When it comes to Italy, it’s difficult to choose just one “best” city to visit. From north to south, this country is full of fascinating, beautiful, and historic cities that will leave any traveler in awe. To help narrow down the choices, here are some of the best Italian cities to consider on your next trip.
Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Known as the “Eternal City,” Rome is full of history, art, and culture. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. Other highlights include the Vatican City, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. The city also boasts world-class museums, art galleries, and restaurants, making it an all-around must-see destination.
Florence is located in the heart of Tuscany and is widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. The city is known for its Renaissance art and architecture, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, and the famous Duomo. Visitors can also stroll along the Arno River, take in the stunning views from Piazzale Michelangelo, and sample the delicious Tuscan cuisine.
Venice is a unique city that is built entirely on water. Visitors can take a gondola ride through the narrow canals, explore the stunning St. Mark’s Basilica, and visit the famous Doge’s Palace. Other highlights include the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, and the colorful island of Burano. Venice is also known for its world-class seafood and traditional Venetian dishes.
Milan is the fashion capital of Italy and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in fashion, art, and design. The city is home to world-famous museums such as the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Triennale Design Museum. Other highlights include the stunning Gothic cathedral of Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade, and the trendy Navigli district. Milan is also known for its delicious cuisine, including classic dishes such as risotto alla Milanese and panettone.
Naples is located in southern Italy and is the birthplace of pizza. Visitors can enjoy a delicious Margherita pizza at one of the many pizzerias in the city. Naples is also known for its rich history, including the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other highlights of Naples include the Royal Palace, the Castel dell’Ovo, and the stunning views of the Bay of Naples.
Siena is a beautiful medieval city located in the heart of Tuscany. The city is known for its stunning Gothic architecture, including the famous Piazza del Campo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and the Torre del Mangia. Visitors can also sample the delicious Tuscan cuisine, including traditional dishes such as ribollita and pici pasta.
Verona is a charming city located in the north of Italy, famous for its association with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Visitors can explore the stunning Arena di Verona, the Roman amphitheater that still hosts concerts and operas today. Other highlights of Verona include the beautiful Piazza delle Erbe, the Scaliger Tombs, and the stunning views from the top of Castel San Pietro.
Bologna is a hidden gem in northern Italy that often gets overlooked in favor of more well-known destinations like Rome or Florence. But for those who venture off the beaten path, Bologna offers a unique blend of history, culture, and cuisine that is sure to delight any traveler. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider visiting Bologna on your next trip to Italy.
- The Food. Bologna is known throughout Italy as the food capital of the country. The city is home to some of the most iconic dishes in Italian cuisine, including tagliatelle al ragù (pasta with meat sauce), tortellini in brodo (tortellini in broth), and mortadella (a type of Italian sausage). In addition to these classic dishes, Bologna also has a thriving street food scene, with vendors selling everything from fried doughnuts to meat-filled piadinas. For foodies, a trip to Bologna is an absolute must.
- The Architecture. Bologna is a city that is rich in history, and this is reflected in its stunning architecture. The city is home to the oldest university in the world, and as a result, has a wealth of beautiful buildings and landmarks that date back to the Middle Ages. Some of the most notable examples of Bolognese architecture include the Two Towers (Due Torri), the Basilica di San Petronio, and the Archiginnasio of Bologna, which was once the main building of the University of Bologna.
- The Art. Bologna is home to a number of world-class museums and galleries, including the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna and the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna (MAMbo). The Pinacoteca in particular is a must-visit destination for art lovers, as it houses one of the largest collections of Italian Renaissance art in the world, with works by artists such as Raphael, Titian, and Guido Reni.
- The Porticos. One of the most distinctive features of Bologna’s architecture is its porticos. These covered walkways can be found throughout the city, and are particularly impressive in the historic center. In fact, Bologna has more than 40 kilometers of porticos, making it the city with the most porticos in the world. The porticos not only add to the city’s unique character, but they also provide shade and shelter for pedestrians, making them a practical and beautiful feature of the city.
Finally, one of the best things about Bologna is its people. Bolognese locals are known for being friendly, welcoming, and proud of their city. Whether you’re exploring the markets, trying out new restaurants, or simply strolling through the streets, you’re sure to be greeted with a warm smile and a friendly “buongiorno.” For those who want to experience Italy’s vibrant culture and community spirit, Bologna is the perfect destination.