It’s unsurprising that Italy makes many people’s bucket list because the country simply has so much to offer. One of the top ten searched experiences in the world last year was the Colosseum in Rome.
The country is known for its remarkable architecture and rich history as the centre of the Roman Empire. It’s also where pizza originated, and you can drink some of the finest wine on Earth.
From the fascinating ruins at Pompeii to swimming in the crystal-clear water of Sardinia, it’s enthralling. Whatever kind of holiday you are looking for, from the cultural to the relaxed, you will find it in Italy.
Whether you choose to just explore one city, or use convenient online boat, yacht and catamaran charter services like Borrowaboat to see some Mediterranean islands, Italy will delight you.
Top Places to Visit in Italy
With so many places to entice, where should you plan your holiday? We’ve selected some of the hotspots and what’s good to do there.
Probably the most romantic city in the world, Venice is unlike anywhere else. The main way to travel is by boat, you won’t see cars in the tiny laneways.
Of course, you must visit St. Mark’s Piazza and see the Doge’s Palace. Don’t forget to look out for the astrological clock.
However, Venice is so much more. Check out these unique things to do:
- Sail across the Venetian lagoon to Murano and watch the glassblowers in action. A visit to the museum is also worthwhile, you’ll probably want to pick up souvenirs.
- Climb the Palladian church on San Giorgio Maggiore. There are far less crowds and you get the very best view of Venice.
- Hire a gondola and be serenaded as you sail through the canals of Venice.
Don’t forget to try cicchetti – tasty Venetian small bites, like tapas.
This city is known for its style. It’s chic, understated glamour is evident all around you when you visit Milan.
The Duomo di Milano, the cathedral, is absolutely magnificent so take time to tour its white marble halls.
Must-do’s in the fashion capital include:
- Go to the opera at the Teatro alla Scala, which dates back 250 years
- See Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” which overlooks the refectory in the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie
- Taste authentic risotto alla zafferano at Trattoria Masuelli S. Marco
- Walk the Porto Nuovo district and see the Bosco Verticale, the vertical forest, an urban regeneration project
You can also have a drink in film director Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce, inspired by Neorealist Italian movies.
Art-lovers flock to Florence, and it’s not surprising as this is the place where the Renaissance began. The city is bursting with color and life, great architecture and quirky side street stores.
Unique things that can only be found in Florence include:
- Michelangelo’s hidden drawings, on the walls beneath the Medici Chapel
- Rub the snout of Il Porcellino for good luck
- Visit the famous Uffizi Gallery, where you’ll find originals by Botticelli, Rafaello and Da Vinci
When you need some time out from all the great art, go to the Bardini Gardens. The Wisteria Tunnel is soothing, beautiful and great for some Insta snaps.
4. The Amalfi Coast
The best way to see the Amalfi Coast is to hire a boat in Sorrento, Positano or Amalfi. You can tour along the coastline seeing small villages right on the cliffside.
Spot houses built right into the stone with tiny steps down to the water. You will also want to check out:
- The hidden caves at Il Galli, the home of the Sirens according to Homer
- Stop at Vietri Sul Mare to buy hand painted ceramic souvenirs
- Bathe in the calm waters at Atrani and admire the pretty houses from the beach
- Drop anchor at the Marina Grande on Capri to visit the Blue Grotto or watch the jetset mingle
This splendid coastline has so many places that you can stop and appreciate authentic Italian life. If you can get into Praiano for a seafood lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed.
5. The Tuscan Islands
When most people picture Tuscany, they see rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see. While that’s true, these are also visible from the sea and they are some gorgeous little ports to anchor.
The Tuscan Islands, also known as the Seven Sisters, include the following:
There are some interesting things to do here too:
- Discover the wreck “Elviscot” at Pomonte Beach
- Get a permit to stay overnight at Pianosa, which used to be a prison
- Visit the Castello on the hill at Giglio
Other harbours to consider in Tuscany are:
- Punta Ala
- Porto Ercole
- Cala Galera
Of course, you need to try some homemade Tuscan food washed down with a nice Chianti or Bolgheri.
How Long to Spend in Italy?
Most people fall in love with Italy on their first day, and many return time and again. You could spend a week, or a year here and always find something new to do.
With spectacular scenery from the Italian Alps down to the beaches at the foot of the boot, it’s remarkable. Fly into Rome to see the Sistine Chapel, take a train to Naples and sail across to Capri.
Choose your Italian adventure to suit you.