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Must visit places in Italy

Cala Rossa in Favignana

My husband is Italian and so we visit Italy several times a year because ‘it’s the best country in the world’ – his words, not mine. According to him, Italy has the best beaches, best food and best wine. The thing is…. the more I visit different towns and cities in Italy, the more I have to agree with him! Here are some must visit places in Italy.

Ischia

A short ferry ride from Naples, Ischia is a beautiful island – and one of my favourites. It is also quite big so there’s lots to do if you want to go for a week – from a medieval castle to thermal water parks.

Ischia castle

Capri

Easily accessible from Naples, Ischia, Positano, Sorrento or Amalfi, Capri is a captivating island where the rich (and often famous) like to visit. The colours of the water in Capri are simply stunning – hire a boat or go on a boat tour around the entire island. Don’t miss Anacapri either – less tourists and more locals. Plus they have an old chair lift that will take you up to Monte Solaro where the views over Capri are just awesome.

Panoramic view of Capri

Rome

Undoubtedly one of Italy’s most famous cities, Rome is just breath-taking. You cannot help but be in awe of this city which has history at literally every corner. The great thing about Rome is you can spend a week and not be bored. Here’s 30 things to see and do in Rome.

Piazza Navona in Rome

Florence

One of my favourite cities in Italy… Florence will capture your imagination, and your heart, with its exquisite architecture and expansive art collection. Be sure to climb up to the top of the Duomo for stunning views over Florence.

The red rooftops of Florence

Bologna

If you’re a foodie, then you cannot miss Italy’s food capital, Bologna. But it’s not just for foodies – Bologna has so much to offer – from the oldest university in Europe to the two towers. Bologna is also perfect as a base to explore nearby Venice, Florence, Modena and Tuscany. Whilst it’s inland, you can escape to nearby Rimini if you’re looking for a beach or book a hotel with a pool as Bologna is very hot in Summer!

Piazza Maggiore Bologna

Tropea

Tropea is a small town in Calabria that boasts a Monastery on a little hill overlooking the turquoise sea. It is a great place to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the sea, food and wine.

Cliffs of Tropea

Ponza

Ponza, in Lazio, is a short train ride from Rome and then a ferry. It’s a fairly small island although it has quite a few shops and restaurants. It has a lovely little marina, where a lot of the restaurants overlook and is mostly full of Italians. Although we did run into Jared Leto when we were there – he was eating at the same restaurant as us!

Ponza in Lazio

Taormina

We love Taormina in Sicily. It’s fairly big so there’s lots to do. Plus, it’s not an island so if you have a car you can explore more of Sicily. The food is wonderful and there are many great restaurants to try with lots of al fresco seating. Venture out to Gole Alcantra, which is a botanical and geological park.

Isola Bella from above

Favignana

One of three islands of the Aegadian Islands, Favignana is a ferry ride from Sicily. It’s pretty small but boasts one of the most stunning beaches ever – Cala Rossa. Well, not a beach in the sense that there is sand (you go by boat or lie on rocks) but the water is like something out of the Caribbean! You can also get a ferry over to the other islands for a day trip.

Bue Marino in Favignana

Positano

I absolutely love Positano and its gorgeous, colourful houses built on rock. We’ve been three times and we love to also visit Sorrento, Ravello and Amalfi while we’re there. If you base yourself there, you can easily visit Capri and Ischia on a day trip.

Positano in Italy

Palermo

Palermo is the capital of Sicily and has the best of both worlds – it’s a city that has beaches. So if lying on a beach for your entire holiday is not really your thing, Palermo is a great choice. Visit the food markets, museums and just explore.

Palermo

Cefalù

Cefalù is a charming seaside city in Sicily . It’s under an hour by train from Palermo so easy to do in a day trip, however you really want to spend more time here as it’s really lovely! It has some great swimming spots, a Duomo dating back to 1131 and the city is also part of Madonie park, which is a nature reserve in Sicily and includes 15 towns. Quite a few of these towns are in the mountains and are worth visiting.

Cefalu view from the duomo

Verona

The Northern city of Verona is steeped in history and Shakespeare fans will love seeing Juliet’s balcony in real life. It also has an Arena which looks very similar to Rome’s famous Coliseum! Verona is so close to Lake Garda so definitely do a day trip and visit one of the lake towns, such as Sirmione.

Arena di Verona

I hope some of these towns and cities have inspired you to visit them and put them on your ‘must see places in Italy’ list!

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Must visit places in Italy

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.

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