40 things everyone should do in Italy in their lifetime

Famous works of art, exceptionally beautiful cities, and gorgeous lakes and mountains

More obscure spots
While the food in Italy is reason enough to visit, the country is filled with famous works of art, exceptionally beautiful cities, and gorgeous lakes and mountains.

We compiled a list of 40 sites in Italy you should see at least once in your lifetime.

We included important classics like Rome's Colosseum and Venice's canals, but also added more obscure spots, like the gardens of the Villa d'Este and the natural hot springs of Saturnia in Tuscany.

Drive along the gorgeous cliffs of the Amalfi Coast. Stay a night or two in the charming village of Positano — it's straight out of a postcard.

See Michelangelo's famous statue of David in Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia.

Admire the colorful homes in Isola di Burano.

Float through the Blue Grotto, a sea cave in Capri with stunning blue light that reflects off the water.

Walk the cobblestone streets of scenic Cinque Terre and explore the quaint cliffside villages.

Explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a city that was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.

Eat tagliatelle al ragu, AKA bolognese sauce, in Bologna.

View Leonardo Da Vinci's painting, The Last Supper, in Milan. Plan ahead: you'll often have to buy tickets in advance to see the famous piece of art.

Take a boat around Lago di Como, one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.

Meander through the ruins of the Roman Forum, which stand in the center of city. The ruins are remnants from important government buildings.

Watch artists blow glass by hand to create incredible works of art on Murano Island.

Ski the Dolomites, a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, and explore the charming ski village of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Chow down on the best pizza in the world in Naples.

Travel north to view the Giotta frescoes in Padua's Scrovegni Chapel.

Don an elaborate mask for Carnevale di Venezia, an annual festival which takes place in Venice before Lent, usually in February or March.

Sail on Lago di Garda, Italy's largest lake.

Take a silly photo at The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Browse the extensive artwork collection at Florence's Uffizi Gallery. Be sure to find Botticelli's masterpiece, "Primavera."

Check out the reflection of St. Mark's Basilica when its namesake square is flooded, which happens fairly frequently in Venice.

Shop along Milan's luxurious Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II. It's often nicknamed il salotto di Milan (Milan's drawing room), since it's a common meeting and dining place for locals.

Hike to the top of Sicily's Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano.

Step back in time and explore the ancient Greek ruins of the Temple of Concord and Theater of Taormina in Sicily.

Cheer on the riders at the Palio di Siena bareback horse race, which takes place in Siena twice each year: on July 2nd and August 16th.

Stroll through the peaceful Renaissance gardens of the Villa d'Este in Tivoli.

Watch a performance at La Scala, Milan's world-renowned opera house.

Stroll the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, a Medieval stone arch bridge across the Arno River that still has authentic stores along it. It's beautiful any time of day, but there's nothing like seeing the lights reflect off the river at night.

Sip a Super Tuscan wine straight from the sprawling vineyards of Tuscany.

Marvel at the enormous Colosseum in Rome, where brutal gladiator fights took place centuries ago.

Take a dip in the natural spas of Saturnia in Tuscany, where gorgeous hot springs flow freely.

Gaze up at Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. Although it's technically in Vatican City, any trip to Rome wouldn't be complete without seeing this esteemed artwork.

Tour the gorgeous Palladian villas of the Veneto (a region in northeastern Italy), which were designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.

Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, and legend has it you'll be sure to return to Rome again.

Explore the medieval city of San Gimignano, a walled city within Siena.

Bask in the sun at the beaches of Rimini.

Attend the Eurochocolate Festival to celebrate the city of Perugia's world famous chocolate.

Re-enact the famous Shakespearean scene on Juliet's balcony in Verona.

Take a gondola ride through the magnificant canals of Venice.

Explore Cascata delle Marmore, a massive, man-made waterfall from the time of the ancient Romans.

Climb to the top of Florence's iconic Duomo for spectacular views of the city.

Eat Gelato... everywhere.


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