Things not to miss
This exuberant city of Baroque architecture and opulent churches is one of the must-sees of the Italian south.
#03 Sicily’s Greek ruins
#04 Wine bars
Italian wine is undergoing a resurgence, and there’s nothing like sampling local varieties in an enoteca or wine bar, accompanied by a plate of regional cheese and cold meats.
© Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock
This so-called “ideal city” and art capital, created by Federico da Montefeltro, the ultimate Renaissance man, is one of the most memorable of all Italian provincial cities.
#06 Ravenna’s mosaics
Ravenna’s Byzantine mosaics – in the churches of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and San Vitale – are a stunning testimony to the city’s ranking as the capital of Europe fifteen hundred years ago.
© Jaunting Jen/Shutterstock
#07 Amalfi Coast
Everyone should see the stunning Amalfi Coast at least once in their life.
#08 Piazza San Marco, Venice
Crowded or not, this is one of Europe’s grandest urban spaces and home to Italy’s most exotic cathedral.
One of the country’s finest – and best-sited – cathedrals, with a marvellous fresco cycle by Luca Signorelli.
Florence’s cathedral dome is instantly recognizable – and is one of the world’s most significant engineering feats.
© artem evdokimov/Shutterstock
#11 Neapolitan pizza
You can eat pizza all over Italy, but nowhere is it quite as good as in its home town of Naples.
© V. Matthiesen/Shutterstock
#12 The Italian Lakes
If you can escape the hordes, this region is one of Italy’s most beguiling, with stunning scenery and plenty of activities.
Lake Orta © Restuccia Giancarlo/Shutterstock
This mountainous Tuscan island offers great beaches and fantastic hiking.
Italy’s third-largest national park, and probably its wildest, with marvellous walking and wildlife.
#15 The Uffizi, Florence
One of Italy’s most celebrated collections of art, and Florence’s most essential attraction.
© Claudia Norberg-Schulz/Shutterstock
Farmstays and rural retreats are one of Italy’s lesser-known specialities and can be among the country’s most spectacular and bucolic places to stay.
© Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock
#17 Pompeii and Herculaneum
Probably the two best-preserve sites in the country, destroyed and at the same time preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.
#18 Sardinia’s beaches
There are plenty of places to sun-worship in Italy, but Sardinia’s coastline ranks among one of the most beautiful.
© Luca Moi/Shutterstock
#20 The Last Supper, Milan
Leonardo da Vinci’s mural for the refectory wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the world’s most resonant images.
© Fabio Bernardi/Shutterstock
#21 Giotto’s frescoes, Padua
The artist’s frescoes in Padua’s Cappella degli Scrovegni constitute one of the great works of European art.
Scrovegni Chapel in Padua © vvoe/Shutterstock
#22 Hiking in the Dolomites
The spiky landscape of the Dolomites is perfect hiking country, covered in dramatic long-distance trails.
© Creative Travel Projects/Shutterstock
The burial place of St Francis and one of Italy’s greatest church buildings, with frescoes by Giotto and Simone Martini.
#24 Vatican Museums, Rome
The largest and richest collection of art and culture in the world. You’d be mad to miss it.
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