Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and choosing the best city to visit in Italy might be more complicated than you’ve imagined.
It is not fair and right to choose just a single city as the best city in Italy, because each of them has its own charm and beauty.
That is why I made a top of the best cities to visit In Italy, a top that contains a few hints to help you choose the right city for your Italian escape.
Some of the following links are affiliate links. When you buy something using the retail links in our article, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost for you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Let’s discover together which are the best cities to visit in Italy and why each of these cities is famous for!
Rome, best Italian city for Roman Ruins
For those of you interested in Roman Ruins and history, Rome is the right place to go as this city is home to many famous monuments like Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum which are included on the Unesco World Heritage site list.
Besides these three world-renowned monuments Rome, the best city in Italy, hosts a quite impressive collection of ancient ruins which you definitely have to see once in this city:
1. Domus Aurea or Nero’s Golden Palace located just a few steps away from the Colosseum.
The site is still in the excavation process and can be visited only during weekends and the guided tour is mandatory.
You will explore the area and the 3D technology will help you imagine how the palace looked in its glorious time.
2. Ostia Antica located one hour from the city centre is an ancient harbour of ancient Rome and is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Rome.
You definitely have to visit the Amphitheater and the warehouses and temples and walk the central road.
3. Via Appia is the oldest road that leads to Rome that starts outside the Aurelian Walls of Rome and goes all the way to Brindisi at the coast.
The best way to explore it is by bicycle.
4. Theatre of Marcellus located close to the huge white Monument of Victor Emmanuel in the Ghetto area, right near Rome.
It is believed to be the oldest surviving Roman Theatre in the world built between 17 and 11 BCE.
5. Baths of Diocletian are located right in the centre of Rome, the best city to visit in Italy for ancient ruins, right near Termini Station.
Bath culture was very important in ancient Rome and because houses did not have bathrooms as we have today, people use the local baths to clean themselves and go to the toilet.
6. Circus Maximus is located right near the Colosseum and today hosts a public park.
It measures 621 metres in length and 120 metres in width and could host almost 250.000 visitors.
Rome, the best city of Italy for ancient ruins, hosts many other interesting attractions, like the city-state of the Vatican with its amazingly beautiful Sistine Chapel, the place where the new Pope is chosen.
Oh, and there is also the renowned Fontana di Trevi and the St Peter’s Square (Piazza del San Pietro), a huge piazza located near the Vatican State.
One of the most beautiful cities to visit in Italy offers a wide range of hostels, hotels and guesthouses where you can rest after a long day of exploring the city.
My suggestion for Rome, one of the best Italian cities is The Talent Hotel, a beautiful 4 stars hotel recently renovated, keeping the medieval vibe but with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.
Venice, best city to visit in Italy for romance
It might not be Romeo and Juliet town, but Venice is one of the most interesting Italian cities and unique in the world being built in the middle of a lagoon.
It was built on 118 small islands separated by a large number of canals and united via more than 400 bridges.
And exactly these things made Venice one of the most romantic cities in the world, a place with a romantic vibe and beautiful architecture.
Stay safe abroad during COVID-19 pandemic
Hanging around the narrow paved streets is the best way to explore this magnificent city and to admire its unique architecture.
And when you get tired of walking around the best city in Italy take a gondola and explore the beautiful canals fringed with grand palazzi, beautiful churches and historic monuments.
The best thing to do when in Venice, the best city of Italy for a romantic escape is to catch a gondola down the Grand Canal and reach Piazza di San Marco with its beautiful palace and church.
This world-class hotel, Hotel Donà Palace is our choice for spending your holiday in Venice as it is conveniently located 2 minutes walk from Piazza San Marco ( St Mark’s Square).
This boutique hotel is located in a 14th-century building and impresses its guests with its regal rooms decorated in Venetian style.
Milan, the best city in Italy for fashion
Milan is recognised as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals together with Paris, New York and London.
If we look back into the city’s history we’ll find that Milan has a very long history within the fashion field, textiles and design in general.
By the 19th century, Milan was the capital of Lombardy and a very important production centre.
Milanese fashion developed its own approach characterised by simplicity, high quality of fabrics and sobriety.
Milan began as a fashion centre in the Middle Ages and Renaissance when people living in this town produced luxury goods like jewellery, clothes, hats and luxury apparel.
The most iconic place from the city and a must-see place for those passionate about fashion are Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the most important shopping centre from Milan together with the shopping streets Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, Corso Venezia and Via Manzoni.
While in Milan, between two shopping sessions I strongly recommend you to visit some of the iconic places from the city like Duomo di Milan, Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie which is home to the world-famous masterpiece The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci and the Castello Sforzesco built in the 15th century.
Located just 5 minutes walk from Duomo di Milano and Teatro Alla Scala, Hotel Spadari Al Duomo is one of the best places to stay in Milan.
This is a laid back, family-run hotel that offers to its guests a family home feel and warm hospitality.
Florence, best city to visit in Italy for exploring Tuscany
I felt in love with Tuscany by the moment I visited the first winery and saw the beautiful hills with their hidden villages.
Florence itself is a wonderful attraction but the Italian countryside from the area is worth paying a visit, too and is a great destination for day trips from Florence.
Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region, a great place where to set your camp and explore Tuscany while in Italy.
You are less than one hour away from the Leaning Tower from Pisa and within dozens of kilometres of driving by the beautiful villages of Barga, Fosdinovo, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni.
I strongly recommend you to book 2 or 3 days for visiting Florence main attractions as they worth a visit and then head to the countryside.
Among the most important attractions from Florence I would name Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore also known as the Duomo di Firenze, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo and Palazzo Vecchio.
Then you have to head to Tuscany countryside and admire the beautiful landscape with green hills, picturesque villages and the huge cultural heritage of the cities and villages from the area.
For Florence, my recommendation is Hotel Pierre, located just 4 minutes from the medieval Ponte Vecchio Bridge and 6 minutes walk from Florence Cathedral.
For Tuscany countryside VIESCA Suites & Villas Il Borro Toscana is our choice because of its location, facilities and the high quality of services provided.
Naples, the best city in Italy for exploring southern Italy
Located just 10 kilometres away from Mount Vesuvius, Naples is the best city to visit in Italy if you plan to see the volcano and a great starting point for exploring southern Italy.
This beautiful old city is located just 60 kilometres from the famous Amalfi Coast with its colourful houses and beautiful landscapes and 50 kilometres from Sorrento, a picturesque coastal city of Italy.
The best way to explore the southern part of Italy with its cosy villages and the beautiful coastal landscape is to rent a car and explore it on your own.
Get the best price for your car rental today
The area might become a little bit overcrowded during summer and the prices go up, so my advice is to go to this part of the country in the shoulder season, from April to June and from September to October.
For your nights in Naples book a room at Grand Hotel Oriente Naples located in the historical centre of the city.
As for the Amalfi coast, NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi is our suggestion as it has a great location, good food and one of the best services from the area.
Italy is a country that does not stop to amaze me even after so many trips to Italy I have made each year.
There are always new places to discover hidden from tourists eyes, real hidden gems known only by locals.
It is a very surprising country with many beautiful cities, like the ones mentioned in this article and many natural wonders like Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast or Lake Como.
You definitely have to book at least two weeks to explore a small part of what this beautiful country has to offer!