62 migliori città, città e luoghi da vedere in Italia

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L'Italia è una destinazione turistica popolare, ma gran parte del turismo arriva in alcuni luoghi come Roma, Venezia e Firenze o in città alla portata di un porto per navi da crociera. Ma ci sono molti posti in Italia che meritano una visita, sia famosi che meno conosciuti.

L'Italia è conosciuta per la sua storia. Ha più siti del patrimonio mondiale dell'Unesco di qualunque altro paese. Di certo è stata la dimora degli imperatori romani, ma anche di coloni greci, pirati saraceni, commercianti veneziani, nonché principi, scienziati e artisti del Rinascimento. È stato governato in parte da Cesare, Napoleone, re austriaci, cavalieri normanni, Mussolini e papi.

Ha anche offerto al mondo doni culinari come pizza, spaghetti e gelato, ma è ancora la sede di una vasta gamma di piatti regionali meno conosciuti.

Raccoglie tutta questa storia in un paese delle dimensioni dello stato della California (anche se con il doppio della popolazione), quindi vedere alcune diverse regioni in un viaggio è gestibile.

Con il grande aiuto dei miei amici e di oltre 60 blogger di viaggio, ecco alcune città, paesi e luoghi che dovresti considerare di aggiungere al tuo itinerario in Italia. Le città sono organizzate per regione.
Oltre 60 migliori città, città e luoghi da vedere in Italia

Sommario: (Nascondere)

Puglia

Se l'Italia ha la forma di uno stivale, la Puglia (o la Puglia) è il tacco dello stivale che termina nella penisola salentina. Quest'area, insieme a gran parte della costa meridionale dell'Italia, faceva parte della Magna Grecia, popolata da coloni greci nei giorni precedenti l'ascesa di Roma. Ha più costa di qualsiasi altra regione e una varietà di siti antichi.

Puoi saperne di più sulla Puglia in questo episodio del podcast di Amateur Traveller:

  • Viaggio in Puglia (Puglia) in Italia – Episodio 322

Trulli di Alberobello, Italia

Alberobello

Ashwini di hoppingmiles.com scrive:

Quando ho programmato il mio viaggio autonomo in Italia, mi sono assicurato di aver aggiunto Alberobello nel mio itinerario per molte ragioni.

Il mio fascino per Alberobello è cresciuto quando ho visto una scena di un film in cui l'intera canzone è stata girata in una città con case bianche imbiancate sormontate da tetti conici accatastati con pietre. Dopo poche ricerche, ho scoperto che il posto era una piccola città nel sud Italia chiamata Alberobello.

Queste case sono realizzate con un calcare speciale disponibile in Puglia, dove si trova Alberobello. Il tetto è costituito da piccole pietre accatastate l'una sull'altra a forma conica. Questo modello di costruzione assicura che la casa sia fresca in estate e calda in inverno. Queste case sono chiamate "Trullo" (plurale) o Trulli (singolare).

Mentre la città di Alberobello è cresciuta oltre il Trullo ed è stata modernizzata, devi cercare il centro storico nel centro della città per trovare centinaia di Trulli. Ovunque ti giri, verrai accolto con case dall'aspetto simile – in ogni corsia, ad ogni curva. Ciò che rende ancora più speciali sono i bellissimi fiori vibranti che decorano il Trullo. Si può vagare e perdersi in quelle corsie per ore insieme.

Visita anche la cappella in città e non perderti il ​​delizioso gelato fatto in casa nel caffè all'ingresso del centro storico, oltre la cappella.

Statua di San Nicola a Bari, Puglia, Italia

Bari

Stuart di go-eat-do.com scrive:

La città di Bari ha un centro storico attraente e merita esplorazioni per un giorno o due. Il vicino aeroporto Karol Wojtyła di Bari prende il nome dall'uomo che divenne Papa Giovanni Paolo II. È il principale punto di arrivo dei viaggiatori internazionali e funge da gateway per esplorare la regione Puglia; il tacco d'Italia.

Per un assaggio di sapore locale, siediti nella piazza pubblica di Piazza Mercantile, nel centro storico di Bari, e ordina un bicchiere del robusto vino rosso Primitivo della regione da uno dei tanti caffè. Mentre sorseggi il vino sarai in grado di vedere una gogna di pietra, sormontata da un leone scolpito, dove una volta le persone venivano pubblicate nei giorni di mercato. Il pesce fresco veniva sbarcato dalle barche che navigavano nel porto, che si apre sul mare Adriatico.

Mangiare bene ed economicamente non sarà un problema a Bari. Al Panificio Fiore focaccia spessa, condita con olio d'oliva regionale viene servita ancora calda. È un consiglio locale per un boccone semplice ma gustoso e abbondante da mangiare. All'interno della famosa pasticceria è possibile vedere i pilastri che originariamente facevano parte di un 8esimo-century church.

Non perdere l'occasione di entrare nella Basilica di San Nicola (la Basilica di San Nicola in italiano), dedicata al santo uomo i cui resti mortali furono portati in città da Myra, in Turchia, nel 1087. La visita offre l'opportunità di imparare sulla leggenda di San Nicola, i cui doni d'oro pongono le basi della tradizione del Natale.

I tour in risciò sono un modo per esplorare le strade di Bari. La città compatta è facile da aggirare e le attrazioni includono un 13esimo-centura fortezza con mura imponenti ma fotogeniche.

Gallipoli, Italia

Gallipoli

Andrew & Emily di alongdustyroads.com scrivono:

Fu a Gallipoli che per la prima volta ci sentimmo trasportati nell'Italia dei nostri sogni, un'Italia che non pensavamo esistesse al di fuori di film e romanzi. Il centro storico di Gallipoli, basato su un'isola, è uno dei vicoli affascinanti e stretti, reliquie religiose agli angoli e il canto singolare del gossip locale che riempie l'aria.

Con una piccola spiaggia in città e alcune delle migliori del paese a breve distanza in auto, Gallipoli è il luogo perfetto per rimanere per qualche giorno e vivere il tuo sogno costiero italiano.

Il tramonto da qualsiasi tetto è assolutamente da vedere, ma consigliamo di percorrere prima il perimetro del centro storico per visitare il Castello Angioino di Gallipoli e guardare il pescatore che fissa le reti in barche colorate vicino al porto.

Suggerimento: poiché il modo migliore per visitare la regione Puglia è un viaggio, è probabile che la maggior parte dei viaggiatori arrivi a Gallipoli con la propria auto a noleggio. Sebbene ti consigliamo di soggiornare nella città vecchia, assicurati di parcheggiare la tua auto in uno dei grandi parcheggi pubblici vicino al porto, altrimenti ti troverai di fronte a stradine e una multa pesante.

Ginosa, Italia

Ginosa

Elena di passionforhospitality.net scrive:

L'affascinante città di Ginosa è una di quelle gemme nascoste. Situato a poco più di un'ora di auto da Bari, è riuscito a preservare le sue tradizioni speciali, i paesaggi mozzafiato e la rinomata ospitalità del sud Italia.

Qui è possibile fare una passeggiata pomeridiana fino al burrone ed esplorare le antiche dimore e le rovine della grotta di Rione di Rivolta. Ammira il castello normanno che è uno dei monumenti più imponenti di Ginosa e l'imponente Chiesa Matrice, una grande chiesa del XVI secolo, che svolge un ruolo cruciale nella storia della città.

Nonostante le sue piccole dimensioni, c'è molto da fare a Ginosa e ottima cucina. Partecipa a un corso di cucina con la nonna Orsola in una panetteria del XIX secolo Forno Ottocento, dove puoi padroneggiare l'arte di preparare le tradizionali orecchiette di pasta (il nome deriva dalla loro forma che ricorda le piccole orecchie). Partecipa alla degustazione di vini presso la cantina di Domenico Russo, dove puoi gustare eccezionali vini di prima classe con notevoli varietà autoctone come il Primitivo e la Malvasia.

Inizia la giornata con una visita al tradizionale panificio Piccolo di Ginosa, Panificio Piccolo che si traduce come il piccolo panificio. Qui sarai trattato con la migliore focaccia e altre dolci prelibatezze italiane. Se sei un amante dell'abbigliamento artigianale, non perdere la famosa Sartoria G. Inglese, qui puoi acquistare camicie cucite a mano realizzate da Angelo Inglese. Inglese ha creato la camicia indossata dal principe William per il suo matrimonio e la camicia indossata da Donald Trump il giorno in cui ha prestato giuramento. Ginosa è una piccola città ma con molti talenti brillanti.

Lecce, Italia

Lecce

Cristina di thelazytrotter.com scrive:

Ogni volta che qualcuno mi chiede da quale città italiana vengo, do sempre la stessa risposta: "Vengo dal fondo dello stivale". Se non sai dove si trova Lecce, prendi la mappa dell'Italia e punta a sud-est, dove la terra incontra il Mar Ionio e l'Adriatico.

Questo è ciò che chiamiamo finis terrae – la fine della terra – per notare che i confini del nostro paese finiscono qui e tutto il resto è un mix di influenze e tradizioni provenienti dal Mediterraneo e dai Balcani.

E questo è esattamente il motivo per cui dovresti aggiungere Lecce al tuo prossimo viaggio in Italia; vivi i sapori unici del sud e goditi le bellezze di una città capace di fondere storia e modernità in un modo così unico.

Se ami l'architettura, ti innamorerai letteralmente di fronte alla bellezza del Duomo e della Basilica di Santa Croce. Tutta la città vecchia è un labirinto di palazzi barocchi, giardini interni, chiese e vicoli che ti faranno sentire il protagonista di un film italiano degli anni Cinquanta.

Assicurati di seguire una dieta rigida prima di arrivare a Lecce: flussi di vino rosso e alcuni dei cibi più gustosi sulla terra ti stanno aspettando.

Suggerimento: se hai intenzione di andare in spiaggia mentre sei a Lecce, controlla prima il vento. Se soffia da nord, dovresti colpire la costa ionica, se soffia da sud, dirigiti verso l'Adriatico. In caso di dubbi, chiedere a un locale; è il nostro argomento preferito!

Locorotondo, Italia

Locorotondo

Kathryn di TravelWithKat.com scrive:

Locorotondo, una bella città bianca in Puglia, nell'Italia meridionale, prende il nome dal suo centro storico circolare arroccato su una collina. Qui troverai un favoloso labirinto di vicoli, fiancheggiato da edifici storici tra cui alcuni archi barocchi piuttosto grandi e dettagli architettonici. È ufficialmente uno dei Borghi più belli d'Italia, i borghi più belli d'Italia.

Cerca la bella chiesa romanica della Madonna della Greca e la chiesa di San Giorgio, un bellissimo edificio neoclassico del XIX secolo che domina la piazza principale. Qui, San Giorgio, uno dei due santi patroni della città, siede a cavallo e guarda verso il basso la città.

Vale anche la pena esplorare la strada che segue la linea delle antiche mura protettive che circondano parte della città vecchia. Troverai splendide viste sui vigneti e sugli uliveti della Valle d'Itria punteggiati dagli insoliti tetti a forma di cono delle case dei trulli per cui la zona è famosa.

Suggerimento: Locorotondo è anche famoso per il suo vino, in particolare un bianco leggermente frizzante. Assicurati di provare un po 'mentre sei in zona con la specialità locale u tridde, una pasta appena fatta con pecorino e prezzemolo in un brodo di tacchino.

Monopoli, Italia

Monopoli

Kylie di ouroverseasadventures.com scrive:

Monopoli si trova vicino al mare Adriatico ed è una città caratteristica che è molto caratteristica della regione Puglia in Italia. Ha tutti gli ingredienti per una perfetta gita di un giorno: una passeggiata tra gli stretti vicoli e le strade acciottolate della città vecchia, un pranzo piacevole seguito da un tuffo nelle acque blu turchesi di Cala Porta Vecchia.

Da vedere è la splendida cattedrale in stile barocco di Monopoli – Basilica della Madonna della Madia, con il suo alto campanile, lo splendido altare decorato e splendidi dipinti in tutto. C'è anche un museo archeologico situato nella cripta. Sul lungomare dall'altra parte della città si trova il castello del XVI secolo di Carlo V, che è un importante punto di riferimento della città e offre una splendida vista sulla città e sull'oceano.

La spiaggia pubblica di Cala Porta Vecchia è ideale per nuotare con acque molto limpide ed è pulita. In una giornata calda è perfetto per nuotare fuori e guardare indietro verso la città, o semplicemente sedersi sulle mura di 500 anni che si affacciano sulla baia e sul castello.

Il nostro consiglio è assicurarti di mangiare quando sei a Monopoli. La città è conosciuta per la sua cucina rustica fatta in casa e vanta alcuni dei migliori ristoranti della Puglia che sono sorprendentemente convenienti. Se sei un amante dei frutti di mare, un must è il Cavatelli ai Frutti di Mare (pasta corta con frutti di mare) o Riso, Patate e Cozze – (riso, patate e cozze), che si trovano in una delle trattorie tradizionali della città. La nostra scelta è La Vecchia Taverna, un delizioso ristorante a conduzione familiare incastonato tra le mura della città – perfetto per un lungo pranzo piacevole.

Polignano a Mare, Italia

Polignano a Mare

TurNadine di lelongweekend.com scrive:

Polignano a Mare si traduce letteralmente in Polignano al mare e quando visiterai capirai immediatamente perché gli è stato dato questo nome. In bilico su scogliere scavate nella caverna sulla costa adriatica, Polignano a Mare è una delle città più affascinanti d'Italia. È il tipo di posto in cui ti sentirai obbligato a tornare più volte.

In inverno ti accontenterai di vagare per le strade bianche della città vecchia. Polignano a Mare è una delle città più antiche della Puglia e ha una bellissima età. Corsie minuscole e tortuose conducono a vaste vedute aperte e le persiane si aprono per rivelare gli interni contrastanti di lampadari e vernice scheggiata. In estate la città si gonfia con i visitatori della vicina Bari mentre gli adoratori del sole affollano la spiaggia per fare un tuffo nell'allettante acqua turchese.

Le grotte incise nella terra sotto la città sono assolutamente da vedere, e il modo migliore per esplorarle è fare un giro in barca intorno alla costa. Molte compagnie organizzano tour durante i mesi più caldi e ti porteranno in piscine nascoste e incantevoli caverne. Un consiglio: se non hai le gambe o semplicemente desideri vivere un'esperienza davvero unica a Polignano a Mare, vai alla Grotta Palazzese per cenare all'interno di una grotta calcarea mentre ammiri i suoni e le viste del mare che ti circonda.

Isole Tremiti, Italia

Isole Tremiti

Alessandra di tips4italiantrips.com scrive:

Le Isole Tremiti sono un luogo affascinante nel sud Italia. Stanno di fronte al Promontorio del Gargano, in Puglia. I turisti di tutto il mondo dovrebbero andare lì perché questo posto è un posto così bello fuori dai sentieri battuti. Sono luoghi paradisiaci in Italia che non hanno bisogno di invidiare le isole dei Caraibi :. Hanno sabbia bianca e soffice, grotte marine rocciose, acqua chiara e cristallina e profumo di ginestra o pino marittimo.

Le Isole Tremiti sono cinque isole rocciose situate molto vicine tra loro. Ci sono due villaggi principali: uno sull'isola di San Nicola e l'altro sull'isola di San Domino.

I visitatori possono raggiungere le isole solo con il traghetto, durante un'escursione di un giorno dalla costa italiana. Ci vuole quasi un'ora per arrivarci. Le auto sono vietate in quanto le isole sono minuscole.

Il periodo migliore dell'anno per visitare le Tremiti è durante la bassa stagione (in primavera o in autunno) quando le spiagge sono vuote e il piccolo porto diventa silenzioso.

Una volta lì, i turisti possono:

  • Visita l'antica fortezza sull'isola di San Nicola e gusta un delizioso pasto di fronte al mare.
  • Vai alla ricerca di ricci di mare (mangiandoli con pane caldo e un tampone di burro).
  • Circumnaviga le isole esplorando le grotte.
  • Immergiti o fai snorkeling ammirando la statua di San Pio da Pietralcina, posta sul fondo del mare.

E, ultimo ma non meno importante, le Tremiti sono un luogo perfetto per rilassarsi e gustare la "Dolce Vita" italiana.

Basilicata

Se la Puglia è il tacco dello stivale italiano che renderebbe la Basilicata il collo del piede … che sono quasi certo assolutamente nessuno lo chiama. Questa aspra regione di boschi e colline confina con il Tirreno e il Mar Ionio.

Matera

Matera, Italia

Erin di ExploreWithErin.com scrive:

Ti sei mai chiesto dove sono stati creati quei fantastici vecchi film biblici? Quelle antiche ambientazioni di Gerusalemme usate nella Passione di Cristo di Mel Gibson? Ben Hur? Ti darò un suggerimento. Non è Israele. In effetti, è la capitale della provincia Basilicata nel sud Italia – Matera.

Matera è il terzo insediamento abitativo continuamente più antico del mondo con abitanti che vi risiedono da almeno 9000 anni. È un sito del patrimonio mondiale dell'UNESCO con 155 chiese rupestri costruite per lo più tra l'XI e il XII secolo.

Le chiese di Matera, come molte case e alberghi, sono scolpite nella pietra e risalgono al Medioevo. Molti hanno i loro interni coperti da affreschi spettacolari. Alcuni di questi affreschi sono in fase di restauro, ma sono così delicati che il mio consiglio numero uno è presto disponibile. Potrebbero non essere in giro molto più a lungo.

Mentre sei a Matera, considera di trascorrere una o due notti a Le Grotte della Civita, che dispone di camere distribuite su tre livelli di grotte. Quindi svegliati per la colazione in una grotta del 13 ° secolo o se sei un mattiniero guarda l'alba su questa incredibile città. È d'oro.

Matera è assolutamente da visitare quando si fa strada attraverso l'Italia, tuttavia dovrei notare che Matera non è accessibile ai disabili o ai passeggini. Tutta la città è piena di scale e strade acciottolate, quindi preparati a sudare e indossare scarpe comode.

Campania

La regione Campania si trova a sud di Roma, lungo la costa frastagliata e bella dell'Italia. Qui troverai la città di Napoli, il Vesuvio e la Costiera Amalfitana.

Puoi saperne di più sulla Campania in questo episodio di Amatore viaggiatore:

  • Viaggia a Napoli e in Costiera Amalfitana, Italia – Episodio 514

Agerola, Italia

Agerola

Aditi di travelogueconnect.com scrive:

Abbiamo visitato Agerola nel giugno 2017. È un piccolo pittoresco villaggio a 35 km da Napoli. È nota anche come Mini Svizzera per i paesaggi panoramici, l'aria fresca, le strade pulite e le viste mozzafiato sul Mar Mediterraneo. Agerola è stata la nostra base per 2 giorni quando abbiamo visitato la Costiera Amalfitana. Siamo così contenti di aver preso questa decisione di soggiornare ad Agerola e di aver scoperto questo gioiello nascosto tra tutti i luoghi turistici.

Agerola è situata su una collina con una costa cristallina da un lato e alte scogliere dall'altro. Vivaci fiori colorati sono ovunque. Di sera sembrava un paradiso dove il cielo incontra il mare.

Abbiamo fatto le nostre migliori cene ad Agerola. Il Ristorante Leonardo e il Ristorante Pizzeria Da Gigino sono 2 di questi ristoranti da non perdere a tutti i costi.

Abbiamo alcuni ricordi davvero belli del nostro viaggio ad Agerola: camminare mano nella mano a tarda notte dopo cena, osservare le stelle, stare seduti in silenzio a fissare il mare blu profondo, stare con i nostri ospitali padroni di casa in Costanza, mangiare deliziosi ristoranti a conduzione familiare , svegliarsi con succulenti cornetti al cioccolato per colazione.

L'attrazione principale di Agerola per gli amanti dell'avventura è l'escursionismo lungo il "Sentiero degli dei", che offre splendide viste sulle montagne e scenari spettacolari lungo il tragitto. È un must per chi ama le attività all'aperto.

Il villaggio di montagna è famoso per la ricchezza di frutti forniti dalla terra, ma anche per le fattorie che producono latte per la produzione di burro e formaggi deliziosi. Uno di questi formaggi da non perdere è Fiordilatte di Agerola. È un formaggio DOP, cioè con la certificazione "Denominazione di origine protetta". È un formaggio fresco a base di pasta filata di latte intero di vacca disponibile solo ad Agerola.

La costiera amalfitana

Costiera Amalfitana

Barbara di jet-settera.com scrive:

La Costiera Amalfitana nel sud Italia è la destinazione ideale per un weekend romantico o per un bellissimo matrimonio. Questa bellissima costa è stata la residenza di molte celebrità italiane come Sophia Loren.

Oggi è una delle destinazioni di nozze più popolari in Europa. Il suo scenario spettacolare e i luoghi autentici spiegano perché la costa è così popolare. La Costiera Amalfitana offre ai suoi visitatori una vista meravigliosa, autentica cucina del Sud Italia e un'atmosfera romantica.

Il modo migliore per visitare la Costiera Amalfitana è in barca, ma si può anche prendere un autobus o un'auto, tuttavia le strade sono tortuose. Puoi navigare da Positano ad Amalfi e Ravello e visitare tutte e tre le affascinanti città costiere. Positano è una delle spiagge più belle d'Italia. Amalfi ha una famosa chiesa al centro che merita una visita. Ravello è un famoso centro culturale, dove durante l'estate si svolgono festival di musica classica.

Le Sirenuse nel centro di Positano è un ristorante stellato Michelin con un famoso bar di ostriche e un balcone privato. È il luogo ideale per una cena deliziosa.

È anche una buona idea visitare le grotte vicine Grotta Dello Smeraldo. Sono illuminati in vari colori durante il giorno.

La Grotta Azzurra - l'isola di Capri, in Italia

Capri

Nicole di nicolelabarge.com scrive:

Capri è un'isola idilliaca a circa un'ora al largo della costa di Napoli. Per la maggior parte delle persone, questa è una destinazione da sogno in quanto Capri è una piccola isola panoramica con molta storia e rimossa dal trambusto della terraferma.

C'è solo una strada intorno a Capri poiché la maggior parte dell'isola è formata da stretti vicoli. C'è anche una funicolare per portarti in cima alla ripida collina che è Capri. Una volta in cima puoi visitare la Piazzetta, la piazza compatta con vista sull'isola e prendere un caffè e osservare la gente.

Dopo aver scoperto Capri via terra, ti suggerisco di scoprire Capri dal mare con una barca a remi di legno per entrare nella magica Grotta Azzurra. Le barche a remi sono le uniche navi in ​​grado di adattarsi all'interno della grotta marina poiché l'apertura della grotta è larga solo due metri.

La Grotta Azzurra è una grotta marina. Quando la luce del sole splende attraverso l'acqua del mare c'è una luce blu che brilla nella grotta. All'interno della grotta si apre e puoi vedere la luce che si riflette sull'acqua. Il momento migliore per vedere la riflessione è tra mezzogiorno e le 14:00.

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(Foto di Enzo Cositore su Morguefile.com)

Napoli

Shanna di thereandbackagaintravel.com scrive:

Napoli viene spesso ignorata per destinazioni italiane più vistose, ma vale la pena visitare una terza città più grande d'Italia. Si trova nella parte occidentale dell'Italia un paio d'ore lungo la costa da Roma. Napoli è una città un po 'grintosa, profondamente radicata nella storia. I musei, le chiese e i castelli qui potrebbero tenervi occupati per settimane. Rispetto a Roma o ad alcune delle sue controparti più popolari, Napoli ha molti meno turisti e una visita ti darà un gusto molto più autentico della vita italiana.

Nel caso avessi bisogno di un motivo in più per visitare Napoli … aggiungi cibo incredibile alla tua lista. La cucina napoletana offre sontuosi piatti di pasta con frutti di mare e pizza … oh, la pizza. La pizza è stata letteralmente inventata qui e la puoi trovare in tutta la città. Cerca un sacco di gente del posto che mangia. Questo generalmente significa buona pizza. Se vedi un cartello che dice "Vera Pizza Napolitana" tanto meglio.

Un buon uso del tempo turistico a Napoli sarebbe una visita alla collina del Vomero. Questo quartiere di Napoli offre splendide viste sulla città e sulla baia sottostante. Se ti piace fare shopping, troverai delle ottime offerte su abbigliamento e scarpe in questa zona, oltre a un ottimo mercato alimentare fuori dai sentieri battuti che è aperto tutti i giorni tranne il lunedì.

Non si può parlare di cose da fare a Napoli senza menzionare una gita di un giorno alla vicina Pompei. Pompei ti lascerà a bocca aperta, ma Ercolano è una città vicina che è stata anche distrutta dall'esplosione del Vesuvio. Questa città più piccola ma più ben conservata è anche meno affollata. Napoli è anche un'ottima base per decine di altre gite di un giorno, tra cui Capri, Sorrento e la Costiera Amalfitana o escursioni sul Vesuvio stesso.

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Emilia-Romagna

La regione dell'Emilia-Romagna si trova nel nord Italia tra la Toscana (Firenze) e il Veneto (Venezia).

L'ambra di withhusbandintow.com scrive:

La regione italiana di Emilia-Romagna ospita alcuni dei migliori prodotti alimentari e prodotti alimentari italiani nel mondo. Ospita slow food, macchine veloci e vini fantastici. Le tre città principali per i viaggiatori del cibo includono Bologna, Modena e Parma.

Puoi saperne di più sulla regione di Emilia-Romagna in questi episodi di Amatore viaggiatore:

  • Viaggia a Torino e Bologna (o mangia attraverso l'Italia) – Episodio 208
  • La vita come studentessa di scambio nel Nord Italia – Episodio 93

Bologna, Italia

Bologna

Allison di eternalarrival.com scrive:

Dopo tre viaggi in Italia, Bologna in Emilia-Romagna è una delle mie città preferite in tutto il paese. È una delle città italiane con la sensazione più autentica, quella in cui i turisti si mescolano liberamente con la gente del posto e si vede a malapena un singolo negozio di souvenir. Bologna ha tre soprannomi, ognuno dei quali ti offre preziose informazioni sulla città. Loro sono:

  • La Dotta, "istruita", per la sua università che è la più antica d'Europa
  • La Grassa, "il grasso", per la sua cucina deliziosa e ricca
  • La Rossa, "il rosso", per la sua caratteristica architettura rossastra.

Ognuno gioca un ruolo importante nella vita moderna a Bologna. È ancora una vibrante città studentesca, il che significa che l'atmosfera di Bologna è molto più giovane e i prezzi sono molto più adatti agli studenti. L'università è assolutamente da vedere, in quanto la sua architettura è davvero meravigliosa. Alcuni altri siti da non perdere includono la Torre degli Asinelli, che offre alcune delle migliori viste possibili su Bologna, e il famoso Portici archi imperdibili considerando che la città è composta da oltre 40 chilometri.

Ma il vero pareggio per Bologna, secondo me, è La straordinaria cucina di Bologna. Bologna è la patria di alcuni dei migliori salumi italiani come la mortadella – un delizioso prosciutto affettato grasso niente come quello che si ottiene in America – e il prosciutto di Parma, quel classico salume italiano. Ospita anche fantastici piatti come i tortellini al brodo (tortellini in brodo – un piatto semplice ma squisitamente delizioso) e le tagliatelle al ragu (il vero versione di spaghetti alla bolognese!).
Suggerimento: non perdere il gelato alla Gelateria Galliera 49. È il migliore che abbia mai avuto in tutta Italia.
Cattedrale di Modena, Italia

Modena

Indrani Ghose di isharethese.com scrive:

Modena, situata nel centro Italia, potrebbe non essere così popolare come altri siti d'Italia, ma è un sito che merita una visita per divorare virtualmente la bellezza della pietra. La città ottenne lo status di Cattedrale, Torre Civica e Piazza Grande.

Un'imponente cattedrale, una basilica romanica iniziata nel 1099 e completata nel 13 ° secolo, è il fiore all'occhiello di Modena. Sia la facciata che gli interni presentano bellissime sculture in pietra. Non perdere l'occasione di fotografare il magnifico rosone del XIII secolo sulla facciata. Leoni di marmo sostengono il portico e rilievi accanto alla porta principale e sopra le porte laterali. Si ritiene che il campanile di Modena, Torre della Ghirlandina, sia inclinato di un angolo. Purtroppo per me quando ero lì è stato coperto per lavori di ristrutturazione. Non potevo notare questo aspetto interessante della cattedrale. Dai un'occhiata se ci sei.

Il municipio il terzo imponente monumento di Modena è il più giovane dei tre monumenti, costruito nel 17esimo e 18esimo secoli.

La piazza monumentale mozzafiato (Piazza Grande) qui dà un'idea della magnificenza che la città aveva secoli fa. Ghirlandina (ghirlanda piccola), il campanile medievale è uno spettacolo da vedere. Sali ovunque nella città di Modena e continua a camminare con la vista di questo alto campanile. Ti guiderà nella grande piazza.

Come raggiungere Modena

Ci sono treni che collegano Modena a Bologna ad intervalli di 20-30 minuti, Firenze ogni 90 minuti e da Milano 110-120 minuti.

Orari di apertura del Duomo di Modena

Dalle 6.30 alle 12.30 e dalle 15.30 alle 19 (nessuna visita turistica durante la messa, quindi controlla anche quello.)

Orari di apertura della Torre Ghirlandina

Da aprile a settembre – sabato e domenica dalle 9.30 alle 12.30 e dalle 15.00 alle 19.00

Da ottobre a marzo – Da martedì a venerdì 9.30 – 13.00 e 14.30 – 17.30

Biglietti

I biglietti costano 2 euro. Biglietto cumulativo per Ghirlandina e Municipio 3 Euro

Prosciutto di Parma - Parma, Italia

Parma

L'ambra di withhusbandintow.com scrive:

C'è qualcosa a Parma che lo rende speciale. È una città meravigliosa, con grandi piazze, una bellissima cattedrale e il loro famoso battistero rosa. Ospita anche alcuni dei prodotti alimentari più iconici, tra cui il Parmigiano Reggiano e il Prosciutto di Parma.

Ma, come la sua vicina ad est, Modena, alcune delle esperienze gastronomiche più incredibili si trovano fuori dal centro della città. Certo, ci sono fantastici ristoranti nel cuore della città. Ma per imparare come producono i loro prodotti locali, è importante sfuggire a Parma ed esplorare. Il modo migliore per farlo è noleggiare un'auto a noleggio ed esplorare uno dei caseifici del Parmigiano Reggiano nelle vicinanze. Oppure, vai a Langhirano, la casa del Prosciutto di Parma, e impara come fanno il prosciutto di Parma. Anche se esplorare con un'auto a noleggio non è un'opzione, l'ufficio del turismo di Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi può aiutare a organizzare un tour di mezza giornata in autobus a Langhirano per conoscere questo iconico prodotto italiano. Oppure, dai un'occhiata a Rural, un negozio specializzato in prodotti alimentari locali e artigianali, situato in Borgo Giacomo Tommasini.

Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo a Ravenna, Italia

Ravenna

Verity di veritru.co.uk scrive:

L'Italia è uno dei miei paesi preferiti, ma una delle mie città preferite è Ravenna. È una città carina. I principali monumenti di Ravenna sono pieni dei più bei mosaici e opere d'arte che tu abbia mai visto, insieme a una storia sufficiente per gli appassionati di chiglia.

La maggior parte dei mosaici si trova nelle chiese e nei battistero della città, gli edifici sembrano così modesti dall'esterno ma all'interno ti toglieranno davvero il respiro. I principali 5 sono inclusi in un biglietto per € 9,50 (o € 8,50 ridotto per studenti / gruppi ecc.) Che puoi ritirare presso il Centro informazioni turistiche.

Ora non sono religioso, ma non puoi fare a meno di fare un passo indietro, guardare in alto con la bocca aperta e apprezzare la bellezza! È davvero incantevole e anche se potresti andartene con un mal di collo, ne vale la pena. I miei favoriti personali erano la Basilica di San Vitale, che ospitava non solo mosaici ma anche una bellissima cupola dipinta in stile barocco, e la Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, sede della più antica opera musiva del Nuovo Testamento e un interno davvero impressionante con colonne mozzafiato e un soffitto a pannelli quadrati.

Oltre ai mosaici, Ravenna offre tutto ciò che si può desiderare da una pittoresca città europea. Strade tortuose e stravaganti, belle piazze aperte, architettura incredibile; non puoi fare a meno di innamorarti del fascino della città.

Rimini, Italia / San Marino

Rimini / San Marino

Halef di thertwguys.com scrive:

San Marino è uno dei paesi più piccoli del mondo e afferma di essere la repubblica più antica del mondo. Non sorprende che molti visitatori siano curiosi di visitare San Marino e il turismo è l'industria principale in questo piccolo paese.

San Marino’s border is completely enclosed within Italy; however, it maintains an open border policy with its much larger neighbor. To get there, you will have to drive, or to take the train, to the Italian city of Rimini, the only gateway to San Marino.

A regular 40-minute bus ride takes you from Rimini’s main train station to the San Marino capital, with some stops in smaller towns within San Marino. The capital city bears the same name of the country. The majority of San Marino historic city center, along with Mount Titano, is under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

After getting your optional passport stamp at the San Marino visitor’s center, don’t miss just getting lost by wandering around in historic San Marino. You can visit many of the country’s museums and climb along the scenic fortress of Guaita.

As you can imagine, staying in San Marino “proper” can be very expensive. If you are budget-aware, consider staying in the smaller towns of San Marino, like Serravalle and La Dogana. You can even stay in Rimini, Italy. A day trip to the capital can easily be done by bus.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

This region of Italy is adjacent to Austria and was for many years part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its capital is Trieste.

Trieste, Italy

Trieste

Kristin from TravelPast50.com writes:

Trieste, perched at the top of the Adriatic Sea at Italy’s border with Slovenia, and only 30 kilometers from Croatia, attracts history buffs, geography nerds, and fans of 20esimo Century literature. For over two millennia, Trieste has been volleyed back and forth between Roman, Austro-Hungarian, French, German, and Slavic interests. James Joyce lived here for a time; Sigmund Freud was here, and so was Mussolini. It’s no wonder that a walk through Trieste is marked by diverse architectural styles and eclectic cuisines.

Trieste slopes uphill from the massive port. Along with the railroads, the port has defined the city, an important crossroads not only for trade but for arts and literature. It’s café culture once outshone Venice.

Two attractions offer a closer look into Trieste’s layered history, and both are built atop Roman ruins. The castle of San Giusto includes an exhibit of Roman statuary, inscriptions, mosaic floors, and military armament. Views over the city are really good from here, despite the infamous insanity-inducing winds.

Nearby stands the Cattedrale di San Giusto, a 9-11th Century Romanesque church built on top of a 6th Century basilica. It is small but outstanding for its impressive purple mosaics. Pay the 50 cents to light up the chapels to see these works of art.

Great food and wine can be discovered in the old town, in the vicinity of the Arco Riccardo Roman ruins.

Lazio

Lazio may be the region of Italy that more people have been too, but have never heard of. This is the heart of Italy. and is the region where you will find Rome. But there is more to Lazio than just Rome.

You can hear more about the region of Lazio on these episodes of the Amateur Traveler podcast:

  • Cruise to the Western Mediterranean (Spain, Gibraltar, France, Monaco, Italy) on Holland America’s Westerdam – Episode 574
  • Travel to Lazio, Italy – Episode 427
  • Travel to Rome with Andy Steves – Episode 288
  • Travel to Rome, Italy – Episode 29
Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Civita di Bagnoregio

David from travelsewhere.net writes:

Alone on a small rocky hilltop in the province of Viterbo sits the village of Civita di Bagnoregio. Known as the “Dying City”, the (then) town suffered greatly after a devastating earthquake in the 17th century and its population has dwindled ever since. Today, it is said as few as 10 people now live there permanently.

The first glimpse of the precarious clifftop village from across the valley is truly a special sight. Atop bare, rocky cliffs, you see just a handful of stone buildings up there. As a small village, you can wander its ancient streets and bask in its beautifully preserved heritage. Certainly, the chance to uncover new viewpoints of the surrounding countryside is worth straying down its little alleys as well. The village’s isolation means there are very few obvious hints to modern life.

Access to the isolated Civita di Bagnoregio is only possible via the long and surprisingly steep bridge from the modern commune of Bagnoregio. The walk over gives you more time to appreciate its remoteness and the vast valleys that lay below. It’s truly the setting of the village alone among the landscape that makes it such a unique place.

Tip: You only really need a few hours to fully explore Civita di Bagnoregio, but there’s always the option of staying in one of its historic guesthouses or hotels, to feel totally transported to another time.

Ostia Antica, Italy

Ostia

Clemens from travellersarchive.com writes:

Although Rome itself offers a lot of beautiful ruins, a trip to Ostia, the ancient port city of the metropolis is well worth it. No wonder that the small city is a popular destination for tourist to Rome.

In addition to the excavations in Ostia Antica, it is the beautiful beaches that attract the tourists. But be aware, the beachfront is often overrun, especially in summertime, because Ostia is something like the recreation area of Rome.

You can reach the excavations (“Scavi”) via the stop “Ostia Antica” of the railway line Roma-Lido. The settlement, some kilometres inland, offers a completely different – and in many ways more accessible – impression of an ancient city than Rome. This is because the urban area was largely abandoned and thus preserved. Some of the buildings have been preserved up to the upper floors.

Tip: The excavation site is very large, I would advise you to take a hat and plenty of water and especially to put on comfortable shoes. Why not chill out at the beach afterwards before heading back to Rome? You surely won’t regret it.

Coliseum in Rome, Italy

Roma

Laurence from findingtheuniverse.com writes:

No visit to Italy would be complete without a trip to the capital city of Rome. The saying goes that all roads lead to Rome, and certainly during the height of the Roman Empire, this was absolutely true. Today, a visit to Rome is a journey through over two thousand years of history. Rome is like a huge archaeological cake, with buildings layered over buildings, and everything on offer from Roman highlights like the Coliseum and Castel Sant’Angelo, through to Renaissance masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel.

With so much to offer, it’s hard to pick just one highlight, but if I had to, it would be the Coliseum. Home to the ancient gladiators, and the place where ordinary Romans and emperors alike came to watch gruesome spectacles as entertainment,  a visit to the Coliseum will be an experience you never forget. Just make sure you come early, and ensure you take advantage of the online advance booking system so you can skip the ticket lines and head straight to the security lines. You definitely don’t want to spend your time in Rome standing in line. As a bonus, your ticket to the Coliseum also includes entry to the Roman Forum next door, which should also be on your Rome “to-do” list.

For more ideas of what to do in Rome, take a look at my guide to spending 3 days in Rome, which will give you plenty more sightseeing ideas.

Tivoli

Gary from everything-everywhere.com writes:

Just 30-45 by car from Rome is the town of Tivoli. Located in the hills above Rome, it has been a place where the rich and powerful of Rome could retreat for centuries. Here you will find two UNESCO World Heritage sites which are both villas of powerful Romans but separated by over a 1,000 years.

The Villa Adriana is the palace of Emperor Hadrian. Built from 118-138 AD, it was built because Hadrian didn’t enjoy living in his palace on the Palatine Hill of Rome. Several other emperors lived in the villa, including Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. Today you can still see original statutes and much of the layout of the original buildings.

The other famous villa in Tivoli is the Villa d’Este. Constructed in 1550 by the Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, it was an attempt to impress electors so he could become pope. It didn’t work. The villa was an impressive display of water engineering and fountains, which are still functioning today.

It is possible to easily visit both villas in a day trip from Rome. Many tour operators offer tour pages to visit Tivoli.

Viterbo, Italy

Viterbo

Angela from romeactually.com writes:

At some 80 km and one and a half hours train ride from Rome, Viterbo makes it for a fascinating day trip from the capital. Known as the City of Popes, the beautiful city centre whirls you back to medieval times, when Viterbo was a bustling hub of artisans, traders, artists and politics.

In the wake of the fall of the Roman Empire, the struggle for power among Roman noble clans made it unsafe at times for the head of the Christendom. This is why several popes spent some time in Viterbo, fortified city surrounded by the medieval walls that still now we need to pass to reach its central quarter. It’s here, in San Pellegrino neighbourhood, that you can better experience the culture and the history of this once crucial hub of central Italy.

Alongside the tangled maze of cobbled alleys, the Popes’ Palace, the historical handicraft workshops, and the beautiful views, what attracts tourists and locals, including Rome’s residents, are Viterbo’s wonderful thermal baths, the most famous of which was aptly named Terme dei Papi, The Popes’ Baths. If you don’t feel like booking a treatment but simply soaking in the hot spring pool, you can stay as much as you want for as little as 12€.

Liguria

This narrow region of Mediterranean coastline in northwest Italy is also known as the Italian Riviera. This is where you will find Genova (Genoa), Portofino, and the Cinque Terre. It’s beaches are small, its coastline is spectacular, its roads are winding.

Learn more about the region of Liguria on these episodes of Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to Italy – The Cinque Terre, Lake Como and Milan – Episode 102

Camogli, Italy

Camogli

Catherine from HerBagsWerePacked.com writes:

When I was planning my month in Italy, I knew I wanted to go to Rome and Florence to hit up all the “must-sees,” but I also wanted to get away from the busy tourist zones and experience quiet Italian life. This is how I ended up in Camogli, a sleepy little fishing village about 55 miles north of the heavily trafficked Cinque Terre. Here I found a small beach resort town that catered to real Italians with empty hiking trails, breathtaking sunsets, a rich history, and fresh pastas with unique pestos and walnut sauces.

The region is considered the birthplace of traditional Italian focaccia. “Focaccia di recco col formaggio” is paper thin and oozing with cheese. Consider grabbing a slice or two from Panificio In Scio Canto by the harbor or from Revello on the beach. Revello’s version holds an “Indication of Geographic Protection” certifying it as the “real deal.”

After you’ve had your fill, head over to the harbor where you can take a ferry to Abbazia di San Fruttuoso. The Abbey, hidden within a cove at the foot of heavily wooded hills, can only be accessed by foot or boat and has a unique and complicated history involving time as a traditional Catholic Abbey and a pirate hideout. Once you arrive, you can relax on the beach, go for a hike, dive down to the Christ of the Abyss statue, or tour the grounds.

I recommend bringing some snacks along to the Abbey because there are only two food options — a counter service cafe and a sit down restaurant. After dining on the tastiest focaccia in all of Italy, neither will seem like anything special and both are a bit overpriced.

Cinque Terre,Italy

Cinque Terre

Michael from timetravelturtle.com writes:

The five small villages of Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso), nestled between hills on the Italian Riviera, create one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country. The natural beauty has always been here – dramatic cliffs falling down to wild waters, natural bays and harbours with calm beaches, lush green hillsides and jagged rocky outcrops. But it’s the communities along the way that make it so special.

The five villages that make up Cinque Terre (which translates as ‘five lands’) still have a colourful charming atmosphere to them because of their geographical isolation. Historically, they were cut off from each other and the region by land and most of the transport was done by boat. The hills around the villages also restricted the amount of development that could happen. And so, for centuries, they stayed relatively the same size with the same style of architecture.

When you visit today, you’ll want to spend some time in the villages to get a sense of what they feel like. All of them are now overrun by tourists but they still each have their own unique aspects. There are hotels, restaurants, and cafes in each village but they will get crowded at the height of summer.

The most popular activity in the Cinque Terre – which I highly recommend you do – is hiking. There’s a trail that connects each of the villages and you can spend most of the day going from one end to the other. There’s then a train to take you back to where you started. The same train also connects to the nearby cities of La Spezia and Levanto. As a tip, I would consider looking for accommodation at one of them during peak season if you’re having issues with availability and/or price.

I would add to what Michael said that because they are accessible by train they are a popular day trip for Italians on the weekend. During the summer, visit on a weekday if possible. The hikes at the southern end are the shorter and easier hikes. You can also stay in nearby La Spezia and travel to Riomaggiore by boat.

Genova (Genoa), Italy

Genova (Genoa)

Elisa from worldinparis.com writes:

Genova, the capital of Liguria region, is a city located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Apennine Mountains. There are no midterms for Genova, “La Superba” (the proud one): you love it or hate it and many people will tell you they are in the second group. Genova, unlike other famous cities in Italy, is not the kind of place people love at first sight, you need to take your time. I was lucky to live two years in Genova, time enough to explore the city, know its people, discover its cuisine, and I learned to appreciate its beauty and character. Today I can say I left my heart in Genova.

During many centuries Genova was together with Venice, Pisa and Amalfi one of the four Maritime Powers in Italy and you can still see many beautiful remains of its glorious past. Genova’s historical center (a UNESCO Site) is the largest in Europe and it is populated by beautiful noble palaces, splendid churches and an intricate maze of medieval alleyways called “caruggi” which open unexpectedly onto beautiful small squares.

Piazza de Ferrari is the main square in Genova, dominated by Doge’s Palace, the Opera-Theater Carlo Felice, and other impressive baroque buildings.

Another interesting place to visit in Genova is its old harbor, a blend of historical buildings beautifully restored and new entertainment buildings designed by the famous architect Renzo Piano. The most outstanding of these new constructions is the Aquarium, the biggest aquarium in Europe.

Finally, don’t leave Genova without tasting its cuisine, with staples like focaccia and mains like troffie al pesto or pasta with walnuts sauce.

Add Genova to your Italy bucket list and discover its interesting history and beautiful architecture. Also, Genova makes a good base camp for exploring other places in Liguria, like Cinque Terre, Camogli or Rapallo.

Lombardy

Lombardy is the center of finance and fashion in Italy. If these people seem a bit more business-like than they do in southern Italy then you should know the region is named after a Germanic tribe the Lombards who invaded and ruled much of the Italian peninsula in the 700-900s. There is some debate about whether Lombardy culturally is northern Italy or southern Germany. The main city in Lombardy is Milan which is also one of Italy’s two major international airports.

Learn more about the region of Lombardy in these episodes of the Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to Northern Italy (Mantua, Verona, Padua) – Episode 552
  • Travel to Milan, Italy – Episode 249
  • Travel to Italy – The Cinque Terre, Lake Como and Milan – Episode 102

Milan

Stephanie from historyfangirl.com writes:
If you’re headed to Italy, Milan is a must-see. While the country’s south is splashy and colorful, northern Milan is more sophisticated and subdued city, full of charm. The city is fashionable, super cool, and undeniably gray. Even the famous Duomo is a stark gray and white masterpiece. But if you do want a pop of color, look up. The city’s buildings are full of beautiful details in muted hues, but they’re both wonderful and delicate.
Once there, make sure to check out all the wonder hiding in the churches in Milan  From a lock of Lucrezia Borgia’s hair to a chapel made entirely of bones, the city is full of spectacular renaissance churches that have been displaying their secrets for centuries.
For art lovers, the church Santa Maria Delle Grazie is a must. The church is the home of one of the world’s most famous paintings, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Da Vinci painted directly onto the wall of the monastery, and the work has miraculously survived horrendous conditions and the allied bombing of the city in World War II. Today the church has turned the room it’s in into a high-tech museum. Make sure to book tickets weeks in advance. They’re almost always sold out early.

Bellagio / Lake Como, Italy

Bellagio / Lake Como

Arzo from arzotravels.com writes:

Italy is probably the most beautiful country and there is definitely not shortage of beautiful places to go and visit. However, if you need nice places to add to your Italy itinerary then you should consider the region of Lake Como.

Lake Como is located in the northern part of Italy, just close to the Swiss border. While the town Como itself is nice to visit, Bellagio is the most beautiful part of that area.

Bellagio is a must-see place in Italy for several reasons – the town center is beautiful. The staircase has become quite famous and there is a reason why it is such a popular photo stop for many, but also the promenade is colorful with many flowers and colorful houses.

If you are in Bellagio make sure to drive up the mountains – the views from there are just breathtaking. You can find nice restaurants that have good food to reasonable prices that come with a great view.

You should know that the region of Lake Como is not very cheap – it might be the proximity to Switzerland, but this place is also as expensive as Switzerland, so if you plan a trip to the region make sure not to stay in Como directly but in areas like Bellagio or outside the main town, if you are on a budget.

Bergamo, Italy

Bergamo

Sophie from solosophie.com writes:
Often forgotten in lieu of its more famous counterpart, the fashion capital Milan, Bergamo is a beautiful gem of the Lombardy region. Surrounded by mountains, the city is distinctly split into two parts. While the Città Alta (Upper City) is located high up and is filled with cobbled lanes, lower Bergamo is known as Città Bassa (Lower City) and is a financial hub for Lombardy and beyond.
Although many people just see the city’s airport (many budget airlines base their Northern Italian services at the Bergamo International Airport), it’s well worth venturing beyond the terminal to experience life in an authentic Italian town; quaint lanes, small museums, countless churches, and all.
While in Bergamo, you simply must take the funicular up to the Rocca di San Vigilio. Although it’s possible to walk the steep ascent to the very top of the city, the funicular is a fun way to see the city stretching out below you. Once at the top of the city, there’s an ancient castle to explore, a breathtaking view to admire, and many restaurants in which to enjoy local cuisine.

Borno, Italy

Borno

Nat from loveandroad.com writes:

Borno is an unspoiled town up in the mountains of Val Camonica, Lombardy region. Unknown by international travelers, Borno is a truly Italian experience completely different from big and touristy cities like Florence, Rome or Venice. The old town is quiet and charming with old buildings, cobblestone alleys, tiny cafes, family restaurants and osterias.

Borno is deeply connected with nature and most visitors go there for hiking, trekking and mountain biking during summer and for skiing in winter. You can explore Borno old town in a day, but the mountains, natural parks and lakes can keep you busy for a week.

Spring and Autumn are the best seasons for outdoor activities, and you can do them by yourself as most of the trails are well marked. Along the trails you will find many rifugios, local restaurants and resting places for travelers serving traditional food, homemade liqueurs with lovely people that will help you find your way back to the city.

From December to March the mountains are covered in snow and if you go for a day on the slopes you must have lunch at Ristorante Capanna Plai Rifugio-Museo. The food is gorgeous and the place looks like a museum of vintage skis and old radios.

Borno is an amazing place to eat and drink. Most of the restaurants cook family recipes prepared with fresh local ingredients. In Borno, the aperitivo, Italian version of happy hour with drinks and finger food starts at 2 pm, while in most of the other big cities it only kicks off at 6 pm. Not to mention the gelatos and the coffee, all them prepared and served with the Italian love for food and for life. There are so many things to do in Borno that you should add this cute town to your Italian itinerary and stay at least two or three days there.

Castle of Brescia, Italy

Brescia

Christina and Adam from oursweetadventures.com write:

There are several reasons why Brescia, Italy should be on anyone’s Italian itinerary. Brescia is in the Lombardy region situated at the foot of the Alps. Beautiful mountains surround the city with several lakes just a short drive away. It is a precious city during the day and night with roman ruins, a gorgeous basilica, a peaceful piazza and a castle that sits on a hill that towers over the city.

Brescia is also home to Italy’s leading culinary school, Cast Alimenti, so it goes without saying that the food in Brescia is outstanding, including the best Italian pasticerria (pastry shop) with the country’s leading master pastry chef, Iginio Massari.

The one sight we recommend you must see during your trip, is the Castle of Brescia. When you imagine a medieval castle, the Castle of Brescia is what comes to our mind. It is one of the largest fortified structures in Italy with 75,000 square metres enclosed within its surrounding walls. Within the walls of the castle, visitors can find a tower, drawbridge, tunnels and two museums. The Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum boasts 15th and 16th century arms and armor, as well as, 17th and 18th century guns. The Museum of the Risorgimento has historical documents, pictures, period prints, and relics on display that date back from the end of the 18th century to the late 19th century. Visitors have so much to see and explore inside and around the castle grounds.

Like most cities in Italy, driving around and finding parking is never easy. We recommend you take a day trip from Venice or Milan to Brescia and arrive by train. The train station is a fifteen minute walk to the city’s center Piazza della Loggia. The city is small, therefore everything is within walking distance. A car is really not necessary.

Room of Giants in Palazzo Te (Camera dei Giganti) - Mantua, Italy

Mantua

Nam from laughtraveleat.com writes:

Mantua is a small city in the Lombardy region of Italy not too far from the Veneto border. It was the cultural capital of Italy in 2016 and the European Capital of Gastronomy in 2017. Still relatively unknown, the city is home to three palaces and the old town is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Gonzaga Family, the three palaces are:

  • Palazzo Te, the summer palace
  • Palazzo Ducale, the grand palace
  • Castle of St George, the military castle

If you are a fan of architecture, Italian history, and venturing a bit off the beaten path, then this is the city for you. It’s only an hour from Verona by train.

Here’s a nice literature tidbit: this is where Romeo was banished to in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The recent movie starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld even got permission to film in the Room of Giants in Palazzo Te. The room is a piece of art that depicts the Greek mythology scene of the Giant’s fall from Mount Olympus from floor to ceiling in a seamless canvas.

The city isn’t large, and it is completely doable to walk from one castle to the other or to walk to the train station. It is surrounded by three artificial lakes that also make for a lovely walk.

Bernina Express near Tirano, Italy

Tirano

Ryazan from everythingzany.com writes:

Just a few miles away from Lake Como, one of the famous lakes and beautiful places in the Northern region of Italy is the picturesque town of Tirano, also known as the main hub of Bernina Express. The rugged snow-capped mountain range of the Swiss Alps can be seen from Tirano, Italy sitting right at the border of Italy and Switzerland. Italian and German language is widely used in this area due to its demographics.

The Bernina Express route is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It is one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe and the slowest too. The train journey is around 4-hours long and will stop in 28 stations along the Swiss Alps. I recommend this as the best way to see the Swiss Alps region.

Bernina Express is a panoramic train with massive windows on both sides to enjoy the scenic views of the countless lakes and valleys, plus a magnificent view of Swiss glaciers along the route. The Bernina Express is managed by Rhaetian railway as a part of their regional transportation system. It is also popular route for the tourist and Ski enthusiasts.

You can take your Bernina Express rail journey from Tirano, Italy to Chur, Switzerland or in the other direction. Either way, you will definitely enjoy it and it’s a must-include in your next trip to Italy.

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Piedmont

The name for Piedmont comes from the two Latin words foot and mountain. This is the foothills of the Alps in northwestern Italy. Its major city is Turin which is the center for Italy’s automobile industry.

Learn more about the Piedmont region of Italy on this episode of Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to Turin and Bologna (or eating our way through Italy) – Episode 208

Mole Antonelliana - Turin, Italy


Turin

Karen from wanderlustingk.com writes:

If you’re interested in experiencing the rich historical and cultural side of Italy, you need to visit Turin. Turin is a beautiful city in Northern Italy that is a quick day trip from the Piedmont wine region, the mountains, and Milan. Although not as famous as Milan, Turin is a booming city with stunning architecture that has been well-maintained.

Lovers of history will need to visit the church that houses the famous Shroud of Turin although many visitors are disappointed to learn that the shroud can be only seen once every couple years.

Lovers of chocolate will also love visiting Turin as some of the most famous chocolate in the world (and Italy) originates here, so be sure to stop off for gianduja during your visit. Gianduja is a chocolate made with hazelnuts that resembled Nutella.

Beyond the incredible food and drinks, Turin has a fascinating romanticized recreation of a medieval village that is free to visit with a park that has one of the best views of the city. Be sure to bring a bottle of Barolo to enjoy by the river, perfect for a romantic picnic with a view of the stunning Mole Antonelliana (Turin’s most famous landmark).

Sardinia

Izzy from thenextsomewhere.com writes:

There are twenty regions that make up Italy, but many people would not be able to name the island of Sardinia, lying off the southwestern coast of Italy, as one of them. Although it’s been eclipsed in popularity by the better known Sicily, for anyone visiting Sardinia, you get the history, culture, and fantastic weather of Sicily, minus the humidity and crowds.

The Island of Asinara, Italy

Asinara

Claudia from MyAdventuresAcrossTheWorld.com writes:

Among the most unique places to visit in Italy, is the island of Asinara off the northern-western coast of Sardinia. The island is a National Park and protected area since 1997. Asinara history is quite interesting. It was hardly ever inhabited. It was used in the late 19th century and early 20th century as a leper and health colony, and later on as a prison colony.

The high security prison hosted (in)famous mafia bosses such as Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. Italian public prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino lived in Cala D’Oliva, the only (tiny) village in the island, while they worked to prepare the trial against the mafia and before they were killed in Sicily (1992).

Once the local community living in northern Sardinia realized that with the arrival of mafia bosses and their families crime in the area increased, a protest started to close the prison. Finally, the island was turned into a National Park.

Nowadays, nobody lives in Asinara aside the rangers. The island can be visited on guided tours that depart daily from either Stintino or Porto Torres, or even independently. There’s a number of beautiful hiking and biking trails. Visitors can explore the magnificent nature, enjoy the beaches – among the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia – and even visit the former leper colony and prison.

There’s a hostel where you can stay overnight. It has basic dorms and meals are communal. Guests often go to have a drink in Cala D’Oliva after dinner and that’s when they realize that animals rules Asinara. It is not uncommon to see wild boars, foxes, and the many white donkeys (asino, in Italian: hence the name of the island) freely walking around the village.

For a top experience, make sure to stay overnight to enjoy the silence and the magnificent starry sky.

The closest airport to Asinara is Alghero, which is well connected to the rest of Italy and Europe via budget airlines.

Cagliari, Italy

Cagliari

Izzy from thenextsomewhere.com writes:

For around $50USD, Cagliari is a mere hour long flight from Rome.

Hire a local skipper to sail you around the Tyrrhenian Sea where you can snap a scenic shot of the city. Cagliari is a colorful array of boxy, pastel toned buildings capped with terracotta rooftops, shaded by clusters of palm trees.

It’s hard not to spot Il Castello, an elevated fortress marked by its high walls and weathered towers, that overlooks the medieval area of Cagliari. Sardinians like to enjoy the Italian pastime of fare una passeggiata, or taking a walk, on the ramparts of this ancient citadel. It is known simply as Su Casteddu, meaning “the castle”. Inside the citadel you’ll find the university, the cathedral, and swanky bars hidden inside caves.

Be advised that any cave resto/bar is a tourist trap and there are far better views and things to eat whilst in Cagliari. One said alternative is Caffè Libarium Nostrum located at 33 Via Santa Croce, offering both spectacular ambiance and vistas. And for foodies, specifically carnivores, don’t miss out on Su Porcheddu, roast suckling pig, which is perfectly complemented by Sardinian sangria.

Sicily

It is often said that when you visit Rome and you find it too chaotic then head north, but if you love the chaos go further south. If you love that then visit Sicily which has its own rich but sometimes tempestuous history.

G. Isabelle from dominicanabroad.com writes:

Most travelers who visit Italy often go to the more frequented locations such as Rome, Milan, and Florence. But what of the most southern part of Italy? What about the very special island of Sicily? Sicily maintains a rich and very relevant history to understand the complexities of Italian culture and the Italian diaspora in the United States.

To learn more about the Island of Sicily listen to these episodes of Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to the Aeolian Islands – Episode 493
  • Travel to Sicily in Italy – Episode 197

Catania, Sicily, Italy

Catania

G. Isabelle from dominicanabroad.com writes:

My favorite part of Sicily is the ancient port city of Catania. Situated on Sicily’s east coast, Catania is located at the foot of an active volcano, Mt. Etna. This makes Catania one of the best places in Europe for gorgeous and unique hiking trails, volcanic black sand beaches, and skiing / snowboarding on slopes by a volcano.

If nature or volcanos do not excite you, the city is bustling with rich culture and history. Cruise the old cobblestone dilapidated streets until reaching Catania’s central square, Piazza del Duomo. Or check out the weekday fish market, La Pescheria – a very local market experience.

One tip travelers should be aware of is that Sicilian Italian (often referred to as just Sicilian) is vastly different from the Italian spoken throughout mainland Italy. Some linguists argue whether Sicilian should be categorized as an Italian dialect or its own language. But these unique differences of Sicily from mainland Italy are part of what makes visiting Catania worth it.

Favignana, Italy

Favignana

Amanda from marocmama.com wrote:

Favignana isn’t one of the “big” names on the map when it comes to travel in Sicily – at least not for anyone who isn’t Italian. For many years it has been a place that Italians know and visit. Favignana is a part of the Egadi Islands, a group just off the west coast of Sicily near Trapani. The island is small; you can easily use a bike to get around. You’ll also discover that while it certainly has links to Italian cuisine, there is a very big influence of other food cultures here, especially North African due to its close distance.

If you want to explore a part of Italy that has a distinct and unique culture, Favignana is the place to go. Expect to find a small local community who are very proud of their island. Rent a bike to explore, making sure to stop at some of the gardens that have been built into rock quarries to protect them from the wind that blows across the island. Some have even been turned into hotels and restaurants. Do keep in mind however English is not widely spoken so it’s best to know a little bit of Italian or bring a long a phrasebook.

Taormina

Inma from aworldtotravel.com writes:

When holidaying in Sicily, an absolute must-see is Taormina.

This picturesque place is set high above the sea and has been a favorite amongst tourists for dozens of years. You can find here enthralling restored buildings from the Middle Ages and superb views across the twisting streets filled with bars and restaurants. It really is something to observe and is the perfect place for those looking for an authentic Italian vibe.

While you are here, check out the Teatro Greco (aka Greek Theatre), an impressive construction thought to have been built back in the 3rd century. Take in the views of the sometimes smoking Mount Etna and the gorgeous Bay of Naxos. If you are a sunset fan, head there in the afternoon as it is also one of the best spots to enjoy the sundown.

Trapani in Siciliy, Italy

Trapani

Manouk from bunchofbackpackers.com writes:

Trapani is a small crescent-shaped city in Sicily sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Compared to more well-known cities such as Palermo and Etna, Trapani has relatively few visitors and it has been able to maintain its traditional charm. Walk through the small alleys in the historic city center with beautiful Art Nouveau and baroque architecture. Relax on one the beautiful beaches. Enjoy typical Sicilian cuisine.

At night, there are no big loud discotheques, but instead people gather at the bars surrounding the town square to have a drink and enjoy the warm summer evenings. From Trapani, you could take a boat to the stunning and nearby Egadian islands Levanzo, Marettimo and Favignana. The best way to get around Favignana is by bike. You can visit the picture perfect beaches and enjoy the view over the turquoise water as you cycle around.

Tip: Don’t miss Erice. Erice is a gorgeous walled medieval town, which is only 10-minutes by cable car from Trapani’s town center. It is the perfect place to get lost in small alleyways, to enjoy a great view on Trapani’s port, and to have a delicious lunch.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige)

Mike from 197travelstamps.com writes:

Italy is not all about pizza and pasta. Way up north in this incredible country lies the beautiful mountain region of South Tyrol. Here, the majority of the population speaks German as their native language and the area offers a unique mix of Austrian and Italian cultures.

To learn more about the region of South Tyrol listen to this episode of Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to South Tyrol, Italy – Episode 425

Bolzano

Corinne from reflectionsenroute.com writes:

Bolzano, the gateway to the Dolomites, is where Italian fashion and coffee culture meet Alpine hospitality and charm. A walkable city, Bolzano has a laid back vibe that entices you to sit and sip that smooth cup of Italian coffee or enjoy a glass of excellent local wine as you watch the world go by.

Spend the day visiting some unique museums like the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology and meet Oetzi the Iceman or wander among the many archways and vaulted shops along the Laubengasse and gawk at the latest Italian designs.

Later in the evening, dine al fresco under the twinkling starlit sky on Walther Square. However, one tip is that after 7:00 PM on a Sunday evening, many of the restaurants close down so plan on eating pizza that night. They have some great pizza restaurants such as Da Zia Alfonso. Get the one with the local salami…delicious.

Get out of town, and go for a ride along a scenic Alpine drive at the base of the most incredible mountain spires and columns. The Dolomites are arguably the most photogenic mountain range on the planet, so park the car and go hiking.

If you don’t have your own car, don’t fret. Just take the Renon cable car up into the highlands overlooking the city. Gondolas leave from the edge of the old town every four minutes, whisking passengers up and out of the city and into the mountains. After singing your heart out on Alpine meadows, hop on the historic narrow gauge railway and complete your round trip journey back into town.

Or spend the day exploring the family owned vineyards, tasting local wines like the bold Lagrein or the fruity Vernatsch. Both of these incredible reds are worth a second sip. Whether your passion lies with culinary adventure or outdoor adventure, Bolzano will be sure to please!

Lake Carezza near Nova Levante, Italy

Nova Levante

Mike from 197travelstamps.com writes:

Nova Levante, a charming mountain village, nestled between the impressive mountain peaks of the Dolomites, makes the hustle and bustle of the big Italian cities seem worlds away. If you are looking for plenty of outdoor activities, incredible views and relaxation, this is the right place for you.

Before climbing up the mountains, make sure to stop by Lake Carezza, an incredibly beautiful emerald green mountain lake. The lake is located just a short drive outside of the town center and can also be reached via public transport. Since the lake feeds from the water of melted snow from the mountain peaks, the best time to visit is between May and June when the water level in the lake is high.

The mix of Austrian and Italian culture can also be experienced through food in South Tyrol. Make sure to try Polenta with beef goulash, the perfect mix of Italian and Austrian cuisine.

Nearly all of the population in the mountain villages of South Tyrol are German native speakers. So if you decide to travel to this region, try to learn a few basic words of German or carry a phrasebook. You won’t have any problems communicating with locals in English but some German words show that you have appreciate their differences and uniqueness from the rest of Italy.

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Stelvio Pass

Jorge from couplertw.com writes:

The Stelvio Pass (Passo dello Stelvio in Italian) is a mountain pass in South Tyrol, Italy, very close to the border with Switzerland. The road itself is a marvel of engineering skill. It was built in 1820 and is famous for its hairpin turns and high altitude. It goes up to 2757 meters (9045 feet), making it the highest pass in the region and one of the highest paved roads in Europe.

The Stelvio Pass is extremely popular among cycling fans as it is one of the most iconic climbs of the Giro de Italia. However, it draws an even bigger appeal to car lovers because of its exhilarating serpentine sections asking to be driven and enjoyed. Top Gear even considered the Stelvio the world’s greatest road. I don’t know if it is actually the greatest but it is easily the best I’ve ever driven.

All in all, this is probably the most magnificent road in Europe and it’s surely one of the most scenic drives in the world. If you are planning a trip to Italy you need to include it in your plans. You will be able to have some fun climbing it and enjoying the astonishing alpine views. However, please note that due to the altitude snow is possible even in summer. Make sure you check ahead for the weather forecast.

Tuscany

This region in central Italy is a major tourist destination. Whether it is because people are inspired by reading Under the Tuscan Sun or simply because this seems to be ground zero for the Renaissance, the wall hill towns of this region have been a favorite with tourists as long as there have been tourists in Italy.

Learn more about the region of Tuscany on these episodes of Amateur Traveler:

  • Cruise to the Western Mediterranean (Spain, Gibraltar, France, Monaco, Italy) on Holland America’s Westerdam – Episode 574
  • Travel to Tuscany, The Hill Towns of Southern Tuscany – Episode 350
  • Day Trips from Florence, Italy – Episode 242
  • Cycling in Tuscany, Italy – Episode 70
  • Travel to Siena, Italy – Episode 30

Arezzo, Italy

Arezzo

Kate from ourescapeclause.com writes:

The small city of Arezzo in Tuscany is stuffed full of art, history, and gorgeous architecture. In other words, it is the classic Tuscan city.

Removed from the hustle and bustle of spots like Florence and Pisa, one of Arezzo’s biggest selling points is its relaxed vibe: this is the perfect place for a long, leisurely Italian dinner with a few glasses of Chianti Classico and an evening walk around the town square.

While you’re in town, don’t miss climbing the clock tower at the Palace of the Lay Fraternity for incredible views over Arezzo’s main square, a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis for some fresco masterpieces dating back to the Renaissance, or the chance to see remains of a Roman amphitheater that is right in town.

Set only an hour outside of Florence by train, we recommend adding Arezzo to any Tuscan itinerary. You definitely won’t need to rent a car to visit Arezzo. It’s much easier to simply take the train there and back, and the town itself is very walkable.

If you’re visiting for a day trip, be sure to check the train times in advance and get to Arezzo as early as you can.

However, we definitely recommend spending one night in Arezzo if you have the time. You won’t be disappointed by the charms it has to offer.

Fiesole, Italy

Fiesole

Sandy & Vyjay from imvoyager.com write:

Fiesole, a small town that overlooks Florence from an elevation of over 1,000 feet has a history dating back to 238 BC. It is a charming place with a heady mix of historical sites and enchanting nature walks. The view of the city of Florence stretched out below is stunning. This town which was once the bastion of the elite aristocracy is even today an elite region. When in Fiesole do visit the Archaeological Site of Fiesole which has ruins dating back to the 3rd Century BC. The ruins include a Roman theatre, Roman Baths, Etruscan Walls and an Etruscan temple.

On the way to Fiesole or on the way back, stop at Piazzale Michelangelo which is a square built on a flat tableland. One can catch spectacular views of Florence from here including the magnificent Duomo. The Piazzale Michelangelo is of course dedicated to Michael Angelo, and a replica of his most famous sculpture, ‘David’, occupies the pride of place in the square.

Duomo (cathedral) of Florence, Italy

Florence

Claire from talesofabackpacker.com writes:

I adored Florence. It was my favorite city I visited in Italy; incredibly beautiful, smaller, and less-in-your-face than Rome, Florence definitely deserves a place on any Italy itinerary.

The must-see site in Florence has to be Michelangelo’s statue of David. The white marble statue is taller and more detailed than I would have thought possible, and it is truly incredible to think that Michelangelo began carving his masterpiece when he was just 26 years old. The Uffizi Gallery is also worth a visit, with paintings by Italian masters Botticelli and Piero della Francesca, among others. Be sure to book tickets online in advance though, or be prepared to wait in line to get in. These are the most popular attractions in Florence, and the queues can be long.

Away from the museums, even just wandering the streets you can’t help but be impressed. The city’s architecture creates an enviable skyline. Il Duomo di Firenze towers above the cobbled streets. Climb the Duomo bell tower for incredible views or head up to the Piazzale Michelangelo across the river for panoramic views of the city. In the evening, go back to the river to see the golden lights of the Ponte Vecchio bridge reflected in the water, and buy souvenirs from the shops built on the bridge.

The food in Florence is amazing too, and the market has a heady mix of smells to get your stomach rumbling. Cheese and truffle oil on freshly baked bread, focaccia sandwiches stuffed with cured meats, bags of dried porcini mushrooms and herb mixes for risottos are just some of the delights you can buy to gorge on or stash in your suitcase. There is no doubt that you will fall in love with Florence like I did.

San Michele in Foro - Lucca, Italy

Lucca

Faye from delveintoeurope.com writes:

Lucca deserves to be on any Tuscany itinerary because it is one of the most beautiful and quirky cities in Tuscany, and compared to neighbouring Pisa feels well off the beaten path.

It’s a city without any real ‘headline’ sights, but as a whole, I find it very hard to think of any as appealing. I’ve visited three times over twenty years, and have found it has grown on me more and more over the years.

The one must-see sight I’d recommend is the unusual Piazza Anfiteatro, an oval-shaped ‘square’ surrounded by yellow houses and cafes. It has such an unusual shape because it was built on the site of the ancient Roman amphitheatre.

Most of Lucca dates from medieval times. The Duomo and the church of San Michele in Foro have similar 12th century Romanesque facades to the Duomo in nearby Pisa, and each alone is worth the visit.

You can also walk or cycle around the city walls of Lucca. The circuit is around 2.5 miles (4km long), and there are some great spots if you pick up a panino (sandwich) from an alimentari (deli). The best views are around the Duomo, on the south side of the walls.

Lucca was the hometown of composer Giacomo Puccini, and the house where he was born, on Corte San Lorenzo, a few steps from San Michele in Foro, is a must for opera lovers.

The one Lucca tip I would offer is to climb both of the towers that offer high viewpoints over the city and surrounding mountains – they both give great views. The Torre Guinigi has an oak tree sprouting out of the top of it, offering welcome shade in the warmer weather. The Torre delle Ore is a great place from which you can see the city towards the end of the day, but that bell is extremely loud, so pack some earplugs for that one.

Montalcino, Italy

Montalcino

Elizabeth from temporaryprovisions.com writes:

Come to Montalcino, Italy for the wine, stay for the community! Montalcino is a very small, very rural traditional town in Tuscany. It’s exactly what you think of when you picture Tuscany’s hillside medieval towns surrounded by vineyards below, and it’s within day trip distance from Siena or Florence.

But one thing makes Montalcino stand out from the rest of the region. It’s home to Brunello, which is widely accepted as one of the two best wines in the entire world.

Many tourists head to Chianti, but you can get a great Chianti just about anywhere. Visiting Montalcino is a much more unique experience, and it allows you to try Brunello wines that you’d never be able to find back home. A tour of the surrounding vineyards and wineries is a must. I did mine with Select Tasting because it’s one of the few tours led by an actual sommelier.

After that, you have to head into town for aperitivo. There are three charming wine bars with great aperitivo: Alle Logge di Piazza (the best wine list and atmosphere), Bar Belvedere (the best views), and Caffe Fiaschetteria Italiana 1888 (the most historic). I recommend hopping around to all of them! Skip the Aperol spritz. When in wine country, drink wine. The staff at all three places will be able to help you choose from their excellent wine lists.

If you visit in June or July, you may also get to catch some of the town’s medieval fairs and games, which are part of a greater tradition that takes place all over Tuscany.

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Pienza

Katy from untoldmorsels.com writes:

Every Italian itinerary should include a hilltop town in Tuscany and Pienza is surely the most beautiful.

Sitting high on a hill in overlooking the Val D’Orcia, Pienza was designed as the ideal Renaissance city by an ambitious pope. Today Pienza is UNESCO world heritage listed and is an idyllic town of cobbled streets and piazzas, an impressive Duomo and several grand palazzos.

The town’s strategic position overlooking the valley and out towards other towns like Montalcino and Montepulciano means the views from almost every point along the city walls are spectacular.

Most of the buildings in the town have shuttered windows that look down on colourful flower pots lining the streets, many of which have love lorn names like Via del Bacio (Kiss Street).

Pienza is one of those places where the best activity is to wander and soak up the atmosphere but you must also visit Palazzo Piccolomini. This impressive villa was the home of two popes and here you discover more about the town’s history and can enjoy the impressive garden from where you get some of the best views of the surrounding countryside.

Pienza is famous for its pecorino sheep’s milk cheese and many people go there just to taste it. If you visit Tuscany in the fall you can take part in the town’s annual harvest festivals. The most famous of these is the cheese rolling event in late September.

You can easily drive from Siena to Pienza in an hour or it is just under two hours from Florence. Many visitors join a tour that also stops at other famous towns in the region on a day trip. But if I suggest staying at least one night to enjoy the sun setting from Pienza’s city walls.

Porto Ercole on Monte Argentario, Italy

Porto Ercole on Monte Argentario

Dave from jonesaroundtheworld.com writes:

Before I visited my cousin and her family who live in Porto Ercole, I had never heard of this destination in Italy. I planned on staying for only a few nights, but I ended up extending my stay with them for nearly three weeks.

Porto Ercole is one of the major towns on Monte Argentario, a comune and peninsula in the Grosseto region of Tuscany. It feels like a small island, because there’s only one main road connecting it to the mainland.

There are so many amazing things to do, beaches to explore (or camp on), and places to eat. It’s a vacation hotspot over the summer for Romans, but it’s starting to gain a lot more attention from international travelers.

Porto Ercole is the main jumping off point to Isola di Giglio, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Italy.

If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany, I’d strongly recommend renting a car and driving over to Porto Ercole. I guarantee you won’t regret it. If there’s one thing you must-do on the island, it’s drive around the entire island. The coastal views really are spectacular.

San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano

Divyakshi from quirkywanderer.com writes:

San Gimignano is a small village in Tuscany that is an idyllic place that will make you want to rent a villa and stay there for a long, long time. The lush green vineyards spread over the picturesque countryside landscapes are a photographer’s delight. As you enter this medieval hill town, you are welcomed with flowers mushrooming out of nowhere on both sides of the cobbled streets and quaint houses with windows adorned with flowerbeds. Cars aren’t allowed in the town center.

The town is known for its many stone towers built around the Piazza akin to castles. The height and beauty of a tower was an indication of their owner’s wealth. So the rich would compete through their construction.  The walk on the streets reminds you of being in a medieval village straight out of a fairy tale.

Things to see / do:

  • Walk around the Main square of the city, the Piazza Della Cisterna. The area is full of lovely shops selling ceramics and handmade soaps.
  • Visit the Museum San Gimignano 1300 which showcases a brilliant ceramic representation of how the town looked in the medieval ages.
  • Taste gelato at the famous Gelateria Dondoli which serves innovative gelato flavours.
  • Indulge in a wine tour with the Vernaccia Wine Museum and sample the local biscotti.

Tip for vegetarians: Being a vegetarian, I gorged on sumptuous salads at Ristorante Pizzeria under the Tuscan sun with a view of the vineyards.

Sienna, Italy

Siena

Kaylie from happinesstravelshere.com writes:

Driving through the narrow cobbled streets of Siena’s old town the buildings seemed to be getting closer and closer together, was the trusted GPS sending us on a Mr Bean like escapade? It wasn’t long before we had to fold in the wing mirrors and hold our breath to pop out onto a small square where we could open the doors and ask for directions.

Siena is a city in Tuscany, the hilltop historic centre a UNESCO heritage site (and best avoided in a car). Narrow streets, some with stairs, criss-cross over the brow of the hill. The city’s Medieval origins are evident.
On the Piazza del Campo the round shell shaped, sloping plaza a horse race is run twice a year. During the Palio di Siena, 10 horses are raced around the outer edge of the Piazza del Campo, a tradition that extends back more than 400 years.

Spend time wandering the streets and enjoying the architecture, be sure to pass by the Duomo di Siena, the Cathedral is decorated with pink, grey and white marble laid in patterns, intricate carvings and gold frescoes. The inside of the church is even more ornate.

Shop for leather and decorative masks and then stop for a pastry and an iced espresso served in a chilled martini glass.

If you are lucky enough to be in the area for a few days add the Chianti Sculpture Park to your itinerary. Set in a wooded area 10km from Siena. A permanent exhibition of contemporary sculptures can be viewed by following the marked trail through the woods. The combination of the geometric artworks against the natural backdrop and dappled light of the forest made this one of our favorite attractions.

Volterra, Italy

Volterra

Daniela from ipanematravels.com writes:

When visiting Tuscany most people see only the highlights in Florence or Siena, and places like Volterra remain in the shadow. Why should you include this little hilltop town on your Italian itinerary? Besides being absolutely adorable, standing there on the hill, surrounded by the old city walls, it will tell you the story of a less known civilization. Long before the Roman empire flourished, there was the Etruscan civilization and Volterra was one of the 12 towns that constituted what we call the Etruscan League.

What we know today of the Etruscans is quite limited, which makes it fascinating, throwing the veil of mystery upon the area and the people who lived there in 800 – 200 BC. Therefore, indisputably the highlight of Volterra is the Guarnacci Museum. Besides being one of the oldest public museums in Europe (founded in 1761), it has the largest collection of items from the Etruscan civilization: cinerary urns, votive figures, coins and other everyday objects found at the archaeological sites near Volterra. The masterpiece in this collection is the Shadow of the Evening – a bronze statuette representing an elongated human figure as if it’s a shadow of a body thrown on the ground at sunset. This statuette has inspired one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th c. Giacometti to create his masterpieces.

When visiting Volterra, you should know that it’s a car-free town. There are a few parking places outside of the city walls, which are well indicated and easy to find. The best way to reach Volterra is by car. There are also buses from Florence, Siena and Pisa, but it’s a bit of a hassle.

Umbria

Andrew & Brenda from DishOurTown.com write:

Umbria is a landlocked region, but you won’t miss the sea once you venture into what is affectionately named, “The Green Heart of Italy”. Here, you will find the most beautiful hill towns, ranging from quaint to spectacular. There are the notables, such as Perugia, Orvieto, and Assisi.

Learn more about the region of Umbria on this episode of Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to Umbria, Italy – Episode 321

Assisi, Italy

Assisi

Andrzej from wanderluststorytellers.com writes:

When you are compiling a list of places to visit in Italy, Assisi must make its way to the top 10 for sure. This magnificent town was founded by St. Francis of Assisi during the 12esimo century’s religious revolution. These days it is a mecca for tourists and an amazing place to stay whilst road tripping around Italy.

Assisi is a crowned jewel and one of the most famous towns in all of Umbria. Like many Italian medieval towns, Assisi is perched on a hill and it is surrounded by 360-degree views.

The number one thing to do in Assisi is the famous architectural marvel of the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi and the amazing St Francis Cathedral. This extraordinary building is filled to the brim with exciting history, stories and myths. Take a walking tour of the town to get more information.

Assisi is a relatively small fortress town with narrow cobblestone alleys lined with well-preserved beautiful stone buildings. It is decorated with potted plants and flowers everywhere. It is a magic place, a fairy-tale type of town. There are plenty of boutique hotels to stay in, and sensational upper-class restaurants. There are spectacular lookout points to check out as well. We loved exploring Assisi and I know that you will love it too.

Duomo - Orvieto, Italy

Orvieto

Kristy from TassieDevilAbroad.com writes:

If you’re travelling between Florence and Rome, there is a town called Orvieto that is definitely worth a visit for at least a few hours. Situated on top of a volcanic tufa 300 feet above the Paglia valley, Orvieto offers stunning views over the Umbrian countryside as well as charming cobbled streets in which to wander and explore the history of this unique location.

Last conquered by Julius Caesar in 3 BC, the height and fortress built here meant this was once a very easy to defend Bastion which is now full of interesting history. You will need to ride a cable car and then a small tourist bus up the hill but once on top there is a beautiful Duomo, lots of lovely cafes and shops, and the ruins of the Albornoz Fortress.

Must-see sights include the small but beautiful Duomo and the views from the fortress ruins. You should add Orvieto to your itinerary if you are looking for stunning views and perhaps a taste of the region’s famous truffles or a wild boar burger. Pro tip: as well as the fortress there is also a secret underground labyrinth of tunnels that you can visit on a tour if you are interested in Etruscan and/or Roman history.

Perugia, Italy

Perugia

Natasha from theworldpursuit.com writes:

Perugia is the capital of Umbria and a manageable hilltop university city. Located just 160 kilometers from Rome and 150 from Florence, Perugia is centrally located and well connected by rail and bus.

The historic city is loaded with plenty of beautiful sites and buildings which makes for the perfect tourist stop in Italy. The city center is a maze of steps, cobbled alleys, and arched stairways. At its heart, you’ll find a number of large piazzas and mansions. One of the coolest sites is the Marzia Gate, an Etruscan gate that was built in the third century BC. This landmark site could easily be one of the oldest pieces you’ll ever see.

Besides old ruins and beautiful streets, there are also a number of fantastic festivals in Perugia. Most notably the Umbria Jazz Festival and the Eurochocolate festival. (Perugia is home to Perugina and Baci chocolates.)

It’s great to know that Perugia is indeed a city on hilltops, and car access will prove difficult. The city can be accessed by steps or elevators to the top. There is plenty of parking for tourists at Piazza Partigian.

Todi, Italy

Todi

Brenda from dishourtown.com writes:

If there were a diamond in the rough in Umbria, it would be the Town of Todi, a town worthy of adding to your Italy itinerary.

Todi, is a medieval town, with a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets that lead to a quintessential square, the Piazza del Popolo. On this main plaza sits the Duomo di Todi, the town’s Cathedral that dates as far back as the first millennium. This is a site that needs a bit of your time to appreciate. Todi is small but has all the best of the region to offer. It has a range of restaurants and specialty shops, along with some upscale accommodations.

People from all over the region make day visits or come to dine at night. The piazza is lively, where every night it seems that the whole town congregates, if not to eat and drink, at least for a stroll. This town’s economy is certainly not suffering. Our insider recommendation is an amazing porchetta sandwich joint toward the edge of the square, named Il Grottino, where for less than $5 you can have, what we consider the best sandwich in the world. Best part, you get to pour yourself a gratuitous cup of wine from a small keg to have with your sandwich.

Before you go, a good tip; rent an electric car from Umbria Green Card, which enables you to park in the center of town. Others need to park further down the hill. It’s their way of making a statement about how strongly they feel about the moniker given their region. You take care of the environment, we take care of you.

Veneto

There are many places in the world that try and claim the name of the “Venice of something”, but there is only one Venice. But as great as Venice is, it is not the only great place to see in the region of the Veneto. This region covers much of northeastern Italy from the Dolomites in the north to the Adriatic Sea.

Learn more about the Vento on these episodes of the Amateur Traveler:

  • Travel to Northern Italy (Mantua, Verona, Padua) – Episode 552
  • Travel to Venice and the Veneto – Episode 182

Padua, Italy

Padua

Gábor from surfingtheplanet.com writes:

The city of Padua (Padova in Italian) is one of the major cities of the Veneto region, but as a tourist destination it has always lived in the shadow of its famous neighbor, Venice. Padua has always been a city of culture, and one of the most antique and prestigious universities of the continent is found here, where Copernicus and Galileo Galilei studied amongst others. Padua is also famous for being the city of Saint Anthony, one of the most venerated saints in the Christian World.

Padua is one of the most important cultural destinations of Northern Italy with fantastic landmarks such as the Scrovegni Chapel with its amazing fresco’s made by Giotto, but the main sight you can’t miss out on while visiting Padua is the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, the symbol of the city. The church was built between 1238 and 1310 in Gothic style, but it contains elements from both the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. The brick façade of the building and its orthodox-style cupolas are quite particular. You must visit the interior of the church where Saint Anthony is buried. Every year thousands of pilgrims come to honor him.

Tip: When you visit Padua, spend some time in one of the historical coffee houses, which have really authentic atmosphere. My recommendation is Cafe Pedrocchi in a beautiful neoclassical building. Although it always has been a meeting place of the intellectual elite, it’s also popular amongst students, and prices are quite reasonable.

Venice, Italy

Venice

Kelly from wanderlustbykelleyy.com writes:

Dreamy vibes, magical views and spectacular architecture, Venice is a poetic location and a must-see destination for anyone who is visiting Italy. Venice is the capital city of the Veneto region in Italy’s north. The city is built on 118 small islands, in a lagoon located in the Adriatic Sea. This enclosed bay lies between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers. These islands are separated by canal’s and are linked via bridges. Venice looks like a city out of a fairytale. It is no wonder that the lagoon and part of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to wandering around and getting lost among the gorgeous canals, a must-see location for any trip to Venice would be the gorgeous Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s square). The public square of Venice, and also the cities prime attraction. It is a public square full of life with the most breathtaking architecture. Piazza San Marco has also been referred to as “the drawing room of Europe” by Napoleon. A visit to this square is a great way to absorb the city’s unique atmosphere and to also view the other major attractions of the city.

The Piazza San Marco is surrounded on three sides by state buildings, including the Doge’s Palace – a gothic masterpiece looking out to the Venetian lagoon. The fourth side of the square contains the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica, a beautiful church, with a mixture of eastern and western architecture. Piazza San Marco is also home to coffee shops, restaurants, street performers and of course the infamous pigeons, please note Venice has passed a law where you cannot feed the pigeons.

To make the most out of a visit to Venice, head to the outer Islands of Burano and Murano, to see a glass blowing demonstration and to eat delicious local food.

From the romantic canals, the renaissance structures, gothic palaces and dreamy vibes Venice is a very unique and breathtaking place to visit. A definite must-see location for anybody visiting Italy.

Verona, Italy

Verona

Hannah from eatsleepbreathetravel.com writes:
Verona may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of Italy, but it absolutely deserves a spot on your must-see list. This Italian city is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. While this makes it an especially popular destination for bibliophiles and lovers, Verona has plenty to offer to all.
Juliet’s balcony and the surrounding courtyard and home is probably the biggest attraction in the city. Even if you aren’t a fan of the tragic love story, you should definitely stop by. Legend says that if you rub the breasts on the statue of Juliet, you will have good fortune. Or, if that’s not your style, you can ask Juliet for advice on love by writing a message on the walls.
While Juliet’s balcony is the highlight for many, visitors shouldn’t miss the Arena di Verona, Castelvecchio and the Ponte di Castelvecchio, Piazza del Erbe, or the Torre dei Lamberi. Winding medieval streets, busy piazzas lined with cafes, and the stunning architecture also add a lot of charm to this historic city and are worth wandering, even if just to get lost in.
Verona can easily be visited as a day trip from both Venice and Lake Garda, but if you have the time I suggest spending at least one night. Verona is a popular destination for school trips for Italian children, and during the late morning and midday hours the main attractions are swarming with not only tourists, but students as well. If you spend the night you can enjoy quieter times in the evening or early morning.
If you are traveling with kids check out the best places to visit in Italy with kids.

62 Best Cities, Towns and Places to See in Italy

62 Best Cities, Towns and Places to See in Italy