Top 10 Exciting Things to do in Italy You Shouldn’t Miss

Italy is a country steeped in history, bursting with world-class art. It is renowned for its cuisine, and offers a multitude of experiences for every traveler. A trip to this beautiful country can feel like stepping into a dream. Our friends at Italy Travel Photos have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Italy. You can find their blog here if you want to check out some of their other posts. 

Here are the top 10 things to do in Italy that you should not miss.

No.ActivityBest For
1.Visit the Colosseum in RomeHistory Buffs, Architecture Enthusiasts
2.Admire the Masterpieces at the Vatican MuseumsArt Lovers, History Enthusiasts
3.Take a Romantic Gondola Ride in VeniceCouples, Romantic Getaways
4.Marvel at the Leaning Tower of PisaPhotography Enthusiasts, History Buffs
5.Explore the Ruins of PompeiiArchaeology Enthusiasts, History Buffs
6.Indulge in Tuscan Wine and CuisineFood and Wine Enthusiasts
7.Relax on the Amalfi CoastBeach Lovers, Relaxation Seekers
8.Hike in Cinque TerreNature Lovers, Outdoor Enthusiasts
9.Ski in the Italian AlpsSkiing and Snowboarding Enthusiasts
10.Shop in MilanShopaholics, Fashion Enthusiasts

 

1.Visit the Colosseum in Rome

Visit the Colosseum in Rome

Start your tour in the heart of Italy, Rome.  A must-visit for all history buffs, the Colosseum is an iconic landmark that dates back to 70 AD. This magnificent amphitheater was once used for gladiator contests, animal hunts, and other public spectacles. You can visit the underground tunnels where wild animals were kept and see the grand stage where gladiators fought to their death.

What’s special about the Colosseum is its sheer size and architectural beauty. Make sure to take a guided tour to learn more about this ancient monument’s fascinating history.

2. Admire the Masterpieces at the Vatican Museums

Admire the Masterpieces at the Vatican Museums

A visit to Italy would not be complete without exploring the world-renowned Vatican Museums. The museums house some of the most significant art collections in the world, including the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. 

You can marvel at artworks by famous artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. With over 70,000 works of art spread across 54 galleries, it’s best to plan your visit in advance to avoid long queues.

The ceiling of Sistine Chapel is undoubtedly the most famous attraction at the Vatican Museums. Painted by Michelangelo, it took him four years to complete and is considered one of his greatest accomplishments. The frescoes depict scenes from the Bible, including the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgment.

Aside from the Sistine Chapel, there are numerous other must-see masterpieces at the Vatican Museums. The Gallery of Maps is a 120-meter-long hallway that displays intricately detailed maps of Italy painted on the walls. 

The Raphael Rooms are also a highlight of the museums, showcasing stunning frescoes by the renowned artist.

Another must-visit area within the Vatican Museums is the Pinacoteca, which displays some of the most valuable paintings in history. Here you can see works by Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael, among others.

The museums were founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II and have since grown to become one of the most visited museums in the world. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the Catholic Church and its influence on art.

To fully appreciate the masterpieces at the Vatican Museums, consider hiring a tour guide who can provide valuable insights and information about each artwork. You can also opt for an audio guide or explore on your own using a map provided by the museums.

3. Take a Romantic Gondola Ride in Venice

Take a Romantic Gondola Ride in Venice

Venice, the city of canals, is a unique and romantic destination. One of the best ways to experience this charming city is by taking a gondola ride through the winding waterways.

If you’re a romantic at heart, this is the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your partner and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The gondola ride will take you through narrow canals and under picturesque bridges, giving you a unique perspective of this beautiful city.

You can also opt for a sunset ride, where you can watch the sky turn into shades of pink and orange as the sun sets behind the Venetian buildings. This is a truly magical experience that you will never forget.

During the ride, your gondolier will also serenade you with traditional Italian songs, making the atmosphere even more romantic.

As you glide through the waterways, take in the sights of stunning architecture and quaint shops selling local goods. You can even stop at a charming café for a drink and some delicious Italian gelato.

4. Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Located in the city of Pisa, this iconic bell tower is known for its distinct lean. Standing tall at over 55.8 meters, it was originally built as a bell tower for the nearby cathedral. Today, it’s a popular tourist spot, and visitors can climb up the 300 steps to reach the top.

The tower began to lean during construction due to the soft ground it was built on. Despite several attempts to fix the tilt, it continues to lean at an angle of 3.99 degrees. The unique design and history behind its construction make the Leaning Tower of Pisa a must-visit for travelers from all over the world.

Apart from being a famous landmark, the tower also holds significant cultural and historical importance. It is a symbol of Italy’s architectural prowess and has survived many earthquakes and wars. In recent years, measures have been taken to stabilize the tower’s tilt and ensure its preservation for generations to come.

Visiting the leaning tower of Pisa is an experience that you shouldn’t miss.

5. Explore the Ruins of Pompeii

Explore the Ruins of Pompeii

Go back in time and explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a city that was buried under volcanic ash in 79 AD. This UNESCO World Heritage Site gives visitors a glimpse into life during the Roman Empire. You can walk through the streets and see well-preserved homes, public buildings, and even an amphitheater.

The site also offers fascinating insights into the daily lives of the people who once lived in this bustling city.

As you wander through Pompeii, you’ll see incredible details such as colorful frescoes, intricate mosaics, and ancient graffiti. 

You can also visit the Temple of Apollo, the House of Vetti, and the Forum where political debates were held. Don’t forget to check out the famous plaster casts of the city’s victims, frozen in time by the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii is not just a historical site, but also a poignant reminder of the power and unpredictability of nature. It serves as an important archaeological site for researchers, providing valuable information about ancient Roman society and culture.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of ground to cover.

6. Indulge in Tuscan Wine and Cuisine

Indulge in Tuscan Wine and Cuisine

Tuscany, with its rolling hills and charming countryside, is renowned for its delicious wine and food. Take a tour of the region’s wineries, where you can sample some of Italy’s finest Chianti wines. 

Don’t forget to try the local specialties like Florentine steak, ribollita soup, and pici pasta. You can also take a cooking class and learn to make traditional Tuscan dishes.

7. Relax on the Amalfi Coast

Relax on the Amalfi Coast

Known for its dramatic coastline, colorful villages, and crystal-clear waters, the Amalfi Coast is a paradise for beach lovers. Take a leisurely stroll along the cliffs or relax on the idyllic beaches. You can also visit quaint towns like Positano and Ravello, known for their picturesque views and charming atmosphere.

8. Hike in Cinque Terre

Hike in Cinque Terre

Located on the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is a series of five coastal villages that are interconnected by hiking trails. This scenic area, with its cliff-top villages and breathtaking views, is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike along the trails and explore the charming towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Along the way, you’ll pass through vineyards, olive groves, and colorful villages that seem frozen in time. At the end of your hike, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or indulge in some delicious seafood at one of the local restaurants. This hike is not to be missed for its stunning views and unique cultural experience.

In addition to hiking, Cinque Terre also offers other outdoor activities such as kayaking and boat tours to explore the area from a different perspective. You can also visit the nearby town of Portovenere, known for its historic castle and beautiful harbor.

9. Ski in the Italian Alps

Ski in the Italian Alps

Italy is not just for summer travelers; it’s also a popular winter destination. The Italian Alps offer some of the best skiing and snowboarding experiences in Europe. With stunning mountain views, quaint villages, and well-groomed slopes, it’s the perfect place to hit the slopes. Popular ski resorts like Courmayeur, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and Madonna di Campiglio offer a range of winter activities for all levels.

Apart from skiing, visitors can also enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and sledding. Plus, the food in the Italian Alps is top-notch with hearty dishes like polenta and fondue to warm you up after a day on the slopes. 

10. Shop in Milan

Shop in Milan

No trip to Italy is complete without indulging in some retail therapy. And there’s no better place to shop than the fashion capital of Milan. Visit high-end designer stores, local boutiques, and experience some of the best fashion scenes. 

Moreover, visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II as well. It is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. You can take a stroll through the Quadrilatero d’Oro, known for its luxury brands.

Final Words

So you see, Italy is a dream destination that serves as the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, indulge in art and culture, and explore its rich history. You can gander at the iconic landmarks, spend time at the idyllic beaches, and so much more. 

And let’s not forget the delicious food and wine that will leave you wanting more. In other words, Italy should definitely be on your bucket list!

Read Also: 

Venice Italy Travel Guide: When is the Best Time to Visit?

20 Best Places to Visit in Italy Right Now

Travel Tips For Italy: Do’s and Don’ts

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