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The 15 Best Places to Visit in Italy

August 29, 2023

Italy is a favorite destination for many travelers. The famous Mediterranean-style country offers a wide range of attractions. There is a good reason why Italy is consistently ranked as one of the most visited countries in the world.

From north to south, the main Italian sights are listed. In Northern Italy, the Dolomites are a popular part of the Alps with many wonderful opportunities. Then a little further south is the world-famous historic city of Venice and the picturesque Lake Garda. In the west there is the increasingly famous Cinque Terre, which has five enchanting villages set in steep rocky hillsides. Then there are the well-known places of Tuscany, such as Pisa and Florence. In the south of Italy, there are wonderful places to visit, such as Rome with its many historical monuments, Naples with the Vesuvius volcano and the Amalfi Coast with the towns of Amalfi and Positano.

Even listing all these, you can see how much Italy has to offer. And you can experience it all while tasting Italian cuisine, with the friendliness of the Italian people and the good Italian climate.

Italy is a country that almost everyone likes to visit for different reasons. Young people can find the vibrancy and entertainment, older people can find the relaxation, and families with young children can explore Italy while enjoying a wealth of family activities. If you are planning a family trip, you can read about the 20 best places in Italy for families by clicking on the link.

If you are planning a complete tour of Italy, we can also offer you a two-week Italy itinerary, which will take you around Italy and show you these most important places to visit in Italy.

So let’s look at our top 15 list of the best places to visit in Italy.

1. Fusine Lakes

In northern Italy, ot far from the town of Tarvisio, near the Slovenian border, are the two lakes called Lakes Fusine. The lakes offer picturesque views of the Julian Alps, including the famous Mangart peak. Each of these fantastic green lakes offers a different experience: the lower lake is deeper, with brighter water, forests and buildings nearby. The upper lake is a rocky shore, more isolated, a bit muddy, but very photogenic place, accessible by a short hike.

The Fusine Lakes are easily accessible by car, although you have to pay a few euros to enter the area.

2. Tre Cime Natural Park

Tre Cime Natural Park is located in the Dolomites in northern Italy. The Dolomites are one of the most popular mountain ranges in the Alps, offering many stunning destinations. The Tre Cime Natural Park is the area around the Tre Cime mountain range. Here you can see spectacular formations such as the Tre Cime itself, Mount Paterno, the Laghi dei piani lakes and the Cadini di Misurina mountain group. The many guesthouses mean that you can also organize multi-day tours here. The road up to Tre Cime is toll road, quite expensive and not always open, so traveling there requires special planning. However, the hiking there and the views are so fantastic, the fresh alpine air, the sometimes green, sometimes rocky landscape, that you forget everything else.

3. Lake Braies

Lake Braies is without a doubt one of the most breathtaking lakes not only in Italy but in Europe. With its beautiful green color and the surrounding rocky mountains, Lake Braies is fascinating everyone.

You can also rent boats from the lakeside chalet for boating, which is a very popular activity. The Lake Braies can be completely circumnavigated in a hike of about 3 km, with some difficult terrain in places, but generally an easy walk.

The Lake Braies is easily accessible by car, with parking sometimes difficult only because of the crowds of tourists.

4. Lake Sorapis

Lake Sorapis is also a lake in the Dolomites, Italy. Its beautiful blue waters and the surrounding mountain peaks are making it increasingly popular among tourists. Lake Sorapis is difficult to reach, though, because the hike to the lake is at least 8 km only uphill, often with steep sections. Basic hiking equipment is recommended and it is worth planning a full day’s hike. There is a small restaurant near the Lake Sorapis where you can take a break.

5. Seiser Alm

The Alpe di Siusi is a plateau in the western Dolomites, Italy. Its Italian name is Alpe di Siusi, its German name is Seiser Alm. Almost the entire area glows with the beauty of the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto mountains. Magnificent rocky mountains in the background, and in the foreground green rolling fields with small chalets. Perhaps this is paradise on earth.

It is easily accessible by car or by cable car from Val Gardena. As the road network is very good there, it is worth walking or cycling on the Seiser Alm. They have several recreational hotels and it is a popular ski resort in winter. It is the best place for a relaxing holiday in the Dolomites.

6. Lake Carezza

Lake Carezza is located not far from the town of Bolzano and can be reached via winding mountain roads. Then, along the road, you will suddenly see a small colorful lake with a magical mountain called Latemar in the background. Lake Carezza is an increasingly famous destination in the Dolomites, thanks mainly to social media.

The lake’s color and water level change frequently. Parking is available in a car park across the road. The lake can be walked around, but the best view is from beside the road.

7. Lake Como

Lake Como is a popular destination in Lombardy, northern Italy. Its distinctive Y-shape makes it easy to recognize on the map. It is the third largest lake in Italy after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore and one of the deepest lakes in Europe. In ancient times the Lake Como was one of the favorite resorts of emperors. With its snow-capped mountains, palm trees along the shore, magnificent subtropical landscapes and luxurious Mediterranean villas, the area has a truly fairytale atmosphere.

Swimming in the lake is not really recommended, both because of its depth and because the water is not very clear, but don’t let that put you off, as there are plenty of activities to do outside of swimming. The most visited towns around the lake are Como, Bellaggio, Lecco and Varenna. The most seen place in social media on the shores of Lake Como is the garden of Villa Monastero in Varenna.

8. Lake Garda

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake, part of the Sarca-Garda-Mincio water system. The lake was formed during the last ice age. Thanks to its location, Mediterranean flora and pleasant climate, Lake Garda is one of the most visited destinations in Northern Italy.

The two most famous towns on Lake Garda are Sirmione in the south and Riva del Garda in the north. Both are worth a visit, although we think Sirmione is more spectacular because of its castle. The area around Lake Garda is often very crowded, so it is worth visiting in the off-season.

9. Venice

Venice, the capital of Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. The city of Venice looks as if it has been untouched for hundreds of years. Venice has no car roads, just canals, including the Grand Canal, lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.

Walk around San Marco Square, and if you want, visit the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace from the inside. The San Marco Square also contains the Campanile bell tower offering fantastic views of the city. It is also worth checking out the Rialto Bridge and the Academy Bridge for some of the best views of Venice.

Another place to visit around Venice is the island of Burano. This is the most colorful and beautiful little island, which you can easily walk around in a couple of hours. The easiest way to get there is by vaporetto.

If you arrive in Venice by car, there are several parking lots at the entrance of the city.

10. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a series of old coastal villages on the west coast of Italy. It got its name from the five villages that share its territory: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare. In each of the 5 municipalities, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, the harbors are full of fishing boats and the trattorias offer seafood specialities along with the Ligurian region’s famous sauce, pesto. Of the five villages, Manarola and Vernazza are absolutely unmissable, but Riomaggiore’s coastline is also fantastic. If you’re traveling in the summer, stop by the Nessun Dorma restaurant in Manarola for fantastic views and delicious local food.

The Cinque Terre National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which attracts more than 2.5 million tourists every year. This makes it a very crowded place, so it is recommended to travel there in the off-season, in spring or autumn. Because the villages of the Cinque Terre are difficult to reach by car, it is worth using public transport.

11. Pisa

Everyone has heard of Pisa because of its world-famous leaning tower. Without a doubt, the most important landmark of Pisa is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is an absolute must-see in Italy. The city of Pisa is a medium-sized town near the western coast of Italy. It is a good starting point for exploring Tuscany, being close to Florence and otherwise to the Cinque Terre in Liguria.

Entrance to the square next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is free, so you can see the dome and the tower from the outside for free, but you have to buy a ticket to enter. As it is a very busy destination, it is advisable to book in advance. Parking is well organized in the area, with several parking spaces available close to the tower.

12. Firenze

Florence is the capital of Tuscany in Italy, home to a wealth of Italian historical and artistic attractions. Its most famous squares are Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza di San Giovanni with the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazzale Michelangelo with its magnificent Florentine panorama.

Our favorite is Piazzale Michelangelo, from where you can see almost the whole city from above. The area around the Duomo in Florence is also famous and a must-see. Close by you can see the world famous David of Michelangelo statue in the Galleria dell’Accademia museum. Another great sights in Florence are the Ponte Vecchio (bridge) and the Palazzo Pitti (palace).

13. Rome

Everyone has heard of Rome at least in history lessons. Rome is the capital and largest city of Italy.

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most famous ancient buildings in the world. Not for nothing, because the Colosseum and the Roman Forum next to it are a true experience of a lifetime.

Rome is also famous for the Vatican, which is a separate mini-state inside the city. The Vatican has a very interesting museum and St Peter’s Basilica is a popular destination.

The Trevi Fountain, also visited by many thousands of visitors every day. The Trevi Fountain is associated with a legend that says that anyone who throws in a coin will surely return to Rome, the “eternal city”.

Other interesting sights include the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Castel Sant’Angelo, all worth a visit. It’s also a good idea to explore the catacombs, the ancient road of the Via Appia, the Baths of Caracalla and the Circus Maximus.

As the best places to visit in Rome are so many to list, definitely plan several days to visit. You can find our article detailing Rome travel and attractions here.

14. Mount Vesuvius

The volcano Mount Vesuvius is also something many people have heard about in history lessons related to Pompeii. Mount Vesuvius is the most famous active volcano in Italy. It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes today, with more than 3 million people living in its immediate area.

The Vesuvius volcano can be reached either by bus or car, but the last one kilometre is on foot on a steep, gravel road. You will also need a ticket. You can walk relatively close to the volcano’s crater, and it sometimes smokes. It is an interesting tourist destination in Italy.

15. Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, situated south from Naples, in the northern part of the Gulf of Salerno, is a real wonderland in Italy. On the Amalfi Coast you are guaranteed to experience the real Italian way of life. Enchanting fairytale towns built into the steep mountainsides, lemon groves and beautiful colorful houses come to mind. The Amalfi Coast is a special, atmospheric, romantic place, comparable to few other places.

The two most visited destinations are Positano and Amalfi.

Positano is characterised by its colorful houses built on the steep hillside, which offer a spectacular view. Walking around the town, you can get the best views of Positano from many points.

In addition, there are many amazing things to do in Positano. For example, the boutiques, shops and restaurants of the old town offer interesting shopping and gastronomic opportunities. Besides, the town has a fantastic black sand beach. Also, if you are interested in boating, you can take a boat trip and see more of the coast.

Positano is the ideal destination for those who want to relax on the beach, enjoy Italian gastronomy and discover the beauties of the Amalfi Coast.

Traffic and parking is a bit chaotic there, so arrive early, plan ahead how you will get there and where you will park. If you are interested in, you can take a boat trip and see the coastline even better. There are also beaches in the cities where you can swim. And along the winding roads through the towns, numerous panoramic lookouts offer breathtaking views. If you travel to Naples, don’t miss the Amalfi Coast, it is an absolute must.

So these are the 15 best places to visit in Italy according to us. Because we love traveling in Italy, there are still more wonderful places to discover. We hope this article has inspired you to visit these stunning destinations.

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