Are you planning a vacation to Italy but don’t know where to start? Italy’s top cities are full of art, culture, and thousands of years of history. You really can’t go wrong with any destination you choose! Check out the top five tourist destinations in Italy that every traveler will enjoy.
Italy is a gorgeous country with so many awe-inspiring destinations to choose from. Each region has its own unique attractions, and the culture can differ from one part of the country to another.
If you’re planning a vacation to Italy and you don’t know where to start, look at where other travelers are going. Here are some of the most visited cities in Italy to consider.
Top Tourist Destinations in Italy
Italy’s capital is an obvious choice of the country’s top destinations. Rome is one of the top cultural destinations in the world. With its world-class art, ancient ruins, and monumental history, it’s no wonder 9 million international tourists visit Rome each year.
Rome is also an amazing culinary destination. You can get a real taste of Italian cuisine at Rome’s top restaurants, food tours, and artisanal gelaterias. Take a street food tour, learn to make pasta, or do a wine tasting to really immerse yourself in Rome’s foodie culture.
Venice is Italy’s beautiful island city known for its canals and maze of pedestrian-only streets. The city is a treasure in itself, but there are also amazing art museums, iconic churches, and loads of history to explore in Venice as well. Explore Venice by foot or on a gondola ride, and immerse yourself into the culture of this unique European city.
The island of Venice is a great place for those looking to shop local art and crafts. The neighboring island of Murano, known for its blown glass art, is a great day trip, as is the neighboring Burano, a fishing village known for its lace-making. Additionally, the Carnival of Venice is an annual festival famous for its elaborate and hand-made masks. Any of these items make exceptional souvenirs!
Top sights in Venice include St. Mark’s Square with its landmark Basilica and Doge‘s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection housed in an 18th-century palace. I recommend spending two or more days in Venice; that will give you enough time to explore all the sights and amazing restaurants Venice has to offer.
Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and is a popular tourist destination in central Italy. This romantic city is known for its Renaissance art and architecture.
Top sights in Florence include the Uffizi Gallery with its Renaissance masterpieces, the world-famous David of Michelangelo statue, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Ponte Vecchio medieval stone bridge, and the 13th century Palazzo Vecchio. You can see many of the top attractions in Florence in just one day.
While you’re staying in Florence, you won’t want to miss out on experiencing Tuscany’s award-winning wineries. An easy day trip from Florence, the Chianti region produces many of Tuscany’s best wines. You can spend your day touring wineries and vineyards, tasting some of the most acclaimed wines in the world.
Milan is Italy’s second most populous city and is a global capital of fashion and design. The city is also a huge financial hub and is home to many high-end restaurants and shops.
Centuries of art and culture have led to Milan’s status as a haute couture capital. The destination for high-end shopping in Milan is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an ornate 1800s arcade and the city’s oldest active shopping gallery.
Top sights in Milan include the massive Duomo di Milano, Sforzesco Castle with its art museums, Teatro alla Scala opera house, and Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” at Santa Maria delle Grazie. You can see many of the top attractions in Milan in just one day.
Where to Stay in Milan
- Top Hotel: The Street Milano Duomo
- Great Value: Lancaster Hotel
- Unique Stay: Apartment in front of Castello Sforzesco
Read next: 17 Best Places to Travel This Year
Amalfi is a town with a dramatic setting below steep cliffs on Italy’s southwest coast. The town is known for its medieval architecture and for the coast’s beautiful environment of sea-views, coves, vineyards, and olive groves.
Top sights in the town of Amalfi include the medieval Duomo di Amalfi, maritime history at Museo Arsenale Amalfi, Chiostro del Paradiso, and Tonino ò beach.
Where to Stay in Amalfi
More Italy Travel Resources
Make the most out of your vacation to Italy! Check out these other Italian travel guides to plan your perfect trip:
Ready to visit Italy? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight to Italy: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top places to stay in Italy here.
- Get a Guide Book: Check out the guide books from Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, or Rick Steves for in depth info about traveling to Italy.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
What are your favorite tourist destinations in Italy? Let me know in the comments below!