Have you been thinking about taking a European mini break sometime soon? Or maybe you want to spend longer in this part of the world so that you have enough time to explore its wonders?
There are lots of impressive regions and countries to visit in Europe, but there is a reason why Italy is the most-visited one there is – it’s a simply stunning country with a fascinating history and culture. Not only that, though, but it has some truly delicious cuisine and local specialities. Whether you want to enjoy a short city break or spend a couple of weeks lounging by a pool or on the beach, Italy is most certainly the place for you!
Once you’ve made up your mind about an Italian vacation, you need to then whittle down its many areas and cities to decide where you want to go. Unfortunately, there are so many amazing options, you might be a little spoiled for choice! Here are some of Italy’s best destinations; hopefully, this quick roundup can help you decide.
There’s no wonder many tourists head straight for Rome, the country’s gorgeous capital city. There are hundreds of historical sights and attractions dotted around the city, including the Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain. To make sure you see as many as possible, you might want to book a couple of the various Rome tours that take tourists to the main points of interest. When you aren’t doing the sights, you should spend some time wandering around the historic streets of Rome and take in some of the stunning Renaissance architecture.
If you love fashion and shopping, then you should spend a few nights in Milan. It’s Italy’s home of fashion, and you will find a lot of trendy independent boutiques as well as big designer brands, such as Gucci and Prada. For the ultimate shopping experience, be sure to visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is one of the most famous shopping malls in the world. Of course, you don’t have to stick to shopping during your Milan trip. You can also visit the Sforza Castle and the grand Teatro alla Scala theater
One of the most visited cities in the world, Venice is a favorite of travelers and tourists alike. You will be able to enjoy a lazy day relaxing on a gondola as you sail along one of the city’s many canals. In fact, those canals have been created from the lagoon that the city was originally built upon. Over a hundred islands make up Venice, and it is well worth doing a spot of island hopping to explore as much as possible. Be sure to check out the St. Mark Basilica as it makes a great location for some vacation photos. Doge’s Palace is a gothic-style museum that overlooks the water and is a great way to spend a few hours.
If “eating a lot of pizza” is near the top of your Italian to-do list, then you absolutely have to go to the city of Naples. This is the home of the traditional Neapolitan pizza, which is arguably the best kind of pizza you can get in the whole of Italy. Once you’ve had your fill, you could visit the impressive Royal Palace of Naples. It’s also worth taking a day trip out of the city to Mount Vesuvius. Lots of organized tours take tourists to the dormant volcano to hike up to the top. Naples is also quite close to the ancient city of Pompeii. The city was devastated after Mount Vesuvius erupted but it, and most of its inhabitants, have been preserved for hundreds of years under layers of ash.
The Italian Lake District
If you take a trip up to the north of the country, you will come across the Italian Lake District. This is where you will find the famous Lake Como, which is known for its gorgeous crystal-clear waters and mountain views. There will be plenty of hiking opportunities around the lake, and many tourists also choose to take a boat ride out onto the water. While you are in this region, be sure to visit the well-maintained public gardens that line most of the lake. Lake Garda is another popular stop-off for tourists, as this is where you will find fantastic mountain biking opportunities and plenty of water sport activities as well.
Sicily is easy to spot on a map as it is the large island that looks like it is being “kicked” by Italy. It’s the biggest Mediterranean island, so you can imagine just how much to see and do there is! You’ll be able to walk to the Valle dei Templi, which is one of the island’s most notable archeological sites. The island is also home to Mount Etna, another volcano that you will be able to hike up to. If you would rather spend your time in Italy relaxing, you will be happy to know that Sicily has some beautiful beaches. To team history and relaxation, you should visit Licata so that you can wander around the historic port when you are bored of sunbathing.
Tuscany is known for its rural areas, but don’t worry if you would rather sample some city living. The capital of this region is Florence, and there’s plenty of culture and fun to be had there! When you are ready to see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, you should take a trip to Cortona. This small town is situated right on the side of a hill and benefits from some truly inspiring views. You might also want to visit La Verne, which was the quiet retreat of St. Francis. You can pay homage to the saint or simply visit the busy Franciscan monastery that is still present on the site.
As you can see, there are some really fantastic places to visit while you are in Italy. In fact, there are so many, you might want to organize a road trip around the country to fit in as much as possible!