As someone who’s been to Italy three times now and is still eager to go a fourth, fifth, and sixth time, I can tell you that it gets better and better every time. It’s such a diverse country, with sprawling vineyards, gorgeous lakes, towering mountains, and adorable villages. To help you plan a visit to Italy, I’ve listed the 40 things you will most want to do in Italy in the Ultimate Italian Bucket List!
(I’ve done 18 of these – they are starred below!)
1. Admire the colorful houses of Burano. Burano is probably the most colorful town in all of Italy (more so than even Cinque Terre or Positano!) and is right next to Venice.
2. *Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Legend says that if you do, you will come back to Rome.
3. *Eat the world’s best pizza in Naples. Where better to eat pizza than the actual origin of pizza?
4. Float in the mystical Blue Grotto. The Blue Grotto is a gorgeous cove off the coast of Capri in which the blue light reflects of the water.
5. Watch the sunset in Positano. The only thing that’s better than staying in dreamy Positano is watching the sunset there.
6. Fly down the cliffside roads of the Amalfi Coast in a vespa. Probably the most scenic roads in all of Italy, the cliffside roads of the Amalfi Coast are a must do.
7. *Wander among the ancient forum in Rome. The remains of the main forum of Rome back in ancient times lie in desolation in the middle of the modern city.
8. See the trulli at Alberobello. Trulli are cone shaped houses with white bases, and they’re so beautiful and unique that they were named a UNESCO World Heritage site!
9. *Visit St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. While not technically in Italy, as the Vatican is it’s whole separate country, being so close to Rome I think the Vatican is acceptable for this list.
10. Attend an opera in Arena di Verona. The Romans built this large and gorgeous ampitheatre in the first century, and the Italians still perform many large scale operas there today.
11. *Go shopping in Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. The shops here are extremely luxurious, and as a result most travelers (myself included) can only go window shopping.
12. *Ride the chair lift to the top of Capri. For 10 euros you can get the most incredible view and a fun chair lift experience to go with it!
Want to see more pictures of Capri? Check out my Capri Photo-Diary!
13. *Take that touristy picture with the Tower of Pisa. You know, that one where you pretend to be pushing it up? You know you want to do it.
14. *Sip wine straight from the vineyards of Tuscany. Seeing as this region of Italy is famous for its wine, it just makes sense to try Tuscan wine!
15. *Stroll down the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. It’s a medieval stone arch bridge across the Arno River that has stores literally hanging off the side.
16. *Explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Mt. Vesuvius buried these ruins when it erupted a thousand years ago and only recently have excavators dug up the ruins up.
17. *Celebrate Carnevale! Carnevale is an annual festival which takes place before Lent, usually in February or March. Everyone throws confetti everywhere and it’s incredibly fun.
18. Visit the picture-perfect town of Cefalù in Sicily. This town is so postcard worthy that it is the setting of many movies.
19. Write a letter on Juliet’s house in Verona. You can write a letter about your own love life and pin it to a bulletin board at Juliet’s house.
21. *Watch the horse race in Siena. While you’re at it, also go visit the Piazza there, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site!
20. *Marvel at the massive Colosseum. The Romans built the Colosseum 1000 years ago and it still stands in quite good condition today!
Want to know what else you can do in Rome? Read more in: “When in Rome: What to Do in the Eternal City”
22. *See Michelangelo’s famous statue of David in Florence. This is one of Michelangelo’s most famous works and is highly worth the visit.
23. Soak in the natural hot springs at Saturnia. Gorgeous and highly underrated, these hot springs are a must see!
24. Roam the peaceful gardens of the Villa d’Este in Tivoli. What used to be a 16th century villa is now a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site.
25. Visit the spectacular lake Pragser Wildsee. Its reflective surface and blue water make it absolutely picturesque.
26. *Visit Piazza San Marco in Venice. Otherwise known as St. Mark’s Square, Piazza San Marco is the main forum of Venice.
27. *Feed pigeons in front of the Milan Cathedral. And while you’re there might as well climb the cathedral too!
28. *Ride a gondola in Venice. It’s one of those iconic things that you simply have to do.
29. Hike the trails in Cinque Terre. Also be sure to take as many pictures as you can!
30. Watch glass making in Murano. Murano, like Burano (which it rhymes with), is also very close to Venice.
31. *Climb to the top of Duomo in Florence. You’ll find the most spectacular views of Florence from here.
32. Take a boat through the marvelous Lake Como. This lake provides dramatic scenery and stunning lakeside villas.
33. Browse the books at Acqua Alta bookstore, the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Get some shots for instagram and some new books to read!
34. Dine at Grotta Palazzese. You’ll definitely want to dine here because it’s a gorgeous restaurant inside a carved out limestone cave that also has a fantastic view of the sea.
35. Relax on the beaches of Rimini. The biggest beach resort on the Adriatic, Rimini is favored by locals and tourists alike.
36. Visit the ruins of Castello Doria. Located in Portovenere, the ruins of the Dorian Castle provide stunning views and some cool history!
37. Ski the Dolomites. The Dolomites are in northeastern Italy and are a part of the world famous Alps.
38. Hike Mt. Etna, Europe’s most active volcano. It’s also Europe’s tallest mountain!
39. Pretend you’re watching a play at Theater of Taormina in Sicily. These theaters date back tot he times of Ancient Greece!
40. Traipse along Lago di Garda. While you’re there, visit Limone sul Garda and Malcesine castle.
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How many of these Italian bucket list items have you done? Comment below!