Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Italy

Italy is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Europe. It is full with great tourist attractions and most part of this beautiful country takes to you back into memory lanes of earlier era as if you are living in the past along with its modern developments. Italy offers top touristic destinations such as: Rome, the capital city known as the eternal city, Verona, an imposing city setting of the drama “Romeo and Juliet”, Venice, the romantic city built under water, Florence and its artistic productions and fashion, and Milan. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Italy along with your family are listed below:

1. Rome

Rome is popularly known as the eternal city and it is the capital of Italy. It’s the famed city of the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita, the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. The Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rome is a city that was once the heart of the Roman Empire, and now contains an entire tiny country. Rome offers you all from beautiful natural scenery to attractive sight seeing attractions. The Vatican is the place to start, where artwork and shapely architecture seems to appear round every corner.

2. Venice

One of the most spectacular tourist destinations of Italy is the Venice. It is an exceptionally beautiful city constructed on water in the middle of a lagoon. It is regarded as Italy’s most Italy’s most striking and romantic cities and also the most visited tourist attractions of the country. The major attraction of the city of Venice is Piazza San Marco with its wonderful church. You will also find plenty of attractions in the city of Venice such as various museums, palaces, and churches. Venice is situated towards the northeast of Italy and historically was a bridge between East and West.

3. Florence

The city of Florence regarded as one of the most significant Renaissance architectural and art centers. The major attractions of the city are its Duomo and Baptistery; they are the most attractive places to visit in Florence and crowded at the same time. Florence has several interesting museums with many famous paintings and sculptures. You will also several amazing Medici palaces and gardens. Florence is located in Tuscany.

4. Milan

Milan is considered as one of Europe’s richest cities and at the time it is one of the major tourist destinations of Italy. It is famous for interesting galleries, stylish shops, and restaurants and has a faster pace of life than most Italian cities. The city of Milan is regarded as a rich artistic and cultural heritage of the city. Its Duomo, with its beautiful marble facade, is wonderful. You will also find the world most famous Opera house known as the La Scala. It is the major tourist attraction of Milan.

5. Naples

The city of Naples is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Italy. It is considered as one of most vibrant cities of Italy. You will find it located towards the coast south of Rome. This city is among the most significant cities in southern Italy. Naples has recently undergone some renovation but still retains much of its old character. Once here you can witness some of the finest historical and artistic treasures.

6. Verona

The city of Verona is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Italy and well known for the story of Romeo and Juliet. Verona is also famous for its Roman Arena; it is the third largest in Italy and the venue for a top opera festival. It also posses a fine medieval center, Roman remains, and an attractive castle complex. It’s the fourth most visited city in Italy and surely worth a visit.

7. Turin

Turin is another most spectacular tourist destination of Italy and also host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The city of Turin is a main cultural core with some of the exceptional museums, elegant shops, and good restaurants. Turin has plenty of attractions to offer. You can also find some of the finest examples of baroque architecture and historic palaces. Turin has many historic cafes, artisan workshops, and arcades. Turin is in the northwest of Italy, between the Po River and the foothills of the Alps.

8. Bologna

Another most fascinating tourist destination of Italy is Bologna. It is renowned for its wealth, natural beauty, amazing cuisine, and left-wing politics. Once here you can witness that the streets are lined with beautiful arcades, making it a good place to walk even in the rain. It has one of Europe’s oldest universities and a nice medieval center. There are several attractive squares, lined with buildings with nice porticoes. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy.

9. Perugia

Perugia is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy. This cosmopolitan city of Italy is home to two famous universities. It is this city of Italy where the world renowned jazz festival is held during summer. Perugia University for Foreigners is one of the finest places to learn Italian. The city is blessed with pleasant natural scenery and offers some of the spectacular views from a hilltop and has several important monuments and a good central square. Its history goes back to the ninth century BC. Perugia is in the center of Italy and is the capital of the region of Umbria.

10. Genoa

You will find this spectacular tourist destination of Italy towards the northwest coast of the country. It is regarded as Italy’s principal seaport. Genoa was a 2004 European Culture Capital; money flowed into the port city made famous by Columbus and now it’s a better place than ever to visit. It is among the top tourist attractions of Italy. Once here you can also find a beautiful aquarium, an interesting port area, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums.

11. Roman Forum and the Colosseum

The Roman Forum and the Colosseum are perhaps the very popular and most visited tourist attractions of Italy. These famous attractions are visited by millions of visitors every year. It is regarded as the ancient heart of the Roman world is a must-see attraction of the country for any tourist. While the Forum itself is far from its glorious best and requires a little imagination, the Colosseum remains as a brilliant ancient stadium which can still be explored top to bottom.

12. St Peter’s Basilica and The Vatican Museums

One of the most incredible and prominent tourist attractions of Italy is none other then the St. Peter’s Basilica. It is among the most recognizable structures on the planet. This church of Italy is perhaps the largest churches in the world and has operated at the very centre of the Catholic faith for centuries. Currently the church apart from it s religious role also has a Vatican Museums. The interiors of the church are simply outstanding and you can also find here a wealth of renaissance art and even view the tombs of some of history’s most influential Popes. Likewise the museums contain artistic masterpieces from illustrious artists such as Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci and also Michelangelo’s world famous Sistine Chapel.

13. Pompeii & Herculaneum

Pompeii is perhaps the most visited tourist attractions of Italy. The remains of this ancient town, buried by lava and ashes from the erupting Vesuvius volcano, are a marvel to explore. The town of Pompeii offers plenty of things to and sees. Visit Pompeii to explore the amphitheatre and Forum, the shops and brothels and even view 2,000 year-old graffiti on the walls.

14. Ostia Antica

The Ostia Antica is one of the major tourist attractions of Italy. Here you will find some of the extremely well preserved relics of Rome’s ancient port that also include intact high streets, temples, theatres and more. It is regarded among the muse-see attractions of Italy. Though the place is not crowded, you can easily get to explore the place well.

15. Catacombs of the Capuchins

The Catacombs of the Capuchins in Palermo, Sicily, is one of the major tourist attractions of Italy. It is regarded as one of the exceptionally beautiful and is entirely unique. People in the beginning lay to rest here in the late 16th century and, when it was observed that these bodies remained in a notable state of preservation, the catacombs became utilized as a burial place for nobles, clerics and local families. By the time it closed in the early 20th century it contained thousands of burials – a huge number of which remain ominously well-preserved.

16. San Lorenzo Maggiore

You can find her the amazing underground remains of the Greco-Roman city of Neapolis, it has been attracting visitors since a long time. It is a famous thirteenth century church in Naples in fact contains a startling secret –Visitors can wander through the Greek Agora as well as the old Roman streets complete with ancient shop fronts. This truly extraordinary place is also an informative museum, with exhibits and historical information covering the archaeological excavations at the site.

17. Saint Mark’s Basilica & The Doge’s Palace

The Saint Mark’s Basilica is one of the major tourist attractions of the city of Venice and among the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. Saint Mark’s Basilica is a beautiful Byzantine domed architecture and is certainly one of Italy’s most striking cathedrals, while the Doge’s Palace contains a wealth of fascinating exhibitions and even offers a more mysterious ‘secret tour’. This joint complex is simply a must see.

18. Castel Del Monte

The Castel Del Monte is perhaps the most fascinating tourist attractions of Italy. It is balanced high in the Apulian hills and said to have dominating the skyline and offers great views of the surrounding countryside. It is well described by UNESCO as a “unique piece of medieval military architecture”; it dates back to the thirteenth century. Architecturally unusual for its octagonal design, it is the very uniqueness of Castel del Monte which makes it such a pleasure to visit.

19. Paestum

The famous ancient Greet town of Italy is ranked among the most scenic tourist attractions of Italy. It was originally established as a Greek colony in the sixth century BC. With three beautifully preserved Greek temples and a wealth of other ancient ruins, Paestum is a marvel to explore. It is regarded as a must-see site of Italy. You will find some of the interesting attractions in this town.

20. Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Italy. The city offers you an idea of wealth, status and luxury to a new level. Tourist here can find some of the beautiful attractions. You can also explore the palace itself but view the superb collection or artistic treasures – including Raphaels and Rubens – now displayed in one of innumerable state museums contained within the building. And if the wonders inside the building aren’t enough to keep you enthralled, Palazzo Pitti has one more ace up its sleeve, the majestic Boboli Gardens.

21. Sicily

The city of Sicily is among the famous tourist destinations of Italy. It is also renowned for its prolonged history of foreign domination and the result is an eclectic culture that mixes it all in. it offers some of the interesting tourist attractions, and the city is surely worth a visit. Every little city seems to have its own culture. Come and explore the countryside and well preserved towns.

22. Cinque Terra

Five towns located on cliffs overlooking the ocean, Cinque Terra is simply breathtaking. It is one of the frequently visited tourist destination of Italy. You can plan your tour and spend the day walking the 12km trail that connects each town. Once here you can also explore the olive groves in the hills and relax yourself with a shot of Limoncello.

23. Tuscany

Tuscany is regarded as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. Tuscany is an area of Italy and provides home to the cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca. The cities of Tuscany are one of the incredibly beautiful and it is not only famous for its natural beauty, but also for a wide variety of museums and art galleries. In Florence is the Uffizi Gallery, which displays paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, Giotto, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, Rubens, Rembrandt and many others.

24. Pisa

Pisa is among the top tourist destinations of Italy. It is considered as must-visit place of the country. The city of Pisa became world famous for its tower. The Tower of Pisa is a well known bell tower began to lean to one side. The tower has been renovated many times and after years of repairing the tower is again open to the public and it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Italy.

25. Capri

Capri is another most fascinating tourist places to visit in Italy. It is an island in the Gulf of Naples. It is regarded as the most popular resort destination ever since Roman time and is famous among the rich people of the world. During summers, the island sees a lot of tourists, who mostly stick to the major towns.

26. Sorrento

The gateway to the Amalfi coast, Sorrento is situated on the Bay of Naples. It is among the most visited tourist destinations of Italy, the place is particularly busy during the summer time. The city is blessed with plenty of attractions. This sea sport has been active for thousands of years and has a rich history. Any journey down south would be incomplete without a visit.

27. Abruzzo

Abruzzo is considered as one of the must-visit destinations of Italy. It is home to the well preserved medieval and Renaissance hill towns. You will find many of them located completely within regional and national parks. It is indeed regarded as an excellent place to witness some of Italy’s best preserved landscape.

28. San Gimignano

San Gimignano is another fascinating place to visit in Italy. It is a little walled medieval hill town to be found in Tuscany. It is renowned for its medieval architecture, particularly its high towers. Only 13 remain today, out of the 72 that once existed. It is famous destination for day trippers from Florence, but spends the night here and the city quiets down and takes you back in time.

29. Grand Canal

The Grand Canal that is located in the city of Venice’s main artery is one of the spectacular tourist attractions of Italy. Once here you can ride along the canal with boat to view the outstanding facades of some of the city’s most wonderful buildings. One of the best ways to see the canal, and Venice, is to take a water taxi (vaporetto).

30. Piazza San Marco

The Piazza San Marco also known as the Saint Mark’s Square is considered as a must-see tourist attraction of Italy. It is among the major spot of the city of Venice. It is regarded as the right place where you’ll find Saint Mark’s Basilica as well as sidewalk cafes where you can rest and take advantage of the photo ops of both the architecture and the sea. The other activities that you can do in Venice is walking across the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto).

31. Uffizi Gallery

It is said that no trip to Florence is complete without visiting the famous Uffizi Gallery. One of the reasons of its immense popularity is that you can sit in the center of a room full of gigantic Botticelli paintings and just drift off into a world of colorful myths and legends; you cannot find it anywhere else in the world. After all, this is Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance – and so much of what’s important about the Renaissance hinges on the art. It is indeed one among the most visited tourist attractions of Italy.

32. Duomo

The most famous tourist attraction of the city of Milan is perhaps the Duomo, or cathedral, which is located at the heart of it. It’s one of the biggest churches in the world, a fact which may surprise you when you stand outside it – the Duomo sits on the grand Piazza del Duomo, and beside the huge and stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is a must-see attraction of Milan and surely worth it.

33. The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is indeed one of the major tourist attractions of Italy. It is situated towards the western coast of the country. The pastel-colored houses that crawl up the hillsides like so many barnacles out of the sea have captured our imagination for decades. This is Italy’s version of the French Riviera, only decidedly more vertical.

34. Pantheon

Another most fascinating tourist attraction of Italy is perhaps the Pantheon. It is among the immensely popular among Italy’s attractions. The Pantheon was constructed approximately 1800 years ago and this spectacular structure still stands as a memento of the great Roman Empire. The name Pantheon refers to the structure’s original function as a temple for all the gods. With its thick brick walls and huge marble columns, the Pantheon makes an immediate impression on visitors. But the most remarkable part of the building is the more than 43 meter high dome. It was the largest dome in the world until the year 1436 when the Florence Cathedral was build.

35. Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus was considered as the largest stadium in ancient Rome, is perhaps the most famous tourist attractions of Italy to be found in Rome. Well Known chariot races were conducted here for approximately a millennium. At one point the Circus could seat 250.000 people, one quarter of Rome’s population. The Roman Empire was at the height of its power and the new Circus Maximus well represented their powe. Today it is a stone construction, three stories high. The lower portion of the cavea (seating area) was constructed in marble. The arena complex was now more than 600m long and 150m wide (2000x500ft).

36. Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is probably the most beautiful fountain in the entire city of Rome where it is located. It is one of the extremely popular tourist attractions of Italy. This incredible monument dominates the small Trevi square located in the Quirinale district. The central figure of the fountain, in front of a large niche, is Neptune, god of the sea. He is riding a chariot in the shape of a shell, pulled by two sea horses. Each sea horse is guided by a Triton. One of the horses is calm and obedient, the other one restive. It is said to be representing the various moods of the sea.

37. Vatican City

The Vatican City is regarded as the smallest country of the world covering 0.44 sq km (about .2 square miles) and is completely surrounded by the city of Rome. Vatican City serves as the spiritual center for millions of practicing Roman Catholics worldwide. The major tourist attractions of this little place include the St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, home to the Sistine Chapel.

38. Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is perhaps the most beautiful among all the squares of Rome. It is indeed one of the most visited tourist attractions of the country’s capital. The huge and vigorous square features three wonderful fountains. Another eye catcher is the Baroque church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. The square is constructed on the previous Stadium of Domitian, built by Emperor Domitian in 86 AD.

39. Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus is one of two remaining arches on the Forum Romanum and indeed one of the spectacular tourist attractions of Italy. This historical arch was constructed during the year 81-85 AD to honor the capture of Jerusalem over the Jewish Zealots. It will be one of the most memorable experiences of your tour.

40. Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna is considered as one of the well known meeting places in Rome. It is indeed also one of the most visually pleasing squares. The combination of a monumental staircase (the famous Spanish Steps), an obelisk and a stunning church attracts plenty of tourists to the square. It is also well connected to a French church (Trinità dei Monti) on top of the hill via a long staircase, the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti, better known as the Spanish Steps. The idea of connecting the church with the square below originates from the 17th century, when the French also planned a statue of King Louis XIV of France at the top of the staircase.

41. Palatine Hill

It is said that the Rome’s Palatine Hill holds a significant position in the history of the Eternal City. Currently all you can find here are the remains but during the Imperial period, the hill was completely built up with large palaces of the famous Seven Hills of Rome. Located in between such attractions as the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum, evidence from archaeological digs demonstrates that the hill was inhabited as long ago as the 10th century BC.

42. Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is one of the most visited parks of the country’s capital, both by tourist as well as the locals. It is regarded as the biggest public park in Rome. It offers a pleasant refuge from the often busy streets in the city. The park features a lake, temples, fountains, statues and various amazing museums. The park is situated just north of the Spanish Steps. Main entrances are at the Piazzale Flaminio and the Porta Pinciana at the end of the Via Veneto.

43. Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla was regarded as the biggest bath complex in the world when it was constructed during the year 217 AD, at the time of Emperor Caracalla. The baths were in use for more then 300 years. The red-brick remains of the Baths of Caracalla are located southeast of ancient Rome’s center. The baths were enormous buildings, with huge frescoed vaults covering the massive rooms. This enormous 11 hectare huge complex housed bathing facilities could accommodate more than 1600 people.

44. St. Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square was actually established during the 17th century by Bernini. It is considered as the architectural highlight of the city. St. Peter’s Square is bordered on either side by semi-circular colonnades which, according to Bernini, represent the stretched arms of the church embracing the world. The colonnades were constructed during the year 1660 and include four rows of columns with in total 284 Doric columns and 88 pilasters. The columns are 20 meters high (66 ft) and 1.6 meters wide (5ft). You will also find that her 140 statues were installed on top of the colonnades, all created by Bernini and his students.

45. Piazza del Popolo

Piazza Del Popolo is a pleasant-sounding oval square positioned quite close to the Borghese Park. Three amazing churches border the square but the most beautiful is an ancient obelisk from Heliopolis, Egypt. Once here you will notice that towards the northern side the square is dominated by the Porta del Popolo, which leads to the Via Flaminia. The Via Flaminia was built in 220 BC to connect Rome with the Adriatic coast and was one of the most important roads leading to Rome. Hence many travellers entered the city from the Via Flaminia, passing through Piazza del Popolo.

46. Trajan’s Forum

The Forum of Trajan was believed to the biggest and the final of the Imperial Forums that formed the political and governmental center of the Roman Empire. It includes a huge basilica, two libraries, markets and a large temple. The complex was established during the year in 106 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, the most popular architect of the period. The complex was created between 107 and 113 AD and required the leveling of a 40 meter high hill. It is said that at the time the forum was seen as one of the architectural wonders of the world.

47. Appian Way

Via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way) was once one of the world’s most vital roads and the most popular among all the roads that radiated from Rome towards the far ends of the Roman Empire. Important people built tombs for themselves or for their whole family on this raod. Sometimes these tombs were as large as a house. Their shapes varied from a tumulus or a pyramid to a small temple. The Via Appia was lined with such monuments and many of them are still visible.

48. Victor Emmanuel Monument

The Victor Emmanuel Monument is an enormous white marble monument that dominates Piazza Venezia and was constructed as a mark of respect to the first king of a united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. As King of Sardinia and victor over the Austrian army in Lombardy, Victor Emmanuel had become a sign of the Risorgimento, the movement for a united Italy. It is among the famous tourist attractions of Italy to be found in Rome. It is believed that after his army joined forces with Garibaldi and defeated the papal army, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861 with Victor Emmanuel as king.

49. Theater of Marcellus

The Theater of Marcellus was actually constructed by Emperor Augustus during the 13 BC and named in respect of Marcellus, his intended heir. It is among the most famous tourist attraction of the city of Rome. The theater was considered to be the biggest in ancient Rome. After Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in the struggle for control over Rome, he wanted to build a theater rivaling the Pompey Theater which Caesar’s his bitter enemy had built in 55 BC. It is believed that when Caesar was assassinated during 44 BC the project had only just started. In 22 BC Augustus, known as the emperor who turned Rome from a city of brick into a city of marble, restarted the project.

50. Ara Pacis

The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) is another most famous tourist attraction of Italy. It was constructed by Emperor Augustus during the 9 BC after the conquest of Gaul and Hispania. The altar was one of the most significant monuments of Rome. It was built to honor the Roman goddess of peace. It is an impressive example of early Roman sculpture. The altar symbolized the establishment of peace in the Roman Empire.

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