The six cities not to miss during your trip to Italy

Adam Jones | 20/05/2019
Six cities not to miss in Italy
Stained glass windows in Milan's iconic cathedral.

With so many excellent places to visit, a quick glance at some of the best cities to visit in Italy can make your trip planning that much smoother. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best urban Italy destinations to explore during your vacation in Italy.

Rome

The Eternal City never disappoints. The capital of Italy and the still-beating heart of an ancient empire, Rome has it all. From the splendour of centuries-old architecture to the swinging nightlife of La Dolce Vita, there’s nothing Rome can’t provide — except maybe a little peace and quiet. Trying soaking in both culture and history by attending an opera performed at the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. Don’t feel like waiting in line for attractions? Just stroll through the old city, using the architecture as a backdrop to sumptuous street food and excellent shopping.

Venice

To avoid the city’s now-legendary crowds, try visiting Venice during the shoulder seasons — spring and fall. It’ll be a bit colder, but you’ll have more of the city to yourself. Get out of the main parts of Venice to find some variety. For example, you could visit the other islands to discover wonders such as the glass shops of Murano, the colorful houses of Burano and the Torcello nature reserve. Don’t forget the sometimes overlooked island of Sant’Andrea. Home to a former military fort, this tranquil Venetian island will give you a quieter spot to enjoy the sunshine.

Bologna

Once host to the oldest university in the Western world Bologna is a capital of history, culture, architecture and food. Stroll through the medieval quarter during the day, taking an earned rest stop at a little enoteca for some of the city’s excellent food. Considered the gastronomic capital of Italy, you’ll be able to find delicious meals on every corner of the city. These include delights such as tortellino, tagliatelle al ragù, green lasagna, and cotoletta petroniana. Pop into Café Pasticceria Gamberini, the oldest bakery in the city, for some amazing cakes to punctuate your walk.

Milan

When it comes to Italian fashion, Milan is one of the best places to visit in Italy. A cosmopolitan capital of business and style, the city has a bevy of historic and modern sights to choose from. Take a glance at the magnificent Duomo cathedral or catch a show at La Scala, one of the world’s great opera houses. If modern pleasures are more your style, Milan is a world-class city for shopping, soccer and nightlife. Consider a shopping trip on the Fashion Quadrangle, home to flagship stores for some of the world’s top brands, including Gucci, Prada, Armani and Dolce e Gabbana.

Naples

Situated under the volcanic rumble of Mount Vesuvius, Naples remains a bustling city with plenty of adventures to offer the curious traveller. Wander the catacombs and historic streets, punctuated by stops for authentic Neapolitan pizza. This is the home of pizza margherita; the pizza guild lays down guidelines to ensure you get a perfectly authentic pie. You can enjoy the natural sights of Naples, and work off some of the fantastic food by going on a nature hike. Visit Vesuvius National Park for a panoramic view of Naples and the surrounding area. For a more relaxing adventure consider taking a glassblowing workshop or booking a dolphin boat cruise.

Florence

An art-lover’s paradise, Florence is home to some of the most famous pieces of art in the world. Drop by the Uffizi Gallery to see Botticelli’s Venus and then the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. For a 360 degree view of the city, you might want to climb the cupola of the Florence Duomo, considered one of the most impressive feats of Renaissance architecture. Need a day of nature and relaxation? Wander the Boboli Gardens to take in some elaborate landscaping and elegant sculptures. If you’re feeling hungry after all that strolling, consider stopping for bistecca alla fiorentina, massive steaks for which the city is famous.