IF THERE IS ONE COUNTRY that has so many beautiful spots that it just seems like it’s bragging, it’s Italy. Roughly the size of Arizona, the Italian peninsula, along with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, is breaming with diverse landscapes, architecture, and yes, mouthwatering food and wine. While the major cities still feature some of the most spectacular architecture and art in and out of Europe, countless places through the countryside appear to be born of pure magic.
Everyone’s saying you have to get a villa in Tuscany? Wait until you see the rolling hills of the Franciacorta and Valdobbiadene wine regions. Catch your breath as you hike up to castles overlooking miles of green valleys. Splash in see-to-the-bottom waters off of Sicily and take in the sunset outside of Rome.
And when you think you’ve enjoyed the gastronomy of Italy too much, walk it off by getting lost along canals, sauntering up to mountain towns, and through wandering majestic piazzas. We guarantee you’ll probably find more places to add to this living list.
Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal
Riva degli Schiavoni
ManarolaRiomaggiore, ItalyIf you’re coming from the Cinque Terre hub of La Spezia, this is the second town on the coast, after Riomaggiore. Take the time to breathe in the views without your camera for a few minutes. The best way to experience this magical place is to hike! #hiking #walking
Old HarborCefalù, ItalyOne of my favorite cities in Sicily. Beautiful old city and has a gorgeous little harbor right off of it. Walk out to the end of the break water and take in this beautiful view!
The Pantheon Hotel
BuranoVenezia, ItalyThis vibrantly colorful island about 45-60 minutes by boat from the main island of Venice is a photographer’s wonderland! Just strolling through the streets and passing over the little canals will make you feel as if you’re in a dream. #architecture #colors #canals #islands #italian #gallery #photography
PorticiTorino, ItalyTorino is famous for its porticos and yes, they’re everywhere! Especially gorgeous in the early evening when they start lighting up. No wonder so many movies have been filmed with people running through these portico-lined streets! #italy #torino #architecture #free
PortoScilla, ItalyThe charming port/marina of Scilla serves as a lovely place to stop for lunch if you’re driving around Calabria. Get a takeaway panino and bring it down to the pier here by the castle remains or opt for one of the several seafood restaurants across the way on the beach. Brilliant colors in the sun if you’re into photography!
#fishing #ports #marina #seafood #sunset #italiantowns
Lago di Misurina
Lago di MisurinaAuronzo di Cadore, ItalyRight along your drive through the Italian Alps from Venice to ski mecca Cortina. Stop here and soak up views of the mountains over the lake. The turquoise water surprised me as no photos online showed anything but snowballed mountains and reflective water. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale here! #hiking #walking #camping #lakes #alps
TuristfortSiracusa, ItalyAmazingly beautiful and clear waters. Walk along the little boardwalk here and bask in the warm sun. Several restaurants and hotels are nearby for you to grab a drink outside and enjoy the water views. Or rent a boat and join the people out there! #free #italy #sicily
Foradada IslandAlghero, ItalyThere is a nice walking trail outside of Alghero, on the north west coast of Sardinia. It leads to the promontory of Capo Caccia and offers gorgeous views of Foradada island. I love spending time alone there, and always go in the late afternoon so that I can catch a spectacular sunset like this one.
Castello della Regina Cornaro
Castello della Regina CornaroAsolo, ItalyHead up to the castle ruins in Asolo’s hilltop city center to see why Asolo truly is the “City of a Hundred Horizons.” The mountain views never get old here! #free #italy #mountains #history
Isola BellaTaormina, ItalyTaormina’s most beautiful and famous place for people all over the world. There is obviously a reason why all of my Italian friends told me I had to go here when I asked them for Sicily recommendations! #italy #beaches #sicily
CentroPaderno del Grappa, ItalyOn the surface, this town doesn’t look like much but it’s natural surroundings are the real winner. Beautiful views of the Italian Alps “foothills” and even better views of Mount Grappa which looks down on the tiny town from above. Stop here on your drive from the bigger cities up to the Alps, if onto for some amazing sightseeing of the regions natural wonders. There are also some old World War I tunnels scattered throughout this area right beneath Mount Grappa. #hiking #camping #italy
Duomo di Milano
Duomo di MilanoMilano, ItalyBest and most beautiful place to visit in Milan proper! One of the few cathedrals I’ve been to where you can walk up on the roof for incredible views of the piazza below. The facade is so intricate – take a few moments to stare up at it before going inside! #chuches #italy
Marina PiccolaSorrento, ItalyIt’s not exactly a beach but it’s the best place to get some sun in Sorrento! Before you go down the steps here to choose your swimming spot/solarium, look out across the water to see Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. Great place to cool off on a hot day but go early because it can get very crowded. #beach #italy
Sassi di Matera
Sassi di MateraMatera, ItalyThe sassi are caves in the earth where thousands of people once lived in, literally, scum and disease. They were later forced to vacate these but the town remained with an upgrade. Main filming location for the movie, Passion of the Christ. Go exploring the sassi but they are a bit creepy at night! Better with a guide. #free #history
Santa Maria dell’Isola
Santa Maria dell’IsolaTropea, ItalyThe most beautiful spot in Tropea is not to be missed. Climb the stairs from the mainland on the left side of this little island and you might be lucky enough to catch a wedding there. Then wind your way along the left side of the church and perch yourself along the balcony/ledge. Refreshing spot to take in the views of the Calabrian coastline. Reminded me of California!
Villa SandiCrocetta-Nogaré, ItalyVilla Sandi prosecco winery and vineyard is one of the most beautiful in the entire Veneto region. Book an English tour ahead to walk through underground cellars and come out near this spectacular Palladian villa. There’s also a fairly good shop where you can buy regular and smaller bottles of all their wines – whites, reds, and of course, prosecco. No place like it! #wine #prosecco #italy
Trevi FountainRoma, ItalyDon’t bother going during the day. My tip, wait until late at night, buy a bottle of wine and walk the streets of Rome gazing at the sights without the thousands of tourists around. I went at midnight and had an amazing time. Walk from here to the Pantheon
Valle di Gioia
Valle di GioiaGuglionesi, ItalyDon’t listen to any Italians who say there’s nothing to see nor do in Molise! This valley with rolling hills shows just the opposite. Perfect place for a hike, drive, or just taking in the overall green scenery close to the Adriatic Sea coastline yet with the mountains in the distance in the other direction. Loved staying here! #hiking #italy
Prato della Valle
Prato della VallePadova, ItalyThe largest piazza in Italy and one of the most beautiful! It’s the only elliptical-shaped one I’ve seen complete with canals and Greco-Roman statues lining them. Also one of the largest squares in all of Europe! Sit down at one of the cafes there and order a glass of prosecco or an Aperol spritz. #free #statue #italy #piazzas
Capo FerratoMuravera, ItalyAt about ten minutes drive from Costa Rei, on the south east coast of Sardinia, there’s a small cove tucked away between cliffs and a gorgeous pine forest. It’s a quiet place, where I love going at sunset time to enjoy the silence and the special light.
Strada del Prosecco
Strada del ProseccoSanto Stefano, ItalyThis prosecco road will wind you through breathtaking prosecco vineyards, particularly the Cartizze region which constitutes the heart of the Valdobbiadene prosecco region! There is a portion you can walk – just look for the Valdobbiadene stone sign near Salis Ristorante. #free #wine #prosecco #italy
Piazza del Campo
Via Piazza di Armi
Spiaggia di su Giudeu
Spiaggia di Su GiudeuDomus De Maria, ItalyArguably the best of the Chia beach lagoon region down in southern Sardinia near Cagliari. Best times are May, June, September, and October. Yes, it’s nearly 30 degrees Celsius and sunny here into October. Pristine white sand is just as soft as it looks when you step out onto the beach. Relax! #beaches #sardinia
TrabocchoFrancavilla al Mare, ItalyHead here in the late afternoon or around sunset! The fishing pier is no ordinary one. It’s a traboccho, a fishing pier/contraption specific to the Abruzzo region of Italy. Very unique so go explore and have a look along this beautiful piece of Adriatic coast! #beaches #italy #fishing
Singita Miracle Beach
Singita Miracle BeachFregene, ItalyFull of locals and not tourists, this is the best place to catch sunset near (one hour away-ish) Rome. Grab a white blanket on the beach early and order a mojito pitcher with giant straws to share for aperitivo. There’s also a free aperitivo buffet of pastas and various types of salad as along as you’ve ordered drinks. Sunset brings a musical surprise. #beach #casual #sunsetspot #sunset
Santa Margherita Ligure