Based on the recommendations and tips from travelers, we’ve gathered 10 best places to visit in Italy. We’ve included what they recommend in each place and any tips that we think might be useful when visiting. 

Rome

“The HopOnHopOff bus allowed me to see all the monuments in Rome with ease. Once that was out of the way I liked exploring the Monti neighbourhood and Trastavere.
We went to mass with the pope which occurs on Wednesday. B
uy a front of the line ticket on Viator. Guide knew how to get us in front row.
Make sure you buy your tour ticket for Vatican in advance. They have a website for tours and tickets, I lined up for 2 hours in the pouring rain. 
Rome is like any capital city – lots of monuments and professionals.”

“Go to the Vatican really early its nicer going through Vatican city before huge crowds otherwise you get herded along. Try to go to the forum and catacombs at sunrise, it’s really beautiful”

“I purchased the Roma pass for my second trip and it ‘s worth every single penny. You can use it for the train/ bus and they have a separate lines for Roma pass access at different attractions. Make sure you go to Trastavere (I think) for dinner… off the tourist trap. I love castroni, they sell less expensive but very good food. It’s like an Italian grocery store.”

“Trains are very reasonable . Always watch the days, on Thursday it could be 16 Euros and a Friday 80 Euros. Trains are extremely comfortable especially for senior travelers. High speed trains 🚂 are the best. We’ve done a lot of train travel and just love it. You may want to book ahead as they are usually full. Yes make sure to validate your ticket before boarding. You’ll see the small machines near the boarding area.

“In Rome I recommend not wandering too far to the outskirts after 12 midnight, and always bring toilet paper out with you. Most washrooms will not have any in the pubs at night if thats something you do and public washrooms wont either mostly.”

Amalfi Coast

“We were there summer of 2019. We stayed just outside Amalfi. It’s very easy to get around on the buses. Must see places are Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano. The jewel is of course Capri. When you’re there, do the private boat tour. Definitely worth the cost! “

“Stayed at the IQ hotel. It was very nice and close to the hop on hop off that took us everywhere. Check out some Airbnb for the coastal stay. Some can get really affordable!”

“We took the train from Rome to Sorrento. We then rode a Bus to the town of Amalfi. I suggest you stay in Sorento for two or three nights. Accommodations are a little cheaper in the location. You can then take a boat to visit Capri Island. Or take a train to Pompeii – later take a bus to Amalfi and Positano – accommodation is more  affordable there. “

 

Cinque Terre

“The best place to stay in Cinque Terre is Monterosso Al Mare, because even though it isn’t central, the train station won’t make you walk up and down 20 flights or stairs with your luggage! Plus, they also have a beach. We stayed at hotel Agave and loved it!”

“Last time I went (summer 2014), the trail that connects the villages was closed because it was not safe to walk it. You might want to check before planning to walk the trail. The alternative is taking the train, which is very frequent and cheap. If you have time I would also go to Porto Venere, another UNESCO site. It is very beautiful and easily reachable by train from Cinque Terre.”

Milan

“When in Milan, you really have to visit the Duomo, and make sure to climb the rooftop. Walk through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and checkout Piazza Della Scala. Arco Della pace is worth a photo! Then walk through the park to Torre Branca which has lovely views of Milan. Sforzesco Castle is worth a visit. And of course there’s Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” but be sure to book in advance. Take a cruise down Navigli in the evening and enjoy a cocktail. If it’s shopping you like visit the area of Quadrilatero della Moda. For food, there’s a lovely little restaurant in the Eataly supermarket – Alice. You can’t go wrong with the pizza at Pizzium and D&G bar have great martini based cocktails Be careful though! Your items will be stolen if they leave your sight.”

“If you get a chance, visit Lugano in Switzerland and also take the ferrateria up San Salvatore – the views are mind blowing.”

Florence

“Definitely check out Florence! For yummy food, check out my favorite resto La Bussola Florence – fresh pizza, tasty steak and crispy calamari!”

“For art, there is the Statue of David and the Birth of Venus painting. I’d explore Tuscany if you love wine too.”

“The best steak house we’ve been to is in Florence called Buca Mario, if you have time, you should definitely check it out.”

“I prefer visiting Florence. Very artsy university city. Stay in an Airbnb near the Duomo. Also the train going there is fantastic. For food, go to the Mercato Porcellino. They serve authentic Italian food! Avoid the larger market which is filled with products made offshore.”

“There is also a wonderful water colour artist on Ponte Vecchio, the bridge. He’s been there for decades and a great character to meet.
It’s a walking town where it’s common to find barrels wine outside of shops, a glass is 1 euro. Eat lots of gelato. And try to take in some live theatre. As for food – impossible to go wrong. Everything is mouthwatering.”

“Decide what you want to see in Florence and then buy your tickets online ahead of time. That way, you have a time that you just show up for and walk right in. Otherwise, you wait in line for up to several hours to buy at the door. My suggestions are The Academia (to see The David) , the Uffizi, and the Bargello. (My Italian spelling is probably off) We found that one museum a day was all our brains could absorb so we did one each morning and then spent the afternoon exploring. And eating. The first day in Rome, do a Hop On Hop Off tour. It gives you an overview of the city and where everything is. Then you can decide where you want to spend your time.”

Venice

“All the tourists go to the piazza San Marco in Venice. For a different experience, you can ride the water bus across the canal to San Giorgio where you will find a wonderful church with fantastic carved saints and a tower that rivals the one in the piazza across the canal. 10 years ago 3 euros would get you to the top of the tower for the view of the grand canal and a free pass to the toilets while you’re there. The island had only a few visitors when we were there so was a welcome break from the crowds.

“You can get easily lost or confused as there is no English signs on the streets, subways and people don’t seem to have tolerance for tourists. At coffee shops they don’t allow you to sit on the chairs unless pay extra. Sometimes you have to pay to go to the wahsroom. Oh and watch out for thieves! Keep your belongings close to you especially your wallet and money.

“For Venice stay on the main land and take the water bus over in the mornings. This saves so much money and make sure to visit Verona while you are there! Its amazing with great hot chocolate! “

The Dolomites

“We drove from Zurich through the Dolomites, also called the Italian alps, and to Lake Como region and back. Beautiful scenery everyplace. On the way back we went through the Mont Blanc tunnel, what a trip that was!”

“While the north is cold plus there are Alps called the Dolomites in the far north. So Venice will be below 10’C. It’s still warmer than Canada but that will be cold for most others.”

” Visit Lake Carrezza in the Dolomites and stay in Ortisei so you can take the cable car right up to Alpe de Siusi!”

“In Dolomites stay at Ortisei and La Villa. There are great agritourism in the area near the Dolomites and Cortina. They can be a great place to base out of. Also visit Trento, a fabulous town. Pretty, rich in history with good shops. You can check out agriturismo.it. The website has an English language version if that is easier.

Tuscany

“Absolutely a must is Sienna, Firenze, Luca and Pisa for all your classic tourist beauty! I’d rent a car and drive. It’s not that far and it’s a really beautiful drive . You can stop in beautiful spots in between the way! Stop at local farmers markets too for fresh food!”

“Sienna is wonderful. Go on a Vespa tour through the countryside. We have gone on two now and both are wonderful. You get to see little back roads where tourists do not frequent and the guides are very attentive and safety aware.”

“As you travel through Tuscany, put on your list Volterra, the natural thermal springs at San Felippo Bagnoni and Bagno Vignoni. All stops are delightful. I would also add Bolgheri, it’s near Volterra, if time permits.”

Lake Como

“Lake Como de Garda is just to die for. On the way from Venice to cinque Terre, I would recommend driving up to Lake Como to spend 1 night. We stayed in Lenno which was beautiful and quieter than Bellagio.”

Stresa and the islands on Lake Maggiore are enough for a one day trip, everything else can wait. Better to book the ferry in advance. On Lake Como, along the coast between Bellagio and Como, up in the mountain there are small villages. There you can find small restaurants with great food and honest prices. Be aware that the more the place is famous, the more it becomes pricey. Most locals prefer more affordable and often better restaurants that are hidden in the mountains. But this is really up to you. The scenery on the lake is for sure nice, but from the top, well, there are also exclusive views.”

Sorrento

Sorrento is easy, and from there you can take day trips to Capri, and Positano, Amalfi, and others. There’s a public ferry that runs to Capri a few times a day at least. The other places we went, we used a private charter but I’m sure there are many other options. I loved Sorrento!”

“In the Amalfi area, we took a boat from Naples to Ischia, then a boat from Ischia to Positano, where I took a side trip to Amalfi Coast by boat, then a boat from Positano to Capri, then a boat from Capri to Sorrento. It was really nice avoiding all the road traffic down there and the boats were very fast.”

Other Tips

Trains

“Book your train in advance for better ticket prices, but you give up spontaneity. Do not use Eurorail. If you book online, it will try to redirect you, but just say you want to stay in the European site. And go 2nd class. It’s very comfortable, especially if you are in a high speed train. I book on SNCF which is the French government train booking site. I don’t know what the Italian website is, but try SNCF for travel anywhere in EU. If it’s not in English, look for a British flag to click on to translate it. If you wait till the last minute, the costs go up considerably. You can order online and if you book weeks in advance, they will mail ticket to Canada (but not the US). Better to get your booking number and use a machine at the station to get tickets. And make sure you validate ticket before getting on train!”

Ride Share

“Trains are great but I also tried rideshare service in Europe on occasions for a different experience. I was traveling solo, but I felt perfectly safe. I met interesting people too although rideshare may not always be for everyone. They’re great for last minute transportation at reasonable cost.”