What comes to mind when you hear the word Italy?
Great food? Sprawling piazzas? Stunning coastlines?
Italy offers all of that and much, much more. There aren't too many places in the world where there's something for everyone--but Italy is one of them.
Whether you're an art junkie, a history buff, a beach bum, or a culture vulture, there's something in Italy you're guaranteed to love. In fact, we can't think of a single good reason why you shouldn't visit Italy.
Every year, nearly 40 million visitors flock to Italy. That makes it the fourth most visited country on Earth!
What makes Italy so special?
We could list hundreds of reasons, but we'll start with the ten best.
1. Delicious Food and Wine
The results are in: CNN recently ranked Italian food as the #1 cuisine in the world.
This shouldn't come as too much of a shock. Foods like pizza and pasta are among the most loved dishes in any home or restaurant around the globe.
But no matter how good your local pizzeria is, nothing beats sampling the real thing.
Imagine the aroma as a Neapolitan chef pulls a crispy, bubbling pizza from a 500-year-old wood-burning oven. How about the taste and texture of al dente pasta swimming in olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese?
Do you have a sweet tooth? You'll be in heaven when you visit Italy because there's gelato, cakes, and pastries on every corner.
And with every meal, you can enjoy a frothy cappuccino or a glass of locally made wine (or both). Local spirits like limoncello and grappa aren't to be missed, either.
2. All Roads Lead to Rome
Do you ever hear a lot of hype about a place, but when you actually get there, it's a disappointment?
Don't worry. That won't happen when you visit Italy and explore the glittering capital city of Rome.
There's a reason all roads in the ancient world lead there. For hundreds of years, Rome was the center of the known world. Even now, you can still sense the grandeur of what was once a mighty empire.
Rome manages to be incredibly chic and modern while carefully preserving its rich history. Around every corner, you'll find another 2,000-year-old monument or archeological site.
From the Colosseum to the Sistine Chapel, there's no shortage of incredible things to see in Rome. And when your feet get tired, take a seat in the nearest piazza, order another cappuccino, and watch the elegant people go by.
3. Magnificent Architecture
Whether it's fashion, art, or architecture, Italians are known for their designs.
When you visit Italy, you'll be astounded by the size, beauty, and detail of Italian architecture.
This list could go on forever, but here are a few gems you simply can't miss:
- St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel (Rome)
- Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill (Rome)
- Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (Florence)
- The Leaning Tower (Pisa)
- St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace (Venice)
- Duomo di Milano Cathedral (Milan)
- The colorful cliffside town of Cinque Terre
- Greek and Roman ruins in Agrigento (Sicily)
With a history spanning over 3,000 years, there's no end to the variety of buildings and monuments in Italy. From Gothic cathedrals to medieval towns and bridges, you won't get tired of exploring the dazzling architecture.
4. Breathtaking Natural Beauty
Perhaps the reasons Italians are such good designers is because they've taken lessons from Mother Nature.
Whatever type of landscape and scenery you enjoy, you'll find it when you visit Italy.
Do beautiful blue water and colorful seaside cliffs appeal to you? Stay in Cinque Terre or take a road trip along the Amalfi Coast for views you'll never forget.
Are rolling green hills, budding flowers, and vineyards calling your name? You'll love exploring the tiny medieval towns that dot the Tuscan countryside.
Impressed by alpine lakes and jagged snowcapped peaks? Head up north to the Dolomites or Lake Como and get a taste of the Alps at their finest.
Would you prefer arid landscapes, hidden grottos, or an active volcano? Skip the mainland and head south to Sicily to explore the island's scenic wonders.
Whatever type of natural beauty you appreciate most, you'll find it all somewhere in Italy.
5. Style, Style, and More Style
It's no accident that the best names in fashion are Italian names.
Armani. Versace. Gucci. Dolce & Gabbana. Valentino. LUPAI :-)
These are names we know and love--the kings and queens of the fashion industry. From suits to shoes to dresses to handbags, the best of the best is made in Italy.
Window shopping (or actual shopping) is a dream come true in any Italian city. When you visit Italy, you can stroll the streets of Florence or Milan and see the latest and greatest in fashion and accessories.
Italian style isn't limited to fashion, either. They're also famous for fine art, glass, jewelry, kitchenware, and home accessories.
By the way, you don't have to wait until you visit Italy to enjoy the finer things in life. Check out our collection of Italian watches that will give you a taste of Italian style anywhere in the world.
6. History Comes to Life
Would you like to stand where emperors once stood? Would you like to crawl through underground catacombs or tour a medieval torture chamber?
You can do all of that and more when you visit Italy.
Rome, of course, holds the grand prize for historical sites. From the ancient empire to the seat of Papal power, you can explore millennia of western history in one fascinating city.
Florence, Tuscany, and northern Italy will bring to life the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. See firsthand where ancient battles were fought, where the Black Plague wiped out thousands, and where Renaissance artists completed their masterpieces.
History buffs will want to add a visit to Pompeii to their Italy bucket list. Here you can spend a day touring the ancient city that was buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It was left that way--untouched and undiscovered--for almost 1,700 years.
Want to travel even further back in time? Head down to Sicily and Sardinia. These islands contain some of the most well-preserved Greek and Bronze Age ruins anywhere in the world.
7. Art Lover's Paradise
If you took an art history class in college, chances are that at least half your textbook was dedicated to Italian art.
Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance and some of the most famous painters and sculptors in history. This makes Italy the world's #1 destination for art aficionados.
Florence especially is full of artistic gems housed in Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell'Accademia. Here you'll find Michelangelo's David and Botticelli's Birth of Venus.
Another great thing about Italy? You don't have to spend hours in museums to enjoy fine art. Anywhere you look, cathedrals, churches, palaces, and piazzas are full of both ancient and modern art to enjoy.
8. Incredible Diversity
In case it wasn't obvious by now, it's worth noting that Italy is one of the most diverse countries on Earth.
Want to take a ski trip in the Alps? You can do it in Italy.
Prefer to lay on the beach and soak up some sun? You can do that in Italy, too.
If you love the hustle and bustle of big cities, you'll love the energy in Rome, Milan, and Naples.
Would you like somewhere more quiet and isolated? Head to Tuscany and explore the medieval towns of Lucca, Siena, or Montepulciano.
When you visit Italy, you'll be astounded by the amount of diversity in a relatively small country.
9. Warm and Friendly People
Italians are known for being loud, animated, and friendly. We can confidently say that those stereotypes are true!
Even if you don't speak Italian (and they don't understand English), you'll have no trouble making friends in Italy. The locals are warm, hospitable, and love to share the beauty of their home country.
Don't be surprised if the owner of a trattoria comes out to chat with you over dinner. If there's a festival or a special event in town, expect the locals to pull you right in to join the party.
If possible, learn a few basic phrases of Italian before your trip. That way, when you visit Italy, you'll be ready to chat with your new friends.
10. Streets of Water
Of all the amazing and diverse cities in Italy, Venice is perhaps the most magical.
Where else on earth can you travel through a city on streets made of water?
This beautiful, ancient city contains no roads and no cars. You navigate the narrow alleys and bridges on foot. And if you get lost, don't worry--you're sure to discover something amazing in the process!
When you're finished exploring the maze of narrow footpaths, hop onto a vaporetto (water taxi) and cruise down the Grand Canal.
Better yet, hire a gondola to push you and your loved ones through the centuries-old waterways. Gaze in awe at the Renaissance mansions and enjoy being serenaded by your gondolier.
We guarantee you'll never want to return home.
Are You Ready to Visit Italy?
We could wax poetic about Italy all day long. You will, too, once you visit Italy and experience everything this amazing country has to offer.
So what are you waiting for? Turn your dream into a reality and book that plane ticket today!