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13 Best Cities to Visit in Italy

13 Best Cities to Visit in Italy

If you’re trying to choose which are the best cities to visit in Italy for your next vacation, you’ve come to the right place. 

After traveling Italy extensively, I have come up with the ultimate guide to help you pick which special locations to include in your own Italian itinerary

With things to do and where to stay in each one, you should have all the information you need to start planning the trip of a lifetime!

1. Rome

You simply can’t visit this incredible country without making a stop in the capital of Rome (after all, most people will be flying into one of Rome’s airports). Full of history, architecture, and delicious food, there is so much to enjoy here that you could spend an entire vacation exploring the city’s streets. 

What’s more, Rome’s central location makes it a great base for your trip with many unique locations located nearby, perfect for day trips if you are driving around the country.  

What to See in Rome

Where to Stay in Rome

I have a whole post on where to stay in Rome if you want to learn about all the different neighborhoods, otherwise here are two of my best recommendations.

The Liberty Boutique Hotel – This beautiful hotel perfectly blends modern and historic elements to create a comfortable stay in a great location. 

Hotel Nazionale – Located very close to the Pantheon, Hotel Nazionale is set inside an 18th-century building and offers incredible views over Rome. 

2. Florence

Art lovers will simply be in heaven when visiting Florence in the heart of Tuscany. With galleries home to the iconic works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli, nestled on cobblestone streets full of remnants of the Renaissance, this romantic city will captivate anyone who visits. 

Whether you’re visiting Florence in winter or wanting to day a day trip to the surrounding vineyards, I have plenty of tips for your trip to help you experience it to the fullest!

Cities to Visit in Italy

What to See in Florence

Where to Stay in Florence

Arte’ Boutique Hotel – A regal hotel that will make you feel like royalty with incredible views of the Duomo.

Hotel Orto de’ Medici – Set within a 16th-century building, this hotel has a super central location with panoramic views over Florence from the terrace. 

3. Venice

Another classic must-visit city in Italy is the beautiful city of canals, Venice. Whether you visit during the lively Carnival or simply take a romantic trip to ride gondolas and sip cocktails, you won’t help but love this floating city and I have compiled all my suggestions here.  

The city’s rich history brings visitors from all around the world to explore its winding streets, world-famous art, delicious food, and vibrant culture. 

What to See in Venice

Where to Stay in Venice

There are so many beautiful hotels in Venice that I have written a whole post on them, but if you’re looking for something quickly, here are my favorites.

Ruzzini Palace Hotel – Living up to its name, this incredible historic building is home to an elegant hotel with access to water taxis right at the doorstep. 

Palazzo Keller – This beautiful hotel is intricately decorated with a mix of modern and traditional elements to provide the perfect setting for your Venetian getaway. 

4. Verona

Another romantic gem of Northern Italy, don’t miss the opportunity to profess your love to someone special at Romeo and Juliet’s balcony or enjoy a unique opera inside the Roman Arena which dominates the old city center. 

Verona offers something for any kind of traveler with its literary and Roman history, enchanting medieval streets, and delicious food, all wrapped up in the timeless beauty of this classic city. What’s more, there are plenty of exciting day trips you can take to the surrounding area.

What to See in Verona

Where to Stay in Verona

Hotel Accademia – Frequented by celebrities and once owned by the world-renowned singer Giovanni Zentaello, if you are looking for the perfect place to stay to round out your trip to the opera, this is it. 

Relais Balcone di Giulietta – If you’re looking for spacious, bright, and regal apartments in one of the most romantic cities in the world, you can’t beat this apartment located directly opposite Juliette’s balcony. 

5. Bologna

Food lovers unite! Bologna is perhaps the gastronomic capital of Italy with a culinary offering like no other city in Italy. Renowned for its delicious cuisine, here you can enjoy rich pasta dishes such as tortellini and tagliatelle al Ragu. 

Aside from its food, the city is also a beautifully preserved medieval city with vibrant markets, a lively atmosphere, and intricate architecture. 

What to See in Bologna

Where to Stay in Bologna

Antica Casa Zucchini – With four poster beds, painted ceilings, and a delicious breakfast, here you will get the real and extremely elegant luxury Italian experience. 

Casa Isolani Piazza Maggiore – Comfortable, quiet, and modern rooms located right in the middle of the historic city center of Bologna

6. Siena

Another medieval jewel in the heart of Tuscany, Siena will captivate you with its historic charm and rich culture. Famous for the unique Palio horse race, the city’s center is dominated by the striking Piazza del Campo which gothic architecture provides a stunning backdrop for this vibrant hub of activity. 

Often skipped by many tourists who are in a rush to see the main sites of the country, this beautiful Tuscan city is a great hidden gem for those who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy an authentic Italian getaway. You can even take a trip to some of the area’s best hot springs from here!

What to See in Siena

Where to Stay in Siena

Palazzetto Rosso – This art hotel provides large, modern rooms with eclectic interior design right in the middle of the historic center.

Villa del Sole – For something a little more quiet, Villa del Sole provides incredible views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside while still being within easy reach of the city’s biggest attractions. 

7. Milan

Known as one of the major fashion capitals of the world, get ready to put on your best outfit to strut the streets of this fast-paced yet historical city. 

Milan’s cosmopolitan world manages to blend seamlessly with its iconic cultural heritage, so whether you’re looking to shop at high-end boutiques or simply soaking up the good food, great architecture, and urban vibes, Milan has something for everyone. 

What to See in Milan

Where to Stay in Milan

Hotel Regina – This fully refurbished 19th-century building is home to some beautiful guest suites with high arched ceilings, funky tiles, and beautiful courtyards. 

Urban Hive Milano – For a chic, cosmopolitan option, Urban Hive is a great choice with its modern design and top-of-the-range facilities. 

8. Naples

Pizza, history, and beaches, what more could you ask for out of your Italian vacation? Known for its authentic Italian life, the famous pizza here will be some of the best in your life while the setting will give you a slice of the real Italian culture! 

Located on the Bay of Naples, this historic city has views for days while also offering you close access to the archaeological wonders of Pompeii and Herculaneum, what more could you want? 

What to See in Naples

Where to Stay in Naples

Relais Della Porta – With incredible wooden details and large rooms, this hotel will make you feel like you’re sleeping in an art gallery. 

Artemisia Domus – Another regal option with bright white decor and beautiful bathtubs for a romantic vacation in Naples. 

9. Perugia

Perugia, the picturesque capital of Umbria, invites travelers to step back in time while experiencing the best of Italian culture. 

This medieval hilltop town is known for its charming streets, historic architecture, and fine art with the famous Umbrian Jazz Festival. With a rich history, delicious food, and a welcoming setting, Perugia offers a delightful escape for those seeking an authentic off-the-beaten-path Italian experience. There are even a number of castle hotels here if you’re looking to live a fairytale.

What to See in Perugia

Where to Stay in Perugia

Locanda della Posta Boutique Hotel – Located on the main pedestrian street in the center of the city, this hotel boasts beautiful rooms in an 18th-century building. 

Times Suites – For a more modern alternative, Times Suites offers comfortable large rooms in a great location with many facilities such as work desks. 

10. Sorrento

Located on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is a coastal paradise attracting travelers with sea views, lemon groves, and quaint charming streets. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Italy on the coast.

Whether sipping limoncello at a cliffside cafe, exploring the historic city center, or taking a day trip to nearby Positano and Capri, Sorrento offers a quiet retreat with a dash of Italian coastal beauty.

cities to visit in Italy

What to See in Sorrento

  • Villa Comunale di Sorrento
  • Baths of Queen Giovanna
  • Capri & Blue Grotto 
  • Chiostro di San Francesco

Where to Stay in Sorrento

Palazzo Marziale – This stunning 15th-century building will blow you away from the moment you step into its arched doorways. With earthy tones, lush plants, and floating curtains, you will really feel like you’re in Italy here. 

Sorrento Marida Rooms – For bright rooms and sunny terraces overlooking the historic center of Sorrento within walking distance of the beach, this place is hard to beat. 

11. Matera

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Matera is a quaint town carved out of the rugged cliffs of southern Italy. Known for its unique cave dwellings and ancient history, this is a place that takes you back in time. 

Wander the picturesque Sassi de Matera, dine in cave restaurants, and immerse yourself in a place that feels like another time far away from the more commercial tourist crowds to flock to more famed destinations. 

What to See in Matera

Where to Stay in Matera

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA – This unique cave hotel is located in the heart of the UNESCO heritage site and features rooms, a pool, and a restaurant built inside the rock as well as a great outdoor terrace. 

Palazzotto Residence & Winery – Another cave hotel with a bit of a twist featuring a winery onsite! The guest rooms have everything you need and some even have a balcony. 

12. Genoa

Genoa is a maritime jewel with a fascinating history, bustling ports, and great seafood. From exploring the breathtaking Palazzi dei Rolli to sampling mouth-watering seafood at the vibrant Mercato Orientale, Genoa offers authentic Italian culture and cuisine in a beautiful setting. 

This wealthy city boasts countless grand buildings and picturesque plazas thanks to its prominent position in maritime trade throughout history so there is lots to discover for all types of tourists. 

What to See in Genoa

Where to Stay in Genoa

Hotel Astoria – This 4-star hotel is one of the best in Genoa offering a fitness center, private parking, a bar, and incredible gardens onsite in a beautiful building. 

Queen Catlleya Suite – These unique, modern rooms add a touch of art to your vacation with themed rooms in a great location. 

13. Palermo

The vibrant capital of Sicily is a fascinating blend of history, culture, and flavor which may surprise you with its unique twist on the Italian style.  

Wander the historic streets of the Old Town where Byzantine, Arabic, and Norman influences come together in spectacular architecture but don’t miss the bustling markets like Ballaro, where you can sample Sicilian street food!

What to See in Palermo

Where to Stay in Palermo

Casa Nostra Boutique Hotel – With a beautiful pool featuring sun loungers, greenery, and a poolside restaurant, it may be hard to leave this incredible hotel. 

Family Affair Palermo – Classy, modern rooms with a hint of classical elegance in a historical building located very close to the Politeama Theater and Cathedral. 

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