Best Places to Visit in Italy
Tourists and travel experts have long agreed that Italy is a special place, so much so that the country has become a de facto bucket list destination for just about everyone. Famous for its incredible food, rich historical sites, notorious art, beautiful small towns and equally beautiful cities, countrysides and coastlines, it's safe to say Italy's offerings are unmatched. U.S. News rounded up the Best Places to Visit in Italy considering a number of factors, from affordability and seasonality to sites and crowds, to help you decide exactly where to go. Got a favorite? Vote below to influence next year's ranking.
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A standard stop on many Eurotrip itineraries, Rome is not to be missed. The city is a globally renowned cultural and historical powerhouse. Here you'll find: the most important relics from the Roman Empire (the Colosseum), some of Michelangelo's greatest works (in the Sistine Chapel), the best food in Italy (Rome has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the country) and, of course, the center of Catholicism (the Vatican).
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Florence feels like small-town Italy, even though it's the exact opposite. Situated in the middle of the scenic Tuscan valley, Florence is lined with adorable avenues leading to picturesque piazzas big and small. While you're soaking up the city's splendor, make sure to stumble upon Piazza del Duomo, where the breathtaking namesake church is located, and the romantic Ponte Vecchio overlooking the Arno River, preferably at sunset.
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There are few destinations in the world quite like Venice. Its uniqueness can largely be attributed to the canals that run through the city like roads, carrying water taxis and buses in addition to its fleet of famous gondolas. As such, there is a palpable bustle here that may surprise some first-timers. For a relaxing Venice vacation, seek out the smaller streets and canals away from the busy Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.
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Reaching the cliffside Amalfi Coast is certainly a trek, but travelers say the journey is more than worth it. The region covers 34 miles of coastline and is home to 13 colorful seaside towns, each with its own unique story. Positano and Amalfi are the two most popular, housing numerous hotels and restaurants. While here, hike, relax on the beach and eat to your heart's delight (there are multiple Michelin-starred restaurants in this region).
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If you're looking for Italy without the crowds, Tuscany is the place to go. Italy's famous countryside is really all it's cracked up to be, offering travelers spectacular landscapes dotted with romantic, secluded villas and castellos (castles) that house wineries and superb restaurants. What's more, Tuscany is an easy drive from top destinations such as Pisa, Florence and Cinque Terre, perfect for those who don't want to stay in one place for too long.
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Cinque Terre, located on Italy's northern Ligurian Coast, is made up of five colorful, seaside towns tucked seamlessly on the region's cliffside terrain. There are fewer beaches here than along the Amalfi Coast but no shortage of awesome activities, with boat tours and hiking being the area's main points of interest. While here, save time for the oceanfront Footpath Monterosso hike.
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Lake Como#7 in Best Places to Visit in Italy
If you really want to treat yourself on your next vacation, Lake Como is the destination to do so. Lake Como invites travelers to kick back, relax and bask in the luxury of the region. Here, opulent villas and hotels line the shores and beaches beckon to sun seekers. You'll also see sleek sailboats and speed boats coasting in the middle of the water, which is the perfect place to admire the lake's surrounding hills.
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