Main Attractions in Italy
What to visit in Italy: Top-35 main attractions. Where a traveler should go, what to pay attention to, the main resorts. Basic information about Italy, traditions, interesting facts.
They say that Italy is not just a country, for a tourist it is first a dream, and then a powerful magnet. Because 99% of those who have been there dream of returning again. To plunge back into the atmosphere of happiness, warmth, to wander through the streets of cozy old towns with a leisurely flow of life. And absorb the cheerful impatience of the Italians.
I hold a similar opinion. And in the future I will write a series of articles on the main attractions of Italy. Moreover, I will try to detail information both by cities and regions, provide relevant facts, convenient routes with prices and the choice of the optimal time for the trip.
In the same review, I will basically list what exactly is worth visiting in Italy. Which places should a traveler pay attention to first and why?
But first, some background information that should help you understand the European country a little better.
Italy is located in the south of Europe, occupies the Apennine Peninsula, because of its shape is often also called the “Italian boot”. The coast of the country is washed by the waters of five seas! Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ionian and the Mediterranean Sea proper.
Italy is located to the east of France, to the south of Switzerland and Austria, to the west of Slovenia. The narrow Strait of Sicily separates Italy from the coast of Africa.
The Adriatic Sea separates the country from the Balkan Peninsula. Italy is connected with Croatia, Albania, Greece by ferry crossings.
The country also includes the Padan Plain adjacent to the Alps and islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The largest of which are:
Sicily is, in principle, the largest island available in the Mediterranean Sea, and the largest region of Italy by area. The iconic landmark of Sicily is the largest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna.
Tourists also enjoy walking around Palermo and Catania, go to the “homeland of the mafia” in the town of Corleone and sunbathe on the Stairs of the Turks in Agrigento. Equally popular is the main Sicilian resort Taormina. As well as, in principle, all the coast adjacent to it.
Sardinia is the second largest island in Italy. It is in demand mainly as a resort destination. There are many sandy beaches here, tourists are attracted by the luxurious southern nature plus a mild climate.
The capital of Italy is Rome. Interestingly, for some time the main city of the state was Turin, and then Florence.
By 2023, more than 61 million people live in Italy. And a fifth, that is, 12 million people live in four major urban agglomerations of Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin.
Interesting Places in Italy
Unlike the UK, where 80 percent of the top attractions are concentrated in London and its surroundings, Italy is not so fixated on the capital. Which, of course, does not cancel the need for a visit to the “Eternal City”.
After all, even just listing everything that you can see in Rome, you will get tired!
Within the framework of this article, we will mention only iconic places that no self-respecting traveler will pass by. Moreover, as left over from Roman times:
- Roman Forum
- Colosseum (how to enter for free)
- The Pantheon
- Caesar’s Forum
- Trajan ‘s Column,
and created by subsequent generations:
- Castle of the Holy Angel
- St. Peter’s Cathedral
- Apostolic Palace
- The Spanish Steps
- Monument to Victor Emmanuel
All of them are undoubted treasures, real historical and cultural monuments.
But almost hundreds of other Italian cities are ready to compete with the capital. And sometimes even more loved by tourists!
I am talking not only about the world-famous Milan and Venice, but also their much smaller “colleagues”, that have significant advantages. In fact, in such towns as Vernazza or Montalcino, and even Vicenza and Padua, you will not have to walk in a crowd. And the houses, churches, streets are practically the same. Maybe not so famous.
The absolute tourist hit of the region is the beautiful Venice. Millions of tourists come to see the beauty of the “Canal City” every year. And few of them are disappointed – even a brief excursion into the history of Venice fills the mind with impatient anticipation of the moment of arrival.
There are a lot brilliant sights in Venice. And you will have to spend 3-4 days to inspect the main ones!
From Venice, you can quickly get to Treviso, its “little brother”. In 1.5 hours the train will take you to Verona, another popular city in Veneto. Whose iconic sights: The House of Juliet and the huge ancient forum.
Lombardy and Piedmont
There are also top attractions of the country. Not only the beautiful Alpine lakes of Garda and Como, but also the metropolis of Milan, one of the trendsetters of the world fashion. The city was once the residence of the powerful Dukes of Sforza. And (to a lesser extent, however, than Venice) influenced the course of European history.
Few travelers consciously explore Turin, the capital of the Savoy dynasty. Although the city where one of the relics of Christianity is now kept, the Shroud of Turin, is certainly worthy of a visit.
Like the whole Piedmont region, famous for castles, sparkling wine and truffles. Yes, it is here that the delicious mushrooms that make up the glory of the national cuisine of Italy grow.
Pay attention to Genoa, which still remembers the magnificent times of the commercial republic. A little dilapidated from the time of its glory, the city is still the main one in Liguria. The area on whose coast the resorts of the famous Italian Riviera are located.
If Piedmont is a destination for aesthetes and experienced travelers, then every first foreigner who explores Italy independently wants to see Tuscany. Of course, because this region is so cheerful, full of sunshine and surprisingly warm tones.
The main city of Tuscany is Florence, the unofficial capital of the Renaissance. Tourists, however, are especially interested in the legacy of the Medici family. The main part of which is kept in the Uffizi Art Gallery and Palazzo Pitti.
Do not forget to visit Siena! After all, once it was also the capital of a powerful trading republic. And today it is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany.
There are many other towns in the region: small, but therefore no less beautiful!
Would you like to visit Lucca or to see Pisa? Have you all heard about the local Leaning tower? To which is attached an even more ancient cathedral baptistery and a whole square of Miracles?
Bologna in Emilia-Romagna is usually viewed in passing, without wasting valuable days. Although it is here that the oldest university in Europe, dating back to the 11th century, is located. The city is also famous for its many medieval towers, as well as arcaded passages on the first floors of buildings.
In Ferrara, it is worth visiting the beautifully preserved castle of the Dukes of d’Este. And Parma is famous for its prosciutto.
Naples and Sicily
The grandiose royal palace in Caserta and the luxuriously beautiful southern resorts on the islands of Capri and Ischia, Amalfi coast in the immediate vicinity of Naples make up the glory of southern Italy. History lovers will be interested to visit the ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia, cities once destroyed by the grand eruption of Vesuvius.
Those who appreciate a beach holiday definitely need to visit Tropea. The best seaside resort in Calabria.
We advise fans of extreme sports to climb Mount Etna. The main and still active volcano of Europe.
Its potential power is estimated at about 2.5 Vesuvius. So if she wakes up at the wrong moment, it will be fun. I note that a child can also climb Mount Etna with the help of a cable car and an SUV.
And in Sicily there is a legendary Valley of Temples near the town of Agrigento. The cozy town of Syracuse, where Archimedes lived. The city Erice on the rock is reached from Trapani by funicular.
And a number of resorts that are not as famous as Taormina, but will allow you to do the same – have a great rest at the sea. I will mention Cefalu near Palermo and the beautiful San Vito lo Capo.
Naturally, in Italy you can relax not only walking the streets and visiting museums, but also just basking in the rays of the bright local sun. Moreover, it does not matter where: in the north or south, on the sea or lakes!
After all, huge and picturesque lakes Garda, Lago Maggiore, Como lurk in the pre-Alpine mountain folds. Rich Italians prefer to wait out the summer heat here. But even an ordinary tourist will find where to have fun.
After all, motor ships and boats ply the lakes. And on their shores there are cozy old towns. Such, for example, as Sirmione.
It will turn out to have a wonderful time on the seashore. For example, in the town of Pesaro in Marche or in Lido di Jesolo in Veneto. Do not forget about Rimini! Today it is he who is the most popular in the list of seaside resorts in Italy.
People with money go swimming and sunbathing on the Italian Riviera in Liguria, in Viareggio in Tuscany, to the resort of Terracina near Rome. Where the Roman patricians went to take baths at one time.
Lovers of natural beauty and privacy go to the south of the country. To the Amalfi coast, the islands of Capri and Ischia, to the cozy Sicilian Taormina – the one with a view of Etna!
Winter, that is, ski holidays, in Italy will also work. The resorts of Bormio in Lombardy, Sestriere in Piedmont, Cortina d’Ampezzo in Veneto are world famous.
But that’s not all. Only in the Dolomites there are at least a dozen amazing places for skiing and skiing. There are also non-Alpine ski resorts. Less popular, but much more convenient from the point of view of residents of the metropolitan region of Lazio.