Top tourist attractions in Italy
Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Italy. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Italy section.
Curious if any of these place from Italy made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
You can also view all tourist attractions in Italy and other countries on our tourist attractions map.
The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world. The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian. These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name. The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Teatro alla Scala
La Scala is a world-renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy, which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is a popular holiday location and is located in Northern Italy, about half-way between Brescia and Verona, and between Venice and Milan. Glaciers formed this alpine region at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona, Brescia, and Trentino.
Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 kilometres east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 20.5 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. An estimated 16,000 people died due to hydrothermal pyroclastic flows. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of two letters by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
The Pantheon is a building in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.
The Uffizi Gallery is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.
Lake Como is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 square kilometres, making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. At over 400 metres deep, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres below sea-level. Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces. Many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as Matthew Bellamy, Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Branson, Ben Spies, and Pierina Legnani. Lake Como is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The height of the tower is 55.86 metres from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m. Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons. The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia, and the Temple of Vesta, as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, close to Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent, currently 3,329 m high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km² with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. In June 2013, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Italian Gothic Structure
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is currently Giuseppe Betori.
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, or church of Santa Maria Maggiore, is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. Other churches in Rome dedicated to Mary include Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria in Aracoeli, and Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but the greater size of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major justifies the adjective by which it is distinguished from the other 25. According to the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the basilica located in Italian territory is owned by the Holy See and enjoys extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally by police agents of Vatican City State, not by Italian police. It is located on Piazza del Esquilino, number 34, some five blocks southwest of the Stazione Termini.
The Palazzo Pitti, in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast mainly Renaissance palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the town residence of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker. The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions. In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a power base by Napoleon, and later served for a brief period as the principal royal palace of the newly united Italy. The palace and its contents were donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919, and its doors were opened to the public as one of Florence's largest art galleries. Today, it houses several minor collections in addition to those of the Medici family, and is fully open to the public.
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica, St. John Lateran's Basilica, and just The Lateran Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. It is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas or major basilicas of Rome. It claims the title of ecumenical mother church among Roman Catholics. The current archpriest is Agostino Vallini, Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic, currently François Hollande, is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon" of the basilica, a title held by the heads of the French state since King Henry IV of France. An inscription on the façade, Christo Salvatori, indicates the church's dedication to "Christ the Saviour", for the cathedrals of all patriarchs are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of Archbasilica.
World Heritage Site
The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Province of Salerno in Southern Italy. The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually. During the 10th–11th centuries, the Duchy of Amalfi existed on the territory of the Amalfi Coast, centered in the town of Amalfi. The Amalfi coast was later controlled by the Principality of Salerno, until Amalfi was sacked by the Republic of Pisa in 1137. Since then the Amalfi coast has experienced a crisis. But after the unification of Italy the Amalfi coast has enjoyed a huge economic revival, prompted even by the international tourism. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape.
Italian Gothic Structure
Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory.
The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy. Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti.
Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita and is a popular tourist attraction.
Arena di Verona
The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy, which is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.
The Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. It was the citadel of the earliest Romans. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, with the alternative Campidoglio stemming from Capitolium, one of the three major spurs of the Capitolinus. The English word capitol derives from Capitoline. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo.
Gardaland is the eighth-most-popular theme park in Europe and is between Peschiera and Lazise, at Lake Garda in Italy. Built on the eastern shore of Lake Garda at Castelnuovo del Garda, the park opened on July 19, 1975. It has expanded steadily in both size and attendance, topping 1 million visitors annually for the first time in 1984. By 2007, attendance reached 3 million. Run and operated by the Merlin Entertainments Group, the park is promoted as first in Italy. This statistic is believable as the different attractions are considerably spaced throughout the park. It currently is home to six roller coasters and a total of 32 rides. The coasters are called Blue Tornado, Magic Mountain, Sequoia Adventure, Raptor, Orto Bruco, Mammut. Fuga da Atlantide is a Shoot the Chute.
The Appian Way was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy. Its importance is indicated by its common name, recorded by Statius: The road is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section as a military road to the south in 312 BC during the Samnite Wars.
Teatro La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of the most famous theatres in Europe, the site of many famous operatic premieres. Its name reflects its role in permitting an opera company to "rise from the ashes" despite losing the use of two theatres. Since opening and being named La Fenice, it has burned and been rebuilt twice more.
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire. It measured 621 m in length and 118 m in width, and could accommodate about 150,000 spectators. In its fully developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire. The site is now a public park.
The Vatican Apostolic Library, more commonly called simply the Vatican Library, is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from throughout history. From July 2007, the library had been temporarily closed to the public for rebuilding, and reopened in September 2010.
Teatro di San Carlo, Naples
The Real Teatro di San Carlo is an opera house in Naples, Italy. It is located adjacent to the central Piazza del Plebiscito, and connected to the Royal Palace. It is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in Europe, opening decades before both the Milanese La Scala and Venetian La Fenice theaters.
The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio's two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie.
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as "the Piazza". All other urban spaces in the city are called "campi". The Piazzetta is an extension of the Piazza towards the lagoon in its south east corner. The two spaces together form the social, religious and political centre of Venice and are commonly considered together. This article relates to both of them. A remark usually attributed to Napoleon calls the Piazza San Marco "the drawing room of Europe".
The Quirinal Palace is an historic building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic. The palace extends for an area of 110,500 square metres and is the 6th largest palace in the world in terms of area, as well as the largest residence of a Head of State.
The Borghese Gallery is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is a building that was from the first integral with its gardens, nowadays considered quite separately by tourists as the Villa Borghese gardens. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V. The Villa was built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese himself, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa at the edge of Rome. Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio, who is well represented in the collection by his Boy with a Basket of Fruit, St. Jerome, Sick Bacchus and others. Other paintings of note include Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael's Entombment of Christ and works by Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocci.
The Grand Canal is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, and many tourists explore the canal by gondola. At one end, the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin; in between, it makes a large reverse-S shape through the central districts of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters.
The Florence Baptistery, also known as the Baptistry of Saint John, is a religious building in Florence, Italy, and has the status of a minor basilica. The octagonal baptistery stands in both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza di San Giovanni, across from Florence Cathedral and the Campanile