Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Italy 2018 (With Photos & Videos)

Italy is regarded as the birthplace of the European Renaissance. She had reached the acme level of any form of art in the Renaissance. Painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, science are not only flourished here but also influence all over Europe and the rest of the world. No wonder, people all around the world have a certain desire for visiting the top tourist attractions in Italy.

Venice and Florence were the centers of practicing art and culture in Italy, in fact, the whole of Europe. They are the home of some greatest artist like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Sandro Botticelli. For her rich artistic background, Italy has become one of the greatest attraction for the centuries. The country also features wonderful beaches, mountains, and alpine lakes. These scenic beauties earn her the nickname the BelPaese (beautiful country).

Tourist Attractions in Italy:

It is not an easy job to select only 10 beautiful places for tourism in Italy. This following list, however, should provide a good scenario of, why over forty million tourists visit Italy every year?

10. San Gimignano

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, San Gimignano
San Gimignano; image credit – Wikimedia/cfwee

Familiar as the Town of the fine Tower, San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north central. The village is known for its medieval architecture, especially unique 14 stone towers. More than 70 towers were built to defend the town against the enemy at the height of San Gimignano’s wealth and power. In 1348, the city was devastated by the historic plague. After that San Gimignano’s power faded away but still listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Major attractions in San Gimignano:

  • Explore the ruins of the 14th-century fortress, La Rocca di Montestaffoli
  • Porta San Giovanni: most beautiful ancient doors of Italy
  • Climb the tallest tower, Torre Grossa at 54 meters
  • Find  specialty food, wine, leather, and ceramic shops

9. Manarola (Cinque Terre)

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Manarola (Cinque Terre)
Manarola (Cinque Terre); image credit – Wikimedia/Pank Seelen

Manarola is one of the oldest towns in Cinque Terre in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. The city is famous for fishing and winemaking. Manarola with its other lands comprises of five villages noted for their beauty. In recent years she becomes one of the important tourist attractions in Italy. Tourist around from Italy and other places come here with families for hiking. And you must keep in mind that Cars can’t reach the town from the outside.

Major attractions in Manarola:

  • Enjoy the epic sunset with Wine at Nessun Dorma
  • Don’t miss to get the iconic shot of Manarola’s colorful cliff-side homes
  • Visit Da Aristide up the hill

8. Leaning Tower of Pisa

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa; image credit – Wikimedia/Mstyslav Chernov

Built over a period of about 177 years, the world-famous Pisa Tower never forgets to charm its visitors. The towers amazing tilt on one side is not intentional, but a result of a poor foundation. For this, the construction work was abandoned for a century. It came into life when the brilliant engineer found a way to continue the construction.

The engineers built higher floors with one side taller than the other to compensate for the tilt and the tower was finally completed in the 2nd half of the 14th century. The famous tower in Pisa is again open to those wishing to climb its 296 steps since 2001.

Major attractions at Leaning Tower of Pisa:

  •  Piazza del Duomo and around the Tower
  • Visit the Baptistery of San Giovanni
  • Explore the Camposanto & Museo delle Sinopie

7. Lake Como (Italian Lake District)

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Lake Como (Italian Lake District)
Lake Como (Italian Lake District); image credit – Wikimedia/Joyborg

If you want some fresh air, water with some great view, Lake Como should be on your list in 2018. It is the third largest lake in Italy. Shaped like an inverted V, the lake also one of the deepest one in Europe. Gifted with a mild weather, it has always been selected as a retreat for wealthy people and now a great tourist attraction place.

The lake’s scenic beauty is so fascinating that one can’t avert his eyes. As a target of aristocratic and wealthy people, there has been built some wonderful villas that also become a subject of tourist attraction. Most of the villas are built in Roman time. There is also a white beach and a castle. The tourist can find here many admirable gardens too.

Major attractions in Lake Como:

  • Visit the beautiful Cathedral, Duomo of Como
  • Villa del Balbianello: flowers garden, 16th-century building
  • Take a short trip with Taxi-Boat Varenna
  • Oldest Church Basilica of Sant’Abbondio
  • Don’t miss the motorcycle museum
  • Take the boat to Bellagio

6. Positano (Amalfi Coast)

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Positano (Amalfi Coast)
Positano (Amalfi Coast); image credit – Wikimedia/Mihael Grmek

Positano is a small village on the Amalfi Coast, a stretch of coastline popular for its rugged terrain, diversity and scenic beauty. In medieval time Positano was a port of the Amalfi Republic. Although flourished in 16 or 17 century, the city lost its prosperity and its population was half gone. It was author John Steinbeck to whom the village is indebted forever because people were attracted to this place from his writing and made once faded village into a major tourist attraction in Italy.

Things to do in Positano:

  • Swimming in the crystal clear waters
  • shop or have fantastic seafood meals
  • Visit the art galleries
  • Don’t miss the Santa Maria Church
  • Hike to the path of the Gods
  • Dance the night away

5. Pompeii

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Pompeii
Pompeii; image credit – Wikimedia/Wknight94

Pompeii, a city that sounds as mythical as one can be is well-known for its complete destruction on volcano eruption. On August 24, 79 AD, the volcano Vesuvius erupted, covering the nearby town Pompeii with ash and soil, and eventually preserving the city in its state from that tragic day.

Jars and tables to paintings and people everything was frozen in that time. Its excavation has been added a great chapter in history as we can know a great deal about the insight into the life of people living two thousand years ago. Around 2,500,000 visitors come here at this historic ruins every year.

Major attractions in Pompeii:

  • Temple of Jupiter
  • Teatro Grande theater of 5,000 spectators seats
  • Terme Stabiane, preserved baths
  • House of the Lovers: Menander
  • Visit the wall paintings, Nuovi Scavi
  • The Garden of fugitives of Pompeii
  • House of the Tragic Poet

4. Piazza del Campo

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Piazza del Campo
Piazza del Campo; image credit – Wikimedia/Massimo Catarinella

Piazza del Campo is considered as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. It is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany. Piazza del Campo is famous worldwide for its architectural integrity and extraordinary beauty. There is a famous tower and a famous fountain here. The fountain’s name is “Fonte Gaja” which means the tear of joy. A horse race is held around the edge of Piazza in twice a year.

Major attractions in Piazza del Campo:

  • Palazzo Pubblico: home of the famous Government of Nine
  • Torre del Mangia: 102 meters tall to the tip of the lightning rod
  • Visit the evocative marble carvings od Fonte Gaia

3. Santa Maria del Fiore

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Santa Maria del Fiore
Santa Maria del Fiore; image credit – Wikimedia/Bruce Stokes

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the main church of Florence. The beautiful cathedral is the symbol of the city, construction began in 1296 in the Gothic style and finished in 1436. The building is a part of World Heritage sites. The dome of the Basilica church was the largest in the world once. In fact, it is still the largest brick-built dome. The church was dedicated to Saint Reparata.

Major attractions in Santa Maria del Fiore:

  • Visit the Exterior and the interior of the famous Cathedral
  • various sculptures, paintings, and frescoes at the Aisles and Apses
  • The Sacristies
  • Giotto Campanile (Bell Tower)
  • San Miniato al Monte

2. Colosseum

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Colosseum
Colosseum; image credit – Wikimedia/Andreas Tille

The Colosseum is the largest and most famous amphitheater ever built. It is also known as the Flavian amphitheater. Its construction was started by Roman emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty in 72 AD and was finished by his son Titus in 80 AD.  Over 9,000 wild animals were killed during the inaugural games of the amphitheater.

The Colosseum was capable of housing about 50,000 spectators who could enter the building through more than 80 entrances. The Colosseum was used to host gladiatorial shows as well as a variety of other events. Spectators were protected from the rain and heat of the sun by sails called the “velarium”, around the top of the attic. It has become an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome.

Major attractions of Colosseum:

  • Colosseum Outer Wall
  • Colosseum Interior
  • The Hypogeum
  • Arch of Constantine

1. Canals of Venice

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Italy, Canals of Venice
Canals of Venice; image credit – Wikimedia/FlickrLickr

In order to picture Venice, one has to picture all those beautiful canals in the city of Vince, quite famous as the city of water. The city has become a role model for other canal covered cities around the world. When tourists enjoy the city site sitting on the boat, they must get lost in the depth of cities marvelous beauty. It has about 150 canals all over the city. But Venice is not only known for its canal, its architectural antiquity and uniqueness are also bewildering.

Major attractions in Venice:

  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs
  • Of course, take a boat trip at Canale Grande (grand canal)
  • Visit Piazza San Marco & Rialto Bridge

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