There are so many amazing places to visit in Italy that it is impossible to fit them all in one post (or even two!). That being said, I have invited a group of travel bloggers to help me try to list the 30 best places to visit in Italy!
If you haven’t read it already, be sure to check out Part 1 of this post here- there you’ll find the top destinations travel bloggers love in the North of Italy.
Keep reading this post to see our favorite places to visit south of Tuscany, in the regions of Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Sicily, and Sardinia. You’ll find each of the cities on this half of the list on the map below!
Perugia is an absolutely stunning and historic city, and it also serves as the capital of Umbria. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to consider visiting the city during the Eurochocolate festival, which is held annually in Perugia and is a massive celebration of chocolate. I had the pleasure of attending the festival in 2015 and loved taking in the beauty of the city while eating way too much chocolate for my own good. Click here to learn more about the festival!
Assisi is a darling Italian town in the province of Perugia in the region of Umbria. It was the birthplace of the revered Catholic saints, St. Francis and St. Clare, making it a popular destination for Catholic pilgrims. However, visitors who aren’t Catholic can appreciate the architecture and beauty of Assisi. Nestled on a hillside, the town is filled with cheerful residence, artisan craft shops, and cobblestone walkways. Walking in Assisi is like walking in town that you would read only in stories. There are small churches at almost every corner containing relics of the beloved saints. It’s a great destination for travelers traveling between Florence and Rome who want a break from the bigger Italian city life.
Orvieto is everything you’d imagine a picturesque Italian town to be. It’s a small city atop a cliff in the Umbria region and is only accessible by bus or funicular (an inclined cable railway). I spent a few hours in Orvieto on my way from Florence to Rome, and while this is a popular pit stop along this route, if you stroll down any of one of the narrow cobblestone streets away from the city center, the chaos of tourism falls away and you will find yourself in the midst of the most authentic Italian experience. Towards the center of town, the streets are dotted with gift shops proudly displaying brightly colored ceramic pottery famous in the region. It would be easy to spend days discovering all Orvieto had to offer.
A trip to Italy simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Roma! With unforgettable sights such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon, it is no wonder this is one of the most visited cities in all of Europe, with its most popular sites bringing in over 4 million tourists each year. The other great thing about Rome? The Vatican city is tucked inside, so you can technically visit two countries in one day! There is so much to see and do that it is pretty impossible to cover all of Rome in one day, but if you’d like to try, head over to this 1-day Rome itinerary!
If you are looking to spend some time on one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, look no further than the beautiful cliffside black sand beaches of Positano. This gorgeous village nestled into the cliffs of the Amalfi coast is one of my favorite places on earth-I’ve even been over 8 times! Positano is the perfect spot to take some time out and relax on any jam-packed Italy trip, which is why I made sure to include this Italian paradise on my essential two week Italy itinerary. Discover my top 10 favorite things to do in Positano here!
As a huge lover of history, Pompeii is one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. The amazingly-preserved ruins offer a peek into the past and give all who visit a sense of what life was like in Ancient Rome. You’ll want to spend an entire day at the site as there is so much to see-it is, after all, an entire city preserved in ash from the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Be sure to read my ultimate guide to visiting Pompeii before you go!
Located near Pompeii is the famous city of Naples, the capital of Campania. This bustling seaside city is filled with historic architecture and is the home of the famous pizza place Elizabeth Gilbert raves about in Eat, Pray, Love. Naples has a culture all its own and is a great spot to spend a few hours on your way to a getaway in the Amalfi Coast.
Capri is one of Italy’s most famous islands and for good reason. The beautiful waters, impossibly large lemons, delicious seafood, and the one-of-a-kind blue grotto make Capri a perfect seaside escape. I highly recommend catching a ferry and taking a day trip to this stunning location if you find yourself exploring the Amalfi Coast. To see what other treasures await visitors to Capri, read this post!
Bari is the gateway into Puglia, one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. Does Alberobello ring a bell? Yup, those trulli houses are a 2h (give or take) bus ride from Bari.
I’ve passed through and stayed in Bari many times. Each time, the Old City (Barivecchia) attracts me! I have a thing for tiny streets and interesting houses, so it is no wonder I got hooked from my first visit.
What’s there to see? Everything and nothing. Just spend time exploring the narrow streets. Basilica of Saint Nicholas is one of the important sights and so is the Church of Saint Gregory. The beautiful old fort, Fortino of Saint Antony, is now an art gallery.
Close to one of the exits, you can find the port, which is a different experience. I honestly can spend hours just looking at the boats.
In the south of Italy you will find Matera, one of the most unusual cities to visit. The Sassi (the ancient town), has been modernized now but still gives you an insight into the past when the area was known for its very poor inhabitants.
Sunrise and sunset are my favorite as it lights up the area in hues of pink and red giving the Sassi an almost abandoned look. However, as you wander down the webbed network of steps you will find life in every corner, from underground churches to washing flapping on clothes lines life is everywhere. If you are unable to manage the steps (they are very uneven and worn due to their age), there are many spots where you can take in the views from the top and still get an idea of what life was like.
Confession: I have never been to Sardinia. So, how do I know that this location should make it on this list of must-visit places in Italy? Because literally (almost) every Italian I have ever met has told me that Sardinia has the absolute best beaches in all of Italy. I totally regret not visiting while I was living in Italy, and am definitely going to have to add Sardinia to my Italy bucket list!
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Which of these Italian cities will you choose to visit? Are there any cities you love but didn’t see on the list? Let me know in the comments!
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