Which Italian city should you visit next?
Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy a quick city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.
Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.
Best for bustling city life…Rome
Rome is bursting with all the quintessential elements of any Italian city: ancient history, delicious food, fine wines, and fascinating museums. But what differentiates the capital from the others is the multiple world-famous sites (Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon) and its bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere. Rome is perfect for fast-paced travellers who love to explore during the day, then drink stylish cocktails at night.
Best for couples…Venice
Venice is just lovely. Its picturesque side-streets and scenic canals make the perfect backdrop to a romantic city break. And in the evening you can treat your sweetheart to a gondola ride, an orchestral symphony, or a canal-side dinner by candle-light.
Best for stylish fashionistas...Milan
Milan is Italy’s fashion and design capital. Every year fashionistas flock here to experience the city’s incredible shopping, whether is the high-end Italian designers, high street favourites, or the independent boutiques. We’ve compiled a shopping guide to Milan if you don’t know where to start.
Best for art and architecture…Florence
You’ll find extraordinary art and architecture around every corner when exploring the city of Florence. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and hasn’t changed much since the Renaissance: offering narrow cobbled streets, 15th- and 16th-century palaces, candle-lit chapels, and world-class art galleries housing works by Botticelli and Michelangelo.
As an extra bonus, you are only an hour’s train journey from the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the city of Lucca.
Best for Shakespeare fans and easy access to Lake Garda…Verona
Verona’s claim to fame is its association with Shakespeare’s world-famous Romeo and Juliet. While the play by Shakespeare is technically fictional, the Montagues and Capulets families are very much real. Around Verona you’ll spot Shakespeare fans hunting out the real-world house of Juliet (which is now a museum, and her bedroom is furnished with the bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo e Giulietta), Romeo’s house (which is not open to the public), and Juliet’s tomb.
You can also twin a stay in Verona with a stay in Lake Garda, with multiple trains a day taking roughly 30 minutes.
Best for explorers...Sorrento
Sorrento is technically a town, but it’s the most popular holiday spot on the Neapolitan Riviera. Built into scenic cliffs, Sorrento is the natural holiday of choice for keen walkers and hikers. But it is also a prime location for exploring the Bay of Naples. To the north there are the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or you can climb up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius – the volcano that caused the disruption. To the east is the spectacular Amalfi Coast, with its cliff-hugging coastal road. You can also head across the bay to the fashionable islands of Capri and Ischia.
When you’re not exploring the nearby sites, relax with some food and drink – such as the famous limoncello liqueur and locally grown olives, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and oranges.
Best for foodies…Naples
If you want to visit the Bay of Naples but really crave a city atmosphere, then we recommend Naples itself. It offers the same easy access to many of the same sights (like Pompeii and Herculaneum) while providing more of a buzz - but Naples’s main bragging right is its foodie heritage.
Neapolitan cuisine is slightly different to the rest of Italy and dates back centuries to the point where it’s hard for historians to establish the exact timeline of when it originated. Pizza is the most famous dish to originate from this city (so adored that the Italian flag was styled after tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) though you’ll find plenty of ragù, aglio e uoglio (garlic and oil), and seafood here (octopus is especially popular).
Which Italian city is your favourite?