Continuing on from our 8 Favourite Places to Visit in Italy part 1 we now explore cities and a region on the west coast of Italy that we recommend and our personal ‘Must Do’ places to visit in Italy. (in the future, we will do a story on the cities in the south of Italy including the island of Sicily. For now, we will start in Rome and head north, finishing in the Cinque Terra region, where I am while I write this feature for you.
Let’s not forget a visit to the capital of Italy and The Vatican! You simply must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Sistine Chapel… along with hundreds of more beautiful places. Make sure to spend at least a few days in Rome, we were there for 3 days and barely got to all that we wanted to see! One important thing you should do.
Go and get lost!
I’m serious… I’m not being rude. Just step out in the morning, turn your phone to silent or better yet airplane mode and set out into the streets of Rome and let destiny take you where it will!
We did this very thing one day and while wandering around, we came across a painting that we were convinced was our little Vita! I’m still shocked by how much this painting looked like her while she played with a fountain only the day before we saw it there.
One of the best things you can do in Rome is to get lost. Find a local and ask for directions, try asking them whether there is something nearby that they think you should have a look at, if you’re a foodie, hit the back streets. Prices tend to be lower and the food much better.
There are so many within 10 minutes of the main attractions that the problem will be choosing which one to go to. But there is an easy solution to this, go to the business ones, get into the crowd and strike up a conversation with the friendliest looking ones there! You will have an amazing time in Rome!
Tuscany for us was a great place to stop that was not in a city and we had a very specific target there we wanted to visit no matter what.
Terma di Saturnia, a hot spring of iconic beauty, a perfect place to have a little break from the hectic sight-seeing of Italy’s cities, and one of our favorite places to visit in Italy.
The countryside is littered with rustic Italian charm by way of restaurants, B&B’s and Osteria’s. We have stayed many a night now in that region, near our favorite Terma and slept in some beautiful Tuscan houses. It is a great way to see the other side of Italy and be away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. If you do visit ‘our‘ terma, be sure to get there as early so you can to beat the crowds.
See more pictures from our mornings at Terma Di Saturnia.
Pisa, like Florence, is quite a small Italian city. Of course, it has the Iconic leaning tower that dates back some 700 years! The city of Pisa is on our list of places to visit in Italy because of this most iconic symbols of Italy. It can easily be added on to a trip to Terma di Saturnia from Rome. It’s also on your way to the Cinque Terre (where I am right now while writing this post).
It’s also another great place for eating gelato. Ok, I know I have mentioned this about a lot of places in Italy but I love gelato!
Pisa was the only place where we were passed a faked €20 note in all our travels around Europe. So be wary of the vendors just outside the entrance to the monument. They are probably run by the Mafia as a way to palm off counterfeit notes to unsuspecting tourists. That tower is truly a sight to see. I was told that it actually started leaning before it was even completed… I guess in Italy like in so many other places around the world, some things never change!
If you want to plan a trip to Pisa, take a look at our photo session right here.
Cinque Terre is gorgeous. It is also rather difficult to get to but is absolutely worth the trouble to do so. It might look like it is at the bottom of the list of our favourite places to visit in Italy. Being the last in the list, but it really isn’t.
We have spent delicious lazy days by the sea here. Soaking in the best of that wonderful relaxed Italian lifestyle. Cinque Terre is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle.
Good food, good wine, and good company. All part of the ‘dolce vita’ (sweet life) lifestyle the region is famous for.
Cinque Terra is a rugged coastline that consists of five iconic coastal towns. This beautiful region demands to be explored over a few days. Please give yourself at least that long in your itinerary. Stay in any of the five towns. Catch the train one way and walk the coastal path between them on the way back. These towns are like a string of delightful Italian pearls and are truly breathtaking! You can also stay in Le Spezia or Portovenere. The latter of which is also like any of the towns of the Cinque Terra. They are at the southern end of that coastline and famous for its history with the poet Lord Byron.
See our photo post of Cinque Terre and Portovenere, and our Youtube video of the same.