The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy

Whether it’s for the mouthwatering cuisine, the culture, landscapes, or history, there’s no arguing with the 96 million tourists who visit the country each year. Like them, you’ll find an abundance of things to do in Italy.

Wherever your interests lie, you’ll find plenty of things to add to your Italian bucket list. Naturally, it’s a great destination for short city breaks, with Rome, Venice, and Florence topping the list. However, if you have more time to get outside these major hubs, there are so many outstanding experiences in Italy waiting to be had.

If you’re not sure what to see, Italy is home to no less than 55 world heritage sites, which is more than anywhere else in the world! These range from ancient ruins, to natural landscapes and cultural experiences.

Read on to discover over 40 Italy bucket list destinations, to put on your itinerary. You’re not going to be disappointed.

Planning a trip to Italy, make sure these things are on your Italian bucket list. Discover 40+ incredible experiences in Italy [inc Italy bucket list downloadable]
Colosseum, Rome | Canva

This post may contain affiliate links. To find out what this means and more information visit my disclosure page.

Essential Things For Your Italian Bucket List - At A Glance

Wondering what to do in Italy, but have no time to read the full article now? no worries. You can download this checklist of places to visit in Italy, it includes everything mentioned in this article for offline viewing.

If you’re just after the low-down of things you must see in Italy, then below is a list of all places included in this article to help you plan your Italian itinerary.

Best Experiences in Italy

  • The Canals of Venice, Rialto Bridge & Bridge of Sighs
  • Milan From the Historic Duomo
  • Pompeii, Herculaneum & Mt Vesuvius
  • Da Vinci’s Masterpiece “The Last Supper”
  • The Amalfi Coast
  • Pisa and Pose With The Leaning Tower
  • Colosseum, Underground Arena & Roman Forum
  • The Islands of Burano and Murano
  • The Uffizi Gallery
  • Traditional Italian Food Tour
  • Lago Di Garda ( Lake Garda)
  • Five Villages of the Cinque Terre
  • Stromboli Volcano
  • Sicily’s Cathedral of Monreale
  • Forte di Fenestrelle
  • Royal Residences of the House of Savoy
  • Sail Pan Di Zucchero
  • Pizza Margherita in Napoli
  • Climb Mt. Etna
  • Vineyard-Hopping in Tuscany
  • Carnival of Venice
  • The Palatine Chapel
  • Vatican City & The Sistine Chapel
  • The Frasassi Caves
  • Scaligero Castle (The Sinking Castle)
  • The Italian Alps
  • Drive The Stelvio Pass
  • Boating At The Blue Grotto
  • Marmore Falls – World’s Tallest Man-Made Waterfall
  • Medieval Walls of Lucca
  • Labyrinth of Matera’s Historic Sassi
  • The Greek Temples at Paestum
  • The Cathedral Complex of Siena
  • Lake Como, Bellagio and Varena
  • The Trevi Fountain
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • The Sunken City of Baia

40+ Things to Put On Your Italy Bucket List

This article has been written with the help of other travel writers who share with you what they think are the best things to do in Italy. Each of their suggestions features highlights of what to see, as well as useful insider tips for making the best out of your trip. Read on to discover the best things to see in Italy.

What you can expect in this article...

Explore The Canals of Venice, Rialto Bridge & Bridge of Sighs

Location: Venice

Highlights: Venice is known for its canals and exploring them is definitely one of the top things to do in Italy. The Canal Grande is the widest and most popular canal in Venice and the busiest waterway in the city.

Next to Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in town. It spans the full width of the Canal Grande and is one of the oldest bridges in the city, whether you pass under it or walk over it, it’s a must for your Venice bucket list.

Ponte dei Sospiri, or Bridge of Sighs, is another popular landmark. It gets its name from the belief that prisoners would sigh as they crossed the bridge on their way to jail.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 2
Venice Canals | Craving Adventure

Tips for Visiting: The Venice canals are some of the most unique and beautiful in the world. Exploring them on a gondola ride is certainly a bucket list experience for many, but not a cheap one.

Luckily, you can explore the canals by land as well and marvel at them from the many bridges. Arguably, the best way to explore Venice is on foot. Don’t be afraid to wander into less known and narrower streets, that’s where you’ll usually find the best photo opportunities.

Recommended by Zi from Craving Adventure

Panoramic Views of Milan From the Historic Duomo

Location: Milan

Highlights: Italy has some of the most incredible things to see and do. Some things are worth doing and some are not. There is one of the things in Italy you absolutely will not want to miss, and that is to visit the historic Duomo for the best views over Milan.

There are so many reasons to visit Milan, from its world-famous fashion brands to its tasty traditional dishes. However, its Historic Duomo Cathedral is probably the most iconic and breathtaking landmark in the city.

Here you can climb the stairs of this stunning piece of history and admire the best views over Milan. Not only will you learn so much about the city but be able to take some of the most phenomenal photos!

If you are looking to visit somewhere that you won’t forget in a hurry and you will not be able to find anywhere else in the world, stop by the Duomo.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 3
Milan Duomo | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Even though this is the best panoramic view of Milan, it is first and foremost a religious building. Make sure you have dressed appropriately and do not wear anything revealing. It doesn’t matter if you have paid for your ticket, if you are not dressed conservatively, they will not let you in.

As this is a must-do in Italy, it can get really popular, especially during the summer. It is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance so you can skip the queues.

Recommended by Lowri Thomas from Many Other Roads

Discover the History of Pompeii, Herculaneum & Mt Vesuvius

Location: Southeast of Naples

Highlights: One of the best things about Italy if you’re into ancient monuments, is that the country is filled with them. The ill-fated cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are two of the most iconic ruin sites.

Mount Vesuvius is one of the most active volcanoes in Italy, and in AD 79, an eruption destroyed a multitude of Roman cities through the eruption of volcanic gasses, stones and burning ashes. The cities were then buried by pumice, and volcanic debris, including people, that have been immortalised.

Visiting the ruins sites is one of the most interesting things to do in Italy. You can wander around the sites and still see mosaics, rooms, artefacts and the people, captured in time, from that fateful day.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 4
Pompeii & Mt Vesuvius | Canva

Tips for Visiting: If you’re wondering if these are places to visit in Italy in summer, it’s worth knowing that all three sites get busy, in particular Pompeii. It’s worth booking a skip-the-line entry ticket in advance, especially in peak season.

It’s also worth noting that the site is large, and with little shade, so if you visit in the summer take plenty of water, sunglasses and sunscreen.

This is one of the top Italy things to do and see. Ideally, you’d want two days in the area to do all three things justice. You could easily spend a whole day at Pompeii. Then do Herculaneum the following morning and go up Mt Vesuvius that afternoon.

Related Article:  Love Pompeii? Then check out Jerash in Jordan. It’s dubbed ‘Pompeii of the East’.

Admire Da Vinci’s Masterpiece “The Last Supper”

Location: Milan

Highlights: For art lovers, Europe is a wonderful place to be as Europe is filled with world-class art museums and institutions, showcasing classic and contemporary artworks from across the globe.

There’s one widely known artwork that is not on display in an art museum but remained on the wall of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, the original place where it was painted. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, which needs no introduction, is an extraordinary art piece created in the late 15th century. The fresco depicts an iconic biblical scene that is considered the best version of its kind.

Da Vinci used unique drawing techniques by painting on the church’s wall after exhaustive research. The composition, content, and details of this fresco have a significant impact on art, history, religious and cultural studies – not to mention it is constantly featured in modern cultures, books, and movies. Going to see it is certainly something for your Milan bucket list.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 5
Santa Maria Delle Grazie | Knycx Journeying

Tips for Visiting: Visitors can view the artwork with an admission ticket or on a guided tour.

Entries are divided into 15-minute groups and tickets are often sold out because many available slots are booked by tour guides and agencies in advance. Always reserve a ticket online before visiting the church.

Santa Maria Delle Grazie is located in Milan’s city area and it is easy to get there by train. The closest station is Milano Cadorna and it’s only a few minutes walk to the site.  

Recommended by Kenny Chow from Knycx Journeying

Drive The Amalfi Coast

Location: Amalfi coast

Highlights: One of the most amazing things to do in Italy, and shouldn’t miss is driving along the Amalfi Coast. The narrow road, with tight curves bordered by the sea on one side and the mountain on the other, increases the level of adrenaline.

Known for its beautiful little towns that climb the mountain and for its breathtaking views over the sea, the Amalfi coast is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy. If you want to spend your holiday here, choose to stay in a hotel with an infinity pool. This way you can fully enjoy the landscape.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 6
Amalfi Coast | Another Milestone

Tips for visiting: If you want to try this adventure as part of your road trip itinerary, when you book your car rental, opt for the smallest vehicle possible. This way you will be able to explore the little streets in the towns, and not just the main road.

That said, one of the most important attractions will be the main road. Located a few metres above the sea, it is exciting to see the water below you, and the mountain next to you as you navigate the bends in the road.

In Positano for example, there are some places where you should be careful because oncoming traffic, such as buses, pass just a few centimetres next to you. Also, the buildings are very close to the road so it’s easy to scratch your car if you don’t pay attention.

This is not a road for speeders, it is a road for those who want to enjoy the beauty of this coast and soaking up the atmosphere is one of the best things to do. In Italian driving, road users can often feel aggressive compared to other places in Europe, however, here is not the place for it, so take a more relaxed approach as you take it all in.

Recommended by Corina from Another Milestone

Explore Pisa and Pose With The Leaning Tower

Location: Pisa

Highlights: Everyone knows Pisa, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is considered to be one of the most popular landmarks in Italy! Of course, a visit to this attraction is one of the best things to do in Pisa and a must on any Italy trip.

Its leaning already occurred during its construction between 1173 to 1372. The tower even had to be closed and restored from 1990-2001 for safety reasons. People are still amazed by the leaning tower, and those after some light entertainment in Italy can have fun watching people taking the popular photo supporting the tower in imaginative ways.

Not only is the Leaning Tower beautiful, but the old town of Pisa is also a real highlight that should not be missed. Walk through the romantic alleys, try one of the fabulous restaurants and soak up the atmosphere far away from the touristic hustle and bustle.

Piazza dei Cavalieri is especially beautiful, one of the most charming squares in the historic centre of Pisa.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 7
Tower of Pisa | Places of Juma

Tips for Visiting: It is best to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa first thing in the morning, then you can take the best pictures and later you will have enough time to explore the old town. The tower is located in Piazza dei Miracoli, the so-called Square of Miracles, which you can visit for free!

If you want to visit other sights like the Duomo, the Baptistery, and the Cemetery or if you want to climb the Tower you have to pay an entrance fee. You can save money and time by booking tickets in advance!

If you still have time left, then you should check out the beautiful beaches of Pisa, especially the beautiful beach at Marina di Pisa! This one is only 10 kilometres away. Perfect if you want to combine sightseeing with swimming in the sea.

Recommended by Martina from Places of Juma

The Iconic Colosseum, Underground Arena & Roman Forum

Location: Rome

Highlights: If you quiz anyone about things to do with Italy, you can guarantee they’ll mention the Romans and the Colosseum.  Needless to say that visiting the Colosseum is an essential part of any first-timer’s Rome itinerary. But there’s more to the most popular ancient amphitheatre in the world than just what you can see from the outside or from simply stepping inside its century-old walls.

The Colosseum is also home to a vast network of tunnels in its underground area that you can now explore on a guided tour. Walking around this underground labyrinth under the arena stage is the best way to learn the history of those dark corridors. You will be amazed by the ancient elevators used to facilitate the performances held in the arena and the gruesome stories of the performances themselves.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 8
Rome Colosseum | It's All Trip To Me

Tips for Visiting: Until recently, the underground area of the Colosseum was inaccessible to the public. Therefore, even if you have visited the Colosseum in the past, it’s worth visiting again for a tour of its underground area and the Arena.

Bear in mind that you can only visit the underground area on a guided tour with a special ticket that grants you access to all parts of the Colosseum, and other worthy places for your Rome bucket list, including the underground area and the Arena, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

This special ticket is called Full Experience Arena & Underground. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to make sure they’re available on the day of your visit.   

Recommended by Katerina & Maria from It’s All Trip To Me

Visit the Islands of Burano and Murano

Location: Venice

Highlights: Venice is an incredible city to begin with, but visiting the floating city without taking a day trip to its other islands of Burano and Murano would be a waste! They are a short boat ride away from the main island of Venice and you can spend an entire day exploring these magical places.

Burano is known for being the most colourful place in Italy, with its rainbow-coloured houses that line the canals. This is one of the must-see things in Italy, as each house is painted a bright and beautiful colour which make the prettiest photo backdrop. The island is also known for the delicate handmade lace the locals produce, and the delicious fried seafood.  

The neighbouring island of Murano is special for its glass production, which has become famous across the world. The locals who work at the glass factories produce intricate glass products from ornaments and glasses to huge chandeliers. Visit the island to watch the glassblowing and ship some back to use in your home!

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 9
Burano | Tori Pines Travels

Tips for Visiting: Visiting the islands should be an all-day adventure from the main island of Venice. You can either visit by taking the Vaporetto, the local water bus, or by booking a group tour.

The tour will be much simpler, easier and faster, but will mean you have less time on the islands and less flexibility in planning your day. The Vaporetto can be a little confusing to use, but once you get there, you can control how long you stay on each island.

It costs just a few Euros to take the tour of the glass factory on Murano, which is well worth it. And on Burano, wear white so you pop in all the photos with the bright backdrop!

Recommended by Tori Mitchell from Tori Pines Travels

Admire The Grandmasters At The Uffizi Gallery

Location: Florence

Highlights: If you’re planning your trip, and wondering what to see in Italy, I highly recommend the world-renowned galleries. A visit to Florence is incomplete without the world-famous Uffizi Gallery. This museum houses some of the most important artworks of the Medieval and Renaissance period.

Florence was known as the city of bright minds and for its progress of virtues during the height of the Renaissance. Some of the most well-known artists were from Florence, including Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Sculptures and fine art paintings of these grandmasters as well as other renowned Italian painters, such as Raphael, can be admired in the Uffizi Gallery.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is a must-see in the Uffizi gallery and art aficionados come from far to see this breathtakingly beautiful painting. Other noteworthy art pieces include the ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ by Fra Angelico and ‘Adoration of the Magi’ by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 10
Uffizi Gallery | Paulmarina

Tips for Visiting: Every guide to Florence will rate the Uffizzi Gallery as one of the must-see attractions in the city. The Uffizi Gallery is located in the old town adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria. The entry point is a narrow courtyard with a view of the river Arno. It’s near the Ponte Vecchio bridge and the Pallazzo Vecchio palace in the historical centre.

The best way to get around is by walking. It’s advised to book a museum visiting slot in advance because this museum is one of the most visited in the world. The opening hours are from 8:15 to 6:30 and the gallery is closed on Mondays.

Recommended by Paul D’Souza from Paulmarina

Go on a Traditional Italian Food Tour

Location: Emilia Romagna (Bologna/Modena)

Highlights: It’s no secret that Italy produces some of the best food in the world, and experiencing it fully needs to be on your Italy must-do list.

The region of Emilia Romagna is known for producing some of Italy’s most iconic foods. Three of the area’s most famous foods in particular — Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto ham, and balsamic vinegar — are the stars of one of Italy’s most popular food tours.

You’ll visit a local Parmigiano cheese factory to learn about the full process of how they make the King of Cheese, see the process in action, and taste the end result. 

Next, the tour includes a visit to a family-owned acetaia where they make traditional balsamico di Modena which is aged for up to 25 years. You’ll sample different stages of the ageing process and see why this is such an amazing food. Finally, you’ll see the production of Italy’s famous prosciutto hams, arguably one of Italy’s most famous exported products.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 11
Food Tour | Italy Foodies

Tips for Visiting: Several tour operators can take you on this unique tour but the Italian Days Food Experience includes an immersive and fun lunch feast where you’ll get to try all three of these foods and how they’re incorporated into their most unique dishes.

From prosciutto appetisers to a drizzle of aged balsamic on vanilla gelato, you certainly won’t be hungry, and you’ll leave with a keener palate and greater appreciation for the region’s cuisine.

If ever there was a must-do food tour, it’s this one! This is also a great region of the country to take an Italian cooking class.

Recommended by Lori from Italy Foodies

Relax at Lago Di Garda ( Lake Garda)

Location: Near Verona

Highlights: One of the top destinations Italy offers is Lake Garda. It’s the perfect getaway to the picturesque atmosphere just outside Verona and the largest lake in Italy embracing the Alpine mountains. The lake is abundant with castles and Scaglieri Castle in Sirmione is the most popular one. Garda town itself scatters the stunning views of the lake.

It stretches across three Italian regions- Lombardia, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto, and covers various landscapes.

A popular destination here is Gardaland, which is an amusement park near Peschiera del Garda. Several adventure parks make up Gardaland, these include Caneva World which focuses on movie entertainment while Parco Natura Viva absorbs the African wildlife.

If you’re interested in history, then head to Desenzano on the western shore which holds the impressive Roman mosaics.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 12
Lake Garda | Canva

Tips for Visiting: The best way to reach Lake Garda is to take a train to Peschiera del Garda or Desenzano from Verona. From Peschiera, you can take the bus to pretty towns around the lake. Ferry service is available but takes a lot of time to get between places.

For the best views, climb the 2218m up Monte Baldo from the pretty towns of Malcesine (which also has its own castle). At the top, you’ll have stunning views. If you don’t want to walk, then taking a cable car is another option.

Recommended by Gabi from Under Flowery Sky

Visit the Five Villages of the Cinque Terre

Location: Cinque Terre National Park

Highlights: The historic villages of the Cinque Terre are famous for being some of the most picturesque in Italy. Perched on the cliffs in the Cinque Terre National Park, with colourful buildings leading down to the blue waters of the Italian Riviera, visiting these towns is easily a highlight of travelling to Italy.

While all the towns are incredibly pretty, Manorola is the subject of many paintings and Vernazza is renowned as one of the loveliest villages in the country. 

The five towns are connected by a walking trail and it’s possible to walk between them all in one day which should be one of your must-dos in Italy. If you want to spend more time in the villages themselves, opt for the train instead.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 13
Cinque Terre | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Aim to go in June or September when the weather is warm but the villages aren’t quite as busy. Manorola and Vernazza are particularly lovely and popular with visitors, so try and visit these earlier or later in the day.

Be sure to check that the trails you want to hike are open before you go – rain can affect the pathways. For the best views of the towns, opt for one of the longer hikes in the Cinque Terre National Park – the alternative route that goes between Manarola and Corniglia via the tiny settlement of Volastra is particularly beautiful.

Recommended by Roxanne from Far Away Worlds

Visit (or Climb) Stromboli Volcano

Location: Tyrrhenian Sea

Highlights: If you’re looking for something to tick off your bucket list, Italy has numerous natural landmarks. Forget the tourist traps of Vesuvius and Etna and instead discover one of the world’s most active volcanoes (it erupts every 20 minutes or so).

This truly is one of the most amazing things to see in Italy. Stromboli is located on a small island (well, it IS the island) off the north coast of Sicily close to the Aeolian Islands.

One of the most incredible things about Stromboli is that the island has a permanent residence of around 400 people living in the shadow of the volcano with daily eruptions.

There are a couple of small villages with shops, restaurants, and hotels and it’s quite easy to arrange a trip to Stromboli. The volcanic beach is perfect for swimming in exceptionally warm waters, though it is quite rocky so you’ll need flip-flops or beach shoes.

It takes around 2 hours to reach Stromboli from the Sicilian town of Milazzo and daily ferries make the crossing. There are also ferries from Naples on the mainland with a journey time of around 5 hours.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 14
Stromboli Volcano | The Trip Goes On

Tips for Visiting: There are two ways you can reach Stromboli; either by taking a tour or catching a ferry from Sicily or mainland Italy. The tours usually include a trip to the Aeolian Islands and moor off Stromboli at night so you can see the eruptions and lava flow.  

Recommended by Steve Rohan from The Trip Goes On

Admire the Norman Architecture of Sicily’s Cathedral of Monreale

Location: Monreale, Sicily

Highlights: Monreale is a small town just 7 kilometres away from the centre of Palermo, Sicily. The town is nestled up on the top of a hill, and it’s home to one of the greatest existing examples of Norman architecture in Italy. The building of Monreale Cathedral began in 1174 by William II of Sicily.

The inside of the cathedral is covered in beautiful, detailed mosaics that are rare to see. The mosaics are made of glass tesserae, and were created in the Byzantine style between the late 12th and the mid-13th centuries by local Sicilian and Venetian masters. The cathedral is a must-see Italy landmark.

After admiring the craftsmanship of the Monreale Cathedral, you can go for a wander around the town. There are plenty of cute lunch spots in the town’s main piazza, as well as small shops for gift shopping.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 15
Cathedral of Monreale | Pina Travels

Tips for Visiting: The best way to visit Monreale is by taking the bus from Palermo. You can go by car, but parking is scarce, especially if you go in the summer when the town is busy. Bus number 389 which departs from Piazza Indipendenza will take you to Monreale and back. The trip is about 1 hour each way because of traffic. Once you’re there, it’s just a small fee to enter the cathedral.

Recommended by Erin From Pina Travels

Visit Forte di Fenestrelle

Location: Fenestrelle, Val Chisone, Province Torino

Highlights: One thing on your Italy must-see list should be Forte di Fenestrelle, the biggest alpine fortress in Europe. After the Great Wall of China, it is also the next largest wall structure.

It actually consists of 3 independent fortresses, connected by the largest covered staircase in Europe with 4000 steps. From the lowest part of that huge military complex in the valley bottom to the highest part at 1110m, high above beautiful Val Chisone, you will have to overcome 635 metres of altitude that the structure stretches along, meandering its way up the valley.

The fortress is an absolute masterpiece of military architecture, absolutely impressive to look at and visible from far!

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 16
Forte di Fenestrelle | Insieme Piemonte

Tips for Visiting: It’s located 74km away from Turin, you will need 1,5hrs from Piedmont’s capitol to reach the free parking area, right next to Fort San Carlo.  Only the courtyard of that main fortress is free to enter.

Like with quite a few Italy tourist activities, if you do not speak Italian, you should opt for the self-guided “Amici-Tour”. It only costs a few Euros. It only allows visiting a small fraction of the Fortress, but you will be able to enter the famous staircase and explore some of the buildings from the main fort.

If you understand Italian, you could join a fantastic guided day tour which visits all areas of that huge complex. The full-day tour “La Passeggiata Reale” is absolutely worth it.  

Check opening times before your visit, as those vary depending on the season and weekdays.

Recommended by Linda Bluemel from Insieme Piemonte

UNESCO Listed Royal Residences of the House of Savoy

Location: Turin (and the entire region of Piedmont)

Highlights: From the Palazzo Reale and Villa della Regina to the Palace of Venaria Reale and the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, this group of 10+ landmarks dates back to the 16th-18th centuries.

If you’re a fan of all things Italian, they make a wonderful place for travellers to immerse themselves in northern Italian architecture and get a glimpse into the country’s history.

The beautiful and underrated Turin was the capital city of the Duchy of Savoy, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the unified Kingdom of Italy, all ruled by the House of Savoy, so visiting the dynasty’s royal residences in the city and around it is a true privilege.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 17
The Royal Residences of Savoy | My Path In The World

Tips for Visiting: Three Royal Residences are located in the heart of the historic centre of Turin, and two are in other districts. Several of those that are situated outside of the city are easily reachable by public transport, including the Palace of Venaria, Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, Castle of Moncalieri, and the Castle of Rivoli.

There are a range of ticket prices, depending on the landmark you want to visit, but they are completely free to visit with the money-saving Torino+Piemonte Card. This card also offers free entrance to countless attractions in Turin and Piedmont (and many other discounts).

Recommended by Or from My Path in the World

Take a Boat Tour to the Pan Di Zucchero

Location: Masua, Sardinia

Highlights: The Pan di Zucchero is an iconic white rock stack standing on the Mediterranean Sea off the town of Masua in Sardinia, Italy’s second biggest island after Sicily. And taking a trip out to see it is one of the things you have to do in Italy.

This natural wonder formed by erosion is famous for its unique sugarloaf shape (hence its name), for being the highest rocky outcrop in the Mediterranean Sea, and for offering splendid panoramas.

In fact, the Pan di Zucchero is part of the Iglesiente, the region along the Sardinian eastern part below Alghero, known for its wild coast full of Faraglioni, huge dramatic cliffs, wild beaches and coves.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 18
Pan di Zucchero | Kevmrc Travel

Tips for visiting: There are several ways to visit the Pan di Zucchero, including by paddle or via Ferrata, but the best is definitely to take a boat tour. Boats leave every day from Masua beach and take you to discover not only the Pan but also Porto Flavia (a mining site inserted in the limestone cliffs facing the Pan), as well as the caves and other hidden gems of the Canal Grande.

These boat tours also include snorkelling time in wonderful caves filled with colourful fish of all kinds, which add wonderment to the experience.

You can book your tickets for this tour either directly on the beach or on the boat tour company’s website. Book in advance online if you plan to do it in the high season (June-September) to not miss your chance to do this adventure.

Recommended by Nesrine Chebbi from Kevmrc Travel

Eating a Pizza Margherita in Napoli

Location: Naples, Italy

Highlights: One of the good things about Italy, is that everywhere you’ll visit in the country, the food is divine! Naples is the home of pizza, and you simply can’t miss trying a famous Neapolitan pizza when you’re in Italy.

As the name suggests, the very best pizzas in Italy are served up in small restaurants in Naples -usually served hot out of the oven with fresh, blistered crust, sweet and tangy tomato sauce, and perfectly melted cheese.

Nowhere in the world makes pizzas quite like the pizzerias of Naples, where they’ve been honing the craft for generations. You’re all but sure to fall in love with Naples after your first bite.

In Naples, locals will typically order one pizza per person. The pizzas are crafted to be easier to digest than their North American equivalents, and they won’t leave you feeling overly full or bloated. Be forewarned that the pizzas come unsliced, so you’ll need a knife and fork to dig in.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 19
Pizza Margherita | Amber Everywhere

Tips for visiting: There are three famous pizza restaurants in Naples, and it’s worth trying each of them if you have time in the city.

Arguably the most famous is Pizzeria Da Michel, the filming location for the famous pizza-eating scene in Eat, Pray, Love. This relatively small restaurant is nearly always bustling, with a small crowd of people waiting outside to get a table. They have a few pizza options, all combinations of crust, sauce, and cheese (except for the marinara, which has no cheese, and therefore vegan).

The other two are Sorbillo and Starita, both of which have large pizza menus with toppings like pesto and burrata, in a more standard restaurant setting.

Recommended by Amber from Amber Everywhere

Hike Mt. Etna in Sicily

Location: Catania,  Sicily

Highlights: Mt. Etna is located in the Catania region in eastern Sicily. It is the tallest volcano in Europe and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. On almost any given day it is visibly active, and small eruptions and the glow can be seen from many nearby villages and cities, including Catania and Taormina.

If you’re looking for unforgettable experiences in Italy, there are many opportunities to explore and experience Mt. Etna. You can go by foot, mountain bike, 4×4 vehicle, or even cable car. Hiking the volcano, in particular, gives you an extraordinary opportunity to explore the dynamic terrain from an up close and personal vantage point.  

If you’re looking for adventure in Italy, you’ll find hiking trails here that allow you to explore the inside of craters like the Silvestri craters, which are conveniently located near parking, lodging, restaurants, and gift shops.

Another highlight is hiking to the Summit Craters at a height of 3340 metres. This hike will generally get you as close as possible to the most active part of the volcano. These trails can feel strikingly close to the dramatic plumes of smoke billowing out of Mt. Etna. The landscape feels like another planet.

For those looking for quirky and cool things to do in Italy, you’ll also find trails that ascend and descend into newer nearby craters. Some of these craters contain heat vents where you can put your hand inside and feel the heat and steam from the underlying volcanic activity. These hikes also feature a fascinating collection of rocks in different shades of black, red, brown, yellow, and grey.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 20
Mt Etna | Canva

Tips for Visiting: It should be noted that conditions at Mt. Etna are constantly changing, not only daily but even on an hourly and minute-by-minute basis. Some hiking trails may be inaccessible based on those conditions. Please check daily conditions before you head out for your hike.

Also, hiking near the summit should only be done with a professional guide. These tours may include sunset hikes, as well as hikes that also include trips to nearby caves and other activities.

Like with many Italy outdoor activities at altitude, when hiking Mt. Etna, you should dress in layers, as the summit is often much cooler and windier than lower elevations.

Finally, make sure to always follow posted signs and not go into areas that are marked as unsafe. If you’re an enthusiast for landscapes, nature and adventure, this is one of the best activities to do in Italy.

Recommended by Merry Allison  from Virginia Vacation Guide

Vineyard-Hopping & Staying at a Wine Hotel in Tuscany

Location: Tuscany

Highlights: Sampling fabulous, full-bodied, and fragrant wines is an absolute must-do when you’re in Italy. Fortunately, Tuscany is renowned as one of the best wine regions not just in Italy, but around the world.

Located in Central Italy, Tuscany is home to several charming storybook towns with strong wine culture, from Montepulciano to Montalcino, to Radda in Chianti. One of the quintessential Italy activities and the best ways to experience this magical region is through your palette on a vineyard-hopping excursion!

In addition to sampling some of Tuscany’s best bottles, you’ll also enjoy the bonus of uncovering some of Italy’s most spectacular scenery.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 21
Tuscany Countryside | The Carry-On Chronicles

Tips for Visiting: Start your tasty adventures in magnificent Montepulciano, one of the top places to enjoy some of the best Italian wine. Located in Southern Tuscany, this Medieval hilltop town is best known for the variety that shares its name – the Nobile di Montepulciano.

This medium-bodied red offers a deliciously fruity experience with aromas of cherry, strawberry, and plum. Avignonesi, Poliziano, and Tenuta Valdipiatta are some of the top wineries featuring sprawling vineyards.

Plus, to make your Tuscan wine-sampling adventures even more fabulous, you’ll have to book a stay at one of the incredible wine hotels in Tuscany. Each of these properties puts wine tasting at the forefront – and some are even home to their very own vineyards!

For the best possible experience in Tuscany, be sure to rent a car so that you can easily navigate between the region’s top wine towns. It’s also advisable to book wine tastings in advance to ensure availability.

Recommended by Elena from The Carry-On Chronicles

Experience the Magical Carnival of Venice

Location: Venice, Italy

Highlights: Skip the heat and intense crowds of the summer months and visit Venice in February. One of the things you must do in Italy at this time is the annual Carnival festival. During this time, you’ll see people in elaborate masks walking around the city, many in full Renaissance-style costumes.

Be sure to stop in one of the many small shops throughout the city and pick up a Venetian mask of your own! On the first Sunday of Carnival, watch Il Volo dell’Angelo (The Flight of the Angel), where a costumed acrobat leaps from the top of the San Marco Bell Tower to the middle of Piazza San Marco. You’ll likely see many live musicians and outdoor performances in Piazza San Marco and other parts of Venice as well.

If you’ve ever asked yourself what are fun things to do in Italy? Then one of the must-do activities during Carnival is to attend a masquerade ball. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of Phantom of the Opera as you dine and dance among hundreds of other people in lavish costumes.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 22
Venice Carnival | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Though Venice is not as crowded in February as in the warmer months, Carnival is still a world-famous festival. It’s recommended to book your hotel sooner rather than later as rooms can quickly fill up. If you plan to attend a masquerade ball, you will want to reserve that ahead of time as well.

One of the great things about Venice is you can keep the cost down by simply wandering the streets and taking in the stunning scenery, which becomes even more lovely and mysterious during Carnival. There is no shortage of things to see just by walking around.

The best way to get to Venice is by train. The Venice Mestra train station is on the mainland right before the Ponta della Libertá railway bridge, and the Santa Lucia station is on Venice itself. It’s most convenient to get off at Santa Lucia.

Recommended by Amanda from My Vintage Map

Visit The UNESCO Listed Palatine Chapel

Location: Palermo, Sicily

Highlights: The exquisite Palatine Chapel is one of the main places to visit in Palermo. Located at the entrance of the Centro Storico (or Old Town) of Palermo and within walking distance of the Palermo Cathedral.

The chapel dates back to the 12th century when Palermo was reigned over by various rulers including Byzantine, Norman and Fatimid. All of which is reflected in the architecture of the chapel.

If you’re looking for things to put on your bucket list for Italy, the Palatine Chapel is worthy of a place. Gazing upon the opulent chapel, it might be hard to imagine that this masterpiece was in fact originally intended for the private use of King Roger II.

The beautiful golden mosaics that cover the entirety of the ceiling depict a host of biblical scenes in exquisite detail. These mosaic scenes can also be found in the nearby cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalu, all of which are also UNESCO-classified.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 23
The Norman Palace | Veggie Wayfarer

Tips for Visiting: The Palatine Chapel is located in the Norman Palace, which is the current day seat of the Sicilian Government. Tickets can be bought opposite the entrance from a small ticket booth. Your entrance ticket is valid for both the Palatine Chapel and the Norman Palace.

Visits run from Monday to Saturday from 8.15 am to 5.40 pm, with the last tickets being sold at 5 pm and on Sunday from 8.15 am to 1.00 pm. On Sunday a mass is held between 09.45 am and 11.15 am inside the chapel and therefore there are no visits allowed.

Recommended by Caroline Muller from Veggie Wayfarer

Let Your Jaw Drop in Vatican City & The Sistine Chapel

Location: Rome

Highlights: A day spent wandering the museums, chapels, basilicas, squares, and gardens of Vatican City will have you dreaming of gold for months! To call it a luxe experience is such an understatement! 

The spoils of Empires, crusades, taxes, and of course, parishioner donations, have ended up here with room after room of many of the world’s greatest paintings, sculptures, and countless examples of the world’s best craftsmanship.

It’s impossible to rank the order of the ‘wow’ factor. Standing in St. Peter’s Square is something on many people’s Italy travel bucket list, and you can stand beside the place where the Pope gives his speeches and see for yourself the glorious circular colonnades and sculptures of saints that peer down from them.

St. Peter’s Basilica is simply awe-inspiring – its size, wealth, aesthetic proportions, and gold and marble are just unforgettable. Michelangelo’s La Pietà and his cupola are just two of the highlights.

But as wonderful as these two sites are, there are still the Vatican Museums to explore with 54 galleries and more than 70,000 works of art! The Gallery of Maps and the Raffaello Rooms are among the highlights, leading inexorably to the tiny but completely perfect Sistine Chapel. Here you can sit on the benches and stare up at the frescoed ceiling painted by artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo. And here, in the last part of the Vatican Museum, you can look up at Michelangelo’s fresco, The Creation of Adam.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 24
St Peter's Basilica | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Book online well in advance, book a skip-the-line ticket and wear modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders. A guided tour is a good option to cut down on the queueing and the difficulty of booking tickets.

The Vatican is open from Monday to Saturday between 9 am and 6 pm, although the ticket office closes at 4 pm. It is closed on Sundays, apart from the last Sunday of each month, when it’s open between 9 am and 2 pm.

Recommended by Monique at Trip Anthropologist

Spelunking in the Frasassi Caves

Location: Genga, Ancona Italy   

Highlights: Did you ever imagine you could add spelunking to your Italy bucket list?  If you find yourself on Italy’s east coast, you’ll definitely want to cross this one off your Italy to-do list.

Tucked deep inside the region’s mountains, Frasassi Caves was first discovered in 1971 and is now one of the largest known cave systems in Europe.  

Spend one hour and 15 minutes feeling the brisk cave air, twirling past crystal lakes, and losing yourself in mesmerising caverns.  Surrounded by dazzling crystal walls and hearing the slow water drip, it’s as if Frasassi Caves transfer you into another world! 

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 25
Frasassi Caves | Canva

Tips for Visiting:  The easiest ways to get here are by car along highway A14, or by taking the train via Railway Ancona to S.Vittore Terme Station.  Arrive at the ticket office 30 minutes before your entrance time.

Tickets can be purchased online or on arrival at the ticket office.  You can choose to walk just under one mile from the ticket office to the cave entrance or ride the shuttle.  

The caves are chilly at a constant 13°C / 57°F all year-round.  Wearing a sweater, long pants, and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.  

The caves are open year-round.  Closing dates are December 4th, 30th, and January 10th-30th. Spelunking the Frasassi Caves is not recommended for visitors with heart conditions. Wheelchair access is in place through the first room of the caves only.  

Recommended by Alyssa from An Apple A Plane

Visit Scaligero Castle (The Sinking Castle) in Sirmione

Location: Sirmione, Lake Garda

Highlights: Scaligero Castle, also known as the “Sinking Castle” because of its dock. It’s a beautiful Medieval fortress guarding the entrance to Sirmione’s old town. It was built in the 13th century, and it is one of the best-preserved castles in the entire country, and certainly, one of the must-do things in Italy.

As one of the top things to see in Sirmione, Scaligero is very popular with tourists for its beautiful views of both Lake Garda and the town. You can also take a boat trip around the peninsula to see the castle from the water.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 26
Scaligero Castle | Canva

Tips for Visiting: The opening and closing times for Scaligero castle vary depending on the season. In summer (April – September), the castle is open from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm (the last entrance is at 6.45 pm), Tuesday to Saturday, and from 9.15 am to 5.45 pm (the last entrance is at 5 pm) Sunday and during the holidays.

During the winter season (October – March) Scaligero is open Tuesday to Saturday (plus holidays) from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm (the last entrance is at 6.45 pm), while on Sundays you can visit it until 1.30 pm (the last entrance is at 12.45 am).

Try to go either close to the opening or closing time, as this way you’ll be able to avoid any crowds or potential waiting queues at the ticket booth.

Recommended by Andreea from Andoreia

Adventure In The Italian Alps

Location: North Italy

Highlights: If you’re searching for adventurous things to do in Italy, the Italian Alps are where you need to be. One of the top things to do in Italy during winter is head here for snow sports.

The Italian Alps are a popular ski sports destination that pulls thousands of visitors each year. One of the best areas to enjoy skiing is Sauze D’oulx. As part of the Via Lattea (Milky Way) ski area, there is more than 400km of skiing slopes to enjoy. From Sauze D’oulx you can visit the area Sestiere from where you can pass over the mountain tops into France.

Furthermore, both areas are great to visit in summer for hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, kayaking, horse riding, and much more. Visit the small art towns of Avigliana, Susa, and Pinerolo. In addition, it’s possible to visit ancient landmarks like Sacra Di San Michele, Exiles, and Fenestrelle.  

Another option is to explore the Aosta Valley which is a great travel destination both summer and winter. It is known as the smallest region in Italy offering the highest peaks of the Alps. If you’re looking for things to do in northern Italy, here you have endless activities to keep you entertained. Skiing is a given but in summer you also have the option of visiting ancient castles, hiking, trekking, river rafting, kayaking, and much more.

Visit the charming town of Champoluc and stay at a mountain refuge like Baita Belvedere. From there you can take many scenic trails as well as visit the highest thermal pool in Europe. Finally, this refugee is also famous for its kitchen and the whole valley is a foodie hotspot famous for its very own Fontina cheese, cold cuts, and wine from the region.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 27
Lago di Bradies, Italian Alps | Canva

Tips for visiting: Prices around the Alps in Italy go up in the high season which is also the time for skiing. Know that the popular and best areas get extremely busy and it’s necessary to book ahead.

In summer the Alps have sunny and mild weather but it does get cold with the altitude. Since the weather can be shifty it’s a good idea to bring clothes for all types of weather.

While it is possible to catch many buses around the area, public transportation is inconsistent and limited to certain locations. The best option is to travel by car. Note that in winter snow chains are necessary.

Recommended by Josephine from Josephine Remo

Drive The Stelvio Pass

Location: Italian Alps (the mountain pass in the Dolomites in Northern Italy, near the border with Switzerland)

Highlights: This famous mountain pass, Passo dello Stelvio, has numerous hairpin bends and a view to die for. The pass is one of the highest paved ones in Italy at 2758 metres in height.

If you’re looking for cool things in Italy, this road features a multitude of hairpin bends and is a thrill to drive, either by car, motorbike or bicycle. It has breathtaking views from and on top of the pass. There are 75 hairpin bends, making it a challenge to drive. It has been part of the Giro d’Italia countless times.

The pass is situated in the Stelvio National Park, with wildlife and numerous hiking trails nearby. There are several hotels and restaurants on the Stelvio pass.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 28
Stelvio Pass | Kars Travels

Tips for Visiting: The pass isn’t a toll road, and is free to enter and drive on. It isn’t kept snow free anymore, this was done before 2019. Since 2019 the road will be closed from the end of October to the beginning of May.

The Stelvio pass is perfect to include in a Trieste and Dolomites road trip. The Stelvio pass starts in Prato Allo Stelvio on the East side and ends in Bormio on the Western side. It can also be driven vice versa. The Stelvio pass can also be driven till halfway, the Umbrail pass starts halfway, this is the highest drivable pass in Switzerland.

Recommended by Cosette from Kars Travels

Take A Boat To The Blue Grotto

Location: Capri

Highlights: There are many indulgent things to do in Capri, Italy and no shortage of bucket list adventures. One of the best ways to see Capri is by boat, and the most famous attraction on the island is undoubtedly the Blue Grotto, la Grotta Azzura.

You can only visit the grotto with a ticket and a licensed guide, and at times there’s a long wait to get inside (depending on the time of year you visit). But the view inside is one of the most magnificent photo ops of a trip to Capri.

You’ll duck down low in a row boat to avoid bumping your head. Once inside, the view of the glowing water beneath your boat is simply enchanting. This is one of the most beautiful activities Italy has to offer.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 29
Blue Grotto | Travelin Mad

Tips for Visiting: There’s more than one grotto to explore in Capri, and most tourists don’t know of two lesser-known grottoes — the Green Grotto and the White Grotto — where you can snorkel and splunk the nearby caves when the seas are calm.

Look for a guide that can take you to all three grottoes on a boat tour. If you want to spend the afternoon on the water and swim, it’s even worth the splurge on a longer tour.

Recommended by Lori from Travelin Mad

Related Article:  If you can’t resist the azure seas, you’ll love the West Coast of Sicily, Italy

Experience Marmore Falls - World’s Tallest Man-Made Waterfall

Location: Marmore

Highlights: If you’re looking for unique things to do in Italy, one of the places you must see is Marmore Falls. It’s a historical waterfall that was created by the Romans around 271 BC to divert the Velino River away from a nearby city.

To this day, the beautiful waterfall is still the World’s tallest man-made waterfall with its 165-metre height. Marmore Falls has 3 tiers that can be seen from several viewpoints within the park – all of the views are different and offer unique sights of the waterfall.

Apart from its historical value and its beauty, Marmore Waterfall also helps create energy through the nearby hydroelectric power plant, which is pretty incredible in itself.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 30
Marmore Falls | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Marmore Falls is pretty unique because it works on a schedule. Water is released twice a day and you will see a very powerful flow in the waterfall that creates energy for the nearby plant. The rest of the day, the waterfall flow is weak. So make sure to visit during the water release times for the best possible experience and bring a raincoat!

You can easily reach Marmore Town and the waterfall from Terni with a direct train. Just make sure to look up the opening hours and water release before your visit. There is an entrance fee to the waterfall and park.

Recommended by Cecile from Worldwide Walkers

Walk the Medieval Walls of Lucca

Location: Lucca

Highlights: The Tuscan city of Lucca is built like a fortress, surrounded by walls meant to protect it in Medieval times. Today, the walls, or Mura di Lucca, are hailed as one of the city’s top attractions, and walking the 4km path on top of them is a must-do Italy landmark.

From atop the Mura di Lucca, you can spot many of the most famous and historical structures of the old town. Some you’ll see close up like the stunning Cathedral San Martino. And some like the Torre Guinigi, aka the Tree Tower, make the city look magical from above.

You’ll pass the botanical gardens, the Palazzo Pfanner, museums, statues, and much more. And if you turn around and look away from the city centre, you’ll have a 180-degree mountain view.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 31
Lucca City | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Walking the walls of Lucca is a great way to start your visit. You’ll be able to get a feel for where things are, and which sights may warrant taking a closer look.

There is no fee, so you can take this glorious promenade as many times as you’d like. And you can walk a bit, go have lunch at one of the amazing Lucca restaurants, and then come back and walk it off.

Seven gates or entrances allow cars to pass through the walls. At these gates lie the access to the top. So no matter where you stay, a gate will be close by.

The wide tree-lined path itself is quite beautiful, and you’ll find many locals riding bikes, running, and strolling babies.

Recommended by Denise of Chef Denise

Related Article:  Love Medieval Cities? Then visit Erice near Trapani, Italy

Explore the Labyrinth of Matera’s Historic Sassi

Location:  Matera

Highlights: Matera is an ancient city located in southern Italy. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with a fascinating history dating as far back as the palaeolithic era. Although it is quickly becoming a tourist destination, Matera was once known as the “shame of Italy”.

For thousands of years, the inhabitants of this community lived without electricity, running water, or proper sewage systems. People lived side by side with livestock inside their homes and in the narrow passageways. Disease and poverty were rampant within the community. Eventually, the residents were forced to evacuate, leaving Matera abandoned for several years.

In the 1980s a group of investors moved in and transformed the network of cave dwellings, or the Sassi, into luxury hotels and boutique restaurants. Although modern amenities have been added, the history and culture of the region has been perfectly preserved.

There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in Italy. Matera has served as a filming location for period films including the Passion of the Christ and Ben Hur.  One of the most fun activities in Italy is to explore the Labyrinth of ancient streets.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 32
Matera | Lovicarious

Tips for Visiting: Matera is located in southern Italy, approximately 1 hour from the eastern coast and the Adriatic Sea. Although there are no roads and thus no vehicles permitted within the Sassi, there are several parking areas located just on the perimeter of the village. Those planning to spend the night inside the Sassi, should pack lightly and be prepared to walk as there are many stone stairs involved.

The best way to experience Matera is to get lost in the maze of stairs and corridors. One path may lead to a dead end, while another may lead to an incredible overlook of the Sassi or an ancient church carved into stone. While in Matera, it is also recommended to visit Alberobello, a neighbouring community known for its fairy-tale-like Trulli dwellings.

Recommended by Cecilia from Lovicarious

The Greek Temples at Paestum

Location: Province of Salerno,  Campania

Highlights: If you’re interested in historical things to see, Italy has them in abundance. The Greek Temples at Paestum are probably one of the most significant monuments to visit in Italy.

This World UNESCO Heritage Site is impressive and not as often visited because of its remote location but definitely worth the effort. The ancient city has three large temples that are well preserved along with other ruins around the city perimeter that make Paestum a half-day or whole-day trip.

Outside of the main historic temples, you can find a variety of smaller tombs, the main thoroughfare that leads to the temples from the main gate, a sunken circular Ekklesiasterion dated around 480 BC and a fantastic museum that houses the main artefacts, murals and other collections that were found around the site.

The museum brings the UNESCO site to life with all of the found art, artefacts and collections of Paestum and gives an impression of daily life, art, food, lifestyle, traditions and day-to-day living in the area.

You’ll love exploring this historic site and better yet, know that this UNESCO site is not as well visited as many other ruins from around Italy.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 33
Paestum Greek Temples | Canva

Tips for Visiting: Getting here is easiest done by car, however, you can also use public transport. It’s located about an hour and a half train ride from Naples, the train ride is fairly quick and access to the city entrance is just a short walk from the main station close to the UNESCO site.

There is very little shade at the ruins, so if you’re visiting during the peak of summer take sunglasses and sunscreen. Also, some of the terrain is uneven, so wear sturdy shoes.

Recommended by Noel Morata from Travel Photo Discovery

The Cathedral Complex of Siena

Location: Siena

Highlights: While Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, may be best known for the famous Palio horse race that takes place twice a year in Central Square, you’ll also find that it makes a great day trip from Florence to visit the stunning Duomo built of white stone and rose marble.

One of the top things to see in Italy is the Cathedral Complex at Siena. One of the best ways to tour the Duomo and the entire Complex is with the Opa Si Pass which gives you access to all areas.

Discover the Cathedral which features treasures from Bernini, Donatello, and Michelangelo and then visit the Piccolomini Library. Other interesting places here are the Baptistry of San Giovanni, the Crypt, and Museo dell’Opera. Then wander through the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital and Museum.

If you’re feeling energetic, then climb the circular steps to the Panoramic Terrace of the Duomo Nuovo. This unfinished facade of the Duomo offers 360° of breathtaking views of Siena.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 34
Siena | Simply Jolayne

Tips for Visiting: Siena makes a perfect day trip from Florence. Whether travelling by car or bus (train is not available), it takes about 75 minutes. If you are arriving by car, note that Siena is a limited-traffic area. Several parking lots are available outside of the historical city centre.

The Opa Si Pass, which is valid for three days, allows you to immerse yourself in the history of Siena, view significant masterpieces, and take a step back into Medieval times.

From April to October, the complex is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, with reduced hours of 10:30 am to 5:30 pm between November and March.

Recommended by Jolayne from Simply Jolayne

Visit Lake Como, Bellagio and Varena

Location: Lake Como, Lombardy

Highlights: Lake Como, is an Italy must-see, located in the Lombardy region in the north of Italy, is the third largest lake in the country. It is also one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Be ready to see colourful buildings, famous villas, and impressive mountain views, and enjoy the local cuisine.

Visiting Lake Como is a worthy Italy bucket list destination. You will love discovering unique small towns that overlook the breathtaking lake.

There are many towns surrounding Lake Como, but Bellagio and Varenna are two towns you shouldn’t miss. They have picturesque streets with peek-a-boo views of the lake, alfresco restaurants, and exceptional villas with lush gardens.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 35
Lake Como | My Little World Of Travelling

Tips for Visiting: It is a very popular destination and can get crowded. This is why visiting Lake Como off-season is the best option. Although the weather may not be as good as it is in the summer months, it’s still pleasant with warm days and cool evenings. The trade-off is that you will enjoy Lake Como with fewer crowds.

You can go on a day trip from Milan to Bellagio and Varenna, and visit their main attractions and sites, but you need to spend more than a day to fully enjoy both places without rushing.

When visiting any of the towns in Lake Como, make sure to wear comfortable shoes. There are many cobblestone streets, and you will need to take many stairs to access viewpoints, restaurants, and attractions.

Recommended by Cristina of My Little World of Travelling

Throw Coins Into the Trevi Fountain

Location: Rome

Highlights: Legend says that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you’ll one day return to Rome. The 18th Century Baroque fountain is the biggest of its kind in the city and probably one of the most famous fountains in the world. It stands 26.3 metres high (86 ft) and is 49.15 metres wide (161.3 ft)

If you’ve wondered what are some fun things to do in Italy, tossing a coin here is one of them.  Each day, around €3,000 are tossed into the fountain. Over a year, this mounts up to approximately €1,000,000. The money gets donated to charity.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 36
Trevi Fountain | Canva

Tips for Visiting: The fountain is one of the best things to see in Rome, and features pretty much on every city walking tour you do. If you want to visit it without the crowds, then get there early in the morning.

If you’re after a quirky way of seeing it, then you can also opt for the underground tour of Trevi to view the area from a different perspective.

Shop for Jewellery on Ponte Vecchio

Location: Florence

Highlights: The Medieval Ponte Vecchio translates to ‘Old Bridge’. Its arched structure stretching over the Arno River, holds space for various vendors. This was the only bridge in Florence that survived World War 2 and historically was home to butchers and tanners.

Although the bridge has changed little in appearance over the years, today the shops are home to jewellery, fine crafts and art dealers. If you’re looking for fun stuff to do in Italy walking across here, and perusing the works is a must-do.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 37
Ponte Vecchio | Canva

Tips for Visiting: The bridge is only open to foot traffic now, however, the number of tourists twinned with how narrow the bridge is, and people stopping to browse, means that bottlenecks often happen. If you’re wanting to enjoy it in a calmer atmosphere, go early in the day.

Also, because this is an incredibly busy area, pickpocketing around here is common. Keep your valuables safe and use a money belt.

It’s also worth noting that if you attach anything to the bridge, you risk getting a fine. Over 5000 ‘love locks’ were removed by the local council between 2005-6 because they ruin the aesthetics of the bridge as well as caused damage.

Scuba Diving Italy's Sunken City of Baia

Location: Gulf of Naples

Highlights: If you’re an avid diver and looking for unusual things to do in Italy, then consider adding the sunken city of Baia to your itinerary. The city of Baia dates back to the Roman Ages when it was a vacation destination for the rich and powerful. It’s built over medicinal hot springs thanks to the natural volcanic vents in the region.

During the 16th century, the land dropped about 6 metres below sea level. This sank about half of the city into a shallow bay.

Today, you can book diving trips and swim amongst the sunken architectural remains which include statues, columns and mosaics. If you’re after fun things in Italy, this needs to be top of your to-do list.

Parco archeologico di Baia - Ninfeo punta Epitaffio 5 - statua Dioniso

Tips for Visiting: You will want to be confident with your diving here so you can control your buoyancy at the archaeological site. The depths are relatively shallow and range from 4 metres to 12 metres (13 and 42 feet).

The water is at its warmest between July and September, at around 23 degrees (75F), so depending on how easily you feel the cold, you might want to wear a 3-5mm shorty wetsuit.

How Many Are On Your Italian Bucket List?

Wow, if you made it to the end, well done! How’s your ultimate Italy bucket list shaping up? This article showcases the multitude of outstanding attractions and experiences in Italy. These ideas are so diverse, that there really is something for every type of traveller on here.

How many of these things to see in Italy are you going to add to your Italy travel itinerary?

Download the Italy bucket list items checklist and get it sent straight to your inbox.

Looking for More Things To Do In Italy

If you’re planning to visit Italy, take a look at these other useful guides for more inspiration.

Save it for later

If you found this Italian bucket list guide useful, or know someone who would, then share or pin it for future reference.

If you’re still wondering what is there to do in Italy or have any other questions? then ask below.

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 38

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 39

The Ultimate Italian Bucket List | 40+ Incredible Experiences in Italy 40

Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.