Italy is old, exotic, well-preserved, warm, friendly and delicious. These are plenty of reasons to visit the country, and there are many beautiful regions and cities that draw millions of tourists each year. Here is a look at some of the most beautiful and best cities in Italy to visit.
Famous Verona, of Romeo and Juliet fame, is a stunning historic city on the Adige River. The city’s pleasant and laid-back atmosphere hides historic sites including a 2000-year-old Roman opera that is still in use today, many preserved Roman-era ruins, beautiful 12th century churches, art museums, Roman stone bridges and views across the picturesque rooftops of the city. Verona also offers excellent shopping on the golden mile, delicious gelato, classical music performances, and plenty of walking routes.
Venice doesn’t need an introduction, but even after decades of being a popular tourist attraction, first-time visitors are left awe-struck at the marble palaces that disappear into fogs, maze-like streets and mysterious passageways of the Palazzo Ducale, lavish Venetian feasts and gentle boat rides to find some of the world’s masterpieces housed in the epic grandeur of the city’s art museums. Venice also boasts of modern opera and baroque music concerts that will appeal to the music lover.
Like many of Italy’s modern medieval towns, Bologna houses a gorgeous orange and ocher terracotta medieval grid on one hand, and a modern, hi-tech city in the super-wealthy Po valley on the other. Bologna is also home to the world’s oldest university, where you’ll find piazzas scrawled with graffiti, and some of the finest Italian food you’ll find anywhere. It’s also a city where you can engage in left-wing politics.
Known to the rest of the world as Florence, Firenze is a paradise of art and architecture, and the birthplace of Renaissance. Even if you don’t take an interest in architecture, the beauty of the city’s skyline is indisputable. You can stand on a bridge across the river Arno at different times of the day to see the different moods and faces of the city. The city’s rich history, stunning architecture, lovely gardens and simple, high quality Florentine food makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Italy to visit.
Napoli, or Naples as we know it, is a scenic seaside city of contrasts. When you look deeper into the city’s sprawling urban chaos and graffiti, you’ll find gorgeous frescoes, impressive palaces, churches and castles with priceless archaeological treasures, surprisingly beautiful panoramas in unexpected places and a warm, hospitable people with some of the best cuisine in Italy. The looming ever-present dangers of Vesuvius offers, on the flip side, rich volcanic soils and excellent local produce that goes into making some of the best coffee, pizzas, pastas and seafood dishes in the country.
Saint Vincent, Valle d’Aosta
The beautiful summer resort of Saint Vincent lies on a gentle hillside near the Swiss border, and draws visitors to its Romanesque churches, the Fons Salutis mineral springs, skiing facilities and the gambling paradise of the Casino de la Vallee, Europe’s largest casino with over 500 slot machines and nearly 100 game tables. The rich natural heritage, mild winters and pleasant summers, and charming hillside villages make it an ideal destination for the many exhibitions and film awards held there.