You can never run out of places to visit in Italy. The country is blessed with beautiful architecture, history, good food and great wine! I travelled from Naples to the Lake District of Northern Italy with my husband and friends.
We had an absolutely fabulous time exploring the country. So let me share with you the best places in Italy been during this trip that is perfect for first-time visitors.
Read more: Best Way to Travel Europe by Train Using Interrail Pass and Eurail Pass
Here are the best places to visit in Italy for the first time:
Located in the southern part of Italy, Sorrento is a charming coastal town in the Campania region. Sorrento is a very handy and reasonable place to stay when you want to explore the area with multiple convenient access to some of the most beautiful places in Italy.
What is it known for? Sorrento is famous for its gigantic Sorrentine lemons and oranges.
You can find orange trees dotted around the streets of Sorrento. The Sorrentine lemons are the primary producers of the area. They are huge compared to the regular fist-sized lemons. So if you manage to try a tasty Italian lemonade, it’s most probably produced in Sorrento.
I’m sure you will also fall in love with the beauty of the area, check out the view of the Bay of Naples at sunset from the Marina.
The inspiration to the Pompeii movie of Kit Harrington. Yes! I love him and his gorgeous abs in the film! Ok, back to the topic.
Pompeii is a 2000-year-old city ruin resting at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It is as if walking back to ancient Roman times, Pompeii is a glimpse of what it was like 2000 years ago before the wrath of Mt. Vesuvius ruined its former glory and life.
Not far from Pompeii is another popular place to visit in Italy, Herculaneum. A less busy town compared to the bustling city of Pompeii back in Roman times. Herculaneum was also engulfed by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius.
Join the history walks around Pompeii to appreciate its history. You will also get to see loads of phallic symbols dotted around the ruined city of Pompeii. These are the markers for the brothel within the city.
Follow the sign and discover the erotic side of Pompeii.
Arts and Wine lovers, anyone? From the fertile land of Tuscany come the vineyards and olive groves. Seated at the heart of the Tuscan region, Florence captures the heart and tastes of many. Florence was a sweet surprise.
The charming cobbled streets, towering statues in the various piazza and the jaw-dropping skyline of Florence from Piazza San Michael are just a few of the highlights of one of the best places to visit in Italy.
At the centre of the town, you can’t miss the towering and iconic Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore. The interior of the Duomo is something you shouldn’t miss. An appropriate dress code is necessary (shoulders should be covered, and knee-length shorts/ skirts are allowed).
To get the famous Florentine skyline shot, head towards the popular vantage point in Florence — Piazzale Michelangelo.
It’s a little bit out of the main town centre, but it’s worth climbing the hundreds of steps toward the top of the hill to get to where the Piazzale is located. Here are some other suggestions on what you can do in Florence.
Bellagio sits at the tip where Lake Como and Lake Lecco meet. The charming little town in Lombardy in Northern Italy is one of the best places to go in Italy. Several Hollywood box office movies have been shot here, such as Star Wars (Queen Amidala’s planet) and Ocean’s 11 to name but a few.
Who doesn’t want to wake up with the view of Lake Como and the picturesque backdrop of the Swiss Alps? If you are looking for somewhere where you can relax, I highly recommend visiting this area.
There are various ways to reach Bellagio; you can try to catch a train to Milan and head towards Varenna or Como.
If you take the Varenna route, make sure you check the ferry schedules. If you take the Como route, either catch the bus to Bellagio ( around 1hr 30mins ride) or you can drive there! Just note that the roads are very narrow and winding, so be extra careful!
Read More: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni: A Luxury Hotel Review in Lake Como (Italy)
The home of the Carnival, canals and gondolas. The architectural beauty of Venice is unquestionable.
The towering churches and idyllic sunset skyline of Venice from Lido island is something you should not miss. The iconic gondola ride might leave you out of pocket, but it’s one of the most popular things to do in Venice. A 40-minute boat ride from Venezia, you can reach the islands of Burano and Murano that are equally beautiful in their own right.
Burano is definitely one of the “Instagramable” places in Venice! The colourful buildings on the little island give a great cheerful vibe.
What’s the reason behind the colourful houses of Burano? Burano is a fishing village 40-minutes away from the main Venetian island, according to legends the locals painted their houses in striking colours to help the fishermen to find their way home in bad weather conditions.
Murano is the home of the world-renowned Murano glass. It is known for its outstanding craftsmanship and quality.
How to check the authenticity of your Murano glass?
Look for the mark VETRO ARTISTICO MURANO engraved/marked on your glass piece. The cheaper the glass, the less likely it will be made in Murano. Also, don’t forget to watch the master glassblower make Murano glass in the Glass Museum on the island. It’s Free!
If you want to visit the romantic Italian city of Venice, read this 2-day Venice travel guide.
Abruzzo region is a best-kept secret destination and one of the best places to visit in Italy. You can access the Abruzzo region about 2 hours drive from Rome.
Pescara is the capital of this Italian region and it has all the Italian charming vibes minus the tourists. Abruzzo offers fantastic gastronomical treats, a beautiful mountain landscape, and a calming seaside facing the Adriatic sea.
Home of the Golden Triangle of Olive Trade in Italy, rustic medieval castles and the majestic Majella National Park. Abruzzo is more than what I have expected, the beautiful region is definitely worth the visit.
Located in the southern part of Italy is the island of Sicily. Here are some of the best romantic things to do in Sicily.
The rugged mountains and never-ending valleys on the island of Sicily will mesmerize you as you drive from coast to coast across the island. The enchanting landscape of Mount Etna is truly something magnificent to admire. Mount Etna is considered to be the most active volcano in Europe.
Not to mention the romantic coast of Taormina and Naxos that will captivate your heart plus the vibrant cities of Palermo and Catania. If you are up for a gastronomical tour of Italy you check out this Italian food walking tour!
Would we go back to Italy?? YES, DEFINITELY!
I hope this will inspire you to discover more of Italy.
If you need a visa to visit Italy, you can read more about the process of getting a Schengen visa for your trip.
I’m sure there are loads more beautiful places to visit in Italy,
I would love to hear from you and put that in the comment box below.