3 Italian Cities You Won’t Want to Miss

Italy has something for everyone. There’s great food, wine, romance, history, and incredible art. If you can only visit a few cities, here’s a rundown of what you shouldn’t miss.

I have always thought spending a few months in Italy would be divine. It’s a place I could see myself living in at least for a short while which isn’t something I can say about many of the countries I have visited.

The countryside is especially nice with welcoming people and the best food. While I enjoyed France and Switzerland, the other countries I went to on that particular trip, neither held a candle to Italy. From the Riviera to Rome and then off to Tuscany, for me Italy is all about romance and adventure.

Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to head anywhere to live for a few months, leaving our jobs and lives behind for an adventure. This means that most trips end up being only a few weeks long at most and often less. If this is the case with your trip to Italy, here are a few places you won’t want to miss.

I should warn you, everyone agrees on the first three as being the ones you must see. After that, it becomes more a case of what interests you. Lineups for attractions, especially the art museums and ruins, can be long and purchasing your tickets in advance is advisable.

So, I’ve mentioned several and what they are famous for as well as the sights you won’t want to miss in Rome, Florence, and Venice.

1. Rome


Rome is expensive. Book your hotels in advance and watch for deals. You could spend a few weeks in Rome and still not see everything and that is true even if you completely ignore Vatican City. My advice is to pick a few you really want to enjoy and give them your full attention. Many of the attractions are full day activities.

In my opinion, the Colosseum is an absolute must. Consider buying tickets in advance if you aren’t fond of waiting in long lines, particularly if you are visiting during high season.

It’s almost 2000 years old and was used for spectacles including gladiators, animal acts, and putting an end to condemned prisoners in a bloody fashion for almost 500 years. It even had elevators. The Roman Forum is right next door. Walk where Roman senators walked thousands of years ago and see if you don’t feel amazed and awed.

Vatican City is worth seeing even if it doesn’t hold religious significance to you. The artwork and architecture is something truly special. Make time for the Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel if nothing else. Remember to be respectful; they request no shorts, miniskirts, or bare shoulders.

2. Venice

grand canal venice

Romance capital of the world is probably a good description of Venice, even if the reality isn’t quite as charming. Venice is a very popular destination with tourists and it can get crowded and be expensive. Nonetheless, I still think you should see it at least once in person before making up your mind about Venice.

Gondola rides can be prohibitively expensive and not as romantic as you think. Instead, consider taking an evening traghetto ride from one end of its route to the other. The #1 traghetto is recommended. Bring along gelato and someone to cuddle with and find yourself a seat with a view and enjoy romantic Venice at its best.

Other places you need to visit include The Doge’s Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale, was the center of Venetian rule for over a thousand years. Take the Secret Itinerary tour and you’ll get to see the Piombi, attic prison cells, which is where Casanova was held.

You will also want to see the Bridge of Sighs which leads to the new prison. The other absolute must in Venice is Piazzo San Marco and its two famed structures – St. Mark’s Basilica – a phenomenal example of Byzantine architecture and the Bell Tower which is actually a part of the church property. You can climb the tower for a magnificent view.

Once you’ve worn yourself out exploring, you can grab a chair at one of the many cafes around the piazza and settle down for an espresso or maybe another gelato.

3. Florence

florence italy

Some may argue that Florence is meant for art lovers. I’m admittedly not a huge fan of art galleries and I still found Florence one of the most memorable places I have ever been. Michelangelo’s David alone is reason enough to venture into Tuscany and visit this city.

The Galleria dell’Accademia, home of David, is obviously a must on anyone’s list of art to see in the city; the other is the Galleria Uffizi. The latter is home to many famous works by well known Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, da Vinci, and many others. Even if art isn’t your thing, this will leave an impression.

Art is not the only thing in Florence though. You’ll also want to climb the Duomo, a cathedral tower that offers some fantastic views of the city and even has its own museum. You’re also in the heart of Tuscany, famed home of great food and lots of wineries. The countryside is well worth seeing too.

While you will definitely want to see Rome, Florence, and Venice, where you go after that can be more debatable. Here are a few more cities and what they have to offer tourists.

Milan – fashion capital and home of da Vinci’s Last Supper

Pompeii – the ruins left behind after one of the world’s most famous volcanic explosions

Naples – birthplace of pizza

Como – volcanic caldera lake, gorgeous scenery and frequent home of George Clooney

Sardinia – some of Italy’s best beaches

San Gimignano – a medieval walled city once home to 72 towers, 13 are still standing

Sicily – it’s more than just the mafia, several cultures have laid claim to Sicily throughout its history and so it has cultural influences and ruins from a wide variety of influences and civilizations, including Greek

Honestly, there is very little that will disappoint in Italy. I still remember my first cup of chocolate, drunk at a cafe for breakfast. I also remember being served wine at restaurants – I was fourteen. Italy will make an impression no matter where you go. It’s historical. It’s beautiful. It’s romantic. What more could you ask for, besides a cup of gelato?



About the author

Heather B

Heather is an avid traveller, lover of dogs, and baker supreme. She lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada where she raises German Shorthaired Pointers with her family. An explorer at heart, she travels whenever she can, wherever she can.

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