Planning a trip to Italy? Don’t spend all your time in one place! Make sure to hit all of the best cities to visit in Italy with this list!
Italy’s nickname is “Bel Paese” which means beautiful country, and it sure lives up to this moniker.
There are over 25 cities in Italy with populations over 150,000, and countless more small cities and towns dotting the countryside.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy, it may be overwhelming to try to decide which cities to visit. The best cities to visit in Italy have charming and unique features and will make your trip one to remember forever.
Keep reading for a list of 9 cities in Italy and why they are worth seeing.
The 9 Best Cities to Visit in Italy
In a country renowned for its art, this city is known as the art capital of the world. Michelangelo’s famous statue of David resides here in the Accademia Gallery, and the painting of The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is in the Uffizi Gallery.
Florence not only has a diverse collection of visual arts but also performing arts. You can see the opera at Teatro del Maggio, or see a classic children’s play such as The Wizard of Oz and The Little Prince at Teatro Puccini.
For a more relaxed day out, try visiting the Mercato Centrale and filling a picnic basket with delicious locally made foods, then visiting one of the many beautiful parks to be found within the city.
This city is unique in the world, and even in the country of Italy; there is nothing else quite like it. With interesting Byzantine architecture looming over countless canals, you could spend days here just taking in the sights.
Don’t forget to see Saint Mark’s Basilica, a huge church in the Piazza San Marco that boasts gorgeous decorations from the 11th to 13th centuries. If you want to go inside, be sure to dress for church and remember that no photographs are allowed.
If you’d rather spend your days here not worrying about how to see everything, try taking a tour of Venice so that someone will guide you in exploring the waterways.
Bologna is an old university city that is known for its excellent cuisine. Some of the specialties of this city include lasagna bolognese, tortellini, and salami. Via del Pratello is one of the best streets to find good food in all of Italy.
Bologna has the benefit of not being too much of a tourist trap, so it’s likely to be less crowded than some other places you might visit on your trip.
While you’re here, take a tour of the Gelato Museum and you can even try making your own gelato.
Milan is a faster-paced and wealthier Italian city, known for its shopping. Try visiting Via Monte Napoleone to find famous name-brand fashion such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
You can see Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper at the Santa Maria Della Grazie, but viewings are limited and must be booked far in advance. The gothic style of Milan Cathedral is also magnificent and took over 600 years to complete.
Ah, fair Verona, where we lay our scene. Obviously this city is best known as the setting of the famous love story, Romeo and Juliet. So be sure to stop by Juliet’s house while you’re in town.
Juliet’s house is definitely a tourist destination, so be ready for crowds. But let yourself enjoy seeing the quaint courtyard balcony and imagining Romeo calling up to his love. Don’t miss the statue of Juliet in the courtyard, and then take a stroll around the surrounding area to visit some themed shops.
Also worth visiting, the Verona Arena is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters, and you can still see performances there.
- Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is actually made up of five towns, perched on the hills above the Mediterranean Sea. This is one of the most scenic places to visit in Italy, with beautiful multi-colored houses and beautiful ocean views.
Visit the Footpath Monterosso and hike your way along the coast, or feast on some of the local specialties like anchovies or stuffed mussels.
Cinque Terre is quieter than some of the other cities in Italy, so it’s a good place to visit in between seeing more tourist-filled destinations to get a little rest.
Another quiet coastal city, this is a great place to stay while you explore some of the sights in the surrounding area.
Pompeii is a day trip you can take from Sorrento, and this ancient Roman ruin is sure to impress. The town is well preserved, considering it was destroyed by the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and you can visit several buildings that used to be bakeries, restaurants, and even a brothel.
The Island of Capri is located just off the coast of Sorrento. This is a beautiful mountainous little island with a hidden cave called the Blue Grotto, so-called because the light reflects within the water in the cave and makes everything take on a brilliant blue glow.
If you love pizza, you have to visit the city credited with its origin. There are hundreds of pizza shops in Naples, so you can afford to be picky and eat only the very best Neapolitan style pizza. Try L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, where Julia Roberts ate pizza in the movie Eat, Pray, Love.
The San Gennaro Catacombs wind their way beneath the city. Two levels deep, you can visit only the top level for some beautifully detailed frescos and art, or go further beneath the surface to see the more than 3000 burial sites within these walls.
Genoa features the largest medieval city center in all of Europe, is famous for its focaccia and fresh seafood, and has a huge modern aquarium.
Designed to look like the cranes that were historically used to load and unload ships in the harbor, the Bigo Crane can lift you high in the air in a glass elevator, for a great view of the city. This attraction is sometimes open even until 11 pm, making it a fun after-dinner way to see the lights of the city.
Italy is a beautiful country full of many cities worth seeing, so I hope you will take this list and run with it. See these cities, but also visit the small towns in between, and enjoy your time in Italy.
Now that you know the best cities to visit in Italy, leave a reply and let us know where you decide to visit!