GUEST POST: Five Places to Visit in Italy

I’ve written extensively on my blog about how much I love Italy! I often joke that I should have been born Italian – I love good food (pasta in particular!), I love everything beautiful and I love dolce vita lifestyle. Going to Italy is always such a delight and today I am going to share my top 5 favourite destinations in Italy.

Rome

 

Source: www.thestylishvoyager.com.
Source: www.thestylishvoyager.com

OK, this one is a must as “all roads lead to Rome.” Every tourist’s exploration of Italy should start with its capital that has rich historical, artistic and cultural past. Every street lives and breathes history and there is a lot to see. At the very least, I would recommend checking out the Colosseum; Trevi Fountain (my hubby says it’s the most beautiful thing he has ever seen); Vatican with its museums and Sistine Chapel (totally worth the wait in long queue to see The Creation of Adam); Pantheon; Roman Forum and Villa Borghese. All of these are located in the centre of the city and can be easily covered in a couple of days.

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

What I really love about Rome, however, is its small side streets and ability to get lost and finding yourself in a random neighbourhood with its own piazza, churches of unparalleled beauty and some of the best Italian food. One of these areas is Trastevere (translates “across the Tiber”), a beautiful old neighbourhood across the river and away from the loud tourist crowds. It has its own vibe and to me represents real Rome, letting you take a peek into the life of regular Romans and how they live and socialize. It’s very green, cosy and bohemian with great (cheaper than touristy!) restaurants and cafes to visit.

Florence

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

…Or Firenze as Italians call it. Besides being a beautiful city, to me Florence is the cradle of Italian classical art, Renaissance in particular, and holds some of the greatest artistic assets. This is where some of the most talented and well-known Italian artists studied and perfected their skills. So don’t be surprised to walk into a church or palace to find out that some renown Italian painter decorated its walls and ceilings.

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

Once you check out the Duomo, Florence’s main attraction and most stunning cathedral (its rooftop provides great views of the city but be prepared for a steep hike over 463 steps), I suggest you head to Uffizi Gallery and the Academia. In Uffizi you will find the artwork by Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello among many and see famous paintings such as The Birth of Venus, which is absolutely stunning when you see it in person! The Academia is home to and is most famous for Michelangelo’s David. He is indeed very handsome! There is another David in front of the Palazzo della Signoria, but don’t be fooled – it’s just a replica and real David can only be found in the Academia. Here you will also find paintings and sculptures by great artists, such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo, del Sarto, Allori and Orcagna. And if you hadn’t had enough, I advise visiting few grand palaces, like Palazzo Veccio and Palazzo Pitti, while churches such as Basilica di Santa Croce and Basilica di Santa Maria Novella will leave you breathless.

Venice

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

One of the Italy’s top attractions, Venice is crowded most of the year which somewhat takes away its infamous sense of romance. Be prepared to join millions of tourists admiring beauty of its numerous small and big canals and medieval architecture. Once you get to Venice you will quickly discover that Piazza San Marco with its Basilica and side square opening to the lagoon are probably one of the most beautiful places you have seen. Other top attractions include Gallerie dell’a Accademia with its vast collection of Venetian paintings, Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) that was the center of political and legal system, Grand Canal and its decorative Rialto Bridge, Murano island world famous for its glassblowing, and other numerous churches, museums and palaces worth visiting.

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

This historic city is filled with a sense of mystery – as you navigate its hidden passages, narrow alleyways and bridges, you can feel many secrets and stories they hold. Yet it’s very busy and vibrant – wherever you go, you see Venetian ball masques and elaborate costumes, Murano glass creations, little side markets and stalls with locals doing their daily shopping, and singing gondoliers skilfully manoeuvring their gondolas through narrow canals. I personally was on the mission to find the house of Casanova, world’s famous lover. When I asked one of the old waiters at the restaurant I was lunching at, he smiled and answered with a smirk: “Every house in this city is Casanova’s,” which is probably not far from the truth! But you can still find the house where he was born on Calle Malipiero, just off Campo San Samuele.

Cinque Terre

 

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

By now most of the avid travellers have probably seen the photos of Cinque Terre’s picturesque villages nested on dramatic seaside cliffs. Set along the coast of Ligurian Sea, Cinque Terre is a vibrant collection of five medieval finishing villages: Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola. Each village has its own character and charm: Monterosso is a larger village with its own beach and seafront promenade (check out Statue of Neptune aka the Giant, Old Castle and the Church of Saint John the Baptist), while Corniglia is located at the top of the cape and is a great place to stop for drinks and try some local wines. Vernazza has a small but beautiful harbor, which is a great place for a meal especially around the sunset, but also make sure to check out its Doria Castle and the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Reggio.

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

Next is Manarola, one of the smallest villages but its houses are very colorful, while its vineyards and orchards are rich and fruitful. Finally, fifth village – Riomaggiore is one of the most popular among the tourists and has its own castle, an old church of San Giovanni Battista and even a natural park. All five villages are connected by a monorail since cars are not allowed in the area, so allow extra time for travel, while exploring each village without rush and enjoying stunning landscape. Also, don’t be surprised to hear English everywhere as monorail carriages tend to be full of trekkers, especially Americans. Cinque Terre offers excellent trekking routes, while food and wine (“Sciacchetrà” wine is produced here) are excellent. Here I tried my ‘black’ squid ink pasta for the first time. It didn’t look or sound appetizing but was in fact very tasty!

Alberobello

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Source: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

Having visited it a couple years ago, I am in love with the Puglia region in southern Italy. I was lucky to meet up with a fellow traveller who had a car and we were able to explore a bit of the region (Alberobello, Ostuni and Lecce) together.

Alberobello is one of the most unusual places I have been to thanks for its whimsical architectural style. This small old town with only 10,000 population is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a home of the trulli culture. Wherever you look you will see white fairytale like traditional houses, trulli, with conical roofs made out of stones. What’s really special about these roofs is that they are made without mortar or any kind of the bonding material and are kept in place by a key, a round tip at the top of the cone. There is a reason behind this ingenious invention. According to the legend, trulli houses were built this way on purpose – to avoid paying taxes on the new settlements. The minute king’s tax inspectors arrived, they could be easily dismantled and then just as easily put back together once unwelcomed visitors left. The houses are quite small inside for modern lifestyle but some locals still live in them while others turned these into shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to visit and take your time to walk on small pathways between these traditional houses and have a meal in one of the local restaurants to try some local delicacies.

Lana
Lana from http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

Author Bio: I am Lana aka The Stylish Voyager. I am a fashionista, voyager, geek, wife, foodie, PhD graduate, cat lover, and part-time wonder woman, and I document my discoveries on The Stylish Voyager as I explore the world each day. For more about me and my adventures, please visit my blog: www.thestylishvoyager.com.

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75 Comments Add yours

  1. BigCityGirl says:

    I love Italy and everything about Italy, the food, culture, people, art and history. It’s so rich and has so much to offer. I feel like a month long vacation in Italy isn’t enough. Last year, I visited Milan, Venice and Lake Como but didn’t have enough time to go to the southern side of Italy. Well, it’s good cause it’ll have me going back to my favourite holiday destination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voyager says:

      Yes, Italy is one of those places you can go back to many times and you will never be disappointed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tae says:

    Love the well rounded list – gives such a variety of cities. I’ve never been the Alberobello but now I think I might have to 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      You will love it, Tae! One of the most unusual places I have ever visited!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mishvo says:

    Great list! I would love to visit Italy, especially Cinque Terre.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tamz says:

    It has been more than 7 years since I have to Italy and I miss that country even today. I would like to add Milan to this list because well, I’ve lived there for 8 months and loved every bit of the city. Lake Como is also a very nice place to visit. But Rome takes the top spot. I would love to visit Sicily too someday.

    I really like the way you have described these places in a very interesting manner. Makes the readers quite involved with the words 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Thanks, Tamz. I picked my top five although there are so many other corners of Italy worth visiting. Personally I didn’t get excited about Milan even though I stayed with a friend who lived there. But that’s just me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel so sorry for my favorite Italian region – Sicily! It is so underrated and often forgotten among other better-known destinations. Sicily is so worth visiting: ancient history, fantastic food and wines, beautiful beaches and remarkable quaint towns.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m a huge, huge fan of Italy – it never gets old! Thank you for sharing some new places for me to try and visit next time I’m there 🙂

    Like

  7. Janine Good says:

    What a great piece! I have been to Italy three times and to all the places listed except Cinque Terre. However, after reading, it is on my bucket list. Venice was incredible and I have fond memories of Firenze. This brought back memories. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Yay, definitely plan a trip to Cinque Terre. You will be blown away!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jenni says:

    I have so much more of Italy to explore I would love to try some not so well known areas and see how the locals really live

    Liked by 2 people

  9. dreaminglouddemo says:

    I always wanted to go Europe, hopefully soon I will find my way there. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      thanks, dreaminglouddemo. If you like my style, you can find more travel stories on http://www.thestylishvoyager.com 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tom says:

    I think everyone will think of the big three, Rome, Florence, and Venice, but adding something like the Puglia region gives people idea to get off the main roads there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      That’s the thing – there is so much to Italy to see. Such an amazing country!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree with you about Rome! I loved exploring Trastevere. But sadly that is the only Italian city I have been to. I can’t wait to visit Florence, Venice, and more!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. indrani says:

    The first European country I visited and it has a special place in my heart!
    I would love to visit Venice, particularly Burano.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Komang Ayu says:

    italy seems indeed a great place to vacation. But I can not go there. The distance is too far away to Indonesia, and will probably spend a lot of money. 😦 I can only imagine the go to italy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      You live in amazing country! Bali is such a special place for me: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com/72-hour-guide-bali-eat-laugh-swim/

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Shounak says:

    Italy is so charming and beautiful. Rome, Vatican, Venice are beautiful, So is Florence and Pisa ..so much history and Just one comment on Rome – beware of pick pockets, specially on trains

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Good point! It’s always good to be careful in big cities, like Rome!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Magnificent and one of the romantic places. I pray for its people safety and recovery. #PrayforItalia

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Ami Bhat says:

    3 down, 2 to go. Cinque Terre has been on my list for a while . Surprised that Milan is missing but I guess these places that you have listed must be more special.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      I know some people mention Milan here but it didn’t do much for me personally, especially if I had to pick top 5 places 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Awesome. I have only done the north of Italy, I have got to get back there and see Rome and other areas. What a magnificent country!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Liana says:

    I’ve been visiting Italy a couple of times already and I’ve felt in love with Rome and Florence! I mean, Everything about Italy is amazing, but one of the city I really want to visit since a couple of years is Cinque de Terre. As you said it’s so colorful and it’s famous for the history of the city! A lot of travellers have been there and I definiely want to go there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      You will love it! I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. verushka143 says:

    Italy is so beautiful ! I have only been to Trieste and Venice. Want to spend a summer in Italy exploring.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. polly674 says:

    Finally I see something different from the most known desitations: Alberobello!
    I think in Puglia there is much more (this is a very touristic place) but starting from there you can enjoy a super lovely region!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Puglia is magical with olive orchards and wineries, small romantic towns and amazing seafood! If you want a more detailed guide to Puglia, feel free to check out my blog: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com/72-hour-guide-to-puglia-italy-bari-alberobello-ostuni-and-lecce/

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Eloise says:

    I would LOVE to go to Italy some day, so beautiful and so much art and history… I, of course, would love to travel all around Europe… it’ll have to wait until I’m older as an empty nester!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Joanna says:

    I am lucky to have visited 5 out of these 5 amazing places. Rome will always be in my heart, I find it so beautiful with so many things to see and delicious food to taste. Cinque Terre is like a dream, it’s so romantic to walk on the promenade by night, while enjoying a glass of wine.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. janella2016 says:

    such beautiful places to visit while abroad in Italy. Thanks for the list!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      you are very welcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. John Rodgers says:

    I have been to 3 of the 5 cities that you described here and reading this brought back some great memories. We went to Venice in 2000 just a year after we were married.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Ana De Jesus says:

    Cinque Terre is so picturesque, but Italy in general is somewhere that is on my bucket list it looks amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Milton Coyne says:

    Italy has always been on top of my bucket list and i guess almost everybody do.. The place is just super amazing and it has so many great landmarks and places to offer.. Italy is also the place where you can find amazing churches and buildings which will surely put me in great awe

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      so true! Every church in Italy, no matter how big or small, is a work of art! You will love it! http://www.thestylishvoyager.com/

      Liked by 1 person

  27. The place is on my wish list for a while now! Loved the article. Hope to visit soon. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Thanks, Laveena 🙂
      If you like my style, check our more travel destinations on http://www.thestylishvoyager.com/

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Dash the Map says:

    I visited Rome last year and loved it. I miss the food and there’s so much to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Alberto C. says:

    Italy is my favourite country in the world, no other place has beaten it yet. Great tips for a first visit.
    I recently went to Sorrento, down the coast of Naples, and I loved the town. I’d recommend it too to anyone spending a few days in this beautiful country!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Italy id on my bucket list and to 5 places to visit. Just watched the news and saw the horrific earthquake that took place today. My prayers are with all the lovely citizens from Italy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  31. The only place that we have visited is Rome, Savona, Milan and Pisa. I would like to go to Venice. We … well I am trying to convince the hub to go on a cruise in November. So keep your fingers crossed. I wanted to go to Florence but I didn’t find much for my kids to do. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      what did you think of Milan? Agree on Florence, I think that apart from visiting art museums and few palaces, there is little for families to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eh. Maybe it is a kid-free place. I may go back without them.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Anamika Ojha says:

    I’ve never visited Europe but Italy is on top of my bucket list for Euro trip. Thanks for sharing all the information. Have pinned your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voyager says:

      Yay, so happy you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. wanderingwagarschristina says:

    Three out of five! Not bad but I definitely want to go back to Itlay. When I do I definitely want to see Cinque Terre and more of the southern region.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Wonderful places all! Italy is such a lovely beautiful country and there’s so much to see – history, nature, architecture, food. My favourite places in Italy is Venice and Lake Como.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Vlad Vaida says:

    Rome, Venice and Florence are on my list definitely! I’ve never been to Italy unfortunately but I hope I’ll do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voyager says:

      You will love it, Vlad! The food, the scenery, the way of life!

      Liked by 2 people

  36. Amanda Love says:

    There’s really no denying that Italy has so much more places to offer tourists! Rome is a staple and you must never miss that place, it’s full of history and amazing sights. Come to think of it, they all are. I love how that the Italians are so good at preserving their architecture, it’s really beautiful out there!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. ouma says:

    Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe in my opinion, and it is in my top 10 to visit places, hopefully I’ll get to visit it sometime this year

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Elizabeth O. says:

    Italy has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world! It’s hard to deny that, it’s really something that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Europe. These five places, I completely agree with. Florence will always be a favorite of mine!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I have never been there but surely looks amazing and I hope to be able to travel there in the future. I love travel content like this one where you can have find real experience 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Hi Nicolas, glad you liked it! 🙂 You can check for more travel stories and tips on my site: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com

      Liked by 2 people

  40. lizellecruz says:

    Rome, Florence and Venice are part of my dream places to visit!! They are surely beautiful

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Julie says:

    Oh I love love love Italy! I was in Rimini, Florence and Tropea, hope to visit Naples one day too

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Anna says:

    I always loved Italy, and like I feel like I should have been born Italian, everything about that country is so enticing from food to the language(and the sexy Italian accent). I would love to visit all the places you have listed here.x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Me too! I must be secretly Italian! I have a really fun blog about my travel in Italy if you wish to read up more: http://www.thestylishvoyager.com/72-hour-guide-to-puglia-italy-bari-alberobello-ostuni-and-lecce/

      Liked by 1 person

  43. I’ve been to Rome several times, Florence, and Naples. It’s been my biggest dream to go to Venice. I haven’t heard of the other places on your list. I’ll have to put them on my list of places to go before I die 🙂

    lapetitecalifornienne.com

    Liked by 2 people

  44. lex says:

    having heard and read alot about italy am not surprised by the wonderful places they have that one can visit, florence and venice does it for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. soulsensecoaching says:

    I am so dying to go to Italy, and all of these gorgeous spots are now officially on my bucket list

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Yay! Glad you are excited about it now!

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Sara G says:

    That’s one country I have to visit! I’ve heard and read so many great things about Italy and I hope I get to see it this coming winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Rome, Firenze and Venice are a must when in Italy. I would like to visit Milano also, maybe in time of the Fashion Week, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      In my opinion, Milan is overrated – I visited but as you can see, haven’t included it on the list. Apart from Duomo and designer boutiques, there is not much to see 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have never think of that in that way, but you are probably right

        Liked by 1 person

  48. I have spent most of my summers growing up in Italy, in Bardolino, Lake Garda, to be exact. My family owns a small vacation home with a vineyard there. I miss these summer days, and while I agree that Venice is divine, I am a child of Verona, completely in love with the city, which is so much more romantic, then anything we have here in the US.
    A beautiful post!

    Ciao!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Voyager says:

      Thank you, Claudia, for kind words. You are so lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful country.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. nbosken says:

    Thanks for sharing all of these! I’m going to be living in Spain this fall and I plan to go back to Italy (I’ve been to Rome once). I’ll keep those last few places in mind as they look amazing!

    Nina
    aworldofdresses.com

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Omg I would love to visit Rome! Just to experience a different culture would be amazing.

    Love,
    Ivelisse | CarnationDreams.com

    Liked by 2 people

  51. I feel the same way about Italy! I would move there any time. I really want to see Naples, Capri, the Amalfi coast and Lake Como now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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