Italy Trips: Where To Go In Italy
A number of people search for the term "italy trips", so we thought we'd create a page especially for them.
No matter how many trips you make to Italy, there's always something new to see and do. But if you only visit Italy once in your lifetime, you might want to consider a package tour, or make sure you do some research beforehand so you'll know exactly what you want to cover. We've listed some popular destinations on this page to give you a starting point. Several of them can be combined into one trip, depending on which part of Italy you'll be visiting.
Here is our list of Top 10 Italy Trips, from north to south:
Italy Trips 1: The Italian Lake District
The lake district at the base of the Italian Alps offers some spectacular scenery and a great place to unwind. This location is perfect if you want a low-key getaway without numerous places to visit. There are four lakes you can choose from: Lake Maggiore, Lake Como (where George Clooney has a home), Lake d'Iseo and Lake Garda. The lakeside towns offer excellent accomodation and dining facilities.
Stresa is the main town on Lake Maggiore, where you can spend a pleasant day wandering the magnificent botanical gardens. Como, on Lake Como, is famous for its silk industry. You can visit the silk museum, the piazza, the cathedral and the public gardens, or perhaps take a cruise on the lake. In Riva on Lake Garda, you can browse the open-air markets or visit the civic museum. On days when you're feeling more energetic, you might go windsurfing or bike riding.
Italy Trips 2: Milan
The capital of one of Italy's most prosperous region, Milan is a blend of old and new, and offers a faster-paced holiday. A must-see attraction is Milan's amazing gothic cathedral, with its 135 spires and 3,200 statues gracing the roof and facade. Take a tour of the Navigli region, with its canals dating back to 1100. Visit the Piazza Della Scala and tour Milan's legendary fashion houses. Stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping gallery and the medieval Sforza Castle.
You can also visit Leonard Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper, at Santa Maria delle Grazie, or take in an opera at La Scala, one of the world's best-known opera houses.
Italy Trips 3: Italian Riviera
The Italian Riviera stretches along the Ligurian coast and is divided in two by the capital city of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. The area is famous for its mild climate, its quaint fishing ports and beautiful landscapes. The most famous towns are Portofino, Bordighera, Lerici, and the Cinque Terre.
One of the major resort towns is San Remo, known for its casino, race track, golf course and stylish boutiques. Rapallo was once a preferred destination of writers and artists and still offers a beautiful setting for spoiling yourself. Santa Margherita Ligure is an ancient town whose Villa Durazzo and Basilica of Santa Margherita feature excellent collections of art works. And Portofino, a popular yachting destination, offers bike rides and hikes, as well as numerous clubs and restaurants. Art lovers will enjoy Portofino's Castello Brown and the Church of San Giorgio.
Italy Trips 4: Venice
This unique waterbound city is Italy's most popular tourist attraction, with over 60 million visitors a year. Venice was founded when the local inhabitants of the surrounding areas fled to the lagoons to escape the armies of Attila the Hun. The resulting city-state flourished as a commercial center for the next 1100 years.
Venice is a wonderful destination for lovers. Take a gondola trip on the Grand Canal. Visit Saint Mark's Basilica, where the relics of Saint Mark are preserved. Stroll through the Franciscan basilica and the Gallerie dell'Academia museum. Visit the Rialto, celebrated by William Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. You can also take day trips to the surrounding medieval hill towns, or north to the Dolomites in the Italian Alps.
Italy Trips 5: Florence
Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and houses a wealth of art from some its most famous figures – Michelangelo Buonarotti, Leonard da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio, to name a few. If you're an art lover, allow yourself lots of time to savor the Piazza della Signora, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Museum, the Cappelle Medicee and the Palazzo Pitti. You'll want to see the Duomo (catherdral), the Campanile di Giotto, the Ponte Vecchio and the Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David. Even if you don't consider yourself an art lover, put that aside and visit these locations. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in the presence of such creativity.
From Florence you can take day trips into the surrounding Tuscan countryside or the medieval city of Siena. The rural region of Val d'Orcia is the setting for a number of famous landscape paintings and one of Tuscany's six World Heritage sites.
Italy Trips 6: Rome
Rome is one of the most popular Italy trips, with millions of people visiting the city each year. Even if you have no interest in history, it's still a stirring moment when you see the Coliseum for the first time, or walk through the ruins of the Roman forum. The very fact that over two thousands years ago the rulers of the known western world walked on the same ground where you're standing can give you an eerie sense of your place in the world.
Rome has over 60 tourist attractions, including cathedrals and churches, castles, palaces, forums, catacombs, museusm and villas. It's also home to Vatican City, an independent state within the city. To do justice to a visit to Rome, plan on spending at least 7 days exploring its monuments, as well as enjoying its modern-day attractions.
Italy Trips 7: Naples
Naples, home of traditional North American Italian cuisine, is a bustling city situated on the picturesque Bay of Naples. Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, the city was fought over by Germanic Goths and Byzantines, and ruled by Normans, the Germanic Swabians, the Spanish and the French. Naples became a powerful city during the Renaissance and remained a center for the arts, as well becoming an important trading port.
Naples offers a wealth of museums, with artefacts from each period of its history. There are countless churches, chapels, monastery complexes and religious structures to explore, as well as underground caves and structures. Visit the nearby islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri, a favorite holiday destination of the Roman emperors.
Italy Trips 8: Pompeii
The ruins of Pompeii, the result of a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, offers a remarkable glimpse in the world of ancient Rome. Discovered in 1599 and excavated from 1874 to 1961, Pompeii is a snapshot of what life was like in a typical Roman city. Visit the Forum, the thermal baths, the Lupanare brothel and Vetti's House, one of the best preserved mansions of the nobility. See the plaster casts of Pompeii's citizens preserved in their final moments.
From Pompeii you can take a day trip to the Vesuvius National Park and climb Mt Vesuvius. The only active volcano in central Europe, its crater (3,900 feet or 1,200 meters) overlooks the Bay of Naples.
Italy Trips 9: The Amalfi Coast
Built into the rugged coastline south of Naples, the towns of the Amalfi coast have long been a favorite destination for wealthy vacationers, as well as tourists from every country. Several films have been set in this picturesque landscape, with Only You (1994) and A Good Woman (2004) being two examples. This is an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation surrounded by stunning scenery.
Visit the town of Positano, renowned for its restaurants and stark beauty. Spend time in Ravello, a village offering hiking trails and excellent accommodation. Sorrento is a convenient location for a day trip to Naples, and Amalfi, the largest town, is a gateway to the Isle of Capri and the Grotta dello Smeraldo.
Italy Trips 10: Sicily
Sicily is a history lover's paradise. Because of its location in the center of the Mediterranean, the island was subject to continuous invasions throughout the centuries. Consequently, Sicily features some remarkable examples of a number of civilizations, from Ancient Greece to Napoleonic France.
In Sicily you can walk through Greek Acropolises, temples, theatres and fallen monuments. You'll see Roman amphitheatres in the middle of the countryside. You'll find Norman cathedrals, castles and fortresses, and baroque and gothic churches filled with the best of Sicily's religious art. The museums overflow with Greek vases, statuary and artefacts from each era.
In the seaside fishing villages you can relax and enjoy the slower pace of life. Try one of the hot springs or mud baths. Visit the islands of Ustica or the volcanic Aeolian island chain. Sample authentic Sicilian cuisine, a mixture of Greek, Roman, Arabic, Norman, Spanish and French influences, with added ingredients from Spain's colonies in the Americas. Enjoy the local grappa and Marsala wines.
Whatever your interests, you're bound to find something to enjoy in a visit to Italy and its 20 contrasting regions. To learn more about how to plan your trip, visit Italy Trips to learn what's currently on offer.