Three Amazing Places to Visit When Traveling to Italy

For most of us, there is never enough time to see and experience everything we want in Italy. But, with some advanced planning, you can have the adventure of a lifetime while exploring Italy’s different regions. You’ll be able to check some things off your bucket list while maximizing the most adventure for your trip. Here are some locations to consider on your tour through Italy. 

PANORAMIC PORTOFINO 

Twenty miles east of Genova in northwest Italy, Portofino sits on the Italian Riviera and makes the perfect starting point for an Italian adventure. The small tourist town is one of those picture-perfect locations you will immediately recognize. It is the backdrop to films including The Wolf of Wall Street, Come September, and The Enchanted April

You’ll never forget the iconic U-shaped port, flanked by a row of similar-sized, multi-colored buildings. The neighboring town of Santa Margherita is a good option for overnight accommodations or dinner. 

TANTALIZING TUSCANY

The hilltop town of Montepulciano was the backdrop for the 1996 film Stealing Beauty, starring Liv Tyler. The rolling hills, vineyards, and countryside that feature throughout the film can be viewed from the 14th-century Palazzo Comunale tower. 

Walking through the medieval town, you’ll be met with strong aromas of oregano, pepper, tobacco, and black fruits. You’ll feel hungry in no time, and it is a good excuse to dig into local Tuscan wild boar ragu and sip from a bottle of the famous rustic wine that comes from the town. 

When small-town life becomes too much, the medieval city of Siena is close by. It is a stunning place to visit as part of a wider road trip through Italy’s best cities. From the incredible towers to the beautiful cathedral, the Duomo Di Siena, and the historic piazzas of Siena; you’ll be treated to endlessly captivating views.

A stroll through Piazza del Campo is a must-do when in Siena; especially as there’s so much going on around the piazza itself. The piazza is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Italy due to its architecture, bell tower, and shell-shaped form.

Explore the Piazza Del Campo (Photo Credit: Mateus Campos Felipe via Unsplash)

The Torre del Mangia bell tower is within Piazza del Campo and is one of Italy’s historic towers to see. Siena is notable for hosting a twice-annual horse race, the Palio di Siena in Piazza del Campo which dates back to the Middle Ages. The races take place every year on July 2nd and August 16th. 

Florence is the capital of Tuscany. The city is a place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine. 

Located in the heart of Florence, next to the Piazza Della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery hosts works of art by great Italian artists, including Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Visit Piazza del Duomo, and climb the 463 steps to get an up-close view of the dome of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

WONDERFUL WATER 

It’s not surprising that Vladimir Lenin declared in 1910 that "Capri makes you forget everything.” 

Capri is within easy reach of Naples and Sorrento. In the summer, you can take a ferry from places such as Positano and Amalfi.  

In May, the carpets of wildflowers add glorious color to the rugged scenery. Most of Capri is only accessible by foot, which is part of the appeal. Top hotels on the island include JK Place Capri and La Minerva.  

If you’re in Northern Italy, visit the three lakes - Garda, Lago, and Maggiore. Each has a different appeal; Garda for its rolling hills and waterfronts, Como by mountains on the lake, and Maggiore by beautiful islands and nature.

There’s so much to explore in Venice; St Mark's Square, the golden domes of St Mark's Basilica, and the 14th-century Doge Palace.

If you’re up for a gondola ride, expect to pay €80 (US$ 85.80) for a 30 to 40-minute ride or €100 (US$ 107.20) from 7 pm onwards. If you're on a budget, you can still ride a gondola and pay around €2 for a standing ride to cross the canals. 

Just 200 yards from Saint Mark's Square is the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda on the waterfront and well worth a stay. St. Mark's Square is pricey for food and even a cappuccino, so head deep into the city’s alleys and discover small eateries and bars that don’t cost a fortune. 

Ferry rides are a good value and a trip to Burano - an island in the Venetian Lagoon- costs €7.5. Burano is known for its small and brightly painted houses. If you love photography or posting on Instagram, Burano is for you. 

Amanda Akien

Amanda Akien graduated from The University of Wollongong, Australia with an MA in Journalism with Distinction. Her writing has appeared in international travel magazines, as well as The Guardian newspaper. Although Amanda is based in the UK, she has traveled throughout Italy, even interning at a major modeling agency during Milan Fashion Week. Her favorite region is Tuscany - she loves Florence and is also partial to a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo! 

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