Best of Italy

Where to Go on Your Italy Vacation

Use our best of Italy guide as you plan your Italian vacation. Below you'll find our picks for where to go in Italy including top cities, romantic destinations, hill towns, and seaside destinations.

  • 01 of 12
    florence photo
    ••• View of Florence. by James Martin, Europe Travel

    Italy has many beautiful, historic cities with great things to see and do. Traveling by train is the easiest way to visit Italian cities as driving and parking are difficult. Each city has its own character and attractions so use this guide to find the cities you want to visit.

  • 02 of 12
    Italy, Veneto, Venice, Gondola under bridge
    ••• ThierryHennet / Getty Images

    Italy is a very romantic country filled with picturesque villages, countryside, lakes, and seaside getaways. Our selections range from the beautiful city of Venice on the water to a top seaside resort town on the island of Sicily. Take a look at the top romantic places in Italy.

  • 03 of 12
    roman colosseum photo
    ••• Roman Colosseum. by Martha Bakerjian

    These are Italy's best known attractions and must-see sights. When you're visiting one of Italy's popular tourist attractions, it's usually best to book tickets in advance to avoid having to wait in a long tidket line.

     

  • 04 of 12
    Town with cave dwellings, Sasso Barisano, Sassi di Matera, Matera, Basilicata, Italy
    ••• Petr Svarc / Getty Images

    Southern Italy has beautiful beaches and scenic coastline, a wealth of Roman and Greek sites, and several unique attractions. In general, most of southern Italy sees fewer tourists, has a more leisurely pace, and often has lower prices than more popular tourist destinations.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    urbino ducal palace photo
    ••• Urbino Ducal Palace. Hedda Gjerpen/Getty Images

    When people think of hill towns, they often think of Tuscany, but there are hill towns in many parts of Italy. Here are my favorite picks for Italian hill towns.

     

  • 06 of 12
    View of mountains and Lake Como, Italy
    ••• Francesco Meroni / Getty Images

    Italy has many beautiful lakes that make good vacation destinations. Popular travel getaways since Roman times, Italy's lakes offer charming villages, resorts, hiking trails, and a wealth of water activities. From the famous and popular northern Italian Lakes Como and Garda to smaller lakes of central Italy, use this guide to find your favorite lake in Italy.

  • 07 of 12
    photo of Amalfi
    ••• The town of Amalfi. Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

    Southern Italy's Amalfi Peninsula has some of Italy's most spectacular coastal scenery. In summer it's very crowded but its mild temperatures make it a year-round destination. Sorrento is easily reached by public transportation and makes a good base for those without a car. During high season, ferries are the easiest way to get around but buses run along the peninsula all year. There's good shopping here and nearby Bay of Naples attractions such as Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius can be visited, too.

  • 08 of 12
    portovenere photo
    ••• Portovenere. photo courtesy of Bill Mitchell

    Italian Riviera villages like the Cinque Terre are popular coast destinations, especially in summer. With a relatively mild climate, most villages can be visited almost any time of year. Public transportation is good and most of the area can be visited using trains, buses, or ferries. You can use one town as a base and explore the rest of the coast on day trips. Besides beaches and spectacular scenery, there are castles and good seafood, too.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Touristic port of Alghero, Sardinia, Italy
    ••• Cultura Exclusive/Stefano Oppo / Getty Images

    Italy's islands make great vacation destinations. Most of them have beautiful beaches, making them especially popular in summer, but they also have picturesque countryside, charming villages, archeological and historical sights, and great food.

  • 10 of 12
    Strada della Repubblica in Parma, Italy
    ••• Julian Elliott Photography / Getty Images

    If you've toured Italy's top cities or prefer to travel to smaller cities with fewer tourists, consider these recommendations for less-visited but interesting Italian cities. Most of them can be visited as day trips from larger cities but are also good places to spend a few days.

  • 11 of 12
    siena palazzo photo
    ••• Siena. by Martha Bakerjian

    Tuscany is a top region for Italian vacations. Tuscany has historic hill towns, wine regions, and beautiful countryside. Parts of Tuscany, such as Florence and Siena, can be explored by train while a car is best for visiting smaller towns and touring the countryside. This is a good region if you want to stay in an agriturismo, ranging from simple budget accommodations to luxurious suites and apartments.

  • 12 of 12
    Cascata delle Marmore, Terni, Umbria
    ••• VWB photos / Getty Images

    Umbria, often called the Green Heart of Italy, has medieval hill towns, Etruscan sites, and nature parks. Umbria also has one of Italy's largest lakes, spectacular waterfalls, and an interesting mummy collection. A little less expensive than neighboring Tuscany, Umbria is becoming more popular as a tourist destination.

Buy Tickets for Italian Museums and Sites

It's a good idea to buy tickets in advance for popular museums and sites in Italy so you don't waste time standing in ticket lines. You can buy advance tickets in US dollars through Select Italy.