Italy-a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s "David" and Brunelleschi's Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to the Italian consulate website: https://www.it.ckgs.ae/. Italy is part of the 26 Schengen State Countries.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options. Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette, and how shoppers can take advantage of VAT refunds.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things do & see:
Rome-capital city and a special comune of Italy as well as the capital of the Lazio region. The city has been a major human settlement for almost three millennia. With 2,860,009 residents in 1,285 km², it is also the country's most populated comune.
Vatican City- a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It's home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.
Florence- capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The Galleria dell'Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. The Uffizi Gallery exhibits Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”
Pisa- a city in Italy's Tuscany region best known for its iconic Leaning Tower. Already tilting when it was completed in 1372, the 56m white-marble cylinder is the bell tower of the Romanesque, striped-marble cathedral that rises next to it in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Also in the piazza is the Baptistry, whose renowned acoustics are demonstrated by amateur singers daily, and the Caposanto Monumentale cemetery.
Siena- a city in central Italy’s Tuscany region, is distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The fan-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, is the site of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. The city’s 17 historic “contrade” (districts) extend outward from the piazza.
Venice- capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Milan- metropolis in Italy's northern Lombardy region, is a global capital of fashion and design. Home to the national stock exchange, it’s a financial hub also known for its high-end restaurants and shops. The Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of art and culture.
Lake Como- Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate.
Positano- a cliffside village on southern Italy's Amalfi Coast. It's a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Its Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail links Positano to other coastal towns.
Naples- a city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples. Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed nearby Roman town Pompeii. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. The city's cathedral, the Duomo di San Gennaro, is filled with frescoes. Other major landmarks include the lavish Royal Palace and Castel Nuovo, a 13th-century castle.
Sorrento- a coastal town in southwestern Italy, facing the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Perched atop cliffs that separate the town from its busy marinas, it’s known for sweeping water views and Piazza Tasso, a cafe-lined square. The historic center is a warren of narrow alleys that's home to the Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church with a tranquil cloister.
Pompeii- a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, near the coast of the Bay of Naples. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The preserved site features excavated ruins of streets and houses that visitors can freely explore.
Verona- a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be “Juliet’s House." The Verona Arena is a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances.
Amalfi- a town in a dramatic natural setting below steep cliffs on Italy’s southwest coast. Between the 9th and 11th centuries, it was the seat of a powerful maritime republic. The Arab-Norman Sant'Andrea cathedral at the heart of town, with its striped Byzantine facade, survives from this era. The Museo Arsenale Amalfi is a medieval shipyard-turned-exhibition space.
Capri- an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather sandals. One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave. In summer, Capri's dramatic, cove-studded coastline draws many yachts.
Palermo- capital of the Italian island of Sicily. The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral houses royal tombs, while the huge neoclassical Teatro Massimo is known for opera performances. Also in the center are the Palazzo dei Normanni, a royal palace started in the 9th century, and the Cappella Palatina, with Byzantine mosaics.
Sardinia- a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. It has nearly 2,000km of coastline, sandy beaches and a mountainous interior crossed with hiking trails. Its rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of nuraghi – mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives. One of the largest and oldest nuraghi is Su Nuraxi in Barumini, dating to 1500 B.C.
Sicily- the largest Mediterranean island, is just off the "toe" of Italy's "boot." Its rich history is reflected in sites like the Valley of the Temples, the well-preserved ruins of 7 monumental, Doric-style Greek temples, and in the Byzantine mosaics at the Cappella Palatina, a former royal chapel in capital city Palermo. On Sicily’s eastern edge is Mount Etna, one of Europe’s highest active volcanoes.
Bologna- is the lively, historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. Its Piazza Maggiore is a sprawling plaza lined with arched colonnades, cafes and medieval and Renaissance structures such as City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio. Among the city’s many medieval towers are the Two Towers, leaning Asinelli and Garisenda.
Turin- is the capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy, known for its refined architecture and cuisine. The Alps rise to the northwest of the city. Stately baroque buildings and old cafes line Turin's boulevards and grand squares such as Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo. Nearby is the soaring spire of the Mole Antonelliana, a 19th-century tower housing the interactive National Cinema Museum.
Palermo- is the capital of the Italian island of Sicily. The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral houses royal tombs, while the huge neoclassical Teatro Massimo is known for opera performances. Also in the center are the Palazzo dei Normanni, a royal palace started in the 9th century, and the Cappella Palatina, with Byzantine mosaics. Busy markets include the central Ballarò street market and the Vucciria, near the port.
Genoa- (Genova) is a port city and the capital of northwest Italy's Liguria region. It's known for its central role in maritime trade over many centuries. In the old town stands the Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo, with its black-and-white-striped facade and frescoed interior. Narrow lanes open onto monumental squares like Piazza de Ferrari, site of an iconic bronze fountain and Teatro Carlo Felice opera house.
Catania- is an ancient port city on Sicily's east coast. It sits at the foot of Mt. Etna, an active volcano with trails leading up to the summit. The city's wide central square, Piazza del Duomo, features the whimsical Fontana dell'Elefante statue and richly decorated Catania Cathedral. In the southwest corner of the square, La Pescheria weekday fish market is a rowdy spectacle surrounded by seafood restaurants.
Bari- is a port city on the Adriatic Sea, and the capital of southern Italy’s Puglia region. Its mazelike old town, Barivecchia, occupies a headland between 2 harbors. Surrounded by narrow streets, the 11th-century Basilica di San Nicola, a key pilgrimage site, holds some of St. Nicholas’ remains. To the south, the Murat quarter has stately 19th-century architecture, a promenade and pedestrianized shopping areas.
Trieste- is the capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. A port city, it occupies a thin strip of land between the Adriatic coast and Slovenia’s border on the limestone-dominated Karst Plateau. Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influences are all evident in its layout, which encompasses a medieval old city and a neoclassical Austrian quarter.
Perugia- is an Italian city and the capital of the Umbria region. It’s known for its defensive walls around the historic center. The medieval Priori Palace exhibits regional art from the 13th century onward. Looking onto Piazza IV Novembre, the Gothic cathedral houses Renaissance paintings and frescoes. In the square's center, Fontana Maggiore is a marble fountain with carvings of biblical scenes and zodiac signs.
Lucca- is a city on the Serchio river in Italy’s Tuscany region. It’s known for the well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city center and its cobblestone streets. Broad, tree-lined pathways along the tops of these massive 16th- and 17th-century ramparts are popular for strolling and cycling. Casa di Puccini, where the great opera composer was born, is now a house museum.
Matera- is a city on a rocky outcrop in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. It includes the Sassi area, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside. Evacuated in 1952 due to poor living conditions, the Sassi now houses museums like the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, with period furniture and artisan tools. Nearby rock churches include St. Lucia alle Malve, with 13th-century frescoes.
Bergamo- is an Italian city northeast of Milan, in the Lombardy region. Its older upper district, called Città Alta, is characterized by cobblestone streets, encircled by Venetian walls and accessible by funicular. It's home to the Duomo di Bergamo, the city cathedral. Also here are the Romanesque Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the grand Cappella Colleoni, a chapel with 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo.
Padua- is a city in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s known for the frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel from 1303–05 and the vast 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony. The basilica, with its Byzantine-style domes and notable artworks, contains the namesake saint’s tomb. In Padua's old town are arcaded streets and stylish cafes frequented by students of the University of Padua, established in 1222.
Bolzano- is a city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, set in a valley amid hilly vineyards. It's a gateway to the Dolomites mountain range in the Italian Alps. In the medieval city center, the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology features the Neolithic mummy called Ötzi the Iceman. Nearby is the imposing 13th-century Mareccio Castle, and the Duomo di Bolzano cathedral with its Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Cagliari- is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia. It’s known for the hilltop Castello, a medieval walled quarter situated high over the rest of the town. Architectural highlights include the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral. Housed in a former arsenal, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari displays bronze objects, Roman ceramics and artifacts from the Nuragic age to the Byzantine era.
Lecce- is a city in Italy’s southern Apulia region. It's known for its baroque buildings. In the central Piazza del Duomo, the Cattedrale di Lecce has a double facade and a bell tower. The Basilica di Santa Croce features sculptures and a rose window. Nearby are the Sant’Oronzo Column, a Roman column topped with a bronze statue of the city’s patron saint, and the sunken Roman amphitheater.
Trento- is a city in the Trentino–Alto Adige region of northern Italy. It’s known for the Buonconsiglio Castle, home to late-medieval fresco cycles. Trento Cathedral, featuring a rose window and a baroque chapel, sits on Piazza Duomo. Also on the square is Casa Cazuffi-Rella, a Renaissance building with a frescoed facade. Southwest, MUSE is a science and natural history museum with high-tech exhibits.
Parma- is a university city in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, famed for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. Romanesque buildings, including the frescoed Parma Cathedral and the pink marble Baptistery, grace the city center. Classical concerts take place at the Teatro Regio, a 19th-century opera house. The Galleria Nazionale, inside the imposing Palazzo della Pilotta, displays works by painters Correggio and Canaletto.
Ravenna- is a city in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It's known for the colorful mosaics adorning many of its central buildings, like the octagonal Basilica di San Vitale, the 6th-century Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and the cross-shaped Mausoleo di Galla Placidia. North of the center, the Mausoleo di Teodorico built in the 6th century for King Theodoric the Great, is a Gothic, circular stone tomb with a monolithic dome.
Vicenza- is a city in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. It’s known for the elegant buildings designed by the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio. These include the Palladian Basilica and the Palazzo Chiericati, now home to an art gallery. Nearby, also by Palladio, the Teatro Olimpico replicates a classic outdoor theater, indoors. On the outskirts of town, the hilltop Villa La Rotonda has 4 identical facades.
Messina- is a harbor city in northeast Sicily, separated from mainland Italy by the Strait of Messina. It’s known for the Norman Messina Cathedral, with its Gothic portal, 15th-century windows and an astronomical clock on the bell tower. Nearby are marble fountains decorated with mythological figures, like the Fontana di Orione, with its carved inscriptions, and the Neptune Fountain, topped by a statue of the sea god.
Syracuse- is a city on the Ionian coast of Sicily, Italy. It's known for its ancient ruins. The central Archaeological Park Neapolis comprises the Roman Amphitheater, the Teatro Greco and the Orecchio di Dionisio, a limestone cave shaped like a human ear. The Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi exhibits terracotta artifacts, Roman portraits and Old Testament scenes carved into white marble.
Ancona- is a city on Italy’s Adriatic coast and the capital of the Marche region. It’s known for beaches, such as Passetto Beach, and the hilltop Cathedral of San Ciriaco. In the city center, the Fontana del Calamo is a fountain with bronze masks of mythic figures. In the port are the ancient Arch of Trajan and the Lazzaretto, or Mole Vanvitelliana, an 18th-century pentagonal quarantine station on its own island.
Portofino- is a fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline, southeast of Genoa city. Pastel-colored houses, high-end boutiques and seafood restaurants fringe its Piazzetta, a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor, which is lined with super-yachts. A path leads from the Piazzetta to Castello Brown, a 16th-century fortress and museum with art exhibitions and panoramic views of the town and the Ligurian Sea.
Treviso- is a city in northeastern Italy with many canals. On the central Piazza dei Signori is the Palazzo dei Trecento, with battlements and vaulted arcades. The Fontana delle Tette is a 16th-century fountain that used to dispense wine. Nearby, the Duomo features a neoclassical facade, Romanesque crypt and a painting by Titian. The Civic Museums’ main site, the St. Catherine complex, has medieval frescoes.
Modena- is a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It’s known for its balsamic vinegar and opera heritage, plus Ferrari and Lamborghini sports cars. The Enzo Ferrari Museum has exhibits on the life and work of the car designer, in his childhood home, plus iconic models in a futuristic building. In the 18th-century Museum Palace is the Estense Gallery, with works by Tintoretto and Correggio, plus a bust by Bernini.
Agrigento- is a hilltop city on Sicily's southwest shore. It's known for the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas in the Valley of the Temples, a vast archaeological site with well-preserved Greek temples. On the modern city's outskirts is the Museo Archeologico Regionale 'Pietro Griffo', with artifacts and a telamon (giant male figure). West lies Scala dei Turchi, a stepped white cliff overlooking sandy beaches.
Rimini- is a city on the Adriatic coast, in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It's known for its beachside nightclubs and shallow waters. South of the center, the Malatestiano Temple is a 15th-century reconstruction of an old Franciscan church, now a mausoleum for Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, a local nobleman. Nearby, the Malatesta-built Castel Sismondo is a medieval fortress now used for cultural events.
Brescia- is a city in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. On the eastern outskirts is the San Salvatore–Santa Giulia complex. This former monastery includes a basilica, cloisters and the Santa Giulia Museum, with items including Roman bronzes and medieval frescoes. On Cidneo Hill, Brescia Castle has a drawbridge and ramparts, plus the Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum, exhibiting ancient weapons and armor.
Taranto- is a coastal city in southern Italy. It lies between the Mar Grande (Big Sea) and Mar Piccolo (Little Sea) bodies of water. Bridges link the mainland to the old town, on a small island. This is home to the 15th-century Aragonese Castle, the Spartan Museum of Taranto, and San Cataldo Basilica, with a baroque facade. The MArTA Archaeological Museum has a collection of artifacts from prehistory to the Middle Ages.
Piacenza- is a city in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region. In its central Piazza Cavalli are 2 equestrian statues and the medieval Gothic Palace. A copper angel rotates atop the bell tower of Piacenza Cathedral. The nearby Sant’Antonino Basilica has an 8-sided tower and 17th-century frescoes, plus a portal known as Heaven’s Gate, with a rose window. The Farnese Palazzo Civic Museums house sculptures and weapons.
Ferrara- is a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It’s known for the buildings erected by its Renaissance rulers, the Este family. These include the moated Este Castle, with its lavish private chambers. The family also built the Diamanti Palace, which is clad in diamond-shaped marble blocks and home to the National Picture Gallery. The Romanesque Ferrara Cathedral has a 3-tiered facade and a marble bell tower.
Cremona- is a city in Italy’s Lombardy region. The Stradivarius collection at the Violin Museum testifies to the city’s violin-making heritage. On Piazza del Comune are the Cremona Cathedral, with its Renaissance arcade, and the 8-sided Baptistery. Also on the square, the Torrazzo bell tower has an astronomical clock. The portico of the 13th-century Loggia dei Militi has a statue of 2 Hercules figures.
Mantua- is a city surrounded by 3 artificial lakes in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. It's known for the architectural legacy of the Renaissance Gonzaga rulers, who built the Ducal Palace. This imposing building houses the Bridal Chamber, decorated with Andrea Mantegna frescoes. The Gonzagas also built the Te Palace, known for the Chamber of the Giants, where every surface is painted with mythological scenes.
Livorno- is an Italian port city on the west coast of Tuscany. It's known for its seafood, Renaissance-era fortifications and modern harbor with a cruise ship port. Its central Terrazza Mascagni, a waterside promenade with checkerboard paving, is the city's main gathering place. The bastions of the 16th-century Fortezza Vecchia face the harbor and open onto Livorno's canal-laced Venezia Nuova quarter.
Catanzaro- also known as the "City of the two Seas", is an Italian city of 91,000 inhabitants, the capital of the Calabria region and of its province and the second most populated comune of the region, behind Reggio Calabria. The archbishop's seat was the capital of the province of Calabria Ultra for over 200 years.
Udine- is a city in northeastern Italy. The hilltop Udine Castle is home to several museums and an art gallery with works by Tiepolo and Caravaggio. It has views of the city and surrounding mountains. The central Piazza della Libertà has Renaissance buildings, including the pink-and-white-marble Loggia del Lionello and a clock tower. Udine Cathedral has a baroque interior and a museum of religious decorative arts.
L'Aquila- is a city and comune in central Italy. It is the capital city of both the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. As of 2013, it has a population of 70,967 inhabitants.
Calcio Storico-54 footballers dressed in ancient costumes give themselves up to the game to glorify their historic district.
Gelaterias-Don't jump to say you dislike ice-cream until you've been to Roman gelateria—these recipes have lived through centuries
Mount Etna-For over half a million years mount Etna has been in a state of continuous eruption
Zucchini Blossom-Fried zucchini blossoms, stuffed with cheese, is a masterpiece of the Italian cuisine.
Roman Pasta-Don't hesitate to try Rome's world-famous pasta. Bucatini all’amatriciana, spaghetti alla carbonara, tagliatelle cacio e pepe—these are a must!
Bougainvillea Bloom-Rome's streets become even more romantic when houses are covered by vibrant bougainvillea in bloom
Vespa Scooter Tours-Ever dream of riding like the wind with an Italian beau or belle? The teenage dream can come true!
Napoli Pizza Village-The festival of the most known Italian dish
Game of the Bridge (Gioco del Ponte)-This most spectacular tradition in Pisa celebrates the great medieval history
Trulli of Alberobello-One of Italy's best-kept tourist secrets
Beach Season on the Amalfi Coast-Visit beautiful Amalfi Coast for some awesome swimming. Turquoise water and plenty of shade make Tuscan beaches a dream summer getaway
Sunflower Fields-These large yellow flowers will please your eye throughout the summer
Panzanella-This is the summer taste of rural Tuscany.
La Sciuta di San Sebastiano-The celebration of San Sebastiano in Sicily can easily top every patron saint festival in the whole Italy
Easter Explosion of the Cart-Easter in Florence is memorable for splendid fireworks display
Carnevale Venezia-A party that simply can't be missed
Fiera del Cacio-The cheese fair held in the birthplace of pecorino itself offers the best selection of world-famous Tuscan cheese
Palio di Siena-A picturesque horse race in the heart of historical Siena
Sea Urchins-Sea urchins, also known as sea hedgehogs, are a cool weather delicacy
Skiing & Snowboarding-A lovely small ski resort close to Florence—Abetone
Birdwatching-Numerous birds choose Tuscany as their temporary winter home
Palio della Balestra-This medieval crossbow competition is a real celebration of the Renaissance era
Bravio delle Botti-A fun wine barrel race in a picturesque old town of Montepulciano
Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen)-Feel the medieval spirit during this ancient knight competition held twice a year in the city of Arezzo
Olive Harvest-Live the life of a Tuscan farmer participating in traditional harvest activities