From Venice to Rome, Florence to Naples; Italy is a country that you could spend a semester in and still not see every attraction or visit every place that you want to. Yes, Italy is just that vast. However, it should go without saying that there are some attractions that stand out above others – places that you must see and things that you must do. While everyone’s Italian “to do” list is different, we’ve compiled a list here of 10 places that you must visit on your trip to Italy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re heading to the country for the first time or making a return trip, these places that we’ve compiled are ideal for both the rookie and veteran Italian traveller.
Here’s a look at the top 10 places you must visit on your trip to Italy:
If you’re not travelling to Rome on your Italian vendetta to see The Colosseum, you’re not doing your trip justice. The Colosseum is some 2,000 years old and was once the battlegrounds of Gladiators for about 500 years. It’s impossible not to stare up and marvel at this iconic structure. Lines can get long to see The Colosseum, especially during the summer tourist season, so we’d advise you arrive when it opens at 9 a.m. before it gets too busy.
You’ve likely seen movies and pictures in the iconic Italian canal city of Venice. But the pictures and movie scenes just don’t do it justice – you have to see this for yourself. Take a gondola ride through its streets of rivers and get lost just exploring the city. Venice is perfect for couples looking to rekindle the magic or ideal for any traveller that wants to marvel at a city that’s unlike anything else.
While you’re in Rome visiting The Colosseum, be sure to make plans to also stop by and check out The Pantheon – one of Italy’s most preserved buildings. It’s estimated to be roughly 2,000 years old and features large, intimidating bronze doors. Once inside, you’ll be staring up at the world’s largest non-reinforced concrete dome. It’s largely considered the most significant archaeological achievement of the ancient Romans.
You’ve likely heard the story about Mount Vesuvius erupting around the Bay of Naples. It claimed nearly 2,000 lives and wreaked havoc on the town, burying it in ash. The ruins are ancient and are a can’t miss for any history buff. The well-preserved ruins give insight into the way life was in AD 79. The volcanic eruption from so many years ago is still widely recognized as the most devastating of all time.
Italy isn’t all just sights and sounds – the country offers its fair share of rest and relaxation too. For instance, the beautiful Amalfi Coast, a top destination for vacationing tourists. Nestled in the Lattari Mountains and overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the coast can take weeks to fully explore. However, it’s also possible to do in a day, especially if you book a ticket on one of the many boat tours that are offered along the coast.
Vatican City is the headquarters of the Catholic world. Although technically its own state, its accessed best from Rome, so if you’re checking out The Pantheon and The Colosseum, be sure to schedule some time for a trek to this area as well. You’ll be privy to the Vatican Palace, Sistine Chapel and many museums and cultural art as well. St. Peter’s Basilica is also another top tourist attraction. But a word to the traveller when visiting the aforementioned church – proper dress code is required. Shoulders must be covered and skirts must be at knee length in order to be admitted.
Chianti Wine Route
Remember what we were saying about rest and relaxation in Italy a few points ago? Here’s a perfect example – wine tasting. Specifically, the Chianti wine route is located between Florence and Sienna and is home to dozens and dozens of vineyards among picturesque settings such as rolling hills and small, quaint Italian villages. Oh and the wine? Yeah, it’s not too shabby, either.
Think of this as a journey to the centre of the Earth. Located in Ancona, the Frasassi Cave is one of the coolest Karst complexes on Earth. A 75-minute walk through the cave is a breathtaking experience. With lit, safe walking paths, it’s something that even the non-adventurous person can do and appreciate.
Ruins, shrines and medieval-era set streets and scenery highlight this town in the Provencia di Perugia. The experience you’ll experience is sure to be mystical, almost like taking a step back in time. One look at the architecture and it’s easy to see why.
Many tourists bypass the city of Milan, especially if their trip is short. But that’s a mistake. Here’s why: It’s the only place where you can catch a glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper painting, a spectacle in and of itself. Admission to see the painting is limited to a specified number of people, so you’re able to really appreciate it without fighting off the crowds. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance.
It’s hard to pick just 10 things to do in Italy, with the plethora of sights to see and places to visit. A semester in Italy is just not enough; there are enough sights and places to visit that you would simply never cover in a few months. If your are simply visiting Italy, more information is available at Italian View Ltd where you will be able to see the vast amounts of beautiful cottages, and villas to make your trip less backpacker style and more luxurious. Yes, there’s a lot more than just 10 things to see and do in Italy, but if you’re in the country – whether it’s your first time or third time – you don’t want to miss the aforementioned destinations.
Olivia Booth spends her time blogging and she loves planning her next trips abroad. She is hoping to visit the Middle East soon and from there, who knows?
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