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7 Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy

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View of Lake Grade and mountains in Torbelo, Italy

Lake Garda, Torbole, Italy

In a country with a plethora of beautiful and charming rural and urban areas, these seven best places to visit in northern Italy capture the essence of the region.

Majestic mountains jut out against sparkling backgrounds, while quaint towns in glorious landscapes make northern Italy a much-desired destination for any kind of traveler. Through majestic architecture and mouth-watering dishes served with flair, cities offer cultural and culinary delights, while lakes and vineyards add to the north’s aesthetic appeal.

Capture the spirit of the region at your pace by using our guide to exploring the treasures of Northern Italy during your custom trip.

  1. 1. The Dolomites
  2. 2. The Lake District
  3. 3. Venice
  4. 4. Bologna
  5. 5. Milan
  6. 6. Turin
  7. 7. Bergamo
  8. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy

1. The Dolomites

 Val di Funes in The Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites, Italy

Forming part of the Southern Limestone Alps, the Dolomites line the landscape from the Adige River in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.

The dramatic peaks compliment stone pathways and green hillsides. Attractive villages nestle where mountains meet grasslands, offering a picturesque and peaceful getaway in a truly outstanding setting.

Highlights: Moena, Trento • Stelvio Pass • Alto Adige • Fairytales Val di Funes • Val di Non • Val di Sole • Ortisei • Santa Cristina

2. The Lake District

Streets and historic center of Lake Orta in Italy

Lake Orta, Italy

Comprising seven magnificent bodies of water, northern Italy’s lake district is a gem on any itinerary.

From well-known options such as Lake Como to romantic escapes at Lake Orta, your experiences of northern Italy’s lakes will gift you with picturesque scenery and a feeling of absolute tranquility.

Enjoy a boat ride on glistening waters to embrace the peace around you and absorb the local culture.

Highlights: Lake Maggiore • Lake Como • Lake Orta • Lake Varese • Lake Garda • Lake Iseo • Lake Lugano

3. Venice

Famous Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and gondolas in Venice, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Take a slow gondola ride on the Grand Canal in the romantic city of Venice. Beautiful bridges connect the city in grand style, while surrounded by treasured Renaissance designs.

Captivating architecture will have you mesmerized from the moment you arrive, with squares and cafes inviting you to taste delicious Venetian cuisine.

Museums showcase marvelous works of art that complement the modern charm of one of Italy’s most popular places, a city that is sure to capture your heart and imagination.

Highlights: St Mark’s Square • Rialto Bridge • Murano Glass • Bridge of Sighs • St Mark’s Basilica • Gallerie dell'Accademia

4. Bologna

Asinelli and Garisenda Tower in Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

Emilia-Romagna is home to towns and villages brimming with flavors and textures and Bologna belongs at the top of that list.

Discover the wonder of Italy’s motor valley and dive into a dish of delish pasta topped with parma ham or traditional bolognese sauce.

Walk the quaint streets and learn about the incredible history and architecture of one of northern Italy’s most popular destinations, one that embodies extravagance and a welcoming ambiance.

Highlights: Bologna Cathedral • Maggiore Square • Nettuno’s Fountain • St. Petronio Basilica • Asinelli Tower • Towers of Bologna • Lamborghini Museum

5. Milan

Como Cathedral exterior in Milan, Italy

Como Cathedral exterior in Milan, Italy

Experience the cosmopolitan hub that is Milan, Italy’s second-most populated city and a strong example of old meets new, from Gothic architecture to modern-day marvels.

One of the world’s top fashion capitals, a flair for extravagance can be experienced in shopping malls and restaurants, with city streets leading visitors through magnificent buildings and neighborhoods.

Get a true taste of northern Italy’s cuisine and culture in this favorite city and use it as a base to discover the wonderful villages and countryside that surrounds bustling Milan.

Highlights: Milan’s Como Cathedral • Parco Sempione • Piazza del Duomo

6. Turin

Piazza Castello in Turin, Italy

Piazza Castello, Turin, Italy

Wander the historical streets of Turin, a cultural capital in northern Italy that embraces modern-day industry, while paying tribute to the elegance of 19th-century Europe.

Discover the art of master chocolatiers and savor culinary delights in Turin’s classic cafes, stand in wonder in museums or majestic castles, and find out more about the rich history of car making for which the city is known.

Rest for a bit in beautiful city squares to get a feel for the lavish ambiance or embrace Turin’s well-known associations with things like cinema to truly indulge in the city’s endless charm.

Highlights: Museo dell’Automobile • Piazza Castello • Palazzo Reale • Piazza San Carlo • Mole Antonelliana Cinema Museum

7. Bergamo

Medieval Town in Bergamo, Italy

Medieval Town in Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo is a city that travelers easily fall in love with as art, history, architecture, and quiet passions combine to create a timeless charm. From Venetian designs to the divided city center, a remarkable beauty fills the streets and stretches across a jeweled city often overlooked for more famous destinations.

The contemporary ambiance of the lower city creates the perfect place for window shopping along the wide boulevards while the upper city retains a medieval wonder that stands out against Renaissance and Baroque additions.

Frescoes, tapestries, masters, and museums only highlight the city’s soft-spoken and much-deserved splendor.

Highlights: Citta Bassa • Citta Alta • PIazza Vecchia • Basilica of Santa Maria Maggior • Palazzo della Ragione • Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti di Bergamo

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy

Women enjoying the view of Lake Garda in Italy

Lake Garda, Italy

Many of the regions, cities, and sites in northern Italy greet visitors with dramatic landscapes and mouthwatering treats. From wine to chocolate to some of the country's tastiest pasta dishes, you can indulge in the scenery or cuisine as you settle into the comforts of the north in any season.

Learn about the region’s rich motoring history or that of arts and culture as you explore the top part of Italy. Take a look at a few options with our Northern Italy Tours and Itineraries to help inspire your trip.

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