My fiancee and I often play a game where we ask one another – ‘if you could only holiday in one country for the rest of your life, where would it be?’. We go around the houses for a minute or so, mentioning various places half-heartedly before we inevitably settle on the same location each time – Italy. Beautiful, wonderful, vibrant Italy. And our reasoning? Because Italy has it all, of course! Beautiful beaches, bustling cities, incredible mountains, and delicious food. You could spend years exploring and still be left with plenty on your Italy bucket list for next time.
In fact, the sheer range of locations and activities can become overwhelming. Paralysed by choice, you’ve probably found yourself wondering whether you should commit to 3 magical days in Florence soaking in the culture, or a week on the Amalfi Coast soaking in the sun.
The good news is that, when it comes to Italy, you can’t go too far wrong. And you can always go back for more!
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next trip, check out this Ultimate Italy Bucket List. With 75 of the very best things to do, you’ll be spoilt for choice. I’ve split the list into 4 categories; Northern Italy, Central Italy, Southern Italy, and the Italian Islands, in the hopes that it might be of help if you’re planning a longer, multi-stop trip!
And of course, you’ll be taking plenty of photos in Italy (how could you not?!), so take a look at my 220+ Italy Instagram captions for some inspiration before you hit post.
Note: this blogpost may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through these links, I make a commission at no extra cost to you!
Planning the Perfect Trip to Italy
- 🎫 Book your guided tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel in advance
- 🍕Eat the best food in Rome on this street tour
- 🇮🇹Check out the Ultimate Guide to Italy
- ⛔Read up on the Top 10 Mistakes Tourists Make in Italy
- 📷 Pack a portable charger, a camera, and a travel journal
- 📘Read Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love
- 🍑Watch Call Me By Your Name and Letters to Juliet
Northern Italy Bucket List
Northern Italy is where you’ll find many of the big hitters for your Italy Bucket List. It’s home to some of the country’s most famous cities, including Venice, and Milan. But you’ll also find stunning mountain scenery, idyllic lakes, coastal villages and a number of hidden gems.
1. Gondola Ride in Venice
There are few things more romantic than gliding along the Italian canals in the sunshine. Gondolas are also a great way of exploring parts of Venice that you can’t reach on foot.
Years ago there were close to 10,000 gondolas in Venice. Nowadays there are only around 400 licensed ones and you’ll find gondoliers across the city vying for your attention to board their boat.
2. Head to the Colourful Island of Burano
Burano has to be one of the most Instagram worthy spots in the country – and when it comes to Italy, that’s saying something! This little island is known for its vibrant, colourful homes. Take a walk along the canal and you’ll see an array of pinks, greens, reds, and yellows.
The homes of Burano are actually protected by law! Owners reportedly have to gain permission before repainting their houses and must select from a list of pre-approved colours.
The island is just a 45 minute ferry ride away from Venice, making it the perfect day trip to add to your itinerary.
3. Eat Foccacia in Liguria
No Italy Bucket List would be complete without some delicious food. First up is a personal favourite of mine – Focaccia. And the best place to try it? Liguria!
There are a number of different variations of this lovely bread on offer, including onion focaccia, which was popular amongst the poor due to its affordability, and focaccia dolce, a sweet variety you’re unlikely to find outside of Italy.
4. Go Skiing in the Italian Alps
Where better to hit the slopes than in the gorgeous Italian Alps? You’ll be blessed with amazing views as well as some great apres ski. If you’re visiting Italy in the winter time, skiing is a must!
Some of the most popular ski resorts in Italy are:
- Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Madonna di Campiglio
5. Leave a Note at Juliet’s Balcony in Verona
‘Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona’
Shakespeare’s most famous love story takes place in the beautiful city of Verona. Tourists flock each year to ‘Juliet’s Balcony’ for a photograph. It’s also rumoured to be good luck to cop a feel of the statue’s right breast!
Famously, you can even leave a letter for Juliet, and a local volunteer will respond with romantic advice. If you haven’t already seen the film ‘Letters to Juliet’ with Amanda Seyfried, go watch it right now!
6. Take a Boat Ride on Lake Como
Lake Como is undeniably one of the prettiest spots in Italy and an absolute must when visiting is to take a boat ride. There are a number of options available, including short one-hour circuit trips, self-drive motorboats, or longer day tours. Make sure to check out the pretty town of Bellagio whilst you’re in the area!
7. Grab a Selfie at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
An activity so touristy, it had to make its way on to the Italy bucket list. Pisa is a pretty spot on the Arno River filled with golden yellow buildings. Of course it’s best known for its leaning bell tower. The tower began to lean during its construction in the 12th century, as a result of the soft ground it was built on. This only worsened by the time it was completed and by 1993, the building had to be stabilised with extra building work.
It’s definitely a fun spot to visit – if only to watch as tourists contort themselves into all sorts of weird and wonderful positions to get that perfect shot!
8. Go Hiking in the Dolomites
The Dolomite mountains in the North East of Italy have some of the best hiking in Europe. The trails are well-marked and you’ll be rewarded with excellent views as you go. This is the perfect spot for an Italian adventure, so why not hire a car and spend the week exploring the various towns and hiking trails?
Some of the most popular day hikes in the Dolomites include:
- Tre Cime
- Alpe di Suisi
- Lago di Sorapsis
- Val di Funes Panoramaweg
9. Visit Bologna – The City of Towers
Bologna is one of the most underrated cities in Italy. It’s incredibly beautiful with its terracotta coloured streets and numerous porticoes. Although well-known for being the home of Europe’s oldest university, it’s also the place to be when it comes to food. Often referred to as the country’s gastronomic capital, the city is birthplace of bolognese – a must try when visiting!
Once upon a time, Bologna’s skyline was a sea of towers. Rich families would build them to display their wealth, often trying to outdo one another. Sadly, only around 20 survive to this day. The most well-known of these are Le Due Torri. It’s possible to climb the 498 steps for beautiful views across the city.
If you haven’t considered it before, make sure to add this quirky city to your Italy Bucket List ASAP!
10. Sail on Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Nestled in the north of Italy, it’s surrounded on all angles by quaint towns and villages. The best way to explore it is by boat, where you’ll be treated to stunning 360 degree views all day long! When you’re done admiring the views, you can anchor up and dive into the beautiful waters.
Whilst in the area, consider hiring a car to drive around the lake and visit some of the top spots:
- Limone Sul Garda
- Riva del Garda
11. See the Last Supper in Milan
This 15th century mural painting is Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous work and can be found in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It’s one of the world’s best-known pieces of art making it a must for your Italy bucket list.
The painting depicts Jesus’ last meal with his apostles before Judas betrayed him, leading to his arrest and crucifixion.
12. Walk the Colourful Trails of Cinque Terre
The beautiful villages of Cinque Terre are a must-visit. The colourful homes and sparkling sea views have earned it the title of both a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although there’s a train connecting the five villages, the best way to explore is by hiking. Take the Sentiero Azzurro (or ‘Blue Path’ as it’s known in English). This cliffside trail connects the five villages of Cinque Terre: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
Each one has its own special charm and you’ll find breathtaking views all day long on the path!
13. Recreate ‘Call Me By Your Name’ in Crema
In 2017, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer took the world by storm as Elio and Oliver in the film ‘Call Me By Your Name’. Much of the filming took place in the city of Crema in Northern Italy. It’s a beautiful place in it’s own right but discovering the filming locations of some of this iconic film adds an extra layer of fun.
If you haven’t already, make sure to read the original book by Andre Aciman – it’s even better than the film, I promise! In fact, I read it in one sitting whilst waiting for a flight home from New York.
14. See the Mosaics of Ravenna
Ravenna is another seriously underrated spot in Northern Italy. Often overlooked for for its more famous brothers and sisters, Ravenna remains somewhat of a hidden gem. It’s particularly known for it’s mosaics. Everywhere you look you’ll find these fragments of the 5th and 6th centuries.
Two must-visits are the Mausoleum of Galla Placida and the Basilica of San Vitale. Each one houses some of the most beautiful mosaics in the world. They’re so intricate that they almost look like paintings!
15. Go Wine Tasting in Piedmont
The Piedmont region is known worldwide for its wine making it the best place in Italy to do some wine tasting. The various grapes for different wines can found in different areas of the region. The best way to get a taste of them all is to do a road trip.
Suggested Road Trip Stops:
- La Morra
- Nizza Monferrato
- Grinzane Cavour
16. Relax at the Terme di Saturnia
You might have come across the Saturnia thermal hot pools on your Instagram feed at one point or another. This beautiful staircase of warm blue pools is heated by a nearby volcano to a temperature of 37 degrees celsius. They’re completely free to visit and make for the perfect place to relax.
Located about 2 hours from Siena and 3 hours from Rome, they’re probably best visited as part of a road trip.
If you’re looking to enjoy the hot pools in private, make sure to arrive early as they’re growing increasingly popular!
17. Explore Siena
Siena has a beautifully preserved medieval old town that’ll have you feeling as though you stepped back in time as your stroll around. As a small city, it’s very walkable and pedestrian friendly. There’s also plenty to see making it the perfect day trip from Florence!
Best Things to See in Siena:
- The Duomo
- Piazza del Campo
- Torre del Mangia
- Piccolomini Library
18. Attend the Palio di Siena
And why not tick off two Italy bucket list items at the same time by visiting Siena on the 2nd July or 16th August for the famous Palio di Siena? This is a historic horse race that dates back to Medieval times. Ten horses and riders represent ten of the city wards.
It’s a huge event in the city and you’ll find the streets full of people celebrating. It’s reportedly still common for couples from different wards to separate for the days leading up to (and the day of!) the race! There are few sporting events across the world that are taken so seriously!
19. Buy Venetian Glass in Murano
Like Burano, Murano is another island close to Venice. It’s a beautiful spot that’s particularly well known for its glass. Make sure to go to a glass blowing demonstration, where you can watch in awe at the artisans’ skills. The craftsmanship is second to none and you can’t help but be impressed by how easy they make it look.
This is the perfect place to buy a meaningful souvenir that imbues that represents a long standing Venetian tradition.
Visiting for the day is easy – just hop on the ferry from Venice!
20. Go Yachting in Portofino
The Italian coastal town of Portofino exudes glamour and laid-back beauty. Living the high life and enjoying some delicious coffee in an authentic cafe before hopping onto a yacht and diving into the clear waters is a must for every Italy bucket list.
If a week in the Portofino sunshine is a little out of your budget, why not make it a day trip? It only takes an hour or so to travel from Genoa.
21. Visit the Duomo in Milan
Compared to the famous Duomo of Florence, Milan’s counterpart has a decidedly more gothic feel. Climbing to the rooftop is an absolute must for a closer look at the intricate architecture and stunning views across the city.
If you want to make the most out of the climb, book tickets for sunset. That way you’ll be treated to soft pink skies washing over the Piazza below. This can be a very popular activity, so I’d highly recommend booking in advance!
22. Try Pesto in Cinque Terre
Another must-try in Northern Italy for any foodie is pesto. Pesto is particularly popular in Cinque Terre and the surrounding area. In fact, visit any restaurant and you’ll find it on the menu. You can even buy jars of the stuff to take home with you.
The climate here is excellent for the basil that gives pesto its distinct flavour. Blended with parmigiana, garlic, olive oil, and pine nuts, it makes for the perfect pasta sauce. In Cinque Terre it’s traditionally eaten with a pasta called troife, which is a thin, twisted shape.
23. Row on Lago di Braies
Lago di Braies is probably the most iconic spot in the Dolomites. This lake is famous for its vibrant turquoise waters and the backdrop of towering white peaks. It’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Italy, if not the world, and definitely needs to be on your bucket list.
Make sure to get there early as it quickly gets busy, particularly during the summer months. Arriving before 10pm will give you a better chance of nabbing a spot in the relatively small car park, as well as the best viewpoints for that all important photo!
For the full lake experience, you have to hire one of the traditional wooden rowing boats!
24. Eat Bolognese in Bologna
You’ve eaten bolognese before but have you eaten bolognese in Bologna? This stunning city is, of course, the home to the humble pasta bolognese. The region is known for its excellent food but this classic dish needs to be top of your list.
Top Tip: don’t ask for spaghetti bolognese! You’ll find that most restaurants don’t actually serve bolognese with spaghetti. Instead it is traditional to use tagliatelle for this dish.
25. Go Ice Climbing in Livigno
Those with an adventurous spirit who are looking for something really special should head to Livigno, where you can go ice climbing! Here you can climb the incredible icefalls of the Stelvio National Park and Livigno alps.
It’s certainly not an activity for the faint-hearted but is one that you’ll also never forget! Ice climbing takes a certain amount of skill. To avoid accidents, make sure to book on with a reputable tour guide who will take you through the climbs safely!
26. Visit the Pretty City of Trieste
The port city of Trieste has a markedly different feel from many of the other Northern Italian cities. Due to its close proximity to the Slovenian border, the town is full of Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influences. This complements the Italian tradition beautifully, creating some of the prettiest architecture in Italy.
The Grand Canal is the perfect place to wander in the evening before settling on one of the many restaurants for a cocktail and a bite to eat.
There are also a number of excursions on offer, the most notable being the beautiful Castello di Miramare. Located on the coast, it’s crisp white walls stand out against the calm blue water. The castle is easily accessible by both boat and train!
27. Try Parma Ham in Parma
Parma remains somewhat of a hidden gem in Italy. It’s everything you’d hope a traditional Italian town to be with its pink shuttered homes and striped awning fruit stands. There’s an excellent vibe on the streets of Parma and you’ll find an array of great restaurants and shops.
The two must do things when in parma?
1) Visit the stunning Cathedral, and 2) try parma ham, of course!
The Italians take their meats very seriously, so Parma is definitely the place to be!
Central Italy Bucket List
Central Italy is home to two of the country’s most popular tourist destinations: Tuscany and Rome. You could quite easily create a bucket list for each, as both destinations have so much to offer. But for the sake of brevity, I’ve picked out the best of the best for you.
28. Visit the Colosseum
This iconic symbol of the Roman Empire is first thing on most people’s list when they visit the capital. The oval amphitheatre is the largest ancient amphitheatre every built. Although completed many moons ago in 80 AD, it still stands tall today in the centre of the city. Use for gladiator contests and public spectacles, it was once the centre of public life.
Visiting such a well preserved ancient monument feels incredibly special and no Italy bucket list would be complete without it!
If you want to make the most out of your time in the city, make sure to purchase skip the line tickets in advance.
29. Throw a Coin in the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most iconic spots in Italy, if not the whole of Europe, making it a must for your Italy bucket list. It’s the largest Baroque fountain in the world, standing at 86 feet high and 161 feet wide. This impressive piece of architecture has been featured in several popular films, most notable Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita and, of course, The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Did you know: an estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day! As such, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain, although it’s illegal to do so!
30. Climb the Duomo in Florence
The Duomo is one of Italy’s most iconic building and an absolute must-visit when in the city. The cupola (or Brunelleschi’s dome) is the third largest dome in the world, beaten to the top spot only by Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica and London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.
- Book your tickets in advance! This is a very popular activity meaning its often sold out. I love spontaneous travel as much as the next person but, in this case, it pays to be organised!
- Give it a miss if you’re scared of heights or not physically fit. The views from the dome are high, so not for the faint-hearted, and they include a lot of steps (463 in total!)
31. Explore the Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the world. It’s home to some of the most important collections of Italian Renaissance artwork, including words by Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, and Titian.
The gallery contains over 100,000 pieces of art, spread across more than 50 rooms. If you’re new to art, it can be a little overwhelming and you might be unsure as to which pieces to prioritise. In this case, I’d recommend booking a guided tour to really get the most out of your visit!
There’s almost always long queue to enter, so, if you can, splurge on a skip-the-line ticket, so you can do more with your day!
32. Take a Cooking Class in Tuscany
Tuscany is a region of Italy renowned for its excellent food. A gastronomical delight, the area is known for decadent truffles, quality meats, and beautiful breads. If you want to learn to cook the Italian way, then Tuscany is definitely the place to be.
Cooking classes here are incredibly popular with everything on offer from an afternoon of learning to a whole week of perfecting your skills.
Classes are a great way of taking part of a destination home with you. Your friends and family can reap the benefits of your new kitchen prowess for years to come.
33. Try Florentine Steak
Speaking of Tuscan food, there’s one dish that beats them all and that is the Florentine Steak. Often deemed the best in the world, this steak comes (unsurprisingly) with a hefty price tag.
My tour guide assured me that one steak was more than enough for two, however, so take a friend and split the cost for a taste of some Italian luxury!
34. Eat Pasta Carbonara in Rome
That delicious dish you’ve been eating your whole life? It’s from Rome! So where better to try it? Made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper, this yummy pasta recipe is always a crowd pleaser and there’s no denying it just tastes better in Rome!
35. Send a Postcard from the Smallest Country in the World
If that’s not a bucket list item, I don’t know what is! Based on landmass, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world at only 0.2 square miles.
And what a country! Vatican City is the home of the Catholic Church, making it an incredibly important location for both history, culture, and religion. As such, it’s a must-see, even for non-Catholics.
The Vatican actually has their very own postal system. All you need to do is pop your postcard in the yellow post box. If you’re looking for some special limited edition stamps to make your mail extra special, head to the gift shop.
36. Gaze in Awe at the Sistine Chapel
Of course, the most famous part of the Vatican is the Sistine Chapel, which was erected in 1473-81. It’s most well-known for its detailed Renaissance frescoes. It took Michelangelo four years to paint the frescoed ceiling and the result is absolutely breathtaking.
It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience to view this level of artistry in person, no matter your own personal religious beliefs.
There’s so much to see in both the Sistine Chapel and other Vatican buildings that I’d highly suggest booking a tour guide. This will really make sure you get the most out of your trip and leave with a real understanding of what you’ve just seen!
37. Visit the World’s Highest Man Made Waterfall
Marmore Falls in central Italy is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. In fact, it was built by the ancient Romans and still survives to this day.
At 541 feet tall, it’s certainly a sight to behold. The drop runs in 3 sections, flowing through luscious green parkland in a fabulous display of Roman ingenuity. The flow of waterfall is turned on and off, so tourists often try to arrive for the moment the gates are opened so they can watch as the waterfall comes to life.
A train journey from Rome takes about 1.5 hours each way, making it the perfect day trip.
38. Ride a Vespa in Tuscany
There’s no more romantic way of discovering Italy by vespa. And Tuscany is the perfect play to explore. You’ll get a much more memorable experience than sitting in a bus or car, and can enjoy the warm Tuscan sun as you go!
A number of companies offer guided vespa tours. Alternatively, if you want to save some money and are looking for more flexibility, you could consider hiring a vespa and striking out on your own!
Tuscany Tour Spots:
- San Gimignano
- Chiante region wineries
- Cascata del Diborrato
39. Visit the Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is home to some of Italy’s most culturally significant historic ruins. Once upon a time this was the central marketplace and business district of the Roman Empire. In other words, it was the place to be. Walking around gives you an excellent idea of what life would have been like in Rome thousands of years ago.
Tickets to enter the Forum are included in the price of your Colosseum tickets, so make sure to tick them both of your Italy bucket list at the same time! And sneaky secret: often people are more impressed with the Forum than they are with the Colosseum!
40. Eat Tiramisu in Rome
Looking for a delicious Italian dessert to add to your bucket list? It has to be Tiramisu in Rome! Traditionally made from savoiardi biscuits steeped in coffee and layered between layers of mascarpone, this dessert is a decadent delight for sweet-tooths of coffee lovers alike!
Rumour has it that the best tiramisu in Rome can be found at either ZUM or Two Sizes. It’s probably safest to try both and decide for yourself!
41. Stroll Through the Sunflower Fields
When travelling through Tuscany in the summer time, make sure to look out for the beautiful sunflower fields. Between late June and mid August, the landscape turns a vibrant yellow and the region is filled with these pretty flowers.
You’re bound to find plenty surrounding Siena, Mugello, and Casentino.
Southern Italy Bucket List
Southern Italy is a treat for travellers the world over. With it’s mild climate and fascinating history, it provides the perfect spot to both explore and relax. Here you’ll find some beautiful beaches, as well as excellent hiking trails and unique towns. The food, like the rest of Italy, is delicious with a number of specialities being born out of the region. What would an Italy bucket list be without pizza?
42. Visit Mount Vesuvius
First up in Southern Italy has to be Mount Vesuvius. As the only active inland volcano in Europe, it’s a must-visit. The best way to see it is to get up close and personal by hiking to the summit. This might sound scary but don’t worry – volcanoes provide warning signs of their eruption beforehand, so, providing the trail is open, you should be absolutely fine!
That being said, there’s definitely a certain thrill to walking up an active volcano! Mount Vesuvius was dormant for centuries before be eruption in 79 CE that buried Pompeii. The last serious eruption was in 1944.
43. Explore the Lost City of Pompeii
And if you’re visiting Mount Vesuvius, you have to visit the city it decimated – Pompeii. When the volcano erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was buried under 25 metres of volcanic ash and its inhabitants are killed. It wasn’t for another 1800 years that the city was unearthed by explorers.
Now it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as the longest continually excavated site in the world. The volcanic ash did an excellent job of preserving the place. You can now walk around the streets and get a glimpse of what it was like to live during Ancient Roman times.
Make sure to look out for the creepy body casts. In 1860, Guiseppe Fiorelli realised that the empty areas in the ash around the human bones were where the bodies had decomposed. He filled them with plaster to make a cast of the position they died in!
44. Drink Limoncello in Sorrento
Sorrento is the place to be if you’re on the hunt for a traditional Italian beach getaway. The area is particularly well-known for its lemons and limoncello. Why not take a tour of the lemon groves or even learn how to make your own limoncello? At the very least you can sip some whilst watching the sunset over the beautiful coastline.
45. Stay in a Trullo in Puglia
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Italy, look no further than Puglia. The Trulli of Alberobello were listed as UNESCO World Heritage due to their interesting architecture and historical value.
These distinctive conical homes date back hundreds of years. The oldest surviving ones seem to date back to only the 16th century however. This is reportedly due the fact that they were built as temporary accommodation that could be easily dismantled. This mean that whenever the tax collectors arrived in town, the homes could be taken down.
46. Eat Pizza in Naples
No Italy Bucket List would be complete without pizza. Famous the world over, this delicious dish actually originated in Naples. Today there are over 800 pizzerias in the city – pizza crawl anyone?
Best Pizzerias in Naples:
- L’antica Pizzeria da Michele – made famous by Eat, Pray, Love
- Pizzeria Sorbillo
- Pizzeria Gorizia 1916
- Pizzeria Dal Presidente
- Pizzeria di Matteo
47. Amalfi Coast Road Trip
The beautiful Amalfi Coast was made for road-tripping. It might be a tourist hotspot but for good reason. The Blue Highway is as cinematic as they come, providing panoramic views of the stunning coastline. Make a stop at the various pastel-hued destinations along the way to appreciate the beaches, sunshine, and good food.
Stops to Add To Your Road Trip:
48. Stay in a Cave Hotel in Matera
Carved into the cliffs of Italy is a place like no other. Matera is the third oldest continually inhabited city in the world and was once known as ‘the shame of Italy’. People lived in the network of caves without electricity or running water. It has since been transformed into a cultural hub and now holds UNESCO World Heritage Site Status.
To get the classic Matera experience, make sure to stay in one of the cave hotels!
49. Hike the Path of the Gods (Sentiero Degli Dei)
And whilst you’re on the Amalfi Coast, you have to hike Sentiero Degli Dei (otherwise known as the Path of the Gods). Most people choose to start this epic clifftop trail in Bomerano and finish off in Nocelle. It’s only 5 miles long but includes quite the climb. You’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the Meditteranean as you go, however, which will make all that hard work more than worthwhile!
This is an Italy bucket list must for anyone who enjoys hiking.
50. Explore the Lost City of Herculaneum
The Roman city of Herculaneum was buried in the same eruption that destroyed Pompeii. For some reason, however, it seems to get much less press than its famous neighbour. This is a huge shame as many believe Herculaneum is even more impressive than Pompeii!
Whilst the weight of the ash crushed many of the buildings in Pompeii, the ones in Herculaneum remained fairly in tact. It was also a much richer city than Pompeii, meaning you’ll find more beautiful mosaics and buildings on the site!
If you want to know what’s like to walk around a Roman city, Herculaneum needs to be on your Italy bucket list.
51. Go Scuba Diving and Explore the Sunken City of Baia
And if lost cities are your thing then you have to check out the sunken city of Baia. Once a summer destination for the rich Romans, it is now known as the Atlantis of the Mediterranean. Tectonic activity over the years slowly moved coastline until the Roman holiday villas were submerged.
Beneath the water you’ll find statues and impressive marble flooring, as well as Roman pottery and old columns. This makes it an incredible and unique dive for history buffs or anyone intrigued by Baia’s story.
Italian Islands – Italy Bucket List
Of course, the islands of Italy deserved a section all of their own. If you’re looking for warm weather and beautiful surroundings, this is the place to be! The
52. Go Swimming in Capri’s Blue Grotto
Capri deserves a spot on this list in and of itself. Known in Greek mythology as the isle inhabited by sirens, the beauty of Capri continues to enchant people today. Its colourful cliffside buildings and bright blue waters are everything you could ever want from an island escape.
The biggest draw to Capri, however, is the mystical Blue Grotto. Once the personal swimming area of Emperor Tiberius, it now draws in tourists from far and wide with its beauty. The beautiful white stone cave is filled with vibrant blue waters that shimmer in the midday sun. Swimming in the grotto is a magical experience that you’ll never forget.
53. Mount Etna in Sicily
Mount Etna, on the east coast of Sicily, is Europe’s most active volcano. And who would want to add that to their bucket list?
Mount Etna can be explored year-round through one of the popular summit tours. A knowledgable tour guide will lead your hiking group up the volcano to the summit. Whilst it is possible to do the climb independently, I wouldn’t recommend it. As Mount Etna is still incredibly active, it’s important that you be guided by someone who knows the path well and is aware of any change in circumstances!
54. Eat Cannoli in Sicily
You can’t visit Sicily without trying some traditional cannoli. These delicious sweet treats are made from deep fried pastry shells filled with sweet whipped ricotta. You’ll find them decorated in various ways, from chopped pistachios to candied orange peel.
They’re fairly tricky to get right in your own kitchen at home, so enjoy them liberally whilst in Sicily!
55. See Mummies in Palermo
Those who enjoy the macabre have to visit the Palermo catacombs. In the epitome of dark tourism the catacombs hold 1,252 mummies and are open to the public for tours. The rate of decomposition varies throughout with some mummies still sporting hair.
It was a sign of status for one’s body to be put on display here and they’d remain for as long as the family paid. The array of clothed skeletons is certainly and eerie one and not for the faint-hearted! Only the brave (and those with a strong stomach!) should add this to their Italy bucket list!
56. Visit Elba island
Unlike the other islands on this list, Elba can be found in the north of Italy. Napoleon was actually exiled here and boy oh boy, what a place to be exiled to.
Elba promises crystal clear waters, perfect sandy beaches, and delicious coastal views. And for some reason it remains relatively untapped by foreign visitors, who tend to head for the more well-known southern islands like Sardinia and Sicily.
If you ask me, it’s the perfect place to relax after a week of sightseeing in Tuscany!
57. Eat Sea Urchins Sardinia
Sardinia is the perfect place for a relaxing, sun-soaked vacation. The waters are a vibrant blue and the weather is mild year-round.
When visiting, you have to try one of the local delicacies – sea urchins! It’s not unusual for people to catch them, crack them open, and eat them almost immediately with a hunk of crusty bread.
If you want to give them a go, make sure to visit during sea urchin season between November and April. Taking sea urchins at any other time is forbidden in order to protect the population!
58. Visit Ischia
Ischia is the largest Island within the Bay of Naples. You can visit directly from Naples by boat and take in the beautiful thermal spas and pretty gardens that it’s known for. Make sure to check out the Aragonese Castle, which is the island’s biggest tourist attractions.
The island is relaxed and real, making it a refreshing option if you’re looking for something more authentically Italian.
59. Watch an Active Volcano at Sunset in Stromboli
Stromboli Island can be found off the north coast of Sicily. Best known for its active volcano, Mount Stromboli, one of the best things you can do here is watch the sunset and watch lava fly into the golden skies.
It’s also possible to climb the volcano but only with a knowledgable guide! Mount Stromboli is so active, it’s affectionately known as the Lighthouse of the Mediterranean!
60. Visit the Colourful Houses of Procida
This pretty little island off the coast of Sicily is famous for its colourful pastel buildings and beautiful blue marina filled with fishing boats. This is the perfect place for a quieter Italian island experience, that feels slightly less glamorous (but in the best way!) than it’s larger counterparts.
Procida also the Capital of Culture for 2022, so I’m betting you’ll be seeing a lot more of it on your phone screens and instagram feeds soon! Add it to your Italy Bucket List before everyone finds out about it!