7 Beautiful Places To Visit In Italy For The First Time

You can never run out of places to visit in Italy. The country is blessed with beautiful architecture, history, good food and great wine! I travelled from Naples to the Lake District of Northern Italy with my husband and friends.

We had an absolutely fabulous time exploring the country. So let me share with you the best places in Italy been during this trip that is perfect for first-time visitors.

Read more: Best Way to Travel Europe by Train Using Interrail Pass and Eurail Pass

Here are the best places to visit in Italy for the first time:


Located in the southern part of Italy, Sorrento is a charming coastal town in the Campania region. Sorrento is a very handy and reasonable place to stay when you want to explore the area with multiple convenient access to some of the most beautiful places in Italy.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy: Sorrento, Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Visit Sorrento

What is it known for? Sorrento is famous for its gigantic Sorrentine lemons and oranges.

You can find orange trees dotted around the streets of Sorrento.  The Sorrentine lemons are the primary producers of the area. They are huge compared to the regular fist-sized lemons. So if you manage to try a tasty Italian lemonade, it’s most probably produced in Sorrento.

I’m sure you will also fall in love with the beauty of the area, check out the view of the Bay of Naples at sunset from the Marina.

2. Pompeii

The inspiration to the Pompeii movie of Kit Harrington. Yes! I love him and his gorgeous abs in the film! Ok, back to the topic.

Pompeii is a 2000-year-old city ruin resting at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It is as if walking back to ancient Roman times, Pompeii is a glimpse of what it was like 2000 years ago before the wrath of Mt. Vesuvius ruined its former glory and life.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy: Pompeii, Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii

Not far from Pompeii is another popular place to visit in Italy, Herculaneum. A less busy town compared to the bustling city of Pompeii back in Roman times. Herculaneum was also engulfed by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius.

Travel tip! 

Join the history walks around Pompeii to appreciate its history. You will also get to see loads of phallic symbols dotted around the ruined city of Pompeii.  These are the markers for the brothel within the city.

Follow the sign and discover the erotic side of Pompeii.

3. Florence

Arts and Wine lovers, anyone? From the fertile land of Tuscany come the vineyards and olive groves. Seated at the heart of the Tuscan region, Florence captures the heart and tastes of many. Florence was a sweet surprise.

The charming cobbled streets, towering statues in the various piazza and the jaw-dropping skyline of Florence from Piazza San Michael are just a few of the highlights of one of the best places to visit in Italy.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Visit Florence – View from Piazzale Michelangelo

At the centre of the town, you can’t miss the towering and iconic Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore.  The interior of the Duomo is something you shouldn’t miss. An appropriate dress code is necessary (shoulders should be covered, and knee-length shorts/ skirts are allowed).

To get the famous Florentine skyline shot, head towards the popular vantage point in Florence — Piazzale Michelangelo.

It’s a little bit out of the main town centre, but it’s worth climbing the hundreds of steps toward the top of the hill to get to where the Piazzale is located. Here are some other suggestions on what you can do in Florence.

4. Bellagio

Bellagio sits at the tip where Lake Como and Lake Lecco meet.  The charming little town in Lombardy in Northern Italy is one of the best places to go in Italy. Several Hollywood box office movies have been shot here, such as Star Wars (Queen Amidala’s planet) and Ocean’s 11 to name but a few.

Who doesn’t want to wake up with the view of Lake Como and the picturesque backdrop of the Swiss Alps? If you are looking for somewhere where you can relax, I highly recommend visiting this area.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Bellagio, Como

There are various ways to reach Bellagio; you can try to catch a train to Milan and head towards Varenna or Como.

If you take the Varenna route, make sure you check the ferry schedules.  If you take the Como route, either catch the bus to Bellagio ( around 1hr 30mins ride) or you can drive there! Just note that the roads are very narrow and winding, so be extra careful!

Read More: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni: A Luxury Hotel Review in Lake Como (Italy)

5. Venice

The home of the Carnival, canals and gondolas. The architectural beauty of Venice is unquestionable.

The towering churches and idyllic sunset skyline of Venice from Lido island is something you should not miss. The iconic gondola ride might leave you out of pocket, but it’s one of the most popular things to do in Venice. A 40-minute boat ride from Venezia, you can reach the islands of Burano and Murano that are equally beautiful in their own right.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Visit Venice

Burano is definitely one of the “Instagramable” places in Venice! The colourful buildings on the little island give a great cheerful vibe.

What’s the reason behind the colourful houses of Burano? Burano is a fishing village 40-minutes away from the main Venetian island, according to legends the locals painted their houses in striking colours to help the fishermen to find their way home in bad weather conditions.

Murano is the home of the world-renowned Murano glass. It is known for its outstanding craftsmanship and quality.

7 Incredible Places to Visit in Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Visit Venetian Islands

How to check the authenticity of your Murano glass?

Look for the mark VETRO ARTISTICO MURANO engraved/marked on your glass piece. The cheaper the glass, the less likely it will be made in Murano. Also, don’t forget to watch the master glassblower make Murano glass in the Glass Museum on the island. It’s Free!

If you want to visit the romantic Italian city of Venice, read this 2-day Venice travel guide.

6. Abruzzo

Rossacalegna Abruzzo Italy
Best places to visit in Italy: Visit Abruzzo region

Abruzzo region is a best-kept secret destination and one of the best places to visit in Italy. You can access the Abruzzo region about 2 hours drive from Rome.

Pescara is the capital of this Italian region and it has all the Italian charming vibes minus the tourists. Abruzzo offers fantastic gastronomical treats, a beautiful mountain landscape, and a calming seaside facing the Adriatic sea.

Home of the Golden Triangle of Olive Trade in Italy, rustic medieval castles and the majestic Majella National Park. Abruzzo is more than what I have expected, the beautiful region is definitely worth the visit.

7. Sicily

Located in the southern part of Italy is the island of Sicily. Here are some of the best romantic things to do in Sicily.

Isola Bella Taormina Sicily
Best places to visit in Italy: Isola Bella – View from Taormina, Sicily

The rugged mountains and never-ending valleys on the island of Sicily will mesmerize you as you drive from coast to coast across the island. The enchanting landscape of Mount Etna is truly something magnificent to admire. Mount Etna is considered to be the most active volcano in Europe.

Not to mention the romantic coast of Taormina and Naxos that will captivate your heart plus the vibrant cities of Palermo and Catania. If you are up for a gastronomical tour of Italy you check out this Italian food walking tour!

Would we go back to Italy?? YES, DEFINITELY!

I hope this will inspire you to discover more of Italy.
If you need a visa to visit Italy, you can read more about the process of getting a Schengen visa for your trip.

I’m sure there are loads more beautiful places to visit in Italy,
I would love to hear from you and put that in the comment box below.

Places to Visit in Italy


Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

47 thoughts on “7 Beautiful Places To Visit In Italy For The First Time”

  1. I love when people write about spots that are both beautiful and often over looked. I hate crowds. While I would definitely visit Rome if I went to Italy, I would also head out of the city. Wander around smaller Roman villages. There is so much to see and there is so little time!

    • Thank you very much, Penny! I’m sure you would definitely love Rome. So much to see in that famous city! Of course, you can also visit the Vatican City when you’re there. Italy is such a beautiful country.

  2. Italy is clearly a place you can visit a dozen times and still find tons of new places to explore. Every town and every village is so picturesque, it screams to be photographed. My favorite country, hands down.

  3. Great suggestions! We loved Italy and definitely need to return someday! I would love to check out Sorrentine for the lemons and oranges as well as Venice on our next visit!

  4. I visited Sorrento and Pompeii when I was in Southern Italy for an archaeological fieldwork, and loved it there. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time back then (due to work), but will definitely return to explore the region of Campania in depth! Toscana is also a wonderful region, but we chose to leave out Florence (keeping it for our next citytrip) and roadtripped through smaller towns in Chianti. We totally loved their regional bread without salt! 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing this post! I visited Sorrento and Pompeii when I was in Southern Italy for archaeological fieldwork, and loved it there! Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time back then (due to work), but I’ll definitely return to explore the region of Campania in depth. Tuscany is also a wonderful region. To avoid the crowds, we chose to leave out Florence, and roadtripped through smaller towns in the Chianti. 🙂

  6. While I wouldn’t call any of these places overlooked, you chose all beautiful places for a first or even second trip to Italy. I hope you also walked over the foot bridge from Burano to the tiny island of Mazzorbo. It’s home to the only remaining vineyard in the Venetian Lagoon and you can visit and taste at the small winery, which is also a very small boutique hotel.

    We lived just outside of Venice for 7 years and can definitely give you some overlooked and off-the-beaten-path places to visit for your next trip!

  7. I love Italy so much and want to spend a lot longer there! I’ve been to all of these places except Florence and loved them all. Did you go to Bolzano? because it’s stunning up there!

  8. I must say I love your choices! I like the mix of history, art, movies, nature, architecture, etc! It says a lot of how curious and explorative you are! I think we are in the same boat! Hahaha.

  9. I have been everywhere on your list! Sorrento is a special place for me as I met my husband there and it beautiful part of Italy. Have you been to Genoa? I spend half my life there as my husband is from the area and is very close to Portofino. You are right every part of Italy is lovely to visit.

  10. Would love to do history walks in Pompeii. I never knew about the erotic side of this ancient city. It would be interesting to see it and compare it with the erotica that we see in ancient Indian temples. Guess we had very liberal ancestors, when did we become conservative?

    • I totally agree, Anu. That made me wonder as well. Since these murals will be considered indecent in the modern times. I would also love to see and appreciate the history of the ancient Indian temples.

  11. You’ve certainly covered Italy from south to north in this article. Sorrento is a new tip for me, as I haven’t been that far south in Italy. On the other hand, with tourism taking over, I would be happy to find a few more lesser known destinations in Italy. Already years ago I enjoyed Bologna and Vicenza much more than crowded Florence or Venice, both of which I had to visit for business.

  12. Italy is pretty awesome but I am surprised that you’ve not listed Rome or Amalfi Coast in the post. I haven’t been to Sorrento but I have to Pompeii, Naples, Florence and Venice (apart from Rome) and I loved Italy. I also wish you’d listed the Dolomites. I haven’t been there but the pictures look fantastic!

  13. Well, this was humbling. I’ve only made it to two places on that list, and I’d never even heard of Bellagio. I loved Florence, and Venice was nice too, but I didn’t get to Burano and Murano. Now I’ll have to go watch Kit Harrington’s Pompeii movie, although not for his abs.

  14. Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world. I adored Florence and would happily live there – and then I could explore the other places you mention! Sorrento looks amazing, and Venice is a definite must-see too.

  15. It is true that you can never run out of places to visit in Italy, that’s why Italy is my favorite country! I have visited all the places listed in your post and I agree that each one, for different reasons, is unique and worth the visit. Probably I would like to visit Florence again for its wine and food like you say. Also would visit Pompeii again because I combined it with Ercolano on a day trip and just a couple of hours exploring the buried city was not enough for me

  16. So refreshing to come across this post after I finished watching the entire Da Vinci Demons just last week! 😉 Thanks for the dress code tip at Duomo so we can go prepared; its kind of annoying to go somewhere and then be sent back coz of your outfit. Already dreaming of my 100-steps climb to Piazzale Michelangelo!

  17. Amazing blog with great information. Thanks, dear for sharing this amazing blog with us and keep it up and I will definitely visit these places with my friends.


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