Top 7 Must-See Places in Italy

A farmhouse sitting in sunny fields in Tuscany.

A farmhouse sitting in sunny fields in Tuscany.

Italy practically overflows with exciting destinations you must see. The country inspires travelers with ancient cultural riches and unique style, as well as enchanting natural beauty. With endless majesty stemming from the dramatic coastline, beautiful lakes, and rolling hills, it is no wonder we find inspiration throughout the country. The following information will give you advice on the destinations you must see to discover the essential Italy that celebrates life’s simple pleasures.

1. Rome

Evening view of the Roman Colosseum.

Evening view of the Roman Colosseum

Rome offers a mixture of haunting history and awe-inspiring art. The banks of the Tiber River swell with 3,000 years of monumental history featured in hidden catacombs, Roman ruins, and the massive domes of magnificent basilicas. Rome is layered with grand museums, rich with churches, lively with piazzas, and inviting with delicious restaurants that serve traditional Roman cuisine. Iconic attractions nearly overflow in the city separated by sidewalk cafes and boutique shops. From Medieval streets to Byzantine mosaics, Renaissance frescos to elegant aperitivo, Rome immerses you in the wonders of Italian history, art, and culture.

Highlights:  Colosseum | Roman Forum | Vatican City | The Pantheon | Piazza Navona

Recommended Length of Stay:  2-3 days

Best Times to Visit:  May | September | October

2. Florence

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

Florence is a preserved masterpiece of the Renaissance emblematic of the art and architecture for which greater Italy is known. Boutique shops reflect the larger beauty of the fashion industry while seasonable food and local wines support a great pride in traditional cuisine. The mixture of rolling hills, distinctive skyline, and cobbled streets provide a rich combination of colors, nearly matching the treasure chest of art displayed across the city. The wonderful assortment of palaces, churches, and museums only bring to light the spectacle of preserved traditions found in the artisan workshops that showcase techniques passed down through the generations.

Highlights: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore | The Uffizi Gallery | The Accademia Gallery | Piazza Michelangelo | The Basilica of San Lorenzo

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Times to Visit: May | September | October

3. Tuscany

City view of Siena.

City view of Siena.

Tuscany is a region of living history that captures the spirit of Italy’s famous cucina povera with the endless allure of medieval towns scattered across iconic hills, lush valleys, surprising coastline, and steep mountains. From Etruscan tombs to Renaissance masters, contemporary street art to the Slow Food movement, the charm of Tuscany is highlighted in the distinct character of the Renaissance, an artistic and philosophical revolution that shook the world. Each corner of the landscape provides another chance for discovering a new hilltop village or a rich dish with flavors that have been perfected over the centuries.

Highlights: Pisa | Siena | Lucca | Arezzo | Montepulciano

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Times to Visit: April | May | September | October

4. Venice

The Grand Canal in Venice.

The Grand Canal in Venice.

Venice is a hidden gem wrapped inside the recognizable highlights. The city on the canal embodies grace and elegance at the height of the Renaissance. Marbled palaces and charming waterways lead to scattered islands brimming with artisan culture. Each of the six neighborhoods has its own distinctive character amid prestigious art museums and piazzas erupting with life. Gondolas whisper of aristocratic legacies. Prosecco and local cuisine that have been tantalized by historic spice routes inform the grandeur of Venetian feats. The artful lifestyle of Venice defies the norm and remains charming in its surprising originality.

Highlights: St. Mark’s Basilica | The Doge’s Palace | Scuola Grande di San Rocco | Murano | The Cannaregio neighborhood

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

Best Times to Visit: September | October | November

5. Amalfi Coast

View of the Amalfi Coast.

View of the Amalfi Coast.

Steep cliffs, terraced homes, verdant woodland, and endless panoramas of the Mediterranean showcase the engaging beauty of the Amalfi Coast. The stretch of nearly 30 miles twists and curves along the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, where vineyards cling to the steep mountains, and Arab-Norman architecture points to the coastline’s alluring history. Hiking trails, charming towns, pebbled shorelines, and fragrant lemon groves will immerse you in the enchanting ambiance of the historic route that has captured the hearts of ancient and contemporary travelers.

Highlights: Amalfi | Positano | Ravello | Salerno | Vallone delle Ferriere

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Times to Visit: May | September | October

6. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre at sunset.

Cinque Terre at sunset.

The wonders of Cinque Terre stem from the Old-World charm that comes from the collection of five villages that, in themselves, act as art. Instead of the typical draw of important artwork, historic churches, grand museum galleries, or sophisticated palaces, Cinque Terre reflects nature’s beauty and local charm, which is featured in scenic paths winding along steep cliffs and colorful homes terraced among vineyards, citrus orchards, and towering basil plants. The towns absorb you with layers spanning 2,000 years of history and strengthened by the quiet fame of the preserved fishing villages.

Highlights: Vernazza | Riomaggiore | Blue Path Trail

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Times to Visit: September | October

7. Lake District

The town of Bellagio at Lake Como.

The town of Bellagio at Lake Como.

Italy’s Lake District plunges you into a flourish of verdant nature known to renew mind and body. The slopes of the Italian Alps bring together fascinating villages shielded in time and near-ancient monasteries connected to regal castles. The history supports intriguing museums and charming character coming from glassy waters that reflect townships circling the five major lakes. Villas, gardens, and lakeside promenades embrace and reveal the endlessly romantic ambiance while ancient Roman roads and silk boutiques bring to light the landscape’s poetic side.

Highlights: Bellagio | Sirmione | Isola Bella | Sacro Monte di San Francesco

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Times to Visit: April | May | June

How many days is enough to see Italy?

A 14-day trip in Italy is ideal for discovering the peninsula’s magnetism that is featured in the cities and culture. Two weeks in Italy will give you enough time to visit the famous cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice for two days each as well as giving you extra time to enjoy regional favorites like Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast. Fourteen days will also let you travel at a comfortable pace to not only visit each city but to truly experience why the world has fallen in love with Italy’s food, wine, art, and culture.

More Travel Information & Tips

The spectacular array of must-see destinations in Italy will give you a remarkable vision of the country but there is even more to see and experience! Explore our Italy Travel Guide for more in-depth information that will have you prepared for your immersive vacation. Your exploration of Italy during the right time to visit will unveil why people come from all over the world to see its enduring charms. To begin planning today, submit a Trip Request or speak with a Traveler Care Agent at 1-888-265-9707.