Ermal Alibali

ERMAL ALIBALI

Italy: 10 Unmissable Places for an Unforgettable Journey

Italy is a marvelous country rich in history, culture, art, and nature. Each region possesses its charm and traditions, offering visitors unique and unforgettable experiences.

But what are the best things to see in Italy for foreign tourists? In this article, I share my selection of 10 must-visit places, from art cities to enchanting villages, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden treasures.

Join me on this journey to discover the wonders of the Bel Paese!

 

1. Pesaro, Capital of Culture 2024

Pesaro is a splendid city in the Marche region overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Famous as the birthplace of the great composer Gioachino Rossini, it hosts the prestigious Rossini Festival annually. In 2024, Pesaro will be the Italian capital of culture, opening its doors to art and history through events and celebrations.

Don’t miss attractions like the Cathedral, Ducal Palace, Rossini Theater, Constanza Fortress, and Rossini Museum. Pesaro, a lively and modern city, is the ideal destination for those who love music, culture, and the sea.

 

 

2. Val d’Orcia, UNESCO World Heritage

Photo by Paolo Bendandi on Unsplash

Val d’Orcia, is one of the most beautiful and evocative areas in Tuscany and all of Italy. Situated between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, it features gentle hills, wheat fields, cypress trees, medieval villages, and castles.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004 for its harmonious landscape and historical-artistic value, must-visit places include PienzaMontalcinoMontepulcianoBagno Vignoni, and San Quirico d’Orcia. Val d’Orcia is the perfect destination for relaxation, nature, and art enthusiasts.

 

 

3. La Scarzuola, Architect’s Dream

Photo by Matteo Kutufa on Unsplash

La Scarzuola, a magical and mysterious place located in MontegabbioneUmbria. An architectural complex built from 1956 to 1978 by architect Tomaso Buzzi on the ruins of an ancient Franciscan convent. La Scarzuola represents Buzzi’s dream of creating an ideal, symbolic, and fantastic city inspired by philosophy, history, mythology, and alchemy.

Comprising seven theaters, each with its function and meaning, La Scarzuola is a unique and original work that captivates and fascinates visitors. Accessible by appointment with an authorized guide.

 

 

4. Lago di Braies, Pearl of the Dolomites

Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash

Lago di Braies, one of Italy’s most beautiful and famous lakes, is situated in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park in South Tyrol. Surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Dolomites, reflecting in its crystal-clear waters, creating a fairytale-like setting. With an area of about 31 hectares and a maximum depth of 36 meters, the lake is accessible by car or bus, offering ample parking.

It serves as the starting point for various hikes, including the famous lake circuit, a 4 km trail providing different perspectives. Known for its rowboats available for a romantic lake tour, Lago di Braies is a must-visit for mountain and nature lovers.

 

 

5. Matera, City of Stones

Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

Matera, an extraordinary city in the Basilicata region, Southern Italy. Renowned for its “Sassi,” ancient dwellings carved into the rock, constitute one of the world’s oldest human settlements. Divided into two districts, Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso, connected by alleyways, stairs, arches, and rock churches. Inhabited until the 1950s, Matera’s Sassi were declared an emergency zone, leading to the relocation of its residents.

In subsequent years, the Sassi were restored and enhanced, now hosting museums, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 and the European Capital of Culture in 2019, Matera is a unique and fascinating city telling the story and culture of a people.

 

 

6. Amalfi Coast, Paradise on Earth

Photo by Sebastian Leonhardt on Unsplash

The Amalfi Coast, one of Italy’s most beautiful and renowned regions, located in Campania along the Tyrrhenian coast. Comprising 13 municipalities with colorful houses, lemon groves, gardens, and churches overlooking the sea. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 for its exceptional landscape and historical-cultural value.

Must-visit municipalities include Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and Sorrento, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and beauty. The Amalfi Coast is the ideal destination for those seeking sun, sea, and beauty.

 

 

7. Aeolian Islands, Pearls of the Mediterranean

Photo by Andrea Campagna on Unsplash

The Aeolian Islands, an archipelago of seven volcanic islands off the northeastern coast of Sicily. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 for their geological and biological diversity and historical-cultural importance.

The islands include Lipari, the largest and most populated; Vulcano, the closest to the mainland with black beaches, fumaroles, and a crater; Salina, the greenest and most fertile; Stromboli, the farthest and most active with a continuously erupting volcano; Panarea, the smallest and most chic.

 

 

8. Alberobello, City of Trulli

Photo by Urban Peklar on Unsplash

Alberobello, a city in the Puglia region situated in the Itria Valley, renowned for its trulli, traditional rural dwellings with cone-shaped roofs. Built by farmers between the 17th and 19th centuries using dry stone construction without mortar or cement.

Trulli are adorned with geometric, symbolic, or religious decorations painted with white lime on the domes. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, Alberobello has become one of Puglia’s most visited attractions. Notable trulli include Trullo Sovrano, the largest and oldest; Trullo Siamese, with twin domes; and Trullo della Chiesa, crowned with a cross. Alberobello is a charming city preserving the charm and tradition of a bygone era.

 

9. Reggia di Caserta, Italian Versailles

The Reggia di Caserta, one of Italy’s largest and most spectacular royal residences, located in Campania a few kilometers from Naples. Commissioned by King Charles III of Bourbon in the 18th century as a symbol of his power and magnificence. Designed by architect Luigi Vanvitelli, inspired by the model of the Palace of Versailles in France.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, the Reggia di Caserta houses the Royal Palace Museum, Silk Museum, Hunting Museum, and Terracotta Museum. Surrounded by a 120-hectare park featuring the English Garden, Fountain Garden, Peach Orchard Garden, and the Grand Cascade. The Reggia di Caserta is a must-visit for art, history, and nature enthusiasts.

 

 

10. Cinque Terre, Paradise of Colors

Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

The Cinque Terre, a stretch of coastline in the Liguria region, comprising five seaside villages: Monterosso al Mare, VernazzaCornigliaManarola, and Riomaggiore. Characterized by colorful houses overlooking the sea with terraces, harbors, and churches. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 and part of the Cinque Terre National Park, preserving the landscape and biodiversity.

Connected by a network of trails offering breathtaking views of the sea and vineyards. Famous trails include the Blue Path, covering the entire coast, and the Path of Love, connecting Manarola and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre is the ideal destination for those seeking sea, sun, and vibrant colors.

 

Conclusion

These 10 enchanting places make Italy a destination not to be missed. Each region, with its unique history and beauty, provides an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking culture, nature, and art.

Are you ready to book your next trip to ITALIA?

 

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