Rome stands as one of the finest and oldest cities in the world. The history of Rome spans over 2500 years and various Roman emperors and Casers have ruled mighty Rome and this is the place where the colossal Roman Empire grew from. Rome is consistently ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in Europe and with sights such as the Colosseum and the Vatican, it is easy to see why.
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell'Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
Urbino is a walled city in central Italy. It's known for the turreted, 15th-century Palazzo Ducale. Inside the palace, the National Gallery of the Marche features paintings by Titian and Raphael, who was born in Urbino. Raphael’s House has more paintings, including ones by the artist’s father. Next to the neoclassical cathedral is the Museo Diocesano Albani, with religious artifacts dating back to the 13th century.
5. Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometer stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, in the Campania region. It’s a popular holiday destination, with sheer cliffs and a rugged shoreline dotted with small beaches and pastel-colored fishing villages. The coastal road between the port city of Salerno and clifftop Sorrento winds past grand villas, terraced vineyards and cliffside lemon groves.
Pisa is a city in Italy's Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Already tilting when it was completed in 1372, the 56m white-marble cylinder is the bell tower of the Romanesque, striped-marble cathedral that rises next to it in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Also in the piazza is the Baptistry, whose renowned acoustics are demonstrated by amateur singers daily, and the Caposanto Monumentale cemetery.
Como is a city at the southern tip of Lake Como in northern Italy. It's known for the Gothic Como Cathedral, a scenic funicular railway and a waterfront promenade. The Museo Didattico della Seta traces the history of Como's silk industry, while the Tempio Voltiano museum is dedicated to Italian physicist Alessandro Volta. Just north are the lakeside gardens of the palatial Villa Olmo, as well as other stately villas.
Elba is an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea’s Tuscan Archipelago National Park. It’s known for its beaches, and as Napoleon’s place of exile in 1814–15. In the northern town of Portoferraio, displays at the National Museum of Napoleonic Residences trace the French emperor’s time on the island. In the east, Rio Marina’s Elban Minerals Museum includes reconstructions of mining environments.
Lecce is a city in Italy’s southern Apulia region. It's known for its baroque buildings. In the central Piazza del Duomo, the Cattedrale di Lecce has a double facade and a bell tower. The Basilica di Santa Croce features sculptures and a rose window. Nearby are the Sant’Oronzo Column, a Roman column topped with a bronze statue of the city’s patron saint, and the sunken Roman amphitheater.
10. National Park of Abruzzo
Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise is an Italian national park founded in 1922. The majority of the park is located in the Abruzzo region though it is not constrained by regional boundaries and also includes territory in Lazio and Molise. The park headquarters are in Pescasseroli in the Province of L'Aquila.
Pompeii is a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, near the coast of the Bay of Naples. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The preserved site features excavated ruins of streets and houses that visitors can freely explore.
Sardinia is a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. It has nearly 2,000km of coastline, sandy beaches and a mountainous interior crossed with hiking trails. Its rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of nuraghi – mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives. One of the largest and oldest nuraghi is Su Nuraxi in Barumini, dating to 1500 B.C.
Milan, a metropolis in Italy's northern Lombardy region, is a global capital of fashion and design. Home to the national stock exchange, it’s a financial hub also known for its high-end restaurants and shops. The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of art and culture.
Padua is a city in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s known for the frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel from 1303–05 and the vast 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony. The basilica, with its Byzantine-style domes and notable artworks, contains the namesake saint’s tomb. In Padua's old town are arcaded streets and stylish cafes frequented by students of the University of Padua, established in 1222.
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley.
Assisi is a hill town in central Italy’s Umbria region. It was the birthplace of St. Francis (1181–1226), one of Italy’s patron saints. The Basilica of St. Francis is a massive, 2-level church, consecrated in 1253. Its 13th-century frescoes portraying the life of St. Francis have been attributed to Giotto and Cimabue, among others. The crypt houses the saint’s stone sarcophagus.
Palermo is the capital of the Italian island of Sicily. The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral houses royal tombs, while the huge neoclassical Teatro Massimo is known for opera performances. Also in the center are the Palazzo dei Normanni, a royal palace started in the 9th century, and the Cappella Palatina, with Byzantine mosaics. Busy markets include the central Ballarò street market and the Vucciria, near the port.
Verona is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be “Juliet’s House." The Verona Arena is a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances.
Genoa (Genova) is a port city and the capital of northwest Italy's Liguria region. It's known for its central role in maritime trade over many centuries. In the old town stands the Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo, with its black-and-white-striped facade and frescoed interior. Narrow lanes open onto monumental squares like Piazza de Ferrari, site of an iconic bronze fountain and Teatro Carlo Felice opera house.
Positano is a cliffside village on southern Italy's Amalfi Coast. It's a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Its Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail links Positano to other coastal towns.
Catania is an ancient port city on Sicily's east coast. It sits at the foot of Mt. Etna, an active volcano with trails leading up to the summit. The city's wide central square, Piazza del Duomo, features the whimsical Fontana dell'Elefante statue and richly decorated Catania Cathedral. In the southwest corner of the square, La Pescheria weekday fish market is a rowdy spectacle surrounded by seafood restaurants.
22. Mount Etna
Mount Etna, or Etna, is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate.