The Best Cities in Italy: A Traveler's Guide
Heading to Bel Paese for a vacation? You've lots of cities to choose from. Spoiled for choice? These are the best cities in Italy every tourist should visit.
Did you know that many of your favorite cheeses were created in Italy? Parmesan, mozzarella, gorgonzola and more all have their roots in Italy.
Of course, Italy is famous for its cheeses as well as its other culinary masterpieces. However, the country is more than just its tasty food. Italian cities are filled to the brim with museums, historical sites, natural wonders, and astounding art.
If you're on your way to Italy or are simply planning out your dream vacation, you may be wondering which cities you should spend time in.
Below is a guide on the best cities in Italy, and where you can find some of Italy's most alluring attractions!
The Best Cities in Italy to Visit
Whether you are visiting Italy for a week or a month, you will want to make the most of your time in the grand country!
There are plenty of places you could travel during your trip, but this guide will tell you which cities are an absolute must!
Rome is, without a doubt, Italy's most famous city, and it would be criminal not to put it on this list! From corner to corner, it's bursting with history, culture, and breathtaking architecture.
If you're a European history fan, a stop in Rome is key. When in Rome, you'll have the opportunity to visit sites like the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. So many religious histories lie in these buildings that are worth exploring!
You can also check out the Pantheon while in Rome. This former temple, dedicated to all of the pagan Roman gods, is the most well-preserved historical site in the city. Though it has its roots as a temple, many well-known figures are buried in a crypt within the temple, such as the famous philosopher Voltaire and the acclaimed artist Raphael.
The Roman Forum is another must-see for any history buffs. While much of the site is in ruins, it gives you a glimpse into what the bustling community of ancient Rome must have been like. A guided tour can bring the historical complex to life for visitors by painting a picture of the forum's former glory.
Perhaps the most famous site to visit in Rome is the Colosseum. This architectural masterpiece was once used to hold the gladiator competitions, but now it's one of Italy's most famous tourist attractions. It's an absolute must for anyone visiting the city.
When in Rome, you should also check out the Trastevere neighborhood. It's a perfect place to experience the most authentic form of Roman living, and it's a very walkable neighborhood. There's plenty of restaurants in Trastevere where you can get a taste of the local food. Afterward, you can head up the less traverse eight hill of Rome, Gianicolo, and get a great view of the city of Rome.
Rome is undeniably one of the best cities in Italy, and chances are you won't be able to fit in every single thing you want to do. The most important thing to remember though is: when in Rome, do as the Romans do!
Milan is the place to go if you're looking for a luxurious destination. Its streets are filled with galleries, stylish shops, and decadent restaurants.
Nightlife in Milan draws people in with its abundance of theaters, nightclubs, and concerts. You can also enjoy its frequent fashion fairs!
Anyone with a taste for fashion will find themselves in heaven in Milan. The stores in Milan are full of high-quality fits and exclusive pieces. The city is constantly on the verge of cutting-edge style and trends, so you can't miss out on shopping in Milan!
The cultural movement known as the Renaissance was born out of Florence, so it's no surprise that it's filled to the brim with art, music, and history.
For Renaissance art enthusiasts, the Uffizi Gallery should be a priority. It houses many famous works, such as The Birth of Venus by Boticelli and The Baptism of Christ by da Vinci.
Another piece of Renaissance history lives on through the bell tower known as the Duomo. The building was constructed in the fourteenth century and took 25 years to be completed. The exterior of the tower is decorated with panels and sculptures that perfectly exemplify the Renaissance style.
If you want to take a break from the hubbub that a city brings, you can stop by the Boboli Gardens to revel in the beautiful nature Florence has to offer. Over 400 years old, the gardens are beautiful in the summer sun or during the fall when the foliage begins to change color.
Located on a hill near the Boboli Gardens is the Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers a stunning view of the city of Florence laid out in front of the River Arno. A series of merchants and vendors are available to check out in the square as well!
Florence is also fairly centrally located, which makes it one of the best cities to plan day trips out of. If you have a few days to spend in Florence, it's worth taking a day trip to cities like Pisa or Bologna as well!
Another frontrunner in cultural overload is the beautiful city of Sicily. You can find something to enjoy in Sicily whatever your interests may be.
When in Sicily, you can take a trip to Palermo and check out Italy's largest opera house, the Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele.
If you're more of an outdoorsy person, check out the Zingaro Nature Reserve. You can take trails that overlook the sea and offer you stunning panoramic views.
History lovers may enjoy visiting the Valley of the Temples, the Villa Romana del Casale, and the Doric Temple of Segesta.
Venice is a city built on water — literally. The city's buildings sit on the very edges of hundreds of interconnecting canals. This alone makes the city a must-see, as few other cities are built in such a unique way.
Because of this, it's customary for visitors to take a gondola ride in the city's canals. A boat tour is another way to explore the canals, and the guide will be able to explain how the canals operated long before modern transportation existed. It's also worth walking along the canal and enjoying the views over the dozens of bridges that cross them.
The Gallerie dell'Accademia is a museum worth a visit while in Venice. Formerly a convent, this museum is home to a stunning collection of Renaissance works, including the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci.
The island of Murano is one other place you should make an effort to visit while in Venice. The island is home to the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, as well as the Palazzo da Mula. Glass blowing is also a specialty in Murano, and there's often live demonstrations taking place for any interested artsy visitors!
Celebrate Italy's Charm
Wherever you plan to go in Italy, you will find yourself enamored with the country's rich history and culture. The food is out of this world, the art is beautiful and never-ending, and the charming neighborhoods will draw you in.
You will undoubtedly have an unforgettable experience when you take to the streets of the best cities in Italy!
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