15 Best Cities To Visit In Italy Revealed!

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Are you planning a trip to Italy but need help figuring out where to start? Here, you’ll find a go-to guide on the best cities to visit in Italy (from an actual Italian!). From popular hotspots to lesser-known destinations, I’ve got them all.

Amazing view of the Sassi of Matera, the historical part of the town.

Has the travel bug bitten you lately? Well, Italy’s gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, and fantastic food make it one of the best dream destinations you need to see.

Although there are many stunning spots on Europe’s famous boot, I’ve handpicked the best cities to visit in Italy.

From the ever-popular Venice to hidden gems like Turin, this list will make planning an Italian vacation a breeze.

I’ll even give you a few Italy travel tips to help you avoid getting caught up in the worst tourist crowds!

15 Best Cities To Visit In Italy That You Must See


A view of Piazza San Marco in Venice from the canal.

Considered one of the most romantic places to visit in Italy, Venice is an amazing destination not only for couples but for everyone!

It’s not technically a single city and comprises 118 separate islands connected by bridges. That explains using gondolas to get from A to B in style.

Tucked away in northeastern Italy, this gorgeous town boasts enormous canals, grand palaces, and sprawling squares that date back centuries.

Plus, you can’t beat sitting in Piazza San Marco and watching the world go by.

Things You Cannot Miss:

You can’t see Venice without visiting St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Market, the Doge’s Palace, San Marco Campanile, and The Bridge of Sighs, eating Cicchetti (a typical Venetian appetizer) with a good glass of wine. 

Make time for the quaint Murano glass stores tucked down most alleyways, too.

How Long To Stay:

You can see the main sights in a day, but two or three days allow you to spend more time enjoying hidden gems!

When To Visit:

The best times to visit Venice are April, May, June, September, and October. Temperatures won’t be unbearably hot, and you’ll miss the worst of July’s tourist rush.


A view of Piazza Navona in Rome on a sunny day.

Also known as the Eternal City, Rome is a stunning spot perfect for history and architectural buffs.

Not only is it Italy’s capital city, but it’s also packed with historic buildings, such as the Colosseum, The Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.

And don’t forget the home of the Pope and the Sistine Chapel – the opulent Vatican City!

Throw in the bustling nightlife, authentic trattorias, and breathtaking galleries, and it’s easy to see why it’s a must-visit spot.

Things You Cannot Miss:

If you see absolutely nothing else in Rome, I suggest checking out the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Roman Forum. 

You’ll also want to explore the Vatican, which is home to St. Angelo Bridge, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica! And don’t forget to eat a gelato or two while you do all that!

How Long To Stay:

You need at least three days in Rome to see the bare minimum it offers. In an ideal world, you’d have a week!

When To Visit:

To escape the worst of Rome’s heat (summer is brutal!), visit between mid-March and May. The fall months are also a gorgeous time to visit – the city will be slightly more crowded, though.


Florence Aerial View of Ponte Vecchio Bridge during Beautiful Sunny Day, Italy.

If you’re a fan of Renaissance artwork, picturesque streets, and rolling Tuscan hills, you’ll adore Florence.

It boasts some of the country’s best galleries, including the Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s David!). So, it’s hands down one of the best cities for art lovers to visit in Italy.

Did I mention the utterly gorgeous Duomo, with its intricate mosaics and dazzling frescoes?

Aside from its cultural side, you’ll also find an exquisite collection of wines from Tuscan vineyards (Chianti is a must-try!).

Things You Cannot Miss:

Any trip to Florence should include the Duomo, the Accademia, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Palazzo Vecchio. 

If you have more time, you’ll also want to stop by the Basilica of Santa, Palazzo Pitti, and the Boboli Gardens.

How Long To Stay:

You can cover the major Florence landmarks in a single day. But you’ll want at least two extra days to see the major museums and the Tuscan countryside.

When To Visit:

Florence in autumn is gorgeous, and probably the best time to visit (though it’s BUSY!). If you want fewer crowds, try early springtime, as the summer heat is too hot to handle.


Aerial view of the picturesque city of Siena, Italy.

With its incredible architecture and vibrant atmosphere, Siena is a stunning medieval city near Florence.

The historic center has even been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its remarkably preserved buildings!

It’s far less busy than Florence and has a relaxed, a touch less touristy vibe.

Climb the 85-meter Torre del Mangia for sweeping views over the city, or walk through the labyrinthine streets near Piazza del Campo.

It’s the perfect spot for a day trip!

Things You Cannot Miss:

The Piazza del Campo is at the top of the list, but you should also stop by the Duomo di Siena and the Torre del Mangia. 

With more time, check out the views from the Panorama and explore the Piccolomini Library.

How Long To Stay:

Although a day is ideal for taking things slow, you can cover the best of Siena in half a day.

When To Visit:

I suggest visiting anytime during the shoulder seasons. It’s not usually as busy as other Italian cities, though.


Amazing view of the Sassi of Matera, the historical part of the town.
Ancient town of Matera (Sassi di Matera) at sunrise, Basilicata, southern Italy

Matera is something of a hidden gem and is absolutely one of the best cities to visit in Italy.

The main reason to visit is that the ancient city is almost carved entirely from rock (sassi). 

The mountainous landscape made traditional buildings tricky to construct. So, everything from quaint churches to old houses was carved into the landscape back in the Paleolithic period.

Although it was evacuated in the 1950s for being unsafe, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 thanks to its fascinating architecture.

Oh, AND the 2021 Bond film No Time to Die was filmed here. Talk about star-studded!

Things You Cannot Miss:

Along with seeing the sassi caves, you can also splurge on a cave hotel like the Hotel II Belvedere

For incredible views over the city, head to Belvedere di Piazza Giovanni Pascoli for views over the Duomo.

How Long To Stay:

One day is enough in Matera, but two days is perfect to see everything on offer.

When To Visit:

Springtime and early fall are the most pleasant times to visit Matera for great weather and fewer crowds!


People in Piazza Duomo in Milan with Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in the background.

Milan is a unique gem on Italy’s map, blending fashion with fascinating history and iconic architecture.

The towering Duomo Cathedral and Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper are reason enough to visit this metropolitan city. 

But it’s also home to stunning canals, old-timey castles, and some of the most impressive shopping in Italy.

Seriously, you must take a short stroll through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to know what I’m talking about!

Things You Cannot Miss:

The Duomo is an absolute must-see, and you can head up to the terrace for sweeping views over the city. 

You can also stroll through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II’s designer boutiques and head to The Fashion District and Via Montenapoleone!

How Long To Stay:

You can cover the major sights in a day, but around two days is perfect for leisurely shopping!

When To Visit:

Anywhere between April and June or September and October is great for mild weather and thinner crowds.

Como & The Lake

Aerial view of Varenna village on Lake Como, Italy.

As someone who grew up around Lake Como, I have a huge soft spot for this part of the country.

Lake Como is surrounded by the Bergamo Alps, which gives you lush mountain views and access to the glistening waters.

But I also adore Como’s picturesque streets, charming churches, cozy cafes, sandy beaches, and fresh seafood.

When you’re done with Como Town, stroll through Bellagio, visit Varenna for waterfront walks, or hit the cycling trails of Cernobbio.

Whatever you do, there’ll be some gorgeous natural eye candy around.

Things You Cannot Miss:

Bellagio and Varenna are a must-see. 

Also, Villa Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, and a trip on the traditional ferry deserve some time. While in Como, don’t miss don’t miss the cathedral.

How Long To Stay:

I don’t recommend rushing Lake Como. Three days to a week is perfect for soaking up the area’s natural beauty.

When To Visit:

Summertime is EXTREMELY popular, so I recommend visiting during late spring (April/May) or mid-September to mid-October.


Aerial view of the city of Assisi in Italy.

If you’re searching for the best cities to visit in Italy, look at Assisi.

This lesser-known spot in Umbria blends history, religion, and natural beauty – so it’s one of the most fascinating spots in the country!

Walk around perfectly preserved medieval buildings and the intricate frescoes inside the area’s many striking churches.

The incredible Roman ruins will draw you in even if you’re not interested in the city’s religious history.

Things You Cannot Miss:

While you’re here, stop by the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Basilica di Santa Chiara, and the Rocca Maggiore. 

To see more of the area’s natural beauty, visit the Lavender Fields and Mount Subasio Park!

How Long To Stay:

Two days is ideal to see Assisi and its surrounding hills.

Assisi is quite busy all year round as it’s a world-famous pilgrimage sight. But I recommend avoiding July and August if you can, as the place will be buzzing with tourists!

Positano & The Amalfi Coast

Aerial view of Positano and the Amalfi coast, Italy on a beautiful sunny day.

I couldn’t write a list of the best cities to visit in Italy without including the picture-perfect Positano (and the Amalfi Coast in general!).

The whole of the Amalfi Coast is packed with sandy beaches and idyllic views. 

I also love that you can hop from town to town and uncover the best of Italy’s Mediterranean landscape in a week.

But there’s something special about Positano. Its pastel houses sit perfectly against the hill, and its bougie boutiques and excellent seafood are serious selling points.

And don’t even get me started on the stunning nature walks, glimmering grottoes, and luxury resorts here!

Things You Cannot Miss:

I highly recommend the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, Grotta dello Smeraldo (near Amalfi), and the Path of Gods (it’s one of my all-time favorite panoramic walks). You should also try a Sfogliatella at Andrea Pansa Pasticceria in Amalfi and watch the sunset on Positano Beach!

How Long To Stay:

If you’re visiting the whole of the Amalfi Coast, you’ll want around a week. For Positano alone, you can clear it in a day!

When To Visit:

Positano is super busy during the summer. So, try to visit at the end of May or the start of June. You’ll get fabulous weather before the swathes of tourists roll in!


Napoli (Naples) and mount Vesuvius in the background at sunset in a summer day, Italy.

Naples is tucked away in southern Italy and boasts everything from historic landmarks to incredible views of Mount Vesuvius.

Although slightly chaotic, the narrow streets, towering palaces, and ancient churches make it a must-visit spot. 

In short, it’s where you’ll find the REAL Italy away from bustling tourist spots.

Aside from the sights, Neapolitan food is next-level. That alone makes it one of the best cities to visit in Italy! 

From delicious pizza to Baba’, Struffoli, and Polpo alla Luciana (octopus stew), you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Things You Cannot Miss:

The National Archaeological Museum is excellent, but Gesù Nuovo, Piazza Bellini, and Ovo Castle are also top spots. 

If you have a spare day, hop over to Pompeii Archaeological Park. It’s just 34 minutes away by train!

How Long To Stay:

To cover Naples in its entirety (without rushing!), I recommend three days. This should give you enough time to see the best sights and visit Pompeii if you want to.

When To Visit:

Any time between March and May or September and October should set you up for success. 

Try to avoid the peak tourist months between July and August.


Aerial view of Bologna historical city center, Italy.

Bologna is a stunning medieval city with tons of charm.

Not only does Bologna boast one of the oldest universities in the West, but it’s home to the humble Bolognese sauce (that we Italians call ragu’)!

That’s right, Bologna is one of the best cities to visit in Italy for foodies. From parmesan to tortellini and prosciutto, you’ll get the cream of the crop here.

Between bites to eat, you can check out beautiful porticos, buildings, and some of the country’s best museums. 

Everything feels less touristy, too, so you can quickly stop by the local markets without being hassled.

Things You Cannot Miss:

Make sure you see Piazza Maggiore, the Two Towers, the Asinelli Tower (for amazing views!), and the Neptune Fountain. 

The Seven Churches of Santo Stefano and the Teatro Anatomico are also well worth a visit!

How Long To Stay:

It would help if you had at least two days in Bologna to see (and eat!) everything. 

You might manage it in one, but be prepared to plan your itinerary very carefully.

When To Visit:

The best time to visit Bologna is during the shoulder seasons. So, try during September and October or between May and June.


The cathedral plaza in Ortigia, Syracuse, Sicily, in the morning.

Otherwise known as Syracuse, Siracusa is home to beautiful Baroque churches, sprawling beaches, and incredible local dishes.

Its proximity to the Ionian Sea makes this an excellent base for exploring the local area. And those fresh catches? Unbeatable!

Ortigia is Siracusa’s main selling point and boasts the enormous Piazza del Duomo and the Passegio Foro Vittorio Emmanuelle II (AKA: a big piazza!). Trust me when I say it’s perfect for evening strolls and a drink.

If you love history, stop by the nearby Valley of the Temples or explore the remains of the Grand Roman Amphitheatre. 

You’ll see tons of history by heading on a local (often free!) walking tour to make things even sweeter.

Things You Cannot Miss:

You’ll want to stop by Ortigia, the Duomo di Siracusa, the Greek Theatre, the Arethusa Fountain, and the Neapolis Archaeological Park. 

The Fountain of Diana and the Castello Maniace are worth seeing if you have time!

How Long To Stay:

I recommend spending around two days here to see the best of Syracuse.

When To Visit:

Syracuse’s summers are gorgeous, and you’ll get plenty of dry weather (and longer days). To avoid the crowds, visit in June or September.


Ruins of ancient Greek theater in Taormina old town and mountain in background.

With its crystalline waters, balmy beaches, and proximity to Mount Etna, Taormina has something for everyone.

I love strolling through Taormina’s preserved medieval streets. 

And the boutique shops are fabulous places to grab everything from pottery and artisan jewelry to tailored shirts!

Stroll through the gorgeous historic center (and its Greek ruins!) or spend your day lounging on Mazzarò Beach. 

When night falls, you can duck into charming trattorias for authentic grub and delicious wine.

For nature lovers, take a short trip over to Mount Etna. You can reach the active volcano with a tour guide, and the hike is a killer!

Things You Cannot Miss:

You’ll want to check out the stunning Palazzo Corvaja, Piazza IX: Aprile, and the Ancient Theatre of Taormina. 

If you’re visiting for over a day, hop to the nearby Isola Bella and meander through the local shops!

How Long To Stay:

You can stay for around two days to see the main sights. But many people use Taormina as a summertime base and stay for over a week. It’s genuinely up to you!

When To Visit:

For fabulous weather, visit any time between June and September. Avoid July and August if you can, as they are peak tourist seasons.


Panoramic view of Cortina D'Ampezzo, a beautiful alpine resort with mountain peaks in the background.

Are you a fan of hiking? Do you love gorgeous landscapes? Can’t get enough of skiing? 

If you answered yes to all of those questions, then Cortina should be on your list of the best cities to visit in Italy!

This pricey but gorgeous ski resort town is adored for its high peaks and world-famous mountains. And with over 140 km of downhill skiing, it’s popular with snow bunnies.

During the warmer months, pull on your hiking boots to explore the spectacular Dolomites and raft along the Boite River. 

If you need a break from all the adventuring, the three-museum complex (Museo Delle Regole d’Ampezzo) is a great pitstop.

Whether you’re a true-blue adrenaline junkie or adore the fresh air, Cortina provides a change from Italy’s cultural side.

Things You Cannot Miss:

Although skiing should be on anyone’s list, I recommend hiking the Giau Pass and seeing The Cinque Torri. Head to the Church La Parrocchiale SS for a culture hit. 

If you’re an Olympics fan, check out the famous Ice Stadium that hosted the 1956 Winter Games! 

If you’re here for longer, head to the local lakes like Lago Federa and Lago di Sorapis.

How Long To Stay:

If you’re skiing, you’ll need at least a few days. Tack on several more days to explore the Dolomites!

When To Visit:

You can visit at any time of year, but avoid the Christmas period (and late summer!) to skip the worst of the crowds.


City of Turin (Torino) skyline panorama seen from a hill.

Now, Turin is not as famous as some of the other Italian cities on this list. 

But I really think that its glorious baroque architecture and impressive museums deserve to be seen!

Turin is up there with Italy’s lesser-traveled cities. So, you will only run into a few tourists as you explore antique bookstores and sip Italian wines.

Plus, you’ll have easy access to stunning porticos, striking baroque churches, the famous Cathedral, and major museums.

If you have a sweet tooth, pick up some local chocolate called gianduiotti. They are small chocolates that blend dark chocolate with hazelnuts, and you’ll want to put a few in your bag for the trip home (trust me!).

Things You Cannot Miss:

Explore the Duomo, Mole Antonelliana, Piazza Castello, Parco del Valentino, and the Basilica of Superga. 

Museum lovers should check out the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Automobiles.

How Long To Stay:

Two days are ideal for exploring Turin, but you can hit the top sights in a day (if you sacrifice the museums!).

When To Visit:

Turin isn’t as touristy, but September and October are usually busy. Try late springtime for lower crowd levels and mild weather.

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