Organize the best trip to Italy following our tips on the 25 best things you can do here! Museums, wells, theme parks and much more!
We would like to dedicate this article to the people that are coming here for the first time, but also to the return travelers. We are so glad you chose our country for your next holiday and we want to make sure you get the best out of your visit.
We have listed here the 25 things we think everyone should do while in Italy. Most Italians, we are telling you sincerely, never have ever done many of the following activities and experiences.
We truly hope that, following our tips and hints, you will be able to enrich your stay in the best way possible! Shall we start?
25 unique things to do in Italy at least once in a lifetime
Before we start with our listing, we would like to share why we have selected these activities instead of others.
We wanted to include here things that, in our opinion, truly embody the spirit and the atmosphere of the place you are visiting.
The aim of this article, in fact, is giving you some alternatives, 25 nevertheless, so that, while you are visiting our country, you can understand our culture, traditions and lifestyle in the best way possible. Some of the following activities are iconic, whilst others are lesser known.
Anyhow, we hope that our list of the 25 best activities to do in Italy will inspire you to organize the best itinerary possible!
25. A day on the crater of a volcano
And not just any volcano. In fact, we are talking about Mount Vesuvius.
How many times have you thought it would have been incredible to climb it?
Climbing Mount Vesuvius is certainly one of the most special things to do in Italy. The thrill of advancing one's steps on a still active volcano, observing the vegetation that covers it and admiring the wonderful views of one of the most populous (and beautiful) cities in the world is simply incomparable.
Of course, it is an experience to be enjoyed with caution: for this, you may choose to join a tour accompanied by an experienced park guide.
24. The amazement before one of the greatest works of art by Da Vinci
Have you ever heard about the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan?
Its very interior houses Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, not only one of the artist's greatest masterpieces, but also one of the most famous and important wall paintings in the entire history of art.
Because of its importance, the Church and the whole area of the Dominican convent were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980: it is the third Italian UNESCO site!
23. The world's largest masonry vault
Brunelleschi's dome profoundly characterizes the skyline of Florence.
Not only is it a prominent feature, but it is also the largest masonry vault in the world. So you don't need us to tell you how climbing the dome is one of the best things to do in Italy.
It's about combining the thrill of a wonderful view of the cityscape with a taste for art and architecture.
Not to mention that the admission ticket also includes a visit to the Giottesque Bell Tower, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and the Baptistery!
22. The visit to the Prancing Horse
Seeing Formula 1 is one of the most defining experiences of Italian weekends.
Well, if you are around Modena, you definitely cannot pass up one of the most interesting things to do in Italy: a visit to the Ferrari Museum!
Located in Maranello, the visit allows you to delve into the history of the prancing horse company, discover the company and its secrets. Not to mention that you can also visit the famous Fiorano Circuit, where Ferrari does its private testing.
21, A tour of the tastiest theme park
FICO Eataly World is undoubtedly one of the largest food and wine theme parks in the world.
Why should you visit it?
Undoubtedly because it is a truly great collection of excellence. An incredible, and exquisite concentration of everything that makes gastronomy one of the most vital symbols of the Italian culture. You will be able to see, taste but also experience with your own hands some of the most typical traditional recipes.
You will be able to learn how to make pizza, but also ice cream and, why not, take a class on wine. Everything you ever wanted to know about our cuisine is right here, just a click away.
20. The underground of the City of the Popes
Viterbo, the so-called City of the Popes, is a city with a wonderful historic center, just a few kilometers from the capital.
Among the best things to do in Italy at least once in a lifetime, we at Visit Italy would also like to include a visit to its underground passages!
During the guided tour, in fact, you will be able to discover a network of tunnels dug into the tuff that probably dates back to Etruscan times. Used to channel rainwater, but also as a hidden passageway for secret communications or brigands and as an air raid shelter, this underground place will allow you to go deep into the long history of this place.
19. A walking among the wonders of the greatest Sicilian archaeological park
The world's largest archaeological site is located in the province of Agrigento. Not only is the Valle dei Templi famous for its extent, but also for its exceptional state of preservation. It is a symbol of the greatness of Greek civilization in Italy.
The Doric-style temples you will find here have continued for centuries to inspire awe and wonder in all visitors. It is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do in Italy.
18. A day among the treasures of the Vatican City
You can decide how much time to spend here. In our opinion, however, there is never enough time to spend in these places.
In the heart of the Eternal City, the Vatican State offers a visit to its state museum, one of the most fascinating places in the world. In fact, the Vatican Museums trace the history of mankind, with fabulous works telling the story of many different historical eras.
You'll see Greek and Egyptian statues, tapestries from the medieval period, contemporary works of art, and priceless frescoes. Surely you know the most famous of all: Michelangelo's Last Judgment.
You don't need us to tell you that seeing it is one of the greatest thrills you can experience in your lifetime.
17. Discovering Apulian architecture (not just Baroque).
For many, the Apulian region is synonymous with the sea and good food, and, undoubtedly, we can only agree. On the other hand, however, it is also much more than that, and it offers enchanting wonders to architecture enthusiasts as well.
This time, we would like to take you to Lecce, whose historic center is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
A few kilometers from the city is the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate. Why do we include it on the list of things to do in Italy? Because this place is one of the few examples of Romanesque architecture in the region.
This Abbey is a real jewel, rich in Byzantine frescoes that have recently been restored. For fans of history, architecture and art this is without a doubt a must-see!).
16. Inside the third greatest Roman amphitheater in the world
The symbol of the city of Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly the arena that towers in Piazza Bra. It is the third largest Roman amphitheater in the world that has survived to the present day.
It relives a new life today, being the perfect setting for plays, musicals and events that are organized every summer.
However, do you know its history and how this building has managed to reach our time intact? A licensed guide can accompany you to discover its history, telling about the era of fights and gladiators.
15. A romantic moment at the most scenic Italian castle
Miramare Castle has such an enviable position on the Gulf of Trieste that it is considered the Italian most scenic castle. And, on the other hand, how could it be otherwise? Its white figure stands out on the promontory, dominating the incomparable blue of the sea from above.
The castle can be visited in its entirety. So, not only the park with its exotic trees and stables, but also the interior of the historical museum. A moment of luxury and opulence, but also of true romance.
14. A gondola ride (but in an unique way)
Riding a gondola is indeed one of the most desired things do be done in Italy!
Navigating the canals, admiring palaces and monuments is, in our opinion, one of the best things to be had at least once in Italy. You simply cannot do without it!
We, however, suggest you experience it in a slightly unique way, that is, with a gondolier who tells you stories, curiosities, anecdotes and secrets of the city he loves so much. What do you think? A truly alternative way to visit the magnificent city on water!
13. A visit to the most ancient museum dedicated to the Egyptian civilization
You may not know that the Egyptian Museum in Turin, founded in 1824, in addition to being one of the most famous, is also the oldest in the world entirely dedicated to this incredible civilization.
Words are not enough to describe the experience you can have here. The amount of artifacts you can see is endless, not to mention that the perfect organization of the museum makes it one of the most visited places in our country.
What we recommend, undoubtedly, is to book your visit in advance and, even more interestingly, to book a guided tour with a licensed guide.
12. A great discovery at a galenical laboratory
In the heart of Parma, you can visit an ancient galenical laboratory, dating back to 1789. The Antica Farmacia San Filippo Neri, in fact, is a silent place where you can observe flasks and bottles, scents of spices and medicinal plants that for centuries led to the making of medicines and medicines donated to the city's poor.
This pharmacy in vicolo San Tiburzio, allows you to brush up not only on a part of the history of medicine, but also to appreciate the city of Parma for its ability and willingness to assist others.
11. Inside a well of 62 ft
We are now in Orvieto, in central Italy, a city of undisputed beauty: the Duomo, the wonders of its museums and its underground tunnels all contribute to making it a fascinating destination.
Today, however, we wish to introduce you to St. Patrick's Well. It is an absolute masterpiece of engineering and hydraulics and you can walk through it in its entirety. As many as 496 steps, arranged along an endless spiral staircase take you to the base of the well and then, again, to the surface.
Definitely one of the most unique things you can do in Italy!
10. The entrance to the superb Camera dei Giganti (Giants' Room)
Mantua is one of the symbolic cities of the Italian Renaissance. One of its most representative buildings is certainly the highly refined Palazzo Te.
This 16th-century palace, built for the Gonzaga Family, is an ode to wealth and opulence, with rooms sumptuously decorated with magnificent frescoes.
The interiors, as well as the extraordinary Italianate gardens, are aesthetically and geometrically perfect. It is a true dive into the art and refined architecture of the 16th century, which finds its zenith in the Chamber of the Giants.
9. The entrance to Italy's largest amusement park.
This issue is somewhat debated. It seems, however, that with its 850,000 square meters, Mirabilandia is the largest amusement park in Italy.
No need to explain why you should come here! In fact, the numerous attractions of the theme park and the water park speak for themselves!
So, for a slightly different day out in Ravenna, why do not you book your tickets now?
8. And the visit to the Europe's largest aquarium
One of the must-do things in Italy for both adults and children is certainly a visit to Europe's largest aquarium. It is located in Genoa and was opened in 1992, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas.
Fifteen thousand animals live here in the aquarium's 43 tanks, four of which, housing cetaceans, were added only recently, designed by architect Renzo Piano.
You can see with your own eyes the sharks, seals and penguins, but also witness the world of dolphin feeding.
7. A trip to the highest volcano in Europe
At 3329 meters (11128 ft), Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe. One of our country's most fascinating places towers right next to the Black City and has been inviting explorers of all kinds to discover its wonders for centuries.
The nature of the volcano and its magnificent moonscape will repay any effort. You will be able to discover the crater, and even some of its innermost parts, and have one of the most adrenaline-pumping experiences of a lifetime.
All along the way, there will be a licensed guide to lead you, and you can discover all the wonders of the local flora and fauna in complete safety.
6. The Climbing of the most iconic Leaning Towe
One of the things everyone wants to do at least once in their life in Italy is to climb the famous leaning tower. But then, because of the long lines, most would-be visitors desist.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, actually the Bell Tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is one of the most iconic places in the world. In fact, this building is one of the most photographed, in ever new and original ways.
If, however, the next time you are in the Field of Miracles you finally want to climb the tower, we suggest that you buy your fast-access ticket in advance. It will make your stay much more enjoyable.
5. One of the best things to do in Italy: the lakefront on two wheels!
Lake Garda offers breathtaking scenery all along the coast. Gorgeous villages, castles, and even a state-of-the-art bike path suspended over the water...
We suggest you visit our beautiful lake right on board a bicycle, taking advantage of local bike sharing. Not only will you be able to roam freely while enjoying spectacular views of the lake, but you will also have the security of assistance.
A fun but also sustainable way to visit the largest lake in our peninsula.
4. The beauty of the Libreria Piccolomini
How many works of art does Siena hold? An open-air treasure chest of history and marvelous architecture that never ceases to leave visitors of all ages amazed.
In the heart of the city, the most precious work of all is enshrined: the Duomo, a sublime masterpiece of Roman-Gothic architecture. Every column, altarpiece and statue is a treasure chest of wonder. Even the floor was called by one of the greatest art historians, Giorgio Vasari, "one of the most beautiful that had ever been made".
And still inside the cathedral, you will also find the Piccolomini Library with the cycle of frescoes created by Pinturicchio. If you visit the left aisle, you cannot help but be enchanted by their beauty.
3. A tribute to the Miraculous Column
There are numerous legends and traditions related to the Mysterious Column of Bari. Some say it has thaumaturgic properties and some invite girls to go around it 3 times on December 6, asking to find a husband within the year.
What matters is that the Mysterious Column, a red-colored pillar protected by a grate, is located inside the Crypt of the Basilica of St. Nicholas, the city's patron saint.
It is in the Crypt, another word for an underground church, that the remains of St. Nicholas rest. And we all know that this Saint has more than one identity: for many, he is none other than Santa Claus....
2. A visit to a magnificent fresco by Raphael and Perugino
When people talk about the San Severo Chapel, not everyone knows that there is also one in beautiful Perugia.
It is now a museum dedicated to a fresco begun by Raphael and later completed by Perugino, dating from the early 16th century. The subject of the work is the Trinity and Saints. The upper part, plastic and monumental, is the Trinity created by Raphael; the lower part, with the figures all in the foreground, shows Perugino's Saints.
The fresco is one of a kind and is certainly a must-see for all art lovers.
1. A Guided Tour of the City Of Sassi
One of the most incredible things you can do in Italy is certainly to visit Matera.
You can discover the history but also the traditions of this Lucanian jewel, as well as learn more about daily life.
Let your guide take you through the iconic neighborhoods of Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano. The views and vistas you'll see are of unparalleled beauty, and you'll also have the opportunity to enter a cave house.
Which of these things are you going to do during your next trip to Italy?