Choose only 12 things and locations to do and to visit in Italy is very hard...Italy is beautiful everywhere! There aren't all the spots and activities on the list that would be worth doing and visiting. Instead, it is quite hard to suggest not to do something in Italy. Rather I tried to give you some suggestion to upgrade your stay in Italy.
12. Holidays in Eastern Sicily
The entire Sicily is to discover, it is the biggest island of Mediterranian, but if you have to choose where to go during your tour, I suggest the eastern area. Start from Catania and enjoy its baroque architecture, completely expressed in its majestic square Piazza Duomo. Then continue for Via Etna and arrive at the Garden of Villa Bellini. A must-see is Piscarìa, a fish market in Catania where it is possible to eat too.
From Catania, you can visit the wonderful Taormina, but also Siracusa, Marzamemi, Ragusa and Noto. If you love nature, you can't lose Monte Etna's hiking and a path among the Alcantara Gorges. And don't leave Sicily without before you taste its culinary specialities.
11. Sardegna: Arcipelago della Maddalena
Arcipelago di La Maddalena is a must-see destination in Sardinia, among the travels in Italy (by sea) is one of the most fascinating. It is a group of little islands that, with the mainland, forms the national park of La Maddalena and extends on over 20,000 acres. Many boat tours leave from: Baja Sardinia, La Maddalena, Palu and Santa Teresa di Gallura, and allow to admire Budelli, Caprera, Razzoli, Santa Maria; in particular Budelli with its amazing pink beach.
If you have time, plan a visit to Costa Smeralda (the perfect jet-set destination for a luxury holiday) and the village Santa Teresa di Gallura.
10. Salento: the Italian Maldive
Puglia is all beautiful to discover! One of its most famous areas is Salento, known as Italian Maldive because of its long beaches, bays, natural grottos, sea with sparkling colours and corner of unspoilt paradise. Among its natural wonderings, the must-see Grotta Della Poesia, an intact grotto of karstic rocks dug by the sway of the sea.
Salento distinguishes itself also for its cultural and architectural beauties, like Lecce: a baroque pearl of rare beauty, full of life all year round and all year round it deserves a visit. Among the other cities of Salento, you must see: Gallipoli, Otranto, Porto Cesareo, Laghi Alimini and Santa Maria di Leuca (the very extremity of Italy).
Don't leave before to taste the pasticciotto, a typical cake with pastry and pastry cream.
9. Matera and the Dolomiti Lucane
Matera is in Basilicata and is one of the oldest cities in the world, European Capital of Culture 2019. Famous for the story of its Sassi (rocks), underground cisterns, rupestrian churches and houses dug into the tuff and built into the grottos. It can be visited on foot and it is incredible to admire it during the sunset or at the night.
In Basilicata as well, there is an experience to do at least once in your life: the flight of the angel in the Dolomiti Lucane: you will "fly" between Catelmezzano and Petrapertosa, two villages that you can visit after recovering from this incredible experience.
8. Naples and its Islands
Naples is a European city with the biggest historic centre, full of churches and monuments to visit. It is also famous for its gastronomy, once there you have must try its pizza. Indeed a perfect combination is to go around Naples, from Piazza Plebisicito to the Vomero hill, trying its street food: the queen is the pizza "a portafoglio", then the fried pizza, Neapolitan frittata, Cuoppo or a Sfogliatella stuffed with Sausage and Friarielli, a vegetable similar to turnip greens.
Once in Naples, you can embark on a ferry and discovered its islands: Capri, Procida and Ischia...all of them must-see! Only in Capri the amazing Grotta Azzurra tour, the famous grotto that takes the name from its unique colour of the water inside it. Procida is the Capital of Culture 2022 and it is full of natural wonders and eternal stories, the inspiration of many stories famous around the world, such as the literary masterpiece of Elsa Morante, "The Island of Arturo" and the movie "Il Postino" directed and played by Massimo Troisi. Visiting these places will be like reliving a daydream!
7. The art in Florence and Pisa
Florence is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in Toscana and one of the most visited cities in Italy. In Florence, there are many things to do and visit, starting with its Duomo, the symbol of the city. But it is beautiful also just walking between Piazza Duomo and Piazza Della Signoria, crossing the Arno through Ponte Vecchio, admiring the wonderful nature of Giardino di Boboli.
When you speak about Pisa, of course, the first thing you will think it is its leaning tower, the undisputed symbol of the city. It is Piazza Dei Miracoli and it is an absolute must-see in Italy. Here the tourists arrive also just to take the typical pic where they try to straighten the tower.
6. Rome: the Capital
If you are in Italy, a must-have is a tour of Rome, the Eternal City! Rome is the capital of Italy and despite what you could think, it isn't the most visited city in Italy. Indeed, Venice and Florence have a bigger number of international visitors.
Rome is a beautiful city, easy to visit on foot, full of monuments, wonderful squares and museums. Five things you must visit in Rome: Colosseo, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Navona. Go to visit also Vatican City for admiring Piazza San Pietro and being amazed in front of The Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the magnificent Sistine Chapel.
5. A tour of the three most important lakes in Italy
Garda, Como and Maggiore are the three biggest (and wonderful) Italian lakes.
The biggest is Lago di Garda that bathes the boundaries of three Italian regions: Lombardia, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige. The lake offers an amazing landscape in every period of the year and countless opportunities for every kind of tourism: food and beverage, trekking, relaxation, spa, seaside.
Lago di Como is so renowned that on its shores many famous actors and directors bought a house. A different way to observe the lake from a different perspective is by the cableway from Como to Brunate. While, if you love hiking, you can reach Como via two suggestive paths.
Lago Maggiore is particularly known for the Borromee Islands (Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola Superiore). It is possible to visit all three islands on a day by boat tour.
4. Milano and Torino: the cities of the progress
Considering the distance of each other is less than one hour by train, I suggest visiting Milan and Turin together. They are two important cities in northern Italy.
Milan is the capital of fashion and design. In Milan, you must go to Piazza Duomo and visit its gothic cathedral: it is worth buying a ticket to go on its terrace and enjoy the view. On the side of the cathedral, the luxury Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with its huge glass roof.
In Turin, you must visit some of its most important museums. First of all the majestic Egyptian Museum: is the oldest in the world and second-biggest after the museum of Cairo. Not many people know that in Turin there is the National Cinema Museum that is one of the best in the world, with a panoramic lift from where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.
3. Visit Cinque Terre in Liguria
The Cinque Terre are five wonderful villages on the coast in Liguria. They are set on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean. The hamlets are one next to the other: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazzana, Corniglia, Manarola, Romaggiore.
Their location, their colourful houses, the fragrance of Focaccia bread around the street and its wonderful sea, make Cinque Terre a place to visit absolutely!
If you love to walk in the mountain, you can enjoy Cinque Terre walking along with one of its two paths across the place. The villages are linked by train, so if you want, you can go on your feet and come by train.
2. Verona and the Arena
Always in region Veneto, another romantic city in Italy is Verona!
A "dark" city that was the stage of the forbidden love between the two young Romeo and Juliet, wrote by William Shakespeare. Here you can visit Juliet's House, actually Cappellos' House, and admire her balcony and her statue in the yard, taking a picture with her while you touch her tit to be lucky in love.
Another experience to live in Verona is to assist to a concert or a show inside its Arena.
1. Venice Lagoon
It is probably obvious, but if you decide to come to Italy, you must visit Venice. It is not a coincidence if it is one of the most visited places in the world. A unique city completely immersed in the water.
Once there, you must try the experience to go thru its canals by a romantic gondola or the cheaper traghetto.
It is beautiful to visit Venice at any period of the year. Of course, the best is period is in February when they celebrate the Carnival, one of the most famous and beautiful in the world. Or in July, assisting to the fireworks show for the Redentore.
3 Things NOT to Do in Italy
As I said at the beginning, it is hard to find things not to do in Italy and I will reduce to give you some advice and maybe some best alternatives.
- Don't buy fake expensive Murano glass in Venice: Venice, in particular, Murano island, is famous for its artisanal glass. But careful, Venice is full of stalls that sell fake of it. So, my suggestion is to buy your souvenir in one of the authentic artisan workshops of Murano.
- Don't bathe in Fontana di Trevi: Launch your coin and make your wish, but don't bathe in, it is a monument and as such, we must respect it. You aren't in a swimming pool and much less in the movie La Dolce Vita. If after you have visited Rome you are tired and you don't know if you will be able to go on your tour in Italy, a good spot could be going to relax in Saturnia: completely natural thermal waters with world-renowned therapeutic properties.
- Don't go to eat and drink in places close to famous monuments: This rule isn't useful just for Italy but for all the tourist locations. Take always informed about the best bars, cafés and restaurants.
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