ITALY: THE ULTIMATE BUCKET LIST
ITALY’S TOP ATTRACTIONSItaly is a feast for the senses, a country where masterpieces await at every corner. It can be overwhelming to know where to start and what to see. Below you’ll find our version of the ultimate Italy bucket list to help you get started.
ADMIRE THE ARCHITECTURE1. Roman ruins: Walk through the remains of the world’s greatest empire at Rome’s Colosseum, Pantheon, Palatine Hill, Arch of Constantine, and Roman Forum.
2. Renaissance city: The Tuscan capital of Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and its historical centre is entirely considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Holy See: The seat of the Catholic Church is a sight to see—explore Vatican City, including the spectacular St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.
4. Lean back: Come for the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, stay for the magnificent UNESCO-listed piazza del Duomo, also home to a medieval cathedral and cemetery.
5. Coastal cities: Take your own postcard picture of colourful villages clinging to coastal cliffs in Cinque Terre. 6. Ancient Pompeii: Once a holiday resort for rich Romans, Pompeii was famously destroyed by a volcanic eruption in A.D. 79. Don’t miss one of Italy’s most famous archeological sites!
Recommended tour packages: Glimpse of Italy, Country Roads of Tuscany, Umbria and Rome, Italian Dream.
GET CULTURAL1. Master works: Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian… admire their famous masterpieces at Rome’s Borghese Gallery or Florence’s Uffizi Gallery.
2. Contemporary cool: Meet modern artists at Rome’s National Gallery of Modern Art, Milan’s Pavilion of Contemporary Art or at the Venice Bienniale.
3. O sole mio: Experience opera in its birthplace at the Arena of Verona, Milan’s La Scala, Venice’s Fenice Theatre, Rome’s Teatro dell'Opera, or Naples’ Teatro San Carlo.
4. Lights, camera… Italy: Visit famous film locations, from James Bond zipping around Venice to Rome’s Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s classic La Dolce Vita.
5. Forza Italia: Italians sure love soccer. See it for yourself and catch a game at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milan (home of AC Milan) or Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
6. Literal must-sees: Wait for fair Juliet below the balconies of fair Verona (from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) or hop around glorious Ischia (from Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend series).
Recommended tour packages: Italian Renaissance, Italy Express, La Dolce Vita, Wonders of Italy.
EAT (+DRINK) YOUR HEART OUTPro-tip: Find all our culinary travel tips for Italy in this guide.
1. Tuscan delights: Hearty dishes abound in this rich region—Tuck into a Florentine T-bone steak and delicious ribollita soup.
2. Pizza & pasta: Need we say more here? Every city has its own favourite pasta dish or way of slinging pizza, so why not sample some in every stop?
3. Say cheese: Fresh mozzarella, sharp parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino cheese from local sheep’s milk, fragrant gorgonzola… we could go on, but we’re too hungry.
4. Get in the spirit: Every meal needs an aperitivo—sip on limoncello made from giant Amalfi Coast lemons or head north to try grappa from the Veneto region.
5. Wine time: Montalcino, Prosecco, Valpolicella, Chianti… just to name a few. Look up vineyards close to where you’re visiting to try the best local wine!
6. Hey sweetie: On a hot day, cool down with gelato. On any day, treat yourself to fritole, sfogliatella, and, of course, cannoli.
Recommended tour packages: Easy Pace Gourmet Italy, Flavours of Italy, Tuscan Discovery.
ANSWER NATURE’S CALL1. Beach, please: Live your Mediterranean beach dreams along the fabulous Amalfi or Ligurian coasts, swim off the pebbled shores of Cinque Terre, or fall for the beaches off the coast of Naples.
2. Lovely lakes: Dive into Lake Garda, at the doorstep of the Italian Alps and explore all the lakes of the Lombardy region (Lake Como and Lake Maggiore).
3. Water roads: Cuddle up in a romantic gondola and cruise the iconic canals of Venice.
4. Peak Italy: While we love the sunny Italian coast, reach new heights across the country’s mountains—the Dolomites, the Apennines, and the Alps.
5. Islands of fun: Venture off the boot to soak in natural marvels on the islands of Capri, Sardinia or Sicily. 6. Country roads, take me home: Step into a postcard of Italy across the rolling green hills of Tuscany, a region ideal for an Italian road trip.
Recommended tour packages: Best of the Amalfi Coast, Enchanting Italy, Seaside Escape at Hotel La Darsena, Country Roads of Northern Italy and Lake Garda