You are currently viewing 5 destinations in Italy that will make you fall in love with this country

Italy might be one of the most popular summer destinations, with its fantastic beaches and delicious cuisine. But there’s even more to this country than its most famous spots. Let me show you some of my favorite ones!

To get to Italy, you can take advantage of one of the many cheap flight deals Flytrippers spots. Flights to Europe are often as low as the $400s roundtrip from Toronto and Montréal for example, so you can try the self-transfer tip to fly to Italy for less. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in this country and visit several destinations.

Here are my top 5 places I traveled to in this beautiful country and an honorable mention I just couldn’t help myself from including. While most of these destinations can be explored in just 1 day if you’re short on time, I’ll highlight the two that, in my opinion, deserve at least a 3-day visit.



Location of Perugia (image credit: Google Maps)


Perugia is the capital of the Umbria region, renowned for its old town and well-preserved walls; it dates back to the Etruscan period, making it nearly 2300 years old!

I was there back in 2019 and had little expectation — so I was surprised by how fascinating this place turned out to be.

Perugia scenery (photo credit: Jacopo Faraghini)


The city’s structure is split into levels, the Old Town center covering a high hilltop at 482 meters height. 

Fun fact, because of that unusual place of settlement, to reach the city’s main square you need to take an elevator or escalators. 


Once you reach the Old Town, you’ll see the Rocca Paolina, a Renaissance fortress built in 1543. Its construction destroyed a large number of Etruscan, Roman, and medieval buildings and turned the former streets of the historic city center into underground passageways.

Yes, believe it or not, there’s a whole underground city beneath Perugia’s main square open to the public — even more escalators!

Perugia’s underground city (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


It’s genuinely fascinating. 

It’s the only place I have known with such a surprising architectural scheme.

Perugia Old Town (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


Perugia is also known for its delightful local chocolate. So much so that the city is nicknamed affectionately “The Town of Chocolate”. 

Alongside indulging in these sweet treats, you can visit gorgeous landmarks such as the Chapel of San Severo, the Fontana Maggiore, the Palazzo dei Priori, and of course the University of Perugia (which dates back to 1308!).



Location of Matera (image credit: Google Maps)


Matera is located in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. It’s well renowned for its historic urban areas known as the Sassi, which were carved into the mountainside.

Cave habitations (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


It’s hard to explain the Sassi — the occupation of the region dates back to the 10th millennium BC. In the beginning, it was a complex of cave habitations spanning around 12 levels and reaching a height of 380 m, all connected by a network of paths, stairways, and courtyards.

It’s huge and it barely looks real; I can’t compare it to any other landscapes I’ve seen before.

Matera scenery (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


Aside from just walking the ancient city and basking in its glory, be sure to visit the Matera Cathedral and Gravina di Matera.


Florence (Firenze)

Location of Florence (image credit: Google Maps)


Arguably the most popular destination on this list, I just couldn’t not mention Florence. I would recommend a minimum of 3 days to visit!

Few destinations in the world live up to its hype, but in my personal opinion, Florence is one of them.

Florence scenery (photo credit: Domenico Loia)


Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. It is most commonly known for its relevance in the history of art, being home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture, such as Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture.

Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture (photo credit Steve Barker)


And maybe its importance in the world of art is exactly what makes the city so enchanting. I mean, it’s practically a piece of art in itself; its Historic Centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

The bridges of Florence (photo credit Ilse Orsel)


Among an incredible number of things to do, my recommendations are the Galleria dell’Accademia and the sunset at the Piazza de Michelangelo.

You can also visit the nearby city of Pisa, with a 1-hour train ride (for about $14), and admire the famous Leaning Tower.

Leaning Tower of Pisa (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


And as for food you just have to try the gnocchi at Osteria Santo Spirito.

Gnocchi-at-Osteria-Santo Spirito
Gnocchi at Osteria Santo Spirito (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)


Cinque Terre

Location of Cinque Terre (image credit: Google Maps)


This one might be a bit of a cheat since Cinque Terre, in the Liguria region, is actually 5 villages in one destination — that’s where the name comes from, Cinque Terre means “Five Lands” in Italian. 

Located on the Italian Riviera coastline among hills and vineyards, the 5 different towns are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Vernazza scenery (photo credit Jack Ward)


Vernazza and Manarola might have the most known sceneries, with their colorful houses piling up at the edge of the coast. Perched high up, Corniglia is the most unusual one since it is the only village in the area not directly adjacent to the sea.

Corniglia scenery (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


Still, they all follow the same architectural pattern and are gorgeous to visit. There’s a train that links all the Cinque Terre cities, but you can also hike your way through most of them.

Unfortunately, when I visited it the footpaths were closed for maintenance, but I’ve been told by several travelers how much walking between those villages enriched their experience. All the hikes are known for offering stunning views and being very well-maintained. 

Only 2 of the hikes have an entrance fee: Monterosso-Vernazza and Vernazza-Corniglia, each €7.50/day (∼ $11). 

Also, the hike that links Manarola and Riomaggiore is especially popular, locally called Via dell’Amore, or Lover’s Lane. It’s also the shortest distance hike, taking only 30 minutes to be completed.

You can find all the details about these footpaths on the Cinque Terre official website.  

Map of the Cinque Terre footpaths (image credit


When it comes to food, the Liguria region is known to have invented pesto sauce and trofie pasta, so you can’t go wrong with that!



Location of Taormina (image credit Google Maps)


Taormina is a commune (municipality) on the east coast of Sicily, the largest and most populous of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s located very near an active volcano at Mount Etna. I would also recommend staying there for at least 3 days. Interesting fact for television lovers, it’s also where the latest season of the hit show The White Lotus took place (at the San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel).

The old town stands about 250 meters above the Ionian Sea, making the view from all its edges spectacular.

Taormina view (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


At the base of the hill, the city stands on, there’s an island called Isola Bella, where you can visit one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. 

Isola Bella (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


You can also visit the ancient theater of Taormina, where, to this day, you can watch several performances. And if lucky, you can also sit through a movie during the world-famous Taormina Film Fest which usually takes place at the end of June.

Ancient theater of Taormina during Taormina Film Festival (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


And when it comes to food, the local specialty is arancini, delicious deep-fried stuffed rice balls. 

Arancini (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


Bonus: Honorable mention to Pompei (Naples, Italy)

Location of Pompeii (image credit Google Maps)


At Flytrippers, we like giving you more bang for your buck so we like to add bonuses to lists.

Pompeii is technically not a city anymore, but indeed a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, a 45-minute train ride (for about $7) from Naples (Napoli).

But I couldn’t help myself, this is the most shocking place I’ve ever been to. There’s nowhere else like Pompeii.

Pompeii-center-with Mount-Vesuvius-in-the-background
Pompeii center with Mount Vesuvius in the background (photo credit Andy Holmes)


Located near Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii used to be an ancient Roman city, but was buried in ashes at the eruption of the volcano in AD 79.

The disaster made the entire area somewhat preserved and you can now get a glimpse of ancient life by walking through its ruins.

Pompeii (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


I’ve been to many archeological sites before, but nothing compares to Pompeii — from arenas to stores and entire neighborhoods, you can see it all as if traveling through time.

The ash preserved old paintings, murals, graffiti, and even a house entrance mosaic that says “Beware of the dog” in ancient Roman.

Beware of the Dog mural (photo credit Indira R Oliveira)


It’s shocking to see how much and how little society has changed since then.

Murals in Pompeii (photo credit Nick Fewings)


Tickets vary from €22-€75, depending on what options you choose.

You can also visit Herculaneum, another city affected by the eruption but a bit smaller than Pompeii.

Herculaneum (photo credit Graham-H)


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Featured image: Isola Bella (photo credit: Indira R Oliveira)

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Indira R Oliveira

Indira is a remote administrative coordinator at Flytrippers. She is a Brazilian journalist with a passion for traveling - with a lot of experience especially when it comes to traveling on a really low budget. She's been to 30+ countries and is aiming to expand that list soon!

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