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Best of Italy

Where to Go on Your Italy Vacation


Use our best of Italy guide to help you plan your Italy vacation. Below you'll find our picks for where to go in Italy including top cities, romantic destinations, hill towns in Tuscany or Umbria, Amalfi Coast and Italian Riviera villages, and top places in Rome and Florence. Click on a heading to see the full page of suggestions.

You can also share your best of Italy pick or read what others say in Readers Respond: Top Places to Go in Italy.

Best Italian Cities for Travelers

florence photo
© by Martha Bakerjian

Italy has many beautiful and historic cities with good restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Traveling by train is the best way to visit Italian cities as driving and parking are difficult. Each city has its own character and attractions so use this guide to find the top cities to visit on your travels to Italy.

Best Romantic Getaways in Italy

venice picture, canale della guidecca, santa maria della salute, church, guidecca, italy
© Martha Bakerjian

Italy is a very romantic country filled with picturesque villages, countryside, lakes, and seaside getaways. Our selections range from the beautiful city of Venice on the water to a top seaside resort town on the island of Sicily. Take a look at the top romantic places in Italy.

Best of Tuscany - Top Hill Towns and Sights

siena picture
Siena Italy Picture © James Martin, Europe Travel

Tuscany is a top region for Italian vacations. Tuscany has historic hill towns, wine regions, and beautiful countryside. Parts of Tuscany, such as Florence and Siena, can be explored by train while a car is best for visiting smaller towns and touring the countryside. This is a good region if you want to stay in an agriturismo, ranging from simple budget accommodations to luxurious suites and apartments.

Best of Umbria - Italy's Green Heart

perugia italy, perugia picture
© James Martin, Europe Travel

Umbria, often called the Green Heart of Italy, has medieval hill towns, Etruscan sites, and nature parks. Umbria also has one of Italy's largest lakes, spectacular waterfalls, and an interesting mummy collection. A little less expensive than neighboring Tuscany, Umbria is becoming more popular as a tourist destination.

Top Places to Go in Southern Italy

matera photos, sassi photos
Matera photo © 2010 by Martha Bakerjian

Southern Italy has beautiful beaches and scenic coastline, a wealth of Roman and Greek sites, and several unique attractions. In general, most of southern Italy sees fewer tourists, has a more leisurely pace, and often has lower prices than more popular tourist destinations.

Best Italian Lakes

lake como, picture, italy
© by Martha Bakerjian

Italy has many beautiful lakes that make good vacation destinations. Popular travel getaways since Roman times, Italy's lakes offer charming villages, resorts, hiking trails, and a wealth of water activities. From the famous and popular northern Italian Lakes Como and Garda to smaller lakes of central Italy, use this guide to find your favorite lake in Italy.

Best Italian Islands

villa las tronas photos, alghero hotel pictures
© by Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com

Italy's islands make great vacation destinations. Most of them have beautiful beaches, making them especially popular in summer, but they also have picturesque countryside, charming villages, archeological and historical sights, and great food.

Best Smaller Italian Cities

parma picture, arches
Parma Picture © James Martin, Europe Travel

If you've toured Italy's top cities or prefer to travel to smaller cities with fewer tourists, consider these recommendations for less-visited but interesting Italian cities. Most of them can be visited as day trips from larger cities but are also good places to spend a few days.

Best Italian Riviera Villages

portofino picture, harbor, italy
Portofino picture © 2006 by Martha Bakerjian

Italian Riviera villages like the Cinque Terre are popular coast destinations, especially in summer. With a relatively mild climate, most villages can be visited almost any time of year. Public transportation is good and most of the area can be visited using trains, buses, or ferries. You can use one town as a base and explore the rest of the coast on day trips. Besides beaches and spectacular scenery, there are castles and good seafood, too. Here are travel suggestions for seaside resort villages between Genoa and Tuscany.

Amalfi Peninsula and Bay of Naples

amalfi shopping picture
Amalfi Picture © James Martin, Europe Travel

Southern Italy's Amalfi peninsula has some of Italy's most spectacular coastal scenery. In summer it's very crowded but its mild temperatures make it a year-round destination. Sorrento is easily reached by public transportation and makes a good base for those without a car. During high season, ferries are the easiest way to get around but buses run along the peninsula all year. There's good shopping here and nearby Bay of Naples attractions such as Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius can be visited, too. Take a look at the Amalfi Coast and Bay of Naples.

Top Sights and Attractions in Italy's Top Cities

florence, david, palazzo vecchio, florence picture
© by Martha Bakerjian

To get the most out of your sight-seeing experiences, use this guide to find the must-see sights in Italy's five most-visited cities - Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples, and Milan.

Best Day Trips from Italy's Top Cities

pompeii photo
© 2010 by Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com

Italy's cities make good bases for exploring nearby attractions. Find out where you can go on a day trip from top Italian cities.

Best Hotels and Accommodations in Popular Places

Choose where to stay in Italy's popular cities and towns with these top rated hotels.

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