Trying to pick the best places to visit in Italy is like to choose your favorite nonna (grandmother.)
It cant be done because they can both whip up a mean risotto.
There is no such thing as ¨The number 1 place to visit in Italy.¨
Every Spot is steeped in its own special Ragu sauce and calls a different traveler to each plate.
If you want a handy-dandy guide for picking a spot that fits your vibe and vacay schedule, we have it all and more on our list below.
The 10 Best Places to Visit in Italy
We´ll give Rome this: It’s one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. It´s home to a crazy cool city center that was made for history buffs and art lovers.
You want to go and see The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Villa Borghese and of course The Colosseum at least once in your lifetime.
Each neighborhood in Rome bursts with something distinctly delightful – from tasty trattorias in Testaccio to hipster hotspots in Monti and the small neighborhood feels in the Jewish Ghetto.
There is something for everyone.
A great time to go and visit Rome is to go from May to June and from September to October – the off-peak season but still close to summer. July and August light a fiery furnace under Rome´s hot streets, so avoid planning your trip then.
When most people think about Milan, they picture fabulous fashion weeks, and va-va-voom vintage finds.
Yes, most people here in Milan look like they just stepped off the cover of Vogue Italia (it´s the best excuse to get your glam on) and it´s just so darn cool.
Strolling past snow-flecked canals, the Duomo or an opera house with a fresh pair of leather boots make you feel hella sexy and sophisticated.
Milan is a wonderfully wintry city and it has an airport, so it´s perfect for taking some time off during the holiday season, from November to January. But really you could visit Milan any time of the year except August.
The Milanese leave the city in droves to take their summer vacations then, so you´ll likely find yourself sweltering in the heat, begging for a gelateria to open their doors if you visit in August.
Even if Bologna is my home town is truly an amazing city.
If you´re a foodie, add Bologna to your itinerary. If all you ever do in Bologna is pass your time with piles of pasta – you´re golden.
Bologna is where you´ll find ridiculously rich ragu, perfectly hand-rolled pasta and magical mortadella.
Bologna is also easy-peasy to access via other big European cities of you find yourself in Paris, Barcelona or Prague before hopping over because it has an airport which is also a big bonus.
Another gorgeous spot for the winter, what’s better than filling up on towers of tagliatelle when its snowing outside.
There is so much to do here even when it’s cold. Spring and early summer as in August everyone leaver for their vacation and you find many shops open.
Amazing nighttime life, full of clubs, restaurant and bars open till late in the night.
In the city center is full of shops where you´ll be able to find everything from designer shops to normal clothes shop to little knick-knack shops.
It has a massive market right next to the city center which is always full of people, have a crazy vibe, you have to see it.
Has The Two Towers in which in one of them has one room you can rent for the night in which is right at the top of the tower where you´ll be able to see the whole of Bologna Under your feet all lit up. Amazing experience.
4. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is made up of five main villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
They´re all connected by a short train ride, and easy to explore over a couple of days (but please, stay at least a week if you can, you won’t regret it)
Cinque Terre is where you go to spend all day on a dramatic hiking trail, in crystal turquoise water and finish it off with sunset aperitive, overlooking all the pastels possible in Italy´s color palette.
Cinque Terre is your sunny seaside summer spot – June to September is gorgeous here. You gotta enjoy it when the weather is balmy and beachy. Avoid going between mid-November to Easter – it´s a seasonal place, and not everything operates year round.
You need to book well in advanced if you´re going to be there in high-season – accommodation is very hard to come by last minute.
People usually fall overhead with Florence, People that come here one time they love it so much that they come back even if it’s just for a long weekend and fall in love with this amazing city more and more each time they come to visit.
Like Bologna, Foodies will fall for Florence restaurants. Like everywhere else in Italy, art lovers will be inspired to whip out their acrylics in a second.
We love strolling over bridges in Florence and doing all things vintage – whether that´s shopping the markets or hopping in a vintage Fiat 500 to cruise through Chianti, a short drive from the city.
Spring and winter are the best times to go. If you’re there in the summer, book one of the few hotels with the pool in the city, as it can get pretty hot in Florence – it sits at the bottom of a valley and begins to feel like you´re living inside a Tuscan bread oven come mid-July
We dig two hotspots in Puglia the most: Matera and Lecce.
Matera, Italy, basically hasn’t changed since Christ was around (may just a little) – so this clay-colored, rocky city is alluringly ancient. It was first occupied in the Paleolithic Era, and it feels like someone will pop out in a toga any second. Plus, it recently won the bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2019, and only became a tourist destination in 2014… So it´s still an almost-well-kept secret.
Second – Lecce, aka the Florence of the south. If it was a brand, it would be Boroque Extravagance.
We love Lecce for taking a moment to press pause and, the fact that it´s a classic Italian city – as a traveler you´ll feel like you have the place all to yourself.
Italians and many tourists from all around the world come on holiday in Puglia – so if you dig peak heat but love to people-watch, this is a fabulous place to come in August. remember, this is the south of Italy, so shops in the mid-afternoon because owners are escaping the heat and at the beach they go.
You should follow their ideas and head over to the beach in the afternoon too. You´ll love the care-free warm August nights in Lecce. May to June and September are still balmy enough to bask by any seaside spot.
Ready to swap streets for canals and cars for gondolas? Park your tushie in Venice. It´s teeny-tiny but oh-so-magical – we love getting cozy cichetti in a tavern and market-hopping here.
There is always something happening here in Venice. And when you want to take it easy, it´s serene side streets are perfect for a glass of grappa.
Spring to early summer is perfect, from March to July. The weather is mild and easy-breezy, so you can rock your cute shorts and skirts but avoid sweating through your leather sandals.
Venice is the festival queen during this time – check the city´s calendar in advance so you catch some.
High water season is October to January, so best plan around those months.
Carnival is in February and absolutely amazing. Unique in every sense. You can’t miss it.
8. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is for the classy, pastel-ly cliff side. Our favorite village is Positano.
Boating along the villa-lined cliffs or basking on Fornello Beach. You choose – that’s all you have to decide here.
Always try Positano-lemon gelato and trekking up hundreds of stairs, because hiking for a view here is always worth it.
We always decide to take our people here from May to June and September to October – It´s warm and way more chill then. Most travelers and Italians fill it up in August and it does get chilly in the winter – so late spring and early fall are the perfect time to go.
The official season starts at Easter time.
This is where Italian´s love to vacay. The Sicilian style is relaxed and welcoming – meals al fresco, cocktails under the lemon trees, Mediterranean views poolside, soaking in the thermal waters at the spa, market shopping, swimming in the bay, wandering through Baroque cities.
We love it so much, and this is the reason why it deserves to be shared to you, so you can go and see it with your own eyes.
Our secret sweet spots include the Aeolian Islands, Palermo, Syracuse and Taormina where you have fantastic sea views and the Etna (active volcano.)
Its best to visit in May and October, it’s still warm and you´ll be able to enjoy it all by yourselves as in the high-season the beaches and town are packed with tourists.
You´ll love dipping in the sea anytime between May-June and September-October time – Italians take over in August but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out in August as it´s going to be an experience if you are young and want to have a good time.
10. Lake Como
Lake Como loops around lush valleys and islands, and there´s no shortage of towns to cuddle up with your sweety in.
We recommend Varenna over popular Bellagio because it´s uber-romantic with bougainvillea spilling everywhere and more blooms bursting through cracked cobblestone streets.
Celebrities get hitched here for a reason: there´s no chance of being grumpy about anything.
Lake Como is wonderful for warm swims in summer and roaming through gorgeous mountain ranges any time of the year.
You can visit Lake Como anything between May-October is lovely for lakeside dips and evening apperative. Lake Como in winter is foggy and cold, but Christmas is magical. I would highly recommend it to you travelers to go there for Christmas and experience it.