Best Places to Visit in Italy
Known for its bustling cosmopolitan cities, delicious food and wine, vibrant artistic culture and traditional towns with so much character, Italy remains a firm favourite with holidaymakers from all across Europe and beyond. Spend your days wandering around whitewashed towns with cobbled streets, visit authentic Roman ruins, or relax by the picturesque coastline while enjoying the stunning views. Here’s our round-up of the best places to visit in Italy.
Arguably one of the top places to visit in Italy – Sicily is a rugged island steeped in history. A mix of stony beaches, epic landscapes, historical architecture and delicious food and drink, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to activities. If you feel like venturing outside of your private Villa Plutos, you have 6 incredible UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore, including Mount Etna, which dominates the island’s skyline, and is Europe’s largest active volcano. Begin by exploring Siracusa, where food tasting tours are in abundance. Enjoy sampling local wines, olive oils, cold meats, cheeses and pastries, before heading to the pedestrianised Piazza del Duomo, where you’ll find a number of notable landmarks including the town hall and cathedral of Syracuse. If you have a car, head to the Valley of the Temples for an enjoyable day out, where you’ll find plenty of architecture and art to discover.
One of the top places to visit in Southern Italy and otherwise known as Italy’s dazzling white city, Ostuni, which is located in the Apulia region, is well known for its hot climate and sunny days, and old town featuring Roman, Byzantine and Gothic architecture. Spend some time wandering around this ornate town, taking in the stunning arches connecting buildings and narrow alleyways. Stop at a cafe for some Italian coffee, before heading to La Piazzetta Cattedrale, with an ornate facade dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Next, explore the Piazza della Liberta – an authentic plaza where you’ll find a range of shops, landmarks and cafes with a true Italian feel. As evening approaches, watch the sun set from the town’s defensive walls, offering epic views of the surrounding landscape while making memorable snaps for your holiday photo album. Have dinner in a local pasta restaurant before heading back to your traditional Villa Trullo Oro Verde.
Travellers heading to the Puglia region should head to Lecce for a day trip, as it’s one of the best places to go in Italy. Otherwise referred to as ‘the new Florence’, the city’s old town boasts some incredible baroque architecture, and you may also spot la pietra leccese as you wander around – a kind of limestone that is used for sculpture in the region thanks to its soft and workable nature. As you wander the streets, if you encounter a bakery selling pasticciotto leccese, it’s a must-try for those with a sweet tooth. A shortcrust pastry filled with custard, it’s the regional sweet treat for Lecce, and comes in many different flavours. The city is also home to a Roman Amphitheatre that dates all the way back to 2 AD, and was discovered in 1901. Part of the structure is actually underground, while the Oronzo Square in which it sits is a favourite among locals.
A must for foodies, Noci is once of the best places to go in Italy if you love Italian food and wine, with a wealth of tours and food experiences on offer. Tracing back to Norman times, with around 20,000 inhabitants, this city is an ideal place to spend an afternoon wandering around to discover local architecture and to learn more about how Italians cook. Visit the ancient church of Barsento, or the monastery of Abbazia Madonna della Scala, before taking a tour to learn how to make real Apulian mozzarella using cow’s milk. You’ll be invited to make your own cheese and taste it afterwards, and will also learn about the different varieties of mozzarella and their origins. Olive oil tasting tours are also available, as are wine tours, which include wine tasting in a local bistro. No visit to Noci is complete without trying Panzerotto – an Italian street food that has the similar half-moon shape of a calzone. Made with fried pizza dough that is filled with mozzarella and sauce, you can learn how to make this popular dish before trying it for yourself on yet another food tour. Our top tip? Head to Noci when you’re hungry!
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