Few parts of the world can claim such a range of natural beauty as Italy, from craggy peaks and verdant hills to turquoise waters lined by white-sand beaches. The country is also home to some of the best art and architecture you'll ever come across: We're talking churches in Rome, rainbow-coloured houses in Venice, and modern masterpieces in Milan. And while no list of "bests" or "tops" from among the thousands of possibilities could be definitive, we've done our best to round up the most chic and stylish places to visit in Italy!
Luxury travellers looking for an authentic Italian experience especially enjoy this beautiful destination. Well to do foodies like to dine at restaurants like the Michelin-starred Mistral, where chef Ettore Bocchia whips up an array of "inventive molecular dishes," according to Michelin guide inspectors.
North of Verona, Lake Garda, with it's location is a year-round temperate climate where olives and lemons grow well north of their usual range. It is the most family- and water sports-oriented of Italy's lakes. It's also Italy's largest lake, reaching from the steep alpine foothills to the northern edge of the Po Valley. The southern shore is lined by beaches and backed by low hills, while in the north, mountains and sheer cliffs fringe the lake, especially along the western shore.
While the crowds head East to the better-known Lake Como and Maggiore, hang a left and check out Lake Orta instead. Smaller in stature and status, this is easily the Italian Lake District’s best-kept secret. Italians have dubbed it ‘Cinderella’ for so softly-spoken is its beauty that Orta takes on an almost mythical quality, such that even once you’re here, you can’t quite bring yourself to believe it.
Portifino, Amalfi Coast
This "gorgeous tiny fishing village turned up-market resort" is "very romantic and popular with the rich and famous," Boaz Lantsman, founder of RoutePerfect.com, told Business Insider. Celebrities like Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Steven Spielberg have visited Portofino, and stayed at the 5-star Belmond Hotel Splendido. The twin hotel has roof gardens, and a spa and sauna, while some of the suites feature marble bathrooms.
Positano, Amalfi Coast
Colourful buildings cling to cliff edges, azure blue sea laps at the shoreline and the sun beams down on majolica tiled roofs. Thanks to its fame, you might think Positano is a fairly big town, however it is actually small and compact. If you’re visiting on a day trip then you’ll be able to get a tantalizing taste of this coastal beauty. But linger a little longer and you will uncover so much more.
Praiano, Amalfi Coast
Delicately perched on the cliff face, equidistant from Amalfi and Positano and just a short drive from the effortless romance of Ravello. Not just for the saunters down to secluded coves or the glasses of Champagne at beachside bars in Vivaro and Fioriere, but for a stay at Casa Angelina where the crisp decor and serene views always leave you floating on cloud nine.
This Renaissance hill town is pretty idyllic no matter where you are, but for some of the most picture-perfect views of the Tuscan countryside, head to the Church of San Biagio located just below the city walls. Come autumn, when the sun sets and reflects off the crisping leaves; the sight is pure magic.
Puglia, the sun-brushed heel of Italy’s “boot”, has traditionally played the role of the nation’s country cousin: warm, sleepy and unsophisticated. Despite its baroque hill towns, chalky beaches and plentiful olive groves, it only began to be noted on the international market about 10 years ago.
Puglia has now established itself “as a trophy destination, like Capri or Portofino,” says interior architect Nigel Wilson, a Londoner who moved to the region to start a restoration business around 11 years ago.
Cinque Terre is an area of Italy that’s just so beautiful to see. It’s one of those spots that seems so typically Italian and feels like a proper throwback in time. Imagine it now, thick Italian accents, the smell of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of gelato that you’ll almost certainly devour!
Best of all, in August, you might be able to catch the Madonna Bianca Festival whereby hundreds (if not thousands) of Roman torches light up the town and the spit of land called, Punta di San Pietro. It truly is magical.
Ravelo, Amalfi Coast
This quiet, ancient town on the Amalfi Coast of Italy is located high up on a cliff, offering incredible views of the coastline below. There are also lush gardens and incredible villas, orchards full of citrus trees, and winding streets that make you feel as though you have stepped back in time several hundred years. There is even a popular music festival every summer to delight visitors.
Considered one of the most popular travel destinations in Italy for romance, Verona is located between Milan and Venice in northern Italy's Veneto region. Verona is famously known as the setting for William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," but it's also home to several historic and contemporary things to do for guests of all ages. From touring the original home of the Roman Forum at Piazza delle Erbe to watching the opera inside an authentic Roman arena, you're sure to find plenty of exciting attractions and activities on your stylish trip to Verona any time of year.
Sicily is like no other island. You can ski, hike and swim at beautiful beaches and in crystal clear streams. For foodies, you can eat the world's best pistachios and almonds and visit some of the oldest medieval towns in the world.
Camp De Fiori, Rome
Campo de’Fiori is one of Romes most stylish areas to visit. Drawn in by the inviting smell of fresh baked bread, sit here with an espresso doppio in hand and watch as locals peruse the daily farmers’ market, shopping for everything from local cheeses to plump and juicy fruits and the best cuts of meat. Keep an eye out for market stalwart, Franca, whose family has been selling some of the market’s freshest fruits and vegetables for over 150 years.
In a city synonymous with slick design and effortless style, Brera typifies what it is to be Milano. A bohemian neighborhood of decades gone by, Brera now drips with sophistication. Pull up a chair at one of the al fresco spots on Piazza del Carmine and enjoy an aperitivo in what is easily one of Milan’s most attractive neighborhoods.
Tucked away behind the Chiesa Santa Maria della Salute, the cultural hub of Dorsoduro is a taste of the real Venice; that of the locals. The quiet streets lend themselves to an arty crowd, and bring a feeling of relaxed charm. Be sure to stop by the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection before bedding down at Ca Maria Adele.