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Our top five unmissable Italian cities

5th November, 2020

Italy’s cities are its showpieces where you’ll not only find ancient ruins and grand historic buildings, but state-of-the-art architecture, modern museums and art galleries and world-renowned restaurants.

Here are our top five cities that will take your heart and not disappoint.

Florence - The Cradle of the Renaissance

Enjoy spectacular views of Florence

The UNESCO-protected capital of Tuscany is one of the world’s most beautiful treasures as not only can incredible art and architecture be found around every corner, but this is a city that has hardly changed since the Renaissance. Wander down any of its narrow cobbled streets and you’ll find fresco-decorated churches, medieval chapels, grand 15th-century palaces, marble basilicas, stylish boutiques, picture-perfect bridges and elegant restaurants.

Must see sight: The Uffizi Gallery

Discover Florence for yourself on our Italian Splendours tour

Rome - The Eternal City

Rome’s Piazza Navona

As the capital of the Roman Empire, and of course Italy, wealthy Rome is full of historic and architectural masterpieces. See the iconic Colosseum for yourself, as well as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and, of course, the Trevi Fountain. You can also visit Vatican City, the centre for the Roman Catholic Church, which boasts the imposing Renaissance St Peter’s Basilica. When you’re not looking at the sights enjoy a gelato and an expresso in one of the many cafés.

Must visit: The Pantheon

Take a tour of Rome

Venice - A city of 117 islands

Sunset over St Mark’s Square

Venice is such an iconic city that its sometimes easy to overlook as it seems so familiar, but if you take time to visit this jaw-droppingly beautiful city you’ll see what’s hiding in the narrow back streets and you‘ll not be disappointed. Decayed grandeur, bobbing gondolas, imposing piazzas, domed cathedrals and romantic bridges over narrow canals… the city has it all. Forget the gondola ride, instead stroll through St Mark’s Square, seek out the tiny little restaurants to try authentic dishes, or go shopping for genuine Italian cameos and Murano glass in the shops on the Rialto Bridge.

Must see sight: The Gothic-style Doge’s Palace

Discover iconic Venice on a river cruise

Naples - Cultural Napoli

The remarkable archaeological ruins of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in view

Situated on the pretty Bay of Naples in southern Italy, Naples is one of Europe’s oldest and largest cities where modern life and ancient history live side by side. This Grand Dame of Italy has so much to offer from its beautiful beaches, pretty islands and pizzerias, to its elegant pastel-coloured buildings, Roman ruins and dominating Mount Vesuvius. Enjoy a drink in Piazza Bellini, enjoy the best pizza you’ve ever had at Sorbillo, visit the ruins of Pompeii and take a funicular to Castel Sant’Elmo.

Must see sight: The Waterfront Chiaia district

Explore historical Naples on an Escorted Tour

Milan - Italy’s fashion and design capital

The elegant Via Dante are of Milan

Milan is a city perfect for walkers as it’s compact with all the sights within easy reach. It may be a vibrant metropolis and the centre of fashion and design, but it has a warm heart. Here you’ll find the famous Duomo, Milan’s iconic Gothic cathedral with 135 spires, and also Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper in the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Try traditional Milanese cuisine in one of the many excellent restaurants and go shopping in the Galleria – a 19th-century glass-domed shopping arcade.

Must see sight: Da Vinci’s Last Supper in the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie

Plan your Italian adventure

Interested in an Italian holiday in 2021? We offer a variety of holidays and river cruises to Italy. Take a look or contact us and speak to a member of our team today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.