Being that Italian heritage is overflowing with rich history, a focus on family and religion, delectable cuisine, and cherished art, traveling to Italy can leave you with seemingly limitless options.
Nightlife, with exquisite wine, fresh food, baked goods, vibrant fashion, and natural beauty, are elements ingrained into the Italian lifestyle. It seems as though each region has its own products that it has taken time to perfect, generation after generation.
Even visiting the Italian countryside gives you plenty of reasons to embrace its laid-back way of life, historic landmarks, plentiful transportation options, and picturesque landscapes.
How can you get in a good balance of modern destinations and must-see monuments? Make the most of your 2023 trip to Italy by traveling to these six cities.
As the capital of Italy, Rome has held a long, regal history, with major attractions for tourists to experience, such as the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon. MAXXI is Rome’s museum of contemporary art, and you would be remiss if you skipped over its offerings.
Take a stroll along the Tiber River during the summer months and shop at the stallholders set up to sell local pottery, shoes, and clothes. Outside of the city, you can gaze at the preserved Roman ruins in Ostia Antica or Isola Tiburtina, which is the tiniest island in the world and can be accessed from the Ponte Cestio bridge.
The world-renowned water-logged city of Venice can be enjoyed by heading over to Saint Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco in the morning around 8:30 am if you want a better chance of avoiding massive crowds. See the Pala d’Oro, which is a gold altarpiece decorated with 2000 emeralds, sapphires, and rubies.
Ask your hotel staff to book you a gondola ride down the grand canal. Gondolas are long and narrow traditional Venetian rowing boats. For street food, Venice-style, have some hot fried fish while in Campo San Leonardo at Frito Inn.
The charm of the southern Italian southern city of Naples is its fast pace and wild energy. Visit the Chiesa dei Girolamini, which contains a library that has books from the 15th and 16th-centuries, and San Gennaro Catacombs, which has a network of tunnels winding past old crypts.
Purchase advance tickets to see the Roman and Pompeii ruins at the Naples’ Archeological Museum. You can’t come all the way to Italy without enjoying some pastries with ricotta and a good espresso at Pasticceria Di Costanzo.
Why not take a 45-minute ferry ride to Capri from Naples port and schedule yourself a tour with nature enthusiast Luigi Esposito to take a look at the blue grotto sea cave?
The creative capital of Italy is Florence, which has been home to legendary artisans such as Guccio Gucci, the founder of the Gucci fashion brand, as well as the famous painters Leonardo DaVinci and Michaelangelo. Take some time to admire their available work throughout Florence. For an art gallery with around 300,000 works, including pieces from Da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, and Caravaggio, spend several hours over at Uffizi.
Get a grand view of Florence from the top of Santa Maria del Fiore church, equipped with a 14th-century bell tower and its pink and white frescoes murals.
Take in some Renaissance-era architecture while in Florence by visiting Palazzo Pitti, situated on the Southern Banks of the River Arno, which has been in place since the 1400s. It was once the home to powerful families like the Medici family and Italian royalty and is the largest museum space in Florence.
Milan is close to Lake Como if you choose to plan a day trip by taking a 40-minute train ride to Como from Milan Centrale. As far as sightseeing, Milan is Italy’s epicenter of design and fashion, so if these areas interest you, visit Villa Necchi Campiglio with its art deco architecture. The famous fashion brand Prada runs its own contemporary art museum called Fondazione Prada.
Buy tickets in advance for the Santa Maria delle Grazie church that is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper wall painting.
Palermo typically has mild weather throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to be outdoors. Enjoy the sun by signing up for reliable luggage storage in Palermo and driving approximately 20 minutes to the beautiful Mondello beach with its bright blue water and pristine white sand. This southern city has made an effort to get rid of its crime and mafia-related reputation, helping it become an even more popular place to visit.
Osteria dei Vespri offers an upscale environment with seafood dishes and an extra menu for vegans and vegetarians. Palazzo Santa Marina is an ancient aristocratic house in the historic center of Palermo that has been restored into a new hotel with not just spa treatments but also ancient ruins from the 4th century B.C. downstairs.