Italy is an international icon for the finer things in life; food, wine, history, cars and shopping. With so many landmarks, figuring out the best way to see it all can become quite overwhelming!
We’ve put together a list of 5 different stops you should include on your next Italian adventure, and some of the best sights you need to see when you’re there!
Milan is the industrial fashion capital of Italy. Every Autumn, they host Fashion Week – if you’re there at the time, try to see some of the iconic avant-garde style debuting on the runway.
Even if you’re not about during Fashion Week, there is still lots to be done in the city! Head towards the Piazza del Duomo and walk to the Duomo Cathedral. Once you’ve finished looking around inside, you can climb up to the top and take in the city from a higher vantage point.
If you feel like you’ve missed out on the fashion scene, point yourself towards Montenapoleone and the Milan Fashion District, or take a stroll through the shops of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and admire its delicate glass roof.
Feeling in need of some more culture? Head to the world-renowned Pazza della Scala; home to opera stars from all over the world. Additionally, popular museums include Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera gallery and the Santa Maria delle Grazie where Da Vinci’s Last Supper hangs.
As for food, make sure to have a glass of wine and sample a ‘Panzerotto’ tomato and cheese pastry from Luini. Alternatively, stop at Eataly in Porta Nuova or sample restaurants in Porta Garibaldi.
The city of canals. For the perfect pic of the waterways, head to the Rialto Bridge, the most iconic bridge in the city.
Venice is best experienced by catching a water bus to St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, which is open to the public and has some remarkable artwork. Climb the tower and get a bird’s eye view of the city. There’s usually a giant flight of pigeons pecking around the square, and live music fills the air at night while diners feast on their latest meal.
From there, catch another water bus to the islands of Murano, which are known for glass blowing, and Burano, which is known for its colourful houses off the coast of Venice. Afterwards, catch the water bus back to the city and admire the waterways and bridges as you float through the Grand Canal. Make sure you wind your way through the labyrinth alleys of the city and try as many pastas and desserts as you can. If you’re feeling fancy, you can always splurge on a Carnival mask that they have in souvenir shops around town.
Florence is an incredible, cobble-stoned city in the northern part of central Italy known as Tuscany. Their wines, aperols and Camparis exist unrivalled and paired with an Italian pasta or a steak, you might just experience heaven.
For cultural stops, be sure to visit the famous Santa Maria del Fiore built by Brunelleschi and the Gates of Paradise. The Basilica of Santa Croce is where many famous Florentians like Michelangelo and other standouts found their final resting place. During Christmas, the piazza out the front turns into a phenomenal Christmas market.
The San Lorenzo market is a local favourite for picking up market-quality food on the go or scooping up a lampredotto tripe sandwich from one of the food trucks. The most important museums to see are the Accademia, which houses Michelangelo’s David sculpture, the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi, as well as Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.
Make sure to catch the sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can overlook the Ponte Vecchio bridge.
Florence is also a short distance away from Pisa, where you can spend a day exploring and perfect your funniest Leaning Tower of Pisa pose!
Cinque Terre is a region in the northwest coast nicknamed the “Italian Riviera”. About 2.5 hours away from Florence, this area is made up of 5 towns. Many visitors come for the colourful homes, the traditional fishmonger lifestyle, leisurely hikes and the incredible food.
The five cities are:
No cars can operate here, so it’s only accessible by train or walking. The cities connect through one long hiking trail that snakes along the coast, but you can hike it in portions as well. It offers incredible views of the ocean. Monterosso is the largest and most amenable to guests, offering hotels and bed and breakfasts for those wishing to stay overnight after a day hiking or at the beach.
For Roman Ruins, visit the Roman Forum, Piazza del Campidoglio, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Imperial Forums, the Arch of Constantine and the Pantheon. Cat lovers also enjoy the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, located underneath the street and in a site preserved for ruins.
Make sure you take a rest from walking by sitting on the Spanish Steps and treating yourself to Giolitti’s gelato. Once you’ve recovered, admire the romantic beauty of the well-preserved Piazza Navona and take in Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. Your last stop can be the Trevi Fountain; make a wish on a penny with your back to the fountain and throw it over your right shoulder into the water to make the wish come true.
Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are easily accessible from Rome via public transportation.
Travelling in Italy can be an unforgettable experience. With just the right planning, you can hit all of the major cities. Rather leave the planning up to someone else? Check out our dreamy Italian tours today!