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7 Iconic Italian Destinations Everyone Needs to Visit

Italy Travel
by Matador Creators Feb 7, 2023

Italy is a destination that has something for every type of traveler. Some Italian destinations are best suited to travelers with particular interests — be it specific food tastes or the love of a certain sport — but most Italian destinations are guaranteed to awe anyone. That goes double for the famous ones. Here are seven iconic places in Italy everyone should go at least once.


Puglia is a region in southern Italy that’s famous for its Mediterranean beaches and ample farmlands where the majority of the nation’s olive oil is produced. Its hills and coast are crowned with quaint Puglian towns that alone could sustain an entire trip to Italy, from the ports of Bari and Polignano a Mare to the whitewashed abodes of Alberobello and Ostuni.

Lake Como

Next to Milan, Lake Como is probably the most famous destination in Italy’s Lombardy region. The lake sits in the foothills of the Alps, meaning you can find everything from sailing to skiing in the area. But Lake Como is most famous for its shoreline studded with elegant villas like the villa featured in the film House of Gucci (although, fortunately, Lake Como Airbnbs come in a surprising range of prices). Thermal baths and luxury spas are a major draw too.


Italy’s largest islands, and one of the largest Mediterranean islands at large, Sicily is a world unto itself — with unique Sicilian foods like arancini to boot. The capital, Palermo, showcases Arab and Spanish architectural influences while the coast is home to holiday spots like Cefalu with the best beaches, not to mention luscious vineyards. Don’t miss landmarks like Valley of the Temples, Teatro Antico di Taormina, and Mount Etna while you’re there.


Matera is a beautiful and ancient city in Italy’s southern Basilicata region. Its main attraction is a network of UNESCO-designated cave dwellings called sassi that housed generations of Materans in the rocky hillsides. Visit at sunset for a special glimpse of the ancient houses.


Ancient Rome hosts many of the world’s most precious art and cultural treasures — the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, and Trevi Fountain to name a few. Break up your jam-packed sightseeing schedule with meals in local trattorias and wine at local enoteche. Testaccio, Trastevere, and San Lorenzo are good neighborhoods to start when it’s time to eat.


Situated in the Venetian Lagoon, Venice is made up of picturesque islands and stunning canals that visitors can’t resist cruising down via gondola. Stroll across the Rialto Bridge, through St. Mark’s Square, and straight into a historic Venetian cafe. And consider a Christmastime visit — believe it or not, Venice one of several Italian destinations that’re extra beautiful in winter.

Amalfi Coast

It’s hard to imagine a more breathtaking place than the Amalfi Coast, with its cliffy coastline and cascading hillside houses. The 30-mile coast is ripe for activities from beach days to boat trips to seaside dining. Drive along the coast from Salerno to Sorrento to get a good look at the area (and do yourself a favor by stopping in Positano too).

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