Exploring Italy and its Top Six Destinations: From the Historic Charms of Naples to the Serenity of Lake Como.
Italy is a vast and varied country, stretching from the Alps to the sunny region of the boot. Each corner of the country has something to offer, from fascinating history to incredible cuisine and picturesque towns and villages. One of the most challenging parts of planning a trip to Italy is deciding where to go. The key is to focus on the country’s highlights. So, read the article below for the top six destinations in Italy you need to visit at least once.
Image courtesy of Christina Ambalavanar
Naples is one of those places in Italy you should see not only once or twice but several times. Although it’s more famous for its pizza, the picturesque city is full of historical sites and lovely neighbourhoods that are a joy to explore. The city’s UNESCO-listed historic centre and charming piazzas are more reasons to visit this fascinating city.
To enjoy some of the city’s best views, visit Castel Sant’Elmo on Vomero Hill. The medieval fortress has a rich history going back several centuries. It was built as a church and transformed into a castle. Nowadays, the fortress functions as a museum that welcomes thousands of visitors. However, its biggest draw is the stunning view. Overlooking Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples, and the city of Naples, Castel Sant’Elmo is worth a visit.
If you’re here for the pizza, like most tourists are, you’ll have plenty of options. Almost every corner of the city has a pizzeria serving delectable pizza. But the two most popular pizzerias are L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and Gino e Toto Sorbillo.
If you prefer an island vacation in Italy, Sicily fits the bill. Aside from its stunning beaches, the diverse island is also home to picturesque ancient towns, fascinating historical sites, and majestic mountains. In fact, it’s home to Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest volcano.
Being one of Italy’s top tourist destinations, you will find numerous accommodation options in Sicily. It’s also where you’ll find some of the most excellent glamping options in Europe, an ideal place for those who want to make the most of the outdoor adventures on the island.
History buffs will enjoy exploring Sicily’s ancient towns and villages, particularly Syracuse and Ortigia. These towns have historical squares, monuments, and ruins dating back to ancient times. Visit the Ear of Dionysus, a massive cave with a shape that resembles an ear. You should also check out the Temple of Apollo, a magnificent sight with intricately designed columns.
Lying along the dreamy coast of Italy, Tuscany is one of the country’s most scenic regions. Between the stunning vineyards and rolling hills are ancient medieval towns, some of the prettiest places in Italy.
If you only have time to visit one place in Tuscany, choose San Gimignano, a romantic hilltop town exuding the quintessential charm that the Tuscan region is known for. It has stunning vineyards, medieval fortifications, and a brilliant museum.
For wine lovers, Tuscany is one of those places worth visiting over and over. After all, wine is an integral part of the Tuscan culture, and the region has hosted several fantastic wine festivals. Try to schedule your visit during these festivals. Otherwise, consider booking a vineyard tour, where you get to sample the tastiest wine in the region.
- Lake Garda
Smacked in the middle of Northern Italy, Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. The lake shore is peppered with charming villages and palm-fringed trails surrounded by snow-capped mountains, offering the perfect spot for walking and cycling. Most visitors will often opt for a cycling trip in Italy, with Lake Garda being one of the best places for this. Cycling in Lake Garda is perfect for those looking to explore the great outdoors and get active during their Italian trip.
The best places in Lake Garda for adventurous travelers are Riva del Garda and Nago-Torbole, on the lake’s northern shore. Both towns are ideal for cycling. But if cycling is not your thing, walk a couple of extra miles, and you’ll reach Arco, where you can try rock climbing.
Tremosine is another place in Lake Garda for those who love adventures. It consists of different hamlets scattered amongst the lake, offering thrilling activities, including paragliding.
Another place to see in Italy if you love culture and history is Siena. It’s a picturesque city rich in history and art, with strong local traditions. In almost every corner of Siena, you will stumble upon an ornately decorated church or art gallery showcasing masterpieces from the city’s greatest artists.
Piazza del Campo is an ideal base for sightseeing in Siena. Check out Fonte Gaia, a large fountain decorated with beautiful sculptures. You’ll also find other famous attractions in the square, such as Palazzo Comunale and Torre del Mangia.
Make your way to Piazza del Duomo, where you’ll find the magnificent Romanesque Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Don’t just admire its elegant facade – get inside to see its incredibly stunning interiors, decorated with different artworks from famous artists like Michelangelo and Donatello.
- Lake Como
Lake Como’s entire perimeter is home to picturesque towns and villages. Among them, Como, Bellagio, and Varenna are the most popular. Each offers plenty of opportunities for fun adventures, from scenic nature walks to exploring botanical gardens and private boating tours.
Located at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como boasts some of Italy’s most picturesque sceneries. If it’s your first time, you can focus on exploring the highlights. Among these is the 14th-century Cathedral in Como, which almost occupies one side of the Piazza Duomo.
A short walk from the cathedral, you’ll reach Museo Civico, which showcases an exceptional collection of Roman and Neolithic artefacts unearthed through local excavations. The museum offers glimpses into the lives of the city’s early inhabitants, including the Romans.
Take the ferry from Lake Como to visit the picturesque town of Bellagio. Take the long flight of stairs towards the upper area coming from the boat landing. If you don’t fancy climbing the stairs, take the miniature tourist train, enjoy the panoramic views, and get off at various places.