Over 40 million tourists visit Italy ever year. Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and offers more than Rome, Venice, Florence and their awesome art and monuments. Italy also features beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains.
The following list is not exhaustive and is designed as a guide to help you start your journey to Italia!
Cinque Terre – Visit Manarola
Nestled in the Italian Riviera, Manarola is one of the oldest towns in Cinque Terre or the “Five Lands”. The Cinque Terre comprises of five villages noted for their beauty. The Cinque Terre can not be reached by car, and this has allowed it to maintain its charm. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages. Many backpackers spend several days walking and staying town to town. The towns are virtually part of the mountainside and therefore provide a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean, that in turn provides many delicious local dishes.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
World famous, the tower took over 177 years to build. The tower started to lean during construction because the foundation was built on soft ground that had difficulty supporting the weight. The lean became worse as construction continued. Between 1990 and 2001 it was stabilized and the lean was partially fixed. Many people enjoy a picnic in the sun on the surrounding grounds.
Lake Como (Italian Lake District)
Lake Como is in the region of Lombardy and is part of the northern Italian Lakes District. It lies between Milan and the border of Switzerland with its southern tip about 40km north of Milan. The lake is surrounded by mountains and hills and dotted with beautiful villas and resort villages. There are picturesque hiking paths, boat trips and water activities. Popular since Roman times, Lake Como is a romantic travel destination and is popular for its combination of fresh air, water, mountains and good weather.
Positano (Amalfi Coast)
The Amalfi Coast, is a stretch of coastline renowned for its rugged terrain, scenic beauty and picturesque towns. Positano is a pedestrian town (with many stairs) and its pastel colored houses and flowers make it very photogenic. Over the last century it has transformed from being a poor fishing village to a very popular tourist attraction that offers great views, food and shopping. Positano has many high-end fashion boutiques and it’s also a great place to buy sandals and footwear.
Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year. Although much of the city was destroyed by the nearby volcano, it was also largely preserved by being buried under more than 60 feet of ash and pumice, preserving history until it was discovered in the mid-1700s. Everything from jars and tables to paintings and people were frozen in time – for the last two thousand years.
It was built nearly two thousand years ago for the purpose of hosting gladiator games. The Colosseum was capable of holding some 50,000 spectators. Thousands of men and animals fought for their lives in the sandy arena. Its construction was started during the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was finished in 80 AD. It is a must see when in Rome as it is steeped with palpable history as you can easily imagine what it was like all those years ago.
Venice, known as “The City of Water”, is synonymous for romantic gondolas and Italian terraces that frame the 150 plus canals that have become central to its attraction. There are also many streets to explore by foot and by wandering you can find Venice’s many charming and often-empty squares and streets, which goes a long way toward helping you appreciate the city.
The Grand Canal only has a few bridge crossings for pedestrians and taking a ride on Venice’s water-buses is a great way to see the cities waterfront. The #1 Vaporetto runs the length of the Grand Canal is the ideal transport.
Travel insurance just in case…
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If you are taking a Mediterranean cruise – you can view our cruise travel insurance page here.