If you had to choose the best places to see in Italy, the choice would be impossible because they are many and varied. One of the tips for traveling to Italy What we recommend is to program a new, unknown and exclusive route. You will know more and better the idiosyncrasies of the Italian people, you will avoid the crowds and you will fully enjoy your stay.
That is why, in this guide, you will find 15 incredible places to see in Italy. Some may not be so well known and that will mean for you to know practically unexplored places, but of such beauty, that you will be happy to have heard the call of your Traveling Illusion.
1. Portofino – San Fruttuoso and the Christ of the abyss
Located less than 35 kilometers from Genoa, This small fishing village became the favorite place for the famous to spend the summer. Few know that just by crossing the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino through the Sentiero delle Batterie, you will reach the bay of San Fruttuoso where you will find the abbey of the same name.
In front of the abbey, in the crystalline waters 17 meters deep, in 1954 the statue of “Christ of the Abyss” was placed, made in bronze, by the sculptor Guido Galletti.
The work was carried out in honor of those who dedicated their lives to the sea and was proposed by Duilio Mercante to honor his friend Darío Gonzatti, who died in 1947 during a dive. Copies of the Christ of the Abyss have been made and, they are found in St. George’s in Pomegranate, at Palü Lake in Switzerland, and in Key Largo in Florida. One of the most famous excursions in Liguria is taking dives to observe this monumental work.
2. Cingoli – The balcony of the Brand
This small town located on Mount Circe is located 631 meters high and just over 46 kilometers from Numana (one of the 30 most beautiful towns in Italy). Due to its exceptional location, Cingoli is known as “the balcony of the Marches”, since from there you can see from Mount Conero to the Adriatic and Abruzzo. Also, on clear days you can see Croatia.
It is included in 10 Borghi Più Belli Delle Marche (the ten most beautiful villages in the Marche) and its historic center is enhanced by its medieval appearance with narrow alleys.
You can visit the house of the former Pope Pius XIII (Francesco Saverio Castiglioni) and get to know the Fontana del Maltempo from 1513. Lake Cingoli is worth a visit, which is one of the largest in central Italy, where you can take a walk to around it and know the prey that gave rise to it.
You can also see the Roman Bridge, the walk along the Musone river, the Bravi mill from the year 1565 that still works and the Santa Sperandia hermitage, which you will reach after climbing 430 steps (going down is easier). One of the best places to visit in Italy.
3. Civita di Bagnoregio – The people that dies
It is located just over 120 kilometers from Rome and 180 kilometers from Florence. Unfortunately, the erosion caused by the winds, by the Chiaro River and the Torbido River, which affect its base, has earned it the nickname of “the people that dies.” To get there, it can only be done by a 300-meter pedestrian bridge that connects Civita with Bagnoregio and that, in reality, is one of its main attractions, since from it you can have a unique view of the Lazio region. On cloudy and foggy days it appears suspended in midair.
You will enter through the Porta di Santa María (or Porta Cava) and continue along the street of the same name until you reach the Piazza Principala (Main square), where the San Donato church and some Renaissance buildings such as the Palazzo Colesanti, the Palazzo Alemanni are located. and the Palazzo Bocca. It is a typical medieval and Renaissance town with a profusion of arches and stairways.
Truly one of the most suggestive towns to see in Italy, with some restaurants, bars, trattoria, and craft shops. It has only a dozen inhabitants and to cross the bridge and get to the borough you pay € 5 that is applied to the maintenance of the town.
4. Latina – Giardino di Ninfa
It is located just 58 kilometers from Rome, one of the Essential cities in Italy. Close to the Tyrrhenian Sea and Mount Circeo, Latina is a modern and thriving city with its famous Piazza del Popolo, its clock tower, and its Fontana Della palla (ball fountain), with a marble sphere in the center. After 8 kilometers taking Vía Patine and Vía Ninfina, you will arrive at a dream place.
It is the Giardino di Ninfa, one of the most romantic and beautiful gardens in the world, declared a Natural Monument of Lazio.
It is located in the ancient city of Ninfa destroyed in the 14th century and two centuries later the Caetani family created a spectacular garden with fountains, flowers, trees, and springs. In eight hectares you will find ruins of palaces surrounded by oaks, cypresses, beech trees, and surrounded by swamps in the best English style.
It has 20 varieties of magnolias, Japanese maples, and water lilies, in addition to 1,300 different plant species. Along the Ninfa River, you will see roses and tropical plants and a lake has formed in which a variety of African trout has grown. You can visit it from April to November and the cost of entry is € 12.50. Without any doubt, it is another of the most beautiful places to see in Italy.
5. Sant’Agata dei Goti – The Pearl of Sannio
Known as “La Perla del Sannio”, SantʼAgata dei Goti is located 47 kilometers from Naples and, due to its particular beauty, it was used for the filming of several films. Famous for its Aglianico and Falanghina grape wines, for its “mela annurca” apples, and for its black truffles, you can taste these delicacies in its typical dishes.
Full of alleys the town is divided into two parts:
One that corresponds to the Roman era built on the rock at 159 meters high, overlooking the Riello and Martorano rivers and that, with the multi-colored houses that give it a special charm. Another is the newer part, which blends seamlessly with the old town.
It has a huge number of churches (many really), but surely you will visit some of them such as the Church of the Annunziata from the year 1200 with a portal made of marble and frescoes such as “the last judgment” from the 15th century.
The church of San Menna located next to the Vittorio Emanuele bridge is the oldest in the borgho (from the 6th century) and is very small. You cannot miss El Castillo de Sant’Agata, which still preserves remains of paintings by Tommaso Giaquinto. The piazzeta del Cármine with the church that gives it its name and the Dicesano museum is worthy of admiration. SantʼAgata dei Goti is one of the most beautiful villages to see in southern Italy.
6. Nesso – Cascada di Nesso
It is located 20 kilometers from Bellagio, and the same distance (in a straight line) from Lugano in Switzerland. Nesso is considered to be the most beautiful town on Lago di Como. One of the best-kept secrets is the Nesso waterfall (orrido di Nesso), which is the union of two streams, the Tuf and the Nosè. With a fall of almost 200 meters, the stream that forms through the village and empties into the Lago di Como.
If you want to access the lake you will have to go down more than 300 steps and if you visit it in summer you can take a bath in its waters. You should also take a walk in the surroundings using the Strada Regia or if you don’t want to walk you can do it by bicycle. You must know the Roman bridge, the historical buildings, the churches, visit the castle ruins, the Masera caves, and the Falchi Della Rupe and Boeucc de Castell springs.
In winter it is covered with snow and being a Borgho from the pre-Alps you will enjoy the beauty that the mountain offers you on one side and the majesty of the lake on the other. With its steep stairs, narrow cobbled alleys, flowery facades, sculptures, and typical louvered shutters, it is a charming town to see in Northern Italy.
7. Furore – “The town that does not exist”
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Furore is a town of almost 900 inhabitants. It is practically impossible to see it along the Amalfi Coast and on one side is the town itself and on the other the port and the spa. Be part of L’Associazione «I Borghi più Belli d’Italia», Which includes the most beautiful villages on the peninsula.
Here you can visit the churches of San Giácomo, San Michele, and Sant´Elia.
Its streets bear the names of the oldest families in the town, such as the Summonti (the Summonti family settled in 1400, and was perhaps the first to arrive at the Fiordo di Furore), li Cuomi, li Cándidi, etc.
With beautiful landscapes, winding and quiet streets, rocks surrounded by vegetation, and the sound of the sea, you will be immersed in a surreal and magical environment from which you will not be able to escape.
You can explore its trails such as the Sentiero di Abu Tabela, the Sentiero dei Nidi di Corvo (the crows’ nest trail), and the Sentiero dei Pipistrelli impazziti (the maddened bats trail) which takes you to an abandoned paper factory full of bats, Of course, you must take a bath in the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian in one of the most beautiful towns to see in Italy.
8. Alberobello – Il borgho dei trulli
Another of the essential places to see in Italy is Alberobello. Famous for its typical constructions, unique in the world, made of stone, without any type of material that serves as a union between the blocks (mortar or mortar). They are cylindrical and their roofs are conical with a pointed finish that give them a magical and indescribable appearance.
The “trullos” (I Trulli), which is how these houses are called, come from the 15th century and were built by order of the “Counts of Conversano”, the peasants who came to harvest crops and had to build constructions that could be quickly destroyed. to avoid the taxes that the king imposed on new settlements.
Over the years the buildings have been improved, and that is how we will see simpler “trulli” and others better “decorated”, but all with the same format and structure. There is only one that is larger (it is double) and one with two floors. Even the church is a trulli!
The inhabitants still maintain their traditions and it is common to see older ladies praying the rosary in the afternoon or going to mass early in the morning. As is customary in Italy, they take a siesta, and, in the afternoon, they meet to spend time taking advantage of when the temperature drops. A beautiful and enigmatic town to see in southern Italy and that you cannot miss.
9. Polignano a Mare – Ristorante Grotta Palazzese
Located 30 kilometers from Bari, with its white Mediterranean-style houses (without blue roofs as in Santorini), Polignano a Mare is a typical fishing village with beautiful cliffs and balconies, which make it one of the best places to see in Italy. In its historic center, you will find narrow streets with beautiful houses in every corner and numerous shops that offer handicrafts. It is striking that the houses are on the edge of the cliffs, like a continuation of the rock.
For several years now, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has been held, which is a cliff jumping competition with a height ranging between 21 and 27 meters.
But in addition to the beauty of the town, one of the most striking things about Polignano a Mare is the Ristorante Grotta Palazzese. A restaurant located in a grotto that has spectacular views and that, if your budget can support it, you should visit as it is one of the most beautiful and spectacular places to see in Italy (even if only in the afternoon for an aperitif ).
In addition, Polignano a Mare has several discos, bars, pubs, and confectioneries that give life to the borgho night. A must-see on your tour of Italy.
10. Erchie – Amalfi Coast
Located in the province of Brindisi, this coastal town is among the Lattari Mountains. The town itself is the beach that is located on a beautiful bay, between two promontories, in each one of which stands a tower (Torres de Cerniola and Torre del Tummolo).
The little houses are built on the slopes. To access the town you can only do it through a narrow side alley that, if you are not attentive, you will surely not see it. Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is appreciated for its fine golden sand and its crystal clear waters protected by rocks.
From the borgho you will have to descend a staircase, which will offer you extraordinary views of the Mediterranean to reach the main beach. It is divided into two: Lido Edelvina and Lido Adriana and they are equipped with umbrellas, hammocks, toilets, and beach bars. Nearby are some coves that can only be accessed by boat and, for just € 3 you can rent a walk that brings you closer to these beautiful beaches.
If you are more daring you can also get there by swimming or crossing through the rocks. A destination with paradisiacal beaches that is one of the best places to see in Italy.
11. Terni – Cascade delle Marmore
Founded by the Umbrians 2,700 years ago, it is located between the Nera river and the Serra torrent, on a plain surrounded by hills. Later conquered by the Romans, in the historical center the walls of the ancient Roman city and the ruins of an amphitheater built for 10,000 spectators are preserved. It has an important steel industry, which does not make Terni loaded with history, monuments, and works of art.
The main square Cayo Cornelio Tacito has a fountain with the signs of the zodiac and in the church of San Valentino are the remains of the Patron Saint of Lovers whose date is commemorated on February 14 (Valentine’s Day).
Just 7 kilometers from the city you can marvel at the most visited waterfall in Italy: “le Cascate Delle Marmore”. It has a height of 165 meters (divided into three jumps) is one of the highest in Europe and one of the most visited places in Italy. They are within a natural park and are used to generate hydroelectric power.
You can also visit “il Parco Archeologico di Carsulae” an ancient Roman settlement of more than 2000 years abandoned in the 15th century that is 10 kilometers from the city. If you really want to combine history, beauty, and culture, you must know Terni, just over 100 kilometers from Rome.
12. Bari – Castellana Caves
Located 16 kilometers from Polignano a Mare and almost 45 kilometers from Bari, you can visit the Caves of Castellana. They are natural formations of more than 100 million years that originated when “the heel of the Boot” (Puglia) just emerged from the sea. The segments that you can visit are divided into two parts:
“The Grave”, which is an enclosure with an upper opening, which allows the passage of sunlight. You will continue along a path that, curiously during the tour, will allow you (of course, with the help of your imagination) to see formations that look like figures such as the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, an owl, a snake, and a camel.
After traveling for three kilometers you will reach the “White Cave” which is formed by white alabaster with stalagmites and stalactites that do not grow vertically, but strangely, they form laterally, defying the law of gravity. In addition, you will find a beautiful “living room” with sparkling crystals that will make you feel like in a “treasure cave”.
You can visit them all year round (except December 25 and January 1) and there are even night visits in summer.
There are only two guided tours: one of one kilometer, which lasts about fifty minutes, and another of three kilometers that lasts two hours. The Castellana Caves are one of the best attractions to see in southern Italy.
13. Cortina d’Ampezzo – Lake Misurina
A host of the world alpine skiing championship in 2021, Cortina d´Ampezzo is the great star of the Queen of the Dolomites. This majestic and imposing portion of the Alps is one of the most coveted destinations by skiers around the world, for its 120 kilometers of slopes and the glamor of its regulars.
Located at 1200 meters above sea level, you can easily reach the ski slopes. For climbers, its alpine peaks of more than 3000 meters are the “summum” for aspirations in the Dolomites. The Dolomiti Superski network has 1,220 kilometers of track and Cortina is the undisputed queen.
Just under 15 kilometers from Cortina, the Misurina lake It is a haven of peace and quiet to enjoy the summer. There you can admire the beautiful lake that reflects the mountain peaks of the Dolomites. Nearby is the Pius XII Childhood Asthma Center, its visitors take advantage of the climate and the healthy air of the lake to recover.
You can go hiking in the Agordino area where you will have trails for all difficulties. From the easiest that can be done as a family, to extreme difficulty for seasoned walkers. It is worth noting that you can also rent a pedal boat to take a walk through the crystal clear waters of the lake. Cortina d´Ampezzo is one of the essential destinations to see in Italy.
14. Matera, another of the places to see in Italy
This picturesque and spectacular city of Basilicata is a little known region that has beautiful villages. Among them are Castemezzano and Brindisi di Montagna (declared European Capital of Culture 2019 together with Matera).
It has unique cave constructions in its historic center, called “Sassi” (stones), and was used by directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini or Mel Gibson in “The Passion of the Christ”. In addition, it has buildings excavated in the rock, and some of them, such as the Grotta house (Cave house), still, retain the original furniture.
We must highlight the cave churches that were also dug by monks in the Middle Ages. Among them, the Madonna dell’ Idris stands out, which seems to come out of the mountain, but which since the Neolithic were made in that way. In the highest place in the city is the Cathedral of Matera dating from the 13th century and houses a stone recipe by Altobello Persio from 1534. You should also visit the castle of Tramontano that was never finished.
As for gastronomy, you should not miss the “crapiata”, a local dish based on legumes. Also, try the meat of Podolian cows that are raised on the slopes of the mountains in a wild way. However, if you go at Christmas you will be able to appreciate one of the most impressive living nativity scenes in Italy. Matera is another must-see town in southern Italy.
15. Saturnia – Cascada del Molino and Termas de Saturnia
Located 150 kilometers from San Gimignano, Saturnia is a beautiful Tuscan town. Famous for its thermal baths considered the most beautiful in Italy, the Cascate del Mulino (also called Cascatelle di Saturnia) is free.
Saturnia is a town of fewer than 300 inhabitants, with more than 2000 years old that still preserves the four original Roman doors. The buildings belong to the era of Etruscan, Roman, and medieval rule.
The Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which is the main one in town, has beautiful gardens and a restaurant in front. The church of Santa Maria Maddalena has a striking bell tower and dates from the 12th century. From the same period is the La Rocca building, built by the Aldobrandeschi family. A beautiful and captivating town that preserves the original essence that saw it born.
Just two kilometers away you will find the Cascada del Molino, which CNN awarded in 2014, as the best thermal center in the world, in a list of the 20 Relaxing Retreats. It has a temperature of 37.5 degrees and a flow rate of 800 liters of water per second. The source is the Gorello stream that rises from Mount Amiata.
You should not confuse it with the Spa that is located next to the Cascate del Mulino di Saturnia, which is quite hidden by the vegetation, is of natural origin, and “totally free”. Yes, to finish we went to the other extreme, Saturnia is another unmissable place to see in northern Italy.
Keep in mind, there are many places to see in Italy, which are not sufficiently promoted. However, many are beautiful and surpass those who enjoy fame and prestige. The beauty of nature has no limits, which is why you should not limit your desire to see new places and enjoy your travels around the world.