Some of the best cities in Italy are spread all across the country.
They have a long and complicated history behind them. There are a lot of interesting and unique things to do there.
Italy is a country renowned for its history, culture, and stunning beauty, and its cities are no exception.
From the canals of Venice to the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy’s urban centers offer an unmatched combination of ancient charm and contemporary allure.
In this article, we’ll discover how beautiful Italian cities can be, and find inspiration for your next unforgettable vacation.
The architecture is also some of the best in the world.
Italy is a well-known and popular destination for tourists because it is home to many famous monuments and a rich history.
The country also has some beautiful and romantic cities, like Rome.
These cities continue to be popular tourist destinations because of their amazing vibe and beauty. Once you visit one of them, you will want to see more and learn more about each of them.
Italy is one of my favorite European countries because of its great cities, like Rome and Venice, as well as its long history and delicious food.
I have been lucky enough to visit this country multiple times.
I chose a different part of the country to explore on each trip.
Main Regions of Italy
Italy is a country with many different regions, each with its own unique and beautiful features that attract visitors. Once you visit Italy, you will fall in love with it.
I have been to the Dolomites, Toscany, Sicily, Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast.
But each of these places is different and you will find a new side of Italy in each one.
You can find everything you want in Italy. There are beautiful cities on hills in Toscany and colorful coastal cities all across the country.
Many people visit Italy every year. This is not a surprise, because Italy is a great country with lots of things to see and do.
People from all over the world come to see the relics of the Roman Empire, the balcony where Julliete and Romeo declared their love, or Milan, which is known as the world’s fashion capital.
There are many beautiful Italian cities with lots of different things to do.
Deciding which cities to visit can be a challenge. It might take you more time than you expect.
That is why I have chosen the best cities of Italy for you to visit on your next Italian adventure.
Italy’s Largest Cities on map
While Italy may not be a large country (in fact, it’s roughly the size of Arizona), its small size belies the incredible richness and diversity of its culture, museums, food, and experiences.
In fact, some of the most unforgettable experiences can be found in the country’s major cities and urban centers, where visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant Italian lifestyle and soak up the country’s unparalleled beauty and history.
So don’t be fooled by Italy’s size – it may be small, but it’s bursting with incredible sights and experiences that you won’t want to miss.
I’ve created this Italy map with cities to help you plan your visit:
Get your map of Italian cities
The top 5 largest cities in Italy
If you’re curious about Italy’s most populous cities near me, look no further. According to 2019 estimates, the top five largest cities in the country, listed in order of population, are:
- Rome, with a population of 2,837,332;
- Milan, with 1,396,059 inhabitants;
- Naples, with a population of 962,589;
- Turin, which has 870,952 residents;
- Palermo, with a population of 657,960.
These cities are the best of Italy as they offer visitors a wide range of cultural, historical, and gastronomic attractions. This makes them ideal destinations for travelers seeking a taste of Italy’s unparalleled allure.
The Very Best Cities in Italy
Rome is the capital of Italy. It is also home to one of the most famous Roman ruins in the world.
If you want to start your Italian adventure, Rome is a great place to do it.
The capital city of Italy is located in the center of the country on the Tiber River.
It is full of historical landmarks and is also known as La Citta Eterna or Eternal City.
You can walk on the same roads as the Romans did in one of the oldest capital cities in the world.
You can explore ancient ruins and learn about one of the most powerful empires that ever existed.
City of Rome was the capital of this empire.
Things to see in Rome
Rome is the largest city in Italy. It is packed with things to see and do, like Roman attractions, baroque and Renaissance architecture, and old streets that go into beautiful squares.
The Colosseum is a famous Roman construction and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
It’s a good place to start your tour of Rome.
It was built almost 2000 years ago and is among Rome’s most visited places.
It is important to book a ticket in advance if you want to visit the palace.
This will allow you to skip the line and ensure you have access without waiting in line for hours.
If you want to avoid crowds, go to the open house early in the morning.
This way, you’ll have plenty of time to look around before more people arrive.
Rome Guided Tour
With Colosseum: Tour with Arena Floor, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, you will be able to enter the Colosseum quickly and also visit the other two important Roman attractions.
The Roman Forum was the center of the Roman political, social and religious life. The Palatine Hill is where you can see Rome from above.
Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) is a popular tourist attraction in Rome. If you want to make a wish, you can throw a coin into the fountain.
If you’re tired, you can take a break by sitting nearby on the Spanish Steps.
Visit the Sistine Chapel, which is a beautiful place with artwork by Michelangelo. Explore Vatican City, where the Catholic Pope blesses the people every Sunday.
There are many things to do in this city. I’m sure you don’t have a lot of time, so I have grouped the attractions into 2 parts: the must-see things and the nice-to-see list.
Must see things: Colosseum, Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum (Unesco World Heritage Site), the state of Vatican with Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, and Sant’Angelo Castle.
Nice to see: Campo de’Fiori Market (Piazza del Campo), Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Popolo, Borghese Gallery.
Where to sleep in Rome
Rome is packed with many beautiful hotels and guesthouses, suitable for every budget.
There are many different types of places to stay in Rome.
There are two options for your stay in Rome. You can choose a fancy hotel with a great view of the ancient Roman ruins, or you can stay in a cozy guesthouse close to the main attractions.
If you want to be in the center of the city, within walking minutes of Pantheon and Fontana di Trevi and other landmarks of the area, book your stay at The Talent Hotel Roma, a fancy hotel with beautiful views of the city.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly hotel that is not too far from the city center, I suggest the Domus Raffaello. This hotel offers a delicious breakfast and clean rooms.
Venice, one of the best Italy cities is a romantic and unique metropola located in northern Italy, close to Slovakia, Austria and Croatia.
It is a city built on water. There are more than 150 canals in Venice, but the Grand Canal is the most important one.
Venice is one of the few cities on Earth without cars. People use water buses, water taxis, and boats to move around.
Many people consider this floating town to be one of the best cities in Italy. It is made up of 118 islands connected by bridges and canals.
Nothing can be more romantic and beautiful than getting lost on the narrow streets of this unique city.
Venice is one of the most visited cities of Italy and even in Europe, so prepare for many people roaming around.
What I found most interesting about Venice, one of the best Italian cities, were the narrow streets that sometimes opened up into cozy and small squares.
The romantic bridges were also a highlight, as well as the gondolas.
Nothing could be more romantic and charming than a gondola ride along the Venetian canals.
After you’ve seen a lot of the canals, go to St Mark’s Square. You’ll find the impressive St Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace in this square.
Other important things to see while in Venice are:
- Rialto Bridge
- the promenade Riva degli Schiavoni
- Jewish ghetto
- Morano island with its world-famous ceramic artworks
- Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Where to sleep in Venice
If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight, Hotel Dona Palace Venice is a great option.
The building this hotel is in is from the XIV century. This means you get to enjoy the historical atmosphere of the building from the moment you enter the hotel. Plus, each room has 21st-century luxury.
The hotel is located close to St Mark’s Square, the heart of the city.
This means you are a few minutes’ walk from all the main attractions.
The Venetian-style rooms with beautiful views over the square will make you feel like a Venetian doge.
The hotel has a wonderful inside garden where you can sip a cocktail and relax.
Florence, one of the best cities in Italy is located in the central part of the country and is known as the best city for art and culture in Italy.
It is the place where you should go if you want to admire Michelangelo and Da Vinci artworks.
The capital of Renaissance architecture and art and it is located on the Arno River, surrounded by green countryside and the world-famous vineyards from the Toscany hills.
Things to see in Florence
The Duomo is the most impressive cathedral in the city. This cathedral has a terracotta-tiled dome designed by Brunelleschi and the bell tower by Giotto.
Don’t forget to include Ponte Vecchio in your shortlist.
It is one of the town’s oldest bridges and a popular tourist spot. You can also find souvenirs there.
If you are an art lover, you should not miss the Galleria Degli Uffizi where you can admire da Vinci’s “Annunciation” and Botticelli’s “ The Birth of Venus”.
If you’re a fan of Michelangelo, head to The Galleria dell’Accademia where you can see his famous artwork “David.”
Florence is a city in Italy that is worth visiting. If you are interested in art and culture, you will enjoy your time there.
This beautiful town in Italy is known for being the birthplace of the Renaissance. There are lots of artworks, stunning architecture, a royal palace and monuments to enjoy here.
Florence is quite small and easy to walk around. This means that you don’t need to spend any money on public transport.
Many people visit Florence but don’t explore the nearby towns of Siena and Pisa.
They’re famous for their towers – the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Tuscany countryside.
You can choose to do this on your own by renting a car or travelling by train from Florence.
You can also travel stress-free and get a guided tour with transport and a professional guide.
Florence Guided Tour
Florence: Pisa, Siena & San Gimignano Day Trip with Lunch is a full day guided tour with lunch and wine tasting included that leads you to the Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli from Pisa, explore Siena and visit a wine villa from the Chianti countryside.
You will have lunch in the countryside of Tuscany.
You will taste the world-famous Chianti wine.
Explore the scenic countryside that is full of vineyards and wine cellars.
Finally, you will return to Florence, which is the best city in Italy for art and museums.
Where to sleep
Located in an XIII century building, Hotel Pierre Florence is one of the best choices when speaking about accommodations in Florence.
The hotel is close to the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio and features clean and spacious rooms and a restaurant with an amazing view of the city.
Each room includes a complimentary smartphone so you can call for a taxi or ask any questions you may have.
Milan is the world capital of fashion and one of the best tourist cities in Italy and this is the right place where you should go if you like to shop in style.
A lot of the major brands have stores in Milan. Some people say that if you don’t have a store in Milan, you’re not really a big brand in the fashion industry.
With a population of 3.3 million, Milan is one of the most populated cities of Italy.
It is located in the north of the country.
Milan is close to France and just 80 kilometers away from Lake Como, one of the most famous Italian lakes and where many celebrities from all over the world spend their holiday.
When you are in Milan, it is a must that you see the magnificent lake.
If you want to explore the Lake Como area, it is best to take a guided tour.
This way, you will not have to worry about where to eat or what to see. The tour guide will also help you get there.
Milan Guided Tour
Milan: Lake Como, Bellagio, and Varenna Day Tour is a full-day guided tour of the Lake Como area and you will visit the most emblematic towns Como, Bellagio and Varenna plus Omo Villa, the most iconic villa with amazing gardens, preferred by celebrities who visit Lake Como.
Milan is not only the capital of fashion and design, but it is also the home of the national stock exchange. In addition, Milan is one of the richest cities in Italy.
So, it is easy to understand why Milan is one of the greatest financial powers in the Italian peninsula.
This place has a completely different vibe than Florence or Rome and is one of the best cities of Italy where history and old architecture stand right near sky scrappers and modern buildings.
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Milan is famous for:
- Duomo di Milan Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Italy and Europea
- The Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie is home to one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous artworks, “The Last Supper.”
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a very popular shopping center in Italy. It’s a great place to take pictures and it’s also one of the oldest shopping centers in the world.
Where to sleep
The 4-star Hotel Spadari Al Duomo is located close to the Duomo di Milano. You can walk to most of the shops from there.
The hotel offers modern rooms with comfortable beds, and an American buffet-style breakfast is served each morning.
Bologna is famous for its food, wealth, and beauty. People come from all over to visit this amazing city because of these things.
Make sure you try the spaghetti bolognese while you’re here as they are the best!
And don’t forget to drink some Italian wine, famous all over the world for its taste and flavor.
The narrow streets and colorful, welcoming buildings make you feel at home in this city.
You will easily fall in love with Bologna, one of the best cities in Italy to travel!
Bologna is one of the best Italian cities. It is located in the north of the country.
Bologna has a nickname which is “la dotta, la grassa, la rossa” which means “the wise, the fat/rich, and the red”.
It is “the wise” because here you can find the second oldest university in Europe; “the rich” because its food offerings and flavor and “the red” because of the red roofs of the houses.
University of Bologna is among the oldest in the country and in the world, founded in 1088, so students from all over the world rush to study at this prestigious Italian university.
Bologna Italian Food
Bologna is famous for its food. I am sure that you ate at least once in your lifetime the delicious spaghetti bolognese made by a real Italian chef.
Actually, Bologna is known as the culinary capital of Italy and heaven on Earth for foodies from all across the world.
You will fall in love with Bologna instantly and you will be fascinated by its architecture, building, and colors.
Bologna is located between Milan, Florence, and Venice. People often forget to visit Bologna when they are in Italy.
But Bologna is a really great city that deserves attention.
This beautiful town accessible on foot hide an impressive number of attractions and has a really positive vibe.
Bologna is a city with two different sides. One side is rich and has great food, businesses, and opera houses.
The other side is full of students and has streets packed with young people who are looking to have fun.
Among the most important thing to see when visiting Bologna I would like to name the following:
- Piazza Maggiore, one of the oldest squares in Italy and the heart of the city
- The Asinelli Tower offers some of the best views of Bologna and the surrounding area. However, you need to climb almost 500 steps to get to these views.
Bologna Guided Tour
You cannot say that you visited Bologna if you don’t take a food tour and taste the delicious dishes prepared here.
Bologna: Guided Traditional Food Tour is one of the best tours and a great way to taste the local cuisine.
The tour lasts for about 3.5 hours and it will give you a good sense of the Italian food from Bologna.
For your Italian meal, you will try local specialties like meats and cheeses, different styles of bolognese, and the dessert Brazadela.
You will end your meal with a typical Italian espresso.
Where to sleep
Hotel Corona Oro Bologna is a beautiful hotel that is located close to the city center and other popular attractions.
The rooms are clean, some offer a wonderful view of the city, while a complimentary breakfast is served each morning.
Verona is the birthplace of Romeo and Juliet. It is also one of the best cities in Italy to visit.
If you are traveling to Verona, one of the best Italian cities, make sure to visit the house with the small balcony overlooking the courtyard.
This is known as Juliette’s balcony and is a popular tourist destination.
I am sure you have read Shakespeare’s book about Romeo and Juliette. Now it is time to take some memorable photos of this emblematic place.
Verona is a city in the north of Italy. It is the third-largest city in the Italian peninsula.
People often call it one of the most romantic cities in Italy.
If you are looking for a place to relax and find some romance, then this is the right city for you. It is definitely one of the most underrated cities on the peninsula.
This medieval town in northern Italy is the place where gothic churches and Roman ruins meet the renaissance gardens.
The best way to explore this magnificent town is on foot as everything is within walking distance.
Besides Juliette’s balcony, there is another must-see attraction of the place is Verona Arena. This huge Roman amphitheater is home to large concerts and opera our days.
Make sure to visit the Torre dei Lamberti, the tallest tower in Verona. It offers amazing views of the city and its neighborhoods. If you have some extra time, go to Castelvecchio.
If you have some extra time, consider visiting Lake Garda in Italy. It is one of the largest lakes in the country.
Verona Guided Tour
From Verona: Sirmione and Lake Garda Small Group Tour is a 4 hours guided tour that starts in the center of Verona and leads you to the largest lake of Italy.
The tour price includes a boat ride to see the beautiful Sirmione town from the lake.
Where to sleep
Hotel Milano Spas Verona is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a room with plenty of space that’s also very clean. Plus, the rooftop bar offers a great view of the city.
After a long day of exploring the city, you can relax in a hotel’s spa.
The spa offers top-notch services and a long list of treatments and massages.
Genoa, one of the best cities in Italy and a major port on the peninsula, is a lively place with a long maritime history.
This city has played an important role over the years.
Genoa is also the birthplace of the great explorer Christopher Columbus!
Some important places to visit in Genoa are the Cathedral of Saint Lorenzo and its amazing interior frescoes and black and white striped facade.
Another place is the Piazza de Ferrari with its bronze Fontaine.
If you’re an opera lover, I have to tell you that there is an excellent opera theater in this magnificent city. The Teatro Carlo Felice is one of the best in the world.
Where to sleep
Nh Genova Centro Genoa is a great suggestion for a place to stay in Genoa.
The hotel is located in the heart of the old city and it is only a five minute walk from the nearest metro station.
What I liked most at this hotel were the location, the clean rooms, and the tasty and varied breakfast.
When is the best time to visit Italy
Italy is a country with a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters.
The peak tourist season in Italy is during the summer months of June, July, and August, when temperatures are at their highest and many locals take their vacations.
While this is an ideal time for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts, it’s also the busiest and most expensive time of year.
For those looking to avoid the crowds and save some money, the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are a great option.
During these months, the weather is still mild, and the crowds are fewer, making it a perfect time to explore the sights and experience the local culture.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy specifically to visit the country’s iconic cities, such as Rome, Florence, and Venice, the best time to go is during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.
During these times, the weather is mild and pleasant, and the crowds are smaller, making it easier to get around and experience the sights.
Additionally, many popular attractions, such as museums and galleries, offer extended opening hours during these seasons, giving visitors more time to explore.
The winter months of December to February can also be a good time to visit the cities, as there are fewer tourists, and prices for accommodation and airfare are often lower.
However, keep in mind that some attractions may have shorter opening hours during the winter season.
Overall, the best time to visit the cities of Italy depends on your personal preferences and priorities, but the shoulder seasons are generally a safe bet for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
These are the best cities in Italy that should be on your list when planning your trip to Italy.
As you already have seen, all these places are different and unique; each is a piece of European history!
These cities are unique and beautiful, which is why they attract tourists from all over the world. To get the best prices for airfare and hotel rooms, you should book your trip in advance.
Which city is most beautiful in Italy?
There are many great cities in Italy. It is hard to choose just one.
If you are passionate about Ancient ruins, then Rome is the right choice. If you are looking for something unique and romantic, head to Venice.
Don’t forget about Florence, the place where Rennaisance was borne.
Which Italian city is best to visit?
All Italian cities are equally beautiful and unique and worth paying a visit when exploring Italy.
Go to Rome if you want to see some ancient ruins. If you want to see some art, go to Florence. If you want to explore the Tuscany region, go to Florence.
Venice is the most famous city located over water. Venice has no cars, so you need a boat to get around.
What are 3 famous cities in Italy?
Italy is packed with famous cities and with natural wonders, but if I had to name just 3 cities to visit on your next adventure that will be Rome, Venice, and Milan.
They are completely different, and none resemble each other, so these cities are definitely a must-see when exploring Italy.
Which city is better Venice or Florence?
Actually, both cities are extremely beautiful and worth paying a visit to, but each city addresses a different type of people.
If you are interested in art and culture, then Florence is the perfect city for you.
This city has many impressive monuments and artworks on display.
If you are more of a romantic person then you definitely have to go to Venice, the city of love to take a gondola and to admire the city from the beautiful canals.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.