15 Best Cities in Italy for Your Perfect Trip

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Destinations, Europe, Italy, Travel Bucket Lists

Italy never ceases to amaze travelers. The country has tons of alluring cities dotted with history, culture, and art that cannot be found anywhere else. It might be challenging to choose a city, as everything is gorgeous and has its own charms. So, we have handpicked the 15 best cities in Italy for you to visit on your next trip. Get ready to be mesmerized by their brilliant beauty!  

Best Cities in Italy for You to Visit

  1. Florence
  2. Rome
  3. Syracuse
  4. Bologna
  5. Verona
  6. Palermo
  7. Milan
  8. Venice
  9. Cagliari
  10. Bolzano
  11. Pisa
  12. Siena
  13. Catania
  14. Mantua
  15. Perugia

1. Florence

Florence is considered one of the best cities in Italy

Florence is a living masterpiece. Dotted with century-years-old renaissance buildings and gothic churches, the capital of Tuscany is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Therefore, millions of travelers visit Florence and marvel at its exquisite cityscape every year. 

Want to know a fun fact about Florence? Alright, here you go – Florence is the birthplace of gelato! So, after you take a city tour around Florence, you can end the day with authentic gelato. Imagine having a sweet treat in the middle of a charming, gothic-styled city. Sounds good, doesn’t it? 

Must-see places: 

  • Churches: Duomo Cathedral, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce Cathedral, Medici Chapel
  • Palace: Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, and Palazzo Medici Ricardi
  • Museum: Galileo Museum, Museum of San Marco, Academia Gallery, Museo Stibbert, and Uffizi Gallery
  • Squares or piazza: Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza Della Republica, a 

Things to do: Wine tasting, stroll around the exquisite, renaissance-style Boboli Garden, find high-quality leather goods in San Lorenzo street, and read some books while sipping coffee in Oblate Library. 

Best time to visit: Summer (from June to August) for sunny skies, hotter but mild temperatures, and no rainfall

2. Rome

The Trevi Fountain, a well-known landmark in Rome

Centuries ago, the city was ruled by the Roman Empire. They built glorious buildings and landmarks all over the area, which can be marveled at to this day. Rome is now the capital city of Italy and undeniably one of the best cities in the country.

Rome offers the perfect collaboration of the ancient and the modern. The city is home to famous century-old landmarks, like Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Besides that, Rome has a vibrant nightlife, sophisticated culture, and bustling streets. If you are planning to visit Italy, make sure to put Rome into your itinerary! 

Must-see places: 

  • Landmarks: Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, St. Peter Basilica, and the Pantheon 
  • Museum: Vatican Museum and Musei Capitolini 

Things to do: Stroll around Rome on foot, peek at the Vatican City through the Knights of Malta keyhole, enjoy the view of Rome from Parco Savello, and grab some Italian dishes in Campo Dei Fiori’s historic market.  

Best time to visit: All year-round, especially in spring (from mid-March to mid-June) and fall (from mid-September to mid-December) for pleasant weather, mild temperatures, and a generally sunny day.

3. Syracuse

The seaside city of Syracuse is one of the best cities in Italy

Situated on the shores of Southern Italy, Syracuse offers both a brilliant natural landscape and a splendid city. Syracuse looks a lot more like Greece than Italy with its ancient artifacts and landmarks. Actually, it is because of Syracuse’s long history of being the settlement of various empires, from the ancient Greeks to the Byzantines. For that reason, Syracuse is dotted with magnificent ruins, fascinating temples, and medieval-styled churches.

If you are dreaming of a lovely and interesting seaside city, Syracuse is for you. You will never get bored in this beautiful city, as you can spend the whole day relaxing on the beach, strolling around the promenades, and visiting historical sites. Get ready to be mesmerized by Syracuse’s timeless beauty!

Must-see places: The Temple of Apollo, the Tomb of Archimede, Ortigia Island, Fountain of Diana, Syracuse Cathedral, and Neapolis Archeological Park

Things to do: Stroll around Piazza del Duomo, watch the sunset from Arethusa Fountain, see the locals’ daily activities at Syracuse harbor, and relax on the beaches

Best time to visit: Spring and Summer (from March to August) for sunny skies, pleasant weather, and the perfect temperature for dipping yourself in the sea

4. Bologna

Bologna is one of the best cities in Italy

This city is a must-visit for foodies! Bologna is considered the best city in Italy when it comes to food. The magnificent city has a unique nickname, which is “La Grassa” or “The Fat One.” The reason behind the nickname is unquestionable. Of course, it is because of Bologna’s status as the hotspot of indulgent Italian cuisine.

Besides the top-notch dishes, Bologna is also famous for its elegant porticoes and brick-colored buildings. The city is also home to Europe’s oldest university, Bologna University. Bologna has the best of what Italian cities have to offer: architecture, history, and of course – food!  

Must-see places: 

  • Churches: Santuario di Madonna, Santo Stefano Basilica, San Petronio Basilica, San Dominico, and Oratory of Battuti
  • Squares or piazza: Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno,
  • Museum: Archeological Museum and Bologna National Gallery, 
  • Others: Archiginnasio Anatomical Theatre and Monte della Guardia 

Things to do: See a balsamic vinegar maker, hunt for signature Italian dishes in Quadrilatero, take a food tour, and find affordable food in fresh markets, like Mercato dell Erbe. 

Best time to visit: All year-round, especially in spring (from mid-March to mid-June) and fall (from mid-September to mid-December)

5. Verona

Verona is a romantic city and one of the best cities in Italy

Verona hides a tragic yet beautiful love story behind its glorious Roman landmarks and medieval UNESCO-listed buildings. Yes, the city is the setting of a legendary Shakespearean piece, Romeo and Juliet. Due to the legacy of the star-crossed lovers, romance is all over Verona’s air. 

Verona is the perfect city for history, art, and literature lovers. Travelers will be mesmerized by the historical buildings, museums, and castles that are scattered all over the city. Moreover, Verona has a well-preserved, Colosseum-like amphitheater, which is Verona Arena. So, if you want to stray away from Rome and Florence’s crowd, Verona is the perfect place to visit. 

Must-see places: Verona Arena, Castle Vecchio, Giardino Giusti, Scaliger Tombs, Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, and Piazza dei Signori. 

Things to do: Drop a letter at Casa de Giulietta (House of Juliet), take a Romeo-Juliet walking tour, see Verona from a bird-eye perspective in Torre del Lamberti Tower, grab a coffee in Piazza Bra, and watch the sunset from Castel San Pietro. 

Best time to visit: February for Valentine’s Day, spring (March-May) for pleasant weather, and early fall (September) for lower prices and cool temperatures.

6. Palermo

The seaside city of Palermo is one of the best cities in Italy

Located on the island of Sicily, Palermo offers splendid natural landscapes and memorable city views. The Italian city is dotted with historical, renaissance buildings, and laidback cube-shaped houses. The city is situated on the Italian coastline, overlooking the brilliant blue Tyrrhenian Sea. 

Palermo is considered a safe place to travel. Moreover, it is a friendly and warm city. You can easily find smiling faces and mingle with locals in Palermo. To do so, try visiting local markets and grabbing some Palermo goods, like a glass of Marsala wine. 

Must-see places: 

  • Churches: Cattedrale di Palermo, St. John of the Hermits La Cappella Palatina, and La Martorana
  • Others: Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, and Norman Palace

Things to do: Grab some Aperol Spritz, see the city and sunset from Cattedrale di Palermo, and hunt for food and fresh produce in local markets.

Best time to visit: Spring (March – mid-June) for mild weather and festivals; and October for cool temperatures and lower prices

7. Milan

Milan best cities in Italy

The city is a must-visit for fashion lovers! Milan is a world-class fashion capital, where lots of brilliant fashion designers and brands are based. You can see their stores line up on Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, giving out lavish vibes. 

Besides the high-end stores and shopping craze, Milan has more to offer. The city is decorated with century-old landmarks and medieval-styled buildings. It is also home to the largest church in Italy, which is Duomo Cathedral. In conclusion, Milan presents a fantastic collaboration between the old and the new. 

Must-see places: 

  • Churches: Santa Maria dell Grazie Church, Duomo Cathedral, and San Bernardino alle Ossa
  • Shopping: Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II (a line of high-end boutiques in a medieval-renaissance style gallery) 
  • Others: Sforza Castle, Brera District, Leonardo da Vinci Museum, and La Scala Opera House

Things to do: See the authentic Last Supper mural in Santa Maria dell Grazie Church, try Milanese pasta and risotto, book a cruise tour in Navigli District, and see the San Siro Stadium, home to A.C. Milan football club.

Best time to visit: Spring (from March to May) for pleasant weather; Early fall (September) for lower prices and cool temperatures.

8. Venice

The romantic canal of Venice, one of the best cities in Italy

Your trip to Italy will be perfect if you include Venice on your itinerary. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its spectacular canals, as well as stunning gothic churches and splendid castles. Besides that, Venice’s romantic atmosphere attracts travelers from all around the world. 

The best thing to do in Venice is go for a gondola ride. You can see a series of gothic-styled buildings, beautiful bridges, and the famous Gran Canal in one ride. Also, remember to take your camera with you. Venice’s magnificent landscape looks perfect in pictures! 

Must-see places: 

  • Churches: Saint Mark’s Basilica and Santa Maria della Salute
  • On the canal: Grand Canal, Palazzo Ducale, Bridge of Sighs, Ponte di Rialto, 
  • Others: Scuola Grande, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, and Doge’s Palace

Things to do: See glassblowing workshops in Murano Islands, explore Venice and its canals on foot, and glance at Venice’s sunset from Fondaco dei Tedeschi Rooftop Terrace

Best time to visit: Late spring – from April to mid-June- for warm weather and bustling tourism; and autumn – from September to October – for lower prices and pleasant temperatures.

9. Cagliari

Cagliari best cities in Italy to visit

The Southern Italian city looks nothing like Italy. It is dotted with pristine beaches, sparkling aquamarine waters, seaside boulevards, and prehistoric sites. Cagliari looks more like a Greek city rather than an Italian. However, this breathtaking seaside city is the capital of Sardinia, a region of Mediterranean Italy. 

Cagliari is a multicultural city. Since a millennium ago, lots of powerful civilizations reigned in the city. They heavily influenced Cagliari’s culture, architecture, and cuisine. You can see the remnants of the Arabs, Italians, and Punics in historical sites. Therefore, Cagliari is a perfect city if you are looking for sunny days, lavish culture, and fascinating history. 

Must-see places:

  • Churches: Santuario di Nostra Signora di Bonaria (Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria), and Santa Maria Cathedral. 
  • Beach: Poetto Beach, Sant’Elia Beach, and Nora Beach
  • Others: Orto Botanico, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Il Castello, Bastione di Saint Remy, and Roman Amphiteatre

Things to do: Stroll around and see gorgeous ships in Marina, buy some local goods in Mercato di San Benedetto Market, and see the 13th-century Elephant Tower at night. 

Best time to visit: Summer to early fall (June-September) for sunny skies and hot temperatures that are perfect for dipping yourself in the Mediterranean sea. 

10. Bolzano

Bolzano best Italian cities to visit

Looking for an Italian city with a beautiful landscape and lesser crowds? Then, visit Bolzano! The city is situated between the verdant hills of northern Italy. It has an extravagant view of the Italian Alps as its backdrop. Furthermore, the city is filled with laidback, classic European-style houses, small churches, and lovely historical buildings. Bolzano looks like a city out of a children’s book.

Bolzano has an interesting history of being the settlement of various civilizations, from prehistoric times to the middle ages. It is presented through Bolzano’s interesting attractions, like the 17th Century Franciscan Church and the frozen 5,000 years-old caveman Ötzi. 

Must-see places: Via dei Portici, Bolzano Duomo, Mareccio Castle, Piazza Walther, and Castle Roncolo

Things to do: Grab some Tyrolean cuisines, go wine-tasting, see Ötzi the millennium-year-old frozen man, and ride a cable car to Ritten Village. 

Best time to visit: Summer (from June to August) for sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and the harvest season of wine

11. Pisa

Pisa, one of the best cities in Italy, and its famous leaning tower

Pisa is home to the world-famous leaning tower with the same name, Pisa Tower. Although Pisa Tower is included in tour packages, the city is often left out. Nonetheless, the city is filled with charms and is great to explore. 

Pisa is located in the heart of Tuscany. The city is home to a prestigious national university, making it one of the best Italian cities for students. Besides that, Pisa offers classic, renaissance-styled buildings, gorgeous museums, and lovely views of the Arno River. You can stroll around the city to explore as Pisa is quite small and walkable. 

Must-see places: Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Pisa Tower, Campo Santo, and Palazzo dei Cavalieri 

Things to do: Stroll along the Arno River, grab some fresh produce and mingle with locals in Mercato delle Vettovaglie, explore the city by bike, and take a relaxing time at a thermal resort. 

Best time to visit: Summer (from June to August) for sunny days and bustling tourism; Spring (from April to May) for mild temperatures, lower prices, and spring festivals.

12. Catania

Catania best cities in Italy

Nestled on the foot of Mount Etna, Catania offers both breathtaking nature and a beautiful city. The small city is dotted with Romanesque churches and cathedrals, magnificent castle walls, and earthy-colored buildings. At noon, the city is alive with its local fresh market, restaurants, and local fair. However, at night, the city turns vibrant with its hype clubs, clinking glasses, and strong beers.  

If you love to try new cuisines, you must visit Catania. The city is an emerging Italian town for cuisines. You can find superb street foods and delicious Italian classic dishes all over the city. In addition, you must try Catania’s wine and spirits, like the fantastic Etna Wine. A food tour to Catania is definitely worth trying! 

Must-see places: Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, Teatro Romano, Monastery of San Nicolo, and 11th-century Aci Castello. 

Things to do: Grab some Catania cheese, see the best views of Catania from Chiesa della Badia di Sant’Agata church, savor Catania’s dishes, and take a day trip to Mount Etna

Best time to visit: Summer (from May to September) for overall sunny skies, mild weather, and no rain; Winter (from November to February) for cold but not freezing temperatures and exciting winter activities.

13. Mantua

Mantua best cities in Italy

One of the fun facts about Mantua is the fact that it is enclosed by three artificial lakes. For that reason, this northern Italy city has a special charm. Mantua is a UNESCO-listed city for its stunning renaissance buildings and lavish churches. Moreover, the city is also famous for its superb wine and delicious food. Mantua offers you the best visual and sensory experience. 

Even though Mantua is unique and fascinating, there aren’t many tourists visiting the city. In that case, Mantua stays underrated and is a hidden gem in Italy. The city is absolutely worth visiting, especially if you are looking for somewhere serene and less-touristy. 

Must-see places: Basilica di Sant’Andrea, Ducal Palace, Rotondo di San Lorenzo, and Mantua Cathedral

Things to do: Go wine tasting, take a food tour in Mantua, marvel at the murals on the walls of Ducal Palace, and take a walk by Mantua’s lakes. 

Best time to visit: Spring (from mid-March to May) for pleasant weather, mild temperatures, and lower prices 

14. Siena

The tower of Mangia in beautiful Italian city Siena

“The Heart of Tuscany” – a nickname of Siena. The city earned its nickname as it is located in the region of Tuscany. Contrary to the neighboring Florence, Tuscany is hearty and laid back. The city is dotted with earth-colored houses and down-to-earth neighborhoods. However, it is also considered the perfect medieval town by UNESCO for its dark, mysterious, and noble atmosphere. 

Must-see places: Piazza de Campo, Siena Cathedral, Pubblico Place, Tower of Mangia, and Duomo Museum

Things to do: See Palio horseback riding, marvel at the Porta del Cielo, stroll around the narrow medieval streets of Siena, and see the magnificent gothic Orartoria. 

Best time to visit: Spring (from April to mid-June) for blooming flowers, pleasant weather, and less rainfall; Fall (September to October) for cool weather and vibrant fall festivals.

15. Perugia

Perugia, best cities in Italy

Do you know that there is a beautiful city with fantastic wine between Rome and Florence? Yes, there is! The city is called Perugia, the capital of Umbria. Perugia is a serene and stunning city with rock fortresses, alluring towers, and Italian classic gothic-styled churches. Moreover, it offers a gorgeous view of lush hills and the sparkling Tiber River.

One of the best things about Perugia is its food and wine. Traditional pasta and splendid truffles are must-try food in the city. It is also a great producer of chocolate and wine. For that reason, we recommend trying various food while visiting Perugia!

Must-see places: Piazza IV Novembre, Underground Perugia, Tili Vini Winery, Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, and Rocca Paolina

Things to do: See Palio horseback riding, watch the sunset at Giardini Carducci Park, enjoy Perugia truffles and pasta, visit the chocolate factory, and 

Best time to visit: Spring (from March to May) for pleasant weather, wine harvest, and lower prices.

These stunning Italian cities are perfect for your next trip to Italy. Make sure to put them on your bucket list and get ready to be enchanted by their beauty. But, do you know that Italian cities can be pricey? In order to get the best out of them, you might need a travel buddy to share great moments, stories, and even costs!

If you are looking for a travel buddy for your next trip to Italy, JoinMyTrip got you covered! You can connect with other like-minded travelers and find an awesome trip in JoinMyTrip. Moreover, there are TripLeaders that would gladly guide you all over Rome and other Italian cities.

So what are you waiting for? Go for your dream trip with us!

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