Italy combines cities with a fascinating artistic and historical past with modern cities and beautiful traditional villages and islands to enjoy the most authentic Italian gastronomic and popular culture.
We invite you to discover our selection of the most beautiful cities in Italy. We hope that you can expand and enrich it with your own contributions and experience.
The beautiful capital of the Tuscany region is one of the most visited cities in Italy, thanks to its history and architecture, marked by the Renaissance and the famous Medici dynasty.
Florence was the cradle of the artistic and cultural movement that changed the history of humanity between the 15th and 16th centuries, bequeathing geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Brunelleschi and Alberti.
The maximum icon of the city is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its grandiose dome 114.5 meters high and 45.5 meters in diameter with which Filippo Brunelleschi left the Florentines of his time dumbfounded with admiration. Next to the dome, Giotto’s campanile, a 13th century masterpiece, 84.7 meters high.
Also facing the Piazza del Duomo is the Baptistery of Saint John, with its splendid bronze doors made by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
The Palace and the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Basilica of the Holy Cross, the National Museum of the Bargello and the Accademia Gallery (with the famous David by Michelangelo) are unmissable places in the cradle of the Renaissance.
The most populous city in Italy and fourth in Europe is also the most historic. It was the capital of the Roman Empire, one of the major events that shaped Western culture. Magnificent testimonies have been preserved from that period, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon of Agrippa.
The Renaissance revived Rome from its dilapidated medieval period, with the rejuvenation of the city and the construction of Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, a project involving several of the most famous architects and artists of the history (Michelangelo, Donato Bramante and Gian Lorenzo Bernini).
Rome is a true open-air museum and to the monuments already mentioned we must add the Trajan’s Market, the Imperial Forums, the Marcelo and Balbo theaters and the Plaza de Largo di Torre Argentina (where Julius Caesar was assassinated).
There are also the Baths of Caracalla, the underground Basilica of Porta Maggiore, the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metela, the Tomb of the Scipios and the Villa of the Quintili.
The carbonara-style spaghetti, the Roman-style gnocchi and the Roman-style tripe (tripe) are representative dishes of the Eternal City.
The capital of Veneto, built on a multitude of islands in the Adriatic Sea, is one of the jewels of civilization due to its urban peculiarity, its ancient history and its superb artistic and monumental heritage.
The small islands are separated by canals through which vaporettos and gondolas circulate , the classic and romantic Venetian boats. More than 450 bridges join the islands, some emblematic, such as Rialto and Los Suspiros.
The city was founded in the 5th century precisely in that location because it facilitated the defense against the attacks of the Germans.
It was one of the most prosperous and powerful city-states, for which it became the capital of the Republic of Venice, governed by the doge. Its nerve center is the Plaza de San Marcos, called by Napoleon the “Most Beautiful Hall in Europe”.
Among its monuments, the Cathedral of San Marcos stands out, one of the highest peaks of Byzantine architecture, better preserved, even, than the temples of Byzantium (Istanbul).
The Campanile (separate bell tower of the cathedral, 98.6 meters high) is another symbol of the city and the place chosen by a proud Galileo Galilei to show the doge his invention of the telescope.
Immortalized by Shakespeare with the comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona , but above all with the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. This Veneto town is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
Its greatest symbol is Juliet’s House, a medieval mansion located near Piazza delle Erbe, which incidentally has a balcony that popular fantasy has imposed as the place where one of the most important scenes of the love drama took place.
Another place of interest is the Verona Arena, a splendidly preserved AD 30 Roman amphitheater that is home to the city’s prestigious opera festival each summer.
The amphitheater has capacity for 30,000 spectators and alternates between classical and pop music, and has hosted concerts by Laura Pausini, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Sting, Adele, Duran Duran and other celebrated artists.
The Roman theater is an open-air amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century BC and is still used for theatrical productions. It is located on the left bank of the Adige river, near the hill of San Pedro, offering beautiful views of the landscape.
The ancient, medieval and renaissance monuments of Verona have earned it the designation of a World Heritage Site.
Bologna is usually included among the 5 most beautiful cities in Italy by virtue of its medieval historic center, the largest in Europe after the Venetian. It is located near the Apennines, nestled between the Reno and Savena rivers and was founded as Felsina by the Etruscans.
It is called La Docta because it houses the University of Bologna, the oldest in the Western World, founded in 1088.
The university has had students such as Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, Paracelsus, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Saint Thomas Becket, Albert Dürer, Nicholas Copernicus and Guglielmo Marconi. Its current enrollment exceeds 100,000 students.
In Bolognese architecture, the 37 km of porticoes stand out, including that of San Luca (the longest in the world, with 3.5 km and 666 arcades), squares, several churches (such as the Cathedral of San Petronio), museums and theaters.
The National Pinacoteca is the main artistic venue, in which the works of painters from the Emiliana school stand out.
Gastronomy is another of Bologna’s strong points, with emblematic dishes such as Bolognese sauce, noodles, tortellini, Bolognese lasagna, Bologna mortadella, Bolognese cotoletta and passatelli soup.
Milano shines with its own light among the Italian cities in Lombardy, thanks to its medieval, Renaissance and modern architecture, as well as its artistic heritage, its status as a world fashion center, its passion for sports and its gastronomy.
The Last Supper , a masterpiece of universal art, was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Milanese Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Milan Cathedral is one of the most impressive Gothic churches in the world, with its five naves that can accommodate 40,000 people and its works of art and monuments.
The Víctor Manuel II Gallery is distinguished by its glass vaults and its exclusive shops, jewelry stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. The La Scala Theater is the main universal temple of opera.
Milan is one of the cities worthy of the title of “fashion capital of the world” for its design houses and boutiques related to the most iconic names in the sector (Armani, Versace and Prada).
The Milanese share their sporting passion between the Giuseppe Meazza football stadium, where Inter and Milan play, and the Monza circuit, one of the world’s cathedrals of Formula 1.
A relatively ordinary tower that began to lean with micrometric displacements due to the swampy terrain, became the symbol of Pisa and one of the greatest universal monuments. Why hasn’t it fallen? Because the vertical through its center of gravity falls within the area formed by its base of support.
You may fall? If the angle of inclination continues to increase, at some point the aforementioned vertical would fall outside the area of the base and the tower would collapse, but the engineers who take care of it are aware that this does not happen and carry out periodic interventions with complex propping procedures.
It was built in the twelfth century, with a height of 58.36 meters and it covers the tourist interest of the city in such a way that some people forget that in the same Plaza de los Milagros there are other attractions such as the Cathedral of Santa María Assunta or Duomo , the Baptistery and the monumental Camposanto.
The Botanical Garden of the University of Pisa, founded in 1544, is the oldest in the world. It was built thanks to the financial patronage of the Duke of Florence, Cosme I de’ Medici.
The capital of Campania, guarded by the Vesuvius volcano, must be included at least among the ten most beautiful cities in Italy. Its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site for its formidable cultural, historical and artistic wealth.
It is one of the places in the Italian peninsula most marked by the culture of other European and Mediterranean peoples, which is why there are Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Norman, French and Spanish traces in the city.
Its valuable architectural heritage includes jewels such as the Naples Cathedral, several castles (Egg Castle, Capurano, Maschio Angioino or Anjou Tower, Sant’Elmo), the Royal Palace of Naples, the Royal Palace of Capodimonte and the Monastery of Santa Clear.
Also within this architectural heritage are the National Museum of Capodimonte, the San Carlos Theater, the National Archaeological Museum and the Basilica of San Francisco de Paula (the most important Italian temple of neoclassicism).
The popular music of Naples is the most beautiful in Italy, with legendary songs like ‘O sole mio, Core ‘ngrato (Ungrateful Heart) and ‘O surdato ‘nnammurato (The Soldier in Love).
The world-famous gastronomy of Naples is headed by Margarita pizza, seafood pizza, Neapolitan ragù, spaghetti vongole and sfogliatella.
This Emilian-Romagna city is famous for its architecture, Parmesan cheese and Parma ham.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (named after the Italians) has been produced since the Middle Ages. The authentic one is made with milk from Reggiana cows and the more commercial one with milk from Friesian cows, which are much more productive.
Ham is another local delicacy, older than cheese, since the peoples subjugated by the Roman Empire used it to entertain the invader Hannibal Barca.
The main Parmesan temple is the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, a Romanesque church consecrated in 1116. The Gothic bell tower was added at the end of the 13th century. Inside it stands out for its frescoes, especially the one painted on the dome by Correggio.
To one side of the temple is the Baptistery, a work from the 13th century that is described as one of the best examples of the transition between Romanesque and Gothic art.
Among the 12 theaters in the city, the Regio stands out, a 19th-century building that symbolizes the passion of the Parmesan people for opera and music. It is considered the cradle of Italian melodrama and its public is as demanding as that of the Scala in Milan.
The capital of Sicily is another Italian city with a thousand-year-old history and multicultural heritage, as the island was conquered by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Germans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, French, Aragonese, Savoyards and Spanish.
That is why in Palermo it is possible to admire everything from Punic ruins to Art Nouveau buildings , passing through baroque temples, neoclassical theaters and Arab and Norman houses.
The Palermo cathedral was begun in the 12th century and has notable oriental features. Inside, the Sacrament Chapel stands out, decorated with lapis lazuli and precious stones. The cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale are among the most important Norman monuments in the world.
Palazzo Natoli is a beautiful baroque building built by the marquis and banker Vincenzo Natoli for his wife.
Palermo is a jewel box of delicious Sicilian cuisine. Arancini, rice croquettes colored with saffron, are eaten hot at any time of the day. Caponata is a popular side dish made with aubergines, tomatoes, celery, and olives.
The Sicilian pizza or sfincione originates from Palermo and is distinguished by its square shape, its thick dough and the use of pecorino cheese and anchovies.
The history of Genoa is linked to its seafaring activity, which was the epicenter of its existence as an independent republic.
The greatest symbol of this passion for the sea was Cristoforo Colombo, Spanishized as Christopher Columbus, whom the most accepted sources indicate was Genoese. In Piazza Dante in Genoa is the supposed birthplace of the admiral.
Nearby are the Doge’s Palace and the Opera. The Ducal Palace was the residence of the Doge of Genoa. Its first parts were built in the 13th century and in 2001 it housed the summit of the Group of 8. It is located in front of Piazza de Ferrari, called the “City of Genoa”, a square surrounded by historic palaces and with a large fountain in its center.
Other important monuments of Genoa are the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Church of San Mateo.
The Genoese port is the most important in the Mediterranean along with that of Marseille, and the Aquarium is the largest in Italy.
The Genovese top is a regional delicacy prepared with sweetbreads, criadillas, brains, udder, egg, dried mushrooms, pine nuts, marjoram and other ingredients. Genoese pesto is another icon of local gastronomy.
This city is located on the southeastern coast of Sicily and was the most important Greek town on the island. It had a very prosperous period in which it was ruled by the so-called Tyrants of Syracuse.
That period was the time when Archimedes, a native of the city, supposedly used his knowledge of optics to set enemy ships on fire with his famous heat ray.
Syracuse Cathedral pays tribute to the city’s origins with its classical Greek style and massive Doric columns. It was built between the 16th and 17th centuries and its façade has Rococo elements.
The Archaeological Park of Neapolis is a site that houses the church of San Nicolás de los Corderos, a Greek theater, a Roman amphitheater, the Altar of Hieron (erected by Hiero II, in honor of Zeus) and the tomb of Archimedes (although the remnants of the celebrated physicist are probably not there).
Other places of Syracusan interest are its churches, palaces and castles. Among the first, the Basilica of Santa Lucía extra Moenia and the churches of San Paolo and San Cristoforo stand out. The Castello Maniace, built in the 13th century, is a good example of the military architecture of the time.
The main city of the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy, was originally called Metheola in honor of the Roman consul Quinto Cecilio Metelo. During the Allied invasion of Italy, it was the first Italian town to rise up against the German army.
Matera is known for its sassi, houses carved directly into the rock, which give an unusual architectural appearance to its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site.
The first documentary reference to the sassi dates back to 1204. The fortifications were built between the 11th and 13th centuries and expansions after the Renaissance extended urban accommodation.
The Matera Stones have been excavated since at least the Paleolithic period and many houses have been inhabited continuously since the Bronze Age. After a period of decline, the sassi were revived for tourism beginning in the late 1980s.
Other attractions in Materana are the cathedral and the churches of San Giovanni Battista, San Francesco d’Assisi and Santa Lucia alle Malve. Mention should also be made of the Crypt of Original Sin, the Convent of San Agustín, the Tramontano Castle and the Lanfranchi and dell’Annunziata palaces.
The capital of the Apulia region, located on the Adriatic coast, was founded by the Peucetians tribe before their Greek and Roman periods.
The Normans built the castle, one of the great symbols of the city, around 1132. The fortress is surrounded by its ancient moat on three of its four sides. In 2008 it was endowed with artistic lighting.
The Cathedral Basilica of San Sabino is the main temple in Bare, together with the Basilica of San Nicolás. It was built between the 12th and 13th centuries on the ruins of a Byzantine church destroyed by William the Bad.
The Basilica of Saint Nicholas dates from 1197 and houses the supposed relics of the revered Saint Nicholas of Bari. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Italian Catholics and Eastern European Orthodox Christians. Other places of interest in Bari are the Teatro Petruzzelli and the Teatro Niccolo Piccinni.
The Petruzzelli is one of the most beautiful Italian opera houses and one of the largest, with a capacity of 4,000 spectators. It was destroyed in 1991 by arson to collect insurance and rebuilt in 2009.
Catania is located on the east coast of Sicily and is the largest city on the island after Palermo. It is guarded by Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, situated at 3,330 meters above sea level.
Catania has been devastated seven times by eruptions of Etna (the last in 1693) and earthquakes. The city is full of churches, palaces and other buildings of historical interest.
The first version of the Duomo (or Cathedral of Santa Águeda dates from the 11th century), but the temple has been destroyed several times by natural disasters. Its original Norman style changed almost completely to Baroque after being left in ruins after the earthquake of 1693 The Elephant Fountain is one of the local architectural symbols.
Catania’s iconic dish is pasta alla Norma, a delicious combination of macaroni, tomatoes, aubergines, fresh basil and grated salty ricotta, the typical Sicilian sheep’s cheese. The name of the dish was coined by the Catalan playwright Nino Martoglio, when he enjoyed it and associated its quality with that of the opera Norma , by Vincenzo Bellini.
The most popular drink is granita, a kind of light sorbet.
16. Reggio Calabria
This city in the region of Calabria is located in peninsular Italy facing the strait and the Sicilian city of Messina.
It was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and destroyed in 387 BC by Dionysius I of Syracuse, when the tyrant was denied a young Reggini he wanted as his wife. The reconstruction was in charge of Dionisio II, son and successor of the previous one.
Its main attractions include Plaza Italia, the cathedral, the Cilea Theater, the municipal palace and –above all– the Riace Bronzes, the main symbol of the city, a pair of Greek statues from the 5th century BC preserved in the National Museum of Magna Graecia.
These two statues, called The Old Man and The Young Man , are among the very few that remain of the sculptural art of ancient Greece in bronze.
In the typical cuisine, the frittole stands out, consisting of pork meat cooked over a slow fire for up to 10 hours in a huge cauldron. Likewise, they consume the swordfish that they fish in the Tyrrhenian and enjoy various preparations with bergamot, a citrus fruit similar to a small pear.
If you are looking for which cities to visit in Italy, outside the traditional tourist circuits, we recommend Amalfi, a town in Salernita in Campania, located on the shores of the Gulf of Salerno, 62 km southeast of Naples.
It is located between cliffs, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Monte Cerreto and is a World Heritage Site and one of the main tourist destinations on the Amalfi Coast.
It was founded by the Romans in the 4th century as a trading post and in the 9th century it became an independent republic.
Its main monument is the Cathedral of San Andrés, which keeps the supposed relics of the so-called first apostle of Jesus. It is a temple of Arab-Norman Romanesque architecture, with Byzantine, Gothic and Baroque elements added in successive renovations.
The remains of the apostle were transferred in 1206 from Constantinople, during the Fourth Crusade.
Amalfi is also famous for its limoncello, a liqueur obtained by macerating lemon peel and other citrus fruits in alcohol. It is a pleasant yellow drink that is taken very cold, especially as a digestif. It is also used in confectionery to flavor sweet pastries and jellies.
In the list of the most beautiful cities in Italy, you cannot miss the Tuscan Siena, known for the palio, the famous street horse race that has been held since the Middle Ages, pitting the districts ( contradas ) of the city against each other. There are two races, both in summer.
The Palio di Provenzano takes place on July 2 in honor of the Virgin of Provenzano and the Palio dell’Assunta takes place on August 16 in tribute to the Virgin of the Assumption.
In the historic center of Siena, declared a World Heritage Site, the cathedral stands out, in which Our Lady of the Assumption is venerated.
The cathedral was completed in the 13th century by Giovanni Pisano and has a valuable artistic heritage that includes sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo. In the complex are the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana del Duomo and the Piccolomini Library, with paintings by Pinturicchio and Raphael.
The Piazza del Campo is the main square of the city and around it runs the canopy. In front of the square is the Communal Palace, a beautiful Gothic building from the beginning of the 14th century. Other Sienese attractions are the Salimbeni Palace and the Piccolomini Palace.
Alberobello does not often appear on the map of Italy and its most important tourist cities, but this town in Pula in the province of Bari has a unique attraction, represented by its trulli, declared a World Heritage Site in 1996.
The trulli are typical rural constructions of the Apulia region, built with stone and without the use of mortar and with a cone-shaped roof.
The so-called sovereign trullo is the largest in Italy, built in the 18th century by the Perta family. It is on two floors and houses a museum whose furniture is from the period. It is used as a theater and as a stage for small concerts and cultural evenings.
Another well-known trullo is the “Siamese”, formed by two units with their conical roofs joined. The church of San Antonio is a set of several trulli. It is located on top of Monti Rione and was completed in 1927.
The Alberobelleses are known for their manual skills and make magnificent baskets with olive wood and iron works. In the culinary art of Alberobello, the orecchiette stands out, a fresh pasta prepared with durum grain flour and shaped like little ears.
It is a Sardinian city located on the northeastern coast of Sardinia, on the Costa Smeralda. It is known for the Basilica of San Simplicio, a medieval temple from the 11th century. In 1614, during excavations in the crypt, the relics of the locally venerated saint were discovered, relics that are currently under the altar.
The National Archaeological Museum of Olbia is a wonderful display of objects from the Nuraghic (Sardinian civilization of the Middle Bronze Age), Phoenician, Greek, Punic and Roman cultures.
Among the pieces exhibited in this museum are ancient ships, rudders and masts of Roman ships, weapons, amphorae, jewelery and other elements that allow us to appreciate the relationship with the sea and the artistic achievements of these strong coastal towns.
The archaeological site of Nuraghe Riu Mulinu is located on top of a hill overlooking the Gulf of Olbia. This site is home to one of the most interesting nuraghes in Sardinia.
The nuraghes are megalithic constructions that constitute the Sardinian architectural symbol. They are stone towers that can measure up to 20 meters and lack foundations, they are only supported by the weight and the perfect technique of placing the blocks.
The island of Capri, located in the southern Gulf of Naples, has been a popular holiday destination since the days of the Roman Empire. It was a part of the peninsular territory that separated forming an island.
Octavio Augusto, the first Roman emperor, had a villa built in Capri, as did his successor, Tiberius, who even took up residence there, ruling the empire until his death.
Likewise, some pop culture figures built their villa capresi, such as actress Gracie Fields and singer Mariah Carey.
The main city of the island is Capri, which has just over 12,000 inhabitants and was a favorite place for the international jet set during the 1950s.
Some of the island attractions are Villa Jovis (Tiberius’ villa) and Villa Lysis, built by the French dandy, aristocrat and poet Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen, who went into self-exile on Capri, dying on the island.
The Blue Grotto is a cave formed by the sea on the coast of Capri and has been a spa for Roman emperors and more recent people. The culinary emblem of Capri is the caprese salad, a popular dish made with tomato, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella cheese.
22. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is one of those amazing places in Italy that you have to visit to admire its medieval architecture. It is a Tuscan town of almost 8,000 inhabitants located between Florence and Siena, whose historic center was declared a World Heritage Site in 1990.
It is distinguished by its medieval towers, structures with which the wealthy families of the Middle Ages competed to see who had the highest. The town had more than 70 towers of different heights, of which 15 were preserved, which symbolize its identity.
The Torre Grossa dates from 1311 and is 54 meters high. These towers were lodgings and at the same time fortifications and watchtowers. Currently they are viewpoints that offer spectacular views of the medieval town.
Other Sangimignano attractions are the Communal Palace (with works by Pinturicchio, Filippino Lippi and other artists), the 4 central squares, the SanGimignano1300 Museum and the Torture Museum (which houses torture devices and instruments from different times and places).
In the town, be sure to try the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a local white wine produced since ancient times, whose finesse is recognized throughout Italy.
It is a city on the shores of Lake Como, at the foot of the Alps, near the border with Switzerland. The lake has a surface area of 146 km2 and a depth of 416 metres, making it one of the deepest in Europe.
It was the favorite place of Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, Stendhal, Verdi and Churchill. Also from recent celebrities, such as George Clooney and Madonna.
The city of Como, located 50 km from Milan, has become a place of villas and mansions for wealthy people and its main economic activities are tourism and silk weaving, an activity that it learned in the 16th century and has managed to preserve as a tradition to the present day.
Among the main attractions are the cathedral, the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio, the Church of San Fedele and Villa Olmo.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a temple built between 1396 and 1770, showing late Gothic and Renaissance lines. The dome is 75 meters high and is the most important religious building in the Lake Como area.
Villa Olmo is a neoclassical mansion from 1797 and was the resting place of Napoleon and Garibaldi.
This city faces the Strait of Messina, which separates Sicily from mainland Italy. It is located in the extreme northeast of the island, 230 km from Palermo and 90 km from Catania. The territory is highly seismic and the city has been destroyed several times in the course of its history.
It was the starting point for the ships of the Holy League for the Battle of Lepanto against the Ottomans, in which the soldier Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra lost mobility in his left hand.
In the Plaza Lepanto in Messina there is a monument to Don Juan de Austria, winner in the famous battle. Some attractions of Messina are the cathedral, the Church of Saint Nicholas and feluccas, typical boats used by local fishermen to catch swordfish.
One of the most popular traditional shows in Messina is the procession of the giants Mata and Grifone, mythical fathers of the city on horseback, who have been running through the streets since 1723 between August 10 and 14.
Aranconi, one of the most consumed dishes in Sicily, originated in Messina.
Salerno, the largest city in the Italian Campania after Naples, has been famous since the Middle Ages for the Salernitana Medical School, founded in the city in the 9th century and the first medical institution of the Middle Ages, considered the forerunner of European universities.
The city became the main cultural center of southern Italy and began to decline with the growth of Naples.
It has a promenade built after the Second World War, which took the Côte d’Azur as a model.
Arechi Castle is a medieval fortification that offers spectacular views of the city and the Amalfi Coast. In the historic center there are churches, villas, palaces, fountains and other very well preserved buildings.
Salerno Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Matthew, patron saint of the city, and to Saint Mary of the Angels. It was built in the 11th century and houses the supposed remains of the apostle and evangelist.
The Andrea de Salerno art gallery exhibits works by this Renaissance artist born in the city, who was a disciple of Raphael and assistant to Michelangelo.
,The Salerno City Palace, erected during fascism, was the provisional seat of the national government in 1944.
This northern Italian city is the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and is located on the shores of the Adriatic, on the border with Slovenia. It was under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of the First World War, when it became an Italian possession.
It is a cosmopolitan city, with a large number of Slovenians, Balkans and Greeks. Maximilian of Habsburg lived near Trieste before going to Mexico as emperor.
Its attractions include the Unity of Italy Square, the Verdi Theater, the Government Palace and the City Hall Palace.
The Verdi Theater is the main one in the city and was completed in 1801 as a private project. The influence of the Scala in Milan is visible on the façade of the building. Verdi’s opera, The Corsair , was premiered at the theater in 1848. It hosts a prestigious International Operetta Festival.
Near Trieste is the International Center for Theoretical Physics, sponsored by UNESCO, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Italian government.
Nearby is also the Risiera di San Sabba, the only Nazi concentration camp that operated on Italian territory, currently converted into a museum.
Located on a fertile plain, near the Tyrrhenian Sea, on the banks of the Serchio River, is the Tuscan Lucca, which must be included among the most beautiful cities in Italy.
It was founded by the Etruscans in 180 BC and, from 1160 and for 5 centuries, it was an independent republic, rivaling the Florence of the Medici. Its walls have been preserved intact and today form a pedestrian perimeter around the old city.
One of its emblems is the Guinigi Tower, a 14th-century historical monument built during the nascent Renaissance. This tower has the additional attraction that in its upper part there is a garden of oaks.
Other places of Lucchesi interest are its squares, churches, palaces, villas and museums. The Cathedral of San Martín is a 17th century temple located in front of the square of the same name. Inside, works by Domenico Ghirlandaio and Tintoretto ( The Last Supper ) stand out.
Lucca has a particular relationship with music for having been the birthplace of notable composers, such as the great opera author Giacomo Puccini, Luigi Boccherini, Francesco Geminiani and Alfredo Catalani.
Pompeii is one of the most important tourist places in Italy due to the interest in seeing the remains of a city that was buried under thick layers of volcanic ash by a violent eruption of Vesuvius almost 2000 years ago, along with its neighbor Herculaneum.
The devastation occurred in the year 79 and the specialists only doubt if it was in summer, autumn or winter, although the date of August 24 is the most referenced.
It is estimated that about 20,000 people died in the eruption, of which the remains of 1,500 have been found in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The most famous death was Pliny the Elder, considered the main naturalist of the Ancient Era, who died asphyxiated by volcanic gases when trying to see the phenomenon more closely.
The two buried cities were casually forgotten and rediscovered in the 18th century, Herculaneum in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748.
Archaeologists have uncovered intact buildings, wall paintings, baths, the forum (central square), and villas. The Villa of the Mysteries, located near Pompeii, is one of the best-preserved buildings, especially its frescoes, which survived almost intact.
It is an important city of the Veneto, famous for San Antonio de Padua, doctor of the church of the thirteenth century, born in Lisbon and died in the Italian town. The remains of the saint are found in the Paduan basilica that bears his name and are the subject of pilgrimages.
In the temple square is the Equestrian Monument to Gattamelata , a magnificent work by Donatello, and inside the church there are other works by the artist, such as a bronze crucifix and seven religious statues.
Prato della Valle is a beautiful elliptical square of 9 hectares, the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. On its perimeter it has a canal bordered by rings of statues on both sides.
The Palace of Reason (Palazzo della Ragione), built in the 13th century, was the seat of the courts of justice and is one of the civil architectural symbols of the city.
The Padua Botanical Garden, founded in 1545, is the second oldest in the world after Pisa. Started by the University of Padua to facilitate learning about medicinal plants, it allowed species such as potato, sunflower, jasmine, acacia, magnolia and ginkgo biloba to be introduced into Italy.
Perugia (Perusa in Spanish) is located in central Italy, near the Tiber River. It is the capital of the Umbria region. It is a student city, with its university founded in 1308, which has maintained its prestige over time.
It is called the “chocolate city” and in October it celebrates Eurochocolate, the most important European candy festival, which packs the town with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Perugia preserves numerous Roman and medieval testimonies, such as remains of the wall, of various gates (Marzia Gate, Arch of Augustus) and of the aqueduct, as well as fountains and churches. The Major Fountain (Fontana Maggiore), built in the 13th century to a design by Nicolo and Giovanni Pisano, is one of the most beautiful in Italy.
The Basilica of Santo Domingo is the largest temple in the region and houses the National Archaeological Museum of Umbria, which exhibits prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman pieces.
The Hypogeum of the Volumnios is an Etruscan tomb from the 2nd century BC. C., located on the outskirts of the city. It is one of the most important funerary archaeological sites of that pre-Roman culture in the center of the Italian peninsula.
Bergamo is located in Lombardy, 40 km from Milan, and to the north of the city the foothills of the Alps begin.
It is divided into two sectors, the upper city, in the highest part, with the historic center surrounded by a wall; and the lower city, in which historic and modern neighborhoods coexist.
It is called the Città dei Mille (City of the Thousand), since it provided 180 volunteers for the Expedition of the Thousand, Giuseppe Garibaldi’s movement that ended the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies in Italy.
In the upper town you can see the Piazza Vecchia, the Palazzo della Ragione, the Civic Tower, the New Palace, the cathedral, the Colleoni chapel, the baptistery and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
The Cathedral of San Alejandro de Bergamo is consecrated to the patron saint of the city and combines the neoclassical style with the Italian baroque. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore dates from the 12th century and houses the remains of the dramatic composer Gaetano Donizetti, born and died in Bergamo.
Most beautiful cities in Italy : Cagliari
The capital and most populous locality of Sardinia is one of the richest cities in Italy and is distinguished by its monuments and Art Nouveau architecture .
Its name means “castle” in the Sardinian language and the city was consolidated as an urban center during the Punic era. Among its attractions are the Saint Remy Bastion, the Salino Regional Park, the cathedral, the National Archaeological Museum and Calamosca beach.
The Bastion of Saint Remy is a fortification from the end of the 19th century and offers beautiful views of the city. It is located in the historic center and houses cafes, bars and souvenir shops.
The Cathedral of Santa María comes from the 13th century and combines Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles, being a Cagliarian symbol.
The Salino National Park was established in 1999 and is a Ramsar site due to its importance for nesting bird species. It is called Molentargius (“donkey handlers”) in Sardinian because these animals were used for millennia to transport the salt extracted on the spot.
The National Archaeological Museum exhibits pre-Nuragic, Nuragic and Byzantine pieces and a collection of anatomical wax models, the work of the anatomist Francesco Boi.
What are the best cities to visit in Italy?
Rome, for its historical relevance for humanity; Florence, for its beauty and condition as the cradle of the Renaissance; Venice, for its geographical peculiarity and magnificence; Milan, for its charm that is both ancient and worldly. These are must-see destinations in Italy. Bologna, for its medieval grandeur and cultural importance; Siena, for its architectural beauty and traditions; Naples, for its urban and natural landscape and its gastronomy; Palermo, for its character as a melting pot of Sicilian culture. The latter are other must-see cities in Italy.
What is the most beautiful thing in Italy?
There are many beautiful places in Italy. The alpine north with its picturesque towns, lakes and mountains; the Italian islands (Sicily, Sardinia, Capri) with their beaches, monuments, gastronomy and traditions; and the towns and cities of the valleys and the countryside, with their cheeses, wines and typical cuisine, are charming places. Italy is also dotted with peaceful medieval towns that carefully care for their monuments of the past in an environment where time seems to stand still.
Where to live better in Italy?
If your interest is to be close to the most historical and artistic part of Italy, the best places to live are the regions of Lazio and Tuscany, in the center-west of the peninsula, which are home to cities such as Rome, Florence, Siena and Pisa. If you prefer the alpine climate, you should settle in the north, in regions such as Lombardy and Piedmont, where Milan and Turin are. If you prefer a warmer climate, the southern part –Campania, Calabria, Sicily, where Naples, Palermo and Reggio Calabria meet– is your best option.
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- We leave you our guide on the 17 natural attractions of Italy that you must visit
- Read our guide on the 20 most visited cities in Italy
- Click here to read about the top 30 things to do and see in Florence, Italy