Beautiful Places in Italy: How Many Have You Been To?

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Italy is one of my favorite countries and once you explore it, you’ll realize why. It’s rich in culture, history and scenery and creates a beautiful and diverse network of towns, villages and cities. There are so many stunning places to visit that it’s hard to feel satisfied after one trip which is why I recommend several different weeks in Italy (or at least a 10 day trip) to make sure you get a feel for the country as a whole. Venice is entirely different than Rome which is also uniquely different from the islands. I’m always in awe over how charming each destination is so I’ve put together a travel guide of some of my favorite and most beautiful places in Italy.

If you’re still not convinced that you need to add Italy to your bucket list, then check out our guide on Why You Need to Visit Italy for our top reasons!

most beautiful places in Italy
most beautiful places in Italy

Beautiful coastal towns of Italy

Taormina – Taormina is a small town located on the island of Sicily. It is about a 45 minute train and bus ride from the capital, Catania. Taormina sits high on a mountain and has sweeping views of water and the Etna volcano. Taormina does get busy on cruise days so you’ll want to wake up early for any photos. Make sure you meander through the streets and admire the gorgeous piazza and square.

What to do in Taormina:
Ancient Theater
Day trip to Catania or Etna volcano

Camogli – Camogli is located in Genoa, near Portofino. It’s a tiny fishing village that sits on the water and is much more traditional than many other Italian towns. Camogli sees mainly European tourism and is yet relatively undiscovered. You’ll want to walk the path to your left when facing the ocean. After several minutes of walking, look back and you’ll see you can capture a beautiful photo of the village against the water.

What to do in Camogli:
Swimming
Fresh pasta to go
Day trips to Genoa city and Portofino

most beautiful places in Italy

Riomaggiore – One of the towns of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore’s beauty comes from its coast. To get the best views, you’ll want to walk through town towards the water and head down to the rocks along the edge. The best shots are taken of the fishing boats and colorful houses. The town itself has a few side streets that are charming but the main road isn’t noteworthy.

What to do in Riomaggiore:
Hike the Cinque Terre trail
**Parts of it were closed in 2019 due to rain washing off parts of the trail. Check conditions and confirm opening before you hike
Tour the rest of the Cinque Terre

most beautiful places in Italy

Positano – One of the most famous places in Italy, Positano is known for its dramatic sea view. Positano is one of several cities that make up the Amalfi Coast and is charming in its own way. The city is built on the side of a mountain and you can either keep climbing up to the top to visit surrounding towns or you can head down to the water for a swim. There are hundreds of great photo spots pretty much anywhere but I’d highly recommend walking the road that leads away from the center of the city and out. You’ll get to see the famous dramatic views over Positano from that spot. If you want to visit this beautiful town but don’t want to deal with the crowds, then you might be interested in this post on how to avoid the crowds in Positano.

What to do in Positano:
Hike Sentiero degli Dei
Spiaggia Grande
Emerald Grotto
Day trips to Capri or Sorrento

most beautiful places in Italy

Vernazza – Another town in the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is perhaps the most beautiful village on the coast. Not only do you get stunning views of the city from above. You can get to this viewpoint by following signs to Corniglia. From the main road where you get off the train, you’ll take a right and walk through a neighborhood. Then the path will reveal the coast on your left. If you’re trying to capture the city during sunset which I recommend, you’ll notice a group of people all gathered with their cellphones and cameras. Keep going up on the trail for different viewpoints and angles.

What to do in Vernazza:
Hike the Cinque Terre trail
**Parts of it were closed in 2019 due to rain washing off parts of the trail. Check conditions and confirm opening before you hike
Visit the other Cinque Terre villages

most beautiful places in Italy

Beautiful lake towns of Italy

Bellagio – Bellagio is probably the most known lake town in Italy and for good reason. Not only does it have charming streets and alleyways but the views over Lake Como are amazing. Bellagio is very crowded so you’ll want to stroll through it early in the morning before the crowds arrive and then spend the daytime eating delicious food and enjoying the shops.

What to do in Bellagio:
Boat trip to Varenna
Dinner cruise on the lake
Food activities (food tour and cooking class)

Limone sul Garda – A bit of a hidden gem, Limone sul Garda is a town located on Lake Garda. It’s known for its lemon terraces, lemon museum, lemon shops and basically everything lemon. In case you didn’t catch it, Limone = lemon 🙂 When facing the lake, take the main street towards the right. This path leads to more shops and restaurants by the water and will also give you a pretty view of Limone sul Garda against the mountain.

What to do in Limone sul Garda:
Lemon museum
Boat trip around the lake
Old Ponale Walking Trail

most beautiful places in Italy

Varenna – Varenna is the lesser known sibling of Bellagio. It’s easy to get to, a short 15 minute ferry ride from Bellagio, and has charming streets and its own beautiful views over Lake Como. The town is structured almost as if it’s two different towns – the ferry will take you to the first part where you can explore a very similar layout to Bellagio: stairs leading to alleyways that overlook the lake but be sure to take the path and wander up through the stairs to the top. You’ll come across a more modern Varenna that is more residential but still pretty.

What to do in Varenna:
Boat trip to Bellagio
Food tour
Cooking class
Dinner cruise on the lake

Beautiful islands of Italy

Procida – Procida is a small island located off the coast of Naples. It is about an hour ferry ride from the Naples port and is super easy to get to. Procida is colorful and not quite so touristy. You can walk the main road up to the top where you’ll get sweeping views over the sea and the edge of town with the Procida church in the distance. You can also make your way down to the water and go for a swim.

What to do in Procida:
Kayaking
Swimming
Boat trip out to Ischia island

Sardinia – Sardinia is one of the most beautiful places in Italy because the entire coast is a display of turquoise water and lovely sand beaches. The island is sizable so it’s pretty hard to fully enjoy it without at least 2 weeks. For the best beaches, head to La Maddalena and Cala Luna, though you really can’t go wrong with any of the beaches.

What to do in Sardinia:
Beaches
Tuk Tuk tour in Cagliari
Nuraghe di Palmavera tours
Rent a boat to take around the coast

Planning a trip to Sardinia? Check out these tips for visiting Sardinia

Beautiful cities of Italy

Rome – While not everyone might think Rome is beautiful, I think it’s one of the most charming places out there. Yes, it’s crowded and there are a lot of people everywhere you turn. But you need to see Rome during sunrise hours. It’s a gem. This is the time when you’ll want to head to all the tourist spots: the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. You’ll get to experience them with only a handful of people around and it’s pretty magical. During the day, walk over to Trastevere, the artsy neighborhood that has cute restaurants and alleyways.

What to do in Rome:
Colosseum
Roman Forum
Vatican City
Food tours

most beautiful places in Italy

Venice – There is no doubt that Venice is on everyone’s list of most beautiful places in Italy because there’s just nothing like it. The network of canals and palaces make for the prettiest photos and being there always feels dreamy and magical, like you’ve stepped into another world. For the best experience, stay away from San Marco’s Square and stick to the back streets, alleys and small canals. This is where you’ll find the best shops and restaurants and gelato stores.

What to do in Venice:
San Marco’s Square (in the morning)
Gondola ride
Doge’s Palace

most beautiful places in Italy

Parma – You’ve probably only heard of Parma in relation to Parma ham or Parmesan cheese. But just in case you haven’t, Parma is a city in Italy that has beautiful architecture and AMAZING food. It’s not so much a tourist city but feels more like a working and college town. It’s pretty diverse as well and offers fantastic restaurants and macellerias.

What to do in Parma:
Cathedral
Baptistery
Santa Maria della Steccata church
FOOD TOURS

Murano & Burano – Murano and Burano go hand-in-hand. If you’re going to go see one, then you might as well visit the other. Murano is known for its pretty Murano glass and glass-making shops while Burano for its lace-making expertise. They’re both so colorful and charming and are easy to travel to from Venice that they make a great day trip.

What to do in Murano & Burano:
Glass-making factory
Church of Murano Santi Maria e Donato

best places to visit in Italy

Beautiful medieval towns of Italy

Florence – Florence is an art lover’s dream come true and is full of beautiful churches and architecture. For the best views over the city, climb up the tower and make your way around the top. Florence is a magnificent display of red roofs and white buildings with Tuscany hills in the distance.

What to do in Florence:
Duomo
Uffizi Gallery (for art lovers)
Basilica de Santa Croce
Ponte Vecchio

Verona – Boasting some of the prettiest streets, Verona beckons both photographers and foodies. It has some of the best restaurants along with old buildings and beautiful streets. It’s also rich in history and great for the art lover.

What to do in Verona:
Juliet’s house (aka Romeo and Juliet)
Arena of Verona
Medieval tower

San Gimignano – This adorable medieval town in Italy is protected by a large gate. Outside the gate you’ll see beautiful sweeping views over Tuscany but once you enter within the gate, you’ll be met with ancient architecture, cute shops and restaurants and lovely side streets. Don’t forget to grab a gelato from Gelateria Dondoli; the mint gelato is amazing!

What to do in San Gimignano:
Torre Grossa

most beautiful places in Italy
Grace

A travel photographer and writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world and inspire others to see it for themselves.

11 Comments

  1. March 9, 2019 / 4:03 am

    Great overview of beautiful places in Italy! Haven’t been to Camogli, Bellagio, Varenna, Sardinia and Parma yet unfortunately. But all the other places that made the list are basically my favorite towns, cities and islands in Italy (looks like we have the same taste, hah)! I’d personally add Bologna, Salerno and Lecce as well, but there’s so much beauty in Italy it’s really hard to choose the best of the best, right? 😛

    • Grace
      Author
      March 9, 2019 / 7:56 am

      You’re right – it’s so difficult to choose! They’re all so amazing!

  2. March 9, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Amazing article! I’ve been to Italy numerous times but there are clearly so many more places I need to get to. Thank you – stunning photos too!

    • Grace
      Author
      March 9, 2019 / 7:53 pm

      Thanks so much! Every time I go back, I discover another amazing area 🙂

  3. March 9, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    Such stunning photos and a great list! Italy is so incredibly beautiful.

    • Grace
      Author
      March 9, 2019 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks!! It really is a wonderful country 🙂

  4. March 9, 2019 / 7:18 pm

    I went to Italy on my first big solo trip which was to Europe. I’ve been to many amazing places since but Italy still has my heart!

    • Grace
      Author
      March 9, 2019 / 9:07 pm

      I love when that happens; that’s how Greece is for me!

  5. Jeanne Pawliczki
    May 28, 2019 / 3:24 am

    Amazing Photos of extraordinary places to see in Italy. Well written explanation! Some I have had the experience of seeing and enjoying the sites, super good authentic Italian food and just enjoying the Italian life!!!!!Looking forward to see much more.

    • Grace
      Author
      May 28, 2019 / 9:24 am

      Thanks Jeanne! Italy is a wonderful place!

  6. shakil
    June 16, 2019 / 1:09 am

    Oh my gosh, so many interesting facts here. wow, such a stunning place & you photograph it so well. Thanks for the creative post!

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