The list of the most beautiful cities in Italy is inevitably long – thanks to the gorgeous country it is – whether it is ancient history or architecture or culture or pizza or wine, there are plenty of places to visit in beautiful Italy and things to do.
If you are looking for top 10 cities in Italy or you are after the famous Italian cities – you will find them all.
Or if you want to go off the beaten path, why don’t you plan a trip to some of the underrated cities in Italy in the list?
No matter how many times you travel to Italy, you will keep coming back, trust me.
So it is best that you may as well bookmark this post about Italy’s most beautiful cities for a quick, handy reference.
Grab a Lavazza or pizza, and let’s travel to this country to explore the best places in Italy to visit.
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN ITALY – POPULAR PICKS
Let’s start with the top 10 cities to visit in Italy.
Not only are these the most beautiful cities in Italy, but these are also some of the most visited destinations in the country.
One of the most beautiful cities in Italy that’s probably the first stop in the country for many is Rome’s capital city.
Known for its ancient history, thousands of medieval fountains, palaces, museums, medieval monuments like the legendary Colosseum and Pantheon, you can easily spend just a day or even 3 days in Rome familiarizing yourself with Italy’s top city.
Things to do in Rome
Among the must-do things in Rome include taking the food tour to taste the best pizza, pasta, and wine with a local expert.
Or join the historical walking tour to cover all the top attractions in Rome.
Recommended: 75 Mind-blowing Rome Facts You Don’t Know
Take your best pictures for Instagram at the Spanish steps, make a wish, and throw some money into the Trevoli fountain.
Enjoy the bustling Rome nightlife to see the Romans let loose.
Plan a short day trip to the smallest city in the world and the Catholic faith center – the sacred Vatican City to be swept off your foot at the wonderful sight of the magnificent Saint Peter’s Square.
One of Italy’s most beautiful cities favored by creative souls, nature, and museum enthusiasts is the gorgeous Florence.
Many people prefer Florence over Rome, which is no surprise because Florence is one of the best places to visit in Italy if you love compact, well-kept, smaller cities.
It might be one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Italy, but you can still escape the crowds and find your blissful space to explore all it has to offer, which is what makes Florence special.
Even if you are in Florence for a day, you shouldn’t miss it, although I would recommend spending at least 2 or 3 days in Florence.
Things to do in Florence
There are many incredible things to see and do in Florence.
Begin with the iconic landmarks Duomo or the Florence Cathedral and Palazzo Vecchio, the ancient town hall home to the copy of Michaelangelo’s David statue, among many other notable artifacts.
Walkthrough the cobbled stone alleys winding around the hilly Florence, get your Insta-worthy shot at the Ponte Vecchio, the landmark bridge.
Art lovers should head to the Uffizi gallery.
For spectacular 360-degrees views of Florence surrounded by the lush valleys of Tuscany, climb the hilltop in the evening.
Venice or Venezia, as the Italians call it, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, resting on the water in a lagoon, full of Byzantine architectural wonders.
You can never forget your first glimpses of this gorgeous city, no matter how many times you will visit it. – And yes, you will keep coming back.
Venice may be one of the most romantic destinations globally, but you don’t need love to enjoy the beauty of this city of Gondolas and canals.
Whether you are in Venice for a day or three, you will lose track of time making your way through the cobbled streets separated by little canals adorned with many cute bridges everywhere.
Things to do in Venice
Admire the stunning marble palazzi.
Take a ride on the waterbus or, better, traditional gondolas and explore the city soaking in the buildings’ blissful views surrounded by water everywhere.
Stop at the magnificent medieval Saint Mark’s Basilica, check out the museums, or take boat trips to Murano and Burano’s nearby islands.
The majestic ancient volcanic Mount Vesuvius, surrounded by smaller hills, forms Naples’ gorgeous backdrop in the Campania region, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
And on the other side, you will find the turquoise Mediterranean sea, making it a complete package.
If you are into hiking, outdoors, archaeological sites, or medieval history and culture, you are in a treat at Naples, which is home to the UNESCO world heritage site – the old quarter. The
Things to do in Naples
Take a tour of the splendid Royal Palace of Naples. Wander through the old town to arrive at the famous street near the square.
Explore the top attractions like the National Archaeological Museum, Castel Castel Nuovo, and Via San Gregorio Armeno.
If you are here in summer or spring, you should sign up for one of the hiking trails around Mount Vesuvius. Plan a short trip to the neighboring Pompeii city if you have more time.
Or you can head straight to the islands of Capri or explore the smaller towns along the coast.
Among the most visited places in the country is Milan, the fashion capital of Europe and one of the richest cities in the world.
It is different from the typical cities in Italy – as you can witness the Cosmopolitan ambiance, excellent food, and nightlife.
But there is more to Milan one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, as, alongside these modern skyscrapers, you can also find several medieval wonders, museums, galleries, excellent cuisine, and more.
Many skip the city, assuming it’s only for the fashionistas or perceives it as an industrial hub, but this is not true, since there are plenty of things to enjoy in the lovely city of Milan.
Even if you have less than 2 days, I’d highly recommend adding this city to your itinerary.
Things to do in Milan
Check out the magnificent Duomo Cathedral dominating the skyline in the old town.
Take a tour of the famous Scala opera house or sign up for a concert.
Join a tour to explore the stunning Sforza Castle, one of the landmarks in the city.
Visit Pinacoteca di Brera is another popular museum for checking out the works of Italian creators.
Art lovers should not miss the famous Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery and the famous mural of the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci at the Convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie.
Of course, shoppers should check out the renowned Quadrilatero D’Oro district, home to the famous designer brands.
Close to Florence lies another gem of Tuscany, Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region.
Surrounded by lush hills home to vineyards and olive groves, pastel-colored buildings, cobbled alleys with red roofs, palaces, cathedrals, and rich ancient history make Bologna one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
Bologna is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, and as you can find, the student crowd thriving in bars.
You will also find foodies in large groups because Bologna is the unofficial culinary capital of Italy.
If you are looking for a fresh breeze in the country with an optimum mix of Italian food, art, architecture, history, and culture, you should pick Bologna.
Things to do in Bologna
Explore the old town streets lined with beautiful arcades and patios, leading to the stunning medieval square Piazza Maggiore, one of the biggest in Europe.
Check out some prominent medieval monuments, including Fontana di Nettuno – the large fountain, the Church of San Petronio, the two palaces, and the many basilicas.
Climb the top of the Asinelli tower, the largest of the two former towers in the medieval center, for sweeping views of the city and the valleys beyond.
Fontana di Nettuno, with its magnificent bronze statues.
Not many first-time travelers know about the third-largest city in Italy, which is the venue of the Romeo and Juliet history and home to some of the oldest historic sites, some even dating back to the middle ages.
Located in the northern part of the country, Verona is one of the most beautiful Italian cities that you should definitely visit if you are a fan of history like me.
Did you know, Verona hosts one of the largest Opera festivals every year?
Things to do in Verona
You can easily spend a day or more exploring all the ancient Roman Ruins, from the 1st-century magnificent amphitheater in the center of town to the many historic piazzas home to many pastel-colored medieval monuments.
You can also watch concerts and operas in the amphitheater arena at night. Check out the lovely 12th-century church of San Zeno Maggiore.
Learn to make gelato with local experts. Admire the beautiful castles, perfect for photos.
Of course, check out the 13th-century house of Juliet with the famous balcony that inspired Shakespeare.
If you love exploring small cities, you will instantly love Ravenna, one of the prettiest cities in Italy.
Not many know that Ravenna was one of the major cities during the Roman period and functioned as the capital for some time in the 5th century.
But one of the top reasons you should visit Ravenna is the many colorful mosaics and beautiful buildings belonging to the 5th and 6th centuries that can be found throughout the city.
These buildings with mosaics are listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Tomb of Dante is the tomb of the famous poet who wrote the Divine Comedy, and it is a fascinating historical site.
Things to do in Ravenna
Among the notable attractions, you should explore the Basilica of San Vitale, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, and Port Adriana.
If you enjoy museums, don’t miss visiting the National Museum. Also, stop by the Tomb of Dante, the famous Italian writer.
While the nearby Florence takes the most attention when it comes to cities in the Tuscany region, a train ride away lies one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Lucca.
Surrounded by the hills, vineyards, and olive plantations, Lucca is the perfect escape you can find.
It is one of the best places in Italy to visit for many reasons – unlike the other Italian cities, Lucca is smaller and has the perfect mix of the modern and the ancient town, which is very well-preserved.
Some of Lucca’s ruins date back to the 1st century – Lucca is worth visiting even if you have just one day.
Things to do in Lucca
The best way to explore Lucca is on foot or a bike. Walk along the old town streets, opening to charming plazas or Italian-style squares, which are also home to a few gardens.
Visit the many medieval cathedrals, including the beautiful Lucca Cathedral, Basilica of San Frediano, and San Michele in Foro. Take a tour of the medieval palace Palazzo Pfanner.
Climb the top of Terre Delle Tore Tower for splendid panoramic views of the city. Check out the other medieval Guinigi Tower.
The popular city in Tuscany after Florence is Siena, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site medieval town, Siena has played an important role in shaping the region’s history.
One of the best things about Siena is that you can plan a day trip when you are in Tuscany – thanks to the city’s compact size that can easily be explored in one day.
Things to do in Siena
Siena is one of the few European cities with the most well-preserved medieval monuments, dating between the 13th to 16th-centuries.
Visit the popular Piazza del Campo square, the center of the old town, home to Siena Cathedral, medieval tower Torre del Mangia, and the other square Piazza del Mercato.
Take a tour of the medieval palace. Palazzo Pubblico, and also the impressive Piccolomini Library.
You can also check out the Tuscan countryside or explore some of the many fairytale Tuscany Palaces.
While the iconic landmark, Pisa’s leaning tower is one of the most visited monuments in the country, many people tend to skip the city that houses it.
Not many know that Pisa is one of the best cities in Italy for tourists known for many things.
Pisa is one of the 10 best cities in Italy because it is home to several medieval-style plazas or squares, unique buildings, excellent food, and wine scenes, apart from being comfortably located close to Florence, Lucca, and also Cinque Terre.
Things to do in Pisa
After exploring Pisa’s famous leaning tower in Piazza Dei Miracoli, check out the neighboring Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery.
Head to some of the best medieval squares in Europe – Piazza Dei Cavalieri home to Palazzo Della Carovana, Arno Promenade, which also houses a university.
Located in the Trentino–Alto Adige region of northern Italy is an amazing city Trento, another city surrounded by the gorgeous Dolomites.
Although it is one of the best cities in Italy and close to Venice, not many people visit Trento.
Known for the absence of crowds, rich culinary scenes, splendid medieval monuments, and some of the most amazing museums, Trento is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy for tourists, especially first-time travelers.
Things to do in Trento
Explore the old town to check out some iconic attractions, many in the main square Piazza Duomo, including Trento Cathedral, the Fountain of Neptune, and Casa Cazuffi-Rella.
Visit the gorgeous Buonconsiglio Castle, a 13th-century castle home to beautiful frescoes.
If you are into museums, don’t miss MUSE, a modern science and natural history museum, and the art museum Museo Diocesano.
Take a short funicular car ride to Sardegna, from where you can enjoy sweeping 360-degree views of the city and the Alps.
If you are here during summer or late spring, you should visit Trento to make it the ideal base for hiking in the Dolomites.
There are plenty of trails to choose from – depending on your availability and fitness – all of them truly rewarding. If you are here in winter, enjoy skiing.
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN ITALY – UNDERRATED
One of the famous cities in Italy for universities drawing students from worldwide is Perugia in the central Umbria region.
Straddling the Tiber river, Perugia is known for its modern charm, well-preserved old town, the bustling crowds dominated by the youth, making it one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
It is one of Rome’s popular day trips for many thanks to the easy 2-hour journey, but you should definitely spend at least a day or two exploring this city situated amidst the hills.
Things to do in Perugia
Explore the hilltop walled old quarter filled with elegant medieval monuments, all best checked out on foot.
Meander through the cobbled alleys admiring the monuments, including the well-kept squares.
Visit Galleria Nazionale Dell’Umbria for some beautiful collections of renowned artists.
Admire the views of the valleys and the skyline of the city from the viewpoints.
Enjoy a stroll in any of the public gardens in the evening. And as the night sets in, head straight to Borgo Bello for a nice dine and wine.
On the northwest coast in Liguria lies one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Genoa, the port city, and the capital of Italian Riveria.
Known for its largest well-preserved UNESCO-listed medieval town, Genoa is one of the best places in Italy to visit.
Did you know? The city was home to the most wealthy and influential elite in the region; thanks to being a seaport, many rich merchants flaunted their wealth during the medieval period.
You can still see the remains of this glorious past in the monuments, including the grand D’Albertis Castle, Palazzo Reale, and Palazzo Bianco – magnificent medieval Palazzos with amazing frescoes and ornately decorated interiors.
Check out the beautiful Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the medieval fountains, the public markets all scattered around the cobbled stone streets.
Don’t miss visiting the largest aquarium in Europe near the port. And also, try the delicious local cuisines, including the native pesto.
Turin or Torino in Italian, located in the Piedmont region of the northwestern part, calls the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Alps its post-card perfect backdrop, for starters.
Add to that the excellent Baroque buildings, museums, food, art galleries, and palaces, Turin is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
One of the many great things about Turin is fewer crowds.
It is not among the famous tourist destinations in Italy surprisingly, despite all it has to offer, which makes it easily one of the most beautiful places in Italy that’s underrated.
Whether you have less than two days or more, you should spend that time checking out this beautiful Italian city.
Did you know? Turin is the city of cars and coffee. The city is home to Fiat and the birthplace of Lavazza, Martini, and Rossi vermouth.
Things to do in Turin
Take tours of all the stunning palaces, which will keep you occupies easily for at least a day or two.
Wander the old quarter filled with piazzas home to cute cafes and restaurants that blend seamlessly with Baroque-style medieval monuments.
Check out the famous medieval Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral.
Climb the dome of the Mole Antonelliana or sweeping views of the city and the mountains.
Museum-lovers should check out the cinema museum and the Egyptian art museum.
Join a chocolate-making tour to enjoy the famous chocolates made in Turin.
Foodies should join a food tour to taste the best delicacies in the city recommended by experts.
Not many know about Lecce, one of the biggest cities in Italy in the Puglia region. It’s a mix of all the Italian cities – giving you slices of different experiences packed into one.
Whether it is excellent gastronomy or stunning architecture or museums and palaces, Lecce is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy to visit on your trip.
Things to do in Lecce
Among the most important landmarks in Lecce you should check out is the sprawling Roman amphitheater, dating back to the 2nd century.
Spend half-a-day exploring the gorgeous 16th-century castle.
Check out the imposing Santa Croce Basilica, the cathedral of Lecce in the old town, and other medieval buildings decorating the old quarters and stunning squares, especially the Piazza del Duomo, a beautiful part of the city.
Among the most beautiful cities of Italy is Bari in the southern part of the country in the Puglia region.
Straddling the Adriatic sea, this port city is one of Italy best cities to visit if you want a perfect mix of the coast, coves, medieval town, delicious seafood, dazzling promenades, and spectacular viewpoints.
Of late, it has gained more popularity, quickly moving to become one of the popular places in Italy.
So plan a trip there before the crowds get larger.
Things to do in Bari
Wander through the narrow streets in the gorgeous old quarter Bari Vecchia that sits pretty between the modern harbors – a complete yet beautiful contradiction.
Check out the many attractions, from the 11th-century Basilica di San Nicola, a pilgrimage site home to St. Nicholas’ remains, Bari Cathedral, and the Piazza del Ferrarese.
Explore the gorgeous Castello Normanno-Svevo, Lungomare Araldo Di Crollalanza, Palazzo Mincuzzi and the Baroque-style opera house Teatro Petruzzelli, where you can also enjoy a concert.
Walk along the promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants for some delicious food and wine. Beach lovers can head to Pane e Pomodoro.
One of the most underrated Italian destinations lies close to Milan in Lombardy in the northern part of the country.
Most people overlook Bergamo, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, which is a shame, because the city boasts of many excellent things.
From the upper old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the modern lower part of the city to splendid views of the Dolomite Alps forming a majestic backdrop to museums – these are great reasons why you should visit Bergamo, at least for a day if not more.
Things to do in Bergamo
Wander the winding cobbled streets of the old town Piazza Vecchia filled with Baroque wonders and check out the many piazzas.
Visit the majestic Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Palazzo del Podestà, and Torre del Campanone.
Take a funicular ride back to the modern city to explore the many museums, including Accademia Carrara.
Enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the Alps, try the local wine and food.
MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN ITALY MAP
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