street in Trastevere Rome

One of Rome's oldest neighbourhoods, Trastevere | Source: Airbnb

Seven of the Most Picturesque Places to Visit in Italy

From the glittering seaside towns of Sicily to the art-filled cobble-stoned streets of Florence, Italy is a country filled with postcard destinations. Rich in history and culture and benefitting from diverse landscapes, there’s something for everyone in the ‘bel paese’, whether it’s a relaxed beachside weekend under the Mediterranean sun, a journey through the relics of the ancient world or a winter escape in the snow-capped mountains. Just be sure to bring your camera.

Ponza

Located off the west coast of Italy, Ponza is a glittering and lesser-known gem tucked away in the sun-drenched Tyrrhenian Sea. The largest island of the archipelago known as the Pontine Islands, Ponza is just a short drive and ferry ride from Rome and Naples. Boasting breathtaking cliffs and pristine beaches and caves, Ponza is filled with natural beauty. Characterised by a small-town feel, Ponza is considered a much quieter alternative to the tourist hotspots of the Amalfi Coast. Stroll past pastel coloured buildings in Port Passeggiata, hike up to the top of the island, rent a boat and simply enjoy the slow-paced nature of island life.

Rome

Filled with the relics of ancient Rome, incredible dining and shopping destinations, and scenic parks, Rome is a must-visit city that should be on everyone’s travel list. ‘When in Rome’, you simply must visit historic landmarks like the Pantheon, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain, and once ticking off the city’s top monuments, consider exploring the romantic and picturesque cobble-stoned and ivy-lined streets of Trastevere. Filled with photo opportunities, neighbourhoods like the history-rich and artsy Trastevere grant visitors a more relaxed side to Rome, as well as some pretty incredible views of the city.

The Dolomites

A playground for adventure-seekers, the World Heritage-listed Dolomites are some of the most incredible mountain ranges in Europe. Jutting out in distinct sculptural forms, the Dolomites feature 18 peaks that rise about 3,000 metres and span three regions in Italy. Along with breathtaking hiking trails, countless picture-perfect lakes and ski resorts, this diverse and incredible region also offers picturesque mountain huts known as a ‘rifugio’. In fact, there are more than a thousand of them, all offering jaw-dropping views of the mountains.

Cefalù

Just an hour’s drive from Palermo, Cefalù is one of Sicily’s many postcard beach towns. Defined by an unpretentious charm, the small historic seaside town is home to incredible beaches, a stunning Norman cathedral, medieval buildings and some highly-rated seafood restaurants. While Cefalù is no longer a hidden gem in Sicily, rightfully attracting plenty of tourists in the summer, it benefits from short winters and warm springs making it a great summery beachside escape most months of the year.

Florence

Home to almost a third of the world’s most renowned masterpieces, Florence is a must-visit for art lovers. But the Tuscan tourist spot is not just a treasure trove of Michelangelo statues and Renaissance art. Filled with tranquil manicured gardens like the Boboli Gardens, historic landmarks like Ponte Vecchio and the iconic Duomo, and plenty of artisanal shops and lively markets, there’s something to see, explore, taste or buy around every corner.

Lake Como

Lined with colourful villas, pristine gardens and small towns, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most picturesque destinations. Located just an hour away from Milan, Lake Como’s opulent lakefront hotels continue to attract plenty of celebrities, particularly to the glamorous tourist hotspot of Bellagio. But it’s not all fine dining, luxury accommodation and boat rides- although all of those things are worth doing during your visit to Lake Como. Italy’s third-largest lake also offers incredible hiking trails, quaint towns with cobble-stoned streets like the picture-perfect Varenna and plenty of famous and historic villas to wander through.

Venice

What is an Italian travel guide without Venice? Of course, if you have visited this unique and breathtaking floating city, you’ll know that while Venice is one of the most unique and picturesque places on Earth, visiting Venice means joining plenty of other tourists. Venice’s pre-pandemic tourist numbers sat at around four and five million visitors each year. But when it comes to taking in the breathtaking Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge or practically any picturesque canal in Venice, especially during the warmer months, the wait is worth it.

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