Living in Italy has its perks — the amazing food, the gorgeous scenery and of course the wonderful weather. But sometimes it can be a little too easy to get stuck in your daily routine.
But with so many beautiful destinations to visit within Italy, there's no reason to stay in a rut. Pack your bags and head out for a weekend or day trip to one of these amazing destinations and you'll fall back in love with Italy soon enough.
So if you’re looking for some inspiration on where to go on your next trip in Italy, here are our picks of the best places to visit in Italy as an expat!
Be sure to check out our suggestions on Google Maps if you want to have the full list at your fingertips.”
There’re seemingly endless options for trips within Italy, making the choice of what to prioritize a difficult one.
However, there’re some places in Italy that are a must-see for every Italian resident.
The Amalfi Coast is a great destination if you're looking for a breathtaking vacation spot in Italy. The Amalfi Coast is located in the Campania region of Italy and is close to the city of Naples. This coastline is known for its dramatic cliffs, beautiful beaches and charming towns, such as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello.
There’re plenty of things to do and see on the Amalfi Coast:
The best views of the Amalfi Coast area are found near the town of Positano. But since staying in Positano is expensive, it’s better to stay in nearby villages, such as Sorrento.”
Once you’re there, try the best of the local cuisine and wines. The most popular dish in the area is Alici Di Cetara. It's a type of anchovy that is found in the Mediterranean Sea. It's a small, oily fish that has a strong flavor. Alici Di Cetara is typically eaten with bread and olive oil.
The most popular wines that come from this area are:
The best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in the summer months, from June to August. However, if you're looking to avoid the crowds, you can also visit in the spring or fall.
Next on the list is Lake Como. It’s nestled in the foothills of the Alps, this stunning lake is a great choice for a relaxing vacation. Here are some of the things you can do :
Taking a boat tour is the best way to experience Lake Como and the many surrounding islands.
Villa Balbianello is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Lake Como. Take a guided tour or simply wander around the grounds and take in the stunning views.
Go hiking on one of the many trails around Lake Como. Whether you want a stroll or a more challenging hike, you'll find what you're looking for.
Sample the local cuisine and try the delicious risotto alla Milanese, as well as the famous gelato.
Taking in the scenery is one of the best things to do at Lake Como. The scenery is simply stunning whether you're sitting on the shore or strolling through one of the many picturesque villages, you'll be mesmerized by the beauty of the area.
Lake Como is surrounded by many picturesque towns where you can stay. The best of them are Como, Menaggio, Lecco and Lenno.
Lake Como is perfect for weekend trips from Milan since it's just 2 hours away from the city.”
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in the northern part of Italy.
The Dolomites are a great area to visit for their beautiful scenery and roads. The unique geology in the area makes it a great place to hike, climb, ski, or just enjoy the scenery.
Towns such as Cortina d'Ampezzo and San Martino di Castrozza are popular destinations for those looking to stay in the area and there’re many things to see and do in the Dolomites. Some of the most popular attractions include the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the Marmolada and the Rifugio Bolzano.
Gargano National Park is located on the Gargano peninsula. It's the only national park in Italy that is located on an island. The park is popular with tourists for its many rare plant and animal species, beautiful scenery, as well as hiking trails that open up amazing views.
Your base camp for visiting the Gargano National Park would be Naples since It's the nearest major town around. While in Naples, you’ve to make time to try the traditional fried pizza and the Sfogliatelle, Struffoli or Fiarelli.
The best time of the year to visit Gargano National Park is from April to October when the weather is milder.
The island of Capri is another one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. Situated off the coast of Naples, Capri is known for its dramatic cliffs, stunning views and luxury hotels and resorts.
Despite its small size, Capri has a lot to offer visitors. In addition to its natural beauty, the island is home to several historical and cultural sites, including the ruins of the Roman villa of Emperor Tiberius and the Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated by underwater light.
If you're planning a trip to the island of Capri, add some delicious food to your bucket list! Here are some of the most popular ones that you won't regret cheating on your diet for:
The Caprese salad is simple yet flavorful and is made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It's a perfect way to refresh yourself on a hot day.
As with everywhere else in Italy, pizza and pasta are always popular. You can never go wrong with ordering a traditional Margherita pizza or the ravioli capresi, which are local gems.
As Capri's gelaterias are some of the best in Italy, grabbing a portion of gelato is a must even when you think you’re full.
Milan, Rome, Venice and Florence are among the most popular cities to visit in the world. All of those cities are packed with tourists almost year-round thanks to their unique history.
Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region in northern Italy. The city is known for its fashion, design and culture.
The must-see attractions for tourists in Milan are:
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a gorgeous glass-roofed shopping arcade that is one of Milan's most popular tourist attractions.
The La Scala is a world-famous opera house that is a must-visit for any culture lover. You can either see a performance or take a tour of the theatre.
Leonardo da Vinci's ”The Last Supper” in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church is one of the most famous paintings in the world and the lines of tourists waiting to admire it are some of the longest in Milan.
Visit one of the several world-famous museums, including the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli.
With so many things to do and see in Milan, you should visit the city for at least 4 days”
The capital of Italy, Rome is another one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Rome is famous for its long history and being home to the Vatican.
The best tourist attractions in Rome are:
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most iconic landmarks thanks to its staggering scale and design.
The Sistine Chapel is famous for its magnificent frescoes by Michelangelo, making it well worth spending an hour or two exploring.
The Vatican is the seat of the catholic church, making it one of the most important religious sites in the world. Here, you can explore the Sistine Chapel and witness the magnificent frescoes by Michelangelo, the Vatican Museums and St.Peter's Basilica.
The Pantheon is a must-see for any history buff since it's one of the best-preserved examples of ancient architecture in the world.
Since Rome has so much to offer, you should plan to spend at least 4 to 7 days here.”
Florence is most famous for its art and architecture. There’re also many cultural and historical landmarks that are worth checking out:
The Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is an awe-inspiring sight, making it one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence. You can even climb to the top of its bell tower for breathtaking views of the city.
The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo's iconic statue of David, making it a must-visit for any art lover.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous museums in the world and is home to some of Italy's greatest works of art.
The Boboli Gardens are a beautiful outdoor space to relax and take in the scenery.
You should set at least 3 days for your visit to Florence to make sure you don’t have to rush.”
Venice is a great city to visit if you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The most popular activities here are:
Making a visit to St. Mark's Basilica, which is a cathedral filled with stunning mosaics and artwork, as well as a museum with some incredible artifacts.
Taking a ride across the canals on one of the city’s iconic Venetian Gondola boats is a truly unique experience.
Paying a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and witnessing one of the most famous collections of modernist artwork in the world.
Walking across the Rialto Bridge which spans the Canal Grande and is a testament to the architectural and engineering achievements of the Renaissance.
Planning 3 to 5 days for your vacation in Venice will leave you with enough time to make the most out of the floating city.”
If you’re looking for a truly calming experience and paying a visit to the most popular cities in Italy isn't your cup of tea, then you should consider the destinations that are not popular with tourists (yet).
Alberobello is in southern Italy’s Puglia region and is easy to overlook as an attractive destination. The city sits atop a hill surrounded by a valley full of beautiful olive groves and vineyards.
Alberobello is famous for its Trulli houses which are traditional conical dwellings made of stone with whitewashed walls and conical roofs.
The Trulli houses are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
Bergamo is a beautiful city in the Lombardy region of Italy. Though it is often overshadowed by the larger cities of Milan and Venice, Bergamo is well-worth a visit for its stunning architecture, rich history, and delicious food.
Bergamo is divided into two parts — the upper city and the lower city. The upper city, or Citta Alta, is the more historic part of town and is full of medieval architecture and cobbled streets. The lower city, on the other hand, is a more modern area with shopping and nightlife.
Bergamo is known for its pizzoccheri, a type of buckwheat pasta, as well as its polenta dishes.”
If you're looking for a hidden gem in Italy, look no further than the picturesque town of Castelluccio. This small town is nestled in the mountains of the Umbria region and is popular with hikers and nature lovers.
What makes Castelluccio so special is its setting. The town is surrounded by lush green mountains and valleys, making it a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. In addition, the town is home to some of the best views in Italy. From Castelluccio, you can see the entire valley below as well as the nearby towns of Perugia and Assisi.
Tropea is often overlooked as a tourist destination, but those who have been lucky enough to visit this calm seaside town know that it is one of the best places to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere.
The town of Tropea itself is very charming. The medieval-style buildings are painted in pastel colors and the streets are lined with flowers. The beaches are covered with sparkling white sand and the water is crystal clear.
The dish that the city is popular with is the trofie al pesto di rucola e pinoli, which is a type of pasta called trofie, pesto sauce, and rucola.
Experiencing Italy to the fullest is only possible when you’re fully prepared. Here are some of the things you’ve to consider to ensure that your trip goes smoothly:
Getting around Italy on a budget is easy thanks to the public transport network that connects the whole country. The popular train companies include the Trenitalia and Itali Rail. They both offer discounts to local residents. They also have weekend offers and couple or group discounts.
The train schedules in Italy change quite often, so it’s best that you keep yourself updated with the latest information on the train schedules.”
However, the public transport network will only get you to the major cities in the country and you’d have to use private buses to get to the more secluded destinations from our list.
If switching modes of transport isn't your cup of tea, then you could rent a car. One thing to keep in mind is that driving here is going to be different from abroad. If you don't have your Italian driver's license yet, then you could apply for an international driver's permit.
Staying at a hotel is the most convenient way to get yourself a home away from home. However, booking an apartment or a house from platforms like AirBnB or Homestay will give you the most authentic Italian experience.
Although planning can help reduce any stress while traveling, the true Italian way to travel would be to adopt the “la dolce vita” attitude. Take things slow and go with the flow because that’s the true way to enjoy Italy and its atmosphere. If you want to take it a step further, ask the locals for advice, either by using language apps or learning some basic Italian. In no time, you’ll be enjoying the beauty of the country and Italy’s amazing culture to its fullest.
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