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18+ Most Beautiful Cities in Italy that are worth visiting

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With a stunning Mediterranean coastline, a country filled with indelible Renaissance masterpieces, sprinkled with art and history, delicious cuisine and ancient ruins, Italy has been alluring travelers for ages. There are so many amazing things to do and experience, so we narrowed down the list to the 18 most beautiful cities in Italy for your bucket list!

18+ Most beautiful cities in Italy: Bucket list Destinations

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Travel tips for Italy 

When planning a trip to Italy, it is possible to explore more of the urban centres by taking day trips by train or driving down. In northern Italy, there is the fashion capital of Milan and the Italian Riviera towns of Cinque Terre. The five fishing villages of Cinque Terre with their picturesque terraced cliffs are popular beach destinations in the country. From the mountains of Dolomites to wine and cheese in Langhe, there are lots to explore in the north.

Filled with UNESCO sites and amazing food and weather, these are the most beautiful cities in Italy, worthy of adding to your bucket list!
Verona, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy

In the heart of the country is the capital city of Rome. Clustered near Rome and straddling along the south and central region (Tuscany) are historic cities of Florence, Naples, and Sorrento. Amalfi Coast is another crowd puller, thanks to the car-free beautiful towns and cliffside colorful houses and hiking trails. 

When traveling from outside of the European continent, like north or south America, and Asia, plan to arrive in one of the metro cities and then make connections into towns or other cities. From our home city in Canada, we found better flights for Milan and Rome. Do check out where you can get the best flights to, from your city from Skyscanner

Milan 

Northern Italy’s charm is the stunning city of Milan. A city that oozes history, culture and fashion, making it a perfect weekend destination in Europe. 

Milan Cathedral
Milan Best cities to visit in Italy

When in Milan you must explore the Piazza del Duomo or the “Cathedral Square”. It is the main piazza (city square) of Milan. Located at the centre of this plaza is one of the must-see attractions in Milan – the Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral, located in the city centre. The cathedral dates back to 1386. Highly recommend climbing to the top of the Duomo for some amazing city views from up there. 

The city is also home to many museums, including a museum dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci (with his famous painting Last Supper on display).

If you love shopping, head to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – this is the oldest shopping arcade in Italy, and oh so stunning. It is worth a visit even if you don’t wish to shop here. 

For art and history lovers, visit the Sforza Castle in Milan. To explore the castle grounds is completely free. But to visit the museums inside as well as gaining access to the castle terrace, there is an entry fee of around 8 euros. The castle is very interesting, and a guided tour will be well worth the money if you love museums and castles. 

After exploring the castle, you can relax at the city’s largest park – Parco Sempione, or enjoy live entertainment. 

Other attractions in Milan include Santa Maria della Grazie, San Siro Stadium (Italian football fans), Cimitero Monumentale (world’s largest cemetery). 

Milan is more than art and history, it is known as the economic heart of Italy, with many financial headquarters being located here. It is also well known as the fashion capital of the world. If you are into Louis Vuitton, Milan has a free museum that you can check out during your visit. 

Rome

By Chrysoula from Travel Passionate

Ancient Ruins in Rome
Rome, the capital city of Italy

The 2,500-year-old city of Rome is one of the finest cities to visit in Italy and it even contains the independent state of the Vatican and numerous iconic monuments. The Colosseum, built-in 70- 80 AD, could hold 80,000 spectators for games and tournaments held for the Roman Emperor. 

The Pantheon, built by Emperor Hadrian, is one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world. The 18th century Trevi Fountain is lavishly decorated and the tradition is to throw a coin over your shoulder into the water for good luck. The Spanish Steps is a broad stone staircase, linking Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità Dei Monti with its beautiful church.   

St Peter’s Square, one of the most important religious sites in the world is situated at the front of the Vatican State. It is actually circular in shape and decorated with colonnades topped by statues of religious leaders and popes. 

At the far end, stands St Peter’s Basilica, the most famous religious building in the world.

Visit it early as the queues grow quickly! The architecture and design are superb and the artwork of Michelangelo and Bernini breathtaking – especially the immense dome. Climb the dome for great views over St Peter’s Square.

There are street markets and gourmet foods to enjoy and lesser-known places like Santo Stefano Rotondo – the First Circular Church in Rome. 

The city can be best enjoyed on foot so it is highly recommended that you book a hotel in the historic center. The Condotti Boutique hotel is a great option. Located near the Spanish steps and just 20 metres away from the Spagna Metro station is a great option to base yourself on your Rome itinerary.

Venice

By James Ian from Travel Collecting

Views of Venice Italy
Venice: Most beautiful cities in Italy

Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.  It is easy to spend days wandering around the narrow streets (you will almost certainly get lost!), taking in the beauty of the canals, with tiny bridges arched over them; ornate churches; and gondolas gliding by.  

Take a gondola ride through the canals and possibly into the Grand Canal.  You can even learn to row a gondola yourself, even venturing into the surrounding lagoon. Then hop on Vaporetto (ferry) No. 1 and cruise along the length of the Grand Canal, admiring the grand houses, palaces, and bridges along the way.  

The Rialto Bridge, which is the most spectacular of the bridges over the Grand Canal, is a work of art. Don’t miss the tiny covered Bridge of Sighs too. 

The center of Venice, however, is Saint Mark’s Square.  Spend a morning, afternoon or whole day sitting in one of the outdoor cafes on the square enjoying a cappuccino or bright orange Aperol spritz and watching the world go by.  

At one end is the ornate St Mark’s Basilica – one of the most ornate and beautiful buildings in the world.  Nearby is the campanile tower – you can climb to the top for stunning views – and the Clocktower.  

There is also the famed Doge’s Palace with dozens of perfect arches.  A short wander takes you to the water’s edge (water is never far away), where, when the sun shines and the canal and lagoon sparkle, and gondolas rock at the water’s edge and wooden water taxis zip by, it is pure magic.

For somewhere to stay, try the Bauer Palazzo.  A gorgeous elegant former palace two minutes from St Marks with rooms overlooking the water, it’s the perfect complement to your Venice vacation.

Florence

By Alexandria from EarthOSea

View of Florence Italy
Florence

Although everybody is talking and going to Rome, Florence is surely one of the most beautiful Italian cities. Florence or Firenze, as the Italians call it, has been founded by the Romans and quickly became a thriving economic center of the Middle Ages.

During that period, the city was ruled by the famous Medici family which helped the city grow into an independent economic center and one of the wealthiest cities in Europe at the time.  

Nowadays, there are lots of monuments, landmarks and palaces to explore within the city, including the iconic Piazza della Signoria plaza. 

All of them reminding all of us, what a great city Florence once was. One of the best places in the city is the Piazza del Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, which is known for its famous dome designed by Brunelleschi. 

On the inside of Brunelleschi’s Dome one can observe some of the most fascinating religious paintings depicting the Last Judgement by Giorgio Vasari. Next to it is the Giotto’s Bell Tower, which was once one of the highest towers in Italy with its staggering height of 122. The tower gives an incredible glimpse of the city’s landscape, especially at dawn.

Right next to Giotto’s Bell Tower is the famous Baptistery of San Giovanni, which is known for its unusual octagonal shape.

In addition to that, the interior of the baptistery is truly breathtaking, as it is mostly covered in gold and there are also the famous Gates of Paradise facing the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Although, these are not the original gates, as they are now moved to Piazza del Duomo’s Museum, which is a couple of steps away from the cathedral.

Last but not least, one should definitely visit Pitti Palace, which was the residence of the famous Medici family for quite some time. Inside the palace are lots of treasures, paintings, artefacts from Roman times and lots of belongings to the family dating back to the 14th century.

In addition to that, one can enjoy a walk around the Boboli Gardens, which were the family’s private gardens back in the days. More Instagrammable spots in Florence here

A good location to stay in Florence is near the Boboli Gardens. From most of the hotels there is a very nice view to the city and mainly to Santa Maria del Fiore church. 

Pisa

Due to the close proximity of amazing cities in Italy, it is worth while making a few day trips to explore more of the country. From Florence you can easily visit Pisa to check out the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The distance between Florence and Pisa is 42 miles. 

Pisa Italy
Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa

From the Central Station in Florence, hop on a high-speed train, and you will arrive in Pisa in about 49 minutes. (Ticket costs around $10). The Florence to Pisa train route is very scenic, as they go west through the stunning Tuscan countryside.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa should be the first item on your bucket list. The tower’s construction began in 1173, and has been leaning since then. Today you can visit the top of the tower and take in some gorgeous city views from top. There is a steep climb to the top, but it is completely worth it. The tower was originally built as a bell tower. 

Another attraction located near the tower (and on the Piazza dei Miracoli) is the Duomo of Pisa or the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral began its construction in 1063, and the statues located here are considered to be one of the finest in Italy. It also contains the tomb of Saint Rainerius, who is the patron saint of Pisa and patron saint of all travellers

Next visit the Battistero, and climb to the upper gallery to listen to the acoustics. From there head to the Campo Santa – which was a cemetery for the wealthy in Pisa. 

If you love art, you must check out the Palazzo Blu, which is an art museum and an archaeological site combined into one. 

After all the sightseeing, don’t forget to relish a scoopful of gelato!

Naples

By Emily from Wander-Lush

View of Naples Italy
Naples Italy

She may not be the most classically beautiful city nor the most historically important, but Naples is definitely one of the best places to visit in Italy for food, culture and architecture.

Located in the south-western Campania region, just north of the Amalfi Coast, Naples is grittier than Rome or Florence. The city is brimming with character and grungy charm, especially in the tapered alleyways of Quartieri Spagnoli and in overflowing La Pignasecca, the 500-year-old food market that defines Naples’ core. Like all Italian cities, there are plenty of open squares where you can catch your breath.

Naples is a dream destination in Italy for street photographers, foodies, and anyone who’s interested in history and culture. The culinary scene is one of the city’s most notable attractions – here’s your chance to eat real Neapolitan pizza from the world’s first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba. Top it off with a babà cake – ideally one soaked in Limoncello, a Naples specialty.

One day in Naples is enough to see the highlights, including the Castel Nuovo and seaside Ovo Castle, the sprawling Piazza del Plebiscito, and a handful of the city’s most important churches, starting with the unusual Chiesa del Gesu Nuovo. 

If you have more time, visit the Naples National Archaeology Museum before exploring Herculaneum and/or Pompeii, two ancient cities on Naples’ outskirts that were destroyed/preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

For accommodation, Le Stanze di Flora in Santa Chiara offers comfortably furnished, well-priced apartments in a very atmospheric building walking distance from all the major landmarks.

Verona 

By Andrew & Emily from Along Dusty Roads

Verona Italy
Verona, most beautiful cities in Italy

The truth is that, in the city of Romeo and Juliet, the attraction most associated with those star-crossed lovers will disappoint. Capitalising on a touristic curiosity inspired by Shakespeare, Verona created ‘Juliet’s Balcony’ draws lovers and literary types to the city; alas, it is a let-down. 

However, that is no reason to dismiss Verona when drawing up plans for Italy as this small city split by an S-bend of the Adige River is a delight, and perfect for a city break. Its compact size is part of the appeal, there’s youthful energy driven by the acclaimed university, and much of the centuries-old art and architecture which stands out can easily be visited on foot.

What sets Verona apart from other Italian cities though? Undoubtedly, it is its Roman amphitheatre set within its centre. Travellers in Italy are more used to standing in the shells of these ancient structures, but Verona’s amphitheatre is one of the largest and best preserved examples in Europe. 

Better preserved than Rome’s colosseum, the Arena di Verona is also a magical venue for the city’s annual opera festival, one of the most prestigious in the world. 

With affordable tickets always on offer, it’s the only place where a traveler will fall for the sounds of Verdi played out under a starry sky by a full orchestra, whilst sitting in the very same stone seats from which Romans bayed for Gladiators to draw blood. 

Bologna

By Kali Marco from KaliTravel

View of Bologna
Bologna most beautiful cities to visit in Italy

Combine the fun and culture of a lively university city with one of the largest historical ‘old towns’ in Europe, Bologna is a wonderful city to spend a few days in. 

Surprisingly, Bologna is off the mass tourist route, you can visit medieval monuments in peace, dawdle through the atmospheric back streets, and eat the best pasta alongside the locals for a true Italian experience.

The historic centre is compact, easy to walk around to find the main sights. Head over to Piazza Maggiore, the huge main square in the heart of Bologna to see the impressive Basilica of San Petronio and Neptune’s fountain. 

The famous leaning twin towers of Bologna are a few streets away (climb Torre degli Asinelli for views over the cityscape). Then wander up to the ‘Jewish Ghetto’, through the maze of passageways and see if you can find ‘Finestrella di Via Piella’, the viewpoint overlooking a ‘secret canal’. 

Cut across to Via Indipendenza, and stroll under the porticoes lining the main shopping street – Bologna’s colonnaded façades are a symbol of the city. See San Pietro Cathedral on your way back towards Maggiore square, then continue a few blocks south past museums and palaces to Piazza Santo Stefan, and the ‘Seven Churches of St Stephen (an incredibly ancient sacred complex).

Quadrilatero district is the place to eat. Medieval taverns and trendy eateries share space with stalls piled with fresh fruit and veg, and delicatessens stuffed with wheels of Parmesan and cured hams. 

Don’t miss Mercato di Mezzo, a fresh food indoor market which has been here for centuries (the pavilion is open mornings, lots of eateries inside). And at the end of the day, join the Bolognese on the street terraces for an aperitivo (board of cheese and cold meats served with fine local wine). 

There’s accommodation in Bologna for all tastes, from convenient pocket-friendly hostels by Centrale Train Station (airport shuttle stops here) to unique stays in the old quarter like Torre Prendiparte, a genuine and luxuriously converted medieval tower!

And when you plan a trip to Bologna, add in some tasty cuisine with a glass or two of Lambrusco, you won’t be disappointed!

Ravenna

By Simona from Slovenians Travel

Ravenna
Ravenna Italy

Ravenna is often overlooked because of the proximity to Bologna, the biggest city in the region Emilia Romagna. But Ravenna is so worth visiting – the city is known for the colorful mosaics you can find in almost all the central buildings and especially churches. 

The city center is nice to stroll through as the old architecturally interesting buildings guide you to bigger squares. There you can sit down for an Aperitivo and have a panini (toasted bread with different toppings), tiramisu (an unbaked sweet with mascarpone, cocoa, special cookies and some alcohol) or dig in with a main dish of pasta or pizza. 

A very special part of central Ravenna is “zona dantesca” – a district around Dante Alighieri’s tomb, which you can find next to the Basilica of San Francesco. If you don’t know Dante: he’s one of the most important Italian poets, writers, and philosophers, and the author of “Divine Comedy”. Very close to Ravenna is also the beach referred to as Ravenna Seaside with a wide sandy beach. 

Just outside the city center to the south all the adrenaline freaks can find the amazing Mirabilandia, an Italian Theme park full of roller coasters. Ravenna is easily accessible by train and bus from all major cities in Italy. 

A good base to stay is Hotel Ravenna just steps from the main trains station, 5 minutes walk from the city center and they also provide free parking in case you arrive by car.

Cagliari

By Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia

City views of Cagliari Italy
Cagliari Italy

Mention the best cities in Italy to a foreign tourist and Cagliari is hardly ever mentioned. Yet, the capital of the island of Sardinia is a real hidden gem that deserves to be discovered, packed with interesting landmarks, impressive vistas, natural sites and pretty beaches right within the city limits, and blessed with good weather year round.

A visit of the city will inevitably have to start from the historic center, and Castello – one of the four historic districts – is where you’ll find the highest concentration of attractions. That’s where the Museum of Archeology is located.

Not far from it you’ll find Porta Cristina, the old gate to the walled city; and San Pancrazio Tower which, together with the Elephant Tower, had defensive purposes. Within Castello, you’ll also find the beautiful Santa Maria Cathedral and, at a stone’s throw, Via Santa Croce, one of the best viewpoints in the city – make sure to go at sunset for impressive views. 

Other unmissable places to visit are the Roman Amphitheater and Tuvixeddu, a Punic Necropolis that is a pleasant place for a walk, much like Stampace, La Marina, and Villanova, the other three historic districts which are a maze of narrow alleys, colorful buildings, and pretty plazas. 

Don’t travel far to get that holiday feeling – a quick bus ride from the center of town will take you to Poetto – the local’s favorite urban beach. This is a long stretch of sand and clear waters lined with a promenade that locals enjoy year-round to walk, run, bike, and spend time with their loved ones. Behind Poetto, Molentargius Nature Reserve is a great place for bird-watching: it’s a great nesting spot for pink flamingos.

Fancy more views? A quick hike from Calamosca Beach (an easy drive from Poetto) will take you to the top of Sella del Diavolo, for impressive views over the gulf.

Lucca

By Linn Haglund from Brainy Backpackers

Lucca Italy

The underrated Tuscan town of Lucca is an incredible place to spend a few days to soak in the Medieval ambiance and rich history. There are so many things to do in Lucca that you will definitely not go bored. 

Starting with the historic city walls surrounding the old town of Lucca, the most popular place to go walking and cycling in town. Make sure you take a stroll with the locals and appreciate this ancient space. 

The center of attention in Lucca is the Piazza Dell’Anfiteatro, which is a round square formed by pastel houses and restaurants. But there is a hidden secret behind it, the square outlines an ancient amphitheater that lays underground. Yet, some of the arches of the square are the originals belonging to the amphitheater where gladiators once fought. 

Make your way to the Lucca Cathedral, a modest cathedral yet full of history. The columns, all in different styles, are said to be the result of the different contestants for a competition the design of the cathedral. When the inhabitants could not choose a winner, they decided to use all the columns instead. 

For the best views in Lucca, climb the Guinigi Tower and the Torre Delle Ore. The latter has a legend connected to it of a young woman that sold her soul to the devil to remain young and beautiful for three decades. But then came the day where the devil came to claim her soul. The legend says she ran up the clock tower to stop time but the devil caught up on her. It is still believed that her ghost lives in the clock tower. 

Stay at Lucca in Villa Lucrezia close to the historical center. It has free parking if you are on a road trip and they serve excellent breakfast.

Where to stay in Lucca? Villa Lucrezia

Genoa 

By Noel Morata from Travel Photo Discovery

Italian Riviera Cities to visit
Genoa

One of the wonderful Italian destinations that don’t get tourist attention but has so much to offer with the historical, cultural, and food-focused visit is Genoa, Italy. A powerhouse city-state that competed with the other powerful city-state, Venice. 

Genoa became very rich from opening up trading routes and venues to the east and other major trading places and became a powerful city-state within its own right. 

Wealthy nobility built villas and palaces within the city and earned Genoa a Unesco World Heritage certification for all the stunning and historic palaces that have been converted to hotels, living museums, and other tourist-oriented venues that visitors can see and enjoy.

All the wealth and opulence of Baroque, Rococo, and Renaissance palaces that line the prestigious Via Garibaldi and Strade Nuovi and impressive piazza at Piazza de Ferrari and the ornate cathedral fronting the Piazza de San Lorenzo are all located in the historic district. 

It is a fantastic experience to visit some of the lavish palaces including the Palazzo Real and many other fabulous palazzi in the Unesco street of Strade Nuovi. Genoa’s historic district oozes so much glamour, prestige, and incredible architecture that many visitors do not realize and visit more well-known sites like Florence, Venice, and Rome. 

But for those who really want to appreciate another impressive city with so much culture, historic sites and incredibly good food should visit Genoa and the surrounding areas. 

Bari

By Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World

Bari Italy
Beautiful lanes of Bari

Bari hardly ever makes the list of places to visit in Italy, yet it is a charming city with many interesting sights, and as it is well connected to the rest of the country and Europe thanks to an international airport, it is an excellent starting point for a trip around Puglia and southern Italy. Should you decide to visit, you won’t find a shortage of things to do in Bari.

Bari’s most famous place to visit is the Old Town (Bari Vecchia), a maze of truly narrow alleys characterized by bright white pavements to contrast the colorful buildings. That’s where you will find San Nicholas Basilica, dedicated to the saint that protects the city, as well as the cathedral and Piazza Mercantile, one of the most beautiful in the city. 

Bari Vecchia is home of the lovely pasta ladies – local women who sit right outside their door, typically in Via di Arco Basso, preparing orecchiette pasta, for which Bari is famous. You should definitely try some when in town, along with some focaccia barese (a focaccia style bread topped with tomatoes and oregano).

Other places to visit you should not miss are the Castello Normanno-Svevo, Teatro Petruzzelli, and Borgo Murattiano, lined with Liberty style buildings and currently the best area to go shopping in town. 

To take in everything that Bari has to offer, make sure to spend at least a night there, best if in Bari Vecchia so that you will be at the center of the action. A good place to stay there is Casa di Flora, a small guesthouse with spotless, beautifully decorated rooms.

Siena 

By Martina & Jürgen from PlacesofJuma

Siena Italy
Most beautiful cities in Italy: Siena

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy is definitely Siena in Tuscany. Here, a wide range of unique activities and grandiose sights await you during a visit. First and foremost, the beautiful Piazza del Campo is one of the most famous city squares in Italy. 

Around this square are some of the most beautiful buildings of the city: The Palazzo Pubblico, as the town hall, and the imposing Torre del Mangia, the 102-meter-high tower that rises high above the roofs of the old town. Also worth seeing is the beautiful Fonte Gaia fountain that is located directly in Piazza del Campo.

Especially famous is Siena for the Palio di Siena horse race, which has been held at the main square since the Middle Ages. This unique event takes place 2 times a year, on July 2 and August 16 and is until today the most important event in Siena.

Another highlight of Siena is the Cathedral of Siena, also called Duomo Santa Maria della Scala, that is one of the most important buildings in the city. A visit to the duomo complex with its many museums is a must on any trip!

A recommended place to stay in the lovely B&B La Terrazza Sul Campo. It is situated in the best location directly on the main square and delights its guests with beautiful rooms and a fantastic view.

Vicenza

By Jade from the Migrant Yogi

Beauty of Vicenza in Italy
Vicenza Italy

Vicenza, a highly underrated city in the Veneto region, is a city rich in culture and stunning architecture.  Teeming with art galleries, delicious gelateria, Baroque and Gothic buildings, and charming boutiques, Vicenza is well-worth a few days if you’re looking for a reprieve from the big cities.  

Vicenza is best known for its large concentration of Andrea Palladio’s buildings, a famed architect from nearby Padova.  So much so that Vicenza earned itself the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation (alongside the Palladian Villas of the Veneto) and is commonly called the ‘City of Palladio.’  

Besides being known for its impressive architectural structures, Vicenza is well-known as being responsible for one fifth of Italy’s gold and jewelry production, making it the third largest industrial city in the country.  

Among the best things to do in Vicenza include climbing la Scarlette up to Monte Berico to see the Sanctuary and the sweeping views of the city below, Teatro Olimpico, going to the jewelry or archaeological museums, people-watching in Piazza Dei Signori, or taking a stroll down Corso Andrea Palladio.  

Be sure to try Baccalà alla Vicentina, the city’s signature dish made of salted cod, onions, milk and anchovies.  

Getting to Vicenza is easily accessible by train from all major cities north of Rome.  From Venice, the trip takes under two hours.  

If you’re staying in the city for a few days, B&B Portico Rossi is just a few steps away from the always-bustling city center.  If you’re looking for more of a country stay, Hotel Villa Tacchi is a perfect choice.

Where to stay? Hotel Villa Tacchi

Matera

By Megan and Aram from MeganStarr

Matera
Matera: Most beautiful cities in Italy

One of the interesting and most beautiful cities in Italy is Matera, a city that transplants you back in time in the Basilicata region in southern Italy. One of the most fascinating things about Matera is that the entire city is carved into rocks and many of the city is still ‘caves’ the way it was during the Paleolithic times in the 10th millennium BC.  This area of Matera is referred to as the Sassi di Matera.

Matera is a fantastic destination in Italy for history and architecture lovers.  The unique architecture of the city is even included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Near Matera’s archaeological park, you can see more than 100 Rupestrian churches with an ornate design and construction and it is one place you must visit in Matera.  You can also check out the Casa Grotta of Vico Solitario and see how people used to live back in the day.  The interior is still preserved.

Matera’s famous and iconic cathedral is another place that is worth visiting because the 13th-century masterpiece of a church has a fabulous view of the Sasso Barisano. When in Matera, don’t forget to try a southern Italy favorite, orecchiette pasta in broccoli sauce, at a family-owned restaurant.  While this type of pasta may have its roots in Puglia next door, it is still local and tastes delicious!

Reaching Matera from Bari is easy and you can take a tour or public transportation there, but it is recommended to make the trip an overnighter and experience Matera at all hours of the day. 

Matera is simply one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a must-visit on a southern Italian itinerary!

Palermo

By Lori from Travlinmad

Palermo Italy
Palermo Sightseeing

The capital city of Sicily, Palermo, is one of the best places to visit in Italy. Located on the northwest coast of the island, this metropolitan city is also a major port city. 

Palermo is well-known for its rich history, art, theater, architecture, vibrant culture, and of course for the incredible Sicilian food. Along with historic sites, the Mediterranean climate and Mondello beach have made the city a very popular tourist destination.

The city is a sightseer’s paradise including the Palermo Cathedral with its royal tombs, a beautiful opera house, Massimo Theater, the magnificent Baroque church, Casa Professa, and the royal palace, Palazzo dei Normanni.

Of special note is the Antonio Pasqualino International Puppet Museum, included in the UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It may seem a bit odd, but Sicilians are serious about puppet theater.

For many visitors, the food of Sicily is at the top of their lists, and Palermo doesn’t disappoint. To enjoy local street foods, foodies should start at the bustling Central Ballarò market or at the Vucciria market near the seaport. 

One of the most popular street foods to try is Arancina, fried stuffed rice balls are eaten at all times of the day. The menus are as diverse as the island itself with dishes sharing flavors from Italy as well as Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Middle East.

Palermo is a pastry lover’s heaven too with cannoli, Cassata Siciliana, a sweet delicacy made with ricotta cheese. For breakfast, a brioche bun filled with gelato is a must. That’s right, ice cream for breakfast!

For a centrally located hotel, La Terrazza Palace is highly recommended. Rooms are all modern and comfortable, service is excellent, and a delicious breakfast is included. Don’t visit Sicily without a few days visiting Palermo.

Where to stay in Palmero? La Terrazza Palace

Sanremo

By Zoe from BreastFeedingMomma

Sanremo Italy
Sanremo, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy

For many travellers, Sanremo is the first stop when crossing from France to Italy, located just 50 kilometres from Monaco, it used to be a glamorous hub for the glitterati of Italy, but nowadays it is a quaint historic town featuring beautiful buildings on an impressive stretch of coastline.

Imagine cobblestone streets, vaulted arches and ancient buildings set into the hillside overlooking a long stretch of coastline.

Sanremo Founded by the Romans in the middle ages, and many of the remaining buildings date from the late 15th century. One of the best things to do in Sanremo is to grab a coffee and panini at one of the many cliff front restaurants overlooking the immense Mediterranean sea. It’s a perfect city to walk or cycle and enjoy the historic setting.

Sanremo has many beautiful sites, which you can visit on a self-directed walking tour. Or you might prefer a guided walking tour, taking in a 3-course dinner and 2-hour walking tour of the city centre stopping at the baroque shrine, Santuario Madonna Della Costa and the labyrinthine streets of the old town, La Pigna. 

Whichever you choose, make sure you visit Sanremo’s famous Russian Church, it was built for Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna, who spent a winter season in San Remo and also blessed the town with the famous palm trees which line the promenade.

By far the nicest place to stay in Sanremo is Royal Hotel on the promenade, with its crystal green swimming pool, luscious gardens, and a modern spa. Other favorites include Hotel Paradiso, which has its own private beach.

Turin

By Clotilde from A Princess travelling with twins

Panoramic view of Turin Italy
Turin Italy

Turin, a city perhaps less known for mass tourism, offers visitors an interesting and lively mix of cultural events, history, and tradition. Smaller than the nearby and famous Milan, Turin is a cozy city perfect to explore on foot or by bicycle. Monuments, churches, museums, palaces, and gardens are slowly discovered while you appreciate the local life and good food.

Among the various attractions not to be missed is the Mole Antonelliana, a symbol of the city for over 150 years. Since 2000 it has housed the Museum of Cinema, a very interesting museum where you can spend an entire afternoon. Not to be missed also is the ascent to the dome which gives an incredible view.

Turin also has the largest collection of Egyptian culture in the world after the Cairo museum, so definitely visit if interested.

Being in Italy, there is no shortage of beautiful churches, such as the imposing Duomo or the Basilica La Consolata Sanctuary, but Turin offers something more. In Turin, you can find the Chapel of the Shroud, a baroque masterpiece that for almost 4 centuries housed the shroud (now kept in the museum, after the devastating fire of 1997).

We cannot forget the new architecture which, thanks to some archi-star names, such as Renzo Piano, Zucchi, and Foster, have brought a modern air to enrich a context already full of incredible buildings.

Throughout your sightseeing, you will encounter dining places that have made the history of the city. Be sure to stop for the famous Bicerin (a coffee, chocolate, and cream drink) at the café of the same name, taste the sandwiches from Molassano, the place where they are said to have been invented, and finally buy the giandujotto from the master Gobino.

Europe Trip Planning:

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