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Things to do in Italy

Things to do in  Italy

Welcome to Italy

Well-known for its boot shape, Italy boasts a staggering number of renowned pieces of art, an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and welcomes visitors with a warm, friendly atmosphere. Let a private or small-group tour with an expert guide show you how to walk in Caesar's footsteps through the Forum in Rome. Take a gondola tour of Venice to glide by the city's classic architecture. Stare in awe at the colorful frescoes in the Vatican Museums’ Sistine Chapel one day, and hike the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast on another. Italy is an art lover's paradise, where masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Raphael await. Learn about the birthplace of the Renaissance in Florence, and admire the Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery. Then switch gears to explore hilltop villages in remote parts of Tuscany, or browse for the latest fashions in Milan. Foodies flock to Italy to taste pizza in its hometown of Naples. You can also take a cooking class to learn the secrets of Italian cuisine, like gnocchi and tiramisu in Sorrento, or risotto with prawns in Venice. And then there's the wine—book a wine tour to the Frascati region of Rome for reds and dessert wines, or head to Florence for Chianti. Meanwhile, other tours let you take in a Venetian concert or drift in a boat on Lake Como.

Top 10 attractions in Italy

#1
Isola Bella

Isola Bella

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The Italian name of Isola Bella contains both a truth and a misnomer: though worthy of being called beautiful, this tiny rocky outcrop along Sicily’s coast near Taormina is not actually an island. Located off the Lido Mazzaro beach on the Mediterranean Sea, Isola Bella is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sand that is often covered with water at high tide. The picturesque point was gifted to Taormina in 1806 by the King of Sicily and later purchased by the Scottish Lady Florence Trevelyan—her villa still sits on the highest point—until being taken over by the region of Sicily and made a nature reserve in 1990.More
#2
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)

Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)

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Taking prize place beside the Town Hall on Piazza Duomo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano) ranks among most impressive monuments of San Gimignano’s UNESCO-listed historic center.Behind its comparatively reserved façade, the church’s main claim to fame is its exquisite frescos, which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, and remain remarkably unrestored. The bold colors and painstaking detail bring to life iconic biblical scenes including Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden and dramatic depictions of Heaven and Hell, with highlights including works by Bartolo di Fredi, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo Gozzoli and Taddeo di Bartolo.Adjoining the church, the small Museum of Sacred Art includes more works taken from the Duomo and other San Gimignano churches, including a Crucifix by Benedetto di Maiano and the ‘Madonna of the Rose’ by Bartolo di Fredi.More
#3
Arezzo Piazza Grande

Arezzo Piazza Grande

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The oldest square in the Tuscan city of Arezzo has the appropriate name of Piazza Grande. Dating back to the Medieval era, the piazza was once the site of the city's main market. Today, it plays host to the monthly antiques market that is one of the largest in Italy. It's also where the annual Joust of the Saracen is held.Notable buildings surrounding the Piazza Grande include the 14th-century Fraternita dei Laici palazzo, a loggia designed by Giogio Vasari, a 13th-century Episcopal Palace, and part of the 13th-century Romanesque Apse of Santa Maria della Pieve.More
#4
Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi)

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi)

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Birthplace of St. Francis and one of Italy’s most atmospheric hill towns, Assisi is best known for its glorious Basilica of St. Francis. The UNESCO-listed pilgrimage site is a treasure trove of medieval art. Visit the soaring upper church, the somber lower church, and Francis’ tomb in the crypt.More
#5
Colosseum

Colosseum

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The Colosseum has been a symbol of Rome since 80 AD, and today it’s a top monument in Italy. Some 50,000 spectators once gathered in the amphitheater’s tiered seats to watch gladiatorial games, and though parts of its original marble facade were pilfered over the years to build the likes of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum remains remarkably intact 2,000 years later.More
#6
Ortygia (Ortigia)

Ortygia (Ortigia)

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The captivating former Greek and Roman city of Syracuse wasn’t actually founded on Sicily, but on a tiny island just offshore called Ortygia. Connected by two bridges to the mainland and modern expanse of the city, Ortygia is where you’ll find Old Town highlights such as the Duomo, Temple of Apollo, and Fountain of Arethusa.More
#7
Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Natural Reserve (Riserva Naturale Integrale Saline di Trapani e Paceco)

Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Natural Reserve (Riserva Naturale Integrale Saline di Trapani e Paceco)

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The Natural Reserve on the Sicilian coast from Trapani to Marsala is set aside for multiple uses, from collecting sea salt to preserving wildlife. The salt pans are still used to harvest sea salt, using the same methods that have been used for centuries, which include the use of some historic windmills. There is also a museum, set in a former salt mill, that is dedicated to the salt harvesting history in the area.As a haven for wildlife, the Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Natural Reserve (Riserva Naturale Integrale Saline di Trapani e Paceco) has been under the direction of WWF Italy since 1995, and visitors can often see more than 150 species of birds here. Among them, look for flamingoes, cranes, storks and osprey.More
#8
Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)

Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)

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For deserted lagoons, turquoise waves, and fabulous beaches, set sail for the Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena), just off the Costa Smeralda. The group of seven islands and dozens of islets between Sardinia and Corsica is a national park, with crystalline waters for diving and unspoiled coastlines.More
#9
Orvieto Cathedral (Duomo di Orvieto)

Orvieto Cathedral (Duomo di Orvieto)

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Orvieto’s magnificent cathedral (Duomo di Orvieto) can be seen from miles around, its soaring facade and spires towering high above the rooftops of the clifftop town. Once you get closer, you can take in its intricate external mosaics and stonework, rose window, bronze doors, and sumptuous Signorelli frescoes inside.More
#10
Cefalù Cathedral (Duomo di Cefalù)

Cefalù Cathedral (Duomo di Cefalù)

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Though the giant, craggy La Rocca may dominate the Cefalù skyline, the Cefalù Cathedral (Duomo di Cefalù) competes for that attention. The Norman-style church was constructed starting in 1131, prompted — according to legend — by Roger II, who, during a shipwreck at sea, promised God that if he survived, that he’d construct a church right in this very place. Today’s cathedral is noted for its fortress-like exterior, and for its interior mosaics, particularly the lavish Christ Pantokrator mosaic.The grand mosaic is complemented by a relatively humble interior, which makes the contrast all the more striking. Almost just as important as seeing the inside of the church is experiencing it from the outside from the palm tree-filled plaza. It’s the perfect place to grab pizza, coffee or an ice cream — you might pay a premium for it, but the splendid views and free cathedral-entry more than make up for it.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Italy

Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum
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Skip the Line Vatican Tour Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica
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Colosseum Underground and Ancient Rome Semi-Private Tour MAX 6 PEOPLE GUARANTEED
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Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum, Palatine Hill & Gladiator Arena
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Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum Express: Small Group Tour Skip-the-Line Pass
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Exclusive Early Access Vatican Semi Private Tour | with Private Option
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Vatican and Colosseum Combo Tour: Don’t Wait in Line to See the Best of Rome

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Recent reviews from experiences in Italy

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Highly recommend!
Sydney_W, Jul 2021
Pizza and Gelato Cooking Class in Tuscan Farmhouse from Florence
Luigi, Max, and Luca made this one of our favorite activities we did in all of Italy!
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Go with a Guide!
Lori_H, Jul 2021
Best of Milan Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line Ticket to Duomo & ‘Last Supper’
Simon also answered all of our questions for activities following the tour.
star-5
Amazing experience! We will be back!
HeatherChavez, Jul 2021
Rome For Kids: Small Group Pizza Making Class
Our chef was so amazing and great with kids.
star-5
Highly recommended
Yosef_B, Jul 2021
Pompeii Ruins & Mt Vesuvius Volcano Day Trip from Rome
There are a couple need to see spots in Pompeii, and we never would have gone to them without him.
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Authentic cooking in Florence home
Stan_Tillman, Jul 2021
Fresh Pasta, Gnocchi & Italian Sauces by Francy'sPasta
It was one of the best activities we did in Italy.
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Beautiful Performance
M_Caravello, Jul 2021
I Musici Veneziani Concert: Baroque and Opera
My daughter is an orchestra major and she requested to see an opera while in Venice.
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Do yourself a favor and take this tour!
Nancy_B, Jul 2021
Rome Golf Cart Tour
We took the tour on our first day and we really got to see more of Rome than if we had planned it ourselves.
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Spectacular Day trip
Rory_G, Jul 2021
Murano & Burano Islands Half Day Guided Tour by Private Boat
The sights and Glass/Lace demos were so incredible to see up close.
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Excellent and efficient tour of Chianti
Natalia_B, Jul 2021
Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience in the Tuscan Countryside
This fit well into our schedules, and we still felt like we got to see two very different vineyards at a relaxed pace.
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Lifetime tour
Greta_V, Jun 2021
Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi Day Trip from Naples
On top of that, we were offered by our tour guide to have a boat trip by the Amalfi town, such boat tour allowed us to see the most beautiful scenery from another side.
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Best live interactive tour with Linda
Lisa, May 2021
Virtual Walking Tour of Florence
I highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to see Florence live and be guided by a personable and experienced guide.
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Virtual Vatican
Christine_N, Jan 2021
The secrets of Vatican museums, virtual tour
It's incredible that these virtual tours are offered, people who want to visit Italy or for those who cannot travel are given the opportunity to see the beauty of the Vatican.
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A great tour combining history and the Island of Capri
Jane_C, Sep 2020
Pompeii and Capri Island Day Trip
As we were only here for a long weekend it was great to find a tour that enabled us to see Pompeii and Capri!
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Pretty
Diane_H, Mar 2020
Capri and Blue Grotto Day Tour from Naples or Sorrento
Our guide Marco Marco did a great job have shown us around the island period we were very disappointed that we did not get to see the blue grotto or do a boat trip around the island as that was a large priority in our trip to Italy
star-5
Wonderful day in the countryside
LightPacker518686, Jan 2020
Private tour from Florence THE BEST OF TUSCANY
He obviously knew the area well and we got to see some wonderful places that would not have been possible otherwise as we only had very limited time in Italy.
star-5
Koenig Review
milakoenig, Jan 2020
Skip the Line: Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
Great tour guide, very knowledgeable and spoke very good English.
star-5
Worth the money
redrose4258, Dec 2019
Private Tour: Cinque Terre from La Spezia
I got to see so much of Cinque Terre because I had a guide.
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Private tour to Lake Garda
drmkhwaja85, Dec 2019
City Escape: East Lake Garda Private Day Trip
I enjoyed Lake Garda and getting to see a scenic part of Italy.
star-5
Wonderful experience
Christina L, Nov 2019
Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with Optional Hiking
You get to see a different side of Cinque Terre than just taking the train through the towns.
star-5
Best tour in Italy!
Jandoisking, Nov 2019
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
Florence is a wonderful city, but to really appreciate Italy you need to visit all of Tuscany!

All about Italy

When to visit

Italian summers are best spent at the beaches of Sardinia and Sicily, but festivals like La Tomatina, Rock in Roma, and the Palio horse races offer good reasons to head inland. The sun shines through fall, making it ideal for city sightseeing—or truffle hunting and wine tasting in Tuscany—while Venice’s legendary Carnival is worth braving the cold for.

Frequently Asked Questions