Stretching north of the capital of Rome, northern Italy is home to Italy's most visited regions, teeming with historic cities, vine-covered hills, and iconic monuments. Whether you're flying in for a weekend getaway or covering more ground on a multi-day tour, here's where to go.
With up to 10 million annual visitors, Rome is sure to be on your Italian itinerary. The Eternal City offers endless delights, from the ancient glory of the Colosseum and Roman Forum to the magnificence of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, plus photo-worthy landmarks including the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.
Florence & Tuscany
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a feast for any art and history buff. After marveling over masterpieces at the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia), head out to explore the hill towns of Tuscany, stopping to enjoy wine tasting, tuck into Tuscan cuisine, visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and see towns such as Siena, Lucca, San Gimignano, and Pienza.
Venice & Veneto
Few places match the romance of Venice, where you can glide down the Grand Canal on a gondola tour, enjoy a wine tour of the surrounding vineyards, or take a day tour to see Romeo and Juliet's balcony in Verona.
Bologna and Emilia-Romagna
Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region are Italy's foodie heartlands and home to world-famous car brands Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Get your adrenaline pumping on a thrilling test drive, then over-indulge with regional specialties—parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar, tortellini, and lasagna are all on the menu.
Cinque Terre & Liguria
The tiny villages along Liguria's coast known as the Cinque Terre have been popular among tourists for decades, and you can't go wrong with a holiday along the Italian Riviera. The area is now a national park with lots of cliffside hiking to do, and each town has its own personality. Elsewhere in Liguria, the historic center of Genoa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and glamorous Portofino also make the must-see list.
Milan & the Italian Lakes
Italy's fashion capital needs little introduction, so be sure to pack your credit card if you plan to hit the shops. After taking in Milan attractions such as the Duomo and Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, explore the surrounding lakelands, where highlights include the stunning Lago Maggiore, lush Borromeo Islands, and the town of Stresa.