Italy: Top 5 things to do in each major city, including must see tours and reputable guides.

We've listed the top things to do in each major city across Italy, so if you're planning a trip this guide will help make sure you don't miss any of the big attractions.

In our experience we found that due to the high level of popularity of some of these iconic sights, they can sometimes get booked up days in advance. Therefore we recommend booking tours ahead of time through a reputable tour provider so you get to see things like the underground level of the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel and definitely book a toured guide through the Uffizi Gallery and the Statue of David in Florence.

Find tours to book in advance through two reputable booking sites, like Tiquets or Tripadvisor. We are not affiliated or paid to promote these websites, we genuinely have used them both and they're priced correctly, run smoothly and have thousands of reviews.



The capital of Italy, is a city rich in history, culture, and iconic landmarks. Here are five things to do when visiting Rome:

  1. Explore the Colosseum: The Colosseum is one of Rome's most famous landmarks and an incredible testament to Roman engineering and architecture. Visit this ancient amphitheater, where gladiator battles once took place, and take a guided tour to learn about its history. We found that booking tickets in advance was a popular thing to do, if you're looking to secure your tours from reputable operators we recommend, this website.

  2. Visit the Vatican City: Explore the Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world and the center of the Roman Catholic Church. Key attractions within the Vatican include St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's masterpieces), and St. Peter's Square. St. Peters Basilica queue was not skippable, which meant you have to wait in what looks like a 1km long queue but fear not, it goes down relatively quickly. Once you get through security, there is tourist office where you can book a guided tour, we highly recommend this due to the complexity of the history of each sculpture and painting it holds.

  3. Wander through the Roman Forum: Discover the heart of ancient Rome at the Roman Forum. Explore the ruins of temples, arches, and government buildings that once made up the political and social center of the Roman Empire. Don't forget to visit the nearby Palatine Hill, where Rome's legendary founders, Romulus and Remus, are said to have been raised by a she-wolf.

  4. Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain: Legend has it that if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, you'll ensure your return to Rome. This iconic baroque fountain is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a beautiful work of art. It's unbelievably busy with crowds, from dawn to dusk, so keep that in mind.

  5. Stroll through the historic center: Take a leisurely walk through Rome's historic center, where you'll encounter charming streets, beautiful piazzas, and historical landmarks at every turn. Be sure to visit the Pantheon, a remarkably well-preserved ancient Roman temple, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Piazza Navona.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Rome. The city is also famous for its delicious Italian cuisine, so don't forget to savor traditional Roman dishes like pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe, and gelato while you explore the Eternal City.

Warning: A common scam in Rome, and unfortunately across Italy is for restaurants to give you an unpriced or differently priced menu when you sit down, then once you've eaten, the bill shows that your meal is 4-5 times more expensive. You can ask to see the menu again, but they show you a different menu with the higher prices. In these occasions it's recommended you call the police, but they can sometimes take a long time to arrive while waiters become more aggressive towards you to pay. Instances like this can ruin a good holiday experience so we highly advise you to check the restaurants on Google Maps before you eat. Each restaurant comes with a rating out of 5 stars, and the scam restaurants often have less than 3.5 stars, and aren't in business for very long, so please pay attention and research the restaurants before you sit down to eat. Even the small luncheon cafes.

Our Rome Travel Patch



A unique and enchanting city known for its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and romantic ambiance. Here are five things to do when visiting Venice:

  1. Take a Gondola Ride: Venice is famous for its winding canals, and taking a traditional gondola ride is a must. Glide through the narrow waterways, passing under charming bridges and alongside historic buildings while a gondolier serenades you with traditional songs. Gondola rides are around 30 minutes long and costs approximetely 150.

  2. Visit St. Mark's Square: St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) is the heart of Venice and home to several must-see attractions. Visit St. Mark's Basilica, an exquisite example of Byzantine architecture, and the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), which offers guided tours of its opulent interior.

  3. Tour the Grand Canal: Hop on a vaporetto (water bus) or take a water taxi for a scenic ride along the Grand Canal. This iconic waterway is lined with stunning palaces, churches, and colorful buildings, making it one of the most picturesque experiences in Venice.

  4. Explore the Rialto Bridge and Market: Visit the historic Rialto Market to experience the vibrant local culture. Browse through stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, and local products. Nearby, you'll find the famous Rialto Bridge, a great spot for photos. Arguably the most instagramed photo in Venice.

  5. Visit the Islands of Murano and Burano: Take a boat trip to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano. Murano is renowned for its glassblowing artisans, where you can watch demonstrations and purchase exquisite glassware. Burano is known for its colorful houses and lace-making tradition, making it a charming and photogenic destination. Doing a guided tour of the two islands including boats is around €30 per person.

Bonus tip: Venice is a city best explored on foot, so be sure to wander through its labyrinthine streets, known as "calli," to discover hidden gems, local shops, and authentic Venetian eateries. Enjoy some traditional Venetian cuisine, such as seafood risotto and cicchetti (small snacks), at a local osteria or trattoria along the way.

Venice's unique beauty and cultural treasures make it a remarkable destination, and exploring the city's canals and historic sites is sure to create lasting memories.

Our Venice Travel Patch



The capital of Italy's Tuscany region, is a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage, art, and beautiful surrounding countryside. Here are five things to do in Florence, including a trip into the Tuscan countryside:

  1. Visit the Florence Cathedral (Duomo): Explore the Florence Cathedral, known as Il Duomo di Firenze. Climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Be sure to also visit the adjacent Baptistery and Giotto's Bell Tower. Climbing to the top of the Florence Cathedral and walking around the famous Dome is only allowed through a tour. These can either be booked in advance for around 50 via, and they fill up exceptionally fast as there are limited spaces. When we were there there were no tickets for the next two days, and on the third day the tickets were priced at 180. So if this is something of interest to you, please book in advance.

  2. Explore the Uffizi Gallery: The Uffizi Gallery is home to one of the world's most impressive collections of Renaissance art. Marvel at works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and many others. We highly recommend booking tickets in advance to skip the lines, and a guided tour which lasts around 2 hours is strongly advised so that you can listen to indepth stories about some of the most famous paintings and sculptures in the world and their history.

  3. Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio: This historic bridge over the Arno River is famous for its jewelry shops and stunning architecture. It's a picturesque spot for a leisurely walk and offers beautiful views of the river and city.

  4. Take a Trip into the Tuscan Countryside (See Sienna, San Gimignano and The Leaning tower of Pisa): While in Florence, venture into the surrounding Tuscan countryside for a day trip. You can explore charming Tuscan villages like San Gimignano, known for its medieval towers, or head to the Chianti wine region to tour wineries and enjoy wine tastings. The rolling hills and vineyard landscapes are incredibly scenic. You can do a day trip from Florence to see all of these iconic spots, including lunch at a Tuscan farm overlooking the rolling hills. This is our most recommended trip to do while in Florence, you can book it through the highly reputable Tripadvisor Tours by clicking here.

  5. Visit the Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace: Spend time in the Boboli Gardens, an enchanting Renaissance garden behind the Pitti Palace. These beautifully landscaped gardens offer a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Pitti Palace itself, which houses several museums and historic rooms.

Bonus tip: Don't forget to savor Tuscan cuisine in Florence. Try local dishes like ribollita (a hearty soup), bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak), and pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup) at authentic trattorias and restaurants in the city. A full sized Florentine steak to share between two from a top restaurant will cost around 70 per person, without any drinks or sides.

Florence is a city filled with art, history, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for culture enthusiasts and those looking to explore the picturesque Tuscan countryside.

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The fashion and financial hub of Italy, offers a mix of modernity and history. Here are five things to do in Milan:

  1. Visit the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano): Explore the stunning Milan Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. You can climb to the rooftop terraces for panoramic views of the city, and don't miss the chance to admire the intricate details of the cathedral's interior.

  2. See Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper": Book tickets in advance to view Leonardo da Vinci's famous mural, "The Last Supper," located in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It's an iconic work of art and a must-see for art enthusiasts.

  3. Stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: This elegant shopping arcade, often referred to as the "Salotto di Milano" (Milan's drawing room), is a historic and glamorous place to shop, dine, and people-watch. It connects Piazza del Duomo and La Scala Opera House.

  4. Explore the Brera District: Discover the Brera neighborhood, known for its artistic and bohemian atmosphere. Visit the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery featuring works by Italian masters, and explore the charming streets filled with cafes, boutiques, and art studios.

  5. Attend a Performance at La Scala Opera House: Experience world-class opera and ballet at La Scala, one of the most renowned opera houses in the world. Even if you can't catch a performance, consider taking a guided tour to admire its opulent interior.

Bonus tip: Milan is famous for its fashion and shopping. Don't miss the chance to explore the upscale shopping district known as the "Quadrilatero della Moda," where you'll find designer boutiques and luxury brands.

Milan's blend of art, culture, and modernity makes it a captivating destination for travelers interested in history, fashion, and the arts.

Our Milan Embroidered Iron-on Travel Patch



Located in southern Italy, is a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and proximity to stunning coastal destinations. Here are five things to do in Naples, including a day trip to the Amalfi Coast:

  1. Explore the Historic Center (Centro Storico): Wander through the narrow streets of Naples' historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover charming piazzas, churches, and local markets. Be sure to visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Greco-Roman artifacts, including relics from the nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum.

  2. Savor Authentic Neapolitan Pizza: Naples is the birthplace of pizza, and you must indulge in a traditional Neapolitan pizza while you're here. Visit a local pizzeria and savor classics like Margherita or Marinara pizza made with the freshest ingredients.

  3. Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum: Take a day trip to the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Explore the remarkably preserved ruins, including homes, streets, and temples, to get a glimpse into daily life during Roman times.

  4. Tour Castel dell'Ovo: Visit the Castel dell'Ovo (Egg Castle), a historic seaside fortress located on the Gulf of Naples. Explore the castle grounds, enjoy scenic views of the coastline, and learn about its legends and history.

  5. Take a Day Trip to the Amalfi Coast: Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Amalfi Coast, a short drive or train ride from Naples. Visit picturesque towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, each offering stunning coastal views, colorful architecture, and the opportunity to relax on scenic beaches. Consider hiring a local driver to navigate the winding coastal roads and enjoy the spectacular scenery without the stress of driving.

The Amalfi Coast day trip is a highlight for many visitors to Naples, offering a chance to explore one of Italy's most iconic coastal regions. Whether you're interested in history, cuisine, or natural beauty, Naples has a diverse range of attractions to explore.

Our Naples Embroidered Iron-on Travel Patch



Often referred to as "La Dotta" (The Learned), "La Grassa" (The Fat), and "La Rossa" (The Red) due to its prestigious university, delicious cuisine, and terracotta buildings, is a captivating city in Italy. Here are five things to do in Bologna:

  1. Visit Piazza Maggiore: Start your exploration at the heart of Bologna, Piazza Maggiore. This historic square is surrounded by impressive buildings, including the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the largest churches in the world. Admire the Fountain of Neptune and the Palazzo d'Accursio, which houses the city's administrative offices.

  2. Climb the Asinelli Tower: Ascend the iconic Asinelli Tower, one of the Two Towers of Bologna. The climb is steep but rewarding, offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding hills. It's a great way to appreciate Bologna's medieval skyline.

  3. Explore the Porticoes: Bologna is famous for its porticoes, covered walkways that stretch for kilometers through the city. Wander through these historic archways and explore charming neighborhoods like the Santo Stefano district, which is known for its seven churches.

  4. Savor Traditional Bolognese Cuisine: Bologna is renowned for its rich and hearty cuisine. Try classic dishes like tagliatelle al ragù (Bolognese sauce), tortellini in brodo (stuffed pasta in broth), and mortadella. Visit local trattorias and osterias for an authentic culinary experience.

  5. Discover the Archiginnasio of Bologna: Visit the Archiginnasio of Bologna, once the main building of the University of Bologna. Inside, you'll find the stunning Anatomical Theatre, which was used for anatomy lectures and dissections. The surrounding corridors are adorned with coats of arms of former professors and students.

Bonus tip: Bologna is also a great base for exploring the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region. Consider taking day trips to nearby towns like Modena (known for its balsamic vinegar), Parma (famous for Parmesan cheese and prosciutto), and Ravenna (home to stunning Byzantine mosaics).

Bologna's rich history, vibrant culture, and culinary delights make it an excellent destination for travelers seeking a blend of art, cuisine, and history in an authentic Italian setting.