Traveling to Italy for the first time? Here are 11 places you need to see!
Are you planning a trip to Italy for the first time? Italy is one of the most touristed countries in the world and has so many different locations and activities to offer. Whether you want a seaside retreat, a taste of real Italian pizza or want to go on an amazing hike, Italy has it all. There is so much history, food, culture, art, monuments and landmarks in Italy that it can take be overwhelming. If you are traveling to Italy for the first time than here are 11 places that you need to see!
The list is in no particular order but rather a highlight of some of the must see spots while you are vacationing in Italy. The top 10 places in Italy just wasn’t enough so we made it the top 11, enjoy on your first trip to Italy!
Top 11 Places to Visit in Italy
There is no better way to start of this list than to showcase Rome, which is one of the most famous destinations in Italy. Whenever we think of Italy, Rome is at the top of that list. The food, people, city, atmosphere, history, colosseum and gorgeous architecture are what separates itself from the rest. Be sure to check out the numerous gelato shops in Rome.
Things to do: Colosseum, The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Pantheon
Length of Stay: 3-5 days is the perfect amount as you do not want to feel rushed and end up only being able to see parts of the city. A great day trip from Rome would be to head to Pompeii. Here is the best way to spend 24 hours in Rome, if you only have 1 day.
The other heart of Italy and one of the most beautiful in all of Italy. Wether it be the gelato on every corner, gondola rides or scenic streets and alleyways Venice is a paradise. It is the perfect place to go with your significant other and walk around the city. No matter where you go in the city, you will always have something to look at and have fun.
Things to do: Gondola ride, Saint Mark’s Basilica, walk across the multiple bridges, eat the yummy gelato
Length of Stay: Venice is a great city but it is small so I would recommend 2-3 days. You can easily cover all of Venice in 2 days if not 1 long day but I learned the hard way that rushing your visit will take the fun out of it, so enjoy your stay!
One of the most beautiful and still unknown spots of Italy is the region of Cinque Terre. In Italy is means five worlds because of the five towns it encompasses. They are all a short train ride away and there is even a beautiful hiking trail connecting all of them while enjoying the Italian coast. Cinque Terre is still a slightly unknown spot to most tourist, so take advantage of that before it becomes too touristy.
Things to do: Monterosso, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, Riomaggiore
Length of stay: It really depends on your thirst and desire to spend a couple of relaxing days in the Cinque Terre region. It could easily be done in a day trip from Florence (which I did) or you could spend 2-3 days in the area depending on how much time you have on your trip.
I bet you didn’t know that Italy had such big and beautiful mountains! North of Venice , it is only a short train or bus ride away to reach the oasis. There are so many hiking and mountain biking trails that you could spend days if not weeks exploring them all. It is also a photographers paradise with a landscape that looks like this. If you love hiking check out our blog on an amazing town in Switzerland located a short train ride away. If you are an avid hiker and outdoors person this is your little treasure in the beautiful country of Italy.
Things to d0: Lake Garda, Monte Cristallo, Sass Pordoi, Pragser Wildsee
Length of stay: Between 2-5 days in the Dolomites as there is so many different activities and adventures you can participate in depending on your budget and the length of your trip.
There are two parts to Florence which people often think are the same. Tuscany is the region which encompasses the city of Florence. The outskirts of Florence (Tuscany) is even more beautiful than the city. Both offer so many different things to do that you could easily spend an entire week here doing things like wine tasting, sight seeing and shopping. Florence is a must see on your first trip to Italy!
Things to do: Wine tasting, Santa Maria del Fiore, Uffizi Gallery, Statue of David, Piazza del Duomo
Length of stay: Depending on if you are just visiting Florence I would recommend 2-3 days, or if you are also going to be visiting the wine country of Tuscany I would recommend 4-6 days. Florence has a great mix and you will see that the river running through the city divides the shopping and living quarters of the city.
An island located right of the coast of Italy lies Capri which is famous for its rugged landscape and luxurious lifestyle. Often known for its high end hotels and shopping Capri can also be accomplished on a “budget”. If you just want to enjoy doing nothing and maybe taking a boat ride around the island that Capri is for you. A very relaxed and luxurious environment awaits you.
Things to do: Monte Solaro, Blue Grotto, Villa Jovis, Arco Naturale
Length of stay: A modest stay of 2-3 days will be all you need to enjoy all that Capri has to offer. It is a very small island so don’t worry about not having enough time.
Pompeii is something that everything probably learned about in textbooks while in school. It really is amazing with what happened to the city and how it still partially stands today. Pompeii is a place you can visit from Rome or Naples on a day trip through a tour company if you don’t have a rental car. It’s fairly cheap and I think it’s a must see and would recommend doing a group tour.
Things to do: Join a 2 hour group tour and than wander around the city by yourself and take pictures
Length of stay: Don’t stay in the town of Pompeii as you will be bored and instead take a day trip from Rome or Pompeii.
Apart of the gorgeous Amalfi Coast with its notorious pebble beaches and gorgeous hillside town. The streets of Positano are famous for being very steep and narrow while being lined with different shops and restaurants all of which you will love. Take a boat ride away from the town to truly appreciate how gorgeous it is at night along the Italian hillside.
Things to do: Amalfi drive, Fornillo beach, Path of Gods hiking trail, Arienzo beach
Length of stay: Similar to Cinque Terre I would recommend 2-3 days as the area is small and most of the major spots can be accomplished within a day.
Naples offers the best of everything from food, ocean views, hiking and history. The famous Mount Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii is located a short car ride away. Enjoy the famous royal palace of Naples and the Ovo castle.
Things to do: Phlegraean Fields, Ovo Castle, Mount Vesuvius, Naples underground tunnels,
Length of stay: 2-3 days in Naples is perfect as there is a local charm about it that will make you want to stay. If you are going to visit Naples I would recommend coming directly from Rome.
Milan is a weird place that might be fun for others while boring to everyone else. I myself was bored while in Milan after a couple of hours but maybe you will find your spot of interest. The Duomo di Milano is absolutely gorgeous but way to touristy for me and is the only real attraction while in Milan.
Consider taking a Day Trip from Milan to Lake Como!
Things to do: Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio, Sforzesco Castle, The Last Super painting, Royal Palace of Milan
Length of stay: After having visited Milan I would personally recommend only doing a day trip from another local city but maybe Milan peeks your interest. If you like soccer be sure to catch a match at AC Milan stadium.
One of the most common questions people ask when going on a trip to Italy is, is it worth going to the leaning tower of Pisa? My answer personally is no, but if you are passing by coming from Cinque Terre than I would recommend at least stopping by. Other than the tower Pisa is not known for much why is why I wouldn’t not recommend you going out of the way.
Things to do: Leaning tower of Pisa, Cathedral di Pisa, Camposanto Monumentale
Length of stay: I would recommend only stopping by the town of Pisa while on your way to another destination such as Cinque Terre or Florence.
Italy is one of the most touristed countries in the world for good reason but make sure you do your research to understand exactly where you want to go. If I was to have to choose only three places I would pick Rome, Venice and the Dolomites.
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