the heat and have some fun! And if you purchase your tickets online in advance, you’ll save a few euros.
Pro tip: Mirabilandia is located in northeastern Italy, and it’s easy to reach by train from many of the major nearby towns. If you’re coming from Florence, Bologna, or Venice, I recommend taking the high-speed Frecciarossa train. The journey takes just over an hour, and you can purchase train tickets online in advance.
9. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a stretch of coastline on the Italian Riviera comprising five picturesque towns – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
A network of hiking trails connects the villages, and they’re popular tourist destinations for Italians and foreigners. Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in Italy, and it’s a great place to avoid the busy atmosphere of the city.
I recommend hiking the trails between all the villages. The views are a remarkable way to see all five towns. There are plenty of places to stop and take photos, and you’ll work up an appetite hiking all those hills! You can also take the train between the villages if you’re not up for a hike.
The Cinque Terre can get pretty crowded during peak season. I recommend visiting in the off-season, early morning, or later at night. That way, you can avoid crowds and enjoy the villages in peace.
You’ll, without a doubt, want to spend a few days in Cinque Terre to enjoy all it provides fully! Those staying in Florence and wanting to visit daily can join a group tour, including round-trip transportation. While in Cinque Terre, I recommend a food tour or a romantic sunset cruise.
See Related: Best Places To Stay In Cinque Terre
10. Duomo di Milano
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo di Milano, is Italy’s largest church and the world’s fifth-largest church. This massive Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete and is one of the most iconic sights in Milan. The cathedral is so large that it can hold up to 40,000 people and is one of Italy’s most famous places deeply rooted in the past.
The cathedral’s interior is decorated with marble, mosaics, and stained glass, and it’s a beautiful sight. The Duomo di Milano is one of the most popular things to see in Italy and a top attraction for wanderers discovering Milan.
During your visit, I recommend going to the top of the cathedral for a bird’s eye view of Milan. You can also tour the inside of the cathedral, which is a great way to learn about the history and architecture of this incredible building.
The tours are very informative and a great way to learn about the church’s history and the city of Milan. The outside of the cathedral is known for being filled with pigeons. If you’re traveling with kids, they can let out some steam by feeding the pigeons, and you can even take photos holding them. Trust me, that can be crucial if you’re day is filled with churches and museums.
The nearby Piazza del Duomo is worth a stopover and is home to the Palazzo Reale and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It’s a beautiful place to walk around, making it one of Milan’s best things to do.
Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The Colosseum is one of the most popular things to see in Italy, and it’s no surprise why. This massive arena was built over 2,000 years ago and is an imposing sight.
The Colosseum was used for gladiator battles and public executions, and it’s estimated that over 500,000 people died there. Today, the Colosseum is the most famous ancient monument in the world.
A tour of the interior of the Colosseum is a must-do while in the capital of Italy. The tours are informative and great for learning about the arena’s history. You can also go to the top of the Colosseum for an incredible view of Rome.
If you’re up for it, I recommend taking a tour of the underground chambers. You’ll see where the animals and gladiators waited before entering the arena, and it’s an incredible experience.
Are you not entertained?!! The nearby Roman Forum was once the center of political life in ancient Rome, and it’s a great place to learn about the city’s history. Palatine Hill is also worth a visit, as it’s home to some of the city’s best views.
Rome is also arguably one of the best cities in Italy for nightlife, with popular bars like the Bar del Fico and the Rashomon Bar & Club. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed, getting bored in this historic city is impossible.
See Related: Best Military Museums in Europe
12. Bellunesi Dolomites National Park
Address: Dolomiti Bellunesi, Belluno BL, Italy
The Bellunesi Dolomites National Park is a national park in the province of Belluno, in the Veneto region of the Italian Alps. The park was established in 1990 and covered approximately 62 square miles. It’s home to a range of flora, fauna, and stunning landscapes. It’s one of the most-visited national parks in Italy, and it’s easy to see why!
There are activities to do in the park, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park also has multiple lakes and rivers, so it’s a great place to cool off on a hot day. In the winter, you can find hundreds of miles of ski trails. And no matter what time of year you visit, you will surely be impressed by the stunning scenery.
If you seek outdoorsy things to do, the Bellunesi Dolomites National Park is an excellent choice. It’s one of Italy’s best national parks and features one of Europe’s most picturesque mountain ranges.
13. Michelangelo’s David
Address: Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
The sculpture of David by Michelangelo is an Italian Renaissance art masterpiece and one of the most famous statues in Italy. This marble statue was sculpted between 1501 and 1504, and it’s genuinely an impaling sculpture.
The sculpture measures 17 feet tall, and it’s located in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. Checking out the gallery is a must-do while in Florence, and you can also see other works by Michelangelo, including the unfinished statue of David.
The sculpture of David is an essential visit for any art lover. If you’re interested in learning more about the statue, the Accademia Gallery offers many tours with knowledgeable guides who can tell you all about it. I recommend taking a tour of the gallery, as it’s a great way to get direct insight into the meaning, approach, and portrayal by Michelangelo. The Accademia Gallery is easy to get to from the city center of Florence.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy
14. Saint Mark’s Basilica
Address: Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Saint Mark’s Basilica is one of Italy’s best places in Venice. This Byzantine church was built in the 11th century, and it’s a genuinely stunning sight.
The basilica’s exterior is covered in mosaics, and the interior is equally impressive. Saint Mark’s Basilica is also home to multiple vital works of art, and it’s an essential visit for any art lover.
Tours are available in multiple languages, and they’re a great way to learn about the basilica’s history and see all of the necessary works of art. I recommend taking a tour, as it’s a great way to learn about the church’s history and see the mosaics and artwork up close.
After exploring the Basilica and Saint Mark’s Square, wander around Venice and explore all these unique city offers. Venice is a unique destination due to its impressive Gothic architecture and the Grand Canal.
15. Uffizi Gallery
Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Art aficionados, unite! Checking out the Uffizi Gallery is a must-do while in Florence. This internationally acclaimed art museum is home to some of the most famous paintings in the world, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. The Uffizi Gallery is also home to many sculptures, and it’s a great place to learn about art history.
There are countless things to see in the Uffizi Gallery, which can be overwhelming. I recommend taking a tour, as they’re a great way to learn about the gallery’s history and see all the vital works of art. Tours are available in multiple languages, so you can choose the one that’s right for you.
Admission to the Uffizi Gallery can be booked online in advance or at the ticket office on the day of your visit. It’s the most popular tourist attraction in Florence, so don’t forget to include this in your Italy itinerary if you’re visiting for the first time.
See Related: Best Theme Parks in Europe to Visit
For multiple reasons, Sicily is incredible to visit, but if you love pizza, this is your place. Believe it or not, this is where pizza was invented. And you can try some of the best pizza in Sicily at one of the many pizzerias in Catania.
Beyond pizza, this region of Italy loves its food. Beyond trying some of the most classic Italian dishes at a traditional trattoria, try making these dishes yourself in a Sicilian cooking class.
Along with being the home of pizza, Sicily is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. From the black sand beaches of Vulcano to the crystal clear waters of Taormina, there’s a beach for everyone in Sicily. And if you seek a beach that’s a bit off the beaten path, check out the beaches of the Egadi Islands.
Sicily is also home to Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe. At over 10,000 feet tall, Mount Etna is an imposing sight. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hike to the top of the volcano.
Wear appropriate shoes and bring plenty of water, as it can be a strenuous hike. Spending the day on a tour of Taormina and Mount Etna is a great way to see some of Sicily’s top sights. If you want delicious food, beautiful beaches, and adventure, add Sicily to your Italian bucket list.
17. Ponte Vecchio
Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This medieval stone bridge is one of the most iconic sights in the old town of Florence. This bridge is an impressive feat of engineering and has been functioning since the building was completed in 1345 by Taddeo Gaddi.
It’s the oldest bridge in Florence and a beautiful sight, especially at night when it’s lit up. It spans the Arno River and is lined with shops, and it’s one of the most popular shopping destinations in Florence.
If you’re searching for luxury souvenirs, this is the place to find them. The shops on the Ponte Vecchio are known for their excellent selection of new and vintage jewelry. But beware, the prices can be pretty high. Expect to pay the tourist location premium.
In case you’re interested in the city’s history, take a walking tour that includes exploring Ponte Vecchio. You’ll learn about the bridge’s construction, resilience during World War II, and use throughout the centuries.
There are a few excellent hotels near the bridge if you want to stay centrally located in Florence. The Hotel Ponte Vecchio Suites & Spa is a fine selection if you’re searching for luxury accommodations in a unique location. This beautiful bridge is a symbol of Florence, and it’s a great place to do some shopping and people-watching.
See Related: Italy vs. Greece
18. Boboli Gardens
Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Boboli Gardens are one of the best places to visit in Florence. And it’s no wonder why. These beautiful gardens offer options to suit a range of interests. You could easily spend a day here with over 45 acres of land to explore.
The start of the Boboli Gardens dated back to the 16th century and was created for the Medici family. The gardens were designed to be a place of both pleasure and luxury. There are Roman ruins, sculptures, fountains, and even a theater. You can also find a botanical garden with over 500 different species of plants.
The Boboli Gardens are also a great place to relax. With plenty of green space to enjoy, it’s the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing. And if you get hungry, multiple restaurants are located within the gardens. These beautiful gardens are a great way to enjoy outdoor beauty like a Renaissance-era royal.
19. Valley of the Temples
Address: 92100 Agrigento, Italy
The Valley of the Temples is one of Sicily’s most popular tourist attractions. This archaeological site is home to multiple ancient Greek temples, and it’s a great place to learn about the region’s history.
This historic landmark was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 due to its cultural and historical significance. The site includes the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Hera, and the Temple of Zeus. These temples are some of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. Yes, Greek! Not Roman, as you might expect to find in Sicily.
Along with the temples, there are multiple other activities here, such as an archeological museum on site, the ancient ruins within the archaeological park, or simply taking in the gorgeous vistas of the surrounding countryside. You can get to this archaeological site efficiently on a day tour from the nearby towns of Palermo and Agrigento.
See Related: Things to Do in Ravello, Italy
20. Roman Catacombs
Address: Fontana del Tritone, Piazza Barberini, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
For a spooky and unique experience, visit the Roman Catacombs. These underground burial chambers are some of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Roman Catacombs are a network of tunnels and chambers used for burial purposes. The catacombs dated back to the 2nd century and were used until the 5th century. It’s believed that there are over 60 catacombs in Rome, but only a handful are open to the public. Here, you can find the remains of over 16,000 people!
When visiting the Roman Catacombs, you’ll have the opportunity to explore these ancient burial chambers. You’ll also learn about the history of the catacombs and see the artifacts found here.
A guided tour of this place will give you a new perspective on death and burial practices. The Roman Catacombs are a great way to learn about the history of Rome. And they’re also a great place to take some unique photos.
If you’re wondering what to see in Italy that is slightly different, remember to incorporate the Roman Catacombs into your list. This is a unique and exciting place that is sure to give you chills!
See Related: Incredible Bucket List Ideas
21. Lake Como
Italy has impressive landscapes and natural landmarks, and Lake Como is one of the best. This large lake is located in the Lombardy region of Italy and is a popular tourist destination. This massive lake spans about 29 miles long and has a maximum depth of around 1,350 feet at its deepest point.
But Lake Como isn’t just a big lake – it’s also beautiful! The lake is surrounded by mountains and is known for its stunning scenery. We recommend you take a boat tour of the lake, visit one of the many towns that line its shores, or enjoy the striking scenes.
I recommend stopping by the Villa Carlotta, a beautiful villa and garden. Or you can take a cable car up to the town of Brunate for some striking lake scenes! Lake Como is a great place to get out of the city and enjoy a picnic lunch or a hike in the mountains.
Lake Como is an excellent choice if you’re searching for cheap things to do in Italy. It’s easy to get to on a day trip from Milan, and you certainly won’t be disappointed by the views. Expect to pay a premium price for accommodation and dining, but other than that, you can fill your schedule with plenty of affordable outdoor activities.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Rome, Italy
22. Santa Maria delle Grazie
Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
La Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, commonly known as Santa Maria delle Grazie, is a Catholic church and Dominican convent in Milan. The church and convent are in the Borgo district of Milan, close to the city’s central railway station. This famous church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in a room that was once part of a refectory of the convent.
The site was once occupied by a Santa Maria Maggiore church, founded in 1466 and rebuilt in 1490. It was then destroyed by French forces in 1568 during the Italian Wars. The church and convent as we know them today were later rebuilt in 1579 by order of Saint Charles Borromeo.
The new church was consecrated in 1614, and Leonardo da Vinci completed the mural of The Last Supper between 1594 and 1598. Santa Maria delle Grazie has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 and a symbol of Milan for centuries.
Along with the famous Last Supper painting, the church contains many other works of art, including paintings by Bernardino Luini, Gian Paolo Lomazzo, and Andrea Solari. The church is open to the public for guided art tours, which is a great way to learn more about the history of the building and the art.
23. Lake Garda
Address: M2QR+94 Predore, Province of Bergamo
Lago di Garda, or Lake Garda, of the Bergamo province, is a can’t-miss destination in Italy if you’re in search of some relaxation or a great honeymoon destination. It has striking scenes and a relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to spend a few days unwinding.
The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and lush vegetation, creating a peaceful and calming environment. Plenty of activities are available, such as swimming, sailing, kayaking, fishing, or just exploring the area on foot or by bike.
Many small towns dot Lake Garda’s shores, offering delicious food and plenty of places to stay. Lake Garda is an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil retreat away from it all.
24. Visit the small country of San Marino
Address: Città di San Marino
Italy is home to not one but two other countries within its borders. The first is the Vatican, and the other is San Marino. This mountainous “micro-state” is known for its magnificent landscapes and cultural activities.
In search of an exciting place to explore, San Marino has many to offer visitors, including charming (but lively) towns and plenty of historical sights. You can walk through the old city walls of San Marino City and visit some of the oldest buildings in Europe. Or, wander along the cobbled streets and enjoy remarkable views of the surrounding mountains.
There are also plenty of museums, churches, and art galleries that you can explore, coupled with plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and cycling to help you discover this beautiful country. Did you think you could cross another country off your list by visiting Italy? Well, there you have it.
25. Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands
Address: XM6J+J6 Porto Valtravaglia, Province of Varese
Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands are among the best places in Italy to visit for those who love outdoor adventures. The lake is one of the largest in Europe and provides a picturesque backdrop for any trip to Italy.
The Borromean Islands are located on Lake Maggiore and provide visitors with plenty of activities, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Some great restaurants and cafes around the islands make it an ideal destination for a day out or overnight stay.
It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature while still being close enough to explore the rest of what Italy provides.
26. Take a road trip along the Italian Riviera
Address: 16034 Portofino GE, Italy
A road trip along the Italian Riviera is an unforgettable encounter. Driving along the coast of the Italian Riviera offers incredible panoramas and opportunities to explore quaint Italian towns such as the ultra-posh Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sestri Levante, and Rapallo. Or, take in the larger cities like Genoa, where you can taste authentic Genovese pesto and focaccia.
Delve into Italy’s culture, food, and history while driving through one of the most beautiful European countrysides. With some planning and research, you can make your Italian road trip a perfect getaway full of adventure, relaxation, and beautiful scenery. A road trip to Italy will leave you with many wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
27. Take a boat trip to Sardinia
Address: Piazza Costituzione, 09121 Cagliari CA
A boat trip to Sardinia is a fantastic way to explore the wonders of nature in the great outdoors. In case you didn’t know, Sardinia is an autonomous region and island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The region is known for its rugged coastline, vast mountain ranges, and unique wildlife (you can spot wild horses here quickly). This underrated spot in Italy is ideal for those looking to escape it all and experience some of Europe’s best natural beauty.
The region’s capital, Cagliari, is known for some of Europe’s best boating, posh nightlife, and dining scene. You won’t find massive crowds here, given that it is relatively hard to get to from outside of Europe. That’s what makes it sincerely unique for the ultimate Italian experience.
28. Explore the island of Procida
Address: 80079 Procida, Metropolitan City of Naples
Not only is Italy an absolute gem for lakes and coastal experiences, but this country also features some of the best islands in the entire world. The lesser-known island of Procida, in the Bay of Naples, is precisely one of those.
While famous counterparts like Capri and Sardinia are consistently on the must-visits for many travelers, Procida offers equal beauty, history, and excellent dining, often at lower prices.
The island’s landscape is fascinating as it was created from the eruption of four (now dormant) volcanoes over time. Given its historical significance and heritage, Procida was up for being named the capital of culture by multiple other Italian cities.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in France
What is Italy known for?
First, let’s get the crucial stuff out of the way. Italy is, of course, the home of pizza. Italian cuisine and wine are a significant part of Italian culture and have been enjoyed by people worldwide.
Italy is known for its rich culture, art, and architecture. The country is home to some of the world’s best museums, galleries, and churches, so a trip to Italy almost always includes an appreciation of its art, architecture, and history.
Italians, in general, are passionate about their food, fashion, music, and traditions, which can be seen in everyday life throughout the country. Immerse yourself in Italy in so many ways that one trip here may not be enough.
You could set aside time for an entire year to enjoy its great food and wine, remarkable landscapes, energetic cultures, fascinating time-honored landmarks, and beautiful beaches without boredom. With all that it features, it’s obvious why this country has been a go-to unmissable gem for people worldwide.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Italy?
One of our favorite recommendations is to take your kids to Mirabilandia, Italy’s largest amusement park!
What are some fun things to do in Italy?
Some top things to do are take a cooking class, go wine tasting, go on a history tour of the Sistine Chapel, and throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
What are some things to do in Italy when it’s raining?
When it’s raining in Italy, you must visit one of the many world-class museums or take a guided tour through one of the many Italian cathedrals scattered throughout the country.
What are the best tourist attractions in Italy?
Some of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions include Lake Como, the Colosseum, the Tower of Pisa, and the Vatican City.