Italy is one of our favorite travel destinations and, since it’s one of our favorite destinations, we thought that we should put together a list of the best places to visit in Italy.
For Adam: The first time I visited Europe was when we cruised around Italy on our honeymoon, visiting places like Rome and Amalfi. We also visited a small place in Sicily: Taormina.
For Jamie: During my first trip, I spent time driving around Italy on an educational field trip with the school I worked at. I helped chaperone as we traveled to Rome, Florence, Verona, Venice, Sorrento, and Capri.
Together, we’ve been to quite a few spots and returned to Sicily last summer. Although we haven’t visited all of the well-known places, we definitely feel like we can give you our opinion on some of the best places to visit in Italy.
THE AMALFI COAST
Ah, one of the most iconic gems in Italy is the Amalfi Coast. Other than Rome, this has always been the place that we most wanted to visit. The coastline is still one of our favorites. While we’re fond of beaches, we love jagged cliff-sides and the peaks and valleys of mountainous terrain. Amalfi offers all of that.
While the Amalfi Coast is filled with a lot of must-visit cities/towns, here are a few of our personal favorites.
Since this is the one place Adam has visited along the Amalfi Coast, Amalfi goes first; and this city is the namesake to the coastline. This amazing place is home to the beautiful Amalfi Cathedral and Cloister del Paradiso. The world famous Positano isn’t far from Amalfi; Ravello is also nearby. While Adam and I were in Amalfi, we also took a quick trip to the Emerald Grotto – a beautiful, emerald-colored underwater cave.
Want to know more about Amalfi? Check out our travel guide!
These next few places were visited by Jamie on her educational trip; she does plan to take Adam to these amazing places though – and some day soon too!
Capri is an island off of the Amalfi Coast. This gem is home to the famous Blue Grotto. Unlike the Emerald Grotto tour, we were serenaded and had to lay in the boats to avoid hurting ourselves. This beautiful place can only be accessed during low tide, as it disappears completely during high tide.
While I was in Capri, we hung by the beach; however, there are a few other things to do. I would definitely hike Monte Solaro to capture some stunning views. There are also various villas that can be visited, and I’m sure these are simply stunning.
Ah, Sorrento – the official starting point or beginning of the Amalfi Coast – is one of my favorite spots. I remember wandering through the beautiful streets, admiring the Piazzas and Cathedrals. I spent the evening watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen (and all from from a gorgeous black sand beach).
If (and when) we make it back, we’ll be heading to the beautiful villas and the Choistro di San Francesco.
This next place is definitely one of the best places to visit in Italy, as it’s my absolute favorite. While I was there (for a night), we went out to a local disco, which was super fun! We also saw a ton of the beautiful sights, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. I totally recommend finding a spot where you can catch a view of this city. It’s absolutely amazing to look out upon!
There’s also the famous Ponte Vecchio, a covered bridge with stores and more! It’s a beautiful thing to see, both from afar and up close. If I remember correctly, I bought a scarf here!
Venice (and Burano) are so unique! I loved exploring and wandering through the streets. Each time I turned a corner or left the confines of the alleyways, there was something beautiful to see. We (obvi!) took a gondola ride through various smaller canals. When we got to Grand Canal, around all of the speed boats and more, I admit…I was a little nervous that our gondola would tip amongst the waves. But it didn’t!
For first timers, I would definitely recommend visiting the famous sites, including the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square (and the Basilica).
If you’re headed to Burano: I loved watching a glass-blowing demonstration. Also, just wandering through the colorful buildings was fun!
This next place is not on Adam’s list – but I feel like each person should visit once. Why isn’t it on his list? He felt like it was the Disney World of Italy: overly crowded and far too hot. You know that annoying tension between your brows (that you get when frustrated/annoyed)? Yeah, he felt that the entire time.
I have been here twice, but I definitely enjoyed it more the first time (it was amazing, seeing something so historic for the first time). The second time, I felt like it was crowded – far too crowded and busy.
However, while Rome is not our favorite place to visit (in the summertime), it is a must-visit.
For those first timers, grab one of the local maps, take a cab to the point that’s farthest away from your hotel, and walk back, stopping at all of the beautiful, historic, and amazing sights. Some of the must-sees include: the Colosseum and Roman Forum, St. Peters Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.
I recommend getting some pizza; however, Adam was not a fan of the pizza we got. I do admit that I liked the first place I grabbed a slice at (as opposed to the second spot…years later). We would both recommend looking at some reviews or researching prior to choosing the restaurant you get pizza from!
While there are lots of other places I think one should visit, including Verona, the Vatican City, and Pisa, we don’t want this list to get too long! One day, we hope to have detailed posts on each of these places (when we visit them again as bloggers!). Until then, here’s a general list of the best places to visit in Italy. We hope you enjoyed it!
PS: The last two photos (and the featured photo too!) are from Unsplash! Go check out their free stock photos!