17 Best Places to Visit in Italy for the First Time

by Jane Sophia
Best Places to Visit in Italy

Are you aware of these excellent places to visit in Italy?

That is Castelmezzano, a quaint little town in Southern Italy. I guess you are staring at the picture of one of the excellent destinations in Italy that many tourists are not aware of.

Similarly, there are about 20 extremely good-looking locations located all over Italy. We have on our bucket list the following big landmarks in Italy:

The majority of us tour Italy with great expectations. We make it a point to visit all the above places but fail to see the real beauty of Italy that lies in its numerous small towns, villages, cliff-tops, and coastal areas.

We earmark important churches and basilicas but ignore charming piazzas (plazas) (public squares). There are picturesque lakes, pleasant islands, and roadside attractions that we are not aware of at all.

17 Best Places to Visit in Italy for the First Time

After reading this blog post till the end, you will pat yourself to be lucky to have found this article.

Let me surprise you with so many jaw-dropping destinations in Italy.

  1. Burano Island

Burano Island

Did you notice that leaning building? You thought the Pisa Tower is the only building in the world-right? In Burano Island, St. Martono’s church can be seen slightly leaning.

Being part of the Venetian Lagoon, the island’s crisscrossing canals, brightly painted houses, the coble-stone street, and the sunny weather make it one of the dreamy destinations in Italy.

Next time you go to Italy only to see Venice, allocate some time to visit the Burano Island. Ah, there is a piazza here that is called Piazza Galuppi.

Without Venice’s maddening crowd and bad smell, you will consider Burano Island dreamy and romantic.

From Venice, ferries ply to Burano Island. The sea passage will consume about 45 minutes only.

  1. Turin

By the way, do you know that Turin was the capital of Italy for 4 years between 1861 to 1865? It was that important business center in Northern Italy and it still remains so.

It is now the capital of Piedmont, one of the regions in Italy. I suppose we can consider a ‘region’ as a ‘state’.

As one of the top destinations in Italy, it has wonderful sights to see. Susa Valley is one followed by Superga Hill, piazza Vittorio, the main railway station, piazza Castello, stunning architectured buildings, immaculate churches, gardens, parks, and restaurants that serve 100% Italian food and Italian wine.

For example, look at the building below.


The architecture says it is an Italian building written all over it.

AS a matter of fact, if you join an organized tour of Turin, you will be taken to see all the beautiful buildings for two days!

You need another 3 days to taste Italian coffee, wine, pizzas, and the pasta & ‘lasagna’.

Similar to Rome, Turin also lies on the banks of a river called ‘PO’.

PO River is the longest one in Italy. It flows for 650 km!

  1. Bergamo

It is a beautiful city in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region. Bergamo seems Northern Italy garners all the limelight, next only to Rome.

It is the nearest city to cross over to Switzerland that lies just 40 km further north of the city.

Bergamo is the gateway to see two of Italy’s largest lakes and falls under the ‘must-see places’ in Italy.

One of them is Lake Como whose depth is measured at 1300 feet!

The other lake is Lake Iseo.

Don’t these two lakes demand at least an hour from you? There are awesome buildings in the city of Lake Como.

Lombardy region is a blessed area in Italy. Apart from the two above-mentioned lakes, Bergamo acts as a gateway two more extraordinary lakes namely Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore.

We have all read heard and read about the mighty Alps in Switzerland.

In the city of Bergamo, you see the snow-capped Bergamo Alps.

When you are planning a trip to Rome, you can consider going to Bergamo and see all the natural beauties. A train journey is possible from Rome to Bergamo. The distance between the two cities is 600 km.

  1. Trentino

Water is being sprinkled over the vineyards.

Trentino is not a name of a city but of a whole region in Northern Italy. Trento is it capital. It is a large province comprising a huge 6000 sq. km

Being close to the Alps, Trentino is a major skiing destination in Italy.

The city of Trento is full of lovely churches and large piazzas.

Trentino is by far one of the less-visited destinations in Italy.

  1. Verona

I hope you recognize this masterpiece of a building. It is none other than the ‘Arena’, the largest amphitheater in the world and is the venue of some of the world’s top events and festivals including the much advertised ‘opera’.

I think this one huge tourist landmark lifts the position of Verona, part of Veneto region in the list of the best destinations in Italy.

Do you know when the ‘Arena’ was built? It was as early as 30 AD. Here is another view of the Arena.

The Verona Cathedral is another magnificent sight in Verona. You will find the piazzas-the place for public gathering, bell tower, and San Giorgio church from where you can’t take your eyes off.

  1. Gaeta

Gaeta is a Roman city in Southern Italy. It is part of the province of Latina. Gaeta is a coastal city facing the Gulf of Gaeta. It occupies an enviable and convenient location between Rome and Naples and rated as one of the lesser-known vacation destinations in Italy. The town carries rich Roman history.

Due to its proximity to Naples, it has developed into an alternative to Naples’s expensive resorts. Another big attraction of Gaeta is its surrounding Pontine Islands.

It is a chain of volcanic islands with lovely but uncrowded beaches.

  1. Lake Garda

This is a highly popular lakeside holiday destination in Italy. It is the largest lake in the country. Verona is the gateway to Lake Garda. The distance between the two points is 90 km.

Can you guess how popular it is in Italy? Here, gauge it from this fact. There are around a mind-boggling 7000+ hotels in and around Lake Garda!

In spite of commanding such a place among the tourist destinations in Italy, the majority of the tourists are focusing only on historic monuments and the magnificent churches in Italy.

Lake Garda is an alpine river fed by the melting glaciers of the Italian Alps.

There is a theme park and several ancient Roman structures to see around the lake and in the surrounding small towns and villages.

Boating is a thrilling experience in the lake.

  1. Assisi

Assissi is a small mountain town and is known for the ancirent church built by St.Francis. His religious doctorines are known to have profound positive effect on his disciples. Assis has a dark spot on the radar of religious landmarks in Italy.

The basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is the foremost attraction in Assisi.

If I were to ever visit Italy, Assisi will be my first sight on the huge list of places to see in Italy.

  1. Cortina d’ Ampezzo

Isn’t it scenic? Why not? It is the Dolomite Alps that you see. Our destination Cortina d’Ampezzo is situated in the majestic Dolomites mountain range in the northeast Italy.

It is a favorite winter holiday resort town for the affuluent Italians. Skiing and other snow-related games and sports in the twon attract large tourist crowds from nearby European countries as well.

Venice is the gateway to this skiing town. The distance is 165 km north of Venicce.

  1. Matera

Materia is another small town in Italy but it is rich in history. It is the capital city of a province in the same name, in southern Italy.

Ardent historians and Christians are known to frequent an ancient small town called Sassi di Matera.

There is canyon called Gravina. It is caused by the continous erosion of the mountains by the Gravina River.

  1. Portofino

This is where the true Italian belief of Dolce Vita is present. Take a look at the video below and you will realize why the affluent people of Italy visit Portofino very frequently.

This is kmown as “Al Faro di Portofino”. It is a terrace withinin the Portofino, a quaint fishing village, 35 km from Genoa.

Incidentally, Portofini acts as a quick gateway to Cinque Terre, one of Italy’s highly visited beach town. They are separated by just an hour drive.

The astonishing evolution of Portofino into a sought-after holiday destination in Italy is its food scene. The chefs have innovated their culinary skill over the years. Some of the highly recommended food in Portofino that you should not miss eating are:

  • Mussels
  • Farinata
  • Focaccia al Formaggio.
  • Pesto Genovese

The Italian celebrities are mad about the stunning beaches of Portofino. The water color of the beaches vary from lovely green to a typical navy blue.

Park: Niasca, Cannon Bay and Olivetta are the names of the three out of the world beaches in Portofino. The large crowd of celebrities made this village into a romantic resort.

Make a note of this fantastic tourist landmark in Italy. It is where the statue of Christ of Abyss can be seen underwater.

  1. Bologna

Can’t say you are familiar with the name Bologna? It is one of the largest Italian cities where as mamy as 400k people live.

Surprisingly, it is rated as the best city for eating in all over Italy. Surely, that reason should lure tourists from all over the Europe if not from the world.

One of the top sites of Bologno is the University of Bologno that has been teaching students since 1088!

Another big tourist landmark in Bologno is the Stadio RenatoDall’Ara.

Nearly, 38000 spectators can be seated at any given time.

  1. Genoa

Genoa is a popuklar name in Italy’s tourism industry. It is a sprawling city and ranked 6th largest city in Italy facing the Ligurian Sea.

Genoa is part of the beautiful Italian Riviera that is dotting the Gulf of Genoa.

It is one the towns in the Italian Riviera that is also known as Ligurian Riviera.

Genoa’s cityscape includes several palaces and gorgeous churches.

Genoa’s port is an awesome place and extremely picturesque.

A full length 2000-worded article is required to describe Genoa’s top sights.

  1. Sorrento

Lemons of Sorrento are world famous. The city’s major export is its citrus fruits. All over the city, one can see numerous lemon groves whose tangy scent fills the air unmistakably.

When you go to Sorrento, the southern Italy’s big attraction, don’t forget to try a glass of ‘limoncello’, the ultimate lemon liqueur.

Sorrento’s neighbors are the beautiful Naples and Pompei.

Sorrento’s most famous sight is the Mount Vesuvius, a volcano sitting in the Mediterranean Sea.

Amalfi Coast, the much-talked about Italian destination is part of Sorrento.

Another big Italian attraction, Capri Island is also off the coast of Amalfi, Sorrento.

Sorrento’s stunning coastal beauty lures thousands of Italians as well as Americans who cannot suppress their hunger for sun-drenched islands in the Mediterranean.

As one of the top destinations in Italy, Sorrento demands a full 7 days of your precious time. It means, you have to plan an exclusive trip to Sorrento to enjoy the beautiful Amalfi coast and several wonderful islands in the Mediterranean.

  1. Susa Valley

Susa Valley is part of Turin, a big city in the Piedmont region. This is a typical valley as described in geography. On its north and south are two great Graien Cottian Alps. Can you visualize the beauty of such a location? Moreover, can you gauge the popularity of Susa Valley’s tourism?

Look at the picturesque Susa City that lies some 50 km from Turin towards the France border.

The jaw-dropping St. Michael’s Abbey draws thousands of Italians to Susa valley.

Moreover, Susa city is home to some ancient structures of cathedrals, fort, and a castle. Of course, there are now in dilapidated condition.

To see the hidden historic and religious sites of Susa valley, it is better to join an organized Susa valley Tour

  1. Camogli

I think this picture of Camogli and the backdrop of condominiums speak volumes of the beauty of Camogi as one of the hidden destinations in Italy. Look at the bluish-green water!

Cruise ships stop at Camogli as one of the spots of Ligurian Riviera, on the Ligurian Sea coastline.

The whole of Ligurian Riviera (Italian Riviera) will steal your heart and in fact, make you seriously contemplate relocating permanently to this Italian region.

Don’t tale my word, buddy; look at the gorgeous beauty of the Ligurian Riviera.

It is absolutely astonishing!

The much celebrated Cinque Terre and Genoa are part of the Italian Riviera, a grand competitor of French Riviera.

  1. Conca dei Marini

Conca dei Marini

The beach appears luring from such a height-isn’t it? This part of south-western Italy has amazing coastline backdropped by tall cliffs that serve as wonderful observation platform to view sunset.

When you descend to the beach, this is how it looks.

This small Italian city sits right on the Gulf of Salerno. It is one of the 12 coastal villages of Amalfi Coast, the most attractive part of southwest Italy.

Naturally, it is included in the list of some top hidden gems of destinations in Italy.

I think the 20 regions of Italy are all worth visiting region by region.

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