11 best places to visit in Italy

Experience the culinary delights, postcard-perfect scenery and centuries of history in Italy’s must-visit spots.

There is certainly no shortage of attractions, wine or places to visit in Italy for every type of traveller. From the top food regions in the world to towering volcanoes and designer boutiques, this list of the best places to visit in Italy not only covers the food and history of this diverse country but also art, scenic sites and hiking for active travellers.

11 unforgettable places to visit in Italy

1. Venice: Best for architecture and seafood

Venice is a city most famous for being built on a lagoon. There are no roads, just canals that run through the 118 small islands that make up this city. The largest is the Grand Canal which is deserving of its name as palaces from the Renaissance and Gothic periods line the waterway. At the end sits Piazza San Marco where visitors flock in awe to see yet more stunning architecture. The best thing to do in Venice is to get lost walking through the cobblestone streets, admiring the art and finding cafes to enjoy a spritz.

  • Where is it? In northeastern Italy Iies Venice, which can be accessed by flying to Marco Polo Airport and taking a ferry into the city centre. Trains also serve the city centre, or you can drive and park your car outside the city and then visit by ferry.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Ride a gondola, wander around Piazza San Marco, witness Venetian glass blowing, walk along the Grand Canal and eat like a local.
  • How long do I need? 2-4 days.
  • Recommended tour: A Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride hits all of the highlights as you’re guided through the narrow alleyways to spots not on the tourist map, and float down the Grand Canal.

2. Florence: Best for food, wine and art

Florence is perhaps the most “Italian” city there is. Packed with works of art around every corner, romantic Renaissance architecture, quality local food and wine and boutique shopping where designers first opened their stores, Florence encompasses the best parts of Italy in one small city. Days can be spent marvelling at the famous works of art such as Michelangelo's statue of David, walking through the world-known Duomo and sipping on fine Tuscan wines.

  • Where is it? Located in northern Italy, you can get to Florence by flying from Rome (55 minutes) or by train from Milan (1 hour 4 minutes) and Venice (2 hours and 15 minutes).
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Climb the Duomo and Bell Tower, take in the view from Piazzale Michelangelo, see Michelangelo's David, admire the art in Uffizi Gallery and learn about the art of making leather.
  • How long do I need? 1-3 days.
  • Recommended tour: Experience The Best of Florence on a walking tour and more with a super saver pass that includes a walking tour and entrance to two of the most famous galleries in the city.

3. Rome: Best for history and architecture

A trip to Italy is not complete without visiting the country’s capital, Rome. This city is packed with over 3,000 years of history in the form of ruins, art and architecture. A sprawling romantic city, Rome will teach you the pleasures of dining out like the locals, will bring you back in time to the Roman Empire, show you some of the finest art in the world and take you to some of the world’s most known places such as Vatican City.

  • Where is it? Rome is in the central west of the country and can be reached by flying from Milan (1 hour and 15 minutes), Florence (50 minutes) and Naples (50 minutes). Or by train from Milan (3 hours and 20 minutes), Florence (1 hour and 20 minutes), Venice (3 hours and 40 minutes) and Naples (1 hour and 10 minutes).
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain, visit the ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, gawk at the Pantheon, visit Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel and eat your weight in gelato (and other foods).
  • How long do I need? 3-4 days.
  • Recommended tour: A Best of Rome Afternoon Walking Tour will have an expert lead you around the city to historic sites such as the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. Plus the tour will finish with some gelato.

4. Milan: Best for urban breaks and shopping

Milan is one city that you’re going to want to look good in while you walk the streets that the Caesars and Napoleon once ruled. Though a financial hub, it is known for its high-end fashion, shopping and restaurants. Milan is one big city with an elegant lifestyle that you can embrace through the cuisine, art and culture.

  • Where is it? Located in northern Italy, Milan can be reached by train from Rome (3.5 hours), Florence (1 hour and 45 minutes) and Venice (2.5 hours). Flights from Rome (1 hour and 15 minutes) and Naples (1 hour and 25 minutes) are non-stop.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Visit the Milan Cathedral (Duomo), see The Last Supper up close, stop by Castello Sforzesco, take in the architecture of the Monumental Cemetery and window shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
  • How long do I need? 1-3 days.
  • Recommended tour: A Milan Highlights Tour takes you to important sites such as The Last Supper, La Scala and more.

5. Amalfi Coast: Best for beach lovers and cuisine

This popular holiday destination is dotted with colourful fishing villages that make for perfect pictures. The Amalfi Coast stretches 50km long in the Sorrentine Peninsula and it’s a Mediterranean paradise with steep cliffs that drop into the ocean and beaches where sunbathers gather. But if you prefer to be more active, this holiday hotspot also has some of the country’s best hiking trails along with the finest hotels and restaurants to spoil yourself.

  • Where is it? The Amalfi Coast in southern Italy can be reached by train from Rome (3.5 hours), Florence (5 hours and 15 minutes) and Naples (2 hours and 50 minutes). Flights can be caught from Rome (50 minutes), Florence (50 minutes) and Venice (1 hour and 10 minutes) to Naples Airport.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Take a cruise through the turquoise waters, visit Capri Island, hike and drink in the coastal views, relax on the beaches and spend some time in Positano.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.
  • Recommended tour: Try the Amalfi Coast Experience from Sorrento where you’ll be taken to the best villages along the coast to soak in the architecture and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

6. Pompeii: Best for history

Pompeii will take you back in time to 79AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted and wiped out the once thriving Roman city of Pompeii. This expertly preserved site is now open for visitors to wander through and witness the city that was covered by a thick blanket of ash from the eruption. Pompeii is an archaeological site of an entire city where streets, buildings and even ancient bodies can be seen.

  • Where is it? Pompeii is in southern Italy and is most commonly visited from Naples which is a 45-minute train ride away. Day tours from Naples, Rome and Sorrento are also common.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Visit a brothel, see the forum baths, take in the frescoes at the Villa of the Mysteries, walk through the Forum and see the garden of the fugitives.
  • How long do I need? 1 day.
  • Recommended tour: Experience Pompeii on a full-day tour where you can explore the ruins and learn about the eruption and history of Pompeii.

7. Cinque Terre: Best for hiking and scenery

Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of a string of five villages along the Italian Riviera coastline. The coast plunges into the ocean with colourful towns serving fresh seafood dishes on terraces overlooking the waters that are filled with fishing boats. A train connects the towns through tunnels or you can choose to hike between each.

  • Where is it? Cinque Terre is in northern Italy and is best reached from Florence by train, which is 2.5 hours away. The closest airport is Pisa International Airport and trains from the airport to Cinque Terre take 1.5 hours.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Walk the nature hike from Manarola, visit the Cinque Terre National Park, enjoy a boat tour, see the Church of San Francesco and take a cooking class.
  • How long do I need? 3-5 days.
  • Recommended tour: Take a Cinque Terre Train Tour that is led by a local guide so you can learn about each of the towns’ history, take in the scenery and more.
Europcar Europcar

15% off Italy car hire

Valid from 13 June - 30 September 2019. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends


8. Sicily: Best for scenery, beaches and food

Sicily is home to dramatic landscapes, with stunning seas surrounding the largest island in the Mediterranean. Mount Etna, one of Europe’s tallest active volcanoes, lends itself to active travellers who wish to hike. From flowery meadows to coastal sights, this island doesn’t disappoint. Not to mention the Mediterranean cuisine and the historical, royal and Greek sites.

  • Where is it? Sicily is the island off the tip of Italy’s boot in the south. Flights are the easiest way to get to Sicily from Rome (1 hour), Florence (1 hour and 20 minutes), Milan (1.5 hours) and Naples (1 hour).
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Ski down or hike up Mount Etna, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Valley of the Temples, see the mosaics in Villa Romana del Casale, try the local street food and visit some of Italy’s best beaches such as Mondello Lido.
  • How long do I need? 10 days - 2 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: Sicily is large and cannot be seen in a day trip, so the nine-day Treasures of Sicily tour will show you Mount Etna, take you wine tasting and to the must-see cities and sites of Sicily.

9. Naples: Best for art and food

No trip to Italy is complete without visiting the birthplace of pizza. Naples doesn’t only delight taste buds though – it’s one of Italy’s largest cities and is home to a historic centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Castles, palaces and centuries worth of architecture and art fill this important Italian city.


10. Tuscany: Best for food and wine

Tuscany is a region in Italy that cannot go unmissed. Its capital, Florence, is a highlight on its own but time should also be spent enjoying the countryside and driving through the fertile lands that make this region a culinary capital. The green, rolling hills filled with vineyards are picturesque and medieval hilltop towns make this region postcard perfect.

  • Where is it? In northern central Italy, the main hub in Tuscany is Florence where further regions can be explored from. Flights from Rome are 55 minutes or by train from Milan is 1 hour, and Venice is 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Pose with the leaning tower of Pisa, indulge in a wine tour, eat your way through the region, visit the city of Siena and make a pilgrimage to La Verna.
  • How long do I need? 5 days - 1 week (including Florence).
  • Recommended tour: The Tuscany in One-Day Sightseeing Tour will take you through the stunning countryside, to a gothic cathedral in Siena, to Pisa and to a wine estate for lunch.

11. Lake Como: Best for scenery

Home to dramatic landscapes and upscale resorts, Lake Como is a holiday lover’s ideal destination. Como is the region's largest lake and is shaped like the letter Y. The alps create a picturesque background and the surrounding cities are filled with Renaissance architecture.

Know where to go now? Compare prices for flights to Italy:


Top tour deals in Italy

MSC Cruises MSC Cruises

2-for-1 last-minute cruises

Valid for travel until December 2019, including over Christmas. Destinations include Venice, Italy, France, Japan, South Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Europcar Europcar

Up to 35% off car hires

Valid for pick-ups between 9 September - 16 December 2019 across Australia, Germany, France, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Qatar and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Emirates Emirates

Extra 8% off flights worldwide

Book any flight on any date departing Australia using a MasterCard and save. Fly to destinations including the UAE, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and more.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 25% off last-minute tours worldwide

Book a range of last-minute Contiki tours, from week-long jaunts to month-long journeys, to destinations including Italy, France, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Canada and more.

Last verified

Trip.com Trip.com

30% off Europe hotels

Valid for travel on select dates between September and October 2019. Destinations include United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off worldwide tours

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Copenhagen, Oslo, Geiranger Paris, Rouen, Honfleur, Normandy, Loire Valley, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Taormina, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Ludlow, Stonehenge and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Columbus Direct Columbus Direct
Exclusive

Get 5% off your next travel insurance policy

Use our exclusive code to get 5% off any Columbus Direct travel insurance policy, domestic or worldwide. Destinations would include Thailand, Bali, Fiji, USA, UK, Italy, France, Japan and more.

Last verified

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways

Europe flights from $1,069 return

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019-2020. Sample fare is Perth-Dublin. Destinations include London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Rail Europe Rail Europe

10% off Eurail Global pass

Valid for travel on select 2019 dates booked until 8 October 2019. Discount applies to 31 European countries like Austria, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Up to 14% off Italy hotels

Valid for travel on select dates. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Europe flights from $803 return

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020. Sample fare is Sydney-Athens. Destinations include London, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Emirates Emirates

Europe flights from $1,199 return

Valid for travel from February - May 2020. Destinations include Rome, Paris, Dublin and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-London.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to $2,664 off trips in 17 Europe countries and Mykonos Island

Valid for select 2020 travel dates. Destinations include London, Paris, Barcelona, Vatican City, Munich, Albania, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 25% off Europe tours

Valid for travel until March 2020. Destinations include England, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Nexus Holidays Nexus Holidays

Up to $2,000 off Europe tours

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, France, Portugal and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Destination International Destination International

15-day Italy cruises + return flights from $2,999

Valid for travel at 15 May 2020 with Royal Caribbean cruise. Includes hotel accommodation in Rome, return flights from Australia, daily meals, entertainment and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Italy flights from $455 each way

Valid for travel on select dates in November - December 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Rome with Scoot. Destinations include Venice, Florence and more.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Expedia.com.au Expedia.com.au

Rome flights from $1,013 return

Valid for travel from May - June 2020. Sample fare is from Sydney.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Europe flights from $1,165 return with Singapore Airlines

Valid for travel on select 2020 dates. Sample fare is from Sydney. Destinations include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, London, and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Up to 25% off Europe hotels

Valid for travel until 31 December 2019 with minimum stay of 2 nights. Destinations include UK, France, Italy and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Insight Vacations Insight Vacations

10% off 2020 Europe & Britain tours

Valid for travel on select dates in 2020 depending on the destinations. Destinations include Rome, Scotland, France, Spain and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Cheap O Air Cheap O Air

$27 off flights with code

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Paris, London, Rome, Toronto and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 15% off Europe tours

Valid for travel from 17 October 2019 - 13 January 2020, including over Christmas. Destinations include Venice, Italy, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Reykjavik and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to $800 off Europe & Britain 2020 tours

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Madrid, Barcelona, Devon, Rome, Florence, Venice, France, Austria, Germany and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

MSC Cruises MSC Cruises

Winter sale: 8-day Europe cruises from $399

Valid for travel on select dates in November 2019. Destinations include France, Spain, Italy and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Destination International Destination International

11-day Europe hotels + return flights from $3,499

Valid for travel on select dates between April - June 2020. Includes return flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and more to Rome and Amsterdam, accommodation in twin rooms, daily meals and more. Price is per person twin share. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Europe: Up to 15% off weekend stays

Valid for travel on select dates. Discount applies with a minimum booking of two nights. Includes 15% off in dining, late check-out and more. Destinations include London, Paris, Rome, UK and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Up to 20% Europe off hotels + Up to 15% off dining

Valid for stays on select dates. Destinations include London, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Italy, Paris and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Uniworld Uniworld

Early bird sale: Up to 10% off bookings

Valid for travel on select dates across Central Europe, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Asia, Egypt and India. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Flight Centre - Cruises Flight Centre - Cruises

Free flights, upgrades and 2-for-1 deposits on Viking Cruises

Book a Viking ocean or river cruise in destinations like Italy, France, Norway, the UK, Germany, the USA, Japan and more between August 2019 and March 2021.

Last verified

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Up to 15% off Europe tours

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019 - 2020. Destinations include Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Europcar Europcar

15% off Italy car hire

Valid from 13 June - 30 September 2019. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Trafalgar Tours Trafalgar Tours

Free single supplements on select tours

Valid for departures on select dates between March - November 2019. Destinations include Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Insight Vacations Insight Vacations

Up to 80% off single supplements on select tours

Valid on select tours in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Morocco, Germany and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Lufthansa Lufthansa

Europe flights from $1,510 return

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include London, Rome, Paris, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid and more. Sample fare is Perth-Barcelona.

Last verified

Omio Omio

Europe train tickets from €15

Valid on select trains in Europe. Sample price is for trains from Brussels to Bruges or Rome to Florence.

Last verified

Big Bus Tours Big Bus Tours

Up to 10% off Big Bus tours

Valid on select tours in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Muscat, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Vienna and Washington DC.

Last verified

Design Hotels Design Hotels

Up to 30% off if you book in advance

Valid for bookings made at least 30 days in advance at hotels around the world. Destinations include France, USA, Bali, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, Singapore, Japan and more.

Last verified

Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Sep 2019 10% off local experiences 10F****
10 Sep 2019 Get $20 credit FIN****
31 Jul 2019 Extra 8% off flights worldwide AUM****
20 May 2019 Up to 15% off airport parking across Australia AWA****
9 Apr 2019 Up to 50% off experiences + extra 10% off with code FIN****

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest Travel Offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site