15 most beautiful cities in Italy for travelers
/From the coast of Sicily to the Dolomites, from the volcanic islands to the Tuscan countryside, Italy has something to offer even the most demanding traveler. All cities are rich in mysteries, natural and cultural delights and welcome visitors at any time of year, TravelWise writes.
No matter how many times you've been to Italy, each trip reveals something new and unique. History and culture, food, drink and nature - you should move from the south to the north of the country or vice versa and see something completely different, giving a special flavor and atmosphere. So put on your comfortable shoes and go on an incredible journey, because there are 15 most beautiful cities in Italy ahead of you for travelers.
Of course, at the head of the selection of the most beautiful cities in Italy to visit, its capital. Travelers new to this unique country are advised to start in Rome. Pantheon and Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel - you will not find such a variety of cultural and historical monuments.
One of the most beautiful and popular cities in Europe harmoniously combines ancient and modern architecture. Besides, where else can you visit the sovereign state located in the city?
After strolling through the most popular locations, we recommend enjoying some unique Italian ice cream, drinking coffee near the fountains and sitting on Spanish Memories while reflecting on this beautiful trip.
Romantic and magical, La Serenissima or "the quietest" place on the planet is a unique landscape, bustling narrow lanes and endless canals. Venice is not only located on the sea, but is surrounded on all sides by lagoon. This city from the list of 15 most beautiful places to visit in Italy consists of more than 100 islands, and the roads simply do not exist. Therefore, locals and visitors move on foot, by gondola or other water transport.
If you want to bring the most vivid photos from your trip, you should visit the following locations:
- The Grand Canal with its gondolas and gondoliers (it is better to choose the evening time to avoid too many crowds);
- The Doge's Palace;
- Rialto Bridge;
- Basilicas of Santa Maria della Salute and San Marco, some of the most beautiful religious buildings in Northern Italy;
- Piazza San Marco, the best view of which is from the top of St. Mark's Campanile.
We also recommend visiting the islands of Burano and Murano with their colorful houses and buying a souvenir of handicrafts made by local craftsmen.
From May to November, Venice hosts the Venice Biennale, which is sure to fascinate art lovers. For food lovers, a visit to the Rialto Market is ideal, offering homemade pasta, fresh seafood and exquisite desserts.
This very beautiful city in Italy is not so popular among tourists, but still got a reputation as a culinary capital. However, it is not only gourmets who come here to taste the famous cheeses and wine. Bologna still has its ancient city walls, built during the Middle Ages, and its porticoes are still intact. Take a coin to toss into Neptune's fountain, located in the main square of Piazza Maggiore. For those who want a quiet and peaceful evening, we suggest visiting the secluded Piazza Santo Stefano.
From the top of the Asinelli Tower there is an incredible view of the terracotta red roofs and the bright green hills. Connoisseurs of hiking can take a route of about four kilometers to Santuario di Madonna di San Luca to enjoy a picture like a fairy tale.
If you have time, it is worth visiting the surrounding villages of Emilia-Romagna, they will definitely fascinate you! Bologna is also famous for the oldest university in the world and its own leaning tower like the Tower of Pisa.
The heart of Tuscany also boasts Florence's Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo, the famous statue of David and the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. The heart of Tuscany also boasts Florence Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo, the famous statue of David and Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" in the Uffice Gallery.
Florence's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts romantics the world over. Walks through the cozy ancient streets in the Ponte Vecchio (one of the oldest bridges), coffee shops and restaurants in Piazza della Signoria are just a small part of what couples in love will especially enjoy.
Not far from Florence is the small town of San Gimagnano, a very beautiful and atmospheric location in picturesque hills as if taken from the pages of a romantic poem.
This Italian town immediately comes to mind at the mention of the world's most famous lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The balcony described by Shakespeare always gathers a line of people eager to picture the famous scene and see the wall with numerous declarations of love. But Romeo and Juliet is not the only reason to visit Verona. Here, for example, is better preserved amphitheater of Roman times, we also recommend to visit the Ponte Scaliger Bridge, to feel the special atmosphere in the ancient basilicas and churches.
In Castelvecchio there is a museum, accessible from the inner courtyard. For beautiful photos, go to the Ponte Castelvecchio bridge, which offers incredible views from different angles.
There is probably not a single person who has never heard of the famous Neapolitan pizza. This dish, popular all over the world, was invented here. No wonder that Naples has the most delicious and traditional pizza. In addition to delicious food in Italy's most beautiful city to visit, you can also enjoy for the eyes. Among the most visited locations are the following:
- Neapolitan Cathedral;
- Umberto Gallery;
- Royal Palace;
- Piazza del Plebiscito.
Also near Naples is the famous World Heritage Site of Pompeii. The ancient city consists of houses frozen in time, religious buildings and even cobblestone paths.
The largest city in southern Italy, both literally and figuratively, is built on ruins, so here you can feel the special atmosphere of the Middle Ages and reflect on how people lived and what they did a century ago.
While in Naples, we recommend visiting Castel Nuovo with its striking fortress and staying at Castel del Ovo. Another little secret is that this majestic city opens up as best it can at sunset, giving its visitors an incredible landscape to commemorate a beautiful trip.
Do you want to visit another UNESCO-listed location? Then go to Via Garibaldi in Genoa and see every detail of the palace and the Roman Cathedral of San Lorenzo, visit the Acquario di Genova - the largest aquarium in Europe.
The most visited location of the port city is the picturesque waterfront and the historic center, where a large medieval quarter is very well preserved.
Apart from the center, a must-see is the Old Port, which now plays an important cultural role. There are several museums, the architectural masterpieces of Renzo Piano and the panoramic elevator Bigo, which overlooks the whole of Genoa.
The fashion capital of the world is rightly in the list of the most beautiful cities in Italy for travelers. Milan, also a famous financial center, is also filled with extraordinary works of art and culture. Porta Sempione Gate, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in Santa Maria delle Grazie and one of the largest cathedrals in the world - the Italian city has a lot of beautiful and interesting things to offer its visitors.
In the center is the Duomo Cathedral, built in Gothic style. Its summit offers a bird's-eye view of the entire city. In the Navigli area you can observe the system of canals designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Modern aesthetics seekers will be interested in the Rosanna Orlanda Art Gallery, where incredible installations are always on display. And there's plenty of street art to be found in the Isola neighborhood. For those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, the very beautiful Sampione Park is a better option. The famous Lake Como is also just 50 minutes from the center.
The capital of Sicily, with more than 0.5 million inhabitants, is an Italy quite different from the one you find in Rome or Venice. Palermo with its many street markets and loud motorcycle traffic has a special flavor, similar to that of North Africa. First of all, we advise you to visit the following places:
- Cattedrale Di Palermo Cathedral, which stands out among other religious buildings with its Norman-Arabic architecture;
- Mondelo beach, one of the most famous in Sicily, and the Capo Gallo Nature Reserve, within walking distance;
- Quattro Canti.
There are more than 230 churches in Palermo, considering the Cathedral of Monreale, decorated with a huge fresco depicting Jesus Christ.
After exploring the historic center, be sure to stop by one of the local markets to sample local cuisine, buy fresh fruit and, of course, souvenirs to remember. If you have time, book a walk along the Sicilian coast to enjoy unique views of the most beautiful city in Italy, from the secluded cliffs to the lights of modern Palermo. It is worth mentioning that 20 minutes from the city is the former fishing village of Mondelo with its beautiful sandy beach and crystal clear water.
Also Palermo attracts attention with its nightlife, which never stops bustling even after midnight.
This is not quite a classic city as Cinque Terre actually consists of five villages, like a jigsaw puzzle, forming a very picturesque view of the whole Italy.
- Riomaggiore is the closest to La Spezia - the center of the province, so travelers are best to start exploring Cinque Terre from there. In addition, the train station is located in the heart of the town and from there it is convenient to get to all the popular attractions. For example the castle, the church of St. John the Baptist, or a cozy promenade with nice cafes and restaurants. The best way to reach the neighboring settlement, Manarola, is via the Via dell'Amore, which was very long ago carved right into the rock.
- Monterosso al Mare is the oldest town in the national park, which has the only sandy beach (the others have pebbles). That is why it is most often chosen by those who want to enjoy all the benefits of a warm vacation by the sea. Also from the Aurora observation tower, which is also the bell tower of the church of St. Giovanni, there is a beautiful view, so we advise you to go up there.
- Corniglia. Only this town out of the other four has no port of its own, so you can only get here by train or on foot. Cornilla is built on the rocks, so the beaches can not boast, but the views from here will not leave anyone indifferent.
- Back. This town is considered the most beautiful in Cinque Terre. Here you can enjoy not only the beautiful nature, but also examine the authentic Italian houses, visit a medieval castle and climb to the top of an atmospheric tower.
- Manarola is adjacent to Riomangiora, and the distance between them is less than a kilometer! If you travel to Italy in winter, we suggest seeing the world's largest nativity scene, in summer travelers will find spectacular scenery and clean beaches. There are many olive trees growing on the hills, and the houses are located on the hills and replicate their feeders. On the outskirts of Manarola are the small but very beautiful villages of Volastra and Gropa, which are also worth visiting if you have enough time.
All the villages are connected to each other by scenic hiking trails. The territory of the most beautiful Italian place includes both landscaped and wild beaches, fantastic viewpoints, ancient castles and many other interesting locations. In addition, all five towns of the national park are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
If you want to stay overnight, we advise you to choose La Spezia, located near Cinque Terre.
For a relaxing vacation with an aperol in hand, this town in the Tuscany region is best. Siena is home to the oldest bank in the world, and the best views are from the tower of Siena Cathedral, 85 meters high, located on top of the Torre del Mangia.
Siena is famous for having hosted many famous people, in particular Leonardo da Vinci, and for being the birthplace of the famous film director Fellini.
The most visited location is Piazza del Campo, made in the shape of a shell and piled with many restaurants and cafes. There is also the City Museum, and from the top of the Torre del Mangia there is a view of stunning Tuscany. However, you have to climb 400 steps to get there. In summer the square hosts the famous horse race, a tradition that dates back to the sixth century.
The coastal and beautiful city in Italy is located in the Emilia-Romagna region. In addition to beach holidays Rimini also attracts masterpieces of art, cathedrals and unique cultural and architectural sights. Among them are the following:
- The Bridge of Tiberius - one of the key symbols of the city, so it is the one where you should start your acquaintance with Rimini;
- The Arch of Augustus, the oldest in all of Italy and formerly a gateway;
- Piazza Cavour, with the facades of three medieval palaces dating back to the 18th century and the famous fountain that amazed even Leonardo da Vinci;
- "Italy in miniature" - a unique park, where you can see mini-copies of outstanding Italian and some European monuments of architecture;
- Sismondo Castle, built in 1446 by order of the Malatesta family, is more like an impregnable fortress surrounded by 30-meter walls and a huge moat.
The stunning seaside resort is also a luxury beach along the Adriatic Sea with white sand.
Most often travelers are attracted by the unique "leaning" tower. However, Pisa is much more. A large number of historic ancient cathedrals, bridges and palaces - Italy's most beautiful city in the Tuscany region is worth it not only to visit the Tower of Pisa and take a photo with an outstretched arm. Be sure to visit Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, a 16th century church with a Mannerist facade and Piazza dei Cavalieri in the classic Italian Renaissance style.
On the way to the seafront, stop by the cool botanical garden and enjoy the extraordinary panorama from the Lungarni di Pisa observation deck.
The Amalfi Coast and towns to visit
The coastal, somewhat smaller towns are also worthy of travelers' attention. Ravello, Positano, Sorrento and Minori are just some of the list.
Be sure to stroll the cobblestone streets of Ravenna and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Coast. The Amalfi Coast is dotted with small towns, so one of the best decisions is to choose a boat tour and see Capri.
This ancient city was "preserved" in 79 A.D. during a volcanic eruption. The Mastvisite in Italy, Pompeii, illustrates life since the third century B.C. Visitors can explore the ancient buildings and the complex as a whole. We advise booking tours to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii to learn as much as possible about the thermal baths, the Greek Theater and the Forma.
Italy's most unusual and beautiful city for travelers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so there are very long lines during rush hour. To avoid them, we recommend arriving about 15-20 minutes before opening time. In addition, the first hours in Pompeii are relatively quiet and quiet, there is an opportunity to reflect and enjoy the cultural attraction alone.