It is no secret that Italy is one of the world’s most-visited countries. It is that one destination that will entice you, hit you differently, and have you planning for your next holiday even before you leave.
The sights to see and things to do in the country are what dream holidays are made of – rolling mountains, rugged hills, captivating coastlines, priceless historical and cultural treasures, romantic waterways, picturesque towns and villages, and a mouthwatering cuisine.
Enjoy the 10 items on this list and you’ll never want to holiday anywhere else.
1. Explore the The Colosseum in Rome.
Even if we live in a world filled with stunning skyscrapers and ultra-modern buildings, the Colosseum is undoubtedly one of the most impressive structures in the world. Opened in AD 80, this massive Roman amphitheater is a reminder of how dominant the Roman Empire was in terms of political power and architectural ingenuity. The primary venue for public events that allowed multitudes of spectators to witness gruesome gladiator fights, wild animal hunts, and public executions in Ancient Rome, the Colosseum is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and receives millions of visitors from all parts of the globe. It is the heart of Ancient Rome and no vacation to Italy will be complete without spending a few hours exploring its splendor.
2. Ride a gondola in Venice.
Italy is home to one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice. Make your Italian holiday extra memorable by riding a gondola through Venice’s gorgeous waterways at sunset. Don’t forget to admire the small bridges and secret passageways as you glide past.
3. Experience Ancient Pompeii in Naples.
Once the centre of Ancient Rome, the city of Pompeii was buried in ash and lava following the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The eruption pulverized the city and buried it under a thick carpet of lava and ash. Visiting the archaeological sites of Pompeii will give you a glimpse of how life was at this Roman city before it was forever frozen in time by Mount Vesuvius’ wrath. During your Pompeii tour, do not forget to enjoy a hot meal at a restaurant with a great view of Vesuvius.
4. Visit the Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
Just behind the world-renowned St. Peter’s Basilica are the equally famous Vatican Museums, the museums of the Vatican City. Joining a guided tour of the museum is one of the most popular things to do in when visiting Italy because it will help you greatly in navigating the maze of the museums and putting the featured collection of historical and cultural masterpieces into context. The Museums include several iconic works of art, such as the mesmerizing Sistine Chapel, and the Chapel of Beato Angelico. Other rooms in the museums that may catch your interest are the Raphael Rooms and Loggia and the Borgia Apartment.
5. Indulge in authentic Italian pizza.
Ask any Italian about pizza, and you’ll soon realize that pizza falls into two categories: authentic Italian pizza, and generic pizzas. When ordering pizza in Italy, especially in Naples, do remember that everything is made to order and they only come in personal sizes. Italian pizzas should be consumed immediately after it comes out of the wood-burning oven, or it will lose much of its divine taste and texture.
6. Spend the weekend in the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast has everything you need in a Mediterranean coastal landscape – colourful houses, luxurious hotels, and romantic villas set between a gorgeous vertical terrain and the shimmering Bay of Naples. Due to the narrow and winding coastal road, your journey to Amalfi Coast will be one of the most exhilarating trips of your life. A weekend spent admiring the beauty of Amalfi will make you understand why it’s been enchanting visitors for centuries.
7. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain, one of Rome’s most popular landmarks, is a favourite attraction among tourists. People flock to the Trevi Fountain, the largest in Rome, to throw some coins so that they may return to Rome once more, or find new love. The 85-ft fountain has been featured in films like “Roman Holiday,” “When in Rome,” and “La Dolce Vita.” for decades. Opened in 1762, the structure was designed by architect Nicola Salvi.
8. Admire the monuments at Miracles Square in Pisa.
Miracles Square, or the Piazza del Miracoli, is the most popular cultural and tourist attraction in Pisa and one of the most famous places in the world. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the square features awe-inspiring historical monuments like the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Graveyard, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Spending a few hours admiring the monuments in the Miracles Square is certainly a must when travelling to this part of Italy.
9. Enjoy gelato in an Italian gelateria.
You may have tried gelato countless times before but nothing beats having a few scoops of authentic Italian gelato. This much-loved treat, readily available in Italy, comes in different flavours, colours, and textures. For the best tasting gelatos, head to family-owned gelaterias that make it on-site.
10. Marvel at the beauty of the Duomo.
The Duomo is, for a fact, the most popular landmark in Milan. The cathedral took a very long time – close to six centuries – to build and is easily recognizable by its impressive Gothic architectural design and stunning stained-glass windows. It is one of the largest churches in the world, and the biggest in Italy, outside of Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Allot two hours for your tour of the Duomo di Milano. Sign up for a guided tour of the cathedral’s rooftop terraces as well to get a spectacular panoramic view of Milan’s skyline.
Planning a trip to Italy? Check out these great recommendations for your travel itinerary.