Choosing the most stunning locations in Italy is like picking a favorite among your children. Because of the unique qualities of each, choosing a favorite is an impossibility. There are countless breathtakingly beautiful places to visit in Italy; just in Rome alone, we can think of dozens of examples. The country is home to historic landmarks and modern metropolises, islands and seascapes, mountain ranges and lakes, and countless quaint towns and villages, all of which are picturesque in their own unique ways.
The reality is, however, that we do have to make a decision. We included both expansive landscapes and more intimate settings, and we took a broad view of what it means to call a place beautiful, considering not just its aesthetic appeal but also its emotional impact, historical importance, and uniqueness. We made sure there was at least one stop in each of Italy’s 20 regions so that no one would feel left out.
There will be bruised emotions and allegations of being the parent’s favorite, as phrazle is the case with any set of siblings. This unranked list of Italy’s 29 most gorgeous locations is sure to feature some of your favorites and likely expose you to some new must-sees.
Perspective of Rome’s Capitol Hill
Among the finest activities to do in Rome, one of the best is costless: Take a stroll up Capitoline Hill, past the steps that Michelangelo himself constructed, and around the rear of Palazzo Senatorio. From that vantage point, you can take in a breathtaking view of the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, and the ancient Roman Forum. There is nothing more romantic in Rome than here on a warm summer night.
The Venetian Grand Canal
Play some sappy music, please. Even with the throngs of people, the subpar eateries offering just what they think tourists want to eat, and, yes, the odd stench, Venice is still a sight to see. Turn your back on the commotion behind you and take in the beauty of Venice’s Grand Canal, a broad, winding canal. Although opinions on this are divided, we think it’s well worth it to spend the money on a gondola trip during the sunset.
The Tuscany valley of Val d’Orcia
The Val d’Orcia is a picturesque region south of Siena, Italy, where typical Tuscan scenery such as windswept fields, rolling hills, well-manicured vineyards, and groves of cypress trees may be found. The valley’s famous red wines, aged cheeses, and cured meats may be found in the famous hill towns that rise on the horizon, such as Montalcino, Pienza, and Montepulciano.
This is the island of Ortigia in Sicily
Although most visitors to Sicily go to Taormina for its White Lotus moment, those who venture farther east along the island’s coast will find the old city of Ortigia, where they may wander the winding alleyways and discover its hidden treasures. This island is located close to Siracusa (Syracuse) and has been inhabited since the 14th century B.C.E. Explore historic landmarks including Greek temples, baroque churches, and a stunning beach promenade in Italy.
Location: Sardinia’s Golfo di Orosei
The Golfo di Orosei is not the place to go if you’re hoping to relax on a beach or sip drinks with a paper umbrella in them. The natural scenery is breathtaking, untamed, and sometimes hazardous. This region of Sardinia’s coastline along the Tyrrhenian Sea is home to some of the island’s most stunning yet inaccessible cale, or coves. Take a dip in the Piscine di Venere (Pools of Venus), whose beauty lives up to its fabled name, or have a zodiac drop you down in Cala Mariolu or Cala Goloritzé.
Square of the Campo, Siena
The main plaza of Siena, which is shaped like a clam shell and dates back to the 13th century, has survived plagues, sieges, and warring clans while remaining a model of medieval city planning. It is therefore not surprising to find Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” hanging in the city hall, which is located right next to the piazza. Treat yourself to a pricey spritz while gazing out at a breathtaking panorama, or plan ahead to get a prime spot for the city’s annual Palio.
Bridge of Santa Trinita Overlooking the Arno and the Ponte Vecchio
Florence, like Venice, is suffering from an influx of tourists. Ponte Santa Trinita is the next bridge downstream from Ponte Vecchio, and it offers an unimpeded view of the historic bridge that is sure to make you forget about the throngs of people and the din of traffic, particularly in the evening. If you time your visit to Umbria just so, you may see a spectacular sight: the fioritura, or seasonal wildflower bloom, over the expansive plains of Castelluccio. The flowers may have a helping hand from humans, but the fleeting beauty of the red poppies, yellow tulips, and blue cornflowers is worth the effort.