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Bellissimo Retreats: 15 Enchanting Italian Cities for Your Dream Getaway

Although Italy is a small country in the center of the Mediterranean, it hosts 75% of the artistic and cultural heritage on the Mediterranean. This particular feature makes our peninsula one of the world’s most admired and visited places.

But which are the most beautiful Italian cities to visit? Let’s think of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the small towns of Tuscany, the Cinque Terre, the canals of Venice, the Vatican, pasta, pizza, etc.

It makes us want to go to Italy, the one with the greatest artistic, cultural and gastronomic heritage. In this article, we will take a tour of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and you can also go through this article to learn more about the facts about Italy.

Most Beautiful Italian Cities

1. Venice, the Most Beautiful City in Italy

Venice is considered by many, including myself, the most beautiful city in Italy and one of the most beautiful and romantic cities on the planet.

The well-known ” City of Canals ” offers the visitor infinite tourist attractions, from a gondola ride to the possibility of visiting the Doge’s Palace, the prison from which the famous Casanova escaped in 1756, to visit Piazza di San Marco, one of the most belle of Europe presumably called by Napoleon Bonaparte as-.

The most beautiful salon in Europe”, even though it was most likely Alfred de Musset who called it that, nicknamed it “le plus élégant salon Europe”.

Due to the logical humidity of the city in the wettest months, and unless you are interested in seeing the Carnival of Venice, one of the best carnivals on the planet, we recommend that you visit the city in spring or summer to enjoy it 100%.

1.1 Why was Venice built on water?

It was believed that conquerors and invaders initially pushed Venetians to leave the mainland in the fifth century. The concept was to give the safeguards that the original inhabitants desired by creating Venice on top of its lagoons.

1.2 Can you swim in Venice canals?

Three reasons not to swim in Venice’s canals: The city has poisoned the water. Due to industrial and maritime activity, the water is tainted with heavy metals, chemicals, and other contaminants. It is not allowed.

2. Rome, History

Rome, Italy
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Rome is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Italy but also the most visited in the country and the city with the highest concentration of historical and architectural heritage on the planet.

Precisely for this reason, it is called “The Eternal City a walk through its historic and beautiful streets; time will seem to go back, taking you back to the times of maximum splendor of the Roman Empire or the Renaissance.

Finding yourself in any corner of the city and touching authentic wonders such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon of Agrippa, or visiting the Sistine Chapel or Castel Sant’Angelo, it will seem to us to find ourselves in a dream, together with the emperors of Rome, popes or artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello or Bernini.

2.1 Is Rome rich or poor?

As a result, Rome would rank as the 52nd richest nation in the world by GDP, roughly the size of Egypt.

3. Artistic Florence, one of the Most Beautiful Cities in Italy

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Cradle of world art and architecture because the Renaissance originated in the fourteenth century, Florence exudes beauty on all four sides. She is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

Among its many attractions, we can find the imposing Piazza Della Signoria, where you can find replicas of sculptures by artists such as Donatello, Miguel Angel, Bandinelli, and Vicenzo de Rossi, among others, and the Ponte Vecchio, a symbol of the city, the Uffizi Gallery, a beautiful palace that contains one of the most prestigious art collections in the world,

The beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in Europe, and of course Michelangelo’s David, my favorite, one of the most famous sculptures in the world, an impressive 5.17-meter high white marble work represents David before facing Goliath.

3.1 What is the most visited piece of art in Florence, Italy?

sculpture of David by Michelangelo. Due to its flawless execution and incredible detail, the 14-foot-tall marble statue of the Biblical hero David is the most well-known Renaissance sculpture in Florence—and possibly the entire world.

4. Siena, the Heart of Tuscany

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Located in the heart of Tuscany, we find Siena, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. It is a true medieval and Gothic jewel that has managed to preserve its fabulous structures over the centuries, which led it to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

Walking through its beautiful streets, you will surely reach what the symbol of the city is, the Piazza del Campo, an imposing and beautiful square made up of nine segments that give it a peculiar fan shape, where on 2 and 16 July August, “Il Palio”, its famous horse race, is celebrated.

Other important places in the city are the gothic Cathedral of Siena, built in the 13th century by the architect Giovanni Pisano, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe, and of course, the view from the top of Piazza del Campo, on top of the Torre del Mangia in the Palazzo Comunale!

4.1 What is the best month to visit Tuscany?

The busiest and most expensive months to visit Tuscany are April, May, June, September, and October. The convenience of peak season is combined with pleasant weather during these months. With parades, dances, and games in Florence for the feast of St. Junius, June is a particularly festive month in the area.

5. Lucca, one of the Most Beautiful and Small Cities in Italy

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Lucca is a small town located in Tuscany, just 30 minutes from Pisa. This imposing place not only bears the title of being one of the most beautiful cities in Italy but also that of keeping its walls intact because they have never been to war.

Its beautiful churches where important works are kept, such as “the Last Supper ” by Tintoretto, the famous Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a beautiful place built on the remains of an ancient Roman theater, or the Guinigi Tower, a 44-meter-high medieval building from the 14th century which has become one of the most famous monuments of Lucca, it will delight anyone who visits this beautiful city.

Some guests wore tuxedos and gowns as well as T-shirts and shorts. Whatever makes you comfortable is welcome here!

6. The Romantic Verona

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The place where Williams Shakespeare was inspired to create the love story of Romeo and Juliet is one of the most romantic cities in the world, an ideal destination for lovers who often leave their name written on the wall of the passage that gives access to the Courtyard of the House of Juliet.

But this city does not live only on the history of Shakespeare; it has such interesting places as the beautiful Piazza Delle Erbe, the heart of the city, and the Ponte Pietra, the first built in the city and the only one left standing in the Roman era, or the Arena of Verona, the second largest Roman amphitheater on the planet after the Colosseum.

If you travel to Verona, you are lucky because with a few euros, and in just over an hour, you can visit Venice, another of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

7. Naples

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Naples is beautiful amid the chaos. Despite having a  reputation for being a dangerous city, the truth is that its charm is worth knowing. The best attractions in Naples are the famous Piazza del Plebiscito, close to traffic, where city events occur, and the Royal Palace. The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is housed in an ancient palace and is also an attraction from the outside.

The medieval castle Castel Nuovo, the Castel dell Ovo fortress on an island, the funerary chapel with the famous sculptures Cappella Sansevero, and the Galleria Umberto I shopping gallery.

And of course the Vesuvius national park with the active volcano, also very popular with tourists. Be prepared for crazy traffic, dirty roads, and areas that can make a bad impression.

But in addition to this, the streets of the historic center of Naples will win you over with their authentic atmosphere. And let’s not forget that Naples is known for having the best pizzerias in the world. That chubby Neapolitan pasta is irresistible!

How many days does it take to get to know Naples? The center of Naples can be visited in one or two days. But we advise you to stay extra days to visit places like Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Pompeii, Vesuvius, Sorrento, etc.

7.1 Is Naples, Italy, cheap?

Naples’ cost of living is significantly lower than that of Rome, Milan, and Florence, as with other southern Italian cities. However, the low monthly salary in this city means that fewer people are shopping there. Naples offers rent that is up to 50% less expensive than Rome.

8. Milan

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Milan is one of the most populated cities in Europe, the center of the largest metropolitan area in Italy, and second, in terms of the number of inhabitants, only to the capital Rome.

Milan has 1,314,160 inhabitants, covers 184 square kilometers, and represents the nation’s economic capital.

Founded by the Insubria, a Celtic-Ligurian population in 600 BC, among the main places of tourist interest, Milan counts prestigious and expensive examples of religious and civil architecture from different historical periods: much of the city’s artistic-cultural heritage is located along the streets of the Old Town.

The symbol of Milan in the world is undoubtedly the Milan Cathedral, located in the same name square and divided from Piazza Della Scala (seat of the theater) by the majestic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele III, a covered passage with sumptuous iron and glass structures.

No less evocative of the Milanese capital is the Castello Sforzesco, originally conceived as a military building and later becoming a stately home. The name of Milan is also closely linked to that of its patron Saint Ambrose, whose Basilica, in the eastern part of the city, is the second largest.

Among the other religious buildings of greater interest are the Church of the Madonna Delle Grazie, which houses Leonardo’s Last Supper (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Monumental Cemetery, where the illustrious Milanese rest.

If those who love football cannot miss a visit to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, home of Milan and Inter, the two city teams, for art lovers, there is no shortage of places of reference not to be missed.

Starting from the famous Pinacoteca Brera, with the Ambrosiana main art gallery in Milan, to continue with the Milan Triennale and the PAC in Via Palestro. Milan is also the flagship of Italian fashion, and the very elegant Via Montenapoleone collects the boutiques of the most famous and internationally appreciated clothing brands.

9. Palermo

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Visiting Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is a journey to a city rich in history and traditions.

The beating heart of a metropolitan area comprised of 26 municipalities and more than a million inhabitants, as well as the fourth Italian urban center by population, Palermo is the capital and the most important city of the Sicily region. Still, it is also rich in history, and the cradle of cultural, folkloric, and enogastronomic traditions appreciated worldwide.

The mountains of Palermo surround it, the citrus crops – famous all over the world – give it the color, and the waters of the Conca d’Oro make it an attractive tourist destination during the hot season.

Located almost above sea level, Palermo boasts 655,000 inhabitants on a total area of ​​159 square kilometers for a population density of 4,127 inhabitants / sq. Km.

Until 1861, the year of the Unification of Italy, the title of capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was divided into alternating phases with Naples: today, it houses the headquarters of the regional assembly, the University of Palermo, and the most important archdiocese of the region.

Those who visit Palermo can only be stunned by the spectacle offered by the architecture of its historic center.

From rock graffiti, an expression of ancient history, to the imposing watchtowers erected along the coast in medieval times, passing through Renaissance churches and squares and noble palaces built in contemporary times: the historic center of Palermo hosts a varied artistic heritage and everything to discover.

9.1 Do they speak English in Palermo?

Everywhere tourists can be found worldwide, English is the common language. Sicily is no different. Of course, Sicily’s three airports see a lot of travelers. You’ll find it simple to navigate each airport using English, especially since each airport’s car rental counters also speak the language.

10. Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa
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Pisa is a town in Tuscany and the capital of the province of the same name, famous worldwide for its leaning tower.

It houses the most important airport in the region, the “Galileo Galilei,” and is home to three university institutions.

Among the city’s most important monuments, the famous Piazza Dei Miracoli, declared a World Heritage Site, is the cathedral built in marble between 1064 and 1118, in Romanesque style, with its bronze portals and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano.

In the square stands the characteristic Leaning Tower of Pisa of the twelfth century, 55 meters high, which acquired its characteristic inclination immediately after the start of its construction.

Note the presence of at least three leaning towers, in addition to the best known: the second consists of the bell tower of the Church of San Nicola, at the opposite end of Via Santa Maria, near the Lungarno; the third, halfway along the Piagge riverfront located in the eastern part of the city, is the bell tower of the Church of San Michele Degli Scalzi (in this case the church is also leaning).

11. Trieste

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Trieste, the capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, is a splendid city that enchants all its visitors’ thanks to its landscapes and architectural beauties.

Trieste is a cosmopolitan city with a millenary past, capable of enchanting the visitor with its charm, which seems to transport us to a remote era when only carriages passed through its streets and women in long imperial dresses sheltered from the sun’s rays. The shade of pretty hand-painted umbrellas.

Due to its unique cultural offer, Trieste would require a prolonged visit, which allows you to savor the refined atmosphere that pervades its squares fully.

Alongside the traditional testimonies of Trieste’s millennial past, from Roman finds such as the Roman theater to the medieval Cathedral of San Giusto, from the sumptuous noble palaces that rise within the so-called Borgo Teresiano (Palazzo Pitteri, Palazzo Stratti, Palazzo della Ragione) to the homes of the illustrious characters who were born in this remote offshoot of Italy or who chose Trieste as their residence for their stays in our country (Joyce and Svevo house-museums).

11.1 What language is spoken in Trieste?

Triestine is the name of the most common local Venetian dialect in Trieste. In the city center, Slovene is spoken along with the official Italian language, while Slovene is also used in a number of the nearby suburbs. The Slovene and Venetian languages are regarded as indigenous to the region.

12. Trento

Visit Trento, the capital of the Trentino Alto Adige region, a city with ancient history and traditions.

Capital of the Region and the Autonomous Province, Trento is a city of about 120,000 inhabitants with a large urban area that, over the years, has extended to Mezzolombardo, Rovereto, and Pergine, towards the Valsugana. Often the history of the city of Trento has been marked by the floods of the Adige river.

Trento is a multi-faceted city that has always been linked to its traditions and territory.

The original pre-Roman settlements in the Adige Valley saw the Venetians, Etruscans, and Gauls pass through this area; the Romans arrived in the 1st century BC and renamed the city Tridentum, three teeth, for the three hills Doss Trento, Sant ‘ Agata, and San Rocco.

In the early Middle Ages, the diocese of Tridentina was established, and the figure of the Bishop became very important, guaranteeing security against the incursions of foreign peoples.

Goths, Lombards, and Ottens, passed through Trento until 1027 when Corrado II created the Episcopal Principality of Trento, which lasted until 1803 with the arrival of Napoleonic troops.

13. Syracuse

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If Messina is the gateway to northeastern Sicily, the southern part of the island has the city of Syracuse as its privileged access.

Capital of the province of the same name, Syracuse is the fourth largest city in the region by several inhabitants. It hosts 124,000 in a total area of ​​205 square kilometers, for a population density of 604 inhabitants / sq. Km.

It is smaller than the island’s most known and popular centers but certainly no less beautiful: there is no shortage of reasons to visit Syracuse!

Not surprisingly, Cicero described it as the most beautiful of all the cities founded by the Greeks: a profound appreciation reflected in the city’s subsequent inscription among the World Heritage Sites at the behest of UNESCO.

Divided between the mainland and the peninsula of Ortigia, the Syracusan territory is crossed by the waters of the Ciane and Anapo rivers and by the artificial canals Mammaiabica, Pismotta, and Regina.

14. Bari

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Bari is the province’s capital of the same name and of the Puglia region, which is also the most important center.

The homeland of San Nicola is the most populous locality at the regional level, the third in Southern Italy, and the ninth at the national level for several inhabitants. Also, considering the towns that make up the surrounding metropolitan area, Bari can even measure 1 million inhabitants.

From a historical point of view, over the centuries (starting from the medieval age, but above all in the modern age), Bari has played a fundamental role in trade with the countries of Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. We are talking about the main merchant port of the Adriatic and the second in Southern Italy, after Naples.

Populated since the Bronze Age, seen from above, the city of Bari shows the shape of a large eagle with outstretched wings. Within its borders, artistic and architectural works make it probably the most popular destination for regional tourism.

The best-known building is the Basilica of San Nicola, where the remains of the patron saint are kept. Erected in the 11th century on the skeleton of a Byzantine building, it is still today one of the most outstanding examples of Romanesque art in southern Italy.

The Cathedral of San Sabino dates back to the same historical period, another excellent example of the splendor of the Apulian Romanesque. The work of Guglielmo il Malo is characterized by a facade dotted with arches, pilasters, and single, double, and triple-mullioned windows.

However, suppose there are places that those who visit Bari cannot miss. In that case, they are the corners and alleys of the old Bari, the city’s oldest district, the original nucleus from which the capital’s identity has developed over time.

Within the walls, in addition to the ancient houses, are several buildings in various architectural styles.

15. Assisi

Visiting Assisi means discovering one of the most important religious places in Europe.

About 26 km from Perugia, on a plateau between the Umbrian valley and Mount Subasio, stands the city of Assisi, a town of 29,000 inhabitants, famous throughout the world for its patron saint of Italy, San Francesco, and Santa Chiara.

Among the most important religious places in Europe, the Basilica of San Francesco alone is visited annually by over 3 million faithful.

Traces of the first settlements in the Assisi area date back to the Neolithic. The city that was later conquered by the Romans, in fact, already existed in the form of several villages in the VIII century BC. The Roman Empire came to dominate these places of central Italy in 295 BC, when the city took the name of Asisium, concerning the name of the Casino river.

After the passage of the troops of Frederick Barbarossa in 1174, the city was entrusted to Duke Conrad of Lutzen, who ruled until 1198. Before passing through the territories controlled by the Church, Assisi saw the alternation of control by the Guelphs and Ghibellines and numerous internal struggles that ended only after the ascent to the papal throne of Pope Paul III.

The city of Assisi is linked to its saint, St. Francis, born Giovanni di Pietro Bernardone in 1182, founding friar of the Franciscan order, venerated all over the world, the saint “poor” of Assisi, who with his work marked the history of these places.

Tourism in Assisi is mainly religious; in addition to the Basilica of San Francesco, the Cathedral of San Rufino and the Basilica of Santa Chiara are the most visited places.

The Basilica and the other religious buildings of the city hold precious works of art admired by tourists from all over the world. Among the paths linked to the saint’s life, Assisi shows itself in its medieval splendor to visit Piazza del Comune, the Temple of Minerva, a real jewel of ancient art.

Closing Thoughts

There you go! Hopefully, you were able to find a good place to add them to your vacation check list. If you have something to add, please comment below.

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