The ItalianTourism.us Italy Travel Guide provides in-depth information on the many fabulous Italy vacation destinations. The popular places like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Tuscany, Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Lake Como are well known because they are fantastic holiday destinations. These destinations are, but for Tuscany and Sicily, located inside unique Italian regions. For instance, Tuscany and Sicily are regions. Then inside Tuscany and Sicily are popular destinations. For example, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Chianti, San Gimignano, and Siena are all located in the Tuscany region.
As the map above details, Italy is separated into twenty distinct regions. Moreover Italy’s regions are located within one of three distinct areas. These areas are Northern Italy, Central Italy known as Italy’s heartland, and Southern Italy. The colors on the map above define these areas and the regions that are included in each area.
Within each of the 20 unique Italian regions, such as in Tuscany and Sicily, there is no shortage of sightseeing activities. Singles, groups, families, and honeymooners are all drawn to Italy for the trip of a lifetime. Italy is the best vacation destination because it’s tourism appeals to everyone. Las Vegas and Disney World copy Italy’s streets and destinations because it truly is a playground for all. Even kids enjoy touring Italy while learning about history, culture, and western civilization.
Browse through the Italy travel guide information on these pages. Enjoy this guide to touring Italy. You’ll find maps of Italy’s regions, maps with regional points of interest, destination videos, Italy tour reviews, plus interesting information to help you plan the best solo Italy trip, Italy honeymoon vacation, Italy anniversary celebration, unforgettable family Italy trip, or escorted Italy vacation. This Italy travel guide will help guide you in planning your fabulous trip to Italy.
Table of contents
- Italy’s Regions
- About Northern Italy Travel Guide
- Popular Places in Northern Italy
- About Central Italy Travel Guide
- Popular Places in Central Italy
- About Southern Italy Travel Guide
- Popular Places in Southern Italy
Italy is a top vacation destination for singles, families, honeymooners, adults, children, groups, and seniors because there is something everywhere that appeals to travelers of all ages. For example Italy’s rich culture, delicious food, long history, cutting-edge fashion and art, its beautiful coastline and beaches, its mountains, and priceless ancient monuments are of interest to everyone. Italy also contains more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. Moreover the passionate Italian people welcome visitors of all ages. Italy is especially a child friendly country. As a result Italy is a great country to tour, including a family vacation with kids.
For more information about traveling around Italy independently or with an escorted Italy tour group package you have come to the best website for Italy tour packages, independent vacations, cruises around Italy, and Italy travel information.
Italy became a unified country in 1861. A region in Italy is similar to a state in the United States. Italy consists of twenty regions. Despite the Italian unification each region preserves its own culture and customs. Each of Italy’s twenty regions is unique. For example each region has its own culinary traditions, wine making, authentic foods, festivals and traditions. In short, Italy is a republic of at least 20 distinct cultures. This makes a trip to Italy the perfect vacation. And it means one trip is not enough. Everyone who gets a taste of Italy dreams of returning.
Northern Italy is packed with great places to visit. The Italian Alps forms the Italian Lakes region, which both attract tourists for the natural beauty. Likewise the Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean Sea and beaches along Adriatic Sea draw nature lovers and beach goers. Northern Italy is full of cultural attractions. Its big cities Bologna, Milan, Genoa, and Turin have museums and theaters along with history and arts. Then of course there is magical Venice. Finally Northern Italy’s smaller cities such as Verona, Padua, Vicenza, all in the Veneto region, Mantua in Lombardy region, and Modena, Parma, Ravenna all in Emilia Romagna each offer unique cultural attractions that charm all visitors.
A vacation to Italy may focus on just one region. There is that much to do and see in just about every Italian region. With time to explore each region has much to offer. Alternatively there are fabulous escorted tours of Italy that introduce travelers to the various regions and points of interest.
About Northern Italy Travel Guide
Click the Northern Italy travel guide map for more information about each region. You may also use the interactive map tools to expand each region to see points of interest within Northern Italy.
Northern Italy is a popular Italy vacation destination for various reasons. For example it’s natural beauty stretches from the southern Alps, which is the backdrop to the Italian Lakes district, down to the Italian Riviera along the west coast of Liguria, which includes Cinque Terre, to the east along Po River in the Emilia Romagna region and Venice. On the other hand, world-class cities such as Bologna, Genoa, Milan, Modena, Parma, Turin, Verona, Venice are located in northern Italy. Therefore Northern Italy appeals to both nature lovers and those looking for a vacation with art and culture.
Northern Italy Regions
The Aosta Valle (Vallse d’Aosta) is located in northwestern Italy. Switzerland is located to its north and France to its east. It is a mountainous region. Aosta tourism is focused primarily on alpine sports.
For more information about traveling to this region click Aosta sightseeing travel guide.
The Po River separates the bountiful Emilia-Romagna region and northern Italy from central Italy. Tours of Italy that include Emilia-Romagna visit some of its gems. For example Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Parma, Ravenna, and Rimini are popular world-class Italy vacation destinations. Moreover the Emilia-Romagna region is a cultural center of Northern Italy. The region includes the finest Italian traditions including opera, sports car manufacturing, food production and fine local culinary traditions, art, culture and beaches.
For more information about traveling to this region click for the Emilia-Romagna travel guide.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is located in northeast Italy. It borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. To the south it faces the Adriatic Sea and to the west its internal border is with Italy’s Veneto region. The area has at times been part of Austria and the Venetian Republic. Its main city is Trieste, which is sometimes called “little Venice.” Moreover it has many vineyards and the Dolomite Mountains.
For more information about planning a trip click the Friuli-Venezia Giulia travel guide.
Liguria is located on the beautiful northern Italian west coast covering a long stretch along the Mediterranean sea. The region is well known for its popular seaside Italy vacation destinations. For instance the Cinque Terre is located on the Ligurian Coast just north of Tuscany and south of Genoa. Then just up the coast are Northern Italy resort towns Santa Margherita, Portfino, and Ravello. Additionally further west toward France along the coast is the Italian Riviera. Finally Liguria’s big city Genoa attracts many tourists.
For more about touring this Northern Italy region click the Liguria travel guide.
Lombardy is bordered to its north by the southern Alps in Switzerland and Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region. To the east is the Veneto region. Lombardy’s vacation destinations that attract outdoor lovers include the Italian Alps and the Italian Lakes District. Above all Lombardy is where the world’s fashion capital Milan is located.
For more information about planning a trip to this region visit the Lombardy travel guide.
Piedmont is located in northwest Italy. It borders France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta and for a very small fragment of the Emilia-Romagna. Its location is between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea thus the resulting weather make its foothills prime for growing wine grapes. Piedmont’s vineyards are known across the world for producing some of the best wines. Then on the lighter side is Stresa which is a popular resort town located on Lake Maggiore. Finally often overlooked is Pedmont’s big city Turin, where the House of Savoy.
For more about planning a vacation to this region check out the Piedmont travel guide.
Trentino is located in northeast Italy above the region of Veneto. Trentino is renowned for its mountains, such as the Dolomites, which are part of the Alps. Trentino Alto Adige sightseeing includes Alpine vistas and medieval history.
For more information about visiting this northern Italy region click the Trentino sightseeing guide.
Veneto is located in northeast Italy at the top of the Adriatic Sea. World-class tourism centers include Lake Garda, Verona, Padua, and Vicenza. But the highlight of Veneto is its magical city Venice. The Veneto region provides the best of Italy’s rich culture and history. From the high peaks of the Alps and Dolomites mountains, to Lake Garda, the Po River, and finally down to sea level along the coast and Venice, Veneto has something for all types of travelers.
For more information about traveling to this region visit the Veneto travel guide.
Italian Lakes Region
The Italian Lakes district spans across northern Italy and the Italian Alps. There are seven Italian Lakes that make up Northern Italy’s lakes district.
Beginning from the west along the Italian Alps is the region of Piedmont, which includes Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore. Then traveling east is the Lombardy region, which is where Lake Como, Lake Iseo, Lake Lugano, and Lake Varese are located. Further east in the Veneto region is the location of Lake Garda.
Popular Places in Northern Italy
Northern Italy includes many cultural gems. When planning a vacation to Northern Italy it is hard to choose where to visit. Below are a few very popular destinations. Additionally there are small towns and big cities not listed here that will charm you.
Bologna is the capital of the Emilia Romagna region. For many years it was a city tourists passed while traveling between Venice and Florence. Today, however, Bologna is a destination that many visitors to Italy decide to enjoy for a few days. The city may be best known worldwide for its culinary tradition.
For more information on Italy trips that include Bologna visit the Bologna travel guide page.
Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera
The Cinque Terre is a mountainous six-mile stretch of five (cinque) villages located on the Ligurian Coast between Genoa and Tuscany’s Pisa. The Cinque Terre are popular with local Italians and tourists who come to enjoy its laid back lifestyle while enjoying its natural beauty. Moreover tourists are drawn to the Conque Terre to relax while indulging in the local seafood, wine, and pasta with pesto sauce made from the pine nuts, olive oil, and basil grown right on the hills overlooking the sea.
For more information about the area and trips that include the Cinque Terre visit the Cinque Terre travel guide.
Located in northeastern Italy along the border of Austria in the region of Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy’s Dolomite mountains offer dramatic vistas and alpine vacations. Here you’ll find a mix of Austrian and German heritage mixed with northern Italian culture. Most tourists travel to Bolzano, which is the most convenient gateway to the Dolomites and a good location to embark exploring the area.
Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region. It is located in Northern Italy. Genoa is an important port city because its history and culture are inextricably linked to its location on the sea. During medieval times it was one of the maritime republics. Additionally it is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.
For more information about Genoa visit the Liguria travel guide.
Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region. Like much of Italy Milan has incredible works of art from Italy’s past. For example Milan is the home of DaVinci’s Last Supper, among other works of art in its museums. Conversely it is also a very modern city. For example it is the present-day world capital of high fashion. Milan sets trends years ahead of rest of the world. Thus while it is firmly rooted in its history it is forward moving. This energy is felt on its streets when fashion and media creatives fill its bars, restaurants and shops.
For more about planning a trip visit the Milan travel guide page.
Ravenna is located in the Emilia-Romagna region. It is a popular destination for art lovers drawn to see the 1,500-year-old churches, decorated with best-in-the-West Byzantine mosaics. The city’s churches and mosaics date from the time (c. AD 400–600) when it was the center of Western civilization — a civilization in transition, from Roman to barbarian to Byzantine to medieval.
For more information about planning a trip visit the Ravenna sightseeing page.
Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region. It is known for its refined architecture and cuisine. Baroque buildings and old cafes line Turin’s boulevards and squares such as Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo provide green space. Further Turin has been the headquarters of Fiat since 1916.
Venice is the capital of the Veneto region. It is built over 100 islands rising from the lagoon. Visitors are awed by this unique car-less city that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Venice rose to great wealth through trade. Marco Polo may be its most famous trader. Venice’s Grand Canal sparkles with Palaces built by its rich merchants. Moreover the city is full of museums and churches with wonderful artworks. Venice art was a force during the Renaissance. The natural light that drapes Venice enchants all visitors.
For more about planning your trip to Venice visit the Venice travel guide.
About Central Italy Travel Guide
Visit the Italy travel guide Central Italy map for more information about each of the regions and cities. Use the interactive map tools to expand each region to see points of interest within Central Italy.
Central Italy is known as Italy’s heartland. Italian regions located in central Italy include Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany, and Umbria. These distinctive regions have played a formidable role not only in Italian history, but in world history, as the centers of the Etruscan and Roman civilizations and of the Holy See of the Catholic Church.
Central Italy’s rich cultural history make it the most popular area for Italy tourists to visit. For instance the Tuscany and Umbria regions, combined with Rome and Florence, are on everyone’s Italy travel bucket list. Moreover places like Assisi, Pisa, and Tuscany’s many hill towns are all located in central Italy.
Central Italy Regions
South of Marche and East of Lazio is Abruzzo. The region attracts Italy tourists looking for less crowds and off-the-beaten track places. This central Italy region includes lakes, the Adriatic coastline, national parks, imposing mountain ranges, UNESCO heritage sites, some of the most beautiful medieval towns in the country. Moreover Abruzzo’s culinary traditions are diverse and distinct that changes from the beach to the mountains.
For more about this region check out the Abruzzo travel guide.
Lazio is located on central Italy’s west coast on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The capital of the region, as well as the capital of Italy, is Rome, which is located in the Lazio region. Most tourists visit Rome and cannot leave because there is so much to see there.
Nevertheless outside of Rome there are many places to visit that are of historical significance. For example Ostia is an ancient Roman port with significant artifacts that date back to the Ancient Roman era. Another popular day trip from Rome is Tivoli, which is where the emperor Hadrian built a massive villa in the 2nd Century. Also in Tivoli is the Villa d’Este built around the Renaissance. Another sightseeing opportunity is an area known as the Castelli Romani, which are hill towns 30-minutes from Rome set around two lakes formed by an extinct volcano.
For more about planning a trip to Italy’s capital visit the Lazio travel guide.
Marche is located along Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Nice Italian beaches, seafood, and water sports are found in Le Marche. The Riviera del Conero is the most popular tourist attraction. Its Medieval villages and sandy beaches are a draw for beach lovers and tourists. You’ll also find a few all inclusive Italy vacation resorts along the coast.
For more about planning a trip visit the Marche travel guide page.
Tuscany located in central Italy has been continuously inhabited by civilized people since the 9th Century B.C. It was then that the Etruscan civilization began to flourish on these hills. It didn’t look the same then. The current fertile land Tuscany is famous is the result of centuries of farming. Tuscany’s famous medieval hill towns are popular Italy vacation destinations. For instance Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, Pisa, and Volterra are among Tuscany’s and Italy’s most popular vacation destinations. There are several reasons to vacation in Tuscany. The most popular Tuscany vacations focus on providing stress-relief and relaxation.
For more information about planning a trip click Tuscany travel guide.
Umbria is located right in the center of Italy. It borders Tuscany, Le Marche, and Lazio. Its medieval towns are among the most beautiful in Italy. Tourists love Umbria for its charming towns, fine cuisine, wines, and cultural history.
Perugia is the capital of Umbria. Its Umbria National Gallery of Art is one of the finest art museums in Italy. The town also is home to a university which gives it lots of life and activity.
For more information about planning a trip to Umbria visit the Umbria travel guide page.
Popular Places in Central Italy
Central Italy’s medieval towns dotting the hills of Tuscany and Umbria attract tourists looking for the quintessetial Italy vacation. Moreover central Italy’s big cities Rome and Florence are the bucket list must visit sites in Italy. Among the many popular places to visit in central Italy below are standouts noted for their beauty and historical importance. Like all of Italy’s regions, where ever you decide to visit on your trip to Italy you are sure to be charmed.
Assisi is located in the Umbria region. It is a popular destination including with escorted Italy tour itinerary because it is the location of the Basilica of St. Francis. This historically important location includes natural beauty as well as important art. The town is set on a hill perched above the Umbrian plain. From there are beautiful views of the plains below, which during sumemrtime are full of sunflowers. Above all in Assisi there is a palatable sense of peace and tranquility. Inside the Basilica are frescoes by the master Giotto. These works of art illustrate the life of St. Francis. Further they are important to the evolution of art history because mark the transition from Medieval to Renaissance.
Click the Assisi travel guide to assist you plan your visit to this peaceful town.
Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region. It is the home of the Renaissance and birthplace of our modern world. It is the world’s largest repository of the best Renaissance art. In a single day, you can look Michelangelo’s David in the eyes, fall under the seductive sway of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and climb the modern world’s first dome, which still dominates the skyline. Moreover Florence is famous for its food, fashion and Tuscan culture.
For more information about planning a trip to Florence visit the Florence travel guide page.
Lucca is located in Tuscany, little over an hour from Florence and half-hour from Pisa. The town is surrounded by a big Renaissance wall. This wall is today the center of life for locals who garden on it and tourist who like to take a bike ride around it. Inside the walls Lucca is a quiet charming town. It includes a few towers that can be climbed and many Romanesque churches to be explored.
Orvieto is located in Umbria. It is easy to reach by car or train. By car it is about an 1.5 hours from Rome and 2 hours from Florence. Orvieto is an interesting town for a variety of reasons. Firstly its location atop a rock cliff 1000 feet above the land below is quite the site. This location provides lovely views of the surrounding countryside lined with vineyards. Secondly because it is a classic medieval Umbrian town. The street layout in the historic center is designed for strolling along while enjoying a gelato. Moreover it is one of Italy’s most ancient towns where the Etruscans lived around 800 B.C. Thirdly its cathedral exterior facade and interior paintings are unique artistic gems in a country full of jewels. No doubt visitors to Orvieto enjoy the town for its many sightseeing activities, its delicious Umbrian food and local wines.
Perugia is the capital of the Umbria region. There is a lot going on in Perugia because it is a university town. Moreover for tourists there are many attractions. The National Gallery of Umbria (Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria) is one of Italy’s finest art museums. There among the many Renaissance treasures you will masterpieces by Perugino and Pierro della Francesca. Then there is Perugina cholcolate. Perguia is a nice location if you are looking to explore Umbria for a few days and prefer a livelier town rather than one of Umbria’s sleepier hill towns.
Pisa located in Tuscany is most famous among tourists because of the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa. When tourists arrive they are stunned to see there is much more to the area than the Leaning Tower. The square where it is located is called the Field of Miracles. There in the big grassy area in addition the leaning tower is the cathedral (Duomo) and Baptistry. The three structures are laid out in perfect harmony and perspective. It is quite an architectural feat. It is a stunning vision upon arrival and continues to amaze while strolling around. In addition to the Field of Miracles, Pisa was one of the original maritime republics. There is a rich history and culture to be enjoyed when visiting.
Rome is Italy’s capital city. It is located in central Italy in the Lazio region. It is also the capital of Lazio. Rome sightseeing could certainly last a lifetime. Whether you have 36 hours in Rome or even two weeks in Rome, the best way to enjoy Rome’s sightseeing highlights is to take a nice long stroll through the “Eternal City’s” neighborhoods.
Visit the Rome travel guide for more information about planning a trip to Rome.
Once a capital to rival Florence, Siena is Italy’s prettiest medieval town, still endowed with the grandeur of the age in which it was at its peak (1260 to 1348). Siena has the unique Tuscan quality of being a walled city. Upon entering the stone roads and tiny streets transport you to a place hundreds of years before. This precious city is untouched by the corporate hustle and bustle of a large city. The eye catching shops and meandering streets give you a surprise around every corner.
For more about planning a trip to this lovely Tuscan hill town visit the Siena travel guide.
Tuscan Hill Towns
When travelers hear Tuscany the image of rolling green hills dotted with popular trees with a winding road leading to a farm house pops into the mind. Tuscany’s hill towns charm visitors. The fabulous wines, delicious food, and slow pace make them the perfect destination for an authentic Italy vacation.
Volterra is not the first town most people think of when visiting Tuscany. But given that it was the center of Etruscan life it is an important town. It is worth a visit to roam around the ancient ruins. Moreover a visit to the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum is a fascinating step back in time to explore the civilization that introduced the ancient Romans to civilized life. It may be said that the Etruscan civilization is the first western civilization.
Check out the Volterra travel guide for information
About Southern Italy Travel Guide
View the Italy travel guide Southern Italy interactive map for more information about each region. Use the map tools to expand each region to see points of interest within southern Italy.
Italian regions located in southern Italy include Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily. The history of these Southern Italian regions is long and storied. As a result southern Italy’s culture is fascinating and unique.
Many areas in southern Italy were founded by the ancient Greeks during the Magna Grecia era. Then following the ancient Greeks various cultures settled in the area. Therefore southern Italy has influences from many different cultures dating back to 800 B.C.
As a result, there is a rich and colorful history to be explored when touring southern Italy. Additionally, Southern Italy’s culinary tradition includes the best of this history. The food is local, organic, and delicious.
Today southern Italy is a popular vacation destination. Its natural beauty is renown worldwide. For example, the Amalfi Coast in the region of Campania seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. Lesser known places of equal natural beauty such as the beaches of Basilicata, Calabria and Puglia attract those in the know Italy tourists.
Southern Italy’s biggest city is Naples. It is a vibrant colorful city that epitomizes southern Italy. For instance Naples is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, having been founded by the ancient Greeks over 2500 years ago.
For all these reasons and more Southern Italy is very a popular Italian tourism destination.
Southern Italy Regions
Basilicata is southern Italy’s secret destination for those looking for an off the beaten track Italy vacation. The ancient Greeks settled in this area 2500 years ago. There are still remnants of temples and towns spread about the land. Then there are the beaches on the Ionian Sea. Finally many people visit to simply find a piece of Italy without the crowds.
The Basilicata travel guide provides useful information to help you plan a trip to southern Italy’s Basilicata region.
Europe’s Caribbean is the Calabria region. Although it does not enjoy tropical weather it does provide lots of sun and beaches. This southern Italian region is located below Naples and the Amalfi Coast on Italy’s west coast in the toe of Italy’s boot. Here along the Mediterranean sea Calabria’s beach coves are the perfect location for romantic getaways in southern Italy. Many Italy tours pass through Calabria on their way to Sicily. However for those with time to explore Calabria provides an interesting southern Italy vacation.
To plan your vacation visit the Calabria travel guide.
Campania is the most popular region for travels to southern Italy. For instance Naples, Capri, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are located in Italy’s Campania region. The area is known for its natural beauty. Mt Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples, mountain cliffs dropping thousands of feet to beautiful turquoise waters that lap along the coastline all combine to make a relaxing perfect vacation setting. Moreover when looking for cultural attractions there is no shortage. For example tour Pompeii for insight into ancient Roman culture. On the other hand visit Paestum for a glimpse into ancient Greece and the Magna Grecia. Then find them both at the Naples Archaeology Museum.
For more about planning a trip check out the Campania travel guide.
Molise is located in southern Italy nestled into the hills between Abruzzo and Puglia. It boasts a little strip of beautiful coast along the Adriatic Sea. To its west are Lazio and Campania. In Molise there are no airports, but it is perfectly served by those of Rome, Naples or Pescara from where one can easily reach the area by car or train in a short time.
For more information about traveling to Molise click the Molise travel guide.
Explore where many different Mediterranean cultures came together in the Puglia region. For example Puglia’s culure includes mix of Greek, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman culture. The result of this history forms a combination of styles and strong traditions.
Puglia has two beautiful coasts, one on the Adriatic Sea and the other on the Ionian Sea.
Puglia enjoys temperate weather, which in the summertime makes it a popular beach destination. Some of the Puglia coast is rocky coves and dramatic cliffs. There is also plenty of beach space to go round for everyone.
Puglia’s towns are full of history. Bari is the capital and there is an airport there. Lecce is Puglia’s gem, called the “Florence of the South” and known as the “City of Sun.” Alberobello is a popular tourist destination due to its trulli structures. Ostuni is popular with photographers. Finally Otranto attracts tourists looking for great seafood and crystal clear waters. Additionally Puglia’s countryside attracts food and wine lovers.
To assist you plan a trip to Puglia visit the Puglia travel guide.
Popular Places in Southern Italy
Alberobello is where the famous cone shaped Trulli structures are located. These structures iconic conical roofs and whitewashed stone walls are now protected as a UNESCO world heritage site. Alberobello is a popular tourist destination because it is uniqueness.
The Amalfi Coast is located in the southern Italian region of Campania. It has been been attracting the rich and famous since the Ancient Greeks inhabited the area 2500 years ago. Then the Ancient Romans arrived 2000 years ago. There the plutocrats, senators, and emperors built luxurious mansions set on cliffs overlooking the sea. They went then as they do today to enjoy the sea and stunning scenery. Among the towns along the Amalfi Coast are Positano, Amalfi, Ravello set high in the hills, and Veltri Sul Mar. Most escorted tours to southern Italy stay in either Salerno or Sorrento, which bookend each side. The trip from Sorrento to Salerno along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast is one of the world’s great bus rides because of its views while twisting and turning.
Capri is an island off the coast of Naples in the region of Campania. It is reached by hydrofoil from Naples, Salerno, Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast. Many people want to visit Capri to swim in its Blue Grotto, a cave set inside the side of the rocky cliff entered from the sea by row boat. Inside there is an amazing color blue illuminated from the sea that reflects around the rock walls. On the other hand others want to stroll along the beautiful pedestrian streets exploring the islands gardens and shops. Whatever your reason to visit Capri, you are sure to be enchanted.
For more information about visiting this Isle of Capri check out the Italy travel guide Campania sightseeing page.
Lecce is Puglia’s Baroque city. Its architecture is set among ancient Roman ruins. It is often called the “Florence of the South” and known as the “City of Sun.”
Matera is located in southern Italy’s Basilicata region. The caves of the inland town of Matera, one of the most well-known fragments of Basilicata history, attract scholars, writers, and artists worldwide. These caves, known as Sassi, inhabited until the 1950s, are houses dug out of tufa (volcanic) rock ravines. Inhabitants of region lived in these caves since Paleolithic prehistoric times. Today it is a popular southern Italy tourist attraction. Additionally it is surrounded by national park. Just to its south is Metaponto where beautiful beaches stretch along the Ionian Sea.
For more information about planning a trip visit the Basilicata sightseeing page.
Naples, located in the Campania region, is the largest city in southern Italy. Many Italy tours skip over Naples because with limited time the bucket list travelers have to see nearby attractions Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Capri. And for independent travelers many are put off by Italy travel guides that scare them off due to the busy and vibrant city that is the opposite of Tuscany. But for those who venture into Naples the reward is great.
For more about planning a trip to Naples visit the Naples travel guide page.
Otranto is a coastal town in southern Italy’s Puglia region. It is literally lands end at the heel of Italy’s boot. Its location is literally at history’s crossroads. The result is a place rich in culture. It’s home to the 15th-century Aragonese Castle and 11th-century Otranto Cathedral, with a rose window and ornate mosaic flooring. At the harbor, Torre Matta tower has sweeping sea views. Nearby beaches include the popular Alimini Beach. Inland are 2 lakes: the saltwater Alimini Grande and spring-fed Alimini Piccolo. South is the Punta Palascìa lighthouse. For more about visiting Otranto check out the Italy travel guide Puglia sightseeing page.
Paestum is located in southern Italy’s Campania region. It may be most famous as the origin of Mozzarella di Bufala, which is manufactured here from the milk of the Italian Mediterranean water buffalo. Moreover Paestum is an formerly an ancient Greek city. Today you will find the best preserved Doric Greek Temples.
For more information about touring Paestum visit the Paestum sightseeing page.
Pompeii & Ancient Roman Ruins
In the Campania region lurking over the Bay of Naples is Mt Vesuvius. When it erupted in 79AD several cities were stopped in time buried in volcanic ash. Today these towns offer a glimpse into Ancient Roman life. Pompeii is the most famous of these towns. Herculaneum is second. Both of these were city centers with active trade happening. But there are other fascinating jewels around the area. For example, in Stabiae you’ll find villas of the Roman plutocrats and political elite. These impressive homes of the rich ancient Romans offer a unique insight into lifestyles of the rich and famous ancient Romans.
For more information about planning a visit the ancient Roman ruins click Italy travel guide Naples sightseeing page.
Sorrento is resort town located in the Campania region on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, Mt Vesuvius and Naples across the bay. Its downtown area is made for tourists. It is flat and easily walkable. Sorrento is the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. Many southern Italy tours stay in Sorrento. It is an easy place to stay to explore the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Capri and other points of interest. From Sorrento there is hydrofoil to Capri and Naples. Additionally there are ferries that travel from Sorrento around the Amalfi Coast to towns such as Positano, Amalfi and Salerno.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Its size is followed closely by Sardina. These two Italian regions are considered part of southern Italy.
Sicily tours focus on its historical location at the crossroads of Mediterranean history and cultures. A Sicily vacation is a journey into the different cultures of many peoples over three thousand years.
Visitors to Sicily are awed by both its natural beauty and rich culture. Mt Etna towers over the island leaving fertile soil in its wake. Meanwhile various civilizations called it home through over the centuries. The result of this combination is an amazing Italian region ripe for the tourist to explore and be stimulated.
For information to assist planning your trip to Sicily click the Sicily travel guide.
Popular Places in Sicily
Sicily’s capital city is busy with shopping and open air markets. Its seafood markets are quite a sight.
Just a few miles from Palermo the cathedral is renown for its Norman architecture. Its interior includes mosaics.
Considered the most beautiful city of the Magna Grecia era. Its sightseeing highlights include the ancient Greek archaeological park and Ortygia Island, the heart of the city center.
Just about an hour outside of Palermo is Cefalu, its Norman Cathedral with outstanding mosaics attract tourists.
The main attraction is the Valley of the Temples. Here you’ll find numerous Greek Temples in very good condition 2000 years later. There is also an archaeological museum.
Piazza Armerina is where the Roman mosaics of Villa del Casale are located. The date back to the 4th century A.D.
Tourists are attracted to the town to see its Sicilian Baroque architecture.
The most active volcano in Europe (and the top tourist sight in Sicily).
Sicily’s second largest city is located between Taormina and Siracusa. Its historic center includes an ancient Roman theater. There is also Sicilian Baroque architecture.
Set high up on the cliffs overlooking the sea below and Mt. Etna in the distance. Taormina is a relaxing resort town. It also includes an ancient Greek theater.
Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea located off coast of Tuscany. Here you’ll find some of the best beaches in Italy.
Best Season to Visit Italy
Every season and every month is a good time to enjoy a trip to Italy. Each season has its unique benefits. Many Italy travel guides suggest that May and June and September and October are the best months to visit Italy because of the temperature. On the other hand there are many benefits to visiting Italy during January and February too.
Italy Travel Guide FAQs – Know Before You Go
Below are Italy travel guide links to the answers for frequently asked questions about planning a trip to Italy. You’ll find helpful Italy travel information so you may plan the best Italy vacation.
- Italy Summer Vacations Ideas
- Italy Winter Vacations Ideas
- Italy Christmas Vacation ideas
- Books about Italy
- Movies about Italy
- How to Travel from Rome to Sicily
- How to Travel from Rome to Naples, Sorrento, and Amalfi Coast
- Airline Baggage Fees
- All Inclusive Italy Vacation Package: What’s Included
- Why Buy Travel Insurance
- Italy Holiday Calendar
- What currency do they use and what is my dollar worth in Italy?
Most tourists to Vatican City are interested to tour the Vatican Museum and visit St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican Museum requires tickets. St. Peter’s Basilica is open to the public without tickets. For more information click the Vatican City Sightseeing page.
Italy is a peninsula, which history is inextricably tied to the water. Since ancient times Italian ports have been trading hubs. The largest ports in Italy are Civitavecchia (Rome), Genoa, Livorno (Florence), and Venice. For more information click Italy Cruise Ports.
Italians are a stylish people. They are known for dressing well. It is not s shorts and sandals country. Milan is the fashion capital of the world. And even Italy’s small towns include boutique shops full of the latest fashions. For ideas on what cloths to bring on your trip to Italy check out the Italy packing list.
Italy’s main cities such as Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples are connected by high speed trains. For information about riding the trains in Italy check out the How to travel by Train in Italy webpage.
The best tour of Italy depends on your interest. Italy includes cities with the world’s finest art and architecture. If you are interested in art and architecture check out the Italy tours that include Rome, Florence, Venice. Italy also includes incredible natural beauty. Northern Italy tours include the natural beauty afforded by Italy’s mountains and rugged coastline. Southern Italy tours include the reknown Amalfi Coast, lively Naples, and off-the-beaten track destinations. If you want to include the natural beauty with the art and architecture consider a tour that includes the Italian lakes, the Amalfi Coast with Rome, Florence, and Venice. Then there is the laid back hill towns in Tuscany and Umbria. For a list of tours that ItalianTourism rates as the best Italy vacations click Top Rated Italy Tours.
Italy Covid travel restrictions are changing. For the most up to Italy travel restrictions related to Covid and visas click the CIBT travel advisory page and enter information on form.