Dreaming of a trip to Italy? Italy is one of the most popular destinations to visit, and for good reason! There’s plenty to see, and no matter how many times you go or how long you spend there, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve never been, or want to plan an amazing trip to Italy, here’s 8 places that need to be on your bucket list.
1. Rome (obviously)
Like they say, all roads lead to Rome…and no trip to Italy is complete without a visit to this iconic and ancient city. Art lovers will find amazing museums and beautiful cathedrals and history lovers will have plenty to explore with many monuments and churches dating back to the first century AD. And no one can deny that Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, with stunning piazzas, architecture, views and delicious cafes around every corner.
Can’t-miss things to do: The Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $40/night
Where to eat: Barnum Cafe for something quick, Giolitti’s for gelato, Farine la Pizza or Gusto for pizza and other classics
For art and history lovers, Florence is the place to be. The incredible history, art and architecture, and plethora of museums and universities make it an incredible (and popular) place to study abroad. Whether you’re studying here or just stopping by during a vacation, make time to soak in all the history and culture in this amazing city. Also, Florence has some of the best gelato in Italy, so come hungry!
Can’t-miss things to do: Visiting the Duomo, touring the Galleria dell’Accademia and shopping along the Ponte Vecchio
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $50/night
Where to eat: Il Pizzaiuolo for pizza and Panificio Brunori for amazing panini and pastries. Trattoria da Mario has amazing classic Tuscan dishes and pasta (make reservations if you can).
Is Venice often crowded? Yes. Is it also one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Italy (or maybe anywhere)? Also yes. Venice is a must for your bucket list. You can avoid some of the crowds by traveling during off-season, getting there early and visiting during the week instead of on a weekend. While you’re there, definitely make time for some of the iconic sights, but also to get off-the-beaten-path. Some of the best hidden gems in Venice can be found by simply wandering up and down the narrow streets and canals. And don’t forget that there are multiple Venetian islands: Murano is famous for its glass-blowing and Burano for the colorful rows of homes across the island.
Can’t-miss things to do: St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Grand Canal, a boat or gondola ride
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $40-$50/night
Where to eat: Pizza 2000 for pizza (obviously), Osteria al Squero for aperitivos and other small plates
4. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is a must-see destination in Italy, although it’s another place you should try to visit during off-season if you don’t like crowds. These five towns dotting the Italian coastline are iconic and even more beautiful in real life than in pictures. Each of the villages offer unique views and things to do. For instance, Monterosso has the best swimming, while Vernazza and Riomaggiore are often considered the most scenic. A local train will easily take you between each of the five villages. There’s also seaside walking paths and trails if you’d like a bit of an adventurous way to see the villages.
Can’t-miss things to do: swim in the ocean in Monterosso, go for a small hike in Cinque Terre National Park or along the Via delle’Amore, snap some pictures at all the scenic lookouts
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $120/night
Where to eat: Il Pescato Cucinato for seafood street food, Il Pirata delle 5 Terre for a bit more formal seafood dishes
5. The Amalfi Coast
Need more of the Italian coast after checking off Cinque Terre? Just keep heading south to the Amalfi Coast. Besides the obvious beauty of coastal cliffs dotted with beaches and colorful villages, the Amalfi Coast has a bit of something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to beach-lovers. There’s also castles, gardens, good food and wine and museums if you need a break from all the sun.
Can’t-miss things to do: go hiking along the Path of the Gods or Tre Calli Mountain. Enjoy the beaches (Arienzo Beach is a favorite!). If you’re feeling brave, take a road trip along the scenic coastal roads!
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $150/night
Where to eat: Ristorante Da Adolfo Di Bella Sergio is a somewhat secret spot with amazing seafood. Hit up Acquapazza for local dishes and La Rua Pizze e Delizie for pizza
While Naples sometimes gets a bad rep for being unsafe, it’s not really true. Yes, as with any city you travel to, you should exercise caution and use plenty of common sense. Otherwise, Naples is generally safe! It’s a vibrant, colorful and energetic city that has a lot to offer. Not to mention that it’s essentially the birthplace of pizza, so if you want some real Italian pizza, Naples is the place to be.
Can’t-miss things to do: hike up Vesuvius and visit the ruins at nearby Pompeii. Then visit Castel Nuovo (or the many other castles and cathedrals) or shop ‘til you drop at the stunning Galleria Umberto I.
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $80/night
Where to eat: Pizzeria 400 Gradi for pizza, Sea Front Di Martino Pasta Bar for pasta
Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, and is also known for being a global hotspot for fashion, architecture and design. It’s a great destination to feel fancy and experience high-end shopping (or window-shopping, at least) and tons of fine dining. Of course, there’s plenty of free and cheap things to do as well.
Can’t-miss things to do: See the Duomo di Milano, explore castles like the Sforzesco Castle, and have a picnic in Sempione Park
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $90/night
Where to eat: PIzza AM for pizza, Pescaria Milano for amazing seafood, Il Massimo del Gelato for gelato and Trattoria Masuelli for incredible pasta and risotto dishes
Silciliy is the largest Mediterranean island and is located right off the southern tip of Italy. Between the gorgeous beaches, ancient historical ruins and amazing food, Sicily is definitely worth a visit, particularly in the warmer months. Make sure to try some traditional Sicilian food, like arancini and cannoli, too!
Can’t-miss things to do: Visit some of the ancient historical sites, like the Valley of the Temples and the Palermo Cathedral. Then make time for plenty of beach-going. You’re on an Italian island, after all!
Budget hotel/hostel cost: $80/night
Where to eat: Pani ca Meusa for really traditional sandwiches, I Cuochini if you just need a quick bite (arancini, anyone?), Brioscia for gelato
Ready to book your ticket to Italy? Check out our cheap flights to Italy now. You’ll be eating pizza and gelato faster than you can say buon appetito!