Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations worldwide, and with good reason. No matter what you’re interested in, you can find it there. Planning an Italy trip can be daunting, but this travel guide for Italy has everything you need to get started. Whether you’re wondering about specific attractions in Rome or what to wear when traveling to Italy, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make your trip memorable and exciting.
What to Do in Italy
While you can find just about anything you’re interested in doing in Italy, there are several attractions and activities unique to the country that Italy is particularly known for. Whether you’re dipping your toes into the idea of an Italy trip or have already booked your ticket and are looking for itinerary inspiration, these highlights will get you started.
1. Admire ruins and old architecture
Practically no matter where you go in Italy, you’ll find traces of the ancient world. In Sicily, you can visit the Valley of the Temples, a compound of Doric temples built around the 5th century that are still in shockingly good condition, open for tourists to admire. Of course, there’s the Coliseum in Rome as well as the Roman Forum and the Acropolis.
And don’t forget Pompeii – part ruins, a part open-air museum filled with relics and personal effects of the people who lived there are the time of the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The entire country bears historical relics that echo the old world.
2. Visit art galleries
Italy has been home to some of the most influential artists in the Western world. Even if you’re not an art buff, you’ve almost definitely heard of them and will likely recognize their work: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio are just a few. Some of the most notable art stops in Italy are the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Last Supper displayed in Milan. But the entire country is filled with breathtaking art for you to drink in. Whether you’re an amateur art historian or have never set foot in a museum, this is a great place to start.
3. Take to the seas
Italy benefits from an extensive coastline, which means no matter where you travel inside the country, the ocean isn’t too far away. You can take a break from the city’s bustle to enjoy the beautiful water, or you can admire the breathtaking views of the urban skylines from another angle.
Boat trip along the Amalfi Coast, ride a gondola in Venice or meander down the Grand Canal, one of the world’s most famous waterways. One lesser-known hidden gem accessible by boat is the Grotta Azzurra (Italian for “Blue Grotto”), a cavern that glows iridescent blue when the sun shines in through fissures in the sides of the rock. This is accessible by boat tour, and you can see this beautiful view from inside the grotto at the precise right time.
4. Admire culturally important and beautiful religious sites
Italy is home to countless breathtaking churches and cathedrals. Perhaps best known is the Vatican, one of the most important religious locations globally and home of renounced churches such as the Sistine Chapel, Piazza San Pietro, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. But the Vatican is only one of the many opportunities to savor the splendor of gorgeous religious architecture.
Saint Mark’s Basilica is a particularly gorgeous destination. Ornately adorned with mosaics, marble ornaments, bas-reliefs, and gold leafing throughout the building, you’ll be glad you stopped to admire the splendor. There’s also the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, the crown jewel of one of the most romantic and artistic cities in Europe. You can hike to the top and get a view of the whole city. There’s also the Milan Cathedral, Italy’s largest church. It took 6 centuries to build, and with good reason – the marble decorations, gorgeous altar, and a breathtaking view of the city from the roof all make this site worth a visit.
5. Sample the iconic food and drink
Let’s be honest – one of the main things Italy is known and loved for is its culture surrounding food and beverages. Taste authentic pizza, artisanal pasta, and the finest gelato in the world. Well-known for their extensive wine production and expansive vineyards, winery tours throughout the country are not only beautiful and educational, but they’re also fun.
Not sure where to start? Set on a trip to Italy but unsure what cities to visit? For more information about what to do in specific Italian cities, check out below.
To find specific information about attractions and destinations, visit TripAdvisor.com. There, you can find up-to-date ticketing information for tours and more inspiration for things to do. Their selection ranges from the classic to the complete one-of-a-kind.
When to Go
For most travelers, the best time to visit Italy is from April to June or from mid-September to October. During these times, you’ll find comfortable temperatures, great weather, and vibrant outdoor scenery. These times of year aren’t as crowded as the peak busy season, except for Easter.
July to early September is the busiest time for tourists. During this time, expect crowds and long lines. Easter, May, and June are the most expensive times for hotel stays.
August is generally regarded to be the worst month to visit. The weather is sweltering and humid. Furthermore, many Italians take the entire month off. This means a lot of tourist attractions are closed and small family-run hotels, restaurants, and stores. On the flip side, August can be a good time to visit because many cities are practically empty (especially Turin and Milan). If you plan ahead, you may be able to get a heavily discounted hotel. But don’t forget that a lot of the hip restaurants, nightlife, and other attractions will still be shut down. Take that into consideration if those experiences are a priority for you. But if you’re set on experiencing Italy and budget is a major constraint, August could be the time to go.
From late October to Easter, many businesses are on shorter winter hours for the off-season. Some hotels close completely (this will be less of an issue in urban areas). It’s common for mom-and-pop restaurants to close for a week or two at a time during the winter months, so plan ahead to make sure you can get into anywhere that’s really important to you.
Italy Sample Budget
The average daily cost for a tourist in Italy is $147, which is surprisingly affordable for such a sought-after destination. Keep in mind this is an average. Savvy planners can make it in Italy on as little as $49 a day.
Average nightly accommodation for one person: $30
Start at Booking.com to find affordable hotels in your destination cities. You’ll be able to find a wide range of lodging that can fit any budget.
Food per day: $16
While it’s certainly possible to go wild splurging on Italian wines and delicious food at Michelin-starred restaurants, one of the great things about the country is its diverse food culture. Start at smaller spots to save a buck.
Transportation within the city per day: $8.50
Check Priceline.com for affordable car rentals, which can be cheaper than paying for taxi fare and train fare everywhere you go.
Transportation between cities per day: $17
Unless you’re planning an entire trip just in one city, make sure to budget for train rides or other transportation from city to city. Make sure to book early!
Entertainment per day: $8
To achieve this, keep an eye out for discounted, cheap, or free attractions. You’d be surprised what you can find that costs nothing at all. Check Trip Advisor for a wealth of unique and affordable entertainment.
Your single biggest expense will likely be your plane ticket, and airfare prices fluctuate widely depending on your starting location, the time of year you book, and how far in advance you book. Start at Skyscanner.com to get started finding the most affordable flights for you.
Make sure you budget in travelers insurance in case of emergencies. For the most affordable policies, you can rely on to keep you safe, check pricing at Allianz Assistance.
As you can see, it’s possible to enjoy Italy without breaking the bank!
How to Save on Travel Costs
There are plenty of ways to cut costs if you’re on a tight budget, but I don’t want that to stop you from seeing all that Italy has to offer. These tips are a good place to start.
1. Consider going during the off-season
Because summer is the big tourist season, expect high prices if you visit that time of year. To save money, visit in the spring or fall when the weather is still nice, and you can expect fewer crowds (and most importantly, lower prices). However, if you’re serious about cutting costs, consider a winter trip. Though it’s the off-season, Christmas in Italy is lovely. Rome is particularly gorgeous in the wintertime, and the temperature never drops too low for comfort.
2. Book well in advance
If you have a specific city or hotel in mind and want to spend the least amount of money, book as early as possible. This includes high-speed trains you may be taking from one big city to another. The sooner you book, the less you’ll pay in fare.
3. Stay at a small, independently-run hotel
Big chains are costly in Italy. Everyone wants to stay there because they’re reliable names and tend to have excellent amenities, but if your priorities are with saving money, they’re generally not the best option for you.
Luckily, there are a lot of affordable hotels in Italy, mostly in the form of family-run or small hotels. These also add charm to your trip. Look into small boutique hotels, family-run pensions, and religious accommodations such as convents for really cheap per-night stays.
4. Stay outside the most popular cities
It can be easy to forget, but Italy is more than just Venice, Florence, and Rome! Look at attractions in smaller towns and villages, particularly the Calabria and Umbria regions. For something especially off-the-wall, look into an agriturismo stay at a farm. The benefit to this is that everything is less expensive outside the most popular cities.
If you know you still want to see attractions in the big cities, look for hotels just outside the city limits and take a commuter train in the morning and evening. If you want to spend the day in Florence, book in nearby Pisa. For a day in Venice, book in Mestre or Padova. Small towns have their own charm anyway. This way, your trip will be unlike anyone else’s.
5. Plan your urban excursions on museum free days
Most big museums and tourist attractions have days with free entry either during the week or once a month. Research these ahead of time and plan to spend the day in the city when you can get free admission for a few of your destinations. This may seem small, but museums can be expensive, so this can really add up.
6. Walk places instead of relying heavily on transit – it’s free!
Bonus, if you’re indulging in a lot of pasta, pizza, and wine, walking will help ward off a food coma.
7. Eat big lunches and skimp on dinner (or eat in)
Most Italian restaurants serve dinner-sized portions at lunchtime for cheaper than dinnertime. To take advantage of this, plan your big food experiences at lunchtime. For dinner, do something simple or eat on the go.
Best Italy Travel Guidebooks You Can Find on Amazon
If you’re looking for a no-gimmicks classic guidebook, this is the choice for you. It’s updated every year, so you know all the information is current, and it’s coming from a trusted source; Rick Steves is an actual travel expert! The book includes money-saving and time-saving tips, ranked must-sees, how-tos for planning your entire trip, and hidden gems, so you’ll know exactly which trattoria to stop at to find the perfect gelato.
Whether you want to avoid relying on rigidly structured tours and pre-planned schedules or just want to shy away from renting a car and driving around famously intimidating Italian cities (we don’t blame you), this is a great place to start. This book covers itineraries around Rome, Florence, Venice, the Lakes District (Como, Maggiore, and Lugano), the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily.
The title pretty much says it all.
If you really want to do Rome right and dig down and really get to know the city, this is the book for you. It’s full of fun stories and interesting historical facts, so it’s a fun read in its own rite. It also includes details you won’t find anywhere else, like where to take Instagram-worthy pictures, where to find the best markets, and Rome-specific foods and wines.
What to Pack
In addition to the regular vacation staples, you’ll want to pack a few items specific to Italy.
Pack for the weather and be practical, but remember Italy has higher fashion standards than you might be used to, especially as a tourist. If you only pack athleisure, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Pack a pair of stylish sunglasses or a fashion-forward scarf to quickly dress up an outfit without sacrificing comfort.
Italy’s known for its cobblestone streets. You’ll be walking a lot, so wear shoes that can stand up to a full day of travel. If you must wear heels, wear wedges, so you don’t struggle too much on the old-fashioned pavement.
When entering churches and cathedrals, you’ll need to cover your knees and shoulders (this rule applies to both men and women). This also means short shorts, crop tops, and spaghetti straps aren’t permitted. If you’re visiting during the warmer months and can’t bear the idea of wearing that much clothing, bring a cover-up so you can enter churches without a fuss.
Italy is a popular destination for a reason – it’s beautiful, has universal appeal, and can be very affordable if you plan ahead and strategize. What are your favorite tips for traveling on a budget?
The Topmost 24 Travel Destinations In Italy
Italy looks small on the map, but it astonishes us with its extensive list of destinations and attractions from all around the world. There are so many things to do in Italy that you might not even know where to start.
First, before landing in the country, if you know the best places, Italian things to do, or must-see in Italy, you can easily manage your travel in and out of the city.
So now, let’s check out the top destinations and things in Italy.
Venice is the most beautiful place in Italy to roam and enjoy the fabulous architecture, the canals, the bridges, the Gondola rides, and the charming nearby towns of Murano and Burano.
Try visiting Venice when it’s less crowded to get engaged with the beauty of the city. Traveling to Venice in the winter (December through February) will give you enough time and affordable costs to stay.
You can visit all the main attractions/sights within a few hours as they’re within walking distance, just like all the flowers are in the same bouquet.
We considered recommending you 5 things to do in Venice, Italy, but it was too little compared to what the city offers.
Some of the tourists’ and locals’ favorite places include St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) and St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica San Marco), Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), Burano and Murano islands, Grand Canal (Canale Grande), Teatro La Fenice, and Palazzo Rezzonico.
To be clear, these are things you HAVE to do in Venice.
The most popular food items of this city are Fegato Alla Veneziana (calf liver), Bigoli in salsa (fish), Baccala Mantecato (fish), Sarde in Saor (fish), Fritole (eggs and butter), Cicchetti (prawn), and of course Gelato (ice cream).
You can bring back souvenirs like Murano glass, Burano lace, masks, fabrics, door knockers, handmade wooden puzzles, handmade boats and ships, silverwork, handmade shoes, Baicoli, beads, handmade paper, etc.
Rome is a city that proudly shows off its ancient history and modern age culture.
The city’s attractions consist of historical places, architecture, delicious foods, etc. The best months to travel and enjoy Rome are from April to June and late September to October. That’s when it would be least crowded.
As the capital and the country’s biggest city, there are many fun things to do in Rome, Italy. Among the most famous places of Rome are the Colosseum, the arch of Constantine, Vatican City, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, The Pantheon, etc.
The popular dishes of Rome are Cacio e Pepe (cheese and black pepper), Trippa Alla Romana (tomato and mint), Coda Alla Vaccinara (meat and nuts), Fiori di Zucca (zucchini flowers), Pizza Romana, Carbonara (egg and pepper), Supplì (meat and sauce), Maritozzo, etc.
Clothes and handbags are of high-quality and expensive in Rome. So, you can buy any items you want if you have a big bank balance.
Florence, the capital of Tuscany, central Italy, is located about 145 miles (230 km) from northwest of Rome. It is surrounded by gently rolling hills covered by villas and farms, vineyards, and orchards.
In a nutshell, Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, romantic, enchanting, and utterly irresistible, is a place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine.
Duomo, the most prominent Cathedral in the world, is also known as the jewel of the city in Florence. Holding such a fascinating character, it creates a magnificent sight amongst the other medieval buildings.
The Tuscan city proudly stands with museums, galleries, and medieval churches, each packed to the rafters with priceless works from the Renaissance masters.
The most popular and splendid sites and things to do in Florence include the Cathedral, Basilica of Santa Croce, Giotto’s Campanile, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Basilica di San Lorenzo and Baptistery of St. John.
You can bring back jewels, ceramics, perfumes, leather bags, and other things with their top-notch quality as souvenirs from Florence.
4. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is located 190 km away from Florence and 120 km from Pisa International Airport. Cinque Terre has always seemed to be perfect, charming, and a reversion to ingenious old Italy.
Cinque Terre comprises five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore on the western coast of Italy, characterized by terraced agricultural land bright towns that appear to rise from the Mediterranean Sea. The pleasant towns, and the trekking lines that unite them, merit a longer stay.
The whole area is home to some 4,000 lucky inhabitants but attracts 2.4 million tourists per year, many of whom arrive by cruise ships at one of two nearby ports.
The top foods in Cinque Terre are Focaccia, Paniccia, Anchovies, Farinata, Pesto, Latte Brusco, Minestrone, Ravioli, Crema ai pinoli, Tocco di funghi, etc.
You can also buy any items you want, like clothes, jewels, ceramics, leather bags, or pieces of art in Cinque Terre.
Verona is gorgeous, similar to Venice, and is located 231 km from Florence. Verona is one of Italy’s Veneto region’s most important cities and is renowned for its historical center and the myriad of stunning buildings and architecture.
There are many fun things to do in Verona, Italy. Among famous local places are Piazza Delle Erbe, Piazza Bra, Arena di Verona, Ponte di Castelvecchio, Giardino Giusti, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Castelvecchio, Porta Borsari, Duomo of Verona, and Arche Scaligeri.
Verona is a region where you can find places to escape from the crowds. When you wander through the square of Centro Storico, you will find many of the main sights in the city. The Verona Arena sits adjacent to Piazza Bra, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters, and is still in use today.
Verona has a long tradition of good food, such as Gnocchi, Luccio e Polenta, Bigoli, Pastissada de caval, Amarone Risotto, Pandoro, Lesso con la peara, Risotto al tastasal, etc.
The coffee culture is also famous throughout Italy, and Verona is no exception.
Finally, among the iconic things to do in Verona, Italy, is visit Juliet’s house. Yes, the Juliet, from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
6. Amalfi Coast
Recognized as an outstanding example of the Mediterranean landscape by UNESCO, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most remarkable destinations in Italy and is only located 68 km away from Naples. Moreover, it is one of the top destinations in Southern Italy. Additionally, it is a perfect place for a relaxing and romantic seaside vacation.
The main places in Amalfi Coast that you must see are Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Furore, Ravello, Cetara, Ischia, and Procida.
Although all of the Amalfi Coast towns are entrancing, each has many special features. Staying would be a little closer to the beach. So, it will make you feel comfortable, and you can sit and relax there to enjoy the enthralling environment.
Shoppers will get an excellent shopping experience in every town, from fashion to gourmet foods and artisan crafts. Vietri Sul Mare, near Minori, is a top town for ceramics. You can even enjoy buying local products like wine, olive oil, Limoncello, etc.
Finally, Positano is known for its fashion, but you’ll also find good clothing shops in several other towns. More than that, Amalfi is the best place to buy handmade paper.
The gorgeous Turin has located 144 km from Milan. Turin is a city where you can see historical centers, modern green parks, art, and renowned food with even better drinks.
When you get to Turin, you should try bicerin, a local drink made with layers of coffee, chocolate, and cream.
Among the things to do in Turin, Italy, you can see the most popular places like Piazza Castello – a large square in the center of Turin with fountains, benches, and historical buildings, Museo Egizio, Castello di Rivoli, Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Museo Casa Mollino, Reggia di Venaria Reale, and Basilica di Superga.
In foreign countries, Turin is generally known for Fiat and Juventus, but it also has notable universities and is considered as a metropolis of Italy.
Here, you can enjoy your time with the most popular food items, like Agnolotti, bollito misto, Fritto Misto Alla Piemontese, etc.
Pisa lies on the alluvial plain of the Arno River, about 6 miles (10 km) from the Ligurian Sea and 50 miles (80 km) west of Florence. Here, the Cathedral and the Baptistery are embellished with a succession of distinguished sculptors, including Guglielmo Pisano, Bonanno Pisano, Nicola Pisano, and Nicola’s son, Giovanni Pisano.
Pisa is very famous all over the world for its magnificent leaning Tower.
Over, the city is home of other famous places, such as Bonanno Pisano, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Campo Santo, Cathedral Museum, Palazzo dei Cavalieri, Basilica Romanica di San Piero a Grado, Palazzo Blu, Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Borgo Stretto, Ponte di Mezzo, River Arno, and much more.
The most popular food items in this place are Crostini Toscani, Panzanella, Lardo di Colonnata, Cacciucco, Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, Pisan Braised Beef Skillet and Cecina. Among them, Cecina is a kind of very thin gluten-free bread, made with chickpea flour, water, oil, salt, and black pepper.
If you want to shop in Pisa, you can find many varieties of souvenirs. Apart from that, you can also buy antiques, clothing, and accessories, etc.
Being internationally recognized as one of the world’s most significant fashion capitals, Milan is also known for its artistic attractions, the largest gothic cathedral – il Duomo di Milano, and museums. But there are many other fun things to do in Milan!
Some of the city’s most beautiful attractions include the Cathedral mentioned earlier, the last supper painting, an impressive Opera House, a stunning castle, etc. The places you visit in-between the Duomo and Castello also offer great historical sites and many of Milan’s top attractions.
Although Milan may not be well-known for its cuisine, the city has some traditional dishes. Risotto Alla Milanese is one of the most classic Milanese dishes, for example.
As Milan is a fashion lover’s paradise, you will find various clothing, footwear, accessories, etc., to bring back and cherish forever.
Located 709 km away from Naples, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and Southern Italy. With its gleaming diversity of landscapes and natural beauty, it doesn’t fail to fascinate us.
The main things to do in Sicily include the Valley of Temples, Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, Mount Etna, beaches.
Caponata, Arancini, and Sfincione are among the favorite dishes to try here. Most Sicilians eat large quantities of street food, including the renowned arancini (a form of deep-fried rice croquettes). More often, you would also be served with Magnia e Bevi, which is a grilled green onion wrapped in bacon.
Even though not on a par with Florence and Rome on the shopping experience, Sicily is known for its own style and is a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs.
With a good mixture of shopping malls, street markets, boutiques, and craft stalls, you will surely find Sicily’s cultural experience.
11. Lake Garda
Lake Garda is located in Northern Italy, between Venice and Milan, about 90 km from Verona. Lake Garda is well served by hydrofoils, catamarans, and ferries, especially during summer.
Riva del Garda, Sirmione, Bardolino, Desenzano, Gardaland, and Gardone Riviera are famous places to visit in Lake Garda. You can enjoy the picturesque streets, visit the castles, drive boats, take thermal baths, or get amused with parks in these famous places.
Zuppa di Valpelline, Bigoli Pasta, Yota, Uccelli scappati, Panna cotta, Lake Garda wines, and Doppio are the famous dishes and drinks there, but you can find a lot of delicious food items overall.
You can shop for anything you want in Lake Garda, such as paintings, handbags, clothes, shoes, etc. If you love shopping, then you will get a great experience that you shouldn’t miss.
12. Civita Di Bagnoregio
Civita Di Bagnoregio, located 180 km away from Florence, comprises two separate villages: Bagnoregio on the mainland, and Civita, hanging on a volcanic cliff.
Civita, which looks like a majestic castle out of a folktale, is the main attraction that can be reached only through a pedestrian stone bridge. Of all the Italian hill towns, Civita di Bagnoregio has a stunning look but is less known than Siena or Assisi.
Civita has the all-time best local food, wine, and olive oil. You will find a variety of restaurants in the village, and cook in inviting kitchens.
Throughout the year, you will get special seasonal foods here. Notably, the summer favorites include fried zucchini flowers, tomatoes with local buffalo mozzarella, and gelato.
While shopping, you can find small bakeries, butchers, and fruits.
Here, you can consider buying small souvenirs and local products as gifts.
Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage place, one of the most visited sites in Italy, and one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world. With just 30 minutes of travel from Naples (around 30 km), you can visit Pompeii.
The most popular attractions are the Forum of Pompeii, Villa Dei Misteri (Villa of the Mysteries), Temple of Apollo (Tempio di Apollo), Pompeii Spectacula, Terme Stabiane, House of Menander, Street of Tombs, Mount Vesuvius, and Palestra Grande.
You will find the delicate and intense flavors of dates and fruits here. Famous recipes include Gustum, Mensae Primae, and Mensae Secundae. You will readily get a taste of the Neapolitan cuisine among the fish-based dishes—the fried anchovies scapece.
When it comes to shopping items, you will find many souvenir shops in and around Pompeii, and you can buy classic gifts such as shot glasses, mugs, caps, sweaters, fresh huge Sfusato lemons, shirts, books, etc.
Being located just 218 km from Rome, Naples is one of the largest and oldest cities that is a continuously inhabited place on Earth.
It has the best tourist attractions. Among the fun things to do in Naples, Italy are Palazzo Reale, Castel Nuovo, Palace of Capodimonte, Teatro Di San Carlo, the catacombs of San Gennaro, Cappella Sansevero, Mount Vesuvius National Park, and the Basilica di San Francesco di Paola.
Some of the most popular dishes of Naples are sfogliatelle, impepata di cozze, parmigiana di melanzane, pasta alla Genovese, and pizza fritta.
Finally, you can do your shopping in famous places such as Via Toledo, Vomero Area (hilly part of the city), San Gregorio Armeno Market, Chiaia District, A’Curreia, Antignano Market, or Galleria Umberto 1, for instance.
Masquerade Masks, Christmas Ornaments, and ceramics are the most appreciated shopping items you can buy.
Siena is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Italy and is located about 80 km from Florence Airport.
Siena is renowned for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape, etc. You can find famous places such as Piazza del Campo — Fonte Gaia, Torre del Mangia — museum, Piazza del Duomo – Siena Cathedral, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, etc.
Siena is very popular for its variety of foods, and some of the favorite dishes are Crostini Neri, Crostini di fegato (Chicken liver crostini), Bruschetta (garlic, bread with tomatoes and herbs), Pappardelle sulla lepre (Pappardelle with hare sauce), pici, Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup), Scottiglia, Tagliata di Manzo – grilled and sliced beef, Cavallucci and Ricciarelli (delicious biscuits), and Chianti Tuna, among many others.
Along with food items, Siena also has famous restaurants, like La Taverna di San Giuseppe or Castel Monastero.
Although Siena is not very popular for shopping, you can find antiques, ceramics, housewares, shoes, wines, and sweets here.
Tirol is in the province of South Tyrol in Northern Italy. It can take 5 hours (250 km) to travel from Venice to this beautiful place. It is the main attraction for the tourists who want to see the Dolomite mountains and colorful Italian alpines fully covered with greenery.
You can wander here in the beautiful towns of Tirol. The most popular ones are Sterzing (Vipiteno), Bruneck (Brunico), Klausen (Chiusa), Brixen (Bressanone), Meran (Merano), and St. Ulrich (Ortisei).
You will start to owe when you look at the beautiful towns here. The beautiful churches, houses, and the valley will steal your heart once you enter Tirol.
Here, foodies can enjoy Tyrolean delicacies, such as Tiroler Marend (Brettljause), Marend, Kaspressknödel, Tiroler Gröstl, Schlutzkrapfen, Strauben, Tiroler Speckknödel, or Hirschfleisch, among numerous delicious meals.
Coming to shopping items, you can get a lot of varieties such as Tirolean tracht, leather, loden, glasses, Tirolean honey, etc. Although you can find very few shopping items here, you will remember them for their beauty once you have visited Tirol.
Being known for its unique trullo buildings — the symbolic white-washed conical-roofed houses of the area— Alberobello is a small town located just 55 km from Bari.
This small town has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its peculiar district of Trulli. Alberobello will make you think of the magical world of hobbits and dwarfs.
Rione Monti and Aia Piccola are the two most renowned districts that show the beauty of Alberobello.
The very traditional local recipe is Bombette di Alberobello (rolls made of pork meat).
Every Thursday, you can find the busiest markets where you can buy all sorts of things, such as clothes, shoes, towels, handmade wicker items, classic souvenirs, bags, and much more.
Many of these shopping items are also available in many shops. All you need to do is enter one of the several Trulli, and you’ll find the one that suits you best.
You can find Bologna, another popular destination of Italy, within 1 hour (about 55 km) of travel from Florence Amerigo Vespucci FLR Airport.
Bologna is very famously known for its beauty, cuisine, and being a well-administered city, but it has only a little fame among many foreign visitors.
The most popular places of Bologna are Piazza Maggiore, Santo Stefano (St. Stephen Basilica), the leaning towers of Bologna, San Petronio, Archiginnasio, Bologna Archaeological Museum, Bologna National Gallery, La Piazzola Market, Monte Della Guardia, and Torre Prendiparte.
Here, the favorite dishes are Culatello (pork), tortellini (pasta), tagliatelle Bolognese, Mortadella (pork), Cotoletta Alla Milanese (bread, egg, and butter), and Polpette alla bolognese (egg and bread).
Although you can’t find many shopping items in Bologna, you can still find kitchenware, bags, shoes, and more. You will find the main shopping area in Piazza Maggiore, which has many streets to shop.
Being the second-largest island of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is also a big island of Italy. You can travel to Sardinia via three airports – Alghero Airport, Olbia Airport, and Cagliari Airport.
Among the fun things to do in Sardinia that tourists love this island for are swimming, boating, windsurfing, hiking, climbing, camping, etc.
While you are there, find the most liked places, such as the Maddalena Archipelago, Chia beach, Capo Testa, Gulf Of Orosei, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Alghero, Bosa, Neptune Caves, Carloforte, Mine of Masua: Porto Flavia, Cagliari, Castelsardo, Villasimius, Capo Coda Cavallo, Sinis peninsula – Tharros, or Costa Verde.
This island has a unique nature of its own features, such as ceramics, basketry, and silverware, and it is mainly known for its willow baskets. The other popular local products are jugs, flasks, and tiles painted in blue and white.
The favorite dishes here are Seafood Fregola with saffron, Zuppa Gallurese, Pasta Dura, Spaghetti with sea urchin, Culurgiones, Sardinian octopus salad, Lamb with artichokes, Catalan style lobster, and Seadas, to name a few.
Genoa is the most important port and the busiest place in Italy and is located just 160 km away from Milan. Although you can’t find many attractive places in Genoa, it still stuns you with its beauty.
If you have some free time, don’t miss the chance of visiting Genoa’s main attractions that would never fail to amaze you. Some of them are Boccadase (fishing village), Portofino (colorful bay), Nervi (romantic, picturesque village), and Camogli (colorful village).
The tourists’ favorite places are Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa Aquarium, San Lorenzo Cathedral, Piazza Matteotti, Forte Begato, Via Garibaldi, National Gallery in Palazzo Spinola, Genoa Harbour and Museo d’Arte Orientale, and Porta Soprana.
People’s favorite local dishes you can taste here include Pesto Alla Genovese (potatoes and green beans), Focaccia (spicy onions), Farinata, Pansotti con Salsa Alle Noci (walnuts, milk, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs), Cima Alla Genovese (eggs and peas), and Torta Pasqualina (ricotta, Marjoram, and egg).
21. Polignano a Mare
Located just 85 km from Milan, this beautiful coastal area, Polignano a Mare, is a seaside town in Puglia and is built between cliffs and canyons. It is one of the most visited places near Bari, Italy.
The most popular places here are Porto Bianco, Polignano a Mare Beach, Abbazia di San Vito, Centro Storico Polignano a Mare, Lama Monachile Cala Porto, Cala Paura, and the Statue of Domenico Modugno.
The favorite food items in this place are fresh fish, crab, shrimp, and some other sea creatures. The most common dishes are Trattoria Dal Monaco, Joya Canti di Stagione (fresh shakes and salads), and La Terrazza (pizza). You can find a lot of restaurants where these meals are available.
Another favorite of this area is gelato, a popular frozen dessert that you should never miss out on.
Ostuni is a maze-like white city with the most exclusive resorts and long sandy beaches and is located 85 km away from Bari. The beauty of the corridors and stairs in the Ostuni will arrest your eyes, and you won’t stop wandering.
You can find a lot of tranquil places there for you to soothe your mind. Some of them include Masseria Brancati, Duomo di Ostuni Cathedral, Parco Dune Costiere, Museo Civilta Preclassiche della Murgia Meridionale, La Mela Bacata, Caffé Riccardo, Piazza della Liberta, Piazza della Liberta, and Spiaggia Torre Cane. More importantly, the coast near Ostuni houses is a perfect place to get in some sun.
People’s favorite local dishes are pizzelle, zucchini sformato, Panzerotti, Mashed broad beans with chicory, pitta rustica with onion, fried artichokes, and aubergine, among many other choices.
Mostly, you can find a variety of delicious vegetable foods in Ostuni, and if you want to taste non-vegetable items, then you have to get into the coastal area of Ostuni.
Located only 75 km away from Bari, Matera is a picturesque place for most travelers going to Italy. Matera is very famous for its glorious Sassi (cave houses) and landscapes.
Sassi of Matera, Matera’s Cathedral, Piazza Vittoria Veneto, the cave – house of Matera, the Palombaro Lungo in Matera, Zucchini, Musma Museum of Matera, Rock Churches, and Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario museum are some of the best things to do in Matera, Italy.
Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano are the chief districts in Sassi of Matera, where you can see the unique nature of Matera, which you can’t find anywhere else in Europe.
Some of the favorite dishes here are Pignata (sheep meat), Pupazzella, Calzone di Verdura (pizza, peppers), Cotechinata (pork, tomato), Grano dolce (wheat, walnuts), Ciallèdd (bread, potatoes, eggs), Crapiata (lentils, peas, beans), and Giambotta (potato, tomato).
You won’t find a wide range of shopping items in Matera, but you can still check out small shops, markets, and antiques, to name a few.
Monopoli has located 25 km from Matera, and its historical and natural beauty never fails to capture travelers’ hearts. You can find Castellana Grotte’s stunning rock formations and unique stalactites there in Monopoli.
Some of the most familiar places of Monopoli include Cala Porta Vecchia, Lido Colonia, Lido Santo Stefano, Porto Ghiacciolo, Coccaro Beach, and Lido Morelli.
You can enjoy Monopoli’s special variety of food, which include Lido Bianco crudo (fish), antipasto misto di mare, zucchini, Spaghetti allo scoglio, Orecchiette alla barese, smoked salmon, pink peppercorns, and shrimp crepes.
You won’t be able to buy extraordinary items for your family or your house here, but you will find local shops for temporary use.
These are all the best travel destinations I found in Italy. If you have any other destination in mind, please, provide your valuable comment below.
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