When it comes to places to visit in Italy, you can hear many different suggestions from many people. Indeed, Italy is among the countries that must be seen. Of course, it is impossible to fit Italy in one article due to its distinct beauty in every corner. However, in this article, we shared with you the main places in Italy. Being a student in such a country with many historical and natural beauties is a very different experience. You can find comprehensive articles on all subjects related to education in Italy on our website.
You can also check our “Transportation in Italy” article.
Places to Visit in Rome | Places to Visit in Italy
When it comes to places to visit in Italy, the first city that comes to mind is Rome. The Roman city, which has a history of 2800 years, is home to ancient buildings. Rome is known as the birthplace of modern state understanding and legal principles. Rome is one of the most visited tourist cities in the world. It is among the most preferred European cities for travel by many countries. In Rome, which is very rich in history, you may not be able to see everywhere in a short-term vacation plan. That’s why we recommend those who are limited in time to make a good plan.
The Vatican, which has the status of an independent state, is also located in Rome. It is also the capital city of Italy.
For detailed information, you can check our article “Study University in Rome.”
The name of the Colosseum comes from the statue at the entrance of the city. The building, which managed to preserve its historical texture despite being quite devastated by the earthquake, is one of Rome’s most touristic places. One of the most important events that the Colosseum has made its name known in history is the gladiator fights. Gladiators, who were seen as folk heroes of the period, were fought here. These fights were the most prominent entertainment of the people at that time.
Roman Forum (Forum Romanum)
The Roman Forum, one of the largest archaeological sites globally, was used as the commercial and legal centre and marketplace of Rome in ancient times. The building located near the Colosseum attracts a great deal of attention from tourists. Therefore, the Roma Pass or arriving early is advantageous since it has a huge visitor base. Most buildings in the Roman Forum have been damaged. The Roman Forum is shown as one of the largest archaeological sites in the world, with its temples, buildings, and monuments.
Trevi Fountain (Fountain of Love)
Trevi means “three ways.” The name of the fountain was put under the assumption that three underground tubes of water meet. According to rumours, the story of the building is that this fountain, which is at the point where it is now, came into sight when the king and his soldiers were dying of thirst. By drinking the water from the fountain, the king and the soldiers managed to survive. There are many sculptures on the fountain, which were completed in 30 years. The most important of these is shown as Neptune, the god of the sea. Most of the tourists who come to Rome make a wish and throw money into the fountain. Thus, they believe that their wishes will be accepted and that they will come back to Rome. Thousands of Euros are collected every week from the fountain. This money is given to charity Caritas and used for food and drink aid to the poor people. The building, one of Europe’s most important fountains, has also been featured in many movies.
The building was built as a temple and meant ‘the temple of all gods’ by Emperor Hadrian. The writing found at the entrance of the Pantheon is dedicated to Marcus Agrippa. The most important part of the Pantheon is shown as its dome. It is the oldest and best-preserved concrete dome in Rome, and it is a work from the Ancient period. The dome of the building, which became a Catholic church over time, is 43 meters, and there is a hole in the middle called Oculus that allows light to enter. According to beliefs, demons rise to the sky through this hole. Besides, this hole is the only place that allows light to enter. The dome, known as the world’s largest reinforced concrete dome, has concrete unique to Roman.
It is one of the most popular destinations in Rome. This building, which is located very close to the Trevi Fountain, is the local people’s gathering and meeting point. Piazza Spagna square, where the Spanish Steps are located, is the most popular and lively square visited by tourists and Roman people. It takes its name from the Spanish Embassy in the region. There are streets where you can shop, Via Condotti, the most popular shopping street, and areas where you can have a good time.
It is worth reminding that now it is forbidden to sit on the Spanish stairs!
Vatican | Places to Visit in Italy
Located in Rome and being the smallest country in the world, the Vatican is the headquarters of the Christianity religion and the Catholic sect. It has been independent since February 1929. The state army also has a group of 100 Swiss citizens.
There are many important buildings that must be seen in the Vatican. Some of these are Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square. St. Peter’s Basilica is located in front of St. Peter’s Square, the most famous square of the Vatican. It is one of the most important buildings of Christianity and the 4th largest basilica in Rome and has a capacity of 60,000 people.
Castle of the Holy Angel (Castel Sant’Angelo)
The structure, an old Roman castle, was where Cem Sultan, the son of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, was sentenced and hosted the Pope. It is one of the most important historical buildings in Rome. The castle was built as the mausoleum of Hadrianus and his family in 139 AD. It takes its name from the religious experience that Pope Gregorius the Great saw here about Angel Michael. It was included in the city walls built by Emperor Aurelianus in the Middle Ages and turned into a castle.
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is shown as one of the great Roman basilicas. It is one of the must-see basilicas of Rome. It is believed that the construction of the basilica started when the Pope of the period saw the Virgin Mary in his dream. In the Pope’s dream, Mary showed the current location for the construction of the basilica. Upon this, the Pope’s construction started. Gold and very flamboyant materials were used in its construction. The basilica is shown as one of the most successful examples of the combination of different architectural styles.
Piazza Venezia is one of the most important stop points among the places to visit in Rome. While it is one of Rome’s most famous squares, it is also one of the most visited places for tourists. The square, considered the centre of the city, is known as Venice Square and is influenced by the Venetian embassy building.
Piazza del Popolo
It is the largest square in Rome. It is located right next to Borghese Park, one of Rome’s most popular parks. Here you can participate in many festivals and entertainments. The square, which is the people’s entertainment centre, is within walking distance of many important points. Also, the streets with beautiful cafes and restaurants have a connection with the square. This square is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine next to the Colosseum was built in the 4th century to celebrate Constantine’s victory, the first Christian emperor. These and similar victory monuments also have the purpose of sending a message. For this reason, strategic areas of the city have been chosen for these monuments in order to celebrate, remind and show other countries of their victory.
Built-in honour of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, which Constantine won in 312, in 315, the 10th year of his reign, this structure has survived to this day.
Places to Visit in Milan | Places to Visit in Italy
Although Milan is mentioned as one of the fashion capitals when it comes to places to visit in Italy, it actually has many tourist attractions with its historical buildings and art museums. From da Vinci’s paintings on the wall of the basilica to Gothic churches, many special works of art are placed in Milan.
For detailed information, you can check our article “Study University in Milan.”
Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)
This gigantic building, whose real name is “Duomo di Milano,” which we call the Milan Cathedral, is the symbol of the city of Milan. Therefore, it is among the first places to be seen in touristic travels.
The construction of the Milan Cathedral, which was started in 1386, lasted 500 years but was completed in 1965. For this reason, traces of different periods and different architects can be found on the building. This magnificent cathedral, which gives its name to the large square “Piazza del Duomo,” is on an area of 11,700 square meters. With this feature, this building is Europe’s fourth-largest cathedral after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Paulus in London, and Seville Cathedral.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping centres in the world that can be seen in Milan, is located right next to the magnificent Milan Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. The stores of the most luxurious Italian brands are located in the gallery. It takes its name from Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.
It was designed in 1861 by the famous architect Giuseppe Mengoni. The octagonal centre of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, designed in the form of a cross, has mosaics representing four continents (Asia, Europe, Africa, and America) and agriculture, science, art, and industry.
There is also a legend about this emblem, representing the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence, Rome). According to the belief, when you turn around 3 times on one leg on the testicles of the bull representing Turin, it brings luck to you. Since tourists who visited the gallery saw it as a ritual, they created a hole in the mosaic.
Teatro Alla Scala
This magnificent opera house, originally named “Teatro Alla Scala” and known all over the world as La Scala, is located in the Piazza Della Scala in Milan. This structure, whose name is heard even by people who do not listen to opera all over the world, was officially opened on August 3, 1778, under the name of “Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro Alla Scala.”
La Scala, this magnificent opera house with a capacity of 2,030 spectators, has its own principles. For example, the performances must end before midnight. For long-lasting performances, the start time is set earlier. It has become a tradition to open the season on December 7, St. Ambrose day. Viewers who come after the performance has started cannot enter, even if they have bought a ticket.
At the same time, “Accademia Teatro Alla Scala” is an art academy that trains artists. There are also different works such as La Scala Choir, La Scala Ballet, and La Scala Orchestra.
These two canals, opened by Leonardo Da Vinci to facilitate transportation, are still in use today and are also the most lively region of Milan. Renowned as “Naviglio Grande” and “Naviglio Martesana,” Naviglio Grande, which means Greater Navigli, is a very dynamic location with restaurants and bars lined up along the canal.
Navigli is a place where you can reach the richest snack bars at the most affordable prices. Mercato di Milano, which was newly opened at the end of the Navigli Grande, was established in place of an old factory and brings the concept of “street food” in the open air to those who want it.
If you buy a drink in this city dominated by the aperitivo culture, you can consume the foods unlimitedly from the open buffet or served by the restaurant by paying only the price of the drink. (Usually, the aperitivo starts around 18.30 and ends around 22.00.)
Santa Maria Delle Grazie
It is the church where Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous work “The Last Supper” is placed on its walls. You have to make a reservation before your trip to see the table.
Places to Visit in Venice | Places to Visit in Italy
Venice is one of the first cities on the list of places to visit in Italy. Venice, located in the northeast of Italy, is an indispensable point for Italy tours with its 117 islands and 400 bridges of various sizes. Many historical monuments in this region and city have found a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The magnificent city consisting of islands and canals is known as the “The City of Channels,” the “City of Waters,” and the “City of Masks” because of its world-famous masks. The lagoon, which has been formed by the effect of waves for many years, has formed the region of the canal of the city seen in the photographs.
Places to visit in Venice are located on the island. You can easily visit it in 1-2 days.
Places to Visit in Florence | Places to Visit in Italy
One of the places to visit in Italy is the iconic city of Florence. Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region in northern Italy, is located around the Arno River that passes through the city. Florence, which is one of the important trade centres of Italy and Europe today as in the past, attracts around 10 million tourists every year with its historical buildings, magnificent architecture, and social life.
Uffizi Gallery | Places to Visit in Italy
The Uffizi Gallery is one of Florence’s world-famous galleries. The word “Uffizi” means “offices” in Italian. The building prepared as the working office of Duke I Cosimo was built between 1560-1580. The architect of the building is Giorgio Vasari, and the building is cited as his greatest work. The inner courtyard of the building is very long and narrow and opens to the Arno River.
Florence Cathedral (Duomo di Firenze)
Florence Cathedral is one of the iconic structures of the city. It is also called “Duomo di Firenze” or “Santa Maria del Fiore.” It was built in gothic style between 1296-1436. The ruins of this old church can be reached when you go down to the basement while visiting the cathedral, whose construction began in 1296 instead of the ancient Santa Resparata Church.
The cathedral, designed in gothic style, also shows the Romanesque style with its colourful marble facade cladding. The plan of the cathedral is in the form of a Latin cross, with a dome above the intersection of the arms of the cross. Each of the arms ends with five chapels lined up side by side to form a semicircle. Its interior is a simplicity that evokes the Renaissance period.
One of the most famous parts of the Florence Cathedral, which is at the top of the list of places to visit in Florence, is shown as the clock at the entrance. This clock, which was set 24 hours a day according to sunset by Paolo Uccello in the 15th century, is still operational. Another important work of the cathedral is the “Last Judgment” fresco by Giorgio Vasari.
The Vecchio Palace, which is one of the must-see places in Florence, resembles the appearance of a castle with its 94-meter-high bell tower. It was built between 1298 and 1341 by Arnolfo di Cambio as the city’s government building. It took its current appearance after the renovation works carried out in the 16th century. The building has been used as a town hall since 1872.
In addition, you can read our article “Undergraduate Education in Italy.”
In the XIV. century, important decisions were taken by the Signoria Council. Then it became the centre of the Medici Family. The Torre d’Arnolfo (tower), owned by the palace, has a magnificent view of the city. You can reach Michelangelo’s breathtaking “Victory” sculpture (Genio Della Vittoria) by entering the “Hall of Five Hundred” (Salone dei Cinquecento), named after the council, which has 500 members.
Places to Visit in Naples | Places to Visit in Italy
Naples is one of the cities that find itself a place in the list of places to visit in Italy due to its different features. It is the capital city of the Campania Region, in the south of Italy. It is also the third-largest city in Italy in terms of population. According to the 2012 census, the population of the city is 960,079, and it is located 250 kilometres from the capital city of the country, Rome.
According to the estimations, the name of the city, which was founded by the Greeks in the 7th century BC, was determined as Neapolis. Neapolis means “new city,” and this word has become Naples over time. Naples, which has a history of 2,800 years in Italy, has a deep-rooted history. Naples’ historical view, narrow streets, and cultural texture open the door to a different world for its visitors. Naples’ old city centre takes its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This old part of the city is shown as one of the biggest old cities in Europe. It has also been declared the City of Literature by UNESCO.
Ancient City of Pompeii
One of the most important ancient cities of the Roman Empire is located in Naples. The ancient city of Pompei is a must for every visitor to Naples. According to estimates, the city was founded in the 7th century BC. It came under the rule of the Roman Empire in the 4th century BC and gained its present appearance caused by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It fascinates visitors with its historical texture.
Royal Palace of Caserta
Caserta Royal Palace, which is one of the most important buildings of Naples and even all of Italy, was built by the King of Naples III of the Bourbon dynasty in the 18th century. It was built by order of Charles. This building, which shows the magnificence of the Bourbon dynasty, was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.
The palace built in the brightest era of Baroque architecture is shown as the largest palace in Europe. King Charles wanted to build a large palace that would compete with the French palaces of Versailles and Spain’s Madrid and gave this task to Luigi Vanvitelli. The first king to sit in the palace, which took 20 years to build, was Ferdinand, son of Charles.
National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, located in Piazza Museo, is shown as the best Roman period museum in the world. Many valuable works belonging to the Roman Empire period are exhibited in the museum. The museum was founded by Charles of the Bourbon dynasty in the 1750s and was later transferred to its current building.
Places to Visit in Sicily | Places to Visit in Italy
It is impossible not to mention the island of Sicily when mentioning the places to visit in Italy! Sicily, which comes to the forefront with history and culture from every corner, has parks, temples, museums, and various natural structures. In short, many places you would like to see as a tourist. When you go somewhere as a tourist, everything you want to visit and learn the historical and natural history of the place awaits you in every corner of Sicily in a very accessible way. Although it is an “island of Italy,” it has an area larger than most of the Italian Region and even more than the sum of many regions. So the places you need to see may be far from each other, but everything you see here will be worth the challenge.
You can read our “Study Master’s in Art History in Italy” article.
Cefalù Cathedral is located in Cefalù, Sicily. The cathedral, dating from 1131, was built in Norman style. According to the legend, Cefalù Cathedral was built by King of Sicily, Roger II, on oath to the Holy Savior after Roger II escaped from a storm and went to the city’s beach. The castle-like appearance of the structure displays a magnificent image above the medieval city. He is also still standing as a strong indicator of his Norman presence.
Neapolis Archaeological Park (Siracusa)
It is one of Sicily’s largest archaeological parks with most of the archaeological remains. It is divided into three main sections: latomie (quarries), Greek Theater and Roman Amphitheater, which you can visit in about two hours.
You will then find yourself in Latomia del Paradiso, an old quarry built in a forest of orange and lemon trees. Its rear wall is in the form of a narrow cave 23 meters high, 65 meters deep, and only 7 meters wide. Due to its pointed tip and narrow structure, the mouth of the cave is compared to a Satyr’s ear. It was named “Ear of Dionysius” by the famous Italian painter Caravaggio.
Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa) | Places to Visit in Italy
One of the indispensable places to visit in Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa spent its first 5 years standing upright since its completion. However, after the completion of the 3rd floor, it started to lean south. Although the Pisa Tower was originally built as the bell tower of the city cathedral in Piazza Dei Miracoli, known as the Miracles Square, it started being built separately in 1173. The building, which was started in 1173 and whose construction took 199 years, was interrupted for a full 1 century due to the war but was completed in 1272. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was inclined due to the collapse in the foundation’s soft ground, continues to bend at the rate of seven-tenths of a millimetre every year, i.e., 0.7 cm in 100 years. The current inclination of the tower is 5.5°.
Cinque Terre | Places to Visit in Italy
Cinque Terre is one of the headstones of places to visit in Italy. Its breathtaking scenery, crystal sea, and Italian culture are blended in this village.
Cinque Terre in Italian means “five lands.” It got this name because it consists of five villages, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre, dating back to the 11th century, accelerated the construction process in the 16th-century in order to prevent the Ottoman raids under the rule of the Genoese Republic. However, as transportation is difficult due to the high and irregular mountains, it was an isolated region until 1970. It is one of the most important reasons that it can preserve its unique culture for many years. After 1970, there was an intense visit of local and foreign tourists when trains were provided. In 1997, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as “Cinque Terre National Park.”
You can also check our “Study University in Italy” article.